Are you into blogging?

Three months later, and I am still learning so much from blogging! I never would have thought I would get enjoyment out of discussing educational related topics. This semester in one of my English classes we were asked to blog about anything literacy, education, or technology related. After reading my past posts, it is not hard to tell that I have been new to this whole blogging thing. I have been enjoying blogging the more I do it and the more I engross myself in all it has to offer. I think blogging is a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest education news. I have learned so much not just from my own blogs, but from reading other blogs about education and technology. Not only students, but teachers as well can learn a lot from blogging. The downfall about having to blog for one of my college courses is the fact that we were assigned certain things to talk about. Even though we were able to pick the education related topic, it was not as free as it normally would be. I am excited to take what I learned from this class and apply it to blogs that will now be free writes about anything!

Blogging has been a great opportunity to share ideas with other students. Getting feedback from my peers made it more enjoyable as well. Being part of the blogging community made it pleasurable to blog weekly and share ideas.

Part of becoming a professional is being knowledgeable about technology and constantly doing research on what would make the classroom environment effective. Blogging is a great way to share information with others and allows one to read other blogs on important issues or new tools to use. I would like to continue to blog because it is a great way to find out more about education and different tools to use in the classroom. It allows me to take the time and actually think about what is most important or what interest me. I may not blog as often, but I definitely think blogging is beneficial for people who want to learn more, and grow as a writer.

Take a step forward with your digital footprint

Looking to create a website? Looking your name out there? Want to continue creating a positive digital footprint? The website Weebly allows you to do all this and more. This past week I have been working on a professional online portfolio using Weebly. After being introduced to this new website, I realize how fast and easy it is to create a website with my professional background information.

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Why use Weebly?

  • Free (unless you upgrade)
  • Easy to use
  • Allows you to add links, pictures, text, add documents, upload videos, etc.
  • Many design layouts
  • Fun and quick to get use to

Checkout my E-folio I created on Weebly for a quick example here

Also, here is a tutorial on how to navigate through this YouTube website

Fall into Learning with a Literacy Pack

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Home to school connection? What better way to have learning continue outside of the classroom then with an integrated home Literacy Pack? If you have never heard of this, it is a backpack filled with activities for kids to bring home and do with their parents. The goals of this literacy pack is to create a bond between the child and their family, bridge the gap between home and school learning, and to have fun with the materials while learning.

I made a literacy pack for the kindergarten level with Math, Science, ELA, and Art activities that correlate with the NYS standards and Common Core. Each content area has three activities for each (12 total). As you can probably imagine, this took a long time! The theme of this literacy pack is “Fall” concentrating on apples.

The picture that is included has some of the activities for this literacy pack. Along with the activities are three books that have to do with the theme of Fall and Apples. This is a great way for kids to learn the curriculum without them even knowing they are learning. With the hands on activities, kids are engaged and actually want to learn. Although Literacy Packs take a lot of time out of the day to create, it is easy to put together after an overall theme is created. I would highly suggest making a Literacy Pack for your classroom if you are an Elementary teacher. Families are able to learn together as well as spend more time together.

Network the Professional Way

 

 

A Personal Learning Network (PLN) is a great way for colleagues and school districts to collaborate ideas. Developing learning is part of becoming a professional. What better way to share ideas/concerns/interest etc then to do it digitally? Teachers are coming together and forming networks in order to change the way they teach in the classroom.

 

What are some benefits of using a Professional Learning Network?

-Teachers can learn on their own time

-Choosing which sites to use

-Learn from others

-Share ideas

-Get feedback and support on different topics

-Implement new strategies for teaching

 

 Classroom 2.0 is designed for those interested in sharing ideas and resources about using Web 2.0 and new media in education. This means connecting with colleagues, finding out about events, joining different groups, and discussing all this online.

 

Web 2.0 sites consist of:

-Social Networking (Facebook and Myspace)

-Blogging (WordPress)

-Twitter

-Wikis

-RSS Reader

-Nings

-Social Bookmarking (Diigo)

 Although these are just some examples, there are plenty of options to choose from that will best fit the needs of any type of teacher. Many of these are user friendly and are a quick and easy way to share ideas and get great feedback from other professionals. Find what works best for you, and start networking! 

Talk it up!

Ever wanted to be a talk show host, or be talk on the radio? It’s not as easy as it looks. The following link was a group effort to make a radio show with the theme of the 90’s. It was a lot of hard work, but it was very interesting and fun as well. Stephanie Shannon,  Erica Guja, and I met together a few times in order to put this show together. We called it 90’s radio, it’s all good cause’ we’ll never abandon our childhood! The initial meeting went well where we each came up with ideas that would fit a 90’s theme. From there, we broke the work evenly where each of us would do research before we came back a second time. The second meeting, we all got down to business and made bullet points that we wanted to hit in our show. That was the easy part!

