Last week, I began working with the 2nd Graders in preparation for their VoiceThreads. I began by talking about life cycles. I showed them a short video about the life cycle of a butterfly,  then as a class, we wrote some sentences about each of the stages.

The next day, I gave the students each a fact sheet about the life cycle of an animal. I had 6 different choices for the students. Each student was also given a cycle graphic organizer. Based on their information, the students had to identify each stage and write a sentence about it. I also created a pathfinder for each animal that had pictures of all the stages. Students then used the pathfinder to choose which pictures they would like to use in their VoiceThread.

This week, I have been bringing students into the library individually (whenever I can grab a few minutes) to do the voice overs. I have ten done and posted on my Library Wiki! As a stroke of luck, the 1st graders will be studying butterflies next week. I offered to show the class the 2nd graders VoiceThreads (for those that did the butterfly). This will spread my VoiceThread impact even further.

I’m very excited to see the end in sight for at least one of my projects. The Glogs have been coming along, too. Many of them are almost done and I am confident that this will be accomplished, too. I have found another teacher to try Wikis with, since the last ones didn’t go over too well. I’m just worried about the time needed to make Wikis successful. I haven’t started on my final project, the Animoto book trailers, yet. I’m not too worried about those, though. I’m planning to take a few students from several classes to do that. In doing so, I will impact more grade levels and next year I can have many experts to help me do book trailers with whole classes.

May is almost over and I know June will fly by!

Published in: on May 19, 2010 at 11:25 pm  Comments (1)  

Comes and Goes

As technology constantly improves, it can just as easily vanish.

Just last week, we began learning about online collaborative documents, which are based on EtherPad. Today I read a post on Free Technology for Teachers (fast becoming my favorite blog to follow) that EtherPad will be shutting down for good later this week. Fortunately, their code has been made open source so there are several clones we can turn to instead.

This just strikes me on how important it is to stay current in technology. You need o have plenty of options always available and you need to be prepared for when those options disappear.

On the bright side, I’m starting on my VoiceThreads next week. My second graders will be working on Life Cycles which I think will lend themselves perfectly to this technology. I better get them done fast before this tool vanishes too!

Published in: on May 12, 2010 at 9:22 pm  Comments (1)  

Chugging Along

Well, my plan to have students in the library did not turn out too well this week and the projects are piling up. Many of my fourth graders have been working on their Glogs at home and I have been checking on them online. They are really working hard on them. I’m so proud.

On the other hand, I think my 6th grade Wikis are dead. A few students have tinkered with them, but since the classroom has moved on, so have the students. Its a bit disappointing, but a learning experience. Depending on how the rest of my projects go, I may try to do another Wiki project. However, timing and classroom support will play a big factor in this.

I have one more week and then I will be having a book fair from May 17th to the 21st. I am able to have my book fair in the library and I typically don’t have to see classes that week. I’m hoping that I can utilize my parent volunteers and my student teacher to continue working on some of these projects as well as the new Animotos during the fair. It will be busy, but it must get done.

Published in: on May 9, 2010 at 9:36 pm  Comments (1)  

Lab Closing

Starting next week and continuing for the next three weeks, the computer lab at my school will be closed. My school participates in online Benchmark and Scantron testing, which will utilize all the lab time. I only have three computers in the library and I might have to bring students in there in small groups in order to get the Glogs and Wikis done. This means that these projects are going to be a lot harder to finish. However, since I must have a bright side or go insane, if I only have three students in front of me, I can give them some individualized attention and maybe get their work done a lot faster.

Published in: on May 2, 2010 at 7:51 pm  Comments (1)  

Ten Tips for Teaching with New Media

Gradebook was down so instead of entering grades, I checked in with Google Reader. There is a great new resource from edutopia. It is a booklet called Ten Top Tips for Teaching with New Media. At first I thought it was a book they were selling, but it is actually a free PDF available on their website!

Check here if you want to read it.

Published in: on April 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm  Comments (1)