Thursday, April 30, 2009
I have been doing a lot of reteaching and reviewing to cram for the upcoming testing month. This has also helped with differentiating independent work in reading centers. Last week I tried to have the students type up their word family lists in a Word doc, then copy and paste them into Wordle. Not a surprise when my heterogeneous groups bombed at this task. So this week, I pulled out some "Centers Captains" (aka grade level students) to have a private training with Wordle and how I wanted this center to work. Alas, success!
My students took their writing journals to the computers center (yes! I finally have enough computers for a center!) and typed up the word lists we had brainstormed during whole group. When they had finished the Centers Captain helped them print their sheets. As predicted, this ended up being me jumping up from guided reading to help them all print- but still worth it.
During writing the students took their Wordle print outs and highlighted them according to short vowel families and long vowel families. They used a different color highlighter to represent the different vowel word lists. Short vowels proved to be easy (since we've covered them for so long) but long vowel lists were confusing and proved to be a difficult for the students (as you will see one is not very well color coordinated).
I am going to attempt to try this activity with the phonics standard each week. It proved to be fun, but less independent than I would have liked. We'll keep trying, practice makes perfect!
I don't have a lesson file for this because we made the changes as we went a long. Of course I forgot to take a screen shot of our tallies and fractions, but I do have a picture of the spinner.
The event will start at 1:30 and will run about 45 minutes or so. If anyone is interested in joining us, that would be pretty sweet.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The students designed their focus questions, made predictions, came up with a way to collect data, and designed the process they would use to conduct their investigations, and then we simply recorded them in action and posted it to our wiki. We also recorded their claims and evidence, conclusions, and reflections, but the have not been added yet.
We did mini videos for each part of the process, and I think this was the final boost they needed to see how the process breaks down.
The students were very motivated by this activity. There are seven special education students in this particular class, and it was great to see their involvement in the video and scientific process.
One thing that I would do differently is to make sure I have sufficient microphone coverage, as we had to do a lot of choral reading just to make their voices audible (I just used the web cam to video). I was also wondering how to combine my clips into a longer video, but today I met with Emily and she showed me how to use Movie Maker-- so next time I'll be ready!
An extra bonus to this activity is that I got more students from other homerooms to check out my classes’ wiki, where I have a lot of learning links posted.
These videos are great for a smile- fourth graders are so… well, fourth grade and cute!
I also included performance assessments in the quiz. I knew the timing of the performance assessments would be tricky, but I lucked out and kids were able to work on their performance questions first because the first set of clickers I got wasn't able to receive the signal.
This assessment did give me the encouragement to work on more clicker quizzes for next year. Kids love it and their patience with me while I fix the quirks is unbelievable. If I do more performance assessments, I need to make sure the gluing portion is LAST!!!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
For the lesson, click here.
All of the attachments are uploaded here on my website. You'll find the SMARTboard vocab lesson, the SMARTboard "story board" and the story reprinted with added images and spaces for notes and reflection. I've also bolded the vocab words in the story to make them easier for the kids to identify.
Please feel free to use it and adapt it for your own purposes. It's a cute story and the kids really enjoyed it. I hope you will too!
Anyway, back in early February I was teaching a habitats unit for science and decided to give my students a virtual feel for the habitats that are very different from that which we experience here in Colorado. The first habitat we studied was the tropical rainforest. I borrowed a camera from DT and took a weekend trip to the Botanical Gardens (one of my favorite places in Denver!). With my video footage I put together some shots and "edited" them in Windows Movie Maker. This was only my second attempt at filmmaking with Movie Maker and the first was in college a couple years back with still photos. Needless to say it ended up being more work than I thought! It was a lot of fun and the students LOVED IT! (2nd graders really believe that I flew down to the rainforest, haha)
Due to deadlines and lesson plans I didn't edit it very well and therefore, have been reluctant to post it on here.... But here it is nonetheless! Its very rough, but it served its purpose. (there is actually a typo in there I forgot to correct! Whoops! *teachable moment!*- Now that I mentioned it I'm sure you'll all watch it just to find it! A scavenger hunt, if you will.)
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Hi all. Hope for the best. This is potentially scary. Keep up to date by using the following:
Web 2.0 tools are now part of the US Government's emergency response strategies.
Hope for the best..... Doug
added: 4/27 click here for a google map showing presumed and confirmed cases in real time.
added: 5/1 click here for projection maps based on epidemiological modeling
We can have students in small groups around individual computers or teachers can choose to have one computer going while students have the conversation with the teacher typing and paraphrasing. I still need to look at the next unit to see how this is going to tie in with the GLETs, but I don't foresee that being an issue.
