Tuesday, February 10, 2009

921-Session 4

Session 4 & Deliverable #2

To gear you up (and psyche you up) for this session I'd like you to watch this. You have to click on it twice. "Did You Know? 2.0" :

If you do not have a high speed Internet connection (definitely the minority of you) then the video (around 8 minutes in length) is available in other formats at: http://scottmcleod.typepad.com/dangerouslyirrelevant/2007/01/gone_fischin.html

As you begin to work on, and think about, your project for Deliverable #2, (details in the syllabus and please post in both the blog and the wiki) consider using these resources to guide your integration with the students:

Past semester participants' comments and Deliverble #2's:
Older comments.

Rubric for student comments:

And don't forget to visit your peers' blogs. Pamela's elementary school now has 11 bloggers, including the Principal!!! Wow! Her school only started on the blogging bandwagon last summer when one of her co-workers took my 920 class. Great job Narragansett Elementary School!

And also check out Jennifer Geller's posting. It traveled so far around the blogosphere that the author of our main text, Will Richardson, even responded by leaving a comment on her blog. These examples are just tip of the iceberg. Explore and check things out for yourself.

And if you haven't already, check out the Answers.com tool I've added to our blog. Just double click on any word and check it out. There's even an audio option.

Someone was looking for information on 'copyrights.' One way to avoid copyright issues for online images, (or any other kind of file) is to do a search for files that are 'free to use and share'. For example, try a Google Advanced search, but choose the 'usage rights' option. Once there you can decide which kind of 'usage restriction' suits your needs. In this example, I did an GAdvanced search for butterfly, chose 'free to use and share', and then also restricted my search to Flickr.com (an online image site). It takes a few steps, but you can eliminate copyright issues entirely with this process. It also works for PowerPoints. In this example I did a GAdvanced search for caterpillar and restricted my file type to: PowerPoints that were 'free to use and share' and found these were my results


One of the education blogs that I subscribe to also recently wrote on this topic. Check it out: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/blog/1340000334/post/130020413.html

On another topic---Lynne and Joanne were discussing the editing ability of posts. Blogs are more static than wikis (which we'll be discussing later in the semester), so when you post a comment to someone else's blog and you want it changed, then your only option is to delete it and rewrite it. Lynne correctly mentioned that when you are in your own blog and you write a posting then you can always go back and edit it when you are in your 'Dashboard' screen, so these are some options.

David C. also mentioned,

"As the availability of 'going online' becomes more affordable and the price
of technology continues to decrease, I'm sure we'll see even more families in
our classrooms join the world wide web. With this in mind, educators must also
do everything we can to use the tools that our students are using in order to
reach them. It makes me think back to when the second or third generation ipod
came out... I remember hearing about the first colleges that were making
podcasts for their students to listen to. (Will we learn anything about

making/using podcasts this semester? - just a side thought)"

Well David mentions how some colleges and universities are making podcasts, but it goes much further than this. Dozens of schools are now recording professor's lectures (some video, but most just audio) and putting them online, along with the support material for the course. But even more powerful than this is the fact that they are also allowing the lectures to be accessed from anyone in the entire world.

It is part of the "Open Educational Resources" movement. If this topic interests you, and you decide to explore this path, then check out some of the cool things out there, like this interactive site on "Trapezoids."

Even more important however is the number of colleges that are beginning to subscribe to this philosophy. Just check out this list of schools, and then take a look at all 1800 different courses that MIT makes freely available.  We go into a lot more depth on this topic in my edc922 course.

I also subscribe to this philosophy. By now most of you have noticed that all of our weekly sessions are licensed under Creative Commons. We'll go into more detail later in the semester about this movement when we begin talking about 'wikis' and start to create and edit some.

David also mentions,

"I remember Dave mentioning that he doesn't even have to log on to the
blog to make comments.. he can do it from his email. Was I just hearing things
wrong? If not, I am not sure where to go to set up my blog so I can work though
my email. If that is possible, then I could open one less application and work
solely though Mail."

Well, when you are logged into your Blogger account go to the Dashboard option and from there choose, 'Settings' and then both, 'Emails' and 'Comments.' Within both of those tabs you'll see the options to email postings to your blog, as well as have every comment emailed to you.

Lastly, keep on checking each other's blogs and don't be afraid to post a comment or two. Those who have already begun using them in class can use your comment as an example to the students that there are other people around the world reading their work. 

Also, remember that if you are having trouble downloading a session you can always find a back-up copy at Authorstream.com  Once there just do a search for edc921 and pick the appropriate session.

Happy blogging,

PS----One last reading for this session. It's worth the quick skim:



Amy Kalif said...

I found the information and approach of the schoollibrary site invaluable. The next time my students create a powerpoint, I'm going to refer them to that page. I find so many times students simply regurgitate what they find on other websites. By avoiding bullets, and looking for the "nugget" within a quote will force them to analyze their research.

Charlotte Lesser said...

OK - all you library media specialists in this group - check out this list of ways to use blogs in the school library!.

all right... the rest of you can look too....

Anonymous said...

Thank you Charlotte. I'm still trying to decide what my blog will be about and this list is exactly what I need to help clarify my thinking. Thanks bunches!

Charlotte Lesser said...

Random musings on this week’s readings/viewings….

Shift Happens
I have seen this several times before and shared it with others, but each time I watch it I am amazed!! We really are living
in exponential times. I think one of the stats that really drove home is that “My Space” is the 8th largest country in the world - and that was in 2006! I had forgotten that 1 in 3 children never finishes 5th grade, kind of puts things in perspective doesn’t it? My favorite quote is “we are currently preparing students for jobs & technologies that don’t yet
exist in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet”.

