Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wordle





Wordle clouds any feed or url you submit. Here are my wordles of my delicious tags, my netvibes, and this blog page.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our Global Experience....

Yesterday, our wonderful Fine Arts Team and our K-2 student's put on an extremely entertaining and education production entitled "Here Comes the Sun: A Solstice Winter Celebration" (one of the ustreams is below).

As I started to last year, the performances are uStreamed so that our working parents, at home grandparents, aunts, uncles, near and far can watch and enjoy. A chat was enabled so that distant relatives could send messages to the kids. We would pass them along.

This year, unfortunately, some unfriendly chatters invaded our space. The reality of the open stream, I know. Last year, no trouble at all. But this year, both in my building and our 3-5 building, we had spoilers. The parents were very understanding, the kids never "saw" the chat, and the users were kicked out almost right away. Next year we will be setting up a chat password and sending that home with the streaming announcement.

My point being is that with this great global community we now can experience, we will also find that there are some ignorant individuals out there trying to ruin it for us. Although we will have to put the password on, it still feels good that we can share this type of event with our distant families.

Our ustream address is http://www.ustream.tv/channel/here-comes-the-sun
if you would like to see the show! (no chat, though!)

Here Comes the Sun

Free Videos by Ustream.TV

Friday, December 12, 2008

RLA sites

Foniks
http://www.foniks.org/
This site allows students to hear pronunciation for letter combinations, the alphabet... It also includes notes for rules that challenge readers.

Reading Planet
http://www.rif.org/readingplanet/
You can write stories, play word games, visit links on Eric Carle... Take a peek...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Gotta love Scholastic

A quick writing activity that generates a creative story. Pick the format:
notebook, newspaper, or postcard. Print your story at the end!
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/storystarters/storystarter1.htm

Monday, December 01, 2008

Reading / Language Arts Links

Here are some Reading/Language Arts links...

Students have a love for writing or are they struggling with putting thoughts down on paper? Writing Fun uses text organizers to assist with the writing process
http://www.teachers.ash.org.au/jeather/writingfun/writingfun.html

The online spelling program, Spelling City makes practicing for spelling tests fun: any spelling word or spelling list can be entered into the box to test spelling skills through activities, games, and quizes. Word lists can be saved, too.
http://www.spellingcity.com/

On Starfall, the ABC’s, fun to read activities, plays, non-fiction stories, and comics can be utilized to teach and entertain the K-5 reader.
http://www.starfall.com/

Provided by TeacherVision, find many online reading and language arts interactive support games listed by grade level. Choose ones that best suit your needs and bookmark to learn and have fun!
http://www.teachervision.fen.com/reading-and-language-arts/games/5831.html

Scholastic’s Wheel of Language Arts is quite the favorite! Choose the K-2 or 3-5 tab for Scholastic recommended interactive sites. http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/clf/index.htm

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two resources from Scholastic

Scholastic has a monthly calendar with events and resources for every day of the month.

http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/calendar.jsp?aud=T

Did you know today was Marc Brown's birthday?

Another thought to share....

"Kids may be savvy about technology and the Internet, but as you can see from this CBS Evening News segment they're not always so smart about remembering that the Internet goes out to everyone (and lasts for a long time)"
http://scholasticadministrator.typepad.com/thisweekineducation/2008/11/web-tests-kids.html

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Interactive Classroom Makeover Contest


Take a look at these videos created by teachers and students for the Interactive Classroom Makeover Contest. Sure, they wanted to get "free stuff" and hopefully win, but the message remains the same..."kids learn with technology best".

Here is the link to the K-5 finalists - http://eimakeover.shycast.com/contestant/289/

Science Resources for the classroom

Current Event links and sites for Kids in Science:

Animal Planet
http://animal.discovery.com/
Find everything you ever want to know about animals.

Bill Nye the Science Guy
http://www.nyelabs.com/
You can find a lot of really neat science stuff on this site! He shows you
home experiments and answers your questions.

Cool Science for Curious Kids
http://www.hhmi.org/coolscience/index.html
This site for younger kids offers some really cool science stuff that you
can do at home.

Discovery Kids.com
http://kids.discovery.com/
Explore this site. Enjoy fun & games, and even live cams!

Kids Health
http://kidshealth.org/kid/
Whether you’re a kid or a teen, this site can answer all of your tough
questions and has some really great links!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Current Event Resources

K-5 Current Event links and sites for Kids
Headline Spot for Kids
http://www.headlinespot.com/for/kids/
This site links to ABC News for Kids, Scholastic News, NY Times Student and more!
TIME for Kids
http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/kids
The latest news from around the world for kids in grades K-6. Includes related polls, games, and websites.
Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids
http://bensguide.gpo.gov/
Ben's Guide to US Government for Kids provides an introduction to the Federal Government.
Nick News with Linda Elerbee
http://www.nick.com/nicknews/
Reporting on local and world events that affect kids’ lives

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lyon Technology

Ok so, I frequently send out emails to staff with ideas, links, or general answers to questions about technology and how it can best be integrated into the curriculum. Last year, I put together a google group that really did not get off the ground and I think that could have been a bit of my fault. I felt torn between all that I was doing and instead of doing a few things really well, I was doing alot of things so-so.

As I re-evaluated the means in which I share with my staff, I still think the best way is to send out emails. But,I would still like to archive all of these emails on a web based platform. So, I looked to google groups again. I think this time around, I will be pleased with the result and my teachers will have easy access to these resources.

Please feel free to visit our group often.

Lyon Technology Google Group
http://groups.google.com/group/lyon-technology

Monday, August 25, 2008

K-5 Keyboarding

K-5 Technology Resources
KEYBOARDING

Have you ever wondered….
Why are the keys on a keyboard all mixed up?
• Christopher Latham Shole in 1872 invented the machine called the "Type-Writer." Sholes had developed his machine for convenience, but was faced with a huge problem: the keys jammed if the typist went too fast. Sholes tried for months to fix this problem. Finally, Sholes redesigned the layout of the letters on the keyboard to force the typist to slow down. We call his layout the "QWERTY" keyboard (after the first six letters of the typewriter's second row).

Here are some links for online typing practice at home. Keyboarding is a skill that is important as students progress through their education.

Dance Mat Typing http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/
Typing at the Speed of Thought http://www.keybr.com/
Keyboarding lessons for Kids http://webinstituteforteachers.org/%7Egammakeys/Lesson/Lesson1.htm

Monday, August 04, 2008

And so goes the summer...

With summer almost a memory, I am beginning to think and plan for my return to the physical space of my job. All summer long, I have been collecting websites, reading articles, organizing files and anticipating new and welcomed changes in my building. Needless to say, I have been attempting to schedule time to get back to the building but I am finding one more thing to keep me physically away. I am prepared to return and even looking forward to it. Actually going to my building is bittersweet since it reminds me of the passage of time; new students, new teachers, new experiences and not just for me but my own family as well! My son starts high school and my daughter entering third grade worried about being at school without her big brother. I think I need to stop blogging right now; my daughter wants me to watch Nemo with her. Maybe we will even walk to the ice cream store later.

Here's to the rest of your summer....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Web2pointO

I will be presenting at the Illinois Education & Technology Conference in November and I am trying to get my pbwiki up to date with a few more resources before I sit and map out my preso. I just began a web 2.0 page - http://tmurdach.pbwiki.com/web2pointO
I will be adding to my pbwiki on a regular basis. There are other preso's listed and documented within the pages of the wiki as well.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My friends went to NECC....


Thanks Vicki Davis aka coolcatteacher for finding this gem...


From Al's Blog - What's Up

Monday, June 30, 2008

What's a gal to do?



~OR~






If you have stumbled across my posting today, I am hoping that you can help me with my most recent dilemma. Does anyone have any ideas as to why plurk would not work on a MacBook running FF, os 10.4.10 and Quicktime 7.4? I am not seeing the interactive timeline nor can I plurk from this machine. Although, I can go into the profile, check my widget and plurk from the widget? Makes no sense. My Mac mini, 10.4.11, Quicktime 7.3 and FF3 runs smoothly with plurk. I have contacted the plurk “contact us” three times over the last four days and no response. That does not sit well for me when trying out a new tool…

I was hesistant about trying plurk as I find that twitter does the job for me. I only follow about 90 people and 75 follow me. I decided that I should try this new tool and give it shot since so many of my network friends have been.

Plurk and Twitter are very different and each has features that I like. Maybe an anticipated mini-migration to plurk will get the twitter guys and gals moving on fixing some of the things that go haywire from time to time. Or, take some advice from the what the plurk interface allows it's user to do. Since plurk is so new i just am wondering when they are going to start having troubles. Or, is my no reply from their customer service an indication? I want to give plurk a chance and am looking for any ideas from anyone or anywhere.

Since I do not allow comments on this blog, please email me at traymur at gmail dot com if you have any suggestions.

