Saturday, January 30, 2010


Using a CRS (Classroom response system; aka Activote) is one way I use technology in the classroom. Everyone participates; the shy and the extroverted all have the same voice; I can see wherein lies difficulty and address it. An instant graph can be displayed for each response to show how many students got the question correct. This is good both as a pre- and a post- test. In math class, it can be used a quick check to see if a key concept is understood.

CRS can also be used to vote. For example, I read aloud a "Choose your own path" type of book, and at each decision point, we used the voters. Majority determined the path the hero of the book would follow. The kids really enjoyed this interactive read!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kindergarten Technology

In kindergarten I use our CD player to help the class review letter/sound work we've been focusing on each week as well as stories on tape/CD. I have an overhead projector that is used weekly for math/ language skills. I use a computer projector in the classroom as well as the library to share a web site of interest or to guide the students to a desired site of skill development. The kids have 30 minutes of computer time each week that they spend becoming familiar with the keyboard as well as becoming comfortable using the mouse and opening and closing files/programs.

Technology in Kindergarten

The technology I use in my kindergarten classroom is mainly used by the adults in the room. I use the internet, e-mail, and the web resources for the district to plan lessons and communicate with other teachers and parents. I also have my classroom website to communicate with parents. With the students, I use limited resources, such as our CD player, overhead projector, and the computer lab. I would absolutely LOVE to incorporate an interactive white board:)  

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Title One

I use technology by using the school website to communicate with parents and publish student works.  I have used the projection equipment in the library to share something with students.  I don't have access to Promethian board software so use my overhead projector.  I have also used the projection equipment in the library with my computer for parent nights.

Terry Benoy

In my math classes, I use u-tube clips to reinforce concepts, and email for parent/student communication/assignments. Excel is used by both G/T and regular ed students to compile and organize data. G/T students also use Word and Powerpoint for projects and presentations. My Battle of the Books class is completely paperless with students putting assignments/review in my drop box and quizzes/competitions done on Moodle.

A twist on a precalc review

I had students bring their cell phones and we did a multiple choice review on this website. I entered about 15 problems in and had kids answer them in class. Students text the answer to the question and the results are instantly displayed. Although students were not learning a new form of technology, this held their interest better than any review I have done in the past.

Technology in Early Childhood

We use the CD player daily.  This is great for our language development.
We use pictures that we take from the digital camera to work on language also.  We talk about what we are doing in the pictures.  We also use them to play matching games.
There is a preschool website that we use to work on cause and effect.  By pushing a button different letters and animals appear.  This website also helps develop our vocabulary.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Second Grade Technology

I am surprised at how much I am enjoying using technology in my classroom. The Promethean Board is an integral part of my teaching. I use it daily for Morning Message, Reading and Math Centers and Social Studies and Science lesssons. I now have two laptops in my classroom that the children use during center time also. I am happy that our building has a great "tech crew" that hold weekly meetings to help us out in learning more about our Activinspire program. Thank you to Lori and Barb!

Adrienne Gyllen
Second Grade

Technology in First Grade

The use of technology at the first grade level includes the use of our Promethean Boards, the use of the computer lab, as well as our personal classroom websites.

We use our Promethean Boards throughout the day in many subject areas. Each day begins with the display of our morning message on our Promethean Boards. We also use the Promethean Boards as interactive tools with our students in all subject areas - Math, Reading, Science, Social Studies ... and everything in between! 

The computer lab in the elementary school is also another way the first graders use technology in their day. While there, students practice their typing skills, use websites that challenge them with Reading and Math games, participate in projects with Mrs. Finster, explore kidpix, etc. 

All first grade Newsletters are also available in an online format through each classroom website. There, parents are able to find links to Reading and Math enrichment websites for their children, homework, spelling words, a list of the first grade sight words, etc.

Technology is a great source at the first grade level. Students are open and excited to learn and challenge themselves with the many possibilities that technology has to offer. 

