Technology New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on January 13, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Fran Mauney

1.  Exercise More:  Have you tried the Wii Fit or Wii Fit Plus?  It’s an amazing (and fun) tool that measures your BMI, creates a Mii, and tracks your weight and progress as you exercise. There are tons of games that and activities for Yoga, Strength Training, Aerobics, Balance, and Fit Plus games. Brain research supports movement to enhance learning.  Challenge your right and left sides of your brain by performing exercises from the book “Brain Gym” by Paul Dennison with your students. Visit his website: www.braingym.com. Try the Lazy Eights or Cross Crawl to see if your students can cross the midlines of their bodies.  This will help you see if the right and left sides of the brain have strong bridges built to transfer information easily to each other.

2.  Eat Healthier:  Visit websites that provide recipes that are good for you.  Join the free community healthy living program called Activate Upstate. Activate Upstate’s Kickoff Rally 2010 is Jan. 19, 4:30-7 p.m. Carolina First Center, Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville.
For more information visit www.activategreenville.org or call: 864-242-1111.  You will receive free recipes and healthy eating tips each week via email when you sign up.

3. Relax and Read:  Have you heard of the Kindle by Amazon?  Watch the video on this website and you will be amazed. This is the wave of the future.  No more buying books that sit on your shelf and collect dust.  Your books are automatically downloaded onto your Kindle wireless reading device after you shop at the Kindle store.  Wherever you are – at home, in the car, on the beach, you can access the Kindle store and buy books for much cheaper than you would at a book store. Most books run around $6-$10.  When you buy a book, it is auto-delivered wirelessly in less than one minute. There are more than 400,000 books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs available and they have free book samples.  Also, you can download and read the first chapters of a book for free to see if you would like to purchase it.

4. De-Clutter:  Would you like to get rid of the piles of books that you’ve collected over the years?  You can donate your books to the local library, shelters, churches, or sell them back at used book stores.  Or you could sell them online using Amazon.com or Half.com.  My son spent $700 last semester buying his college textbooks at the campus book store.  This year he used Amazon. com and Half.com and his books were only $200.  This inspired me to sell some of our books and I sold 3 in one day.  (After paying to have the books mailed, going to the post office and buying the padded envelopes, I only made $5.00!) but they are off my shelf and I’m a little richer!

5.  Make learning fun and exciting and enjoy the opportunities you have to shape the lives of your students! Add a little more technology to your lesson plans this year. Engage your students by using more interactive websites that foster learning in your classrooms. I put together a list of websites for you to use with your students this semester and I hope you will find it beneficial.   Here is the link to the websites for teachers:  Websites for Teachers  Make sure you open the Wonderful Winning Website document and click on the links.

6. Share your ideas: Remember to register to attend the Upstate Technology Conference this year on June 22 and 23 at Wade Hampton High School. Click here to share your ideas as a presenter.  We’d love to hear all the great things you are doing in your classrooms! If you’d like to be a participant click here.

Happy 2010, I hope it is a Technologically Fun Year!

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3 Responses to “Technology New Year’s Resolutions”

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Thanks for all of the ideas on this entry. I am working every day on the Wii Fit and it can be a killer. I always appreciate your ideas and input.

Oh, I just got a Wii Fit for Christmas and I haven’t gotten around to using it just yet. I hate that I missed your inservice at school the other day, but I’ve been having some medical problems! =( Hope to see you soon!

I totally agree Fran! Healthy bodies create alert brains; alert brains have a greater chance to find that learning can be fun! My job is to create a hunger for learning or create a menu of “healthy food” for the brain. Incorporating movements like the Brain Gym activities you promote, will increase the frequency in which children participate in movements that cross the mid-line and activate right and left brain coordination, but these movements have other documented benefits. Eye movements needed in reading (moving left to right across a line and then the return “sweep” back to the left and the next line) and the complex and simultaneous thought processes (using letter and sound decoding skills in order to understand and think about the meaning of the print) strengthen through movements that cross the mid-line.

You may also be aware of The ALERT PROGRAM® because it (http://www.alertprogram.com/articles.php) is another physical and brain friendly teaching approach. I learned about from an occupational therapist. I first incorporated both Brain Gym and the ALERT PROGRAM®’s activities as a first grade teacher. Today, my PreK children and I exercise our bodies and minds daily. The ALERT PROGRAM® emphasizes different states of mental alertness needed for all types of learners and at different times of the day. What can we do to “rev-up” our mental engine? What can we do to calm-down our mental engine? Different states of alertness are not only individual for all of us, but they also change throughout the day. Moreover, different states of alertness are needed for different types of learning. I have the booklet An Introduction to How Does Your Engine Run?, and it drastically changed the way I managed instruction and activities throughout the day, including teaching my students to identify and self-regulate their own states of alertness. I learned that different types of exercise produce different states of alertness. Heavy, weighted exercises produce a calm body and totally “awake” and calm brain that is ready to absorb and concentrate. In contrast, running and similar aerobic exercises, seem to “rev-up” our energy and physicalness. That’s why our children are still very active after recess! Also affecting our state of alertness is the sensory in-put or lack of it. Again, individuals can handle different amounts of stimuli (visual, auditory, and tactile). Too much sensory input can be distracting for some children and needed for others to increase memory and recall of information. (http://www.alertprogram.com/documents/Whats%20All%20This%20Talk%20About%20Engines%20English.pdf)
Thanks for sharing your blog with our class! I have gone crazy locating wonderful sites from it! I remembered that I created a Greenville County blog …a lonely place…because I don’t know how to use it! So I’m posting that huge comment on yours!:)


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