Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tool #6

Searching through the suggested sites, I was still not sure how I would use the wiki with my 2nd graders! Then I found a second grade wiki site and thought what this teacher said is a great way to begin:

"All the students in our class will be able to add content so they can show off what they know any time they want. They can do it any time they have access to a computer, either at school or at home. This is a new way of using computers for us, and our wiki can grow and change as our needs change."

Looking further into this site, I saw many unique and interesting things that children have posted including animoto videos with children's artwork, a variety of dinosaur stories using glogster, google videos of students reading letters to President elect Obama, students performing poetry, and the list continues. I think allowing students the freedom to explore the wiki and posting new creations is perfect. In addition to the childrens' posts, the teacher has posted links to beneficial websites as well as other info about her class. Other suggestions I have found about using wikis in class are allowing kids to type stories or poems and then other children can go in and edit or make suggestions. I am not quite sure how this would look in second grade, but it is a possibility.

As far as my use of a wiki, I have already started putting together a classroom wiki in which I can post assignments and classroom information. Our team could possibly use the wiki for team planning. We could set up a page for each subject and type ideas that pop in to our heads as they always do at different times. Using the wiki, we can all post ideas and collaborate from our own homes and then compile our ideas and lessons together.

I will continue to work on my classroom wiki page and search for additional ways to use a wiki to aid in my students' learning.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tool #5 Bookmarking

I must admit, and you can tell by the dates of my assignment posts, this was not one of my favorites. I think having my bookmarks in a central location is nice, but it has been a little difficult to establish! I can see myself maybe using it once I play with it more, but I have worked a long time on this one!
I added one of my favorite sites to my bookmarks called The Reading Lady and I also added her blog to my google reader and blogs I follow! This is a great site! The link is listed under My Favorite Links, so please check it out!
Last week I attended a multi-sensory grammar workshop at Neuhaus. I learned some good ideas to incorporate into my Multi-sensory grammar teaching that I began last year! I am excited to see the benefits this program could have school wide! It seems to meet the needs of all learners! They suggested we join the Reading Teacher Network, so I have included it in my bookmarks. I have also become a registered user and subscribed to their newsletter so I can keep up with the latest learning trends and information to support my divers learners in the classroom! Please check out this great resource by clicking on the link in My Favorite Links.
The Daily Cafe is another site I just had to include. The Cafe, by the sisters, is an amazing resource for teachers of all grades. It provides an organized method for planning small group/individualized instruction in reading!It is a MUST read for sure! Just click on the link in My Favorite Links section to have instant access to this site!

As far as the TAGS for my bookmarks, I used comprehensiontools for the reading teacher and reading lady websites. I used this TAG because both of these sites provide tools for learners to use and improve their reading. For my third site, differentiating reading instruction for struggling readers, I used differentiation. This is huge in my classroom because NOT ALL LEARNERS are the SAME! Having access to ideas for differentiation will be something I continue to search for so I can add those sites under this TAG.

Ok, so the bookmarking is getting easier...but still a little more work than some of the other tools!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tool #4

Ok this Google Doc thing is AWESOME! One way I KNOW we will use it next year is to create our weekly newletter. I can't tell you how many emails go back and forth to add birthdays and update what we are doing for the week. I created a newsletter already and this way all of my team can enter infor from the leisure of their own computers! This will save time and make collaboration much easier! I can also see kids typing poems and me being able to comment and look/grade form home! So nice! The google reader is also really neat because I can look at all of my blog updates in one location as well as my google docs. I can't believe how much I am learning!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tool #3

The past few days have been fun playing around with all the different cool things you can do with words, pictures, and videos. I am currently working on an animoto video about our new baby purple martins that I hope to post soon! All of these creative websites would be awesome for children to choose from in order to present information to the class, make projects, or just have fun exploring technology like I did! I definitely will use the videos created by some second graders this year to help introduce and tell about our purple martins to the grades yet to come! I still have lots to learn, but my Purple Martin Wordle and my picture collage sure were fun to create and really did not take that much time at all!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tool #2 Online Education Community

Wow! I think having an online education community would be great! Having the opportunity to communicate with other educators who share similar interests, teaching styles, etc. would allow me a chance to discuss new methods in teaching, ask questions, and extend my knowledge to become a better teacher! Education is always changing and each year brings a totally different group of learners. Trying to meets the needs of each child can be challenging, but being able to turn to others who are not on my campus would allow me a chance to maybe learn some new ideas and ways to help!So, I am excited to start blogging on the PLN!

Looking at the "advice on commenting" blog, I loved the part where it said teach children to blog! She posted a child's comment where he noted how comments made him feel important because he wrote things he wanted to share with everybody! I think of my pirple martin site! I write the blog to inform and to get others engaged it this amazing experience. Reading comments from the excited children and interested readers makes ME even more excited and know that my work is appreciated! I also liked the part that says "crticize kindly". What I write is important to me and if someone was being negative or putting me or my blog down, I know I would take great offense and be a little heartbroken.

I have looked at a bunch of the blogs and these are the ones that I have chosen to comment about:
This blog is interesting!
Great blog that provides new ideas for integrating technology into the classroom!
This is another site that offers really cool technolgy project ideas!
This class website is a good model for me as I begin my class site! :)
The last post on this blog has a great reflection about the format of workshops for teachers! Kim has it right on the money!

Tool #1 Using a Blog in the Classroom

Creating a blog was VERY easy. I have already started using the blog as a way for my students, parents, and the whole school to keep up with our Meadow Wood Purple Martin nest in our houses. This was a second grade project and the blog has allowed me a place to post updates as well as photos and videos of the birds that the children have taken. In addition, parents and students from previous years can see the beautiful birds and our first nest! I think I could also use a blog for a homework as well as for posting pictures and information about what is occurring in class. Parents could easily look on the blog to get information!