Sunday, January 29, 2012

Post #11

1.The tool that I found most effective throughout this process is Symbaloo.  It is a great management tool that helps me organize the wonderful apps I have found through various sights.  My kids are easily able to get to the sights because of this fabulous organizational tool. GoogleDocs was also a great tool!  My class loved communicating with our Pre-K class and 4th grade book buddies. I definitely plan on using this again.  It was so exciting for them to interact with the other classrooms on concepts we were learning.
2.Learning so many new tools has opened my eyes to the many great things that are out there.  I think my class will   use technology much more that in my previous years of teaching.We will not only have new devices in our room, but I am much more aware of the things that I can use to help them.
3.Unexpected outcomes? I guess I would have to say that I was surprised at how many great sights were available for young children.  I really thought that I would not be able to use any of this in my Kindergarten classroom and I was pleasantly surprised.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tool #10

Three things that I want my students to understand about being a good digital citizen are very similar to what I expect from them in my classroom. I want them to remember to be safe and always treat others with kindness. If they feel unsafe or something  they see makes them feel uncomfortable-come to me or another teacher. Since my students are so young, I will limit their access to sights they can visit, but you never know what they can come across when they are on the internet.
I thought CyberSmart Young Kids was an excellent resource.  "How to be Cyber Smart" was simple and age appropriate. THINK was basic enough for my students to understand how to be safe on our devices. I also love BrainPop Jr and their video on internet safety.  We use Brainpop Jr. for many of our lessons and Moby and Annie are familiar characters that can help them learn about internet safety!
I will teach my students about digital citizenship by using the two sights I previously shared. Trying to help them understand that be safe from strangers on the computer is just as important as being safe in their community. Also, knowing that they can always come to me or another teacher if they see something that makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
Parent night is a great time at the beginning of the school year to share my goals for teaching digital citizenship to parents.  I can also share the two sights that I will be showing their children, so they can see exactly what the kids will be taught. I will so ask them to talk with their own child about safety on the internet and hopefully we can provide the safest situation for their child at home and at school.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tool #9

1. It is very important to tie the technology to the objective so that learning is relevant.  We want our students to be learning all that is required and do it in a fun and exciting way.
2. We should hold the student accountable so that we know they have learned and practiced the objective.  It will reinforce concepts that we have taught in new ways. These sights offer a great way for us to differentiate instruction too.  I am even able to print out some the work they have completed.
3. I have added three sights to my symbaloo account so that my students can access these easily.Learning Games for Kids was very friendly for Kindergartners. I then added Tes iboard which is had really good sights for the activboard. For problem solving activities, Thinkfinity was great! My plan is to have my kids write in their journals about the sights they have visited and tell me things that they learned.  For those who have trouble getting their thoughts on paper, they can share orally with the class at community circle.
4.I currently have one iPod touch, but will be getting others soon.  The apps that I have found for the iPod touch are I Can Read Lite and ABC Pocket Phonics Lite. Both are easy to use and interactive. My current plan is for the students to take turns with the itouch and help each other.  Learning to work together is essential. I may set a checklist with their names for them to check off each sight they have visited. This will hold them accountable and give a record of what they have done.
5.Our new iPad will have a camera!  I am anxious to take pictures of them and their work to document their learning.  I think it would be fun to create their own books using pictures of things they have done in the classroom and then writing about them. I also would like them to have access to Discovery Ed and so they can view video clips of concepts we are learning.  By using the new iPad, it will give them a new way to use technology.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tool #8

We will be receiving netbooks and an ipad soon. We currently have an itouch that my students are presently using.  I don't think I have the current version of itunes. I watched the video, but was unable locate Kace through the ticket manager.  I checked library resources and educational technology but did not have any luck.  :(
I have learned that the ipad needs to be synced to our laptop.  Both the ipad and the itouch can be synced by using my itunes account. Our tech coach informed us that there is an app that we can put on our ipad that will control our Activboard!  Wow! That is great! Netbooks seem like they will be more kid friendly than an a laptop.It seems like they are lighter weight and easier to move around the classroom.We will be getting a cart to store and charge these devices.  Ugh!  The challenge of finding the room for the cart!! My job will be to train my kiddos with  the procedure for recharging and placing the devices in the cart. Once we have the system down, I know they will do great.

Post #7

To begin this tool I collaborated with our Pre-K teacher who was also studying bears.  We used Google Docs to begin the process of teaching our classes about communicating with one another.  Since we are both studying bears, Mrs. Skinner's class sent us a Google Doc about some interesting facts and information they had learned. They walked over to our classroom and saw their document on our Activboard!  So concrete for little ones!!!  We then replied to them about things we had viewed on YouTube and other interesting bear facts.  Our class then walked to their room and saw our response on their Activboard! One of my kids noticed that I  had a typo in our comment so when we got to  Mrs. Skinner's room, she  was able to correct right in front of our kids. We have also written a note to our 4th grade book buddies to get some "big kid" info on bears.  Through this tool I am trying to help my kids understand how information can be shared from classroom to classroom, grade level to grade level and even with other schools in the district.  We are hoping to hear from another Kinder teacher at Valley Oaks and a Middle School English teacher at MMS.  I think this was a great first step to help them understand the big world out there!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tool # 6

I have created a Diigo account.  I hoping that my students will be able to access the sights I have saved and use some of these great programs.  I also have created a Skype account. For our civic project we are collecting books for children in Africa.  We are hoping to Skype with the people in charge of getting the books to these children.My hope is to Skype with the children receiving the actual books, but they do not have electricity.  We may only be able to Skype with the people delivering the books  Either way,  I thrilled that we can bring books to these children!

Post #5

As a class we generated a list of Winter vocabulary words.  The students were then asked to type these words in the Wordle program.  The class was successful in their product and each child has a fun and informative list of winter words that they were able to customize to their own personality.They love being able to change the font, color, and style of their word list. We love Wordle!!! I am attaching a photo of one student's Winter Wordle.
Next I signed up for Storybird.  It was not a hit with me.  Maybe I need to look into it more, but for now I wasn't thrilled with it for Kindergarteners. What I did find that I love is Read,Write, Think!  My class is using the Puzzle Me Word game.  It has beginner and advanced levels for differentiating instruction.  The students build three letter words with puzzle pieces to make a word that is pictured.  They have either a select number of letters to choose from (beginner) or the entire alphabet to choose from(advanced) in order to make the pictured word.They are able to create and print a product.  It is an interactive sight that they love to use on the Activboard! Both of these programs offer interactive ways for my class to build vocabulary and improve their reading skills. It's a Win Win.  Check them out!