Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Trailer

Where the Wild Things Are book trailer

Blog Post #6

The type of questions that we as teachers ask is one of the most important parts of our job. Questions can determine the understanding of a topic.

The article Three Ways to Ask Better Questions was the most helpful to me. It showed the importance of preparing questions, playing with their wording, and asked them at the right time. Before reading this, I don't think I would have even thought about preparing questions ahead of time to ask during my lessons. I would have always figured I would ask them as they came to me in that moment. However, I do think it is a good idea to plan these questions ahead of time, this way you can be sure that they go with the lesson and that they will benefit the children. The wording of questions is also a factor in whether or not the children will benefit from them. Questions should be worded in a way that the students will understand it, but it should also make them have to think. open-ended questions benefit the students more than close-ended questions do. Open ended questions require more thought and explanation from the children. The last point that was made was timing of the question. It isn't always necessary to ask questions about a topic right away. Sometime it is good to wait until the next day so the kids have had time to process the information, and thus they will be able to better answer an open-ended question.

I also really liked the article by Ben Johnson The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom. He talked about the fact that in almost all cases, kids let the "smart kids" answer all the questions. The rest of them just sit back and listen. This is very true. Once it is figured out who is smart and who is not, the smart kids always take the floor and raise their hands to answer questions while the other children just sit back and let it happen that way. Teachers are also guilty of just letting that happen. Teachers should take the TPR approach. we should call on different students each time a question is to be answered. This way all students are involved, and all students are thinking about the answer to the question. Every student should have to answer a question verbally almost every class period.

The video Questioning Styles and Strategies also demonstrated many good strategies for asking children questions. This video showed the importance of asking questions that are mastery, understanding, interpersonal, and self expressive. This particular class was answering questions on the book "Bridge to Terabithia". The teacher asked questions that would test their understanding of the book. He also asked them questions to check their mastery of concepts in the book. He asked them what they thought it would have been like there. He also asked them how they got closer by playing there. Then at the end he got them to draw a picture of what the believed Terabithia could have looked like.

I would have never guessed the importance of asking questions in the right way. I always knew it was important to ask them, but I wasn't aware that there was a right way of doing so. It all makes sense to me however, that the way questions are worded and the understanding children have of them, helps them to learn and comprehend the answers.

Question Mark

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Blog Post 4; Podcasting

Prior to this assignment, I couldn't have told you a thing about podcast. I have never really heard much about them, and I have never been exposed to them. However, after watching some of these videos and reading the Langwitches blog, I have discovered that they can be very useful and fun classroom tools.

Langwitches - Podcasting with 1st Grade

Langwitches Podcasting with 1st Grade was really interesting to me to read. I would think that podcasting would be something to do with upper elementary students, or even middle and high school students. I would never think to podcast with 1st graders. It is so great to me to think that even at 6 years old, students would be that excited for a podcast. The first graders that he taught a group of students so excited to read for people to hear their voices. I think he did a great job at incorporating every student into the podcast by letting them take turns being the voices of Annie and Jack. I also think that is a good way to get students excited about reading in general. Podcasting is another way to assess listening, reading, cooperation, story telling, comprehension, and so much more without giving regulars tests and assessments.

Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
The video I watched was Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom. This video showed me all the ins and outs of podcasting. It really helped me see everything that you can do with podcasts. I think it is a great tool to have, especially when children are out sick like showed here. They can be uploaded straight through iTunes and accessed from a computer anywhere. This way students never really miss anything. They can just log onto iTunes and hear the same information given in class that day. Podcasts can also be posted for parents, this way they can help their children learn, or study for a test.

Flat Stanley 
I also read the blog Flat Stanley. This is just an example of another way podcasting can be used in a fun way with elementary students. After they read the book Flat Stanley, they wanted to know what it would be like to be mailed and travel from place to place. Their podcast was each student describing where they would travel to, what it was like to be mailed, what it smelled like, what it looked like. This is a great way to incorporate podcasting into elementary classes. They get to do all the talking, and it is a learning process since they read the book first. They all got to pick their own place, and read a book about the place they chose. They then got to share their "experience" in their place of choice with everyone across the world via their class podcast.

What I Learned About Podcasting
Like I stated before, I never knew much about podcasting prior to this assignment. It was very educational to me to read all these blogs and watch the videos. I never would have imagined all the benefits there are to using a podcast with lower elementary students. I really want to teach first grade, and this gave me so many great ideas. Hopefully I will be able to come up with cute ideas like these to incorporate into my teaching when I finally have my own classroom!

