Thursday, February 22, 2018

Anna's Blog

Hello! 

My name is Anna Johnson, and this is my first time blogging. 

Here are some fun facts so you can get to know me and understand where this blog is coming from. 
I live in Cedar Falls with my husband, Jack.  Although we are expecting a human baby in June, we already have two dog babies- a Labradoodle and a Great Pyrenees.  We love indulging in Mexican food, using power tools, cheering on the Tennessee Vols, and going out with our friends and family.

I have been introduced to Blogger through my Technology course at Hawkeye, which is helping me to become a better teacher after I graduate from UNI.  This blog will be dedicated to all things relating to the topic of education.  I have a lot to learn, and am excited for you to follow along- hopefully you will learn something as well! 


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As someone who is not yet a teacher at an elementary school, I don't know much about teaching.   The teachers that I have shadowed have done a really great job at answering my strange questions about the life of a teacher.  "When do you pee?!" "How much wine do you consume every Friday!?" and "How do you learn every kid's name!?" These are just a few questions that they have graciously answered without laughing to my face.  However, one of the most important things I have picked up on is how important it is to keep parents in the loop on what is going on in her classroom.

How can one teacher possibly keep every parent of twenty two children updated!? 

One great option that I have found online is Bloomz. Bloomz is an award winning app that first caught my eye on Pinterest; it is a way for teachers and parents to stay connected and stay on the same page.  

This all-encompassing app allows teachers to send updates on the day, reminders to parents about deadlines, and share photos.  It can coordinate times and dates for conferences, offers secure and private messaging, and can track a student's behavior.

This sounds like a great idea to me- however, I don't know how much this would actually be used in the classroom.  Some people prefer text or email, and some people simply are opposed to change.  Check out the link to the Bloomz site below and see how you like it!

Blooms

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I remember in high school when my teachers would set up a TV or computer with the eagle's nest live camera so we could watch during class, hoping that we could see the eggs hatch and watch the little baby eagles get bigger.  This was one of my favorite things, and encouraged everyone's love of nature.  Naturally, when I stumbled upon this website, I couldn't believe it!

Explore.org has so many live footage options for buffalos, sharks, lions, dogs, fish, rainforests, and deserts.   I clicked on every single live feed just to see how they were set up and if the animals were in sight.  My favorite live cam is linked below, and I couldn't even look away- it's an X Ray cam!  When I was watching just now, it showed X-Ray techs doing an X-Ray on a tiger.  Seriously, I would have loved this website as a first graders. And a junior high-er.  And now.

X-ray-cam

This website could be used for units on types on animals or different parts of the world- or simply something to show in the background for students who might thrive with a little more action.


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Although teaching a serious business, I think that it is very important to find the humor in our line of work.  This blog won't give you mind-blowing lesson ideas, talk about how to incorporate standards, or invite you to a professional development day.  However, it will give you a laugh, and help to see the comedy in a job that can really weigh on you.  

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This is a website that I have used countless times for class projects at UNI.  It works like this- teachers can put up their ideas, like worksheets or projects, and anything that goes along with them.  You can put them up for free, or an charge for your 'services." Viewers can search by subject, season, or upcoming holiday.  You do need to create an account to use the site, but they have so many great ideas, and I like the connivence and organization of this site.  

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This is a website that offers a lot to elementary teachers as far as content and lesson plans.  It contains options for different grades and subjects, and you are able to search for lesson plans and other ideas for your classroom based on what your classroom is specifically focusing on during this time.