Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blog Post #11


I started working on my PLN several years ago when I was in EDM310. Now that I have several years of learning behind me and I have had the opportunity to meet and make friends with many teachers - my PLN has increased substantially.

Although - in the beginning - my PLN encompassed people I had met through blogs and Twitter. Now, my PLN circle has grown. I have many more Twitter friends and I have added mentors that I have met in classes. I have teachers that have just started teaching and teachers that have been teaching for 20 years. I have also added professors to my PLN.

Although I created my PLN when I was a sophomore in college - I am still using the same network now that I am in grad school. I depend on others ideas and their support. They aren't afraid to tell me I screwed up; however they are just as quick to offer praise! I rely on this network to gather information and share ideas. They are amazing! They are incredible! One day - I hope - I will be a part of someone else's PLN!

If you want to see just one of my amazing network members check out Shannon Miller.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Final C4T Rotating

Post #1 

This week I have been given the privilege of reading Mr. Chamberlain's blog. I was really thrilled because Mr. Chamberlain is part of my PLN. I follow him on Twitter too! 

So - his class is a history class and the question he is addressing is "Why do we have to learn history?" Mr. Chamberlain Googled the question because he thought that surely there was a great answer to be found online. There wasn't! So he asks --"Why do we have to learn history?". I say -- because we are creatures of habit. We do the same things over and over again. Don't believe me? Look at our history. Look at the the history of humans, of our country, and of our own lives. We continually make the same mistakes over and over again. Except - each time we make changes. So - by studying our history - we learn from our own and others mistakes. Hopefully - we will not make the exact same mistake twice! 

Loved this blog! Read ALL of it! 

Post #2

This week I am looking at Dare to Care by Denise Krebs. She has recently posted a questionnaire that had some excellent insight! She has recently moved to the Island of Bahrain. I can't imagine living in any other country than this one! Not to mention teaching in another country. Although I think it is a great dream! One I just might try to fulfill once my daughter is out of college (she graduates from high school in May 2014)! I really enjoyed the answers she gave. She also encouraged others to incorporate the questions in their student's blog. I think it is a grand idea! 

In answer to the question about her favorite quote this is what she said: 

Final C4T by Me

Post #1

This blog post discusses a Gallup Poll that measures student's engagement in school. This interests me because engaged students learn and retain more than non-engaged students. I want to make sure my students are engaged! So, I found this interesting. What was very tragic was that 70% of teachers believe their students are not engaged in learning!! SEVENTY PERCENT!!!! What the heck?! This makes me very sad. It also reiterates why our professors continually tell us that we need to actively engage our students in learning. It is imperative that our students are interested in what we are teaching them. 
"Surveys and polls aren’t perfect, of course. But overall, the message of this research is a powerful indicator that we need to do a better job at looking at the full range of factors that affect school performance. Gallup is promoting its student poll to districts as another means of making decisions about what really counts in school." 
I hope that you will take a look at this blog post. It was interesting and very thought provoking!

Post #2 

Teachers seem to be looking for tech tools that align with Common Core Standards. There seem to be many tools out there - but students and teachers alike are saying that the tools are ineffective. It seems that many of the ineffective tools are the Math and English tools. The blog states that the Social Studies tools seem to be the most effective. 

I also found this to be helpful. 

Post #3

This last post is amazing... I am so glad that it is the last post that I read. I think it sums up what we want for our students. Although this may not be feasible in Mobile County classrooms - I think some of the ideas are well worth the time it would take to implement. I can not do justice to this blog post. So I encourage you to go and read it!

No Courses, No Classrooms, No Grades — Just Learning

This blog focuses on NuVu Studios which is a PBL program that pairs students with real world problems. NuVu is the brainchild of Saeed Arida, a former PhD student from MIT who believes that young people should be taught to solve real-world problems, like using new materials to design higher-quality prosthetics. 

Here’s How NuVu describes the program:
NuVu is a full-time magnet innovation center for middle and high school students. NuVu’s pedagogy is based on the architectural Studio model and geared around multi-disciplinary, collaborative projects. We basically teach students how to navigate the messiness of the creative process, from inception to completion.
No Courses: Instead, we have studios. Around 12 kids work closely with their 2 coaches on solving big (and small) open-ended problems.
No Subjects: Instead, everything is fused together. Students find themselves moving between a studio that requires them to design a telepresence robot to another that requires them to re-imagine Boston with a cable car system.
No Classrooms: Instead, we have an open space that changes all the time to adapt to the needs of every studio.
No One-Hour Schedule: Instead, students spend two weeks from 9-3 solving one problem.
No Grades: Instead, we have portfolios that document students’ design decisions and show their final products.
I definitely enjoyed this blog! I hope you will too! 

Final C4T Continuous

Post 1

Jabiz has not been posting lately - but I ran across this gem. It was short and to the point. A lesson that I think we all need to learn. It was a language lesson. This is what happened - Jabiz overheard one of his students say, ”Stop being such a homo. That is so lame and gay.” I think Jabiz handled it very well. He immediately went and talked to the student. He explained why he didn't like those types of words to be used in a  derogatory fashion. I thought he did a very nice job of explaining how these words can hurt and cause pain to people that hear them. I really appreciated the way that he handled the situation. It was cool! 

Post 2

"You can either think of yourself as thirteen year olds writing for a teacher in English class, or you can think of yourselves as writers who demand to tell a story. There is a difference." Jabiz 

So - in this post Jabiz's class is working on a research project. He is really thrilled with his students being super engaged! He says,  "The formula for engagement is simple - students need high expectations and challenges, but they also need every ounce of energy we have to maintain enthusiasm and love for what we teach." Students need to see the value in what we have to teach them. They need to know they have a choice and that they can take ownership of what they do. As teachers we also have to support their choices with constant feedback. 

Post #3

This week I read a post from Jabiz that hit a little close to home. It really made me wonder how we - as English teachers - choose "appropriate" reading material for our students.  Jabiz was approached by a student that wanted to know if he had every read a book titled, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Apparently this a popular book that some people have thought to be inappropriate for young adults. Jabiz laments over how we do not want students reading books about sex, drugs or other inappropriate content. In essence - though - a lot of "classic" novels are full of the same ideas. Aren't students that are 12-13 years old interested in this exact topic? They enjoy reading these things. As teachers we are being foolish to believe that our students haven't engaged in any of these activities. We hope - but we are unsure. I really enjoyed this post. So much that I am going to read the book! Jabiz compares it to Catcher in the Rye!!

Video Book Review

This week I received permission to read a different book. I am reviewing a book entitled UNSCHOOLING RULES: 55 WAYS TO UNLEARN WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT SCHOOLS AND REDISCOVER EDUCATION by Clark Aldrich. 

Blog Post #10 - What Was Left Out?

I struggled with this -- I am not sure what could have been added. The only thing that I could think of would be a Voice Thread or a Prezi.

I think Voice Thread would have been an excellent option, especially for group work. It would have worked well for the presentations on the books that we read. In Voice Thread the user can use the program to share a Power Point presentation. The user then uses a microphone to control the voice over on the presentation. There is a way for viewers to comment on each thread too. I have used this before in a group of Honors English students and it worked really well.

Here is a Voice Thread that will explain it.

Like I said before - this would be an excellent way to do a book review. It would be easy to work on this with a web-based class too. Although the You Tube and Vimeo videos are great - this would be an additional way to review/explain a book or an assignment.