Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Final Blog

I feel like the Inspired Writing Class has truly inspired me to use more technology in my classroom. I believe students are writing on their computers with more purpose than simply word processing. Additionally, I believe my students are using the computer for academic reasons with more confidence than in previous years. Both this purposeful use and confidence helped them be more successful in a number of settings.

For one, there was a big transition this year to state testing being computerized. I feel like the work my colleagues and I did related to our Inspired Writing Class helped our students to be comfortable and ready for that change. Having had all of our major reading assessments online this year, where students had to respond to prompts writing on the computer, as well as scroll through text, helped them work on those skills before they were state tested. I don’t know how their results will fare, but I know they were not worried or freaked out about the testing at all. They were excited for it, in fact.

Secondly, my students did better on the end of the year district writing assessment, because of the work they did with the computers this year. They were better able to add text features to their informational writing. Also, their writing was longer, with more detail than last year. I believe their daily use with the computer and their efforts at learning more about the available tools, helped them a lot.

In closing, participation in this course made me a better teacher, but more importantly, it helped my students be more successful. This was especially evident when they created writing in their very own Google Presentations, and shared their learning with their parents at their Student Led Conferences.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

January Blog

(January Blog)
Yay! With the help and encouragement of my colleagues, I have started Google Classroom, and I love it! I have used it a lot in a very short amount of time. It was easy to get started, and easy for the kids to figure out. Not having to go to their folders to find things is a time saver for me, and not having to make copies of everything is a time saver for them. We also used the Google Classroom to do our Spring Student Led Conference Power Points, and it was a great format to allow me to track progress and give feedback to the students along the way. I also find it very easy to provide comments to students on their work through Classroom. I am looking forward to learning more about this tool.

November Blog

(November Blog)
This month was our second attempt at taking our end of unit reading tests online. We decided to change it up a bit and try a form next to the writing, since we knew this would be PaRCC format. Personally, I think the students were naturals at going back and forth from the reading to the form and it took very little instruction on my part to direct them. As for grading, it was nice having all the responses in the same place and not have to go searching in each of their student folders. It was also apparent to me, that I continue to have a group of students who struggle taking multiple choice reading tests on the computer, and I have created a small group to work with them on this skill. I think the technology is helping all students, proficient and non-proficient, attach this test with confidence. They don’t seem to mind assessments as much when they are on the computer.