I updated the blog header and my blog button today. I'm so excited about how it looks now. Last weekend, I purchased a "mini me" from The Library Fox on Teachers Pay Teachers to use on my Edmodo page. Two other teachers from my school had mini me avatars and I needed one too!
I love my mini me so incredibly much! Crystal is extremely talented! The cat looks just like the picture of my cat. When I completed my survey about things I liked I never imagined how cupcakes, coffee, and an iPad could all be included but Crystal made it work perfectly. And I'm wearing my Origami Owl necklace. It really is the little things in life that make me happy :)
I have used in on my header, my blog button, my laptop background, my desktop/SMART board background....everywhere! The students love it as the background on the SMART board. They say it looks just like me.
I'm not the most reliable blogger these days and I was thinking of that yesterday while teaching my 5th grade class. I'm trying to reinforce publishing/typing skills in Microsoft Word. I had asked students to write about their recent fall break and I took the opportunity to model the quality of writing I wanted and wrote about my Starbucks trip.
As I typed my paragraph on the SMART board via my wireless keyboard, the students were a bit shocked at my typing speed and how I was talking to them while typing. I began thinking of why I'd went to Starbucks in the first place: to unwind, to drink coffee, to read, and to catch up on some work. I chose Starbucks because I like the atmosphere, the noise, and the people watching.
While the students were writing, I began to notice how engaged the students were. They were determined to create a quality piece after seeing my writing. Should students see me as a writer? Then I felt like a slacker because I honestly I can't remember the last time I wrote an essay or paper. Sure, I send email all day long and I created handouts for our professional learning day just last week. But I feel like the students should see their teachers as a writer too.
So, on that note I'm planning to blog more about the things I'm doing in my technology classroom. To give myself an accountability check.
In light of all this, I found a new website and app that I'm eager to use with my students. It's called Coffitivity, http://coffitivity.com/. It streams coffee shop style background noise to help people focus. I think my students would love hearing this and it might help me to stress less about their talking while they write.
Another app I learned of from a sweet 3rd grader teacher at our school professional learning day is Story Wizard. It's 99 cents but I'll watch to see if it becomes free. This app generates journal topics for students. I thought it would be a fun way to do a quick write with students.
Do you think it's important for your students to see you as a writer?
Would sharing your (the teacher's) writing with students make writing more authentic for them?
My latest tech tip is that I've recently started filming tutorials for my projects. My 3rd graders are starting Excel so I'll introduce the vocabulary words and point out a few things over the next week as they explore it. Then the following class, we'll work on creating our multiplication table by following along with my tutorial that I filmed using the free website www.screencastomatic.com.
I'm most excited about this new tool because when I teach the same thing 5 or 6 times over a week or more I sometimes leave out details like remembering to change the page breaks before printing or I might forget to discuss why we're doing this process.
Also, I think this will be an exciting tool as students are beginning to be interested in trying certain things at home or showing parents how they did something. This might be the beginning to a flipped classroom model.
Be sure to check out Screencast-o-matic. I thought it was easy to use, didn't require a download, or account.
Next time, I plan to create a title slide in Power Point so that the first screenshots look uniform and organized when I begin posting them on my class website.
Have you used Wallwisher (now renamed Padlet) in your classroom? What age level? Is there a way to moderate to make sure all comments are school-appropriate? Would love to use an instant-feedback/collaboration tool.
I saw this site late last night on Pinterest. I repinned like any good teacher would do with the intentions to check it out thoroughly later. If you're like me, you know that often you never get back to looking at your pins.
I went back and explored this link today. The first link will create a custom newspaper clipping. You can customize the date, title and the article. I didn't see a spell check feature so I'd likely have students use Word to proof-read/spell-check then copy and paste into the clipping generator.
I played with it briefly and created this stream of consciousness style article about teaching & tech.
There are also options for HTML wizard and ninja words as well as animals with speech bubbles. Both seem interested but not something I would likely use in my class. There are ads on this site but none that appeared inappropriate.
I'd love to hear ideas on how you might integrate these tools into your class.
I wanted to share one of my favorite sites: http://www.abcya.com/animate.htm My students love to animate different scenes like cars driving, flowers growing, even their own name. It is simple enough for even my 2nd graders to play with and enjoy.