Saturday, May 16, 2015

Final Reflections May 2015

Inspired Writing:

I would say I have grown tremendously this academic year as have my students. Using technology as a tool to assist and improve/further excite my students...yes that goal has been accomplished. Improve and increase my toolbox with apps and tools to help my students and help with my instruction...yes check there too.

This cohort has helped me strive to push my teaching further than it has ever been. For that I am thankful. Because of that, I am seeing more I wish to do and want to do and initiate in my classroom next year.

Always moving forward while reflecting on what has and hasn't to make my teaching and their learning stronger...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February 3, 2015

The groundhog saw his shadow yesterday. Doesn't surprise me. Another 6 weeks of winter.
I feel energized!
I am into my teaching, using the standards regularly, and holding small focus-groups in a daily basis for Writing, Reading, Math, Science. It is marvelous!  I got an iPad Air from my building and am using it for focused instruction. I purchased a Net gear connection so now I can use the iPad wireless. It is amazing.
As an example:
I graded my students' last assignment (from Lucy of course) and will focus on small needs-based groups this week, with particular skills they lacked in any of the specific areas . This week I am focusing on the lead/intro. , quoting the source, and stating their opinion. I will have them pull up their docs online and do a double screen with the rubric. We will look at an example and a non-example. We also use the PARCC rubric (in addition to Lucy's).
SO powerful!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

November, 2014

Tech thoughts....

I never thought I would be this jazzed about technology as a tool in the classroom!
I am using tech in ways I NEVER thought of...
Because of this, I am discovering I need "new tech" on  much quicker rate than ever before.

I ask myself WHY?
Why the demand for this? What has changed that I need/desire/want new tools?
Why am I so excited and enthusiastic about this?
I have thought about this and believe I need to get to the root cause...
What, exactly, has changed with me this academic year that didn't exist my previous three years in the classroom, same grade level?

I have thought and believe I have the answer to that....

The nature of my job as an educator has changed.
I am so much more than a "teacher".
I am a facilitator of knowledge and more importantly, a facilitator working in  profession which demands "current" tools to reach a vast  audience.

Traditional tools aren't acceptable any more.
I remember being able to grade papers, turn them back in a week later, with a simple "letter grade" and no explanation. Parents accepted whatever grade their student got...there wasn't makeup tests or small-group reinforcement.  Drill and practice. Drill and practice.  Drill and practice....
If you didn't pass, you didn't pass.

Not any more. Now, granted, this was 30 years ago.

Now it's, as Jim states in his blog, "building the plane while we are flying in it."
As an educator, I am trying to effectively and efficiently build that plane daily...
communication, effective delivery of instruction, student support, daily analysis and further instruction while demanding high standards of myself and my teammates, my students.

To do this requires efficient and effective tools.

Fast, effective apps to effectively implement, support, and instruct my students and parents.
Fast, effective, efficient means to stay one step ahead of the game, which I m lucky if I can say I am, while running a million miles and hour (or running back and forth in the plane, trying to put it together in the air, helping the kids in their seats...discussing instruction with my teammates).

Move note...Kaizena, Google Docs, the list goes on and on...I am finding on an almost weekly basis, the need for tech tools that make my life easier to manage and easier to communicate with.

Tech is a tool and not so much a "fun toy!" any more. This isn't meant to be a negative. It is just the way I see myself now, as an educator.

Boy, what a change...a necessary change.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Inspired Writing Comments: November 8, 2014

Time has flown.

I am using various components through Google, with my students when they write online.
-Google "Search" for new words.
We love going between editing and viewing modes.
The kids are used to "chatting" while looking at each other's pieces.

So valuable.

I want them to be more accountable for their own extend the audience.
We will start pen pals very shortly...working on the logistics now.
Can't wait!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Writer Tools of the Trade September 20

September 20, 2014

It seems to me with even the marvelous tools we have at our disposal today, it seems some of my students still "don't get it".
Revision for content
-I show my kids famous author's texts which they indent or start a new paragraph.
-We discuss specific techniques, such as the repetition of words, emphasizing a particular point in the story.
- Use of senses to create images
-Use of dialogue
-Dragging/extending a scene to draw the reader in.

There are so many more, WONDERFUL writerly techniques I can share, and do, to help improve their writing.

We conference and discuss these techniques.
They are eager.
They love the sound of it...
They want to add it in/try it...

The moment of truth comes...
some DO
some DON'T
Some are far off topic that I can't understand HOW they wrote what they did...even with specific lessons.

I am wondering how I can use technology as a tool to REALLY ignite the passion in my writers, to use them to assist /support their creativity, to produce wonderful pieces worthy of expert publishing.

I know, I know,...
passion and an internal flame is needed from within, to spark the desire.
But, if this doesn't exist, at least for this moment in my Personal Narrative instruction,
does anyone think or know of other apps or online tools that might help fan a tiny spark in some of my students?

I am writerly stumped.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September, 2014


My teammates and I are now Skyping into each other's classrooms!
yes, I am teaching a lesson from the resource "Notice nd Note": Signposts. These are reading techniques authors put into their fictional texts, to draw the readers' attention.
Today I was able to teach the lesson while Jim's class Skyped in. They had the same text, marking it up s I and my class spoke to them and their students. Both classes enjoyed the experience.
We will be Skyping tomorrow, part 2 of the lesson.
When we bring in our teammate tomorrow into the experience.
We want to try Google Talk....if we cn get it going quickly, meaning tomorrow morning!

There are three things I want to look into, to enrich my teaching and the students' learning:

-Doctopus   and Google Class.
My Q is:
1.)What is the difference between the two? Is one better than the other?
2.) Flubaroo: I still need help using this pp to help with scoring of online assessments through Google forms.
3.) Voice to text features: Jim and I are trying to get this started .
Can anyone help?


Thursday, August 7, 2014

First Post for class: Snapshot

This is a great class!
I have found many items I found useful today, from the class:
I knew of this tool but having it brought to my mind again, I can see various uses, immediately!
-Snapshots of work completed, especially when there is a time limit or a restriction of some other sort. Having students take a photo of their work (even in screenshots), helps them to own up to their work.
-Snapshots of group projects: I like the idea of having groups share their work and post to me, their parents. What a great way to document their work. I can see this being used for multi-step processes, multi-days worth of work...beg, middle, end items, multi step processes...
-I can see this being used for Plants science experiments: snapshooting observations of a plant experiment, then embedding it into a science recording sheet!
-Math problems: How-to or what-I-think about...These could easily be used to share/show thinking. Visual problem-solving would be great to show!
-I can see this also used in Social St.: Worldy , timely travelers my 5th graders will be!.

I will now go back to this app again, with my students blogging in guided reading/small group novels.
I want to blog with other schools!

Google site:
I am going to look at the other sites fellow members have made. I want to borrow their ideas!
Substitute folder on my Google site!
So many things to do, I need time BUT these items are definitely worth it!