Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blog Post Assignment #6

Before this assignment, I had no knowledge of personal learning networks (PLN). The links to Building Your PLN-A Primer for Anyone and Michael Fawcett Discusses his PLN were great for learning all about what a PLN really is. A PLN consists of educators and tools that give you the ability to connect with other teachers anywhere on the planet. Twitter is a perfect example of a tool used in ones PLN. These networks give you a vast audience of your peers to gather knowledge from.
From a teacher's perspective, a well established PLN could be a great source of information for the classroom. Having so many different sources for information would allow you to pick the very best material for your students. My own personal learning network is quite small right now, but it will only get larger with time. The blogs I have been introduced to in this class have helped serve as a window into broadening my PLN. I have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, & Youtube so I believe I should be able to expand those networks into a large useful personal learning network.

Personal Learning Network

Project #8 Book Trailer

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Sentence Videos

My Sentence Is...

My Passion Is...

Blog Post Assignment #5

What do you learn from these conversations with Anthony Capps

The videos Project Based Learning Part 1 and Project Based Learning Part 2 were very good introductions to project based learning. It was nice to hear Mr. Capps talk about the many ways that he uses project based learning in his classroom. It seems that his students are very responsive to this method of learning. I believe the best point he made was about how projects should not just be something you do at the end of a lesson to show what has been learned, but rather used to actually learn the material.


In the Discovery Education video, I was shown how Discovery Education can be used to enhance lessons in class by complementing them with videos. I believe that visual presentations are very important to teaching and are very valuable tools. Mr. Capps points out that these videos help him tremendously with the lessons he teaches in class. I believe that Discovery Education would be a wonderful tool for me to use as a teacher.

The Anthony - Strange list of Tips for Teachers Part 1 was probably my favorite video from this week's assignment. Dr. Strange and Mr. Capps gave five excellent tips for us future teachers. What Dr. Strange said about being a learner is something I agree with very much. Teachers do not know everything; it is important for us to continue learning throughout our whole careers. Their advice about hard work and flexibility was very good as well. Being flexible as a teacher will allow you to adapt to the different needs of your students and to effectively educate them.

The final video, Additional Thought About Lessons, gave some good advice about lessons. Mr. Capps does a fine job of explaining the way he approaches his lessons. I believe that having very well prepared lesson plans is one of the most important things that a teacher should do in order to be better prepared to teach their class every day. I liked how Mr. Capps explained the way he does his lessons so that he knows he will cover all the material necessary. A teacher with unorganized lesson plans may have problems keeping up with the material that is required to be covered.

Lesson Plans

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Project #3 Presentation

Blog Post Assignment #4

What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?

I believe that as a teacher it is very important to not only know how to answer questions, but also to know how to ask them. As Ben Johnson points out in The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom, teachers constantly ask useless questions. He says, "Ostensibly, after we have taught a principle or concept, we could ask, Does everybody understand? Even though we all realize that students not answering -- or even answering in the affirmative -- may not really understand, we still ask it. Are we aware of how many times we ask this useless question during a day of teaching?" His point here is that you cannot simply ask your students if they understood what you've taught them. Many times they will just say yes and not really understand what has been taught. He also points out that even when asking the class specific questions, only the motivated students will participate in answering. The other majority of the students are perfectly fine with letting those students answer all the questions. The solution he has delivered for getting all the students to answer the question is to ask specific students a question in random fashion. When the whole class is anticipating their name to be called after the question is asked, they vast majority of them will be trying to solve the question.
Question Party
The article Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom gives teachers three simple tips for asking their class better questions. I found this to be the most helpful article I read about question-asking in the classroom. It states that the one way for a teacher to ask effective questions is to prepare the questions beforehand rather than making them up on the spot. Also, preserving good questions is suggested. If you ask your class a question that stimulates a lot of discussion and thinking by the students, then this should be a question you ask again to another class in the future.
There are two main points in Asking Questions to Improve Learning that I felt were very important. The first point was to make your questions have answers that are more than just yes or no. Students need to learn more than just if something is right or wrong. Asking questions that warrant answers with explanations is a sure way to stimulate your students thinking. The second topic I most agreed with was that you have to let your students know that you are interested in their answer. Whether they answer right or wrong you should expand on their answer and give them even more information on the question.

Following these guidelines should lead to interesting, substantial questions in the classroom.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

C4T#1 Summary

C4T#1 Comment #1
The first C4T blog post I commented on was a very in-depth analysis of why the blogger has deleted their foursquare account. It goes on to explain how foursquare has disabled the ability to privately check-in. She explains how without the ability to privately check-in; seemingly anyone can track the places that you go.

I started off by introducing myself in my comment. I shared with her my purpose for commenting on her blog and told her that I would be summarizing her post and my comment in this blog post. I then told her that although I do not have a foursquare account myself, I have many other social media accounts and privacy is always a concern for me.

C4T#1 Comment #2
The second blog post I commented on was an older post that included an eBook that the author of the blog had been featured in. The eBook was a collection of information about student-centered learning vs. instructor-centered learning and the use of technology in the classroom.

I commented with my thoughts on student-driven learning and how I hope to be able to do that type of teaching once I am an educator myself. I also stated that I wholly embrace the idea of using technology as much as possible with my students. Technology is the future of the classroom and the potential for learning with it is unbelievable.

A GeekyMomma's Blog

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Blog Post Assignment #3

My Thoughts On Peer Editing

Peer editing is a very helpful way of getting different perspectives and feedback on a writing assignment. I personally believe that peer editing is the best way to improve any writing assignment and to make it more appealing to whatever audience you are writing for. Successful peer editing can help you find mistakes you might have missed or help you simply present your information in a way that is more understandable to the readers. Also, having that interaction with a fellow learner is a key component to the educational process.

Peer Editing

When peer editing someone's writing, the key to doing it successfully is to simply care as much as you would if it were your own writing. If you aren't going to actually try to help them then there is no point in even reading their work. Pointing out what they did well, and possibly what they did not do well; is all it takes to help them out. Regularly peer editing other people's writing can actually lead to you doing better writing yourself. Peer editing is a win-win scenario for both parties.

Peer Editing Information
What is Peer Editing?
Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial
Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes