This is my last post for C4K and I can honestly say that it has been awesome to view blogs from all over. Below I have summarized the blogs I have posted on for the month of April.
In The Best Sport, Kyle H. of Mrs. L's 7th grade class talked about his favorite sport golf. He said that you can't get injured playing golf unless you are doing something crazy. He also said that even though he isn't the best at golf, he still plays every chance he gets. I think it's great that he still plays even though he may not be the best at it. I commented on his post and asked what his favorite part of golf was, but I'm still waiting on a reply.
In Helping Fit In, Sulaman talks about what he would do if an undercover cop came to school. He said he would help the cop fit in by telling him where to go and what to do. He also would help the cop by telling him how to dress and who to socialize with. I expressed that I thought it would be cool if an undercover cop came to my school. Then I asked him if he thought it would be cool to have an undercover cop as a friend, but I have not heard back yet.
In My Easter Basketball Tournament 2015, Bethany created an IMovie about a basketball tournament she attended. It was very well put together and contained pictures from her event along with captions that explained them. I thought it was better than what I could have put together at that age. I asked her for some tips on creating IMovies, but I have not heard back from her.
For this blog post, I will create a Blog Post Assignment that could be used by people who are Secondary Language Arts majors like myself.
This blog post is to be done collaboratively. Your group will pick a book to turn into a movie trailer. The trailer must be appropriate for all audiences. You will IMovie along with Google Slides to create this trailer. If you do not have a Mac or Ipad, you can try to find an application that will allow you to create a movie trailer on your laptop or you can use one of the Macs in the lab. Remember to be as creative as possible! Along with your trailer, you must provide a summary of the book, a script for your trailer, and a list of "critic reviews" for your trailer. Upload your trailer to YouTube and then post it on your blog along with the other required materials. Below are some links to help you get started.
What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?
In this post, I have inserted a short presentation on Google Slides about assistive technologies. Assistive technologies are very important for the classroom because they allow students with disabilities and who struggle with learning to get the most out of each lesson. I have only discussed a few options in my presentation, but there are many more that are amazing for the classroom.
Here are some more links to visit on Assistive Technology:
The blog I had to post on for this C4T was Connected Principles. Below I have a summary of what I learned from their posts and the comments I left for the blog.
In For a Million Dollars, You Could at Least..., Tom Martellone discusses the winner of a million dollar global teaching award. He was excited that someone from Maine where he started his teaching career managed to receive this prestigious award and give it to her school. However, he was disappointed by her attitude towards the current public school system. He expressed the importance that upcoming educators should be excited to make a difference in the lives of children. He urges young educators to not waiver under the pressure of the changes to school curriculum and to push forward with their passion for teaching. My comment for his post expressed the concern over the stresses of the new curriculum being put in place. I asked him what some good ideas were to encourage future educators to keep pushing on through the stress and to keep in mind their passion for teaching. So far, I have not gotten a response.
Teacher Interview Questions that Work was the second post I read on Connected Principles. This post by SBlankenship covered a series of probing questions that principles could ask potential teachers they were thinking of hiring. He expresses that its important to ask deep questions in order to understand the candidates teaching style and their motivation for teaching. I found these questions to be very helpful in preparing future educators for possible questions they may face and to be helpful in trying to discover my own teaching style and motivations. I expressed how useful I thought these questions were and the author wrote back that my comment made his day. Through this post, he was hoping to have aspiring teachers think about and reflect on each question. Here's something he said that I thought was great: "Remember, a reflective practitioner always questions their own pedagogy."
What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?
In this post, I will discuss some of the things I've learned from other teachers that will be important in the future of my career as an educator. I enjoyed each video I watched, and I have taken a lot from what these educators have done in their classrooms.
The first video I watched was by Brian Crosby (Back to the Future) from Agnes Risley Elementary School in Sparks, Nevada. His classroom consists of 90% second language learners and students of poverty. In order to get his students engaged, he uses technology and project based learning. Through one project, he managed to meet several requirements such as: read/write to learn content, writing to clarify and share, creativity, feedback, articulating orally, connectivity and awareness globally, authentic audience, and "science stuff". This project had his students connecting with others around the world and building a personal learning network. They got to show off what they knew through Skyping with others. They shared information through creating wikis and blog posts. They were actively learning. I learned from this teacher and his techniques that it is important to get students fired up about the material in order for them to be engaged. Through doing projects and sharing with others around the world, it is possible for students to achieve so much more than what they are capable of. I think that it is also very important to incorporate this type of teaching in the classroom because it helps students of all learning styles.
The next video (Blended Learning Cycle) I watched was by Mr. Paul Andersen, a high school AP Biology teacher in Bozeman, Montana. His teaching style is an online, mobile, and classroom learning blended style. Basically, his students use technology and regular classroom learning in order to get the most out of a lesson. His teaching also includes the five E's which are engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluate. I learned that every lesson needs to start with a really good question that gets the students' attention. Then, students must investigate the question. In Andersen's classroom, they are then shown a video that goes into further instruction on the subject. After that they have reading to do in order to elaborate. He then sits with them one on one and asks them in depth questions that review what they learned. Finally, they have a summary quiz. I think that I will incorporate something like this in my classrooms because it's very efficient. The students grade themselves and that allows the teacher to have more free time to answer questions. It also allows the educator to ask probing questions.
In (Making Thinking Visible) by Mark Church, he talks about a project he does with his students that allows them to critically think and collaborate. He put them into small groups in which they had to create a headline that captures the search of early human beginnings and what it is about. He expressed that the good thing about this was that after they covered more of the unit, they would go back to these headlines and change them to incorporate what they learned. What I took away from this activity was that it's important to get students thinking about the lesson before you go into more depth. It also gives students the chance to reflect on what they originally thought and revise their work to fit the information they obtained.
(Sam Pane 4th Grade) was probably my favorite out of all the videos I watched. In this video, he was teaching his students internet safety and how to be a good digital citizen. He let them discuss what it was to be a good digital citizen in small groups before he asked for ideas. I think this is a good method because instead of lecturing to them about what it means to be a good digital citizen, he let them think about it critically first. He did the same for what some of the dangers of the internet are. My favorite part was when he let them make a superhero character and a comic strip to express what they learned about internet safety. This allowed them to create a visual representation of heir learning which I think is better than doing book work. The students were really engaged and enjoyed this project. To me, this proved that learning can be fun.
Dean Shareski's video (Project Based Learning) showed a classroom that put together information processing, English, and History. They managed to create engaged learners and deeper understanding in those learners. They used technology to bring the content to life rather than just using lecture and text books. There's constant feedback and this blended classroom allows them to go deeper into the material and take longer with the students. I think that it would be great if more schools had classes that were blended. It would really allow students and teachers more time to get the material across.
The final video I watched was about (Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program). I learned from this program that the students go through in depth learning with real-world problems with project based learning. The projects are research based which allows them to do learning on their own. The students gain public speaking skills at a young age which will help them in the future. The students have a choice and therefore have a sense of power over the project. The community is involved and the students are involved in the community. Most importantly, there is student engagement which is the goal for every teacher.