The commenting etiquette was neatly put, good rules to integrate into a lesson on blog commenting for students.

I have taught a professional development workshop on “Google tips & tricks” but didn’t know about the image searching to get
images that are “free to use and share” – have to integrate that into my workshop next time I offer it.

Ah… PowerPoint.... One of the educational tech gurus I follow is Jamie McKenzie who writes an online tech journal From Now On and The Question Mark , an
online educational journal devoted to questioning, strategic reading, etc. He refers to overuse of Powerpoint as powerpointlessness – I use that term a lot!

I have enjoyed watching people’s blogs “evolve” as they add content, change format and tweak their blogs! Still can't get on
Suzanne Krause's blog? Love the math calculator on the Jamestown math blog! I have to say that I'm a widget freak!! Did you know that National Geographic just released widgets? I put the place of the week into my iGoogle page.

Happy Vacation to those you are on next week... me, I've got to wait until Feb. 21.. but who's counting?! ;-)

juliep said...

A message to Charlotte, how do you link right in the text of your post to the blog? I have tried and I don't want to past the long url for a few of the items that I want to show people? HELP?!

Abbe said...

“Shift Happens” is very powerful. I think about it all of the time when I look at what our kids are prepared for, when they leave from school. I’m not sure that many teachers are information literate- so helping students become more skilled is a huge challenge. I would like our entire staff to watch this. It's both inspiring and overwhelming. Blogs and wikis are the talk at school now. I’ve created a wiki with a staff member and word has traveled fast. Although we still can’t have blogs, in the matter of 1 week we’ve gone from 1 new wiki to 3. Teachers have become very interested in the idea of creating materials online- it’s very exciting. I loved the articles about Powerpoint reform. I will definitely be steering faculty in that direction. I think that many faculty are mystified by Powerpoint, so their expectations for the students fall short. The Library Journal blog (Joyce Valenza) had a lot of great links. I learned about Pageflakes from the Springfield Township LMC page (Joyce Valenza’s Page) (http://www.sdst.org/shs/library/pathmenu.html). It’s a blog reader- all of the blogs, sites, podcasts are arranged with current (and visual) postings. Just one more cool, free thing. I’m including my blog ideas for Deliverable 2 here. I need to do a lot of work to get my blog where I want it. So, please note that this what I'm working on (I'm not there yet!)

This blog addresses the following CT Content Standards:
Information Processing
Students will apply information from a variety of sources and formats using evaluative criteria to interpret ,analyze, organize and synthesize both print and non-print material
Students will use appropriate information and technology to create written, visual, oral and multimedia products to communicate ideas, information or conclusions to others.
Students will use operate and use computers and other technologies as tools for productivity, problem solving and learning across the content areas.
Responsible Use
Students will demonstrate the responsible, legal and ethical use of information resources, computers and other technologies.

I’ve renamed my blog “Wamogo LMC Weekly” (same address http://ourbooksite.blogspot.com/) I think it will be a good place to post information about the library, update booklists and list assignments for teachers working in the library with their classes. I’d like to create updated links for classes, research projects and a favorites section for teachers and students to contribute.
I don’t have a regular schedule of classes so my blog would be available on the library’s website and updated weekly. The biggest problem right now is that that blog sites are blocked. In the near future, I will be working on that!

Currently, there are no blogs at our school. However, I’ve learned that many teachers are looking forward to having the opportunity to use blogs in their classes. This blog may be a good place for both students and teachers to practice blogging. I would like to teach from this blog to show students what acceptable responses look like. I don’t do formal assessments in the library, but I would be able to use a response rubric to show students what makes a good response.

Nickal said...

I found the video interesting, I actually had a class coming in as I was watching the end and restarted it for them to view... This was an eighth grade class... Many could relate to the technology however the biggest comment from the kids was how out of date they felt it was... Even though it is 3ish years old... the video led to a big discussion about how much bigger they thought myspace was today and that if facebook was included it would be even bigger... I had to incorporate some math so we predicted what the graphs would look like today...Myspace was predicted to go down after a steep incline... good conversation... I will be posting my deliverable #2 to the wiki soon, but I have already used the blog by posting videos that my kids created as a midyear project. After vacation, I plan on making them go on and make comments, come have started, but not as many as I would like... I would like the kids to learn from each other and to see the other students work... How do people feel about me posting the rubric and the project grade?... is that not appropriate? or is it ok since the rubric is there and it will give the kids and parents a chance to see what really is a "5" and what really does not meet the standard? I almost see it as a way for the kids to grade collaboratively with me... I know most of the kids share thier grades anyway but does that make it ok to post them? Enjoy the week off if you have it... I know I will be loving the sun and warmth in Florida come monday!!

vivrelelivre said...

Okay, hopefully I can actually post this.
I also really like Shift Happens. I've seen parts of this one before as well as what I think was an older or alternate version. I really find it impressive, in part because I love random factoids but also because of what it shows us. I grew up in the Canadian school system (modeled on GB) and now working in US schools I am constantly amazed at what we don't do. Seeing all the facts within the clip really drives this home. How can we prepare them for jobs that don't exist yet if we aren't really preparing them well for the here and now? Sure, they can blog to their hearts content and MySpace with the best of them but they still can't tell a valid website from a hoax without help.(and most of the time they don't want the help).
On the otherhand so much of what is in Shift Happens can be used to justify my job...we're really not "just librarians" anymore.

