Archive for March, 2013

INDT 501-02: New Technologies

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

TED talks Youtube channel

I’m just going to start off by saying that those TED talks are so interesting and awesome! I thought it was incredibly neat that when you “wore technology” you could just put your four fingers together and take a picture..of anything..ANYWHERE. That is awesome! That could definitely be beneficial in classroom. For only $350 (which doesn’t seem too bad), you could have one that the school can share.  It was be neat for classes to take this on a fieldtrip, that way a blog or school website could be updated instantly with pictures from the trip.  It would also be neat to have this in the classroom or in the environment when you’re outside with your students. I can only imagine that this would open up so many opportunities and ideas for the future generations!

I also thought that the ARIS game program was really neat. I would definitely try to use this as much as I could in a classroom. I read an article that an ARIS game was created which walked students through Vietnam protest on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The students, “using their phones, the kids view footage of protests at the same spots where they’re standing. They also learn how the press covered the war and how that colored the protests”.  As I hope to teach History I think this would be an amazing app to walk students through the Fredericksburg Battlefields and spots around Downtown Fredericksburg where significant events occurred during the Civil War and such.  I would also want to incorporate the podcasts via mobile phones so that the students could immediately share with the class their feelings of being in the same spot that events occurred hundreds of years ago.

I would also like to have a class blog for my classes. I want the blog to be a source of information and creativity for my students. I like the idea that you can upload videos, texts and pictures from your phone to the blog (tumblr.com).  This would give the students more opportunities outside the classroom to find information and immediately upload the information instead of waiting and forgetting. This would have made it easier for me as a student when I saw something that relted to my class while I was in another state or on vacation. If I could updated the blog and shared what I found instead of printing the picture, and writing up a reflection.  It’s important that as we continue to live in the 21st century that we try, as teachers, to incorporate as much of modern technology as we can. As teachers, we cannot fall behind into the traditional teaching model but need to embrace the technology, embrace our students needs and desires of learning and try our best to make learning hands-on and fun again!

EDCI 506 Blog 11 EEO

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Inclusive classroom grades 6-12

Curriculum and instruction will vastly differ between a gifted class and that of other classes.  In gifted classes students are taught and expected to think more creatively about situations.  They are expected to master complex vocabulary and to think deeper about stories and subjects they are learning about.  For example, my sister is in 7th grade and in the gifted education program.  Her gifted class focuses more so on English than any other subject.  She usually has upwards of an hour of homework to do working on analogies, interpreting poems and stories, conducting research and creating projects on what they had read about. I’ve even noticed that she thinks more into topics than I, or my parents do. Her vocabulary is astounding (I even have to look up the words sometimes that she uses).  She wouldn’t get this type of experience or higher-level learning in a regular class. I was not in the gifted program at school (I pretty sure it’s because when I was tested and they asked me what I liked to do for fun, I replied “play with barbies”), I’m not as creative or think as deeply into readings. I’m not an expert at interpreting readings and poems and my vocabulary could definitely be stronger. If I have gifted students in my classroom I would try to give them additional independent work.  If I’m teaching a lesson on the civil war maybe I would ask these students to do extra research on literature of that time period, or of a battle. I would not want to separate these children drastically but also have them inter-mixed when I assign projects, hoping that their ways of thinking could influence the other students.

Honestly to find resources I just googled inclusive classroom techniques. I found this really cool “live binder” that had hundreds of tabs, research and teacher experiences on teaching within their nclusive classroom.  You can find the live binder here.  Just by going through ha few of these tabs teacher provided input on how you should address students with disabilities, how you should make examples out of the children who are staying on tasks and working quietly, “I love how quietly Group X is working!” The binder also gave examples of how teacher should choose their instruction methods when they encounter certain types of children with disabilities, for example the question was asked on how to plan for curriculum with students with Asperger’s Syndrome.  The website gave some valuable information, they said the most important thing is to make sure that the material is relevant and meaningful to all the students.  Without having meaningful material, you may lose the interest of students especially those with Asperger’s.  I also found this website which provided a plethora of resources for inclusive classrooms.  I really liked that it shared an article of Apps that can be downloaded in order to “level the playing field” I think it’s important to still try to keep up with modern technology with students with disabilities.

