Review of Shelly Fryer's Website
Shelly Fryer teaches 3rd and 4th grade at Positive Tomorrows in Oklahoma. Positive Tomorrows is Oklahoma's only elementary school that is designated for homeless children. Shelly makes it very evident that she cares about her students. She tries to give the students choice in the classroom, and believes that class should be an engaging time. Shelly is also a firm believer in technology integration in school. From simply reading her about page, it is very easy to see that Shelly is passionate about what she does. With over 20 years in classrooms, Shelly offers a large variety of information about teaching. Check out her website here!
The first blog I examined on Shelly's site was Technology 101 Skills for Teachers. In this post, Shelly discusses the ways that technology can be integrated into the A Plus Essentials program. The goal of A Plus is to integrate arts into curriculum. A way to do this is integrating art into lessons. In Shelly's classroom, each student has an iPad. She believes that integrating technology can be useful in building students' creative skills. Below is an example of a student's creation during a lesson about bats.
Shelly posted this section to give her advice over technology integration. It begins with actually having iPads to use. Next to do is to identify the appropriate apps and programs to integrate. It is also important for teachers to become app literate in order to be most affective in their classes. Shelly also recommends creating a classroom channel in order to share projects produced in class. Check out Shelly's page below!
I agree completely with Shelly's take on technology in schools. As a future music educator, I can think of all kinds of apps that would be useful in a class. I also believe that having a classroom page is a wonderful idea. By doing this, a teacher creates a way for students to share their projects with each other and others who are looking for technology integration ideas.
In the video below, Shelly and her husband discuss the importance of technology integration and considerations for classes when working with technology.
The next post I looked into was Inspired by Dwayne Reed: Welcome to Room 108. Shelly begins by explaining that her students pick a song each year that brings the class together. The song they picked this year was "Welcome to the 4th Grade" by Dwayne Reed, a first year teacher out of Chicago. Shelly then moves on to describe how she worked with Cindy Scarberry, a music teacher, to develop a classroom song of their own. The final project was called "Welcome to Room 108" and it was based off of Dwayne's song. Check out both of them below!
Shelly discusses how much the class enjoyed the project, in addition to how helpful it was to student achievement. I believe that a project like this is an excellent goal for classes. I especially feel this way towards music classes. By arranging a song correctly, students could create a song of their own to show off and be proud of.
The final blog post that I viewed was Building Relationships with Students. This discusses the importance of building classroom community. Shelly begins by discussing the challenge she faced while trying to build a community in her class. However, this changed when the school participated in Global School Play Day. GSPlayDay is a day devoted entirely to unguided play. During this time, Shelly noticed that many of her students began to play together and build relationships.
It's amazing what a little bit of free time can do for students' relationships with one another. By simply setting aside a day for playing, Shelly allowed her class to grow as a community. She even mentioned one student stating "This is the best day of school I've ever had!" Global School Play Day provides a day to move away from class and instead shifts the focus on exploration and play. This provides students with a wonderful opportunity to express themselves and grow creatively. I hope that more schools see the kind of impact this day has and follow Shelly's example.
Shelly's blog is an excellent resource for teachers looking for inspiration in the classroom. She offers all kinds of advice ranging from technology to building a community in the classroom. I feel very blessed to have been able to learn from Shelly's vast knowledge and experience. Teachers should look to her and teachers like her for inspiration in our field. Her website shows how deeply she is committed to her students. I can only hope to be half as dedicated as she is one day.