Got a Utip I can use?

Our firendly neighborhood Utips representative trained us on some of the new features in Utips(Utah Test Item Pool). One feature we are happy to have is the media piece. This is one of the pieces that we have been missing. It provides a place for teachers to upload files (.pdf, .doc, .whatever) for students to download at home. We have set up some testing for math, language, and science for the students to practice, and now we can have them download their assignments. We have set up the math for each topic by including the student pages and the check-up, the vocabulary and cloze story for each set of words, and the spelling words will be put up as soon as we can. Utips also added an upload option for the students. We have set it up so the students can complete an activity on a Word Processor and then upload it for us to correct. Wow. We are trying to get all of these thing in play, but they will get used as we need them. It is nice having all these options, because there has to be options.

If you are absent...

During the summer we worked on the wiki by changing the pandemic stuff to "If you are Absent" information. We started wrting our lesson plans so students could get on the wiki and find their classwork adn homework if they were gone. This made it easy for studnets to keep up with the basic work we were doing. We started on basic subjects like spelling, vocabulary, and math. These subjects and pages the students could download nad complete. Then we worked on the reading and writing pages for students to know what we want them to do each night. The biggest task we took on in the 09-10 years was Social Studies and Science. We put together a page for each topic and included everything we would need to run the lesson as a teacher. We include the test questions, objectives, assignments, timeline, vocabulary, and materials (books we will use, pages to download, and websites to view and learn from). These pages are used to show what we will be doing and to complete discussion assignments on.


At the end of the 08-09 school year the swine flu broke out and we were in pandemic mode at school. We had to take steps for the students so if they closed the school down for any period of time, we needed to have lesson plans ready for the students to complete at home. So we thought, and thought, and thought. What about putting it on the wiki for the sudents to access at home? So we starteddiscussing what we wanted the students to do if they could not be at school. We made pages for all the major subjects in school: Reading, Spelling, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Under each of the subjects, we put information that would help the stuents find what they needed to do and pages they could download for help and to turn in. It was very basic in the beginning, but we found it to work. We added a few weeks worth of spelling, vocabulary, math pages, and had a few reading and writing activities put on. The students could all access it from home if they had the internet. If they did not, we could get a copy of the pages and work run off and ready for them at the school. This way we only had about 1/4 of the students to run information off for. It made it so easy.

Other Programs

I use a few other programs online, besides the Wiki and the Blog, to complete my social network. I use Shelfari for a dscussion with others on books, and I use Delicious for my bookmarks I like to share with others. I also subscribe to Classroom 2.0 for information about technology in schools. Together, these are the core of my personal social network. I do use other personal social sites, but not for school.


Bloggety Blog

I started to use a blog, this blog somewhere about the same time I started using a wiki, so they were interchanged and used a little at a time. The wiki won out by being the media of choice. I published on this blog here and there to say a few things, but not many. I can se now that this blog can become more of a personal reminder to what I have done so I can go back and review mistakes and successes with the things I have done. This way I can remember what has happened and the reasons I did cetain things, and why I should never go back to some of the ideas I had. Never go back to some of the ideas. Never. Ever.

Wiki Wiki Here we go

It is time I get started talking about how I use the wiki in m classroom. This is the perfect place fr me to do that, so here I go. We(the fifth grade team) started to use the Wiki during the 08-09 school year. We set up a username and password for each student. We decided to use Wikispaces because of the simple set up and eae of use. We looked at others, but felt comfortable with Wikispaces.

We discussed security and netiquitte with the students. We put together a few pages and started showing the students how to do a few things on it. We showed them how to use the messages, a little about the discussions, and a little about collaboration.

We started with an activity to have the stuents use the collaborative part of the wiki. We posted an assignment to have the students tell one thing about them that other students would not know and do not sign it. This helped the students fumble around with it, accidently deleting each other's work and trying to fix the mistakes. We made it and it worked. We talked about the messaging and how I would send a message to let students know what was happening in class. They could ask me questions about assignments and such. It worked. Half way through the year, it started to slow down becuase we did not know what else we could use it for. A few assignments here and there with the collaboration and discussion, but not much.

It was a typical first year with something new. A learning experience, that was what it was.


SEP Time

It is SEP time. We are having the parents take some time and use the Scholastic Readabout program on the netbooks the students use. That will be some fun for them. It will be interesting to hear what their reaction is to the program. It has done wonders for some of the students. I hope the parents see the good it has done.


Mmmm Delicious

I have started to use the Delicious webpage. What a wonderful tool. I used to use backflip for managing my onine links, but when it went down, I needed to find another. Delicious not only holds my bookmarks, it is a social bookmark site so I can send others my bookmarks. I love it. It is so Delicious!


We are heading into the final stretch of the year with lots to do. We are coming up on the last of our assessments to move students into their last set of groupings of the year. We can see the growth in the students on all levels. Using the Kagen strategies and rotation schedules, we have seen improvement and growth in all students. I am excited to see what the next grouping will be and where the students will go from here.