Monday, September 30, 2013

C4K Summary for September

    For my first C4K assignment I was given the student whose blog name is French Toast Montanna. In her "I Believe," blog post, she blogged about her love for music and marching band. She admitted though that marching band is not quite as glamorous as it seems. She said there are long days with a lot of standing and sweating. She also commented that it was difficult to remember her music because there was so much to memorize. In my comment to her I told her I knew how she felt, as I was in band myself. I also let her know that I really enjoyed reading her blog and to keep up the good work.
I believe

    In my second C4K assignment I had a student by the name of Tahlia. Tahlia wrote her entire blog post in the Wingdings font. I translated her post in word and found that she was talking about a game she had been playing. In my comment to her I told her I enjoyed her post that was written in Wingdings and I asked her what game she was playing. I am still waiting for a response from her.

    In my third C4K assignment I had a student named Ngairie. In her blog post she had a graph showing different camp activities that people enjoyed. The categories were kayaking, blogging, getting lost, and rollerblading. Kayaking was the top scoring activity. In my comment to Ngairie, I told her that I enjoyed her post and that I had been to camp many times and that kayaking was one of my favorite activities to participate in at camp.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Blog Post #6-Asking Question: What Questions Do We Ask? How Do We Ask?

The Right Way To Ask Questions In The Classroom
    In this blog post, Ben Johnson addresses how teachers are asking the wrong questions in the classroom. I never really considered that my teachers were asking me the wrong types of questions until reading this blog post. He points out that there are a handful of students who will answer a question every time and there are the majority of students who will never answer questions. This stems from the way the teacher is asking the question. When a teacher asks if everyone understands he/she is really asking for the permission of her students to move onto a new concept, but that is not necessarily the right question to be asking. In order for our students to understand we need to give them all the chance to process the question and form an answer and then randomly choose a student to answer.

Asking Questions To Improve Learning
student answering question
    In this article, we are given a number of different strategies for asking questions to our students to improve their learning. Some general strategies we can use for asking questions are planning our questions ahead of time and planning them around what concepts we want our students to learn. We should also aim for direct, clear, and specific questions. We should also aim to respond effectively to our students. It is important to give our students adequate time to formulate an answer for the question that has been asked. We should also strive to not interrupt our students when answering. As educators we should allow our students to give their full response to a question and then offer feedback where it is needed.

Three Ways To Ask Better Questions In The Classroom
    In this post by Faculty Focus, they give the reader three ways to ask better questions in the classroom. The first tip is to prepare questions ahead of time. Preparing questions ahead of time helps you to clarify and conceptualize the question being asked. The second tip is to play with questions. Playing with questions allows you to leave the question unanswered and using strategies to give students time to think about an appropriate answer. The final tip is to preserve good questions. Keeping good questions asked by students can assist more students to think and come up with questions of their own.

Project #8-Book Trailer

Pumpkin Heads!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Blog Post #4-Why Podcasts? How do we do a Podcast?

1st Graders Create Their Own Audiobook
My initial reaction to this post was it was absolutely wonderful. Reading can be a very tough skill to master with speech impediments, levels of reading comprehension, etc. I think it is an excellent idea to have kids create an audiobook where they can hear themselves. I feel like as the students hear themselves they become more confident students in the subject of reading. I also really liked the fact that not only did they create an audiobook but they also had a booklet to read along with while they listened to themselves. One thing I have learned from this post is that we can be our greatest motivation and I will keep that in mind when creating my podcast. I thought this was a great project.

Flat Stanley Podcast
flat stanley
I thought this was absolutely adorable. I loved hearing the students voices, talking about where they had been mailed to and the adventures they had had. I thought that this was a great idea to have students participate in. It keeps the students engaged and again I think it is really excellent that they can hear their own voices. I also really liked the idea of having the students research where they wanted to go while being a “Flat Stanley.” Not only did they get the opportunity to read a book, but they also had the opportunity to learn about a different place and culture. I learned that it is really great to be energetic and learn the dynamics of your voice, because it comes off really nicely in a podcast. I really loved this project.

Podcasting with First Grade

student podcasting
I thought this was a great way to get students to break out of their shells. Listening to oneself brings about confidence. I can hear excitement and enthusiasm in the students voices as they interviewed Jack and Annie in the podcast. I feel that this kind of project helps shy children become more expressive and become more comfortable with themselves. I loved that these kids were really taking an active part in the podcast by asking questions and also recording bits where the entire class said something or made a noise. One thing I can take away from this podcast is that being expressive in a podcast can make all of the difference. I thought the students did an excellent job on this podcast.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

C4T #1

     I was given Steven Anderson, the Director of Instructional Technology for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools in Winston-Salem, NC, for my first Comments for Teachers assignment. Mr. Anderson blogs about the web 2.0 connected classroom.
fostering grit
Mr. Anderson in his most recent blog, reviews a book called Fostering Grit by Thomas Hoerr. This book, which is apart of the Arias Series, talks about developing Grit. In this book, Hoerr, points out that learning takes more than just the core subjects for students to succeed. Anderson speaks very highly of the Arias series, in saying that they can be used not only by students but by teachers and administrators as well. Anderson states that the book is a quick read but the takeaways are immediate and impactful. In my comment, I stated that I enjoyed reading his post about the book and that is was something I could see myself reading.

    For my second C4T blog post, Mr. Anderson blogged about the book Teaching With Tablets.
teaching with tablets
Mr. Anderson talked about how iPads and Android tablets are becoming more prevalent in our educational systems. He stated that many Administrators know they need to implement them into their school, but they are not quite sure what to do with them. He also talks about how just because we have access to these types of devices does not mean that we always have to use them. In my comment, I stated that pencil and paper, I felt, were becoming obsolete. I also stated that education is increasingly becoming more technologically based. I also said that I feel that a lot of the time we use these devices when it really is not necessary.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Blog Post #3- How Can You Provide Meaningful Feedback to Your Peers?

What Is Peer Editing?

    I have never truly considered what “peer editing” is. Anytime I was asked to proofread work for someone, I mostly concentrated on telling them what was wrong and how to fix it. I have never taken into consideration their feelings and how what I said might affect them. In the video, “What is Peer Editing”, we are given a simple illustration of what peer editing consists of. Peer editing is meant to help your classmates improve their writing by offering positive feedback. There are three steps when editing a peer's work as outlined in the slideshow "Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial." .
3 steps to peer editing
You always compliment their work first. Let them know that you enjoyed reading their work, and tell them what you liked about it. Secondly, you offer suggestions. Suggesting that different word usage or elaboration could make their writing seem more clear would be more effective than telling them that you did not understand or that their work did not make any sense. Thirdly, you make corrections. These corrections can be made publicly or privately, but they should always be made in a respectful and positive manner.

    I greatly enjoyed the video “Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes.” This is a great tool to help you understand what not to do when peer editing. It is not necessary to be a "Picky Patty" or a “Mean Margaret.” In order to provide meaningful feedback to your peer's, you must edit with the utmost respect and understanding. You do not want to tell your peer that their work was terrible and that it was hard to understand. This only tears them down and makes you look extremely rude. When peer editing consider how you would feel if someone had only given you negative feedback and never pointed out any of the positives in your writing. It is essential to successful peer editing to provide positive comments and polite suggestions and corrections.
peer editing

Peer Editing My Group

    I commented on both Laura Crawford’s and Ashley Railey’s most recent blog posts. I chose to comment publicly on their blogs because I did not feel that they had any errors that were deemed severe enough to address them privately. I feel that a few grammatical errors is not something that needed to be pointed out in private. In the situation that there had been numerous errors, I would have addressed them privately. I feel that I have learned a great deal about peer editing from the videos and tutorials mentioned above and I believe that peer editing is a great tool for students to use in the classroom.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Blog Post #2- What Will Teaching in the 21st Century be Like?

Mr. Dancealot
Ashley Railey, Caitlin Hinton, Laura Crawford
dancing couple
    "Mr.Dancealot” is an exemplary video concerning how many teachers in today’s society give facts and/or opinions, expecting the student to take notes, study, and regurgitate what the student “learned” in class. The problem with this form of education is that the students never actually retain what is taught. Even if the students are not necessarily kinesthetic learners, when the subject matter is an activity it follows that the subject must be, well acted. This is applicable to any field of education. You cannot expect a student to learn math without making his/her own calculations, learn science without experimentation, or learn composition without writing. Just as a coach would never put a player up to pitch at a baseball game without first practicing to throw, a student in a classroom cannot learn without practice. The video was a great example of what not to do in a classroom. In order for students to succeed, practice is essential.

The Networked Student
Caitlin Hinton
     In the video, “The Networked Student,” we are given a glimpse of what education is evolving into. Education is increasingly becoming more web based as opposed to lecture based. In the video we are introduced to the idea of connectivism. Connectivism promotes that learning occurs as part of a social network composed of many diverse connections and ties. The important aspect of connectivism is the connections that can be made possible through this type of learning.

     There are endless possibilities, when it comes to connectivism. In this video I thought it was incredible that the student had access to lectures from some of the most renowned professors in the country. I feel that this video is a testament to all of the benefits of self-taught learning. Students these days have access to virtually anything they want to know and have the means to reach it right at their fingertips. I believe that this is where education is going. Education will become paperless and it will all be web based.

     So what about the teacher? Does their job become obsolete? Absolutely not! The teacher will play a vital role in the connectivist classroom.
teacher helping students
While students have the ability to access all of this information, they still need someone to teach them how to gain access to this limitless information. The teacher becomes a helper when the student gets stuck. The teacher instructs the student to communicate properly, and discern between right and wrong information. The teacher becomes a resource and an aid for whatever the student may need. Although paper will become antiquated, the teacher will always have an important role to play in a student’s education.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
Ashley Railey
     This video features Vicki Davis, a teacher in rural south Georgia, who is leading her students in a technology based class. She is expanding the students ability to learn through technology. One statement she makes that really stuck out is that she is focused on the students “learning how to learn.” She also speaks of the empowerment the students feel when they figure out something own their own, and that they often teach her new things as well. The students experience a hands-on type learning, giving them the ability to retain the knowledge they gain in the classroom. They work alongside students around the world by using Wiki Teen, which is described as a global collaborative project which allow the students to post their assignments and connect with other teachers and students through blogging.

     This is an incredible advancement in the modern classroom. Much different than the pen and paper style teaching I experienced in high school 10 years ago. It gives a much broader approach to learning so that each student can work at his/her own pace. If this is the future of education, then I see a much brighter future for our culture as a whole.

Teaching in the 21st Century
Laura Crawford
     The reality of the matter is that since 1990 we have all been connected. From the glorious invention of the internet spiraled a sociological revolution unparalleled in history. Kevin Roberts provides a suggestive explanation for old-fashioned teachers in a high-tech, tumultuous world in his video "Teaching 21st Century Students". By evaluating the positive uses of technology in education and confronting the fears that most educators hold. Roberts provides an optimistic and encouraging emphasis on the way that technology can and will change education in the near future.

    It is impossible for technology to be eliminated from society. Considering this, Roberts highlights a very real and very pressing fear: since our students are utilizing technology that we have not taught, they are doing so at their own risk. The internet is a wonderful tool, if used wisely. Without teachers educating students on the harmful ways of “pirating, plagiarism, slander, copyright, [and] crowdsourcing”, students are likely to cause harm to themselves and potentially others while attempting to operate with good intentions. Roberts makes it explicit that teachers have the ability to eradicate this harm from their students; I will go even further and says that we hold the responsibility to.

     A further concern of educators today is the misuse of technology in the classroom as entertainment instead of a conduit of knowledge. Roberts easily defies this by arguing that “the tools provide temptation, but they are not the source of negative behavior”. He emphasizes that the purpose of education is to engage the students and not entertain them. I agree completely. Without an effort by the students, genuine learning is impossible. So how do we encourage students to make that effort? Easy—we engage them.

    Roberts also emphasizes the more positive attributes of technology. The term “create” has been completely redefined through “blogging, podcasting, animating, planning, recording, designing, [and] programming”. Physical distance is insignificant since the creation of webcams, blogs, and even search engines—all of which vastly broaden the scope of what we are able to teach. Roberts advocates that we must “teach students how to…validate information, synthesize information, leverage information, communicate information, collaborate with information, [and] problem solve with information.” The wonderful part is that all the information is already out there for our students to explore.