Week Seven, YAHOO

Seventh week of class, we are almost there, YAHOO. I feel like we’ve learned so much in such a short period of time, but at the same time I feel very relieved.  This week I’ve read and explored about the  “BRAIN”, how much do we really know about such little word that carries so many functions including heart rate and physical functions to emotions, learning and memory.  It shapes our thoughts, hopes, dreams, imagination, and overall brain is what makes us humans. I really enjoyed reading www.dana.org foundation and the articles have so much information that I wouldn’t read on occasional note, but I am glad I did. I will have to make it a habit to read one every year at least. As Dr. Goldberg mentioned if we do not read at least one article a year about the brain how can we grow as educators. I really think she hit the jackpot with this one, just touching with the reality of the research and staying on top of brain development will make us grow better as educators and humans.

I explored so many web 2.0 tools, it was though choice but I decided to go with Storyit.com. Storyit.com is very interesting, fun and exciting tool to teach Pre-K and first grade alphabet, rhyming, sight word, basic story writing, writing poems, writing on shapes, sight word search, number words memory match, bulletin boards ideas, word games, kid’s photo shoot, seasonal themes and so much more. This web site is worth visiting and every minute spent gives you knew bright ideas to use in your classroom. The reason why I choose to go with website is because I have small group of first graders that are struggling with alphabet and sounds. English language is very new to them even though they been around it for some time, we are talking about first grade students. I decided to make lesson plan using stroyit.com for support to introduce a different approach to teach alphabet and sounds. It bothers me some that my district is not equipped with technology and not using it as much. For the past two weeks, or as I am learning more from this class I have been implementing technology more in my classroom. I have used technology at least three times a day, couple times a week with different groups. My students are more enthusiastic, engaged, excited, becoming self-thinkers in little tiny new ways, but that is a start. They can’t wait for next time to use technology, they are more self-driven and fascinated with what they can do using technology. I believe that using technology even for short amount of time helps motivate and keep students on task, it’s something they get to look forward to, and most importantly they are learning by having fun.

Now, back to my lesson; my lesson plan using storyit.com will be a two parts 30 minutes lesson plan about letters and sounds recognition, and using phonics and sight words to make sentences.  Also, the game that I am going to use allows me to pick a vowel as well; in this case I will pick short vowel /a/ and long vowel /i/. I only have 30 minutes with each group, so I want my lesson plan to be short and sweet, which will leave my students enthusiastic and pumped for next day instead breaking the lesson in the middle of the teaching and leave my students confused.

For this lesson I will need four laptops, pencils, worksheet for the letter they are working on and crayons. First, I get laptops ready, meaning put in the web site address which is storyit.com. Then, I instructed students to the game called the Word Magnets game, in this game students used the phonics and sight words to make sentences. To see how many sentences they can make about each picture. Unfortunately, students only got through one picture because of the time issue, but we will continue on to finish the lesson, next class.  I emphasized the importance on the letters and sounds that they are struggling with the most, in this case they are: C, K, H, Y and short vowel /a/ and long vowel /i/.  There are more letters but for this lesson I will use only these six letters.

They have also played the Word Magnets with a friend. One player places a word in the yellow rectangle. The next player builds the sentence by adding another word. I encouraged and praised them to use the words that start with the letters or include the vowels they have learned.  Students took turns adding words until they have written a good sentence, and then they did each copy the sentence on their worksheets. After writing two to four sentences they drew and colored a picture to go with the letters and sentence that we have learned.

A Kid´s Photo is a kid safe stock photo website. Our photo collection is packed with flowers, animals, scenic and object photos. Not to mention the games and puzzles for some added fun for everyone! This website is awesome. I love pictures and I use pictures whenever appropriate and when lesson allows. You know what they say “Picture is worth thousands words”, isn’t that the truth. All of the photos and images are royalty free which makes this a great resource for students, teachers and a general educational image library for all your educational needs.

Personal projects, classroom projects, greeting cards or whatever the need – they have a photo for you. Take some time to stop and view the roses and the other hundreds of photos in this collection.

Children’s Literature is another great collection of some of the best in classical children’s literature including stories, folk tales, fables, poems, and rhymes. Some are posted to be read online, some are lightly illustrated, some have separate printable pages, some have pages to be printed in color and some have interactivity. But they’re all made available to enjoy. These are all great to be used in the classroom and the students will have awesome time exploring them.

I feel very good about this week. It’s been very productive and everything we explored and learned so far it’s coming all together. As much relieved I feel, I will miss this class and you guys. Thanks for being great audience and classmates. ENJOY

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