Finally the Final Project

As I am posting this final project, I am watching a CNN special on Malala. Wow!  What an inspirational young women.  http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/11/the-bravest-girl-in-the-world/ Everyone should know about her strength.  I can’t wait to see what else she does in her life.  I hope she   What an inspiration.

Anyways, on to the main attraction… course one final project.  Being an integrator on maternity leave, I wanted to develop a lesson that would help one of the grade levels I service.  I browsed through Atlas Rubicon, the program we use to document our curriculum, and found a 7th grade unit about Historical Fiction that was in need of some love.  Click here to check out the un-techy version.

Historical fiction is my favorite fiction reading genre.  I love reading a story that teaches me about history and I love the idea of introducing this genre to students.  I added a blog and timeline project to the unit as well as a Quizlet vocabulary component.  I hope the 7th grade teachers are open to integrating this technology when the teach this unit at the end of the year.

 

Click here to view the lesson.

 

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Setting the Mood

As I have said before, I have an angel baby.  He is such a good baby and barely cries.  We have however, been using a few tricks of the trade such as swaddling, a pacifier and white noise.  I’ve been reading this awesome blog “The Troublesome Tot.” and feel much more educated as a new parent.  Thank god for the bloggers who post all this new parent info, or I would be totally lost.  So lately, I have downloaded quite a few ambient/ white noise apps to my iPhone and they work like magic with the baby.  I think even I have been sleeping better.

Today my husband enlightened me with a strategy he has used in recent  business meetings and I thought it was pretty genius.  He puts on the white noise app we use for the baby at a low volume during meetings and he swears it sets the tone of the meeting and creates a more relaxed environment.  If these ambient/ white noise apps can soothe babies and make high pressure business meeting more relaxed, why aren’t we using them in the classroom.

Though the studies I have found on the Internet have had inconclusive results when measuring the benefits of listening to ambient noise during work or creative tasks, I point to the fact that listening to this type of noise has an undeniable relaxing effect.  And in a noisy raucous classroom when you want your students to concentrate on a task, I think adding relaxing sounds can’t hurt.

Here are some links to studies:

Here are some apps I have been using for the baby.  Why not try these out in your classroom and see how they work?

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OmVana (the best one in my opinion, but it’s not free).  This is actually a music player.  You can download different tracks and mix them.  There is a huge variety of music and sounds to choose from.

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 8.55.27 PM Relaxing Melodies We have been falling asleep to the cricket sounds on this app.  It works wonders with the baby.

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Sleep Pillow – I have the free version of this that is a bit limited; however, it does have some nice whale sounds.

Hope and Goals for COETAIL

Ten years ago after finishing my undergrad in Elementary Education, I started the Educational Technology graduate program at the University of Central Florida.  Unfortunately, I only finished half the program before moving to Hawaii.  That year of graduate work; however, significantly shaped my career in education and for the last 8 years I have held a technology support position in the schools I have worked in.

I’ve really wanted to finish up my graduate degree and I am excited to do this with the COETAIL cohort at AISC.  I hope that COETAIL will give me opportunities to connect with other educational technology professionals and help me become a better Middle School Tech Coordinator.  I also see it as a way to develop my digital presence and share what I learn with a much wider audience.