Week 3 Reflection

I just wrote my Week 3 Reflection on my ipad air and went to publish it, but it didn’t go through.  Apparently, I forgot to save it.  So now I shall begin again.  Am having difficulty with several things right now.  Under the supposedly dailygood.org RSS feed in my blog are articles  from Word Press.  I need to make sure I have the correct URL for that. . . Just stopped to fix that, so now the Word Press articles are gone and the dailygood articles are there.  Yeah!

Let’s just start with my first video (a short intro to how this video process went). . . . Well it just said, “this file type is not allowed. Please try another.” So here’s what happened. I made a 10 minute video of my classroom last night. Then at home I tried to upload it to YouTube. I thought it was publishing to YouTube, and then at the end it said “can’t publish.”

So then this morning I tried to trim the video of my classroom literacy centers into several short videos. All those shorts got sent to the wrong address (the one without the hyphen in my last name; argh!). Back to the classroom I went to actually video each literacy center in my classroom separately.

Then at home I sent the first 4 videos to my email, I realized I should be sending them to YouTube to publish. So I sent the next three to YouTube.

Now I just tried to attach my intro from the download file on my computer and it said, “This file type not allowed.” So now I’ll try to send the other 3 from YouTube.

Oh my! I think I just had success with the 7th short video I made.

Am having trouble finding the Listening Center one. I’ll try again. Can’t find it. Now I remember the above video was accidentally sent to be viewed publicly.

Here’s one last thing for now. . . . Uh, Oh . . . no luck. I think I need some in person tutoring.

On another note, I haven’t tweeted yet, but I have immensely enjoyed reading tweets and going to articles referenced in them.  Particularly, the blog by Arne Duncan


Well, that’s all for now.


Reflection – Week 2

Wowza, yowza! My head is spinning! I got very sidetracked when I went to Dr. Karly’s website and took a trip to an ashram in India via a NYT article on the sidebar of her website. I find myself getting sidetracked a lot!

We use google docs weekly at our school to record students’ Daily Math Skills scores as they progress through the Probes. We also record the number of laps they run on Fridays in the Ocelot Trot to eventually earn a marathon T-shirt. However, this week was the first time I interacted with a google doc by commenting right on it.

In the past I tried to sign up for a SKYPE account, thinking I could use it to talk to my sister in Brazil. Somehow I did not have luck. I’m hoping I will be able to use my new ipad air to Skype. I am requesting an in person meeting with my ipad to get help using it for google hangouts and skyping.

Taking this class is making me feel a bit more “in the know” of topics like openness, as well as other things that are currently being discussed in the field of education.
“Learning happens when we face challenges and step out and take on something we don’t know how to do.” I was just talking to my second graders about that this week–if they never make any mistakes, they aren’t really learning something new. This class is really taking me out of my comfort zone (lots of self-doubt and worry!).

I’m going to add http://www.dailygood.org to my sidebar on this website. I’ll take some new risks next week and add an article that was written about my classroom in the Prescott Parent magazine about parents as volunteers in the classroom.

My biggest hurdle is the fear about doing anything which I think is all about me being such a newbie to it all! So any tips on overcoming that fear would be greatly appreciated. Maybe it’s just like anything else–just jump in and start somewhere and learn as you go. Mostly, I would say I’m the “silently lurking” type–just gathering information, looking for the next idea to continually improve my teaching or make me reflect on the whole business of education. I think Twitter will help greatly with that.

The second hurdle is how to organize my limited amount of time (Teaching 2nd grade keeps me busy from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. or later on most weekdays.) so I can mazimize my learning from the use of technology. I’m interested in how others manage their time with/on the internet.

The “A Day Made of Glass” video was absolutely mind blowing!

One last thought . . . for now, I also feel I have NO excuses now to get with it with technology. With instructors like Todd and Thatcher and all their support, I have no excuse. Yikes!

Technology Class Week 1- Reflection

i had the opportunity to take a one-day technology course last summer with Todd and was also introduced to Thatcher. I continually say wow! to all that is possible. I’ve never considered myself very computer savvy, but I think I will increase my use of technology in my classroom after taking this class.  I like that there are 7 weeks to explore and figure out what really might be my next steps in the classroom.

At this time in my second grade classroom I use a doc cam on a daily basis.  I also use digital websites several days a week from our reading program (Reading Street).  It has concept videos, vocabulary songs, phonics and grammar components to go with each week.

Brain pop Jr. Is widely used by me for social studies and science.  I also use it for introducing math concepts.  We have iPods available for student use—a cart of 30 for 3 classrooms to share.  I don’t use them much.  There are 4 laptops in my room with the Read Naturally program for my non-fluent readers to practice fluency for 15 minutes a day.

My hope is to greatly expand my use of technology—to do creative projects, blog and send pictures to the parents of my students, possibly have my students blog, maybe collaborate with another classroom?

i greatly enjoy all the educational readings, the TED talks and other you tube videos that I have been led to through the first week of this class.  Thank you, Todd and Thatcher!

Escaping the Education Matrix: Steve Hargadon

Steve Hargadon is very interested in the future of education and writes/speaks about how to promote change. He asks big questions like, “What are most kids getting out of 12 years of school?” The article says the fundamental design of education is that the smartest students rise to the top and that sends a message to the majority of students that they are losers. He goes on to say that doesn’t square with the belief in the inherent value and capacity of every child that teachers profess.

I agree with his statement, “the process of becoming a self-directed, independent learner is a very human process.” He values recognizing the different needs of every student, and helping each one become personally competent as a learner; he says that won’t happen online.

One of my hobbies is reading about change in education. Learning is the very thing we do in life from the moment we are born. My goal this year is to motivate students to be independent, competent learners alongside recognizing the strengths and differences in each child.


To Teach or Not to Teach Cursive Handwriting

George Couros thinks that educators need to focus on video and computer skills rather than teaching cursive handwriting.  He is the principal of innovative teaching for Parkland School Division in Edmonton, Canada and says communication is evolving.

Jim Brand, another Canadian educator, says cursive should still be taught because it helps develop hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and even creativity.  He has gone so far as to say the quality of work on paper seems better than typed work because of the creativity that is sparked when people hand write their work.

Vimala Rodgers, an educator, handwriting expert, and Master Alphabetician, and author of the bestseller, Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life, says you are making a personal statement about the attitudes that run your life.  She says it is the subconscious mind that moves the pen, not the hand; and through writing one can reprogram the subconscious, break the bonds of outdated thinking habits, and awaken sleeping talents, abilities and dreams.  (Now that is a tall order!)

As a second grade teacher, I can tell you that students ask to learn cursive.  One student last year had completely taught himself (with some help from his parents maybe?) and preferred to do his writing assignments in cursive.  Other students were attempting to imitate him and teach themselves.

This year it will be part of the curriculum and is built into the Pearson reading program we are using.  I think it can be a creative, fun activity and plan to enjoy teaching it this year.