Thursday, October 29, 2009


I created a vioce thread, linked it to my blog and now I am not sure why it won't let people see it!! Any help would be great! :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reflecting on the Voice Thread...

I thought is was going to be hard and it was actually amazingly easy! I did not have access to a microphone so I used the phone method and it was great. I know that I will use this software again to create family stories for my digital writing project and my family blog. I know that my next project will be to collect pictures of my son, upload them and then record my voice reading his favorite story. I can then post it on our family blog to share with others.

Although I still think that this might be advanced for my first graders, I do think that I would attempt it with my 2nd graders. We do a unit on families and what a great way to create a family album. The kids could take pictures of their families, upload them and then use their voices to tell about each picture. Discovering how easy it is to use this software has also inspired me to share this with my teammates who teach 3rd and 4th graders. They would LOVE this!

Voice Thread Attempt #1

Voice Thread Attempt #1

Well, I have been out of the loop for what feels like an eternity! I have been working hard at getting caught up on all that I have missed in these past weeks and I will admit that I was really nervous about attempting this voice thread thing without the pre-tutoring from Candace.

Anyway, after this past weeks experiences for me, I thought what better thing to create a voice thread about than my son. After all, he has spent the last week reminding me just how much he means to me and how I, a person who plans for everything, can't possibly plan for somethings.

My husband sent me this quote one day over email.

To make the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide to have forever have your heart go walking around outside your body.

I imagine that he got it in some random forward, and decided to pass it on to me. For some reason it has always really stuck with me. I printed it out and have it hanging above my desks amongst my collage of family pictures.

As I was scanning through our tons of pictures on our computer, I came across the very first pictures that we have of my son. He was born via emergency c-section after three days of very hard labor. As I looked at the pictures, that quote jumped into my head. After all, having surgery like that is having a major part cut out of your body. And thinking now on my first time traumatic mommy experience of this last week, I have just been reaffirmed more of just how vulnerable I am to him. He is my heart and I do not know what I would do without him.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Here I am...

Click here to read about April Anderson. She is my 16 year old character for the online role-play, who is deaf and uses digital media practices to interact with her friends and family.

Taking Imagination to a Different Level...

When I was going through my graduate classes a few years back, I was working with a group of kindergarten teachers who shared their concerns about their students lack of understanding on how to use their imagination. They told a story about the day they took out the kitchen play center tools to introduce for the first time. Kindergartners usually jump at the chance to get free-time and dive into a world of make believe cooking, chopping, mixing and serving. Not this group though. The 3 teachers shared that this group of kids went into the kitchen and started climbing all over the play stove, throwing the plastic food and making a huge mess. After a few days of observing this behavior, the teachers had a realization that this group of kids did not know how to use their imagination to play kitchen. They were confused by the toys, the set-up and had no idea how to gather a group of friends, to each get a role in the imaginary family that needed to cook dinner. What they ended up doing was taking all three classes of kids and setting them down in front of the kitchen. Each teacher took on a role, one a mom, one a kid waiting for breakfast and the other a dad. The teachers interacted with each other, all three playing their make believe roles and modeled for the kids how you could pretend to be a family that needs to use a kitchen to make food. The teachers then switched roles and went on to play restaurant for the kids to see. It was only after the teachers showed the kindergartners how to 'pretend' did they start to engage in imaginative role play games.

As a teacher, and a mother, that is incredibly scary for me to hear. Although I find the idea of online role-plays very interesting and I am sure engaging for older students, at the first grade level, I am going to continue to work hard and see that my kids can make play make believe in person, before I have then do it on the computer. Many kids are already exposed to the world of make believe all too much with computer games and video games. I understand that they need to have the ability to play in this way and it is vital for their growth and development. With the ongoing pressure to get kids farther, faster and at a younger age, I think it is important to make time to imagine with kids. We do not do that enough. The technology that we have is amazing and a gift that I can honestly say helps me to reach more kids, but it should not replace a child's ability to create and imagine on their own. I am fully aware that to teach my Main Street unit in Social Studies I could somehow create a virtual city that we could all claim residence and create a business, but why would I? The kids enjoy using cereal boxes brought from home, construction paper, and anything else they can dig out of my room to create our own model of our city street. This is the time when some of the kids who don't normally shine, come out like a beechen in the night!