Monday, July 2, 2012

Tool 11: Self Assessing and Reflecting

1.  My favorite tools are:
Ø  Wallwisher
Ø  Storybirds
Ø  Google docs & apps
Ø  Dropbox

2.  My vision changed gradually as I worked through the 11 tools.  Now, I feel better prepared to utilize technology to meet the different types of learning styles that students have.   Next school year, I will be incorporating many of these tools into my workstations so that my students will have additional ways to demonstrate their knowledge. 
3. I was surprised at the number of tools available and that these were easier to manage than I had imagined.   I look forward to take additional video courses to enrich my teaching.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tool # 10 : Digital Citizenship

1.  Three things that I want my students to understand about being good digital citizens are:
1)       The importance of using responsible and appropriate behavior when utilizing technology.
2)      The importance of staying safe online by asking the teacher/parents before entering a new link/website.
3)      The importance of protecting their passwords. 

2.  I would use BrainPOP Spotlight: Digital Citizenship. I also liked NetSmarthz Kids: Bad Netiquette Stinks’ video. 

3. I would introduce the idea by discussing the importance of being safe in the playground and then making the connection to being safe on the internet.  I would explain to students that there's no distinction between offline and online behavior.  I would use the NetSmarthz Kids’ video to show my students examples of good and bad digital manners.

4. I think Back to School Night would be a great opportunity to introduce digital citizenship to parents.  I could also include in my weekly newsletter technology updates, appropriate technology usage and safety tips to discuss with their child.

Tool # 9: Incorporating Classroom-Based Devices

1. It is important to tie the technology to the objective because we are using it as an instrument to teach and assess students’ knowledge.  I think the goal is for students to use the technology to help them learn and to show what they have learned. Tying the technology to the objective will help me maintain focus on what I hope to teach; and prevent me from implementing non-instructive “cute” activities.

2. We should hold students accountable because it’s a way to make them responsible for their own learning. This is a time where students are working independently and it’s a great opportunity for them to apply what they have learned and monitor their own progress.

3.  The two interactive websites I liked the best are Learning Games for Kids and Tutpup I think their structures are easy enough that kindergartners could easily learn how to manage them independently.  In Tutpup, students can choose from a variety of levels, which is a great way to provide differentiation. Students could keep track of their activities/objectives and their scores in their journals. Learning Games for kids offers numerous activities in different subject areas.  It contains preschool stories available for students to read and listen to. In this case, I could hold students accountable by having them state the title of the book and their favorite part using a voice/video recording. 

4.  One app that I would use at the beginning of the year is ABC Tracing app.  This app allows students to practice correct formation of letters (upper and lower), numbers, and words. I also like the Approach to Montessori (math) in which students could practice number recognition, numeral writing, making sets, and sequencing.   Students could then generate a “rainbow writing" on their journals of the letters, numbers, or words they worked on.  I also loved the Bamboo paper app which works like a digital paper notebook. It offers a variety of paper-backgrounds such as blank, lined, dotted, or with bullets.  Students could create lists, sentences, stories, etc.  And the end, the final product can be either save or print.

 5. As I mentioned earlier, students could listen/watch books or stories being read from websites such as learning games for kids.  Then they could create their very own video retelling the story, identifying their favorite part and/or making personal connections.  Students could also use the iPads (bamboo paper app) to recount a fieldtrip by inserting pictures and writing 1-2 sentences.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tool #8: Taking a look at the tools

     I found the information and videos to be very straightforward and functional.  I learned how to synchronize the iPad (I have for the summer) with my computer.  In august, I’ll be coming back to watch this video again but I know it will be much easier to set up the rest of the iPads. I also learned how to manage the home screen and that there are up to 11 pages available for apps.  Finally, I’ve been playing with the iPad and downloading a few educational applications based on the SBISD database for apps.
     In regards to managing the devices, I plan to apply suggestions I acquired from the Teacher U course Technology for little hands.  I’m going to incorporate the devices in workstations such as literacy, math and bilingual centers.  I also want create different folders and arrange apps according to their subject/objective. Other things I’m going to keep in mind are:

Ø  Setting up general restrictions such as “adding” or “deleting” apps. ( remembering to go back and change these when adding/deleting apps)  
Ø  Setting up a technology area.
Ø  Designating a helper to keep track of devices and chargers.
Ø  Begin the year teaching how to use the devices in small groups. (1st month- routines only)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tool # 7 Reaching Outside your classroom

I think iEarn has lots of interesting projects that are appropriate for kinder and adaptable for bilingual students. The project that captured my attention is called “Te cuento un cuento”.   

