|Photo courtesy of Sean MacEntee|
So I’m feeling pretty good about the way I’ve spent my summer… It’s definitely NOT been a vacation! Thanks to my grad classes and the need to come up with some fresh material (since I’ve got the same kids this year), I’ve really been “out there” on Twitter, our class Edmodo, and have been reading blogs to find new tools and come up with some fun projects/activities for next year. My main goals are to get my kids connected, and to provide them with a wider audience for their work.
With only a few weeks worth of effort, I’ve come up with the following…
1. Mystery Skype for SS States & Regions Study – I posted a link on the Skype in the Classroom site with my project and have gotten several replies. The big turn around happened in a Twitter chat though, when I mentioned the project. Another teacher, Caren MacConnell, was also assembling a list of educators who wanted to participate, and suggested we combine forces. Both of us have been promoting the project, and as of today, have 59 classes who want to particpate! Never underestimate the power of a PLN…
2. My Maps – Thanks to the intro piece to my Learning in a Connected World class by my professor Eric Brunsell, I found out about the “My Maps” function of Google Maps. Instead of a standard report, I’m going to have my kids pick a state to learn about, and use the My Maps function to identify the capital, major points of interest, landforms, industry, and natural resources. They’ll be able to write about each of these at a placemarker, as opposed to just typing a report. This will also enable them to share their project/learning with other students as they present their map in class.
3. “About Me” Wordle (or Tagxedo) and Blog Project – Thanks to Paula Naugle, I’ve found a fun project for the beginning of the year. Since we will have 1:1 netbooks this year, this is a great way for the kids to jump in right away. They’ll create the word cloud and write a post in Kidblog.org about themselves to share with the class.
4. Poetry Unit with VoiceThread – In looking through examples on the VoiceThread site, I found a great project. Students wrote themed poetry, and illustrated their poems. The picture of the poem was uploaded to VoiceThread, and the student read the poem aloud. Feedback and comments were solicited from other teachers. It is a great way for students to “publish” their work, and practice reading with inflection and fluency.
5. Edmodo – Since I am looping with my class, after using Edmodo for my graduate class, I decided to create a group for my classroom. I’ve invited my students, and shared a “My Maps” of my summer travel spots, an example of my “WeeMee” avatar (thanks Allison Fitzwater!), a Glog of my vacation pictures, messages using fodey.com and pageplugins.com (one telling them to check our Diigo page for new links), a link to wonderopolis.com, and a poll about the books we read aloud last year. I want them to see these and hope they will explore them over the summer. We’ll continue to use Edmodo throughout the year to share.
6. Global Read Aloud – Organized by Pernille Ripp. There are currently 200 classes signed up for a Global Read Aloud of either Tuck Everlasting or Flat Stanley. https://spreadsheets1.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?hl=en_US&key=tXuBxoFw0ftLWB3SEW13SGw&hl=en_US#gid=0 I joined the Google Group for the planning of the Tuck read aloud http://groups.google.com/group/gra11-tuck-planning/topics and also the Edmodo group for the kids to discuss (code qd93ty). It starts on Sept. 14 and I am quite excited! They are still brainstorming for other ways to connect via Skype, blogs, VT, etc.
|Photo courtesy of John LeMasney|
So much to look forward to… thanks to my experience with Powerful Learning Practice – Which led to my graduate study at UWOSH, and the formation of my precious PLN! So I’m “paying it forward” and posting these for others to see as well. What fun projects have you discovered using technology or web 2.0 tools? How will you be connecting this year? Will your students have an audience for their work? Are you infusing creativity and exploration into your projects? Please share in the comments!!