Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Crazy Idea...Reflections

From Teaching All Students

So the project is done, kids have presented, parents are pleased...so what do I do now? Like any good teacher I guess I should reflect on it, and see what worked and what didn't. Overall the project was a huge success, but when I do it again (not IF, when!) I'll probably make a few changes.

Voicethread - such a great resources, easy to use, easy to share. Some problems - 4 kids recording at the same time is a little hard to do. Probably should have sent some kids out of the room to keep the background noise down. Also, I'd like to have some more training time for my staff, since I'm not the only one doing it. Not that I actually have more time in the day to do training, but it's something I'm working on!

Research - So now my thoughts are turning to other ways this type of project could be completed. I can see social science topics that could be used (history topics, or community workers...), but I'd like to use it for many more things. It's just something I'm going to have to keep thinking about.

Learning - I know my students learned! I gave them a simple worksheet and they had to pick the facts out about their animal, and they did amazingly well!! Now, did they learn about the animals the other students studied...that I can't be sure about. I was so focused on having the kids do their own project, it didn't occur that I should be looking at that. Maybe I shouldn't admit it, but I was focused on other parts. We also were learning about the desert, and I again I didn't look into what they retained there either.

Technology - All the technology pieces worked pretty well - Diigo was a great way to share sites with information. Tar Heel Reader allowed the kids to create talking books, and use great photos, and worked without a hitch. Voicethread I covered above, and using a switch adapter it was easy to allow the students to stand at the front of the class and "present" by pushing the switch to advance the slide. One area I wish I could have included the kids in more was picking/saving/cropping the photos. That was something I did for them. Not sure if there is a way around that, but something to look into for next time. One other piece I'd like to look into was using Glogster to create a virtual poster, again that's something for the next project.

So as of this moment I don't have any more "crazy ideas", but if I do, I'm sure you'll be the first to know! Please feel free to share any crazy ideas you have, and your success!


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