Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Tempered Radical

The Tempered Radical is a blog written by Bill Ferriter. Mr. Ferriter is a sixth grade teacher in North Carolina.

The first post I read was titled #EDTECH REFLECTIONS FOR PRESERVICE TEACHERS. He addressed a few questions someone had emailed him. The first question was "What are some of your favorite technology tools that you use in your classroom?" He responds by saying that he does not have a favorite. He does name a few he likes, but then goes on to say that it's dangerous to focus on the technology. He says that it is important to keep in mind what you are trying to get across to the students and choose the best technology to do that. The second question was "What are the responses you get from your students about using technology in the classroom? The parents’ responses?" He responds to this by saying the kids couldn't care less. They care about what they are doing, not what technology they are using. "When first introducing a new piece of technology into your classroom, what are some ways you help your students adjust? Do you teach them how to use the tools or do you prefer just letting them explore and find out on their own?" was the third question. Mr. Ferriter replies to this by saying that kids don't need to be taught how to use technology. They are good at "tinkering" with it until they figure it out. "What are some of the successes and challenges you have faced when using different forms of technology?" was the last question. He does address a few problems in reply to this question, but focuses on one. He focus that teachers using technology in their classrooms daily need to be resilient. Technology can change and it will. We have to change with it.

The second post I read was a reality check. Ferriter titles it "Teaching is a Grind." He begins by talking about teacher appreciation week. He goes on to talk about the daily struggles he faces as a teacher. He walks you through his day to show you the time consumed life of a teacher. Ferriter also talks about his finical struggle. How teachers are underpaid and unappreciated. I found this blog to be enlightened. This was my response to his post:

"It’s not everyday that you get to read the gods honest true from a teacher who is actually going through as what you call “the grind”. As a student in the process of becoming a teacher I have to admit that what you had to say was a little nerve racking. I consider myself somewhat of a realist and am aware that teachers are not paid well. I am also aware that they are unappreciated. Despite all of this, I can tell by the way you talk about your students that “the grind” is worth it. I appreciate such a truthful response to Teacher Appreciation Week."

C4K: April

In his blog, Judah used a Google Presentation to unveil his findings and knowledge of the Monarch Butterfly. It includes sides with information, pictures, as well as original drawings from Judah himself.

This blog contains a video of class 18 singing the months of the year in Maori. The Maori people were the first inhabitants of New Zealand.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

What can we learn from Dan Meyer?

What can we learn from Dan Meyer?

Math Class Needs a Makeover (11:36)
The Art of Beating Long Lines Stop at 2:11

Answer the question in a post that adheres to the standards found in the ACCRS and in Writing
A Quality Blog Post

After watching the two videos I think the most prevalent thing we can learn from Dan Meyers is that you have to make material relevant. Whether you are a Math teacher, an English teacher, or an Elementary teacher; the best way to engage your students is to make whatever you are teaching come to life. In the second video The Art of Beating Long Lines he uses the example of long lines at a grocery store. No body likes to wait in line so why not try to figure out waiting longer. Well that's math. That is math that can be used in every day life. That is what interests kids.

Another important point Mr. Meyers made was that we need to help students increase their critical thinking skills by not giving them all the answers. One of the things he says at the end of Math Class Needs a Makeover was to "be less helpful." We are hindering our students by laying out everything for them. They also become uninterested. Mr. Meyers says that he finds most of his students and others "Lack initiative, lack perseverance, lack retention, have an aversion to word problems, and are eager to find the formula." All of this is because we are not challenging our students. "The math serves the conversation" not the other way around. Even Einstein said "the formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution." As teachers we need to stop babying our students. The more interesting the problem is the more interested they will become. If all they are doing is computing a bunch of numbers, well then they won't be very interested.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Collaborative Blog Post

Slapout: Anna Meitzler, Evan Grace, and myself.

1-Brian Crosby- Back to the Future-each class is full of different students. Not only different students in each class but different classes in each grade. No class is the same. Mr. Crosby’s class is a very low income class or live in poverty. Most students could not answer simple questions regarding their home state, address and country. As their teacher Mr. Crosby did not want his students to have a different curriculum than than other students. Mr. Crosby’s classroom is much like any other class room today. He has many technological devices such as laptops, smartboards and video cameras. The class takes part in many different projects and they really seem to enjoy them and it also helps keep them engaged in the material they are learning. After the projects are completed the students use their own working blog to upload the videos of the projects they have just taken part in. The students are also instructed to write a quick summary about what happens in each video. Students in Mr. Crosby’s and also other 4th grade classes at his school also have wiki pages and flickr accounts. This helps the students show what they have learned on a specific topic. after using these softwares online they cut and paste them into their blogs. When the students realized that other people are reading their stuff it makes them feel accomplished and makes them strive to work harder and do better. In this, they also added personal goals. The students were assigned to write a “high hope.” What this is something positive that the students hope to happen in the school, community and also around the world. After doing this the students sent out a plea for people all around the world to add their high hopes in the students comments to send out into outer space along with Mr. Crosby’s classes. This spread around the globe quickly and the students got a great response, in which they had all hoped for. After this project was added to their blogs students from all around the world wanted to take place in this and teachers wanted to know how to complete the project. The students not only used blogs and writing but also video skype to show and teach other students around the world so they could learn and take part in this same activity.

2-Learning Blended Cycle- Basically all blended learning is doing is taking the parts of an online, mobile and classroom learning and blending them into one classroom setting. There are 5 e’s in the learning cycle, engage, explore, expand, explain and evaluate. This is a great way to present material and material that is to be learned. By putting those two formulas together you get the blended learning cycle. In his blended learning cycle he has 6 steps:
1-it starts with a really great question. Hook in learning. students are given data and asked a specific question.
2-investigate and experiment. using given material students try different experiments and are timed at doing so.
3-use a video to help them understand. this is a form of direct instruction.
4-elaboration. reading and research.
5-review. making sure students have a clear understanding of the material discussed.
6-summary quiz.

3 - This video is done by Mark Church, Making thinking Visible. The main idea behind this video is how Mark makes his classroom think aloud. By doing this all the brainstorming is out in the open rather than just sitting quietly in their head. Each group has a couple of minutes to brainstorm a headline of their new lesson. Once the time is up they have to write it down. Later in the lesson Mark will have each group do it again so they can see how their thinking has evolved. This PBL does a great job covering collaboration and self reflectivity.

4 - In this video Building Comics , Sam Pane teaches his kids about internet safety by building their very own superhero. After making the hero the students have to build a comic book strip where the main character is doing something that is not safe on the internet. Then their hero comes in and stops them before it is too late. Before they do all this they have to discuss at their table what are things that are dangerous to do on the internet. I like this PBL because it includes so many things that are important. Discussion of the dangerous actions is a great collaboration method, building their own comic and hero is a great way to build up creativity, and then reviewing each other work is a good reflection method.

5.Project Based Learning
This video is about a school in Canada who combined History, English, and Technology into one class. The students work on individual, group, and class projects that incorporate all three subjects. What we can learn from these teachers is if you really believe in something, don’t give up. When they first started this they hit a couple roadblocks. The program was not compatible in a regular school setting. They worked through the kinks and now the program is up and running.

6.Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program
Roosevelt Elementary takes a Project Based Learning approach to teaching. What I learned is that Project Based Learning can help bring the community together. It encourages community participation and it encourages teachers to work together. PBL helps the students stay more interested in what they are learning. The students become self motivated, interactive, and critical thinkers. PBL helps students be more prepared the future.


The PE Geek

The first post I read was titled "Stretch It-Stretching, WarmUp, and Cool Down Task Cards." It is about a new app that assists students and teachers in their warm ups and cool downs. It is called Stretch It!. "Featuring over 60 hand drawn stretch activities that progressively build up in difficulty, allowing students to develop their skills in a self paced manner. This app is bound to engage all students."

The second post I read was titled "EP10 – Downloading, Stretching & Sworking Out." He posts a podcast that talks about different tools he has come across in his time as a PE teacher. There are many different apps and websites that can be very helpful. He particulary about This website allows you to create scenarios of games to help the students better understand the game.

C4K March

The blog about capzles is presenting all the farm animals they kids saw on their trip to the farm. It has pictures they kids drew. It is like a slide show of all their work and what they learned at the farm.

Lukis' blog talks about the sports they play every friday. He tells us about the group games they play and how the incentive for winning is chocolate bars. He also mentions how he wished he could win more chocolate.

