Collaborative Blog Post
PBL Part 1
Project Based Learning allows students to create a project using all the contents that the state requires. Because the students have to know the state contents, PBL is content driven.PBL has an audience, gains student interest and involves the community in order to show real life scenarios. In PBL part one, Icurio was used to write Congressman Bonner thus covering the reading writing and social studies standards of ACCRS. The students really liked this project and they were very engaged. We also learned that reflection and revision are the most crucial parts of PBL.
PBL Part 2
In this summary with Anthony, he shared with us that not everything is going to go well so always be prepared to improvise. Anthony gave an example of how one parent did not approve of the assignment and because Anthony respected the parents concern, he allowed the student to create an alternate project. Anthony gave another example of how things can go wrong when he shared with us what happened when the state representative came for a classroom visit and the comic strip website was not responding. Anthony decided to incorporate some art tips that he received from Dr. Vitulli. Needless to say, when all the representative arrived, ALL of the students were engaged and Anthony and his class won their approval. We also learned to never limit our students and create the opportunity for them to go beyond what we are asking. Also, give the students a choice in regards to PBL because it gives them ownership of their work.By using PBL students know what they are doing and why they are doing it.
Icurio per Anthony’s definition, is an on-line tool that students can safely use to search websites that have been polled and filtered for educational purposes. Students can search for images, video, audio and texts. Icurio is good for all grade levels. One of the features of icurio is its storage capacity. This feature allows the students to store content that they find valuable. It also gives the students practice at organizing themselves on line via the folders.Icurio also saves automatically. This is good because students may have to leave in a hurry or they will be able to collect all of their material so that they can go back and finish it later if needed. Some more features are the time line and the historical figures feature. The latter is good for history projects or current event assignments. It allows the student to search by criteria. Icurio is learning disabled friendly. It contains a read aloud feature for students that struggle in that area.
In his Discovery Ed video, Anthony explained to us some of the advantages of Discovery Ed. One advantage is that it is good for visual as well as audio learners. Because the text article is coupled with visual materials, the students retain a lot more. This tool also enhances research material by bringing experts into the classroom via videos. Discovery Ed is a great tool for social studies and science. Anthony said that his students associate Discovery Ed with reading but on a higher level because of all the different kinds of illustrations.
The Anthony-Strange list of tips by Emma Boren
The video that I watched summarized Dr. Strange and Anthony’s list of what we should do as teachers (The Anthony-Strange list of tips for teachers part 1). As teachers, what can we do to better our classroom and the learning environment for our students. In this video, Dr. Strange and Anthony listed their top 6 things that we can do. The first is, “be a learner”. It is important for teachers to also be learners. We cannot teach without first learning. I think teachers do, or should, continuously learn throughout our whole teaching experience. The second thing is, “be flexible”. Anthony gave an example from his classroom, where the internet servers were out so he had his students on the floor painting. Things do not always go as planned in a classroom. Things happen that cause teachers to get behind like lack of cooperation from the students. It is important for teachers to be willing to change their plans to adapt to whatever is happening that day. Sometimes, changing your plan is necessary. It is important to be flexible and not worry that you aren’t on your set schedule. The next thing is “hard work”. Being a teacher is really hard work. A lot goes into the planning, the teaching, and the hands on of teaching. However, it is also very rewarding when everything goes right and your students get it. As stated in the video “it is hard work, but it is exciting!” Next is reflect; students need a purpose to reflect. This is why presentations can be helpful. Presentations make students go back and look at their work because they know they will be standing up and showing their powerpoint or talking about their topic in front of a bunch of people. I know that is true for me because if I have to get up in front of people to talk, I will look at the information over and over again until I think it is as good as it can get. Last was to start with a goal. I do agree that this is important. As teachers, we should definitely have a goal of what we want to accomplish in this school year. What do we want our students to learn? What do we want them to accomplish? What do we want them to walk away with this year? Being a teacher takes a lot of thinking and a lot of planning to give the students the best year they can have, but I think it will be completely worth it!
Additional Thoughts About Lessons by: Tracy Armstrong
Anthony says that lessons should be four layers thick. The first layer being how the lesson fits in with your year. The second is dividing the layers into units. The unit projects are done in stair steps so that by the end of the 6-8 week unit, subject should be mastered. The third layer is the week. The week should be devised so that you can get everything done. In other words, set goals for the week. The fourth layer is the daily lesson. This layer is just as important as the weekly, unit and yearly plan. This layer should contain a hook that will keep the students attention while learning. During this part of the lesson, the teacher must measure what the students learn in one day so that he can know what do do on the next day. During the course of the year, all content standards should be covered and the curriculum must be written.
Use Tech Don’t Teach it by: Shakeya AndrewsAnthony says that you should not teach technology. He believes that as a teacher you should not include a list of things that students need to get done using technology. I find this statement to be interesting because it is rewarding when you learn how to work a product or solve something on your own without any help. In the video, Anthony says that it is best to use Project based learning to help students learn how to use technology. Meaning allow students to use different learning tools such as Imovie and Podcast. Anthony allowed his students to use imovie, which is a tool that we have used multiple times in EDM 310 this semester. Just like our EDM 310 class Anthony did not teach his students how to use Imovie he allowed them to explore imovie and create a project by themselves. Trial and error is always a good learning technique to use because it allows students to be creative and find new techniques to use when learning. In http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqqmq_hEPms it Anthony says that his students have learned to express themselves and be creative while using Imovie. Being creative creates excitement because when students are bored and frustrated from trying to follow instructions step by step they are unable to experiment and see what works for them. Also, Anthony informs us that is important to be aware that students will make mistakes when using technology, but hopefully with trial and error they will get better. Once our students master how to use technology, then they will be able to demonstrate what they have learned and how they learned how to complete the project or work the technology.