Saturday, December 18, 2010

Classroom Management Carry-Over

December 18, 2010 ~ Recently, I had to take time out of the classroom to be with my daughter as she underwent a tonsillectomy. I left substitute plans that included the seating chart, strategies for the day, content activities as well as extra activities for those that may have finished early.  I was hoping for a report back that the students were good.

Now, I understand when a sub is in the classroom, in lieu of the regular teacher, students do not always behave the best. I am looking for any strategies  that work for you and your students. I am very much a technology infused classroom but when a substitute is there, technology use is not applicable because I am not always guaranteed a person that understands how to use the technology in the classroom.
Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blogging with my Students

September 29, 2010~ I am in the infancy of blogging with my students. We are using the Kidblog platform and iTouches as the vehicle to access our blogs. Students are currently responding to my posts. My next step will be having the students creating their own blogs as a reflection tool for activities, content and learning that is happening in and out of the content classroom. Students are doing remarkably well considering we have used the iTouches to blog only twice (and once was a shortened early release day with weather causing us Internet interruptions).The students and I are excited about the future use of blogging in the classroom.

If you currently blog with your students, please share some experiences. I am looking to be proactive to any troubleshooting issues, extension to the learning activities or concerns that you may have experienced to better be prepared for my students.

Links for Week of 9/28/2010

September 28, 2010~
Simple Machines:

Museum of Science and Industries: Simple Machines Game

Science Spot: Physics~Simple Machines

Mesopotamia: Geography Challenge

Park Forest Middle School Daily Geography

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Links for Week of 8/09/10

August 10, 2010~ 

Mthtchr2 Delicious RSS Feed

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Polling and Survey Resources

July 28, 2010~ In pondering how my instruction for fall will go, I have been looking for resources in order to incorporate Hinge Point Questions. Free Technology for Teachers blog shared a relatively quick and easy tool for creating polls and surveys. It is called Flisti. The nice thing about Flisti is you just create and go as there is no registration required.
Here is a sample poll I created:

What is your favorite season?

Below are additional lists of poll and survey tools that I am familiar with using:

Poll Everywhere: There is an app for iPods as well for this one and I have used the app as well as the web-based tool
Survey Monkey: Used professionally in teacher workshops but not with students
Google Docs has a survey tool

Do you have any experience with these tools or any additional suggestions? I welcome the additional resources for my tool kit to use with students....

Monday, July 26, 2010

7 Days to a Better EduBlog Mini-Course Reflection

July 26, 2010 ~ Having just recently participated in the 7 days to a Better EduBlog Mini-Course allowed me to understand and be mindful of what my students will experience during their blogging endeavors. I particular appreciated the use of exemplar blogs as a way to model the process for each lesson.
I learned:
*pages, trouble-shooting gadget issues, and the variety of post styles

What I need to work on:
*pages, content and scheduling and reflection

My next steps:
Utilizing this type of format for classroom use

Friday, July 23, 2010

Students and Blogging Part 2

July 23, 2010~ Reading through my comments from yesterday led me to a thought on how to introduce blogging to my students. I came across these: Blogs in Plain English by Common Craft.
and below....

Do you feel these would be helpful for sixth graders beginning their blogging endeavor or is there something else you have used in your classroom?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Students and Blogging

June 21, 2010~ I am interested in having students blog in my science and socials studies classroom this fall. I observed my oldest daughter's ELA teacher use his blog for assignments and then had the students post responses as part of their homework. I have also seen where blogs are used more of a tool for communication with parents. I am wanting to use blogging as an interactive tool for learning. It is with that that I have the following questions and am in need of advice..
  • What does it look like in your classroom?
  • How have you used blogging with students?
  • Do you have any suggestions for evaluating student blog responses?
  • How do you handle students that may not have access at home?
I look forward to hearing from you....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

iPod Touch for Classroom Use

July 20, 2010~I have participated in two mini-sessions on iTouch use in the classroom. Having never used an iTouch, my learning curve was huge. I am enthused about the possibilities. I have always been a proponent of handheld computing. This goes back to the days of when I instituted the use of Zire 72's in the classroom with the help of NASA and Highly Interactive Classrooms and Computing in Education.
Some resources I have found for iTouches include:
*Apple's iTouch Page and iTunes Library
*Moblile Tools A-Z

I am constantly looking for apps's and resources for the use of the iPod Touch in the classroom and would appreciate any resources that you have found useful. Share in the comments section and I will add to the listing above.

Friday, June 4, 2010

New Journey in Life

June 4, 2010~And so it begins..the first summer in seven years that I will not be facilitating a summer professional development opportunity. I have accepted a classroom position in a neighboring district teaching science and social studies in a middle school. I am excited, thrilled and nervous all at the same time. I am looking forward to spending my summer with my family. I look forward to actually having a summer. Prior to budget cuts I had a 210 contract and worked through June. With budget cuts (and the loss of future EETT funding on the horizon and no grant opportunity to continue my tech coaching position), I am now returning to the classroom on a 190 contract. With my family hosting three young ladies (one already in high school and two beginning their high school careers), I am anticipating a summer full of family cook-outs, pool days and of course soccer.

Along these lines my immediate and extended family will be participating in numerous mission trips. My sister-in-law left for Peru yesterday. Thing 2 leaves for a three state mission trip later in June and my husband leaves for Kenya the latter part of June. I will remain at home manning the home front and preparing for a move. Our house should be completed with a closing date in late June as well.

I never envisioned so much change in one summer. House, job and all my girls in high school. I have only had two jobs in my adult career; one as a banker for 6 years and then as a teacher/coach for 13 years. My children grew up in that district roaming the halls, attending field trips and helping others during prep days move, make copies and entertaining other teachers' children. I went through a divorce, a second marriage and the death of my mother with my district "family". Leaving was not an easy decision but one my family needed me to do at this time. I am forever grateful for the opportunities afforded me during my tenure and I am touched by each student, teacher, staff, family, and community member that I came in contact is because of them that I am the teacher/educator I am today.

I look forward to my new chapter and journey in life but am so blessed the Lord allowed me the opportunity to spend time and grow as a person and educator with that district family. The lyrics to I am Blessed by All 4 One feel very appropriate at this time in my life..

"Of all of the places I've been
And people that I've met
A lifetime of memories I'll never forget
I look back with no regrets cuz...

I am so blessed
Yes I am blessed
I am so blessed
Yes I am blessed"

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wired Wednesday Mini-Session that flopped..

March 31, 2010~ Getting ready to share a mini-session on Fotobabble I noticed that the volume didn't work on the desktop I was on..or so I thought. A couple of clicks later I realized it wasn't just my computer, it was all the computers in the lab. Ugh! We couldn't hear the recordings and we couldn't press the record button to record our comments. If you have had this issue and know how to resolve, please share. Nothing like sharing a tool to teachers only to have it not work!!! worked yesterday on the same computer...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Caching In On Geography

March 12, 2010~ Got an email from Donor's Choose. The time frame on funding my grant proposal is running short. If you know someone or are interesting in working with Donor's Choose to fund our project, see the link below. I am very excited about started a Geocaching club/group at my school but in this time of budget crisis the money is just not available to purchase the supplies needed in order to facilitate geocaching with the students.
Caching In On Geography

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