Bailees blog talks about the importance of PE every friday in school. She tells us that it helps her avoid being lazy and that by avoiding being lazy she does better in school.

Project 10: Interview

I used GoToMeeting to interview Sandra Yancey. The interview starts at 44sec. 
I was not able to convert the recording to anything compatible with either I-Movie or Windows Movie Maker. I was not able to post it to YouTube. I did email GoToMeeting to inquire about the problem, but they have not gotten back to me.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Equations, Graphing and Design: Project 15

Students must use their knowledge of lines and graphing to create a picture of a graph resembling a word/phrase/design of their choice. Students must name each equation that makes up their word/phrase/design. Students will create a rough draft on graph paper and then a final draft on a online graphing program. Final drafts will be presented to the class. Two projects from each class will be selected to be hung in the hallway. The most creative as well as a graphically correct project will receive an extra five points on their next test.

This is an example of what a rough draft should look like:




What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?

After watching Bring On the Education Revolution I think it’s safe to say that there is a lot that we can learn from Sir Ken Robinson. This speech was influential and educational as well as comical. He presents his views on the reformation of the education system in an enjoyable way. Here are a couple things I learned from Sir Ken Robinson:

1. Two Types of People: Sir Ken Robinson presents the idea that there are two types of people in the world: the ones who have figured out their talents and passions and the ones who have not. The ones who have uncovered their talents tend to love their jobs. They love what they do because it's "who they are". The ones who have not discovered their talents tend to work for the weekend. They endure instead of enjoy. Sir Ken Robinson also claims that in order to find your talents you have to "create a circumstance where they appear." Some think that is what education does.

2. Passion Based: Education needs to be based less off an industrial or "fast food model" and more on a passion based model. We need to customize our education model based on our students and their passions. Education needs to be personalized. Everyone’s talents are different. Sir Ken Robinson talks about how he received a guitar about the same time Eric Clapton did. Even though both men received a guitar at the same time one became more successful with it. Guitar just was not Sir Ken Robinson's talent and/or passion. That's ok. He became successful under a different context. This is a clear example why we shouldn’t standardize education. Like he said "we can't predict the outcome of human development." The world needs a diversity of talents. Not everyone is headed down the same path. I really like how Sir Ken Robinson said that when you are doing something you are passionate about one hour feels like five minutes but if not, the reverse is true, five minutes feels like one hour. I have experienced this.

I very much enjoyed watching this video. I think Sir Ken Robinson had a lot of amazing things to say. The most important thing I took from this video is that we need to "rise with the occasion". Education is changing. We need to take advantage of this opportunity.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What can we learn from Mrs. Cassidy?

After watching:

First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class (4:56)
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 1 (14:37)
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 2 (4:55)
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 3 (12:46)

I definitely think have a better understanding how technology can be effectively incorporated into a classroom. It was great to see an actual class in action. I particularly like how the use of blogging and technology in general gives parents the opportunity to follow their children’s progress. They don't have to wait for an open house or an annual program to see how their child is progressing. That said, I think that it motivates the students. They get excited to blog because people other than just their teacher are going to read it. I also agree with Mrs. Cassidy when she talks about how we need to be teaching students how to use the internet properly. If we do that, we avoid the possibility of students using it for the wrong reasons, going to inappropriate sites, or even using it to cheat. These are all problems that come with the territory of using technology in the classroom. We need to be teaching the students how to work collaboratively instead of simply copying someone else’s work. Mrs. Cassidy pointed out that technology can be an effective tool in any classroom, even in physical education. As a future math teacher, I think incorporating technology into my classroom will be a must. I really like the idea of using a class blog as the main "hub" for any tools my students will need for the class. On this blog I could have links to calendars, homework assignments, tools for homework assistance, and even videos that might give the students a better understanding of the subject. This will keep the students informed and eliminate them needing to ask me "What are we doing today?","What's the homework on?", or "When is our test again?".

