Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I know you've all been anxiously waiting...drumroll, please!
My VoiceThread is ready! We tried a couple more things today and we finally have success. I got a new microphone and that worked today. I'm not sure why the other one didn't work, but this one does and I'm done! You'll notice that I also have some typed comments. This is because I didn't know if I would get the voice part done in time, so I typed my comments just to be safe.
It is always nice to try these things first, before diving into a project with your students because you never know what might happen. I'm just glad I got it done because it really was driving me crazy.
Ok, deep breath...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I can't even express to you how frustrated I am right now!!! Ugh! I have tried and tried and tried to complete my VoiceThread. But, to no avail. I tried Saturday and again on Sunday with no luck. Then I brought a microphone home from school yesterday to finish it at home, but my lovely laptop wouldn't do anything with it. I worked with it for about an hour before finally giving up. For whatever reason my laptop will not recognize the microphone when it is attached to my computer. I get nothing-absolutely nothing!

Then, I tried doing it at school today and nothing again! Nothing! I even had our tech support person (thanks Cindy!) try to figure it out during my entire prep time, but even she couldn't figure it out! So then we wondered if it was the microphone. So we tested it with Photostory. It worked with that, so we knew it wasn't the microphone. Then I tried it again with VoiceThread, and nothing!

Cindy even tried emailing the VoiceThread helpdesk to figure it out after school. She went through the tutorial that I did last night and still nothing. Really, I am so frustrated, because I was so excited to do this project! I've viewed so many of your VoiceThreads...they are beautiful! I only wish I had something to show for it. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow and see if something clicks.'s a love/hate relationship!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Voice Thread...I need to get a microphone!

This is just a quick update on my voice thread...

I tried to finish my Cabo VoiceThread yesterday. I put in my phone number and VoiceThread called me, so I was ready to record! I re-recorded my first picture, then used the automatic feature to "turn the page" to the next picture. I finished recording that one and then it said, "I'm sorry. You have used up all of your minutes." So I went to my VoiceThread and tried to do the calling option again, and it says you can pay $10 for 1 hour of time. Well, I guess I'm waiting until I get to school to try and finish, because I don't really want to pay the $10. Call me cheap...

Oh well! I guess I know now that I'll be investing in a microphone!

Look for my finished product tomorrow night! I hope!
I was also searching the VoiceThread website to see what other things have been posted. I found one called "Four Images that More or Less Represent Katherine." This is an interesting one that I would actually like to do for myself. I think it would be interesting to do it now and one in a few years and so on to see if anything changes. I think this could be useful for upper grades in some capacity (not sure exactly how it would tie in). One other VoiceThread I found that I would like to use with my class is one called "Picture Writing." This one is a third grade class that recites their poems corresponding with their pictures. I think this would be a really easy way to share students' poetry with each other and with family and friends. I am REALLY excited to use this with my first graders and my own kiddos too!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


In the past few posts I have forgotten to include my resource links. Oops! So, here I am as I reflect on things I have come across while looking online or while doing reading for this class... While doing the choice reading for week 2, I came across this classroom blog page for a first grade class. It was amazing to me to look at the different things she had done then and what she has done now with her class. I look at the posts and think, When does she have the time and energy to do this?! But, I suppose with anything, it's all about what you get used to doing, and it ends up being just another part of your day.

One of the most interesting videos I came across while doing my research as a part of my Ning role play really shed light on what I've been thinking as we've been in this digital writing course. I really wonder at what point the teachers will catch up with the kids. I think this probably comes across more strongly in the secondary grades. I know that when it comes to texting-just a small piece of technology-I am much further behind than many kids! I suppose there will always be some sort of gap because the technology continues to change more rapidly than what schools can keep up with. I'll have to go back to the Ning, because I know there was a posting about the continuing gap in new technology and when it "arrives" in schools. I'll connect the link when I find that.

I will be adding to these resources, but this is what I have for now!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rebecca Brewster, now reporting

Well, as I end my first role play experience, I can tell you that this was a lot more difficult than I had first anticipated. I was thinking that my role as a media person would be easier than taking sides on an issue. In fact, the opposite was true.

I found myself wanting to weigh in on many different discussions, but was unable to do so based on my position as "media." I wanted to stay as neutral as possible, but really wanted to make my opinions known, whether it be for or against a particular viewpoint.

I also found it difficult to post different stories, because I felt like I was pulling things out of the blue. Not knowing what direction to go with my forum posts, I kind of tried to think of the things I was wondering about. Then I found it a funny feeling if people didn't post a reply to a post. It was kind of that personal piece even though it was totally annonymous.

I would love to do another role play with a different topic and take a different stance on the topic-definitely not neutral like I did this time. That was a safe play on my part.

More to come it is time for Rebecca to sign off!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Role Play...Why Not?

So I have to start with this picture-it is of my own kids and some of their friends, playing in their very own "role play."

It is these moments that make me wish I could be a kid again. I always hear my son coming home, talking about what they "played" at school, and usually it is about the dramatic play center. This week they are changing it from a regular kitchen to a grocery store. I cannot think of a better thing to have for kids to do than play with real things and pretend they are "real" people that are in our community. Talk about learning things while doing...

In the classroom I see role play being an important piece for my first graders. Do I do it like I should? No. Am I sure about how to go about it? No. I think all it would take is some creative thinking on my part. Instead of looking at the curriculum as it is given, why not take a different approach? I could see doing book reviews in a role play situation: the author, the illustrator, the publisher, a few kids, parents, etc. Coming up with the list of players doesn't take to long. Maybe this is something I could do now! This week or next! Online...that's a different story, but at least they would have the experience to grow from if and when they are asked to participate online.

Meet Rebecca Brewster!

Hi everyone-

Click here to meet Rebecca Brewster, one of my favorite friends. Check back there often to find out more about what Becky is doing!