Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where to begin. I haven't been very good at blogging (obviously), but I have jumped in feet first to trying to use all the technology that has been shown in the class. It has definitely been more difficult doing it on my own, but it has been manageable. I am still sitting down to a new session at the computer and trying to re-remember, if you will, all the things I worked on the last time. It has been a lot of experimenting, trial and error and "how did I get to that again." I find I have to take notes and then try something and I am constantly referring back to my notes. I need some time to practice all these things and I just don't have time. I am getting ready to start to use some of these things in my classroom, but taking the time to plan for and integrate these tools is the tricky part. It seems the day to day stuff is taking over in my classroom and at home and there is not time to add anything new. So I am deciding I just have to jump in and sink or swim. I am having my students create a google account for homework tomorrow night. Then we are going to start a blog on some topics related to our Native American research including the questions "Why do we celebrate Columbus Day?" Did Columbus discover America?

I am then hoping to get all my students set up with an igoogle page.

Wow. It is just many more tools than I can manage right now. I am going to start with a few things at a time, but i can't let feeling overwhelmed stop me from getting something done.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day Four... Ready for More

Today should be another great day. The fact that I didn't want to leave yesterday kind of says it all. With 4 kids, it is hard to set aside the time at home to work on all of this. I am also always fighting for computer time. I am going to have to go wireless now because I know I am going to want to spend more time with this at home at night. I am looking forward to learning some new things today and becoming more comfortable with all that we have learned.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day Three Delicious

Running out of time. I spent too much time on delicious. Tough for someone like me who is kind OCD to stop and walk away. Thanks, Henry for your help when I had screwed up my bookmarks. I think that I've got it none. My brain in on overload and I am out of coffee. That is never a good combination. This is been a good reminder that we need to give the kids some time to work on things.

Day Three

I am looking forward to more confusion today, but confusion is good. It's like cleaning your room, it gets worse before it can get better. Having all these new tools will be good, but using them daily at home and school will be better. I know it will make my classroom and my teaching more effective. I am hoping it will really motivate the students to want to learn. I think that that is the key right now in education...motivating the kids to want to learn. It's not as important to me what the kids learn as that they want to learn. How do we make kids active learners who are developing habits that will help them be productive, happy and successful.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

RSS feeds...FREE stuff is good

I think I've got it! Love when stuff is free. This one is going to take a while to navigate and figure out what I want to add to my reader. I went to a blog on math grants and there were so many posts and it had gone off on so many different tangents, that it wasn't actually on math grants at all and I couldn't find the post on math grants because there were just so many posts.

The last 3 hours have gone by so quickly, but I do feel more comfortable with RSS feeds and google reader. If I were at home, I would not have been able to spend this amount of time at the computer just exploring unless it was between 1:00 and 5:00am and those are typically the hours I like to be sleeping. Maybe I should just cut sleeping out of my daily routine. I did hear something when driving back from the Manchester Airport last evening about some people only needing 3 hours of sleep a night. That might be the answer to all my problems.

Bring on the caffeine!!!

Day Two - Another Beautiful Beach Day Missed

Today I am looking forward to getting comfortable with some new tools that I can use in my classroom right off. I am really excited about the opportunity to explore and "play" with some of the things that we are learning. I love how I leave with not just the information (which can be overwhelming), but also a certain comfort level with the tools. Time to try and explore is so important. Lets face it, unless we feel comfortable with these tools, we won't use them and it takes time to get comfortable. I am glad we have that time in class.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Homework for our Students.......YES or NO

Wow. I only got a chance to take a really good look at one blog (although at the last minute I browsed through a couple of others). I found an overwhelming number of thoughts/ideas/approaches to homework and whether or not to assign it to students. (Most of the posts were leaning toward very limited homework assignment and many to none at all). As an educator I have struggled with this question for years and it was great to read this blog. I could spend hours reading through the comments and digesting and thinking about what those people have to say. I am not sure I am any closer to knowing what is really the best approach for students. I continue to struggle with the homework/no homework question and if giving homework, the answers to why, how much, how to count it in the grade, what to do about students who don't do it, how to modify it, etc.
There were some interesting links to different articles that related to the homework issue and one of them was titled "Winners and Losers"