Final Project for EDT 6480

Monday, October 17, 2011

Homework 10-17 to 10-21

Conferences
Wednesday 3-7pm
Thursday 5-8 pm
Friday 11-1 pm

Math 7

Monday
Vocab
Tuesday
Jeopardy
Wednesday
How to Study
Thursday
Math Test
Friday (1/2 Day)
No Class

Math 6

Monday
BPI review
Tuesday
Cheat Sheet
Wednesday
Cheat Sheet
Thursday
BPI Test
Friday (1/2 Day)
2nd hour- no class
Binder Clean Out
Pass out books

Math 6 Plus

Monday
BPIII Prob 4.2 HW #4-7,15-19,31,32 pg 55-59
Tuesday
BPIII Prob 4.3
Wednesday
BPIII Prob 4.3 HW #8-12,20-22,35-39 pg 56-60
Thursday
No bake cookies
Friday (1/2 Day)
Cookie Activity Continued

Math 7 Plus

Monday
How to Study
Review
Tuesday
Cheat sheet
Wednesday
Vocab Flashcards
Thursday
Test
Friday (1/2 Day)
Binder clean out
Switch books
Vocab Test
Map mini activity

Monday, August 3, 2009

D/B 13

I felt a little confused while reading the first half of Chapter 31. It was helpful for me to keep the objective in mind “find something that makes me think, ‘Wow, that’s neat!’” I finally found a few things toward the end of the chapter. I absolutely loved the example of real-time body position and motion capture. I was completely shocked when the book said this is actually available and in use at the present time. To me, it seemed like something that would maybe be developed in the next five years. I can see the benefit of technology like this; I would be very helpful to professional athletes.

I was also completely astonished by the Kevin Warwick example. I was even more fascinated when I realized that happened in 1998. I can remember for years my husband has been trying to tell me that some retail stores are trying to launch this new microchip that is assigned to each person that eliminates the need to cashiers. His description is that we would carry this microchip in our purse/wallet and pick up whatever we need and it would be charged to our credit card or bank account when we walk out of the store. The example from Warwick makes me think that this microchip idea could be a reality in the very near future.


The activity that I have found to be the most interesting is making the blog. The reason I feel this way is that I really am interested in making blog for my classroom and several of the activities I this class have shown me cool things to include in the blog to make it more helpful for students and parents. For example, some things I will include in my blog are: photos of my students, a link to my bookmarks, a link to the school website and a link to any school videos that are current.

D/B 12

Using Rich media, do they want us to teach with video games? That was my first thought after looking at the picture on page 312. After reading the chapter, I felt there was far more than just two areas where this linked to the field of education in the p-12 sector. For example, as teachers we all had to learn the Cognitive Processes of Learning in our psychology classes. After I read through this part of the chapter it almost seemed to me that they were stating very obvious “research findings” that most teachers could tell you in a flash.

Here are a few things that I feel most teachers already know:
You can improve learning by using relevant visuals.
Students learn by seeing how it works or what is should look like (animation).
When giving directions, text is more effective because students can refer to it over time.
Learning is better when there is not unnecessary noise.
Students learn better when extraneous things are omitted.
Knowing the student’s prior knowledge will help you design a more appropriate lesson.
Provide appropriate scaffolding.

If I were to expand on the idea of giving directions, the chapter referred to having directions on the screen as well as having it being read to the learner. This is very easily adapted to the classroom. If you are doing an activity you should have the directions on the projector as well as reading them aloud to the students. Similarly, you can have the directions in print on their paper and you can read them to the students. But, we all know this does not mean the students will actually read the instructions or listen to us when we say them (LOL).

It seems to me that scaffolding is a big part of mathematics. Most all of us know that ideas in mathematics build on one another. Hence, it is important for a student to have prior knowledge before jumping to the next level. For example, if a student is going to solve a problem involving the Pythagorean Theorem, it might be helpful for them to know about right triangles, squares, how to square a number and how to square root a number. Just today there was a student in my summer school class who thought that the square root symbol was dividing a number by 7. When I first looked at what he did, I was completely confused but then I realized he probably had no prior knowledge of square roots unlike most students in the room.


If we just keep the basic fundamentals of learning in our mind when planning lessons instead of getting bogged down with all the GLCEs, tests, activities, etc. it might help us create better lessons. I know a reminder on the above mentioned topics was definitely useful to me.