I love the SLJ blog (I read it when I can remember/have time). I'm not a big fan of bullets and boring PPT's either. Last year I had a 4th grade class create Smart Board lessons instead. Not a single bullet to be found..yeah! Later in the year, when they had to do PPT's for something else... not a single bullet..double yeah.

With regards to the rubric....make it avaiable. That way they can see exactly how their work measures up. They can see what their time and effort is really worth in the grand scheme of things.

vivrelelivre said...

Deliverable #2
I apologize because this is a little long. I tied the blog onto a lesson that I have already started with a 4th grade class. (the blog itself doesn't exist yet..I'm going (hopefully) to create it next week with the teacher....I'll post the URL as soon as I can)

African-American Biography Research

NYS Social Studies Standards
Standard 1: History of the United States and New York
Students will: use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States and New York. 3. Study about the major social, political, economic, cultural, and religious developments in New York State and United States history involves learning about the important roles and contributions of individuals and groups.

NYS English Language Arts Standards
Standard 1: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding.
As listeners and readers, students will collect data, facts, and ideas, discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information.
Information Literacy Standards:
1.1.1 Follow an inquiry-based process in seeking knowledge in curricular subjects, and make the real-world connection for using this process in own life.
1.1.3 Develop and refine a range of questions to frame the search for new understanding.
2.1.2 Organize knowledge so that it is useful.
3.1.3 Use writing and speaking skills to communicate new understandings effectively.
3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess.
4.3.1 Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person.

Materials: 1)Smart Board, LCD projector and laptop – for librarian
2)Lap Top computers for student research
3)Index cards for information collection
4)Collection of websites listed on Library Homepage. Websites will include Fact Monster, History Channel and Wikipedia.

Objective: 1)Students will determine for themselves the type of information that needs to be collected for research purposes.
2)Through evaluation of a provided website, students will choose their own subject of research
3)From information gathered students will be able to create a narrative essay about their subject.
4)Students will be able to extract key points from either notes or essay and deliver a brief dialog about their subject.

Rational: In order to improve their research skills, students need to learn how to determine for themselves the types of information that would be relevant to the research that they are doing.

Procedure: 1) In first lesson, librarian discuss with students the need to determine what
information is needed prior to starting research. All students will be provided with five index cards. As a class, students will determine what kind of information will be important/relevant to writing a biography. Students will make notes on blank side of index cards with regard to the type of information that will be recorded on that card.
Ex: on blank side of card students will write:
What Did They (the person) Do?
When? Where? Why? How?
All information pertaining to this topic will be recorded on this card.
2) In second lesson students will be introduced to Fact Monster and will be shown how use and navigate African-American Biography page. Students will investigate various people of interest and determine which person they would like to do research. Students will begin their research once they have picked a person.
3) Students will be allowed 3-4 class period to gather information.
4) Depending on students progress, students will be introduced to expected finished product during either the 3rd or the 4th day of research. Librarian will show students example of a biography written as a narrative essay. Key points of this essay style will be discussed.
5)Once research has been completed students will be advised to review
(individually or with teacher) their notes to be certain they have enough information in order to create essay. Once this is done, students will be allowed 1-2 sessions to create and edit their essays. (Teacher may allow additional class time for this.)
6)Students will then be required to make brief oral presentations to their class.
7)Presentation will be recorded and uploaded to class blog. Students will write a brief blurb for the blog to go with their clip. Students will then comment on each others topic/presentation

Evaluation: 1) Students will be able to create informative 3-5 paragraph essays from the
information that they have gathered.
2) Students will be able to provide constructive criticism/comments to classmates through the blog.

Amy Kalif said...

Good morning all. I posted my Deliverable #2 on the wiki. I had trouble inserting a file--aka the scoring rubric that was "inspired" by the homeless blogging rubric. I uploaded the file several times, but it did not appear on my page for some reason, so I just copied and pasted it. On a separate, but similar note, I brought one of my classes into the computer lab to peruse and respond to my blog (which is in Spanish). They absolutely loved it! Especially the voki. I'm hoping they will connect to the assignment I postetd on the wiki, and to the material in class. I think they will enjoy expressing their opinions on the blog--especially in Spanish.

Nickal said...

So everyone needs to be really careful when using "gadgets"... I recieved an email from a parent today about the randomly generated math problem of the day... Needless to say it was problem solving at it best but very inappropriate for middle school and most likely not the right message for high schoolers either... If you saw it(Saturday 2/14) or have that gadget, beware of who your audience is...I removed it prompty after I became aware of it... I guess as we make these blogs we always have to remember that! If you are interested in an adult joke, email me! HAHA

Charlotte Lesser said...

Juliep -
you need to use html code to make links active within your blog test - a href="" (with brackets) - the blog then reads the code and makes it a link.
email me directly if you want more detail clesser@mrsd.org

Charlotte Lesser said...

Deliverable #2

I created a blog Great Stone Face Books that I plan on using with my 4-6th graders at the elementary school at which I am the librarian. The Great Stone Face Book Award is an annual award sponsored by CHILIS (Children’s Librarians of New Hampshire) and features a list of 25 recommended books that students in grades 4-6 are introduced to in September and vote for their favorite in May of each year. I have a set of lesson plans already in place that I use throughout the school year (introduce Sept, reinforce thru genre lessons in Jan, revisit in April, vote in May)

This year the timeframe for using the blog will be considerably shortened as I won’t be able to implement it until mid March at the earliest. I may scale back and only choose 1 grade to work with to see how it goes! I can foresee in the future starting the school year with the (updated) blog in place all ready for students to use.

To implement the blog I will need to do the following:
- talk to the principal and get his ok
- talk to the 4-6th grade teachers and explain/show what I’ll be doing
- send permission slips home to parents to get approval for their children to use the blog
- give each student a nickname/number/alias to use to “sign” their blogging
- rework my Great Stone Face lesson plans to introduce the concept of blogging and the specific blog they will be using. We use lesson plan templates for library that are linked to national (Information Power), & district standards. Each lesson would be rewritten to include blogging and a new lesson plan would be created for the beginning of the year specifically dealing with what blogs are and how to blog.
- check the filtering software to make sure the blog isn’t blocked (I have admin rights)
- update the blog so that it’s ready to go!

I have already:
- created the blog
- gotten the ok from the IT department to use Blogger (took some persuading but they ok’d it!) Basically I had to show them how the anonymous login protects the students, the fact that I have to approve each posting before it shows on the blog and the fact that I didn’t make the blog “public”
- enough computers for students to use (the computer lab is in the library)
- enough time to incorporate blogging into my classes
- a vehicle by which students can comment on their Great Stone Face reading. Currently there are mini-review 3x5 cards in each book and available on a poster for them to write comments. The poster is where the students line up and I do see students grab a card and quickly write their opinion. So I don’t think it will be difficult to move that writing piece to blogging – in fact I think the students will love the concept.

The two big obstacles I see are:
1) that not all students read the books. I think I can work around that if I encourage those students to read other students’ comments and write their own comment - that would at least be a way to involve them in part of the writing process.
2) what to do if a parent says no to blogging – I suspect that I would encourage them to use the 3x5 card reviews that are already available. I am not sure whether it would be ethical for me to post their comments under my name???

I am honestly not sure about the assessment piece. There are currently no grades for library and I give no input to teachers on how their students are doing. It’s not that we don’t talk or even occasionally collaborate, it’s just that library is not part of the formal assessment in my district.

Assessment for the first year will be for me to evaluate the blog, how students are using it, evaluation and rewriting of my plans to teach how to use a blog, and an evaluation of the type of writing students do on the blog. I would hope to work with classroom teachers the 2nd year to create some kind of formative assessment on the student's blogging.

jimmyt said...

Jim Tasso
EDC 921
Deliverable #2

First, let me give some background information about the unit of study. One of our main units of study is called Turning Points. In the Turning Points Unit, we study the Cold War (including the Vietnam War) and the Civil Rights Movement. My lesson plan is focused on the Civil Rights Movement and is designed to last 4 to 5 class periods.
The plan calls for the students to analyze 11 primary source documents from the Alabama Department of Archives and History. The documents include letters, telegrams, and one photograph from 1962 and 1963. The documents deal with the economic, political, and social issues in Alabama during this time.
This lesson meets the Social Studies curriculum standard 6.0. It states that the student knows and understands how people create and change structures of power, authority, and governance. My goals for the students are: 1) analyze a written document for the position of the writer (bias) and for content: 2) synthesize an historical position based upon the document analysis; and 3) understand the events of Birmingham (in 1962 and 1963) and see how the positions held by individuals affected the state of Alabama. By the end of the lesson I hope for the students to be able to see how civil disobedience can challenge and change structures of authority.
On the first day of the lesson, I hand out an analysis sheet which contains 8 questions to be answered based on the document. Before the students start, I demonstrate and model a telegram from Diamond Brothers, a New Jersey company which changed their plans about opening a manufacturing plant in Birmingham because of the conviction of Martin Luther King Jr. I walk the students through the questions so they can see how to approach the analysis. This way they are able to see my thinking and ask questions if necessary. I encourage the students to work with a partner so they are able to talk their way through the documents, as we did as a class. At the end of the lesson, the students will have an on demand essay based on their analysis of the documents. They are allowed to use their notes.
I envision the use of a blog as being a key component in the future for this lesson. I think the use of a blog will give the students more opportunity to share their learning and analysis with more students in the class, and potentially with other classes. Unfortunately I have not been able to use a blog with this lesson because my blog is still in the foundation stage, and I’m still learning about the potential uses of blogging.
Some students struggle with the analysis, so when they get to work with a partner they’re able to share their thinking. I would hope given the opportunity to share with several students, their learning and comprehension of the material will increase. I clearly see how using a blog could help the students share their learning and get a better grasp of the content, therefore have a better understanding of what was happening in Birmingham Alabama.
There are some issues that I need to figure out before I can implement this as part of the lesson. I need to figure out how to encourage the students to take the time to access the blog to share their thoughts. A lot of eighth grade students will not do the work unless there is a grade attached to the assignment. I would have to count it as some kind of grade (homework or quiz) based on their comments and responses. Another concern is how to set up the blog, different links for each class? I also have to figure out what to do with the students who do not have internet access, although I’m sure it would be a small number. These would be the largest hurdles to clear to make this lesson work.

Anonymous said...

Carol Cappadona
Deliverable #2

When I first started my blog, I was trying to decide the best way to use it with my students. I considered using it with my students to discuss their reading (hoping) assuming that they were actually reading for my incentive program. Then I thought about using the blog as a vehicle for communication with parents, telling them what was happening in the library and around the school. I also considered using the blog as a communication piece for the faculty to learn what the library has available to them, how to access the materials from their classroom and from home as well as information about what I was teaching in the library. As I was going through this process I realized that with a blog I could do it all. The faculty could access the blog to see what was happening in the library with students, and I could add a wiki page for them to access to discuss ideas and lessons that parents would not necessarily see (making it private with a password). I could have parents access the blog page to see what their children were doing in the library as well as happenings around the school and they could comment on and ask questions through this blog. As a librarian, I do it all, every day – communicate with faculty, students and parents. The blog will facilitate communication from a distance.

