Thursday, February 28, 2008

Civil War and Google Docs

I've created some lesson plans using Google Docs to get students to think more critically and collaborate.

Civil War and Google Docs 2

Civil War and Google Docs 1

I used, a resourced that I heard from Sharon Peters. I'm really excited to find a place to upload lessons and that can be interactive. Visitors can view my lesson plans and add comments and questions. On a side note my student teacher said she had to pay for a service through CUD that allowed her to put in her lesson plans and papers for grading and feedback! After I showed her this service she was a little upset that she was spending money on something that was harder to use. I love Web 2.0, especially when its FREE!!!!

I used the SIOP lesson plan template, which helped me reflect on my lessons from the lens of an ELA Teacher--which I should have been doing. However, the last few weeks I have been so consumed by getting my students to think critically that I've over looked the language barrier. I need to take a step back and make sure they have received good comprehensible input before I get them to think and do things with the information.

I've been thinking alot about essential questions lately, I'd like to think some more about how to use the Essential Questions to create language targets and to allow students to apply and use their background knowledge -- even if they have no understanding of American History.

{this post is cross posted with my website}

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Doodle 4 Google

Calling all artists, grades k-12. Google is sponsoring a fun doodling contest complete with lesson plans, idea starters, templates, and prizes. We could have an aspiring student out there who could have their doodle for Google displayed to the world. Check it out. Don't forget to take a look at the video of the original Google doodler, 29 year old Dennis Hwang, what a cool job he has.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Poetry Unit

This post is cross-posted on my blog.

One subject I love to delve into with my students is poetry. I believe that poetry helps them love language and see more possibilities in what language has the power to do.

My students will become poets through a poetry unit that I have designed. Students will create many poems as they learn different styles of poetry with use of on-line resources and the smartboard and then they will bring them together by creating a podcast of their poems, or a Photo Story. Also students will post a poem they write on a classroom poetry blog. This blog will provide the structure for students and others to respond to their poems and offer feedback.

I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations in regards to this poetry unit. Have you tried anything with your students to teach poetry using 21st century learning strategies or technologies? What worked? What other ideas would you suggest that I incorporate into this unit of study? I would appreciate any suggestions or feedback!

The lesson plan and a film about poetry I made is posted on my website.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Quiet, but on my way back.

Well, I had become somewhat overwhelmed in the fall. I chose to take a step back with how much my students and I produced. We have been working with many of our technological resources, just not showing everyone.

This week Cameron Weise came through and video-taped our first lesson. I'm sure many of you may agree this isn't necessarily the most comfortable situation. The students did well as they navigated through the First Grade Explorations My Space Wiki page.

The main objective was for the students to apply their knowledge of the cardinal directions why gaining an understanding of vastness of the world. As we look at a map the United States, and I already said it was the U.S., the students innocently ask, "Where is the United States?" They still have a long ways to go to develop their awareness of the globe, but this class definitely has had more exposure than my classes in the past!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Top Ed Tools

(cross posted on my blog) Obviously, since today's date is February 3rd, I'm a little behind on this, but I just stumbled upon the eLearn Magazine's Top 100 Tools for Learning 2007. I was struck by two things: 1. The number of tools that the Global Learners are using regularly in our classrooms, we are ahead of the curve in Adams 14. 2. They note that only two of the top ten (Word, PowerPoint) are commercial applications, the others are free. 75% of the tools in the top 100 are free.

Tools are just tools without great teachers using them to impact learning in their classroom. Tonia's post addresses this important point: learning comes before tools. Take a look at the top ten. What tools have impacted student achievement the most in your classroom? In 2007, my students have improved their writing through the use of blogger as a publishing and reflection tool. They have become more reflective and better editors by tweeting our lessons throughout the day. Our wiki has helped my students use the internet better for research.

There is a call for best tools of 2008 already. How will student achievement in Adams 14 be impacted through the use of these tools in 2008? (I can't wait to find out...)