Teague's Tech Treks - 10 Rep Learning

Learning Technology & Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague

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Back to School Now!

As you begin to say goodbye to this school year, take just a minute to consider next year. Yes, next year. Time marches on faster than ants to a summer picnic blanket. A couple of proactive steps now will do wonders.

School Counselor Shannon Hutton, warns, “kids often get “antsy” about moving to the next grade.” And it’s no wonder, since 180 school days have just been spent getting used to their current classroom!

“They are leaving the comfort of their familiar classroom, established social group and teacher they’ve not only grown accustomed to, but usually really like. So the idea of moving to a new classroom, with a new teacher and a new set of classmates is often initially unnerving for kids,” says Hutton.

It may not be possible to get too many specifics about next year so let the Internet help!

Take a minute today and use Google Maps  to find your child’s school for next year. Just enter the address and let Google Maps do the rest. Use the Zoom feature to narrow and widen the scope of the neighborhood. Visit Schoolnotes.com  and enter your child’s school zip code to see if your son or daughter’s teacher has a webpage there.

Does the school website include links to teacher webapges on their home page?  Click over to next year’s teacher and play an Internet version of “I Spy.” (I spy a field trip link! I spy a class pet!) Take a look and navigate around.

Most teacher webpages have a calendar. Scan over to the first few weeks to get a possible idea of what will be covered. Even if you do not yet know your child’s teacher, you can navigate another teacher’s page in the next grade together and get an idea of next year’s curriculum.

Now is also the time to swing by and check out the computer lab at next year’s school or grade. Will Jr. move from a Mac lab to a Windows lab? Will laptop carts replace the traditional lab in the next grade? Will students next year use AlphaSmarts, Neos, or Palm Pilots as a component of their digital backpack? Is there a summer computer camp offered? Having a summer to become used to any new technology will make the transition to the next grade SO much smoother.

If possible, walk the halls of next year today or tomorrow. Many grades are located in different, specific halls. Counselor Hutton advises, “The best way for parents to help transition kids to a new grade is to allow them to get the lay of the land, so to speak, so they don’t fear the unknown. Giving children an opportunity to visit their new classroom and meet their new teacher greatly helps reduce their anxiety about moving to the next grade.”

Consider a pool party, park meeting, or other play date with friends this over the summer. If possible, exchange email with other parents and let your kids email each other via your email address-add a comment occasionally. (Notice the importance of using parent email, for added privacy and protection.)

“The more children know what to expect about the upcoming school year, the more comfortable they will be with the transition to the next grade,” says Hutton. So start planning for a successful future school year today!

For thoughtful advice, plus innovative summer projects, visit her website, “Believer in Balance”  http://www.sparkplugging.com/believer-in-balance/

Shannon Hutton, M.Ed., M.P.A., currently works as a school counselor and has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Master degrees in School Counseling and Public Administration. She is certified to counsel students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. You can read more about how she balances working and raising kids at Believer in Balance.

 

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Ask One Question Today

“Teachers have not changed the way they teach. We are using $2,000 pencils.” Alan November

I don’t want this said about you.

As I type this, my computer freezes briefly and then mysteriously opens another MSWord window and types the rest of the word I had begun.

I should stop using the computer, right? Open the window of my hotel room and scream the rest of my thoughts to you.

But you wouldn’t hear me.

You wouldn’t hear me without the information pipeline.

And neither will your students.

So, today, please do not be a statistic. Set aside a few minutes. Just a few minutes.

Today, use the information.

Ask one question.

Go to http://www.dnatube.com/ let the Editor’s choice video play. It does not matter which one; all are amazing.  Don’t object because this is “science.” You don’t have to be a “science teacher” you are a “connecting teacher.”

(“But our filter blocks everything,” you say. Click here then and ask the same question…I guarantee this site will not be blocked.)

Ask one question: How does this relate to our study of__________

If students are at computers, have them type their answer,

If they are not, have them write or talk.

And then listen.

Take notes on what they say, make connections to what you are teaching.

Just ask one question.

If you want to ask more questions, click here for Greg Smith’s 3 Classroom Lessons for Using Gas Prices to Teach Math, Writing, Social Studies, and Technology

Please do not tell me you can’t do this because you have no  _____ or ______ or _______.

You can. You will see results with your students.

Trackback here and leave a comment about what you did.

Prove Them Wrong Today

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Must Love Laptop Batteries

Learning coaches must love travel. They must love the subtle nuance of  instructions such as “Board only when your Group Number is called.” They must love ways to suss out calm amidst the sturm und drang  of airports and passengers

That is where my laptop comes in.

Until recently when right at the end of the beloved classic “Must Love Dogs” (with my fave John Cusack), the laptop, she decides to die.

Battery out! The battery has been losing more and more power but I never thought it would fail me outright.

At this point I must love Best Buy and Agent Nelson (they all use the word “agent” before their surnames…is that cute or what?) Agent Nelson told me that my service plan covers a replacement battery and power cord.

Must love this little known detail of the service plan. Check your service plan today (by “check your plan” I mean go to Best Buy or wherever you purchased your laptop and given them your name and they will do the rest.)

More great tips for extending your laptop’s life may be found in David Culpepper’s post from Daily Tech Bits

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Warmups Week of April 21

Here are this week’s Warmups. Have a great week!
Week of April 21

1.) Barbara Park wrote the Junie B. Jones children’s book and her birthday is April 21. How many total books has she written?
2.) How many books have you read this year? Have you read more books or webpages? Ask two friends and record their answers.
3.) Think & Answer: “Today will be a success for me if…”
4.) How many years did our Civil War last ?(give the years).
5.) Study these Civil War Graphs. Pick one and write a 1-sentence summary of the data you see. Be sure to compare North and South and write one equation based on the graph you choose.

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Warmup Prompts Week of April 7

oopslady.jpg  Here are this week’s Warmup Prompts. Have a great week!

Week of April 7

1.) Key at 4 things that are great about the month of April
2.) Compute how many days are left until the end of our school year.
3.) Read a story @ Happy News Summarize using one sentence
4.) Create, Compute, Key 4 math problems using only the number
5.) Search to Find a map from your home to your school. Give the link

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Free: Adobe Photoshop Express, PhotoShop ‘Till You Drop

Sign up to receive free access to Adobe Photoshop Express during Adobe’s beta* test period.

Photoshop Express takes image editing online with features such as rotating, cropping, adding effects, slideshow options, storing up to 2 gigabytes of images, sharing, downloading, and uploading photos online.

This is an especially great feature for teachers and students who would like basic photo editing features in a browser window, without cost, for digital stories, projects, and personal use. Since all work is down through a browser window, there is no download to conflict with filters or school policies that prohibit downloads. Click here to sign up.

*(A beta test is similar to a TAKS field only fun, without anxiety.) 🙂

 

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Hybrid Courses Preferred

Research validates what teachers already know: integrated instruct makes a difference in learning.
Source: University of Houston. “College Students Score Higher In Classes That Incorporate Instructional Technology Than In Traditional Classes.” ScienceDaily 25 March 2008. 31 March 2008 <http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2008/03/080324125154.htm>.

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