Sunday, September 29, 2013

Blog Post #6

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

child thinking and holding a green question mark
While researching this topic, I came up with a few conclusions of what we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher and how to implement an effective plan towards this. One of the first articles that I read was, The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom. In this article, it was asked "What does a teacher asking questions of a class expect the class to learn from the questioning process?" Which essentially means, what is the point of asking questions in the classroom? Are you trying to assess how much your students have actually learned or are you just trying to pass some time until the bell rings. We need to quit assuming that our teaching style is effective on all our students and make sure we learn how to teach effectively for all students. Most importantly we need to stop asking "Does everybody understand?", listening for a few "yeses" and then moving on to the next topic or subject. Asking questions like the above question doesn't confirm understanding, it only confirms that a teacher is getting ready to move on.

One way that we, as teachers, can prepare for asking better questions is to assess our lesson plan and put questions in our lesson where we want those questions asked. Figure out where questions would be effective. Would asking questions in the middle of the lecture or activity help assess understanding. In, Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom some other ideas are "Play with Questions" and "Preserve Good Questions". When you play with the questions that you are going to ask, you are trying to figure out how to best engage your students. At what point will your question be the most thought-provoking. You could write a question on the board for students to see when they come into class but not answer it for awhile. You could have students get together and answer the question to a group consensus, then collect the answers and then discuss the correct answer with the class. Preserving good questions asked is important also. When you know the answer to the questions you are going to ask your class, you don't realize that they still might not understand what you are teaching. When a student asks you a good question, remember it and add it to your lesson plan because another student may want to know the same thing.
a sign stating what do you remember about my story

When asking questions in your classroom don't forget to validate your student's answer and respond appropriately. Asking Questions to Improve Learning is a resource that pointed out five things to help students respond effectively to your questions. The first thing you should do is "wait for students to think and formulate responses". You should wait 5 - 10 seconds after asking the students a question before selecting or picking someone to answer the question. This will encourage all students to think about the answer to the question because they aren't sure if they will be picked or not. Second thing to remember is "do not interrupt students' answers". If you allow a student to finish what they are trying to say, it will help you to know if they understand the lesson and it can also lead to giving credit for their idea. Thirdly, "show that you are interested in students' answers, whether right or wrong". Don't look away from a student as they are talking, look at them and acknowledge them and show you are listening to them. Some students need to feel encouraged to speak out in a classroom of their peers and by showing interest you can help with that. Fourth thing you can do is "develop responses that keep students thinking." You can do this by asking another student to respond to a previous students answer or even ask the student that asked the question how they came up with that answer. Lastly, "if a student gives an incorrect answer or weak answer, point out what is incorrect or weak about the answer, but ask the student a follow-up question that will lead that student, and the class, to the correct or stronger answer". If the student has overlooked an important part of the lesson plan in their answer, you can ask them to recall something about the lesson plan to help lead them to the answer and also open the questions up to the class.

In order to be an effective teacher, what I need to know most about asking questions is that I need to engage my students. If I am going to ask 300 questions a day, they need to be productive and worthwhile. I need to make sure that all my students understand the lesson plan before moving on and the way to ensure that to ask lots and lots of questions.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Project #3 Presentation

Project #4

C4T #1
picture of the Pope and bystanders taking a picture using their phones
For my first C4T, I had to read blogs and comment on them from Tech Intersect. The first post that I read and commented on was 25 Things Every Young Professional Should Know by Age 25. Bill Gx blogged about a list of 25 things every young professional should know and that his favorite item was #20. #20 states how college students are waiting for a syllabus to find out what to do next and how Bill wants to prepare his students for the real world and leave some things a mystery. I commented back that my favorite was actually #19, "Multi-tasking is great, but some moments require your undivided attention." I stated that while I know we have to multi-task, today's society is so rushed that we are multi-tasking too much and we are missing some very important things in life.
The second post that I commented on was, A new word and a new pope. In this blog, Bill Gx commented on the new word "selfie" that had recently been added to Oxford Dictionaries Online. The definition for "selfie" is" a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website" and in this post a picture of some young people are trying to take pictures of themselves and the new Pope Francis. The argument was is this a "selfie" or a "groupie" because of the amount of people trying to be in the picture. In my comments, I stated that I believed that a "selfie" was a picture of just ones self and nobody else and if the picture was to be labeled a "selfie" then couldn't it be labeled as a photobomb also due to the group of the people trying to get in the picture. I also stated that regardless of what this picture is titled, technology is taking over and the people in the picture were probably ecstatic to have had a phone to take a picture and capture a memory forever.

Blog Post #4

Why Podcast? How do we do a podcast?

sign that says Pod Casts - top is orange and fades down into pink
Not knowing much about Podcasts, I was glad that this assignment came up and it gave me an opportunity to learn. For my choices to read and summarize, I chose Podcasting with First Grade, The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom and Judy Scharf Podcast Collection. The resource that I enjoyed most was Podcasting with First Grade. In this podcast, a teacher took a group of first graders and read "Vacation under the Volcano" to them and then prepared a podcast. She had the children portray an interviewer, Jack or Annie (characters from the book). One of the most surprising and exciting things about this project was how involved the children got in this process. Students wanted to help out with editing and when they didn't like their voice portrayals they wanted to rerecord them. Various skills were learned from this process with some being listening, comprehension and technology. My second choice for resource was The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom which was more of a vodcast in telling of the benefits in podcasting. The video explained that podcasting can be used as an effective way of interacting with students outside of the classroom as well as in the classroom. If a teacher regularly podcasts their lectures and a student is out sick, the student can pull up the podcast and get all the information that they need. Podcasts can also be uploaded to blogs and websites so parents can also keep track of what their kids are learning or other teachers can get additional information to teach in their classrooms. Lastly I researched, Judy Scharf Podcast Collection website and found a lot of useful information. The website listed the benefits and advantages to using podcasting. Some of the benefits are the enhancement to students communicative skills, auditory learners like the podcasts and it's a portable learner. You can pull up a podcast anywhere and listen or learn about anywhere in the world via a podcast. One of the most beneficial items of this post was the step by step instructions that were given on creating a podcast.
podcast app image

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Blog Post #3

Blog Post #3
How Can You Provide Meaningful Feedback to Your Peers?

peer editing read think respondWhen I first read through this assignment, I was dreading it. I did not want to have to critique a peer's work much less my group partner. I mean, I was going to have to face her in class in a couple of days. What if her post was horrible and her grammar was that of a 2nd grader? I was going to have to call her out on it. Oh even worse, what if she was the type to hold a grudge and she has to evaluate me in the future and grade me? There could be nothing worthwhile to come out of this assignment. Then I watched the video, What is Peer Editing? and viewed the slideshow, Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial and I realized that peer editing isn't taking someone's work and destroying it or belittling the hard work put into it. Peer editing is about helping a college achieve their best and produce quality work. The video states that you need to do three things to properly peer edit. The first is to compliment. Stay positive and compliment your peer's work. You can do this by complimenting their outline or organization. If there was a statement that stood out to you, you could mention it. The next thing to do is offer suggestions. This could be done by pointing out where a thought could be expanded on or maybe take away some thought. You could also offer suggestions on more places to research the topic of the work. The last thing to do is help make notice of corrections that need to be made. This would be spelling and grammatical errors or if you know that some facts are wrong in the paper. The most important thing to remember when editing a peer's work is to be supportive and helpful. Remember how you want someone to edit your work and treat your peers that way too.

I enjoyed watching the video Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes and the comical names given to each of "the mistakes" that people can portray. While all 10 mistakes were ones to keep in mind, 5 stood out to me and related more to the type of peer editing I need to do. Picky Patty was someone who pointed out every single little mistake that could be wrong with the paper. She would point out if a period was bigger than it should be or a paragraph started a millimeter to far from the margin. You want to help someone write the best that they can but don't go looking for mistakes to try and belittle someone's work. This leads me to Mean Margaret. The person who has an attitude and talks down to people like there is nothing wrong with them nor their work. Remember to use kind words and don't be derogatory. You don't want to be a Pushy Paula either. Keep in mind that you are not perfect either and make mistakes. Don't push your ideas and opinions on someone else. If your view doesn't agree with the peer you are editing, search out another source. If you are arguing on how to spell something, get a dictionary. If you think a paragraph should be reworked and your peer doesn't, ask for another opinion. When being edited or given feedback, do not become a Defensive Dave. Nobody wants to be called out on their mistakes and quite honestly, no one wants to have to admit that they make mistakes. Truth is though, we do all make mistakes. If your peer is being a Mean Margaret or Picky Patty, you would become defensive and want to protect your work and all that you put into it. But, if your peer is giving compliments, offering suggestions and trying to help you make corrections then be thankful that someone is helping you and is wanting you to succeed. Lastly, don't be a Jean the Generalizer. With all the rules of how not to hurt someone's feelings, not push your ideas on them or nit pick their work apart, you don't want to just give general editing ideas. Be specific. If you think a topic should be expanded on, tell them and offer suggestions on how to expand. If there are grammatical errors, point them out politely and don't just say the errors are in the whole paper. If you approach peer editing with a positive attitude and the onset of helping someone, you won't become any of these people.
two cats fighting, captions says constructive feedback ur doin it wrong
After watching all the videos and slideshows, I went to my group partner, Dominique Jone's blog, to peer edit her posts. I chose not to publicly critique her blog #2 because we both worked on that blog and did it through Google Drive. While working on that post, we would both start a document and put thoughts, ideas or commentary in the document and then ask for the other person's opinion and thoughts. When grammatical errors were spotted or areas that should be expanded on, we offered up our suggestions. With Dominique's Blog #1, I chose to peer edit publicly. I chose this option because I didn't feel that my critique could embarrass her nor hurt her feelings. I followed the previously mentioned video's advice and I started out by complimenting what I liked about her post. Then I made some suggestions. I felt that there were some areas that could be expanded on and asked about them. Lastly, I would have mentioned any corrections that needed to be made but didn't see any grammatical or spelling errors that needed to be pointed out.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Blog Post #2

Blog Post #2

Mr. Dancelot
By: Jennifer Hamrick and Dominique Jones

The video Mr. Dancealot was a great example of “Burp-Back Education”. Professor Dancealot states in the beginning of the class that the purpose of this class will be to teach the students basic steps to numerous ballroom dances and do to it in proper position. Not once does Professor Dancealot engage his students with a physical learning of how to properly dance. Professor Dancealot spent a lot of time filling his students with facts and when it came time for the final he expected them to just be able to dance. Just because Professor Dancealot had slides and pictures to show how to do the dance, it wasn’t effective. He still needed to have the class on the dance floor letting them work on the step and helping them to correct their mistakes and obtain proper dance position and steps.

Rhumba dance steps

Teaching in the 21st Century
By: Jennifer Hamrick

For my part of the group blog, I watched Teaching in the 21st Century. In the beginning of the video, Kenny Roberts states that “If teachers can only provide: content, facts, dates, formulas, research, theories, stories and information, then our role in the lives of students is obsolete…..” I don’t believe this to be true. It is not a hidden fact that technology is taking over in our world and now it is beginning to in the classrooms. I believe that Kenny Roberts and I think along the same lines that vast amounts of information can be obtained through technology but it doesn’t necessarily teach someone how to physically do something. Roberts poses the question “with all of this information available, should our curriculum be focused on facts and content or skills?” I don’t see why it needs to be or has to be one or the other. In order to find and learn facts and content, you need the skills to find the information. If I were to ask my students to tell me what major event occurred on August 29, 2005 which impacted the Gulf Coast, they would need to know the facts and content of what I am asking, which would be August 29, 2005 and the Gulf Coast but they would also need the skills to know how to look that information up. So as a teacher, I would be responsible for teaching them how to find facts and content through technology.

I do think that Roberts is correct in the positions he expressed and as a future educator, my teaching style will be greatly affected. One position that I liked most was that education needs to be engaging not entertaining. Sitting my class in front of a Smartboard and showing them a video of someone counting is entertaining but if I have my class count or sing along with the video then I am engaging them and they are more likely to remember. Having a child in my class operate the Smartboard or another form of electronics is still engaging them and teaching them. In order to proceed and succeed in the future, children are going to have to be taught technology and taught through technology. As an educator, it will be my responsibility to teach them all the possibilities that can come with using technology and it’s sources.

two children looking at an electronic tablet

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
By: Dominique Jones

The video I watched was titled Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts. Vicki Davis is a technology teacher in a rural city in Georgia. Vicki states, “ when you have only paper, and only pencil then only certain types of children are going to succeed.” I agree with Vicki because using pencil and paper students are more likely to get “burp back” education. Using technology makes you ask more questions. Using technology can be more entertaining to students than a drawing on a chalkboard. You are engaging a child to learn something interesting rather than reciting information.Making students use technology will make them become a more independent learner. Students become better thinkers because they are more interested in learning because they are so intrigued on learning. They are pushed into learning instead so there is not “burp back” education.

Davis’s main focus is finding out her students strengths and interests of her students. She still follows the curriculum but she customizes it to fit each group of students. Davis wants all of her students to become comfortable with all technology. She teaches them to become a better learner, better at collaborating, and using blogs effectively. Even though the students lived in a rural city, they were able to connect with other kids around the world.

Looking around on the website where this video was posted, I found out many things that stood out to me. The main focus of this website is to help educators inspire, be more creative, and engage students in the 21st century. I think this is a very helpful website that any teacher can use to help them with their teaching methods. I think it will help my future teaching methods.

Piece of notebook paper with students love technology written inside of a heart