Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Technology Tuesday

First of all, I have to start off by saying today is my last day of summer vacation!! EEEK!! On that note, I just got 2 packages of laminating sheets in the mail today (thanks Amazon) for all the center's activities I have cut out already. Oh! And I have a binding machine coming that was crazy cheap too! It was only $40 on Amazon. I had no idea they could be that cheap! Somehow my school doesn't own one. Does anyone else find that odd?? We always used it at my last school!

So in celebration of the last day of summer, I'm going to relax in the sunshine at a local wine bar with one of the girls who teaches at my school! That is, of course, after picking up the paperwork that shows I don't have TB and I can teach little kids come Monday. Although, it seems a little unhealthy to get a chest x-ray every 4 years for the rest of my career, but what can ya do?

Another random fact I discovered... my class and I are on a website! I figure since it's already on the web, I'm allowed to share my kiddos picture. Too bad I look terrible, but whatever. That's what happens when I take sensory-sensitive kiddos to a loud assembly and then try to get us all looking normal in a picture 2 seconds later! If you want to see it, click this link. This is my group from last year. None of these cuties will be in my class this year.


 

Today is Technology Tuesday! Here are a few of my techy tips:

1) Email yourself important files, especially eBooks! Last year a student crashed into me while I was moving my laptop and it fell right on my floor which just so happens to be cement with a tiniest layer of carpeting on top. I lost EVERYTHING on my computer. Thankfully I often email stuff to myself so I can keep working on my home computer (my school one sucks, I always get the broken leftovers and the upper grade teachers get the new stuff). When you email files to yourself it's saved all over the place! It's on the original computer, the other computer you work from, and in your email inbox/sent mail folders. There was a fair amount I had to re-make, recover, and some that's lost forever. Thanks to my "email myself" system, I had ALL of the important stuff!

2) Make writing fun using PowerPoint! Many of my students have fine motor challenges and hate writing more than anything. I changed it up by changing the way they write. I like to let the kids learn to use PowerPoint to write stories. It's easy for them to learn to click and add clipart above their writing on each page/slide. This makes writing time an adventure of learning new things, instead of a tedious task. Plus this helps the students when they get older and are expected to use PowerPoint for class presentations. They will already know the basics! If you don't have a class set of computers, this can be a reward for hard work. You could also do this in a rotation where the kids take turns each week. You can use the "print screen" option to post up reminders about which buttons to click so the kids aren't asking for help every 2 seconds.

3) Great learning websites are the key to running a successful multi-age class (I have K-2 all day). I wrote about it yesterday, I guess I should have thought about that before I posted it last night, so for those who didn't stop by yesterday... Click on the "websites for the classroom" link at the top on my blog so see some of my favorites. More will be added soon, so become a follower and check back later to find out about more great educational websites! :)
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