The First Grade Team
Julie Larcom, Kristie Olson, Wendy Peterson, and Hansi Swanson 

I use technology with my small groups of students by accessing spelling city to practice their weekly vocabulary words. This has been very beneficial as interactive learning helps solidify vocabulary for many students.  I also log on frequently to utilize the data from link for learning, renlearning and other areas that hold reading and math scores for our students.


Three members of the elementary building RtI team attended a SIMS  (Student Intervention Monitoring System) training workshop at CESA this week.  This program will work hand in hand with the district-wide RtI process.  RtI in a nut shell is a process for achieving higher levels of academic and behavioral success for all students through:

High quality instructional practice
Continuous review of student progress

The SIMS program will provide teachers and other staff an easy to use record keeping tool, which will maintain information over time, and ultimately improve the success of students.  We are one of the first districts in the area to be trained, so the process has just begun.  Stay tuned for more information.  

How I use technology in my classroom

I continually use technology to enhance student learning and to link my classroom to the world.
Some of the successes:
Webpage. Using Contribute allows me to update my curriculum and classroom activities on a daily basis. Parents can find out what we are doing. Students know weeks ahead of time what we will be doing. Students have access to classroom resources such as videos, lecture notes, handouts and assignment when they are home sick. This has been a great help to students and it actually saves me a lot of time. It improves lesson differentiation. All of the notes are on line. Students may print off notes instead of struggling with writing them during the lecture. It also saves on paper. In my 6th grade multimedia class all the instructions are online--no handouts needed. I also experimented with this last year during the 8th grade Earth's Resources unit and was able to cut the paper use down dramatically.
Social Bookmarking. I have set up a site through delicious that allows me to bookmark sites for professional and student use. I have tags (categories) that correspond with units in the curriculum. I also link to web sites that I use for professional development.
iMovie - iDVD. Students produce videos that they use to help in class presentations. Students produce 2 - 4 minute videos, upload them to my drop box and then I use iDVD to organize them and produce a DVD. Students can bring in blank DVDs to get a copy of their work. The most successful project that I did last year was my final "exam". Students had to produce a video that demonstrated what they learned during the year. It was amazing how this activity engaged students--and it was the last week of school!!!!
Excel. Students are required to analyze their scientific research using spread sheets and graphs. I did not want to overlook this one, because it is one of the standards that our students have difficulty with. Skills in analyzing and interpreting graphs are stressed on both the state test and the ACT.
U-Tube/Online Videos. At least once a week I show a short video clip on our topic. This seems to accomplish the same thing as the old hour long videos, but is a much better use of time. I also have found sources for the longer videos on line when needed at This saves district $.
Student WIKI. I am currently working on a new project where students post work on a wiki. They are going to use the wiki to collaborate on a genetic disorder. The assessment piece has been a struggle, but I've got one and we're going to jump in and give it a try. You can follow our progress on Wiki Spaces. The project will be starting in early February, so the wiki currently is a work in progress. If you would like to contribute, let me know and I will invite you into our wiki.
Staff (and personal) development. When I want to learn new things about science, technology, or life I search the web. We really don't have a lot of quality inservice that helps me develop as a teacher. I can usually find what I need on the web somewhere. Some of my favorites are: Atomic Learning, 4Teachers, TedTalks & the list goes on and on. Check my delicious site--(tags: education or technology) for more. One of my favorite personal sites is a Firefox add on called Stumble Upon. You download it and it installs a button on your Firefox browser. When you click the button it randomly selects web pages on topics that you have chosen. It's random, but you never know what you might learn.
Ipods. I use iTunes to download podcasts to contiually monitor new things going on in education and the rest of the world. Most podcasts are free and have the lastest and greatest of what is going on in science and techology. Students used iPods in my classroom to study symbols of elements. I put the names into a program that made flash cards. Students loved these. I'm still working on other ways I might be able to use these in the classroom.
Webquests. I have one or two of these for most of the units that I teach. They are interactive and do a much better job of presenting the information than the textbook. Last unit we used a site that presented Earth History--not of of the most exciting topics, but the students were totally engage.
Promethean Board. I've used this a dozen or so times. It was somewhat useful. Lecture is really not my strength, but it is helpful at times for presenting and reviewing information. I have been reading an interesting blog on this topic.

