This week we are immersing ourselves into the world of 2D figures and 3D solids. What better way to add to our experience than to use iPad Apps which help us learn about geometry. We used the iPad and our iPod Touches as centers as well as pattern blocks, the smart board and stamps.
FinallyI figured out the steps to buying and setting up my own domain names! I assumed it was going to be a little tricky since I already had established websites through blogger and google sites, but I felt the need to create my own domains. First, I felt my students needed a short and simple class website - so www.mrsmartel.ca was created through godaddy.com . Next my family owns a cottage rental business so we changed our google site to www.murrayscottages.ca . Finally, this site changed to not much of a shorter name, but I figured while I was at it...so www.digitalprimaryteacher.ca was created! I am very thankful to google sites help section as well as the help section in Go Daddy. Using the help sections walked me through the steps to link my current sites to my new domains. (I may have got a little help from @samartel09 - my programmer hubby) It is amazing how excited I am to finally own a domain! Hopefully it makes searching easier for my students, colleagues and potential cottage tenants.
It is has been a while since I posted but another teacher asked me recently "Of all the tech tools you use, what is your favourite?" It took me awhile, but I have to say TWITTER! Twitter changed me as an educator and has provided me with amazing professional development. So why Twitter?
Twitter enables short but meaningful conversation. It allows to you save (favourite) awesome ideas for later and you never feel judged or in competition. It is all about sharing and collaborating with others. The people on twitter want to share and hope that all the exchanging of ideas will benefit our students. We are better educators because we share!
At this time my favourite places to chat are: #1stchat, #ocsb, #plocsb, #kinderchat
I have my wonderful people that I follow and many more that I should follow.
Finally Summer! It is hard to believe it is here! After the all the excitement (o.k. so it was a little bit of partying) for end of school, Canada Day and Cottage time, I finally have a minute to focus on some PD for myself in preparation for next year.
I have been trying to establish some personal goals and direction for myself come September. I will still be teaching grade one with 3 other teachers (all of us have straight grade ones at this point!) and I will have access to netbooks, iPads, iPods, 2 Playbooks, Smartboard, doc camera, flip camera and a "work" laptop. As well, I received a grant to purchase a livescribe pen and an evernote account (upgraded). So where do I focus my summer efforts?
Obviously I have to look at the livescribe pen and evernote. My ultimate goal is to create EASY eportfolios for my grade one students so I can see growth over time and easily share some wonderful successes with parents. But it is difficult to get an eportfolio together when I have students that have work on the Smartboard, iPad, iPods and various online accounts such as Dreambox and Raz Kids. How do I put this all in one easily accessible space?
Another focus for me is to continue to look at appropriate uses for iPads/iPods in the classroom. I love to find great apps to improve reading, writing and math skills. I love apps that foster inquiry skills in my little ones. I love apps that create independence, deep thinkers, and engaged learners! Yes - I love the iPad!
Finally, I love to find amazing PD for teachers! Especially FREE PD! I love to learn to learn new tricks, tips and quirks that help to make me into a better teacher! And I would love to attend the ECOO conference in the fall.
So there we have it - 3 goals for summer PD: -eportfolios -iPads/iPods -PD for teachers
Today I was lucky enough to participate in a Learning Fair hosted by my school board. Teachers from different schools were brought together to share how they are learning more about the student thinking. They brought evidence to show their student's learning and to show their learning. It was a wonderful experience to travel around to each display and learn about the awesome teaching and learning that is happening in my own school board. The format of a carousel type or I would say almost "speed dating" set up helped me get a glimpse of the types of activities teachers are doing. Specifically I learned:
tickled pink and green to grow is an excellent method of feedback
teachers are trying to bridge the gap between grades 7, 8, 9. 10 by teaching math lessons together
co and team teaching is working for some teachers
technology is an excellent resource when trying to understand a student's thoughts
it is ok to mess up and it is important to learn from your mistakes just a student needs to see the value in their mistakes. Mistakes are learning!
exit cards are valuable
colour coding feedback is important in elementary
peer feedback is just as valuable as teacher feedback
students need to learn how to accept feedback and how to give meaningful feedback
vocabulary is a good way to "bump up" student achievement
Today was very valuable and enjoyable. I love PD when you can share and learn from others! Thank you for such a great day!
I came across some interesting PD over the weekend. Check out Google Education FREE PD! All you need is your Google+ account and you can sign up to participate or stream any session. It sounds great. The sessions are on May 2nd from noon to 10pm EST. Looking to be inspired? This might be for you!
On Thursday April 5th - My Grade One class was very fortunate to participate in a Google Hangout with other grade one classes in North America. A wonderful teacher in Florida volunteered to teach a lesson to our classes. She taught a lesson on procedural writing (and it was her planning day!). It was an amazing experience. I watched my class as they were completely engaged with the new teacher on the smartboard and our new friends who were projected below. They understood the lesson, surprised me with their attention to details in the story book she read and they sat silently during the lesson time! Wow! The opportunity to "turn and talk" was extremely valuable as the students shared their observations during the story. This was a memorable experience!
The week before we participated in the Google Hangout to share our descriptive writing. Our class wrote 'clues' to where they hid an imaginary pot of gold. As they shared their work the other classes were thinking about our clues based on the five senses. These classes then took turns guessing at where the mysterious pots of gold could be hidden. My students loved sharing their writing with other grade one students and even though it is a week later, they were still talking about the experience.
These Google Hangout interactions have changed my students in very positive ways. They have also changed me as a teacher. I think I will have to reflect on this later. Until then please enjoy our lesson that was recorded by Mrs. Kolb and now posted to Youtube.