Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weekly Top 10

How are you using your Promethean software?  Do you ever get stuck wondering what else you can do with your students?

The Promethean Planet site offers a number of great tips and ideas.  I had no idea they also had a running list of what is most popular this week.  

Take a look and see what might be useful.  Share your thoughts on the blog or facebook.


The 4th most downloaded filpchart is about main idea and supporting details.  The pages of the flip do seem a bit busy but you can always edit out what won't work.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Change Takes Time

http://www.flickr.com/photos/twcollins/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/twcollins/
"Our struggles are the short-term lessons we learn to achieve long-term success."

People in our training sessions often say that I am a patient person. For those of you who know me well, you know that I am not really all that patient. I want things to happen immediately. As in yesterday. But that's the thing about change. It takes time for people to really embrace change.

Just think about this example. Colin loves his shoes. So much so that he needs new ones and is not willing to buy just any old shoes because his beloved shoe company has gone out of business. He is waiting until his brown shoes literally fall apart before he buys new ones. And eventually, he will be forced to buy new ones because the old ones simply will not work anymore.

O.K. so maybe that isn't the best example...but you get the idea. We all hold onto old things and ways because they are comfortable. It is easy. It is comforting to know that I have done something in a certain way and it has been successful. But it is when we feel uncomfortable and awkward and frustrated that we can finally grow.

And as your coach, it is sometimes frustrating to be on the sidelines helping you through this journey. Because it isn't fun to watch you struggle or experience hardships.

Just know that at the end of the day...or week...or month...or year...that we will eventually be able to celebrate our success. And that at the end of the hill we are climbing...there will ALWAYS be another and another to climb.

 

Monday, October 15, 2012

A MUST SEE-Google Cultural Institute


Be sure to check out this virtual exhibit that tells the stories of our diverse cultural heritage.  There are TONS of different ways to utilize this in the classroom.

Teach art?  Check out these collections from various art galleries from around the world.

Amazing World Wonders  Click here for a virtual journey of historic sites, palaces, castles, parks, gardens, archaeological sites, and monuments from around the world.


Making It Easier With Chrome

How often do you use the same three or four sites?  This video demonstrates how to make your web experience 27% more efficient using this tip.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Video Talks- Text to Self Connections

Check out these text to self connections as students created a video of themselves discussing key elements of the book to then show to the rest of the class.




Using student devices allows students to record, edit, and publish from a single device.  Create a youtube account and get started today!

Check out this blog post for more ideas on what students can actually DO with devices.

Virtual Lesson Plans for Students When You Have a Substitute

Wouldn't it be amazing if you could leave lessons plans for your students with you giving directions AND showing the notes?  If you are looking for an easy way to create a video for your class and substitute, look no further.

Present.me allows you an easy way to record and share your webcam and files.  Check out how this teacher used the site to create a presentation for a substitute teacher while she was away from class at a workshop.
She even shared the notes for her sub plans:

Class and Lesson Set-Up:

Please use the student laptop on the cart to run the Power Point presentation.  This will include all of the elements of the lesson. 

The laptop should be ready when you enter the room.  You’ll need to turn on the power for the projector using the remote control.

If the laptop isn’t ready, please follow these steps:
1.     Log on to the computer
a.    Username: ________
b.    Password: ________
c.    You must have “_____” selected
2.    Open the Power Point called “_________.”
a.    Click the “Start” menu
b.    Click “Documents”
c.    Select “_________”
3.    If the Power Point cannot be located, don’t worry about it, but go to Internet Explorer and follow these steps:

Thanks for sharing, Kate!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Let's Make a Difference-The Power of Social Media

"We can be impressed by someone who does something big for themselves, but we can only be inspired by someone who does something big for another." Came across this quote today and it reminded me of this amazing project.   A former Truman elementary teacher, colleague, and friend- Robbie Miller Engel's daughter (Olivia Engel-a former Truman Elementary student) is going to be traveling to India to write a book that shares the voices and photography of silenced women - their protests for liberty, daring escapes, and - finally - freedom.  You can support this project (after watching this impressive video) by clicking here on her kickstarter project.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Testimonial from Laura Swearingen

From Laura-Thank you for teaching me about Google Reader!  I happened to see an interview in a blog that I was able to use in a lesson plan this afternoon while also incorporating youtube videos.  The kids were completely inspired to become better musicians from this.  I was also inspired to find a few more music blogs and actually stumbled upon some great blogs that are about incorporating technology into music ed.  Hooray!

If you are interested in learning more about Google Reader, check out these video resources and the Google Reader Tutorial here.





Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Looking for Halloween Apps?

Look no futher...
Here is a fun list of apps that can be used in the educational setting, especially the speech therapy setting.

The Two Davids

There was a video that many of you watched that had two guys talking about technology and education.  They both happened to be named David.  The Davids have been in education for many years and have post after post of wisdom to share.

This video sparked a number of people wanting to learn more about them.

David Jakes
He has a few sites that he writes on from time to time.
David Jakes - This one site will link to all of his work.
Words Matter - love this one.  These posts help generate thoughts and ideas that I might not get to on my own.


David Warlick
Read his thoughts on this blog.


Guest Blogger-Rebecca Keller-Reporting on Class Dojo

During Lindbergh's Unconference, I was excited to see how many resources I could take back to my room and USE! As a kindergarten team, we discussed many resources that we would like to investigate further, but Class Dojo stood out as a "must have". It is a behavior management website that helps to improve behavior, share data, and save time. It is simple to use and I plan to start later this week. Teachers can set up positive and negative behaviors that they might see through out the day. Points can be awarded or subtracted according to classroom behavior. It would be easy to tie this into our Stoplight and Bucket-filling behavior managements that are already in place. At some point, I would love to have little buckets instead of avatars. :) 

Parents can also have access to their child's record. They can check it through out the day to see if there is a certain time of day that their child begins misbehaving, or prepares them for conversations that they can have when they return home in the evenings. 

I am thrilled to see how easy it is to use and I hope you find it helpful for your classroom!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Answer Garden - P. Chapman

 I wanted to share Answer Garden. Answer Garden is a great online tool for brainstorming. It can also be embedded to a website or blog to be used as a poll or guestbook. Once you've accessed the site, you simply click "Create an Answer Garden." Then, you enter a topic or question. By adding your email address, you can access the garden later to view or make changes. When you continue, a simple box pops up where you can start submitting answers. The answers then appear in the blank space creating a sort of word cloud. 

I have used Answer Garden in my third grade classroom. At the beginning of the year, I used it as a brainstorm tool where students generated ideas about how they'd like our classroom to be. With my Epson Projector, students could watch as I entered each response as opposed to writing their ideas on the board or on chart paper. They were very engaged. I also used Answer Garden at the beginning of a science unit on plants where I submitted student responses regarding their background knowledge about plants. I wanted to see what my student already knew, so we created an Answer Garden. I have not yet embedded this tool to a website or blog, but I think it would be a great way to communicate with parents and/or get others ideas. In older grades, getting on the Answer Garden and submitting a thought about a reading or a quick response could even be a homework assignment. I think the possibilities are endless. 

Guest Blogger-Kate Pfeffer


Today is the Lindbergh UnConference.  With a glorious Starbucks pumpkin spice latte (a true sign of Fall, warmth, and comfort on a drizzly day away from students) in my hand, I had the pleasure of attending the librarians' session: Cool Tech Tools & Tips.

Wow, those ladies had a wealth of information to share.  It was great that they put all of their resources on one wiki; I could easily bookmark it and return to it later.  No keeping track of handouts in file folders--huzzah!

http://cooltechtoolstips.wikispaces.com/

My Truman pal, Vicky Stanford, presented on present.me.  I am totally interested in this new resource!  The basic idea: upload slides and video to a website, record yourself, and have these two things play simultaneously.  So groovy.  One thing Vicky discussed as a possible use (which I actually thought about while she was talking!) was to use this for days when you are away from the classroom.  Perfect for ELITE 3 days.


The free subscription allows you to use/create three 15 minute presentations a month.  I always panic about being away from my classes; I never feel like I can convey my ideas and lesson plans appropriately to a substitute teacher.  Enter present.me.  I could easily (or at least I think easily) upload a Powerpoint that goes with my lesson, and then I could record video of myself actually teaching the lesson.  All a sub would have to do is press Play.  They could even go back, replay, and then go on.  The negative: a 15 minute time limit.  I'd have to limit myself to a mini-lesson.  But I could do it!  It's as close as I could get to actually being there with my students.  AND then I could post the link to present.me on my website or on our team Facebook page.  Pretty. Awesome.

My hope: test this out before our next ELITE 3 day.

Parking your car somewhere soon? Check out this app.

Parking ramps can be a little sketchy. I didn't want to park here anymore. I was on my way downtown for the NCTE conference and was...