Monday, May 17, 2010

Downloading Youtube Music

Today I found a great little tool that is so easy to use. Thanks to Amanda S she introduced me to a very catchy little tune the Bazooka Bubblegum Song. We chose to use this in our syndicate assembly and I needed to download the youtube music to MP3 format.
I used I copied the youtube URL and entered it on this website, applied High Quality. It then converts the youtube to a MP3. You are then asked to download and I saved this into "My Music" - super easy. By the way the kids love this song especially the little dance.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Literacy Programming

Following on from my post on classroom programming, this week and the purposeful integration of ICT in my classroom programme and time restraints I decided to create an individual plan for one of my reading groups.  I broke down the two days that I am in the classroom into 20-25 minute blocks and planned a variety of literacy activities with specific learning intentions that required the students to self-evaluate their learning.  During the morning I would pull this group back to work with me during guided reading time and written language time.

The main focus for me this week with this group was to support these students so that they were able to follow this contract system independently.  I did not ask my children to reflect/self-evaluate their ability to "self manage" their learning tasks.  Next week I will add this to my planning.

Am very keen to hear how other teachers manage their classroom rotations and integration of ICT in a more effective and manageable manner.  We had a quick discussion at our lead teachers day at Elm Park today about different ways to integrate ICT and plan literacy.  Am very keen to continue along the lines of having individual contracts for each group, however, realise the importance of making sure learning is purposeful, students are aware of what they are learning e.g. WALTs and WILFs

Classroom Programming

Having only 2 consecutive days in my class is proving a challenge.  Today I decided I would focus totally on completing or getting further ahead with a variety of ICT activities that I have started.  I trained 2 experts to assist students to add pages onto their knet and then link these to their "learning" page and this job was then passed onto 4 different students later in the day.  Took just over an hour but the job was done.  Having real problems with recording clearly and then when linked playing back - need a more reliable source.  At the moment have decided with going with downloading video into voicethread and then children can comment using just one programme.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Delicious Bookmarking

Thanks Victoria for making me join up to Delicious, have been aware of this tool for a while but never really thought I would benefit from using it. Alas I was wrong already tonight I have saved 4 different websites and I love the idea of tagging them. After a couple of times realised what I thought was a longwinded procedure was not. Can see it will not take long to build up my library, plus the good thing about this Victoria has already shared all her websites with me. Will spread the disease with the rest of my team at our pod meeting tomorrow. Thanks Vic.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

School Holiday Power Blogging - Post No. 7

Yesterday was our whole school professional development day "Saving Your Sanity" was presented by Colleen Deveyrac - "I am deeply committed to helping people formulate innovative and dynamic plans to reduce stress and to help children and youth recognise their full potential."

Colleen provided us with proactive ideas and strategies to help teachers effectively teach children with autism, ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. In her interactive lecture she provide many opportunities for teachers/professional to share their thoughts/ideas about a variety of concerns e.g. role of the teacher has changed in the past 20 years, students are not passive learners, ADHD brain v's a neuro-typical. Different scenarios were provided and strategies were given, Proactive v's Reactive, what sort of teacher are we? We unpacked the meaning behind Discipline/Punishment and the possible effects this has on our learners.

Throughout the day Colleen constantly referred to her love of the website youtube and the profound effect it has on our students who struggle to communicate and the ability it gives to create powerful messages to share to create greater awareness within our society - no to mention support one another.

As teachers it is our responsibility to ensure that every opportunity is provided for all our students to share their thoughts and ideas - to give them a voice, to help nurture creative and innovative thinkers. Using our ever changing technology to break free from the classroom walls - I need to make this happen more !!!

It was a great day and as Colleen summed up at the end of the day the most important thing is "You!!!!" - so have just come back from 2 hour walk, thanks Edwina - you're in charge of the route next week.

School Holiday Power Blogging - Post No. 6

I have recently downloaded this iPhone application "BC Reader" ($4.99) thanks to a recent post from Manaiakalani . Sadly I don't have an iPhone but I do own a husband who does and he happens to be one of those ones that is constantly losing business cards and then blaming those near and dear to him for throwing them out. Now all our treasure hunts will be over ....

Just one more iPhone gadget that is really cool and is a goody, Debbie you will like this - it's called "Shazam". Hold your iPhone in the direction of where the music is playing the phone will listen for a small period of time, scan for the song, name the song and then ask if you would like to down from itunes to your iPhone - how simple is that, I love it, only problem is I don't have an iPhone - there's another hint Mother's Day is coming up???

