Google Suites & More

Credit

My school division does there very best to provide us teachers with as much technology as they can! In my own classroom, I have 5 Ipads, and two computers and a projector. In addition, my school has 4 computer carts in which teachers can sign out through a google doc—-which is funny, because google docs is going to be the main topic of this weeks blog! With technology we do have available to us, I have used google classroom in the past.

I have really really enjoy enjoyed using google classroom for many reasons. I used it mostly when I taught grade 7/8 however did have some of my grade ¾ class use it.  First, students loved going online and doing their work. The idea of going on a laptop instead of doing an assignment on on helped students be more engaged. Even if it was a topic or subject they did not enjoy, they would still put some effort into because it was on the “computer”. Next, I taught in a community school and many of the children I taught had learning difficulties. Many including writing. Google classroom helped them get their ideas down as they were able to type it, rather than struggle with writing it on paper. As well, students who had trouble with reading, there is something called read and write. Read and write will actually read what’s on the page to the students. This element was extremely helpful for those struggling readers.  Third, I was able to easily keep track of students work. Tracking the progress of students work and seeing where students are at was definitely a bonus. I used this information to either give students additional support, or to make something more challenging. In addition, when it came to marking, I could easily locate it and see who has completed the assignment as well who not. Lastly, I use google docs myself. I am a huge fan of it and have used it most of my university career. I liked that I could access my documents and presentation from any device. Overall, I have enjoyed what Google Suites has had to offer to me personally, as well my students!

In saying that, I would really like to try new types of technology in the classroom. In our own course prototype, we use something called Kidsblog. Kyla give a great description of it in her own blog. She describes it by saying:

Kidblog provides K-12 teachers with tools to safely publish student writing. Teachers can monitor all activity within a community of authors. Posts can even be public, but nothing goes live until a teacher approves it. Kidblog empowers students to write with a meaningful purpose for a real audience. Connect with other classes down the hallway, across your district, or around the world. Students practice digital citizenship within a secure environment. KidBlog is a new resource we have not accessed so we wanted to use something that was safe, free, and easily accessible for our students” (Kyla)

I think this would be an awesome tool to use!! I love blogging myself, so teaching my students how to blog is something I can see myself doing!

Flipgrid is another cool tool that I have used in a couple courses with Alec. One of my favourite parts about this tool in term of online learning is that it’s a great way to put a face to a name, and really get to know someone in an online format. Sapna discusses flip grid in her post this week and she described it really well. “FlipGrid is an easy way to pose a question and have people respond via videos. It can be used within many of the most widely used LMSs, so students do not have to set up a separate account on FlipGrid or navigate to a different place. Finally assigned teachers will give feedback and provide guides by tracing each students’ Flipgrid video” (Sapna).

Overall, I think online blended learning is super important important, as well incorporating some aspects of blended learning into a general style classroom. The benefits definitely outweigh the negatives if the technology is used properly in the class.

Thanks for reading:) I looking forward to reading your post this week.

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Evaluation Reflection

Thank you to everyone who had the opportunity to evaluate our online/blended course. We were able to get some great constructive feedback and utilized it to make our blended online course even more engaging, and better than it was! Read below for our reflection:)

The feedback we are reflecting/commenting on included the following:

  • Does it excite students or engage them differently?
  • Does the complexity of what you are doing combined with three classrooms full of “strangers” have a negative impact on student learning?
  • What to do if people are not aware of how to use the programs?
  • Timetable for student due dates
  • Missing vocabulary (word study)
  • Add reference to YoTeach

Differentiated learning is a huge part of twenty-first century teaching. Typically doing Literature Circles in one classroom means that one teacher is in charge of 5 books with different groups in the classrooms. By having one teacher in charge of one book, this can deepen the students learning because it limits the amount of interchanging teachers have to complete. Teachers are not splitting their time up with each novel group, s/he focuses on one novel and the students within that grouping. Splitting the novel up among 3 schools allows for smaller groupings for teachers and students to work with. We could also include our teacher librarians which would allow teachers to have even smaller groups, this would also open up more book choices as well. This way if students need a challenge, teachers can add content, challenge the creative component, ask higher level thinking questions, or if students need some differentiation, there are several options we could implement.  Examples of this include: having audio books, using speech to text, or Google Read and Write(prediction tools, dictionary, etc.)

We do not believe there is a negative impact on student learning by working with strangers. We think this can engage those students who are introverts because it gives them a space where they can engage in conversations about their novel without the restrictions of being face to face. In addition, we feel that it provides students with a goal each week and there are specific apps that can allow us to view the progress of our students. If we see that a student is struggling with their online posts, individual teachers can speak with those students and encourage them along the way. With YoTeach for example, teachers can print out the discussion forum and you can track what students are commenting throughout each week. This can track student engagement and involvement. In addition, because they do now know who they are working with and who they are speaking too, they are more confident in terms of what they are sharing online.

Organization of structure for students could also be added to the course itself. Something like adding Google calendar would really help students stay on track as well to remind them on important due dates. Google calendar is super easy to use and could be accessed on a personal device as well online. It can be shared among all the members in the reading groups and anyone can be given the permissions to add to the calendar itself. As well, depending on the difficulty of the novel, a word study could be added to each module. Reviewing and going over important words that will be used in the chapters will help students comprehend the book deepening their understanding of the questions being asked of them. In addition, getting each leveled group together at the end of the unit would be a great culmination! Just being together and chatting with both the strengths and challenges of the unit can create some great, constructive, and important conversation between the students.

There are many different tools being utilized within this online blended course. If students have limited knowledge of these tools, mini lessons should be given prior to the beginning of the unit. This way, students will be confident using the different types of tools and technology being used in the class.  If needed, there are videos below that would support teachers if they were unfamiliar with the platforms provided.

Adobe Spark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2oyYMTjDQg

Yo Teach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6m6BErGnLU

Postermywall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwrSwNZoWDg

KidBlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSQ_MXfPisw

Google Read and Write: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwC_hJ7KmAg

YoTeach-  The Classroom teacher goes over questions that will be addressed in the live chat prior to the chat. This gives students the opportunity to see the videos, focus their thinking and then engage in the chat.  Teacher who is leading YoTeach then puts the questions into the YoTeach forum, then students answer them in the live chat.

We have completed more than the required modules for this assignment.  We hope that you can use what we have constructed and to continue to build on to it as we will.  Bullying is a topic that should be taught at all grade levels. We believe this unit, with different novels, could be used from grade  4 and up.

Thanks again,

Amy, Kyla O, Colette

Strengths and Misconceptions of Blended learning

This class have been great in terms of learning about all the online platforms that can be used for a blended course. I am always looking for new ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. Not only can I use these platforms to be an online teacher, but I can also make use of them in my current classroom. We have also discussed some of the strengths and limitations of online blended learning and the platforms. I stumbled upon a great article that addressed 8  strengths and benefits teaching taking and teaching blended courses. It was a great overview of what we have already learned in the class as well introduced a couple new ideas. The 8 benefits includes creating relevance, building skill levels, making mobile learning tools available, meeting individual student needs, setting goals, making instruction and content clear, creating authentic tasks, as well engaging disengaged students.

My overall favorite strength of blended learning is definitely being able to meet individual needs. Especially with the challenges classroom teachers are faced with today. I have had students in the past in which only could use a google platform for any type of writing an assignment. For other students, I find that technology enriches their learning and helps them become more engaged with the topic learned in class.

As well, another favorite aspect of blended learning of mine is the fact that it can offer much more than what traditional classrooms can. I could not agree more with Dean when he states “that In fact, an online environment could provide many opportunities that a traditional classroom just can’t afford. One such advantage would be the ability to work at one’s own pace.” As well, I appreciated Melinda comment in her blog about the pace and freedom in which students have when in a blended course. She states “the benefit of this online program is that students can study at their own pace completing an assessment at the end of each week. There is also a peer-to-peer system included, where they provide each other with feedback.” Great point Melinda!

Upon my research, I also found an interesting article about 6 misconceptions of online blended learning. One misconception I found interesting is that some people believe that online learning reduces social interactions as well reduces the amount interaction with peers. However, according to Dr. Tammy Stephens, “students in online courses designed this way frequently

report they have more social interactions with their peers than they do in traditional, face-to-face courses.” So therefore, depending how you set up the online blended course, students could actually spend more time interacting with classmates. Another misconception is that blended, hybrid and online learning are less work than traditional, face-to-face instruction. I can relate to this misconception. Prior to taking online classes in university, I always thought that online classes might be a bit easier. However, this being my 4/5th online class, I have realized that they are just as much work, if not more, as any other course I have taken in the past. Check out the article for the rest of the 4 other misconception. It was a good read.