It’s also important that teachers and administrators regularly meet to discuss inclusion in the classroom. Teacher that have students with disabilities in their classrooms need a strong support system, people that they can rely on when things start to get tough.  Keeping administrators, special-ed teachers, gifted-teachers informed about the ongoing problems in the classroom and meeting to go over ideas of how the process can be made easier will help the teacher as well as the students in the classroom.  Using the resources found online on inclusive classrooms teachers can get a real feel for how their classroom might be and how they can facilitate instruction.

For myself, I think it would be challenging to have students with disabilities in my classroom and I would definitely reach out to other teachers and specialist to make sure that I am including all of my students in my lessons. The fact that the internet allows for me to research situations and figure out what other teachers have done will be a godsend!  I would want to make sure that the material I am teaching is meaningful to all the students. I would try to put the students in groups as much as possible in order for a calming classroom climate, as well as for the students to all interact with each other and feed off of each other in terms of higher-level thinking.  I would regularly ask the special-ed or gifted teachers for their input on my lesson plans and how they believe that I could change them to make it easier for the disabled students.  Their input and feedback would really help me be a better teacher.

Resources:

The inclusive classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.theinclusiveclass.com/search/label/Inclusion Resources

Resource for inclusive classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=116468

 

 

INDT 501-02: Week 10 Mini Projects II

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

capturetrek

 

I really enjoyed learning more about Timetoast and GoogleTrek.  Timetoast was SUPER easy to use! I liked the idea that you could add more than just text to the specified date. I chose to do major events of the Civil War from 1861-1865. I had to cut down on some of the events due to the overwhelming events that occurred and I did not want to bombard the timeline with 100+ events.  I narrowed down to the ones that I believed were most important and that most people would know about. I would definitely use this in my classroom as a type of project for my students to do. I would want them to investigate a time period (in groups) and come up with the 10 most important events that occurred. This would be an easy website for the group to work on in order to put those events in chronological order. I also like the idea that your timeline get’s published so we could ask other students in other schools to weigh in on how they felt the students did on the timeline, or maybe we could even receive feedback from students that used our timelines in their class to help them!

GoogelTrek was also cool! I liked how easy it was, just put the place-mark and type your info and you were done! It was neat to have to choose 8 places to map out. I chose to do places in relation to the Holocaust (concentration camps, Anne Frank’s house, museum in DC, etc) in order for students to have to go through the journey of the concentration camps. Each place-mark was embedded with a link to that concentration camp’s historical webpage. Each place-mark also included a question to make the students think about what they had just read on the webpage, or gave them a question to think about before they looked into the camp/house/museum. I would want to use this in my History classes in order to map out the journey of voyagers or even map out major battles of wars in order for the students to get a feel for exactly where these events occurred. I could even tie together the timetoast timeline and the googletrek assignemtn in order to showcase both of the tools!

EDCI 506 Blog week 10: Social Class, Race, and School Achievement

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

 

Social class and race have a huge impact on the school environment and te achievement of students within a classroom As much as we would like to think that all students are equal in their capability to learn and their motivations, it is not the case.  Students are from all different backgrounds, socially and economically.  The way that students have been raised, their morals/values and ideas, have a direct reflection on how that student will be perceived in the classroom and how much they are willing to achieve.

The Foundations of Education provides a detailed chart on how social class, race and ethnicity affect school performance. In summary the charts express that in average mathematics scores of eight graders in 2007, Asian/Pacific Islanders had the highest percentage, followed by non-Hispanic whites, then African Americans and then Hispanics.  Reading scores in 2007 were pretty much tied with Asian/Pacific Islanders rating the highest, then Hispanic, then African Americans. It also showed the poverty a percentage for those four groups, with African American’s having the highest poverty percentage followed by Hispanic, Asians and Whites.

