Sunday, April 7, 2019

A Pet Peeve of Ms. Jackson's!

"I can't!"

My precious student, you can!  Clear your head, settle your spirit, and focus your attention on the first step for your work.  You can do!
Clear your head means to stop thinking of the reason why not.  Settle you spirit means to let the anxiety, worry, or aggravation go--think for the first step to starting your work.  Focus your attention on the first step means to think or the first thing you need to do to start you work.

Remember, the way to get things done is to start at the beginning and go!

Monday, April 9, 2018

ED 307 Prensky's Book Teaching Digital Natives, Partnering for Real Learning

In Marc Prensky's book Teaching Digital Natives, Partnering for Real Learning, there was excellent information given on properly conducting small group projects, activities, and behaviors.  I appreciated the group information and guidelines.  I can use this information in the future.    

Chapter 7 of Marc Prensky's book Teaching Digital Natives, Partnering for Real Learning is the section of the telephone book one would want to tear out and keep.  It is a wonderful resource.  Just a glance through it can inspire new activities for the classroom.  

As I read the book, Teaching Digital Natives, Partnering for Real Learning, the bell in my head kept going off.  It took me awhile for it to click--it reminded me of Paulo Freire.  For example, authority in the traditional vs. constructivist philosophies is sometimes presented as being potentially disrespectful or more respectful, respectively.  (Pun intended!)  I think an issue of respect is a misnomer.  Respect was and is present in classrooms without the discussion model of Paulo Freire.  When a student knows less than a teacher, there is no disrespect--implied or otherwise.  Is it a differentiation issue--respecting someone or treating someone respectfully?  No, because both should occur in the classroom.

Prensky, Marc. Teaching digital natives: partnering for real learning. Corwin, 2010.

ED 307 Partnering Pedagogy Investigation

Challenge-based learning was not what I thought.  It is a variation of most of the partnering pedagogies.  I thought that there would be criteria in a specific "challenge".  There are no limits, requirements or restrictions.  A challenge is just like a problem in problem-based learning.  It must be a real-world, authentic challenge/problem.

Apple produced a very nice classroom guide.  It is worth printing in full page.  I will keep it in my reproducible resource pile.

As far as researching partnering pedagogies in general, I found the information for using heterogeneous groupings was compelling.  Ability was the big factor for groupings.  Students may not benefit from mixed-ability groups.  Ability grouping has been a touchy issue in education.  This information leaves me in the same quandary that the education profession is in.   

I am going to make a disclaimer.  In the research that I found on this topic for this assignment, I found that there were several phrases that should be good--"research says . . . "positive benefits".  I don't like or feel comfortable with the phrase "research says . . . "positive benefits" when there are no articles or specific research projects actually cited.  Kagan was an exception by showing specific information from a research project in his online article, Cooperative Learning Structures Can Increase Student Achievement.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Blog Desgin Entry 5: Module Development

This may seem silly; but, it is dawning on me that teaching has a lot of up front work to be done.  I think the volume is what is clicking in my head.  I have experience in a K4 classroom.  I would prepare a head of time i.e. songs to sing, coloring, or worksheets.  The volume is going to change.

For our module development, there is volume in weaving the web of internet links and directions.  I say thank God for computers.  I am old enough to remember typing on a electric typewriter without a dictionary.  I have copied and pasted to my hearts content.  It is not so daunting of a task because there are basic instruction/directions that are repeatable with a tweak here and there.  

I am concerned about the "content" within the modules online; because, most of the content is derived from the assigned books--real actual paper.  I will use YouTube videos on the books.  I have figured out a way to use the videos so as to not give a way the story away.  I will ask the student:  "How would you do it?"  In other words, I will ask the students to critique the video based on the book.  I will figure out how to diversify my content with in the module.  

I think my course is really doable in a classroom setting!!!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Design Blog Entry 4: Engagement

The students will have two introduction boards.  I have three topics to choose from--favorite book, movie, and place visited in Alabama.  We are going to have an opinion blog to write about whether the student liked the book or not and why.  There are going to be two modules that will compare book vs. movie for the book assigned in the module.   Lastly, there will be the Which Was Better wiki.  This wiki is meant to be broader in scope--which is better the original books or the movies made from them.  Each one of these is intended for each student to express their preferences and opinions.  There is nothing like talking about ourselves.

We are going to have the Write Me a Story wiki.  There will be a module where the student will be able to choose from the reading list.  Both of these are intended to provide students with choice.  The story writing wiki will not have a prompt to it.  It is to be completely student moderated, creative, and collaborative.  

The potential problem is that this course is for 4th graders.  I hope that they will really discuss which is better or why they did or did not like a book.  I hope that writing/communicating about their preferences and opinions will be engaging to them.

I had an Aha moment!  There will be two introduction boards.  I will use favorite book and movie for one discussion board!  I do not have to choose!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

ED 307 Constructivism

Constructivism believes:
  • Students construct their own knowledge by combining their prior knowledge with new information.  
  • Teachers are facilitators of learning.
  • Assessments should demonstrate a knowledge of process or skill.
  • Curriculum is student-driven.  
I have no problem with some of the strategies/pedagogies or the (fill in the blank)-based learnings.  I have thought of several projects that I would genuinely wish to do.  For example, I would love to have students organize, develop, manage, procure, construct, and then donate something they made for a community need i.e. a dog house for an animal shelter.  I would love to have students learn to crochet or quilt as a project for community-based learning.  However, I think that (fill in the blank)-based learning (which all fall under constructivism) do not stand alone as an education.

I am not a constructivist.  I am a traditionalist, essentialist, even a classicist.  I would rather take a "both" stance.  Skills and process are all well and good.  If a student does not have a solid content base, writing as a process or skill is still difficult.  Think of the saying "Write what you know!"  Combine content with process and skill in this ratio, 2(content):1(skills):1(process), I think you have really got something!  Project-based learning will be more effective with a solid framework (content) to base it off of.  I don't think that an entire curriculum should be based on a single (fill in the blank)-based learning.  How many lesson plans does it take to teach the research process or scientific experiment process?  It does not take whole grades.  Yet once the process is learned, what do the students do with the process. Repeat it in different assignments.  This is an example of traditional and constructivist models working together.  

There are two last point I would make.  Authority is a term that appears to be a misnomer in the constructivist and traditional models.  It is said that the teacher in the traditional model is the authority over, of, on content.  I don't understand the mislabeling.  I do know more than a kindergartener or a 6th grader.  It is a matter of volume.  Authority comes from the need to lead or manage.  Is it a matter of the teacher saying what information is right?  Or is it a matter of good information is factual?  As a future teacher, I want my students to have a solid content base, so that they can develop their own opinions.  I could take up the first part of the school year having a more traditional class.  I have no problem incorporating constructivist strategies.  The class could transition to a more constructivist model for the second half of the school year.  As with all teaching, it takes a lot of work up front!

ED 308 Design Blog Entry 3: Community and Collaboration

For collaboration, my course will have two wikis.  The first wiki will be for writing a story.  This will connect with the narrative writing standards.  This is not easy to do.  In our intermediate reading class, we did this activity during class.  It was not very coherent.  This story writing wiki will run the length of the course which should allow time for a cohesive story to develop.

The second wiki will be for researching cities and town in Alabama.  This will build in subject integration between researching, writing, and social studies.  Informational is the key term that connects the wiki with the reading and writing standards.

I have discussion boards and blogs planned.  I have planned to use these for assessing students writing and comprehension.  The discussion boards for answering questions about plot, theme, setting, character development, etc.  The blog is for the students to express their opinion about the book they are reading.  I don't know if I want to add responses to either.  Maybe it should depend on the question!

I looked at my post from last week.  I think I really need to add an introduction discussion board.  I think that we will have a debate wiki on book vs. movie.  In both cases the question or prompt will go like this:  I think or I like . . . because . . .