Teaching since Fall 2001 – 3rd year in 2nd grade

Posts tagged ‘K through 12’

I admit it I got sucked in

English: teacher and its importance

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The teachers at school are really into pinterest.com. At first the things they were sharing were cute craft type projects. I nodded and said they were cute, but wasn’t really interested in doing any of the projects. I’ve said before I don’t do cute.

I was never that type of creative.  My cousins on Dad’s side are. The oldest makes some of the most fantastic clothes, the middle cousin used to make little figures from rocks, and the youngest did a bunch of different type things – the one that impressed me the most was making her own paints.  I admired their projects, but never was interested in doing my own.

In the last few weeks the other teachers started sharing some lessons they had found on pinterest.  Those were pretty cool. I got on and found some cool lessons. I also found a whole different side to teachers and “sharing”.  I’ve always enjoyed my PLC and the ideas we shared. Some just put things out there. Others put Creative Commons Licences on things, more to say go share this than to protect their copyright. All of us gave away ideas.

What a ran into on pinterest was a horse of a different color. Teachers were selling ideas. Seems a bit mercenary to me. Also made me think.  I haven’t been sharing as much as I should. I’m going to put out at least a couple of lesson plans a week with any print outs, flipbooks, and other resources. I hope people find them useful.

English: Red Pinterest logo

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Great Staff Development

Adventures in Engineering and Science instruct...

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I just attended three days of training. The workshop was developed in house, with teachers from the district sharing thier knowledge. The book Teaching for Tomorrow provided the framework. There were many terrific things about this workshop.

  • We received the book before we left for the summer at the end of school. That way I was able to read it at my own pace.
  • It was during thee summer and our follow ups will be during district development days. I hate missing days to attend training. I have 180 days with my kids, I want to spend that time teaching. Saturday workshops tend to make for a cranky two weeks, because of a lack of recharge time. After school that goes past 4 pm result in a lack of sleep due to driving time and need to eat.
  • I left each day with multiple ideas that I can use in my classroom. I will be blogging on Rhodes in coming days.
  • This was targeted to our teachers and our students. We had people from the main office running the workshop, and people still spoke their minds.
  • We are no longer required to follow the script format of our math program. It will still provide the framework and order of topics, but individual teachers will be able to customize and personalize according to our student needs. We will also be able to use project based instruction now that we are free of the script.

Looking forward to the next school year.

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Opps Forgot About That One

Example of Micro QR

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It seems that at least a couple times a month, I see a post or lesson someone has done and realize I had completely forgotten about a great idea for enhancing a lesson. It happened twice this week.

Mr. Zerber and Cool Cat Teacher both did excellent posts on using QR codes. I would love to use them. I need something that can read them. I think the big laptops have web cams. Also the Ipads I’m getting as part of my Interact2010 might be Ipad 2’s.

The other post I saw was from I love Ed Tech about Wallwisher. I like the idea of Wallwisher, but I’ve had problems using it in the past. I got locked out of my account and couldn’t get any help. Eventually I was able to  create another account. I can think of several ways to use this with reading strategies.

I was going to make a list of all the different ideas I’ve seen. Then I remembered that Tom Barrett already did this on his Interesting Ways page. So I’m adding this page to my Lesson Planing Sessions in FireFox.  That way I remember to check these great crowd sourced lists of ideas.

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Goals for the Day 11 01 2010

"Teacher Appreciation" featured phot...
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Today I want to get several things done

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Musings

I think I’m the only one enjoying the Balanced Literacy class. Several to the techniques are helping do what I’ve always wanted to do in my ELA classes.

This group lesson plan thing isn’t going very well. I’ve given up on getting science in a timely fashion. But since I’m using TAKScopes, I can handle that. Not getting writing or lesson plans is more difficult.

I’m looking forward to using ideas from this lesson http://techhappy.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/the-child-driven-education-in-practice/ in my class next week.