Project #3 Presentation

C4T Summary

My assigned teacher for these two weeks was Mrs. Edna Sackson’s blog What Ed Said

The first blog post of hers that I commented on was about student ownership. This idea first started in a planning session for year 6 students. This one session led to this huge idea of letting students have the opportunities to take ownership of their learning. In a social justice conference two years ago, the teachers established the PYP exhibition process. This is a way to introduce students to the range of issues relating to inequality, raising awareness, and to discourage thinking of inequalities. It also gives students the opportunity to talk to people who have been around or involved in acts of inequality. Lastly, it was to help students decide what they think is right or wrong, and help them develop ideas to take action. Each year, last year and this year, she has been trying to find ways to get the students more involved. Last year they let the students have time to talk amongst themselves after each speaker. This year, they are allowing students to write down what the speaker talks about, take pictures of the conference and then tweet, blog, or publish it in their own way. They also have the chance to be the welcome committee and the thanking committee for the speakers. They are also the ones making and handing out the flyers. Next year, her plan is to let the students run the whole conference. (Student Ownership Blog)

In my response comment, I told Mrs. Sackson how much I liked the idea that they are getting the kids involved and basically letting them run this conference for themselves. I think it is a great way for them to learn and practice their skills. It is a great chance to improve people skills, organization skills, and their writing skills. She along with others worked hard to get this conference to the place it is today. I think it is a great thing they are doing. Student involvement is so important to effective learning.

The second post of hers I commented on was the post 10 questions to help you become a better teacher. In the blog she summarizes the 10 questions she finds important to ask yourself when becoming a teacher. Her 10 main questions were all based on the students. Is the learning environment formed around the students? Will they all learn in this setting? Do I know my students? Am I teaching them effectively? Am I still learning new ways to teach my students? Am I giving them enough say so in the classroom? Am I incorporating art and fun activities into my teaching? All of Mrs. Sackson’s questions are very important in the teaching world. They classroom should be based on the students and the students’ way of learning. We are there for them. (10 Questions to help you become a Better Teacher Blog)

In my comment I told Mrs. Sackson how helpful I thought all of the questions she purposed in her blog were. I think they would help me now as I finish my classes, while I am in candidacy, and in my first few years as a new classroom teacher. They are very insightful questions that will definitely make you think about how you are helping your students as a teacher.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Peer Editing

After reading Paige's blog, it put into perspective for me how important peer editing can be. I like that she put in bits from her and Dr. Strange's email to show us that it is okay to give pointers on our C4C blog comments. I was also unsure if we were just suppose to comment in the positive or if we were suppose to give our compliments and our suggestions/corrections. It is true that we will be forever editing and correcting work in our career. It is important that we learn how to do that now. It is important to be positive in peer editing no matter what!!

The video What is Peer Editing? and the PowerPoint Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial both focused on three main points in peer editing. These included compliments, suggestions, and corrections. When peer editing, I found out, it is important to always start with complimenting the persons paper. This thought never occurred to me before seeing these two resources. When I think of peer editing, I always just think of constructive criticisms on what I see that needs improvement. However, I can see now where compliments can be very important. If one of my peers was peer editing my paper, I would want to hear the goods along with the bads, that way I wouldn't get completely down about my paper. The other two focuses of peer editing are suggestions and corrections. Suggestions are just some ideas you have that could potentially make your peers paper flow better. Corrections are grammatical, punctuation, or sentence errors you stopped that your peer needs to change. Both this video and the PowerPoint are good resources to show students to help them better understand peer editing. They give good examples on ways to make suggestions and corrections, along with compliments, so that your classmate benefits from your peer editing, and does not get mad or discouraged from it.

The other video Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes would be a good video to show especially to an elementary level class. It was made with children, so they would get a good idea about what not to do with peer editing. Some of these included being too picky, being mean about it, not caring enough, and being to vague with your comments. I think it is important for kids to learn how to peer edit correctly. It is a useful tool, and it gives them the chance to interact with one another and help each other out.