Content objective:  Using a set of images/illustrations, the students will create a short story using creative and descriptive language. TSW exchange their stories using Power Point Presentations among various schools.
When do you plan to implement: During writer’s workshop or bilingual centers (LA). Most likely, later in the year.
What tool(s) you plan to use; PowerPoint presentations.
Description:  Students can create their own stories or  new versions using PowerPoint.  They will then share and exchange their projects with other schools in Spanish-speaking countries.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tool # 6: Using Web tools

     I created a online bulletin board using Wallwisher.  Using this, I could ask my students to name sources of light.  I could easily put my bulletin board up on the netbooks and have students type in their answers. Students could then arrange them into categories such as natural light / artificial light.  

     I have also set up another great tool to use in the nearby future, Skype.  I could use Skype to get students to establish relationships with other students/citizens in our district and then move on to other states or across the world.  When learning about community helpers/careers, my students could use Skype to connect with community helpers in our area and ask questions about their profession.  Also, my kindergarteners have not had opportunities to visit much beyond their own world and I feel a Skype visit to other countries might be the "hook" to get them interested in learning about other cultures.  I know my students are going to love this tool!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tool # 5 Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

I created a comic strip called Cat and Bird using the site MakeBeliefs comics. This site was very easy to navigate.   I also love that you have the option to write in English or Spanish.   My students will certainly enjoy creating their own comic strips.   I can see using this activity in bilingual centers, literacy workstations, or even writing workshop.  I could also use this tool during whole group instruction, as it is quick and uncomplicated. 

While there are great tools available, what caught my attention immediately were the “word cloud” generators.  My favorite sites were wordle and ABC Ya!.  In kindergarten, students generate topic lists, so this would be a fun and exciting way to support the creation of lists.

Wordle: school-last names

Tool # 4 Moving Up to the Clouds

     Google Apps will allow me to collaborate more efficiently with my team. It will be very useful when working in roadmaps, anecdotal records, compilation of resources and information, newsletters, etc.etc.    Being able to upload assessments/ STAT documents will also facilitate collaboration with other school staff such as administration, Intervention specialist, Special Ed teachers, and specials’ teachers.
     It was also very surprising to see how easy it is to create a form/survey. Definitely, something I can use to gather information, opinions and thoughts from my team. 

Tool # 3 Online Video Resources

There are lots of supportive sites available for teachers to use, but in this particular case, I choose three science related videos in Spanish from YouTube.    This site offers numerous bilingual resources. 
As we all know, teachers make decisions everyday in regards to the use of material (hard-copy or electronic) and how to use them.  Therefore, I found “copyright and fair use” information very valuable as it helped me “refresh” my memory as to what I can do under the law.    
          I also created a Dropbox account, which I’m looking forward to use.  Being able to keep resources in one place and have them accessible from different devices is just a great organizer tool and a time-saver. 

This is a great video on living and non-living

Two other great science resources on animals and seasons.


Tool # 2

As I worked on this tool, I realized that I was viewing and reading blogs after blogs getting great ideas but hesitating to comment.  I don’t have a problem sharing my thoughts publicly; however, I need to see a “reason” for it.  I suppose I like to comment only when I have something very “interesting” or positive to contribute. I see the benefits interacting in a PNL and I believe this tool is going to be a great communication tool, once I get use to it.   
I plan to follow the website Educator’s PLN.  This website offers lots of information and short videos on different topics/content areas. I also found Google Reader to be quiet interesting. I subscribed several great websites and it looks very promising.  I used in the past.  It’s a great tool to bookmark and organize your favorite websites.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tool # 1

Setting up this blog was actually fun and exciting.   I enjoyed creating my voki character and playing around with the different options. In kindergarten, I would introduce and use this during small groups or during one to one instruction.