#ISTE12 – I am a newbie no more!!

After watching remotely since it was NECC in 2009 – I have finally made it to ISTE.  WOW!! I can’t even describe what I am feeling (besides tired – that’s an easy one to describe). It has sparked me to want to share with the virtual world again.  I am always sharing locally – but seeing all of my “rock stars” in person and meeting future “rock stars” has ignited me to want to share.

If you look back at my hand full of posts – you will see I am a terrible blogger.  So, I have decided to embrace the fact that there are some who are – and then there is ME. I will continue to share with my local community and I will work on trying to share with you.

THANK YOU ISTE – for all the great learning opportunities and the the chance to meet and share!

I’m Candace Townsley and I’m not a blogger.

A rolling wheel gathers no moss….

Our 6th graders have a class set of iPads to use.  As the technology integrationist – it is my job to find apps for the teachers to use in their classrooms.  There is so much information online, that I don’t even know where to begin.  It seems that everyone continues to re-invent the wheel and it just depends upon IF people choose to use your wheel as to whether or not your wheel continues to roll.  I found a great blog that had a lot of iPad information only to realize that they had not updated since the beginning of 2010.  Some of the Apps/Websites discussed were either non-existent or not updated.

I shall continue my quest for the best informational sites.  I have subscribed to quite a few RSS feeds- but will I actually have the time to read them?

Here are some APP’s that I am checking out today:

Mental Class (flashcards on steroids)

DemiComposer (an interactive ebook composer – it’s new!)

ToonTastic (a  cartoon creator)

I’m off to play!

 

So we begin…

Tomorrow is the first day for students at my new school.  I won’t be teaching tomorrow – I will basically be taking care of technical problems that might occur on the first day of school.  I am excited about working with the kids and showing them how to use various Web 2.0 technologies.  I will be teaching these same technologies to the teachers – but I have a feeling that the students, as digital natives, will catch on a lot quicker!!

I am now perusing the PLETHORA of iPad apps to use the the class set of iPads we will have in 6th grade.  I know some of the standard apps I used frequently in my GT classroom.  I will suggest those and start adding to my list of great apps.  I’m still pinching myself knowing that I have this job – when just 3 years ago I was just learning about all of these Web. 2.0 technologies.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow… and the year to come!

OVER AND OUT! ~CT

Being… online…

I have embarked on a new adventure.  As I go back to my first few posts and read how Twitter got me more involved in technology – I have to smile!  It is because of what I learned with Twitter that I have started my new adventure as a Middle School Technology Integrationist at Holland Hall in Tulsa, OK.  All of the wonderful Web. 2.0 things that I learned about from my PLN on Twitter, and used in my classroom as a GT teacher will now be shared with the Middle School teachers and in turn Middle School students.

So, I have changed a few things:

on Twitter – instead of giftedteechur – I am now teckteechur (yes – I love the funkee fonetik spelings)

on Edublogs – I must preface that I am still terrible about being consistent in my blogging efforts – but I keep trying – so thanks for sticking with me!

my blog has been renamed as Being online… because I am a BEING that’s online – a LOT!  I have to find that happy medium between being a BEING online and being a BEING unplugged.  I might not always be on Twitter, I might not always be blogging… but I seem to always be on an RSS feed that keeps my nose to the screen.

So, here’s to my new adventure.  I AGAIN shall try to be consistent at blogging – but I’m making no promises!  So, I’m off to read about using iPads in the classroom – because I have some teachers that are piloting a classroom set this year!

OFF WE GO!!

Getting your toes wet….

We are getting ready to start Rube Goldberg (cause & effect) Machines in class. I had signed up for a free trial of Gizmos through www.explorelearning.com.
I must say, they have a really neat “mouse on” website. We did lesson on levers today – so that students can become familiar with the six simple machines before starting their RGM.  I will be interested to see how much it costs to stay with the site.  The kids really had fun trying to figure out how to raise the pig, turkey & sheep.  They were talking about newtons as if they had been using that word all of their lives – and they didn’t mean the FIG kind.  I even heard the word fulcrum thrown around a few times.

So many teachers lack the time and resources to complete hands on assignments in class.  There are so many sites out there that allow you to do things virtually!  For those a little leery about technology… it is here to stay!  Start with baby steps and integrate a little at the time.  So, come on and dip your toes in… the water is fine!!

teaching PJ’s or high heels & sequins?

Today in class I was excited that the computer lab was open. This is the second week that we have been in the computer lab working on various Web 2.0 sites. This is my niche, this is exciting learning to me, the internet has so many wonderful things, I LOVE TECHNOLOGY!!!!!!!!

When I told the class that we would be in the computer lab again (I can’t believe it was open for two weeks in a row), I could see the falling countenance on a handful of faces. So, I asked –
“Who doesn’t like it when we have computer lab days?”

About 5 hands went up (girls – which is a whole different subject but some that I’ve done research on with gender based learning). So I asked,
“Why don’t you like it?”

To which I got responses like….
“I like to do hands on projects.”

“I like to do crafty things.”

“I like to do things with groups – not sitting alone at the computer.”

