Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Purchase green material to make “green screen.” We have parent willing to sew our screen together, but need to research the best homemade plan. Using green screen, students in fifth will write hints about- Where in the World is Lilly? These will be accompanied with pictures of different places and then shared with the school through KMWE. The clues will begin easy so to include PK/K/1st(with the places being around the school) These clues will gradually get harder to include places around Houston, Texas, United States and then the World.
Recruiting parents to help supervise “Lightbulb lab” so that students can work on projects throughout the day when work is completed.
Establish student email accounts through district mysbisd domain to possibly connect with epals and skype partners.
Blogs- students will first contribute to class blog and then after practice- set up their own blogs based on book clubs or topic discussion.
Having students record book club conversations with itouch devices then sharing with others. This will allow the teacher to be “omnipresent.” These conversations can be later replayed by the teacher to provide oral language grades as well as to help hold the students accountable in their discussions. “The teacher is listening!”
Podcasts for instructional uses- having students record their thinking for working math problems and then sharing through itouch devices with other students who are struggling with the concept.
Third grade Planet project - Reverse mentor- when they have finished with their project, third graders will “present” to fifth graders. After presentation- fifth and third grade students will work together using the itouch and planet applications to further both of their understanding of the planets and then present together to other groups.
Second grade Bird Unit- fifth graders will mentor second grade using bird applications on itouch. They will also help them with their research on purple martins.
Pre-K/Kindergarten: Using the apps: ABCs free, Color Talk, Numbers and Memory Match, fifth grade students really enjoyed working with and teaching the younger students.
First grade: Fifth graders shared some time together before the thanksgiving break playing "Turkey Trot" and "Thanksgiving Match". It was great to see the partners taking turns and enjoying some problem solving games.
Second Grade (and more):Second grade teachers using them to capture Reader’s Theatre and then have been sharing the readings with the class using AV cables to connect to TV.
Third grade: Small groups are working on putting together their Reader’s Theatre using digital cameras and photostory.
Fourth grade: Factbook app. Tried scavenger hunt originally given to fifth, and are now creating another scavenger hunt for fifth grade to try!
MWE FLIP Crew: students using flip cameras to capture events of the school such as Kindergarten Storybook Parade and Thanksgiving Feast.
After completing introductory “skill classes” during voluntary recess sessions on: imovie, iphoto, photostory, windows movie maker, blogging, web 2.0 tools, flipcharts, flip cameras and garage band, we have moved on to projects. We have identified four projects for the students to work on integrating all of the different technologies. The four projects are: a recycle video to share with Terrace Elementary; a history of MWE video to remember our building once we are rennovated; Teacher University to spotlight the collegiate expereinces in our building; and the mentor project to continue building relationships across grade levels. The students will choose which long-term project that they want to work on.
One challenge for this grant has been having enough “man-power”. Due to “technical issues”- that arrive daily- some of our good intentions have taken longer than planned.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
We have also set up a bulletin board where we can track the applications that have been used in the classroom setting. We have created a flag to represent USA Factbook and have written the Scavenger hunt questions on cards to create a web. We plan on having a select amount of fifth teach fourth grade about the Constitution using the app and the visual.
We are on our way to making this technology a part of our classrooms!
Mentor program- We started the process with two teach teams. 6 Fifth graders on Mondays and Wednesdays and 6 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Each fifth grader has been assigned a PK/K student. The time frame is 12-12:15 two times a week and the location is in the PK/K building hallway. Since the fifth graders are so anxious to participate we are only having the 12 fifth graders teach for one week until we cycle all of the fifth graders through. As soon as they have all had a chance, we will interview or choose mentors based on interest.
Dear Meadow Wood,
Our fifth graders have been busy creating our own “Lightbulb lab”, based on Kevin Henkes’ book- Lilly and the Plastic Purple Purse. In Lilly’s classroom there is a place where the students can go and create! We have made a classroom just for this purpose! Pretty soon you and your class will be invited to join the fifth graders in this lab where ideas are not only imagined but created! Enjoy this movie created by fifth grade and produced in the lab about Lilly and the Plastic Purple Purse. This is just the first of many exciting ideas that will be created in the Lightbulb Lab! We can’t wait for you to join us! We will have an official opening soon!!!
We have set some restrictions on the student itouch devices so that the following applications/programs are not accessible to the students:
This was very time consuming as we had to go into each device and set the passcode and desired restrictions. Setting up 81 itouches to be ready to use has been quite and undertaking!
We are still trying to perfect syncing with the cart. Some applications do not sync correctly, so we have had to download directly to the itouch device one at a time over the wireless connection or by connecting directly to the MacBook. We have decided to allow the itouches to sync all when connected to the MacBook for syncing instead of selecting certain apps to sync one at a time. This has cut down on the time it takes immensely.
When the itouches arrived we had to so many updates to perfom, as well as register each one individually, that it has inhibited us from moving forward faster with our plan implementation. This has proven very frustrating to us as well as the students.
Fifth Grade itouch Awareness Survey (Fall 2009)
1) Do you, or anyone in your family, own an itouch or iphone? Have you used an itouch or iphone before?
2) How do you turn on an itouch?
3) How do you select an app on the itouch?
4) Why do you think it is called an itouch?
5) Do all apps use the internet? Why or why not?
6) How do you move from “page” to “page” on an itouch?
7) Why do you think your teacher wants to use an itouch in her classroom?
8) Why do you want to use an itouch in your classroom?
