Pinterest- becoming popular

 

Check it out today!

 PINTEREST

I’m sure most of you have heard of Pinterest and are even familiar with Pinterest. For me, it began as a recommendation from a colleague at work. She mentioned that she had found some great lesson plans and resources on Pinterest; so I had to check it out! When I created an account, I truly couldn’t find much educational material (this was about 5 months ago.) Now things are different @ Pinterest.

 

I had created my account and a couple of boards that I thought would be useful for educators but had not yet populated those boards with materials. Once I received some emails stating that I had followers; I had to post some content. (Didn’t want to disappoint followers with no material to read!) So I began “pinning” materials onto my first board- which is called “Educational Tools for Educators.”

 

I will continue to pin materials and hope that you find my board and others on Pinterest useful. If you find boards that you love- please share them with me and I will post them here on this blog for others to read! If you have your own Pinterest board; please let me know and I will post it and follow you as well. I’m looking for educational resources- lesson plans, ed-tech tools, etc.

 

*Hope to cross paths with other Pinterest-ers soon!!

*I also hope you enjoy Pinterest and can find useful tools for your classroom today!

Awesome tool- can be used in mathematics class!

Twitter Count Graph

 

Use Real Life Graphs like this for teaching students mathematics!

As an educator, I know the importance of connecting content to the real world. It’s truly one pf the most powerful ways to spark student interest for basically any topic you are teaching. At times, teachers (and I include myself here), are at a loss for what to use. I sometimes will ask myself…”Should I use the material in the text?” “Should I try finding something online?” “Do I have time to search for material?” “What do I think will spark the students interest?” (This should always follow the question of “What are my students interested in?”… For most classrooms today, students/kids are interested in online games and material.

So where am I going with this introduction??? I was tweeting some information and I came across a tool that counts visitors that have come to your website. Since I haven’t been blogging in some time (due to personal/family issues), I was truly curious where my blog ‘stands’…i.e. am I getting anyone to read my material?? So I clicked the link and saw a great graph! Of course, due to the nature of my thinking, I immediately thought…”Hey, this would be a great tool when teaching students how to read graphs!!” How would I use it?

Here is my idea of using this graph and the tool as a teaching moment…

1- INTRODUCTION TO LESSON:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I would ask students what they know about graphs… What information can a person gain from a graph? Why do we use graphs? Why are they important? Why is the skill of understanding graphs important (For real-world purposes- not because it’s on the FCAT!) These would be the questions I would begin the lesson with. I would probably integrate some cooperative learning techniques; students sharing their ideas with each other, maybe groups coming up with their ideas on a chart, a brainstorming web…etc… Then I would allow students and groups to share their ideas. (I typically use group roles: captain, secretary, reporter, etc… and I’d call on one person, i.e. reporter, to share their information)

2. TEACHING PORTION OF LESSON                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would then put up this graph, ask them what type of graph is it? What do they think this graph is measuring? (correct any misconceptions that I hear from answers and discussion around the room) I would then tell them what the graph is and ask a few questions and then I, most often, like to have my students create their own questions and answers. Sometimes I have them write the questions on an index card with the answers on the back. Once I’ve looked over their questions, we could play a game such as “Stand up, hand up, pair up” which is a Kagan Cooperative Learning Structure. Students would rotate around the room quizzing one another.

3. ON THEIR OWN (portion of lesson)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Having found this tool, if I have student bloggers, I’d allow them to find their own graphs and create a quiz based upon it. I may also have them look for and find graphs on the internet to share. (When I give students an activity like this, they usually work in their groups and I will provide a variety of websites to use.)

4. SHARING (culminating the lesson)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I do not typically leave the lesson ‘open’… Lessons usually need some type of closure and review of the activity. I may ask students to come to the carpet (and yes, middle schoolers need movement and having them sit on a carpet can be a good thing…you, as the classroom teacher need to know your class and whether this would work. (P.S. for it to work, you have to have introduced the procedure and used it a few times- otherwise random movement around the room can create chaos that you don’t want.)  We would end the lesson with students sharing what they learned and how to they see the use of graphs affecting their lives. Questions I might ask might be: “Where else would you see a graph like this?” “How might knowing how to read this graph help you to read a completely different type of graph?” (which I would have an example of to show students- important for connecting content to other information/content) I always allow students to share items they have found (the next day) if they decide to do some of their own research at home; perhaps even displaying this work around the classroom!

 

Well- there you have it… A lesson plan for the graph on my blog visitors. I hope it helps and if you have your own ideas or think of something that could be included…Please share with me! I love learning and more ideas mean more tools to use in the classroom!!

The link that I used to find this graph was through www.twittercounter.com

A-Z Tech Tools as posted by Ozge Karaoglu

Ozge Karaoglu website

I’ve long followed Ozge Karaoglu and Shell Terrell. I think they are both pioneers in using technology to assist ELL/ESOL/ELL (English Language Learners) and have always found useful resources in their posts and on their websites.

One of my latest findings is Ozge’s A-Z Web Tools- she focuses on a letter at a time and although few links may seem as though they are no longer active or working; the majority of the information is well worth the time you will spend investigating the tools.

I’ve posted a widget to the A-Z Tools here on this website (which you can find on the right hand side of the page. You can also click the picture above and you will be redirected to her website. Happy Tech-ing!

I suggest you take the time to check them out. I know you won’t be disappointed!

Google Image Swirl… Toy and Tool!

Google Image SwirlGoogle Image Swirl: a Fun Toy!


I think to be able to keep up with all the cool gadgets and programs that have become available out there, you really need to stop working or decide not to sleep!!

