Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My GAME Plan Progress!

My GAME plan is running about as expected.  I clearly need extra time in my day to sit down and gather the materials necessary to get the ball rolling.  What I have achieved thus far is I have made contact with the company I would like to purchase the Share software from.  A customer service representative followed up with me today, but I have yet to pick through the information thoroughly.  After reading through this week’s chapter on assessment, questions just started rippling through my mind when I got to the area that focused on the uses of portfolios.  The text mentioned to be careful when choosing software.  Immediately, I became worried about the software I am getting closer to buying.  Apparently I need to think about the fact that I want my students to be able to access their portfolios in the future or even at home this year, but if program can only be used on the computer that has the software downloaded to it then my students would be out of luck.  So, I will definitely ask this important question when I speak with the company rep again, but meanwhile I think I am considering modifying my portfolio idea a bit.  Portfolios can be created using word-processing documents.  I like the idea of a simple, neat packaged program, but it may not be effective for what I am trying to do.  As far as purchasing a scanner, I realized I do not need one.  I can always take digital photos and upload items that way or I can capture the image using my document camera, which is connected to my computer.  Overall, I am still in the early planning stages, but I know this is what I want to do with my students.  Today a really low functioning student that is always getting in trouble completed an assignment.  It grabbed my attention so I called him up to let him know how proud I was that he focused enough to complete an assignment.  Five minutes passed and he walked back up with a huge smile to ask me if I would please share that assignment with his parents at conference.  I realized right then how valuable these portfolios are going to be for my students, myself, and their families.

Question:  Does anyone know how to access the WEB LINK found in our text.  For example, on page 19 it says we can download a Portfolio Template on the textbook’s companion website, but the only sites I can find in the front of the text and they didn’t seem to work. 

Thank you, Kelly

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Carrying Out My GAME Plan

In order to carry out my GAME plan I have found myself surfing the web quite often for what I felt would best fit my needs for my students.  There are two projects I plan to commit to.  The first project is using digital story-telling with my students.  In order to get this project set up properly I need to meet with my colleague to have her take me through the process she has used many times with her own students.  At this point in the school year, we have yet to meet.  We need to discuss what technology is necessary as well as how to use it.  One of my main concerns is the amount of time I saw her spending on her own projects in past years.  At this time, I do not feel that I have as much time available to devote (Everyone has different teaching strategies) as she did.  My colleague has a cart of laptops available which I will need to schedule use of around her schedule.  This lesson will teach my students to incorporate digital tools and promote creativity while learning relevant information. 

The other project I am currently looking at is student portfolios.  A few years ago I kept portfolios on each one of my students.  Now that numbers have increased, 29 binders sitting around the room is just too many.  When reading about portfolios in the course text, I fell in love with the idea of digital portfolios.  There are many ideas about how to create portfolios for free, but the one that felt right for me is called Share and I found an example on the following website:

I am in the process of ordering it and cannot wait to start using it with my students.  These portfolios will work as a wonderful communication piece with parents as I planned.  But, the most positive aspect of the portfolios is that I believe my students will love creating them.  Any time I can excite my students about what they are learning, I have achieved my goal for the day.  The website has provided me with a wonderful example that I plan to copy, but the rest will have to be trial and error.  I would like to have a scanner at my disposal.  One colleague of mine has a scanner, but I plan to ask my principal to supply me one for my own room. 

These opportunities both allow for as much creativity as a student chooses.  It allows for written, oral, and visual representation of their knowledge.  I am so excited to get started.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Developing my GAME plan

Developing my personal GAME plan

So sorry folks.  Something odd happened with my old blog account.  I was having difficulty posting and when trying to resolve the issue, I no longer see my original blog.  I am updating as fast as possible. 

When looking through the Technology Standards I realized I would like to be more proficient in many areas, but I decided to focus this year on:

1.      Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital age media and formats

2.      Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity

In order to share information with families about my students, I will learn how to create digital portfolios.  I am very intrigued at the simplicity this can create and the organizational factor is huge.  I used to keep portfolios on my students, but when I began having such large class sizes, it went to the wayside.  As far as pursuing my goal with integrating more digital creativity, I will contact a colleague of mine that uses digital story-telling for a unit we put together.  I see her dedicating a large amount of time for students to create their story, so I need to definitely plan accordingly. 

It will be evident whether or not I am able to pursue my goals or not.  My hopes are to have students using a lap top to share they work with families by spring conference.  As well, the unit I want my students to use digital story-telling with begins in the spring.  I will keep track of my progress initially by creating these two items on my own. 

In order to properly evaluate the two goals I have set for myself, I would first like to have a family evaluation about how they felt the conference went using the digital format.  As for the digitial story-telling project, I would seek out critical feedback from my colleague that has used this previously and attending many trainings on implementation.