With my 4th grade students we have been researching owls. The unit has already started and the students came to the library to working on finding information using the Big 6 steps and taking notes. The note taking has finished and they are working on their final reports. They also came into the library with me to work on creating a bibliography. Prior to my getting involved with this project, the students were not expected to create a bibliography and I asked the teachers to add that piece to the project. They are nearing the end of the unit so I would like them to create a piece of writing that is reflective of their work and using their new base of knowledge about owls. I posted this question on the blog: A question for my fourth graders: If you could choose to be an owl, which kind would you choose and why? Remember to think about your prior knowledge and what you have been learning about owls these past few weeks. Consider what you like to do and how your owl's behavior would fit. Post your answers and be sure to come back and read what your classmates have written.

In preparation for this, I have discussed blogging with my tech department at school. They have no problem “unblocking” my blog site. With Dave’s help I managed to remove the header on my existing blog so that the students cannot wander into the “next blog” on Blogger and get into something inappropriate. I have located the AUP for my school district and blogging is not mentioned so I would have to send home a letter to parents indicating what I was doing and why. I mentioned it to the principal and she has no idea about most anything to do with technology but is interested in learning about it. We’ll have to schedule a meeting to discuss it before a letter could go home to parents. I would need her approval beforehand. I had requested a Blogmeister site, but have not heard back from them so I decided to keep the Blogger site. I think I could have the students post to my blog creating another gmail account so that they would not have their own email but rather use mine. They could do their writing in Word, and then copy and paste the information into the blog window or type directly on the blog window and then type the “magic word” to get their post published. I would then get an email before it actually got posted. Ideally I would love for them to create their own avatar in a previous lesson so that they could experience the fun of web publishing while keeping their own identity safe. Some prior lessons would have to be about web safety, responsibility and web etiquette.

A potential problem is a student not getting parent approval to blog. I would then have the student type in Word and I could post it as an anonymous comment. I do think that the potential benefit of writing for an audience, comments from parents and their teachers and the experience of blogging will far outweigh the problems encountered. By this time next year, I hope to have students responding to my blog as well as parents and teachers checking in to see what is happening in the library. I tried to post a video to the blog, but only succeeding in posting a link to it. I thought it was a fascinating video and would like to see what others think.

Mrs. K said...

Deliverable 2:

I have seen Shift Happens several times, but every time I see it – it is just as powerful as the first time I saw it. It really makes you think about what the future holds. Colleges are planning ahead for jobs that aren’t even created yet – it amazes me and makes me want to continue to go to school. I love the questions at the end – What is your school doing to help students be literate in the 21st century? That one is my favorite because I don’t know what they are doing. They are cutting money left and right – I have 2 computers in my class room - one works all the time and the other works when it feels like it. How are we going to support this new move of technology in education if the administrators don’t give us the tools we need to support our students?

My blog has evolved a lot since EDC 920. I started blogging with my students as a way to get them talking about a book we were reading about in class. It started off great because there was so much interest in the book. It has slowed down (I think) because there is less interest in the book. I have changed my blog around a lot. I want it to be a means of communication for parents and students. I have had several parent conferences over the past week or so and many of them have been saying the same thing. I didn’t know about that project or that assignment. I wanted to change that and make my blog more about what is going on in our classroom. I have added a link to our read aloud book where I am hoping the students will continue to ask and ponder questions and predictions. I have posted their homework assignments and their spelling words. I have also added a math link to help students that may need it. I plan on posting more math links and possibly a math problem of the week. I have a lot of work to do. I know that one of my biggest problems will be getting the parents on board. I want them to post comments and ask questions. They need to help facilitate the communication. I can only do so much. I am hoping that the students will continue to comment. I plan on changing the way that I post that blog as well. I want the students to write more than one or two sentences. I’m not sure if they feel that don’t have to write a lot because I am not their writing teacher or if they just don’t want to do the extra work. I want to tie it in to our class discussions daily. I might try to give the students some computer time in the morning where they can go online and comment to the blog. But again, that becomes quite challenging with 18 students and 2 computers – I mean 1 ½ computers.

I will continue to work on my blog and make it more a part of the daily routine of my parents and students. I also want to post pictures of student work and have them comment on that as well. I want them to be proud of their work.

Please keep visiting my blog to see all the new updates.

Charlotte Lesser said...

OK - Dave & Carol - please share how you "removed the header" from the top of the blog so students can't wander!! That was one of the sticky issues with my IT dept!!


Denice said...

I agree with the comments about PowerPoint presentations. I have been providing teacher workshops for about 3 years that direct the teachers in how to use PowerPoint to develop whole-group instruction and self-paced instruction. Whenever I have a teacher sign-up to use our computers for PowerPoint, I make sure that I suggest that the students incorporate hyperlinks, videoclips and narrations. Since we subscribe to Discovery's Streaming Video, it is easy to download relevant videoclips and incorporate them into the PowerPoint. I also have on hand headsets for the students to use for the narrations.

As for our project: I will be concentrating on the same Information Technology standards Abbe referred to in her comment:

Application - Technology - Responsible Use

Suzanne said...

Deliverable #2

Currently the students in my class have been working on a state report for social studies.

While they are working on their state reports, I am going to be teaching a science lesson on inherited vs. learned traits. I will have the children choose an animal that lives in the state that they are reporting on and have them tell me which traits were inherited and which traits have been learned in order for the animal to adapt to his home.

At the end of the science unit, I will have the students use the blog to post a picture of their animal and list the inherited vs. learned traits.

Curriculum and Standards:
Standards Chariho Regional School District
English/Language Arts

ELA/WR/11.0: (E2a) The student produces a report.

ELA/WR/12.0: (E2b) The student produces a response to literature.

ELA/SLV/19.0: (E3c) The student prepares and delivers an individual presentation.

ELA/LIT/23/0: (E4b) The student analyzes and subsequently revision work to clarify or make it more effective in communicating the intended message or thought. (ES, MS, HS)

ELA/LIT/24.0: (E5a) The student responds to non-fiction, fiction, poetry and drama using interpretive, critical and evaluative processes. (ES, MS, HS)

Social Studies
Social Studies 3.0: The student knows and understands the interrelationships among people, places and environments. GSE’s: 1;2;5 HP 3

Social Studies 8.0: The student knows and understands the relationship among science, technology, and society. NHT 3. GSE’s: G&C3; 5. HP2

The student will exhibit understanding of the following content benchmarks:
Life Science : Identify inherited vs. learned traits;

Student Centeredness:

1) Introduce the concept of inherited vs. learned traits. Discuss the everyday things that we do that have been inherited/learned. Make a list of possible adaptations that we have made in order to survive.
2)Read the book “Stellaluna” aloud to the class. Discuss Stellaluna’s inherited and learned traits. What adaptations did she need make in order to live with the birds after she was separated from her mother? Have the students make a chart of inherited/learned traits.
3)Have the students choose an animal that lives in the state or region that they have been studying in social studies. Give the students a graphic organizer and have them write down a list of inherited/learned traits for their animal. What adaptations did this animal have to make in order to survive in the state/region that they are living in.
4)Have the students use their graphic organizer to put their thoughts into complete sentences with proper grammar.
5) Students will conference with the teacher to ensure that they are using complete sentences and proper grammar before they post their information to the blog.
6) Students will post a picture and will include at least one inherited trait and one learned trait on the blog.

Instructional Design/Teaching Modifications:

All of my students are familiar with the computer, keyboard and some software packages.

Because this is a fourth grade class, I am planning to keep my blog read-only for now, I will have my students comment only during class time when a teacher or an aide can be available to assist.

I will use the following rubric for my students:

4 Meets Standard - I met all the requirements of the assignment. I used complete sentences and proper grammar. I added my information to the blog and included a picture.
3 Nearly Meets Standard- I met almost all the requirements of the assignment. I used complete sentences and proper grammar. I added my information to the blog but did not include a picture.

2 Working Toward Standard -I did not meet all the requirements of the assignment. I did not use complete sentences and proper grammar. I added some information to the blog but did not add a picture.

1 Needs Improvement -I did not meet the requirements of the assignment. I did not use complete sentences and proper grammar. I did not add any information to the blog.

I apologize - I was not able to post this to the wiki. I did not get an "edit" button at the top when I clicked on my name - I got one when I clicked on Dave's wiki. I will play with this in the morning.

juliep said...

Shift Happens is very powerful. I have seen it before and I had it running at one staff meeting as the staff were coming in and getting set up for the principal. I will try and revisit it again this year as the IT (Instructional Technologist) and I are trying to do some quick staff development about the new trends in technology such as various website, online databases and podcasts in 5-7 minutes before our staff meetings begin. It is a challenge to educate them successfully on some complex issues and trends in such a short time.

I especially found the tip about Google images that are “free to use and share” especially helpful for me, my staff and my students. As a librarian I constantly struggle with copyright usage and fair use in an educational setting. This will give the teachers a place to search for images that are free and I can feel good about sending them to this site. Hopefully they will use it as will all the tidbits that I am trying to pass along to them this semester. They are probably mumbling to themselves, “oh no, not another internet tip from Julie”, oh well I keep pushing them to try new things.

I found the blog from School Library Journal about the bulleting for PowerPoint something that I will follow as a regular blog. I have not evolved very much in some of my presentations and I am guilty of using bullets in my shows. However after reading this blog I will try new things. I have watched our IT record the students’ voices while reading their PowerPoint presentations so they can simply play the show rather than have the kids reading the slides. I would like to try some of this teaming with my IT. She is an inspiration has a ton of ideas.

I am truly inspired by visiting various blogs that Dave and the others have posted. In many settings I feel pretty comfortable learning along with the students, as my lesson plan will demonstrate for my 5th grade classes. I am encouraged to read that other teachers are doing the same thing, that they are pushing their own individual learning to new heights and they are not afraid to try new things in front of the students or alongside the class as in the posting from the teachandlearn blog. The teacher helped me at least validate that it is alright not to know everything all the time. I am constantly telling the kids, “I am not sure, let’s try and find out the answer to that” and I enjoy those times best of all. I enjoy learning from them hopefully as much as they enjoy learning from me.

Amy Kalif said...

Charlotte, would you mind writing a full example of the html code to insert a link in a blog.

After reading comments, I realize I need to elaborate my summary for Deliverable #2. In Spanish 3 we study the geography and ancient history of Mexico. The final part of the unit has to do with the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. On the blog, students will have to assert an opinion to the following question: Who would you rather be...a Spanish soldier or an Aztec warrior? I'm hoping a debate will be started--in Spanish of course. More details are posted on the wiki if interested.

Charlotte Lesser said...

OK - here's how I make a link on this blog - I have no idea if there's another way, but this way works for me! It's basic html code that indicates a link and this blog software "translates" it into a link and doesn't show the html. BUT here's what I think is going to happen! I think when I write the code it will translate it, so here's how I'm going to get around it. To show html code you use <> to begin and end. So I'm going to leave those out

you start with a href="put your url here(wwwetc)" then right after the quotes you say what the link is - usually the name of it - then you finish it up with /a (surrounded by those <>

so the whole thing looks like
name of whatever
I'm guessing that won't post right.. won't know til I post!!

