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Kristi F Blog

March: reflect on one, some, or all of the elements of digital citizenship and how I teach or model this in my classroom

posted Mar 7, 2012, 1:55 PM by Kristi Follett

 

 

In my classroom, we use digital communication regularly. Students have access to my lectures electronically 24 hours a day. If students miss something or have questions, they are expected to email or come in to discuss it in person. I find that students take advantage of being able to email me at any time on a regular basis. It seems easier for them to get their thoughts out and is a quick way to touch base. I also send home email reminders for class and post assignments online for 24/7 student access. I find this has put the responsibility back onto the student as they don’t have as good of an excuse for missing assignments. We have a large library in the school so students without internet access at home can have the same access at school. Students are expected to attempt to find the answer (whether it be another copy of an assignment, review of lecture, or a list of missing assignments) online before they come to me in person. This also teaches them self-reliance and independence in their learning.

 

I would like to eventually model digital etiquette by opening a facebook page for my classes that continues class discussions and is a tool for communicating last minute changes to class schedules or due dates. As I stated previously, our school policy does not allow for the use of social media in any fashion, but hopefully some day we will be able to use this as an educational tool.

January: write about what you think about game based learning. Share some ideas you plan to implement.

posted Mar 6, 2012, 1:57 PM by Kristi Follett

 

I plan to implement one scenario-based learning strategy in each class this semester. My plan is as follows:

Earth Science: Natural Disaster Plan. Each student is assigned a role and must research their response in a given location for a particular natural disaster. They will be given freedom to design the plan however they see fit while keeping the three main steps of a disaster plan in mind: response, short-term recovery, and long-term recovery. I am nervous as this is my first try at developing this activity from scratch and many modifications will probably have to happen before it runs smoothly.

Biology: Students use simulations on the computer to look at natural selection. I used this activity as an inquiry-introductory game before discussing evolution. Students could manipulate variables and see what traits were selected for in different environments. I loved how I could reference this game through-out the semester to make points in different units where natural selection was discussed again. Students remembered the activity and got a good visual about how changes in population occur.

 

I also appreciated the reminder that simulations can be free of technology! This reminds me that technology is not the be-all-end-all in teaching students important concepts. I have used manipulatives such as beans and class supplies like scissors to show the same changes to population that the computer simulation discussed above. Some students preferred the computer simulation, and some students preferred the hands on game. I feel like doing both, I could reach more students as they were having fun. Interactive learning that puts me on the sidelines running the game give students the space to explore a topic on their own. They are more motivated when they are engaged and playing than when I am lecturing and giving them the same information.

February: Reflecting on creativity in my classroom:

posted Mar 1, 2012, 2:28 PM by Kristi Follett

Thanks to my 21st century learning cadre, I have been introduced to the idea of developing real-world problems for students to solve using higher level thinking (analysis and evaluation); Quadrant D skills. I feel like, while I have a ways to go, I am offering a more enriching approach to how students learn, process, and demonstrate knowledge. I think one reason more people do not practice these ideas is sheer time commitment. It takes so long to develop new projects and rubrics to assess them and everything that goes along with creating new curriculum, but a little investment on the front end allows for more meaningful learning during the unit.

I still need to move away from using a paper and pencil test on all units. I admit it is easier to grade and more immediate to see all standards assessed, but it doesn’t stay with the student as long. I would like to move toward a classroom that allows the learner to demonstrate their knowledge of standards using whatever medium they choose. Again, it is difficult to make the transition and good assessment measurements like rubrics need to be in place to guide the student through the learning and demonstration of knowledge process.

Guiding Questions

posted Feb 27, 2012, 1:47 PM by Nancy White

How can I incorporate students' personal devices into the classroom to compliment instruction and learning rather than be a distraction? 
How can I incorporate Quadrant D "adaptation" into a packed curriculum that barely allows me to cover content?

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