Writing my way through the school year!

Posts tagged ‘Twiducate’

Twiducastic! Choosing to Chat!

Ok, I made that word up. And yes, I am a big fan of Twiducate! I registered for Twiducate a while ago, but rarely used it.  Lately though, I have been coming up with some cool ideas on how to implement it in my classroom.  Today we watched the film, “My Friend Martin.” The students watch it every year around King’s birthday, bit it never fails to make an impact. I wanted to do something different, something to make sure my students could talk about what they had seen.Enter  Twiducate Chat! I told my students when the movie was over, we would chat for 15 minutes about what took place in the movie. During the movie, I jotted down questions that I felt would promote critical thinking, I wanted to make sure the chat wasn’t a waste of time. Immediately, after the movie, all laptops opened,  ALL my students, even my lowest, contributed to the chat conversation. Most of the comments the students made to each other were thought-provoking and allowed the conversation to continue. When I told them to stop, they begged for more time. Some of my students made a point of using Vocabulary words when writing their comments. The conversations move along quickly, so  I printed the chat so that I could see exactly what was said, and who said it. Wonderful, wonderful activity! It’s a feature of Twiducate I plan to implement more often!

“35 Ways to Use Twiducate for Deeper Learning”

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Tweaking “KWL” with Twiducate!

I know you are all familiar with the KWL chart.  It has been around for centuries, like Bloom’s taxonomy, and is always used as a great motivator for any and all subjects.   Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of the KWL chart, but something always bothered me.  What if the student didn’t know anything about the subject?  What if the student didn’t want to know anything about the subject?  Any way,yesterday I sat down with my small group, prepared to read a book about prairies.  I said, “Get your laptops and open Twiducate.” In 20 minutes, and I am not exaggerating, we knew so much about prairies, it was so cool! I twittered the question, “What do you know about prairies?”  One of the students Googled a link about prairies for kids, I had her post the link, and they all used it to obtain information.  They had to write at least two facts from the article about prairies AND paste an image.  Each wrote facts from different headings, for example, Prairie animals.  After typing and posting, we discussed, and what a lively discussion we had! The pictures allowed the students to “see” a prairie, and anything related to a prairie. I used their posts on Twiducate for our whole group discussion today,and they were very proud of their work! One of my resolutions was to engage my 21st century students, I think I can say I am working toward meeting that goal.

Technology Rules!

My class  got our laptops back today! Well, actually, they’re not our laptops, we have to share them with the school. I had to write an essay explaining why I wanted the laptop cart housed in my room, that wasn’t a problem. I feel like they’re mine because none of the other teachers really use it. The teacher across the hall was using it, until one of her students completely bent the plug  while bringing it back to my room. And yes, I was secretly happy for that little incident. But back to the topic at hand, I love technology,, more importantly, I love integrating technology into my lessons. It opens up a whole new world for my students, and myself.  I have taught the same Reading series for the last three years, I’ve always changed the way I’ve taught, but with the laptops, Wow! The laptops stay on my students’ desk from the time they enter in the morning, until the time they leave in the afternoon. Don’t get me wrong, they still do work the “old school” way with pencil and paper throughout the day,but  the available technology allows other options to engage them.  KidBlog,( their very own blog), Edmodo(FB for students), Twiducate(Twitter for students), Glogster, (virtual posters), Tweentribune,( online current events the kids read and comment on), the list is endless. I’d like to give a special shoutout to Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers, if you use nothing else, use his site. He is an excellent resource for beginner and expert alike! I realize I am fortunate to have laptops, some desktops, and other resources some might not have. But even if you are a one computer classroom, there is still a way to integrate technology. And to the teachers who are fortunate enough to have these tools , and not use them, tsk, tsk! No excuses allowed, I have been teaching for over 26 years, so the old person excuse doesn’t work.:)Stick your finger in, the water is fine, and try just a little at a time, you’ll grow to love it as much as I do!

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