Charlotte Lesser said...

yep! I knew it wouldn't work!! email me so I can send you the html!


Katie Wright said...

Reading everyone's comemnts is always inspiring and a little daunting,Charlotte you always seem to amaze me. Adding the photo next to the comments also helps personalize the readings. Actually I find myself a little overwhelmed by all the info-but what's so great is the ability to go back to it later. "Did you Know" was a powerful way to begin the session and I found that I rewatched it a few times even though I knew the statistics had changed by now.

My deliverable will be different than most of the rest of the class. At least for the moment, I will center on the teaching community in our school and literacy. This leaves me with many questions about incorportating standards and assessments.

Since beginning this course I find that I have changed the way I use technology for learning. I'm hoping by adding links and podcasts for the teachers in school that we can start a dialogue about teaching reading and writing. Writing and responses to literature would be a natural choice if I were asking my students to respond, but due to a lack of computers during instruction time with them that's just not feasible.

One of the goals of our SIT team is to improve comprehension instruction. This is an area that NECAP testing shows we need to improve, especially in the area of analysis and interpretation.
I am starting by adding a link to a site at the International Reading Association on home reading- prompted by a comment from one of you. This site includes a podcast which teachers can listen to once my blog is available at school. In the meanwhile I hope to model at least a modified version of the home reading program with my nine 3rd graders. I will invite the parents to respond and comment on their child's responses. The parents will see the weekly response journals and will be able to comment on them in the blog or in the journal for those without access to a computer, or just prefer it. I hope by modeling this program through the blog that other teachers in the buidling will show interest and try it, or add it to their take home program. At present some teachers require only a home readng log with parent initials for home reading and other may not have a home reading plan. The home reading plan is included in R-5 - In Your Classroom by Michelle Kelly podcast, and includes reflecting and responding to reading and relaxing at home. I tried following Charlotte's direction but couldn't quite get htlm code right either.

My overall goals for the blog are to reach parents and give them links about books and reading questions, and secondly to give teachers in the buidling additional professioanl sites especially on comprehension strategies, that will gently push/ pull them into a more active IT approach.

Maura McGill said...

I had difficulty posting my lesson to the wiki. When I hit edit it said I was unable to post to this site so please bear with me as I post my summary and lesson. It's rather long...

My objective for my blog is to use it as a tool for fostering communication between my classroom, parents and students. I hope it will open the lines of communication between parents and myself by providing weekly happenings of what goes on in our classroom. It will keep parents informed of the latest happenings and skills taught in school so they can be reinforced at home.
My goal will be to blog happenings, post pictures, make announcements, and post student work. Hence, this will keep parents in the loop about what is going on in their child's class.
Students and parents will be able to post comments and questions on our class blog. This will open communication between home and school.
I am hoping to build a sense of classroom unity which is one of our school's goals. We are using the "Responsive Classroom Management Model" in our school which promotes respect for each other and the importance of listening. By teaching students to reflect and comment on their work as well as peers,it supports and builds a sense of unity for their class.

My student lesson is writing lesson on Sentence Fluency.

Read OWL MOON by Jane Yolen.
Discuss the flow of the writing and how it builds to a main event. The long sentences begin the journey in search of the owl, then the sentences shorten as tension builds. Long and flowing sentences are where the piece is descriptive and thoughtful; short and snappy sentences are where the author wants to make a point.

The students will recognize the rhythm and flow of sentence structure used by the author.

The students will use sentence fluency to build suspense and anticipation to a main event.

The students will write sentence beginnings that are varied and purposeful when writing.

The students will share their suspenseful paragraphs on the class blog with the class and parents.

The student will develop the skill in writing that uses the sounds of the words to enhance the meaning of the sentence.

Look and study the structure of the sentences from OWL MOON.
[teacher prepared copy]
Count the number of words in each sentence of the first paragraph. Decide which sentences are long, medium or short. Have students observe the variety. Circle words that have power.[trees stood still as giant statues] Note how sentences are graceful, varied, rhythmic - almost musical. Sentences flow and move to an event.

Procedure for writing
Using the technique of sentence fluency, the students will be asked to choose a topic to write about that builds suspense or anticipation. They will be remind to vary sentence beginnings and lengths.
Teacher will read a sample of writing to a topic to model the expectations.
Students who have difficulty choosing a topic can choose from a premade list:

When students have finished editing and revising their paragraph on sentence fluency the teacher or parent assistant will post it on the class blog.
At home students and parents can comment on their writing as well as their peers using the class blog. The sentence fluency rubric will be posted along with the blogs.

Instruction Design
Students who have difficulty with writing may need to pick a topic from the prepared list and brainstorm using a web.
Students who have difficulty with writing may use the Alphasmart to type their paragraph.
Students that complete the writing assignment before others may pick another topic to write about.
Students may work with a partner if they have difficulties writing to a topic.
Students might peer edit for sentence variation and length.
Student will read final piece and evaluate it using the rubric.
In teaching this lesson, I will need to pace it according to the student's ability and focus. They may need more or less modeling.

Writing Standard E2b...Student responds to literature and demonstrates an understanding of the literary work.
Writing Standard E2c...The student produce literature that uses a range of appropiate strategies, such as dialogue, questions, sound effects, action, thoughts, feelings; that builds suspense or tension.
Writing Standard E4a...The student will demonstrate the ability to select a more precise word.
Writing Standard E4b...Students show the ability to use varying sentence patterns and lengths.
Writing Standard 1...Students develop a habit of reworking, revising, editing and proofreading their work.
Speaking, Listening, Viewing Standard E3a...The student participates in group meetings, in which the student volunteers contributions and responds when directed by the teacher.

