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!