Homework Calendar

Monday, July 4, 2011

11 Tools-Tool #7

Tool #7 is about creating on-line communities so that students & teachers & classrooms around the world can communicate with each other. I looked at Class2Class Math projects and was impressed with the ideas I found. I like the idea of the hands across America project and the paper airplane project. I think my students would be interested in participating. The M&M project is an old idea but I’m thinking I could make it even more interdisciplinary by having student then write a persuasive letter to the Mars Company requesting more of a certain color M&M in the packages.

I also looked at Taking It Global, but felt that website had project better suited for middle and high school students. I will have to get to know my students first to determine if they are ready for a global project.

I have used SKYPE in other situations and have found it to be very helpful. I looked at the ‘framing a lesson using SKYPE’ and love that idea. I think this is where I will go with my collaborative lesson.


a. Objective: TSW understand the writing process-prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.

b. I plan to implement this project in the fall semester.

c. I plan to use SKYPE in the classroom. I am hoping I can get Kate DiCamillo to do a SKYPE session with my class. I am also thinking we could use Today’s Meet to include Kate in a book club discussion of one of her books. And, perhaps, I could include another 4th grade class at another school by using Today’s Meet or a blog to respond.

d. My thinking right now is two-fold. I would like for my students to have a conversation with a published author, Kate DiCamillo, to ask her about her writing process. Does she engage in each step of the process? How do the steps work for her? Does she have help from outside people as she writes? Where do the ideas for stories start and what happens next?

My second thought is to engage in book club discussions with Kate about her books. I have several of her titles in sets for book clubs and I think it might be interesting for her to hear what kids think about the characters and the stories she wrote. Also, I would like to find another class that could also read Kate’s books and we could have an on-line book club discussion.

e. I have an idea of another class at another SBISD school that might like to participate in this project with me. I also have a friend who teaches in Michigan who might also like to participate. I’ll work on this and see what business I drum up!

Ok, this is it for Tool #7-I very much like the idea of using SKYPE for classrooms and I think that will work great-especially with Activeboards in the classrooms. And, the Class2class projects are something that I would definitely like to try. Again, I am disappointed in the EdModo website. I cannot log-on because I need a code from SBISD. 11 tools is supposed to be able to be done without needing anyone’s help-it’s a holiday and I have time today to work on this project, but cannot get into the website. I am hoping that next weekend-when I come back to work on 11 tools, I can get into the EdModo website.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

11 Tools-Tool #6

This tool is about using technology tools to promote discussion within the classroom. The first tool I tried was wallwisher. I was introduced to this website in an ActivBoard training a couple of weeks ago during the TECHBlitz workshops. I will be teacher the Abydos Learning/NJWP Summer Writing Institute starting next week and I think this website will be a good way to begin the discussion on day 2 of day 1's homework. So, I created a wallwisher account and set up a site for me to use next week. Here's the link.

I also tried Google Docs again. I was disappointed to see that the link to a tutorial YouTube video was not hot. I’m not sure I did what the tool directed asked for. I went into documents and then to presentation. I didn’t know that Google Docs has a similar program to Power Point to use for presentations. I created a short slideshow to use in the Writing Institute next week. I shared it with my co-presenter so she could comment and add to the slideshow.

I have used Google Docs in several meetings and it is a great way for everyone to comment and work on one document. I can see students using this to write about a common event, such as a Science experiment or a field trip. Here is the link to my Google Doc slideshow:


I also tried Today’s Meet. I have used this program in a couple of meetings and it worked really well. I created a site for the participants in the summer writing institute to comment. I think this would work really well at the beginning of each day so that participants could comment on the readings from the previous night’s homework. I can also see how this could work in my classroom-especially in Science. As we are doing an investigation, students could comment on what they see happening, then everyone could see their thinking. It could also work in book clubs. As readers are reading they could comment and then see each others’ thinking. I am not sure how to access a ‘room’ that’s already been created. If I remember what I called it, then that’s fine. But if I can’t, how do I access the room again? Here’s my link: