Saturday, March 8, 2014

Trust

The idea of trust made me look and think about how I trust myself and others as well as how I show trust in my work environment.  Trust was also a common theme in both of my latest ROL’s.  In order for students in my classroom to engage in creative endeavors and feel motivation and inspiration to write, they need a trusting environment.  Just as Houston and Sokolow suggest, trust is the basis upon which everything else is built.   Vela’s principles of learning also mentioned the importance of trust in a learning environment.   In order for my students to feel trust, I need to emulate trust.  I know with my kindergarten class, I gently release trust into my students as they become more confident and comfortable in the new environment.  I try to give them lots of responsibilities and decision making opportunities throughout the year to show them that I believe in them and trust them.  

As I evaluated myself, I realized that I don’t always trust myself.  I struggle with imperfections and making mistakes.  Houston and Sokolow said that “a lot of trusting yourself is just understanding that people are all engaged in this process.  No one is going to get it right all the time.”  I need those reminders to let the little things go and to take the experience as an opportunity to learn (and not do it again)!  In addition to trusting myself, I need to trust others and the universe.  I recognize that I cannot control everything around me and that I can use the difficult things in my life to improve myself.  Reflecting and sharing with colleagues has really helped me release my frustrations as well as grow through thorough analysis and discussion.

Trust is a powerful tool that helps us lead and inspire students,  colleagues and our own selves.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Technology Plan for the Future

My technology plan for the future consists of using weekly or bi-weekly visits to the lab or use of iPads/tablets.  I would like to continue integrating a new tech tool monthly as that seems more manageable.  I also want to use apps/tech tools more than once to help my students develop comfort and ease with the application.  I plan on looking at 2 large lessons yearly and making sure I am moving up to the top of the SAMR model.  

I plan on using my blog to stay connected to the other blogs that are also teaching at my grade level.  I get many amazing ideas from the well in addition to using Pinterest.

I will continue to use Schoology to connect with parents and share the news, pictures and videos from our classroom.  I’d like to engage and involve parents more in using this tool.


I will continue representing my grade level team tech rep.  I attended the TIES conference and still have many apps and tools that I want to explore and use.  Specifically I want to look more at how I can use QR codes to help with my listening center and other lessons I teach.

Overall, I feel I have already begun to integrate technology consistently into my teaching. Now, I just need to know it's going to work every time I use it!

March CC - Tens and Ones Differentiated Math Lesson


I took our math lesson from the teacher manual and adapted it to fit with an idea I saw on Pinterest. We have been working on teen numbers and seeing them as tens and ones.  The students used pipe cleaners and beads for their tens and ones instead of the usual centimeter cubes we use in our curriculum.  

This is how I differentiated...

Teen Numbers/On Level:
I gave students a teen number dice to roll, pipe cleaners, beads and sheet.

#’s 1-69/Above Level:
I gave students 2 regular dice.  One dice for the “tens” and one dice for the “ones.”

The lesson went well and the kids stayed actively engaged.  I thought they were more motivated with a new medium to use.  The high kids enjoyed the challenge and it was easy to manage both groups.  I just kept the higher kids at the carpet and gave them the extra directions before sending them to their tables.

Resource: http://mrstsfirstgradeclass-jill.blogspot.com/2011/09/place-value-with-beads.html

Friday, February 21, 2014

More Technology

I used the Book creator app in my math center rotations this week.  This isn't a new app but in kindergarten, I think it's okay to use an app again connect with prior knowledge and develop expertise.  The students were somewhat familiar with the tools of the app and it gave me time to move around and help others.  The students used the app to develop their own math story.  They had to draw a picture, write a number sentence and record their story.  I feel this lines up with the argumentation step on the SAMR model.  Students had a fresh new and motivating tool to use over paper pencil.  It was interesting that many students didn't remember how to navigate the app.  They still required support and lots of modeling.  Their math stories for the most part were very simple with little elaboration.  However, it did leave an open door to differentiation.  One of my high flyers wanted to do multiplication so we came up with a problem and story.  Upon completion, students swapped iPads and solved each other's stories.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

CC Muffin Tin Toss -February

I saw this on Pinterest and I am using it at centers.  I switched it around so the word family is on a card and the letter/beginning sound is in the muffin tin.  They pick a card, throw a cotton ball and then blend the beginning sound they land on to the word family card in their hand.  I'm able to differentiate the cards and have my higher kids blending with more digraphs and blends and my average students doing CVC words.


tunstalltimes.blogspot.com

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Persistence

I think being pregnant is definitely adding to my rollercoaster of emotions. Lately, I think I’ve been stressed with notion that I can’t do everything I want to do.  I’m tied down with kids and a demanding job and masters program so I can’t prepare my house and prep my baby room like I really want too!  I feel like I already possess a pretty persistent attitude/demeanor and I’m always trying to do more than I can or should.  This is what gets me into trouble because I start feeling bad for myself and have feelings of jealousy and inadequacy.


The ideas suggested by the “persistence” link have challenged me to think in new ways.  I know being goal focuses is more effective so I made a list of everything that I’d LIKE to accomplish before baby arrives.  I know some things are going to have to wait (mostly because I can’t paint anything right now!)  I also was inspired by the idea of “check your plan, change your plan, and use your plan.”  This was especially helpful with our two snow days.  I don’t like getting behind and I always feel the need to “teach it all.”  I’m more focuses on what is a necessity...what goes with by backward design goal and then the other stuff can wait or go away.  I feel like my students are learning and I’m providing them with the best learning environment that I can.  It’s okay for me to slow down, make changes and also forge ahead.


As far as what I’ve learned about thinking, is that I’m always thinking about my thinking.  I’ve always been a very reflective and thoughtful thinker, I’m just now so good at the action plan and making changes happen!  My mental state is constantly changing and unfortunately is focused more on the negative aspects of life.  I do realize that I have so much GOOD happening in my life.  It’s challenging getting through it all.  I feel pulled in a selfish direction often times, but I know that life is about living for others.  I just need to keep reminding myself of that.  

Haiku Deck -Technology Integration

I created a Haiku Deck presentation for the upcoming winter Olympics.  Each classroom in our school was asked to pick an Olympic sport to learn more about.  I thought the constructivist teacher in me would allow the kids to pick the sport.  I came up with 5 slides total.  Four of the slides shared about one Olympic sport.  I added a picture and short description.  Then the kids voted.  I like giving them the control and allowing them in the decision making of the classrooms.  I’m hopeful this will help them be more eager as we dig into learning about snowboarding.  I did have a few disappointed kids as well but the excitement of all our “I love to Read” Olympic activities will hopefully change their mind.

As far as using the tool Haiku Deck, it was simple enough to create and the information blog was helpful as an introduction to beginners.  However, when I wanted to use the presentation it would not work.  I couldn’t get it to load and everything was frozen.  The tech person in my building and tech help support people knew nothing of this technology tool so they could not help me.  It is very frustrating having to rely on technology.  I put in my time to make the slides and presentation look nice and not having something ready when I need it is very frustrating and discouraging.  I personally still prefer the ease of Powerpoint and Prezi for presentation slides.