Ever since the creation of education in the United States groups have been oppressed. Most commonly thought of when thinking of oppressed groups is African Americans but as time has gone on and the Hispanic population has steadily increased, educators are seeing a rising oppression with Hispanics.  As stated in Foundations of Education, “African Americans have a lower average socioeconomic status than that of white majority, even though many individual African Americans may be of higher SES than many whites…other major ethnic minority groups, such as Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans, are also disproportionately low in socioeconomic status” (Gutek 343).  The fact that these groups are of low socioeconomic status puts a damper on the idea of education for children.  Often times the lower the socioeconomic status is, the less motivation and willingness a student may have to complete assignments, or even show up for school.  This doesn’t necessarily have to do with having a lack of an influential role model for the child, but may also be that the child’s basic needs are not being met (Maslov’s pyramid).  By not having these basic needs of food, clothing and shelter met the students may feel as if they need to do more to help their family rather than sit in a classroom for eight hours.

Foundations of Education also mentions that “Hispanic white and Asian students are more likely to compete high school than are African American and Latino students”  This could be due to a variety of factors.  Often the lower the socioeconomic status of a student the less they are willing to compete school.  I believe that it takes a well-rounded, educated and informed teacher to really help push those students to wanting to finish high school and seek a career, however there will be obstacles in the classroom that a teacher must overcome if they wish to see all their students succeed.  These obstacles are, but not limited to,

  1. Inappropriate instruction and curriculum: The teacher needs to be aware what the students know and what they need help with. Teachers cannot just assume that students know their basic math skills and vocabulary words, often times they might not and by continuing on with lessons that build off of the basics, you are just preventing the students from ever coming to level and achieving the best for them.
  2. Lack of Success: This goes in hand with inappropriate instructions.  If a student never learned or understood the fundamentals and they continue to be pushed to the next grade, they will eventually understand that they will not ever be able to accomplish that of other students, they will lack motivation to do assignments knowing that they might score an F on it. If they know that they have no room for improvement, why would they even try?
  3. Difficult conditions of teaching: This was showcased in the Freedom Writers movie.  If you have an inner-city school that has a mixture of cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds you classroom climate may not be what you expect.  It is up to the teacher to really get to know his/her students in order to make them all feel welcome
  4. Homogeneous grouping: This type of grouping has been praised and ridiculed in the recent years.  The idea of “tracking” students based on their intelligence and achievements has schools starting to put those higher-learners in one group and the lower-learning/thinkers in another group.  This type of grouping clearly discriminates between the two different types of learners.  Instead of embracing the class as a whole teachers focus their attention on helping the lower-level learners on basic fundamentals while the high-level, more independent students are free to explore more in depth of the topics and move on without much help.  I believe that homogenous grouping will inevitable happen (think of Regular, Advanced and AP classes, that right there is clear separation by ability level), or even reading groups in elementary schools.  Separation doesn’t just stop in education, in careers you are split up among the most intelligent and the least.  There will always be a discrimination dealing with intelligence.  However, I do believe that this type of grouping could cause more emotional problems for students.  If they know that they are in a slower-learning group they may not even try to push themselves because they are comfortable. Of course, I want my students to be comfortable but I also want them to push themselves to be better. I think that if teachers group homogeneously then there should always be a chance that students can advance to the other group. Also, the groups should always come back as a whole in order to reflect on what they did, that way the learners can see how each other interpreted the situation and may lead the slower-learners into new ideas and pathways for how they interpret situations.

Time and time again you will read that the more time a student spends in school and activities the less time they will have to get into trouble. I agree with this statement but I also think that it takes more than just giving the students an assignment or busy work.  The teacher needs to be able to express to the students the importance of an education, the importance of achieving goals and dreams.  If the students can see that the teacher is there to help them, through thick and think, I believe the students will do a little more than what they come off as being able to do.  Students need to feel accepted by their peers and teachers.  If the classroom is comfortable and the teacher continuously shows how subjects relate to life and the environment I believe that students will start to see why an education is so important and why they should be in school and trying to achieve their dreams.  In my future classroom I would want to start the year off by having the students write down their quarterly and yearly goals. I would want to reflect on these goals with the student and with the class to be sure that these goals can be accomplished. When the students can see how they are achieving their goals through learning and being in school I think it will show them just how important and successful they can be.

Resources:

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of education. (11 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

 

 

INDT 501: Mini Projects

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

 

I really liked the idea of choosing two technology tools to focus on this past week. I enjoyed learning about all of them but the idea of a Wordle and Voki really stood out. I was a little skeptical at first on how I was going to make these and what I would use as information in each one.

Let’s just start off by saying the Wordle is AMAZING. I thought it was so neat that it arranged the words for you and you could change around the colors and shapes. I would definitely use this in my classroom as an introductory page to the lesson we were going to begin, perhaps by putting all the important/key words or vocabulary words on the sheet in a neat shape to get the students attention. That way they could always relate back to those sheets when they needed to think of the word.

Creating the Voki was pretty fun. I had a sore throat this week and sounded kind of gross so I chose to just type in the information and then go from there. I chose to create a voki as if I was planning for my students to view it either the night before class or during computer lab time in class. It was a short sample of the beginning of instructions for a webquest to the Supreme Court website. I gave simple instructions on how to find the website and then gave two instructions for finding material on the website.

http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=7771257&height=267&width=200   (view Voki here!)

 

 I would definitely try to incorporate both of these ideas into my lesson plans and offer them as choices for the students to do projects with too!

 

Information on Wordle: I chose a civics lesson from the state standard CE.3 (Social Studies, Grade7) from the Library of Congress website. This lesson focused on the values of American citizens. I decided to enter random words about America and civic duties to make into the wordle. I did not choose too many words in order to keep it pretty neat and clean. I think it came out nicely. I would want to play around with it more and add more words to it in order for it to mean a little more to the students and the lesson.

wordle

EDCI 500: Blog 9 Culture, Socialization and Education

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

diverse

 

 

Within a classroom there are bound to be a plethora of different cultures and values that your students represent.  These cultures and values is what makes a classroom so inviting and interesting.  The students not only learn about themselves but also how to appreciate people of other cultures.  However, it is important that as a teacher, you understand the culture and values of each student in order to understand how they learn and what is important in the education to them and their families.

The family is one of the most influential forces behind a student’s culture and values. As mentioned by Ornstein, “the family is the whole world to young children, its members teach a child what matters in life, often without realizing the enormous influence they wield” (Ornstein 205).  It depends on the family environment on how a child will react in a classroom, and how interested a child is in learning.  If the family of a child has not provided the child with an appreciative environment for learning and doing well in school, then the child may not even try their best to earn good grades or even go to school.  It is important for teachers to really make sure they know their students so that if this is the case for one of their students they can approach the child and perhaps the family in order to really get down to the bottom of the families values and feelings towards education.

Along with families being an influence, peers are also an important influence.  Peers can influence how a student reacts and how they feel towards certain situations.  The influence of people “popular” is such a strong drive, especially in high school.  In the secondary grade levels you start to see more being becoming friends and those friends can create peer pressure on each other, tempting each other to start doing drugs and alcohol, or even to just not care about school and learning anymore.

Although there are many influences through families and friends, the culture and values of a child will also influence what they are interested in learning, how they respond to certain learning styles and whether or not they appreciate what they are learning about.  Students from Asia often have different education values than American children.  “Nott all cultures share North American perspectives on intelligence, which tend to emphasize cognitive achievements” (Jordan 226).  As Americans the focus is often that men and women are equal and can each do any job that they want.  However in certain Asian cultures the importance is often put on the men to perform better than the women, because the women’s education is not as important.

“Taiwanese Chinese value general ability, interpersonal competence, intrapersonal competence, intellectual self-assertion, and intellectual seif-effacement where as Hong Kong Chinese value nonverbal reasoning, verbal reasoning, and social skills.  In the United States, Latino parents value social competence, in contrast to the cognitive skills emphasized at school where most teachers are Anglo” (Jordan 227).

