Tuesday, December 27, 2011

After 11 Tools: Reflections

1. What are your favorite tools you now have in your personal technology toolbox? Briefly describe a particular activity that you will plan for your students using at least one of these new tools.

I have to say that one of my favorite tools is Skype.  I have only done it once in my classroom, but I am very excited to do some more Skyping!  I would love to do something with authors as I mentioned before, but also with other first grade classrooms around the country.  I think if we have the opportunity to have genuine learning experiences, we are silly not to take the chance to have that with our children.

2. How have you transfomed your thinking about the learning that will take place in your classroom?

I'm not going to lie. At first, I was EXTREMELY nervous about these small children and the technology devices they were about to handle.  I was scared that they would break something, or drop something, or have no clue at all what to do with it.  Ahhhh...I can breathe now!  These kids can handle it. I can handle it.  I needed to build my confidence so these kids could be the 21st century learners that they were born to be.  I am open to any piece of technology that may make it's way into my classroom! I know that it is the best for my students' learning, and my job is to give them the best!

3. Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

Everything was a surprise! I can't believe I actually created a blog. The hardest thing was to get it up and running.  I was so confused.  Creating this blog was so fun for me, I think I might start a personal blog! It's so easy once you get the hang of it.  I am officially a BLOGGER!!!!!!

Tool #10 Underneath it All - Digital Citizenship

I loved being reminded of these rules because they are easily forgotten.  

3 things that make a good digital citizen:
-Keep your password to yourself!  Don't tell anyone!
-One of my favorite rules to live by- Golden Rule of "Do unto others as you would have them do to you."
-Be careful what you put online- once you write/send something, it is online forever. Make good choices!

One of the resources mentioned above or on the Ed Tech website that I plan to use instructionally is Brain Pop. I have mentioned before how much I love Brianpop.  It is a great way to implement technology, and the kiddos love it too!

Explain briefly how you would "teach" the idea of digital citizenship to your students.
The Brainpop on Digital Citizenship is awesome! It covers many different aspects of the internet- cyberbullying, blogging, social networking, email, IM, etc.  I think it so important to teach how serious the internet is.  Teaching this at a young age could really impact decisions made in the future.

Explain briefly how you plan to share the idea of digital citizenship with your parents.
I think it would be really neat to include tips for parents on the topic digital citizenship in the weekly newsletter.  I think the more parents know about their children and the internet, the better.  Telling the parents what is going on with the internet and the 21st century could potentially help prevent problems before they start.

Tool #9: Incorporating Classroom-Based Devices as Tools for Learning

It is important to tie technology to the objective because children today are born into technology.  They know nothing about a life without technology.  Having technology being apart of your lesson is going to be lead to more effective teaching.  Kids love when they can watch a Brainpop or a United Streaming video, and they get so much out of it!  I have also had parents ask me what apps we have on our school itouches because their child has come home and insisted they get the same at home.  This tells me that students are taking their learning home with them.  I don't think I could be any happier about that!

Technology is used in my classroom during literacy workstations and math. I have rules and routines with the itouches, and if those are broken, my students rights are temporarily taken away.  I love giving students choices and being ale to be in charge of their own learning.  Giving them this responsibility gives them ownership, and I think that is something that 21st century learners need.

Here are some websites I love!
www.brainpop.com -Brainpop is used in my classroom weekly.  I love it!  The kids can be quizzed on what they learn, which is super fun to them, but it helps me see where I need to step in and reteach.

www.spellingcity.com -Spelling city is new to me and I can't believe I just found out about it.  Kids can plug in their spelling words and their are so many games and activities that kids can play using their words.  Awesome!

Some apps that I found for the iTouch include:
Funny Flash (This one is neat because it morphs animals and then spells them out verbally and in print.)
Math Drill (Addition & Subtraction - primary grades.) Awesome for students learning their math facts!
Sight Words (Great way for students to learn their sight words.)

I would love to have my kids take pictures and video each other during school.  Documenting learning is my favorite thing to do.  It makes me so happy!  I think it would be fun to get the pictures and videos and create a movie for all of my kids. I think it would be so cute.

