Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Connected Educator: Quote # 4

In this quotation Linda Darling-Hammond and her colleagues describe how teachers need to learn how to collaborate. While studies show that collaboration between colleagues leads to “growth of personal teaching practices and student achievement,” many teachers still choose to keep to themselves instead of collaborating with their colleagues. I find this to be a sad fact. Like Rob said in class, there are many teachers who simply do not want people to “steal” their lesson plans and choose to isolate themselves from learning and growing along with other teachers. As teachers, I feel that we have the responsibility to helping our students learn and grow to the best of our abilities. In order to help all students, collaboration is a must! If we have great material that we know works, why not share it! It will help other students! I bet that the teachers you collaborate with will have awesome stuff to share with you as well!

I have always stuck to that famous saying: “two heads are better than one” when it comes to teaching! My hope is that more teachers will be open to this philosophy in order to help their students. My question is: How can we persuade teachers who refuse to collaborate?

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The Connected Educator: Quote # 3

We have talked about the “reculturing” of our beliefs about the purposes and appearances of the ideal classroom many times throughout this program, and this is something that I continue to think about and incorporate into my own thinking. I do not remember which class at the moment, probably many of them, where we had a conversation about our views of what a classroom looks like. Unfortunately, many of us stated the “obvious”: Some type of writing board in the front of the classroom, small desks aligned in rows that all face the board, and a computer on the teacher’s private (much larger) desk. This image alone illustrates how the “traditional classroom” has not changed along with the new technologies that are now open to us.

While teaching upstate, I did not have the luxury of having a smartboard, let alone enough copies of A House on Mango Street, but I did attempt to make my classroom unique. Every couple weeks, I would move the desks into a different formation: facing front, large circle, grouped, etc. I also asked for an ELMO to use in my classroom. At Cortland, I was taught to step outside the traditional classroom ways, but I know that it is difficult with the lack of resources available to some as well as the comfort that we all have with the traditional classroom approach. This is something that widely concerns me and that I will continue to work on.

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The Flipped Classroom Model: A Full Picture

In this second article that I found that discusses the “flipped method,” the author, Dr. Jackie Gerstein, describes the problem that many teachers have with this model: “The problem is that educators, as a group, know how to do and use the lecture.  When educators are asked to replace their in-class lectures with videotaped ones (either their own or others) that learners watch at home, educators may not know what to do with this now void in-class time.” I can see how this could be a potential problem of the reversed learning method. Many teachers, including myself, were students of the traditional methods and continue to teach using these old, rigid methods out of comfort and knowledge. When they decide to switch over to a student-based, project learning style during class time, they can become confused. This style pushes teachers to incorporate creative projects into their material. I could see some teachers that are so used to providing information to their students for the entire class, stumble during class time. They can no longer fill up this time talking and providing notes and need a framework in order to make this transition.

This author provides a diagram that shows how a flipped classroom works. She calls it a cycle that “provides a sequence of learning activities based on the learning theories.”

Here is the model she provides in her article:

“Activity”: The cycle begins with experimental exercise in which the students become interested in the topic and learn from experience rather than provided facts and information. I would love to be a student working in this type of environment. I love to use my creativity and discover things, although I do get nervous and like to have information to back up my findings.

“What”: After class, students are then asked to watch lecture at home. They are provided with the background knowledge that they played with during class. This model would be perfect for a student like me. I would be able to be creative and productive during class, and then I would also be able to write down my notes and make sense of my exploration at night.

“So What”: Then comes reflection! Students can reflect what they learn by blogging, reflective podcasts, and even tests in class. This stage allows students the chance to engage in technology while teachers can assess what they have taken from the lesson.

“Now What”: Lastly, students can demonstrate their application of what they have learned through creative projects and presentations. The final step to any lesson or unit!

I believe that this breakdown could really assist teachers during their transition to the flipped model. This model, although it flips when the students practice and receive the material, it follows a very similar pattern of reflective and applying what they have learned. I really enjoyed the breakdown that this article provides as well as the visuals.  Feel free to check this site out! There are videos and pictures of “The Flipped Classroom” in action!

Article Link: http://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/the-flipped-classroom-model-a-full-picture/

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How the Flipped Classroom Is Radically Transforming Learning

This article begins with a description about how “The Flipped Classroom” concept was started. Two teachers, Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams both began working on this concept while teaching at Woodland Park High School and noticing that students in rural school districts miss a lot of school. In a response to this dilemma, these two teachers began videotaping their lessons and using valuable class time for student-centered activities.

According to this article, “one of the greatest benefits of flipping is that overall interaction increases: Teacher to student and student to student.” Instead of standing in front of the class the whole day consumed in lecture, teachers are able to work with students one-on-one and in groups during activities, help students who have more trouble with the lessons, and allow students the chance to discover and learn on their own at their own pace. Teachers are able to witness more collaboration between students as well as give parents more feedback on their students’ work and abilities. Teachers can share what they have witnessed during class activities and let parents know if their children are on the right track.

Overall, I believe that this idea could be a great teaching strategy in school districts where students have the proper technologies at home. In a flipped classroom style, teachers tape their lesson lectures and ask students to view these lessons at home while taking notes. During the school day, they then practice these new concepts through a series of student-based activities and discussions. I believe that students would enjoy this method more because they are more active during the school day. They are able to take control of their own learning and collaborate with others instead of sitting quietly all day listening to teachers and taking notes. The only problem I see with this concept is the lack of resources in many school districts. While teaching upstate, I noticed that many of my middle school students did not have any technologies at home: computers, data phones, etc. So I do not know how students like these would be able to watch lectures for homework and may need to find a way to accommodate these students’ needs.

At the end of this article, the authors share that they are releasing a book dedicated to flipping the classroom. On Amazon, I was able to find Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams’ book: Flip Your Classroom: Talk to Every Student in Every Class Every Day. This book will be released July 15, 2012. From what I have read based on this article, I would be interested to read the new book.

Link to the Article: http://www.thedailyriff.com/articles/how-the-flipped-classroom-is-radically-transforming-learning-536.php

Pre-order the Book: http://www.amazon.com/Flip-Your-Classroom-Every-Student/dp/1564843157/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330184552&sr=8-1

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The Connected Educator: Quote # 2

In my opinion, this do-it-yourself attitude is a blessing and a curse! I am a very cautious person. I want to do everything right, and that means I want a clear set of tasks to complete. Self-discovery is very scary for me. I am extremely nervous to try new things; that is why I had to push myself to pursue this degree. Our students today want to look up things on their own phones. They grew up in a time where everything is at their fingertips. I believe that we have to remember this as teachers. We must learn to encourage self-discovery without emphasis on always getting the “right” answer. We all must learn from our own mistakes.

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The Connected Educator: Quote # 1

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I am having a lot of trouble trying to link or even see the Kindle sharing page, so I am sorry for this small screen shot instead. I have been trying to figure it out for the past hour and a half.

I chose this quotation because it scarily depicts the truth that is occurring in many school districts today. Adolescents in this age are growing up with technology. They are becoming the experts! They are thriving in this environment, while we are all still trying to catch up. Current teachers, many of them are older with this crazy job market we are living in,  often fear technology. They simply do not have the skills and are not comfortable learning them. This is very scary for me. I hope that we can somehow combat this issue head on. I don’t know if the professional developments that teachers are receiving now are ever going to cut it.

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New to WordPress!

Hello all,

This is my first time using WordPress, and I am truly excited! This blog will serve as an online portfolio for my thoughts on educational topics and readings, developed lesson plans, and school projects. Please feel free to explore my posts and pages!

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