Take a Bite out of Bad Comments

The Intermediate student body at large of WOISD has discovered commenting.  While visiting the site where the students’ slideshows are posted, classmates discovered the ability to post comments to the slideshow of their peers.  It did not take long before the discussion of appropriate and inappropriate commenting arose.  One student left a negative comment on a friend’s slideshow in jest.  He told his friend about it and explained it was just a joke.  I realized we needed to quickly have a discussion concerning how comments are viewed by a global audience, and a joke between friends becomes public very quickly.  The parent of the student whose slideshow was commented on would not have viewed it as a joke.  I know our students will be sharing comments often, and I encourage the activity as long as they abide by the rules on the Rules for Commenting page of this blog.

For more on internet safety, click on McGruff above.

The Flavor of My Class Update

I thought of a solution to the eight computer limit in etherpad.  I did this project with two classes today because they were not in the computer lab last week.  I realized I could open three separate etherpad documents and have eight students typing in each of the three for a total of 24 students completing the survey at one time.  Then I just had to copy and paste the three documents into a word processor or into wordle.  That eliminated the time the students were idle when waiting on an available computer.  I will remember that if I do a similar project in the future.  Please watch our slideshow to see the resulting word clouds by clicking on the picture below!

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The Flavor of My Class

This has been an exciting week in technology.  I introduced the students to the definition of Web 2.0.  To demonstrate a Web 2.0 tool, the students answered survey questions by sharing a document in etherpad.  Etherpad will allow up to eight students  to open and work in the same document.  The students were really excited to see how they could all be typing in the same document at the same time.   The survey had each student type in the last name of their teacher and then type in their responses to the following categories:

  • Favorite flavor of ice cream: chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry
  • Favorite color: red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, pink, black
  • Favorite sport: football, basketball, baseball, softball, tennis
  • Favorite lunch: pizza, chicken~nuggets, hamburger, chicken~spaghetti
  • Favorite restaurant: McDonalds, Wendys, Sonic, Dairy~Queen, Whataburger, Burger~King
  • Favorite enhancement: music, P~E, technology, library
  • Favorite computer program: webkinz, primary~games, mathblaster, timez~attack, switchzoo

A pdf of the survey can be found on my (Nina Peeery) podcast page of  woisd.net website.  The students typed in their answers with a space between each answer.  For those choices that contained two words, the students used a tilde(~) between the words.  Students shared the eight computers.  When all the students had typed in their responses, I corrected any spelling and capitalization errors.  Then I selected the text and pasted into wordle.  Wordle takes the text and makes a word cloud out of it.  The students were able to visually see the most popular choices in their class by the size of the word in wordle.  I printed out a black and white copy for each student.  I used the program blockposters to make 11X17″ posters of each class which I placed on the outside wall of the computer lab with the heading “The Flavor of My Class.”   While I was printing the student copies, the students took turns calling on each other to come to the computer connected to the projector and change the font, layout, or color of the wordle. One problem I encountered was what to have the students do when they were waiting for their turn on the computer.  To occupy their time, I laminated the survey forms and had them mark their choices with a dry erase marker.  When they completed typing in their choices, they used a tissue to erase their forms. Another problem that came up was the students being confused over seeing the text being generated by others when they were also trying to type.  I had to encourage them not to touch the mouse so they could not accidentally place the cursor on someone else’s line.  All in all, this project engaged the students and produced a lot of excitement.  We discussed how wordle could be used to help them in writing.  They could copy their text and paste it in to wordle to see if they were overusing a word.  If they could not think of synonyms they could use it its place, they could use the word processor’s thesaurus to find new words to use.

Watch the video of Mrs. Smith’s fifth graders sharing a document in etherpad and creating a word cloud in wordle.

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Slideshows Uploaded!

Finally, a workable solution to allowing teachers, parents, and students to view the Microsoft Powerpoint presentations the students completed before Spring Break.  Click on the teacher’s name below to view the slide shows for that class.  Enjoy!

