Archive | Blog Reviews RSS feed for this section

Classroom Blog #3

7 Nov

Social Voice: our voice to our world-a middle school blog in which students showcase their work and speak their minds in many artistic ways.

http://socialvoice.blogspot.com/

Social Voice

This classroom site has a very strong student presence. I like that the students’ work is easy to find and seems to be the focus of the page. On their home page, the students’ poems, writing, videos, and thoughts appear. You start to piece together their background and get to know them from their writing.

On my second glance at this site, I found the podcast section. These students are being very brave and giving their opinions on some issues that are very controversial. They are telling their stories though and putting them out there for the world to hear. This is fantastic!

There’s also a section where students about the course and real life are posted such as, “Why does poetry matter?” The answers from the students are inspiring and would be great to show my students. If the students on the site aren’t afraid to share their opinions, maybe then mine won’t be either.

Service projects! Wow! How inspiring! The projects the students have participated in and pictures of things they’ve created to donate are posted here. The students are shown and their cards, flower pots, and books are shown too. This can be an inspiration for other students out there.

Murals that the students created seem to be very special to the class. This is a link off to the right side and appears under each page of their site. The students are shown in action and painting and many finished projects are shown. The murals are beautiful and represent themes like culture, teamwork, and military appreciation.

This would be a great site just to show to fellow educators for them to see what is possible with their same age middle school students. I would ask them what could they see their students doing that is similar to these students. What would they put on their class’s blogsite that they are already doing with their students? What does it make them dream for their classes and their students? Are there new technologies that we could use this year to help us get closer to any of the goals we have? What steps can we take now to move toward this type of expression with out students?

Advertisements

Educator Blog #3-Like Whoa…

6 Nov

The Educator’s PLN: the personal learning network for educators…

http://edupln.com/forum/topics/k-12-tech-tools

Awards And Nominations

I might just have to say that you can pretty much find anything you are looking for in the realm of education on this site??? It’s um…actually quite intimidating! There’s so much on here and so many cool things. I found a video of the site’s creator talking about a ning and he sounded older than me and was talking about technology! Gasp!? I am supposed to know more! LOL! Okay, I know this is ridiculous but there are many pages and groups and other things I may not even know how to define but I would consider myself a beginner in this technology online Web 2.0 stuff and still, I am having trouble navigating the site. It’s like getting lost online! I’m bad enough on the real road! This being said, on the left side of the page, they have a list of how to’s: What You Need To Know About Navigating This Ning Site and a List of Other Educator Ning Sites. This was helpful. Having a ‘seasoned teacher’ lead this discussion can also be inspiring to teachers who may feel that because they have been around for quite some time that they can’t learn this new technology. This is a good lesson for them that all teachers should be willing to embrace or at least be open to new things.  

They also in the center have a top content section. After that is the videos section. And then a forum. So at first I literally was afraid of clicking on the forum but I did, and found an amazing site where a teacher teaches English throuh pop songs in Youtube and has quizzes about which word Bruno Mars used in his song, “Just the Way You Are.” Whoa! http://www.anatgoodman.co.il/cp316_SONGS-INDEX-HIGH.aspx

With each click, I’m overcoming fears! LOL This helps me to understand what teachers feel when have absolutely no idea what they are looking at online or what they can do with it.

Blogs too are a part of the site. An interesting excerpt from a blog-”

Social Media has had a huge impact on the world. It is part of the new technology to the older generations. It is not technology to our children; it is what they consider part of their world. They don’t have to learn it because they live it. We as educators need to make it part of our lives as well, if we want our children to learn how best to use it. The genie jumped out of the bottle, and onto a horse that went to the station, boarded a train that travelled to the dock, to board the boat that left the dock. No way is that genie going back in the bottle.” Posting quotes like these or sharing quotes with our colleagues could be enough to prompt them to want to know more. We just need to get them thirsty for it.