74 students took the survey. The questions were analyzed very simply. The students’ answers were checked to see if they did in fact understand how to perform the action stated in the question. Yes or no as well as responses were recorded. This survey will be given again at the end of the year paying particular attention to question 7 and also posing new questions as to the student’s opinion on the effectiveness of the device used in the classroom setting.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The students were so excited to be able to finally use the itouch devices! The classes spent the first 30 minutes discussing the rules and expectations of using the itouch devices at school, and then had time to explore Safari to learn how to manipulate the different functions of the itouch. Then they were introduced to the USA free app and given time to use their research skills to find out about the Constitution. The next day the students were asking when the next time we would use itouch devices in class. They can not wait to try out more things and are such fast learners!
iTeach room/ Lightbulb lab- Based on Kevin Henkes’ book- Lilly and the Plastic Purple Purse : We have set up a project room in an extra fifth grade classroom. We chose 5 fifth graders to help illustrate the book using iMovie to show to the younger grades. We used a Flip camera to take digital stills of the book and have been working for 2 weeks on coordinating the audio to go with the slides. It has been a challenge aligning the audio with the book slides. The other fifth graders have chosen books for their book clubs and we plan on letting this first group of fifth graders “teach” the others how to make a “movie” of their book using iMovie.
Mentoring aspect of grant- We are waiting on the cases before we begin moving the devices about the school. We will report on this later.
On September 9 the MWE fifth grade team members - Karyn Lewis, Carole Maniloff, Jenny Meyer, and Erika Wheeler- attended a workshop at Bunker Hill Elementary led by an Apple rep to teach us and other grant recipients, how to use the MacBooks and iTouch devices. This was a day long training in which we learned the basic layout of the Macbook as well as created a podcast on the itouch. Our team created a podcast that we planned to share with our parents at curriculum night. The training was beneficial. However we wished we would have had more time to play with the devices before (or during) the meeting with so that we could have generated more efficient questions.
At the end of the meeting, Karen Justl notified us of the district's plan to introduce google applications and student email accounts. We left feeling excited about our devices and ready to get started.
On September 22, MWE Curriculum Night, we shared the podcast we created from the training about our vision with the parents. We also let the parents “touch” the devices! It was exciting to see the parents playing with the the apps and seeing the educational possibilites of the itouch devices.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
So, we have decided to involve our students in the creation of this room as well. We are going to read the book that inspired us to all the fifth grade classes, and ask them to design a lightbulb to hang in our "Lightning Lab" to represent all the new ideas that will be born there. We also want to involve some of the younger students we will touch as we work throughout the year. So we have decided to invite some classes to paint handprints on the walls around our white boards. We will alternate a fifth grader's hand with a primary student's hand, attached with a small lightbulb to represent that when two minds join together, great thinking will happen.
We have also purchased a lava lamp and a multi-bulb floor lamp to place in the room. An aide in our building made a bead curtain to hang in the room as well. We can't wait to add our technology so that we can spark many new ideas at Meadow Wood this year! We hope the creation of this space gives us a room where creativity, thinking, and learning as well as collaboration happens daily!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Our design for implementation has three basic parts:
- use of the iTouch as a classroom resource
- creation of podcasts to share what we learn with others
- and mentoring younger students to cement our learning by teaching it to someone else.
After teaching students about how to operate the iTouch device, we will begin to integrate some of the apps into our daily lessons. For example, the use of a class blog, through WordPress, to post assignments based on book club readings. Students will continue to meet in traditional level or interest based book clubs, but we will add the technology element by using a blog for the assignment format. This is one way students from all 3 sections of our fifth grade will be able to interact with each other, even though they are not in the same homeroom.
Another way we see using technology to further student's engagement and skills, is to set up ways to podcast information to share with others. Students will be able to record audio podcasts with a microphone accessory for the iTouch. Students will also have access to iFlip video cameras to create video podcasts. Teachers would demonstrate how to upload these files to the class blog or other site to share with our school, as well as others. Science and Social Studies topics, as well as book reviews are possible uses for podcasting in the classroom.
Lastly, we believe that "Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach.”(Aristotle). Our students will use the iTouch to teach reading, science, and math concepts to younger students thorugh a mentoring project. This aspect of our approach will allow all students success in using what they learn on a daily basis to help another student. Apps such as planetFacts will allow fifth graders to talk to third graders about the topics they are both learning about. Math Dr. Lite will be used to tutor students on math facts in a fun and interactive way. Plus there are many site word and vocabulary flashcard apps for students to develop and use.
We are looking forward to implementing these ideas and many more during this school year. Please come back often to see what we have tried!
Technology needs to change from a removed, once-in-awhile resource to something that is always accessible, at students’ fingertips, whenever they need it to assist in their understanding. Whereas laptop computers and netbooks require booting up and logging on, an iTouch is “powered up” by a mere touch of a button and a swipe of the screen. And unlike the laptop, which takes up the entire desktop, an iTouch can sit on the corner of the desk without interfering with the other items a student needs during the day.
With the increased use of WiFi connections in schools, the iTouch can easily access the internet, even though most applications do not require it. It is an immediate resource to use in teachable moments which enables students to find the answers to their questions immediately! In this way, students won’t have to remember their question and discover the answer at home on their own time. With the use of the iTouch, students can search and find the answers to many of their curious questions stemming from the topics their teachers introduce to them in class.
The iTouch does not replace anything in the classroom. It adds a resource to the students’ arsenal which allows them to be excited and engaged in their education. Students will look forward to finding out what new app they will utilize to further their studies, and forget that at one time all they thought an iTouch was used for was games and texting!