Thursday, April 30, 2009

McDonald County Spelling Bee

Yolanda from Mrs. Drake's Class

Yesterday McDonald County held it's district wide spelling bee. Grades 1-8 participated in this spelling bee, below is a list of notable winners from Noel Schools:
1st Grade - Aidan, fifth place
3rd Grade - Kayla, fourth place
4th Grade - Hannah, third place
5th Grade - Parker, fouth place
6th Grade -Yolanda, second place
7th Grade - Nathan, second place
8th Grade - David, third place
Overall, Noel students had a terrific showing at the spelling bee, outstanding performance by all those to participated.

Mr. McClung

Terrific Tiger - April

Today we honored our Terrific Tigers for the month of April. Each one of these student from sixth grade has performed extremely well in both academics and as a citizenship. Each student has proven to be excellent examples of what hard work and determination look like, job well done by everyone!

Devin from Mrs. Drake's Class, Ashely from Mrs. Hamm's Class, and Colby from my homeroom.

Mr. McClung

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Throwdown Thursday

Ahhhh....yes! Another week, another throwdown!

For those not familiar with what with Throwdown Thursday, it is a weekly event that my students and I have developed. Students partner up with a classmate and label themselves as number ones and two. Number one student will then perform a dance or movement and the number two student must replicate the same movement. This will continue on for about ten minutes while students take turns. The whole concept is built about coming to school, hearing some good music, dancing a little bit, and breaking a sweat in the process. Not a bad deal, huh?

So....as I prepare my playlist for another Throwdown Thursday, I can't help but to think about some of the great dances in history....let's take a look.


"....more like a full body dry heave set to music...." - Oh yeah, the famous Elaine dance. Characterized by it's "little kicks" and "thumbs". May be best to NOT do this one in public.


Nobody gets down like the Fresh Prince. Carlton and Will show us the importance team work.


Who could forget this internet juggernaut, definitely wins the award for best dance using props.

The great thing about dancing is that you do not have to great at it to have fun, thank goodness....So, no matter if you are a professional, or if you have to depend on "little kicks" to get yourself on the dance floor, add a little rhythm to your day and enjoy yourself on this Throwdown Thursday.

Mythbusters - Double Dip

Earlier this week we put a nice bow on our diversity of life unit. We concluded by watching our favorite science show, Mythbusters. Seeing that we just finished our lesson over bacteria, we decided to watch an episode that dealt with a classic germiphobe myth.....the double dip.


In episode of Mythbusters, Adam and Jamie take on this myth (among others) by using very similar materials that we have used in our previous lessons. The task was to take agar petri dishes and swab them with samples from the two dips, cream based (sour cream) and liquid based (salsa). After the samples were collected, they then took samples after double dipping and a sample from spitting dip back into the bowl.

So is double dipping really as bad as putting your whole mouth in the bowl? After a long process Adam and Jamie came to the conclusion that there are far more germs already living in the dips themselves and that double dipping did not produce enough bacteria to make enough of a difference.

So naturally myself and my students decided to test this experiment ourselves. We set up a experiment in which we took samples of my mouth, chips, salsa, and of course my double dip. After letting our petri dishes sit for the weekend, here are our results.

Mouth - Despite the fact that I own the dirtiest water bottle in town, the sample from my mouth did not produce any sufficient colonies of bacteria.

Chip - The sample from the chip did produce several colonies, the most noticeable the one located at the top of the petri dish.

Salsa - As you can see, this dish produced the most bacteria colonies in our experiment, there are about ten colonies that can seen in this photo.

Double Dip - Finally the double dip produced the about the same about of colonies as the regular salsa did, proving that I did not transmit a sufficient amount of bacteria into the salsa.

Conclusion
Just the same as Adam and Jamie, my students and I called this one busted. As you can see from the pictures, a germiphobe should be more concerned about the salsa they are eating instead of the double dip.....so tell the germiphobe in your life to just relax.

Mr. McClung

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bacteria Conclusions

On Friday we wrapped up our bacteria investigation. For five days we allowed our bacteria samples to grow on our agar petri dishes that we created a week ago. Below are some pictures of the final results.