Great way to stimulate thought, get reactions, and prod people to get to it. Why are we waiting? Oh wait, because we’re too scared to click on the next page in fear that the information will be too overwhelming for us…LOL…

//

Educator Blog #2

6 Nov

Teacher REBOOT CAMP!!!! Very creative name!!!

http://teacherbootcamp.edublogs.org/

In just a few words this site describes its goal: Challenge ourselves to engage our students!

This site is packed full of sites, articles, presentations, and more to help teachers learn technology that is up and coming to grab the attention of our students.

The first post is about apps that are great for kids completely centered around Halloween.  They show how the apps are free and help encourage math, literacy, and problem-solving skills! Wow! And on the side bar, they had the following helpful links! Umm I don’t know what else they could have included really but there’s enough here to keep educators busy for years! By the time they master all this stuff, much newer technologies will have come out.

Oh and they also have these favorite posts:

I wanted to see the 35 development resources for over the summer. The site lists many FREE resources first and a 30 day technology challenge-a concept a day. This was a great idea to give to teachers over the summer who want to fine tune their skills and then start the new school year with ideas to wow their students. This is one way my staff and I could stay connected over the summer and share our learnings with each other.

The video below is of the blogs creator describing PLNs(Personal Learning Networks), however she refers to them as Passionate Learning Networks. She is giving an interview describing how she does what she does, how teachers can get started immediately in networking online with other educators, and even how to talk to administrators about getting started in their home schools. Getting administration on board can be difficult because new technologies may not even be supported in the county. It’s almost as if teachers need to venture outside of the box a little, get the students excited, get parens on board, and then have lots of people raving about it to the county to get any attention. This can be a risk but I do think some technologies that are allowed are a good place to start!

http://youtu.be/ptRDtW8OToY

This site is great because it has so many resources that it can help a beginner just get started and also helped the more advanced expand their repertoire of knowledge.

Classroom Blog #2-elem/middle

6 Nov

Yes this blog is by a teacher showcasing her students in a private school in which she teaches elementary age children and middle schoolers! Wow!

Here is her site: http://www.tcps.org/blogs/spanish

It seems Senorita Sanchez posts to her blog to motivate her students and share with others how they are learning. She has many videos on her site of the children singing songs in Spanish and also many pictures of her students in action. She shares special events that she does at different times of the year and how students have even tweaked some of them and enhanced her ideas.

I love the section near the bottom for parents. She responds to parents that had asked her for resources on speaking more spanish at home and she placed a link that has tons of ideas on how to do that. She is getting the parents involved and keeping the excitement for her class going even outside of school.

http://teachinglearningspanish.blogspot.com/2009/08/20-free-online-resources-for-spanish.html

And this link has tons of ideas for additional practice! I am putting this on my school website ASAP!!! http://www.123teachme.com/learn_spanish/spanish_for_children

Her site is relatively new but she has been keeping it updated on a regular basis. I would like to show these videos to my students to show them what is possible, to excite them about their learning and let them see that others are too. Putting their videos out to the real world is Awesome. I have not done anything like this before and when I do, I’m gonna dance because I’m so excited! I will definitely keep up with this site to get more great ideas on teaching through song and practice sites for my students.

Showing other teachers sites like the one above can spark new ideas and ways to have fun with out students and help them learn. Seeing educators do this is invigorating and keeps us fresh and reminds us why we are teachers. Being reminded of this keeps us in the profession and renews us to be our best for our students.

Educator Blog #1-OMG

5 Nov

Oh man! Wow I hope that we were allowed to go elsewhere to find blogs we found interesting because man! This one rocks! So many great tips and resources in one place! Ahhhh I could spend forever here!

http://lgb06.wordpress.com/

the purpose of the blog:

The 8th grade teacher said her site was full of: “random ramblings and advice received for teaching, using technology, and foreign language acquisition.” However, it’s as if this teacher took every amazing tech tip and cool resource and put them all on her blogsite! Wow! I found like 5 amazing things in one glance and then I took so long going through her stuff, that I failed to do the work I was supposed to be doing! No bueno!