Present the rubric to the students before they begin writing.
The rubric may be used for self-evaluation, peer evaluation, or teacher evaluation. Using the class blog, I would like the students to self-evaluate themselves with their parents imput as well.

Sentence Fluency Rubric
5 Exceeds the Standard
It sounds great when I read this aloud.
Iused many different ways to begin my sentences.
Some of my sentences are long. Some are short and strong.
3 Meets the Standard
It sounds like I need some things when I read this aloud.
I used a few different ways to begin my sentences.
I have used a few sentences that are different lengths.
1 Working Toward the Standard
It sounds like it doesn't make much sense when I read this aloud.
Most of my sentences all start the same way.
My sentences seem to be all the same length.

In posting the students writing to our classroom blog, I am hoping to promote technology as a way of communicating as well as building enthusiasm for writing. Students will view themselves as publishers and by commenting on each others work they will become responsible, contributing citizens of our classroom.

juliep said...

Title of Lesson: What do you know about your favorite author?
Grade Level(s): Grade 5
Author: Julie Ponn, Librarian


While working with the 5th grade team on their book reviews I have expanded this unit to include some research on the authors of their books. The classroom teachers instructed the students to choose a novel, read it for literature time and complete a short book review to the present to the class. In conjunction with this lesson, while the students were in the library for library class I expanded on this and created a list of author websites that the students were reading and created an activity guide to help them explore. The students were given the choice of what book to read and author to study.

Read a novel for free choice.
Complete an in class book review presentation to their classroom teacher and other students.
Browse through author website and complete activity guide.
Write on librarian’s blog addressing the question “Would you want to be friends with the author and why?”
SOL Standards, Numbers, and Descriptors:
C/T 3-5.7 The student will use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.
C/T 3-5.8 The student will use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
C/T 3-5.5 The student will demonstrate knowledge of technologies that support collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity.
C/T 3-5.4 The student will practice responsible use of technology systems, information, and software.
21st Century Standards, Numbers, and Descriptors:
ICT Literacy

Apply Technology Effectively
Use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate and communicate information
Use digital technologies (computers, PDAs, media players, GPS, etc.), communication/networking tools and social networks appropriately to access, manage, integrate, evaluate and create information to successfully function in a knowledge economy
Apply a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of information technologies

Length of Lesson: 3 weeks working with the classroom teachers

Equipment, Materials, Worksheets:
1 Computer
2 SmartBoard
3 Internet
4 Speakers
5 Student lab with at least 25 computers
6 Author activity guide
7 Librarians blog
8 Pencils
9 Student free choice of a novel
10 Portaportal website

The students will review how to access the Alvey Library Portaportal website and how to access individual author websites.
Review internet safety that has been covered by our ITRT (Instructional Technology Resource Teacher).
Teacher and students will have a discussion about appropriate blogging language in a classroom setting.
Writing Assignments:

The individual classroom teachers are asking for book reviews in a variety of formats. Small groups are sent to the library for word processing, skit practice or what ever their small group may need assistance with.
Successful completion of author activity guide.
Successful posting to Librarians Blog.
Extension and Adaptations:

Students are given the opportunity to read a novel of their choice as long as it is at the students reading level.
The students are given the free choice of how they present their book review to their class with the approval of their classroom teacher.
Students may use any equipment to aide in the book review that the school has access to.

Teachers will assess individual student book reviews and presentations.
Librarian will require students to complete an author activity guide, where they will answer the questions based on the information they are able to attain from the author’s website.
Teacher will grade and record the activity guide as a language arts grade for the quarter.

Possible pitfalls and difficulties that I face:

Creating a permission form with the assistance of my ITRT to get the kids going on Edublog.
Educating the kids on how to use a blog and what one is, as I learn I won’t have all the answers and I don’t know how I feel at times when the kids know more than I do.
Permission from my administration, they are very unfamiliar with any type of technology other than e-mail so they can be a bit afraid to try new things.
Relying on our network within the building is a huge pitfall. Technology is wonderful when it works but you always need a backup plan.
Approving all posts prior to the students comments being posted to the blog. Never using a blog in a classroom setting before I don’t know how long it will take me to read through all the posts before I approve them. I would imagine that it would go pretty fast but I just don’t know enough right now to anticipate all the problems this could bring.

HerMom said...

Rebecca Gordon
Deliverable #2

I have used movies to impress upon students reality when it comes to history. I once had a substitute that told my students that slavery wasn't so bad because slave owners were not always cruel, she was from the South. I immediately went out and bought "The Amastad"
to give my students a reality check about how Africans got here. It worked out really well.

I recreated my Blog, yes it is not pink, for the use in my US History class. We will be watching the mini-series, John Adams, and assignments and food for thought will go through the blog. I want the students to dig deep within themselves and picture the awesomeness of creating a new democratic country, an experiment that never had been done before.

Students take for granted what occurred 232 years ago. They think American History is boring. They see our Forefathers as stuffy old men where in fact they were in their 30's. Students are always suprised to learn that.

Using the blog for assignments and conversation will allow all students to see and contribute to the depth of that conversation. They can agree or disagree with eachother about the content and the experience of watching countrymen turned traitors against their mother country.


I will have to create a rubric for their response writing and contributions to the blog.

I will also using the Listening Rubric to assess proficiency.