Summary of Learning

Final reflection:

As I mentioned in my summary of learning, I do NOT claim to be a singer.  This was just to find an entertaining way to summarize the semester.  I certainly have learned many new tools but I highlighted the ones that were the most meaningful to me.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this course and the dialogue between colleagues.  In the last couple of weeks, I have really engaged with Twitter and certainly become a bit more comfortable with it.  I have graduated from using post-it reminders to go on Twitter to thinking of different ways to use it.  This week I made a comment about Agribition and it was favourtied!  That was nice to see.  (All of you Twitter pros probably wouldn’t get as excited as I:) )

This certainly was not an easy task.  I was trying to manage my mouse, the recoding, reading/singing the song while looking at the screen and pressing the apporpriate pages.  It took time for sure.  I think the 3 minute video actually took an hour and half to do.  I had to start and stop…. rewind… delete…try again many times!  You can see my mouse highlight and the awkward pauses but some I was unable to delete or fix up.

 

Here is a link the the Google Document I used.  As I got a good idea for a lyric, I used my Google Drive app on my phone to write it down.  I used the syllabus to remind me of the weeks people presented, the actual lyrics of All about that Bass.

Google Docs

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VTHGfEg9Obs7JpmSjbN8aqQtY2HzWhkfzcZeJ5mGrtM/edit

 

Music by:

The music I found on Youtube.  Credit to PiaknowItAll.  He created piano tutorial for popular songs.  I needed one without lyrics.

 

Anyway, here is the video.  Take it with a grain of salt.  Appreciate the humour… you are the only ones who can truly appreciate it.

 

Thanks for the view!

 

Resistance in the Classroom?

The week leading up to student progress reports are typically an above average stressful time. Teachers feel overwhelmed and are meticulously checking their lists to make sure they accomplished all they need.  In our staff meeting today, it was apparent that teachers plates were full.  A couple committees were giving information regarding deadlines and work needed from classroom teachers.  As I was sitting there, it appeared that people were resistant to what they were being asked to do.  It was surprising to see from my staff as, typically, everyone is “all in” and open to trying new things.  I had to think and reflect a little.  I was feeling a little disappointed in what I saw but later realized what was the route of the issue.  The resistance is not because they do not feel what is being presented is good for the students, or even that it would be a tremendous amount of work, it was because of time.  Time can certainly be our enemy in the classroom.  We are continually facing changes and initiatives and we have no choice but to accept them.  So what often appears to be resistance is a result of teachers priorities and what is working best for them.

 

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How is this relating to the world of technology in the classroom?  Teachers are maxed out!  I was doing some reading in this area and found two articles that support how we are feeling.  On pages 32 and 33 of, “A Framework for Addressing Challenges to Classroom Technology Use”  by  Jennifer Groff and Chrystalla Mouza.  They highlight the role of the classroom teacher.  The article states other  elements like: Division, administration, and parents but I am going to focus on the classroom teacher. “Effective use of technology often requires extensive changes in classroom routines which can also produce significant levels of anxiety and concern.”  (2008, p. 32)  Change in routine requires a new time management task.  I think from a primary level where it takes, at this time of year, an average of 10 extra minutes to get a class ready to go outside for recess.  Introducing student blogs, tablets, tools for making videos, whatever the new program takes time.  It is difficult to manage and if you are not comfortable in the area it also comes with nerves.  I think that we put too much pressure on ourselves.  We want to make things perfect and be the “master” when we are introducing new tools.  It is possible but it requires extra time to become familiar… hence the resistance.  It can be done!  Teachers do adapt but we all need to support each other to be patient.  Our students are learning incredible skills from us. 

The second article, “WHY ARE TEACHERS RESISTANT TO CHANGE? KEY ISSUES AND CHALLENGES IN TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION”, speaks about teacher attitude.  Certainly our attitude towards new initiatives can be resistant but I know personally I always come around.  My experience in the schools I have taught in is similar.  Some may take more time than others but eventually we embrace the change.   This article is not a new publication.  I might suggest that data would be different if assessed recently.  Teacher’s are not as resistant to technology in the classroom but perhaps the type of technology and how it is introduced.  Our attitudes change throughout our careers and if we were being asked about new initiatives in these recent weeks, most of us would should that resistance the articles are speaking of because of other areas that require our attention.

