Monday, August 4, 2008
I love, love, love this site. I found two sites that I am definitely interested in. . . one I joined and the other I will watch. The one I joined is a reader of YA books and the one I am watching is a teen book club. Both will be valuable resources to find fresh reading materials for my growing readers. I will probably have to buy a membership to catalog all of my books. . . but it's worth it.
The image generators were fun. I used http://www.imagechef.com/ to create this poster. I know my students will get a huge laugh out of it...that sweet baby girl is my granddaughter, and they all know how much she loves to have someone read to her! They have watched her grow from newborn to 15 months and have all had to sit and read to her at some point, whether it has been nursery rhymes or a storybook. And while they may refuse to read aloud for me, none of them has ever refused to read to her. I can see lots of uses for the image generators. . . the students should have great fun adding them to their blogs about their reading.
I don't spend much time on surfing the net looking for information, so I'm not really sure how much use this tool will be for me. I can see the kids enjoying using it, and I am sure we will explore RSS during the school year. Maybe with more time spent on this tool I will come to like it more. Google does make it easy to set up a reader, but I would like to spend more time on the other sites, too. Something to spend time on in my free time when I'm bored. . . ;)
I'm not sure yet about RSS and newsreaders yet. I did set up a reader and I added some bundles, but I will have to taylor it a lot more before I am happy with it. I think for me, this technology will be best to stay abreast of new books and articles that are appropriate for my classroom. Of course, at this point I am still searching for feeds that will have the information that I need. I would think libraries could use this technology in the same way to stay abreast of new publications for their readers.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
After exploring Google I found several tools that would be useful in the classroom. Google Docs has several applications that would be useful to my students. . .templates that would help them with tracking projects and writing papers, etc. Google Earth might actually help my students conceptualize spatial relationships of countries and help them understand where events take place in the world. And Google Notebook will definitely help them when doing research for projects. And then, of course, there is Atomic Learning which will help me teach them these various tools.
Teaching special needs high schoolers is sometimes a real challenge. . .especially when they are struggling with reading. Anything that allows them to make connections and express their ideas is a welcome addition to the tools in my toolbox. I can see using the trading cards, mosaics, and mashups to get the kids to make connections to places, people, and other things they are learning. It should be fun watching them play with these tools and teach each other. . .it should stimulate some interesting conversations about what they are reading.
Monday, July 28, 2008
I had never heard of Flickr and I don't know if my students have. It is definitely a great source for pictures. . . much more appropriate for school than some of the other sites like Google. I will be teaching a unit on Afghanistan this year and found some really nice pictures that hopefully will stimulate my students' interest. I want to build awareness of other cultures and beliefs and hope that my students will be interested in searching for pictures that support their reading. Here is one of the ones I will be using: