Thursday, June 28, 2012

Making a website using Google Sites

I'm beginning to create a classroom blog using Google Sites. It was difficult at first. Once I figure it out it was easy. Of course, if you've every made a website you know it takes time. So, those of you who don't have time and get stressed easily will probably not want to try it. Anyway, I know we have the SBISD websites we can use, but I wanted to try Google Sites. So far, so good.

Playing with embedding videos ....:-)

experimenting ...


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Free apps, books

I'm sure none of you read this except for maybe one or two or you.

I've been doing much searching through all the apps on the iPad and the app iBooks. If you are looking for any texts that are out of copyright or are government documents (e.g. Declaration of Independence) there are many that are free. I found tons of fairytales etc.

There are also tons of sights sites that house free copies of classic works.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tool #11

The tools that I am sure I will use or attempt to use in my classroom  are Storybird, Wallwisher, Edmodo and three apps that I found to be interesting: EduCreations, Inkflow and Socrativ.  These apps can be used for student response/participation and independent lessons. EduCreations and Inkflow can also serve as a way of teaching others certain concepts. The cool thing about these apps is they are free! 

I am starting to think about the routines and procedures that are going to change. I will obviously have those available laptops, which definitely will change the way lessons are conducted. In my eyes, I see students able to work on projects efficiently. I'll be able (hopefully) to confer with them more often, etc. My vision has changed a little, but my vision will be easier to realize. 

Well, I learned more than I thought I would. I also didn't realize the amount of things out there that students can use. I also realized how much I know about HTML. 

I really enjoyed doing 11 things. I also enjoyed playing around with the apps and programs as if I were a student. I think that the students can definitely figure things out quickly with some guidance. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tool #10

There are so many good things about the internet and information it houses. There could also be ramifications for the actions we take online with our words. So, we must make sure students understand that.

I want to make sure my students understand that:

1. We must use the digital world to make this world a better place.

2. They must be careful to not trust that all the content on the internet is true.

3. The dangers of meeting people who are on the other side of the world. My brother tends to do a lot of gaming online, and he understands that the people "on the other side of the screen" may not necessarily be people that he would want to hang around with. He must be careful how he speaks, what he says, and how he presents himself.

This can all be taught through discussions.

I do think that I would use the following lessons to teach/explain how to find quality websites, how to cite, etc.

As I was reading the other blogs, one of the teachers stated that parents should know specifically what technology their children are using. Maybe the student must bring a sheet home and have parents sign. Tell the parents that they are welcome to look at the websites they access and the work they do. I also agree that students need to understand that interaction online is similar to interaction in person. We MUST show respect. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tool # 9

1         The whole point of using the technology in the classroom is to apply learning in a different way. There are media literacy TEKS,  and using the technology that we are getting will meet those TEKS. Yes, I wish I could let them do what they wanted to do with the technology, but the fact is that this technology was purchased for a reason. I do think these technology pieces will enable us to have more options for them to show what they know.

     Learning Games for Kids has a few activities that can be used as enrichment for the students.  I read in another blog, that the students can copy the screen, paste on a word file, and reflect on their activity. TESiboard looks cute, but I think it is mainly for elementary school. 

     One app that I found is called Verses Poetry. It is like Magnetic Poetry, but it is on the iPad. The app gives you a collection of words. You can organize them in whichever way you want. I can use this during my poetry unit or anytime when I want them to practice writing poetry. There can be a group of 3-4 students working on writing a poem. They can also take turns and write their own. They can also look at the word lists and write them on paper and create a poem with the same words.  To keep students accountable for their work, students can write the poems on the app. Also, they will need to copy the poem on paper or post it on a blog etc.

     Another app,  Educreations, allows you to record/design lessons. You can draw pictures to help and record your voice as you teach the lesson. There are actually many math lessons on this app. However, I did find a few language arts apps. This center could be the lesson making center. It can also be a way to show what the students know by students creating a lesson for others. Of course, you want to make sure that you check the lessons before you decide to keep them on Educreations.  To keep them accountable for this they would have to show me or save it somehow and sign their name on it. It must be correct to get all points necessary for an A. There are also some apps that are about spelling and vocabulary.

     I know one way they can use the iPad is to record their thoughts instead of writing them. There is a program called Dragon Dictation they can use.  They can also use it to read books. There are a few websites that contain free classics…fairytales, etc. 

Tool #7 : Reaching outside the classroom

So, this is a "plan" of what could happen.

Content Objective: After students conduct research, students will produce a multimedia presentation using available technology.

 When do I plan on implementing lesson? I suppose the best time to implement would be during the unit where this objective falls under. In this case it's research and expository, but if I'm working with another school or class there will need to be some discussion on what could be done.

What tool(s) do you plan to use? I could use Googledocs, Animoto, Skype etc. It should be a program that can be used across the world.

 Description of plan: Students in both classes can team up with one subject to research. They will get together to research that topic. Then, they will make a presentation together. They can assign each other parts to complete and keep in contact via Skype, email, or blogs. Of course, if it is with a country around the world real time connecting may not be possible, unless the students really want to stay up in the middle of the night.

 This is just an idea. I was also thinking we could create a gallery of poetry...or talk about issues that are going on in America and in other parts of the world. We could see how similar teen "issues" are between the two classrooms.

Tool #6 Wallwisher and Today's Meet


On Wallwisher, you could have groups of students have a laptop with Wallwisher up. Then as they discuss a question about a reading or something they learned they could put their replies on Wallwisher as a group or on their own by taking turns. You can tell them that they need to write name, initials, period number to identify them. I do not think you can embed Wallwisher walls so here it the URL...  So, I figured out how to embed the HTML code. If you look at the less than and greater than signs by the RSS feed icon on the top right... the greater than sign will give you the embed code. I have provided the URL anyway

Wallwisher: What is the author's message?

Today's Meet: 

Students can use Today's Meet similar to Wallwisher. They can reply to a question etc. I set mine to stay up for a year, but you can easily set it up for a week and students will have a week to reply to the starter question or add to the discussion.  

Today' Meet: Chio 6th Grade Language Arts

Kids like to use things other than paper to respond to questions. Also, this allows students to see what everyone else is saying or thinking. 

Tool #8 :

So, I'm skipping to Tool #8, but will go back to the other tools. I'm going to definitely need a clear set of expectations for how to treat the technology. From what I've seen most students work well with the technology. The only thing I'm worried about is students going to Facebook or places they should not go to. I will have to play around with the settings. I also realized that I needed to set up a Apple ID using SBISD email. I think that most students understand. Especially, since we are one of the last campuses to receive the technology, most students know how to treat the iPads and Mini's. They have also been using it in other classes. I will review and go over the expectations and consequences.

Tool #5 Part II : Storybird

     I tried to make a book using Storybird. Here is it.It took awhile. I used the pictures to guide my story, but I also wrote my story using Word and then transfered it onto the Storybird. I didn't use all the pictures that were available. Only the pictures that I needed. There are so many different artwork choices. In the past I've tried TikaTok, but I wasn't very happy with it.

     In story bird you have the ability to print the picturebooks too. I think it costs 1.99 to print. I guess you could have your students bring $2 to help with costs of printing if they want their book printed to keep if they want that.  I enjoyed it.

    In the classroom, students can use this to publish their short stories, poems, memoirs, etc.

Zanthia's Adventures by Chioa on Storybird

Zanthia's Adventures on Storybird

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tool # 5 Part I : Web 2.0 Tools

So, I used Wordle mainly for fun. I inserted the words for one of Shakespeare's poems. I also put in two extra "Shakespeare" so that his name is the largest one. I could have students do this with their papers, or research topics, or their own poetry. In the past, I was also told that I could use this to see what words repeat more in their papers. If they have the word "she" appear as the largest word, they may need to go back and change the pronouns to nouns.

Wordle: Using Shakespeare's Fairyland I (You can use a more fun poem for students. :-) )

Shakespeare's Fairyland I

I had to redo my Wordle. I did something different. I had to take a screenshot, paste on Powerpoint, save as a JPG, then insert into this blog.

Tool #5 Part II coming soon....

Tool #4 Google Apps

I have used Googledocs during the last two years. This year I used Googledocs to assist a student with dysgraphia. He would type his papers into Googledocs and he could share his work with me. Once he shared his work, I could go in and type notes to him or edited his papers.

I have also used Googledocs with my team members, in my college courses, and at Landrum with the ICU lists,   documents for us to respond to.

I could use this with my team to help with roadmapping, planning, or to compile lists for our students and ourselves. Now, that I think of it, we could use to do something as simple as making a supply list.

Tool #3 : Finding online video and images resources

Wow, I learned something new!


So, I just now learned that students shouldn't be putting on their projects "Images from Google."  The students have to be specific about where they get their pictures.


"We should not accept student media projects which include similar, non-specific attribution statements like “Images from Google” or “Images from Flickr.” ... Utilize free, online resources to streamline the attribution process." - from Playing with Media

Video #1

On Schooltube, I found this video about Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases. It's a little long, but I think this can be used as something to assist in instruction, as a supplement, or for independent learning.

Prepositional Phrases

Video #2

On Schooltube, I found several videos that students made and uploaded. This particular one is one of many PSAs that students put together. This PSA is short, to the point, and edited well (in my opinion). I tried to use the embed code. I also included a link. Let's hope it works. I could use some of these as models for what I may expect for student video projects.

Water to Africa PSA - Student Made


I just recently signed up for a Dropbox. I find it useful. In many way's it's like Googledocs. It enables you to open up files on any computer wherever you are. In the classroom, I could somehow have students put their work in my Dropbox somehow.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tool #2

So, I attempted to get onto GoogleReader. It was overwhelming at first. I wasn't sure what I was doing. I searched mainly for anything related to literature. I took me about 30 minutes to find  interesting sites and blogs. That was the tough part. Once I found something, I just subscribed. I subscribed to five different blogs and web feeds. I admit, reading the contents of the blogs on the GoogleReader is not as interesting as going directly to the blog, but I do see the benefits of it. It's all in one place. You can read over them quickly. New posts from all the websites/blogs are all in one place. Then, if you feel like it you can click and go to directly to the site.

One blog I visited was from the list provided.This is also a blog that I know I've run into in the past.  He discusses the use of technology in his classroom. From what I noticed, he does reply to comments sent to his blog.

One blog I found through GoogleReader is Gottabook. You can go to it directly by clicking: . Not many people are following this blog on GoogleReader, but if you go directly onto the blog it's easier to focus and read. Plus it looks prettier than on GoogleReader. The benefit of this website is that the writer, Gregory K., uses his blog to post poems he's written, provides links to authors, and shares literature he likes. According to his bio, he's a screenwriter (you will find him on IMBD as Gregory K. Pincus), writer, father, and volunteer librarian.

Another blog that I recently found was, This blog has suggestions on different aspects of teaching and management of the classroom.