BETH RUSSELL



My name is Beth Russell and I am a Read 180 Para at Seaman Middle School in Topeka, KS. I am taking classes to renew my teaching license. I will be certified K-9 and Highly Qualified to teach English, Social Studies, and Science. I am married and have two children. Levi, is a sophomore at Washburn University, and Allie, is a senior at Seaman High School. I have three pets which also keep me busy.

WIKIS AND OTHER RESOURCES:

This looks like a great wiki site that we can use in our Read 180 class.
Book Reviews/Viking Voices

This is a fun site where students can make word collages with their names describing themselves or at the end of a unit. For example, "Technology Pros & Cons".
Wordle Create

This is a resource for Read 180 teachers to collaborate and share information on units of study.
Read 180 Wiki

This is a great resource for ELL teachers and students which I found on Larry Ferlazzo's website for his best picks for 21st century teaching and learning.
English Central

PLN ASSIGNMENT:

I joined Thinkfinity (brussell3), Larry Ferlazzo (bannierussell), and the READ 180 (barussell) wiki. Being a novice with wikis, I found this to be a bit overwhelming at first. However, I have learned a lot exploring them and plan on continuing to further my knowledge.
I found Thinkfinity to be the easiest to join and navigate. I enjoyed posting comments to questions about grammatical errors and effective ways to get students to listen. I liked having email notification but realize this would be very hard to keep up with when busy teaching.
I had trouble joining the Larry Ferlazzo website with Google Reader and also had trouble the next day finding the comment I posted. However, I found this site to have some very interesting information. I hope to use this for current events and related social studies topics that will apply to our units of study. For example, he had great websites and videos that we could show with our unit on "Disasters". I tried the English Central website which is a great resource for ELL teachers and students. This site is financed by Google and lets students watch popular videos with captions, has them repeat the lines, then the site automatically evaluates their pronunciations. Tried this out myself and thought our Read 180 students would have fun with it!
I also joined the READ 180 wiki and hope to use this as a resource to find fun hands-on activities for the end of a unit. Lots of great information for our Read 180 class.

GOOGLE TOOLS:

In the last week's Google Tools assignment, I tried out many of the tools and found them all to be useful and plan on spending more time learning how to use them more efficiently and how to incorporate in the classroom. I've been overwhelmed by all the technology available, and my lack of knowledge regarding this, but taking the time to explore what's out there has really opened my eyes to their usefulness in the 21st Century.

Blogger- I watched a video on how to make a blog and read a few of them. I have not tried my hand at making my own blog but thought the kids would enjoy designing their own blog page or a classroom blog. Blogs have definitely impacted politics and enabled millions of people to have a voice and connect with others around the world.

Google Alerts- Watched the video on how to set up a Google Alert and signed up for a Read 180 alert for seminars and other important information.

Google News- Can be used to personalize news stories and sign up for alerts on any topic. You can get a feed for any search you do on Google News. This would definitely fit for our Read 180 students because their units are based on important current social issues, and they are required to find current events in the news to share with the class on a particular unit. We could also have the students use Google Maps and Google News to incorporate with their research or final project to find good visual images.

Google Docs- Wow! This is so cool and could be used for so many purposes. My daughter will be a senior volleyball player and senior parents are in charge of coordinating team dinners, snacks, t-shirts, etc. A doc would be so much easier because parents could sign up for dinner/snack, date/time, address, and contact info. All parties involved would know the info and it would not have to be relayed from coach to player to parent. In the past, Allie, forgot to tell me about a team dinner and I had a hard time keeping up with when and where they were held.

Also, I thought about possibly incorporating a doc with a particular class novel. For example, students could do a writing assignment using Google Docs and Blogger. They could work with partners in peer editing mode on the doc. They could take chapter quizzes using a Form created from docs list or on any spreadsheet. Finally, the students could then use Google Maps, Earth, or Presentation for a final activity project. This would work great for a historical novel used in a LA class or SS class. Additional reading choices could be recommended by developing a Google Book List organized by keywords and topics.

I would need more knowledge and/or practice with these tools to do a lesson plan like this, but found that Google had easy to understand videos on how to use them. This could be done on a smaller scale until I became more proficient and also have the students help with problems and make suggestions.

WEB 2.0 TOOLS:

Wordle: After the teacher demonstrates how to make a Wordle on the projector, the students would design their own Wordle about themselves. This could be done at the beginning of the year as a get to know each other activity- called "guess the wordle". Students would have fun guessing which Wordle belongs to whom! Could easily be played in a SS class with a date in history, name the president, event in history, etc.

Vocaroo: Reading fluency is a big part of the Read 180 program and the students are required to make recordings in every workshop they complete in the program. However, they could use Vocaroo to make a recording of their choice which might boost their confidence and make them more comfortable to record the required assignments. Teacher could also use this tool to demonstrate.

WEBPAGE ASSIGNMENT:

I do not have a teacher webpage because I am a Read 180 Para. However, I really enjoyed looking at many teacher websites, especially the Seaman District teachers' webpages. Many neat and creative ideas. They are all so unique! Rolf, I love the Voki you added to your webpage!