I have used several digital tools for math but nothing beats the prompt: Explain Everything! It is my version of a think aloud that is recorded. Every time we learn a new concept or skill I have students find a way to explain the process. This was with the Showme App originally but I have slowly moved away from the app. Here is an example of my favorite one from last year:
Like all software ShowMe has now started to limit the volume of data you can share on the cloud. I hit my limitations at the start of the year and started to honey pick which ones to save. This app is a great intro tool. Students can insert photos or draw content. They then record an interactive video whiteboard style on the screen. The downside is there is not an easy edit tool for ShowMe.
So I went online and fell in love with Explain Everything. It functions the same way. However for a small one-time app fee you can save the files as a movie and you can edit the sound easily. I have started recording my art lessons in advance so I can spend more time showing the steps on our projector full screen so they can see the direction and purpose of our strokes.
This month 2nd Grade has been tackling this Web site design program: Weebly.
I have invested a lot of time learning it myself as we try and incorporate both my education and the students so we can all focus on the Growth Mindset of our room.
Weebly EDU has some great resources. You can share Pages so multiple editors can navigate and manipulate the pages. However, if you only have one login - and have simultaneous groups logged on - the only way to confirm work is saved would be to Publish first!
The drag and drop menu once you log-in is great. My students easily learned how to drag and drop in the elements they wanted like photos, text and youtube videos.
To create a good photo collage with text wrap around it was best to pull in a text box then pull the photo into the box first. You can only have one photo per text box. If you want another photo you simply make a new box and copy/paste the text next to it.
My students loved seeing the code, but at 8-years-old this was a great intro to design. We hope to wrap up our project this week.
I was in the midst of the #INZPired chat this week and we started sharing a bit about our upskills and past.
It occurred to me that is where I should start my first EDU blog. Dwelling on my personal struggle.
I have a hate/love relationship with the written word. In Kindergarten I started with a false start being retained for maturity and development. It was a good decision and made me the oldest in my class. It wasn't until 2nd that we were able to identify Dyslexic tendencies. I was a C/D student who acted out in frustration.
Fifth grade is where the "switch turned on." I remember the first book I loved. I still have it torn to pieces, taped with masking tape and even missing the dedication page. It was Hatchet by Gary Paulson.
That was when I flipped over to loving books and reading became an infatuation, escape. I started to try and express myself in writing. Written word still lagged behind lacking any voice. It was flat and soulless.
I didn't give up. In 7th grade I submitted a poem to one of those National Poetry contests. Mine was chosen and I felt a true level of pride in myself.
By the end of High School I wanted more. I became invested in Fine Arts and even enrolled myself in Advanced Placement classes with a 4.0 GPA. I didn't care about losing the grade. I carried about the struggle and growing.
I survived the grammar and made my mark in small ways graduating in 2004 with a mass media and art degree. My first job was a sports editor for a small-town newspaper.
I stayed there for 2 years growing in skills. I could not tell you a difference between a triple in baseball and a trey in basketball. The community had to build my sports vocabulary one mistake at a time. It was one embarrassing edit after another. They kept me for my art skills and gumption.
Teaching let me use all of my passions and though I struggle, I struggle together with my Students as we learn and grow. I want to Be the Change. I am building up my own PLN on Twitter and hope to share my love of tech on this blog site.
I am a 2nd Grade teacher with years of experience in digital editing and film. I have a 2nd Degree Black Belt, am a professional wedding photographer, and instruct fine art painting classes.