Online Applications

Aftery trying a few online apps, I decided that I most enjoy Googledocs and Fotoflexer.I did try the other picture editing sites but I had the most fun with Fotoflexer.

As the yearbook advisor for my school, I knew that I had to play with the picture editing sites. The software program we use does have editing capabilities but nothing like stretching, shrinking, distorting, adding stickers, blurring the edges, adding a border, I could keep going. I also liked fotoflexer over the others because it was very user friendly. You could quickly see what each icon stood for, see what it did and then easily undo them if you did not like the result. The downfall that I found with Fotoflexer is that it seemed to take a long time to upload the photo. I could see using this application for a few specific pages in the yearbook. For example, it might be nice to "jazz" up the photos of the mock election winners or the photos of the students who look like a celebrity. For me personally, it is a lot harder to see resemblence to a celebrity when a student is posing against a background of lockers. Fotoflexer would allow the lockers to be blurred out and focus put on the faces.


In regards to google docs, this appeared to be like what I have experienced in Open Office. It is a way to have word documents online for access and editing by many people. I can totally see the benefit by allowing people to all add comments, proofread and edit a document without having to send it multiple times through an email attachment. I was concerned that something important could be changed and would not be able to be changed back, but then I thought that the original file would most likely be saved elsewhere the changes could be reversed.

Both applications have many uses in education, even if the photo editing is just used to have fun!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

D/B11

When I first started to read this chapter, I was very confused, but once again, as soon as I looked at the tables it made sense. The competencies for ID professionals align very nicely with the skills necessary for educators. For my areas of strength and weakness I will focus on Table 27.3 which can be found on page 275 in the book.

After only two years of teaching, there are many things that I feel I can improve upon. For example, I feel that I need to work on stimulating and sustaining learner motivation (Instructor #7). I have many students who can sit and follow anything I do; however, I also have students who struggle to be able to pay attention for just two minutes. I do try to vary activities throughout the lesson but I still feel that I have not motivated them enough for their full attention. The second thing that I feel I need to work on is providing clarification and feedback (Instructor #11). When students are working in class I am very quick to assist them or correct them in their explanations. When it comes to correcting homework and assignments I rarely ever write comments on the student’s paper when they make mistakes. Sometimes I know this is due to the time it would take to comment on each paper, other times it is due to annoyance that a skill they can do in class they cannot do an a test or quiz. For the upcoming school year it is going to be my goal to write on at least 5 papers from each class period when I correct them.

On the other hand, when I read this chapter I realized there are some things that I am doing well. I would say that I am a good promoter of transfer of knowledge and skills (Instructor #13). The reason I say this is whenever we come to a part of the curriculum that refers or builds upon a previous topic we always review that topic either in a warm up or in class. I also feel that I do a nice job on preparing for instruction and improving the organization (Instructor #6). The reason I say this is I typically have lessons prepared for at least a week at a time if not 2-3 weeks. I also feel that I am working on improving the organization through curriculum writing, working on committees and attending all required meetings (believe it or not that is not common for all teachers).

As a newer teacher there are several things that I would like to work on in my career. The first thing I want to improve is demonstrating effective facilitation skills (instructor #9). I hope to do this by learning more about Kagan Cooperative Learning and implementing that into my classroom on a more regular basis. As one might expect since I am enrolled in the Education Technology Master’s Program I would like to use media and technology to enhance learning and performance (Instructor #14). I have learned a few ideas from this class that I will include in my teaching and I hope to learn even more ideas in the following classes. The last goal that I have for my teaching is to evaluate instructional effectiveness (Instructor #16). This is a very hard area for me for many reasons; I am constantly being told that I am an excellent teacher but I feel that I have too many students failing for that to be true. I am true to my morals and values and will not lower my standards but I still feel that I have to look more toward myself to figure out what I am doing/not doing to reach the children that are not succeeding in my classes.