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My Classes Stats

I logged into my gradebook, to get a preview of my classes this year. We don’t start till 8/23 so things can change but for now

Morning Class

21 Students
All passed TAKS
10 Earned Commended Performance

Afternoon Class

17 Students
14 Passed TAKS
3 Commended Performances

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Texas is an Obsession

Photo by Brian Talbot under CC Some rights reserved

End of 1st Week

Well the first week is over. In the spirit of start as you are to go – I started with technology. The first day I had my homeroom class clean the writer pads, idle all last year, and put new batteries in them. Then they created their accounts and started their typing lessons. The second day my partner teacher was actually scheduled to use the writers, but she asked me to get the kids set up so I did. I know there are people that maintain we don’t need to teach keyboarding because the kids just get it. My kids don’t have computers at home. They need some formal practice or they won’t be able to keep up at the Middle school, JH, or HS.

We are scheduled to have the cart of laptops every 6 days and the cart of writers every 6 days. Also I’m assigning each table to a computer each day, rotating so no one group gets stuck with the silver laptop that is as slow as all get out every day.

We haven’t used the laptops, yet. We will be using them Monday. I also had my kids that have oral administration of their tests use the iPods while taking the 4th grade placement test today. One child has sound issues and didn’t like using them. So aide took her to resource. The other two seemed to like the autonomy of working at their own pace. They did take the ear buds out between questions. I find ear buds to be very uncomfortable, so I expected that. I look forward to integrating more technology into the classroom each week.

I need to borrow the cameras from the Tech department, to have the kids photograph experiments and other lessons in class. I plan to start that in the next week or so.

We also had some tech fails. The on line grade is still a mess with the wrong people assigned to classes as teachers meaning I can’t take care of my grades for the Leos because their homeroom teacher is the teacher of record for math and science.

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Success

A Wheelock MT-24-LSM electronic fire alarm hor...
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A couple of weeks ago we had a red drill (lock down). 10 minutes after it was over, I had a lab full of kids from 15 in my class and 20 from 3 grades and 7 classrooms. I realized that if they had been there during the drill there was no easy way to account for them. We started a sign in sheet the next day. It is very simple

Out Name 3rd grade 4th grade 5th grade
List of teachers List of Teachers List of teachers

The kids sign in circle their teacher’s name, get on a computer and take care of what they need to do. It paid off today. 2nd period I have 15 1st graders in for Tech, and several 3rd graders working on Successmaker. The fire alarm went off. I grabbed the clipboard and my Fire Drill folder and we walked out. On the black top, I handed the AP my sign in sheet – those students had already been reported out of the room by their teacher. They were quickly accounted for. The AP was very happy.

Book Study –Chapter Four Wikis: Easy Collaboration for All

Moodle Course Management System  with a naviga...Image via Wikipedia

I think Wikipedia should not be a major source in a student’s work, because it’s not a primary source. Like any encyclopedia it is a good place to get background information. Some articles have extensive citation and those citations can help students find good primary material for reports.

Fifth grade science teacher and I plan on setting up a science wiki for the fifth graders this year. I see no problem with having a login system that tracks changes and do not understand why purists would have a problem with it. Wikipedia after all track its changes and who has made them. We have consequences in place already for students who choose to vandalize another person’s work on or off line. Because our expectations are firmly in place I predict will have very little problems of the sort. Each class a students will be adding information to articles about topics mastered in science. They’ll also write a lab reports including both pictures and video of actual experiments. Science teacher will add review questions for tests, and students will add their answers for others to use. I’m also hoping that that fourth grade and maybe even third grade science teachers will be willing to do a similar project. Then each year the wiki to move up with the students. I’m not share if we will use the wiki in Moodle or if we will use www.wikispaces.com. I need to talk to the people in tech training about which would be better for a multiyear subject wiki.

I would love set up a curriculum wiki for my school. Getting teachers to communicate about what our students have difficulty with is an ongoing problem. I think because the teachers see it as a criticism of them, rather than an offer to help.

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