BTW - I am traymur on both twitter and plurk.

See you all on Twitter while I am on my laptop and Plurk while on my mac mini!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Too Proud not to post...


Since it is summer I did not think anyone would mind a non-school related post. I have gone into full baseball mom mode and I wanted to share this photo and email from my son's baseball coach. (My son is in the back with one of his best friends, leaning his elbow on his head. If looking at the picture, on the left side)


"WOW!!! Hey Everyone,

Well, we're off to a great start!! There were so many great things on the
field today I don't know where to begin. Lets start with the batting; if we
hit like that -there will be no stopping us. This time we were the team
putting up the 12-run inning. It was great to see the cut-off man making a
good decision. Griff's pitching was right on the money. George B.
(he's back) pitched a great inning, strike after strike. Robert Murdach
three strike-outs in one inning, Wow! George K. pitched through the
hardest part of their line up and did a great job!! We had some great
catching from Ryan A. and Griff. Keaton S. was amazing behind
the plate for his first time out. It takes adults a little longer to believe
what you guys already know you can do. My props to P.J. - this kid is
passing up DisneyWorld to stay and play ball with us - we can't do it
without him, he's been a go-to-guy all season. Sean G. was a
hitting machine! Mike O'D. knows how to get on base and it was great
to see Andrew C. hitting the ball HARD!! Keep up the great baseball.
The Mets will dedicate this game to our missing team mate Juan L..
Think baseball!"

Sportmanship, Teamwork,Friendships, GREAT Coaches....isn't that what baseball for our kids is suppose to be about???

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thoughts as the year ends...

As the students left for summer break and as the teachers sealed the last few boxes of supplies and materials to be stored for summer, I looked around my lab and realized that my school year never really ends. Just like any other teacher, I look forward to the warm and lazy days of summer, but unlike some teachers who leave the gradebooks behind for a few months, my computer will be up and running each and every day. I am always on the look out for new tools that could be utilized within our curriculum. I research 2.0 tools and see which ones that my teachers could use for productivity purposes. I create new "how to's",update ones from the past and post to my wiki and blog of online resources. Because I have more free time in the summer, I think that this is my time to really dig in deep to bring new and improved ideas back to school in the fall.

I would hope that all my hard work during the summer pays off when school begins again!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Discovery Educator Network

I am very excited to be a part of the Discovery Educator Network as a STAR member. I proudly display my badge on the left of this blog page!!

My goal over the summer is to continue to look to this network as place to share ideas, find resources, and seek out implementations of best practice for technology in education. There are meet-ups, online environments and even opportunities at conferences.

As a part of the STAR DEN, I dedicate to providing regular events to my staff and students utilizing not only the resources I already an aware of from DE, but also those I will be looking for this summer.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Stay COOL this summer with Technology

I have been asked by a few parents for suggestions of sites and technology activities that could help pass the time, especially the rainy or unbearable hot days that are best spent in doors this summer. Of course, I suggested that they could also visit museums, take in a movie, or try their hand in bowling, aside from hanging out on the computer (was that a bad thing for me to say since I am a geek at heart?).

I comprised this for our last school newsletter of the year. Maybe there are some ideas that you could add, too. If so, give me a comment below.


-Practice Keyboarding
Check out this favorite “Dance Mat Typing” http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/

-Check out Discovery Streaming http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/ and search for favorite school topics, such as a country, an animal, or even math strategy and see what results you come up with. Then go to Discovery School's Puzzle Maker http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/ and create puzzle with words or concepts learned from the video.


Math Practice Galore
Check out “Math Fact CafĂ©” http://www.mathfactcafe.com/view/?t=P
To create and print out math fact worksheets
Or
“Cool Math for Kids” http://www.coolmath4kids.com/
Lots on interactive math topics and games

Take a tumble with Tumblebooks! http://www.tumblebooks.com/library/asp/home_tumblebooks.asp
Hundreds of choices of read-aloud and read-alone books.


Exercise your brain with BrainPop Jr. http://www.brainpopjr.com/
Educational movies, lessons, quizzes and fun activities

Search EnchantedLearning www.enchantedlearning.com for art activities, projects, printable books, coloring pages and more!

Bookmark the Lyon School Webpage http://ly.glenview34.org and visit the PE webpage for interactive activities, the Fine Arts page to browse the online Art portfolios and Lyon Students for links to more curriculum connected and online fun.

Please, with any online activity, guide your child in safe and educational use of the web. For Net safety tips, visit http://www.netsmartz.org/

Have a great summer!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Lab to Laptops

Looking at "turning in" my computer lab computers for two additional carts of laptops. What do you think? Here is my thinking... thanks to FNO for some ideas!
Discussion item:
Replacing the computer lab with 2 additional carts of 20 laptops, giving staff access to 60 laptops housed on 3 carts.

The district is willing to exchange our 21 eMac’s from the computer lab for 2 additional carts of laptop computers. These would be mixed with our current laptops (existing laptops will have new replacement batteries installed over summer)

You will NOT be turning in any current desktops that are already in the classrooms. Whatever numbers you have now in your classrooms, those will remain.

Consider….

• Laptops return control to teachers in ways that make the classroom feel like it usually feels; laptops become part of the classroom
• A cart of laptops can be deployed across a room in many different ways, thereby maximizing the fit between the teacher's style and the way the lesson precedes.
• Laptops allow for easy movement within a classroom or across a school.
• Laptops also make possible the clustering and combining of enough units in each classroom to achieve something worth doing.
• Laptops are free to roam wherever students are learning. They require no special furniture. They can sit next to books and papers on a regular desk surface. They can fit on a lap. They can rest on a floor on a rug.
• When one teacher is finished with a technology rich lesson and has little need for the laptops, they are simply loaded into a cart and rolled down the hall to someone who is ready and eager to begin a unit. No need to sit around idle while non-computer tasks are taking place.
• With our technical experiences with wireless laptops in time and experience, we have become comfortable and enthusiastic seeing wireless as a practical and helpful addition to our classrooms

How does this affect the Tech Facilitator’s role:

• More integrated and collaborative role in TECH piece to your curriculum
• Technology Facilitator to be accessible to staff and more able to team with LRC director
• Technology Facilitator available by online reservation system to assist in the classroom or co-teach
• iChat or Walkie Talkies may be available to reach the Tech Facilitator for questions or assistance

Scheduling of Carts

• Each cart would “carry” it’s own schedule clipboard. Location of carts would be arranged throughout the building.
• Each cart location/wing would have a “tech teacher” who would oversee any immediate management/questions about the cart i.e. – making sure it is plugged in, on, and unlocked.
• Carts would be returned to the LRC for the weekend
• Scheduling of Tech Facilitator continues as it currently is


Current lab space in LRC can be utilized for

• Small group work
• PST meetings
• Overflow from LRC
• NWEA testing
• Standardized testing
• Conferences
• Whole Group instruction

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tech Forum

Last Friday, I attended Tech Forum, a day of networking and discussions about technology in education. Here is a link to my notes from the various sessions I attended. Some great presenters; Meg Ormiston, Sheryl Nussban Beach, Steve Dembo and nore...
http://tmurdach.pbwiki.com/Tech+Forum+Notes

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Take a look at the picture and then read what it is about
http://www.educationfutures.com/2008/04/25/owatonnas-model-for-the-21st-century/

There would be so much to do/consider for any school district to get to this point. It would be neat though. Talk about what is best for student learning in the 21st Century.

Being Googley

I recently read from Google about their design and thought it could connect to teaching and learning. Here is a list of ten design principles that will guide Google's work and define what makes their products “Googley“. What are my thoughts are in itallics

1. Focus on people—their lives, their work, their dreams. Our students
2. Every millisecond counts. The teachable moment
3. Simplicity is powerful. What is the goal - how simple to get there
4. Engage beginners and attract experts. Collaborative groups learn from each other
5. Dare to innovate. Web 2.0, Learner Teacher, shift in roles
6. Design for the world. The kids need to be prepared for the world
7. Plan for today’s and tomorrow’s business. Dynamics of teaching have changed - teach as if it was tomorrow not as if it was yesterday
8. Delight the eye without distracting the mind. Engagement; Focus
9. Be worthy of people’s trust. Advocate for your students - what is best for students
10. Add a human touch. Approachable, flexible, compassion

Think about it...how do you think it relates to teaching and learning???

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Technology Integration Best Practices


Researching technology integration best practices, I came across this informative website from PBS Teachers. I recently subscribed to this site and highly recommend it to others.

"How does the integration of technology and media improve instruction and student learning? Our collection of recent research and best practices provides answers and can help you plan the best approach for your students." The link is live in this post title.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Key Seeker

GREAT keyboarding tool for Kindergarten; integrates letter recognition and picture-letter connection! Cool enough to warrent it's own posting! The page is linked in this posting title.


