Thursday, March 13, 2014

Trust



Trust is something that I search for in my professional life, personal life, and in my life of a fellow M.Ed. learner.  I believe that most people want to be trusted and trustworthy.  When you are trustworthy it represents the type of person that you are.  As I read chapter eight, The Principle of Trust, I had a hard time answering “yes” to all of the questions being asked on trust.  The chapter states that when you give trust to others you will receive it back. 

This chapter also talked about the key role trust plays in leadership.  It goes on to say that you cannot be an effective leader without trusting yourself and others.  I found it interesting that the chapter stated that trust is about the choices we make, not about the other person. If you are not a trusting leader, you will waste time second guessing yourself and micromanaging your employees.  I strive to be a trustworthy person in my professional life with coworkers, my principle, parents, etc.  I am always trying to do the right thing by exhibiting integrity. 

I will be the first to admit that I struggle with trust myself.  After reading this chapter, I have realized that I need to further explore my feelings on trust with myself.  I will continue to struggle with trusting others as long as I cannot trust myself.  I always thought my trust issues to this day steamed from my youth with a couple of mean friends who hurt me so deeply.  I still feel I carry scares and a heavy heart when I reflect back to my memories with these mean girls.  I am shocked at how long and how much non- trustworthy people can affect your life.  I believe it is key to ask for guidance within your higher self, and that you need to trust that you will receive it.

Lastly, as a fellow M.Ed. learner I am searching for trust with my instructors and the other learners.  I need to accept that I am what I am, and that nobody is perfect.  I am so hard on myself, it took me a great deal of courage to even sign up for this SMU program.  I need to be okay with the fact that, “part of what I am is a work in progress.” 

I will continue to practice and challenge my self-trust and my trust in others.  I thought Mother Teresa’s quote summed up this chapter beautifully.  The quote says, “Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; give the world the best you’ve got anyway.” 

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We have been having some trouble keeping our hands to ourselves lately in Kindergarten.  We had the opportunity here at our school to participate in two presentations geared towards the proper way to use our hands.  The presenter taught the children the correct way to use our hands.  She stressed to the children that hands are not for hitting.  The children had a couple of mini lessons, a story read to them and then they participated in a class project.  All of the children in my class traced, colored and then cut out their hand.  The children were read the pledge/promise and then signed our class poster.  I am getting it laminated right now, but I do plan to have it displayed as a visual reminder for my class.  I will continue to focus on the importance of not hitting with our hands. 

 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Future Technology Plan in Classroom



As I am nearing the end of my St. Mary’s University program I am beginning to think of how I can continue to keep integrating technology into my classroom.  Through this program we were expected to integrate, explore and share technology on almost a weekly basis during our second year in the program.  These weekly assignments pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me endeavor new technology to use in my classroom with my students. 

Technology should be used in the classroom for numerous reasons. Technology touches most of us in all parts of our lives whether it is at school, home or our community.   I believe that technology in the classroom is usually far more engaging and fun for students compared to the paper and pencil method.  It can make the learning process fun for our learners; students generally LOVE technology.  Technology in the classrooms can allow for more project based learning, and can grant students to be intellectually challenged.  It also allows for more interesting, diverse, real-life, real-time and current materials to be tapped into.  Students using technology are able to express themselves through images, text and sound. 

If technology is implemented correctly, it can be helpful in collaborating for teaching and learning.  It can make our busy lives more convenient.  Lastly, it can actually save money in the long run for school districts.  O plan to continue to explore new technology after I have completed this program.  I also plan to allow time at our grade level meetings to collaborate and share new technology experiences to let technology continue to grow in our classrooms and in our school district. 

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In kindergarten this week we read a story called Dear Mr. Blueberry.    It was a fiction story that the kids found engaging, and it connected nicely to a writing component.  The story was about a girl named Emily who wrote letters to Mr. Blueberry asking him questions about whales.  They two of them continued to write letters back and forth in the story.  After the story was over we discussed the parts of a letter: the opening, body and closing.  We then generated a shared writing to Mr. Blueberry asking him questions that we still had about whales.  I was pleased with the interest my class had in writing letters.  They seemed to quickly pick up on the whole process of letter writing.  We will take this one step further by writing individual letters to allow the gradual release of responsibility.  I have been trying to push writing more in my class, so I thought this lesson was very fitting for my kindergarten classroom.
 
 
 

 

 


 

 
 
 
 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Implementing Technology in the Classroom



Over the past couple of weeks I have integrated some further technology into my kindergarten classroom.  The first piece of technology that I have implemented is periodically viewing Brain Pop Jr. videos when introducing a new lesson or concept to my students.  These videos are educational, entertaining, engaging and age-appropriate for my students.  The idea is explained in a simple, yet catchy kind of way for children. 

The second piece of technology that I have implemented into my classroom is the app Air Server.  This is an app that allows me to mirror whatever it is that I have on my iPad through my projector.  This app is similar to Apple TV, but is much more reasonably priced.  I am able to visually explain/model to my students how to get to different apps and games when presenting new ones for them to explore.  The visual piece of this app works beautifully in kindergarten with my students. 

“The Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition Model offers a method of seeing how computer technology might impact teaching and learning.  It also shows a progression that adopters of educational technology often follow as they progress through teaching and learning with technology. 
While one might argue over whether an activity can be defined as one level or another, the important concept to grasp here is the level of student engagement. One might well measure progression along these levels by looking at who is asking the important questions.  As one moves along the continuum, computer technology becomes more important in the classroom but at the same time becomes more invisibly woven into the demands of good teaching and learning.”

SAMR model developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura  http://www.hippasus.com/

 

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In kindergarten we were studying antonyms last week.  We first start out by reading The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss.  We then discussed that antonyms are just another word for opposites.  The children were given the time to talk and turn to discuss their ideas on this topic.  Then as a whole class we were busy brainstorming our ideas on the whiteboard.  After we had several examples on the board, I took off my shoe and traced my foot.  I then cut it out and wrote “big and small” on my traced foot.  I then placed my cut out foot with my antonyms on it on a giant class foot poster that we were creating as our visual.  I displayed a variety of colored construction paper for the children to pick from to create their own antonym foot.  The children were very engaged tracing their feet and deciding which antonym they wanted to display.  After everybody was done, and had glued their personal foot on the poster, we met as a whole group to share our results and to review.  This was such a fun lesson for kindergarten children; I also believe this activity was engaging enough that this concept should stick with them!!  Please enjoy the photos attached below of the described activity. 

 

 




 


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Haiku Deck Blog Response


I created a Haiku Deck slide presentation about Presidents’ Day for my kindergarten students.  I had never heard of this technology tool until this assignment was required of me.   I could not believe how FUN and EASY it was!  I would have LOVED to have had something like this created when we studied Martin Luther King, Jr.  in kindergarten.  I like how Haiku Deck is extremely user friendly; I can see how this can be implemented with our students.  I made a presentation of a total of six slides.  I asked what Presidents’ Day is.  When do we celebrate it?  I created a slide explaining this day jointly celebrates both Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays. I displayed George Washington’s picture and birthday.  I then created a slide of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and his picture.  Lastly, I created a slide that explains that the day is now mostly honored to celebrate the accomplishments of all presidents.  I am very excited to share this with my grade level.  I love that Haiku Deck can be used at any grade level; it can be as simple or as complex as you make it.  This technology tool opens up the door for many technology opportunities in my future classes.  I am thrilled to share the excitement of this technology tool with my students.