I think that Mrs. Cassidy is an amazing educator. I like a lot of the things she had to say and technology and teaching. I think there is a great deal to still be learned from her. Most of all I like how she pointed out that we have to start incorporating technology where are interests lie.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine. I find this tool to be very helpful, particularly in mathematics. You can type in a problem and it will solve it for you. The great thing about it is that it gives you step by step solutions for those answers. It helps you learn the process. You then can go back and do a similar problem using the steps they gave you to check your understanding. I really enjoy using this website. I even have their app! It helps me a lot with my Calculus homework if I get stuck. This could be a great tool for my future students. It could help them understand the problems. Even if they did not necessarily understand the lecture. Wolfram Alpha can also show them different ways to approach a problem. This is helpful because not everyone learns the same way. What make sense to one person might not make as much sense to another.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

More For Your Money.

Candy Bar Project #14

The students will be using data collected from various candy bars in order to determine which candy bar is the ‘best’ value for money. They will be working in groups of four, collaboratively. The understanding of the Line of best fit is necessary in order to complete this project and MiniTab assist them in their pursuit. The groups will then write a paper explaining their findings (the candy bar they chose) and the reasoning behind their decision. Papers will be due at the close of the week.


Check List


Slapout: Project 9

Monday, March 10, 2014

Walking in Mathland

Natalie Turbiville teaches Algebra and Pre-Algebra to 7th and 8th graders in Atlanta Georgia. She writes about her adventures as a math teacher in her blog called Walking in Mathland. After reading a few of her posts I call already tell she is very passionate not only about math but about teaching as well. She comes up with amazing real world examples to go along with the concepts in which she is teaching. People always say: “Why are we learning this? We are never going to use this in real life!” After reading her blog I beg to differ.

Barbie Bungee - Linear Extrapolation (Line of Best Fit) was the first post of Turbiville’s that I read. She taught the concept of the line of best fit by letting her students launch barbies off the side of a breeze way at their school. I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot more intriguing than sitting through a lecture. The project: “Each group of 4 brought a Barbie/action figure and measured the distance of the bungee jump with 2 rubber bands, then 4 rubber bands, and then 6, 8, 10, and 12 rubber bands.” They then launched their barbies and collected the data. You could tell by the videos Turbiville posted that her students had a lot of fun. They made a connection to the material. Now they will never forget it.

Friends, Vegas, and Probability was the second post of Turbiville’s that I read. In this one her real world example wasn’t exactly student friendly. She talked about how probability is a “game of chance”. What she meant by that is gambling. She used an episode of the TV show “Friends” to demonstrate what she was talking about. In this particular episode Monica and Chandler are in Vegas at a casino rolling dice to decide whether or not they should get married. Not exactly the best role models for students. Either way the whole concept was that Monica had a 5/36 chance in rolling a sum of 8 and a 1/36 chance in rolling a “hard eight” (two fours). That’s math expressed in a real world situation.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Egg Drop

Egg Drop Project #13
By: Anna Meitzler, Evan Grace and MacKenzie Yancey

First the students must work through a bridge building module to understand structures. This module is what we like to call the learning phase. It teaches them about how different shapes and angles are stronger than others. Once they have an understanding of what they are working with then we move on to the next step, the Egg catcher project, where they will apply what they have learned.

My 10th grade Physics class was given a 100 dollar budget and a weeks time to make the best egg catcher model. The class of 20 was broken into 4 groups of 5 students. The models will be tested by dropping the egg 8 feet and using the best model to catch the egg without it breaking. Each group was given the option to buy many different materials including tape, cardboard, tissue paper, foam and regular paper. The students were also instructed to take notes and record results in a journal. These results will be presented in the class presentation of the finished product.

This project will help students in the future by having them work in a group. working in a group can be very trying at times. The egg drop project can also help with the students communication. In order for this project to be successful each group must have a clear understanding of each other and their intentions. Critical thinking and creativity are also very critical in this. At the end of the week each group is instructed to present their project to the rest of the class and prove why their egg drop model is the best. All of these skills will be required in their future.

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?

After watching Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture I really felt like I had to just take a moment to let it all set in. So, what can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch? A lot. A lot is exactly what we can learn from this amazing educator. There is so much he said that we can learn from, but here are a few of my favorites.

1. I learned that learning never stops. There will always be better and more effective ways to do things. If you are passionate about something you don't ever stop. As a future educator I am passionate about finding the best ways to engage my students. I want my students to be excited about learning and what better way to do that than to show them how passionate I am about learning.

