Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tool #3 (I hope it works this time!!!)

I am so angry! After spending a couple of hours working on this..I lost the original post I was making! I am so frustrated right now :( This is the one part of technology that I don't like/enjoy! Here it goes again.....
I decided to create a comic strip first, and had a lot of fun doing it! I think this would be a great tool to use in the classroom. Where I could see using this tool is in writing. Teaching fourth grade, when I would tell students that it was time to write I would hear a collective "awww, I hate writing! It's so boring!". I found that the traditional paper and pencil way of writing can be very challenging/boring for some students and many get discouraged. If presented with a non traditional way, I think teachers would be surprised at what students can produce. I plan on using this with my students this upcoming school year and I know if I tell them that they are going to write a story, I will hear "oh man! I don't want to do that". When I tell them that they will write their story in comic strip form, I will hear "cool!" and when I show them how to do it I know I will have students fighting to get started! The nice thing about creating these comics online is that once the students have completed their comic, they can publish it and it is available for other students to read. Students that may not have had access to the comic if it was done in the traditional paper/pencil format. Students can comment on other students comics and right there, they have formed a personal learning network!

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

I LOVED creating this video about weathering, erosion and deposition. What I did not love however, was trying to post it to my blog! It took many many tries, but I finally got it! Videos are a very useful tool in the classroom, as every teacher knows. The nice thing about creating your own video, you can tailor it to your own students/class needs. Videos can be used as a set to any lesson. A quick 30 second video to introduce students to the concept. Teachers can also create videos to go along with concepts that are being taught in a current unit or can be used at the end of a unit.
Creating the video was very quick and easy, and will be a nice tool for students to use. Students can create videos to go along with projects. Another way students can use this tool is to create a quick video at the beginning of the year (each student) to introduce himself/herself to the class. At the end of the year, learners can create a video to show what they have learned throughout the year. This can be used in groups or individually. It is a nice tool to use with all students. Teachers can differentiate-have students work with a partner, individually, with teacher assistance, etc.

Ok folks..I HOPE tool #3 is done and that my video posts. IF that is the case, 3 down....8 more tools to go!

The journey continues!

credits: image generator created on http://www.comicstripgenerator.com/
video created on http://www.animoto.com/

Tool #2

I am back! After a rough morning trying to get on here (multiple power outages did not deter me!) I am back to blog!

Reading some of the articles related to this tool was very interesting to me. Some of the ideas shared in "What is the changing role of the teacher, and how do we support that new role?" really made me think.

I digress..let me share some of my thoughts on PLN's, and please feel free to comment!
What are your thoughts about building an online education community and participating in a PLN?
I feel that building an online education community and participating in a PLN can be a very powerful tool for us as teachers to use. In the article I mentioned above, it stated "it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes someone to show the village ways of doing things it had never thought of". I strongly believe in this philosophy. Being new to the profession I am always looking for different ways of teaching concepts and better ways of teaching concepts. I tell my students all the time that I am providing them with the tools that they need to be successful, but I also have to acquire tools to be an effective teacher in order for me to better prepare them. As teachers, we are lifelong learners and in this way we can ensure the success of our students. I can learn, have learned and continue to learn many things from my colleagues, and I also have many things that I feel I can offer to my fellow teachers. Having access to online education communities and PLN's gives teachers an opportunity to move beyond the four walls of their school in a nonthreatening environment. I can go to the online education community with a question on how to teach something, or a problem that arose while I was teaching (without feeling "dumb" or a novice) and I can almost instantly have responses from teachers throughout the United States and further! I also can add my thoughts share my ideas with someone in New York, for example on a GREAT lesson that I had, that would work nicely with a unit that they are teaching. On the other hand, I could also share my experiences of teaching a lesson that I THOUGHT would turn out amazing but flopped, and help another teacher tweak the lesson to make it better-workable! As the article said "Everyone plays an active role in a networked learning community, contributing to the community’s construction of knowledge as its members collaborate to address problems (whether the goal is learning to read or learning to fly a rocket to the moon)"

The point that stood out to me with regards to commenting was that students have changed. We too must change our teaching to meet the needs of our students, the 21st century learner.

Ok folks, in my true style, I wrote a lot! There is still so much more I could have said! Too many thoughts on my mind...not enough space to say it all!

Tool #2 down...9 more to go! Stay tuned for more!

Friday, June 4, 2010

I think I'm addicted!

I just finished with the first of many "mandatory" parts of this 11 tools for the 21st century learner a couple of hours ago..but strangely, I am finding myself compelled to come back and play with this more! I can definitely see how this will be an effective tool to use with our students. If I'm already hooked, I can just imagine how "into it" the kids will be and what a great way to get through to them! I can definitely see myself using this a lot with my kids-I haven't even seen the rest of the tools!

Tool #1

So I JUST finished the first tool of eleven and it took quite a while! The best part was creating the avatar. I had WAYYY too much fun. I can just imagine how much the kids will enjoy it. I think I could spend hours playing around with that tool! The technical parts were a bit challenging though. I am working with some of my fellow teachers and we are all working at different speeds trying to do it together, some computers take longer to load while others load quickly-that's the most challenging part SO FAR!

Let's see what the next 10 tools have in store for us!

11 tools...to be continued.............

First Time Blogger!

Hey everyone!

I was beginning to unwind from a CRAAAZY year, I was reminded that I had to complete the 11 tools! The first tool of eleven has multiple parts, and the first is to create this blog. This is my first time blogging, so this should be very interesting!

As I relax over the summer (between the professional development I have signed up for (sprinkled throughout the months of June, July and August-and people say teachers get the WHOLE summer off!) I must also begin switching gears because I am moving out of my comfort zone in teaching, which is fourth grade, and moving to fifth! I am certain this new grade level will have many adventures in store for me and I have a feeling that this will be a GREAT outlet to help me with the CRAAAZY year I am sure that is waiting for me come August!