Sunday, February 23, 2014

ED 722 Unit Plan - Performance Tasks

Joni Robinson and I chose to plan a unit meant to support coaches and teachers in the area of math, more specifically the Mathematical Performance Tasks aligned to the CCSS. We are in the initial stages of developing this unit and today we are presenting what we have planned so far. Please visit the beginning stages of our unit at NHPS Math Media Hub. Our unit design template can be found HERE. And our "to do list" and completion guidelines can be found HERE.

We look forward to learning through our planning and design of this unit.

ED722 Week 8 Response

The theme for this week's ED 722 and our #DLMOOC focused on providing Deeper Learning for a wide range of students. We viewed a panelists of educators, including Ron Berger, as they discussed issues surrounding Deeper Learning. Additional resources led me to an interview with Lisa Delpit and her book entitled "Multiplication is for White People". The title definitly intrigued me as it contained the word "multiplication" and math is what I teach. But after reading the interview it became apparent that the book was more about how our schools are built around teaching the typical white middle class student in the United States. She believes that this approach is not working for other groups of student mainly those of African American descent and of lower socio-economic status. What I took away from this week's learning can be found in this link to My Storify.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

ED722 Week 7 Response

This week's reading and videos from ED 722 and our DLMOOC focused on student choice and student voice. We were also enlightened and entertained by Dave Burgess's idea of "Teaching Like a Pirate". In addition I had the opportunity this week to video tape one of the 4th grade classrooms at my school as they voiced what they wrote about the habitat of an animal they chose. I included this video in my Storify but please excuse the limited editing as I spent hours trying to trim the video via many on-line tools as well as through my computer but was unsuccessful. I think the problem was incompatibility with the Flipvideo. (If anyone has suggestions for me I will gladly take them.) But for now, please view My Storify on this weeks topics

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Problem Solving with Grade 4 Math Weeks 2 and 3

For this weeks update on my unit in teaching and learning how to solve word problems, persevere in solving, and make sense of them I combined weeks 2 and 3. Reason being, we had a Monday holiday as well as 3 snow days leaving few days for me to meet with my 4th grade group. Having said that we did accomplish a few tasks.

Week 1 ended with the students completion of 4 word problems created in Shooloo and then the start of commenting, critiqng, and giving feedback to 3 other student's word problems.

I started by creating a rubric of those aspects of word problems that I felt the student should be cognizant of when solving and creating word problems. I felt the rubric would serve as a guide for the students to reference and maturely and appropriately comment. The categories in the rubric had students focus on the content, organization, illustration, solution, and mechanics. I often see my students commenting on word problems with phrases such as: "great word problem" or "Oh I like cupcakes too" and "I play "Minecraft".  So initially, I modeled how to use the rubric with samples of 2 word problems on Shooloo. One word problem required few if any changes that needed to be made, therefore the feedback was to be complimentaryon any of the areas on the rubric.  The second problem modeled was one that did require constructive feedback in a few areas. Students then set off to comment, critique and give feedback independently.

In addition to commenting on word problems. I also conducted a lesson on solving two-step word problems. Students, in pairs, were to use a "Solving Two-Step Word Problems" template to map out the "who?", the "what?",  "key words and operations", and the "strategy" used in preparation for making sense of word problems and solving them.

Our next steps are to take the one step word problems already created and make them into two-step problems uisng the tree method.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

ED 722 Week 6 Response - Internships DLMOOC Topic

This weeks reading for ED722 focused on cloud based learning while our DLMOOC's focus was Internships. I decided to focus my response and Storify on what I learned about internships. While viewing the videos from the DLMOOC and the archived hangouts I was even more impressed with High Tech High. Last week I looked at the Project Based Learning going on in that particular school and how it exemplified deeper learning. And this week the highlight of the discussion group was on a young high school student from High Tech High and her experience in organizing and presenting to adult educators the benefits of internships in high school.  I felt that this student's confidence, maturity, knowledge and experiences were only going to lead her to be very successful.

It also made me reflect upon two things in my high schools years. One was that this new and exciting program called ECA or Educational Center for the Arts was offered to students in my school who were talented in the areas of art, dance, music, and theatre. Once accepted students spent half the day at high school and half the day at ECA.  It was a great way to keep students interested in going to high school because they knew by mid-day they would be engaged in something that was interesting and meaningful to why wasn't there more of that offered ?

The other reflection was that if internships were offered then it might have helped me to be better prepared in choosing a major in college.  I remember thinking that going to college and getting a degree was going to get me a really good job. Well, back when I graduated there were very few jobs available for students with a liberal arts degree. Employers wanted you to have a more specific type of degree or experience.  While working in retail and waitressing, I spend much of my time, applying to career oriented jobs as well. Until finally and happily I ended up being a teacher.

I think many students especially in the urban setting would benefit from internships. When students actually see that what they are learning in school applies to the real-world it can be a very powerful and motivating factor in keeping our students in school until graduation and even further.

Please visit my Storify on Internships.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

ED 722 Week 5 Response

This week in ED722  more of an emphasis was placed on the learning rather than the teaching. Readings for the week included discussions and information on project based learning, participatory learning, and new learning management systems. Many of these new learning styles or approaches are project based, collaborative and include technology. Ron Berger promotes Exploratory Learning which is also project based and it allows for students, even those in urban settings, to create authentic tasks.  He believes students should be taught to have a growth mindset much like Carol Dweck. I found Berger’s EL approach interesting so I googled “EL schools in CT” and found one in Hartford. Unfortunately I was not able to get a real sense of what was happening in the school through their web-site. However, I did really enjoyed perusing through the student work archives of Berger’s but found that their meaning would have been more relevant had the objective or purpose of the project been included.

In reference to participatory learning I read an article titled, “A New Approach to Teaching and Learning”. In the article it describe participatory learning as a process by which a student goes through an experience and learns from it. This type of learning encourages students or participants to engage or communicate through computer mediated communication. It continues by saying that mobile devices and social media are critical for participatory learning.

Lastly, I read  about new pedagogy that is emerging and how  learning management  systems such as OER’s and MOOC’s are both beneficial and challenging yet what’s important is how the technology is changing the way we teach.  And that this new pedagogy is driven by changes in society, students expectations, and technology which in turn is motivating universities and colleges professors to re-think their methods of teaching. Along with this new pedagogy comes new demands, new students expectations, and new technologies. Although these “new” factors have lots of benefits its getting teachers on board and training them with technology and software that can prove to be a challenge.

For more on new pedagogy, technology and participatory learning please view my storify for this week.