Our new computer lab!The first week: So many people have asked if I'm excited about my new position. It was a bittersweet decision to leave the comfort of having a 3rd grade homeroom class. However, it's so much fun to have this new challenge in my career. I know a lot about technology, but I'm also discovering that there is still so much to learn.
This week, I was reminded that things don't always go as planned. I planned a full hour of class, but had to shorten my plans because of different schedules. To get the students to introduce themselves, but also have some fun, I had planned to use ChalkMotion (a visual storytelling site that uses chalk doodles). An account and password had been set up, the site had been linked so the kids could access, we were ready. However, I guess having thirty-two kids access the site at the same time didn't go over well with the website. We couldn't get it to load after a few had clicked on the link. Oh well...we moved on to plan B.
I've also been reminded that friends can be a great resource. A fellow teacher sent me information about the Google Docs site Storybuilder. Our emphasis in our diocese this year is on writing, so this looks to be a fabulous, fun way to get kids to write without it feeling like writing. When reading about what other things the site could do, I found the "master version", Storybuilder Master, where you "collaborate" with famous writers. The writers will add to and edit your writing as you write. It was fun to see Emily Dickinson and William Shakespeare (along with many others) edit my writing.
Some ways basic storybuilder could be used: retell historical story; retell story from character's point of view; incorporate grammar practice - have Annie Adjective make Willie Writer's sentences better; explain a science or math concept.