Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Week 8

Our assignment this week was to look at Chapter 15 in our book to briefly describe how you would use assistive technology for student with special needs. It is important to remember that technology is a wonderful recourse for teachers to use with special needs. I think we often forget this and tend to not use our recourses to the benefit of all students.

Mild Disabilities
Students who have mild disabilities often have difficulty retaining information. For these students software like JumpStart Kindergarten Reading, Simon Sounds it Out, and FastForward from Scientific Learning are wonderful recourses because they focus on teaching children a specific skill. The website http://jc-schools.net/tutorials/interact-read.htm is a great website to use because it has a list of interactive websites for all subject areas. Also http://www.nlvm.usu.edu has a lot of online math manipulative for students to use. Students with mild disabilities really thrive when using interactive websites.

Moderate and Severe Disabilities
Students who have moderate to severe disabilities are in need of life skills. It is important for them to learn things like personal hygiene, social skills, shopping, making change, time management, and using public transportation. I found a wonderful website, http://www.ocali.org/up_archive_doc/spectrum_apps_asd.pdf, with several apps for students with Autism, but can be used with any student under this category.

Physical disabilities
Students with physical disabilities are students who have some physical disability. For these students, it maybe beneficial to find alternative methods for accessing the keyboard, mouse, and/or monitor. Students can use Joysticks that function just like a mouse. They can also use a special keyboard with bigger buttons or an on screen keyboard. Some helpful website are: www.ablenetinc.com, www.adaptivation.com, and www.orcca.com.

Sensory Disabilities
Students with sensory disabilities are students who have impairment with their vision or hearing. For students with impaired hearing I would try these apps: iSign, ASL Dictionary, Signing Math Dictionary, Signing Science Dictionary, and Sign 4 Me. All of these apps use sign language and can benefit students who have trouble hearing. For student who are blind or have trouble seeing I would use text-to-braille converters, CCTV magnification systems, and screen readers.    

At-risk Behaviors/Situations
For these students they need a lot of positive reinforcement, something that can motivate students to do their best with their behavior and academics. There are several apps that promote behavior management. Some of the behavior management apps are: Behavior tracker pro and iReward. Some educational websites that will engage these students are  www.brainpop.com, www.donjohnston.com, and www.tomsnyder.com, because they provide immediate feedback.

Gifts and Talents
Students who are considered gifted and talented are those students who need to be challenged in the classroom. They need to be engaged in activities that will help them grow academically. For these students I would let them use golgster.com, prezi.com, and www.hoagiesgifted.org. All of these websites can all be used to challenge students. You can use glogster and prezi to extend your lesson. Students will love to complete and share their glog and prezi. These are great ways to challenge your students!

Roblyer, M.D. & Doering, A.H. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching
               6th edition.  Columbus, Ohio: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Week 7

Hello Week 7! This week we are discussing Web 2.0 tools and their benefits. I loved all the tools listed below and I plan on using them in the future!

Twitter: www.twitter

I’ve always thought of twitter as a social networking device. I never considered the educational benefits twitter could provide. Over the past five weeks I’ve become more familiar with twitter, tweeting, and hash tags. I am not as comfortable with twitter as most, and it has been a little difficult re-tweeting and only using a certain number of characters, but I have become a fan.

A Person who uses twitter on a daily basis could benefit greatly from following professionals on twitter. It doesn’t just have to be a social activity. By using twitter you can have access tons of professionals right at your fingertips. They tweet about different activities, websites, resources, and so much more. If you need information about a certain topic all you have to do is look on twitter.

As I began to use twitter I found several professionals to follow. I also enjoyed following my co-workers. I would look at who they were following and add professionals who I thought had a lot of good resources. I found that Michelle Lundy‏@MakingItTeacher was a great professional to follow; she has several tweets with wonderful websites that contain great teaching resources. Fabulous 4th Grade ‏@LorraineVasquez was also beneficial to follow, not only did she tweet wonderful things, but she also taught the same grade as I did. I think it is important to follow fellow teachers, especially those who teach the same age group.

Overall I am glad to have the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of twitter. I plan on continuing to use this as an educational resource. It is nice to have a network of professionals at your fingertips.

Glogster:  www.glogster.com

I really enjoyed using Glogster. I could see the benefit of using this for several different units. It is a wonderful way to put a lot of information in one place. I really think that I will use this for my students for their computer assignments. This way they would have all the information and resources they needed in one place. I think kids would enjoy Glogster.

Animoto:  http://animoto.com
This tool is a fun, interactive, and creative way to share knowledge with each other. On this web tool you can make a video slideshow. You can take still pictures and video clips and turn them into professional quality videos. Great fun tool that is easy for younger students to use. Here is a student sample to look at:


 I immediately fell in love with this site. I used it to make two games, but this site offers so much more. I highly recommend this site! What a great resource to use in the classroom and the best part it is free, no signing up required!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Week 6

Apps seem to be the technology trend right now. I am in the process of getting on the app train! Since receiving my iPad I’ve been on the look out for some inspiring apps. I am going to share my top 4 apps that I love and I’m working on implementing in my classroom.  Since I am a visual, hands-on learner I wanted to do more than just talk about these apps, I wanted to show them to you! Please feel free to comment and share any apps you love! 

1. Class Dojo: The first app is my favorite. It’s called Class DOJO. It is a wonderful tool to help track behavior or students. Any teacher could use this.  This is a way to give immediate feedback, and because it is on your iPad, iPod, or iPhone you can take this anywhere. Fieldtrips, hallways, and anywhere you class may go. You can use this information to track behavior (good or bad) in your students. It is a wonderful tool to refer to when parent conference time comes around. There is so much to do with this app! I highly recommend it!

1.    2. Math Ninja—This is a math game app. Students can play math games to work on math skills. The games are designed to be entertaining and fun.  Students love the game they forget how much practice they are getting. This is a wonderful app to use during math centers. 

3. Nearpod is a wonderful app that allows teachers to share presentations.  Not only can you view the presentations, you can actually interact with them through polls, quizzes, videos, drawing interactivity, website-sharing, self-guided quizzes and more. What a wonderful addition to your app collection! You can use this across the curriculum.

4. World Book-- Wonderful Social Studies app.This app has a treasure chest of historical information, fact, pictures, media, and much much more! This app is a great one to use to find quick information. It is designed to list things in history by date, so if you like to give history facts each day, this is the app to have.  I highly recommend this app and think that students would use it constantly!  
***** Sorry couldn't find a video for this one!*****

Apps in Education: Making Student Videos on the iPad http://appsineducation.blogspot.com/2012/01/making-student-videos-on-ipad.html via @VAMCE2010 #ED50591UWA

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Week 5

Week 5

There are so many different types of software available for the classroom. I feel like I don’t use my resources as well as I should. Here are 6 different types of resources that can be used in the classroom. Some of these I use and others I plan on incorporating.   

Drill and Practice- These sites are designed to give practice on certain topics. It allows students to practice to improve skills. In my classroom I use http://www.ixl.com. This site does cost, luckily the school district I work with pays for this. I can monitor each student’s progress.  

Tutorial- A tutorial website is a website that teaches students along with practice. I don’t have a website that I use like this in my classroom, but I searched and found a neat math site at http://www.webmath.com/k8ipmult.html. Students can type in their math problem and can see step by step how to work it out. This would be a great website to use during my math intervention! I can’t wait.

 Simulation- These sites are designed to give students a front seat or hands on experience to things they normally wouldn’t be able to see or do. I found a wonderful science site to use with my 4th graders; http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/category/chemistry

Instructional Games- These sites are just what they sound like, FUN educational games. We use these often in the classroom and in our computer lab. One of my favorite sites is: http://funschool.kaboose.com/arcade/language/index.html.

 Problem Solving: These sites are to challenge students with different puzzles and games that allow students to use problem solving skills. I think that sometimes we can overlook teaching and practicing problem solving skills. I plan on using this site,  http://www.kidsmathgamesonline.com/problemsolving.html, during my computer lab time so my students can practice problem solving skills.

 Integrated Learning Systems: These types of software are designed to give educators and students overall information on academic process. A lot of this type of software cost money. At my school we started using , http://www.globalscholar.com/,  where we can look at student’s strengths and weaknesses in reading and math. Then we can group students or even pull individual students to help reteach skills.
Check out this on Twitter:
Apryl, SAHM Guide@SAHMguide
What's Hot: 20 Educational Websites for Kids: Discover 20 of the best educational websites for kids. Le...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Week 4

You will never believe what happened to me on Tuesday. I was called to the office, I know still scary even though I am the teacher, and told that I was going to receive an iPad for my classroom! So after I calmed down, I realized I had a lot of planning to do. The challenge is that I have 26 students and only one iPad. I searched and found some great websites. I am excited about all the possibilities an iPad can bring into my classroom. There are so many educational apps that can provide both small and whole group activities. I can also hook the iPad up to my SmartBoard so we can use the different apps as a class. Students love to use technology and iPads are no different. I hope that I can teach my studetns fun interactive ways of learning. My hope as that they will go home and use their iPad like we do in the classroom!

Some of the apps I found appealing were Poll Everywhere. This app allows student to ask questions and enter data into the program. What a great math project or lesson!

 My second site has so many great ideas! The app I would love to try would be FlashCards (like the website Quizlet) and Video Time Machine (Over 200 History Facts).

Great list of top apps for use in the classroom by including our vid making app.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Week 3

Hello! My name is Stormie Walker and I am a full time 4th grade teacher, mother, wife, and a graduate student at the University of West Alabama. I love my job and consider it a privilege to go to work each day. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, shopping, painting, and refinishing furniture.
As a teacher I teach Reading, Math, Social Studies, and Science. I set out to teach my kids to be cooperative problem solvers, which is a challenge at times. This clip reminds me why that is so important.

I am learning new things and technology tools in my graduate class.  I am very excited to use them in my 4th grade classroom. I love to use my Smartboard, ELMO, and projector daily in my lessons. Students love to use technology and when you use it to tech new concepts it is a win-win situation! It is important to engage students in lessons.
Teachers say technology’s visual and interactive qualities can direct students’ attention toward learning tasks. (Roblyer & Doering, 25) I love my Smartboard and the fact that it grabs their attention, is hands-on, and fun! Here is a website to help you get started using your Smartboard sites I’ve found and LOVE!
 Feel free to follow me on twitter: @stormiewalker