Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Listening to Reading

Bonanza is always an awesome school to visit.  In the morning we had a great discussion about using social media in the classroom and Mrs. Evans set up her Grade 1/2 Moodle Page.  The afternoon was an AISI Literacy Meeting that I sat in on.
One of the areas of focus, as I understand it, is listening to reading.  As we were sitting disussing how the year was going, the comment was that it was difficult to find audio books.  This is where I have ideas!
Listening to Reading!
1) Free Websites to download audiobooks
***Once download you could burn them to CD or load them on an iPod for listening
2) Create your own audiobooks

  • Download Audacity, from home just follow the link to install but at school you can either submit a helpdesk request (as this is support software) or install it yourself from Control Panel and Run Advertized Programs
  • Buy a mic or headset

  • Find some cool sound effects from Sound Jay or Sound Bible or Freesound
  • Lots of great tutorials on YouTube or PWSD's Podcasting course
Have fun and let me know if you are willing to share!

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Kindergarten Resources

    70/365/2010 from djainslie
    flickr photostream
     More of our kindergarten classrooms are having projectors and SMARTboards installed, here are 5 quick places to get inspiration an ideas!

    1) SMARTboard lessons for Math, LA, Science and Social.  This American site as tons of ready to use lessons that with a little modification might be perfect for your classroom.  Also checkout the SMART exchange which is full of teacher created resources.  Download an attendance drag and drop, or interactive calender to name a few! 

    2) Interactive websites like Starfall PBS Interactive Games or Mix and Match Feelings can be projected with sound for a fun interactive lesson

    3) YouTube is a never ending repository of video.  Any song that you are doing in class, probably can be found.  Or the life cycle of a frog as a cartoon or documentary.

    Or my new Sesame Street Favourite (all the old favourites are there too!)

    4)  Get Inspiration from others: The websites listed here are other Kindergarten teachers that are sharing their journey in a blog or online journal.  Take a peak inside their classroom, leave comments or considering starting your own to share the wonderful things you are doing!

    What are your go to resources that should be added to this list?

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Elmworth & Digitial Citizenship

    Managing your digital footprint and how to be safer online are two hot topics in PWSD.  I spent a day out in Elmworth with their grade 3-9 students discussing just this.  All of the material used can be found here where you are welcome to use it, modify it or drop me an email and I will move it over to your moodle course.

    Grade 3 (would also be appropriate for grade 4) we used the interactive comic Zoe and Molly online.  In 40 minutes we read the comic together and completed the quiz as a group.  During their next computer class they will create a character and write their own ending to the story.

    Grades 4-9 we did a discussion on managing your Digital Footprint.  All students participated in discussion on how to protect privacy, how search engines work and how information shared on the web is very difficult to remove.  We talked briefly about what makes a good password and why this is important.  Students in grade 7-9 also did a short discussion on copyright and creative commons.  The culminating activity was to create a comic strip on one aspect they learned.

    For the grade 7-9's I recommended following up with an activity on website credibility that was borrowed from the Calgary School of Science.  Then use the Passport to the Internet as a culminating activity.  (There are two level for the Passport, grades 4-6 and 7/8)

    For the Grade 4-6's I suggested following up with a variety of websites on Internet safety and then use the Passport to the Internet as a culminating activity.

    Thanks again to the staff at Elmworth for inviting me to their school and letting me borrow their students.  It was an excellent day!

    Beaverlodge Staff Meetings

    Thanks for Beaverlodge Elementary School and Beaverlodge High School for inviting me to talk about technology integration at their staff meeting.

    View more presentations from jenclevette.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    #daily5 Conversation

    I have mentioned before that Twitter is my go to source for resources, PD and connecting with other educators.  So, when a group of teachers, including Harry Balfour's April Brown, were trying to organize a chat on the Daily 5, I offered up my virtual Elluminate office and volunteered to moderate the conversion.  (This was purely for selfish reasons, I need to know more about the Daily 5 and I need more practice at moderation.)

    It was an amazing hour that just flew by.  This group of teachers from around North America shared resources, experiences and offered tips and tricks on what worked and what did not.  In the room we had educators that were just about to start the school year and never used Daily 5 before to experienced teachers who had been back to school for weeks.

    Take a listen to the conversation and the links shared during the session

    The PowerPoint that was shared was from The 2 Sisters website but you need to sign up, for free, to get a copy of it!

