Wednesday, December 8, 2010


For the final project for ED 514, I created a website on weather. I chose this topic because it is a standard for K/1 grades Science. When I taught in Maryland, my first grade class had a large unit on weather. There are many books and a few websites that have a lot of great information for students, but sometimes it can be overwhelming for students to filter out what information they are interested in or need to know and what they don't. I thought that, by creating a website, students and parents can learn the same information at home that we learn in school. I also included a few youtube clips for the students because some kids really like to watch movies or learn better with visuals.

I found that making the website was fun because I was able to pick my own topic and information. It was not that difficult to create, it was more time consuming. Researching, mapping out the site, then typing all information and adding graphics is very time consuming. I don't think my first graders would be able to create their own site, but I did have a webpage for my classroom and would like to continue to have one in future classrooms for commmunication between me and parents and students. I would also create webpages for large units such as the weather unit, construction unit, and rocks, sand, and soil unit in first grade.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Video project

For my video project, I created a movie about workers in the community.  I chose this activity because it is a content standard for Kindergarten/Grade 1 students:  Identify ways that individuals in the family, school and
community are unique and ways that they are the same.  I thought making a movie on community helpers would be a good idea because it is a way for kids to learn about community helpers that may not be available to visit the classroom to talk about their jobs.  I also know that kids like watching movies, which could help get their attention. 

I think making a video is a great idea for the classroom.  I first thought I would read the comments about each community helper, but once I asked a few of my students I am currently working with during my long term sub assignment to read in the video, they were excited!!!!  Everyone wanted to do their best recording their voices.  Some kids said they were nervous, which I thought was so cute!  All the students enjoyed hearing their voices back on the podcasts.  Some wanted to redo their recording after hearing it because they wanted perfection.  So not only was the video a good idea for a Social Studies lesson, it also helped incorporate Language Arts/Reading into the lesson as well.  In the future, I would incorporate videos into my classroom.  I would create videos that showed the children, but since I do not have a classroom and these students are only working with me temporarily, I did not want to show their faces.  But there is a lot you can do with movies, such as having students act out plays, video tape steps of a science experiment, or even reading a story each student publishes.

Creating the video was not as "scary" as I originally thought it would be.  Taping was challenging because I used 8 locations (and it was very cold outside).  Once the taping was done, using imovie was helpful.  It seemed to be  pretty new user friendly which I liked.  The most challenging part for me was adding the podcasts into the movie then deleting the background noises (except for the garbage truck, I left that one in).  I would use imovie again if I was able to use a Mac, but I am also interested in trying out Microsoft Movie Maker now to see the differences and similarities between the two.  The making of the movie was a fun experience!  My students were very excited to watch it!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Class participation

This semester, I communicated with my peers in ED 514 in a few ways.  First, I commented on people's work that was posted on their blogs.  Here are a few examples:

Jen's Blog

Eric's Blog

Samantha's Blog

I also texted a few of my friends.  For example, Jen and I discussed our midterm assignment.  She helped me work on my Excel worksheets over the phone.  We also discussed assignments such as our virtual tour.  A few of my classmates and I had a virtual chat on about class assignment.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Virtual Tour/Screencast projects

For my virtual tour project, I did a Google Earth tour of National Landmarks in the United States, which went along with my First Grade curriculum. Then, I created a screencast giving additional facts about the landmarks. I thought the virtual tour was a lot of fun to make and would be great for the students to create on their own. But I found the screencast to be a little more challenging. I recorded many times and seemed to never have a perfect recording. I think screencast would be very helpful, but for me, I would have to prepare myself that no recording would be 100% perfect. But I think the students would love to hear the teacher's voice while taking a virtual tour.  I think students would be able to use the virtual tour to show places they have traveled to share with the class.  That would be a fun project.  For the screencast, the Third Grade students could use this technology to show websites they found to research a topic for a writing assignment. 

Screencast of Virtual Tour

Thursday, October 14, 2010

PLN assignment

For my PLN assignment, I used to create a web with the information I have learned in ED 514.  I thought the website was creative to create webs for our thoughts.  I liked how you can change the color of each brank.  I also enjoyed the ability to move the bubbles around.  For my classroom, this would be great for my informational writing unit when the students write books about animals.  I think the kids would be successful using it to help form chapters to their books.  I would recommend this site for young students, I just think it might take some practice to use it successfully. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wiki AND Podcast project

For my podcast project, I wrote a fictional story and recorded my voice.  The wiki project was for teachers to go through the writing process with their students and as students publish their work, they may create a wiki for the whole class to listen to.  The teachers can even incorporate the story elements at the end of listening to everyone's podcasts.  I think this is a great idea for elementary aged students because it will get them excited about the writing process.  It will also have the students listen to themselves for fluency.  I would have students create podcasts from the books they write on their own. 

Writing Process with Podcast wiki

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Slideshow Project-living and non-living things

I created a video slideshow of pictures that showed living and non-living things in the world around us.  This lesson is for Kindergarten/First Grade students.  I would have each student use the camera to take one picture of a living thing and one picture of a non-living thing.  As a class, we could create a class video of all the pictures the students took so everyone could see the different objects their classmates came up with.  I think this project would be great so parents could see what we have been working on in Science.  Students could create their own slideshow from photos they take from class assignments.  For example, we work on a weather unit.  They could be responsible for taking photos of all different types of weather and create a slideshow for the class about weather we see out our windows. 

Create your own video slideshow at