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A few complications that we encountered were getting use to Garage Band. We had to figure out how exactly it worked with recording voices and sounds. We played around with it for 15-20 minutes including downloading the songs that we wanted to include. We used a Mac computer and a plug in microphone. The microphone seemed to have an echo, and after we switched it out there was still an echo. We even switched rooms to see if that helped (which only did a little). The echo seemed to disappear as the show went on. The show was very time consuming for us but the hours seemed to pass quickly. We broke up the making of the actual show into two days. Ten minutes of the show took us two hours to create. In order to get music onto garage band, we used Google to make a YouTube clip into an MP3. This was easily transferred and put into the show. After the show was created, it was uploaded to sound cloud in order for other people to listen to it.

When we first started, it took a while to get the hang of things. We would think about what we wanted to say before we spoke in the microphone, and many times we just fed off from each other. We used the fade in and out button in order to blend the sounds a little better. My favorite part of the show is towards the end, where we have a “call in song trivia” segment. We picked random people from our school library to participate, and they were not given anything lines to say which made it all the better.

It was really interesting to work with new technology and try to figure out how to work everything into one blended “show segment.” If you ever have any free time, I would recommend playing around with Garage band and Sound cloud. It was a lot of fun and educational as well. There were very few complications and in the end we were happy with our creation. So get out there and try out different programs! Chances are, you won’t be disappointed.

Check out the show!

Click it to Learn it

What better way to involve children into the education then to make it fun and exciting with technology? With all these new technologies emerging into the classroom, it is not hard to forget about clicker technology. Clicker technology is a great way for students to feel like they are having fun while they are learning. For those of you who are not familiar with clicker technology, it is a hand held device that easily collects information through the computer system.

 

The following link explains why clicker technology is becoming a more popular way to

Assess students in the classroom.

-clickers provide true data-driven instruction

-clickers engage students and make learning fun

-clickers involve everyone, and embarrass no one

-clickers assess both formatively and summatively

 http://www.engaging-technologies.com/classroom-clickers.html#sthash.eb23nnkr.dpbs

 The classroom that I am in now uses clicker technology, and it is interesting to see how fast children want to become involved in what they are learning. Students like to use clickers because if they get the answer wrong, other students in the classroom are not aware of it. Using clickers in the classroom should be used in the classroom to promote learning and can be another way to differentiate learning. 

“Simon says”…Classroom management.

 

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Why is it that some teachers make classroom management look so easy and others have no control over their students? Is this a lack of respect? Does this correlate with parenting at home? These are all questions that have been circulating in my head after hearing practicum placements experiences. After thinking about this I decided to find some quick and easy classroom management methods that might be useful for any classroom.

 

1)      “Hands on top and stop”- Kids stop whatever they are doing and put their hands on their head. This allows for no movement so everyone has their eyes on the teacher

2)      “You have ten seconds”- Teacher counts down from 10-0. By the time you reach 0, kids should have out whatever they need for the next activity

3)      “Classity class class”- Teacher yells out “Classidy class class” and students reply with “yesity yes yes.” When students hear this, they know they need to stop and listen up for the next direction. *Helps to quiet the room also.

4)      “Get the noise out”- If students are being too loud and are too energetic, students stand up for 10-15 seconds and they can stomp, clap, shake, etc.

5)      “I’m watching someone”- (assemebly, field trip, etc)- tell the students you will be look at 2 students and they will have no idea who you pick. If those two students are behaving the way they are suppose to, they can have a treat when they get back (or whatever behavioral awards that are done in the class).

6)      “If you can hear me, clap”- Teachers says, “if you can hear me, clap once.” Students should reply with a clap. “if you can hear me clap twice” and students reply with two claps.

7)      Special jobs- jobs are given out so that students feel special and everyone has a part to stay on track. Example- Calender, weather, lunch, attendance, etc. Jobs can change week to week

8)      Marbles in a jar- Students can receive a marble at the end of the day to put in their class jar if they have worked well with each other, noise level down, etc. Students receive something if the jar is filled.

9)      Brain Break- Play music where children can do exercises to get blood flowing to their brain

10)  “1,2,3” An idea that I use with my Year 2 class, when moving children from the carpet to the table, is 1,2,3.On 1 the children stand up. On 2 the children move to their table and stand behind their chair. On 3 the children sit down. This is all done without talking!

 

These are just some ideas that might be helpful for classroom management. If teachers do not have control over their classroom, how can students benefit?

Here is a link to more classroom management ideas 

http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/more/management/contents.htm