Disclaimer... and credit where credit is due!

This blog is simply my thoughts, ideas, and suggestions related to the Daily Five and Cafe. I give full credit to the creators of both Daily 5 and Cafe, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, also known as The Sisters. I have attended their workshops, read their books, and subscribe to their website. Everything else, I've interpreted on my own! :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Digital Pensieve (sounds so fancy!!)

A few people have asked, so I decided to reflect and share on how my notetaking is going this year! After a couple years of trying the Pensieve the way Gail and Joan suggested, I wasn't able to make it work for me. This summer, I co-hosted a #cyberPD chat around the topic of conferring, and one major idea that was shared over and over again related to note-taking and record keeping. Because of this, I was inspired to try a new approach.
My friend Jacquie told me about an iPad app called Confer that helps to organize small group instruction. There, you can add reading levels, strengths, teaching points, and tags. I am using this app as a part of my Digital Pensieve to keep track of my groups! I am also entering benchmark running record information here. With the click of a button, I can arrange groups by levels, teaching points, or tags. It really adds to the notion of having "flexible groupings!" :)
Evernote on iPad

Through the #cyberPD conversation, Evernote was mentioned repeatedly. I decided to include that in my Digital Pensieve as well!! Evernote is where I'm keeping the majority of my notes. I love the way I can record conferences in Evernote! It will not only help me fine-tune my conferring skills but will also help me to have readers be able to hear themselves. I am contemplating how I can use this for parent-teacher conferences as well! I've set up a notebook for each child and created a "stack" for my class. (This doesn't show up on the iPad but does show on the computer.)

Evernote on my Droid



What I also love about Evernote is that I can get to it ANYWHERE! Computer at home or school, iPad, or even my phone! I'm almost wondering if it would be less distracting if I took my notes directly on my phone... hmmm...





High-tech notetaking! :)



Now, day-to-day notetaking... I thought I was going to just carry my iPad with me and take notes that way. However, I've found that my first graders are a bit intimidated by that (and distracted, too!) So, I have one paper notebook I've been carrying with me to jot down quick notes as I move from reader to reader. As I reflect later in the day, I enter these notes to Evernote.





I'm interested to see if this system continues to work for me this year! If you have a system that's working for you, I'd love to hear about it!
~Komos :)


**October 1st update!
I have dropped the use of the paper notebook. I've discovered that it is much faster (and less distracting to my readers) if I take notes directly on my Evernote app on my phone. I can edit and re-organize notes later, if needed. I can also quickly glance at the last notes I took before meeting with a reader again. The last part I'm still struggling with is the calendar component. How do I keep track of conferences? After last night's Daily 5 chat on Twitter, I have some ideas that I'll be trying out!

***October 5th update!!
My sample Planbook.com page

I had an "Aha!" moment... or maybe it was a "Duh" moment... but in any case, I think I have a plan! I'm using http://www.planbook.com/ for my lesson plans this year. I keep it up on my computer each day (instead of a paper copy.) I can also access it from my phone. (Now should the site go down, I'm out of luck!!) When I do my lesson plans, I'm typing in who I'm meeting with... therefore creating a calendar of sorts! It's worked out perfectly this week. If someone is absent, I simply bump them to another day and switch another reader in that spot. If I happen to get to more readers than expected, I type them in and re-adjust later! It's a work in progress, but so far, I think it just might work.

6 comments:

  1. Hello Laura. This is Ron from Evernote. I came across your post and just wanted to drop by and say hello. Thanks so much for sharing the ways you are using Evernote in your classroom, we really appreciate all the support. Let me know if you have any feedback or questions that I can help answer.

    Thanks again for all the support.
    -ron

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  2. Hey Laura,
    I too am using Evernote as a digital portfolio for students in my class. I too love all of the options for file types in Evernote. Having a one stop for all types of data on each student will hopefully help me to be more organized. I am also using pdf expert and emailing files to myself for the fillable pdf's that were provided in the CAFE book.
    I am just at the very beginning of this process and trying out new things and finding what works for me. I am so glad that there are lots of folks out there to ask for help from and share with.
    I enjoy your posts! Please keep writing, 'cause I'm reading! :)
    Sarah
    Hey Laura,
    I too am using Evernote as a digital portfolio for students in my class. I too love all of the options for file types in Evernote. Having a one stop for all types of data on each student will hopefully help me to be more organized. I am also using pdf expert and emailing files to myself for the fillable pdf's that were provided in the CAFE book.
    I am just at the very beginning of this process and trying out new things and finding what works for me. I am so glad that there are lots of folks out there to ask for help from and share with.
    I enjoy your posts! Please keep writing, 'cause I'm reading! :)
    Sarah
    Hey Laura,
    I too am using Evernote as a digital portfolio for students in my class. I too love all of the options for file types in Evernote. Having a one stop for all types of data on each student will hopefully help me to be more organized. I am also using pdf expert and emailing files to myself for the fillable pdf's that were provided in the CAFE book.
    I am just at the very beginning of this process and trying out new things and finding what works for me. I am so glad that there are lots of folks out there to ask for help from and share with.
    I enjoy your posts! Please keep writing, 'cause I'm reading! :)
    Sarah
    Hey Laura,
    I too am using Evernote as a digital portfolio for students in my class. I too love all of the options for file types in Evernote. Having a one stop for all types of data on each student will hopefully help me to be more organized. I am also using pdf expert and emailing files to myself for the fillable pdf's that were provided in the CAFE book.
    I am just at the very beginning of this process and trying out new things and finding what works for me. I am so glad that there are lots of folks out there to ask for help from and share with.
    I enjoy your posts! Please keep writing, 'cause I'm reading! :)
    Sarah
    http://sarahjane.edublogs.org/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Never thought of using Evernote to record notes on students. Thanks for the tip!
    http://ericashep.blogspot.com

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  4. Laura thank you for sharing your experiences. I have heard of Evernote but had no understanding of what you could do with it. Being able to keep all data on children in one place is a fantastic idea. I look forward to trying it out. Thanks!
    Leanne Kolenberg
    http://mrsksclass.edublogs.org

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  5. Hi Laura,
    Thanks to you I started using Evernote and it is brilliant. I decided to buy a subscription because I am using it for personal stuff, like photographing pages from old recipe books, clipping web pages, as well as all my student's assessment records.
    I have started using the Goodreader app on my iPad. I have all my blank running record forms scanned in as pdf files, which I can then annotate on my iPad. Then I very easily transfer them to Evernote, where I add each running record to the child's notebook, along with their conferring forms.
    I’m just having a look at Planbook. I’ve been looking for something like this. However, it is expensive and doesn’t seem to be very versatile. I have a Dell work laptop and an iPad, and it doesn’t seem to be all that straightforward to go between the two in Planbook.
    I wonder what the 2Sisters digital notebook is going to be like. It will be interesting to see!
    Thanks for your great blog and for all your helpful Tweets,
    Cheers, Louise

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  6. Hi Laura,
    I have decided to give Evernote a try when I return to the classroom after the holiday. I have tried all sorts of methods to record my conferring notes over the years! Binders, clipboards, post its - you name it. It is all getting so cumbersome and it's still so hard to look at my data to create groups. I am planning on using my iphone and Kindle Fire at school. Now I am trying to think about how to organize the notes and was wondering how you do it? Do you have a separate notebook for each student? Or a separate notebook for reading, writing and math workshop? How do you use tags?
    Thanks, @DebraRosenquist

    ReplyDelete