Thursday, May 26, 2011

Technology Showcase

Technology Integration Plan 

I teach several Elluminate sessions to CAVA and k12 students each month. I teach and moderate a live 5th grade Vocabulary class twice a week. I lead a live k12 International club once a month. I help lead CAVA's middle school Student council. I also teach several lessons for students in my class, which are usually sent to the families as a recording.

Technology is presented to these student, just by using Elluminate, primarily as their way to connect with their classmates and instructors. For several of my students this is the only way that they are able to "attend" school, as I have a few that have health issues that prevent attendance. For others Elluminates are great so that they can easily access their curriculum.

As I present the lessons on-line, I attempt, each time, to integrate other types of media to the students, beyond just the Power Point presentation. I occasionally use my webcam to say, 'Hello" to that we, the students and teacher are connecting on a personal level. I also use my webcam, on an occasion to show them items, such as a book, that demonstrates what I am teaching. Also, I often share links to websites in the chat box, to allow students to explore appropriate kid oriented sites that are relevant. I also share various short videos and music clips that help students to become engaged in the topic or as a source of discussion to start the class.

Within Elluminate I use many tools that help me to further integrate technology, such as voting tools and quizzing functions.

When I was in the B and M classroom, integrating technology used to mean, taking the time to take our kids to the computer lab and having them work on software that related to the curriculum. Later it meant that we were teaching and using our SmartBoard, projector and computer set-up and allowing students to interact with it and occasionally adding appropriate media from the internet to enhance our lessons. We are fortunate to work in such a setting that students have access to the technology and have become very acute at using it.

Google Forms

Teacher Evaluation form
    I created a "teacher evaluation form" using Google Docs. This is the first time that I have used this specific tool in Google Docs. I usually send a survey out my parents, but I use Survey Monkey instead. Survey monkey allows the creator to enable the survey taker to also comment, or elaborate, in addition to answer a multiple choice question.

    I have and will continue to use Google Docs for several other uses for my job. I like to be able to upload my documents for future storage and safety. I have also uploaded Power Point presentations. I use these uploads so that I can e-mail them to my families with less memory (by giving them a link to access it). I also have uploaded my PPs and used the HTML to post the presentation to my Blog on The Big Think.

    I would like to also use the calendar as a back-up for my current CAVA calendar. since loosing all of my calendar events last month when my outlook crashed, i think that this might be a great alternative. : )

    Google Tools- Lesson Plan

    Video Library

    I have listed various videos that I have used in my virtual classrooms.

    Video Enhanced Lesson Plan

    Here is my link to the lesson plan that I taught about luck:

    Scanvenger Hunt

    Figurative Language Cyberhunt

    Virtual Field Trip

    In Fourth grade, students start to learn about California History. Being able to see the various Missions and locations, students will learn more about their local history.

    Current Events 

    With recent natural disasters within the location titled the "Ring of Fire," 6th graders will learn about how these events occur, in connection with their Science lessons.

    Seasonal Lesson Plan

    In this lesson, students will explore the topic and concept of luck. They will discuss what it is and how to increase their own luck, to become more "lucky."

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Useful videos for on-line instruction

    Usually I teach a variety of subjects throughout the school year.

    This year I have used a LOT of different on-line videos in my class.  My main purpose is to give my Elementary and Middle school aged students another perspective on the curriculum.  I also want to deliver my curriculum in an interesting way, and usually the videos do a great job with their graphics and explanations.

    Character Education
    During the month of December my students and I talked about caring for and giving to others.  I presented a video about a student who does just this.  He is ALSO a student that goes to the same school as my students, K12.

    During the month of January we talked about the process of recycling and upcycling.   I found several videos on the topic:
    During the month of February we talked about getting along with your siblings and sibling rivalry. I found a great list of kid friendly videos on PBS that was very helpful: 
    Sibling Rivalry

    During the Month of March, we talked about how to create good luck for your self and how to perceive yourself as lucky.   I presented the students with a music video for kids from YouTube about a guy who is having a "lucky day."
    Most recently, during the month of April, we talked about how kids can get along with their parents better.  I used the video that I found as a spring-board, since it used humor and the narration of other kids to talk about issues kids have with their parents. 

    I can pretty much find a video to teach anything that I want.  Math is no exception. I LOVE sending my families Schoolhouse Rock videos when they tell me that their kids are struggling with learning their math facts.  The nine and the three facts are my favorites! 

    ALL of the videos from Kahn Academy have been EXTREAMLY helpful to my families who utilize them. 

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    Building an On-Line Class Community

    Often, when the common lay person thinks about a "virtual" classroom setting, their first thought might gravitate to the first negative question: "Why would anyone choose to learn this way?   Doesn't the learner miss out on the social interactions?"
    As facilitators and educators of on-line classrooms one of our biggest goals is to build a community of interacting learners.    When we are teaching a group of students we want them to learn from each other and to show respect for their fellow learners thoughts.   A skilled leader of a virtual classroom will do many things:

    1. Share information about themselves,  to humanize themselves as a teacher
    2. Be a role model for professionalism
    3. Allow learners time to learn about others and to share information about themselves
    4. Set high expectations for appropriate behavior
    As a classroom teacher working with elementary aged students, one of the most important things that I do for my students is to create a classroom where students feel welcome and safe. Safe to learn and  to share ideas.   I do this by setting the expectations for my students prior to the start of every class.   Below you will find an example of this. 

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Ice Breakers

    So, to open my very first blog, it might be appropriate to start with the topic of Ice Breakers.

    What are they?
    This is the opportunity for your community of learners to get to know one another.

    When should they been used?
    Well to start with, they should be considered when starting with a group of students that are being faciltated.

    Why should they be used?
    Ice Breakers help virtual learners share themselves with others who can make no other impression of them.   It is known that when people have an identity within a group or a connection to a group their interest grows.

    What are some effective examples of Ice Breakers that can be used?
    Think of using visuals that students can identify with.   Think of simple ways that students can express their personality without feeling judged or intimidated.
    • post pictures of famous people that they can identify with and ask them to choose their favorite.  
    • ask them do place themselves on a map based on, where they live, where they would like to travel, etc
    • have them  identify a favorite activity
    • have it relate to the topic that you are teaching (choosing a favorite character from a novel)  
    Here are some examples of Ice Breakers I have used.