3rd Grade

Mrs. B lankenship’s class

Mrs. Hall’s class

Mrs. Hunter’s class

Mrs. McFall’s class

Ms. Rasberry’s class

4th Grade:

Mrs. Carrington’s class

Mrs. Lawrence’s class

Mrs. McCurdy’s class

Mrs. Smallwood’s class

Mrs. Zoutendam’s class

5th Grade:

Mrs. Ganong’s class

Mrs. Johnson’s class

Mr. McBride’s class

Mrs. Owens’ class

Mrs. Smith’s class

What to do with 194 Slideshows?

OK. My idea was to have the students upload their own Powerpoint presentations to a slidesharing website like slideshare.net.  Using my google email account, I created attached accounts by adding the computer name to my name, so that the students could log in to slideshare using their computer name.  So far, so good.  The upload is no problem, and because these slideshows are small in size, the upload does not take log.  Herein is my problem.  I want the teachers to be able to easily find the slideshows of their students, without pulling up anybody elses.  There are some inappropriate things on this website, and I do not want students, parents, or teachers to accidently come across anything else.  I am having a very hard time coming up with a filename or tags that will only pull up a certain group of slideshows.  If anyone else has encountered this problem, I would be most grateful to hear your advice on the matter.  In the meantime, I will continue to try to make this work.

How Do You Spell Relief? A-H-H

Are you “blogged” down with new technology requirements?  Confused about web 2.0?  Do you need to learn the tools that will make you a 21st Century teacher? If you are a teacher at White Oak Intermediate School, relief is on the way.  We hope you will join us for our very first (of hopefully many) A-H-H sessions.  After Hours Help is coming to your campus, Monday, March 9th from 3:45 to 5:00 in the computer lab.  Come prepared to see classroom blogging at its best.  Snacks, Sonic drinks, and DOOR PRIZES will make the event even more enjoyable.  We will offer a follow-up session on Wednesday, March 11th, where you can begin to set up your own classroom blog with all the technical support you need to succeed.  After these sessions, you will be saying A-H-H!

Power Point Project

powerpoint lesson

powerpoint lesson

The 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students are currently working on a project to learn Microsoft Power Point.  They randomly chose a subtopic from the topic each teacher chose on the facts4me website.  They spent one class period researching and recording information from the website and saving pictures to use in the powerpoint.  This past week they built at least five slides from the information.  The first slide is the title slide that includes the name of their subtopic and their name, the next three slides are information of their topic, and the last slide is the source slide that shows where they got their information.  This week we will be learning how to change the background, add slide transitions, add audio if desired, and view our slide shows.  I cannot wait to see what they have produced!

My First Time at TCEA

I have just returned from an exciting week in Austin at the TCEA convention.  I was able to rub elbows with the brightest and the best in the state in regards to educational technology-including the TCEA Classroom Teacher of the Year, the new director that represents Area 7, and the new treasurer of the SOS-SIG.  Best of all, these three individuals came back home with me to my own district! Isn’t life great!  I return with a new sense of resolve to embrace all the technology that is available to me and my students so we might understand and successfully implement those tools that will make learning what it should be – worthwhile.  This blog is a direct result of my week in Austin.  I want to be visible to my colleagues so I can more easily find and collaborate with educators with similar student goals to equip myself to better affect my students.  I want my students to learn and understand this new forum and how it can connect them to other students so they can see how the sharing of ideas is beneficial.  In addition to using blogs like this one, these are other areas I would like to explore as a result of this week:

  • MOODLE lessons in technology
  • Summer Technology Camps
  • Becoming an additional support person for all things tech. on my campus for other teachers and students
  • Offering computer lab availability after school hours and on Saturdays with provided support
  • Collaborating one on one with grade level teachers to integrate their lessons with technology
  • Become trained on the interactive white board and provide lessons that access its technology

As you can see, I’ve caught the techno bug and don’t want the cure.