Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back to school already?!?

Alright ya' we go...

Today I am beginning the planning process for implementing my 30 Samsung Galaxy Tablets into my classroom.  I learned yesterday that for this Fall semester, I will be teaching Global Science Issues Honors, Earth Science Honors, and Biology (AHHH EOC! SCARY SCARY!!!).  I wanted to make a couple of notes for some ideas that I am thinking about for using the tablets in my classroom:

  • Using Evernote in place of student binders
    • One of my goals in applying for this grant was to make my classroom a paperless one.  Wouldn't it be so much easier if the students could take all of their notes and save them online instead of writing them down and losing them?  Wouldn't the world make more sense if they could take pictures of graphs and charts I draw on the board and save them to their relevant notes to refer to later?  What about those students that want to save my actual lecture as a voice recording...wouldn't that be AMAZING?  I think it could I'm looking into Evernotes.  More to come on that....
  • QR Codes as my Word Wall
    • I know that as a science teacher, if you can get kids to remember the vocabulary you've won 3/4s  of the battle.  I've known teachers to make word walls, writing the words up on a board or pocket protectors and such.  One of my ideas (with the idea help of Marty Creech) is to have a QR Code Word Wall.  I can type the word and insert a QR code that the students can scan with their tablets.  When they scan the QR code, it will give them the definition of the word.  So if the student forgets what a word means as they are working through a lab, they can go to the word wall, scan the code, get the definition, and VOILA!  
      • SIDE NOTE:  These QR codes could be used for lots of other fun stuff.  If you are assigning research you could put some QR Codes around the room that are linked to helpful websites so the students can access them easier. 
  • Project-Based Learning
    • I believe that students learn more from doing projects than they do from worksheets and book work.  One of my goals is try to make my teaching more project based.  Possibly to give the students a general concept, introduce them to an exploratory project, and then let them loose to learn on their own.  One great idea I always think of was designed by a colleague (Mrs. Durkos) was teaching students about recycling and biodegradable products.  Instead of lecturing about what it means, giving examples, etc etc, she assigned a project to create their own biodegradable product.  In this way, the students are still learning about what it means to be biodegradable while making it personal.  Making it personal = Remembering = Learning!

I know that this is going to be a HUGE learning experience.  I also know that I am going to have to go through some trial and error.  This also means that there will be things that will work REALLY well, and some things that tank.  It is my hope that I can use this blog to document this experience (both successes and failures) and use it to help make me a better teacher.  

Is it REALLY the first day of school again tomorrow?!?  How could this be?  It seems like we just got out for summer the other day!  Anywho, I've spent my last week trying to prepare for new kids & 3 preps (which, can I say, is TOTALLY stressing me out?). 

The technology accomplishment this week was that I created a wall of creative & helpful websites using QR codes (seen above).  I came up with a list of websites that I think my kids could get some use out of this year and created QR codes for each of them. Some of the websites I included was Animoto, Symbaloo, Wordle, & Edmodo (which I already use a lot in my class). I also included a little sentence about what the website is and how it can be used and then cut them out, made them pretty, and laminated them!  

I haven't really gotten too much into finding ways to use my tablets since I'm not rolling them out until Friday.  One of the ideas I'm really excited about is being able to let my kids do interactive stuff on them, which will help them prepare for their BRAND NEW interactive EOC (so fun!).  I also look forward to doing a "Geocaching with QR codes" next Monday with my Earth Science kids.  I think this will be a fun way to teach them latitude and longitude.  

Well, that's it for now.  More to come soon!

1 comment:

  1. Your useful & creative websites wall is AMAZING! So creative and inviting! You've got some great ideas Chelsea! Have a great 1st week!!