Tuesday, May 18, 2010

End of School Thoughts

Wow! Is it really possible this school year is already over? I can't believe how fast it has gone and how busy we've been.

Although my students did not work directly with the grant equipment, my classes worked all year on learning the new Mac applications and then created very interesting and awesome projects such as an iMovie about themselves which they then attached to their iDVD project and burned it. The second semester they worked with their digital images in Photoshop and then included them in their DVD cover they created in Fireworks. Since my classroom computers have the high school software, I had the kids move in to the advance applications to begin familiarizing them with the universality of the tools and layouts since these are the business standard software professionals use on a regular basis.

My classes were very different this year in that I had all 3 grade levels mixed together. And although I did not have a large percentage of 6th graders in my classes, I feel the ones I did have contributed greatly to the projects the other teachers were doing such as with Mrs. Hoy's last entry on the movies the kids made. And even when Mrs. Rivera's kids made a movie on the PC netbooks, having completed their iMovies did assist the kids in the basics of how a movie application works. And Mrs. Hoy's comment on how the kids helped each other out makes me proud since we work on reteaching others in my classes regularly!! Way to go Knights!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Final Thoughts

I've been fortunate enough to have the netbooks in my room more often this semester and it has become easier and easier to seamlessly integrate their use into regular class activities. For example, rather than doing a traditional foldable about the different types of spacecraft today, I was able to let my students make ActivStudio flipcharts about it. A couple of groups asked if they could make a movie about it instead and so I was able to get a couple of great videos as well. It has also helped that they have been seeing technology in their other classes, since I didn't always have time to teach them how to use the programs. It was great to see how excited they got about their movies and how independently they were able to complete them, asking the other students for help most of the time instead of coming to me right away.

I just recently found out I'm going to be switching grade levels and will have a lot of the same students again next year which should be fun. I will definitely be expecting some even more awesome projects from them now that they have a good idea of the basics!