Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tool # 9

1.  I believe that it is important to tie technology to the objective because it will definitely keep students interested.  They absolutely love using technology in the classroom. And if they are interested then hopefully they will be able to achieve the desired learning outcome and master the objective.

2.  Students should be held accountable for their actions in the group/stations, otherwise they might tend to be off task and play around with the technology and not work on the assigned task.  A "finished product" from each station will help each group "tow the line".  If they have already had experience in working in groups in the classroom then working in the stations should get easier each time.

3.  I visited the LEARNING GAMES site.  This seemed a bit elementary for 8th graders but it could still be used.  I think it would be very beneficial to ESL students and my co teach students.  I looked at the word o rama game.  Students could use this to review vocabulary.  There was also a section on reviewing famous people in history with review questions.  Students could take the quiz and scores could be recorded.

I really liked the THINKFINITY site.  I went to an activity on the Gettysburg Address where students had to analyze it (primary source).  It showed the actual document in Lincoln's handwriting with different phrases highlighted.  The students could record their interpretations of the highlighted material in a google document or on a blog.  I also looked at a site about the Star Spangled Banner.  This would be a great station activity when we study the War of 1812 and learn about the writing of our national anthem.  There were several student activities at the site.  I think it would be great to have students use the web cam to record their thoughts and "share your story" and record what the flag means to them, why should we respect the flag, etc....

4.  I found three apps from  the iPAD that could be used in my classroom.  The first is AMERICAN PRESIDENTS.  This could be used at a station where students review information about a specific President.  There are pictures, biographies, fun facts and lots more about each President.  Students could create a google document or a spreadsheet with important info about the President.  I also liked COMIC TOUCH LIFE where the students could create a cartoon about their President.  This would be a separate station. Another app was IDEA SKETCH where students draw diagrams or create flow charts.  I think students could create a timeline or diagram showing important events in the life of their President.  The end product of these stations (the document, spreadsheet, comic, timeline) would be the accountability factor.  I also liked NAME THAT STATE where the students are shown the shape of a state and have to pick the correct one.  This would be great when we learn the names and locations of all 50 states at the beginning of the year.  I have something similar that I did on the Activeboard last year.

5.  Students could use the iPad to find out what the weather is like in different places that we study.  They could also use it to find history songs on you tube. (Star Spangled Banner, Erie Canal, Dixie, Battle Cry of Freedom).  It also might be a good idea to possibly allow students to use the technology (netbooks, Ipad) as a reward.  I would need to think on that and figure out how it might work, possibly discuss with other teachers.

Okay on to tool #10.

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