Friday, May 28, 2010
using the smart board, clickers, Photo Story, Blogger (embedding), flip cameras, and movie maker. I certainly don't feel like I'm an expert in any of these, but I believe it will make life much easier as I begin to plan lessons and activities for next year! Thanks to all the GL team for your support and guidance this year!
I took their papers home to check and edited their work and then they had to re-write their report and draw a picture of their animal. We had an author's tea where the parents were invited to the classroom to listen to their child read their reports. I found pictures of their animals off of Google and took pictures with the camera and projected them on the promethean board while the children were reading their reports. For example, there would be a picture of a Bear and the caption read, "Bears by Carlos." As the child was reading his report, the pictures would be up on the promethean board so that all parents would know who was reading and what their report was about. After our tea, we served cookies and punch to our parents. It was a good way to get parents involved, especially at the end of the year. I found it very exciting for parents who had not seen the promethean board in action. The parents were truly amazed. It was a great way to end the year! I worked with Melissa Garcia, 2nd grade teacher, on this project as her students were also learning about animals and writing a report. With Melissa's help, I was able to post one of the students' work on podbean.com and record a fact about his animal. Melissa commented on this child's work.
So this is my electronic signature to promise to continue to implement technology into my classroom next year and in doing so will better prepare my students for the future! Who's with me?!!
We are actually creating a large bulletin board in the copying room where teachers will post what topics they are covering which will make it much easier to find out where we can work together to create a deeper understanding of the concepts being covered. I believe that if students are exposed to interdisciplinary learning then they will take their education more seriously and it will be more meaningful. It will no longer be just a Math concept, or a Science concept, or a Communications topic; instead it will now be an opportunity to make meaning of what they are learning throughout all the content areas.
Also, it will allow our students to be more focused on what they are learning which will lead to a better understanding. I feel like our students are being thrown new material in all of their classes almost every day and in part this leads to more confusion because they are never sure what to expect when they enter the classroom.
As for my collaborative project this year, I worked with another algebra teacher in my building. We ran into a lot of obstacles though. We were trying to have our students take more ownership over their learning so the plan was to have the students create their own problems about the concepts we were covering. They would post them in the blog and then have the other class solve them and discuss if the problem was created well, if there was any information missing from the problem, as well as rank the difficulty level of the problem (from easy to extremely difficult). Lastly, the kids would that created the problem would have to grade the other students work.
Well in theory this seemed to be a great idea; however, when we were implementing it we ran into a lot of problems. First the other teacher only had half the amount of time with her kids as I did (we were on a block schedule and she was working with periods) and every time that she was going to have her kids work on the computers something came up. One time she couldn't get the internet connected, another time when she finally got the kids on the computer they didn't have email addresses so they couldn't post, a different time she couldn't even use the computers because the school was MAP testing and all the computers were reserved. It just seemed like we were running into problem after problem with the computers and we were losing a lot of teaching time so what switched up the plan. What we ended up doing was the kids would exchange problems on paper, solve them, reflect on them and then return them to the other class to have them graded. It was literally more leg work for us, but in the end I felt like it did give the kids more ownership over their learning. I saw them take their learning more seriously and they were more excited to solve problems created by their peers rather than just solving problems that I gave them.
I plan on working more collaboratively with my fellow educators next year, both within and outside of my content area, and I am thankful for the technology/resources that we have because I believe it will make it much easier!
The Princess and the Pea
The Spider and the Beehive
The Three Little Pigs
Three Billy Goats Gruff
Martina and the Cockroach
Brianna and Kelly
This has been my sixth year teaching and with the addition of the new resources I have been introduced to it feels like it was a year where I grew the most as an educator. As I reflect back, in my first two years of teaching I learned a lot about how I wanted my classroom set up and learned a lot about classroom management. However, this year I learned of new digital 21st century technology that I believe has helped me become an even better teacher; and not to mention has helped with my classroom management as well!
The kids truly enjoyed the projects that we worked on throughout the year. They were extremely focused and determined to figure out how to make the best glogster poster, or the best video that they possibly could. It was amazing and in all actuality it was relaxing as well. To look out into my classroom with all of my students working on computers, helping each other learn new things, it really made me felt like my students had taken complete ownership over their learning and this is when I truly believe that learning is taking place! Of course, we hit some road blocks, and I helped out whenever and where ever necessary, but overall I was really impressed with my students ability to problem solve and overcome the obstacles that they encountered.
Lastly, I just wanted to say thank you for helping me become a better educator as well as helping my students become better learners! The 2009/2010 school year has been an educational one for all of us!!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
[Sorry for the late posting. I wrote this a few weeks ago and forgot to go back and post it.]
I hope you all enjoy your summers!
As we finished the last few weeks of school, we were able to wrap up a few collaborative projects that we had been working on. In addition to the collaborative projects we completed in March, we completed a few more projects in April and May. These projects included:
- Parts of a Plant (with Ms. Lopez’ Kindergarten class) For this project the students illustrated pictures and wrote about what they learned about plants. Ms. Lopez created a video with her students and posted it on her blog. A few of my students then responded to the video by leaving comments on her class blog. I also had a few students create a podcast about the purpose of each part of a plant and post it on our class blog.
- Information Paragraphs (with Mrs. Martinez’ 1st Grade class) In order to introduce this project I created a flipchart using ActivInspire and used resources from http://www.brainpopjr.com/. The students then researched and wrote an information paragraph about a given animal. The students then published their paragraphs using Microsoft Word before posting them to our class blog. For her part of the project, Mrs. Martinez took pictures of her students’ work and then recorded her students reading their work using Audacity. She and I worked together to create a few podcasts.
- Friendly Letters (with Mrs. Waheed’s 2nd Grade class) Mrs. Waheed’s class began by creating Voicethreads of their friendly letters to my students. My students then responded by posting their own friendly letters on Mrs. Waheed’s class blog. http://mrswaheedroom28.blogspot.com/
In order to manage all of these collaborative projects I chose to divide the work and allow the students to choose if they would like to post a friendly letter to a blog, create a podcast, or post a comment to a blog. By allowing the students to select the type of technology they wished to use, they were able to review and help each other complete the assignments.
Why I Value Technology as a Science Teacher
1. Inquiry becomes more relevant when I use technology in the inquiry activities.
2. Technology allows me and my students to do what would be difficult to do without technology (ie. look at a real-time video of the active volcano in Iceland)
3. Technology helps me engage my students. It not only increases student participation and interest in science, but it also gives my students more respect for me. They see that I am not technologically illeterate. I am a participating member in our technological society, and I want them to become proficient not just in my content, but in their 21st Century skills.
4. Many scientific ideas are complex and abstract. As a result, I often see many misconceptions that my students have. Technology can help me address the misconceptions of my students, and make complex content more accessible to them.
A Word of Advice
To any teacher reading this and wondering if there is any basic advice for how to implement technology in your class, I leave you with this:
Focus on the science content and not on the mechanics of the technology. Definitely plan for some time with students just exploring the new technology. Then, when students' curiosity is satisfied, teach your lessons.
Thanks so much to everyone for a great year!!
Here are some best practices and some findings according to Taryn L.S. Hess and Sherry A. Southerland in their article, "Online Assessments and Hearing Students Think About Science" (2008).
1. Create a variety of questions that address higher-order thinking.
2. Make sure the problem sets are randomized.
3. Make sure that the feedback provided by the system is meaningful to your students and serves to shape student thinking.
4. Use the system to its maximum flexibility so that it can be adapted for all students' needs.
5. Assign online assessments as class work rather than homework.
6. Model how to approach the questions and their answers several times before students attempt it on their own.
7. Be willing to "stick with it" and ask for support when needed.
1. Teachers that took advantage of the timely feedback provided by online assessments saw the dropout rate of students decrease and found less students cutting their classes. These teachers added their own comments to the reports from the online testing system.
2. Some teachers targeting students based on the immediate feedback generated by the system by creating after-school study groups or small groups in class that could focus on the students' needs.
These teachers not only saw student achievement increase, but surveys showed that students felt that these teachers cared about them.
3. According to Morrissey, Kahsy, and Tsai (1995), online testing systems initially increase a teacher's workload. However, after you create the initial problem sets and become used to the system, your workload is reduced.
I started using Galileo in January and continued to use it all spring. I liked how I could create my own questions and I found that it was a great tool for formative assessments. However, I found that I had to supplement my tests on Galileo with some essays, labs, and other projects to get a full picture of the science knowledge of my students.
Here are some resources that I used this year:
This website shows volcano photos from Earth and on other planets.
Erosion: How Sediment Moves
These websites show that rocks and sediment get moved from their original locations. They also show earth building up in some areas and other areas where there is sediment loss.
I found 2 websites with awesome fossil images.
Fossil Image Galleries from the Virtual Fossil Museum
I found that by using the images I found on these websites, my students were more engaged and their knowledge of earth science was enhanced.
Here are some good simulations on the web:
Learning Science: www.learning.org/index.htm
Visual Elements: www.chemsoc.org/viselements
Virtual Chemistry Lab: www.chemcollective.org/vlab/vlab.php
Physics Education Technology: www.colorado.edu/physics/phet/web-pages/index.html
Cell Biology Animations: www.johnkyrk.com/index.html
Interactive Human Body: www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/body/interactives/3djigsaw_02/index.shtml/?skeleton
I found out that the GIS company called ESRI, Inc. have K-12 programs. You can go to www.esri.com/k-12 for programs. Also, Northwestern University has created a GEODE Initiative (www.worldwatcher.northwestern.edu) and they have also created a GIS specifically for K-12 student.
Two of the more common GIS geographic data explores are Google Earth (http://earth.google.com) and ESRI's ArcGIS Explorer (http://esri.com/arcexplorer.)
Educational Research that Supports the use of GIS in the classroom:
I found that the National Academies Press publication Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in K-12 Curriculum arues for the inclusion of spational reasoning through the disciplines of geography in science. In this report, spatial thinking was identified as the "cognitive tools...that allow for a constructive amalgam of three elements: concepts of space, tools of representation, and process of reasoning."
The Department of Labor has sited the geotechnical industry as one of the three fastest-graowing technology industries. As science teachers use geotechnologies to support and extend inquiry exercises, they will be mimicing the field techniques of scientists in various fields and also engineers.
According to a study done by Kerski (2000) and another study done by Olsen (2000), when geotechnologies are used to support inquiry or problem-based learning, students attitudes toward science improved, and the abilities of students to conduct scientific investigations also improved.
From NSTA: Best Practices for Using Geotechnologies
1. Prepare students to use maps and spatial tools effectively.
-Explicitly teach map reading and analysis activities prior to using geotechnologies.
-Hang vegetation, migratory, geology or hydrology maps on classroom walls. Mark interesting or unique points on the map with transparency markers.
-Have students find their home, school, and popular hangouts on a map or image of their hometown.
2. Plan for a phased-in instructional approach when using GIS to support inquiry.
-Presentation: use your Smartboard to show maps from a website to the students. The teacher presents the map and presents the map to the class. This sets the context for learning.
-Exploration: Students begin to play with GIS software and data. Students turn data layers on and off, make layers active, and add/delete layers.
-Analysis: These are constructed activities prepared by the teacher. The teacher sets up activities where students compare and contrast data layers. Teachers can also have students make relationships between data sets. Other analysis tasks include: identifying what's inside, outside, or nearby another object or class of objects.
-Synthesis: Teachers creative activities where students create new data layers. Another activity is to have students recombine data layers into new patterns. For example, students may crate a new layer from three environmental factors (ie. elevation, precipiatation, temperature), in an attempt to create a single composite data layer.
-Visualization: Teachers create activities where students search for new patterns within the data layers. In other activities, students can manipulate the way map data are represented. Three- and four-dimensional modeling and animations can also be used.
3. Teachers guide students through inquiries that are focused on local issused. Teachers can also bring in collaborators.
-By creating inquiry investigations that link to students' communities, teachers make learning relevant. Students also develop a sense of ownership in the problem and solution.
-Teachers can find that local county mapping offices can provide data and create poster-size prints of maps.
4. Scale the technology with your personal comfort level and the school's technical capacity.
For more information of how to implement GIS in your classroom, visit NSTA.org. Happy mapping!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Similar to Lisa, my class used Google Earth to map the route of a family going on a vacation from our shared reader's theater. I had never used it before, so it was a learning experience for all of us. It really helped them visualize the selection and was very engaging. Then, we mapped it out on individual maps. This week we are going to perform each scene in small groups.
I just wanted to also say thank you everyone for a wonderful year!
One project in specific that we worked on was a collaborative project with Sara Zaleski's 2nd grade class at Dupont. Together Sara and I created a Venn Diagram for our science groups. In our Venn, we compared and contrasted insects and dinosaurs. Our students provided us with the learned knowledge of our respective topics, then it was presented to the other classroom. My students had a great time learning about insects and did a fabulous job finding traits that insects and dinosaurs have in common.
This has been a fun technology filled year! Thanks to everyone for your ideas, guidance, and support!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Hi GLers. Here is a neat website with links to many web 2.0 tools and/or applications. Also, here is a link to their blog. Tons of new apps which I will look into over the summer break. Enjoy the break and see you next fall! ...... Doug
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
You can check out our class blog at http://m13panthers.blogspot.com
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
- I wanted to find some fun ways to reveiw math skills at the end of the year. SO, I am having students take on the task. I assigned groups of students to review an important third grade math skill using a power point presentation and creating a worksheet or activity for them to practice. We are still in the creating process, but they are so excited to teach the class next week!
Monday, May 10, 2010
Click here to take the quiz
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Leilani asked if she could bring her Sea Monkeys to school. Being that I am teaching early childhood, I thought it would be a great way to intrinsically motivate the students to create rich language opportunities, enhance writing skills and enable the children to ask questions and learn about new ideas.
Before Leilani shared the Sea Monkeys with the children, the students wrote predictions about what they thought the Sea Monkey looked like.
Leilani shared that the Sea Monkeys love the sun. She feeds them algae to crave their hunger and to keep them healthy.
After learning about the Sea Monkeys, the children returned to their seats and wrote about two things that they learned about the Sea Monkeys.
Thanks to Leilani for sharing her treasure!
The kids LOVED this project and it was a learning experience for all of us. With the help of Ms. Taylor, I was able to learn the basics of how to use Flip cameras, Movie Maker, and convert the films to RealPlayer. We missed the deadline by about a week to enter into the Adams 14 Film Fest, but am excited to try this project again next year (starting a bit earlier)!
They are posted on my blog if you would like to check our films out!
I decided to have students take pictures only of their right angle and hand. This way, the right angle would be large enough to see. I also did not want to worry about posting kids' faces online. Many of the students photographed the right angles. This meant I could pick the pictures that were in focus and reject others. When I showed the slide show, students recognized photos they thought they took and I didn't have to worry about making sure I had photos from each group.
I thought I had it all figured out but when I tried it in the classroom it didn't work. After listening to Dave today, I realized I must not have chosen the correct year. So, lesson to be learned....make sure you have the correct year!
One thing I found beneficial was to have my laptop home when I listened to the tutorial on my home computer. That way I could listen on one, and type/set up on the other. This is especially helpful when you are unfamiliar with an application.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Also, the Kindergarteners in my class are getting more and more practice using our classroom camera.
Here is a picture one of my students took at our Alligator Farm field trip.
Here's one about the color blue:
Get a Voki now!
Monday, May 3, 2010
I along with my global learner partners here at Haskin, have been busy training and troubleshooting our other staff and their boards. It has been so exciting to see where the new people at our school have gone and where they are headed. I have helped arrange for a drive on our server to hold our Promethean Flip Charts. That is so cool to see all of the staff members flip charts and be able to use them also if they fit our curriculum. There is a new teacher on staff who has created the best geometric flip charts that are interactive. I am blown away by all of the creativity.
My class is using Photo story right now creating the movie of all of their baby pictures for recognition night next week for the 5th grade. They have picked their music and putting pictures in the order that they want them and creating a cover for the presentation. It is so fun to watch them wander their way through the process, from scanning to moving pictures and now on to learning how to add sound. Their movie will be played for all parents, friends and family, school board, superintendent and principals for each of the three schools (elementary, middle school, and high school. We estimate an audience of about 150-175 people.
My class has designed flip charts and is able to do designs that I would not think about doing. Isn't this what education is all about, learners for all and teaching for all. Such a two way street is really opened up for all involved.
We have been using our Promethean Board approximately 4-5 hours out of every day.
The other great news is we finally got our student computers and have been high into research, composition of poetry, T charts, note taking, test taking etc. And the list goes on and on forever. I love it when they jump up to share their learning both on the Promethean board and the computers.
What I have really experienced this year is how the learning has changed for these students. They are more involved, more willing to discuss, not as willing to put others down. They experience how hard it is to put themselves out in the open by getting up in front to put their writing down. The Promethean board seems to make them willing to go to demonstrate their learning but then they become more afraid of error. That is something we have had to work through. It seems that the board is more intimidating that a plain white board.
It has been a wonderful year. It has been busy and great.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
My class also worked on a collaborative project with Melissa Garcia's class. We were working on writing friendly letters and thought we could use Voice Threads and post them on our blog and Melissa's class could respond to them. We looked at Melissa's blog and the kids were really excited to correspond with them about what they wished for in third grade! I am still in the process of posting them to my blog at http://mrswaheedroom28.blogspot.com/.
I love you so much! You make my teaching engaging and the kids love you! I enjoy making creative Storytown and math lessons. I love that you don't care that there are 10 million grubby little hands all over you everyday! I wish more teachers would just believe me, when I say, "The SMART board is the best invention EVER!" We are working to get more of you into the hands of teachers, along with the appropriate training! SMART board, you and I have had some really good times together this year.
Do you remember when we taught our kindergartners how to log-on to the computer, click on FireFox, type in www.pbskids.org , navigate to Word World, and together helped kids to become better readers? Or how about the time when I created interactive, kareoke type lessons to go with our math songs? I know, I'm just as sick of them as you are, but our kindergartners LOVE them! Do you remember when the Walk Through Team came through and gave us ALL 3 check marks for student engagement! That was thanks you to SMART board!
I also better give a shout-out and many thanks to your friends the projector, lap-top, and printer! Oh projector, we couldn't have done all of it without you! Lap-top, you made a critical role in the development of the spectular SMART board lesson, blogs and websites that were created and maintained this year! AND printer, you showed everyone that you can have accountability with technology!
Thank you technology for making my student 21st Century learners this year! Thanks again!
Jenny Ceretto :)