Friday, April 18, 2008

We Think

Here's a nifty video by Charles Leadbeater, author of We Think: The Power of Mass Creativity.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bloom's Taxonomy in a Digital World


Found this from my twitter contacts. I usually do not repost but this is so important, I felt it necessary to share.

Blooms in a Digital World
"educators have a basis by which to compare digital techniques to the more traditional standard that Bloom created" and "But today’s educational landscape is vastly different from that of yesterday rendering a lack of clarity as to where the levels of the taxonomy fit. As education heads into the digital world, many teachers struggle with where to place many of the new technology tasks within this long-standing hierarchal guide to teaching and learning."

I am going to go and get this book and I am sure that I will have some interesting thoughts to share and questions to ask.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Which do you know....

Top 100 Tools for Learning Spring 2008
Final ranking as at 31 March 2008
http://c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/top100.html

The list is compiled from the contributions of 155 learning professionals (from both education and workplace learning) who shared their Top 10 Tools for Learning both for their own personal learning/ productivity and for creating learning solutions for others.

How many of these do you know? Utilize in your professional development? Integrate into your classrooms? Maybe pick out one or two and decide to learn something new?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fear


Great conversation going on in Twitter originated by smeech(smeech.net)

"What would or does an administrator fear more? Inappropriate posting online by students or vandalism of their school building? Why? Always variables to consider in my? Point: I feel as if admin has more "fear" of tech related issues than general building problems? Fair?"

What do you think?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Stuff

In a conversation I had yesterday about technology in education, the question came up about how we implement technology and its' tools into the curriculum. I responded that it is not about the tech "stuff" you have; how many computers, latest gadgets, it is more about what your students will be able to accomplish with that "stuff". It means to me that the engagement and authentic use of technology is so much more important than the bragging of what equipment you have. Don't get me wrong, it would be great to say you have the latest and greatest, but if the latest and greatest sits under utilized, what good is it anyway? Providing teachers with training and resources in order to best utilize what technology they already have will provide a more authentic and goal-oriented outcome for the students.

Here are some resources I found while investigating this question on my own

Wikibook - Instructional Technology/Utilizing Technology for Meaningful learning


Wes Freyer's Tools for TEKS

Technology and Multiple Intelligences

Awesome Library - Technology Integration

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Google Font Creator




So cool! Click the title link and create your own free google font!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Teacher Tube

Videos from Lyon School; Technology integration in action



Google Groups and Diigo

I decided to put together a google group for the teachers in my building. The group is called "Tuesdays with Tech" and the goal is to each Tuesday post new resources for teachers to use when integrating technology into the curriculum. I typically send emails but thought annotating them in a group would be more beneficial and be a great back up for me. You can visit my group at Tuesdays with Technology on google groups.

Also, I have been introduced to Diigo...from the website
"You are what you annotate, creating a presence for you in the community.
Connect with friends effortlessly and non-intrusively through content.
Discover quality resources on any subject or get personalized recommendations."
This new 2.0 tool has come to my attention rather quickly so I am trying to process it. Click to see my diigo profile.

I could probably do the same with the group that I created on google through diingo but I am not all that familiar with diigo yet. It seems that it will be extremely useful. I will look further into it's capacities and keep you posted.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I really need to work on this...

Time has gotten away from me. Yikes.

I originally had wanted to post once a week, but it looks like once a month is more realistic...

Need to figure out a way to get this in on a more regular basis.

Right now, I am thinking about what works best for teachers when presenting or providing technology resources.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

ILTCE Conference

I have been busy lately as a committee member for the Illinois Technology Conference for Educators taking place the last week of February at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. This year, our conference is bigger and better than ever. I know that is said about all conference each new year, but this time, it is true! We are up in registrations and have some excellent and well known spotlight and keynote speakers. Check out the Illinois Computer Educators website in the title link above for more information and registration for the conference.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Has it been this long?

Yes, I guess it has been that long!

Let's get right back into the swing of things....

Recently, I have been trying to incorporate more technology into the curriculum for our students and staff. We recently came upon a donation of a SMARTBOARD so I have been researching and creating activities that would best suit the grade levels of my building.

I am also working with two second grade classes that will be creating partnered webpages in iWeb. Should be fun!

Please visit Click of the Mouse. This is where I post all of the links that I have sumbitted to the school newsletter that goes out to parents/caregivers twice a month.

BTW - I have done some research on the iTouch / iPhone. I may be jumping on either of those two bandwagons very soon.... I will keep you posted.