Since we had a bit of freedom for this response, I decided I was also going to interview my friend about online and blended learning. My friend is in her 30th year of teaching and retiring this year.

She has taught all 30 years in the same school division I am working for. I thought it would be interesting to see her stance on technology, how she has used it in the past, and how our school division has supported the use of technology in the classroom.

Have you ever taken an online class?

  • No, but I don’t have enough self discipline to take one.

What do you know about blended learning?

  • Yes, I know what it is.

What are your thoughts about blended learning?

  • I think blended learning is better than strictly online. Because if there is something I can’t figure out what to do, and someone is only teaching me things verbally that is a problem for me.
  • I am a visual learner and I need someone there to show me what to do.

What technology platforms have you used in you classroom?

  • I have used google docs in the past to share information. That is about it

What technology do you use in the classroom?

  • Computers. I have students do research on the computers.
  • I use different websites to support numeracy and literacy in the classroom.
  • I also use Youtube for instruction.
  • Although I have not used computers much this year because last year my students were doing inappropriate things.

What is your favorite thing about using technology?

  • Having information at your fingertips for myself and my students.

How has your school division supported online learning?

  • They provide the computers for the students to work on.
  • They set up google accounts and login information.
  • They sometimes have online web seminars.

I really enjoyed that interview! It was really neat to get a perspective from someone who has taught for many years. I am now wanting to interview and ask more of my colleagues about their experience with technology!!

Thanks you for reading:)

I learned about how to use POWTOON this week…and you?!

Wow, there are so many content creation tools! I am always looking for fun and creative ways to enhance my lessons in the classroom.

I like to try to incorporate new technology and new ways to present knowledge to my students. This way,  I can make sure I can reach all learners in some way. Once I am comfortable with a new tool, I like to let my students explore it as well. In saying that, I am aware that it can be very time consuming to do this for the a teacher. That is why I am excited to get this opportunity to explore a new one!

 

Out of all the wonderful options, I choose to check out Powtoon. I have never used Powtoon myself but have heard nothing but great things about it. I decided to download it to give it a shot to see how I would like it. Upon my exploring, I remembered watching a Powtoon video someone made for their summary of learning assignment last semester. I remember thinking it was pretty funny and actually, I quite enjoyed watching it.

After some investigation, I learned that the overall idea of Powtoon is to create or make animated videos or presentations. I picked out a couple strengths right off the bat. You can add several features into your videos such as music, voice recorder, and movement! You can also choose from a variety of presentation formats including and explainer video, marketing video, infographic video, ad, or just a blank Powtoon. Just for fun, I started creating my own Powtoon. It was super fun but I definitely need more  practice.

I guess one weakness would be that it is a bit overwhelming at first. I had to look up some YouTube videos on how to navigate the site. I think that it is going to take me a few tries to figure things out(just like any new tech!!!). I did appreciated how easy the the Powtoon dashboard was to work with. It included all the different templates, background features, characters, shapes, props, media, etc. Similar to word press, it is pretty easy to navigate to those main add ons. Another potential weakness I noticed is that there is a 3 day premium trial. I am wondering what all features will still be available after the trial. Hmm….

I definitely enjoyed investigating Powtoon. I think before I used it in the the classroom I would spend more time on the site! Once more comfortable with it, I think then it would be a great tool for students to use and

to share their knowledge with. As well, if teachers are looking for non-traditional ways to assess, this is a great option. Students who enjoy using technology might really excel using it. I also think if teachers have some extra time, they can create presentations with it. This would definitely enhance lessons and make them more engaging.

Have you ever tried Powtoon? Do you use it in your classroom? If not, how do you use it? How do you FEEL about Powtoon? What are your thoughts?

Course Profile: Bullying… a multi school novel study

Hello everyone,

Kyla OColette and I have put together our Course Profile. Feel free to check it out!!

Overview/Description

The focus of our unit is “Bullying”, a novel study with grade 7 and 8 students across 3 different schools. There are a variety of novels which we hope will engage all students at their own reading levels. Throughout this Online/Blended learning experience, we are going to  use  technology which enables us to connect with the other schools as well as within our own building contexts. Each student has a specific teacher they will working with in regards to their assigned novel. Their connected teacher could be a teacher from a different school, but the classroom teacher is also there to support each student in their classroom environment. Students will report weekly via weekly blog on their section of the novel. They will also complete a creative component pertaining to that section of reading. In addition, there will be a weekly online discussion forum(chat) on each section of the novel. Students will be reporting to the teacher in charge of the novel, to which they have been assigned. This allows for diversity of needs as well as connectivity of students outside of the classroom.