2. I learned that learning can be fun and that students respond better when learning is fun. Students are more apt to learn something when they forget that they are actually learning. Pausch calls it a "Head Fake" or more commonly known as indirect learning. Using a project to teach a concept they wouldn't normally be interested in.

3. I learned that as a future teacher I have to believe 100% in every single one of my students. Pausch talks about the advice he was given that if he only give it enough time, everyone will exceed expectations and surprise you. I have to believe that everyone is capable of greatness if given the right amount of time. The time it takes is different for everyone.

4. I learned that the best gift an educator can give is for their student to be self reflective. This was best said by Pausch. For a student to be able to recognize what they are doing wrong or that they can do better is an extraordinary accomplishment. This extinguishes all arrogance. The possibility of being held back their lack of ability to evaluate themselves is non existent.

Randy Pausch had some pretty amazing accomplishments. The most amazing thing was the knowledge he accumulated from his years of teaching.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

C4K Summary for February

Averie B. wrote her blog about the Super Bowl. She wanted the Broncos to win. She also talked about the Puppy Bowl which is an alternative to the Super Bowl. Animal Planet puts on a show to raise awareness for unadopted puppies.

Zach wrote his blog on his upcoming birthday. His birthday list includes coffee, cbox games, and a trip to the wave pool.

Wareagle wrote a blog titled This I believe. The frustration of the increasing prices is noted in this post. Their irritation of the prices is focused mostly around food and xbox games.

Cade's blog post is about the book project he did. He describes the theme of the book Hunger Games with pictures he finds to be depictive of the main points.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Not All Great Minds Think Alike.

I think just about everyone has heard the saying: "Great minds think alike." I do not find this to be completely true because not all great minds think alike. If they did, I don't think much of anything would be accomplished. There are many different people out there with many different ideas. As a future teacher, different ideas are music to my ears. If we all had the same ideas there suddenly becomes no room for progress. A Personal Learning Network is a great way to connect with other great minds and exchange ideas. What is a Personal Learning Network? "It is those people, places, organizations and activities which enable you to learn."

There are a countless number of different outlets for PLN. Some examples are blogs, Youtube, websites like Edutopia, and more unlikely ones like Pinterest. These all can help us become better teachers and effectively engage our students. Michael Fawcett made a comment about needing to look outside the staffroom. If the tools are out there, why not utilize them? There are also numerous ways to organize your PLN. I find Symbaloo to be the most convenient and user-friendly. You have everything you need in one place. You can connect all of your PLN outlets to your Symbaloo. It's almost like a page of apps. It harnesses the cloud as well. Personal Learning Networks are tremendously important. “Don’t worry about feeling afraid and apprehensive about your lessons because that way you know that you are learning and good learners make better teachers. You can handle everything if you’re well prepared, flexible and have the learners at your centre and if you think you might lose it – simply hand over to them and take a breath!“ Teachers never stop learning new things. Bigger and better ways to do things are always being developed. It is our job to make sure we are aware and up to date. PLN’s are a great way to do that.

Calvin and Hobbes

Friday, February 14, 2014

Conversations with Anthony Capps.

What do you learn from these conversations with Anthony Capps?

1. Project Based Learning Part 1: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher (10:03)
2. Project Based Learning Part 2: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher (13:45)
3. iCurio (8:08)
4. Discovery Education (4:33)
5. The Anthony - Strange list of Tips for Teachers Part 1 (12:59)
6. Don't Teach Tech - Use It (8:49)
7. Additional Thought About Lessons (3:25)

After watching these videos, I think I have a better understanding of what I need to be prepared for as a teacher. I discovered that teaching is a continuous learning process. My day won't end when I leave my classroom. I will forever be uncovering new ways to keep my students engaged. That's my job. My goal is to hold 100% of my students attention a 100% of the time. I learned that there are many different programs to help me do just that whether it's iCurio, discovery education, or something else. I need to make myself familiar with these technology aids. Although like Mr. Capps said, "Don't teach tech-use it". I need to find ways to incorporate technology into my lessons without taking time out to particularly teach it. I learned that I need to be flexible. If something doesn't go the way I planned, I need to be able to make modifications accordingly. The students may take longer than expected to grasp the concept or unexpected events may put a damper on our time; you never know! To receive advice from a teacher, who is still very new to teaching, is an opportunity I will always be thankful for.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Questions Anyone?

