Tag Archives: OklaEd

Sharing Our Learning on Our Classroom Radio Show

In two weeks, I will be attending and presenting at the iPadPalooza conference in Austin, Texas.  Today, Wes and I spent several hours planning and creating my third presentation about classroom podcasts and radio shows: “The Room 108 Radio Show.”

I create our podcast episodes on my iPhone using the free app, Opinion. Our shows are embedded on our classroom website and linked on the Opinion website for free. I also share links to our episodes on Twitter.

I never imagined myself as a podcaster. This is one of the things Wes encouraged me to do as an activity in our classroom when I started teaching again 3 years ago. Wes has been creating and listening to podcasts for many years.

Podcasting turned out to be one of the best things we did all year to integrate our learning and help my students share their voices outside our classroom walls with others. Our classroom radio show was instrumental in helping me build our classroom culture throughout the year. We used our podcast in our closing classroom meetings to share out our learning, and also to showcase and highlight things we learned from visitors who came into our classroom. This year, those visitors included Kevin Durant and Enes Kanter from the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team. Visitors also included Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hoffmeister, Kevin Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt, and Stillwater author Alton Carter. Last year Oklahoma Senator James Lankford visited, among other people. Our classroom podcast has provided a great way for us to reflect on and share about these experiences with others.

Preparing for Transitions

One of the hardest things about teaching at a school with a high turnover rate, and working with students who generally don’t stay more than one year at school, is preparing students to move to other schools. It is also challenging to prepare myself for these transitions. Last week I lost three students. Sometimes we get to say goodbye, but a lot of times we don’t. Within the homeless population, moving from school to school is a very common experience.

Lately our morning meetings have taken on the question, “What do you do when you’re the new kid?” Also, “How do we help others fit in when they are new?” “What does it look like to welcome a new student into our class?”

Being a new kid in our class is definitely an adjustment. When you walk into a classroom where there are not many desks, it takes some work to get comfortable. It’s cool to get your own iPad, but things can quickly get overwhelming with the number of different usernames and passwords my students have to use, as well as the new procedures they have to learn.

One of the first things we do is assign each new student a “buddy.” They follow the student to their different learning stations, and the partner is responsible for familiarizing the new student with their iPad.

Part of our classroom culture is that “we are all teachers” and “we are all responsible for our learning.” This means we help each other and are not afraid to ask for help. We work together, and regularly practice collaboration skills. For many students who have typically seen the teacher as the source of knowledge and instructions in the classroom, this can be a difficult adjustment. I am often not the person who answers questions for students. I help direct students to others in our classroom who can serve as “experts” and help them learn, but I am intentional about not always providing the answers. I want my students to learn to become self-directed as well as collaborative in their learning. These are behaviors that do not come naturally for all students, and can often be difficult because in “traditional school” we sometimes condition students to always wait for more instructions from the teacher before doing anything more. That is definitely NOT our classroom culture in Room 108.

Our morning meetings are some of the most important parts of our day to have conversations and deep discussions. Lately I find myself asking my students, “How do you make new friends?” “Who do you make new friends with?” “How do build a relationship with your new teacher?”

There are many different answers to these questions. My kids have learned it’s important to hang out with smart people. They need to look for the smartest kid in their new class, and sit next to them so they can make friends with them. Making friends with smart kids and getting to hang out with them is important.

Part of the culture of our classroom is, “We all are smart. We all love learning. We can all learn and we can all teach.” Much of this comes from the fact that my students have opportunities to be in charge of their own learning. Amazing things can happen when kids are empowered to do this.

Sometimes my students have to adapt and adjust to the content they are learning or need to learn. We frequently talk about how important it is NOT to be afraid to ask for help: from the teacher or from other students.

As we move into the last few months of school, I love the way the students in my class approach learning each day. They have become very independent, and have become comfortable making choices. I know they love our classroom, and it saddens me to think about them having to leave such a supportive, positive environment. I hope, however, they will leave our school better prepared to face the uncertainties and transitions which inevitably lie ahead for them.

Room108 Podcast 5: What We Like To Do!

This is the fifth episode of our classroom podcast, created using the free Opinion app on my iPhone. In this episode my third and fourth grade students share what they they like to do when they are not at school.

Open/Subscribe in your podcast app


  1. Our first Paper Slide Video: “Who I Am In Room 108”
  2. My Classroom Website (Google Site)
  3. Our Classroom YouTube Channel
  4. This podcast episode on Opinion
  5. Follow me on Twitter:  @sfryer

One Eyed Minion by avrene, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  avrene 

Free PBS Technology Workshops in McAlester, Tulsa & Oklahoma City

This month I’m having several opportunities to lead free technology integration workshops for OETA, our PBS affiliate station in Oklahoma. These workshops focus on how to use the free videos and lesson building tools included on the PBS Learning Media website.  (@pbslrnmedia) If you live in or near McAlester, Tulsa, or Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, please join me in the morning on June 8, 9, or 22nd. The registration link to sign up (it’s FREE) is linked from OETA’s education page. The dates and locations for remaining workshops are:

  • Monday, June 8 – 9:30 am – noon, Tulsa (OETA Office, 535 N. Greenwood Ave., Tulsa, OK 74106)
  • Tuesday, June 9 – 9:30 am – noon, McAlester (Kiamichi Tech, 1004 State Hwy 2, Wilburton, OK 74578)
  • Monday, June 22 – 9:30 am – noon, Oklahoma City (OETA Office, 7403 North Kelley OKC, OK 73111)

I’ve linked the Google Slide presentation and other resources for these workshops on my classroom website. If you have questions in advance about the workshops please contact me via Twitter @sfryer, or leave a comment here.