Leveraging Technologies for Student Learning

Posted March 8, 2008 by Jose Rodriguez
Categories: Uncategorized


K12OnlineConference2007 Reflections #2

Posted November 11, 2007 by Jose Rodriguez
Categories: Uncategorized

Gabcast! K12OnlineConference2007 Reflections #2

Inventing New Boundaries Reflection

Posted November 4, 2007 by Jose Rodriguez
Categories: K12OnlineConference2007

This is a cross post to reflection found at PD Tracker that is sponsored by K12OnlineCredit Wiki.

Session title: Inventing the New Boundaries
Strand: Pre-conference keynote
Lead presenter: David Warlick
Date: 2007-10-08

What were the main points made during this session, the “takeaways?”
It is always invigorating to listen to David Warlick. As we push our own and our student’s learning, we must re-invent new boundaries. Learning in the 21st Century is dynamic and always changing. My takeaways include; refocusing my perspective on what my students should be learning. It really is about building skills that will allow them to learn in an ever changing environment. Teaching our students to become world citizens by sharing their learning and building on learning that has gone on before them.

What questions did you have after this presentation?
So as a classroom teacher, How do I ensure my students have the skills they need to function in this environment? How can I as a teacher work with other teachers in my school and district to ensure that what a child learns today can be applied and built upon in the following school year? How can I work with teachers around the world in building communities that will foster collaboration and learning?

In terms of your own professional development, what did you gain from the session?
The K12Online Conference is my starting place. It brings the edupodosphere together. I am facilitating a small group of educators in my district as we learn together. This forum will allow for reflection and discussion as we take these “best practices” back into our schools and classrooms.

How will you apply the learning to your professional situation?
I will look at the use of different Web 2.0 tools as a teaching tool. Learning can be a lot more interactive. I tend to be an audio learner. I plan on incorporating video into my own learning and the way I teach my students.

What other resources (including reading material) are relevant to this session?
Working with educators in my district. Modeling for teachers at my school. Communicating with parents on technology goals. Getting these tools in the hands of my students.

K12OnlineConference2007 Reflections #1

Posted November 1, 2007 by Jose Rodriguez
Categories: Uncategorized

Gabcast! K12OnlineConference2007 Reflections #1

Virtual Guest Speakers to Enhance our Curriculum

Posted October 16, 2007 by Jose Rodriguez
Categories: In the Classroom

I am spending a few days this week away from my classroom. I am participating in a Lesson Study with Day One and Two of the Open Court program. I was a bit nervous exposing my teaching in front of peers and coaches. I was thinking about threads in this weeks Creating Lifelong Learners by Mathew Needleman. At the same time I am listening to the Seedlings Podcast presentation for K12OnlineConference, flat agents of change.

So as a Flat Agent of Change; How do we enhance our curriculum? I think Mathew had a great idea. He has done so many things with bringing in video into the classroom. The concept of having a video conference with a real person is empowering. I was thinking on our next unit on City Wildlife. I can try to bring an expert into our classroom.

Nowadays it can be done virtually through different web tools. I have used a skype call with video. I don’t want to discuss the specific tool because, there are so many available. The big idea is that you can bring in an expert from anywhere. They can be across the street or across the world. Even for me, it doesn’t have to be video. It can be audio only.

How cool can it be to have several classrooms viewing the same speaker? This can be achieved with tools such as Flash Meeting or Ustream. Even better, would be to record these sessions and upload them to a blog for others to use or revisit the following year. So, how would you use video conferencing to enhance your curriculum, Open Court or otherwise?

Open Court Unit Openers

Posted October 12, 2007 by Jose Rodriguez
Categories: In the Classroom

So what makes a successful unit opener?  Thanks Mathew; Creating Lifelong Learners  blog for the friendly nudge. I’ll be spending some time this next week looking at our next unit plan.  The unit opener is an opportunity to give your Language Arts curriculum a jump start.  Spending a day away from routines and exploring a concept is such an enriching experience.   It  sets the tone for the rest of the unit.

