Monday, February 27, 2012

Thing 8 -- Visual Learning

Bubble.us

Gliffy

Word Clouds

Tagxedo

These are all really great and creative online services that could be used both in the classroom and when working with peers. More specifically, I would like to use Tagxedo or Word Clouds as a brainstorming tool in our writing.
Bubble.us and Gliffy could be used when showing relationships between different stories or when teaching word relationships (i.e. adjectives, nouns, verbs, etc.).
I would like to spend more time with some of these programs to see if they will interface with Keynote or other software we currently have at school. I'm also curious if they are interactive at all.

Thing 6 -- part 3 -- VozMe and more

I made an audio of Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends, but I'm not sure how to put it on the blog. What a cool tool! Like I said in my last post, I think this tool could help with creating audio books for students to listen to. But I also think that it could also provide assistance with struggling readers when they are given extra support during assessments/assignments. Imagine instead of having to read the instructions and/or questions of these assessments/assignments to students each time, they can be pre-recorded for students to listen to and complete the assessments/assignments at their own pace! It would just take a bit of time and the right tools! Love this idea!

I also made my account in Learnport and went onto NetTrekker and did some exploring. I could EASILY spend hours and hours on this website researching and reviewing the endless resources they provide. For example, I searched under spelling and found two online games (one I knew about, one I did not) for students to play. These I would use when students have some free time and would make a link to them on my own website for students to be able to access at home!


6th thing -- part 2 -- Diverse Learning

While I read about the different tools that are out there for teachers, two things popped into my head. First, recently I have started to create Keynote presentations for several things in my classroom. I started with creating Keynotes on the key vocabulary from the HM reading of the week. In this Keynote I have used pictures, clip-art and videos. But when I read about the different tools, it occurred to me that why can't I also include the spanish word for the key vocabulary (i.e. cooperation and cooperaciĆ³n) as additional support for our ELL students.
The second thing I was thinking was that this year I purchased a few CD and tape players for my classroom with the hopes of giving students opportunities to listen to stories and, at some point, record their own and listening to themselves. However, time and money have prevented me from getting this process going. (I have had students listen to stories online both at Storyline.com, Storynory.com, Kidsstoriesonline.com and MrsP.com (part of ProfessorGarfield.com).)  I hope this summer to work on creating cds, tape and digital files of stories and other learning tools for next year.

6th thing -- part 1 -- Differentiated Instruction & UDL Implementation

As I read through the article, Differentiated Instruction and Implications for UDL Implementation, I noted that I do these things in my classroom:
1. Provide multiple examples.
2. Provide many different media opportunities and formats for student learning.
3. Create flexible grouping.
4. Vary assessments based on student needs (support given).

I also would like to begin creating more hands-on assessments for struggling students that will allow them to show understanding/mastery in areas where pencil/paper assessments are too challenging.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

5th Thing (again?)

I had come across Thinkfinity before but didn't take the time to completely look through the resources that it provides. As a customer of Verizon it is nice to know that they support such a wealth of educational information!
There were two activities that I came across (without looking for hours and hours...which I easily could do IF I had the time) that I feel I would use in my classroom. The first is called Punctuate It! http://media.thinkfinity.org/tec/Activity%20Instructions/Punctuate%20It_A7.pdf
In this lesson we would discuss the importance of punctuation  and how it can change the meaning of a sentence. The teacher reads two short stories, stopping at the end of each sentence for students to draw the punctuation in the air that they believe should go with the sentence. I think that students should also verbally say the punctuation or to get really creative the students could use their bodies (with a partner) and make the punctuation (periods, question marks, exclamation marks).
The author of this lesson also says that you could use this activity, but focus on pronouns. Instead of pausing for punctuation, the teacher would pause before a pronoun.
The second lesson is the "Bossy R" Rap http://media.thinkfinity.org/tec/Activity%20Instructions/Bossy%20R%20Rap_A8.pdf
In this lesson, when the teacher introduces r-controlled vowels s/he could use this rap as a tool to help students remember the rules.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

5th Thing

Not a problem finding subscriptions that I want to subscribe to! I've done quite a bit of searches now using a variety of the tools shown, and my subscription list is growing by the minute. The key will be to keep my personal subscriptions separate from my work subscriptions! And then, of course, reading through them all. I think one way of doing this is through testing the sites and then getting rid of those that don't provide the information that I am looking for.

I do have to say that in the time I took searching for education blogs, most of them I found were not related to elementary education. While technology as a whole is more widely used in secondary education, I believe there is a place for some of it in the elementary classroom. I'll keep looking because I am SURE they are out there! (I have found a lot of healthy food and living sites that I already LOVE!).

4th Thing

Oh my...now I'm REALLY in trouble! If it wasn't bad enough I was spending my free time online looking at different sites (which I don't need to do as much any more), but now I have a way of bringing them all to me! Yikes!
Sorry husband, but this new technology is going to allow me to do more searches, gain more information and LEARN more. So, I won't be sitting in front of the TV much any more...there's just too much to do!
All kidding aside..RSS Readers are a great thing. It has reminded me of something, but exactly what that is escapes me right now. My only problem is finding the time to read everything I want to read. AND searching for more things that I would like to subscribe to!