Friday, July 18, 2008
I hope you are enjoying your summer and reading lots of books! I look forward to being your teacher and I hope you are excited about becoming a first grader. Over the summer I want you to check out this website and share it with your family. The website is called Starfall and I really think that you will have lots of fun using it. With your mom, dad, or another adult, log on to the website (see below) and click on what looks interesting to you, and follow the directions the computer gives you. Try as many things as you can on the website and be sure to let me know which section is your favorite.
Once you have finished exploring I want you to go back to the section that says I'm reading! (with the little dragon) and look through the stories. I would like you to create your very own comic. If you would like you can use this fun comic creator website to help you: http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/.
Also, I would like you to write your own story. Make sure you have a beginning, middle and end. Use the fiction section to guide you. Be sure not to copy the stories on the website. You are all creative thinkers and need to create a story that is your very own! Please bring both of these assignments with you to class on the first day of school 9/2/2008.
I can't wait to see you in September!
Friday, July 11, 2008
This website has really cute story telling podcasts for children (elementary level). It’s user friendly and free! It’s a mix of adults and children reading the stories and it’s almost as if you are listening to a play they way that they read it, it’s very interactive between the adults and children. Most of the stories are silly and fun. They aren’t really meant to enhance curriculum but there is some real world situations (like going to the dentist) that could be incorporated into Social Studies. It could also be used for listening practice for students, nursery rhymes or responding to literature.
Radio Willow Web:
Radio WillowWeb is produced by students and teachers at Willowdale Elementary School.
This is a website created by Willowdale Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska. I liked this podcast a lot because it revolves around academic topics. All the elementary grades (K-5) are represented on the website and there is a wide range of topics the students can learn about (mostly informational). I also liked that it was produced by the children. They are narrating and it is obvious they are the ones who have developed it. This website is also free and easy to use and contains other information for teachers which maybe useful in your classroom.
This site is run by John Woodring
If you’re looking for a variety of podcasts for kids, created by kids this is your site. The website is free however you have to sign up and adhere to the policies before listening to a majority if the podcasts. The website doesn’t look very child friendly and it can be confusing to navigate. They have mixed podcasts with blog articles so at times you think you will get a podcast however it turns out to really be a blog. It wouldn’t be my first choice to go there to listen to blogs however it does give children freedom to express themselves through a podcast and have it heard by other children. This would be a nice place for teacher’s to have their students try blogging and listen to what other children have to say.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Being a special education teacher, I’m always looking for new ways to differentiate learning in my classroom. ESL and special education are closely linked in the strategies used to help students be successful. If blogging has been successful in helping ESL students be successful with academics, then perhaps it will work for special education as well. I also really like the idea of my students learning different cultures from each other and learning about other countries through blogging. I’m also big fan of student based learning where I am the students guide to their own academic path and I think this would be an excellent way to foster that student based learning and really let the students explore.