Today was a great day back from vacation. The kids were ready to get back to work and so was I!
Although we have been learning how to comment on our classroom blog (more like addressing a writing prompt, really), I introduced the kids to their Gaggle Blog capabilities. I plan to allow them to blog about whatever topics they find interesting. I think they need that individual creative outlet as opposed to always being told what to write about.
They loved it! They learned how to find each other in our county’s Gaggle directory (we have our subscription set to county only for safety at this point), and immediately started commenting on each other’s posts! Wonderful!
Also tried out Primary Pad today in both a goal setting activity and a science mini research activity. In language arts each group was provided a link to “their” pad. They were to add goals they have set for themselves for the coming year. The nice thing about Primary Pad is that users don’t have to register to collaborate on a document (no email required!). I set the pads up so that they only had to know our class password to be able to add their ideas to it!
Primary Pad also has other fantastic features. Each child chooses a color and types his/her name next to it. Then whatever he/she adds to the pad is highlighted in his/her color, and other group member can see in real time what their peers are typing. Up to 30 different kids can be editing the same document at the exact same time! Another cool feature is the “Timeliner” tab which allows you to view all the changes that have been made to the pad over time, as well as the authors of those changes. This worked out to be a great alternative to going the Google Docs route with my kids who are under 13 (would require special parental permission).
We used Primary Pad again in Science as I had the kids conduct a little Internet research concerning rocks and minerals. Dr. Same and Dr. Different each had a link to their own pad. The kids were to research whether rocks and minerals are the same thing or different things. Following that research they were to add facts to the pad of the Dr. whom they supported. Here is a screenshot of some of the results! You can get a closer look at the pad here. Lots of learning… lots of fun!

Additions to Dr. Different's Pad

Additions to Dr. Different's Pad

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About kcollazo

4th/5th grade teacher looping in 1:1 netbook initiative!

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