Thursday, May 19, 2011

Summer School for Parents

OK, I got permission from my principal to have summer school for parents during the same two weeks we will be open for summer school for the children. Most of our families do not have internet access, let alone computers but are always expressing an interest in learning about them. I am excited but also a bit nervous to try this. It is only for 2 weeks but I have a plan in place. We will be sending home letters next week to see how many sign up. Would love ideas or inspiration from anyone who might have done something similar.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Field Experiences Spring 2011

Standard V- A & D  and Standard VI- A(Productivity and Professional Practice) - 6 hours
Assisted parents over several nights with technology. It started as a class for parents on Internet safety, but I realized that few parents had a concept of what the Internet really was and how to use it. Only one of the parents that came for the training even had e-mail but most expressed an interest in having this. Assisted with setting up of e-mail accounts through Google and showed them how to access after set up. Next meeting scheduled with the intent of checking e-mail and learning how to e-mail their child's teacher. At the next meeting, opened up a few more e-mail accounts for parents who did not attend the last meeting. I had found a way to change the home screen for set up into their native language (Spanish) which made the set up easier. then helped parents by providing e-maill addresses of teachers. Google offers a translating service so I sent a "test" e-mail to parents in English which they then "one click" translated into Spanish. I told them I would show the teachers how to do the same so they could send e-mails in Spanish if they felt more comfortable. This was successful but I think they are going to need to meet several more times to feel comfortable with this new technology. Several have smart phones and I want to teach them how to access their e-mail on their phones (hopefully will plan for a future date). Last class was on an Internet safety program they could complete with their students. This would provide a combined learning experience for both parent and child. I have tentative plans to hold parent classes this summer to allow parents more time on the computers and to address their individual needs. I hope this will provide another method for parent/ teacher communication.

Standard I (Technology Operations and Concepts) - 2 hours
I implemented VoiceThread in my classroom and then used this created VoiceThread in a staff presentation. Showed teachers the created VoicThread then showed them how to set up their own accounts. Discussed implications for classroom use. (1 hour) An additional hour was spent meeting with individual teachers on possible applications. Met with several ESOL teachers as well as 2 speech teachers about how this program could benefit the students  they serve.

Standard IV - A & B (Assessment and Evaluation) - 6 hours
Worked with team teachers on use of iRespond as well as how to access data provided in AssessTrax from benchmark tests. Tests were administered paper and pencil to all first grade students and then teachers input the results into iRespond. I then worked with teachers on how to access the data from AssessTrax. This helped us to plan both remediation and enrichment exercises for our classes. Also helped with collection of data team pre and post test scores. Worked with team to input test information into OAS (Online Assessment System). this was also a series of tests given to student paper and pencil and then results put into t a computer system to provide analysis of results. This is helping to guide our end of the year teaching to cover weak areas in retention of information taught.

Standard III A, B, & D (Teaching, Learning and the Curriculum) - 2 hours
Worked with another 1st grade teacher and her class to help teacher and students gain a better understanding of the IWB in the class. Explicitly taught students some of the tools provided in ActiveInspire and how to change between tools. Students began creating a flipchart they want to use to teach kindergarten students about the kinds of math problems they will do in 1st grade. Hope to meet with this teacher and class one more time to finish flipchart and then take the students to a kindergarten class to give their presentation.

Standard V (Productivity and Professional Practice) - 4 hours
Explored many educational websites. Joined several wikis related to technology in education. Also subscribed to several blogs through RSS feeds or Google reader to keep abreast of topic concerning technology in education.Joined Classroom 2.0, a Ning devoted to technology in education. Read at least on a weekly basis, about new tools or new ideas with old tools to improve student learning. Also found Webinars on educational topics. I was actually able to participate in one on the use of Flickr in the classroom. This is a new way of learning that I want to use more on a personal level to see if it has implications in elementary schools (especially Title I schools)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Web 2.0 Tools - Reflection

This has been a very enjoyable class for me. The assignments were clear and I liked the links within the moodle platform. You do have to be disciplined to stay on track. I think I enjoyed learning VoiceThread the most as it is so applicable in 1st grade. I do want to start early next year with a class blog. If I am still in first grade, I can start by introducing the blog and how to log on where all they may post in the beginning is a yes or no answer to a question. I am sure as the year progresses, so will their writing skills and the blog posts will become more reflective. I will continue to use VoiceThread and will start earlier in the year with that as well. Personally, I am going to continue blogging and will check in on the wikis I have joined (hopefully at least once a week), and want to build my PLN as well as introduce tools to my colleagues. I hope to continue to work with parents of our students learn more about computers and the internet. I may even teach a parent class this summer. I had one parent tell me he wants to learn about FaceBook and wants to create an account. Since FaceBook is blocked from school, my first thought was I could not help him, but then I realized i could do a screencast to show them and they could then go home and create their account. I can e-mail them the link to the screencast so if they have forgotten they still have access to it. I hope to keep using as many of these tools as I can so that I don't forget how.