Friday, December 26, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
I was also pleased with how quickly the students adapted to having the live blog in the classroom, reading it and commenting on it, and even stopping the conversation when they wanted to address a point that had been made on the screen. They adapted really well and have made it a part of the classroom culture already, so I definitely think it's here to stay, at least for this class. I've also begun thinking of ways to collaborate within the building on this... live blogging represents some real possibility for cross-classroom and even cross-curricular conversations. A real plus is that it's really amazingly easy to use, and it doesn't require anything beyond a laptop and projector, so incorporating non-Global Learners will be a really easy thing to do. Let the walls continue to melt away! :)
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
At any rate, there is a transcript of the class discussion and a podcast (Dec. 17), so anyone can listen in that wants to. I'm actually thinking of making that a regular part of the class now. It was a way cool way to dissolve the classroom walls, and I want to do it again. Dave is going to let me use a projector tomorrow as well, so that way the students can not only see the question posted, but they will also be able to follow along with the live blogging discussion.
Actually, since we didn't get to finish our conversation, we plan to continue it tomorrow. I will happily post up the link to it here and anyone who wants to join us on Coveritlive is welcome to do so. The class conversation will run from 8:45 until 9:15 or so. Come join us!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
We had about 65 fourth graders answer the following questions via blog, Twitter and WizIq:
"Regarding the connection, we generally recommend a connection with minimum bandwidth 512kbps for a good experience in a 2-way video session and around 256kbps for a 2-way audio session.. Each individual sees screens/ videos based on their bandwidth and only if they are active [speaking/ broadcasting/ writing] are others affected.
The Annotation feature works if you transfer audio control [even in free version] to the participants."
I was pleased that all four fourth grade classes participated, but logistically it was tough to have that many people in one room. They were in groups of about 10 and it was a little tough to have all students feel like they could just "act natural" and just interact in the WizIq session. Last year I did this in groups of 7 and it was much easier. I talked too much during the session, I would much rather have them lead the conversation. Is this too much to expect from fourth graders? We are going to try another "Summit" - type of activity in the spring around a different IB unit. That will be a good opportunity to tweak some things. Students were unaware that there were any technical problems and were generally excited to share their knowledge with the world.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Last year at this time I barely even knew what a smartboard was. This weekend I created 2 smartboard lessons of my own! The first one was on singular and possessive nouns. It was nothing special, but at least I figured out how to create a lesson. The second one though is quite fancy! OK--maybe not fancy but I am very proud. It is on money. Kate and Lisa, if you would like to use it, let me know. I am happy to share. My class thinks I am a real genious because I made my own. We won't tell them otherwise.....
Sunday, December 7, 2008
IB MYP 9th grade science students visited the freerice website this week to be reminded that we can make a difference in solving the world's hunger problem. My 90+ students each spent 15 minutes interacting with the programs on www.freerice.com and had donated 289900 grains of rice which is enough rice to feed 14.5 people for a day. The top scores were: pd 2 - Sandi (4200), Kyle (4060), Stephanie (3960); pd 3 - Angel (6300), Gio (6000),Nick (5600); pd 4 Francisco (5200), David (4840), Augustina (4760); and pd 5 - Samantha (4920), Sydney (4440) and Juan (4200). Blog activity can be accessed here.
According to the website:
FreeRice is a sister site of Poverty.com. Our partners are the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the United Nations World Food Program.
FreeRice has two goals:
1. Provide education to everyone for free.
2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.
This is made possible by the generosity of the sponsors who advertise on this site.
Whether you are CEO of a large corporation or a street child in a poor country, improving your education can improve your life. It is a great investment in yourself.
Perhaps even greater is the investment your donated rice makes in hungry human beings, enabling them to function and be productive. Somewhere in the world, a person is eating rice that you helped provide. Thank you.
From wikipedia: this is a website where users play a various educational multiple-choice games in order to raise money to fight world hunger.
The games include chemistry (basic and intermediate), multiplication tables, English vocabulary (the game the site began with), English grammar, basic foreign language vocabulary for English speakers (French, German, Italian, and Spanish), geography (world capitals and country identification), and art.
Currently, for every question answered correctly, twenty grains of rice are donated to impoverished areas of the world. It is considered an extremely remarkable event, with many schools having classes use the site for extended periods of time.
Thanks for your time and attention. Thanks to Teri Dahn, librarian at ACHS, for showing me this site! This activity supports the IB MYP criterion "One World".
Friday, December 5, 2008
I think I found mine! Just before Thanksgiving students began learning about celebrations around the world. To begin the unit students completed a research project about a holiday. In pairs, students chose a holiday and asked three open-ended questions about their holiday. After they had their questions, students set out to find answers via a guided trip through the internet. After they found acceptable answers to their questions, pairs were ready to learn how to create a photostory. Our 4th grade blogging buddies volunteered to help the first graders find pictures and create their videos.
You can listen and view the videos on our Let's Celebrate page on our website. Students will soon have their meteorologist reports on our Weather page.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Lesson Overview/Objective (Original) - Students will collaboratively create a pictograph with another class as an introduction to Data and Graphs. Small groups (11) from each class would complete a pictograph representing the number of letters in their names. Using Dabbleboard, students would write their name, then the other class would move the name to the correct vertical position on the pictograph. This continued alternately for 10 students to put their information on the collaborative whiteboard.
*ALL students were excited about being on camera.
*Students were initially engaged as they saw each other through the web camera.
*Students from both classes received an introduction to graphing.
*Students collaborated within their own classroom as well as through the web.
*Everyone wanted to have their 15 seconds of fame!
*Explaining to 5, 6, and 7 year olds about the internet delay.
Ideas for Improvement
*Use smaller groups (maybe eight from each class).
*Give students more opportunity to be on camera.
We're excited to try our next project and we're thinking about using Dabbleboard or Twiddla. Using the online whiteboards are a challenge for both of us, but we think they offer a great resource to capitalize on the abilities of our students.
I just started my favorite math unit to teach all year- money. 2nd graders need to understand and model use of coins up to $1.00. For one of my math centers I run Ms. Ibarra’s store where students identify the price for items and the coins they will need to buy them. I also run a coin behavior incentive system where the students earn (paper) coins for behavior throughout the day to put in their piggy banks. At the end of the month the students use their coins to buy real items at the store I set up the day before winter break.
I have been doing this with paper coins but I was wondering if there is a way I could incorporate technology into this process? Ideas? Maybe an Excel sheet where they enter and add their daily earned coins?
With my coin unit, I found a sweet counting song video on TeacherTube. However, when I play it half of the video is covered with a white square. I tried to download it and the file isn’t Windows Media supported so I couldn’t play it. Anyone else had this problem or know any solutions?
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Turnitin (also known as Turnitin.com) is an Internet-based plagiarism-detection service created by iParadigms, LLC. Institutions (typically universities and high schools) buy licenses to submit essays to the Turnitin website, which checks the document for plagiarism.
Students may be required by schools to submit essays to Turnitin, as a deterrent to plagiarism. This has been a source of criticism, with some students refusing to do so in the belief that requiring it constitutes a presumption of guilt. Additionally, critics have alleged that use of the software violates educational privacy and intellectual property laws.
Parent company iParadigms, LLC, also offers a similar plagiarism detection service for newspaper editors and book publishers called iThenticate, and run the informational website Plagiarism.org. Other services marketed under the Turnitin brand are aimed at the educators' market, such as grade marking and peer review services.
Checkout the User Guide and ACHS website...