Sunday, December 19, 2010

WordPress "Blogs" As Websites

My fiance, Ron, is something of a small-time web entrepreneur. He first found WordPress and subsequently showed me how to use it. Last year, after becoming increasingly frustrated with TeacherWeb (and its $42 pricetag this year) I bought a domain name of my own and set up shop using WordPress. Though it has many bells and whistles, it's very easy to navigate and use to make webpages. Though I do get criticism for not using TeacherWeb ("like all the other teachers here") I plan on using WordPress to deliver information to my students and parents of students throughout the year.

WordPress is free. To use it, you need a domain name and some hosting capabilities. Since I host it out of our own private domain hosting membership, I do not know if the county can host it for you, but I bet they can.

Check out my WordPress Blogsite:

I'd love to hear any feedback you have about the site (esp ideas or constructive criticism). Thanks!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Today I created a Prezi info sheet to use with my students when we do our Alternate Energy projects in February.

I'm including screenshots here but I don't know how to provide you the file to download. Ideas?

I know, it's a busy document. And I'd love you to check it out and let me know of any errors. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Prezi Example to Show Students

What do you think? Do you/would you use Prezi?

Here's the introduction for my Alternate Energy Resources. I'll show this to the students before beginning the project in the middle of February.

Facebook in 6th Grade

At the beginning of this school year, I contemplated opening a Facebook page for my class. I wouldn't use my own personal Facebook account to open in--instead I'd use my HCPSS account to open it and never connect to it personally. I thought this would be a great way to get the students to ask questions about things they don't understand, post interesting information, and work together. However, as you all know, the HCPSS system blocks Facebook from being used inside the classroom. A few years ago Facebook worked if you added the S to http:// and you were able get on in very limited use. This was the major drawback for using Facebook at school--not actually being able to use Facebook AT school. In the article we just read, I absolutely love the idea of students posting brief synopses of the class, listing the homework, and asking thought provoking questions of their classmates. I often wonder...Will Facebook ever be available at school as the county pushes for more technology in the classroom? Will there ever be a way for teacher accounts to access it but prevent student accounts from accessing it.

What do you think the answers to these questions are?

In my next post I will send you the link for the Facebook page I'm about to set up for possible use next year (introducing anything mid-year is disastrous, as far as I've found).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Prezi for showing connections between body systems!

At the end of the second quarter, students in 7th grade will have covered 7 body systems. By the end of February, they will have covered three more. For a middle schooler, this is a lot of content in a short amount of time! This year I will be trying something new when we're done our body systems unit--a Prezi. Students will be completing a Prezi to show the information that they've learned over the previous 12 weeks. This will allow them to connect the body systems together to show how each one works with a variety of the others.

As I develop the documents for this project over the next few weeks, I will be sure to post them here. I will also post an example of a Prezi, but I will not make one that details the body systems. I have found in the past that showing my students a project example in the same vein as what I want from them allows them to copy it exactly and leave all creativity out of the equation. Developing a Prezi for a different topic will allow them to see how it works, but will leave the task up to them.