Saturday, July 16, 2011

Blog Post #14

Pseudoteaching: MIT Physics
     First, lets discuss what pseudoteaching is. It is when you are teaching a lesson and it seems like it is an amazing lesson, until you have finished teaching and then you realize that none of the students have learned. Pseudoteaching seems like it is a good lesson, the students feel like they are learning, other people feel like they are watching a great lesson, but in the reality very little information is being absorbed by the students.
     An example of a pseudoteacher is Professor Walter Lewin who is a physics teacher at MIT. Professor Lewin had a very high energy towards his students. He was showing them multiple demonstrations per class, and the students loved it. The only problem was that the attendance and grades in his classroom started to drop. The students weren't learning anymore, so they were becoming frustrated. This lead them to stop coming to class at all, because it became a waste of time for them. Lewin was known for being an amazing teacher, but the MIT staff knew there was a problem when Lewin's grades began to fall.
     The way that MIT decided to fix this was to incorporate TEAL into the classroom. TEAL stands for Technology Enhanced Active Learning. With this, the teachers were able to change out black boards for interactive whiteboards in which they could involve the students more. This pushed for students to attend the class, because with these boards came clickers that they used to check attendance. With these clickers, they also were able to interact with the lecture by answering multiple choice questions through them. This helps the teacher to know how much information the students are actually learning. Not only did they add interactive white boards into the curriculum, they also cut down classroom size to make the lecture more personal with the students.
     Another thing that was noted in this article, is that you don't have to have an interactive white board to push the students further. One teacher from Carey Academy gave his students basic white boards and urged them to learn on their own by helping each other figure everything out. The teacher never lectures, he lets the students teach themselves, as he guides them along. The students draw models on the boards and think of their own ways of learning that works best for them. The students love this because they are feeling like they are accomplishing goals.
     Noschese says that when he was first teaching he would plan his lessons around "what am I going to do in class tomorrow?" Now, he plans his lessons around "What are my students going to do tomorrow? How will it help them to progress towards our learning goals?"
     To me, this TEAL program has seemed to really work for the students. They are learning more and attending class more, and the results have shown it. Students can get bored with hearing the same thing everyday and not being able to comprehend what is going on, so they decide to just stop all around because it becomes a waste of time. I understand this, because I have had a class like this. Teachers need to be sure to keep the students interested, and once students start learning, it sparks their brain to want to learn more because they feel accomplished. We as teachers need to continuously go over our lessons and make sure that it isn't being made to appease a supervisor, but it is being made to make the students learn what we are trying to get across to them.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Final Report on PLN

My PLN has been very useful to me throughout this semester. I like that I have all of my websites that I use frequently, combined together so I can get to them with one click of a button. This makes it easier for me to get to the websites, and it also makes me visit each website at least once a day, because they are all right there! I'm sure I will continue to use my PLN throughout my education, and into the teaching field!

C4T Comment's for Teachers #4

In our last C4T, I followed the blog, What Ed Said. She is a teacher, who is very inspirational in the way she thinks. In the first blog that I commented on, 10 Things I have Learned about Leading, Ed states the past 10 things she has learned in her first half year as the Teaching and Learning Coordinator at her school. The main things she has learned that I know will help me are, to have good communication and to have empathy. I think everyone needs to have good communication, this leads to better understanding of situations, people, and everything going on around you. I also think it is good to have empathy because you need to understand peoples stories and why certain things happen the way they do. Ed has a lot of other good advice, and I urge new teachers to read all of this.

Ed's second blog post that I read is, Opportunities for Creativity. In Ed's school, they always have had two extra creative classes for the students to go to. Now at her school the creative classes consist of, art, drama, music, film, poetry, and technology for the students to choose between. They will have one of these classes weekly and not with their "homeroom" class, but with the other students who choose the same elective. By having this, it will inspire the kids to be more creative and love what they are learning. I remember when I was in elementary school and we had art class, I loved it. But when we had music class, I wasn't so crazy about this. Mainly because I was more interested in learning how to paint and draw, but learning about music and music notes didn't interest me, I'd rather just listen to it. I think by having this, more students will enjoy what they are learning, and having the option to pick what they are learning is amazing! I would have loved that when I was in elementary school!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blog Post Number 13

Top 10 tips for using technology in the classroom
     Jose Picardo has 10 great ideas for using technology in the classroom. They include: streaming video, music, teleconference (skype), interactive exercises, interactive whiteboards, podcasts, blogs and wikis, social networks, internet tools, and gadgets. A lot of these ideas are great to get the students more interested. I think the two most interesting and useful ones are blogs and interactive exercises. These keep the students thinking and paying attention by being hands on.
      As a student in Dr. Strange's class, I am already familiar with a lot of these tips. The ones that are new to me are streaming video and music. Although I know what a streaming video is, I haven't really thought about playing a video in my classroom. This could help by having some other source, other than the teacher to help the students learn. Also, if there is a catchy song or poem to help the students learn like the one playing in this video at the beginning, it might help them to memorize it, that way they won't forget it. Mr. Picardo also mentions using music video's and things done through technology. Although I see what he means that students are interested in music, I can see it being more of a distraction than anything. Personally, I have to work in complete silence to get my work done, and I know a lot of other people are like that too. These top 10 tips are very useful and I think they could help someone who is new to technology!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Blog Post Number 12

Watch Integrating Technology in the Classroom and tell your thoughts on how these teachers use SMART boards in their classrooms. Be sure to listen to what the students say too.

This video interviews teachers at Minnehaha Academy who are using technology in their classrooms. In particular, SMARTboards. The children mention that they love to use the boards because they are interactive and they get to participate more. One device they use are the "active votes." These are really useful while quizzing the students, because the teacher can see who is and isn't getting the answers right. This also forces the students to participate. They are not embarrassed if they get the answers wrong, because the students can't see what everyone else answers. The students in the high school classes also use these boards as simulations to help them understand physics better.
All around, I think these boards really help out the students who attend this school. The teachers don't just use these boards to show power point presentations on, they also use them to help the students get involved with learning and playing games about what they are learning. They get the students active in their learning and this helps them to have a better future as they are growing up. These boards, with the help of the teachers, are pushing students further, and that is what we need in our school systems.

Final Project Progress Report

For my final project, I am in a group with Kelsey Hayward and Christy Hayes Wilson. Although we have not yet decided what we are doing for our project, we plan to meet Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and next Monday to make sure we get everything done!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blog Post Number 11

First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class and Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy
In Ms. Cassidy's first grade class, the students use a lot of technology. They have blogs, websites, wiki's, and they also use skype to connect to other people. I think the thing that is most useful are the student blogs. This helps them to read and write. The students even said that having the blogs have improved their spelling. They also love that their family members comment on their blogs because this makes them feel like they are doing something right, and every child needs support. To me, blogs are a very interactive way to get the students involved, because they are typing what they want to say and learning how to spell and how to use grammar correctly while doing it.
Another tool that I know I will use is skype. This is a fun way that changes up the everyday routine of classroom procedures. I think it would be really neat to skype with another class who is from somewhere other than the US so that the students could compare what they are learning and also learn from each other.
I'm sure that while being a teacher I will run into some problems with parents. The problem would probably be a parent doesn't want their child to learn technology, they want them to learn the way they learned. If that was to happen, then I would invite them into my classroom for a day so they could see what goes on while their child is at school. I think once they were to see how interactive technology makes the classroom that they wouldn't have a problem with their child learning through technology, instead of just books!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

C4T #3

This past week I have been reading "Teacher Tom's" blog. He is a preschool teacher in Seattle with a great approach to his teaching methods. He let's this children do almost everything on their own. The kids do not do much inside, except maybe on a rainy day. Everything they do is outside on their new outdoor playground. In Teacher Tom's first blog that I read, motivation, sociability, and the ability to work with others, the children are adding an addition to their outdoor playground. They are building a waterway with half pipes that leads from the top of a hill with a mini cast iron pump to the bottom of the hill. The children take on different roles and all work together to build it without any teachers help. To me, this is amazing. This just shows that if you let children's imaginations run free, they can do anything. They are so much more creative than most adults and they have unique ways of doing things just like this. While pictures with captions were being shown of the children who were making this, Teacher Tom was telling about a study a few years back in the Perry School, which was a preschool. The students who attended this preschool were said to have higher IQ's at first but then they dramatically dropped. They were continuously tracked throughout their life and the study showed that although they had a lower IQ score than originally, they showed to have less behavioral problems, greater academic achievement, and they were less likely to be assigned to special education classes.

Since I plan on working with younger kids, these blogs really interested me. I couldn't stop reading them! I read A LOT of them, so, I am going to pick just one more to talk about, which is his most recent one, evidence you've been somewhere. In this, Teacher Tom is showing pictures of the students and their secret hideout. It is tucked away up a steep slope behind some trees in their outdoor playground. The children go here to imagine with their friends. To create stories and games where adults can't intervene. The blog is called "evidence you've been somewhere" because in order to get down from the hideout, its hard to not slide down on your bottom resulting in dirt stains on you-- evidence. Teacher Tom is great at what he does. I think it takes a courageous person to let a bunch of preschoolers run around and do all of this. He doesn't try to stop them, he only motivates them to imagine more, in return making them think about real life scenarios. How to build things, how to make things work, and most of all how to have fun while doing it.