A New Beginning

I knew the day had come to start blogging again. It has been way too long since my last post. Both education and technology have changed since the beginning of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. I am happy to be back; sad it took a technology class to get me back in the groove!

Who is my choice?

I have been thinking a lot about the Utah governors race. The speeches at UEA left me unsatisfied. I am leaning towards Herbert, he already has a plan in place. What is your thoughts as an educator? My interview with KUTV about the speeches can be found here.

Is This Our Future?

New Blog

Today I started a new blog called Belles Book Blog. My first reason for starting this blog is that as a teacher I have read many popular and obscure juvenile books. Review of these books are limited by the book sellers and/or the publishers. Some of the books have been out of print for years, yet are worthy of still being in print. My goal is to review many of these books.
My second reason for creating this blog is to offer ideas for teachers to integrate these books, along with popular juvenile books, into their curriculum planning. This is the scary part. Am I a talented enough teacher to pull this goal off? Please join me into my voyage into the new unknown.


In my opinion the technology tool that I have found most useful is Twitter. Most of the group I follow uses technology in the classroom. When something is posted that I don't know about...I research it further to understand what is being discussed. One posting led me to Indispensible ICT Tools for teachers Check it out!
The second tool is Teachertube. Here I have found videos to use as a lesson supplement and how to videos for teaching a subject. My favorite is Turtle Math for 2D X 2D multiplication. In my mind there is no greater strategy. Most of my students are proficient at this math concept thanks to Turtle Math.
Last is Facebook for the networking and support from other educators. Some of the best lesson ideas I have used this year came from networking with other teachers on FB.


My reflections for Engaged Classroom:
* How I used clickers...have not used them. With National Boards, EC, finishing my math endorsement and master's, along with finding costumes for the school production of "Annie" one more thing would have been too much. One of my trainee's love them and thinks the interactive board is the cat's meow!
* How I used the document camera during curriculum instruction is another matter. I can't live without it! I got rid of the large overhead and use the camera instead. In my mind the camera is earth friendly. I am no longer make transparencies and no longer have to push an extra piece of furniture each time I rotate. I have used the camera during my heredity lesson so students can see the traits of apples.
* My in-depth reflection, discussing future plans as to how I hope to incorporate what I've have learned in this program...is not going to be so in-depth. Since my technology skills are above average, many of the things discussed in EC were already part of my curriculum. I do plan to try the clickers but not sure if they are something I might use on a regular basis. I teach using projects and inquiry instead of paper and pencil. The clickers seem to support the paper and pencil approach. The interactive boards that have to be ordered separately seem to be more open to inquiry. One of my trainees and I have discussed writing a grant to get a class set.
I do like the claymation movies my students produced. It I did the activity again, I might tweak it. A year may be too long for one project...and the movies are still not complete!

Esperanza Rising

Today I had recess duty like no other. When I walked onto the grass I found all eight of the girls from my class lying with their next to the ground. I was told by the group that they were listening for the Earth's heartbeat the same way Esperanza did in the story. It amazed me how the girls tried to understand how Esperanza was feeling when she put her ear to the earth. Esperanza could not hear the heartbeat now that her father was dead and she was in a strange place. My students believed they could hear it but regretted not trying on Earth Day. They had a theory that the beat would have been stronger on that day. They drew me in and I too listened for the beat of the Earth's heart. After a bit our small group grew to a large group. Such stillness and reverence from 5th graders! At this time of the school year the students are in to being cool,not into exploring the lifeblood of the Earth. Or attempting to understand the feelings of a young girl from a book!