Please take a moment and like my Facebook page! I post many links there including technology lessons, app suggestions, free apps, and other ideas I find through twitter and blogs. Thank You!
I had many great sessions this past week at TCEA in Austin, Tx and one of them was led by Dean Shareski and Steve Dembo. Their session was a great reminder that relationships are the center of any great school and that we should be using technology to build those relationships with parents and stakeholders. I tweeted this great quote out during the session…
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p>”Your story is being told with or without you” – @<a href=”https://twitter.com/shareski”>shareski</a> time for schools to be part of the conversation <a href=”https://twitter.com/search/%23tcea13″>#tcea13</a></p>— Matt Gomez (@mattBgomez) <a href=”https://twitter.com/mattBgomez/status/299220874165358593″>February 6, 2013</a></blockquote>
The connection between home and school does not just happen on its own. It takes time and effort and those connections need to be reinforced often. This is where I feel technology can really benefit teachers. Class blogs or websites offer a chance for teachers to share the daily happenings, not just big events. Parents, especially of young children, appreciate and benefit from these constant interactions. It is important to remember that social places need to be social spaces. Our classroom blogs and websites can not simply be a digital newsletter. Relationships are not built from those types of spaces. Dean summed it up nicely by saying
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p>”Newsletters don’t build trust, they are just information” – @<a href=”https://twitter.com/shareski”>shareski</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/search/%23tcea13″> </a></p>— Matt Gomez (@mattBgomez) <a href=”https://twitter.com/mattBgomez/status/299222407925870593″>February 6, 2013</a></blockquote>
So what does the perfect blog/website look like? I don’t have that answer, each class and community is different and the spaces will reflect that. My goal is to curate a list of examples that will provide ideas and inspiration for teachers looking to get started. Hopefully this list will give you ideas on the many different tools that are available to teachers and how those are being implemented in the primary level classroom. If your administration needs convincing these examples might be helpful to show the value these spaces can provide. If the story is already being told I think that teachers, students and administration should take part in creating the story.
It has been a while since I posted about one of my favorite websites, Wonderopolis (read more about it here) Today, we visited Wonderopolis as part of our morning routine and the wonder of the day was “Who Lives On Easter Island.” The wonder included a beautiful time-lapse video of the island that the kids asked to watch several times. Then, like every time we visit, I asked the class “what do you wonder?” We talked about the definition of an island and then a one kid asked “how do you make islands”. We already had some background knowledge about islands thanks to the book our twitter friends from Japan sent us earlier this year, (read about that connection here) but we had not discussed how islands are formed. So I showed the class with a real simple drawing how some islands are formed from volcanoes (pictured above). The class wanted to share this picture with their twitter friends and parents so we decided to label it with the Skitch app before posting it to the blog. The kids were so excited as we discussed magma, lava, and erupting. They even asked if there was a video of an island being made so I found one to show later in the day (see below) This is why I love wonderopolis, even thought the wonder itself didn’t fit exactly with our learning standards it still was valuable because the kids were interested. I find these teaching tangents happen often when we visit the site and I love the learning journey it leads to.
Here is one of the pages from the book our friends from Japan sent.
You have something to share (Yes you!) We are looking for guest bloggers and you DO NOT need to have a blog to participate. You can even submit your thoughts via a word document. Any topic that is related to the care of young children is welcome. (what are you passionate about, what works in your class, what lesson was amazing, what do you have concerns/questions about?) Blogging is not that scary and this is a great way to give it a try. We all benefit from hearing others thoughts and ideas. Check out the information below and give it a try.
Five posts that I enjoyed reading this week.
To Succeed on Social Media Post Like A Honey Badger – Funny yet so true! “Don’t be afraid of what people will say about your posts. Be afraid that they’ll say nothing. That’s when social media fails.”
You Can’t Teach A Baby To Read? -Important read for all teachers, especially those in early childhood. Love this quote by Tom “no one has ever taught a preschooler to read who wasn’t already teaching himself”
Magnetic Sticks- Great idea but I enjoyed the way in which Scott set up his center in a way that promotes creativity.
Does Our Current Education System Support Innovation? -”Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as bulk purchasing iPads and deploying them into the wilds of education. Innovation can’t be installed. It has to be grown — and generally from the margins.”
Where Children Sleep? -I found this to be a fascinating look at kids around the world. Only wish is there were more pictures.
I have gained so much from the blogs that I follow that suggest good reads each week. Not only are the posts great but it has allwed me to find more great blogs to add to my reader. So I am going to give it a try and share 5 posts each week I find valuable.
Ok, week one and I’m already breaking the “rules” This week there are 5 posts and one facebook page