I just wanted to post some samples of what I will be using at my upcoming conferences with parents. These are reading and writing samples that we "published" in Explain Everything. The reading samples take me about 5 minutes per student. The book I am using is at the level they achieved when I assessed them with my Fountas and Pinnel running records. The writing is currently being published after they finish a story and conference with me. We just finished a unit on stretching a personal story across 3 pages.
I am anxious to see how they are received by parents since I am hoping to move to an electronic portfolio for my class next year. Enjoy!!
(The below clip is just the reading portion, we have a third slide where I interview kids about what they are proud of in their reading. I didn't include those for privacy reasons.)
Here are some writing samples!!
Th above samples are so cute and perfect, but most edtech teachers know that sometimes the process to got to the published version has many moments of frustration followed by determination. The below clip is a "blooper". I love this kid. He had had some trouble putting his slides in order. When he finally got to recording, he realized that the slides were still out of order and hilarity ensues...(if I had a nickel for every time a kid yelled my name in frustration during tech time...)
I am truly lucky to work at a school with amazing resources. I had been a public school teacher for 6 years prior to taking my current job in a private school. I use to think technology integration was teaching fun lessons on my SmartBoard and having the kids do a "listen to reading" station (starfall.com) on my 3 ancient desktops. Due to lack of funding in public schools, I know that is still the case in many schools, so that is why I count myself lucky and grateful! My current class has 2 Apple Desktops and 10 iPads available to my students daily. We share the laptops with our kindergarten buddies, but they are still available most days with some creative scheduling (those iPads get around).
With my new access to these "tech" resources daily, I started this year with a complete open mind about where my technology integration path would lead. I decided to take a "just try it" attitude towards the flood of new apps and programs I was being introduced too. This attitude has lead to many moments in the edtech trenches and some pretty cool triumphs.
Kidblogging was something I didn't really start with any expectations. Liz, our technology resource teacher (who is amazing by the way), mentioned it in one of our meetings and I decided to "just try it". I downloaded the app on my personal iPad, played with it, and then decided to introduce it to the kids. I did my "technology teach-to's" about the program and walked them through how to type, capitalize, add media, and publish. After a few mini-lessons, we tried it in class with pretty unremarkable results. The kids didn't seem that into it. They didn't like all the typing and seemed to get frustrated easily when trying to add media, but we revisited it a couple times as a way to reflect on some class events. I would share their blogs on the Promethean and we would move on. Like I said, unremarkable!! Then Spring Break happened...
(Pictured below is the super simple login process for Kidblog. We created easy to remember passwords for the kids and the usernames were just their names attached to "shark" since we are The Sharks)
Over Spring Break, I wanted to interact with the kids as they went on their vacation adventures. We live on an island in the middle of the pacific, so many families fly to other countries or the mainland on our breaks. We had been doing "dialogue journaling" with the children in class prior to break. They would write to me in their writer's notebook and then I would respond back. I figured we could just do the same thing, but with the blog. I told them to try to blog one time over break about what they were up to (I sent parents download and login information) and I would respond. I didn't think much about it. We took Pickle on a trip to Maui and I actually succeeded in not thinking about school for 7 whole days. On the Saturday before we returned, I went to check their blogs and shrieked out loud (Derrick is use to it after 5 years together so no big deal). BLOGGING TOOK ON A LIFE OF ITS OWN. The key to the Spring Break Blogging Breakthrough (that is what I just decided to call it) was the kids figuring out that they could comment on each other's adventures. It turned out that a comment from the teacher is cool but a comment from your friend is like DOUBLE COOL!! It truly was adorable.
Blogging took off because kids wanted to share and be heard by their friends. It gave them ownership of a technological voice. They spent more time writing with details. They added media such as pictures, videos, and even songs. The most popular blog was a boy who went to see Lego Movie and figured out how to add the "Everything is Awesome" song onto his blog entry about going to watch the movie. I gave the class 30 minutes on each of the first 3 days back from break to logon and comment. (Below is a screen shot of a blog post about a recent hike we went on, with another screen shot of friends commenting on the post)
So, I end this blog by challenging all my educator friends and peers to "just try it". No matter where you are on your technological journey just having an open mind can lead you to some great discoveries about yourself and your students!!
Thank you for reading,
(Jakey Note: The blogs are currently private and only accessed my the students in our class)
My name is Jake. I am a first grade teacher in Honolulu, HI. Hawaii is not my home, just an adventure and chapter from my life. I like to think of myself as an educational journeyman. I was born and raised in New Mexico. My parents still live there and I will always consider it my home. New Mexico has always been there for me. It is where I met my husband Derrick. It is also where I met my son (or soon to be son) Pickle (code name for privacy). Both of those great meetings happened between life journeys and have turned into two of the greatest journeys of all. My educational and life journey started in New Mexico and took me to Colorado, where I made many 20 year old life mistakes, and taught Headstart to a mostly transient Mexican population. From there I ventured to New York City, where I taught in the South Bronx and continued to grow into an adult by living and learning from my choices and mistakes. I met the man of the dreams and moved back to Albuquerque, NM and taught in a diverse public school near a military base. We became foster parents during our time in Albuquerque and I journeyed off the educational grid for a year, giving myself over to the experience of being a foster parent. I resumed my path here in Hawaii at a private school that boasts Pierre Omidyar (Ebay Founder), Steve Case (AOL founder) and Barak Obama (current president) as famous and influential alumni.
I am also now on the path of parenthood, which has been such a powerful and exhausting experience. When I "came out" as a gay man, I never thought I would be able to marry Derrick (we did, legally, in December 2013) or become a dad (which we will be, legally, sometime this summer), so I am in chapter of my life where I am so grateful. And with this gratitude, I feel a responsibility to put more good into this world, since the universe has been so kind to me and my family.
My blog will be a two-fold sharing. I will share my ideas, struggle, celebrations, and wonders about teaching in a 21st century classroom, and I will share my journey as a dad.
Thank you for coming on this ride with me!!
Check out these amazing teaching and learning blogs
Michael Fricano's Blog
2 Guys and Some iPads
Kristin Ziemke's Page
Don Goble's Blog
Mrs. Wideen's Blog