Let's start off with our lunch room, front office, and computer lab.
1. Water fountain
2. Key board from sixth grade computer lab
3. Phone from the office (student use)
4. Lunch room key pad (student use)

Next, revisit to the office and lunch room with stops in the sixth grade lab and restroom.
1. Front office phone (student use)
2. Computer mouse from sixth grade computer lab
3. Lunch room key pad (student use)
4. Toilet seat (girls restroom)

Lastly, school library, toilet seat, and our own door handle.
1. Toilet seat (boys restroom)
2. My classroom door handle
3. Library book marks
4. Library counter top

Overall we found that we live in a pretty disgusting world. There is no escaping germs and bacteria no matter where we go. Some students found bacteria in unlikely places, such as the library and bookmarks. There was also sampled locations that we expected lots of bacteria, but not to the extent we found, like our classroom pet the roaches. As we move forward we will be switching our focus from diversity of life to properties of matter as we come down the final stretch of the school year.

Mr. McClung

Friday, April 24, 2009

Peer Review Practice

Students this week have been preparing short stories using a specific outline method in order to build the appropriate parts of a story, rising action, climax, falling action, etc. So in order to prepare for our upcoming collaboration piece with Mr. Lamshed's class, we practiced our peer review skills today.

Practice

Students were asked to present their rough draft outlines for peer review to me. These outlines were taped to various places in the classroom (with no names) and students took two minutes at each paper to review a fellow classmate's work. Students were asked to review their ideas and provide 'constructive' comments to help make the paper stronger.

The Result

Awesome. My students really took off with this and took it very seriously. Everyone had a honest approach to help their friends write their papers. I really think this is a value exercise in teaching students how to proof read and review a paper and is an exercise I look forward to doing again in the future.

Mr. McClung

Holocaust ID Cards

Inspired by my visit to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum back in December, I decided to assign my students an assignments using the identification cards given out at the museum. For those not familiar, when you enter the museum you are given an ID card with the identity of a Jewish person that experienced the Holocaust.

The ID card is very similar in looks to a passport and inside contain a wealth of knowledge about that particular person, including: name, birth day, place of birth, basic background of their family, a summary of their life during 1933-39 & 1940-44, and of course whether they survived the Holocaust. Below is a basic example of the basic layout of the ID cards

ABRAHAM BERGMAN
Born Krasnik, Poland
June 15, 1924

Abraham was born to a Jewish family in Krasnik, a town in the Lublin district of Poland. The town had a large Jewish population. Abraham's father was a tailor. When Abraham was 2, his mother died and he was raised by his grandmother. At the age of 7, Abraham started public school.


1933-39: I liked school but it was difficult. The Christian children often yelled at the Jews, "You killed our God." One year, on the day before Christmas break, some kids brought ropes tied to iron weights to school. They waited until after school, so no one could tell the teacher, and then beat up the Jewish kids. Many went home covered in blood. In 1938 I finished public school. The invading Germans reached Krasnik in September 1939.

1940-45: In 1942 I was deported to the Budzyn, Majdanek and Auschwitz camps in Poland, and then Oranienburg and Flossenb├╝rg in Germany. By spring 1945 I was in a group of 500 taken to a farm area in Bavaria. Only 3 SS guards policed 30 of us. When one guard went to the kitchen and the other took men to look for food, I seized my chance. Pushing through the farmhouse gates, I ran into the woods. Shots were fired; I threw myself down. Two escapees fell next to me. We got to the village of Gern just as a U.S. tank appeared.

After the war Abraham lived in Bavaria for three years. He emigrated to Canada in 1949 and then moved to the United States in 1959.
The Assignment
  1. Students were assigned a ID of a person that is the same gender.
  2. Students were asked to keep the background information, beginning, and ending of the ID cards exactly the same (italicized portions of the story).
  3. Students were asked to recall their studies of WWII and the Holocaust to rewrite the sections labeled 1933-39 & 1940-1944.
  4. Students were asked to use real locations and events to help build their rewrite of history and word process the entire identification as a Google Doc.
My students really enjoyed this project, and it has really helped put prospective into their current lessons (WWII) in social studies. You can view an excellent example of this project from one of my students by clicking here.

Mr. McClung

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bacteria, Day 2

I know what your thinking.....the highlight of my day, looking at Mr. McClung's funky mouth germs.....YES!

Below is a picture of the agar from my water bottle sample, which by far has been the grossest result we have had to this point.

Below is a fairly new discovery from last hour science class today. One of our students swabbed the buttons on the ice cream machine and this is what came back. As you can see the bacteria in the third section of the petri dish has spread to all four sections.....so far this location has produced the most bacteria from our testing.