If anyone has any pointers or suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
Friday, April 24, 2009
My goal was to be able to solve math problems as I would at a whiteboard or Smartboard in front of class but have the ability to save my work go and back to it with a narration of what I am thinking at each particular step. I found the Smartboard record tool not up to the task. For some reason the audio could never be captured completely and the Smartboard lacked the precision I needed for some tasks. It seemed to always need to be realigned.
I hope to build a bank of worked out problems that students can access from any internet source at any time. I also want to train students to use the tool and have them contribute to the problem bank on a regular basis. So far the pen seems to be just what I was looking for.
Here is my second try at uploading a link to my "pencast". This time with audio attached. Please click on the link below to see it and let me know what you think.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I am particularly excited about two collaborative projects. My second grade class will share questions and answers about our story of the week with Sara Zaleski's second grade class. Jon Fisher and I are planning to have my class share life as a second grader with his first graders. My students will be very excited. I think it will be a great balance to all the end of the year testing we are about to begin.
Here are some of the things I will take back and use with my students.
Trekstor: This is a wireless recorder. It is used by students recording in it and then playing it back. Students do need headphones for this. I thought this would be great to use with students that struggle with writing. I have a few students that know what they want to say in writing, but can't put it on paper. This Trekstor gives students an opportunity to record a sentence, play it back and then write what they recorded. I think it will help students that have thoughts they can't get on paper.
Also, students can record a passage they read and play it back. This will help students understand how they sound when they read and they can hear how they need to improve their reading. (prosody, fluency, etc.)
Glogster: A fun site! Students can create a poster about a story we have read and reflect through glogster what they have learned. They can also do this for other subjects, such as science. This site gives students the opportunities to be creative when reflecting on their learning. All students love to be creative!
Webcam: I learned how to use this and how to upload it in my blogspot. Lisa Kellogg and I will be using this with our classes. We will be proposing questions and the other class with answer with the solutions, and vice versa.
This was a great day! I learned so much and can't wait to go back and implement it in my classroom!
I came into today with a electronic penpals project in the works, and I'm still working towards that. I'd like to practice a bit this year and work out the kinks, then hit the ground running next year.
Kelly Berry, Jon Fisher
Students will develop a testable research question and design an experiment to test their question. They will make careful observations of their test and control plant. Students will share their observations twice per week using VoiceThread. Students will collaborate with their distance learning partners by asking questions and making predictions via the response features of VoiceThread.
What happens if you cut off half of the leaves?
What happens if you cover some of the leaves with foil?
Will a plant grow without soil?
Will a plant grow upside down?
We are looking for some feedback to get our project started. What are some other questions to investigate? We would likely start with nursery pre-potted plants. Does anyone have suggestions as to the best plants to use?
I'm going to use a variety of software applications to assist my students with their speeches and monologues. Thanks to Uncle for the heads up for Odigo. Check out these programs, freeware of course, and available at www.download.com. I hope this will help extra-shy students while still allowing them to complete the assignments.
Odigo 4.0 & Text To Wav 2.11
We are also currently reading short stories and will collaborate with Justin's class to Glog and comment. We are expecting to do this in the next few weeks. Today has been an amazing day! Thank you:)
Hey Global Learners!
Kelly and I are collaborating on a literacy piece. We are using the book, Where the Wild Things Are and creating our very own 'reader's theater version' of it. Kelly's class is creating the characters, and my class is creating the backgrounds. We have divided up the book and each class is reading certain parts. We are each recording the readings and then will meet up to put it all together. We're considering live action versus still photo. The question is...which program to use? There are soooo many options!
I also learned about live scribe. Check out Tom's problem on this page.
This is my first try so ... here goes...
Click here to see the document or click the LiveScribe home page for more information.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Friday Morning in Second Grade-Short Version from Lisa Kellogg on Vimeo.
Friday Morning in Second Grade-Long Version from Lisa Kellogg on Vimeo.
Here is the agenda for Thursday, April 23, 2009 from 9am to 3:30pm.
9:00-9:45 Introductions and Ignite Session
Student email accounts: Liz Springer
Voice thread: Jon Fisher
Live blogging/TextTheMob: Todd Mayville
Blogger/Google site: Doug Abshire
Ning: Todd Mayville & Liz Springer
Glogster: Liz Springer
Atomic Learning: Doug Abshire
Smart Board: Jeff Lewis
Clickers: Wesley Robinson
Video/story making: Kelly & Emily
9:45-10:45 Break out into groups as follows:
Elementary Group led by Kelly and Liz
Secondary Group led by Justin, Todd, and Doug
This hour will be for questions and concerns around GL issues specific to grade level. It will be in the format of a round table discussion for GLs to voice their ideas.
10:45-12:00 Work Time
Let’s start collaborating and idea sharing with other GLs. By lunch time, be ready to post on the blog about what you’ve discussed and worked on so far. What ideas are you going to pursue? Please visit the blog during the day and comment on this question.
Text The Mob—vote for your top 3 choices on what you want to learn more about from this morning’s Ignite Session.
12:30-1:30 Q & A on new technologies and 2.0 Applications
Tables will be set up and GLs will visit each table to learn more about new technologies and 2.0 applications.
1:30-2:45 Work Time
Your goal is to complete a collaborative lesson to be shared with others. You do not necessarily need to plan a big project with another class. You can develop a lesson with a colleague that both people will implement in their respective classrooms.
Get into ELEMENTARY and SECONDARY groups to follow-up and report out:
1. Here's my success for the day
2. Here's something I'm still wondering about and want to follow-up on
3. Here's the next thing I'm going to try in my classroom: lesson plan and commitment with results posted to blog prior to the end of this school year (June 4).
3:15-3:30 Next steps...future of Global Learner
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I had students create a powerpoint of the stages a butterfly goes through.
While this may seem very easy to some, for my students it was not. MOST of my students do not have a computer at home. We do not have a computer lab time here at Dupont, so this was new and exciting to them. They got to learn how to change the font style and size. They learned how to insert pictures from clip art and use color for the background. Students enjoyed this project and it reflected what they learned about metamorphosis.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
While carpooling with a fifth colleague, Deb Welner, she mentioned that her students were less than thrilled to listen to the weekly audio CD of the core story. So we decided to begin creating audio versions of the reader's theater at the end of every StoryTown theme using fourth and fifth graders. This is our first. The story is Exploring the Gulf Coast and it is from fifth grade theme 6. Students were given scripts a couple of days ahead to practice, then we put all the students together (4 from fourth and 4 from fifth) so they could practice. They read and recorded it twice using the iPod with the mic and this was the best read. The plan is to do another reader's theater from either fourth or fifth every week with a different set of kids.
I also uploaded the recording to archive.org which gives me the code for the player you see above. I embedded the recording on our class reading wiki so students could listen to it during centers. I also burned CDs for each fifth grade teacher using iTunes.
SIOP lesson plan
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I responded to the "What are you doing now?" post about our letters about Mo Willem's book. I have finally scanned all my students' pictures and am working on recording the audio of my students reading their own letters. The plan is to create a webpage to share this project. I started with the Google site I created at the beginning of the year, but I can't host audio files on it. Then I spent time on a Wikispaces site. I can upload my pictures and audio. However, I'd also like a convenient way for people to comment on student work, yet I want to be able to filter them for inappropriate content. From what I can tell on Wikispaces, I can recieve notice when someone has posted on the discussion page, but I thought some sites allowed managers to okay posts before they appear on the site. Also, I was having a hard time putting a hit map on the site and I know many people say a hit map is an exciting widgit for students. It doesn't look like Blogger hosts audio files.
So here is my question for you. Is there a site that can host our pictures and audio files, can allow me to monitor/grant permission for comments, and let me easily use a hit map? Or perhaps, you all have not had issues with inappropriate comments and permission is not a necessary factor. What are your thoughts?
Friday, April 17, 2009
This was my first time using cover it live and it is really cool!. Kind of like instant messaging simultaneously between 30+ people! The topic was "How do filters affect our Knowledge" which as a prompt took the discussion in many different directions. An archive of the dialogue can be accessed here.
This was a new experience for almost all of my students and the feedback was very positive. I observed students engaged, enjoying the activity and realizing the power of such a tool.
Access was easy and immediate due to Todd placing the link on his blog and me emailing the link to my students,
So, check out http://www.coveritlive.com/.
It has lots of possibilities.
Thanks Todd (aka Mr. Live Blog!)
Thursday, April 16, 2009
This is a voicethread my students have been commenting on. The process was as follows:
- Together, we filled out a 6 x 6 table showing all the possible combinations that can be rolled with two dice. We then created a bar graph showing the probability of rolling a 2, 3, 4 etc. all the way to 12. They discovered that the probability of rolling a 7 was much greater than rolling a 2 or a 12.
- Students worked in pairs to roll two dice 50 times and tally the results.
