Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I spent last week in upper New York state and spent the long weekend in Phoenix with daughter and family. It was sunny and a lot warmer than in was last Monday in Burlington, VT. However, the warmth of the participants all of last week compensated for the typical December weather.
Catching up on emails and newsletters today, I came across the new issue of TechLearning News , a suggested subscription you might look at, I noticed a tutorial that I liked alot. When looking over the tutorial website, I found that a few of these short videos did much to explain some of the Web 2.0 concepts I have touched on in this year's workshops. I suggest that you all look at Common Craft is the website that hosts these tutorials. I liked Social Bookmarking in Plain English which gives a great explanation of Delicious; Wikis in Plain English; and Blogs in Plain English. Take a look at these and see if they help with your understanding of these Web2.0 Tools.
One more thing that I thought was excellent in TechLearning News was a cute idea for using Photo Story 3 (the free download from Microsoft). It was used to make "Book Trailers" and the examples they show are really cute. Making Book Trailers with Photo Story3.
Now that I have suggested that you watch three tutorials and read about a good use of Photo Story3, please go back to enjoying your vacation time and get to this when you feel a need to start planning for January.
I would love to hear from any of you who might have some success with things I suggest in the blogs. It is really hard to know if I have readers!!!!
Friday, November 30, 2007
One of them is Stained Glass Collage and allows you or your students to upload pictures and easily make them into a collage to email or to insert into a website. There is a printing option, which involves ordering the collage. A participant in my workshop last year sent me an example of what he does with this program and you can find it here: http://mrluedtke.gradeweb.com/?PHPSESSID=d40f2440c4b5c0fcf50b5f8f0b6dbd63Look on the side to his Math Link. He has two up, so scroll down. This is the way he honors the kids who completed their Math Facts goals. I can even link one into my blog at http://www.stainedglasscollage.com/view.jsp?id=9x6w8ka6 You can also upload your collage to Flickr.
The other fun site is ScrapBlog. There are templates for making your online scrapbook, but what really looks fun is to start with a blank page. You upload your pictures and then add the stickers, backgrounds, text and balloons, shapes, and even videos. Everything that you buy from the shelves of craft stores are there for your students to use. There are already done examples that are much better than my efforts, so I will let you browse through them. I would love to see some examples of how any of you use these two websites.
They are fun, they are easy, and they are FREE!
Hope all is well with all of you,
Sunday, November 18, 2007
In several cities this week the topic of keyboarding brought a lot of talk during the breaks and at lunchtime and I was able to learn about a couple of new sites. Although I really resist the actual keyboardoing training in the lower grades and fear that too much emphasis on keyboarding in the higher elementary grades will take away from what other creative things could be done during that time, we all agree that we need to address the fact that "hunting and pecking" will not serve these students well as they use the keyboard more and more.
I heard some great ideas, from taking the keyboard graphic and using an overhead to enlarge it and copy it onto a shower curtain for kindergartners to jump on (like a twister game) to putting a thin ribbon between the keys meant to be used with the left and and those to be used with the right.
I had talked about Dance Mat Typing http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/ and mentioned that another good free typing program was Sense-Lang -http://sense-lang.org/typing/
One of the participants came forward with a wonderful interactive keyboard for the kids to use to learn the position of the keys. It is found at ABC Ya and I found it in the Fifth Grade under Keyboard Challenge http://www.abcya.com/ .I really liked that.
Also, check out Power Typing - http://www.powertyping.com/ for another good free typing program.
I believe that we do have a responsibility to introduce students to good keyboarding techniques and some of these programs will really help you do that.
Thanks to everyone who provided some really good suggestions!
I am not sure if I will be blogging before Turkey Day, so I wish each and every one of you the happiest of holidays, hopefully surrounded by family and good friends.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Dr. Sarah McPherson and Susan Silverman, someone I have admired for many years are coordinating this project together. They are both affiliated with the Instructional Technology Department at the School of Education of New York Institute of Technology. As a classroom teacher, Susan began coordinating projects many years ago and I look for her projects each year.
Lucky Lady Bugs is a project in process and will go all this year. Because it was started last year, you can look at examples of what has been done so far and show your students where the schools are that have already participated in the project.
This project is designed following principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and invites culminating activities that follow the student learning to be done in many ways from drawing, to diagrams, to video clips.
This is the website for the project and all details can be found here, including how to register: http://kids-learn.org/ladybugs/project.htm
When your students participate in this project they will be very proud to be a part of the Student Showcase!
I am heading out west this week to Billing, MT, Denver, CO, Dallas, TX, and Phoenix, AZ. If any of you are in the neighborhood, do stop in and say "hi"!
