1939 Thanksgiving Day Parade


Final reflections

My Essential Question is “how can I use technology to promote student reading and increase their background knowledge?”   I created and understood my EQ one way but as I began my learning in class, I began to realize that there isn’t one answer to my question and the answer will always be changing.  The amount of ways that I can use technology to promote student reading is infinite.   As long as we use our imaginations, how can we not promote student reading or increase background knowledge through technology?  Seeing all of our class creations reinforces this theory.  So…how did I connect my learning in class to my EQ?  I connected it every time I experienced a new tool or witnessed a classmate’s idea come to life.

With regards to seeing my classmate’s creations, I have enjoyed reading everyone’s blogs.  It really shows how unique we are and how we can all learn the same information but we our outcomes can be very different.  One of my favorite parts of sharing on our blogs is the feeling that we are in this together.  I mentioned that I wanted to provide inciteful responses to my peer’s blogs and I feel that I have gotten better with my comments and questions.  But I must say that because of the amazing projects we have produced, I really just want to say “Wow!  Great job!”

I have learned so much in this class and many are things that I never heard of before.  And with this in mind, my biggest accomplishment is my confidence.  I have been worried in the past that I am too “old school” and it would be difficult for me to incorporate some of the technology tools.  It is not that I didn’t want to learn new skills but more about how would it work with what I already utilize.  Now I am confident that I can mix and match technology with my existing skills to create exciting outcomes with my own twist.   I feel confident in creating excitement.  So, I am thankful for being taken out of my comfort zone because I have some great ideas.

I’m really happy with how far I have come and can’t wait to see where I will go.  And remember, Happy Brewing!

‘Twas the Time for Christmas Shopping

I hear voices and it is not the one in my head!

Here it is again – – ‘Twas the Time for Christmas Shopping!

Adding a voice to tell the story makes it complete.  I’m disappointed with the static that my computer creates when it records without the headphone that I’ve borrowed from the TRC in the past.  I know what I am adding to my Christmas Wish List.  I wonder if my husband will be a Nichole or a SuAnn?  Luckily, I know he falls somewhere in between.  Remember, at the time of this post, there is only 31 shopping days left until Christmas!

Digital Storytelling


Our code is MFJ383.


For our digital storytelling, Nichole and I retold a well-know Aesop Fable, The Grasshopper and the Ant but we gave it a holiday twist.  We utilized myStoryMaker.  This was tool was user friendly and I like using it but I wish the story could be read aloud by the author or even if it was computer generated.  I was talking with Catherine and Suzy about this and Catherine recommended using Screenr capture the page turning and the storytelling.  If I have time this weekend, I will post it.

As far as creating a storyboard, I think it would be very important with most of the tools but it wasn’t as necessary with myStoryMaker.   Creating the storyboard helped with brainstorming, but due to the ease of use and the ability to edit previous pages at any point, it wasn’t necessary for this tool.  In fact, looking over the scenes, characters, and objects that myStoryMaker offers prior to beginning is essential because it can pose a handicap if an item you want for your story is not available.  It does not allow you to create anything. It also limits your writing space (it chopped the “n” off my name and I didn’t notice it until we were finished) so you can’t be too wordy.

All in all, I think this was a fun exercise and can see how students can create their own stories or summaries of well know stories.

Happy Holiday Shopping.  Don’t miss the Black Friday Sales.

The Amazing Library Catalog

The Amazing Library Catalog

Once I got out of my melancholy mood, I embraced this project and now see it as a “real life” lesson.

I am pleased with my topic because now that it is completed, I see it in a different light.  I grasp how relevant it is for students at a young age to begin learning keyword search skills.  I was thinking merely of becoming self-sufficient in book selection but keyword searching the online catalog provides the groundwork for beginning research skills and information assessment.  Students can transfer this knowledge and will realize that keyword searching is an effective way to locate information on the Internet.  They will need to learn how to select keywords to produce the best search results.  I can foresee creating additional lessons that build upon this skill.

Now on another note, I want to create a different The Amazing Library Catalog tutorial in the future because my original vision for my tutorial is nothing like my finished product.   Unfortunately, due to time and not being far enough along in my film making abilities, I did create my original vision but……I know one day, I will make a video of my keyword search dreams (and author, title, and subject search dreams).

I almost forgot that I wanted to add my curation collection.  I created a collection of Good Reads for 2nd graders.  I would give each child a paper copy with the link to the collection for their parents.  The collection will be updated with new books, seasonal items, and featured items offered at the book fair.


This week’s blog topic is to choose a component of our Learning Project to reflect upon.  This has been very difficult for me because I’m lacking enthusiasm.  I know it is not specifically this project but more because I lost my steam with everything after fall break.  I was very excited to have the time off because it gave me the opportunity to concentrate on a paper due for another class.  I felt it would also recharge me and leave me excited for the second half of the semester.  Instead, I am not motivated and feel lackluster.  I should be excited about my chosen lesson because I feel like what I am creating will be transferable to my future position/career.  But…I’m not.  Therefore, please forgive me about my humdrum reflections. I feel like my creative juices are not flowing as freely as they were and time is not on my side.   Is anyone else feeling the week 11 blahs?


I’ve decided to reflect on the teaching and learning activities with the timeline.  The timeline has been a challenge for me.  The allotted time for the specials (Music, Art, PE, Media/Computer) at my elementary school is 45 minutes.  I know what I want to accomplish within the timeframe but to fully understand if one part will take 5 minutes or another part will take 8 minutes isn’t something I am up to speed with yet.  This seems like a small part of the big picture but when every educational minute is accounted for in the school day, you want to make the most out of the time you have.  I know once I have created my tutorial, some of my time frames will come together but right now this is what my brain is stuck on.  

Time is not on my side.  In fact, time is my enemy!

(I need Catherine’s help with a gif but for now think of a clock with a minute hand going really, really fast!)



Find & Flip Videos

During my childhood, Saturday morning cartoons were very important to me.  This was the only time that I had an opportunity to choose what I wanted to watch.  An important aspect of the this ritual was Schoolhouse Rock! and at the time, they were commercials.  I loved them.  I could sing along with them (I still can) and I didn’t even realize that they were educational.

While I was looking through the Find & Flip Videos, I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for in a video.  But one stood out.  It is called the “Comma Story” by Terisa Folaron and the description reminded me of the Schoolhouse Rock! video “Conjunction, Junction”.  There wasn’t a catchy tune or anything like that, but the content was similar. In fact, I mentioned it to a co-worker and after she viewed it, she showed the “Comma Story” to her class.  She had some materials that included the FAN BOYS from the “Comma Story”.  She was able to begin her lesson by showing the video as a introduction which lead into a discussion and assessment of understanding.   I have shared both the “Comma Story” and “Conjunction, Junction”.

“Comma Story” by Terisa Folaran

“Conjunction, Junction” by Schoolhouse Rock!

I wonder if ABC realized that Schoolhouse Rock! would be as popular today as it was when it originated in 1973?  And could Schoolhouse Rock! videos be considered Find & Flip videos?

Previous Older Entries