Posts Tagged examples

Blogs – A Campus Update

I watch the news and they refer to their blogs and read reader’s comments on the air.  I listen to the radio and hear about the blogs available there and what listeners have to say about the goings on with the music.  The Entertainment industry is full of blogs, I was tracking down past American Idol participants and found many have blogs now to keep their fans informed.   Blogs have infiltrated our everyday lives, but still research suggests many people still don’t understand what blogs are.

So how are we reaching our students to get them informed?  I started thinking about all the teachers who are introducing blogging this year (or have been blogging for several years) on campus now.  I wanted to share those examples so maybe other people will get ideas on how blogs can be used in their classrooms.

Blogs at Ridgeview:

  1. Mrs. Hazen, 6th grade math, is using a blog as a web page to communicate with parents and students about class happenings as well as providing reteaching and more information about class topics.
  2. Mrs. McLinden, TAG Math has been using blogs for several years to get her students talking about math.  She has 3 blogs, one for each subject.  At the end of the year she asks students to leave advice for the incoming group.  This is a great example of building relationships with students:
  3. 7th Grade Science teachers, Mrs. Dausses, Mrs. Stegall, Mrs. Mayen and Mrs. Prescott are using blogs to ask students to think about the science topics they are learning about in class as well as to give more information to extend learning.

What do the students get out of this?  They are learning how to interact in our ever changing world.  They are learning how to respond appropraitely on blogs and how to stay safe online by not sharing too much about themselves.  They are learning how to become part of the global conversation.

Want to learn more about blogging?

Check out these previous posts:

Blogs in Plain English:

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Testing The Waters for iPods in the Classroom

Final exams are wrapping up and by all accounts it looks like our little experiment is working out well.  What was it?  I have been exploring using iPods in the classroom and had mentioned the possibilities to a colleague on campus.  She ran with the idea and next thing I know we have all the final exams recorded and saved as mp3s so that students who need the test read to them can listen and move at their own pace.  I thought I would share what we have done, and see if anyone has ideas to help out for the future.

  1. Using Audacity each test was recorded. 
    • Pauses between each question is important. 
    • Break up large tests into several different recording files.  This allows for students to better manage what they are listening to.
  2. Files were saved as mp3 files.  Remember to do that you need to download the required dll file.
    • Establish a naming convention so if files were to be put on iPods, the files are easily accessed.
    • Edit the ID3 tags so that you have a naming convention that works for each test.  Once again it makes it easier if the recordings are going to be loaded on an iPod or other mp3 player.
  3. An internal web page was developed so that all the files were easily accessed by clicking on links.  This kept the tests secure and helped the students navigate easily between different sections of the test.
  4. The tests were given/  Students came into the lab and using the internal web page choose the correct test and were able to pause and rewind as needed.

So did it make a difference?  I haven’t seen the test scores, but the students seemed very focused and the teachers facilitating the testing rooms were happy and not running around trying to keep everyone on task.

The next step?  Now that we have a handle on this, we can continue to record tests and load on iPods.  Also we can begin to develop different teaching/study aide files and podcast them out through the help of blog sites.

One small step for Web 2.0, but a huge step for our campus. 

Suggestions? Ideas?  Has anyone else had experience with this and have insight on the next step?

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TurningPoints in Action

So now that you have seen how to create a presentation, the question remains, “What type of presentations should I make?”

Here are some ideas and examples taken from teachers on campus:

  • Quizzes or Tests– While I never recommend running a  test or quiz completely on TurningPoints, it is a good way to gather information from students after the test as to what they did answer and how the class fared as a whole.  The class data can be used to determine what needs to be retaught and what does not.  You can also look at the per student results by using the “Reports” feature under the “Tools” menu.
  • TAKS Review – Putting TAKS like questions up and having the ability to go over test-taking strategies and to see how the kids are thinking is a powerful tool.   The 2004 and 2006 Released TAKS tests have been created for you.  Let me know if you need a copy of those.
  • Reviews for Tests – Several teachers have created Jeopardy Review games in Turning Points.  You can group the class into teams and track to see how the teams are running.
  • Teaching Slides with Check for Understanding Questions – Present several slides of information and insert question slides to see how well the students are following along with the discussion, or learning the concept.  Here is an example of this from the 8th Grade US History Teachers: Indian Removal Act.

 So what are some other ideas of using Turning Points in your class?

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