Sunday, September 29, 2013

Project #8 Book Trailer

Blog Post #6 Asking Questions: What questions do we ask? How do we ask?

Asking questions are vital when educating. We ask questions to learn new things. Teachers ask students questions to gain insight on what students already know or what they have learned from lessons. Questions are good indicators to let teachers know if students are prepared for objective test. But teachers have to make sure they are asking the right type of questions. As Ms. Joanne Chelsey explained in her video, Asking better Questions in the classroom, some questions are uninviting to students. These questions do not require any explanation as to how the answer came about. Ms. Chelsey refers to these types of questions as closed-ended. Teachers need to ask questions that are inviting to students, that allow students to express their views. Ms. Chelsey refers to these type of questions as open-ended.

The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom is a great guide for teachers. It breaks down the importance of asking the right questions, the kind that leaves no doubt that the students understand. First, the questions need to be opened-ended. Meaning in order to answer the question, the students have to put thought into the question and then explain. Open-ended questions are good for both students and teachers. It confirms to both parties whether the concept is understood, and if not, than what needs to be addressed.

Also, teachers need to make sure the same students are not consistently answering questions. All students need to be involved, to make sure no one is confused or simply does not understand. The article suggests, calling students at random to answer questions. This way students will listen and try to answer the question because they have the possibility of being called. This is a good strategy, but I would go a step further with my classroom. To make it interesting to the students, I would have it like the game show "Who wants to be a millionaire". The students would have life lines to ask a friend for help. Once their life lines are exhausted, students would have to do some research on the question. The research part will be to encourage students to pay attention and to use their life lines wisely.

Asking Questions to Improve Learning gives good pointers that I would adopt into my classroom. I like the idea of planning your questions before your class starts, it allows teachers to fully control the discussion. It's easy to get sidetracked and get off subject in the middle of having a discussion. Preparing questions and making notes before class helps teachers make sure they have covered all the important areas. When asking questions, whether the students are right or wrong, the teacher should show the students they are interested in what's being said. Students sometime will not participate in answering questions because they are scared of being wrong and feeling embarrassed. If the students response is wrong then the teacher should do more probing, this will determine how the students came to their conclusion. By teachers paying attention and allowing students to complete their answers, this makes students feel comfortable and encourages them to participate in future class discussions.

Questioning Styles and Strategies, this video is about a fifth grade class having a discussion about the book, Bridge to Terabithia. The instructor used four learning styles that included; mastery, interpersonal, understanding, and self-expressive. In each phase the instructor used different techniques that kept the students interested. For example; the mastery, the students were asked to write words to describe how Terabitia looked. I thought this was a good way to keep students involved and to confirm that the students were understanding the topic. Also, the instructor selected students at random to go over their answers and had hands on assignments while discussing the book. Everything done was to make sure students would enjoy and feel that they were an important part of the class discussion.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

C4T #1

My assigned teacher to leave comments for has been Mr. Michael Kaechele. Mr. Kaechele is a Social Studies teacher in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

First blog
Coming Alive at 14 was the first blog I commented on, it was a video done by Mr. Trevor Muir. Mr. Muir expressed his views on two students, both with personal issues at home that negatively effected their achievements in school. One day at age fourteen these students finally opened up and made a connection. They found something that interested them and became better students.

My Thoughts
I enjoyed watching Mr. Muir's video. I felt the message was that no child should be given up on and everyone finds their niche at a certain point in their life. Every child should be given time to grow into a better student.

Second Blog
Objects as Entry Event was the first project given to Mr. Kaechele's students. He gave the students several different objects, which the students had to explain what the objects symbolized.

My Thoughts
I was totally lost, but the whole idea was to get his students thinking. I'm sure it worked. I looked at the objects and my mind went racing in different directions.

Blog Post #4

Many times I have been on iTunes and saw the podcast option. Not once did I take the time to explore and learn about it. I did not believe it would be beneficial for me, so I saw no reason to learn about it. I realized after this assignment, podcasting can be for more than just entertaining purposes. It can also be a tool used for educating.

Setting up a podcast seems easy. You can record any information on any subject. First you record your audio, upload audio to your computer; for example an itunes account. Once it’s saved to your computer you can play it back at anytime. You can also download the podcast to your MP3 device.

On Joe Dale’s post The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom, it explains how Podcasts are helpful when students miss class. This was most interesting to me because I am a student. If I miss a class, It puts me behind. Which could have a negative effect on my grade. Using podcasts can bridge that gap and make it easier for students to transition back into class as if they were never absent. Also, podcasts are convenient, once downloaded to a MP3 player you can listen to it on the go.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Blog Post#3

The Video What is Peer Editing gives good tips on how to be productive in your peer editing. There is a way to say everything so the person's work your editing does not feel offended. Compliments, suggestions, and corrections allow the person to not feel embarrassed. Peer editing can be very helpful. If done effectively, I believe students can retain a better understanding of what they are doing correctly/incorrectly. When I talk to peers, I feel more comfortable versus talking to teachers. For that reason I am able to learn from my peers.

