Thursday, May 27, 2010

Go Animate

At times with new programs I can be somewhat baffled and then run out of patience. I had thought when trying to integrate ICT I would get one of my reading groups to retell a story in the program.  Anyway, I gave getting the program to work as a challenge to my students.  They have succeed and are enjoying the program.  I now need to get them to make a set of instructions. little red riding hood by room21bds

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun! The Big Adventure NOT by room21bds

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!

I found that being saying they had to create a story they did better work.  We did spend a couple of weeks just playing first.

Inclass Support - using the mimo and data projector as a whiteboard

Again I taught a writing lesson in a Year 4 class. Today we looked at making sentences.  I had a picture and we wrote nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.  The teacher I was modelling for said that she had learnt about writing and ICT. 

Today was a good day.  The students wrote excellent sentences and when we shared were very good at saying what they liked about each others writing.

Using Wallwisher

I used Wallwisher to get my students' questions for inquiry.  They enjoy using different laptops around the room rather than me standing infront writing on the whiteboard.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Staff Meeting

I had to talk about our lead teacher days that we had been to.

When we first started our contract and Mark Treadwell spoke at Sky City about how we do not know what learning will look like in the future. Is this the future? Personally I find this video scary. I worry about my own teaching skills and how I have to shift in my thinking. And yes, when will I ever have all the equipment I need. However, it is not the only thing I think about. We have essentially 2 terms left on our contract. We have made great changes and shifts here at Botany Downs but what will our future be? Our theme this year is Sustainability. At times, I find it hard to change but I look at my students. One only lights up when in front of a computer, nothing else motivates him. The old ways that still excite others do not work. This student learns in a different way from me. Remember SISIMO. Learning through sight, sound and motion. Sometimes I wonder whether I am meeting the needs of my students, and resent having to change. I like the way I do some things as a teacher as I have been successful with these methods. But it comes down to children learning and succeeding. I have come to the conclusion that my teaching has to be adaptive so I do not fail those students who could fall through the cracks because I have not met their needs. I challenge you with these questions: What is your vision for your teaching for the future? What is your vision for Botany Downs in 3 years time, or 5, or 10? Does it look like this school in California or can we go one better.

In Class Support - modelling

Today I went into a Year 2 classroom and modelled a writing lesson using the mimio.  Over the past 2 years I have taught myself how to use the mimo and projector as the white board. It's not rocket science just effort. This term I am going into to model a lesson to staff to encourage the shift in thinking from using the little board or modelling books.  I decideded to use writing as it gave me a chance to plan learning intentions etc for the students rather than off the cuff, when I went in as a specialist teacher with the laptops and the students used a programme.  Anyway, I had a lovely time with this class and they did some fantastic writing.

I used a poem about yellow things, and we talked about other colours and I wrote the things related to the colours under their headings.  One student wrote about the colour red, and the last line of her poem was red is the poppies, for the men who fighted in the war.  (fighted is her unedited word).

Red is like lava
Red is like blood
Red is like a fire engine
Red is like the sun
that makes me hot.

Orange as the autumn leaves
Orange as a juicy orange
Orange as the sun
that keeps our life and light.

Pink si like a rose
Pink is like a yummy strawberry cake
with some candles shining in the night.

Silver is a star
Silver is glitter
Silver is a tanker driving past my street.

Blue is the sky
Blue is the rain
Blue is Neptune
Blue is the ocean
that I swim in.

Sometimes I get more excited about children's writing than ICT.

Then this afternoon I went into a Year One class and we looked at a poem about the word big - My smile is as big as .....and wrote about My eyes are as big as....   Demonstrating the poem without a mimio pen and mimio but using the program with the laptop is much harder because you are dashing backwards and forwards from the laptop to the whiteboard.  Its not far but can be disjointed.  I am spoilt with my laptop right by my whiteboard.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Other languages on my blog

I have someone writing comments in what I presume is Chinese.  Since I don't know what the comment means I delete it.  I cannot risk it being a rude comment.

Getting the students to teach me

On Tuesdays I lose about half my class to choir practise so I have decided to have fun with ICT with the rest of the class.  Today I had booked our pod of 8 laptops so that I could get them to work out the program from the Cool Tools for Schools website.  I don't know whether it is our server blocking but only the class work station would work the program properly.  I had had a go on Sunday an struggled to make the program work so I had the bright idea of putting the students on and they could then teach me.  They were definately enthusiastic but trying compatability views helped to some extent but I also don't know whether using the same login for all computers was stopping us too.  I think we were all frustrated.  I then tried some of the other website but had trouble loggin into them as well. Talk about best laid plans.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lead Teacher Day

Saw an interesting video on students in California using ipods in class for their learning.  Belinda showed this after showing her photos of her Apple Road trip.  It was very thought provoking in that it demonstrated how learning is changing so fast with ICT.  I wonder what will be the PC equivalent to Apple in this regard.  I know that teachers are trialling cellphone use in high schools here in NZ but not being a big cellphone user myself, I know I lack the knowledge to totally understand how all this works.  I don't even know if I am ready for the concept.  I really liked how the students were engaged and responsible for their learning.  I am not sure that I like the idea of being paperless in regard of dictionaries and atlases or even just practising reading fluency from a sheet of paper but then, I am a confirmed book lover and hate the idea of curling up in bed on a Sunday morning with an ICT device (laptop, or ibook, or phone) to read. 

Mathletics and finding facts

We began a trial of Mathletics for homework this week for a fortnight.  I have been letting the kids get on at every opportunity.  They come in in the mornings at the moment and share what credits they have learnt with each other, or tell me they are on the Wall of Fame.  It is great to see them so enthusiastic.

My students have been taking turns or in groups to find facts to begin report writing dueing writing time.