My Family

My Family
What if you woke up tomorrow with only those you thankded God for tonight. Thank you God form my amazing family.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blog 4: Reflect on the idea that tests are the only objective assesments of students learning.

I don't know how many of you are like me, but yo mention tests and I either get so much test anxiety that I can't stand it or I just shut down completely. I don't know who coined the idea that everyone can take a standardized test and perform to the best of their ability, but they were WRONG!. I know a little boy whose anxiety is so bad before our Georgia CRCT that he has to go to the doctor because he becomes ill. Even when I did teach I hated that time of year when we had to administer the CRCT. Any kind of test that has to be under lock and key to prove our students are learning is just not right.
I would much rather walk into a classroom where students are actively involved in their learning and not sitting there biting the end of their pencil because they are waiting on the time to stop taking the test to be called. I understand that some subjects such as math are more difficult to have creative assessments but there has to be alternative methods to assessing ones math abilities. Yes, I agree that ttest are easier on a teacher to develop and grade but once a system has been developed the process can go rather smoothly. Allowing students to show their creative sides when creating posters or 3 dimensional objects to explain what they have learned is a much better way to assess them.
I am a fan of ditching test anxiety and learning new ways to assess what we as teachers are teaching our students. :-))

Ft. Walton Beach 2010

Ft. Walton Beach 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

When researching a technology infused classroom I viewed several you tube videos criiticising the way we teach. Most were comparing our classrooms to those of several decades ago and showing that not much has changed. I find this amazing considering the advances in technology and the advances in just he capabilities of the human brain. Our students are not the same as the students that were sitting in the classroom depicted in television series like "Little House on the Prairie". Our students are not going home afterschool and working on farms, they are going home watching television, playing realistic video games and communicating with others across the world.
We need to take this all into consideration when deciding on what we as teachers have to offer our students in the classroom. I would love to have a classroom where I am just the facilitator and the students are not only teaching their peers but are teaching me all of the "cool" tech stuff they know. I see the future classroom with less desk, less cluttered with teacher decorations, and more open spaces with cool new technology. Students are up moving around using cellphones, laptops, smartboards, virtual reality and 3D televisions. I love the idea of groups of students listening to different podcasts and coming together and teaching the class about what they have learned. Time restraints would be lifted on classes. The typical 55 minute classroom would be replaced with students being engaged in what they are doing and not changing classes until they have exasperated the excitement of the current lesson.
I want my classroom to be an exciting place, a place where students come to learn, and want to come and learn. I want to know my students, know what they like and not just be another warm body that passes through. Todays classroom needs to be as exciting as the video games kids play or else they have to "shut down" in order to participate in class.

A Vision of Students Today

Education Today and Tomorrow

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Importance of Visual Literacy

I really liked the introduction my group used in our Visual Literacy brochure and wanted to post it here on my blog as part of my reflections this week, so thank you Team Green.
            "When a child is born, one of the first things that they do is look around and see what is happening. Why should the students of today be any different? Students seem to be on a visual overload. They seem to be like flies to a light source. Wherever there is a video game, an X-box, a blue-tooth television, a laptop or graffiti, these students flock to the source as in a trance. To stay competitive with a student’s imagination; teachers need to step-up their lessons with visual enhancements. Student’s will subconsciously see these visual cues and follow the lessons that are being taught; enjoying, questioning and learning. These visual cues reach across all learning levels without the need to be differentiated. (Team Green Brochure)
I am a very vivid visual learner myself so the need to see and feel information when learning is very important in my learning process so I feel the need to always incorporate these activities in my classroom. Of course teaching science I have always had an easier time finding visuals to help teach the various lessons we covered. I have always been a firm believer that children retain more of what they see than what they hear. From infancy we as parents set them in front of the television and use flash cards with images to teach their young brains. When my own children were little the video series with all of hte images was very popular and a huge hit with my children. So much of a persons brains are connected by neurons which respond to images recieved through nerves in the eyes.
I hope that with the use of new technology and the internet I will be able to incorporate more and more visual images in my classroom. I know that in science with so many of the topics covered being "far out there", images often help children make connections.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My jukebox !


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Next to his baptism one of my most proudest moments as a mom has been when my then 10 year old son earning his black belt in TaeKwondo from one of the best Karate schools in the United States.  He began when he was five.   Training began 8 weeks prior to the 8 hour test.  He trained for 4-5 hours a day 6 days a week to prepare himself physically and mentaly.  This is a video of his black belt form at a recent tournament.  GO UNITED!! video

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blog Prompt 1

Blog 1 prompt:

(1) Describe the importance of the using a variety of instructional strategies and the value they add to education of students in the 21st Century. Evaluate the role technology plays in the implementation of various instructional strategies. How will this impact your teaching of students?
 
After reading this weeks materials I have come to the understanding that I have a lot to learn.  Education has drastically changed in the eleven years that I have been a stay at home mom.  I may find that I will have to start from the beginning just to catch up.  I do find it kind of frustrating to think that what I am learning right now will probably be out dated by the time I step back into the classroom.  I find it ironic that at the same time that I am taking this class and reading about the future in technology that I am reading the book "One Second After".  I am not normally an "end of the world is coming as we know it person" but realizing the very real possibility of what this book discusses, it scares the beegeezes out of me to think that what I am learning and what my children are being introduced to will be of no good to them and survival means knowing how to do the basics. 
This weeks discussion on instructional strategies took me back to my 8th grade science classroom.  I remember with struggling with the basic lecture and demonstration then without all of the wonderful technology.  How wonderful would it be now to incorportate my PRESENTATIONs with clips from you tube.  I can see it now>>> When introducing the lesson states of matter, I always used the demostration with cornsttarch and water.  Now before breaking out the demo I could show the very brief video of the Ellen DeGeneres show where she has a tub full of the goo and has sommeone in the audience walk across it.  Then we would play with the goo ourselves. 
Drill and Practice strategies have also evolved drastically with the use of technology.  No more boring flash cards all of the time but acutal computer games that can incorporate the fun of online games and the ability to learn.  I wish that I could remember the math game the class I subbed in was playing oneday  It was really cool and very hard.  Students were given equations with missing factors and required to come up with the final answer by plugging in different numbers.  They worked in coopertive learning groups and used all kinds of problem solving methods to try to come up with the final answer.  Each gropu would race against their neighbor. 
I can't wait to be able to use todays technology in the classroom.  With all of the handheld learning gadgets and students being such digital learners , I can see the future classroom teacher being more of a facilitator and anaccountability person that the sole provider of ones information. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Blogger

Okay, this is my very first blog. I am not familiar with the blogging concept at all. I have never even followed a blog, so I have lots to learn and can't wait to be an expert blogger. Not only do I have a lot to learn about blogging but I have been out of the classroom for quite some time and have a lot to learn about today's education. I can not wait to not feel lost in all of this.
I am hoping that working on my Masters degree will help me become more knowledgeable about technology in the 21st century. I would love to work at a technical school or teach online classes when my degree is complete. I love the quote by John Dewey "If we teach today as we taught yesterday, then we rob our children of tomorrow." I believe that not only applies in the education world but in life in general. I have even noticed the difference in raising my two children who are only 2 years apart. Life changes daily and we must be on our toes in order to change the way we approach life daily. I love the fact that my children think so much more critically than I do due to the amount of technology they have already been exposed to. I can't wait to see how this progresses in the years to come.
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