If my classroom has a mix of Asian children and American children I will try my hardest to be sure that I understand what is important to each child. I would like to start off the year by doing a simply questionnaire to get to know the children and their backgrounds.  This will probably help me understand how the child learns and what they would like to learn about.  I would really want to know my students by testing out different methods of teaching and see how they each respond. In order to allow for a comfortable classroom culture I would want to try to inter-mix the different cultures that way they could teach each other about their values.  I do not want all of the same cultured children to just interact with each other, that way the groups will make them open up and try to share with others how they interpret different situations. With lessons that may be sensitive to the different cultures I would try to provide a side for both of the cultures and try to teach them what happened and why it happened and if they think that it still exists today, and if so then we can discuss why we think. I would love to do something like in Freedom Writers, where she takes the class through the Holocaust so that they can understand why some things are hateful.

 

Sources:

Jordan, E., & Porath, M. (2006). Educational psychology: A problem-based approach. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of education. (11 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

 

INDT 501-02: Shared Sticky Notes

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

walwlisher

http://padlet.com/wall/h0y4fl3hij

Wallwisher (now Padlet) is amazing. I thought this was one of the neatest tools to use.  It way super easy and allowed for anyone to post, and contribute to your “wall” with their own “sticky note”.  I would use this in my classroom as much as possible. I think it would be really helpful to use this when students are brainstorming ideas for research projects, brainstorming for a paper topic, or just to see ideas that students have.

I would want to use this within my classroom to really get to know how the students are feeling about a certain topic, and because you don’t necessarily need to put your name onto the post, it could be done anonmyously in order for the students to truly express their opinion of the topic they are learning or about a test they had just taken.  This tool allows for the students to get more involved without having to talk allowed in class. I would really want to use this as a secondary entrance or exit ticket. I would ask for the students to submit a “sticky note” in regards to a reading they just did for homework or to reflect and answer a questions (in their own words) about what they learned that day in class.

I chose to create a wall titled “Most Important Historical Figure”.  That way, with this topic, people coudl list anyperson that they wanted, with an explanation or not. I chose to submit JFK, and then post a youtube video of his famous “ask not what..” speech for others to view.

 

Feel free to click the link at the top and post your own sticky note!!

 

 

EDCI 506: Legal Issue in Education

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

cuomo

 

 

In the past few years we have heard a lot about the No Child Left Behind act. This year, states are trying to put even more pressure on teachers by having their evaluations contribute to the overall accountability of the students, the student’s test scores and the school system as a whole. However, New York has submitted into a court a motion stating that the “State cannot withhold aid to city schools over teach evaluation impasse”.

New York state officials had demanded that city schools in New York come up with a plan for evaluation public school teachers. Gov. Cuomo had told New York public education that he would withhold $260 million if they could not develop a plan for evaluating the public school teachers. The New York teacher’s union was unable to develop a plan by the January 17th deadline and therefore the Governor was reluctant to give the hefty federal grant to the school systems.

It was stated by the judge that “’innocent children, particularly the neediest among them, could be hurt by financial cuts’” (Baker, 2013). This can be tied back to the 1975 cause of Goss vs. Lopez in which the Supreme Court rules that students had a legal right to education, and that “students had a property interest in their education that could not be taken away”(Ornstein 2011). This is most likely why the Judge in New York ruled against the withholding of the grant. Students would inherently be impacted, whether they were unable to pay for student’s lunches, or supplies for the classroom. It would end up doing more bad than good.

A lawyer who filed the class action suit stated that the judge’s decision” is a substantial victory for all of New York City’s students”. Now the students will not need to worry about being able to eat lunch or not having a textbook for their class. A chairwoman of the State Assembly’s education committee also commented saying that “no one should ever use formula-drive aid to punish kids”, you can tell that the main concern was for the well-being of the children who attend New York public schools. (Baker, 2013)

 

Resources:

Baker, A. (2013, February 21). Judge says state cannot withhold aid to city school’s over teacher evaluation impasse. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/nyregion/ny-state-cannot-withhold-aid-to-city-schools-judge-says.html?ref=education&_r=1&

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1a/Andrew_Cuomo_by_Pat_Arnow.jpeg/1160px-Andrew_Cuomo_by_Pat_Arnow.jpeg

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of Education. (11ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth