Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tool #11: Self Assessment & Reflection

Favorite Tools...
As I reflected on my journey through 11 tools, I think my favorite tool was DropBox. I learned how to use this tool, as well as, how it applies to what I do in my position. I plan to use DropBox for photo documenting components of the One Way Dual Language Program. These pictures will be used for presentation purposes, and the entire department will be able to have access to this folder.

Transformed Thinking...
As leaders in staff development, it is our job to model, model, model! :) The more we model the "tech tools," the more teachers will be willing to try something new. My plan is to incorporate technology into my presentations, so that others will see me as a leader both in the area of bilingual/ESL and the area of technology!

Unexpected Outcomes...
One of the biggest aha's that I had in taking the 11 Tools course is that we do not have to know everything. Our students may know more than we do about how programs and tools work. That's okay! We need to let our kids take the lead if they know how to. In some ways, they may teach us! :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tool #10: Digital Citizenship

Students should know...
1) Being a good digital citizen means using "netiquette." Be polite.
2) A good digital citizen understands that there is a purpose for asking students to be safe.
3) Good digital citizens are empowered, able to access information, collaborate with others, and immerse themselves in topics of interest...safely.

Teaching digital citizenship should be taught to students so that students are aware of what to do and what not to do. I would first teach the topic of citizenship. Then I would move into how citizenship relates to technology and the internet. I would use the video on Atomic Learning called "Netiquette." It offers some good advice for do's and don'ts of using etiquette on the internet. It is a brief, very simple, easy to understand video that demonstrates how to behave responsibly on the internet. The video from BrainPop could also be shown to students and parents at Open House or Back to School Night so that parents are aware of safety issues and they can discuss this will their children. The acceptable use policy could be signed at this event.

Tool #9: Incorporating Classroom-Based Devices as Tools for Learning

It is important to tie the technology to the objective because otherwise there is no learning outcome. We must focus on what it is that we want students to learn. Then we can integrate the technology into that content objective. We need to hold students accountable for their stations/centers so that we are aware of what they have learned while there. If there is no accountability, then we don't know if students are really learning and meeting the learning objective.
Here are some of my favorite websites!
Glogster-This website allows students to create a poster. Students could produce a poster based on content learning. It would allow ESL students to express what they've learned in a visual way.
MakeBeleifsComix-This would be a super tool to use for showing the sequence of a beginning, middle, and end to a story!
PBSKids-PBSKids is a fantastic and FUN website for learning across the content areas. It uses kids' favorite characters to teach science, social studies, reading, and math concepts.

Here are some of my favorite apps for learning! 
Dragon Dictation-It would be great for our ESL students to speak in English using the app. Writing is especially difficult for these students. It would work very well for our kids to speak in English, and then Dragon Dictation could create the words for them to write. This would make writing a breeze!
MeeGenius or iBooks-It is good for our second language learners to listen to good models of language. This could be accomplished by using MeeGenius or iBooks where students listen to stories read aloud.
Discovery Channel-This app would be quite useful for teaching more complex academic science language. It would give English language learners visuals in order to make the input by teachers comprehensible.

For accountability...
Students could record the name of the website or app that they used on a piece of paper or in a notebook and record one new idea that they learned. Sharing what has been learned with the group increases the accountability!

Other ways to use the iPad or iPod Touch could be...
-Allow students to use the camera tool to take pictures of things that interest them. Have student write about their pictures or create a narrative about their picture.
-Students could use the video recorder to make mini-movies about content learned or to create plays for production.
-Students could use the clock tool (timer, stopwatch) to learn about elapsed time.

Tool #8: Taking a Look at the Tools

Here are a few ideas and thoughts that I had as I learned about the "tools."
1. The step by step introduction to the Dell 2120 was useful. It was very thorough.I did not know that you could change the display and writing colors. This was new learning! I could see this as being useful for presentations. I like that it is easily connected to a projector. This makes my job doing staff development much easier!
2. I learned about many new learning apps that I was unaware of before! Kathy Schrock's website was very informative. I would like to visit her site again, and use some of the information in our staff developments.
In order to manage these new tools, it would be important to model, model, model! Model the preparation for using them, the use of the devices, and the cleaning up or putting away of the devices. Make rules with the class  for management. I think it's important for students to know that the tools are "tools for learning, not toys."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tool #7: Collaborative Projects

Curriculum Collaborative Project
Our objective is to align the 1st grade math curriculum with the current math TEKS. This project will be implemented during the Spring of 2012 (currently) and continue until the project is finished (hopefully by Summer 2012). We will use the technology tools DropBox and GoogleDocs to share documents and collaborate on the project. Five district specialists will collaborate using GoogleDocs and DropBox in order to create a curriculum framework for eleven units throughout the school year. A calendar for covering topics will be created in order for teachers to understand and know what content needs to be taught and when. A Year-at-a Glance consisting of each nine weeks' content will be created in order to guide lesson planning.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tool #6: Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion in and out of the Classroom

My department and I have used Today's Meet to discuss questions we have regarding meetings we attend. This backchannel helps us to limit our talking, but still get our questions answered. We also tried using Today's Meet during a staff development session in order to make sure the content is understood and how the content applies to us as a department. I would like to follow up and use this tool again at our Teacher U session for bilingual teachers. I have created a room, and will ask teachers to comment during the presentation as a backchannel. Here is the link:

I created an Edmodo group as a social learning community for 2nd grade bilingual teachers to use in order to exchange ideas and share information. A code was given to the group to access the "2nd Grade Bilingual Teachers" group. We have been sharing ideas all year long regarding teaching language arts in the OWDL program.
Here is a sample conversation:

2nd Grade Bilingual Teachers

type your note here... 
  • Mrs. Menjivar's avatar
    Mrs. Menjivar to 
    2nd Grade Bilingual Teachers
    The students enjoy their English reading. Most of them have a good fluency and good uinderstanding of the text. I think they will doo fine on TELPAS!
    • Sarah's avatar
      Me to 
      2nd Grade Bilingual Teachers
      How are your English groups going? I wanted to check in with all of you to see how your students are doing. What do you think the implications of what we have done will be in regards to TELPAS?
      • Mrs. Burling's avatar
        Mrs. Burling to 
        2nd Grade Bilingual Teachers
        Hi everyone. I have been working on creating new bilingual centers for the 3rd 9 weeks, and I just wanted to share one of my ideas. For one of my Spanish bilingual centers, I have students try to guess the American Hero by reading the description. To find out if they guessed right, they use a barcode scanner on their IPOD to reveal the answer. I've attached the translated document of the cards that you can print out, fold in half, and laminate. I also attached the website for the QR code creator I used. Hope this helps.
        • Ms. Garza - I found this idea awesome!! I'll try it next week as we're working with heroes in social studies.
          Thanks for sharing !!!
          • Jan 21, 2012
        • Show 2 more replies...
        • Mrs. Pena - Great idea!! thanks for sharing

      Monday, April 23, 2012

      Tool #5: Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

      I created a Prezi for a future staff development session. It took me some time to get used to using this website, but the more I used it, the better and faster I got at it! :) See my Prezi at the following link:
      Language of the Day Prezi

      I created a word cloud using ABCya emphasizing what I think is at the heart of the Bilingual/ESL Department for our district.

      Tool #4: Google Apps

      There are many Google Apps that I think our department could benefit from. Our dept. is responsible for a great deal of documentation when it comes to compliance. I think Google forms would be great for quizzes regarding the law and knowing how that applies to our English Language Learners. I created and shared an LPAC quiz with my teammates. Google Docs could be used to collaborate with my colleagues when making templates for lesson planning. I chose to create a Language of the Day Lesson planning template. I shared this, and plan to use it as a part of my staff development.


      Today I created a DropBox account. I think this is a great tool for storing files. It frees up storage on your own personal computer, and allows you to share files with others from wherever they are! I created a file for posting the pictures we take for the dual language program. I shared the folder with those in the Bilingual/ESL Dept. who would or could benefit from using and viewing these pictures. I found DropBox very user-friendly. I plan to use it regularly now to share with my team!

      Dual Language through Many Lenses

      North Shore School District 112 - Dual Language

      Just another example of a fantastic two-way dual language program! This video shows a two-way dual language program through the eyes of administrators, teachers, parents, and students.

      Tool #3: Technology for Dual Language Students Video

      Technology for Dual Language Students

      This video showcases dual language students integrating technology, language, and content. In this age of technology, it is an excellent way for our students to practice all three critical skill sets!

      Tool #3: Embedding Videos & Links
      I found this pretty simple. I hot linked the video above to my blog. It comes from SchoolTube. SchoolTube is a very nice collection of videos made by students. You can search your topic of interest, and upload the video or use a hot link for sharing. The video regarding copyright and fair use policies helped raise my awareness of what can/cannot be used and shared with others.


      Lately I've been doing a lot of research on bilteracy. What I have found has been very interesting. Students need to have a strong foundation in their native language in order to begin to read in their second language. Here in my district, we are devising a plan to meet this need in order for our students to be bilingual and biliterate. I found this blog for parents who want and have children who are becoming bilingual and biliterate, and I think it might be of interest for some of you!

      Tool #2: Blogs & PLNs

      Blogs and PLNs
      Building a Professional Learning Community is critical for staying connected to the outside world of education. It is an exciting, new way of learning for teachers seeking to find out how others are doing things. I have learned that it is important to be professional and use scholarly language when posting. Your comments can and will be read by many, and you need to censor the comments that you make. For many reasons, commenting on blogs is very different from talking to a teammate about your successes and challenges. Your comments are in writing, your comments are public for all to view, and the register for how you "speak" in a posting should be different than when you are speaking with a teammate.