Friday, December 21, 2012


My favorite tools are google docs, animoto and Xtranormal. Google docs is great for getting/giving instant feedback. Animoto is great for students to do for a project and Xtranormal is so fun for introducing a new topic or concept. 

I have already been using so much of this technology in my classroom that my thinking hasn't changed much. However, I have learned a lot about digital citizenship and definitely want to reteach a lesson on being responsible with technology.

The most unexpected outcome was that I really enjoyed working with some of the tools like Animoto and Xtranormal. At first, I thought they would be too difficult to figure out, but I found they were so easy and actually really fun!  I can't wait to see how my class uses these tools for the rest of the year! 

Digital Citizenship

Three things I think my kids really need to know about as digital citizens are cyber-bullying, plagiarism and appropriate websites. Cyber-bullying is a big problem and I don't want any of my students to be a victim of it. It is important to teach my students what cyber-bullying is and how to recognize it. Another big problem is plagiarism. It's crazy how many kids don't what this is! I plan to teach a lesson on it, so they know exactly what it is and how they can avoid it. Another problem is inappropriate websites. We think that everything is restricted already, but you never know what they still may find. Talking to them about what to do if they find anything inappropriate is so important. They need to know that they can come to us if they see anything bad and not be afraid to get in trouble. 

I think I would need to teach a lesson on digital citizenship over a few days, focusing on the three major areas of concern that I discussed above. I would take them to the computer lab, as well as work on the technology that is available in the room. First, I would teach about the importance of being safe with the technology. For example, keeping the Ipad on a flat surface and remain seated. Wipe off your fingerprints and always work with clean hands. Then I would talk about being responsible when on technology. This is where I would get into cyper-bullying, plagiarism and appropriate apps and websites. Lastly, I would talk about being respectful. By this I mean, monitor to your time limit and always tell the teacher is you have a problem.

To keep parents informed I would send home a letter which basically sums up the lesson on digital citizenship. I will also send home a copy of the digital citizenship form that the students will sign after we have completed the lesson so they know the expectations. 

Incorporating Tools for Learning

Kids these days are so surrounded by technology that we have to tie it into our lessons in order to make them relevant. Technology is our future and we have to expose it to our students now so they can be successful later on in life.

We have to hold our students accountable for their work with technology so that we can see if they are actually grasping the concepts. For example, if they are going to play a math game on one of the computers, I tell them that they have to submit a Show Me to me afterwards showing that they can work out a problem that relates to what game they were playing. 

Two websites that I LOVE are Texas Treasures and Spelling City. Spelling City allows the students to print a certificate showing me what they accomplished. 

The apps that I like are Starfall and the Show Me app. I use Starfall for my struggling readers and the Show Me app in my Math Stations. Show Me is great for working out math problems. I make my students work out five math problems on the Show Me app before they can play a math game. It holds them accountable and they love showing me what they can do!

I use the Ipads for research, for filming videos and taking pictures. For example, before we began learning about landforms in science, I had them research the different landforms on the Ipads and make a poster and then present it to the class. I honestly do not know what we would do without these wonderful pieces of technology!

Tool 8- Technology in My Classroom

I feel very lucky to have four Ipads and four mini dell computers in my classroom. I use both types of technology in my math stations to play math games, work out math problems on the Show Me app and to record themselves working out problems. I use them in other subjects to do research on certain topics. We also use them in projects. For example, when we learned division in math, I had them come up with a fun, creative way to teach the class how to divide and many of them used the I pads to film themselves working out a problem or acting out the concept of division. To ensure safety and proper care of the technology in my room, I have a technology manager and a list of rules that every student had to sign at the beginning of the year. I love having this technology in room and my students definitely benefit from it! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tool 7

I am planning a collaborative math project with Mrs. Contreras's class! 

Here are the details!

1. Content Objective- Collect and organize information on a bar graph, interpret information on a bar graph, and use addition and subtraction to interpret information on a bar graph.

2. We will implement this project next fall when we teach bar graphs.

3. We will use the following programs for our project: Poll Everywhere, Google Docs and Open Office Math. 

4. After learning about gathering data and displaying it on a bar graph, the students will come up with topic and conduct a survey with at least 5 other classes at the school. The topic could be anything from favorite sports team to favorite flavor of ice cream. The students will poll other classes using Poll Everywhere. They will create a bar graph in Open Office Math and share it with students in Mrs. Contreras's class using Google Docs. They will come up with test questions that involve interpreting their bar graph using addition, subtraction multiplication and division. They will share the bar graph and test questions with a student in Mrs. Contreras's class and the student in Mrs. Contreras's class will share theirs with a student in my class. 

5. We will network with other classes in just our school using Poll Everywhere and Google Docs. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tool 6

Tool 6- Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion in and out of the Classroom

Today I learned all about the different web tools you can use to create conversations in and out of the classroom. My two favorite tools were Poll Everywhere and Google Docs.

I have already used Google Docs in my classroom and it has been fabulous way to give and receive instant feedback from your students. We use google docs to share lessons we type up on the computers. For example, my students typed a paper on the water cycle and shared it with me. Currently, we are working on typing a procedural writing piece and I plan to have them share this with me on google docs.

I didn't have much experience with Poll Everywhere, but I have to say I think it is pretty neat. I created the following poll, which I wish I could have used when we were learning about surveys and creating bar graphs in math.

Doesn't mean I can't still put it to good use! Maybe I will use it for our next class vote. I guess I will have to let them take turns texting it in from my phone though!? :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tool 5

Tool 5- Producing with Web 2.0 Tools 

This was a super fun lesson and I loved playing with the different web based tools we can incorporate into the classroom. I played around with Xtranormal and Animoto and here is what I created! 

Here is the Xtranormal video I made for my class to introduce a science investigation on soils and plants. 

Xtranormal Video 

Here is the Animoto video my class made when we acted out The Thanksgiving Nightmare. The students that were not acting, were taking pictures with the Ipads and then I showed them how to create an Animoto video. I used this as an introduction to using Animoto and am hoping they will really utilize this tool in various lessons!