Tomorrow sixth grade Language Arts students will begin pulling work from their blogs to create mini-portfolios. They’ll create a separate page on their WordPress blogs to link to and reflect upon work from all three trimesters, which they believe reflect some of their most important learning for the year. I threw together a quick model post.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I created this screencast to showcase some of the work 6th graders have done using their blogs this year. I was supposed to present the work in person to visiting teachers, but I wasn’t feeling well, so I created a screencast instead. I was proud that I found a way to meet my obligation and share students’ work, but also stay home and rest on a day I wasn’t feeling well. While I sometimes stress a lot about having to present student work and thoughts about my teaching, I discovered I’m getting pretty good about speaking about them, even on short notice. Creating this screencast reminded me that the more often you attempt something difficult or frightening, the easier it gets.

The screencast wasn’t perfect, but I felt it demonstrated the ways I’d imporoved since the beginning of the year. I was annoyed at a random pop-up that showed up during the screencast, and the fact that the audio didn’t record the first time I did it. If I could do it over, I would get rid of the pop-up before I did the recording and investigate to see if there was a way for the VoiceThread audio to be recorded as part of the screencast. I have been using ScreenToaster for awhile and this was one of the first times I felt really comfortable with that. It was nice to see the effort that I’d put into using it and learning about it pay off.

UPDATE: Here’s an great example of one of my student’s portfolios. You can also view all the 6th grade student portfolios.

Sick Day Screencast

On Thursday, I was exhausted and couldn’t sleep because of a cough, so I took a sick day. I’d agreed to do a presentation for visitors from another school about the work my students and I do in the classroom, and I felt guilty about missing it. So while I was waiting for a decent hour to call in sick, I created a quick screencast. Except for a random pop-up and the fact that Screentoaster didn’t pick up the audio for the VoiceThread project I showed, I was pretty pleased with the results, especially given the circumstances.

Vodpod videos no longer available.