What I am suggesting is that teachers do get the work required done and go beyond.  We have many obstacles in our way but we find way to overcome them.  Just as time can be a contributing factor to resistance it eventually is the same factor that aids us in our patience.  Remember, the next time you see resistance from a colleague.  Think about where they are at and where they are coming from.  It isn’t because they do not care.  We know teachers have a tremendous capacity to care.

 

Resources:

Groff, J., & Mouza, C. (2008). A framework for addressing challenges toclassroom technology use. AACE Journal, 16 (1), 21-46.

Just Keep Blogging…Just Keep Blogging…Just Keep Blogging…Blogging…Blogging

Here is the direct link to the post I was referring to in my recent post!

Justine Stephanson-Kyle's Blog

“Life is a continue learning process.  Each day presents an opportunity for learning.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita

I am someone who finds quotes very inspirational.  I know that may sound very cheesy, but it is the truth.  I find that quotes can help spark creativity and can give me a lot of motivation.  I have quotes posted in my classroom, house, my agenda, and I even have a calendar that gives a motivational message everyday.  I thought this quote was a fitting way to begin this blog post about my digital project and EC&I831 Social Media class.  This class has been a huge and exciting learning curve for me!  Everyday I have been reading everyone’s posts and I am so impressed with my fellow classmates work!  They are all fantastic educators and have great ideas to share!! My #eci831 classmates rock!!  I have learned about so many great websites, apps, tools, blogs…

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Managing Twitter as Professional Development

 

Twitter

Twitter

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After Tuesday’s class, I noticed in all areas I am working hard to incorporate the tools we are learning and other tools I find along the way.  The one area where I am struggling is with Twitter.  It is not natural to post my thoughts publicly.  I often make comments to others about what I see – I check it frequently – but I seek a personal response instead of the response I can from Twitter.  I see many of my colleagues using Twitter as a tool and doing it successfully.  How long did it take some of you to get going or “addicted” to Twitter??

 

I have been doing some of my own research looking for research that supports Twitter as Professional Development and networking.  I came across one that is much easier to follow and has the links easy to access.  It is called: Twitter for Education.  A site like this provides you with many options and I think I need to really make a decision on what I want Twitter to be.  I know Twitter will not be a personal form of social media, rather a professional one.  I have mentioned many times, that I am a Kindergarten teacher.  I just put into the search button on Twitter:  Kindergarten.  a few things popped up.  But that is another thing I do not know well… how do you properly search on Twitter?  I found #kinderchat and certainly liked all of the items shared on the page.  …… Can you see my brain spiraling????

 

Networking.. Expanding:

I cannot believe all of the material on using Twitter in the workplace and as a professional tool.  In an article titled, “Twitter as a Learning Tool, Really!”, the author quotes Michelle Lentz, saying: Lentz recommends that you follow your choice of interesting people for a while, and then send a direct message to a few of them, using the @username format, to introduce yourself and join a conversation. Before long, you can begin building a support group. Twitter is not for everyone, says Lentz. “It’s good for mobile, on-the-go people who can learn anywhere,” she says.  This seems fairly straight forward but my natural instinct to wait to be invited is kicking in.  To be honest, that makes me incredibly nervous.  How do you muster up the courage to ask people you have never met questions about your workplace, school environment, education, or anything else!  I think the correct word would be vulnerable.  Like a said, I need to find the best way to make it work for me.  I am seeking a challenge and this certainly is giving me one. I am sure many of you who are strong on Twitter think this is a little silly.  My thoughts are, if I share my struggle perhaps with enough suggestions there will be one or two I connect with??  That being said, I do want to use this a tool to expand my knowledge in best practices for Kindergarten.  I am open! This is not meant to sound like I have made up my mind and am afraid of Twitter.

 

I would like to have a post in the future talking about my new successes with Twitter, so this is my honest plea for help:)  Send me a tweet @kennadn or comment on here.  Maybe you will have found this post because of a tweet and that I will consider a success – now to get to it!!

EC&I 381 – Extremely Communicative and Informative!

I enjoy scrolling through and reading everyone’s blogs in EC&I 381.  A theme really came to the forefront for me this week – selflessness! I noticed this week is that many of my classmates in EC&I 381 are spending a lot of their time, which I am sure is very limited, offering help through screencasts, step by step information, and inviting us to other PD opportunities.  I am very thankful for this opportunity and appreciate the network people are creating.  I am also feeling like I need to contribute!