Some of the technology that I have played with personally, but haven't gotten around to using in my classroom are:
Skype. Connecting with people around the world. I have this at home and it worked great for talking to a friend in Jamaica.
Moodle. Not sure how I can use it yet, but it looks interesting.
Google apps. This would allow students to collaborate more easily outside of school.
Flash. I understand it well enough to realize that students could do some incredible science projects with it, but not well enough to jump into a project yet.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Technology in Fourth Grade

This is also my first time blogging. I know little or nothing about Blogging, Wiki, ect. (all the new stuff). What I do know is that I use the technology available through our Promethean Boards. When I am instructing the students, I use the board and the many amazing features!

Fourth grade students use the program Type to Learn. They learn, practice, and increase keyboarding skills. Our students use Word to write final copies of their essays as well as completing other writing assignments. They also learn the basics for PowerPoint. They create a slide show presentation to accompany their speeches.

I use the the website entitled Spellingcity to supplement the spelling program. Students can access the site at home and practice spelling skills. I enter the weekly spelling lists. The programs creates lessons, games, a practice test, and spelling tips for the students that go along with the list!

Students also learn how to use the Web to find information when they are completing their research project.

All subject material is supplemented in some way with the use of the websites, interactive games and on-line lessons.

I don't want to be a neanderthal

This is the first time I have blogged. I was surprised that I actually didn't have to get someone to help me through this. The directions were fairly easy with a few exceptions. There is hope for the neanderthal of computers. I think I use my computer more than I realize. My hope is that I will learn from all of the technology savvy people we have in the buildings. I recently was introduced to moodle by Goodie . . . I am going to talk with him some more about how I can use it to enhance/encourage learning. During our inservice Kelli M. stopped by and showed me how I can use epals with my geography students. I want my students to connect with students from other countries. My focus will be China/India. I am also interested in using WIKI's in my classes (much like Sharlene P). I wish I had a whole day where I can have someone teach me how to use the various technologies. Maybe I should look for a class that will help me instead of taking time away from staff members. Do classes actually exist that will help me. I want to evolve. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Technology in 4K

Most of the technology that I use is for the benefit of my parents in the 4K program. This year I have developed my web page that gives parents my weekly news letter online along with up coming events and photos of activities we have done at school. The only piece of technology that I presently have in my classroom is my lap top so to incorporate technology in my day to day plans is difficult.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Using of Technology in the Band Classroom

This year the high school music department is attempting to go green and be paperless. All assignments are submitted via email, Facebook, gaggle, and SmartMusic. We have recently started to use Moodle as a classroom management system. It is my hope to be able to use this to create a consolidated space for Wikis, document distribution, and classroom assessments. This transition hasn't been without its hitches but as students have become more accustom to this "new" way of submitting assignments they are being more successful with it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Responding to Save Me Time

I think your idea about giving specific instructions for those who have never done a blog before is a good one although I am surprised you were experiencing some difficulty.  I will walk through this with the middle school teachers at our staff meeting next week.  Hopefully, this will clear up any confusion there may be.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Save me time

Web Page

This is a great way to gather feedback from everyone and for them to see what others are doing within the district.  I will promote this with teachers in the middle school and remind them to post their comments.
From the office perspective, my audience is really parents.  I have been working to keep up our middle school web page to include pertinent information in a timely manner.  I include all our permission and informational slips.  As I distribute materials to students I remind them to check our web page in the event they lose or misplace a form (which is so often the case - ah, life in the middle school).   Anyway they can  can find it there. Students and parents like this.  I used to rely on someone else to update our web page but am finding it is much easier to do it myself and now that I have learned how it only takes but a few minutes.  Still have some questions with it from time to time.  
What I am finding is that, when information is current, parents really rely on our web page.  Many of our teachers are putting their daily and weekly assignments online. This is the direction we are moving with all our teachers.
 I would also like to move in the direction of using some blogs or podcasts with parents as a way to gather input - just not sure how this will look - but am checking into it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Promethean Boards

I have started using the Promethean Board in my Special Education class.  The students really enjoy it and I haven't even done the "cooler" things on there yet.  I have just scraped the surface of it and am in the process of learning and exploring more with it.  It really is amazing and a great tool for my math classes.  Kathy Martens and I have also used the Promethean Board in our Character Ed groups.  We created a Jeopardy Life Skills to play with the students.  Very fun!  I would like to learn more about Moodle(?) and Wikis and whatever else is out there to use in class.  

Motivated but in need of skills

I have read so much research about the motivational benefits of using technology in the classroom, but this is a new area for me. I really want to learn how to use wikis and blogs in the classroom. Also, there is significant research on the use of clickers to elicit student response and participation in classroom discussions. BUT WHAT IS A CLICKER? How do I do this?

I think the use of virtual tours available online, such as the White House and the Grand Canyon, would make great story starters as well as give a real life visual to instruction and I plan to use these. I would like to see those who make good use of some of these tools provide direction to those of us who would like to, but don't know how. Please share your great ideas!

Another thing I have found beneficial is to teach a math concept, then allow the students to practice it on the computer in one of the available sites. We need more sites available to us and in a wider range of subjects.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Technology has helped me to communicate more effectively with the parents of my students. Once a month, I e-mail an online-photo album of their children participating in school activities -both academic and social.  This fall, at the start of a new project, I e-mail several photos of previous students' work, so parents can have an idea of what is involved in the project.  I've had many parents comment on how much they appreciate these photos that are sent directly to their e-mail accounts.

Technology in the Classroom

As for the use of technology in my classroom, I have done several things this year that are new to me. I have already been using Promethean and the activinspire software, which is a learning process in itself, but it has given the students and myself an interesting avenue to present information and process it over and over again if necessary. I have also used moodle and blogs on a couple of occasion which have helped me discuss and collaborate with others about the materials that I teach. The newest venture that I have waded into is the wiki. I have created three wikis at this point for different reasons. The first was a wiki I created to have my students import information relating to the body systems. This was a experiment into how wikis work and if they would help the students with their project. I found that with a little prodding they can work and the students liked to use them. The second reason for the wiki was to get staff to create a list of things that they would like to evaluate for our 3 year curriculum cycle along with the best way to go about this process. I found this wiki was a little tougher to get rolling but once I got the staff on board it seemed to work all right.
I also use video and audio materials from time to time such as brainpop and youtube to get information that I feel is more present day for the students. Students seem to be turned off by the materials if they are not something they can relate to so the 1960 films and videos are only a laughing tool and not something they take seriously from what I can see. The Internet has opened up a lot of information that can show real life situation that the students can relate to. I try whenever possible to use materials that are relevant.
I have also been trying to use the ipod touch to see if there is a practical application for classroom use. I have found several fun and interesting ways to use it but with the electronics policies and Internet usages I haven't utilized any of these with students yet. I will, however, keep looking for ways to make it useful.

Digital Storytelling

In short order, I've learned to Wiki, Moogle, and now Blog!  I am also taking a digital storytelling class through St. Thomas in hopes that Ms. Germain and I will find the time to have students digitize their narrative essays next semester.  

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Purpose of the Blog

The technology committee of the SCF School District needs to determine the present level of teaching and learning practice in the district. The data will be used in the development of the next three year plan to be submitted to the DPI.
Secondly, the sharing of information will allow other staff to know who to access to learn about the use of strategies and practices. This will also provide you an opportunity to use a Web 2.0 tool and explore a strategy for 21st Century Learning.

Please post your responses to this question with some detail on your use. Complete your entry by Friday, February 12, 2010. All staff are required to post an entry. Thanks!

What effective teaching and learning practices, which infuse technology, are you using in your classroom?