What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher? That is a great question. Honestly until I did a little bit of research on the subject I had absolutely no idea. Questions are one of the most important parts of teaching; but how do we ask a question in a way that it engages the students(encouraging critical thinkers)as well as testing their understanding of the subject. Here are a few ways to do just that:

1. Open-ended Questions:We need to make sure we are asking questions that don't simply require yes or no answers. "A closed-ended question structures the response for the student and it can be answered by one word, such as yes or no, or by a very brief phrase. An open-ended question, however, leaves the form of the answer up to the person who is responding. Thereby eliciting more thinking and yielding more information." An open-ended question requires the student to actually think, be creative, and use logic. This is a step in the right direction to train critical thinkers.
2. Plan Ahead: "When you write out a question, you can make it clearer … not just the wording, but clearer conceptually." A confusing question does no good. If anything, it diminishes the situation. By planning your questions ahead of time, you prevent the confusion of whether the student is having difficulty with understanding the question or the concept being taught. A teacher I had in high school used to say "Prior planning prevents poor performance."
3. Structure: Ask a question, then call on a student. According to The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom this was researched by Mary Budd Rowe. It has shown to be very effective in that it gives students time to think about an answer. They don't just automatically ignore the question because they did not get called on.
4."Think Time": This follows along with number 3. I watched a video titled Divergent Questioning in 8th Grade Math. He had one particular concept that stuck out to me called "Think time". After he asks a question he holds up his fist for an appropriate amount of time and then proceeds to open his fist. During the time in which his fist is closed the students must think about the question and develop an answer. As soon as he opens his fist, then and only then are students allowed to raise their hands. This makes thinking time available for students who don't know the answer right away. When a teacher asks a question and someone immediately raises their hand, most likely every other student in that classroom stops thinking about an answer. In their mind, they believe someone already knows the answer. Therefore, why should they even bother. It's intimidating! I like this concept because it creates a level playing field.
5. Explain Your Reasoning:Why? You should ask the student how they came to that conclusion. Whether it is right or wrong, ask why. By asking them to defend their answer this will convey their logic to everyone in the class. I cannot tell you how many times I have been in a class, especially math, when the teacher asks a question, someone answers it, the teacher says "Correct!" and I am left thinking "Wait! What? How did they get that!?" Just because one student understands something does not mean everyone else does. Even if the student answers wrong if you ask them to explain their answer it gives them the chance to realize the flaw and correct it. Getting a student to fight for their answer instills passion without them even knowing it.

"Does everyone understand?" is no longer an acceptable question for teachers. "Yes or No" is no longer an acceptable response from students. Why?, because now you are informed and know how to get the most out of the question you were already going to ask.

Project # 3 Presentation

Ooh! Guess What!

I had the pleasure of reading the blog Ooh! Guess What! written by Dawn DuPriest, a 7th grade math teacher. She had some very insightful thoughts on our changing education system.

The first blog post of hers that I read was titled "What it’s like to live Common Core". Mrs. DuPriest started by stating some common assumptions about Common Core State Standard (CCSS). The purpose of CCSS is to help assure that every student in the same grade nationwide is on the same level. Mrs. DuPriest says it best, "The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of learning objectives. They lay out what kids should know and be able to do at each grade level. That’s it. They’re goals." She goes on to say what she likes and dislikes about CCSS. For example a few of them include.

1.The consistency: She believes national standards were needed and that having every state(that is the not including the ones who have not adopted these standards)on the same level as far as education will help aid our education system in success.
2.Strategy: CCSS helps the students become better learners.

1. Technology: She finds that technology is not used enough in assignments.
2. Application: After the 8th grade CCSS has little to no practical application.

She then goes on to say "All that said, if we can get past the nonsense about fighting educational reform, if we can accept the premise that we really do have some re-thinking to do about how we approach mathematics in school, if we fully accept our role as developing critical thinkers, and if we can embrace the vast resource pool that’s just becoming available to use as Common Core comes online – we’ve got a good shot at making this thing work. There’s more to do in other areas, but this will start some terrific conversations."

