Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tool #11

1. What are your favorite tools you now have in your personal technology toolbox? Briefly describe a particular activity that you will plan for your students using at least one of these new tools.
Throughout these eleven tools I learned many different ways of incorporating technology in my classroom. One of my favorites tools were the educational applications we can download in the iPads. I think students are going to be so engaged during our workstations practicing concepts related to different subject areas. I also like the idea of students creating their own books and sharing them with our class. This is a great way of practicing their writing skills they need for our state test.

2. How have you transformed your thinking about the learning that will take place in your classroom? How has your vision for your classroom changed? Are you going to need to make any changes to your classroom to accommodate the 21st Century learner?
Students love to use technology; therefore, I think the use of technology is going to make a difference in our classrooms. The use of iPads in my classroom will bring another way to make the workstations appealing to my students. I am currently using notebooks and computers in my classroom so I just need to make some small adjustments to incorporate new devices.

3. Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

This program allowed me the opportunity to explore just some of so many resources and interactive tools we can use for each subject area. It was a great learning experience and I believe I will be using these excellent tools with my students!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tool #10

Students should understand that a good digital citizen includes the safety measures that they need to take while using the digital world, the importance of making the right and appropriate decisions when they are using technology devices, and to be aware of the SBISD Acceptable Use Policy included in the student handbook. It is important to go over this policy so students will understand the consequences of violating this policy while performing inappropriate online activities.

There is a chart on the SBISD Ed Tech website (chart) with resources from Brain Pop, Cyberbee, Digizen, and CyberSmarth that provide information regarding Digital Citizenship.

I am planning on showing a Brain Pop lesson on Digital Citizenship and discuss several points during the lesson. In addition, students can take the practice quiz to evaluate if they understood characteristics of a Digital Citizenship. I also plan to ask the librarian about reviewing the same lesson/concept with a different resource in order to reinforce the same concept to ensure students understand the importance of making the right choices while using the digital world.

I think parents need to be aware of digital citizenship and understand the importance of online safety for the children. At the beginning of the school parents receive this information in the student handbook but it would be a good idea to include/review this information during our open house and/or our first newsletter to parents.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tool #9

1. Technology is like a magnet for students. Students' self motivation to work with technology, creating project-based work, and collaboration among students, are just some of the advantages of using technology in the classroom. Technology provides different ways in which students can demonstrate what they understand. We can provide project goals and guidelines/rubrics and students can generate products using different tools. Students can share their final products and they will learn from each other about different ways/tools to create the same product.

2. A the beginning of the year, students need to clearly understand the procedures and routines while they use technology in the classroom. They need to demonstrate responsibility, make the right choices, and monitor their own progress. By holding students accountable, they will focus on their projects/concepts and we will be able to monitor and check if they mastered concepts.

3. I liked the Study Ladder because I can register my students and track the progress of my students. There is a variety of different activities for different subjects and grade levels. Students will be able to practice different concepts, including those concepts below grade level.

The Tutpup is a fun math and spelling educational game where students can compete against other students around the world. I can also create a class account and monitor the progress of my students. Students’ information is confidential and won't be available to other players. They also can log in at home and play games and puzzles.

These are some ways of holding students accountable in their stations: rubrics, open ended questions, provide a choice of links to websites for stations, write or record a reflection to explain what they did/learned.

4. EnVisionMath/fractions have step-by-step videos that help students understand dividing areas into equal parts, using fractions. Each video has a Quick Check and students/teachers can monitor the master of the concept.

Dragon Dictation is an application that students can use to record their thoughts and instantly see the text or email messages. This tool will be very useful when they discuss information, review concepts or brainstorms ideas for writing. I can easily check if small groups are engaged in the activity and provide immediately feedback.

Grammar Jammers has animated songs and rhymes to learn/practice grammar usage and mechanics in a fun way. It includes quizzes for different grammar mechanics. I think this application will benefit 4th graders since they need to apply these concepts on their revising/ editing and writing tests.

5. There are so many applications and many ways my students can use the iPads in stations. Students can use the iPads to check and record weather information, moon phases, record their own stories, or practice any math skill in a daily basis. Students already have a lot of experience using these devices and I believe they are going to have many suggestions about different ways to use the iPads in learning stations.

Tool #8

After watching the videos/tutorials, I learned that the Dell 2120 Netbooks have a Web Cam and students can take pictures and create videos, and also communicate with other students via Skype. These netbooks can be useful to do research and to create different products using Web 2.0 tools.

I created my own iTunes account to later on sync the classrooms iPads to the laptop. Each devise will have their own number. In regarding classroom management, I plan to clearly explain the guidelines and procedures so students know and understand the expectations for classroom use. Once I have parent's permission signed, students will be able to practice and explore on the new devices, Students will be accountable for the proper use of the device and to follow the rules and procedures while working individually or in small groups/stations.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tool #7

Science Project: Biomes and Habitats

The earth has many different habitats and biomes forming complex communities of plants, animals, soil, temperature, and many other factors.

This project will be implemented at the beginning of the 3rd nine weeks. TSW identify the major biomes and habitats of the world and characteristics of each (4.9 A, B)

Students will research and visit websites to get information about each one of the biomes/habitats. These are only few websites students can visit for this project: MBG net http://www.mbgnet.net/; School Tube, World Biomes http://www.worldbiomes.com/ ; Discovery Education: Real World Science: Ecosystems and Biomes http://player.discoveryeducation.com/index.cfm?guidAssetId=2564D76A-96F1-4AC3-9323-C8CE8F684F99&blnFromSearch=1&productcode=US.

They also can use a variety of tools such as Google Doc spreadsheets or different graphic organizers to record, and compare and contrast information related to each one of the biomes. Once they become familiar with characteristics of a particular biome they can create different products/presentations/books using Web 2.0 tools. Skype could be an excellent way to share information as well as final products with other students/classrooms.

Tool #6

I think the Wallwisher is an excellent and easy way to can post announcements and questions. Students don't have to create an account. I can post questions related to any subject area and students can respond to them during centers time. I will be the only one to read their responses, and at the same time, check for understanding.

I also created a Skype account. This program will allow me and my students to connect with other classes from the district and around the world without leaving the classroom. I like the idea of inviting guest speakers, share information with other teachers/classes through this program in the classroom.

Tool #5

Web 2.0 has many tools to create different products and use them in the classroom. I selected the Tikatok program where I was able to create a book about The Natural Regions of Texas. I am planning to share this website with my students. They can create and share books about concepts they are learning in class. Something I found interesting is that they can download their own pictures and use them in their books.

Word Clouds Generators is a very effective way for brainstorming and preparing the students with the necessary vocabulary and background information about the text to be read. I created a Word Cloud on Latitude and Longitude.The students can use this Word Cloud and their previous knowledge about the topic to construct sentences and/or review concepts.