Sunday, August 1, 2010


I am finished although Tool #7 is out of order.

Tool #7

Wow! What fun. The kids will love digital storytelling. Goodbye oral book reports with a poster. This would be quite useful for kids giving a book review or presenting a topic in science or social studies. I was able to share my vacation to the Bahamas through Digital Storytelling. Talk about "being there". Also quite useful when kids go on field trips. They could create a digital story when they return to share with other grade levels. (This video will not post?) Tried many times. I even removed several of my pictures from the photostory thinking it had too many, which was only 7. When I condensed it I took it down to 5 pictures and it still wouldn't post. Puzzled??
I am now at Barnes & Noble for the "Help Session". Jenny Meyer still can't get it to load. Oh, well, we tried.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tool # 11 - Reflection

I enjoyed broading my knowledge and learning more about how technology can be useful in the classroom. This past year I used the itouch with my struggling readers and they loved some of the apps I selected. Some of my favorite tools that I learned about were the Google Docs, Wordle, and videos. I would like to do a Wordle activity with my kids. They could create one summarizing things from a book they read. I found the digital storytelling quite easy to use also. Kids would love it! Once again we as teachers who are often scared about implementing technology need to realize how engaging it is for students. They are never scared to try things. We need to play catchup. The only thing unexpected is the amount of time it took. We should receive more than 9 hours of credit. Overall, it is worth the time and it opened my eyes to many more avenues for using technology.

Tool # 11

I think it is important when we are introducing kids to various forms of technology that we cover digital etiquette, digital rights & responsibilities, and digital security & safety. This is no different that when we start the year and introduce the class to rules, expectations, and responsibilites. If children do not have knowledge of digital citizenship then they will feel free to justify anything that is done. Brain Pop is a good website useful for digital citizenship.

Tool #10

Ok, this is right up my alley. I have already been using the itouch with my students. Two of the free apps that I use quite freqently are "Doodle Buddy" and "ABC Pocket Phonics Lite". These are great for my struggling readers. Doodle Buddy is just like a colored marker and a white sheet of paper. I have called out a word and the kids had to write which digraph they heard. For example: ship - the student would write "sh" on their itouch. They love it!! Also, the ABC Pocket Phonics is good for fine motor skills when the kids are trying to learn to write the letters and hear the sounds. So fun!! The itouch is interactive and engaging.

Tool #9

Wow! What fun Skype and Jing are. I like the idea of capturing images to put with text. Many times the old phrase is true...A picture is worth a thousand words. Kids would be able to visualize more clearly with added images. Online pen pals would be great. Also if you capture an image just like a virtual field trip. Skype would be great also if you were trying to learn a foreign language. If a class miles away was trying to teach us Spanish and we were trying to teach them English we would have communication daily. Book reviews and online chats with authors would be another great way to utilize Skype.

Tool #8

I located 2 great videos from YouTube that would be useful with my struggling readers as they learn their letters and sounds. I like the fact that videos are usually short and enticing. Many of the filmstrips that our teachers used to show us were long and students tuned out quickly. I only remember the "beep" when it told the teacher to advance the filmstrip. These videos have animation and sounds to engage the learner. They can be used to enhance curriculum and spark learning in a particular curriculum area for more indepth research.

Tool #8

Tool # 8

Tool # 6

Wikis are fabulous and another way to engage children in learning while collaborating with others. I could see kids working together to create a book review or summary using wikis. As a reading specialist that might come in quite handy. I enjoyed previewing a 2nd grade teacher's wiki where she had her kids writing. Another class was studying graphing so they conducted a survey on favorite foods. It didn't surprise me that pizza won! Talk about engaging the learner! Wiki's could be also useful for team newsletters.

Tool # 5

I joined Diigo and located several sites that would be useful. One is called Quizlet which allowed me to create flashcards for high frequency words and the other is Library on the Web which has read aloud books. I also found an interesting video on the Future of Reading through the LA Times. The tags "digital reading, read alouds, and flashcards assisted me in locating these sites. I can see how social book marking is so powerful. Allowing kids to access these sites quickly from any computer either at home or at school. This would be quite useful for various curriculum topics when kids are doing research at school. I wonder if kids will complain about homework if it were more engaging involving technology? Instead of saying "Go get your homework done" you might find parents saying "Get off the computer".

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tool # 4

I used Google Doc to create a doc indicating 3 areas of fluency: punctuation, expression, and phrasing. I shared this with Jenny Meyer - Meyer's Muse. I feel the Google Docs provide you with an easy way to collaborate with various people and share things in a more simplified way. The Google Reader is great since it allows you to view all of your favorite blogs in a quick manner. Both Google Doc & Reader could be so useful in the classroom. When students are studying a particular topic in social studies they could select blogs that they frequently review for content. Also, the ability to share & collaborate with many kids at once is great. The features allows students to participate in learning 24-7-365 as the mentioned in the video. How wonderful!

Tool #3

ImageChef Word Mosaic -

Tool #2

It's exciting to me to think that by being part of a PLN there are endless numbers of people who can share knowledge with us outside the 4 walls of our classrooms. Many of times I have wondered about curriculum topics and wanted to visit with peers other than people at my immediate school. When you have a passion for a subject matter this allows you to connect with others who share the same int erst and want to gather more knowledge on a specific topic. I wonder if anyone is as interested in word study as I am? I have seen the benefits of it working when it is implemented at a young age.

The point that stood out to me was that we need to educate our students on participating safely, ethically, and efficiently. The best way to do that is create our own PLN which will have a profound impact on the way we teach and learn.

I have selected the following 5 blogs to comment on:
Meyer's Muse
Johnson's Journey
My Teaching Life
What a Cinch
Mrs. Hoover's First Gr.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Tool #1

This was quite an experience. What fun! I enjoyed creating my blog and see how this can be a useful way to keep kids actively engaged in learning.