The unit will begin by having all 3 classrooms meet together on zoom to review the expectations, course outline, weekly assignments, and connect each student to their “lead” teacher in charge of their particular novel. This will be our only synchronous meeting until we have finished our novels. The platform which we are sharing/collaborating on is: https://onlineunit.home.blog/

This way, all teachers have collaborated together to share the weekly assignments and it is made readily available for all students to access from school or at home. The link can also be shared with families for quick access to check in on what their children are doing at school. There would be no login required and no need to recall a password to access the website.

We have chosen 13 Reasons Why, The Outsiders, and Wonder as our main focus. We have listed additional resources that could fit well within this unit.

The Novels:

  • 13 Reasons Why – Jay Asher
  • The Outsider – S.E. Hilton
  • Egghead – Caroline Pignat
  • Wonder – R.J. Palacio
  • The Only Game – Mike Lupica
  • BLubber – Judy Bloom

 

Course Format:                                                                      

For our unit, we have split up our novels into five different weekly sections. The expectation would be that students complete the required readings for the assigned period, whether that be reading on their own, with a partner, or listening to an audiobook. The audiobooks help learners who have lower reading comprehension, keep up with the pace of the weekly reading assignments. As stated earlier, students will be assigned a novel, a teacher, and also a learning partner from a different school. Students are able to connect through Zoom to talk to their learning partner about their weekly tasks that go along with the reading. This promotes collaboration and creativity.

Course Toolset:

  • WordPress Bloghttps://onlineunit.home.blog/
    • This is where all of the student assignments will be posted.
  • KidBlog https://kidblog.org/home/
    • Each week, students will be required to complete several questions based on reading strategies and they will publish their answers to their blogs.
      • Kidblog provides K-12 teachers with tools to safely publish student writing. Teachers can monitor all activity within a community of authors. Posts can even be public, but nothing goes live until a teacher approves it. Kidblog empowers students to write with a meaningful purpose for a real audience. Connect with other classes down the hallway, across your district, or around the world. Students practice digital citizenship within a secure environment.
  • Postermywallhttps://www.postermywall.com/index.php/edu
    • In some weeks, students have a choice on how they want to represent their creative component. They can use postermywall to design a poster related to their novel and assignment. For example, creating a poster that demonstrates why kindness matters.

Overview of our features for schools

  • Create projects to organize designs created by students.
  • Students are not required to create an account.
  • Students see only student appropriate content.
  • Students’ projects are never made public.
  • No ads.
  • Completely free to teachers. We believe in supporting our schools. You can help keep it free by sharing a link to PosterMyWall.com with your parents. Their purchases help to fund the PosterMyWall.com Classroom Accounts Program.
  • YoTeachhttps://palms.polyu.edu.hk:8448/
    • A set time for each week has been designated.  The teacher in charge of each novel will invite students to the group chat to respond to questions in real time.  Students will discuss a series of per-compiled questions and dialogue with other member of their group about their assigned novel.  This gives the students a weekly opportunity to connect on a weekly bases.
    • Yo Teach! lets you create online backchannel spaces to facilitate discussions. To get started on Yo Teach! simply go to the site and name your room. You can get started by just doing those two steps, but I would recommend taking a another minute to scroll down the Yo Teach! site to activate the admin function, the password function, and to select “avoid search.”  The “avoid search” option will hide your room from search results so that people cannot find it without being given its direct URL. The password function lets you set a password that must be entered before students can participate in the chat. The admin features of Yo Teach! let you mute or remove students from a discussion, delete your room, and view statistic about the usage of your room. The admin function that reveals statistics will show the names of participants and how active they have been in your Yo Teach! Room.

 

  • Adobe Spark
    • Each week students are required to complete a creative component. An example would be having students use Adobe Spark to create a post with the key quote (or quotes) from your novel. The background must represent you think the setting of your story looks like.
    • Features:
      • Graphics: Pick a photo, add text, and apply design filters to instantly stand out from the crowd.
      • Webpages: Turn words and images into beautiful, magazine-style web stories that will impress readers on any device.
      • Video Stories: easily add photos, video clips, icons, or you own voice. Select from professional-quality soundtracks and cinematic motion.

