Friday, March 6, 2009

Big Chicken: March Book-of-the-Month March 2009

This is a time of the year when we talk about fear and risk and being brave. As teachers and students face our state's high stakes assessment next week, we often do a book-of-the-month that has to do with worrying such as The Worrywarts. This year Principal Susan Phillips introduced Big Chickens authored by Leslie Helakoski and illustrated by one of our favorite artists, Henry Cole. (Henry has been to Chets Creek a couple of times and we are expecting Leslie Helakoski next month!) Beside our Principal loves chickens and it seems that at least once a year, we have a Book-of-the-Month About chickens!

Of course, taking risks and being brave is more than a skill we practice for the high stakes test each year. It is also part of our theme, "Around the World in Technology in 180 Days." This year teachers are taking risks and overcoming any fear they feel about integrating technology into their classrooms. The challenge this month is to use technology as a response to this book of the month and then to post a blog about it! Melanie Holtsman has set up a separate blog for the posts! We have learned about so many different techy tools this year and we are all at different levels of integrating the tools into our classrooms, so this project will provide the ability to differentiate by the breadth of opportunities!

The whole purpose of the books-of-the-month this year is to give us, as teachers, an opportunity to try out technology so that we feel more comfortable with it. It will not become embedded in our daily practice unless we can use it quickly and comfortably. We are, of course, frustrated, as all schools have things that they need that are blocked by our county for our own protection but there is still so much that we can use to make our teaching more visible, more timely, more authentic. How I appreciate the "opportunity" to be pushed to think beyond my comfort zone and to embrace the digital natives that I teach. Stay tuned as this project unfolds in the weeks to come and then is opened up to the world wide web.

No comments: