October 31, 2007

Digital Storytelling with a Smartboard

My filmmaking group is ready to begin planning their own films. So far they have learned how to use digital still and video cameras, a tripod, and two software programs: Photo Story 3 for Windows and Movie Maker. I felt it was important for them to understand all of the tools of filmmaking/digital storytelling before deciding what kind of story they would like to tell through film. Using a Smartboard was a great way for me to teach my students how to use all the tools of filmmaking in an interactive way. Here is a digital film made with Photo Story called, Filmmaking is Fabulous! Check it out:

What do you think?

October 14, 2007

Online Resource Extravaganza

So many online teaching resources...so little time to explore them all! Do you ever feel like that? I sure do. But what a wonderful problem to have. When I find one I like and that I think will work for my students I try it out with them. Then I assess how beneficial it was to use with them. Many times I will use that resource again and share it with my colleagues. Here are some of my favorite online activities that I have used with my third graders so far this year:

Writing: Online Letter Generator allows students to write a letter and learn about the parts of a letter

Reading: Starfall is a site designed for pre-school through second grade students who are learning how to read. I use it with some of my third graders with special needs-they love it! Teachers can even order reading and writing journals that go along with the online stories (for free).

Math: Learning Planet is a great place for pre-school through 6th graders to work on basic math facts and skip counting skills. My students can easily play the games on this site and enjoy coming back to them again, and again.

Do you know of any wonderful online teaching resources? What are they?

October 4, 2007

Bringing Yourself Into the Classroom

Wow...Is it really October? What happened to August and September? I feel like the last two months have passed by as quickly as a hummingbird in flight. Now that the school year is off to a crazy and lovely start and my students are getting used to me and I am getting used to them, I feel ready for the real learning and fun to launch into the next level!

I believe all teachers bring themselves into the classroom. I know I do. I share the things I love and enjoy with my students! I love reading, writing, poetry, and filmmaking! I love when my students ask questions about the world around them in critical ways, and I love allowing them the freedom and structure to answer those questions, or at least attempt to. I hope to bring my interest in technology into my classroom much more, starting NOW!

As a Global Learner in Adams County School District 14, I am given many resources and the support I need to teach my students with technology and to allow them to learn through technology. I feel very lucky to have that opportunity. I also feel that I have been so busy with the start of the school year so I haven't taken extra time and effort to utilize technology in my classroom as much as I would have liked, to take advantage of that opportunity.

As I write this blog post, I am writing to reaffirm my commitment to 21st Century Learning and to being a Global Learner. I am writing to remind myself that it is easy to feel overwhelmed, but I need to take small steps as I grow in my comfort level in teaching with technology. As I try out teaching with technology in new ways with my students it is scary and exciting. But the more I do it, the easier it will be. Overtime my students and I will be able to do more as we learn about 21st Century Learning tools together.