Archive for March, 2014

Module 1 Blogs

Posted: March 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Teacher Blogs:

Blog 1

The first blog I reviewed was Fabiana Casella blog about incorporating cellphones within her classroom. Fabiana teaches at a small school the does not have tablets or computers for every classroom. The only place that has computers in her school is in the designated compute labs that are used often. She attended a seminar and was asked to write a blog about High tech ideas in the Low Tech classroom. She gladly accepted but she was unsure how she was going to accomplish this. After speaking with a number of colleagues and administrators she came up with the idea of having the students have their phones in the classroom and using them as computers.

                After she got the ok from parents and administrators she had the all clear. She first created an account on Edmodo, which is a program used for teachers. Students then downloaded Edmodo to their smartphones. She already had a webpage and group created all the students had to do was join the group. By doing this she was able to use multiple online sources, have students post their work, create a discussion board, and respond to other students post. After a full year of using cell phones in her class the students started to incorporate their own ideas into the online classroom. The students started to “tweet” and participate in other major news information sits.

                Before I started reading this article I was a little skeptical on how Fabiana actually was able to get the ok from her administrators and parents. However, the way she presented the online classroom was great because she actually created the Edmodo log in which would allow her to supervise her students while they were online. I was amazed to see how the turnout was from her students. Pretty much every student has a smartphone these days and if you, the teacher, don’t have access to a computer lab then you can use the student’s phones as a tablet.

Blog 2

The second blog I read was titled Kids on Tablets: more addictive than Pills by Patrick Jackson. The blog starts off by talking about a boy name Kai. Kai is a ten-year-old boy who does not have any interest or as mentioned in the blog crazes. Crazes were described as the new thing to get into. The new things could last for a short time or long time. They were also very polar. Crazes could have been paper planes, conkers, skipping, marbles, and hopscotch, to knitting. According to Kai’s parents he does not have any interest in these. However, he is obsessed with one thing, his Ipad.

                Kai’s Ipad addiction is not necessarily a bad thing. His parent says he is able to seek any answer he wants to at any point in time. He not only has answers to the questions his parents can’t answer but he is able to do other games that activate his mind. He plays Minecraft, painting and building things, creates his own art and music and a number of other things. Without a doubt Kai using the Ipad is very educational. Where the line is drawn? His parents wonder what he would be doing if he was not glued to the Ipad twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. His parents need to supervise and watch what he is doing closely.

                I think this is the story of today’s youth. As a student who is pursuing a degree in Physical Education I wonder if these students will even know what the world is like outside of their technology. I am not very old but I can see a difference between myself and my younger brother who is six years younger. He is very technology driven where I don’t have the attention span for it.

                Technology is very beneficial when it comes to activating the mind, being creative and finding any answer to any question. However, there are studies out there that have shown a relationship between exercise and learning. In addition to that, if children are not being active the obesity rate will only increase. This is an epidemic that needs to be corrected but how will it if students are glued to technology? 

Blog 3

The third blog I read was 5 ways on how to prepare students for the future . If you sit back and think about what the future may hold of have held in your lifetime, think about how it has changed your or could change you. We all know the 21st Century has brought about many changes to our lives but how can we prepare our children for the upcoming Century’s?

                This article has three words that are associated with the 21st century. These words are communication, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. The article states these are the four things a student will need in order to be successful. That article gives five strategies to prepare students for the real world.

                The first strategy is letting students lead the learning. Students are more powered to learn in an environment where they feel they have some power. Students will be more motivated to learn and to teach other students new ways of learning. This way of learning will allow the students to take the first few steps to becoming a life-long learner.

                The second strategy is creating and Inquiry-based environment. Students need to be able to ask questions and then find different ways to answer them. Students need to be pointed in the direction of self-motivated learning.

                The third strategy is Encourage collaboration. Students need to be encouraged to collaborate with their peers. Teachers need to incorporate small group work, or work with another partner every opportunity they can. This will allow student to communicate and achieve a goal together.

                The fourth strategy is critical thinking skills. Critical thinking skills are critical for students to find new ways to solve problems and comprehend the information. These skills are also crucial for students to make inferences and make good judgments. Teachers need to build on these skills every chance they get.

                The final strategy is encouraging creativity. Encouraging students to be creative throughout the lesson allows them to express themselves. This also allows them to personalize their knowledge and relate it to their own life. Students who can do this will create a never forgotten memory of the class.

                I think these are all great strategies for a teacher to remember while creating a lesson. Students need to be able to express themselves and create their own ways of thinking. These strategies will allow the students to solve problems by themselves, work with others, and succeed in life. These strategies/skills will be needed for the future centuries too, but the list may have additional words.

Classroom Blogs

Blog 1

                The first blog I visited in the category of classroom blogging was Mr.C’s Class Blog. I have never viewed a classroom blog and I was very impressed. There were a lot of information on his blog that allows parents and other teachers to view. For instance, he had video recorded students during the class, class reflection logs. He uploaded the reflections to the blog for parents to view. I think this is a great way to incorporate classroom interactions with parents at home. Some parents ask what their child learned today. Where now all they have to do is sign on and view the reflections.

                Another thing Mr. C incorporated into his classroom blog was communicating with grandparents overseas. On the initial page there was a video clip of him Skyping with a Brayden’s grandmother who is in England. This Skype took place during class. The students where learning about similarities and differences in culture. I think this is a great way to get the students to communicate with real people who have a real life experience. Some students may not have ever had this experience if it was not Brayden’s grandmother who was whiling to communicate via Skype.

                Mr. C also incorporates other different other links and blogs that the class follows. I really like how he incorporates a PE blog. Being PE is my content area I was curious to how the teacher created this blog. Michael Beringer lays out everything on this blog. He gives a detailed description of what his students are doing in every grade. Every single one of these teachers has created this blog in order to communicate better with parents. This is a great idea and I feel I can incorporate this into my classroom.

Blog 2

                The second classroom blog I viewed was Ms. Cassidy’s six year old students. This is a group of students who are from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. Ms. Cassidy teaches and has incorporated her class into a blog. After viewing her blog and comparing it to the previous blog I found this was a lot more interactive. She has recent post and videos on the main blog page. She also has video of her teaching and interacting with her students in a PE lesson.

                I also like how she has incorporated column with all her students’ names and their learning on the right hand side of the page. The student’s names are in alphabetical order. Once you choose a student’s name it will take you to their page. For instance, lets view Adam’s learning. At the top of his page you will see he enjoys practicing riding his bike with not training wheels. Further down the page you will see his accomplishments throughout the class. I think this is a great idea because it personalizes the blog for the students. I believe personalizing this makes the students feel this portion of the blog is theirs. The entire blog is about the class but it is critical to have a little piece of the blog for each and every student.

Blog 3

                The third and final blog I viewed in the classroom blogs is written by Ms. Kreuger and is titled Kids with Ideas. This blog is set up similarly to the other two blogs I viewed. The one difference I can see from the first page is the youtube videos that this teacher has posted. It appears this teacher enjoys posting videos about the students and their projects. There are also additional projects they can create on their spare time if they feel free to.

                She also has posted a number of inspirational videos for the students. For example, there is a video of a young man who has overcome his battle with cancer. This is great for the students to see because if they are struggling with something then they can see a success story and get the drive to fight to the end. This teaches the students that determination and perseverance can get you through difficult times.

                I believe I could incorporate all three of the classroom blogs I previewed to make a great one for a PE class. I think this would be a great thing to do for the parents to keep them in the loop of what is going on during class. I also think this could allow the students to see their progress with improvements throughout the year.

 

 

               

A good teacher …

Posted: March 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.