Ok...so now a year has passed since my last blog on using iPads in a 1:1 grade one classroom. I've learned a lot along the way. I'm sorry I didn't write as I was learning, but this was a roller-coaster year of trying, failing, changing and (sometimes) succeeding... only to try, fail and sometimes succeed again. I call it my lather, rinse, repeat process. Now I am a week out of school and have time to share both my… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on August 5, 2014 at 12:30pm —
My Thoughts on Year One of 1:1 in Grade One
One of the lucky ones? Continue
Through a grant announcement at the end of last year, I learned that I would be one of four first grade classrooms in our district to pilot a 1:1 initiative with iPads this year. I was excited and VERY NERVOUS to…
Added by Irene Farmer on March 31, 2013 at 12:02am —
Encouragement for Teachers New to Technology
This blog is for those of you who are just starting to get excited about the new technology you are beginning to access, but at the same time, are overwhelmed. It's actually a message of hope so please keep reading! It has a happy ending.
For the past two or three years I have been trying to do the "technology thing." I'm trying to be the tech savvy educator who is keeping up with all that is becoming available to us as educators.… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on April 17, 2012 at 4:59pm —
I finally had the chance to use a classroom set of i-pads as a reinforcement to all of the math concepts my first graders have learned so far (see photo above). Instant feedback to children is of vital importance when it comes to reinforcing a newly-learned skill. When there is only one teacher in the room, instant feedback doesn't happen often enough. Today, I had seventeen… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on March 16, 2012 at 6:00pm —
This past Friday was parent-teacher conference day. Since my first grade reading class is a class specifically designed to address the instructional needs of children who are below grade-level benchmarks, I was going to need help in convincing parents that their children were indeed making progress. The phrase "below grade level benchmarks," often translates in the mind of a parent that their child has a learning disability or is in dire need of a tutor or is struggling to the point of… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on December 12, 2011 at 6:47pm —
OK, let me begin yet another blog by admitting that I am not writing about anything that is ground-breaking or new and I am also assuming that many other teachers have probably already used the idea of recording children's reading on i-pads. But the elation I feel after having the dreaded feeling of losing teaching time to do assessments removedcompels me to write!
None of us get into the teaching field because we LOVE to assess, but we all come to realize (begrudgingly) that…
Added by Irene Farmer on November 30, 2011 at 11:45pm —
I love using my i-pad in the classroom sooo much that I want more of them! I know I may be a little late to this game and that many teachers who are reading this are most likely beyond what I have to report, but I am so excited that I have to report anyway!
Recently our district gave all Kindergarten and Grade One teachers an i-pad. We were given it primarily to use with our class for a universal screening test called Dibbles. While administering the test… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on September 28, 2011 at 8:31am —
Our district recently lost the life of one of its high school students. No matter the cause or reason for a life cut short, the loss of a child is impossible to understand. "Why?" is the question that gets turned over and over in your head without an answer.
A student's death ultimately stops an educator in their tracks. It forces many to begin to question the reason we work with kids at all. Sometimes we are forced to unearth what is really important in a student's life --… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on September 15, 2011 at 9:30pm —
I think most teachers already realize that it's important to engage their students and that a student's learning engagement actually bumps up student achievement significantly. However, if they are at all like me, then they also need to be reminded of what works for kids. What is the best way to be reminded of this? By asking kids! Find out how kids best learn by asking the kids. What an amazing concept, eh?
I was fortunate enough to be part of a "Look to Learn"… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on November 19, 2010 at 5:30pm —
A google spreadsheet was sent via e-mail from our Superintendent, explaining that our next upcoming Professional Development Day was going to be run in the "unconference" style. I was thrilled. Finally a professional development day filled with choice and interest! This approach invited teachers and staff to sign up for a time slot to present an idea, talent or skill which they thought would be interesting to share with their colleagues in the district. I could actually learn something… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on September 30, 2010 at 7:00pm —
Now there's a loaded word in education. What is data? Well, I think data is a tool (one of many) that can be used to assess where a student is in relation to his/her academic growth. It can be read well and tell a lot about a student, but it can also be misinterpreted. Data often gives educators and administrators a good place to start in assessing what a child needs.
But it can't end there (in my opinion). Isn't teacher… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on May 5, 2010 at 10:00am —
While managing my first graders blog site, I came across a comment that really made me smile. It was in response to one of my student's blogs and it read,
"This is my first blog response ever!" Love Grampa.
This young generation is reaching out to their grandparents and introducing them to blogging. I don't think anyone should worry about whether technology and social media will be used in the schools in the future. It is here and, as… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on March 30, 2010 at 12:34pm —
I have an incubator with eggs in my first grade classroom. Although it is in the corner of the room, it has become the epicenter of the classroom. Today as it was time for math and I did my best to get the children to sit on the rug for the beginning of my lesson on measurement. But they were hovered around the incubator. I didn't exist. Math didn't exist. Time and space stood still. A chick was emerging from its shell.
How do you call children away from an… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on March 24, 2010 at 8:42pm —
I want to thank Philly-Teacher's blog (http://philly-teacher.blogspot.com/), for helping to inspire this post. In her last blog, she asked for a list on what you like about Education. I love posts which focus on the positive aspects of our job because, as we all know already, it is so easy to get sucked into the vortex of all the problems in education, political bashing and daily complaints.
Educators have the BEST jobs in the world! By BEST I don't mean easiest, most supported, or… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on March 19, 2010 at 11:06pm —
My principal was showing a fellow PLN member from another state around our school at the request of the High School principal of our district. This teacher is relocating to our area and the High School principal thought it would be a great idea to introduce him to the faculty of our district.
Once it was explained to my principal how we all knew each other via our PLN on Twitter, she got interested. A conversation began in the hallway outside of my classroom and… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on March 14, 2010 at 9:35am —
I've always firmly believed that life presents you with the perfect people, resources, opportunities and teachers at precisely the right moment. What I didn't know was how lightning fast this realization becomes once you become involved in social media.
When I ventured to create a Twitter account just over 3 weeks ago, I probably held the same exact thoughts that many teachers who aren't using social media currently hold:
Why should I… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on March 11, 2010 at 10:00am —
I love this past week's #edchat. It was all on teacher morale. After batting around who's responsibility it is to keep morale up, I think we all left the conversation realizing that we are responsible for our own morale. The best ways to keep your morale up is to help a fellow teacher and focus on the students. After all, how can you feel bad when you are helping someone else -- whether it is a child or colleague?
As teachers, we set the tone of our classroom.… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on March 3, 2010 at 7:52am —
It has been a very interesting year for me. Our school underwent some enormous changes with the implementation of RtI (Response to Intervention). For those who are not familiar with RtI, children are assessed in their language arts skills and then are grouped according to their ability. These children then switch classrooms for instruction.
My first reaction to such a change was, "NO! Not in first grade! These kids need consistency! Heterogeneous grouping is gone! How are… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on February 28, 2010 at 10:47am —
Added by Irene Farmer on February 25, 2010 at 8:07am —
"Thanks for the fun activities"
These were the words I heard from a first grade student of mine who comes to me for help in reading. Those words made my day, my week, my year thus far!
Our school district switched to an RTI model of instruction this year and I have the Tier II students who are assessed as the emergent readers needing the most help in reading/writing. After 13 years of teaching a multi-level classroom of first graders, this model… Continue
Added by Irene Farmer on February 24, 2010 at 8:36pm —