Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tool 11

One of my favorite tools was our 2nd tool, the Voki!! I think its hilarious! I think the kids will love making one and it will help them to work on typing and spelling skills! Even if the Voki just read off their spelling words, it would be a fun way to practice. I think it is going to be a lot easier and more fun than I first expected. There are so many things to do that promote learning and now we have new, fun resources! I am picturing my kids using the technology as much as possible! I would be great to peak in the window and see them using technology, hearing them talking about the concept and learning! Fingers crossed!! I think there will be a lot of changes but they will be good changes and the kids will grow and learn! I think that some of the tools and websites we visited were geared to older kids and it may be hard for first graders to do some, but there were also many great resources that my kids can use.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tool 10!!!!

Tool 10! Yay!
ok....here we go!
I think it is important that my kids understand the magnitude of the internet! I am not sure that they fully understand how many people can access information on the internet. And at 6 years old, thats a big thing to understand. Thats why I feel like it is important for kids to constantly hear and be taught how to be a good digital citizen. Just like they know to "never talk to strangers", they need to know what is acceptable use for technology. The three things I want them to understand are; 1. How to stay safe 2. that what you read/learn/watch may not always be correct 3. that the internet can be an amazing resource if you use it correctly. I plan to use Brainpop Jr. to help teach my class about Digital Citizenship. My class LOVES brainpop and I think it will be an easy way for them to understand good digital citizenship. I plan to share the idea of digital citizenship with my parents by using, what else...but my blog! My classroom parents love reading our class blog and I know they check it often. I think it will be a great way for them to understand what we are doing in the classroom and I can post links or videos of our class talking about the new technology and how they are great digital citizens!

Tool 9

I feel that technology is an important objective because, well.....technology is EVERYWHERE! These kids are going to grow up and be in a completely different world than we are! I cant even begin to imagine what sort of technology they will be using! Thats why I think as teaches, it is our job and very important to instill the basis of using technology for many different reasons. Teaching first grade and having anxious 6 year olds makes it even better! For some of these kids, this is the first time they have every used an iTouch or laptop. Its exciting to see them learn to use it, then to see them grow and ask to use it to help them learn something.

I think it is important to hold students accountable for using the devices during centers because it is important for them to know that we are here to learn. I think having them write (or draw) about what they did while they used the devices is a great way to hold them accountable. I even think something as simple as having them share with the class, or even show the class, will get them excited and also help them to understand that they need to be accountable and use them for the correct reasons. And I think that they will be fooled! Sometimes they feel that that the "learning" games are not as fun, but I know if we find the right ones, they will have just as much fun!

I visited www.learninggamesforkids.com and found some great games that the kids can play. There are so many options and I like how its easy to navigate so the students can figure it out on their own if I am unable to help them at the moment. Another app I discovered was off of the SBISD database called, I can Read. I think this will be a fun app for some of my struggling readers. It has over 60 words that they can practice on. I also liked the handwriting/letter tracing app for my kids.

I read a fellow VOE teachers blog and she was talking about how she is excited to put all of her listening center cds onto the iTouch. I didn't even THINK of this!!! This is so exciting bc as you know with the younger kiddos, changing the cd/tape in listening center can be quite chaotic! I am excited to teach my class how to find the book on the iTouch and use it from there. It will also be fun to be able to have kids listen to different books if they want. Right now, I have 1 listening center and all the kids in the group listen to the same book. But since I will have FIVE iTouches, the kids can pick different books that interest them! Woo hoo!

Tool 8

I will be receiving iTouches and the Mini Lap tops for my classroom and Im SOOOO excited!! I know my kids are too! After watching the videos, I have learned how to search for educations apps to download to the itches. I think its important that the kiddos know that they are used to help them learn and to not play Angry Birds! I also learned ways to use the webcam! I think it will be so much fun to have the kids make videos and I am very excited to see what they come up with. They love seeing themselves on camera!
Luckily, Miss Lee has been excellent with getting my class introduced to the iTouches and Mini's in the library. Each student has learned how to work the devices and how to find and use apps that are appropriate. Just like anything in your classroom, we will have to set expectations for using the devices and model the appropriate behavior when using them. I plan to use them in math and literacy centers, as well as for many other lessons. I think the class is able to follow the directions and truly use the devices for learning purposes.

Tool 7

I found a neat project on iEarn called, A Day in the Life. This project has kids document what a day is like in their shoes. I would have my class document a typical school day using the Flip Camera and a digital camera to take pictures. The class can upload the video and pictures to the projects forum and then compare their life with students from other countries. 
I plan to implement this project when we study Egypt, although I think we could use this anytime really! It would be great for the class to be able to compare others lives to their own and truly learn about the differences around the world! I think it is amazing that technology allows us to "travel" across the world without even leaving our classroom!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tool 6

I have made a wall wisher. I think I could use this in my classroom to really teach typing skills. Since my first graders are still getting use to the computer and skills to use it, I think this would be something easy for them to do. They don't have to log in or sign up...the can go to the link and then use a sticky note to write somethings.

You can visit my Wall Wisher here

The other tool I explored was Skype. I didn't know what to link on here, but I did make an account. Today my team and I were planning and were talking about using Skype when we learn about our countries in January. That would be so fun to Skype with someone in Egypt!!

Tool 5- Web 2.0 Tools

This little animation was fun to make! I think the kids would love making these and I could use this to help get a better understanding about what they know about a certain topic.

Click here to see the video I made!

Using wordle was fun too! Not only did I learn how to do this, but while doing this, I learned how to take a screen shot and post it into my blog! Cool!

This is a wordle from my 11 tools blog. Its cool to see the words that I have been using!

Tool #4- Google Docs

This was my first time using Google Docs. I see a lot of people using this on the blogs that I follow and Im glad I now know how to use them as well! I think this will be a good way for the grade level to create documents and/or letters to send home as a team. It was much easier than saving them, then attaching them, then sending it!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tool #3- Embedding Videos

    I have always wondered about copyright laws and its good to know that teachers can use these resources safely when teaching. I like using Discovery Education a lot...and I use Youtube when I know what the video is and that its safe to show. I feel comfortable searching for something on Discovery Education and playing it instantly. With Youtube, I always preview it before because you never know what might pop up in the middle of the video!!
    I use this video almost every day with my class as a math warm up! We get up and dance to it so it also allows them to get some movement out!! Its bright and colorful and they love it!
    If you have ever been in my classroom on a Friday afternoon, you may have seen my class doing the Tooty Ta to celebrate TGIF!! They LOVE this and I must say that I do too!

    Dropbox is an easy way to save pictures and files and helps keep everything in one spot!

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    Tool #2- Building Community in the Online Environment

    Today I was able to visit many fellow VOE teachers blogs and see their thoughts on 11 Tools! I have been blogging for awhile now and try hard to update my classroom blog for parents as much as possible. I follow many other teacher blogs and have found so many helpful ideas for lessons out there! There is a huge community of teacher bloggers with amazing ideas. I am glad we are able to comment on blogs...even if its just a quick note to say thanks for sharing an amazing idea. One of my favorite blogs to follow is www.thefirstgradeparade.blogspot.com. This is an amazing 1st grade teacher with such talent and energy from who knows where!

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    11 Tools: Tool 1. My new friend Bill

    My school district is starting a new program called 11 Tools. We have to finish 11 steps to get our prize!! I will be getting 5 mini lap tops and 5 itouches for my classroom! I can't wait!!!! So, step 1...create a Voki. I named him Bill and I think he's pretty cute!