Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pod casts

I just spent a lot of time looking over all the podcast information. I landed on Calais Middle School's podcasts. They have a wide variety of podcasts that I thought were very well done. I especially like the "We like to Dance" podcasts. Evidently, each student at Calais Middle School has to take one quarter of dance. At the end of the quarter they put on a "dance recital" as a podcast. Middle school kids of all shapes and sizes were dancing together to 1940's music as well as the YMCA. And, they looked like they were loving it.

I was very impressed with Mahoney Middle School's Health Podcast. I didn't realize we have so many students with a British accent! I thought some of the health podcasts were of high quality.
Good Job Robin!

Where to start? I can see my students making commercials to "sell a book" they just read. I can see myself making a podcast to help kids remember the steps to use when trying to recognize cause and effect in a reading or how to find the main idea in a reading. I envision this could be a series of mini lessons that students and parents could listen to at home. These are all possibilities that I would have to really think about before using. Right now I feel a little overwhelmed with all that we have learned in this class. Perhaps I will just stick with the Wiki Page I am trying to work on for right now.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Full Moon, Mice Heads, and Legs

It seems to me that every year it doesn't take very long for things to become "crazy" "crazy" at Mahoney--full moon or not! I think it is because we are a school full of adolescents who are charged up on hormones and lets not forget that probably most of our faculty are 40-50 something women in varying stages of menopause! EVERYBODY comments how cold my room is when they come in. Hey, I'm hot--okay! It certainly makes for some good laughs when you can step back and take a look!

My biggest headache of the day was not at school and the changing schedule and my 6th graders needing to have it explained 50 times, but the 5 (yes I said 5!) mice heads I found on my front steps. My cat is a maniac! He eats every part of the mice except for the heads then vomits it all up late at night in our bedroom! Anybody want a black and white kitty?

I missed class today as I had my last sonogram on my leg after surgery in July. I am growing new veins (this just amazes me), no blood clots, and everything looks good. I can even walk up the stairs at Mahoney and not have a throbbing leg!

So, my 6th graders worked very hard on testing the last two days, almost everybody turned in the form saying their parents saw their progress reports, and I learned how to skype today! All is good in the world. I am off to learn about pod casting.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Marvelous Marvel

This site is so rich! I could spend all day just looking to see what is available. Today I added new things to my folder. Primary Search is where I had the best luck finding lexile articles. I found great articles on immigrants that will fit nicely with my first READ 180 unit on immigration. I am ready to go----still just waiting for new licenses!

I think Marvel is a very good resource. There is so much there that sometimes I spend so much time just browsing.

End of September and a new family member!

Wonderful news! My niece had her baby yesterday. Little Ellie Kate is finally here and we are all very excited. Oh yes, I won the pool. My date was right! I won the right not to do dishes for the next family get together! Hmmmm.........

I am determined I am going to follow through with my Wiki Page on the novel, Rickshaw Girl. Next week, my students will write chapter summaries that I will put on the Wiki. Later, I will include our interview (by Skype) with the author. Now, I just have to find the time to do all this.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wiki Wiki Teaching

I just read the blog entry on Wiki Wiki Teaching. I've explored several educational wiki sites and landed on an interesting 5th grade class that collaborated on a Wiki using a shared classroom novel.

I think I could possibly build a Wiki Page with my 6th grade students. We are currently reading,
Rickshaw Girl, by Mitali Perkins. We will also be SKYPING with Mitali Perkins! I am very excited about this. Would it be a good idea to build a wiki page with my class and then invite Mitali Perkins to collaborate with us? Hmm......I think I can do this! Connie and Steve, can you help me?

I'm thinking my students could each add a chapter summary, we could have a Bangladesh dictionary of words in the book, we could add information about the characters, and the plot. Maybe we could post a map of Bangladesh and add something about the area and culture of the people. We just read about Internation Mother Language Day in Bangladesh today. Perhaps we could do some research around that and add that to our wiki.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

RSS and Delicious

I think the idea of RSS is awesome and now I know what it is when I see that little symbol. I even taught my daughter about RSS. But, I have to say I haven't really checked it since I set it up in class. I just don't think to do it. I tend to use my portaportal, but I am experimenting with Delicious.

Curriculum activites and Google sites

I really like the curriculum activities site. I recognized a lot of different sites that I use and I know some other teachers use. This site is like a portaportal site. I guess there are many different ways to do the same thing using technology.

I think I have to go back and reread the tutor page for google sites. I tried to make a page and put a "word of the day" on it, but had too much trouble and it took a lot of time. I finally just got too frustrated to work on it any longer and had to take a break. I will go back and look over the information again, but at this point I think I would probably just use homeworknow.

I was thinking that when I decide what tools I will use from this class with my students, I want to make sure that it is about the learning and not just the jazzy tech stuff. I am thinking right now I might go with voicethread this year and do blogging again. Right now I feel like these two tools with allow me to get at the meat of the learning by using twenty first century tech tools.

However, we are not done with class yet! Still more great things to come I am sure.