I have written about how we use this app in my class to document and share our weather (see here) but I wanted to remind everyone about this great app and share the new options available. The one I am the most excited about (seen above) displays the weather on a thermometer with both Fahrenheit and Celsius. This is very valuable for us because we share our weather with classes around the world using Twitter. Other options I am excited about are shown below. The kids love helping to take the picture and keeping track of how the weather changes during the seasons.
** I always blur out the part of the image that shows our location using the Skitch app because I don’t like to share our exact location on twitter.
I recently posted examples from my Kindergarten class blog and there were two questions that I got asked several times that I wanted to discuss in a separate post.
Question #1- “Do you have permission to show the kids faces on the blog” or “how do you get permission”.
When I first started my blog I did not have permission to show the kids faces on the blog. Please don’t let that keep your from starting a blog. As long as your administration approves you having a blog you CAN have a very successful space without ever showing a kids face (I rhyme all the time.) You only need to be creative with how you take pictures. At the bottom of this post I have examples of images from our blog without faces. The key is taking a picture that will promote discussion at home. Another option is blurring faces (see below.) To get permission for my class blog I had every parent sign a permission slip at meet the teacher. It was required for them to fill out. I gave them three choices: 1) I give permission for my child’s images to be on the blog 2) I give permission but I want my child’s face to be obscured 3) I do not want my child on the blog at all. You can download the permission slip here and the blog parent info letter I use here.
Question #2- How do you blur the kids faces in the photos
I use skitch to blur the kids faces. Skitch is a web tool and also an app. You can see how to do this with Skitch by looking here. I mainly use the app on my phone to quickly blur out things I don’t want showing before posting on the blog. Even though I can post the kids faces I make sure to blur out names on the wall or anything that will connect us to a specific location. This tool is free, easy to use, and a fast way to blur a part of an image.
These are actual images from my class blog when I could not post the kids faces…
Learning about seeds
Labeling the sprouts (done with Skitch)
Science experiment ingredients
Math story problems with Educreations app/website
Literacy lesson using Popplet app/website
Voting for the president
This is a repost from last year. I think this is a good time to share again as many prepare for the start of school (or for those just beginning)
In college I remember learning about how important it was to always mention the child first when discussing special needs. They are children first so it was important to say a “child with autism” rather than an “autistic child”. I had never thought of the importance of that before discussing it in class but that really hit home with me and I have always tried to make sure not only mentioned the child first but made sure to recognize the child before the disability.
That lesson came to mind this week when I was asked about technology goals. Someone mentioned to me their goal was to use more technology in the room and asked what I suggested. This teacher is doing great things in the class and we chatted about ideas to increase the technology in her room. After the discussion I began to wonder how often teachers have that goal: “Use more technology in the room.” This thought concerns me because much like the child with a disability we should always be thinking of the learning first when discussing technology. I love technology and strive to incorporate it in my classroom daily but my goals are never about the technology themselves. When I see a new tool I don’t try to incorporate it simply because it is new and cool. It is important that I see an opportunity to encourage, foster or enhance learning with that tool. So I came up with the top reasons I use technology in the class.
Click each one for an example:
- Helps my students connect with the outside world
- Helps us document learning
- Allows us to do or see things we couldn’t without the tool
- Encourages creativity
- Provides novelty to a learning goal (especially for struggling kids)
- Gives my students a voice in their learning
- Allows my students to create stories without letting writing ability slow them down
- Encourages parent engagement or helps connect home/school
- Makes learning meaningful
- Provides constant feedback for the kids (virtual teacher)
- Helps me manage things
What would you add to this list? Have other examples, please post a link in the comments!