Sunday, September 13, 2009

Changes BIG & small

* My students see me using my laptop to find the perfect song on iTunes, when they need to get up and move;
* My students know that I communicate with their parents by sending "letters" on the computer (e-mail as described by a 5 year old);
* My students know that when the laptop, projector, and smartboard are all turned on, connected, and working together, whatever they see on my laptop is what they see on the smartboard (and they are fascinated by it!);

* My laptop is located in a place where I can easily get to it while I am working with my students so that I can access anything that I need without turning my back to them or loosing their attention.
* We have watched Eric Carle read "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?" on You Tube.
* We have experienced "The Little Red Hen" on Speakaboos.

So those are the small changes in my teaching this year because of the courses so far in the COETAIL program.

And now for the BIG change -

* I am in the process of setting up a classroom blog to help me share and communicate with the parents of the students in my class. I feel the need to send something more exciting than the standard weekly newsletter. I want to be able to show parents what we are doing not just try to explain it in words. I want to include the kids in what is posted on the blog. I'm not quite ready to launch this endeavor and share it with the world but I will be soon. I'm still trying to find the perfect visual set-up for the blog. I know it is a lame excuse but after looking at several other classroom blogs and starting the Visual Literacy Course: Effective Communicators and Creators I need to find the perfect visual set-up for the blog. I want it to be more than a screen full of words. I want it to be inviting and friendly so that my students and parents want to be a part of it. I'm very excited about it but nervous at the same time. My goal is to have it ready to share by next week.
Wish me luck!!!!!!!!!!!

The changes that I have made don't seem very substantial but I'm not a huge risk taker and since my students are young, baby steps are the best fit for all of us.


  1. I know you say your big change is the class blog, but the way you describe those small changes (and how naturally and easily they fit right into your classroom routine) feel like big changes to me too.

    We're always talking about what is developmentally appropriate for early childhood and what you're describing above (e-mail is a letter on the computer, that your students can understand that when everything is connected and functioning what they see on the SmartBoard is the same as your computer) is exactly what I want to be saying. We don't always need our youngest students to be physically doing everything, we want the experience to be a natural part of their classroom, and to be making connections to how technology can be used to communicate, collaborate and connect with others. Which is exactly what you're doing.

    Thank you so much for sharing these examples. They're perfect!

  2. Keep up the momentum! This is great!

    I too teach kindergarten and use technology with my children. With the help of a co-worker we now do all our calendar math on the SmartBoard. The children are much more engaged than when I did calendar math on a bb.

    I have a classroom blog, actually all our teachers are required to keep one. I have links to age appropriate websites the children can play on to reinforce the skills we are working on. I also use it to give the children an audience for their "writing", it is really storytelling in the beginning. I use PhotoStory so the children can orally narrate their drawings. The kids love to go home and show off their work.

    I also use the blog to keep the parents up to date on all the goings on in the room.

    In the second half of the year I will begin to send home the classroom mascot. The children will post a journal entry on our blog instead of keeping a paper journal. We can talk about all the safety issues the children need to be aware of.

    I am excited to see your progress. Keep up the great work!!