D/B10

I going back through the chapters I was able to find two common elements: teamwork and revision. In the business sector several people often made up the team that created the training materials. In the P-12 education chapter, several people where on the team for school reform. Lastly, in the higher education chapter, several people where involved in deciding tenure, promotions and departmental issues. This common thread of teamwork is a great thing that I feel could drastically improve the education in my building/district. It has been talked about by several colleagues and myself that we would like more time to work together to collaborate on assignments, tests and quizzes. The material we use to teach should be standard throughout the four middle schools. Not only would math team planning help the students who switch between schools, it would help the teaching. If we work together to plan we can swap ideas to learn what works and what does not work. This would help new teachers understand how the curriculum works and encourage the laid back teachers to step it up a notch. This “lesson study” idea has been successful in many other areas of the world and it could help us here too.

The second commonality I found in the three chapters was revision. In the business sector they have to revise the training each time the laws change or an error is found. Furthermore, the training to be effective they would need to update it with the changing times so people are not watching/using material from 1980 in 2010. Also, the book talked about making revisions to fit the different cultures where the training would be used. In the P-12 education system the chapter talked about revision in terms of the district wide change. It might have been the case that the administrators thought elementary school should start at 9:15 but the community might think it would be better to start at 7:45am. After this disagreement occurred, there would need to be a discussion and a change in plans to accommodate both parties. Lastly in the collegiate level, revision happens all the time. Professors (of all levels) are trying to learn new things, teach new things and get their thoughts and findings published. When their article is not accepted for publishing they may need to revise and add in new information or research; or if it is accepted they may need to do final revisions and re-submit for publishing. As you would expect revision should play a key role in education. We know very few people get things right the first time around, educational plans should be no exception. Yes, I agree with all the time, money and discussion put into them they should be pretty solid but there is always going to be something that needs tweaked.

I feel that the most important thing the educational system needs to learn from these chapters is that teamwork is crucial in all areas. The simplest justification I have for this is the famous saying “Two minds are better than one.”

Friday, July 24, 2009

ScreenCast and Website

ScreenCast

After reading about screencasting, two ideas came to mind. I could use this to help teach students how to use the online yearbook software and I could use this for online tutorials for topics students struggle with in math.

If we focus on the using a screencast for teaching students how to operate the yearbook software the screencast might go something like this, I would start by having each student create a username and password. Then the student would be introduced to the different areas of the website. I would show them where to find the uploaded pictures, how to open their assigned page and how to edit the page. The page editing would be the most complicated part and would take up quite a bit of time.

In the editing process, I would show them how to; insert photos, insert text boxes, re-size objects, rotate objects, switch between black and white and color. I could also use this opportunity to show them the different backgrounds that are available as well as the layout formats they have to choose from. At this point they would be ready to see how to find the errors on the page as well as how to fix the errors so that the pages would be ready to publish.

If you are concerned with how this would fit into the larger lesson in my yearbook class, the answer would be that students are required to create, edit and publish the pages they design. If they are not able to get the page completed in the allotted class time they would have to finish the page either at home or after school. If they are confused on how to do a certain part of the editing when at home they would be able to use the screencast to answer their question. Thus, allowing them to finish the assignment.

If I were to use screen casting in my math class, I think creating video examples would be amazing. I think that it would be best if I had one of the laptops that has a writing pad included but I think I could do the same type of thing in Microsoft word. The few topics I am thinking of doing a video example for would be: factoring, expanding, solving systems by substitution and solving systems by combination. When I do this, I could open a word document and go through several examples of each topic. To help the viewer understand the movement and placement of things, I could use colored or highlighted fonts. After each of these was created, I would be able to link it to the class blog so parents and students could use it when they are stuck on a homework activity. In, in terms of how these would fit into the larger picture of a unit, these screencasts would simply help a student be able to complete a required task if they are confused when they are away from school.


Web Page Design

I thought a website could be a cool way to have students explain their knowledge of how to solve one and two step equations. This is a topic that students struggle to understand in 8th grade yet is vital to their success in 9th grade. This activity would be great because it would force them to think of how to use mathematical vocabulary and explain their thinking. Creating a website would also encourage them to create and solve their own examples.

The reason that I would do this activity through a website as opposed to with pencil and paper is that it would appeal to students. Students are interested in the internet and technology and do not have that much exposure to it other than myspace and facebook. This would allow them to get a quick chance to create a website with group members. So to answer the question, does the technology alleviate a problem that occurs with the old fashion way, the answer is no. However, technology makes it more engaging to the students.

The link to my website example is http://sites.google.com/site/solvingequationsmadeeasy/