Friday, November 2, 2007
Visit http://www.technosp udprojects. com/Projects/ holidaycardexcha nge/home. htm for more information and registration procedures about this project. There will be a TIE-IN with Google Earth. If you do not already have Google Earth, you will want to download it for free from Google. The download can be found at http://earth.google.com/ You will get all of the directions for using Google Earth when you get your assigned card list. You will be mailing out 24 cards (1 per school) to the other schools on your list. If there is an overabundance of any school (or state) Jen reserves the right to place people on a waiting list. She will, for sure, do her best to place everyone in this project and also provide a variety of states, provinces, and/or countries on each group list.
It is amazing to me how much Jennifer is willing to do to provide teachers and students these wonderful opportunities to understand their world and the global connection they have to other students. I am in awe of her dedication and hard work.
Give it a try! Join the Holiday Card Exchange today! I would love to have you leave comments on this blog to let me know that you joined and then later let me know how you enjoyed being a part of this project.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I've got to share this with you all. I'm so excited! At the Vegas "I teach K" conference this summer, I went to a breakout session on listening centers. The speaker talked about wireless headsets. My old-fashioned ones don't work very well and I wanted these but couldn't fork out the money for them anytime soon. Well, I posted it on Donors Choose Oct 25th and GOT IT FUNDED IN FULL TODAY! I'm thrilled! I had to send an immediate thank you note, and take pics and send thank you notes from the kids after they start using it. Thanks for listening, I'm STOKED! They give hints on the site for funding. For example, if you ask for things over $400 they are slower to be funded, in general. Items over $800 are usually not funded. Check it out! I can't wait to post my next request!
Upon looking into it, I found that the website is http://www.donorschoose.org/ and looks like a great source for all of us to know about. Think about all of those sets of things that you have wanted for your classroom or if you have the patience, go for a projector. Thanks to Cheri Murrell for sharing this on KinderKorner list serv. As I have mentioned in the workshops, it is well worth signing up for this listserv. You can do that at:
To SUBSCRIBE to KinderKorner, send email to the following address:firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope all of you survived Halloween!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I wanted to tell you that if you are just checking the blogs occasionally, that you can scroll down to the very bottom of this page and subscribe right here to the blog. You do not have to use bloglines. When you subscribe here, it will save it to your Favorites on Internet Explorer. You can then go to your Favorites and see if there is an update to the blog.
Being in Illinois, I realized that although this website is mentioned in the book and on my website, I could not leave Illinois without putting this website front and center. The University of Illinois Extension Website has a terrific section that is Just For Kids. Much of it entails educational information about the outdoors from A Walk In The Woods, The Great Plant Escape, The Great Corn Adventure, Let's Talk About Insects, Secret Life of Trees, My First Garden, The Adventures of Herman the Worm, and The All Star River Explorers. Each of these provide animated, multimedia presentations and activities that all elementary students will enjoy. The site is wonderful and I cannot believe I was in Illinois and didn't mention it. You can find it at http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/kids/index.html. I guess that is what this blog is for!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
We drove around some of the historic sights of Springfield and then drove on to Peoria where I am right now in the quaint Stoney Creek Inn. At least it is not so quaint that it has wireless internet service.
As promised, I have entered the web addresses for Flickr, Voice Thread, and a a site to Create Your own Stationary on my website http://www.techteachconcepts.com under Workshops 2007/2008 and then to BER K-2.
The last site mentioned just came in my email at lunchtime today. I mentioned that I always regret when I find a new website after I complete a workshop. So, in keeping with the purpose of this blog, let me tell all of you about Create Your OwnStationary, a site that I really think the primary students will love. The student can choose a border and the looks of the person pictured on the stationary, then print it out for their use.
Thanks for checking on this blog. I will be updating it as I come across things that I think the participants in the BER workshops and others reading might be able to use.
Friday, October 19, 2007
I just found something tonight that I will now add to Monday's workshop. It is a website with the cutest, educationally sound, and motivating online stories and songs about science. It is called Science Story Books and can be found at http://msnucleus.org/membership/guide/storybooks.html
Starting Monday night, you will hear more about the workshops, my travel woes, and about the wonderful people I meet along the way!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Jennifer does a fantastic job of providing activities to accompany this project and your students can become a part of a world-wide community of learners. If you have never participated in an online collaborative project, this is an excellent place to start.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
The beauty of this and many other online collaborative projects to me is two-fold. First of all, students are studying what is happening in real time with real data, and secondly, they are compiling and analyzing data coming from many sources throughout North America, rather than experimenting just within their own classroom.
A project like this, provided free of charge to all of us is a win-win situation! Give it a try!
