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EDU 453 Blog Post #10

http://www.resa.net/curriculum/curriculum/science/technology/blendedlearning/

This article is a summary of what blended learning is, several resources, and statistics.  Blended learning, or a flipped classroom, requires that students learn the material outside of class and do homework into the classroom.  Students will watch lectures at their own pace, with the ability to watch it as many times as they wish.  In one statistic, before flipping the classroom 50% of students failed English, 44% failed math, and there were 736  cases of discipline issues.  After flipping the classroom, 19% failed English, 13% failed math, and there were 249 cases of discipline issues.

I think that  this is an awesome practice for students with issues coming to school, like those with children or have to have a job.  This provides students to learn on their own pace and use valuable class time to apply the knowledge and receive help.  However, I don’t think that I would use it all the time.  It would be useful to have students learn a new or difficult concept on their own.  Coincidentally, this same concept is applied to many English classes.  We as students to read material on their own, then discuss it as a class.

 

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/blended-learning-example-classroom-lesson-bob-lenz

This article provides an example of blended learning in the English classroom.  His students have dyslexia and other learning disabilities, and he relies on technology to assist his students.  It is an excellent article that uses blended learning and he sees it as essential for his student’s learning.

EDU 453 Blog Post #9

http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/free-resources/literacy/social-studies-in-literacy-routines

This article demonstrates the multiple ways that social studies can be integrated into the English/Language Arts classroom.  Unfortunately, many schools are cutting their social studies curriculum, especially since it is not on standardized tests. However, there are many ways to supplement and relate to social studies.  For instance, using nonfiction material for reading out loud, and having discussions predicting the outcomes.  Also, writing about historical figures and events will cause students to strengthen their writing skills as well as learn more about important people in history.  Students presenting their research projects will teach the class multiple historical figures. Students could also be assigned a persuasive or opinionated essay about a historical event.

There were also several other ways to quickly integrate history into the curriculum, like “this day in history” openers, reading something for current events and responding as a bell ringer, and having timelines in the classrooms.

I believe that it is important to integrate other subjects together, because not only do students learn by repetition, students can see how what they are learning in one class can carry over and apply in other areas.  For instance, while students are learning about the Holocaust in their history class, reading The Diary of Anne Frank or The Boy Who Dared can provide an emotional connection and provide a visual representation of what life was like during that time period.

EDU 453 Blog Post #8

Best Practices

 

This article is from an independent school district in Texas, and I agree with their best practices for their English/Language Arts department.  They have best practices for reading as well as writing.  A few of the practices they mention increasing are:

  • teacher reading aloud
  • students selecting their own reading materials
  • silent reading followed by discussion instead of “round robin” reading
  • social, collaborative activities with much discussion and interaction instead of solitary seat work

There has been several articles written on the benefits of students being read to, despite their age.  By allowing students to pick their own material to read, there is a higher chance of students becoming engaged and interested in the material instead of being “forced” to read something.  “Round robin” reading or calling on students to read aloud may cause anxiety in some students because of embarrassment or it would call attention to a lower reading level, and providing a safe and comfortable environment is essential for learning.

A few of the writing strategies they have selected are

  • helping students choose their own topics and goals for improvement instead of only teacher assigned topics
  • using brief teacher-student conferences
  • teaching students to review their own progress

I love the idea of having conferences to explain corrections and assist with revisions.  Not only does it allow the student to clearly understand their errors, it builds a relationship with verbal assistance instead of ominous red corrections on their paper. These best practices are only a few of the list that this school has provided, but so many of them are useful and should be implemented in more classrooms.

EDU 453 Blog Post #6

http://ocfbi.msstate.edu/ceu/pdf/BestPracticeContentRecommendations.pdf

This article contains multiple ideas on best practices in English, as well as other content areas.  It also has things to decrease in the classroom, and it is incredibly useful and easy to navigate, I am definitely glad I found it!

Some of the ideas for best practices in English that I have not discovered yet are:

  • Grouping by interests or book choices
  • Silent reading followed by discussion
  • Encouraging invented spelling in student’s early writings
  • Student ownership and responsibility by: ƒ Helping students choose their own topics and goals for improvement ƒ Using brief teacher-student conferences ƒ Teaching students to review their own progress
  • Writing for real audiences, publishing for the class and for wider communities

I especially love the idea of actually publishing student’s writing.  Many times, students ask “what’s the point of this?”, and by making their  work meaningful, students can ensure that their writing is going to be read, and what they are writing about is is for more than just a grade.

