Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thing #9--Wiki Sandbox

Yea! I was finally accepted as a member of the sandbox. When I begin to play around int the sandbox I began to see the simplicity of creating a website using a wiki. It was very userfriendly and I think that the students would be able to navegate the site very easily as well. I added a page and then typed a bit and also posted some links to some good Spanish websites. Overall it was a good experience. I plan to begin a wiki for our Spanish Department at JHHS in the near future. =)

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Last Thing--Reflection

  • What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey? My favorite discovery was the fact that google has so much to offer....for free! I am know using google docs, reader and calendar. Also I plan to create a wiki for my spanish 2 class.
  • How has this program affected your lifelong learning goals? This program has helped me catch up on my technology. I thought that I new a lot of things since I am fairly young but I have realized all the cool stuff out there to use that I had never explored before.
  • Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? I was surprised to have learned so much.
  • What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? Nothing that I can think of....I thought that the format was easy to use.
  • If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate? Yes, because new things are created daily!
  • How will what you have learned influence your practice as a teacher or school librarian? I think it will make me a better teacher. I will definitely use many of the things that I have learned in this course in my classroom. I have already had my AP Spanish 4 class start blog sites so that they can blog in Spanish.
  • How do you plan to keep up with new developments in web 2.0? Recommend a way that you have found to be useful. I have RSS feeds from a few good technology blogs that I plan to keep up with and I also plan to continue to attend the technology pull-out sessions and staff development when offered.

Thing #23--Classroom 2.0

I really enjoyed playing around on this site! I really like the discussion forums and the relevance of the forums to what I am doing. I also like the easy to follow layout of the site. I read one of the discussions on daily podcasting lessons and I really enjoyed the information and ideas that I found. One of the teachers said that she started a podcasting club and that it was a good way to introduce her students to podcasting. I am very interested in using the info that I get from Classroom 2.0 with my AP Students.

Like I said earlier I already use social networking in my personal life. I can see the positive use of social networking for teachers as well. I think it would be very beneficial to our Spanish Department at JHHS.

Thing #22--facebook

I have both a myspace and a facebook account already. I really like Facebook because I think it is a lot cleaner and most of my friends have a facebook page.

1. I think it is important for educators to know about social networking because students live in this new world. It is a part of the youth culture and if we don't understand it then we won't understand them.

2. I think the biggest insight that can be gained is about the youth culture. I am young but to me the high school students have a totally different culture then the one that was around a few years ago. Students not only have pressure at school but now there is the pressure of social networkings and a whole new playing field for bullies and predators. Students have to be savvy in the real and "online" world.

3. I really do like Facebook because it's easy to find old friends and easy to keep up your profile. I don't like MySpace because to me it's really trashy. In fact I would call it the ghetto Facebook.

4. I think that Facebook has more useful features because the networking to me is better and easier to use. I also like all of the applications. My pictures from flickr are also directed linked to my facebook page so that I don't have to upload them to multiple sites.

5.I honestly don't see an educational use to these sites. I don't think students should be that close to educators. My former students often look up my page after they graduate and then I accept them as friends but I don't think that educators should be friends with students.

Thing #21--google apps

I played around with the different applications but my favorites where:

1. google calendar--I think this tool is helpful at least in my personal life to help me keep track of all the craziness! Also I see it as being a useful tool for a department because it would be easy to see when the department has meetings and also to see when the spanish 1 team meets. I like that you can personalize the calendar and even add clocks that show times around the world.

2. Google books--Wow! What a resource for my students! I really like this site because it allows everyone to access all kinds of literature. This is great for my upper level students but I think also helpful for those students in my lower level classes that want to do more. I could give them this site and they could read and look up lower-level books in Spanish or even translations just to get a taste of Spanish literature.

Thing #7b--more google reader

The particular blog that I am writing about is titled: How to raise up minority leaders

This blog was really interesting because it discusses why it is so hard to find and raise up minority leaders. It talked about the difficulties of finding the right people to be in leadership but the guy also talked about how sometimes the people don't feel like they are ready. The other guy in the video discussed that we have to change our lens for who we look for. He said that sometimes we have a very boxed in view of what it means to be a leader.

I agree with the overall view of the Rudy Carrasco. I think that many people are ready to be leaders but they are so afraid of taking the risk. Many people are to afraid to let God move in them and use them. Many minorities are stuff in doubt and denial.

Thing #7a--google reader

I was caching up on the Spanish blogs that I am following on my goolgle reader and I read an article about the "machismos" of the Spanish language. In Spanish nouns are either feminine or masculine. In the article the writer told a story about a guy that was so "macho" that every noun that he referred to had to be masculine. He changed the gender of nouns such as la vida to el vido which is absurd! The story was really funny and I think I might have my Spanish IV class read it. The story ended with the wife leaving the husband because he was so crazy.

Thing #20--Goggle docs

I really enjoyed learning more about Google docs. I have already been using google docs as a way to share files with our Spanish Department at JHHS.

Today I created a document/lesson plan to help me as I am introducing blogging to my upper level spanish students. I had them create a blog and then they must write a post at least once a Spanish of course.

I also like the fact that you can create presentations on google docs. It offers a solution for those that do not have microsoft programs on their home computers. I assign a lot of presentation projects for my spanish 4 & 5 classes and I plan to have them use google docs this time so that they can collaborate together.

Thing #19--Voicethreading

Well, I explored in voicethreading but I think I'm going to have to play around with it a lot more before I really enjoy it. I think it could be used to make photo albums since people have so many digital photos instead of printed photos. I was thinking about how to use it with my students. Possibly I can have them record themselves and do some projects with it. I think it is nice that a group can collaborate and create one voice thread. That would be handy for group projects. Overall, this is probably not something that I will use this year.

Thing #18--Youtube & Teachertube

My videos:
1. Two videos related to my content:
  • I found a video that included spoken poetry by Gustavo Adolfo Becquer. I really liked that video had the poetry spoken, included the poetry written and also included pictures that helped the listener to better understand the poetry.
  • I also found a video that showed the indigenous music/dances of the Kunas of the Caribbean. They are an indigenous tribe that live on an island off the coast of Panama. I plan to show this video in class so that the students can see the dances.
2. Video that teaches "how to do" something
  • I found a video on how to make a Tres leches cake. This is a traditional hispanic desert that is often prepared in Mexico. The video was in Spanish and it was simple and easy to follow. I might consider using it when my students learn commands in Spanish.
3. Video for fun
  • I love watching music videos on youtube. My favorite singer is Marcela Gandara and I love to listen to her music!
4. Video from TeacherTube
  • I found a video created by students that covers the chapter that my Span 2 kids just finished. I think it is really neat and I think I'm going to let them see it so that they can be challenged! I embedded the video for everyone to see!

Thing #17--Podcasting

I looked at the techpod site and also at coffee break spanish which is a podcast for learning spanish. I really enjoy podcasts and have used them in class to help students here authentic spanish. I especially use them for upper level spanish because it helps them to here various dialects of spoken spanish. I mainly use itunes to find podcasts because I have itunes already on my computer and I already have subscriptions to a few of the spanish podcasts. It is easier to search in itunes because I think that the content is better. Like I said earlier, I already use podcasts in the classroom to help the students with their listening. I am going to have my upper level students create a podcast at the end of the year that is about their favorite author. They will read a short selection of their work and discuss the work in Spanish. I am also considering having them create a video podcast as well.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thing #16--Library Thing

I know exactly how I will use this site! It is a requirement for my upper level students to read in Spanish daily and for that reason they are always on the look out for good books in Spanish. I will have my students explore this website and explore all of the Spanish books that are out there. I think that I will have them look up some books by authors but also by themes that they like. I searched for books written by my favorite Mexican author Juan Rulfo and found some good information about his books. I also like that you can just click on the right box to buy, borrow or swap the book that you are looking at. This makes finding good books to read very easy.

Thing #15--Delicious

Wow...I really needed this site about 6 months ago when I moved and had issues w/saving all of my precious bookmarks from my old school computer! I really love this site and the fact that it is accesable from the internet! This makes searching for quality content a lot faster as well. When I searched for "AP Spanish V" I actually got some good sites that I can use. I also like the fact that the organization makes the site user-friendly. Plus you can keep bookmarks private if you want. I went ahead and imported my bookmarks from my computer and I will definitely be using this site almost daily!

Thing #14

I explored the whiteboard ( and I think that this site would have been really useful when I was in college. lol Well, at least I can use it when I work on my masters.

I like the fact that it is password protected and that it is really easy to share information and have other people contribute to a group effort. I can see my students using this in class as they work on group projects and also with my Spanish Lit class as we brainstorm about the various works that we are reading. This could be an excellent way to make lesson plans within a team. For example, the Spanish 2 teachers could share and create plans on this site for the upcoming 6 weeks.

Thing #13--Reflection

This "thing" was actually a lot of fun. I liked the mosaic because pictures really do say more than words can say sometimes. I also liked the trading card and I think that I can incoporate the trading card into my lessons for my upper level classes. My Spanish Lit class could make trading cards of the different characters in the literature we are studying and place their descriptions as well. My Spanish 2 classes could create a mosaic that centers around their vocabulary and then present it as well as the vocabulary to the class. Definitely a fun widget!

Thing #13--Trading Card

Thing #13--Mosaic Maker

I used Mosaic Maker ( to create this mosaic of my little girl's 1st birthday pictures. It was a really easy site to use and it uploads pictures directly from my flickr site which makes it very quick to use as well!

Thing #12

I got all of these pictures from my flickr site: Hadasa9108

These pictures are from the fall festival at JHHS this past October. My little girls dressed up

as a cheerleader and as a princess. They had fun playing all the games but loved the candy the best!

Thing #11--Picture from flikr

Taken by an unidentified photographer but posted by the Smithsonian.

Thing #11--Exploring Flickr

I already use Flickr to post pictures of my little girl for my family to see. I love using flickr because you can do so many things with it. I actually have a pro account and I upload videos as well. As I browsed around in the commons area I was thinking about the possibilities of using Flickr in the classroom. I teach Spanish and I think that I can definitely have my upper level students select pictures to describe in Spanish and even to use as a story line or prompt for creative writing.

Click on the link to see pictures of my princess!

It reminds me of my time in Peru.

Thing #10 Creative Commons

I really like the idea of creative commons. I think it makes it easier as an educator to pull in materials to engage the students. As teachers I think that sometimes we don't have the finances to buy all the materials and resources that we would like so to be able to go to various websites and use materials for presentations and even student activities is great. I have already had my students complete a project using Flickr and they love the freedom that they have to let their creativity run wild!

Thing #8--Wikis

I actually just attending a pull out session about Wikis and was glad to get more info on them. I am definitely going to create a Wiki for my Spanish 2 class so that teachers and parents can follow what is going on in the classroom.

The three wikis I looked at:

1. Grazing for digital natives--I really like that she has a column of workshop resources that are full of good info. I found some stuff about podcasting on this site that was helpful.

2. Westwood Schools Computer class--I like the layout of this wiki. It is student and parent friendly w/an events calendar and also a class calendar per class. I would like to incorporate this onto my wiki so that parents can keep track of tests and projects.

3. Math 12V--I like that this site is used by the professor to impart notes and instruction to the students but I also like that the students are responsible to submit questions and review material as well. That way both the student and the teacher are engaging in the wiki.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thing #7

I have followed a few blogs for a few months now and I really haven't given any thought about commenting until now. I realize now that it is important to leave comments so that the blogger knows that people are actually reading their posts. It is also important to the whole concept of the web being "alive" in the fact that it allows people to constantly comment and respond to various topics. I will definitely start leaving more comments as I continue to follow blogs.

Reflexive blog--Thing #6

I am following a blog about cross-cultural ministry and I saw an interesting post today. It was titled "50% of Today's Pastors will not retire as Pastors". I thought that it was an odd title so I read the article and it was interesting to see how the concept of ministry and even the concept of "pastor" has seemed to change so much over the past few years. As I read further, I agree with the idea that our concept of pastor is far too limited. When we think of pastors we tend to only think about our local churches. However, many people use their pastoral gifts in different locations and ministries.

Reflective Post-thing #5

Wow....I love google reader! I love how what I really want can be delivered straight to me instead of me searching the web.

On one of the Spanish Education blogs that I follow I read a blog about the phrase "me entiendes" and how it offends native spanish speakers. I was very interested in the article and was shocked to learn about how native speakers view this phrase. It literally means "Do you understand me", which is generally not taken offensively in English. However, the phrase "me explico" is said to be a better phrase since it askes if the speaker is explaining well enough to be understood.

Check out the full article:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thing 4-blogs

As I read the various blogs I was reminded of how social our society has become online. I think one of the things that makes blogs special is that people feel the freedom to share their personal thoughts and opinions about almost everything. I think one thing that people must remember when reading blogs is that blogs are primarily peoples feelings and thoughts and not always a reliable source for information. So when we read blogs I think that we should be aware of who is writing it and their level of knowledge of expertise in a certain area. Also, when we write blogs we should make it clear when we have reliable information and when what we are writing is pure opinion. In my opinion blogging is a good way to have students open up and begin to share their feelings. It also helps students as they begin to learn the writing process and as they learn to express themselves through writing.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thing 2

I viewed all of the videos about the learning curve and all the new ways to keep students engaged and using technology. I am pretty young so I guess I understand them pretty well and I see the definate benefits of using Web 2.0 tools in my classroom.

I teach upper level Spanish and I would love to incorporate blogging into my curriculumn as well as creating comic strips in my lower level classes. I believe that if we present our content in a relevant manner to the students that they will truely learn. Until then they will merely regurgitate information that to them holds no meaning.

Thing 1

I love this course! This is my first year with Mesquite ISD and I tried doing blogs and other technological things with my students at my old school but I could never get any help.

I think that the most challenging habit for me will be "play". I am constantly doing a million things and I never have time to just play or explore. I know that if I had more time to explore then I would learn more and be able to incorporate more fun into my classroom as well.

I think that the other habits will be pretty easy. I already employ most of those habits. I usually keep my goals written down so that I know where I am headed. I am also very much a self-taught learner and I work with technology on a daily basis. I have already created blogs and have a facebook page. =)

I think the most important habit is to set aside time to play and explore the new things that I am learning in this course.