Friday, July 15, 2016

Final Post for Best Practice in Literacy Ed. with Tech

Rachel and fellow UNHLit students...
This week has been transforming! The sources of information shared with us is a gold mine!  Rachel Small, you are my hero! Thank you for your instruction and activities that at times, did stress me out, I have to be honest. What was most frustrating was how often I was missing one small, yet important step or detail that would ultimately thwart the success of my posting! I am thrilled to report that I got over these detours and can proudly consider myself a Tweeter.  The potential of this technology is limitless.

Another wonderful source was the book, Amplify (Katie Muhtaris and Kristin Ziemke.) It was user-friendly (just as all technology should) and extremely useful. The Three Things to Try Tomorrow was just great and provided choices of easy lessons to implement. I love how the authors suggested. "committing to discovering one new thing each quarter."

I loved the daily tweeting to the authors of Amplify.  Such an authentic way to practice the tips we learned each day.  Setting up a blog was something I have wanted to do, so thank you!  

To Share/Try next year:
Global Read Aloud, Blogger, Padlet, Twitter, PearDeck & TodaysMeet, Mystery Skype, EdCamps
So exciting! See you all on the TweetDeck

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Betsy's Latest Blog Post - 4

Loved the Mystery Skype today.  What an amazing activity on so many levels.  I was thinking what a great culminating activity this could be for our fourth graders who spend much of the school year studying NH's geography, history, economy and wildlife.  Just the idea of connecting to students in another state is so enriching!

The 6 Word Story is creative writing at its best! In order to write one, many thinking and writing skills need to be applied by the writer. Word choice.  Deleting unnecessary words. Cutting down to the heart of the "story."  The best ones require the reader to infer. I am thinking that next year, after sixth graders publish their longer memoir pieces, why not have students additionally write them in the form of a 6 Word Story? It would be a great way for students to reflect on the real meaning of the story and showcase it in a different medium.

I enjoyed combining forces with Linda Rief and her students. I admit that I secretly listened to the tweet and tweetdeck explanations, so I could benefit from additional reinforcement and say to myself, "Yes, I get it. I did that already! Go me!" I was reminded how sometimes our students also need to hear directions or strategies repeated, or modeled in a new way.  I certainly feel very differently today than I did on Monday about tweeting.  Some students undoubtedly feel the same way about finding the lowest common denominator or finding the main idea of a challenging text.  New technology has forced me to be a learner.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Blog Post 3

It is the end of Day 3. The TweetDeck is a running record of sorts, teeming with the world outside the small circle of my life!  Tweeting is getting more familiar, and I am still amazed by the power of it! I can see how folks can be totally addicted to it. Instant gratification!

As a reading specialist, I love the idea of the Global Read Aloud.  I would love to collaborate with our school's librarian on this. What an opportunity to connect with other readers around the world. Another idea is to combine a book study group at school with blogging; this would eliminate folks having to stay after school to hold book discussions!  Hmmmm, I know we have multiple copies of Still Learning to Read by Franki Sibberson in the building!

TodaysMeet was such a fabulous tool for taking notes. The TED talk Happy Maps was so inspiring! I found myself captured by this video and its message about life.  I wonder if  Frommer's travel books include a happy map!!  I wish my GPS (I know, I know, I should be using Google Maps on my cell.) would lead me along the happy map, as well! 


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Latest Blog Reflection 2

Georgia Heard's presentation inspired me to reflect on students who say they have nothing to write about.  How does the writing teacher encourage these students to look more deeply at their lives and experiences?  One way that I have modeled expanding upon a topic, is to include both the inside story (writer's thoughts and feelings) and the outside story (the actions and dialogue.)  Georgia's heart mapping provides students with a place to capture ideas, beyond, just a list of  titles or topics.  Her emphasis on meaning and the back story really struck a chord with me. She also reminded me of the power of mentor writing to hook students. My favorite quote from her presentation?  "How do I help my students ache with caring?"
I saved my daughter's heart map from fifth grade.  It is truly an artifact of who she was!  Fresh chocolate chip cookies from the oven, sleepovers, crisp dollar bills, when Rachel moved away!  Thank you, Georgia!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Day 1 Reflection

Today's class reminded me of a few factors crucial to learning.  A learner does not always have schema for new concepts, which makes the learning more difficult. My schema for  technology, including navigating my Android phone, setting up stations on Pandora, and color-coding my Google doc folders, provided no connections for mastering blogging and tweeting!  I felt my brain try to connect to something familiar, but it failed miserably!  I'm not going to lie; the hashtag symbol, to me, once meant number or worse yet, conjured up a game of tic-tac-toe. Learning something new also requires repetition! Once I went back over my notes and double checked Rachel's slides, I felt more confident.  A classmate also repeated  helpful directions for me.  Motivation is what our 21st century learners have about technology and it is up to educators to take advantage of that motivation - and provide rich opportunities for students to showcase their learning both locally and globally.