C4T my choice #1
I chose to follow Deb Frazier, a first grade teacher and blogger (click here to visit her page), whose 1st grade website excited me tremendously. As a 1st grade teacher, one of my main goals for this class, and for my developing technology PDP, is to increase the amount of technology use in my classroom. Yet, I don't want to do technology for technology's sake; rather, I want to teach in more effective ways and allow my students to become more prepared for the technologically rich world that they live in. I want them to create using technology, and I know that using technology will only help me facilitate strong learning, exploration and creation while engaging my students. . . if done right. Well, this teacher's website made me think, she is doing it right! She's not only on my grade level, but she is meeting and exceeding standards by using technology in 1st grade friendly ways and sharing about it. Her own blog seems great as well.
I introduced myself with my first comment, included the link for EDM510USA and for my own blog page, and then discussed her post. She had written about going into an enchanting book store and purchasing some new books for her class. She limited herself to three, and then wrote a bit of a teaser for each title. I am really curious to see how the last book, the one about the good wolf, turns out. She wondered if her students would predict the ending or be as surprised as she was with what happened. I asked her to share their reactions, and asked which of the three new books her first graders preferred. Perhaps I'll need to get a copy for my classroom library.
Here is a screen shot image from her blog. Doesn't this book look and sound so perfectly intriguing?
February 15, 2014, week 2
I read a post that was very positive written by Deb that celebrated different things. She celebrated personal things (like her 34th anniversary with her husband, her daughters recent successes, etc.) but she also celebrated school related news. For one thing, they had 4 days of school this week. They've been having less because of snow. So, that was exciting as well as exhausting for her! She also had parent-teacher conferences take place. She mentioned that she really enjoys this, even though it means more time outside of school, later hours, and more work-- because it is so great to get a more full picture of the child that the parents bring. She loves hearing about the "different child" that lives at home; and she loves sharing with the parents about the "different child" that is in her classroom during the week.
I find this teacher very easy to relate to. I also enjoy parent teacher conferences because I think it's a strength of mine. I feel it is important to affirm for the parent that their child is wonderful. Even with the most difficult student, I can do that, because even the most difficult student has qualities that are unique and contribute to the class positively in various ways. I feel that during such meetings a stronger home-school connection is established, and I think this is one of the most important aspects for a child's success in school. When the student sees that education is important to mom/dad, then he/she will view it as important too. Thus, he/she will put in more effort to achieve in school.
I asked her what other ways she maintained a strong home-school connection, and I asked if the students see this communication taking place.
Week 3 post, February 22, 2014
I had to go back a few weeks to see a new post today because she hadn't posted this week. I loved what I came across. Deb talked about coming back from winter break as the beginning of the school year, looking for a fresh start. She incorporated the students on this process. She asked them for input on what they would like to tweak to make better. Their discussion and the reasons behind their suggestions were impressive. Together, they worked to make the changes. The next day she had a slide show with the changes and reasons for them labeled which really excited the students. It gave them ownership of the classroom, making it their space for their creative needs. How cool!
I wondered what my students would suggest if I posed the same question to them? What can we do to improve our room? Why? What discussion would arise? What reasons would back their thoughts? I think we need to do it! :)
February 28, 2014
I went back on Deb Frazier's blog and read how she'd won the Sunshine Blog award. She was nominated by a fellow blogger, asked to share 11 interesting things about herself, and then asked 11 questions of some other bloggers. I thought, this is a fun way to encourage good blogging and to develop your PLN. Perhaps as we develop our own PLN's I can become connected enough with others that we participate in such an activity?