    Interested in joining the #daily5 conversation?
    1) Sign up for Twitter
    2) Download Tweetdeck and watch this tutorial
    3) Add #daily5 as one of your columns

    The conversation continues daily on twitter and the date for the next virtual conversation will be discussed there.  Thanks to all the lovely teachers in the room, I learned a lot and have some great new teachers to follow!

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    4 must have PWSD websites!

    Home computer set up via
    djtyrant's photostream

    As students log onto school computers day after day, they hit the same homepage with the same links and favourites.  They know how to navigate where to get course work and email not by address but by clicking.  But what happens when they get home?  What website addresses do they need to know?

    I spent today at Harry Balfour helping their grade 7 and 8 students figure out how to access PWSD systems from home.  While we wrote the following in their agendas, you may consider sending home a newsletter or email.

    1) Ecommunity http://ecommunity.pwsd76.ab.ca/

    2) Webmail https://webmail.pwsd76.ab.ca

    3) My Documents at home https://sharepoint.pwsd76.ab.ca/mydocs

    4) Learn Alberta http://www.learnalberta.ca/ (we added the username and password)

    What websites am I missing?

    Monday, September 6, 2010

    Monday Moodle

    It has been awhile since I have done one of these.  In previous years, Monday Moodle, was your weekly moodle how-to.  So I am going to highlight a couple of places you can go to for Moodle help!

    1) Monday Moodle Forum use the search function at the top right  to quickly find what you are looking for.

    2) PWSD How to Area is loaded with printable quick reference guides and short video tutorials for some of the most popular moodle activities and resources

    3) 2 Minute Moodles 34 quick videos that answer your questions and get you moodling!

    4) Global Classroom has a number of ways to supercharge your moodle course.

    5) Contact me!  I am happy to help.  Either drop me an email or put your problem in the help deskIs there a Monday Moodle you would like to see done?

    Moodle Explained with Lego

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Facebook...how could you use it?

    A number of our schools have been unblocking Facebook and other social media sites, but now what? 

    For some initial ideas look at  100 Ways You Should be Using Facebook in Your Classroom

    Consider using Facebook as a communication tool with parents and students.  Take a look at how a grade 1 class uses Facebook and consider how it could be modified to meet the needs at your school.

    If any of the above resonates with you here are some steps to consider:

    Step 1: What account are you going to use to set up a school or classroom Facebook presence?  You can use your personal account or you may want to consider creating a "teacher" Facebook presence.  Using a personal account simplifies login, you just need to ensure that all of your privacy settings are set to "friend only".  Creating a professional Facebook presence allows you to separate the two.  Either way, everything you do online must be professional. 

    Step 2: Create a page or group? This does an excellent job of explaining the difference. In the case of PWSD Ed Tech Page, I chose a page because I did not want to have a place for discussions and I was not worried about keeping people in or out, both things creating a group can do.

    Privacy via alancleaver's
    Step 3: Double check your privacy settings and check them often. Facebook has a habit of updating their settings and changing everyone back to default, which is wide open to the public.

    Step 4: Create your group or page, put up some meaningful content and monitor it frequently!

    This is by no means a complete guide to how to use Facebook but some ideas and suggestions for where to start.  If you have any suggestions or resouces please add them in the comments below.

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    About Me ~ Wordle

    I borrowed this lesson from here and brought it to a Grade 4 classroom at Harry Balfour School. A digital twist on an old favourite getting to know you activity.

    Students typed our their name, birth date, family members names, hobby or sport, favourite food and two words to describe themselves.  We then practiced copying and pasting until we had 8 copies or our name, 4 copies of our birth date etc. 

    Next we saved.  Make sure students know where they can save safely, my documents or P:/ drive, and where they cannot.  Next go to the Wordle website to paste all of your information in. 

    In an hour we did not quite get to printing or print screening to save for later.  I think we easily could have if it had not been the first day in the lab, but we had to do the new user name battle and password reset!  Instead we have the word document saved and we will practice copying and pasting during the next class.

    How did the lesson go?
    + students were engaged, they loved typing about themselves and loved creating the wordle
    + lots of ICT outcomes met during this lesson and reinforced some basic computer skills
    - with so many ways to copy and paste, what is the easiest way?

    Here is my handout, feel free to alter as needed!