The article also suggests decreasing:

  • Teacher talks about writing but never writes or shares own work
  • Teacher control of decision-making by: ƒ Teacher deciding on all writing topics ƒ Suggestions for improvement dictated by teacher ƒ Learning objectives determined by teacher alone ƒ Instruction given as whole-class activity
  • Devaluation of students’ ideas through: ƒ Students viewed as lacking knowledge and language abilities ƒ Sense of class as competing individuals ƒ Work with fellow students viewed as cheating, disruptive
  • Round-robin oral reading

In all of my education classes, the importance of building a positive relationship with students and developing a sense of trust is always emphasized.  By allowing students to read your own work and giving feedback not only establishes trust and openness, but it demonstrates the principle that we shouldn’t expect our students to do anything that we ourselves wouldn’t do.

 

 

EDU 453 Blog Post #5

http://www.eduplace.com/rdg/res/literacy/lit_ins4.html

A good portion of the English classroom is teaching literature.  We teach how to read a book, why read it, and how to analyze what we read.

There are many different strategies in this article that relate to learning literature, including scaffolding, providing choices, and different modes of reading (reading aloud, books on tape, independent, or cooperative).  While there are a lot of good ideas in this article that can spark ideas, there aren’t very many suggestions on how to get students excited about reading.  I love reading, but others do not.  Did you like to read? Did any teachers get you excited about reading? What suggestions do you have?

EDU 255 Blog Post #3

http://www.edutopia.org/discussion/17-ways-help-students-adhd-fidget

17 Ways to Help Students with ADHD Focus

The CDC suggests that 11% of students aged 7-11 have ADHD.  These students are not solely in special education classrooms, but in the general education classes as well.  This article has 17 ways any teacher can help students with ADHD.  These include squish toys or filled balloons that students can squeeze under their desks (to keep distraction to a minimum) and keep their hands busy, attaching velcro under desks for students to touch, or allowing gum chewing/chewable necklaces.  The article also suggests a variety of different chairs that allow movement, a standing desk, leg bands, and even adding a stationary back to the back of the classroom for students who have to move.

I think these tips are great, and they can apply to many students, not only those with ADHD, and they could really help students with ADHD succeed in school.  While these tricks may not help with all students, teachers should remain flexible and come up their own unique ways to help their students succeed.

EDU 453 Blog Post #3

http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol4/425-newvoices.aspx

This article explains exactly what differentiated instruction is, and what it is not, using an 8th grade English class as an example.  The author uses letting her class choose what novel for a book project as an example of student choice instead of differentiated instruction, which was informative for me, since I would see letting students choose a novel based on their interests and reading level as a good idea.

The author gives her definition of differentiated instruction as, “differentiated instruction is not, though, about simply designing curriculum that is “different.” The differences must target and accommodate students’ diverse needs and deficiencies in the learning process through careful changes in content, process, and product”.

She again uses the book project example again, stating that she should have given all students in depth questions to answer as they read their books, so everyone was working toward the same goal, like plot development.  The questions would range based on reading level and readiness.  Then, students would create different projects, using different processes.

She also suggests that using differentiated instruction shouldn’t be a nightmare to grade and keep track of all different projects.  She suggests,”Differentiated instruction is not, though, about simply designing curriculum that is “different.” The differences must target and accommodate students’ diverse needs and deficiencies in the learning process through careful changes in content, process, and product.”

 

 

 

 

 

EDU255 Blog Post #1

http://www.edutopia.org/autism-handheld-technology

The article explains how technology can enhance the learning environment for those students with autism and other needs.  The teacher used palm pilots for her students.  First, the article mentions that her students were supposed to take pictures of their pets and share them with another classmate, teaching social skills.  It was also mentioned that students could program appropriate responses to various social settings, which is especially useful to students with social communication disorder or those with social anxiety.  Students are also able to put in their classes, homework, and due dates to keep them organized, which I think all students could benefit from, not merely those with special needs.  The PalmPilot also assists students write down question prompts and take notes, which helps in organization and better understand the material.  There is also a story in which a student with autism found switching classes as a freshmen and encountering various teachers overwhelming, so his brother, who had an affinity for vlogging, recorded his bother’s routine and provided a commentary for him.  By watching the recording over and over again, he felt more comfortable with his new routine.

 

I think the integrating of technology into classrooms is a fantastic idea.  Not only do students with special needs benefit from assistive technology, but it can help other students in innumerable ways as well.  However, after today’s class discussion on funding, I can’t help but feel students in low-income schools suffer from the lack of funding for technology.  Its so unfair that not every student is able to benefit from the technology that could help them achieve so much more academically as well as socially.

Blog post #4

I have been following merit pay throughout the semester, so when I saw an article about merit pay in Indiana, I was immediately interested. This article states that governer Mike Pence does not believe that ISTEP scores should not impact teachers’ pay.

Superintendent Glenda Ritz has warned about falling ISTEP scores because of increasingly higher state standards.

i agree with this article, because there are too many factors that can effect ISTEP scores.  Also, basing a teacher’s competency solely on a test score seems unfair and does not accuratly reflect a teacher’s effectiveness.

http://www.wthr.com/story/30366345/pence-says-lower-istep-scores-should-not-affect-teacher-pay


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