In  the introduction of my next unit I will have a small table in front of the Concept and Question Board.  I will bring several pieces of realia to have students identify and explore.  I will put these items in a big brown grocery bag, just to build suspense.  Even though we are bombarded with the use of different mindmaps, the old KWL chart still works for me.   I have students with in table groups to come up with ideas.  The students then share their ideas with the class.  From these ideas we make our class KW, I revisit chart throughout the unit and add ideas and facts learned.

The use of images is an essential part in my introduction of the concepts in the unit.  This can be accomplished by preparing selected images that represent these concepts.  I like to search for images at social sharing websites like flickr. I use a school LCD projector to show these to the students.  You can also print them out and make a transparency and use with an overhead projector.   I will use these to introduce a writing prompt.  This will be their initial writing piece.

I will also use this day to introduce the unit project.  These projects can take many forms, from your traditional display boards to more sophisticated reports and maybe even powerpoints.  I am thinking of having the students create a digital story to showcase their learning from the unit.  The digital story will incorporate student narration, the use of pictures and maybe some video.  We are going to publish these group digital stories on our classroom blog, thirdgradediscoveries.  This is our new classroom blog.  So, how do you introduce unit concepts in your classroom?

Cuentos De Mi Tierra — Leyendas Mexicanas

Posted August 18, 2007 by Jose Rodriguez
Categories: Webcast Academy, webcasts

This was a Spanish Webcast. Join us as we discuss Pre-Columbian Folklore. The Rodriguez Clan; Jorge Adrian Rodriguez, Don Rosendo Rodriguez and I (Jose Rodriguez) are joined by Kevin Sandridge. Special thanks to my It’s Elementary Webcast buddies Lisa Durff and Alice Mercer (AKA stream checkers). Yes Alice; There was a story about Giants. I had a last minute change in computers after simplecast crashed on me. The skype gods stayed on my side. Only difficulty was audio on my mic was really low. Special thanks to Jorge Rodriguez for his superb storytelling; you can contact him at buscaespantos@yahoo.com.mx

Stories referred to on show below;

La Llorona; The Weeping Women a women that drowned her children and now is cursed to look for them for eternity. We talked about the different versions popular throughout Mexico. Many people claimed to have seen her, even today. Rosendo shared his experience. One night his wife sewing late into the night when she heard her wailing down the streets.
Duendes/Chaneques; miniture goblins that create havoc. Don Resendo gives us examples of how the goblins would hide their sandals and throw them in the prickly pears. Don Rosendo talks about duendes appearing near the Laguna where he lives now.
Tales from the Belen Cemetery in Guadalajara Mexico. El nino que le tenia miedo a la oscuridad.(Nachito) The boy that was afraid of the darkness. When he was left at home and his night light went off, he died of fright. When he was buried the next day its tomb was open and the body outside. The grave digger reburried the body. Each night for the next 10 days the same would happen. It wasn’t until his body was put on an outside grave with the body exposed so that light would it rest in peace. Visitors still routinely leave candy and and toys to him. Many believe him to be a guardian angel.

Tales about Giants. The Mountain of dead in the state of Aguas Calientes. How Giants that lived on Earth were called back to the heavens. When they refused to go they were turned into Mountains. There was a certain romanticism. About a couple of Giants that still walk the alleys of Aguas Calientes.

Jorge shared with us a story about the great Volcanoes. The son of the Sun and the daughter of the moon come down to Earth. An Adam and Eve story and how they lost their divinity. When She dies he is so heartbroken he stays at her side until and filled with sorrow the cries his hear out (literally) the Sun God so endeared decides to keep them together forever as the two great Volcanoes outside of Mexico City.
Kevin shared with us his trip to Puebla. The Folklore he learned while there. Jorge tells us of the Creation of the Sun and the Moon. How the Sun is put in the sky. and how when the Moon is created it was just as bright as the Sun. The Aztec Gods decide this could not be. The Aztec Gods thew a rabbit at the Moon. It’s impression is still there today. And with impact it starts the Moons rotation around the Earth.

Finally, Don Rosendo shares his personal stories of the bracero life in El Norte. The times he shared with my grandfather Tomas Rodriguez.

Listen or Download; Webcast Academy.mp3