Sunday, May 10, 2009
21st Century Thinking-My Blog Visits
The end of the year always seems crazy and I haven't had much time lately to read, visit blogs, and reflect on my teaching. As the year starts to wind down, things are slowing down a bit and I find myself thinking ahead to the next school year. Where do I want my thinking to go and what do I want to be thinking about over the summer? This is my newest list of things that have me thinking in terms of 21st Century learning. So many smart people out there doing amazing things. So happy that they are all willing to share so much.
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about the way that new tools are changing the Writing Workshop. What does it mean to be a writer today? Kim at Always Learning has a great post where she shares their work in Reading/Writing Workshop. How do we best meet the needs of today's students? She describes a unit focused on digital literacy. Such a smart way to expand our thinking about workshop.
As I continue to think about what it means to be a writer these days, I continue to search for great mentors for students. Pieces to read, listen to and watch so that we can talk a bit about craft and creation in our minilessons. If you have not had a chance to visit the Parkway Digital Film Festival video page, it is filled with amazing projects by students of all ages. The variety and quality are amazing. I love the whole idea of a film festival as a way to get a community sharing student projects. But even if you aren't interested in the idea of a film festival, the site is a great resource of pieces by students. The other video that I LOVE from Parkway is one called "Behind the Scenes" which takes us behind the scenes of students getting ready for the film festival-creating the films that they will enter. This is such a great film about 21st Century Learning and the idea that it is all so much more than technology integration. A great piece that shares the process of the kids' work.
The Longfellow Ten is also a great resource that shares examples of stopmotion film--mostly related to literary terms and science concepts. Great examples for students.
Another new favorite site for students is East K-8 Book Reporters. On this site, students do a great job of booktalking a variety of books on video. A great way to preview books and a great format for student creation.
I need to spend lots more time with this great compilation of ways to use your pocket video cameras in the classroom called THIRTY-NINE INTERESTING WAYS TO USE YOUR POCKET VIDEO CAMERA IN THE CLASSROOM. With these small cameras being so reasonably priced, I am loving the ideas of all of the different ways to use them. This slide show of ideas will keep me from getting in a rut--so many great ideas!
As always, Kim Cofino at Always Learning gives us something to think about in her recent post, "It's Not Just a Tool: Technology as Environment". In this post, she invites us to think with her about the difference between tool and environment and how that might be different for our students. A smart post worth thinking about.
"Eight Habits of Highly Effective 21st Century Teachers" by Andrew Churches was a good one to read. An interesting list to look at and to use as a guide for reflection. A great article sharing IDEO's Ten Tips for Creating a 21st Century Classroom Experience
includes tips like creating from relevance, creating an environment that raises lots of questions by students and more. 10 tips worth reflecting on.
I was fascinated by Jenny at Elementary, My Dear, or Far From It description of their new report cards and the inclusion of Patterns of Thinking as they think about student progress. I think progress reports are always difficult as it is so hard to share all that we know about our students. But this seems like an exciting way to move forward in our communication with parents.