Friday, August 6, 2010

After 11 Tools - Reflections

I really enjoyed exploring all of the apps for the Ipod touch. The Image Generator - ImageChef was another one of my favorite tools. I plan to use it with my students at the beginning of the year to create and display their names in various places throughout my classroom to help with name recognition.

The use of these new tools will definitely empower teachers and engage our PreK students. Having several computers and the Ipod touch will help us with individualized learning, as well as small and whole group instruction.
I have learned so much about how I can bring 21st century teaching tools into the classroom!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tool #11 - Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship is an important part of integrating technology into the classroom. I think it should be a shared responsibility between teachers and parents.
Three things I would like my students to understand about being a good digital citizen are:
- never share personal information such as their name, address and phone number online
- only use their own log on and to view teacher approved websites and programs
-use good manners and appropriate language when communicating

For my students to have positive learning experiences, I will model what is and what is not appropriate behavior in the digital world. This is something I'll review and model on a daily basis.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tool #10 - Exploring Mobile Technology & Apps

Bringing the Ipod touch into the classroom is a great way to give students access to learning tools. There are so many good apps to choose from. I found some free apps that are geared for PreK students.

Says for Kids & Toy Story Photo - These are great apps for working on memory and paying attention
Pre-K Safari - Students can explore the animal kingdom while learning about colors, numbers, shapes, and letters.

My students would enjoy working with these apps. They can have fun as they learn many literacy and math skills.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tool #9 - Sharing Information Through Jing & Skype

Jing is definitely a good tool for simple how-to instructions, especially for visual learners. It would be nice to have videos to use for teaching classroom routines year after year.
Skype is a wonderful way for our students to make connections beyond the classroom. It could be used to share their work with other prek students in our own school, at other schools in the district or Houston, as well as other Texas cities.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tool #8 - Video Resources

Video resources are great for supporting classroom instruction. I've used United Streaming from Discovery Education for several years and found it to be very helpful in reinforcing lessons. Teacher Tube is quite useful for teachers to learn new ideas and see what other teachers around the world are doing.

I searched Blinkx to find these You Tube videos. The first one is the nursery rhyme - "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" that can be used to help students develop phonemic awareness skills.
The second one is "Heidisongs Singable Songs" that can be used when teaching shapes.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tool #7 - Creating digital stories

I've created several projects using PhotoStory. It is a fun tool!
Below is part of a video I created to show to parents at our end of the year celebration
which showcase students in the classroom and during special events throughout
the year. The parents and students loved it!
Other uses for PhotoStory:
- students retelling a story by acting it out
- introducing a new concept
- teaching classroom procedures

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tool #6 - Creating wikis to store and share information

I enjoyed the classroom sample wiki about a study of the ocean -
This is a great tool to use to document our classroom science projects - the life cycle of a butterfly, the plant life cycle, etc. With parents being able to view the wiki pages, students can easily share what they are learning. I could also use wikis to provide useful information to parents, such as: school procedures, classroom news, class rules, field trips, volunteer opportunities, conference information, links to favorite kid websites, and pictures of the class.