Friday, January 29, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Wow! This is a great example of PBL in a classroom integrated with technology. In this blog post she talks about the steps she took to develop questions and higher-level thinking activities for her 21st Century Classroom.
If I go back into a classroom, this is the kind of thing I want to be able to do with my students. Shis managing the technology in her classroom as a tool for learning. I read this blog some in the past when he mostly gave technology integration ideas. I can't wait to see what she blogs about in the future now that she has moved from a technology integration specialist to a classroom teacher.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I have gotten some thanks for sending out these messages throughout the year. I got 2 emails about the tips I sent out yesterday (a bit unusual). One came from the Curriculum Coordinator at my school(in charge of Black History Month Celebration happening soon):
"Just wanted to tell you that I had a chance to look at the link.
Girl; YOU ARE JUST SIMPLY GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO! AWESOME LINK! "
The other one came from the media coordinator at another school in this school system: You are a GENIUS. Love Today's Tuesday Tech Tip.
When I asked what he liked so much, I got this response: "The links for the African American Biography were exactly what I needed for a project I had just goten done talking to a teacher about doing on biographies. Plus this morning, there was an announcement our students need to get ready for Science fair. "
I did sit in on lesson planning meetings last week and heard teachers talk about the Science Fair coming up soon as well as Black History Month. While the information and resources I included in this week's Tuesday Technology Tip may not have been the most cutting-edge technological resources or tools, but it was what teachers were looking for at that particular time. The teachers who got this email with timely resources and links are more likely to use them than if it was just a really interesting tool (to me). It is about the technology going along with the curriculum, not making the curriculum fit the technology.
Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/iheartlinen/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
@mwedwards You have inspired me to blog with my class! http://room6kindkids.blogspot.com/ Having fun and learning! (from @teach1quilt2)
From reading her profile on twitter, I know she is a Nationally Board Certified 1st grade teacher from Montana who enjoys quilting, reading, as well as spending time with family and friends. I am not really sure what I have done to inspire her to blog with her class, but I am glad that I did what I did. I do have links to the class blogs that I kept with students in 1st, 2nd,3rd grade as well as AG students posted on my blog. I have shared blogging resources (since I bookmark just about everything I can find on blogs and link most of it to the pageflakes I created on blogs). Maybe it was just making stuff available and showing what I had done that inspired her . . .
I saw great results with the students I worked with using blogs. At first writing a comment to a blog post (assignment or idea) took some getting used to, but students were soon begging to be able to type on the blog. I enjoyed coming up with creative prompts and Problem-based Learning (PBL) activities to get them started. This year I am not in a classroom working with students, and in some ways, I miss the student engagement with the blogs that I got last year. I found it much easier to come up with things for them to write about than finding things for me to blog about :)
Added later: After I saw where I inspired a blog, I went to look at it. Yay! It's a great looking blog. I tweeted about the blog on twitter, added myself as a follower, and added a comment about looking forward to seeing more on the blog. Tonight, I got another message from this lady (Kathy Sather): "Rm 6 cheered when we saw you were following us! :) More to come."
Sunday, January 10, 2010
These skill posters and a blog titled "It's not about the tools. It's about the Skills" can be found on the Langwitches Blog: The Magic of Learning. The message conveyed in these posters is something that I think many teachers hear but don't understand at first. In Reading Class, teachers don't try to make sure that students understand everything they can about the textbook that is assigned to them. Teachers do focus on using stories in that book to teach certain skills that students need to learn to be successful in the future. In a Math Class, the teacher doesn't teach specific problems to prepare students just how to solve that open problem. A teacher uses a math problem to help students discover how to use certain skills to be able to solve other problems in the future. The Reading book and Math books are just tools the teacher uses to accomplish the goals of instructing students on specific skills to help students learn. The technology tools that a teachers chooses to use to assist in her insttuction serves to same purpose: to help students learn. We don't know all that the future will hold for these students, but we do know the skills we are teaching will be needed for whatever students encounter.
images by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Her small comment got me thinking. We may not do things the same way but as teachers we are working towards the same goal: student learning. We use many different tools, technology-related or not. It is not about what tools we use, but it is about what we are trying to achieve. Our classes look different, our students are different, our ways of teaching are different, so the way we "build our bugs" is different, but they are still bugs (hopefully bugs that have learned something).
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Here are the ones I found tonight to add to my list of things to read . . .
Friday, January 1, 2010
I thought about that question about learning again this morning as I was "playing around" with the way my blog looks. I have really enjoyed and seen the benefits of using blogs with students and teachers in the last couple of years. I have been working on "fixing up" the way my blog(s) look in the last little bit. After seeing an interesting background on another blog, I looked to see where it came from and went there too. I have now started using shabbyblogs.com for my blog backgrounds. There are also all kinds of neat extra things to add to the blog that can be found there. I learned about how to add those certain things by following instructions on thecutestblogontheblock.com (where I used to get blog backgrounds from).
Well, I decided this morning that I wanted to figure out a new way to display the labels on my blog. I like the way Sam Walker displays the labels on the Kimmel Farm Elementary Blog, so I went and looked at it. Sam is my friend and would help if I sent him a message (email, twitter, or facebook) but since it is New Year's Day, I did not want to bother him. I decided to see what I could find out myself, so after reading back through his tweets on twitter and finding nothing, I searched the internet for "blogger label cloud". I found directions on how to create an animated bloggger label cloud using Blogumus on the Blogger Buster site. I didn't like the way the animated label cloud looked on this blog (so it is still plain for now), but I like the way it turned out on my Technology Blog.
So again, I had an idea of what I wanted to do, saw that it was possible, and "played around" until I figured it out. :)