Thursday, April 22, 2010

Positive Discipline Strategies Yield Quick Results | Edutopia

Positive Discipline Strategies Yield Quick Results Edutopia
Click on this link and watch the video.  :-)
I use a similar approach with students in my class as the TAB. Kids are put in a place to "take a break" and reflect on what they did and why the behavior is not acceptable. I don't use the writing part, but I follow a similar process by discussing and posing questions to the student to think them through the process. We discuss the two basic choices - the positve behavior and consequence and the negative behavior and consequence. We talk about ways to handle feelings more appropriately. It is a learning experience. This is not a lecture, but it is a teacher led conversation. At the end, I always ask for the student to summarize what we discussed so that I know that he or she did follow the points. This approach has worked well with my junior high deaf and hard of hearing students.

I do add simple picture drawing and writing appropriate to the child's level of language when the situation is more severe or warrants a more complex explanation.  I am thinking of developing a simple form that could be used that may include a space to draw a simple picture and explanation.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What 2 Learn? Cool way to practice vocabulary!

What 2 Learn is a site that offers you the ability to input words, words and definitions, questions and answers etc  for your students to practice in a game format.  You can choose different games to input your information. There are mazes, wordsearches, hangman, Then you click and the game is created.  It gives you an access number that you need to write down.  Then you can have your students go to the website, put in the access number, and play your game.  You can also embed them on a webpage if you have one.  See an example of three vocabulary games I created for my students on my class website: Mrs. Berg's Class .
Play this game on the what2learn site

You can also create student logins, have students report their game scores to you, and have reports from the practice completed.  Check it out, sign up (it's FREE), and create a simple game.  Very easy and your students will love it.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

All Aboard! Let's Take a Virtual Field Trip

As we all know, budgets are tight. So open your students' minds with a Virtual Field Trip. No need for bus approval or money for lunch. You can find many field trips related to your thematic units. Some trips are in museums, some are in zoos, and some tour in National Parks. So click on the links and off your go. Scroll down and click on Virtual Field Trips.
You may want to make a scavenger hunt of things for students to locate on their trip. Depending on your students, a list of questions or activities for students to accomplish as they take the tour. Or you can plan a project for the students or the class to complete based on their field trip. What about a passport with different stamps for each different section? Lots of possibilities!
All aboard!!!

A little bird told me.....

Ohhhh! I really like this website! I can see many uses here for classrooms. Go check it out. You can read books that others have created. The premise is that they have lots of illustrations that you, your class, or your students can use to write a story and make a book. After you look at a story or two, click on the create button and try writing a story of your own. There are loads of illustrations. After you save, you publish your work. You can choose for your story to be private and only you and people you choose can see it, or you can make it public. The creators are planning to add voice and other things in future versions. Go - go now-- check it out...

Here is the story I wrote with choices of some great illustrations. Bergy Finds Some Friends by joleneg_98 on Storybird


What's up Doc? Using Google Docs for ease and efficiency

I have recently started looking at Free Technology for Teachers ( ) where Richard Byrne writes daily tidbits for educators interested in using technology to support student learning. He has a great manual called Google for Teachers that is a free download. In it he tells you how to use some of the Google Docs templates and tools to create online quizzes, how to use tools in Google Maps, How to use the tools in Google Books, and some other key info. If you haven't gone to a Google training, this is a great place to start. Here is the the link Google Guide for Teachers click and view.

I have just started investigating what Google Docs can do for my room and have come across the Word Study template. Click on this link to go to an example of what I'm using in my class. After the spreadsheet appears, look at the menu at the bottom and click on Gadgets 1,2, and 3 to see how the words and definitions become flashcards, word scrambles and multi choice. My students really liked it. After you try it... let me know if you think this might work for you.


New ideas I picked up at CUE (Computer Using Educators)

Recently I attended the 2010 CUE Conference and was able to gather some great information. I'll try to share a few places to check out over a few blogs so that you don't get a technology headache. After one day full of presentations, I thought my brain might burst! But I was able to get some very cool information that also happens to be FREE! And we all know free is good!

I was lucky enough to attend a couple presentations by Jim Holland and Susan Anderson. They are educators in Texas and run a website with information on free resources. They also put their presentations on the website so feel free to browse through those. Their website is called Digital Goonies and after you check it out, you may want to join their newsletter.

Another great resource for educators is the Microsoft Education website. If you check out the left side, you will see links for lesson plans and resources. In the middle of the page you see the FREE TOOLS! Check out the WorldWide Telescope.
And of course, if you are interested in learning more about using technology in your classroom, check out CUE (Computer Using Educators) and our local affiliate Kern CUE. We'd love to have you as a member. We are newly active, 1 year now, and hope to bring you the 2nd annual Kern CUE Technology Conference on November 13, 2010. We are also discussing ways to give teachers free workshops to learn more ways to use technology effectively and efficiently in the classroom. Check out the Kern CUE website for current info. And don't worry... we aim for beginners, intermediates, and advanced users!