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Professional Development

March 19, 2011

Lately, I have been doing a lot of professional development online.  One site that has been very useful is Simple K12.  A cool site with webinars and handouts.  One site that I used this week was Class Tools. They have a bunch of different gadgets on it, but I especially liked the Random Name Selector and the Countdown Timer.

The Random Name Selector was great.  I input the names of the kids before class and it selected them rather than me.  It was a great!  I didn’t feel like I was playing favorites and it kept them on their toes.

The Countdown Timer was also very useful.  I told the kids that had to be quiet for the alloted time and if they were they could talk for the rest of the period. They were silent.

One kid said, “Where do you find these things?”

Go to Simple K12.  It is definitely worth the time.

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Flip Video Workshop

December 6, 2010

Just want to see if I can upload a trial video from FLIP.

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I-Pods and Reading

December 6, 2010

About 10 years ago, I made a comment to our then support teacher that I thought that some kids would benefit from listening to a book while reading it.  She disagreed and today I still have teachers that disagree with my thoughts.  However,  research has proven me accurate and the Read 180 uses audio versions as well in their program.  So I went out and bought shuffles and subscribed to Audible.

Have they made a difference?  I think so.  The kids are keeping up with the reading and they are comprehending.  Are they following along in their books?  I don’t know.  I do know that they are doing better in class and they are improving their listening skills.

Just a thought.

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Differentiation/ A Meaningful Experience

December 6, 2010

Last year my district decided to (as per state mandate) go to pure inclusion.  I have always been an advocate.  My elementary school (k-5) subscribed to the “red birds” “blue birds” and “do do birds.”  Then, all of a sudden we went to sixth grade and we integrated from 5 classrooms to 4 and the birds  kinda flew the coup.

During my K-5 experience, I was a red bird in  the blue bird group.  In other words, I was a grouped in the high average group.  Regardless, we all saw who got to do what and who didn’t get.  It bothered me and at the same time  it worried me.  I am sure I wasn’t alone.  We were all afraid that we might get put in the lower group.  To be honest, it sucked.  Enough!  I vow now and will ever vow to never let a child feel that they are less than any other person.  So, what do I do best, differentiate  and I am a general ed teacher.

It takes time; probably more time than I have, but I love to create.  It keeps me thinking.  When I present to the class I always use the terms “regular” and “challenging.”  Kids usually pick the one that’s right for them.  I have been creating meaningful activities for kids using Microsoft Word.  I know I said earlier that Word didn’t count, but it does.  I have created diffentiated spelling activities as well as step by step worksheets for Webquests.  That do count in this personal challenge, because they helping me to supply meaningful learning experiences for students in my classroom.

 

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The Best Thing About Blogging

December 2, 2010

The best thing about blogging is writing.  Even though I took a vacation, because of it I have become a better writer.  I wish I could get everyone of students to blog every day.  They would be great writers in no time.  I will have to think on this one.

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Back Burner

December 2, 2010

I had to put this blog on the back burner and I regret it.  Now I am back and ready to go.  Lots has happened, tech wise that is.  I think listing will be the most efficent:

1.  We finished the Hoot unit.  What I liktd the best was going back to the Hootunit blog and readdressing the anticipatory set questions.  Since I set them in poll form, it was fun to revisit what the kids thought 4 weeks earlier and if they had changed their minds.  I did it visually/verbally.  What I should have done was reset the polls/anticipatory set questions then compare the two.  Good idea for next time.

2.  The vocabulary videos took a while.  Was it worth it?  Yes.   I let the kids select the words from a list, so there were many duplicates of the same word.  The kids did really get to know their words and they did have a good time with iMovie.  Next time I have them draw words out of a hat.  They can be viewed on blogspot.

3. My other triumph was the bully blogging.  Unbelievable! The kids loved it and responded beyond my belief.  Their responses are worth reading on the hootunit blog.

4.  I am currently working on publishing their pancake recipes in issu, a long process since I am learning.

That’s about all.  Most of my time has been spent differentiating and trying to keep my head above water.

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People – wordia

October 21, 2010

People – wordia.