Final reflection Major Project

Enjoy this last screencast!  To reiterate in simple words…. I LOVE classroom blogging.  I have enjoyed the increase in communication between parents, students, and myself.  I have a tendency to be long winded when I speak.  I edited it to make sense:)

My number one learning:  Things do not always go as planned and sometimes we forget to take pictures…. poor kindergarten’s.  Now, they are reminding me!  That is so helpful:)

 

Major Project Reflection

In the beginning of the semester, I had set a goal for myself to make one or two blog posts a week on my classroom blog.  I have been able to maintain this goal until last week.  I struggled to find moments to upload.  After looking at my day plan from the week, I could see that there was nothing that was of great excitement to post.  I had emailed my parents and explained to them that not every week will there be content to post.  I had to be careful to explain that it is not because of the learning happening but the lessons didn’t need pictures, videos, or mention on the blog. Frankly, sometimes there is not enough hands to do all of those tasks in a day!  I did not have any parent comments or responses to the little content uploaded last week.

 

Fast forward a couple of days into this week and it is the opposite.  The Kindergarten’s have quite the itinerary lined up for them this week!  This means that I will need to be on top of the blog and make sure I do not forget anything.  I find that to be a bit overwhelming with the nature of the week – report cards, interviews, and volleyball.  Interviews and volleyball are outside of school time and I will not be able to do the work during the day.  I already have post its and notes in my day plan. It looks a little more organized that this for both the post it use and calendars but very busy still!

 

Photo Credit: Neena.Rée Kroll via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Neena.Rée Kroll via Compfight cc

 

All manageable!  Looking at the schedule and seeing any available time to sit down and do work on the blog is critical. Already today, I have posted the letter we are working on and the visits from Theresa at Visitation House.  The Kindergarten’s are doing a Christmas Service Project.  Check out the link to see how awesome these kids are:)

 

 

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You can see here that even if there is time, computers have their own ideas!  It took several minutes to upload 17 pictures.  I suppose it teaches me not to rush through.  I tend to be a little more patient when there is time – as I am sure most people are.

 

I believe the only assistance i need this week is to get my categories working.  I have been choosing categories like ABC or Kindergarten so parents are able to click on the letters without leaving the home page.  I just noticed today when I was showing the kids that it doesn’t come up on the home page.  It just adds as a post.  I learned how to create categories but they will not direct you like it does on wordpress.  Is anyone a Weebly expert?  My searching has not given me any direction yet.

Thanks for reading:)  I am so excited that I have a project that I am enjoying and have figured out how to utilize it and not be TOO overwhelmed with updating it frequently.  I know it is important to the teachers…. and for myself.  I have enjoyed watching how the kids have grown and to know the “back story” to the pictures and see the progress!

 

My calendar picture will not move:)

Photo Credit: countableSet via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: countableSet via Compfight cc

Major Project Reflection

Parent Contact:

Katia had asked how I have been successful in communicating with the parents.  For the first month and a bit of school, my reflections were speaking of the concern of parent communication.  It is still a concern but fortunately I was able to connect with my parents on November the 7th and they were able to give me some feedback!  I struggle staying connected solely through the computer but often times it is our only option.  I arranged a Family Day to conclude the unit we had on LEGO.  When our family day started, I showed the families present our blog.  I commented on where they can make blog comments and highlighted the different pages available to them.

I had a very positive conversation with one of the parents.  She asked about a tool I had introduced at the beginning of the school year, ClassDojo.  She saw we were using it in the classroom and is now using it with her daughter at home.  This same parent said she was going to start her own personal blog as a way to connect with people in her life.  It was such a successful day.  I did have a realization.  I know that the best way for me to feel connected is through person to person contact.  I need to have the opportunity to speak to families directly.  Balance is everything!  We are not able to connect daily in person so this blog and emails certainly are helping me fill that void.

After the family day, the Kindergarten’s received a positive comment on the blog from one of the parents and our Vice Principal.

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They were so excited to see someone make a comment!

 

I also learned, when talking to the parents, that on two of my pages you cannot make comments.  Those two pages happen to be the ones that are for the specific rooms.  I have played around and attempted to change the style from standard page to blog page but have not been successful, as it appears I will lose the content already on there.

This is an image of the blog page:

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This is the standard page:

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If you take not of the two pages, you will see that one has comments above the title of the post and one does not.  This was a mistake on my part and as I mentioned, I am currently trying to rectify it.  I will be putting this link into Google+.  I am fairly confident that someone will know how to fix my problem.  I would like to find way to fix this problem.  The resources and knowledge of blogging I have is not large enough for me to make the appropriate change.

 

I have noticed that my reflections have not gone as in-depth as they should. I think around mid October, I become comfortable with the process of loading, taking pictures, uploading,  posting, etc and just ignored any struggles or didn’t think to list the successes that were happening.  In the next few weeks, my goal is to pay more attention to the process instead of the project.  I am proud of my classroom blog and so are the students.  I am looking for ways to improve it and, as a result, have neglected the process.  I felt that creating the Wordles, Screencasts, and using pictures was helping reflect on my process but I see how it is more of using a tool. Here I am reflecting on my reflections!  Feeling a little disappointed that this far into the term it appears I have not been doing an adequate amount of work, all the while feeling successful using new tools!  It is a learning process right?  (even the process of reflecting)  With 3 weeks left, I am determined to go more in depth.