Recently, I came across this tool; Google Image Swirl- a really neat tool that can be used in so many different ways for classroom use. This tool can be used by teachers to spark interest for an upcoming topic or by students perhaps has part of an assessment tool or a research project.

I created a very fast one to try it out and see how easy it was to utilize….and it was super easy!! I’m excited to use this in my classroom for this coming school year! (One of the ideas that I will use it for is to introduce students to the places that I have visited around the world… as part as my “getting to know you” activities for the first week. I think I may even ask students to create one for themselves and share it with the class!)

Super simple use… You can either choose from the images that they have provide or type in a subject of your own. I typed in french bulldogs because although some people think unkindly of them because of their looks; I think they are OH- So cute and lovable!

My Google Image Swirl creation… a masterpiece… (not quite so…)

http://image-swirl.googlelabs.com/html?query=bulldog%20francais#91



MORE IDEAS FOR THE CLASSROOM/ How can this be used in a classroom?

I could see this tool as being an engaging opening for a lesson on Social Studies, History, or Science. Teachers could model how to use Google Image Swirl and then children can work in groups or pairs and create projects. Students then write a sentence or paragraph (depending on their ability) to describe what their “swirl” represents. This tool is also seems like it would work wonders for your visual learners. Keep it in your teacher “toolbox” and pull it out every now and then to use!!

****If you have used this tool in your classroom or have other ideas on how it could be used… Please leave us a comment! We all learn by sharing with each other!

Here is the link to the site..

http://image-swirl.googlelabs.com/

ISTE-SIGLiteracy

Truly consider joining- if you aren't already a member!

If you are an educator and aren’t a member of ISTE; you really should consider joining! (Here’s a tip on how to join for less than the regular membership price!) Since joining, I’ve learned and used so many resources, and my students have benefitted tremendously!

(I’m sure you are probably stating- “yeah right”…) I had tried signing up many times but on a teacher salary, I couldn’t really afford it but I realized that since I was also taking courses at a local university; that I could use the “student member” option. (At that time- 2 years ago, I believe the ‘student membership’ was about $60 and I’m sure it’s still around the same price!)

The reason I am sharing this with you is because it truly has changed the way I use and view technology AND how I integrate tech-projects into my 2nd grade classroom.

When I joined, I quickly looked through the Special Interest Groups and did not see one devoted to using technology to increase literacy achievement; therefore I decided to help start a SIG devoted to this topic. (this has now totally changed my life!!)

ISTE SigLiteracy is currently conducting a book study on Toys to Tools by Liz Kolb and I’ve learned so much about how to use cell phones in the classroom as a tool for learning. When my students conduct a project using cell phones, they truly get more out of this type of project than when we are in a “traditional” learning mode. I can only imagine how middle and high school students are just dying to use their cell phones in the classroom; and the author gives great advice as to how to control challenging behaviors that some teachers believe come with using cell phones in the classroom/instruction.

Here are some of the current tips that we’ve posted on our NING and WIKI-

http://siglit.iste.wikispaces.net/

http://siglit.iste.wikispaces.net/FACEBOOK

The above link will take you to the page here there all kinds of tips on how to use FACEBOOK- in the classroom (elementary, middle, high, and college level.)

The Tempered Radical- (Story: “Skills Matter More than Tools”)

I’ve become a huge fan of “The Tempered Radical”- written by Bill Ferriter

(If I’m correct- His blog is part of the TLN: Teacher Leaders Network)

TLN- Teachers Leaders Network pic

His writings are very insightful and when he discusses education topics- he hits “the nail on the head”… and I haven’t seen him miss once- If you are not following his blog already- you should be! Here’s a link to it and the following article: http://bit.ly/eBgxzk


New Slide: Skills Matter More Than Tools

A few weeks ago, I wrote a bit that captured a good bit of attention titled Making Good Technology Choices.  In it, I argued that teachers need to check to see if the skills that they are spending time on in their classrooms pass the endurance-leverage-readiness test.

That’s a theme echoed throughout my technology book,Teaching the iGeneration—which was spotlighted on the Education Week website today.

Considering all of the positive mojo around the idea that skills are far more important than tools, I figured I’d whip up a slide that y’all could use in the work you’re doing to convince teachers to place their attention on good teaching instead of good technology.

Here it is.  Hope you can use it:

Essential outcomes Slide-pdf.

LOVE Chrome- apps!

I have found a new love- Google’s Chrome-

Why?

It’s fast, faster than any other web browser program out there- Unless someone has found something faster- I’ve tried them all- Safari, Firefox but I have to say that Chrome (for me) has been, by far, the fastest in all that it does! It’s also more than just a search engine… I am in love with all it’s APP features and their easy adaptability!! I keep finding new APPS or favorite programs that have become easy add-ons to my Chrome Main Page… My 5-year old can easily locate her favorite games- and barely needs help from me!! I really just think it rocks!!

And this is just an additional piece to what Google offers beyond APPS- There programs for educators is totally phenomenal!! If you are of the curious nature… (as I am) just ‘google’ something like… “google programs for teachers” or “google applications for teachers” and you will be amazed at what is out there and available for FREE!!!

Once you’ve found Google Apps that you like; if you are not sure how to use them= simple answer! Go to YouTube and look up it’s tutorial! I fall in love with the internet more and more each day because it makes my job easier! I hope that you will find the same for yourself.

Here’s a picture of my Google-Chrome Start page- with just a few of my favorite apps (displayed) and a simple click away!!

favorite Chrome apps

Hope you enjoy and if  you have some favorite APPS- share them here and we can start spreading the word!!