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Let me see if I can make your life just a little easier. Well, really not me - I just deliver the message. David Warlick is the hero behind this wonderful Internet Tool called Citation Maker or as he calls his latest version Son of Citation Maker. All you have to do is click on the type of format that you want for your citation on the left and then choose the source (includes print and non-print options), complete the form, and poof the citation is ready for you to paste and copy.
I do not think of this as "cheating" at all! The important thing is not whether you remember where each comma and colon goes, it is the fact that you care enough to site your sources.
The Citation Machine can be found at http://citationmachine.net/ and again, we thank David Warlick for this wonderful Internet Tool.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
For those of you who are back in school, I am hopeful you are off to the start of a great year.
I had to share with you this wonderful corporate contribution to teachers. Office Max is offering FREE , yes I said, Free, laminating for all teachers on Thursdays until September 13th. You have to bring things in on a Thursday and they will not cut them for you. However, you can bring as much as you like and they will laminate for free. Their laminating is very durable and you will not have anyone in your media center or your office looking at you for consuming so much laminating paper!
Monday, August 20, 2007
If you are preparing for the opening of the school year, I hope for you that the air of excitement you are feeling now stays with you throughout the school year!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Applications must be completed and submitted online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on September 30, 2007. Awards will be announced on February 18, 2008. Schools must be located within 50 miles of a Best Buy store to be eligible.
There are three Award Levels:
- $2,000 Teach Awards will be given in recognition of up to 1,500 outstanding programs that engage students by creatively integrating interactive technology into the curriculum. The awards are in the form of Best Buy Gift Cards.
- $10,000 Teach Awards will be granted to up to 50 schools that display the greatest creativity in their programs/projects and the clearest vision of how to increase the school’s use of interactive technology if awarded $10,000 Teach Award. Teach Awards of $10,000 are NOT in addition to the $2,000 Teach Awards.
- Eight $100,000 National Teach Awards will be given to entire school districts. School district finalists will be selected from a pool of Teach Award-winning schools, and will receive a Request for Proposal (RFP) from Best Buy. Recipients will be selected on the basis of submitted proposals. National Teach Awards are in the form of a Best Buy spending account.
I must tell you that the applications and information about these awards are pretty well hidden on the Best Buy website. Go to this link: https://bestbuyteach.scholarshipamerica.org/ and within the information is a link to Register as an Applicant.
Who knows? You may stand to when enough money to purchase a laptop and a projector for your classroom, making one of my most pressing suggestion about "making sure they can see" possible.
It is a rainy Sunday in Cleveland. Hope your sunshine is coming from the fact that soon you will see a classroom full of smiling faces waiting for you to enrich their lives. I know you do that every day!
Saturday, August 18, 2007
This year I will be in 36 cities in the United States and Canada presenting workshops for the Bureau of Education and Research. One is called Practical Strategies for Using Technology to Strengthen Classroom Instruction and Student Learning - Grades K-2 and the other one is The Best of the Best Websites -Grades K-6. You can check the BER website http://www.ber.org to see if I will be close to where you live. I have presented to many, many teachers, administrators, media specialists, and computer specialists over the last six years and I enjoy every moment of it. I continually learn from those who attend the workshop and have the greatest support from BER. What is most frustrating to me is that a few days after a presentation, I already have learned some new things that I would love to pass along to former participants. Now, I have figured out a way that I can - by blogging!
I will start by alerting you to some online collaborative projects that are already taking registrations. If you remember, I was quite passionate about how many benefits your students can gain from your joining an online collaborative project. The critera from all subject areas can be covered and your students will find that engaging in a project with students from all over the world will be motivating and exciting to them as learners. I believe Jennifer Wagner and Susan Silverman are two women who put so much into the projects that they coordinate. They amaze me. I hope you will check these out now as by the time I start presenting this year, these projects will be going "full speed ahead"!
Jennifer Wagner (Technospud Projects) is taking registrations now for:
Salute to Seuss http://salutetoseuss.wikispaces.com/ and for O.R.E.O (Our Really Exciting Online Project) http://www.technospudprojects.com/Projects/OREO2007/oreo2007home.htm
She will also have the one day Pumpkin Seed Count in October. Watch for that - but I will remind you on this blog.
Susan Silverman- http://comsewogue.k12.ny.us/~ssilverman/2000/index.htm is a Technology Specialist in Oswego, New York and has conducted many, many online projects of the highest quality. Look at Lucky Ladybugs http://kids-learn.org/ladybugs/ It is open to students in Grades K-5.
I hope you will consider signing up for one of these projects. I know your class will find themselves learning in a collaborative way!