Edit Picture

The question was purposed, will your offer suggestions publicly or privately? I think that both would be helpful. If the corrections or suggestions are constructive, and could potentially be helpful to many, I think they should be done publicly. It doesn't mean that you are saying your classmates paper is bad if you have corrections or suggestions. You are saying that you have some idea that might help them make it better. However, if there are a lot of mistakes and your peer edit is long, or has a lot of corrections, then I think it would be better to email the majority of it to them.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Teaching in the 21st Century

Mr. Dancealot

Mr.Dancealot was the teacher of a dance class. He had been teaching it for 12 years. However, I don’t think he was very good at it at all! Mr. Dancealot could have done so many things with these students interested in learning all the many forms of dance. He could have taken them into the ballroom on the very first day of class and shown them the forms and hold that  they were expected to know. He could have pulled videos off of youtube of professional dancers doing these moves the correct way. He also could have brought in professional dancers to help the students with the dances they were learning. Instead, he taught these students dance by powerpoint. The powerpoint had diagrams of the moves, but that is not the way to learn an active lesson. While he did demonstrate some of these moves, he stayed behind his desk where the students couldn’t even see his feet moving. He should have stepped out in front where all the students could see what he was doing. I also think he should have let the students stand up and practice the moves they were going over each day as they were learning them instead of yelling at them to sit down and be quiet. Mr. Dancealot did know the moves he was teaching these students, but he was not teaching them very effectively. There were so many other resources out there that he could have used to help these students see what he was talking about. By the final at the end of the course, none of the students knew what was going on. They didn’t actually know how to do the dances.

Harness your students digital smarts by Emma Boren

This video was very eye opening, as was the whole website The video “Harness your students digital smarts” was based in a high school setting. These students had a class a lot like EDM310. It was internet based learning. The teacher in this classroom taught these students everything they needed to learn and more. She also gave the children an opportunity to teach the other students and her things they may not already know.
While looking through the website, I also came across a video based in an elementary classroom in South Carolina. I was interested to see it because I am an elementary education major. These students had learning stations and each one was different, however they were all very technologically based. The students were assessed at the beginning of the year on the computer. The students had access to computers, and project supplies to produce all these cool projects. They were taught to teach themselves. They worked together in collaborative groups for learning and for projects. This way the teacher was more available to walk around and help the students who needed help.
Through this website, I also learned the importance of having an effective classroom. It is very necessary to have valid space so the students are not crammed and so the teacher can move around. The effect that technology and teacher interaction has on the interest of students became very clear. Technology is becoming more and more important in today’s world, and it is important for students to know how to work with this kind of equipment. The students in these videos were so excited to learn and work together to figure out the things they did not know.

The Networked Student by Shakeya Andrews

I was amazed at all the resources that the networked student used without having a textbook. In most college classes students rely on their textbook to help gain insight of what they need to know about their class, but I learned that there are more resources out there other than the traditional textbook. While watching the video, I asked the question “If the teacher almost never lectures how does the student know what he should be learning?” As I continued to watch I found out that the teacher give the  students the opportunity to find ways to enhance what they need to know such as blog sites and google. The student in the Networked Student used google scholar, which I have never heard before and he was also able to use Skype. The networked student also used blogs to help gather information and give his opinion of different topics.
Why does the networked student need a teacher? Every student needs someone to guide them to their resource.  If I did not sign up to take EDM 310, I would not have thought about making a blog or all of the opportunities having a blog can offer. Having a teacher while being a networked student can be beneficial  because students are able to go to the teacher for questions about unfamiliar networks and problems that may occur.
The student also used his MP3 player as a tool to gather information. He used Podcast and Itunes to access other college professors and their view on different topics. Not only do the student use the internet as a source for researching things, but he also shares his knowledge through videos.
Teaching in the 21st Century by Tracy Armstrong

Teaching in the 21st Century according to Kevin Roberts means to put down the chalk and do away with the chalkboard and learn more innovating ways to teach your students. The question was posed on were teachers obsolete. I believe that Roberts was saying that if the teachers don't become educated about the various uses of technology that they will become obsolete. Teachers must be ever learning in order to be effective in their field. Roberts's video, covered a lot of valid and vital information. It gave examples of the different tools that are available such as youtube, blogs, and google just to name a few. The video also introduced a lot of the lingo associated with this 21st century technology such as subscribing, editing, uploading, searching, posting, linking and locating. I must admit that all of this information is overwhelming. However, I do agree that we need some conflict in order to change. If Roberts is correct about this 21st century teaching then that means that I have to become educated with the latest technology so that I won't become obsolete as an educator. I need to be able to give my students guidance and teach them how to differentiate between the various tools. The students need someone who can help them organize the information into ways that will help them in problem solving. I must engage the students so they may have long term, meaningful results. It would be my responsibility as an educator to teach the students how to communicate properly by being responsible and reliable.