Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New skills that I learned..

      I think it was very beneficial to take the time to learn these skills. I was really surprised with how much I didn't know about word and publisher.  Now that I learned these new skills it will take me a lot less time to complete many tasks. I think publisher will be the most helpful for me. Publisher has many templates to choose from, which I know I will be using in the classroom. I really like the newsletter templates because there are many to choose from, and they help you organize the information you have to share. As a teacher I know I will use microsoft word almost daily in my classroom so I can apply many of the skills I learned to this. I know I will also be using publisher to create many things such as, newsletters, flyers, certificates, calendars, and many other things. Now that I know that making concept maps can be done in a much easier way, I am sure I will use Inspiration in my classroom, and I will probably even have the students use it to create their own concept maps.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Inspiration, PLNs, and Social Bookmarking

I would most likely purchase Inspiration for the classroom, it is very beneficial in many ways.
How I could incorporate it into my classroom..
-Concept maps can be used for students to organize their thoughts when writing a story
-Can be used in science to show what certain things are made up of
-Can be used in mathematics to show ways to solve a problem
-Foreign languages can also benefit because teachers could use concept maps to show the different forms of verbs
- The picture tool in Inspiration can help younger kids learn new vocabulary
- Teachers can use concept maps to help break down instructions for kids that have a hard time understanding
- Diagrams can also be made by the students so they can help keep track of their thoughts
-There are many different diagrams to choose from, depending on what subject you need
-  Students can use concept maps to make a story web about particular stories they are reading in class
- When having to make a concept map for anything, I will never again spend hours in word trying to create the lines and circles!

Personal Learning Networks
     I tend to ask my other elementary education peers for their input on questions that I seem to be struggling with. Sometimes I even ask my professors for answers that I am not sure about. I also look a lot of information up online. For example,  I am always looking up new lesson plan ideas. While online I always search in Google for the information I need. I have just recently became a huge fan of Pinterst.com. I am finding tons of education ideas on this website. I think I will start using this website more often to look up education ideas (and many other ideas for that matter).

Social Bookmarking
       I believe social bookmarking does indeed have an application in my classroom. Social bookmarking can effect me and my students in many ways. Social bookmarking allows you to bookmark sites and then use the handy tool of tagging, so you can later find a website relating to a certain topic. This could also benefit children. If children were to have their on social bookmarking account then they could also bookmark and tag their favorite websites. As  a teacher, tagging websites dramatically cuts down on the amount of time you would spend searching for particular websites in your favorites. Often times, people add 'important' websites to their favorites and forget they even exist, but with social bookmarking websites can be added and then later searched for by the tag description. Another fantastic thing about social bookmarking is that it is portable, no matter what computer you are at, or where you are at, you can always access your bookmarked websites.
   As a student, social bookmarking can and will help me. I can now find lesson plans and save them under certain tags and then later search for them.Websites will no longer just be put into one folder under my favorites. They will now have multiple tags, so when I go to search a topic I will have many things to choose from.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Just had to share..

For those of you who haven't heard of pinterest.com , read this website. I just became a member today and LOVE it. There are soooooo many awesome ideas for teachers... and really anything! 


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Blogs & Google Docs

1.       There are many ways I could incorporate blogs into my classroom. At the day care I work at we just studied the migration pattern of the Whooping Crane, and everyday we would go online to track their progress. This could have easily been turned into a blogging activity. I could have had the kids reflect on how far the birds traveled within a specific day and they could have even talked about there responses to some of the questions I asked in class.
         Another way I could use blogs in the classroom could be for language arts and reading. I could instruct the kids to make up a story (with certain requirements) and then have them type their story onto their blog. I would then give them the opportunity to read their blog to the class. Each day I could have the students make up mini stories that would require them to use their imagination and to be creative.

Advantages of using technology in the classroom
  • Gets students involved
  • Makes learning fun
  • More students are growing up with technology, so it would be weird for them not to use it in the classroom
  • More ways to teach lessons

  • Can get easily sidetracked
  • Not enough teachers use it
  • Technology can break/ not work


2. Google Docs is a very helpful tool, especially when it comes to working on group projects. From the reading I learned the Google Docs is accessed from your browser, so you can use it with any operating system. There is also no need to install upgrades, because it is accessed online there is no need to do this. So therefore, because everyone is using the same version there won't be any difficulties with saving and opening docs then having to convert the file.

Advantages of using Google Docs over traditional Word
  • Sharing the document, then having other people edit it on their own time
  • Being able to open it anywhere
  • Creating slideshows and spreadsheets
  • Just like Microsoft Word, a lot of the same options
  • Can  get instant feedback from other group members
  • Don't have to meet with groups to create a power point
  • Don't have to save to USB.. can just save right on Google Docs and open it anywhere
  • If someone else edits the doc and erases your work, it's gone...right?
  • Not everyone is familiar with it.. or even knows about it