What We're All About

CU Students have teamed together this year to learn through exploration how to manipulate many different instructional technologies. In time we hope to branch out and share our knowledge with other educators and peers.
We'd like to serve as a resource to our fellow future educators and professors of Education who would like to put that SmartBoard to use in their classroom, or learn how to use podcasts in the classroom as tools for parent involvement or student assessments. The possibilities are endless!
Love,
Your local Clemson Geek Squad

3.26.2008

Owl Pellet Lesson

Helping to get all the "fur" off the pellet...sometimes it's difficult to find the bones! They were most excited about the skulls they found and the teeth, the average skull was a rat.
Helping the boys work with the microscope on the computer...they were trying to discover what the owl had eaten by looking at its bones underneath the microscope.
Before the Owl Pellet Lesson begins...I am explaining what an owl pellet is (while I hear lots of "eww's" After they started dissecting however, everyone was really into it, even the girls...who were most apprehensive at first. I wish I had more time with each group to really go more into a science lesson. As they were leaving many of them wanted an owl pellet to take home and were asking me how to get them!

3.25.2008

A Sea Turtle Photostory

The link didn't work in the last blog, so here it is for real this time...

video

Enjoy, and thanks again for watching! If you leave comments I'll be sure to share them with my 1st graders.

**Bridget

Hey guys, PLEASE check this out! My students and I have created a new photostory about Sea Turtles and why they need our help. Click below to watch it:

The Sea Turtles Need Our Help!

We have been studying sea turtles as our latest unit and are currently making turtle key chains like the one below. We call ourselves the "Beading Bears" and our key chain selling business has proven to be a fun and easy way to integrate all content areas into this long term project. We've been very busy advertising with posters, persuasive fliers, artwork, and short daily informational blurbs on the school-wide news program. This photostory is our latest advertising endeavor.


Key chains are $4.00

If anyone is interested in purchasing one, please let me know via email. I'd be more than happy to put your order in and deliver your key chain to you.

Here's my email: brollin@clemson.edu

Thanks for checking out the photostory! My class was so excited about it.

**Bridget

Catching up...

Ok. I know I haven't been posting throughout this semester like I should have or would have liked. Hopefully, in this post I can touch on the many different ways I have been implementing technology in my first grade class and share just how successful it has been. First, I have to say the children are so intrigued by the little things you can do on the promethean board that it’s not hard to grab their attention and hold it. That is the best part, being able to hold their attention. In this generation, children have so many other cool gadgets and gizmos competing for their attention, it's getting harder and harder to impress them. Some of my favorite moments using technology in my classroom this semester were little instances where the children would gasp and “ooh-ahh” because I used the spotlight or reveal tool on a flipchart… again those little things. They’ve also been fascinated by my ability to make things appear and disappear “magically” by using the transparency element and the eraser to reveal answers on flipcharts. It’s hard to really portray just how the children are responding to my promethean board lessons through this blog post, so please feel free to stop by Clemson Elementary any day and check out my classroom. We use the promethean board everyday, some days more than others. My teacher and I don’t have a set schedule because something seems to come up everyday and we’ve found it best to be flexible. If you let me know ahead of time though, we can pencil in some technology for the time when you are able to come visit. I like to do a lot of math using the ProBoard, at least for an intro before messing around with manipulatives. Math is so easy to teach with the ProBoard because of all the resources available through the software like images of coins and interactive thermometers, etc. If you go to my website: http://BNRollings.googlepages.com you can check out some of the flipcharts I’ve been using in the classroom. Also, here are some pictures of other ways we have used the ProBoard.


I’ve used it often to take advantage of internet resources such as an online interactive map of the moon during our Unit: Finding the Moon. This particular activity was at the culmination of our unit, and the children and I were planning a “trip to the moon.” The children went to the board and chose a place he/she would most likely want to visit (a named crater or sea on the moon) and wrote about it in his/her trip itinerary.

In addition to the ProBoard we practice researching on the internet and watch video clips through United Streaming and various websites like the South Carolina Aquarium who offer virtual tours and video clips. Photostory has proven another fun tool for showing self created videos which can be personalized and tweaked to present specifically the information you want your students to receive at a particular time.

As a learning station I have also had the children reviewing their spelling words on the desktop computer in the back of the classroom and then they practice manipulating the font, size, and color of the text.

I plan in the future to hand over digital cameras to the class for a project on geometry (searching for shapes around the school and in our everyday lives). I hope to create an imovie with their snapshots and video interviews with the children about what they learned through the project. I think video (or at least audio) interviews are a great means of assessment and also a great way to capture memories! Anyways… I am sorry I don’t have more photos right now to show, but again if you are interested in coming to visit my 1st grade class please let me know. Our schedule is very flexible and we’d love to work around your schedule. Just email me and we’ll work something out. I’m in Ms. Nodine’s 1st Grade class at Clemson Elementary. Hope your semesters are going well…they’re almost over!

**Bridget

3.18.2008

Inspiration

Finding the main idea...

that was the subject for one of my reading lessons last week. What better way to visually dissect the main idea from the details than by using the program Inspiration?

A couple weeks prior to the lesson, I had been piddling around on my cooperating teacher's laptop and discovered that each computer in the classroom has a copy of the program Kidspiration. WOW!

I started playing with this version of my favorite concept map program and found...I like the original version better.

I'm so glad I made this discovery when I did, because when I thought to use Inspiration for my "main idea" lesson weeks later, I knew right away that:
A) I'd better spend more time getting familiar with all the details and different buttons on Kidspiration...or....
B) I'd better download the 30day trial version of Inspiration, the version I'm already familiar with.

I went with option B. This saved me both time and energy (two commodities I had in short supply because I was full-time teaching last week).

The children LOVED Inspiration and asked me if they could play with the program during recess. I had only thought that this program would be perfect to visualize the concept I wanted to get across, but the children's response taught me that I should be enabling the children to make their own discoveries using these tools, not just limiting them to the "discoveries" I WANT them to make.

I keep forgetting that I'm not just limited to teaching other teachers how to use technology. I should really be handing over these tools to my 2nd graders...

and I have the feeling that pretty soon, THEY will be the ones teaching me how to use THEIR programs (Kidspiration).

3.10.2008

WWII Centers

I am currently full time teaching, and technology has played a large role in my classroom. Flipcharts and the Promethean board are often used, but this week we had centers. Two of the five centers used technology. Center 1 was the WWII Technology Museum, and it was on the Promethean board. Center 4 was a PowerPoint about people involved in WWII.