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…. I had fallen into that old trap of TEACHING IN THE MANNER IN WHICH I LIKE TO LEARN AND BE TAUGHT!!!

I pride myself in “mixing things up” – but sometimes I like to fall back into my comfort zone. This was the second week in my “teaching PJ’s” – I mean I had put on my SLIPPERS too.

My apologies to Delaney, Madison, Hannah, Big Mack…..

After Spring Break I am going to have to get dressed – maybe I’ll put on a sequined dress and high heels…….

should they have to do the work??

Today is my administrative day without children. This is the day that I have to test students, take care of files and paperwork. It’s also my day to visit with teachers about my gifted students.
I constantly struggle with teachers complaining about “little Johnny” that has a D in their class. I ask the teacher about their test grade – which is usually an A. The reason they have a D is because they are not turning in their daily homework. My quandary with the teachers is this: if they know how to do the work (as evidenced with their test scores) ~ should they HAVE to do the work? Couldn’t they just show proficiency? Do 3 from every section and if it’s right be done with it?
I hear the argument that in the real world they can’t just tell their employer that they don’t want to to their work – so they should be learning the responsibility of doing their homework. I just think that in the real world, my many of my gifted students are not going to have jobs where they must do menial tasks every day.
So, what are you thoughts? If you have an A for your test grade – should you be forced to do the daily work?
I welcome your thoughts…..

Motion Math

I missed posting yesterday. MAN ~ I guess I will forgive myself and pick back up today. I had BUNCO at my house yesterday, so I went home after school and cleaned!! (GOOD EXCUSE!)

This week in class we are using the iTouches. I have a different group of kids each day (Gifted & Talented) – so I have the kids using the APPS that I suggested in my last post.

This particular video shows students using MOTION MATH.  The boys really like this because it’s a bit more kinesthetic than other Math games.  It is neat seeing students so engaged in Math.  They kept saying the “this Math is BEAST!”  Translation- BEAST = GROOVY (my era) = BAD (circa 90′s) = TOTALLY AWESOME (circa 80′s).

So, I can let them play a “game” that’s “BEAST” and teaches them fractions, decimals etc.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!

21 days makes a habit…

They say, (whoever THEY is) that 21 days makes a habit.  I have been VERY BAD about posting to my blog – so I am going to try to make a short post about something we are doing in school… or something that we’re NOT doing in school… or something that I think you might be interested in ~ for the next 21 days.

I have resorted to using Facebook as my form of blogging – but that’s really the lazy way to do it.

I am currently taking a class on Technology in the Classroom, as I pursue a Masters in Administration and Policy Studies.  One of our requirements is to read our professor’s blog and comment.  Upon reading his blog it got me to thinking about my blog(s) that I have started and abandoned.  I had fun the first few weeks that I blogged and got comments, but then life set in and I felt that blogging was a “luxury” that I didn’t have time for.  I read other blogs, but they seem to be teaching something.  I’m not… I’m just retelling the anecdotes of the antics in my classroom.

Nevertheless, I am going to blog.  I am going to blog everyday for 21 days to see if it indeed becomes a habit!

With next week being the week before Spring Break, I am going to allow my kids to do some educational games on the iTouches this week.

HERE ARE A FEW OF THE iTOUCH MATH APPS that we will use this week:

Motion Math – this is great for the kinesthetic-visual learner because you have to manipulate the iTouch to make a bouncy ball land on the correct fractional area.

Number Line – has you putting fractions, decimals and percentages in numerical order on a blank number line.

Pizza Math 2 – this provides a great visual comparison of fractions using slices of PIZZA!!!  WHAT A CONCEPT!!  But it’s one that really works!

Well – day one is complete!

Ciao for now….

Fire Drill….

So, I have crazily decided that I want to go back to school to become an administrator so that I can change the world of education!!  Maybe I should just run for President while I’m at it huh???

I’m supposed to keep a journal of sorts of my Administrative Internship activities – so I figured this would be a PERFECT place to write of my adventures!!  Of course I am required to give of my time as an INTERN on top of my regular job of TEACHING my GT kiddos and the requirements of each class that I’m taking.  Sure… I have plenty of extra time to do these things!!!

Well, today I actually got to put on my big girl panties and DO a Fire Drill from the Administrative side!!  It was pretty uneventful.  We contacted Facilities to let them know we were conducting the drill… we armed ourselves with Walkie Talkies (I felt SOOOO important!)  The test alarm was sounded as we assumed our positions in the halls making sure the students exited the building in an orderly fashion.  Once they were outside, we checked classrooms, bathrooms etc to make sure the school was completely clear.

“Clear in the south hall!”

“Roger!”

“Clear in the north hall!”

“Roger that!”

“All the bathrooms are clear!”

“Roger!”

Okay – so in reality NO ONE SAID “ROGER” – but it just seemed natural with the Walkie Talkies!!

The “all clear” was called and students came back in to the air conditioned school!  It really was nice to be able to stay inside while the other teachers were out in the heat!  After documenting the fire drill and checking to make sure all the entrances were secure; the drill was complete! I had to turn in my Walkie Talkie – which was kind of a bummer.  Maybe I can get a set for my class….. “Roger that… over and OUT!”  “10-4 Good Buddy!”