Until recently I have had a hard time describing my childhood. There were two parts of it- the part of me that was a normal kid and then the part of me that spent my evenings in pain as i was taken to doctor's appointments, PT, and donned painful splints. It's often lonely being a child in the adult medical world.
Luckily, I was born into a family of readers. We had books throughout the house. Books stacked on the piano. Piles under coffeetables. I remember thinking This is how Matilda feels! when I was handed a brand new library card with my name printed neatly on the back. I did not realize it at the time but books can save lives!
I was afraid of everything. My childhood bedroom was a dormer with few windows. I was forever rushing to my parents in the middle of the night with tales of what I had seen in the shadows. The softest moans of our house settling was enough for my mind to spin stories that made RL Stein seem tame. Add to that the painful splints that I had to wear at night to help correct a bone disorder, I rarely got a full nights sleep.
To help me cope with my terrors and to get me to stay in bed, my parents often read to me before I fell asleep. My mom would go into our attic and come out with stacks of books that had been her favorites during her childhood. She would line these up on my personal bookshelf and slowly we would work our way through these. The Bobbsey Twins, Charlotte's Web, and Misty of Chincoteague were ordered neatly on my shelf and eagerly read by my mom.
In those glowing days of childhood there was one plucky little redhead who stood out apart from the rest. Anne Shirley! Even in the mid 90s Anne Shirley seemed like a rebel. She was not your typical moral character- she had faults. She was opinionated and a spitfire (My mom would say she's cussed). She was vain and often full of herself. But underneath these flaws that shine like mud on new shoes was a vulnerability, a sense of loss, and a desire to be loved. The same young girl who smashed chalkboards over heads could also remain loyal to a friend even when it could not be reciprocated. The girl who desired jet black hair and puffed sleeves also worked hard at her studies so she could go to high school and college. She was riddled with contradictions- much like real kids.
Anne Shirley seemed like a revolutionary in the 1920s when my grandmother read the book and she remains one today. I read the Lady of Shallot and the Highwaymen because of Anne. She started my lifelong obsession with red hair. She taught me how to daydream as I sat doing the repetitive procedures during physical therapy. I admired her tenacious attitude that allowed her to walk in the real-world while still keeping a part of herself for the land of fairies.
Anne Shirley was one of the first books that made think- This character gets it! She's me! When I graduated college, mom and I went on a pilgrimage to Prince Edward Island. We visited Green Gables. We walked through the White Way of Delight. We even sampled raspberry cordial. It felt like we were visiting a good friend. We were home.
L.M. Montgomery has created a literary kindred spirit for many, many girls since she wrote the book back in 1908. I think all of us who have read and fallen in love with Anne see a bit of ourselves in her. She's an "everygirl"- the perfect example of what girls and women should be.
Thank you, Anne for your inspiration and you kindred spirit!
In the following blog post, I am going to review my classroom website. To review the site at any point please click the following link.
Overall Purpose and Use for Educators
The purpose of this website is to share information with my parents. Not only will it allow me to inform parents about events that are happening in the classroom or school but it will allow me to provide extra resources related to what we are learning in class. Students will be able to use it for extra practice. The website will help create a feeling of transparency for parents who may otherwise feel uninformed about the subjects that we are learning.
Usability - your personal views using the piece.
The url for my website is https://missgeiman.weebly.com/. I feel that this will make it easy for parents to search for the site if they forget the link. Once on my site, the home page is a message to the parents explaining the purpose. Reading and Math each have their own sections with information and links. Parents also have communication areas like our class news site and a contact form.
The different pages are listed across the top on every page with a drop down offering more options. I opted for a clean look with out a lot pop-ups or sections to encourage viewers to read and use the links that are provided. I want my students to use this site for extra practice so it had to be written so that my 3rd graders would understand how to use the site to.
Not only do I provide review game options for my students but I am starting to compile a list of resources that will help parents who have various needs. Right now there is a link to the library tutoring program as well as the topics that we are covering for math and reading. I also provide a link to Mrs. Laubham's 3rd Grade website which provides even more links and resources for parents to use.
Accessibility - in what ways does this item or piece allow for use by a plethora of users, such as those with special needs.
One of the key components of my website is that it tells parents what we are studying for reading and math. It also provides links to review games for students to use as a review tool. Many of the games can be set for different levels so that students can review at level that is comfortable to them. The site also provide suggestions to parents for increasing engagement at home and at school- in particular there is a TED Talk about the importance of reading aloud to children. As the school year progresses more will be added to the site so that students can be reviewing throughout the year.
Maintenance - what are the methods in which you have to take care of the item - day to day, long term, etc.
This website will be updated on a weekly basis. I have mapped out the weeks reading story and the Math target strategies for the week. The Class News page will be updated as needed throughout the week as events or information is needed to be shared. In the long term I would like this to be a resource for parents and students to find information on what is being taught in the class. I would also like to increase the students presence on the site through pictures, blog posts and projects.
Help and Support - is there a way to get questions answered and such? Is there tech support? Are there upgrades?
For my parents, there is a Class News page that will offer further explanations on using the site and the resources. There is also a contact page that will send an email to my school account for parents who have other questions or concerns on the site. I will also be able to show students how to use different parts of the site at school.
Star Rating: ****
I would give my class website a 4 out of 5 star rating. I do think that I could add more resources and information to my reading and math pages. I also I think that I could increase my student input on to parts of the website. I would also like to add more community resources for my parents. I do think that my site, overall, is easy to use and does provide another way to contact me. I think that parents and students over all will find it a useful tool.
As part of my Educational Technologies class, I have created a website that will provide information to parents in my classroom. The purpose of this site is so that parents can stay informed and have access to more resources that will help their students.
I again chose Weebly because of the ease of access that I have found using it for my professional website. I created a second site because I realized that the site that we are currently on does not reflect the needs of my parents.
Click this link and it will take you to the new site.
Above is a picture of my home page. The page includes a brief message to the parents explaining the purpose of the site. This will also be where any important news or memos will be placed.
Next is my Reading page. This will provide parents with the current story, a spelling list, vocabulary and other information. This will help cut down on lost or misplaced spelling lists, etc.
Next up is my math page. My school used Saxon Math for grade 3-5. This curriculum is always reviewing old skills while introducing a new target skill. Each day has a new target skill. Eventually, I will provide tips and tricks to help parents review these skills with their child.
Games and Resources
This page provides parents with different games for students to play at home. I have a form similar to this in my google classroom so my students will be familiar with many of these games already. However, this will be easier to access then my google classroom.
This page are still being developed. I am not as familiar with how teachers integrate these features into their class. Ideally, I would like to allow students to write posts. My students also film news programs so this would also be a way to show the videos to the parents.
What parents will need
In order to access the website, parents are going to need access to the internet. This can be an issue in my school as many parents do not have wifi. Many have smartphones though. One of the nice things about running a site through Weebly is that it automatically provides you with the mobile version of the site. This ways parents can look at the website easily on their phones or tablets. Some of the games will be difficult to play on phones but at least parents will be able to see the information. My next step would be letting my parents know the web address so that they can start using the site.
Hi! Welcome to my new website! I am excited to start this venture. I am hoping that I can make new connections that will help me to develop a more sophisticated teaching practice.
I am currently teaching at a private school in the inner city. I love this job! The need here is extraordinary but the support that my school provides for students, parents, and the staff makes a lot possible.
When I am not teaching, I am a graduate student at Bowling Green State University. I am currently working on a degree in Curriculum and Teaching with course work for the Reading Endorsement. I also work part-time at a flower shop. My hobbies when I have time are reading, writing, photography, and baking.