Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thinking Towards 2011

As I begin to reflect on having iPods in my classroom this year, I believe we have made many significant gains. I told my teaching partner, Sarah, I believe the iPods are another tool just like their pencil. I am going to continue to focus on three goals: creativity, collaboration and communication with the iPods.Those 3 C's have really guided my thinking.  As I look ahead to 2011, I am always thinking about how can I continue to focus on the 3 C's as well as allow my students to become more involved with their iPods. Here are some of the BIG ideas for the upcoming year.  

First, I am going to have the students choose their favorite app and write about how they use the app in their learning. Also they will include one fun fact.  I am going to start a monthly feature on the blog in which the top two apps will be reviewed by the students. I am excited to learn about the apps from their perspectives. Also a few students have gone to the App Store and have made suggestions for different apps as well as songs they would like added to their iPods. Right now they are asking me to add some new songs that sing in their Spanish class which I plan on doing during the holidays.

Second I am going to have the students create another digital story but this time using an app called Storyrobe which is free.  This app allows the students to create a mobile digital story that includes images (both internet and photos that the students can take). This will be a new challenge because our iPods don't have a camera, so I am going to have them bring in photos and import them into their iPhoto Library on their iPod.  The students will be able to voice record their story which will be new because we have not recorded on their iPods yet.  Finally they will email their story to me and we will share them with the class as well as post them on our class web page so the parents can view them. 

Next along with a lot of support from Mark, our TST,  I am going to learn about google docs so that I can begin to explore digital learning beyond the classroom. I plan on implementing this through my Life Science unit that I will be starting in February.  The focus is on comparing ecosystems, identify how organisms change and are affected by the change, finally the transfer of energy in food chains and food webs. If you have any additional links, picture books  (thanks Karen @ Literate Lives) or ideas on this topic please leave me a comment.

Lastly Mark and I will be preparing to present at the Dublin Lit Conference on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 at Dublin Coffman High School. This year professional speakers include Kelly Gallagher, Patrick Allen, Troy Hicks,and Christian Long.  Children's authors include Brian Pinkney, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Wendy Mass and Loren Long.  Here is the link for the brochure.  

My school goes through Dec. 22 then I will be on holiday break through the New Year. I am going to enjoy having my family home for the holidays and take a blogging break until after the New Year. One of the things I am thankful for is the opportunity to be on this journey in the blogging world.  Thanks for reading and coming along with me on this adventure.  Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and an amazing New Year.  See you in 2011.

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