I knew I was creative and had some electronic art skills like with Publisher and my blogs, but I had never really thought of myself as artistic – I can’t draw to save my life 😮 After coming up with many ideas for the Pre-K students to do as well as replicating some I found online, I have started to rethink my art skills. I still know I am not going into the art business anytime soon, but at least my creativity is growing a bit.
In my class about English Language Learners, we had an assignment to review websites, and these two seem really useful for regular classroom teachers. I want to do the activity on “Making books with children” – it seems very fun and I can see how it could build the classroom community if we did it all together. The second website has lots of resources for science and kid-friendly news. I’m glad that something useful for my career came out of this assignment 🙂
Technology can really make an impact on the connectedness of students. I like the idea that the classes made it like a game of sending math problems to each other via Twitter – it shows the children that there can be a more practical way of using social media.
As the year comes to a close I look back at all the global connections and collaboration opportunities my students have had through making connections through Skype, Twitter, blog, and GAFE. One of the ways we have connected during math this year was through our weekly math exchange of a math problem or math task with Heidi Samuelson‘s second graders in Tennessee. Every Tuesday we would take turns tweeting out a math task for the other class to figure out and tweet back the answer.
The students were so engaged we often tweeted out more than one problem each day. Which would often lead to more classes tweeting and asking questions as well.
Toward the end of the year we often had other classes joining in on the fun and tweeting problems to us as well. One week we had other so classes tweeting math problems with us my students took it as a challenge…
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I think these are interesting points. Many people believe that kindergarten or below is simple because the children can’t pick up much material. However, these could be the most important years – if you don’t teach the kindergartners to read or the preschoolers how to socialize, they will struggle for most of their education. The lives of students makes a huge difference on how they act in school. How they feel each day affects the intake of learning and their behavior outbursts. Technology can affect the day as well. There is an urge to incorporate it because of the videos and other tools out there, but if the teacher cannot operate the system correctly, it can lose attention and bring down the lesson. Teachers can make a big difference as leaders, though. They bring an alternate perspective to the table because they actually work with kids and see the needs of the students.
It’s been a few months since @mcleod put out his 5 things we need to stop pretending blogpost. Better late than never with my response.
1. The lower the age group of students, the less important the work of the teacher…
There’s a misconception particularly in the general public that early childhood education is all about changing nappies and blowing noses, Don’t get me wrong, giving out diplomas, determining who passes and fails, teaching the three Rs, all important work. But Early Childhood Education teachers are the ones teaching kids how to get along with each other and how to learn and do so in a child-centred way. The rest of the education system should be learning from them.
2. That all technology is innovative…
Just because its on a computer doesn’t make it innovative. Too many apps are little more than worksheets – which begs the question why not…
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Assessment is a big topic nowadays, and I think this post describes a great method of altering how teachers test the students. I really appreciate the idea of them completing a rubric on how well they did – from my experiences and listening to other teachers, it seems like many students grade themselves more harshly. I like the inclusion of technology as well! It is a useful way for them to figure out programs that make a difference in the classroom.
Formative assessment is a tricky beast. Rubrics are way to get the children reflecting and showing growth on their learning.
However they are often text heavy and written in teacher speak. This makes it hard for children to identify learning priorities and document how they have shifted in their learning.
Enter the inforubric.
A set of simple concepts and visuals from The Noun project to give children a starting off point for self-assessment.
One of the downfalls of self-assessment is that it can be hard for the teacher to understand and for the children to remember why they made particular judgements.
Fortunately technology is making this process a lot easier.
When the children are finished colouring they grab their iPads and use DoodleCast to reflect on the choices they made. The beauty of doodlecast is that they can record their voice and draw on their infographic. The kids then use
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As the fall term is coming to an end, I am reminiscing on my time at Howard in the second grade class. The students and memories I have had since September really show me that teaching is the job for me 🙂 I was welcomed pretty quickly by the children and my cooperating teacher (CT), which helped me feel comfortable stepping in to help answer questions and assess students with reading. I love the connections that I have made with the children, and how excited they got when I showed up during the week! I will miss them and hopefully will be able to work with them again in the Spring.
This school is equipped with lots of technology from a grant they received, and it has changed my views on the downfalls of using technology in class – there were still times when the internet wouldn’t work correctly so the work on the Ipads took longer than anticipated, but the Smartboard and the apps the children are using really will help them in the future. They are were creating their own writing books, taking pictures of their work to show family, making 100s chart to reference on their own, and practicing spelling words. I originally wasn’t so sure about having technology in class because it could be distracting if it doesn’t work or could make the students feel like they can’t do work without it. However, the way that my CT has incorporated it showed me that it can be effective! She inspired me to get a tablet because it is easier to bring around and would help my future teaching career.
Here is an interesting TedTalk about technology in education:
We received our placements for Winter term, when we will be part-time teaching (which means we will co-teach for the first half of the term and then teach two subjects for the rest of the term). I was overwhelmed with all the assignments that we have to accomplish by the end of term, but meeting my supervisor and finding out that I will be in a fifth grade classroom at Ridgeview helped calm me down. I am ready to take on a grade that I have never experienced and work with the retired 30-year teacher!