Woke up way too early this morning because I wanted to get a jump start on my thinking about instruction for the day. I see 700+ students in grades K-5 each week at a high-poverty school with mostly ELL learners. Most classes I see once a week, but there are weeks when one class doesn’t come because it is a short week. My challenge is to get the most bang for the buck in about 32 class periods a year.

This is one of the reasons I try to find Web tools that students will want to use at home or go to the library and use. This year I am planning on introducing my fifth graders to a lot of different tools so they are prepared for middle-school. I have decided that I will introduce some tools to the whole class, others to individuals and some I will provide students with the URL. Hopefully, this will increase collaboration and cooperation and work outside of the class day.

Yesterday I introduced my first fifth grade class to Edmoto. They seemed pretty excited about the Facebook look and format. I hope it will help motivate them in writing and thinking. I also want to use Kidblog with them, but it is blocked by the filter. (I may have to remind my principal to have it removed.) We also have a wiki and use Kerpoof. Then there are all of these motivating tools to add: picnick, video cameras, cartoon makers, Wordle, digital cameras, voice, etc. I believe students will use these tools outside of school. They just need to know about them.

My thought is to get students to create an online network of friends to work and learn with outside of the school day. This is an exciting time to be teaching because there are so many exciting tools for us to use.