Saturday, May 19, 2012
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
When given half a chance, children love to create and be imaginative. Use the web application, BuiLD YouR WiLD SeLF, and watch kids' creativity and imagination in learning...
BuiLD YouR WiLD SeLF is a web application. Anyone can use their imagination or their knowledge of animals to create their own animal for a special habitat using this web application. Provide a platform for your students or children to build an imaginary avatar. Once their WiLD SeLF is created, they can use it as a desktop image, an avatar, or any similar application. Kids can compare and contrast various traits of humans and animals. They will also get a chance to learn about the habitats that some zoo animals would live in their natural homes.
Use this web application as:
A. the anticipatory set for new lessons in science, social studies, language arts, writing or other subject.
B. an example of animal habitat information to be studied utilizing many learning strategies; especially Compare/Contrast You can build a lesson about animals and their environments.
C. a formative assessment to determine if students can describe/explain why they used a particular environment or body part.
D. a reward for effective learning behaviors.
The web application, Build Your Wild Self was created for the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, and other New York City Zoos, in cooperation with the Wildlife Conservation Society.
SHARE SOME FINE EXAMPLES THAT STUDENTS HAVE SHARED WITH YOU:
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
We follow deer tracks in the mud, pretending that we too are wild beasts. and so it begins!
What happens when you prejudge a book recommendation from a colleague simply because of its name or its audience? For me, that's pretty rare, yet it happened with Guyku. Because I trust the educators of my PLN (Professional Learning Network), I changed my mind, I read Guyku. It's great, so I say, "Go with it!"
With that in mind, I've decided to review this highly recommended book with a specific audience. I'm wondering if children who read Guyku will really care that the title makes it sound like it's a book for boys, yet I think most young ones will enjoy this book.
I just read GUYKU, because of this trust within my Professional Learning Network. This book would be a satisfying read for boys or girls. While, the story of Haiku for guys sounded like a book that only a boy could love, I was impressed that the story would probably be well received by boys or girls.
As I have written on many Tuesdays, I'm giving GUYKU the Six Traits of Writing treatment. While this book could be used to teach many traits, especially WORD CHOICE and SENTENCE FLUENCY. I selected SENTENCE FLUENCY because I think the Haiku message can be taught within the context of the fluency trait.
In Guyku, each sentence is written in the poetic form of Haiku, yet the style and meter of each sentence is NOT repetitious. Quite the opposite. With sentences like
Hey, who turned off all the crickets? I'm not ready for summer to end....and
With baseball cards and clothespins, we make our bikes sound like motorcycles....it appears to me that this is a great opportunity to show your students how cool varying sentences in a similar (Haiku) format can be. Join me. Review this book.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Tuesday's Trait: Ideas and Content highlights the story Drylongso. Drylongso BY Virginia Hamilton Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkey
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Treat your colleagues as you want to be treated. Don't share information that might let others in your local area recognize them. Gather closely for I tell you a tale of poor choices, a tale of a young teacher whose pride overcame her ethics, a sad tale that must be told. I'm the online observer, and I share her tale.
It seems to me that many who use the internet still believe that they are anonymous....that's just not true. One of the teachers in my Professional Learning Network chose to share information about a colleague that was not appropriate, yet this teacher never did understand that sharing without permission is wrong. As far as I could tell, this teacher was spreading gossip.
In the fall of 2011, my Professinal Learning Network was discussing the merits of an individual teacher's form used to help guide student/teacher learning conferences for mathematics. The teacher who shared this form is highly regarded as a technology teacher in our group, yet readily admitted that math is not their strong suit. The negativism and bias of this teacher towards a local colleague seemed shocking to me. I think it may be difficult to trust someone who takes the work of others, downloads it online, and tears the content to pieces.
The teacher in our PLN decided that a colleague's conferencing sheet was not appropriate and shared a link for this conferencing sheet. The irony is that the teacher in our PLN had no problem stealing another teacher's work and sharing this information all over the internet. What was most amazing to me was the fact that they were colleagues in the same school.
Since I didn't know at first that the teacher in our PLN didn't have permission to share the conferencing sheet, I looked over the document. Other teachers also looked it over, since we all share information with everyone in our PLN. Those of us who like mathematics and teaching mathematics found the conferencing sheet to be appropriate tool for teacher use in monitoring student progress. We learned afterwards that the teacher who shared the document with us didn't have permission to do that. I was concerned and frustrated that someone in our Professional Learning Network would do that, yet there it was.
In my experience, teachers collaborate to make a good idea better, but that was impossible because the teachers' work had been displayed online without their permission. Most of those in our PLN believed that some simple changes to the conferencing sheet could help make this a helpful tool for the student. Others thought the form was not appropriate. I thought the form was a very useful teacher tool, yet it could be easily modified for effective student use.
I was shocked that our colleague would do this to a fellow teacher, especially as the teacher didn't know it was being shared among our online group. Without getting permission from the author, it would be unethical to show a copy of it online.
I think it would be a really great idea, if we could consider that the same ethics that guide us at school also guide us, as teachers, when we collaborate or teach online. Ask for permission before sharing a colleagues OFFLINE work. If the work is online and public, you must still attribute the work to the author. This would be a great lesson for all teachers to follow, so they can feel comfortable when teaching online ethics to their students. As the saying goes,
Don't tell me you will do the right thing, show me!