We will continue this experiment until Friday when I hope to post our final observations for this project, in the meantime.......make sure to wash your hands!

Mr. McClung

Observing Earth Day

Today we took some time out of our normal class schedule to observe Earth Day. First part of the day students prepared Earth Day slideshows using Google Docs. Below is one of the many slideshows that was prepared by my students.



In addition to today's events, Mr. C's students brought us 6 frogs, and we decided to create a habitat for our frogs. Students were asked to conduct research about a frog's habitat and living habits in order to prepare an appropriate living environment for them.

The next job was to go scouting for food for our new found friends. Students were asked to collect bugs for our frogs.

So what did we accomplish for Earth Day? Nothing ground breaking, we really didn't do anything to save the environment or stop pollution, but we did have fun with nature. I feel like my students were able to acquire some excellent information about Earth Day during our slideshows research and they were able to have a little fun in the great outdoors today by looking for frogs and food.....I think that should count for something.

Mr. McClung

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bacteria Observations, Day 1

Today we continued with our bacteria discussion in science class. After all that swabbing yesterday, we decided to take a look at our results.

As stated in the previous post, we swabbed everything from toilets to cell phones. Above is a picture of a petri dish from a swabbing of one of our beloved cockroaches. Students were able to spot that there indeed had been some change over the night and bacteria was quickly growing. The type of bacteria that we found growing from the roaches and their environment is called filamentous.

Above is a very disturbing petri dish, because section one is from a sample that I took from the mouth of my water bottle. This was by far the best piece of visual evidence we had yesterday. The type of bacteria found here is called puntiform.

Students were very surprised by the results from day one, many were expecting large growth on samples that were taken in the restroom and lunch room, but the roaches and my water bottle (gross) produced the largest colonies. Tomorrow we will continue with our discussion and observations as we prepare to discuss colony growth.

Mr. McClung

Tie Tuesday Hall of Fame

Don't call it a come back....

....with school starting to wind down, many students have lost their passion for this weekly celebration that we like to call Tie Tuesday ®; but, don't tell that to Mr. C's fifth grade class.

With the a little help from Mr. C, his entire class is decked out in ties on this glorious Tuesday. I was stunned. With all this madness circulating around Tie Tuesday I had no choice but to induct the entire class into The Tie Tuesday Hall of Fame (TTHF) for being the first class to have every student sporting a tie. Here's to a very sharp dressed class!

"Tie Tuesday, promoting professionalism one tie at a time..."

Mr. McClung

Monday, April 20, 2009

Microorganisms

Today in science class we started our discussion about microorganisms by thinking a little bit about bacteria and fungus. I posed a question to my class, "what in our school has the largest amount of bacteria present?" As one would expect, this got pretty gross in a hurry. First let's discuss our setup. Above is a bottle of agar, this is a sterile gelatin that is made of soy. We used substance in a petri dish to serve as our canvas for our bacteria portrait with a cotton swab as our brush.

With agar and swab in hand, it was time to go to work. I deployed students all over the school to gather bacteria from various places, and this is where we went....

Bathroom floors, toilet seats, toilet handles, and sinks.

Cellphones, keyboards, mice, and desk.

Office phones, lunch room key pads, floors, and tables.

Finally we used our swab to inoculate the agar.

Throughout the next four days we will be observing our agar dishes to see what location in our school produces the most bacteria colonies. Stay tuned for more on bacteria as well as tomorrow when we begin our investigations with fungi.

Mr. McClung

Friday, April 17, 2009

Australian Rules Football

For the past couple of days my students have been preparing slideshow presentations about Australian Rules Football. This was inspired by our conversation with Mr. Lamshed the other day. After talking to Mr. Lamshed many of my students were confused by what Australian Football was, so I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to integrate a variety technology strategies in order to better understand the sport. In order to complete the slideshows we used Google Docs as our canvas for this project.

In our project I used an application called Jing, this valuable tool allows users to create screencast with voice over instructions that is both very handy and user friendly.

Since creating a presentation was new to my students I created my own screencast. This allowed me to not only give written instructions, but also add a nice visual and recorded voice instructions via a screencast. This was very beneficial to students and myself, because eliminated the need to repeat instructions over and over again.

We also used our Ning chat as a tool in this project. We were able to use chat as a means to answer simple Q & A discussions. If my students for got a step or needed help finding a source, I could scaffold by using chat and share links and other types of information.

