Mentoring, Days 2 & 3 and tech glitches

Day two of mentoring in Tonopah went really well. One teacher is doing amazing things with his 3D animation students. (Click here to see their work).

Another is having her kindergarten, first, and second grade students work together to create a presentation on an animal of their choice…but taking it a step further by having them research an environmental issues associated with the animal and propose suggestions for solving the issue. The students will then give each other feedback on the presentation. To practice working with the software and to have an example to show the students, we created a presentation on Great Basin Spadefoot toad. You learn the most interesting things with this job!

The third teacher is using a wiki (PBWiki) for the first time to organize his American history assignments. He plans on posting the assignment, then having each student post their answers, writing, etc. on their own page on the wiki. He’ll compare this to his current method of emailing the assignment to his students and having them email their responses back. I’ll be interested in hearing his opinions of comparing the two.

Day 2 would have finished on a high note, but then my computer crashed and we overloaded the server here at my hotel asI was teaching an online class that evening. The teachers on the other end were extremely patient, but it really bugs me when things like that happen. I really like Marratech in the fact that it’s open source, I can share a Powerpoint presentation, and I can see the participants, but I sometimes wish it had a more intuitive interface and didn’t get hung up so easily when sharing my desktop.

Day 3 was one of those days where you’re singing “I love my job, I love my job.” Two teachers set up Classblogmeister accounts and are blogging for the first time with their students. This was my first intense look at David Warlick’s educational blogging software and I’m impressed with the ability that teachers have to create password-protected blogs w/o having to have email addresses for their students. Thank you, David!

Another teacher is using PhotoStory with her 2nd graders to create a movie about a recent tour of the courthouse they did. They participated in a mock trial in which their teacher was accused of throwing a snowball. They took on the roles of defense attorney, judge, jurors, etc. Fun!

Finally, a class of sixth graders is going to retell their own versions of fairy tales using claymation. One of my favorite sites for showing examples of claymation is from Stillwater Junior High in Minnesota. You can tell how much time the students spent on the photos to give the sense of motion in these movies (and they’re educational to boot!)

Whew! Fun week here, but I’m really looking forward to getting home to Denver.

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