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.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tool #5 - Tagging and Social Bookmarking

Tagging and Social Bookmarking are so much easier to use to reference and organize my saved websites than "my favorites". I decided to join Delicious and will definitely work on reorganizing my favorites. I'm going to love being able to access them from any computer!

I found two very useful websites:
(great ideas for beginning of the year activities)
(great powerpoints for Dr. Jean songs, Jack Hartmann songs, and others)

The tags I used were: prek, prek activities, first day of school ideas

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tool #4 - Cool Google Tools

I really enjoyed using the Google Tools!
I created a form with multiple choice answers, using Google Docs, and shared it with a team member.
Using Google Reader, I set up five blogs to follow.
It's such a time saver to be able to keep up with your favorite blogs all in one place.

These tools can save so much time when sharing and collaborating with other teachers and students too.
I can see using the form I created when working with the students on the Question of the Day.
Once all responses have been received, they would be able to see an instant graph!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tool #3 - Image Generators & Mashups

Each tool had a lot of fun ideas to choose from!

Using ImageChef, I created a sketchpad template that I will use for name activities, name tags, classroom labels, and much more...

Using Bookr, I created a book about zoo animals that I could read before our school field trip to the zoo. After the field trip, I could add the pictures I took at the zoo, then put the book in the library center to share with the students.

Zoo animals book - link

Zoo Animals by Mrs. M

I also created this Visual poetry image using ImageChef - to add as a gadget to my blog.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tool #2 - Building a Community of learners and sharing knowledge through comments

I think building a PLN is another way for teachers and students to become lifelong learners.
Using web tools like blogs, wiki, twitter, and facebook, especially at times that are convenient for you, opens up a whole new door of resources. Having a PLN gives teachers a chance to talk about professional topics together and gather insight from one another to help us learn.

From the commenting advice, I like the idea of posing a question to stimulate a response. It is a good way to encourage someone to make a comment.

I commented on the following blogs:
blogging in the classroom
11 Tools
11 Tools for 21st Learning@ Tiger Trail
Always Learning

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tool #1 - Blog Set-up & Registration

I love learning new technology. This was fun! After creating my google account, it was easy to set up my blog and create my avatar. I think it will be fun for my students too. Blogging is a great opportunity for students to share their work with others, while learning more about technology.