 

Course Content/Learning Objectives:

  • CR 7.2 → Select and use appropriate strategies to construct meaning before (e.g., formulating questions), during (e.g., recognizing organizational structure), and after (e.g., making judgements supported by evidence) viewing, listening, and reading.
  • CR 8.2 → Select and use appropriate strategies to construct meaning before (e.g., previewing and anticipating message), during (e.g., making inferences based on text and prior knowledge), and after (e.g., paraphrasing and summarizing) viewing, listening, and reading.
  • CR 7.6 → Read and demonstrate comprehension and interpretation (including thoughtful and critical response to content and craft) of grade-appropriate texts including traditional and contemporary prose fiction, poetry, and plays from First Nations, Métis, and other cultures.
  • CR 8.6 → Read and demonstrate comprehension and interpretation of grade-appropriate texts including traditional and contemporary prose fiction, poetry, and plays from First Nations, Métis, and other cultures to evaluate the purpose, message, point of view, craft, values, and biases, stereotypes, or prejudices.
  • CC 7.1 → Create various visual, oral, written, and multimedia (including digital) texts that explore identity (e.g., Exploring Thoughts, Feelings, and Ideas), social responsibility (e.g., Taking Action), and efficacy (e.g., Building a Better World).
  • CC 8.2 → Create and present a group inquiry project related to a topic, theme, or issue studied in English language arts.
  • CC 7.4 → Use pragmatic (e.g., use language that demonstrates respect for others), textual (e.g., use common organizational patterns within texts), syntactical (e.g., ensure agreement of subjects, verbs, and pronouns), semantic/lexical/morphological (e.g., avoid overused and misused words), graphophonic (e.g., enunciate clearly), and other cues (e.g., use appropriate gestures and facial expressions) to construct and to communicate meaning.
  • CC 8.4 → Use pragmatic (e.g., use appropriate language register), textual (e.g., use artistic devices such as figurative language), syntactical (e.g., combine sentences to form compound and complex sentences for variety, interest, and effect), semantic/lexical/ morphological (e.g., use words to capture a particular aspect of meaning), graphophonic (e.g., correctly pronounce words with proper emphasis), and other cues (e.g, arrange and balance words and visuals as well as fonts) to construct and to communicate meaning.

 

Assessment Strategies

Each week, throughout our unit, the students will receive immediate feedback based off of a rubric to offer, suggestions, and compliments by the assigned teacher.This will allow students to improve their next post prior to it being submitted.  Each week will serve as a formative assessment, with the final assessment at the end being summative. In addition, the students will complete peer assessments each week with their “blogging partner”. The students are required to use the format:  “3C and a Q” – which means they must compliment the student, comment on the students work/contributions, make a connection (via text to text, text to self or text to world) to that student’s post, and pose a question as well. This will keep the dialogue going and provide students with a set structure.

 

Considerations for Common Concerns

Overall, our main consideration for common concerns is as follows. For those students who require adaptations for their reading, there is access to Google Read and Write which assists in completing assignments. There is a word prediction tool, spellcheck, voice to text, and many more tools. We will also have access to audiobooks for those students who require them. All books are at different reading levels to accommodate the diverse needs in the classrooms. Fortunately, all schools working on this project have easy access to technology at school. In some cases, students who have homework and limited/no access to technology at home, may have trouble if they cannot keep  up with the academic demands and there would be a need for a teacher intervention to support those students.

Rationale

Our rationale is to make connections with other schools, teachers and students alike. We will be spending our time creating a product that will be utilized in our own classrooms! We chose a relevant educational topic that is part of the curriculum for every grade and we hope that all students will be able to create many “takeaways” from the readings provided. We have chosen this forum as it is easily accessible to all of our students and our school all have availability to the apps or websites. Each of the sites provides their to be multiple leaders or teachers which is necessary for a project like this to work.

Group Chat

The questions listed below will be distributed to the students prior to the weekly chats.  Students will be provided with the opportunity to reflect on the direction of the questions and the answers they would like to give.  This is an adaptation that allows students not to be put on the spot and to feel comfortable with their contribution to the chat.

13 Reasons why:

Week 1 Questions

  • What are your initial thoughts about Clay? Support your answer with 2 direct quotations from the novel.
  • What are your initial thoughts about Hannah? Is she sympathetic character? Do you like her? Why or why not?
  • What was your reaction to listening to Hannah’s voice over the tape?
  • What was Clay’s reaction when his mother wanted to listen to the tape?
  • Do you think Hannah’s tapes will stay between the twelve people on the list, or will they be shown to the authorities and/or released to the public? Should they be? Why or why not?
  • At the beginning of the first tape, Hannah says, “…there are thirteen sides to every story.” What does she mean by this?

Week 2 Questions

  • And in the middle of the room, one desk to the left will be the desk of Hannah Baker. Empty. – Clay (Prologue, p.4) What is your reaction to this quote?
  • How do you feel about Justin Foley? Are there any reasons you feel you should not trust him?
  • Who is the last name in the list of people to receive the tapes?
  • What is the purpose of Hannah’s tapes?
  • Another student sabotages Hannah during a class project. Clay’s nightmares about Hannah spill over into the daytime. How does this make Clay feel?
  • What does Tony do to support Hannah and Clay throughout this process? Do you feel he is a good friend who is making sacrifices for better or worse?

Week 3 Questions

  • What did Mr. Porter do wrong? What could he have done better? What will he do with the tapes when he gets them?
  • How does Hannah and Clay’s dual narrative enhance the story? What additional details are revealed through this method of storytelling that might have otherwise remained secret if the book had been written from only one of their perspectives?
  • How do you feel the teachers are handling the situation?
  • What are specific experiences that have led to Hannah’s 13 reasons why?
  • Hannah’s classmates even said that “whoever wrote the note just wants attention” (9.222). What do you think of this quotation?
  • How do you think Clay internalizes all of what Hannah is staying on the tapes?

 

Outsiders – Week 1

  • Describe each of the characters relationship with one another.
  • Who are the socs?  Who are the greasers?
  • How do Ponyboy’s relationships with Darry and Sodapop differ?  Explain.
  • Why is the ‘gang’ important to Johnny?
  • How does Ponyboy react to what Sodapop tells him about Darry?
  • Do you think Darry loves Ponyboy?  Why does he treat Ponyboy the way he does?

 

Outsiders Week 2

  • Why does Pony have a problem with Johnny’s idea to disguise themselves? What does it take away from him?  Why do they have to disguise themselves?
  • Why does Johnny think Dally is a hero?  Do you think Dally is a hero based on what he did?
  • Why are the socs and the greasers going to fight in the vacant lot? What is at stake?
  • Who is the spy for the greasers?  Does this surprise you? Why or why not?
  • “Maybe people are younger when they are asleep”.  What do you think about this comment? What does it mean?
  • When Pony asks what kind of a world it is, what comment is he making about how society judges people?

 

Outsiders Week 3

  • Even though Pony does not want to be a greaser and does not like many of the things that greasers do, the rumble allows him to be proud to be a greaser. Explain this contradiction.
  • What is the difference between Tim Sheppard’s gang and Ponyboy’s?  Explain how Pony feels this difference might give his group the upper hand?
  • What are the rules of the rumble? (pp. 140-142).
  • Explain why Pony might rather anyone’s hate than their pity?
  • What do you think is going on with Ponyboy when he says, “Johnny didn’t have anything to do with Bob’s getting killed”?

 

Wonder Week 1

  • Why do people look quickly away when they first see August?
  • In this section August discusses the issue of him going to school.
  • Why has he never gone to school? Do you think he should?
  • August goes on the tour of the school and meets three students. In your opinion which one would turn out to be a bully?
  • How would you describe the other students’ reaction to August in homeroom?
  • What does September’s precept, “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind,” mean?

Wonder Week 2

  • Do you think Via is jealous of all the attention August gets?
  • Did Via have a good first day of high school?
  • Who is Miranda and why did she call?
  • August decided to change his costume. How do you think mom reacted to this?
  • Would you describe Summer as a good person? Why or why not?
  • Do you think Summer thinks Jack is a good friend?

Wonder week 3

  • How does August feel about going on the 5th Grade Nature Retreat?
  • Jack and August find themselves in trouble. What is the trouble and who helps them?
  • August lies to the teachers about not being able to remember the 7th graders’ faces. Why do you think he did this?
  • What animal does August use to represent himself? Do you think it is a good choice?
  • There is a ceremony at school, what happens at the ceremony that shows a change from the beginning to the end of the school year?
  • Mr. Tushman says “Always try to be a little kinder than necessary.” What does that mean to you? In your opinion what character shows this the best?

 

Thanks for reading.
Feel free to leave a comment!!

What Blended Learning means to me!!

Credit

Blended learning and the integration of technology, in my eyes, is very important for the success of our students in the classroom.  The idea of blended learning became more and more popular ever since the idea of progressiveness was introduced to the world. Incorporating values and principals from progressive educational theories such as Dewey, Montessori, Piaget, ect.,  who believed in more of a student centered approach of teaching, has definitely shaped and continues to shape the type of education that exists today. In saying that, I believed that the main purpose of education is to prepare young children to become successful members of society. As well, to use their interests and to help motivate and guide them in a direction in life that can allow them to be successful. However, I also believe that a teacher should be using a variety of philosophies to accomplish this. In other words, using a blended learning approach, is how I believe students will be successful in the classroom. The Video: What is blended learning? that Alec showed described blended learning in a way that really stuck with me. Basically, they said that blended learning is the combination of the best teacher and computer instruction. Therefore, for my response this week, I am going to reflect on the pros/cons of blended learning, as well discuss my own experiences with blended learning.

Credit

We had great discussions in our zoom session this past Tuesday about the history of blended learning as well the pros and cons . During these discussions, I was jotting down notes on the ideas and information that was being talked about. This includes the pros and cons of blended learning. In the chart below are these ideas. A couple of the ideas came from the zoom chat. I will be sure to credit those who shared their ideas!

Pros

Cons

  • Personalized learning
  • Small group instruction
  • Student driven (Kyla M)
  • Empowered learners (Wendy)
  • Opportunity (Kelsey)
  • Not being able to meet curriculum guidelines
  • Technology changes, hard to keep up
  • Hard to teach an old dog new tricks
  • Cost of putting technology in school
  • Lack of PD

There were many other ideas discussed however those stood out most to me. Do you have any ideas to add?! In the end, I believe that the pros and cons even out, and that blended learning is still the way to go to make our students successful.

In terms of the blended learning and integration of technology in my own classroom, I do my best with the time, materials, and resources I am given.

By using the classroom computers and school tech carts, I try to use as many applications and suites as possible. For example, and as Kyla talked about in her blog post this week, I have used google classroom in the past. It is super easy to use as well I found it kept the students online work organized. I also have been trying to incorporate more experiential learning into the classroom. I find giving the children additional time to explore inside and outside the class can create richer learning experiences for them.

I have been faced with a few challenges when trying to do this. Drawing from the challenges I presented already in the post, I would say the lack of PD, the resources provided, and availability

of technology is most challenging for me. I am currently without a data projector in my classroom and still in the process of getting one (4 months later). Overall, I believe that it is important for students to have the opportunity to be exposed blended learning opportunities as well technology.

On a side note, Alec showed this theorist chart in another class. I LOVE it and have used it several times when learning and writing about all the educational theorists out there. Click the link to view it more clearly (learning-theory).

 

Thanks for reading!

Amy 🙂

Introduction Post to EC&I 834!!!

Hello everyone,

My name is Amy Cross and I am in my fifth year of teaching for Regina Public Schools. I have had the opportunity to teach grade 3,4, 6, 7, 8. Although I did the Middles Years Program at the University of Regina, I have been enjoying teaching more the primary grades, mostly grades 3.

I am currently enrolled in the Curriculum and Instruction Master’s program here at the University of Regina. I am in my 8th and 9th class this semester.

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I began my master’s journey last January (2018), so it definitely has been a rather quick process, yet enjoyable. This is my third class with Alec and I am so very much looking forward to it. Three goals I  have for this class include:

  1. To learn about that the history and foundations of blended and online learning. I am interested to learn how online learning started and how we came to be at the point we are today (if that makes sense).
  2. To learn specific strategies and techniques on how to incorporate online learning in the classroom today.  I am definitely interested in incorporating MORE online learning in my current and future classrooms.
  3. To get to know and work with everyone in the class. Most importantly, LEARN from others projects, shared experiences, and the stories they tell!

Thank you everyone for reading and I am VERY excited to be working and learning alongside you this semester!

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Feel free to follow me on twitter by clicking the link:)
@Cross16a

Thank you for reading my first post!!