Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My voice thread...

is still a work in progress! Check out steps 1, 2 and 5 of how to do the addition strategy les sommes partielles.

Isa and I have been talking about how voice threads could be very useful in second language learning. By using a voice thread you can still work through the steps of the pre-writing, writing and revising BUT because the finished product is oral you won't (and can't!) get caught up in the spelling and grammar mistakes.

I decided to try a project that I would like to do with my students. I chose do explain an addition strategy: the partial sums method.

My steps:
1. I wrote out each step of the strategy (folling an example from the Student Reference Book of Everyday Math).
2. I took pictures of the steps and uploaded them to my voicethred.
3. Using a microphone I recorded my explanation of each step and using the pen wrote on top of the pictures to help explain each step.

This project would be great for my students because it would help them with their mathematical reasoning skills - they need to explain their thought process.

One frustrating point: as you can see not all of my steps are included in my voice thread. I tried SEVERAL times to upload my images. I even left the site open over night. (FYI, I had also compressed my images before trying to upload them so the images wouldn't be too big). So, you only have the first slide, steps 1 and 2 and the final step. Any thought out there on how to fix this?

One question: After I recorded my voice and saved it I found I wanted to make a change (use the pen to write on top of the picture) but I couldn't seem to figure out how to delete my previous recording after saving it...thoughts?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My role as an African-American Man

Wow - who knew how many changes you go through when being pregnant! I am (personally) not only growing (in several directions) and finding new hormones but on our Ning role play site I am an African-American man!!

If you would like to see other stock photos click here.

I decided to go in the opposite direction of what and who I am hence the male and the African-American parts to my new persona. This gives me a freedom to write in a way that I would not ordinarily write. However this does create challenges from time to time as when I read posts I tend to want to respond with my teacher thoughts and experience!

I found the role play interesting but honestly a bit tedious. I much more enjoy (and get more out of) talking face-to-face. The one thing I liked abotu the role play was that it gave us a number of days to do our research, we didn't have to find articles and be ready for one set night of class. If someone's article/thoughts inspired me I could go off in a new direction to explore.

Having said that I did find it time consuming to alwyas be checking in online. I would read through the forum to see if there were new posts then I would have to check my page to see what comments were made and respond back to them. I felt my brain was being pulled in too many directions.

An interesting concept but I honestly don't see myself using it any time soon! (No offense!)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Role Play

Take a look at my role play biography.

I have really enjoyed having the opportunity to meet, work and talk with teachers from other schools and in different grade levels during our writing cohort. It has helped me step out of my classroom and look at things from a different perspective.

I have also appreciated having time to chat with other teachers who teach the same grade and subject areas I do. Case in point, being able to check in with Janice as to what she is using for our MN project!

I liked Janice's idea of having students specialize in a particular area of Minnesota. I could see having students choose a city, lake or area of Minnesota and create a sort of travel brochure persuading people to visit their area. Janice used Flicker slideshows about the BWCA (beautiful pictures).

Another possibility would be to have students journal an imaginary trip through Minnesota. They could use the photos from Flicker to add to their presentation. They could also use Google Maps to both track/plan their trip.

So many ideas...so little time!