So here it goes!  Classroom Management Help:)

The beginning of every school year is very overwhelming with new division initiatives, assessments, new students, new school…. whatever your “new” is.  Here are some helpful tools that I have found to be successful in my classroom.

ClassDojo:

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We use ClassDojo for transitions, good behaviour incentive, and credit to any outstanding behaviours.  Students have a difficult time with new routines and typically are high in energy and this is a visual we use to collect points and earn a reward at the end of the week.  When we first began using ClassDojo it was daily.  I really praised the behaviours that I wanted to see and the students who were in need of reminders of good behaviour changed their “tune” when they noticed other peoples points rising and not their own.  You can see from the image that the points vary.  The goal I set in teh room was the entire class get to 10.  Students who achieved it first were asked to encourage the behaviours we want to see in others and continue to demonstrate.

 

 

GoNoodle

 

 

 

 

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GoNoodle is a brain break website designed to help with energy levels!  In my room we do an energy break (energizer) and follow it with a calming.  It is so awesome to hear Kindergartens speak about how they need to calm down to help them learn.  They typically come in from recess high in energy and have found this to be useful to bring them back down to a place to learn.

 

These two sites are extremely user friendly. You just need to sign up for the accounts – I have even got some parents using ClassDojo at home with their kids:)

 

Again, thank you for your contributions.  I am going to leave you with this awesome story.

We are busy in our school forming Disciples of Christ.  We have an amazing student body filled with eagerness  to make a difference in people’s lives.  Today was Pajama day, which I am currently still in ;), and the students were asked to bring 2 dollars (or more) for Teddy Bears Anonymous .  You can also check out my blog to see more of the activity in the school: Miss Nelson’s Kinders.  Anyway,  when one of the teachers was counting the money at the end of the day she noticed a bag with 2 loonies and a tooth in it.

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At first, we were really surprised but we realized that this student gave the money he or she got from the Tooth Fairy for Teddy Bears Anonymous.  This student thought about another child in need and gave away what probably was very exciting to receive – a true act of discipleship.  Very sweet and very simple.

 

I guess what I am saying is that I appreciate the selflessness shown by the EC&I 381 class and the amazing students at school.

 

Let me know if this was at all helpful – you are all “tech savvy” and so I have no doubt that you will be able to figure it out!

How do you manage technology in your room?

I am fortunate enough to work in a school division that is currently developing many effective strategies to integrate technology.  It is an overwhelming issue for many of the teachers but we are on board as the evidence and learning is pointing us in the direction of technology.

To start I will attach the document that is sent home at the beginning of the school year.  Our school division has a Bring your Own Technology  (BYOT) plan which our school has made the appropriate adjustments. This document is sent home for parents and students to become familiar with the expectations of the school and classroom teacher.  Technology and devices are welcome but must be monitored for success.  It has been successful for the upper grades but certainly we are all attempting to find the balance in the lower grades as many do not have the devices or the discipline to use some of their tools from home.  That being said, we have access to tablets for our classroom.  This is a great tool!  The classroom teachers are able to monitor which apps the students use and every app purchased has a purpose of aiding the curriculum.

In my classroom, the students are just being introduced to the tablets but having little difficulty using the apps.  It is clear that these are tools they are using at home.  I have noticed that there is a pattern in signing in and getting started with games and activities.  Students who cannot read are able to recall the pattern and find the way to the use the app.  It is trial and error at times but they are showing success.

Some of us may not have access to teacher friendly devices.  I was researching strategies for technology in primary grades and came across this article on Education World: Pre-K – 2 Students Play and Learn Online.  The article is referring to the adds and unpredictability of some websites.  There are highlighted sites that are appropriate for young learners that will not direct them to some unknown page:) I clicked on the links and some were dead but a couple still work – a few extra teaching steps will still need to be in place.  Check out Education World for many different types of articles!

The title of this blog is merely to prompt the reader to reflect on your own practices.  Many of you have likely been using technology successfully for years in the classroom.  What types of strategies have been successful for you?  I feel that what is being implemented by our division and myself in my room is successful but as many of your know, it changes frequently and different groups of kids can present different results.  I am interested in hearing what other divisions or yourself use for success:)

As always, feedback is welcome!