Month: July 2011

Students can blog too-read all about it!

Ok-I am sold! I will begin blogging with my students. Thanks to my “Kindergarten Teachers United” Linkedin group member, Sharon D., for sharing this idea with me. Kid blog looks so easy to set up and I am about to do it. I am excited to share me and my students journey with blogging in the classroom! Stay tuned for updates!

http://updates.kidblog.org/  “”Kidblog.org creator, Matt Hardy, was featured in the front page story for the Sunday Pioneer Press. Here is one quote from Matt, who is also a 3rd grade teacher in Minnesota:

“With blogs, it’s more about the ideas,” he said. “It’s not so much about the original post as it is about the discussion that follows, that trail of comments that comes afterward.””

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What activity or lesson will your students remember?

International Recycle Symbol

Image via Wikipedia

Last year, my students loves our group recycling project. Parents sent in plastic containers and boxes, the week before and students were asked to create “anything.” While learning about conservation, they children had free reign to create inventions and toys. It was amazing to hear them confidently explain what they made and what its use was. One student made a machine out of a milk jug. It was the magic machine, complete with a red button to make it start! Now, I plan to make a “Creation Station” complete with recyclable containers, donated by parents. I am so excited to begin this station for the first time! At home, my daughter made a fashiony outfit out of the trash from the new crock-pot box. Children are so creative! We just have to give them the stuff to create with.

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Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy…low and high levels of technology!

Have you heard of it? Well, I have heard of Bloom’s Taxonomy, but never “Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.” So, here it is-and I can’t wait to use it in my classroom! I will outline some key points from Andrew Churches document, based on Bloom’s levels of learning.

1. Remembering (Knowledge)- finding, locating, using a google search or bookmarking, social networking

2. Understanding (Comprehension)- explaining, blog journaling, subscribing, using twitter

3. Applying (Application)- using, executing, uploading, sharing, editing, hacking, playing, running

4. Analyzing (Analysis)- organizing, linking, validating, cracking, organizing, media clipping

5. Evaluating (Critical thinking)- judging, experimenting, critiquing, posting, moderating, blog commenting, reviewing, networking

6. Creating (Creative thinking)- designing, constructing, producing, inventing, programming, filming, animating, video blogging, wiki-ing, publishing, podcasting

I was so happy to stumble upon this information at an article found at the following blog: http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/

The original contents comes from a very thorough document created by Andrew Churches:

http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/file/view/bloom%27s+Digital+taxonomy+v3.01.pdf

7 Classroom Steals for Under 10 Dollars!!!

I was so excited to find each of these items for a dollar:

1. Lesson plan book at Target
2. Grade book at Target (both at the dollar aisle)
3. Pointers that look like a white gloved hand at Dollar Tree
4. Mini-chalkboard signs at Michael’s (In various shapes:puzzle piece shape, star, heart and flower….these were .79!!!)
5. Pocket folders at Wal-Mart for .15 each
6.Composition notebooks (the marble looking wide ruled) for .40 at Wal-Mart and Target
7. Elmer’s 2-pack glue sticks for .40 at Wal-Mart

By no means did I feel guilty for buying these!

Have you found any other amazing deals? Please share if you have!

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A blog is like a log? Do you agree?

Log of a Spruce tree on end showing ring detai...

Image via Wikipedia

What is a blog, anyway? Have you ever tried to explain it or personify a blog to someone? I suggest using my log illustration. A log was once a tree, but now it is exposed and about to do something more. It might just roll or it may be turned into paper, firewood or structures for a home. All of these are great uses, as long as the log is changing and becoming better. A log is just a log, that may be sat upon. But, it can do so much more than just be! In comparison, a blog was once a thought or idea in someone’s head (either spoken or unspoken). Now, it is a written thought (not just in an e-mail)…and those words might as well be written in blood, because what is online stays online, right? So, this blog is nice, but it is kind of like a log when it is not being used or read. Just being in cyberworld is not special enough. For this blog to be more, it needs others to intervene. The blog must have visitors, subscribers, group members and friends. When this begins, the blog is like a book-it is shared and used. But, the blog must be more than a book to thrive. A book can be closed and put on a shelf to gather dust. To prevent this devastation happening to a blog, the owner must add content often (2-3times/week, according to Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman in their book, Content Rules). When content is added often, then a unique and visual structure is being engineered. However, the key is to keep building and becoming more amazing. So is your blog just a log right now? What stage is your blog in?

Are you smarter than an angry bird?

The little red angry birds app. is more popular than t.v. at my home. My four year old has passed all the levels from the free trial version and he did this faster than I could! As an educator and mother of three, I refuse to believe that technology dulls our children’s brains. On the contrary, their higher order thinking skills are enhanced by apps. on the iPod and iPad, learning videos and games from educational websites such as www.starfall.com and www.brainpopjr.com. Now, getting back to our topic of angry birds…what could one possibly learn from these virtual stuffed flying puppets? First of all, I learned persistence. The average person will find it difficult to pass a level in just one try. For the first few days that I played, it took me five to ten attempts to move on to the next level. I admit that I could mad and quit for twenty minutes and decided that angry birds was just plain strange. Then, I kept trying with the side by side tutoring by my four year old…and then, I mastered the game! Lastly, the little red bird taught me that there is more than one way to solve a problem (knocking down monkeys and pigs with hats). If I aimed high, I would catapult too far and not hit my goal. However, if I aimed at the bottom, I could knock down many blocks and sticks and wipe out half of the green pigs. Each time I played, I became a better problem solver! So, if egg dropping birds can teach a thirty-two year old how to be more persistent and become a better problem solver, than what could it teach elementary students? Well, check out this image posted on facebook by a student from Pakistan. His teacher used angry birds during math class to teach several concepts. He met the students where they were at in their learning. In these students minds, they probably were thinking about angry bird strategies during math class instead of listening to a lecture. So, my friends, will you be as smart as an angry bird and meet kids where they are at to teach them? Will you allow an inanimate figure to teach you?

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The Appeal of Angry Birds- http://iphonefreakz.com/tag/angry-birds/page/2/

Other Articles on Angry Birds in the Classroom- http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/01/07/3768358/education-and-video-games-are.html