Then the final product. Students used various site for information, including Google, Wikipedia, and The Australian Football League website. Below are a couple of presentations my students prepared.




Overall this was such a worth while project to do in conjunction with our Skype call with Mr. Lamshed. My students really enjoyed conducting their research and learning about this outstanding sport.

Mr. McClung

Madagascar Cockroach Discussion

After yesterday excitement cockroach lab, we the opportunity today to reflect on yesterday's discoveries. Today in class we reviewed some key points from yesterday's lab including, walking, eating, antennas, and stimuli. Below is a video of our discussion from today.


After our discussion was over, we took sometime to practice our Cornell Note-Taking. We used a reading from the book that highlighted habitats of various insects.

We will wrap up our discussion of insects on Monday as we prepare to enter our final unit of diversity of life, kingdoms of life.

Mr. McClung

Thursday, April 16, 2009

La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha....

The day my students have been waiting for since the first day of school.....cockroach lab. Today we continued our discussion about insects by taking a further look at Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.

Students took a closer look at these little critters by analyzing characteristics of the roaches. Students were asked to pay particular attention to eating habits, walking manner, use of antennas, reaction to stimuli, gender of their roach, and overall structure of this insect. Today was more of an exploration day to become accustom to the insect's behavior, below are a few highlights from today's lessons.


Students 'carefully' picking out their lab buddy


Cockroach reacting to food


Students returning the cockroaches

Tomorrow we will continue with an in-dept discussion of findings from today's lesson, we will closer examine all of the characteristics listed before to better understand adaptations and habitat of the cockroaches.


Mr. McClung

Skype Conversation with Mr. Lamshed - Do Overs

After Mr. Lamshed was able to upload our full conversation, I thought i would be appropriate to update my post and re-post it with all the extra 'goodies'.

Today marks a very special day in our classroom. We had our first Skype conversation with Mr. Lamshed of Australia. Mr. Lamshed was kind enough to join our discussion despite being on holiday break and the extreme time difference. Above is a picture of my class huddled around a computer monitor during our conversation.

Mr. Lamshed, myself, and my students were able to have a discussion about some cultural differences between our two countries and schools, as well as further develop plans for a future collaboration of a written assignment between our two classes. The talk went very well, despite some technical issues on my end, my students were thrilled about talking to someone from another country.

Below is our full conversation in four part segments, enjoy.









Mr. McClung

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

At the Teacher's Desk


Recently I was approached by my friend and fellow teacher Mr. Lamshed about participating in a collaberation project. Of course I jumped on board and was eager to begin (despite my late post).

This project is a blog that myself, Mr. Lamshed, Mr. C, and several others are all contributors of. Often when it comes to blogging I focus on my students (as I should), but Mr. Lamshed has provided us with a professional forum for which we can discuss educational topics that interest us, and this works beautifully. This is such a great chance for educators from all around the world to come together and share thougths and ideas. You can check out our project by clicking here.

Mr. McClung

Insects, Day 2

Today we continued our discussion about insects in preparation for our lab with cockroaches later this week. Students were able to identify insects from non-insects by looking at their characteristics. An insect consists of a head, thorax, abdomen, and six legs. Students were also able to identify different adaptations of insects. The picture above is of Omar using a a FOSS application that was shared with me by one of our New Zealand visitors.

On Thursday, we will continue our discussion about insects as we begin our exploration of cockroaches.....don't worry there will be plenty of video.

Mr. McClung

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tie Tuesday Hall of Fame

We have a Tie Tuesday Hall of Fame first! Today we are inducing our first female student to the TTHF! Macy is in my homeroom and is always excited when Tie Tuesday rolls around. Macy called claims on her dad's best tie at the beginning of the semester, and has been wearing it every Tuesday since. So here's to you Macy! May you enjoy this great honor and all the fame that comes with it!

Mr. McClung

Introduction to Insects - Live and Loud

Today we began our introduction to insects. We studied the began by studying the basic overview of the make up of an insect. We learned that there are three basic parts that make up all insects
  • Head (the control center of the insect)
  • Thorax (in control of movement)
  • Abdomen (where the guts are stored)
In addition, we learned that different insects require different adaptations. Example, a female mosquito, everything about their piercing mouthparts is adapted for tapping blood. Also, the mosquito's saliva contains chemicals that keep blood from clotting and is also equipped with pain killers, this is why you usually do not feel anything until a few minutes after the mosquito has left. This is just one example of an adaptation.

