Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Jacobson Symposium

Saturday, I attended the Jacobson Visiting Scholar Symposium at Grand View University.  This was an opportunity that was offered free of charge to area teachers.  I am so glad that I decided to go.  The keynote speaker was Dr. Laurie A. Henry from the University of Kentucky.  She talked about literacy and how that has been impacted and changed because of technology.  It was thought provoking.  I also attended one of her sessions later in the day about Literature Circles.

Later in the morning I attended Steven Hopper's  session about Social Media in the Classroom.   He is @thinkteach on Twitter.  It really inspired me to get back to using Edmodo.  If you are not familiar with Edmodo, it looks much like Facebook, except it is much safer for elementary kids.  Only people with the group code can access your posts.  I have not introduced Edmodo to this year's class at all.  In the past, I have used it to discuss books with reading groups.  I also have used it as a webquest.  Yesterday I realized that I have not tapped most of it's potential at all.  It can be a good communication tool with parents, and can be an excellent tool if you are interested in doing a flipped classroom.  It is a great way to get reluctant writers to participate in discussion and write responses.

The afternoon was set up as TeachMeet Sessions.  Sessions were short and presented by many of the participants.  This is similar to EdCamp, which I love.

I learned about QR Codes from Jen Wells.  This is something I just haven't understood in the past. I downloaded apps to my phone, while we were there, and now I'm set to go.

I was intrigued by Jeff Mullin's ideas for using music for classroom management.  I am definitely going to give this a try.  He plays certain tunes to signal transitions, or time to pass in papers.  He uses, which I plan to explore.

Jess Dow presented a session about Weebly.  I have a Weebly classroom website.  Sometimes I have trouble keeping it up to date.  Okay, most of the time, I have trouble keeping it up to date. I picked up some great ideas from this session about adding PDFs for spelling words, and embedding links to videos to help parents and kids with math skills, like partial product multiplication.  These ideas will make my website a much better resource for kids and parents alike.

Dr. Lindsay Grow and Jen Wells talked about Enhancing Vocabulary with Online Visual Tools.  Here are just some of the tools I plan to check out.

Graffiti Creator

Word Mover

Trading Cards

Visual Thesaurus

Tag Galaxy





This is fun.  What do you love?

This was an awesome way to spend a Saturday with great people, inspiring ideas, and good food, in a beautiful building.  This is the first of what is to become an annual event, and I will definitely be signing up next year.

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