When editing someone's work, I would offer my suggestions publicly and privately, depending on the number of errors. I'm not saying I would be harsh, but if a person has made numerous errors, I would make my suggestions through email. I definitely would not want to embarrass anyone. The video Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes has helped me understand when I'm making suggestions to step back and ask myself, "How would this make me feel?" Once I have answered that, it will determine how I would respond with my suggestions. Also, It is good to make suggestion publicly because it allows you to help others who are reading the blog.

peer in partnership

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Blog Post #2

Thoughts on Mr. Dancealot


The youtube video Mr.Dancealot honestly made myself, Stephanie, and Courtney laugh. Mr. Dancealot obviously does not plan on his students "dancing a lot" after they complete his Social Dance course! How could Mr. Dancealot expect his students to learn how to dance when his feet were hidden behind a table and he did not allow students to mimic the dance moves he was teaching the class? Yes, Mr. Dancealot had a powerpoint that instructed the students on how to properly do the dance moves, but that simply was not enough instruction for a student to learn how to dance. Mr. Dancealot completely lost the students' attention due to his poor teaching techniques. The main message our group collaboratively got from Mr. Dancealot was that you have to learn by doing. After watching this video, we were reminded the importance of interactive learning. Students go to school to learn. In order for students to learn, teachers need to give students opportunities to learn. If Mr. Dancealot would have allowed his students to mimic the steps he was teaching the class, the students would have remembered how to do these steps come time for their final exam. Not only would the students remember the steps for the final exam, they would remember the steps for many years to come.

Courtney Brown's Thoughts on "The Networking Student"

While watching the video towards the beginning I asked myself, "What will the teacher do?" There was no lecture, no books, and only one class with the teacher. As I continued to watch it became more clear. The concept of networking to research your topics could be better than having a teacher. As I continued to watch it became even more clear. Networking provides access to people from all different walks of life. You can encounter people that have had first hand experience with the topics you are researching, for example, experts on the topic and people just expressing their opinions. You are allowed to see different perspectives, including some you might have never considered. When you're forced to look at something from a different view, it gets your mind going and makes you ask more questions. The more questions you ask, the more answers you have to research. It becomes an ongoing cycle of information you get to absorb. You then become your own teacher. Once I understood the full concept, I was able to answer my own question. What will the teacher do? The teacher will be a regulator. She will make sure the students know the rules to follow in order for the students to teach themselves efficiently.

Stephanie’s Response to "Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts"



Ms. Davis’ use of technology in the classroom is able to connect her class to other students around the world. She also employs a tactic that I feel very strongly about, which is allowing students to teach each other. Having to explain a concept to your peers is a wonderful way to make the lesson stick. She stated in the video that some of the students were figuring things out on their own, and showing what they learned to her! In this day and age, it seems like a lot of young people seem to have an innate knowledge of technology. Utilizing this knowledge and building on it, Ms. Davis is creating a unique classroom environment. By stepping aside and letting students teach the class, and using project based learning, she creates a greater sense of community within the student body. As a class, they will be a more effective unit because they have all taught each other. Students communicate with each other better than a teacher can, so they will all be on the same wavelength with the lessons. This also plays into having them communicate with other students around the world. They create their own networks, which will be very valuable resources as they get older. Being able to make friends digitally is a valuable skill in this day and age, because the human race is now a global community. Having those outside connections will be very helpful for them in the long run, and the self-teaching skills they will use for the rest of their lives.


Brylyn Cowling’s Thoughts on Teaching in the 21st Century




Teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge in the 21st century classroom according to Kevin Roberts. Students have virtually limitless information and can find information on anything, anywhere, at anytime. If teachers can provide content, facts, formulas, dates, research, stories, theories, and information then a teacher's role in the lives of students in the 21st century classroom is obsolete. Teaching in the 21st century means to provide learning experiences for students. Ask students to solve problems that require them to find out information with the tools they use every day such as iPads, iPods, iPhones, Google, YouTube, or blogs. Kevin Roberts' thoughts on how he sees teaching changing are more than accurate. Teachers and students live in a technology driven society and in order for students to be prepared for his or her future outside of the classroom they need be given opportunities in the classroom to solve problems independently using the tools they have at their fingertips. The technology driven society we live in will have a huge affect on me as an educator. Daily I need to asses myself and ask, "Is this lesson going to prepare my students for his or her future outside of my classroom?" And if not, "How can I manipulate this lesson to give my students an opportunity to dig deeper and gain knowledge on the subject matter through the tools I have in my classroom?" As an educator, I will need to constantly educate myself on the current technological tools so I can then provide my students with opportunities to gain knowledge by exploring these new tools as well.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blog Post #1 If I Built A School, What Would It Be Like?

"The Magic School Bus," It's the first thing that comes to mind when I think about building my own school. The cartoon where learning was done through first hand experiences. Whenever there was an assignment Miss. Frizzle wanted the students to learn, they would load on the bus and take a field trip to experience the specific subject.

My schools way of learning would be much similar to Miss. Frizzle. I would be teaching 6th grade. The setup of the school would be artwork throughout the hallways and classrooms done by aspiring art students. The classrooms would have comfortable cushion desk seats and roundtables used for class discussions. Lunch time students would be able to watch television full of fun facts on different subjects and to make it more interesting, in which would be hosted by classmates. The Academic classes would be scheduled Monday through Thursday; Friday's considered to be reward day. Children tend to work harder when they are rewarded. Fridays would consist of extra curriculum activities, only for students who have participated and completed all assignments in their Academic classes. It would be more about developing social skills and teamwork.

What I Want My Students To Know?

Students should know learning can be fun and experiences can be the best learning tools. This also gives the students something to look forward to and makes them excited to learn.

What I Want Students To Be Able To Do?

I want the students to develop a habit of knowing that, learning is beneficial for them. The best student is a student that wants to learn. They should also know that this concept will apply to everyday life.

My Primary Way Of Teaching Students?

My class would mostly be discussions. Making lessons relatable to things students are interested in and desire.

The Tools I Will Use In My Class?

My class will have internet access. Every child would have a laptop. Technology is becoming more advance every year, students definitely need to understand how to use computers.

The Role my Students Will Play?

My students will be hands on learners. I agree strongly with Sugata Mitra's concept of students teaching themselves. My students would want to learn and this would motivate them to seek knowledge in everything they encounter.



Wednesday, August 21, 2013