From Paper Blogs to the World
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Presented by Paula Naugle & Erica Shepherd
4th Grade teachers
Jefferson Parish Public Schools

Today I had a wonderful opportunity to present at LaCUE. Paula and I presented from 10-10:50 this morning in the Bridge Room at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans, LA. I was nervous presenting, considering this was only my second time presenting at a large conference, but was so excited that Paula offered me the opportunity to be a co-presenter. We shared with other educators how we use blogs in our classroom.

You can view our presentation here!
The greatest blogging party on Earth was held last Thursday, November 10th. The students in my homeroom and my partner teacher's Mrs. Wilson's class hosted the party. The students brought home invitations to the party inviting their parents to attend. The purpose of the party was for the students to showcase their blogs and teach their parents how to make a quality comment.Students showcased their blogs through the site Kidblog that they have been working hard on since September. They have made several posts since September ranging from an "All About Me" post to "What I am Thankful For."

We began the Blog Commenting Party by showing the parents a video that my homeroom students made to teach their parents how to make a quality comment.

Then I presented to parents an anchor chart I made to remind them how to make a quality comment.

Students had a great time showcasing their blogs, and their parents had a wonderful time engaged in reading their child's blogs and making quality comments.

Yes! That's right I am a 2011 Graduate. I officially wrapped up my courses for my Master's Degree in Educational Leadership and Technology last night.

The degree was offered as an online cohort program. Overall, the online program was a very positive learning experience for me. I learned many valuable tools and strategies in which I will be able to implement into the classroom. Most of which, I already have.

I believe the most important concept I learned by pursuing my Masters is that a teacher and technology leader must always strive to learn new tools and strategies and constantly evolve and seek new innovative ways to be an effective teacher in the classroom. As more studies are conducted and new technology is invented, we are constantly learning new ideas and ways which have a positive impact for students. The challenge will be for me to find creative ways to implement these concepts into the classroom. This is why I love being a teacher.

This past week I introduced my students to a new app for the iPad. The app is called Puppet Pals. The app Puppet Pals allows students to create a story using movements and audio in real time. I first modeled for the students how to make a movie and then played it back for them. They were so excited!! So, obviously right away they went to work creating their own stories including characters, backgrounds, movements and the best part their own voice. A few students partnered up and created stories together.

Here are a few samples.

This one is mine.

One of my students..

Another student..

Last Thursday, I received an email from our trucker buddy. His name is Eason and is a trucker from Louisiana like us. I can't wait to introduce the students to him and the program and get started on following him on his travels. The kids are going to be so excited to have someone to write to. Looking forward to a great adventure!

Next, up in our class is our Blog Commenting Party with our parents. It is finally happening on Thursday afternoon from 5-6:30. My homeroom students have been working on a video to teach their parents how to make a quality comment on their blogs. We wrapped it up today. The kids had a great time filming. They are really looking forward to the party on Thursday afternoon. Can't wait to post pics from the party.

This week in class we are learning the following Author's Purpose, reviewing Verb Tenses, which I think we are pros at by this point, and have just started our next chapter book.

Yes! We are reading Superfudge by Judy Blume which is the sequel to Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. The students were so excited to begin reading this book. We made some great inferences before reading by activating our schema and using the blurb on the back cover. We began reading the chapter book as a shared reading today and the kids were so engaged and laughing. It is wonderful to see them enjoying a book. Although, I am thinking of changing up the way I attack reading the chapter book this time around. I really need to let go and let students begin doing some independent reading and thinking. So, on Tuesday and Thursday students will have the choice to read with their partner or read independently and then write about their reading. On Monday and Wednesday we will do shared reading and partner discussing on the rug.

We have also been working hard this week on Information Resources. Students are learning how to skim and scan resources to locate information for questions. Our next Interval test is next week and our goal is 80% our higher for the class. If the students reach our class goal they will be rewarded with a pizza party.

Finally this week, students are using our class technology to post a blog to Kidblog, using the iPads to post their journals on Edmodo and practicing their fluency using the app Timed Reading.
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