Major Project Reflection

Week 9.. or 10 (My goodness time flies!!)

 

I went a different route for my reflection this week.  My thoughts are coming together about my blog and I had positive feedback from parents this week…. even conversation about starting their own personal blog.  Some of the tools that I put on the blog they asked how to use for home – SUCCESS!!!!!  I actually had to contain my excitement when really I wanted to high five my students mom 🙂  I have been concerned that my families have not been using the blog because of lack of comments.  When my families came in this week, I learned they were sharing but didn’t always feel they needed to comment.  I spoke to them about making comments because it does excite the students when they see feedback from others – not just their teacher.

 

Anyway,  I created this “wordle”.  Wordle.net requires Javascript, which was not working on my computer.  I took this opportunity to search for other sites similar to wordle.  I came across Tagxedo.  When you drag your mouse over the words, it raises them to see them a little more clear.  IT did not work when I saved it.  I have embedded the code.  The image of all of my key thoughts, which is the purpose of the wordle, is here but if you click on the link it will take you to the page where it shows the best image.

 

 

tagzedo

 

Direct Link 🙂

 

http://www.tagxedo.com/art/0712b7c62e54491a

 

Thanks for reading and sharing in my reflection journey… I am excited that many of the tools I am using from this class I can use on my classroom blog – now I need to find a way to use this so my Kindergarten’s can read it.  I am thinking just letters 🙂

attempting to categorize

It took 4 years to set up a classroom blog but I have finally done it.  I have been contemplating this for a couple of years.  I have been waiting for the “perfect time”.  Last year, after struggling with communication with families I realized…. there is no perfect time.  If I am going to do it – DO IT NOW!

 

This page will serve as a reflective page as I attempt to create the most practical blog for my classroom.

 

Week 1:

I ran into an issue with hitting and fighting on the playground.  After a conversation with a concerned parent with my approach in the classroom and what I do to assist with playground issues, I decided to upload the lesson and video I used for the families at home.  I felt that it was both of our responsibilities and it is important to continue the conversation from school to home.

 

Week 2:  Running into issues with internet permissions and parent support.  I am using this site to communicate with families and so continually encouraging the families through email to view our blog and to fill out the internet permission forms so we can see some awesome things happening in the classroom.  I am thinking I will just make note of those who do not have theirs in yet and begin posting on the pages.  I want the information to be relative and exciting for the parents and kids.  The kids LOVE to see each themselves and tell stories about what they are doing.

 

Week 3: We are beginning to enter into more content choices from our course.  Often what happens to me during this time is a feeling of being overwhelmed and attempting to do some of everything presented.  My mind is continually thinking about better ways to provide a unique learning experience for the students.  I know it can be done but I have to remind myself to slow down… focus on the goal.  As of now my goal is to set up and create a blog that is interactive and functional.  Serving function for both parents and students as well as myself.  I want parents to enjoy the process and learning with me.  We talk about student assessment with student blogs but I am not there yet.  What is a good practice for monitoring if your site is serving the purpose you want?

 

So far, it is still at a stand still for student content.  I have pictures and captions ready to go but I am waiting for internet permission forms.  I suspect that when I show the students the site with their pictures and work on it, the site will become more of what I want.

 

Week 4:

I am finally moving forward!  I just posted pictures onto the separate class pages!  Very excited 🙂 I am facing some issues though… I cannot seem to upload videos.  It says I need to pay for an upgrade to upload HD videos.  I use Weebly as my account and currently reading the pages to find a way to upload video.  I am very persistant and hopeful that I can come up with something.

 

Sue Waters has suggested that I look for email notifications to have for my parents – this is something I certainly will look for!  Communication is my goal 🙂

 

 

Week 6:

I realized last night as I was falling asleep that I hadn’t been writing in the reflection part of my project last week!  I have been remembering to maintain and communicate to my students and families about the blogs.  I am building a routine that will work but me but periodically something is missed.  My goal is to post 1-2 times per week but a week like this in school, it may be every day.  It has been gorgeous outside, exciting things happening in the walls of the school, and I find I have my camera on hand a bit more.  If I keep it out, I will take more pictures and the students are even noticing it more.  They have become excited about the website and love seeing themselves on the screen.  I am one of the last people to remember to bring a camera – I am proud of doing it yesterday:  This is from my blog

 

DSCN5871        DSCN5877

 

Anyway, this is a glimpse into my thought process.  I just sent out a tweet requesting for comments.  My thinking is that perhaps the parents will see comments and make their own!  We will see…. check in later for progress update:)

 

 

Week 7:

 

Here is my reflective/informative screencast.  This was the practice for what will become a “real” one on my classroom blog.  It does take time to teach yourself the new tool but it was quick after I got it.   I am finding more an more that the students are excited about their blog.  They are familiar with their expectations and even asking for pictures so they can share them with their family.  I still have no comments from family members but I am hopeful that they are viewing and looking at the blog.  I am having them all in next week… I will take a few moments to make a little plug;)