Below is a video lesson of our discussion about insects today, enjoy.



Mr. McClung

Monday, April 13, 2009

Peer Writing Review

Slow week last week of blogging last week, but back at it again this week.

The past two weeks we have been working up a couple of rough drafts in my communication arts class, one of these is a story using Scholastic Story Starters. Story Starters is a application that give students a topic and a description for which to base the context of the story around. Above is a picture of my students using the SMARTboard to interact with Story Starters.

Today my students will begin processing their short stories on Google Docs, in this process students will be preparing their papers for peer review with their classmates using the collaborate feature. This is a great practice to use for preparing papers/writing assignments for final submission. Looking forward to posting some of these short stories that will be produced by this lesson along with updates of our progress.

Mr. McClung

Scientific Method Resource


This morning a colleague shared with me a wonderful link to a very valuable resource for teaching the scientific method. The website is simply titled 'Scientific Method Web Page', the website was developed by Mr. Dan Tripp, an eMINTS teacher at Hoech Middle School located in St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Tripp has developed a wonderful classroom tool that provides in dept knowledge of the scientific method by being able to hear it, see it, read it, and watch it. In addition to the video, audio, and text; Mr. Tripp has provided an online quiz for assessing the scientific method and web quest to further develop understanding. This is an excellent tool and can really add value to any teacher's lesson when discussing the scientific method, you can view this page by clicking here.

Mr. McClung

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Super Size Me

After MAP testing today, I decided to take time to watch the movie Super Size Me as a class. This movie is a documentary about a man named Morgan Spurlock. Spurlock is a normal healthy person until he decides to test the effects of eating McDonald's for 30 straight days (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Needless to say his health quickly declines after starting this "diet".

This documentary points out some painfully true points about the condition of health in America. Did you know, that 60% of Americans get absolutely no form of physical activity in the course of the day? The movie went to great lengths to explain how strategic McDonald's is in their advertisements (towards children) and how this 'fast food' becomes a comfort food for many because they grow up eating it at such a young age. Thus explaining the addiction to 'fatty' food for many people in America

The effects of a high fat diet, such as McDonald's, are very clear after watching the movie. Due to Spurlock's diet he became more susceptible/suffered from fatigue, breathing problems, obesity, adult on-set diabetes, heart disease, mood swings, headache, high cholesterol, depression, liver disease, etc....

Having a studied health and physical education in undergraduate and having been a person that survived obesity (lost 100 lbs.), you can imagine that this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. In the climate that we live in here in America, physical education and school food choices should be a priority at every school. Did you know, that majority of the "lunch service provider" meals at school can reach 1,000+ calories for per meal??? While education plays an important role in the physical condition of a child, this topic also goes far beyond school. Did you know, the Surgeon General recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity everyday? Unfortunately some children do not get 30 minutes in a week.

I am not trying to start a reform for health in regards to education (although it needs to be done), and to be honest I wouldn't know the first step. What I am just trying do is give a few observations that might grab the attention of others, similar to what it did for me. This movie is a definite must see, and who knows, it could save your life!

Mr. McClung

Monday, April 6, 2009

Teachable Moment with Roaches

As a part of our diversity of life unit in science, one of our objectives is to introduce the concept of adaptation by pointing out the structure and behaviors of an insect and how it relates to those adaptations. The insects we are using are Madagascar Hissing Roaches, and as you might guess classroom has also become housing for these little hissing critters. Today my students and I were able observe the molting process with our roaches. Because the this insect is encased in its rigid exoskeleton, which cannot expand, the only way an insect can grow is to get out of the exoskeleton. This is the process is called molting. Below is a video of a couple of our roaches shedding their exoskeleton.



Mr. McClung

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cornell Note-Taking - Live and Loud


Today we continued our discussion about The Cornell Note-Taking System. We used our discussion about the pollination of a flower to help use better understand the system. This lesson was a little bit different than any in my class before, today we went full audio and full video for a 45 minute lesson. This is very exciting for me and my class, because this means everything taught in my room is now available where ever they go. Today was only a test run at this practice, but we are working towards making all of our lessons available through a provider such as Ning or Ustream. Above is the full video from my lesson with Mrs. Drake's Class today, enjoy.

Mr. McClung

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cornell Note-Taking

"The best ideas are always stolen"

After reading Mr. C's post about note-taking, I was inspired to spread to the good word of note-taking to my students today. We took time out of our science schedule today to study The Cornell Note-taking System. Forty years ago, Walter Pauk (1989) developed what is known as the Cornell note-taking technique to help Cornell University students better organize their notes. Today, Pauk's note-taking technique is probably the most widely used system throughout the United States.
Pauk outlines six steps in the Cornell note-taking system:
  • Record
  • Reduce (or question)
  • Recite
  • Reflect
  • Review
  • Summary
Today we used this technique today to help us study plant reproduction, and we will continue using this system again tomorrow.

Mr. McClung

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Transpiration

Where does the water go? that is the question that I asked my students Monday when we started our lesson about transpiration. We water, water, and water plants all the time, but what happens to the water? We decided to answer this question by using celery.

Day 1 - Weight the celery
Students were able to figure out that the plant itself uses the water, but how do we know for sure? The only way to figure this out would be do leave the celery in water for 24 hours and do before and after weights of the celery. Students filled two vials with 20 ml of water and place celery in one vial and nothing in the other, to test evaporation.






Day 2 - Results and further investigation
On day 2 we found that our celery had increased in weight considerable and the water levels have gone down by half in most celery vials. As for the water vials, there was little to no change, ruling out evaporation. Next step? Next we want how the water is being disturbed inside the plant, we already know about water channels but where exactly do they go? To find out we added red dye to our water and waited another 24 hours.




Day 3 - Finding water channels and understanding transpiration
We found a surprise with our celery. Many of the leafs have turned a reddish color and we are starting to see red lines in our celery. We have discovered that these water channels feed water to all parts of the plant including the leafs, we know this by the the red lines that are visible in the celery (just like the one on your left). Next question, what is the next step in the water process? The answer, transpiration. Students learned that transpiration is the evaporation of water from the aerial parts of plants, especially leaves but also stems, flowers and roots. So if this is correct we should be able to visually see this process by placing a plastic bag over a tree or shrub branch, students came up with the hypothesis that water will collect on the inside of the bag.

Day 4 - Results and finally conclusions
On day four we discovered that our hypothesis was correct! We found that there was all kinds of moisture on the inside of the bag. Turns out that the water is released from the plant in a gas form through little pores in the leaf called stomates. Let's recap for a moment, the process of transpiration goes like this:

Water is first absorbed by the roots, passes through the plant through channels, and then is released as a gas through the plant's leaf surface. Next step for us is flower reproduction.

Mr. McClung

My Two Cents on Twitter....

....everyone else is doing it!

In my graduate classes the topic of technology in the classroom has presented itself numerous times in the past two weeks. The classes I am taking are educational research and educational psychology courses. Both of these classes are offered as a "hybrid class", meaning that one week we meet online and the next we meet in person. On weeks that we meet online, we depend heavily on discussion boards, Google groups, and Google docs to help guide our classroom.

The technology we use in class is put to great use, but a question was raised last night, "what technology is a added value to the classroom and what is not?" This really got me thinking about what I do in my own classroom. How much of what I use is added value, and how much of what I use is of little to no value and is being added just because? Being tapped into a streamline of people that always have suggestions about new technologies that are available for the classroom, it is very easy to become carried away and go into overkill mode with what you use with your students.

A perfect example of this is Twitter. Let me first say that I use Twitter on a daily basis and lately there has been a large boom of educators promoting Twitter in the classroom. Which is great, I love to see inspired teachers, but...
I have yet to find a valuable use for Twitter in my own classroom.
I believe Twitter can be a valuable tool for communication and Q & A sessions, especially for non classroom time, but I do not think it would be value added to my classroom. I know this will not be popular view among some teachers, but I do not see the need to add an extra step in a classroom discussion. I personally will stick to my normal classroom discussions and chat room discussions in my classes.

I believe there is a point where teachers can give too much to the students too fast, and it becomes hard to focus on what the concept being taught actually is. I think technology should be used as a tool and not the focus of the lesson. I am very cautious of what I introduce to my students and the value it holds.

To sum it up, I love using technology in my classroom and I believe that it compliments my teaching well, but I want to make sure what I am doing is meaningful and not just another toy that causes unnecessary steps. I believe that teachers should continue to explore new technologies and find their 'nitch' for what they use and don't use. Please share your thoughts and insight, I really would love to hear some ideas about this topic especially if you are pro Twitter in school I would LOVE to hear some rationale on this topic.

Mr. McClung