Type of posts: She explains what she uses and how she uses it with her 8th grade Spanish class. Her most recent post compares Moodle and Edmodo, neither of which I had heard of before!!! So I got the low down on what was better and then I got to see what in the world each of them were. Neato! She also has videos, assignments, resources students were given to complete assignments, and cool tools that I can show students so they can show me/the world what they learned!!!!

Other thoughts:She even has a list of online games that she uses with her students and they are all on a separate page: http://spanishtechbook.weebly.com/games.html I don’t know if it gets any better than this. I mean, I guess if she could create the game for me, yeah, that’d be better but this is pretty great. She even says what motivated the students about the site and how she added badges to it to raise the competition among the students.

How might you
incorporate blogs in your classroom?: This blog shows me how sharing great ideas with other educators can motivate them and improve teaching all over. These games are practice but are so much better than pencil and paper drills! Here is another site that has Spanish games on different topics and at different levels of Spanish. http://www.digitaldialects.com/Spanish.htm I would love to actually give my students a day to try all/many of these sites and have each student blog about which one is their favorite, which one is the most helpful, which taught them a new strategy, etc., This could then help another struggling Spanish student.

How would you share blogging with teachers or library media specialists in your building/county and encourage them to give blogs a try?

My media specialist already has a blog going with her reading club and on books that she and other teachers and students are reading. Reviews are posted and people share ideas on what to read based on preferences and what they blog about. The only thing I can suggest adding is maybe more multimedia. I know she has pictures but I’m not too sure if she could use video to help the site.

How might you use professional blogs for professional
development? With this site, I would love to just tell faculty to look through this site, choose one tool, and create something with it. Then come back, and have everyone share that one thing they created. I think people would be amazed.

Oh, and one of my favorite suggestions on the site: gigapan.org  Check this baby out! Panoramic views of all around the world with the most zoom power I’ve ever seen!!!!!

Classroom Blog Review #1

5 Nov

Blog, blog blog blog, blog some more

http://msvrburton.edublogs.org/

This blog is a High School Blog in which the class works together to make the page. The teacher, Ms. Burton, has a strong presence as she should, and  has many opportunities for her students to share their work with others. The main page shows what the students are working on and toward at the moment. When you scroll down, past units of study are listed along with videos the class viewed, or the projects that they completed and the resources they used are visible as well. Themes to be studied are listed, their assignments for the week, and blogging guidelines are established. The ideas for assignments are great and she is having students make videos using animoto.com. The video below (I hope) shows what her class has accomplished thus far and what they are planning to do as well. It is inspiring! I can’t figure out how to put the video below ( 😦 ) so if you copy the link into your browser, you’ll see what I mean.

http://animoto.com/play/5LQLQOlgaOHniWHp5P4OWA?utm_source=edublogs.org&utm_medium=player&utm_campaign=player

In my classroom, there are tons of things I’m learning that I could use blogs for. I do like the idea of having a classroom blog site where I can show off my students’ work.  The possibility of a global audience could really be motivating to them and might definitely increase the effort they put into their work. They are not just showing their projects to me anymore but to everyone else on the web as well. In blogs, some great ideas for my students will be to:

1. Update their page with images and audio/video about Pobre Ana, the book we read in 8th grade Spanish I.

2. Respond to other students’ work.

3. Current Event: Select and research a topic related to Spain,  Latin America and/or its culture. Post it to your blog and tag the location in a google map.

4. Create and revise a blog post each week.  Include an appropriate audio/video/media/vodcast/podcast

5. Describe in your own words our grammar Focus of the week.

6. Vocabulary- Use words and provide images to represent at least 10 new vocabulary words each week.

On this site, the teacher also has other prompts to get students blogging about personal issues and feelings. These are super ideas for weeks when students are working on something different or don’t have a grammar topic.

Examples:

Values Prompts

These topics are aimed at helping you: identify what is valuable to you, prioritize values, and see things from someone else’s perspective.

Creative Response

These topics encourage you to finish the story, think creatively, and have fun!

Personal Response

These topics require students to put their personal experiences into words. While there is less creativity, students are turning mental images and feelings into words.

Jam-packed with great ideas for blogging with students and keeping it interesting!

%d bloggers like this: