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

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Webquest assignment

My webquest assignment was created for my First Grade class.  One of our science units was Construction.  The students were given an assignment to create a shelter of some type.  They gathered materials and built shelters that they shared with my class.  Instead of sending home a letter, I created this webquest so the students could work on their projects in the classroom.  I could also modify the webquest for a home project.   If students wanted to work on something on their own at home, they could pull up the webquest for reference.  Parents could also see what the students are working on in the classroom.  I think creating a webquest would be challenging for some First Graders, but at the end of the school year, they could create a webquest about the writing process or a writing activity. 

Webquest for building a shelter

Photo Album

These are photos I took for my Kindergarten/First Grade lesson on living and non-living things.  The idea for the lesson is that the students can take turns using the camera to take photos of living things and non-living things and can create a slideshow as a whole class.  I think this is a great way to get young students to use a camera, especially since young children love taking pictures of funny, random things.  We could create photo albums of the class throughout the year so the students have a book at the end.  Students can create photo albums of their families for a Social Studies lesson about their cultures and traditions. 

Living and Non-living things photos

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Quiz assignment

For my quiz assignment, I chose to create a quiz for my First Graders reviewing story elements and important messages of fairy tales.  I decided to use the story "Little Red Riding Hood", a story I usually start off my fairy tale unit with.  After reading the story and teaching what story elements are (character, setting, problem, solution) and what important messages are and after doing class activities to enforce the concepts taught, I would allow the students to take the quiz while at centers to review.  I found this quiz to be helpful to check for understanding from all students.  I also liked that I could upload my class list from excel if I was teaching for the kids to log on and take the quiz.  I think these quizes would be beneficial for First Graders when reviewing story elements from books we read in class.  The quizes would also be fun for math concepts! 

Little Red Riding Hood quiz:  username/password:  samplestudented514

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Google Doc assignment #2

For my second Google Doc assignment, I made a presentation for First Grade students reviewing nouns and verbs.  The students will have access to the presentation from my blog and my website.  The first two slides are reviews of what a noun and verb are.  The next slides are for ACTIVboard activities for the whole class to participate.  Lastly, the final slide is a review for the parents including a photo assignment for the students to complete.  There is also a mini quiz for them to print from the presentation.  I used the presentation because it is able to be published on a website and/or blog for parents to see and have access to.  Students in my class could use the presentation option to create a show for their parents about work created in class.  We could create class presentations about field trips or photos taken in the classroom. 

click here to see my presentation

Google Doc assignment #1

For my first Google Doc assignment, I used the form document to create a form to send home to the parents/guardians of my First Grade class. Last Winter, we asked for volunteers to come into the classrooms to speak about Winter holidays such as Kwanzaa, Christmas, Eid, ect. I was in charge of organizing the parent/guardian responses. I thought that using the Google Doc form would be easier to gather the information I need to organize all the presentations for all 8 First Grade classrooms. I found making the form an effective way to get all the information I would need and other teachers would need to make this in school field trip organization easily.  Students could also create forms for graphing in math.  They could collect data from the math class and graph the data collected. 

Click here for my form

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Web 2.0 assignment

For my Web 2.0 tool project, I used "Book R" to create an easy reader book for my elementary students.  In my classroom, I would implement this frequently with my students for my Writer's Workshop part of the day.  As my students begin to work on writing stories, I would have my class write a story using the story elements taught (character, setting, problem, and solution).  When they finish the rough draft, I would have a reading meeting with each student to edit their stories.  Once they write their final draft and I have checked them, the students can go on "Book R" to publish the stories they wrote.  Students can print them out for the classroom library or they can post it on a class blog for all the students to read when the books are complete.  This would be a great activity for fiction and nonfiction writing samples for First Graders.    Students would find this fun to be publishing their own writing!