Archive for April, 2014

Blended Learning

Posted: April 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

Here is my VoiceThread on the topic of Blended Learning. There are many different models of blended learning. Educators and administrators need to personalize their use of technology to better fit their demographic of students. There are some circumstances that we, as educators, need to take into consideration when planning to incorporate technology into the curriculum. These circumstances differ from student to student.


Prezi Presentation

Posted: April 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

Engaging 21st century students can be challenging for teachers today. I reviewed Prezi for classroom use. I have heard a lot about Prezi but never worked with it until now. I previously used PowerPoint for all my presentations. After viewing Prezi I think I will be using this program more frequently. Here is the link to my screencast on how to use Prezi.

I used this tool to create a presentation titled History of Basketball. This presentation outlines the basic history of the sport and also outlined key terms that students need to understand and comprehend throughout the lesson. You can view my presentation at Basketball Prezi Presentation. As part of the basketball unit students need to compare and contrast the game of basketball now to when it originated. The key terms section of the Prezi presentation is to introduce key terms students will hear throughout the course of the unit. After this lesson students will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast old rules with new rules

  • Understand how the game was created

  • Who created the game and when it was created

  • Compare and contrast equipment used

  • Understand BEEF (proper technique for shooting)

I plan to use Prezi to introduce the lesson and to get students thinking about how the game of basketball evolved. I think students will gain a respect for the game once they understand where and why basketball was created. It is critical to introduce the material to the students prior to them performing a task. If students understand the concept of BEEF before they even pick a basketball up then they will be able to remind themselves about the proper technique.

It is sometimes difficult to introduce technology in the classroom when you are a Physical Education teacher. I think technology can be a great way to present new material to the students because they will be engaged by the Prezi presentation. Throughout the presentation I can ask questions to get the students thinking ahead. For instance, while reviewing the original rules I can ask them how many rules do they think are in the game today?

Teacher Blogs

Posted: April 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

Blog 1

The first blog I reviewed was the blog written by Fabiana Casella about incorporating cellphones within her classroom. Fabiana teaches at a small school the does not have tablets or computers for every classroom. The computer lab is shared between multiple teachers. After speaking with a number of colleagues and administrators she decided to have her students us their personal phones in the classroom. She first created an account on Edmodo, which is a program used for teachers. Students then downloaded Edmodo to their smartphones. 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 reading the article I was a little skeptical on how Fabiana was able to get approval for cell phone use in the classroom. I was amazed to see the participation from her students. Almost all students have a smartphone, and if you, the teacher, don’t have access to a computer lab then you can use the student’s phones as a tablet.

I also enjoyed looking through her personal bio slideshow. The other personal bio’s I reviewed were plain and to the point. She included motivational words and quotes in her slideshow. She also talked about her teaching career and where she sees herself in the future. I was impressed with her technology abilities because she has been teaching since 1987. She also includes feedback from her students about what they think about her techniques and 21st century teaching style.

Another link that was on the blog was Parking Lot Archaeology. Ron Campbell the author of this blog wrote this to give teachers different suggestion to keep students engaged in the classroom. He wrote about a personal experience he had in his own classroom where a student called the specific topic he was trying to teach “trash.” He then grabbed the trash can and related the content of the lesson to the contents in the trash can. This is a great way to bring the students attention to something that is in their classroom and is a real life experience. He was able to deliver the content with ease and the students were engaged.

Blog 2

The second blog I read was Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto’s blog Teaching Village. The first page on her blog is her biography. Her bio allows people to know where she has been in her life and her specific teaching style before they view her blogs. I also like how she has included additional links to other professional’s blogs. This is crucial for teachers to get an understanding of how other teachers teach.

The first blog post I viewed was titled Kids on Tablets. This is a great blog post because the 21st century student revolves around technology. This blog was about her era and how the children would get involved in specific crazes. She points out students in today’s world really don’t have crazes. Their craze is their tablet and only their tablet. This is very true because a lot of students in today’s world are stuck on gaming or other technology.

I also like how she has incorporated a link to a student’s blog post. Christopher Wilson wrote a blog about what he learned from his German teacher. I think including student’s response about learning experiences will help future teachers to have an impact on students. Within his reflection he points out a number of things that his teacher did that made an impact on him. He said he skipped a number of classes but would always feel guilty about skipping German class. His German teacher connected with him and was able to break through to him. I think this is when students truly learn in a classroom.

                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 brother who is six years younger. He is very technology driven where I don’t have a particular interest in it.

                Technology is very beneficial when it comes to activating the mind, being creative and finding an answer to any question. However, there are studies that have shown a relationship between exercise and learning. In addition, 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 correct if students are glued to technology?      

Blog 3

The third blog I read was 5 ways on how to prepare students for the future . Our childhoods are very different from how children live today. Technology is a major part of children’s lives and we need to embrace it and use it has a learning tool. We all know the 21st Century has brought about many changes to our lives but how can we prepare our children for the upcoming Centuries?

                This article has four 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. As a future teacher I can see how these particular words can relate to the new teaching style which is geared towards the “new age student.”

                At the beginning of this blog there was a hyperlink titled 21st century skills. This additional blog link is written by a teacher who had a language barrier between students and parents. Many of her student’s parents were non-English speaking. There are different strategies the author suggests to connect the language barrier between her classroom and home. I think the best idea the author suggested was to allow the students to be the educator. This is a great idea because it makes the student pay close attention during instruction time because they will have to go home and teach their parents.

                There was an additional blog link within this article that caught my interest. The next link I viewed was strengthening the school home connection with report cards. Many parents want to know the reason why their student received a particular grade on their report card. The specific content in this blog was reading. An example child was not getting an acceptable grade in reading. There were a lot of effective techniques to use in order to bridge the gap between home and student’s grade. The one example I liked was introducing the students and parents to a bibliography of the author. This allows the student to learn about the author and understand better the style of book they wrote.

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 was a lot of information on his blog which parents and other teachers can view. For instance his blog contained a video recorded by students during the class. You can view the 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. If parents are interested all they have to do is sign on and view the reflections.

                Additionally Mr. C incorporated into his classroom blog communication with grandparents overseas. On the initial page there was a video clip of him Skyping with student Brayden’s grandmother who lives in England. This Skype interaction took place during class. This allowed the students to learn about similarities and differences in the two cultures. 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 for Brayden’s grandmother willingness to communicate via Skype.

                Mr. C also incorporates other links and blogs that the class follows. I really like how he incorporates a PE blog. PE is my content area, and 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. This is a great idea and I feel I can incorporate this into my classroom.

                Mr. C has incorporated blogging into his classroom which allows parents to view. I also like how he has included additional links to different content areas for students and parents to view. These other links are just as important as his classroom blog.


Blog 2

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

                I really like how she has incorporated columns with all her students’ names and a link to what they are currently 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, I viewed Adam’s learning. At the top of his page she had fun information about each student like how 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.

                Ms. Cassidy also includes a link to field trips the students have participated in. I viewed the link to the class’ Ice Skating field trip. This link had many pictures and a video clip of the students learning how to ice skate. This is a great link for parents to view and see what their child did on the field trip. This allows the parents to visually see and almost experience the field trip with their child.

                I like the way Ms. Cassidy brings her classroom to parents. I think she has a great system to make the parents have an understanding of what their child is learning in their class. I know when I become a parent I will want to know what my child is learning in their specific classes.

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 main 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.

                Ms. Kreuger also incorporated a link that allows parents to get an update on their child’s progress in the class. Ms. Kreuger assigned students to specific groups and parents can go to the Parents: Exhibition Update link and see the progress and home expectations.

                I believe I can take inspiration from all three of the classroom blogs I previewed and create a great and unique blog 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 will allow the students to see their progress with improvements throughout the year.