- They used the laptops to visit National Library of Virtual Manipulatives and created a bar graph showing their results.
- I screencaptured their graphs using the PrtSc/SysReq button on the computers because their wasn't a screencapture program installed on all the computers.
- I uploaded the pictures to box.net which now has a feature where you can easily edit the pictures using picnik I cropped the screenshots down to show just the graphs.
- I imported the pictures to Voicethread along with instructions on how students should comment.
- Here's the SIOP lesson plan.
Finally, I had major technical problems with Voicethread. First, my mics weren't working on any of my desktops. I tested them through the control panel and they worked fine. Then in Voicethread they didn't work. Then I did a test comment as a demonstration for my class and it worked on my laptop. When we went to the desktop later to listen to it on VT, it wasn't there. Other students have reported disappearing comments. It was so frustrating and brought everything to a standstill. I would like kids to go in and continue commenting, but I am bagging it at this point. Has anyone else experienced problems with VT? Voicethread is a tool with great potential and I was excited about using it, but I am really disappointed. We have another project happening next week where students will be publishing their work as a VoiceThread. I will publish it here and let you know how it turns out.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I love to teach math to my 4th graders; they really excel with numbers. Plotting coordinates, finding the circumference of a circle, multiplying decimals- they love it all. Still, when I test my students I can still find cracks in their fundamental number sense. They can still slip up with their
basic operations. What is an engaging activity that builds this core skill?
Remember Sudoku? Well, KenKen is a math puzzle that uses the framework of Sudoku but involves the four basic math operations. Rather than decipher which of 9 digits to put in a row, column, or box, in KenKen you are given an answer to a problem, such as 2-. This means that the two numbers in the box need to have a difference of two. Other boxes could hold three or more digits, and have an answer like 24x, meaning that the three digits multiplied euqal 24. However, like Sudoku, the row and column of the grid can only have one of each digit- but the gird can vary form a 4x4, 5x5, or higher.
I had my students solve a few puzzles, but the real thinking began when they had to create their own. They start by filling in a gird with a pattern of numbers, where they do not repeat in each column and row, and then they box off the digits and create problems using the four operations.
The students quizzed each other, and generally had an totally engaed computaton fest.
Try a few KenKen websites:
KenKen creator site (may not work from district computers- not sure why!)
New York Times KenKen and learning website
Here are some student-created examples, as well as a Smartboard template we used.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Hi all. Hope your spring break was enjoyable...Anyway back to work...
As some of you know, Todd M and I are blending 9th grade English and Science curriculum to investigate problems facing the earth and possible solutions to those problems. To that end we are using Plan B 3.0 as a primary reference. Todd has begun to use ning as well as coveritlive to support classroom activities and I am learning from those experiences. (Thanks Mr. Live Blog!)
To that end, I have started to create a google site titled Is oil in your future? that deconstructs the website Life after the Oil Crash
By this I mean that I have taken various portions of the website, inserted them into google pages and then embedded assignments as well as alternative points of view for comparison since some of the author's claims are controversial.
I think that this approach takes a somewhat technical website and makes it more accessible by breaking it down into sections. Hopefully it will be more engaging to the students.
BTW, Is Oil in your future? IS NOT complete but does show you how I will be using the site. It is cross-referenced on the 9th grade blog
Anyway, I welcome your criticism of this strategy.
PS : this activity supports the IB Learner Profile
I created a google site that all the second grade teachers in the district could use to share resources they found or created to go with Storytown, the new reading program. It's been up since January, and I've been meaning to post about it. Honestly, I have not updated it much. When I first started, I gathered many of the files from a Second Grade Teachers Club on NING. There was not a central place for them and I wanted an easy way to share them with other teachers in our district. Now, there are a few comprehensive sites that host most of the files created by the teachers in the Second Grade Teachers Club. So it became less important for me post them all on one site.
Also, I was really hoping that other ACSD 14 teachers would upload some of their files to the site. I know many teachers have made them and when we share we all have to do less work. In order to upload to the site, you must a Google account and I realized that many teachers do not and would not be willing to create one simply for this site. So I created a Google account that everyone can use and shared the password. All of this was supposed to be shared with all the second grade teachers through an email. While I think some teachers are using the files on the site, so far no one has added any files. I know I need to give it more time.
I have been meaning to upload the latest files from my second grade team and post the files from the Second Grade Teachers Club for the later themes, but it is still on my to-do list. Anyway, here it is http://sites.google.com/site/storytownsecondgrade/Home.
I would love any suggestions for the site or for encouraging teachers to upload files.