We're heading back to Chicago on Thursday for our second f2f PLP meeting - it's hard to believe that the year is just about over now! I forget how many school days we're actually down to. . . 25? (Which still sounds like a lot because today is May 2nd - we have to go until June 8th because of an extra snow day off!)
Our PLP project is the construction of a wiki: Out of the Box We're hoping that we can get other teachers involved to show how they are thinking "out of the box" in their classrooms!
I met with a few other teachers at school on Wednesday to talk about cell phones in the classroom and how we could utilize them. Face it - all of the kids have them (some are much more visible than others!) so it would be nice if we could actually use them for good. Tonya led the meeting - we talked about texting Chacha and Google, using polling websites (like Polleverywhere) for kids to text into, and we also talked a little bit about how we could "police" the kids and make sure they were using their phones for only the task at hand (not texting their buddy). Hmm.
I like the idea of being able to text the kids with any information that I need them to know - whether a test or quiz date has been changed, a reminder of something they need to study, or even a daily assignment. I don't have unlimited texting on my phone (though it would only be $4.99 a month) so I've been checking out the possibilities of using the web to send out mass e-mails to kids (like setting up groups of classes and doing it that way). I thought I'd found a good free option, Tatango, but then I finally got logged in tonight (after a stupid mistake on my part - duh) and they've changed it from a free service to a subscription service. I'm going to keep looking, but everything else I've seen also involves fees. I'd like to avoid that if possible, even if I end up paying the $5 a month and get unlimited texting on my phone. Oh well - that gives me something to play with this summer!