Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tool #8: Video Resources

This is my FAVORITE TOOL! I love love LOVE showing videos in my classroom, and my students LOVE watching videos. I feel videos can provide a different perspective for students. I can teach students and they listen..but after a certain point, their attention is not fully there, so we as teachers have to constantly be changing our teaching style within even one lesson, to keep them engaged. A video is a perfect way to do so. I love using videos throught the class, I could show a video to introduce a topic, to reinforce concepts or use it as a "wrap up" to a lesson or even a unit. Videos can be used as good reviews for upcoming tests also.

The two sources I used a lot this year for videos were Brainpop/Brainpop Jr., and Discovery Education. Brainpop Jr. was a great tool to use to introduce new concepts to students (even though it's meant for K-3) it's a great tool for ELL's, and a great way to start building the foundation students need for the topic. Brainpop was also very good but would not go into as much detail about topics learned in the fourth grade, and vocabulary was sometimes very high level (mostly middle school/highschool) but a great source to use at the end of a lesson/few lessons to move students to a higher level.

Discovery Education is wonderful because you find sooo many videos on there for every subject, "real" videos. I used Discovery Education a great deal during science. We would watch informational videos, videos that would show us different experiments (which was great, in case we did not have time, or if we had done the same experiment and discuss how we could have done it differently).

I got this video from Brainpop Jr. I used this video with my students to teach them about the phases of the moon. This concept is SO difficult for students to understand because they do not see the Earth rotating around the sun, and the moon. This video is a fun way to show the different phases of the moon, and why we have these phases.

This video I downloaded from youtube. I love using songs in my classroom as much as I love using videos. This is a Bill Nye water cycle rap. The kids absolutely LOVE this video. They sing along with it, and I could see them mouthing this song as they were taking tests. When we had some free time, or eating lunch together in the classroom, the kids would BEG me to play this watercycle rap for them. They would drop everything, start dancing and singing along to it.

Videos are an interactive way to supplement a lesson :)


Tool #6 Wiki's=teamwork!

Wiki's would be a very useful tool to promote collaboration! At this stage in students' lives, teaching them about teamwork and how to work together is very important (there are adults who still have trouble working as teams!) Wiki's can be a beneficial and fun way to teach teamwork.

How this can be used in my classroom?
There are numerous activities that can be done using Wiki's. Online writing workshop is one way to utilize this tool. Another way to use Wiki's in the classroom is to do a study group-where students can discuss upcoming topics on tests and help each other. Creating an ongoing story is yet another way to use wiki's. Someone starts the story (can be the teacher, a student) and then another student continues, then another, so on and so forth.

Wiki's can also help teams/departments work together. The wiki does not have to stay within our own classrooms. A team can start a wiki, and ALL of our students can contribute. If students are preparing for a test for example, and they are using the "study hall" wiki, students in my class may have a different way of looking at a certain topic while students in another teachers class may have learned it differently and they share these ideas with each other and it may end up helping someone who had struggled with the way I taught the topic but really understood it better with the way another teacher had taught it.

Just a few ideas :)

Finally! Half way done! My trip to Puerto Rico cut into my blogging time..I'm very behind now!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tool #5

Cool math .com - An amusement park of math and more! Math lessons, math games, math practice, math fun! | Diigo

This is one of the sites I found which I think is pretty cool! I found it on Diigo and used the tag math in the search. The site contains lots of math games for our kids to play, it also has lesson ideas for us, the teachers. Another cool feature on this site is the link for much stuff!!!

The second site is:
Water Cycle Song

This is a cute song. I love using songs in my classroom to help students with learning/retaining information. Seems to work!

To find this I tagged education. I searched on Delicious for this one.

I liked this site a lot because so many times we struggle to think of new and innovative lessons that we can use with our students. On teacher tube we can search for lessons and get ideas from what other teachers have done. Why reinvent the wheel right? It's nice to actually watch a lesson as opposed to just read about a lesson. By watching the lesson we can see how the teacher delivers that particular lesson and get ideas from them, we can present the lesson the same way or change it, depending on our students needs.

Even though we were supposed to sign up for either Delicious or Diigo, I ended up signing up for both. You never know what you can find! I did find that Delicious was a bit more difficult to use though.

Tool #4

I think that this tool could be pretty useful in my classroom. I like the idea that we can share a document with MULTIPLE email addresses without emailing with attachments. Having a working document up online, and having the ability to make it available to the public or only to certain people is great. We could maybe use this for a classroom newsletter, or maybe even our school newsletter? Grade levels could submit their "piece" for the month without emailing the attachment to Pauline, we could just write it right there! This tool also makes students' work available for classmates to read and comment on which is really cool! This tool makes it very easy to collaborate!

The Google Reader is pretty interesting. I love being able to select sites/blogs that I am interested in and getting updates without going to search for them.