Twitter for Teachers!?

Follow me as I explore Elementary Education on Twitter.  Time to get smart.

@BridgetHarrisMU

I chose Twitter because it is popular and can be used for learning and the sharing of the latest information — quickly.  I like that Twitter is limited in it’s characters, but still allows users to post links. This means that the information provided is concise but powerful: users can still get their information shared.  This allows me to take in a lot of information at the same time.  I think as a teacher, I will have to juggle a lot and perform multiple tasks at the same time.  Having Twitter as a resource will allow me to stay up to date on the latest ideas and trends, and I will even be able to respond and share classroom events with families in a timely matter as well.

Here’s to seeing how many followers I can get!

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Digital Media New Learners Video Response

I greatly enjoyed watching this PBS video on Digital Media, and thought that the idea of teaching today’s students to embrace change is very smart.  With technology changing constantly, it is certainly a necessity.

The Learning Program that most interested me was Game-Based Learning.  Schools in Southern California and New York have created a method where students can learn to solve problems, regarding subjects from Drama to Aesop’s Fables, all through game design.  The theory behind this method of learning is that game design requires problem solving, collaboration, imagination, and analytical skills.  Teachers use different elements of game design to help expand lessons from just paper or video to much more interactive method of instruction.

These schools meet state standards, while also adding their own value: technology. Students use a variety of digital media tools every day in order to receive lessons and instructions.  Students all ahve their own wireless laptops as well as many other tools.  Teachers understand that sometimes the laptops are great, while other times the might need to be “put away when it’s not the best time to use them.”

By integrating technology so thoroughly into the classroom, students find themselves less distracted by technology and simply put, just more “used to it.”   Instead of hoping the teacher will show a video at the end of the day, students commented that they are normally always interested to learn lessons, because the way they are presented is “interesting” and interactive.

Students also use the technology tools themselves to create work and complete homework. Podcasts, game design, website design, digital comics, and more are all used to express taught concepts and to complete homework assignments.

Teachers comment that a digital classroom is helpful for students who would consider themselves to be daydreamers, because it is so interactive that it keeps students engaged.  One student commented, “Oh, this looks fun, I want to learn it!”

The only concern expressed in this video connected to Digital Gaming is a fear of addiction.  Since most parents are not used to utilizing this much technology, or playing video games on a regular basis, many parents are unsure how to react to all of these changes.

But this is where parents need to remember that change is good.  In a world of ever-evolving technology, and constantly new ideas and inventions, it is critical that students learn how to use the latest technologies – and that the students learn to love the act of learning new technologies.

In terms of being addicted to games, the teachers respond to parent concerns by simply saying that in order to win games, students must work hard.  Teachers encourage parents to think of it as dedication.  Besides, all of the video games at the school have education benefits.

“I want to win, but in order to win I have to study to understand first,” said one of the students.

It’s not like the games are mindless. Students are either designing them and thinking analytically and creatively at the same time, or students are trying to win games that have educational lessons int hem.

I can certainly see game design becoming a much more common approach to learning in the not so distant future.

Standards as Target of Focus This Semester

“What standard are you using as a target of focus this semester? How can you link activities for different learning styles to this standard?”

I want to teach the Second Grade.  I am going to focus this semester on the Common Core Standard listed below:

Craft and Structure*

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.4 Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.

I chose this particular standard because I have a background in both English and Music, and can think of many creative ways to teach this standard.  I am classically trained on both violin and piano, and can think of many ways to demonstrate rhythm to my students.  My bachelors degree is in English, and therefore I also understand the technichalities of the literature as well.

Therefore, to demonstrate this CCS, I can imagine myself with an instrument, such as a drum or wooden block, tapping out the beat while reading a poem aloud.  This would help students understand the “tempo” of the poem, and realize that there is a metric quality to the words on the page.  (Thus understanding that it is more of a piece of “art” versus just written lines.)

I will then tie in this newly discovered rhythm to the meaning of the poem or reading. I will explain to students how the rhymes, beat, and other literary techniques help us discover the true meaning of the poem.

I look forward to further planning and fleshing out my ideas for this lesson plan.
*Works Cited: http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/2

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Reflection

I enjoyed checking out the “Cool Cat Teacher Blog.”

Here’s the link:

https://www.diigo.com/bookmark/http%3A%2F%2Fcoolcatteacher.blogspot.com?tab=people&uname=plan3t_t3ch

Eva Brown is a teacher and an author.  Eva brown preaches the use of technology in the classroom for many reasons.  First, she points out that student teaching is no longer as unreachable or difficult to experience as it once perhaps was.  Eva explains that with blogs, and online portals that connect students and educators, conversations between tutors and students is already possible.

Eva also expressed her like for tablets in the classroom.  She believes that it has the ability to improve the effectiveness of teaching in classroom because it eliminates the time necessary to “get ready” to teach.  Eva says that tablets, such as the iPad, help teachers reduce the time necessary to prepare and “get to the learning.”

I also like how Eva decides to use technology to reflect. What worked? What didn’t? She suggests using the summer to “tweak” the “all too short” time that students and teachers share together!

Thanks for reading my thoughts on Eva’s blog!