Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tool 11 - Assessment and Reflection

This was quite a learning experience! My eyes have definitely been opened to several new tools that I can easily incorporate into classroom lessons and learning activities. My favorite tools in my "toolbox" are Edmodo,, ipods, Studyladder, ClockMaster, animoto and wordle. I think I'm looking forward most to using videos from youtube or discovery education in flip charts to introduce / review concepts and aid student motivation.

My vision for the classroom has changed in that I see how easy it would be to incorporate many of these tools. I thought it would tedious to figure out how to use and implement them, but it really wasn't. It would be nice to share ideas as a team at our weekly team meetings while we are all learning and implementing new tools.

I think the only unexpected outcome I had was the easy access to the tools. I was intimidated at first, but pleasantly surprised.

Tool 10 - Digital Citizenship

The three most important things I think my students should understand about digital citizenship are these:
1. We don't want to restrict the students to keep them safe but rather we want them to understand digital citizenship so they can be safe and knowledgeable and get out there and explore and access information responsibly.
2. Once you post or send your thoughts online, they are there forever! Be very careful with your word and message choice. Once the button is clicked, you can't get those words back.
3. Don't believe everything that you see in print, online or on paper. Check the source or use multiple sources to crosscheck information.

I think that I will share Vicki Davis' matrix with the students. We could define, share background knowledge and discuss the four pieces: Safety, Literacy, Learning Strategies and Etiquette. We could post the matrix on the wall as a visual reminder.

A brief letter home to the parents would communicate what the students learn and encourage them to continue the conversation on digital citzenship at home.

Tool 9 - Tools for Learning

I can see why it would be very important to tie the use of the tools to the classroom's current learning objective. If that congruency doesn't exist, the time on the tools may become just busywork or supplemental play time. Furthermore, demands to get the students ready for their grade levels' standardized tests make us as teachers super aware that the students need to be engaged in meaningful learning at all times of the school day.

It is equally important to hold the students accountable for their time on the tools both to show mastery of the objective and to allow time for reflection.

I visited Study Ladder, ManipulaMath, TES and Thinkfinity. My favorite was Study Ladder's interactive math. I would have it as a station on the computer or active board. I would hold the student's accountable by having them complete sentence stems that I have started for them on the targeted content objectives.

For ipod apps, I tried out Basic Math, ClockMaster and Fraction Factory. ClockMaster was my favorite. and I think that I would hold the students accountable by having them list the analog times of the clock faces they read.

Tool 8 - Taking a Look at the Tools

As a Special Education teacher I will have an ipod available for shared use with my team. My librarian allowed me to check out one of the school's ipods over the summer so I could become familiar with it. I was really glad I did that because it was very helpful to have the ipod in hand while watching the 11 tools tutorial video. I think that before watching the video, the only thing I knew how to do on the ipod was to turn it on. So, everything was new to me but to list a few pieces of new learning: I learned how to drag the screen to choose an app; I learned how to sync the device to my laptop; and I learned how to set up a wireless network.

The first thing that came up in my mind in terms of management was how to schedule and share the device between the teachers on the Special Ed team. We may need to have an ipod calendar so that teachers can designate the times that they would like to use them in their classrooms. Working with small groups makes student management a little bit easier. But, I think that it would be important to come up with a list of rules and procedures for proper use of the device with the students. Then, to remind students of our agreements each time the ipod is used and have the list posted for easy reference.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tool 7 - Reaching Outside Your Classroom

I had a difficult time coming up with a good idea to collaborate on so I started reading the blog posts of my team members for help. One member of my team came up with the idea to have her students create a Google Presentation with the images they associate with emergent reading strategies they use to become better readers. I commented on her blog post for this tool, because I have groups that would benefit from that project. The reading group that I would like to collaborate in this project currently only has one student in it. I think it would benefit that student greatly to see that others are learning the same strategies he is to become a better reader. It will allow him to have peer contact even though he is alone with me for that block of time.

Tool 6 - Web Tools to Promote Discussion

  1. Choose at least two of the tools from the above list. Create an account for each (if required) . I created a Twitter account, a WallWisher account and a Edmodo account. I tried to follow a couple of points on twitter but couldn't really think of a good way to incorporate it for my particular classroom needs. I think that I could definitely use Edmodo though for classroom discussions on just about anything. I created a sample where I might post a question about the main character of a book and ask the students to share their thoughts. I also used wall wisher to ask students to post any goal they might have for their 4th grade year.

Tool 5 - Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

  1. Use at least two of the tools above to create products.
  2. Then, embed both products in your blog or link to the products from your blog.

  1. Wordle: Reading

    Describe for your readers how you think each tool can be incorporated into your classroom - how you could see the tool being used by you instructionally and your students to demonstrate their understanding of a concept or topic in your classroom.
    I think the students could use many of the tools on to demonstrate understanding of a subject while having a chance to be creative. I particularly like the cube maker, map maker and poster maker. I think that Animoto would be a fun way to show progress on a longer project the students work on or to show progress throughout the year. I typed in some reading comprehension strategies into wordle and that may be a fun way for students to express what they know about delving deeper into a book.