Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Share and Learn

Today at our lead teacher meeting each teacher shared new tools and websites we use in our classroom. We were given 5-10 minutes to share, usually called a smackdown. I found this very useful and will need some time to go thru these sites as I was looking for some that my year 1 students will be able to use independently. Study Ladder is a great NZ learning website with content graded according to levels. The link here is great and was created by a teacher on sabattical leave. It has Maths activities at the various NZ satges and is split into knowledge and strategy activities. BJ shared with us the rss feed and igoogle. I find that very useful and hopefully can soon set up my igoogle page. Here are some websites I will use in my class.
Count me in too
The other useful links are:
Library skills

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Student Led Conferences (SLC) @ EPS

End of Term 2 our school had our first SLC. It was great to see learners sharing their work, goals and achievements with their parents. The best part of the SLC for me was my kids that are not usually attentive or require extra support were the ones that shone at the conferences. Every child shared their learning with pride. They were able to answer questions and show how we did things in our class. Lots of them confidently talked about the displays around the class. If your school is thinking of doing SLC, my advise is to go for it as the results are immensely positive! It made me see that my students had indeed learned heaps, more than what I was thinking. Depending on how hard you (Teacher and pupil) have worked to prepare for them it definitely is a great feeling of achievement for both. Every parent that filled the feedback form had positive comments. Parents were amazed to see the amount of work that is done in class.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lead Teacher Meeting

We had our Lead Teacher Workshop at BDS today. The discussion about SOLO was really good. I myself am still getting a hang of how to use it in class. We visited classrooms and saw how teachers integrate ICT into their classroom programme. We saw children working on a programme called Communication4all and The children were so engaged in the learning, listening to the reader and doing the literacy activities. BJ shared some cool things kids could do on i-pads. Schools should invest in i-pads to give children the hands-on learning experience. BS shared how she uses Google translator to get to her ESOL learner who reads and write only in his home language. She puts her instruction into Google and it is translated for the student. He is then able to carry on with the class task.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Eager to learn

As an e-learning lead teacher I believe my role is to inspire and support my colleagues to seek ways to integrate it into their classroom programme instead of compartmentalising it. So I emailed my team of 11 teachers letting them know that I would be available to support them and share my Action Research ideas with them. This would then lead them to set up a classroom blog. I was excited to get positive replies from 2 classes and so we met up and I asked them to tell me what they were already doing and I loved the things they were doing. They wanted to improve the writing of their students so I shared with them some ideas that I use in my class. They were eager to give it a try and said that they would like to take small steps, which was fair enough. They are willing to start with creating Kid-Pix slideshows using the shared book of the week. I have emailed them the "How-to" sheets. T will need to show their kids how to log on to the server and save their work in the folders that we created. Another teacher has made a time with me so that we could set up a class blog and she will try Kid-Pix too. A blog must have a purpose for it to be successful. I have told the teachers that we could be class buddies visiting each others blogs and commenting on work. I also use the blog as a Listening post in my Reading Programme.
I have begun to work on my mini action research in Maths, mainly to make it a fun time and improve the achievement level of my students in Maths.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

LearningatSchool Rotorua 2011

This year I was fortunate enough to attend the Learning@school conference in Rotorua. All the keynotes and workshops that I attended had great emphasis on thinking, learning and assessment. It was great to try out new things and also to reaffirm what we do at our school and in my classroom. I thoroughly enjoyed the 2 workshops by Karen Boyes. She talked about how we should let students create their own goals and evidence of student understanding. The Key competencies relate so well to the habits of mind. She showed us some examples of how students could measure their learning using a success-o-meter and also shared the brain foods with us.
The workshop run by Mary-Anne Murphy was of particular interest to me. We talked about the mental models of assessment that we have and the characteristics of effective assessment. We also explored some new web2.0 tools that are available to support Assessment for Learning practices.
Here are some online tools to support writers:
Travelbuddies- to find a buddy class and swap a toy.
phraser- put in a phrase and it creates a digital image
comic creator, wordle. fotobabble, zooburst you write a story (4-5 sentences) here and it tells you like what writer you write. I write like James Joyce, an Irish novelist and poet. He is best known for Ulyssess (1922), other major works are the short story collection Dubliners, Finnegan Wakes. That was good to know.
I also attended a workshop by teachers from Our Lady Star of the Sea and saw examples of how SOLO and the define map is used in their school.
Loved every bit of the conference, not forgetting the dinner and dance night.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A new year, new learning

Well, it's nice to be back and see my new little class. Another year of learning, creativity, growth and fun! Can't wait to begin...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Last Meet not the Last Post

Today was the last day for us to meet as a cluster. Looking over the 1 and half years I have been part of this, I have learned heaps and have grown more confident in the use of using computers personally and teaching kids the skills. We shared our Action Research to the team. I loved doing the Research and I hope to do one every year for myself in a small way or as a 'petite inquiry'. It directs my teaching and raises my kids' achievement. Next year I would like to use ICT effectively in my Maths Programme.
The highlight for me was conducting the research and getting opportunities to go to conferences and present at our cluster expo. I will continue to have a professional and class blog. Being part of the cluster has been a major shift in my thinking and learning. I have enjoyed all the aha moments and have learned heaps! I loved the sharing of ideas on our lead teacher meeting days and the release time to work with teachers and the children. I would also like to thank BJ for all her support and help and for being an inspiration!
Link to my Action Research

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

U-Learn 2010

It was great to attend ULearn 2010 especially the pre conference workshop. I now have more web 2 tools that I could use with my little guys. Here is the link to Suzie Vesper's web 2.0 tools ideas.
I went to a workshop that gave me some new ideas to use the camera and ways that kids could use it through the day. It was 4 days of exchanging ideas and meeting like-minded people. One of the workshops showed us some new tricks or shortcuts using a mac. Still have not collated my notes, but will try and do so by the end of term to share with others.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Inquiry Learning versus Teaching of Inquiry...

On Wednesday we had our Lead Teacher day. It is funny how I am beginning to love these days now. BJ had planned for us to complete a task! I was not very excited at first as she said we had to create a presentation but when she told us what we were working on I couldn't wait to start. It was Inquiry learning versus Teaching of Inquiry. Over the years I have become confident in using Inquiry Learning with my students and Teaching of Inquiry is something I am trialling this year. It is basically Action research to improve teacher practice. My team brainstormed how we could complete our presentation and then we started to work on it. Luckily we had lots of photos and evidence already so this made the task easier. I thought we could have done with more time but when I saw what the other schools had presented I realised that using flickr images and relating it to the processes would have been easier. Ours was a step-by-step understanding of the 2 terms. It made me realise how much I have learned over the years and with experience I am able to articulate my learning. It took me back to the days when I did not want to be a lead teacher or be part of the LT meeting... And now I so want to be in this role in the years to come. Thanks to my ANGELS!!!!
Here is a link to my Action Research. Any feedback is welcome...
Bruce Hammonds' post made for interesting read.

Friday, July 23, 2010

From the mouth of babes!

Finally the day of our ICT Expo arrived. I had been busy preparing and practising to present a workshop on Podcasting to teachers in our cluster. I had also decided to use 2 kids in my year 1 class to demonstrate how to create a podcast in GarageBand. While they were excited, I was a bit nervous as it was my first presentation ever. Well I chose to do it so there was no escape now. The 15 teachers came in quickly. I started with the introduction and briefly talked about podcasting, uses in the classroom and the steps in creating one. My little ones then took over. They knew exactly what to do! The adults were delighted and cheerfully decided to give a go while the 3 of us hovered around supporting and answering questions. I had also prepared the 'how to' sheets. They found this easy to follow. The feedback I received was positive. The teachers thought that using 5 year olds to demonstrate was very powerful. At least half of them decided to try it in their classrooms while there were a few that said they used PC's at their school so were not sure if they would use it. I told them about Audacity and gave them my email if they needed any support. It was a very satisfying day! Would I present again? Well, may be...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

SMART Session

I have not really been using the SMARTBoard effectively in my teaching so when our school got a free offer from BH, the expert in using the interactive board, I decided to attend the session after school. Here are some things she shared with us. When you go into google search engine and type in a word of what you are looking for. When this page opens up on the left hand side is a list of words. Click on "wonder wheel" and you will get a mind-map on the topic you are looking for. This breaks the information down and you are much faster in your search.
This other site enables you to get pictures of what you are looking for in categories.
BH shared some ways we could use the lesson activity toolkit 2.0, which I found really cool and would like to use it in my teaching. So I have decided to attend a 2-day free conference at Fruitvale School in the second week of my holidays.
Check out the link if you are interested in attending.
Videos that you would like to use in Notebook software should have a .flv extension. changes videos you may find to this extension and other formats too.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kid-pix kids

Last week I was really excited when 5 of my students completed a 4 slide slideshow in Kid-pix with voice over and transitions. They were only supported with the recording as they are still learning to read and so had to practise their retell. They were so excited and did not want to stop till it was finished. They have started one this week too but we have had a few interruptions this week.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Another Lead Teacher Day..

Today during Doughnut news I learnt that we could use Picassa to reduce the size of photos that one might want to upload to animoto or picture trail. We also had a buddy to coach us with our Action Research. It was nice to share what I have done so far with my action research and listen to mu buddy and see what she has done. My favourite part was BJ sharing the use of ipods in N.American school. I wish kids at our school would have these for learning. It is easier to use and takes less space.
Today I actually talked about how I integrated ICT into  my Literacy Programme in response to one of our collegues' question. I felt really good about doing that.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A great week

This week most of the children in my class were able to independently save their kid-pix picture into their folders. They were eager to support each other. They also used their usernames and passwords to log into their home page. Our school had the pleasure of hosting some teachers from Australia for the day. Little Miss B from my class shared what we were learning and the goals. She shared our enviro scrapbook with them. Other children showed the visitors the various ICT tools we use in our class. On friday we created a podcast in response to Greedy Cat. From Monday to Thursday the children have turns to create a picture of a food item for him using Kid-pix. It is a healthy diet for Greedy cat. On Friday we compiled it together. Well done to my little people.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Action Research

As I have taken part in the action research I spent some time (Thank God for the holidays) reading up about action research and have set up a wiki to share my observations and how I am going to go about it. Can't wait for Term 2 to begin. Hopefully most children in my class will have improved in their Reading and comprehension and also be able to use some ICT tools independently and effectively by the end of term 2. I need to see a great difference in my kids' learning. I want to engage them and make them life long learners....!!! Will be putting my wiki link up soon. Need to get permission from my parents in the first week of Term 2.