Sunday, June 10, 2012

I'm back & a few of my favorites...

WOW! I'm finally back! This year has been a complete whirlwind for me! I had hoped to be able to juggle teaching, grad school, family ~ and be able to sneak a few posts in here and there. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case! My last semester was CRAZINESS! I took 12 hours (way too many hours!) - But (after what seems like forever)....I graduated with my Masters in Educational Technology! Wooo hooo!!

We have officially been out of school a little over a week now. I'm trying to decompress from this crazy year. As I do, I can't help but reflect back over the year. Although it was crazy {3rd time I've used this word so far - can you tell it was a really crazy year!}, I had some really great moments with my class. I thought for my next few posts I would share some of my favorite lessons from this year!

This year, our principal had us decorate our door for Black History month with highlights/facts of a famous African American. I will be completely honest, I wasn't thrilled about this idea! Any other time I would have been on cloud nine to work on a project like this, but as I've said it was such a busy time (and we were given very short notice about the project). We were working on a poetry unit at the time. Our class ended up drawing the name of the author/poet/activist, Alice Walker. She wrote The Color Purple, among many other pieces. She also wrote a children's book (that fit perfect with our poetry unit), There is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me. Seriously, couldn't have been a more perfect book, the imagery and personification in this book is amazing! I decided to have the kids write poems inspired by this book. They truly blew me away with their words!

As we continued our poetry unit, we discussed the characteristics of poems and how poems are read. I decided to record the students reading their poems so they could really hear how they sounded. I have used sound cloud for other recordings, such as podcasts, so I decided to give it a try. They have an iphone/ipad app which was perfect. We used my iPhone to record each other reading our poems. Recording the poems, sparked an idea on how to share the poems. I didn't want to just share our poems, but I wanted to share what we had learned about Alice Walker. I wanted our door to be interactive! I have used QR codes, but had never created them. After a little research, I found they are extremely easy to create. You basically paste the link you want the QR code to be directed to and it creates the QR image. Super simple! My kids were blown away with how we could scan the code and it would take us to our recordings. We sent out an email to the campus with links to QR reader apps, so they would be prepared. The school really took to our ideas. It was so awesome to see other kids getting excited about our work through technology. Our little project also inspired others. A few teachers used QR codes as well to make their door interactive.

Some of our recordings:
Alice Walker's life
Alice Walker author
Alice Walker famous
Alice Walker's poem

I think this was one of my favorite lessons because it just "happened". I didn't plan it out, it just sort of came together like a puzzle. I honestly think that my best lessons happen this way ;)

This solidifies my belief that technology doesn't need to replace our teaching, it needs to supplement it. It also proved once again that using technology through example is much more powerful than a professional development on technology applications. Teachers must be vested
in the idea, and I feel that when they are forced to
attend a training, they aren't as accepting to bring it into their classroom. I hope that more of my projects will inspire teachers to bring more technology into their classroom.

I promise I'm back (for good) and I look forward to blogging again!


  1. Welcome back! Congrats on getting your Masters Degree! :)

    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  2. Thank you guys! It's great to be back!

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