The second blog post of hers that I read was titled "Hour of Code activities!" In this post Mrs. DuPriest talks about the use of coding as an outlet for teaching. The new innovations happening in coding and programing make it easier than ever. Her students use Khan Academy and Javascript for their coding projects. Mrs. DuPriest uses various projects to teach her students how to think mathematically. "Rich math tasks really take on a new dimension when they’re done in a programming context. The feedback is instant, the visuals are rich, the numbers are never easy to work with, yet mental math and estimation are crucial to understanding if your results are reasonable." There is no doubt that technology is soon, if not already,going to be a big part of teaching.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

How Can You Provide Meaningful Feedback to Your Peers?

How Can You Provide Meaningful Feedback to Your Peers? After I viewed Paige Ellis' Blog Assignment #12, What is Peer Editing?, Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial, and Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes I think I have a good idea on how to do just that.

First I think we need to understand exactly what peer editing is. "Peer editing means working with someone your own age to help improve, revise, and edit his or her writing." To peer edit effectively, one must have compliments, suggestions, and corrections. Beginning with a compliment shows the author what they did right before suggestions and corrections tell them what they did wrong. Suggestions should pertain to word choice and organization. Corrections should implicate spelling and grammar.

The most important thing to remember when peer editing is to stay positive. There is a fine line between constructive criticism and being a Mean Margaret; as future teachers, it is imperative that we find that balance. Peer editing is suppose to be helpful. We should apply the golden rule - treat others how you want to be treated. Put as much effort into your feedback as you would want someone to do for you. On the other hand, the people receiving the feedback need to be careful not to become Defensive Daves. I think Paige Ellis's said it best; "I believe that we are here to help one another achieve success, and that in doing so, peer editing, to be done effectively, should be a topic worthy of a blog post assignment."

Sunday, January 26, 2014

What Will Teaching in the 21st Century be Like?

In the video "Mr. Dancealot" the central message seems to be that hands on learning can be a very useful tool. It is a dance class, yet they are looking at powerpoint slides in a classroom. They were unable to fully learn how to do the dances because they never actually got to participate. How is someone suppose to learn to dance without actually dancing? I do think that engaging students is the best way for them to learn. The students in the video were falling asleep halfway through the lecture. Engaging students can help prevent their minds from wandering. I am sure in a dance class the diagrams he used would have been helpful if the students had had a chance to actively learn by trying the steps while in class.

In the video "Teaching in the 21st Century" Kevin Roberts addresses what it means to teach in the 21st century. He comes to the conclusion that teachers are no longer needed for information and facts. "Teachers are no longer to source of knowledge, we are the filter." What he is saying is that teachers are needed to teach students how to use the resources they have. Students need to be taught critical thinking. "Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action." They have all these resources they can use at anytime. Roberts is saying they need to be shown how to productively use them. I have to agree with what Roberts is saying. In this day and age one can look up anything they please on the internet. As roberts said "It means we need to rethink the tools we use and the types of problems we ask students to solve." Students need to know how to actively apply all this information they have access to. This affects me as an educator by forcing me to be knowledgeable not only about the subject I teach, but also how it can applied to real world situations. It will make me mindful in teaching critical thinkers instead of just information regurgitators.

In the video "The Networked Student" the author addresses the concept of connectivism. Connectivism is "The theory that learning occurs as part of a social network of many diverse networks, connections, and ties." Students use many different tools and resources in order to learn about a specific topic. The teacher does not necessarily speak on the subject but rather teaches the student how to use tools in order to learn about the subject. I do not know if completely agree with this concept. Yes, students should be taught how to utilize tools and resources as much as possible. I do not agree with leaving the learning of actual subject of the class solely up to the students. Teaching should have a good balance of utility of tools and on the subject.

In the video "Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts" the main concept is "connecting students to the world." I think that giving students the chance to engage in other cultures and other ideas is important, especially in this day and age. Technology along with connection with the world is something that is going to soon become the center of our lives. Students need these skills so that they can be better prepared for the future. Future business owners need to be prepared to deal with other countries using technology.

The idea of "Flipping the Classroom" is new to me. "Allows direct instruction to take place at home." For a teacher it does seem like it could be helpful in the fact that in class time would not be wasted on basic instruction. I am skeptical on how much the students would really pay attention to these videos or even watch them. They are already going to school eight hours a day. To ask them to sit and watch a video and hopefully understand the concept well enough to apply it the next day seems like a bit of a reach.