Hi New EC&I 830 Friends,
My name is Tayler Cameron and I’m thrilled to be learning alongside such a fun, outgoing group of grad students this semester! This is my third class in my journey through the Master’s program, and my first (ever) online class. The fear of the unknown had me a tad unsure whether or not I would be a good candidate for online studies, but after our first class I’m excited to step out of my comfort zone, jump in with both feet and get started!
I teach Grade 3/4 at Gladys McDonald School and love every minute of it! Over the past 3 years I’ve had the pleasure of teaching grade 2 at Jack MacKenzie School, as well as grades 3/4, and 4/5 at GMS. I love how technology allows my students and I to stay connected to our community of families by providing a virtual window into our classroom each week.
It’s common for students in my school to take family trips to Pakistan and India, among other destinations, for months at a time. Using tools like KidBlog allows my students stay connected with classmates while showcasing their writing for an audience and learning about being responsible digital citizens. Not to mention, they go crazy for writing when my pup, Gracie, comments on their blogs or leaves a very opinionated post – dog with a blog style!
My relationship with technology is a bit complicated. I love using technology,especially in my classroom, but I often become frustrated with how few laptops are available, or the dreaded “Too many servers are being used” pop-up that interferes with my lesson plans – but that’s life. I try my best to be proactive in avoiding these issues and not let it inhibit my use of technology in the classroom.In my opinion, the benefits of using technology far outweigh these minor annoyances.
The simplicity of using Planboard and saying goodbye to my wasteful paper plans has completely changed my life and made my planning so much more efficient! I will never go back to the “Old School” planning books again.We do interactive brain breaks daily (Love Go Noodle for that!), “Flocabulary’s Rap Jr.” for Current Events (My class loves singing along) and Google Read & Write has been a great tool in my classroom – especially for my reluctant writers who benefit from speech to text technology. I use technology often but sometimes feel overwhelmed like I’m falling behind with the latest and greatest apps, programs and websites. I have many things on my “tech-to-do-list” to try in the classroom that I haven’t yet (ie. online portfolios, classroom twitter account and connecting with other classrooms). I’ve come to realize that as much as I would like to, I can’t do everything at the same time so I hope to tackle these things one step at a time in the next year. I’m also looking forward to learning some new tools this semester that I can add to my list! If you haven’t already noticed, I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with making lists!
During my first year of teaching I started practicing yoga in an attempt to find balance in my crazy hectic teacher life. I’m not sure there is anything better than rolling out my mat in a quiet room after a loud, busy day. This “dog with a blog” has been a little shadow on my mat ever since.
I also love to read, run, and occasionally binge watch a series of (Hmm, where do I even begin?) on Netflix. I enjoy the great outdoors and visiting the family farm where I grew up when I can. I can’t wait to challenge my own thinking this semester, learn some new tools and meet some new faces along the way.
Looking forward to a great semester!
Feel free to follow me on Twitter here and see you all in the zoom room!
I just realized after reading my comments that I forgot my most favorite tool I use in the classroom – the online Penseive! It’s a place to store all of your notes about students’ reading and writing (or whatever subjects you wish to document!). You can plug in what strategy you are working on with each student and the “next steps” for instruction. Each time I meet with a reader I keep my laptop beside me so I can write a few sentences about their reading behaviors afterwards. It has made report cards SO much easier because I can pull up all of my notes on each student and summarize my observations and their progress. I believe a year’s subscription is $39, but the first month is free and it’s definitely worth trying! I’ve been using it for 3 years and I can’t imagine not using it now! Seriously – it’s a gem!