Tool #8: Taking a Look at the Tools

Back in August, I learned I was going to get a huge technology upgrade in my classroom.  I was excited and overwhelmed to know that my classroom was receiving 5 Dell Mini computers and 5 iTouches.  I was nervous about teaching first graders how to use them.  Technology does not scare me.  I catch on pretty easy, but how were these 6 year olds going to take it? I come to find out that six year olds are NATURALS when it comes to technology! 

Once I finally had the time to get apps for iTouces, they became a hot commodity in room 109. I love having the iTouches in Literacy Stations and math stations.  I have been asking parents for iTunes gift cards so that I can purchase better apps.  The trial apps are very limited and there are silly ads that pop up.  The kids never need my help with it, because they are use to having one at home or playing with their parent's iPhones.  They know how to get into the docking station and plug them in!  The only problem I have had is the silly ear phones.  They get sooo tangled, but I'm happy to be the master un-tangler any day!

The Dell minis are okay.  I'm not in love with them because they take so long to boot up.  They have a different log-in which is so hard to show the kids how to do.  Some of them have caught on, but some are too frustrated to deal with the mini Dell.  I am going to make a bigger effort to get these up and running in the spring.

Overall, I am obsessed with all of my new technology.  It is helping these 21st century learners learn how they were born to learn!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tool #7: Reaching Outside your Classroom: Online Digital Projects

Ok, so here is what I'm thinking...
1.  As you saw in my last post, I LOVE to Skype.  My kids are obsessed with Skype and want me to call my bf, Clay, everyday. 
2.  When I taught 4th grade last year, we did LOTS of writing.  We had author Phil Bildner come to our school for a writing camp.  After the camp, the 4th graders were SO excited to write.  It helped put some fire under their belts to write!

Light bulb!  Combine those and you get.... Skype with an author!

I think a Skype visit with a cool author will help tremendously with first graders writing.  We are going to be studying author Mo Willems in the spring, and I would love to have him Skype with us. I think a "real author" getting the kids excited is much more effective than me, a "fake author" telling them how to write.  They would feel so special and much more willing to produce work since Mo Willems, their favorite author gave them advice on writing!

Content objective: The learner will converse online with published authors to discuss the writing process and give students ideas on what they can write about.

Implementation:  Ideally, I would like to start this in the beginning of the school year.  I would like to start out with the basics of writing and getting someone to speak about that would be amazing.  I want to find authors who write different genres that we study as mentor texts to Skype with us, so that it is continued throughout the school year.

Tool #6: Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion in and Out of the CLassroom

I have accounts on:
Facebook: Molly Hansen
Skype: Molly.Hansen
Twitter: @MollyEHansen
GoogleDocs: SBISD login/Gmail login

I have used Skype in my classroom, and the kids LOVE it!  I Skyped my sweet boyfriend, Clay, who just so happens to be a Veteran.  He fought in the war from 2003-2007.  We Skyped him on Veteran's Day to tell him thank you, and ask him questions.  My first graders were amazed!  One of them even said, "Oh my gosh! I just talked to a real, live veteran!" That is something they will never forget.  I am wanting to Skype with my best friend Traci who just became a police officer in Cedar Park, when we talk about community helpers.  That should be fun! 

I can use GoogleDocs to share documents and information with my students as well as my team.  It is a simple way to communicate as well as collaborate with others.

Tool #5: Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

I created a photo video using Animoto.  It is very simple and user friendly.  This would be a great way to introduce yourself to a new group of students as a get to know you activity.  It would be really neat if the students could get some help at home to create one as well.

Molly's Animoto

Last year, I took a million pictures of my fourth graders.  At the end of the year, we had a Mother's day tea/end of the year breakfast.  I created an iMovie on my Macbook, and showed it at the tea.  I added music and there was not a dry eye in the house!  I would love to do that again for my first graders and give them that on a DVD as an end of the year gift.

I played around with tikatok.com, through Barnes and Noble.  and made a personalized book.  It is very neat! You can pick out a book you want to write about, and the website walks you through each step.  It was so fun!

My Christmas Book