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                 To reflect is to create an image though thoughtful consideration.

 As I reflect on the GAME Plan I developed, I realized that my GAME Plan will take several more steps with the parent input I received and adding/adjusting my classroom website to fit my classroom climate for next year. When it comes to my goal 2 of promoting digital citizenship, I realized that my lessons on citation need to start earlier in the school year and my lessons need to be more in depth with the why behind citation to really get students to understand its importance. I really enjoyed the GAME Plan process and will use it to develop a few new processes in my classroom next year. I have found in the past that I start something strong, i.e. behavioral management, but fail in the follow through on some portions. The GAME Plan gives me steps to follow and an obtainable goal.

As this course comes to an end, I have gained new perspective on what integrating technology into my classroom really means, engaging students. Student today, thrust for technology to enhance their learning and I am excited to see that my district is finally coming to that realization too. With my one IPad I will continue to incorporate technology into the projects my students created, but what I really look forward too is having multiple student computers in my classroom. If my district really stands by their promise of four newer computers for every classroom, that will change my classroom climate. What I have learned from this course is that technology can be integrated to enhance learning into every content area and with those computers I will be able to branch out from my starting point of this class, trying things here and there.

Technology, like education, is always changing. I am so thrilled to be on this roller coaster ride of change for myself as an educator, but most importantly for my students. With the Common Core Standards and the changing role of the teacher, I am sure that my students will gain the 21st Century skills that they need to be productive members of society.

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Update on the GAME Plan

Ponder: Monitoring of progress in my GAME Plans

Goal one: To create a classroom website with a blog attached to increase parent communication.

This past week I downloaded a test assignment, emailed myself, and added a important classroom date to the calendar. I find the website somewhat difficult to navigate, but appreciate that you can contact them and get help. I am still working on my parent email list, and separating out my different classes.  I did find out that the blog portion of my website will not be available for sometime, as it is currently not a feature, but will be by the next school year. I have learned that having a GAME Plan takes time and will not happen over night. My next steps are to finish my list and get parent input.

Goal two: Through the Wax Museum project I will model for my students how to research on the internet, site their resources appropriately, and give credit for others thoughts.

This past week the students received their Wax Museum persona and I showed students how to use student friendly search engines like http://www.kidrex.org/ or http://www.safesearchkids.com/ to find resources. I assigned that they find two resources over spring break and bring back the appropriate URL for the site. I am learning with fourth graders that I need to take this research assignment one step at a time and be very clear about steps to proper citation. I am still working on my lesson plans and want to gear it towards the URL the students bring me. So far I have no questions regarding this GAME Plan and am excited to get this project moving.

Pondering how to carry out my Game Plan:

 

Goal one: To create a classroom website with a blog attached to increase parent communication.

Steps I have taken: I have set up a website at http://classjump.com/dolezal. I have made a list of the top five things I think my website needs to make it a success.

  1. The ability to download homework assignments
  2. The ability to email the teacher
  3. The months calendar on display
  4. The ability for parents to get updates on classroom activities through email
  5. The ability to separate our classes

Information I still need: How to attach a weekly blog.

Learning Strategy: When creating a blog/website I will use the focused listing and questioning approach. I have solicited a few parents to help me on my trial run of the website and they will provide feedback and ask questions to help me create the most user friendly website.

Goal two: Through the Wax Museum project I will model for my students how to research on the internet, site their resources appropriately, and give credit for others thoughts.

Steps I have taken: I have assigned the wax museum assignment to the fourth graders. I have asked students to find one book resource and one online resource. Stipulating that students bring in the URL for their resource.

What I am currently working on: Lesson plans on teaching safe, legal, and ethical citation on their resources.

Cites I have found to aid my lessons:

http://www.arbookfind.com/UserType.aspx

http://education.bluevalleyk12.org/KidBib/

http://www.brainpop.com/english/writing/citingsources/preview.weml

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top-teaching/2010/11/reliable-sources-and-citations

Learning Strategy: When learning how to correct site sources students will use the note check strategy and think-pair share strategy to make sure that they understand what is being asked of them.

 

The Game Plan

 

The world of teaching is changing at a rapid rate just like technology is. As technology makes its way into the classroom teachers need to adjust their teaching style to support students learning with technology.  The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has helped teachers set standards and gives teachers guidelines in how to affectively support students learning in this new path. The ISTE requires teachers to develop technology enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress, in other words to be self-directed learners ( Cennamo, Ross, Ertmer, 2009).

As a teacher I always ponder what I can be doing to make my students learning experience more engaging and this is the GAME Plan that I came up with that I can start to implement now.

ISTE- 3. Model Digital Age Work and Learning

Goal: I will increase parental involvement by communicating relevant information and ideas u through a classroom website.

Action: I will create a classroom website that will have a daily blog attached. Along with the blog weekly pictures will be updated to help parents feel connected to what their students are learning in the classroom.

Monitor: Parent feedback will be welcome and solicited regularly.

Evaluate and Extend: I will reflect on parent comments and take suggestions on areas where the website might need some work. If there is a lot of parental involvement in the website I will add daily assignments to the website for easy access.

ISTE- 4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship

Goal:  I will advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources.

Action: Through the Wax Museum project I will model for my students how to research on the internet, site their resources appropriately, and give credit for others thoughts.

Monitor: As students complete sections of the project I will conference with them and the websites they used to gather information making sure that they are being legal and ethical.

Evaluate and Extend: If I find that students are having a difficult time citing their resources I will create mini lessons to help students reevaluate their work to make it appropriate.

Resources:

Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

International Society for Technology in Education (2008).  National educational standards for teachers (NETS-T).  Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs?NETS_for_Teachers_2008_EN.sflb.ashx

Ponder through reflection

In week one I described my “Personal Theory of Learning” to be close to the Constructivist theory in which learners build new ideas and concepts based on their current or past knowledge. The subject I chose to focus on was math through my Walk to Math classroom. This course, Bridging Learning Theory, Instruction, and Technology has opened my eyes to a few things I do well and where I need to make some changes. In math I have never really thought about technology integration beyond the tools the teacher uses. Since this class I have purchased an IPad and have sound several great APPs that can aid student learning and get them more excited about math. Students need practice beyond pencil and paper and there are many great technology tools that let students explore the math subject while giving them the practice and feedback they need. One of the tools I will use in my math classroom is the math app Math Bingo and the website Xtramath.org. I had previously used Xtramath but just as an extra practice students could do at home if they had access to a computer. Now I will use all the services on the website and have students do the five minute drills for the classroom that gives the students instant feedback. Math Bingo is a great App to use whole group or with teams to get the students to collaboratively think of what the possible answers could be. For my reading and social studies class I have also learned how to give feed back through technological form and how easy it is for both the students and I to converse. VoiceThread is a great website to get students opinion and teach the students how to make comments in any format.  VoiceThread will become a part of my weekly reading class novel studies and students read the story I will ask comprehension questions that students can answer through the VoiceThread and see how their classmates answered the same questions.

Social Learning Theories

Ponder:  My thoughts on how the instructional strategies described in the resources I explored this week correlate with the principles of social learning theories.

Social Learning theorists believe that learning comes from students actively constructing and engaging in building artifacts when conversing with others (Orey,2010).  Through conversations students understand material in different way and when technology is included as a facilitator of these conversations knowledge is then networked.

This week we learned about multiple collaborative technology tools that we could use in our classroom. Wiki’s, webquests, VocieThreads,  and GoogleDocs to name a few. All of these tools are great when used with Dr. Orey’s  jigsaw strategy where students take responsibility of learning a piece of information and then turning around and teach it to the others in a collaborative group. This strategy gives students a better understanding when they teach it.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2010). Social Learning Theories. Baltimore, MD

Ponder: “Generating and Testing Hypotheses.”   How do they correlate with the instructional strategy and constructivist/constructionist learning theories?

The constructionist is a theory of learning that states, people learn best when they build an external artifact or something they can share with others. In the book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works the authors explore using the instructional strategy of generating and testing hypotheses through curriculum. When students collect data as in an external artifact it usually answers some questions and generates new ones.  The cycle of inquiry can be repeated many times.

Project based learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges. With this type of active and engaged learning, students are inspired to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they’re studying (edutopia, 2012). When students learn through projects they build artifacts through trial and error and then share their new-found knowledge with others.

Personally, I have rarely used a the project based approach in my classroom. I find that I have not found the right approach that gets all students actively engaged. I feel its unfair if students work in pairs or groups, one or two people end up doing more work than the others. How do I find the balance were all students share the responsibility? Now that technology is becoming more integrated into classrooms, I see that through wikis and Google docs students are more closely monitored and one student can not get away with doing less work then others.

 

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

http://www.edutopia.org/project-based-learning

Cognitive Learning Theories

Cognitive Learning Theories
Ponder the Concept Mapping and Virtual Field Trip tools. How do they correlate with the instructional strategies and cognitive learning theories?
The cognitive learning theory is based on information processing and input information into our memories. We have a short term memory, a working memory, and a long term memory. Different instructional strategies help our memory collection.
In the book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works we were assigned to explore different tools that aid in memory retention, the first being cues. Cues should be straight forward and provide students a preview of what they are about to learn. Teachers should simply tell students what content they are about to learn. Often teachers start with a KWL chart and discuss what they know and what they will learn. After they learn the new information they come back and add to the chart what they have learned.
The next tool the book discussed was concept mapping. Concept mapping is basically a large graphic organizer. Adding the technology piece is an interesting way of getting students involved and working on a graphic organizer together or when students are more comfortable with computers by themselves or in a small group. The most important part of concept mapping is asking an essential question and then asking students to use background knowledge to answer that question. Then when teaching a lesson teachers use the concept mapping too to look for opportunities to activate students’ background knowledge and a place to seek further exploration.
The virtual field trip is taking students where they physically can’t travel in a standard field trip and adding to your current curriculum through the use of technology. Students are able to explore history, other countries, museums and so much more in a new way, on the computer screen. This technology provides visual aids and multimedia tools that appeals to different learning styles.
Dr. Orey discussed that students need to be cognitively immersed in their learning and these tools provide a way of building that memory.

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Behaviorist Learning Theory and Instructional Strategies for Achievement

Ponder:  How the instructional strategies described in the resources you explored this week correlate with the principles of behaviorist learning theory.

The behaviorist theory is the building blocks of our current educational system. When students do a task correctly teachers reward them with praise or a good grade. When students do a task incorrectly teachers redirect students to do the task again until it is done correctly or a lower grade is given. As teachers we want students to put forth effort in their school work and classroom participation. And more often than not, when more effort is given there is a result in better understanding of the course content, thus receiving better grades. This week’s reading correlates perfectly with this theory. In the book, Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works the authors explain that students need consistent and systematic exposure to teaching strategies to really grasp the impact that effort can have on their achievement (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007). That students’ when paying attention to the learning expectations on the rubric they see a relationship between effort and achievement. As teachers, we need to be letting students know what we expect out of them before we give them a task, a goal or a target for which they can work to achieve. Once students are working towards their goals or targets a powerful way to convince students that effort truly ties to achievement is to show them data. Not just data on themselves, but groups they associate with, their peers. Students then begin to take more responsibility for their own success because they want to be more like their peers.

Homework is a great gage of effort from students and it also provides opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of the content and to gain proficiency with their skills. If teachers assign homework it should be commented on, they are doing their homework in effort to better understand the course materials and because it is easy for errors to slip in when students are practicing, teachers should give feedback as quickly as possible-ideally, early in the practice sessions before students internalize erroneous processes and knowledge (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007).

In the elementary school setting that I work in I see several technology based assessment tools that my students currently use and could use to gage their effort levels and proficiency of content. www.Xtramath.org  is a website that has students practice basic math skills using the drill and kill method. When students are done with the days drill they are given a data through a graph to see their growth or where they need to improve. The word processing tool that is described in the book is an excellent one for schools that have more student access to computers then mine. With one student computer for my whole class, I can see this tool not being as affective as all students working on it at the same time.   www.Iknowthat.com  is a nice website that is built upon the behaviorist theory. When students get an answer that is correct they get instant praise and when they get it wrong they get instant feedback of what the correct answer was. I have used several websites like this with my students’ whole group and they love the interaction it brings.

Here is something for you to ponder today: What other technology tools besides the ones listed in our current course reading could aid elementary students with gaging their effort levels in a fun and exciting way, while learning?

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.   Chapter 8, “Reinforcing Effort”.  Chapter 10, “Homework and Practice”.