School Holiday Power Blogging - Post No. 5

After visiting Amanda's blog a few weeks ago I read her post on Apimac Timer that she downloaded and uses for a variety of reasons but most importantly in her class rotations. I loved that idea, as am always looking for new innovative ways to manage my classroom. After further investigating I realised this was an apple device, so promptly went searching for a pc version and I originally downloaded one from Download 3K but had to convert music to wav files and then when I did this I found it wasn't that straight forward to work.

So since then have been reading Victoria's blog and have now downloaded Prime Time Freeware so watch this space and I will let you know how we go in the classroom.

School Holiday Power Blogging - Post No. 4

During the term I was lucky enough to attend a Sue Larkey Autism Course. What an inspirational lady and not to mention entertaining. The convention room was packed and she shared with us a multitude of scenarios that she has been involved with over the years. The day was engaging, she kept us involved throughout as we were given opportunities to be involved in discussion with other professionals as we delved into the complexities and issues related to this disorder.

We were given a variety of strategies to support these learners and I have already set in place social stories for my students. However, I think the most provoking moment of the day was a short video that she showed "Autism Teen Finds Inner Voice" - it just highlighted to me ... where would we be today without the technology we have available to us to provide these trapped people the ability to be able to communicate and the importance of providing a multitude of teaching and learning tools to support our diverse learners.

Friday, April 16, 2010

School Holiday Power Blogging - Post No. 3

Even though it was the last week of the school term I was very excited about our whole day school professional development meeting with Pam Hook and Julie Mills - our inspiring SOLO taxonomy gurus. Having been to several breakouts during Learning at Schools was looking forward to finding out some more information on this "Structured Overview of Learning Outcomes".

I had done a little dabbling in my class and pod, however, was not entirely sure we were on the right track. Pam gave us an overview of the SOLO concept which certainly challenged my thinking. In Pam's own words it's a "brutal" simplistic framework that allows students to easily identify at what stage of thinking they are at, students can easily recognise what steps they need to take to improve their achievement and also provides teachers with very clear guidelines of where to next in terms of teaching. Most importantly it highlighted the importance of never under-estimating our learners.

We investigated the need to develop a whole school curriculum concept map and this will be an area of focus for our staff this term. Having an opportunity to be involved in choosing macro concepts and micro concepts will provide a more structured way of ensuring we meet all the requirements of our curriculum.

We created some "What If ...." questions to support our Water Conservation inquiry for term 2. What if questions are aligned to an identified achievement objective and level from the NZC, they help students explore the concept, context and achievement objectives identified through other perspectives, differences, alternatives, controversies and disputes. These were some of the "What if ...." questions that 5 staff members came up with in 5 minutes.

Here is a video from demonstrating the use of signals by Our Lady Star of the Sea, a school that has had recent pd on SOLO. "Brutal and Simple".

School Holiday Power Blogging - Post No. 2

I am in the process of updating our knowledgenet pod pages for middle and senior school. A big thanks to Bridget have nabbed some of your child friendly search engines. These will definately come in handy during our Water Conservation Inquiry this term.

wikipeida for kids

Yahoo for kids

Ask kids

Any Questions

Kid Rex

Kids Click

Quintura for kids


Monday, April 5, 2010

School Holiday Power Blogging - Post No. 1

Helped present at our Cluster Share afternoon with Victoria. Was very scary even though my only job was to make sure I clicked at the right times for Vic and then spoke very briefly on our Inquiry section. Well done Victoria on completing the presentation on behalf of our school it was great and good to see you using a new tool that you saw in use at Learning @ Schools in Rotorua this year. Here is the link to our presentation.

Was interesting to see what each school has planned for 2010 and the similar pathways that Botany School are taking e.g. dabbling in SOLO taxonomy to lift our students level of thinking.

Belinda introduced our Cluster Share and purpose of afternoon and importance of "sustainability" in light of the contract ending.

She showed a you tube clip which I found extremely relevant in terms of gathering "followers" It talks about the IMPORTANCE of being a "1st Follower" it is an under-appreciated form of leadership, the "1st Follower" transforms a "lone nut" into a leader. We are need more 'FOLLOWERS" desperately.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

ICT Lead Teachers Reflection

Well here we are in our 3rd year of cluster. Feel like have come a long way but wishing that there were 3 more years to come. Shared from the Learning at Schools Conference, found breakout by Elm Park on e-portfolios really interesting, shared the purpose of these, benefits, positive and negative aspects of them, left me asking questions and seriously questioning the value of paper porfolios. As a result also has inspired me to develop my knet pages and create areas for my students to share their learning and evidence of this.

Looked into a variety of Action Research Topics this morning and then discussed with Victoria her action research "Digikids" that she has started. Certainly a worthy topic to research and investigate ways of supporting our staff and students. Have discussed with Victoria and I will support and establish digikids in pods 3 and 4.

Again another yummy morning tea was devoured. Thanks Belinda