As I get ready to begin a new year, I always have tons of fresh new ideas and plans I hope to implement in the classroom. I am curious what new ideas and plans teachers are thinking about trying this year.

My hope with this discussion is that we can share ideas, but also respond to people if we've had experience with something they are thinking of trying. I'll start by listing some of the things I hope to do this year.

1. I have a new SMART Board that I will begin using as soon as I play around with it and figure out the basics. I think my use of it will evolve as the year progresses and I learn more about it.

2. I will continue to produce my classroom television show, but now will edit using Final Cut rather than Adobe Premier.

3. We have a new keyboarding software (I can't remember the name), but I want to begin using it with my second graders. I also hope to train the staff (with my friend Kevin) on how to use it. Kevin will appreciate it most because after a few years he won't have sixth graders using the hunt and peck method as they work on blogs, etc.

4. I plan to use Comic Life as my students create short comic strips. They will create a draft storyboard. We will then take their pictures and import them into Comic Life. They can choose the artistic style they like and then have to create the dialogue to match their story plan.

5. I also want to produce original music with my students. I was thinking of tying this into our poetry unit since the writing style is the same. I will use Garageband to edit the material.

Well this is a small sample of the many plans that are floating in my head. I would love to hear what other people are planning as well as any feedback/advice from people who have done some of the things I am planning. Thanks.


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I teach second grade too. I think you'll like Final Cut Pro much better than Premiere. I made the switch six years ago and haven't looked back. I taught a workshop on integrating technology with our basal video, clay animation, Comic Life, and the web 2.0. I was amazed at the quality of the Comic Life creations because they were completed in the least amount of time and they were easiest for technophobe teachers to use. Imagine what students could do. You can see the examples here:
Thanks for the info Mathew. I am thinking students will be able to create some impressive material with Comic Life. It is a simple application, my problem is that we are a PC school so the only Mac is my laptop. Thanks for the link too. Are you planning anything new this year?
Sorry I just found your reply. Comic Life is no longer a Mac only program. In fact the PC version is a free beta download right now.
Hi Mathew, you just made my day with that tidbit. Thank you!
I was cleaning my bookmarks and came across this site called LetterPop, For those of us not schooled in grahic design, it is a quick and easy way to do a stylish newsletter or parent letter. You can do 10 free newsletters a year, check it out
I just checked out the site. It looks incredible. I have used Publisher for newsletters, but I may try this. Plus it's free. Thanks for the tip.
I got a SMARTBoard last year and love it. The SMARTtech site has many helpful tutorials and resources. Don't miss all of the updates and the new tools. NECC had many sessions and their site has a great deal of resources too. Recording lessons is a breeze and great if you teach "how to..." multiple times. This summer I finally created lessons in the notebook and tried out the new tools and galleries. Looking at lessons provided that others have created is good for ideas for making your own.
I will change some video projects with my Cannon and Digital Blue Movie Creator camera and software. Each of my K-5th Technology classes has different digital camera projects. (we've done projects with many books, signs/topics around the school, field trips, personal photo editing, import pics into KidPix, Photostory3, Movie Maker...) Important note: I always integrate technology with core academic standards.
Some examples for new this year-
I want to restucture one grade level project to incorporate claymation with students this year - any suggestion for a certain level? I will collaborate with the art teacher for this project and begin with a math topic.
I'll use wikispaces for teacher and student collaborative projects. I signed up for multiple spaces and have set up a wiki for our first Technospud activity- A Salute to Dr Suess.
Podcasts (using audacity and podomatic) for different grade level project- book reviews, community/state/nation information, personal interviews. Great for writing and reading fluency skills. for open house and other projects.
Blogmeister for one grade level until I figure it out better, and blog for my parent-teacher communication.
Looking forward to checking out the resources mentioned in this forum.
I am still trying to edit my year long plans. After packing my brain this summer- thanks in great part to CR2.0 - many new plans are hatching.
Hi Mike,

We are trying TypingWeb this year. I'm hoping that this new web-based tool will provide flexibility, build a home/school connection, and make learning to type more fun. TypingWeb has some engaging games with decent graphics and sound, I'm going to encourage play at home to boost scores. Keeping profiles from building to building as students move up will be easy because it's web-based and the reporting features are robust.

I'm trying to encourage Personal Learning Environments with the teachers and students. To start the buzz I've created curriculum pages for my primary grades using Pageflakes. Each pagecast has monthly tabs. Each tab has resources that reinforce the curriculum for that month. These pages will replace the homepage in classrooms k-3, and will be a useful window to the web on the SMARTboards. I'm hoping that teachers use these pages as templates (easy to do in Pageflakes) and build their own. My colleague and I already have some interest from middle and high school teachers. Once the teachers get some familiarity - we can encourage students (grade 6 and up) to build their own, that's the goal! I hope it works out...

I am going to continue to push blogs and podcasting. We started gaining some momentum last year in the primary grades. Many teachers witnessed first hand the power of publishing to an authentic audience. The kids were thrilled and motivated - it spread like a virus. There are also some plans to use wikis.

I had some difficulty with the SMARTboards in Kindergarten last year. Don't get me wrong, it's great. The gross motor kinesthetics are great for learning at that age. The problem comes from the grouping. Last year there was a lot of SMARTboard use in whole group settings. Attention spans have a hard time handling this at 5. This year I want to focus on building small group strategies into SMARTboard integration at the kindergarten level.



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