Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Start blogging!



Denise Johnson very helpfully gave us a series of steps to go from blogging novices to blogging experts.  We tried out step 1 last week, which was to read other blogs, and I'd like to try step 2 this week, which is to blog!  I'm not going public with this - just us and perhaps some of our techy friends.  So here are some blog starters - pick one and post your response in the comments - just a couple sentences is fine!
-what content are you teaching right now in language arts?  SS?  Do you know if there are any related eBooks?
-have you tried blogging with your students?  Tell a little bit about your experience
-what technology did you try out this past week?  How'd it go?
-what's frustrating you about technology at the moment?

21 comments:

  1. In Language Arts, we are working on how characters change over time. We are also writing research reports on famous people in history and their biggest accomplishment to the world. Our non-fiction unit focuses on using the countries of Central and South America. Students take notes on purpose questions and then create a summary. Ebooks for these countries has been offered to students from a Symbaloo that Joyce created for them. In Social Studies, we are analyzing the events of the War of 1812 through the action cycle framework. Students are creating prezis for specific battles and then sharing them with classmates. Students in our class have blogged in the past during writing. Part of our writing process has involved posting to Kidblog and then responding to two of our classmates (which I assign as their blog buddies) concerning what we liked and why we liked it. Last week and this week, I am asking students to blog about events that they are looking forward to as a way to share and build community within our classroom. I have found that students enjoy blogging as long as the task is modeled and students know exactly what they are blogging about. In the past, I have used blogging as an exit ticket for the end of a lesson. Students were asked to write a sentence about one thing they learned and one thing they now have a question about. Students enjoyed contributing in this manner, but I am still working out a way to time manage a time to process these questions and comments as a class. I wish we had more time!!!! That is the hardest thing I think, that we always seem to run out of time. This week students will work on their individual prezis about specific battles during the War of 1812. I find that it can be tough getting to all students and editing in the moment, so I tend to go back in and edit their posts before posting them. I also think it might work to have them type their post in Word and then copy and paste it it to Kid Blog. This Friday, I will try that strategy and see how it goes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where do you post the prezis? Is it someplace that I (and other interested teachers!) could view? Do parents get to view them?

      Delete
    2. Ok, so started playing around with the best way to post the prezis for all to view- so far, embedding it into the website directly has not worked- the gadget does not come up after I embed the code in the html form, but what did work was adding the link to the page and then just having it go to the website link directly from the page. I am going to try to set up a webpage that is only for Prezis and see if that works. Let me know if you have found a way to get the embed gadget to work.

      Delete
  2. We introduced our students to email addresses and sent home the Acceptible use policy for parents to sign.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did the same thing with your help.

      Delete
    2. that reminds me - we should probably do that with the North class as well - I have the email addresses

      Delete
  3. I have not used blogger yet, but think it will be fun to use with the kids.

    ReplyDelete
  4. In order to build background knowledge on Helen Keller, our students will be using a Learning Ally book during seat work. Due to time restraints and limited book resources available, we found this solution workable. The students will be listening to the book and identifying traits and providing examples from Helen's actions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is the title of the book? We are doing read alouds at the beginning of the day leading up to the play and I would like to see if I could use the book you are talking about.

      Delete
    2. Julie, can you describe how learning ally works? I'm thinking that maybe I can do the same with my kids with either my fable unit or when we move into our biography unit.

      Delete
    3. It is called Helen and Annie. The format is a bit tricky because it mixes portions of Anne's journal entries with facts about Helen's life.

      Delete
    4. @Zeffie - I have a document on Learning Ally that I share with parents - I'll put it in a separate post, but Julie, Trina, Susan, and Barb have all used Learning Ally so would be good resources.

      Delete
  5. I have not done anything new "tech" wise this past week. I added a few fable ebooks to my classroom library folder on the ipads. We are reading fables in reading groups as the students are learning to identify character traits. For right now, the students will be able to read the fables, or have them read to them during free Friday. I am also thinking about offering reading ebooks on the ipads as a deskbook. Has anyone tried that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks like there are quite a few fables apps in the Apple istore - some free, some not. If you found any that you particularly liked that are paid apps, let me know so I can add that to the budget for next year!

      Delete
  6. In Social Studies we are studying the lives of famous Americans, specifically, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We gave students the option to read ebooks on Friday during SW. It was interesting that several students chose to read their desk books instead. The "Squish" series is popular this month. The publisher we chose to pilot had a lot of picture books & I'm not sure how appealing they were to 4th graders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. hmm - there's definitely an appeal to just being able to pull out a desk book! Which publisher did you feature? I tend to like the bearport or lerner books, also the capstone interactive, which have some graphic novels - although all of these sites tend to focus on info text. Have you tried any Learning Ally books with the kids?

      Delete
  8. Trina,
    Your tech ideas and blog ideas sound like fun. I agree about the time issue.
    We use the ipad in reading group some times for videos and we tried a few ways to publish or pull together ideas. My students are trying kid blog, too. We have written some chatty things, and some responses to reading. I probably need to spend more time in class modeling. When we go on the blog in class, we are usually in three groups with a teacher. We have not used ebooks enough this year, so that is something I could set as a goal. In reading group and social studies we are reading about and generating questions about the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, and we will read a little about the new government.
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have an of the book "Learning about the American Revolution" which is in the curriculum library (although the ebook platform is a bit awkward to use)
      http://lib.myilibrary.com/Open.aspx?id=222778
      and also "What do you know about the American Revolution?"
      http://lib.myilibrary.com/Open.aspx?id=220718

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Joyce!
      (And now that commenting works at school, it must be some strange setting on my at-home computer that won't let me comment.)

      Delete