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Module 5 Reflection- The Flipped Classroom

 

flip

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As I mentioned in my challenge activity post on the flipped classroom model, I am not a fan of the flipped classroom for kindergartners. However, I believe that flipping the classroom with high school students can be a very effective approach. Because this generation is so technologically focused, they will appreciate a classroom in which they are not only learning the subject you are teaching, but that “they are also developing digital literacy, communication skills, and the ability to use a variety of computer tools” (Coffman, 2013). The social lives of teenagers today are almost inseparable from technology, and by using technology to deliver information to them, the teacher is, in a way, speaking their language.

Furthermore, using the flipped classroom method gives students a higher level of responsibility, which teenagers need and will appreciate. Making the classroom activity an exciting and engaging one which the students will anticipate doing the next day they come into class will help motivate them to complete their assignment at home. In my own experience, high school students enjoy competition, games, and activities requiring creativity, but in an area the students have personal choice in. These activities require preparation on the students’ part, so giving them an activity to complete beforehand which prepares them for it will get them engaged, excited, and interested.

Flipping the classroom also makes sure the focus of the classroom is the student. They are taking ownership of their education and the teacher serves as the guide from the side, which in my personal teaching philosophy, the teacher should be.

Now, I’m not saying flipping the classroom should only be done with high school students. I do believe middle school, and older elementary, students can handle it. One question I do have is: To those who believe flipping the classroom with all ages is feasible, how do you manage it without adding too much time to the homework time limit enforced by the school you work for?

References

Coffman, T. (2013). Using Inquiry in the Classroom: Developing creative thinkers and information literate students (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education.

Module 4 Reflection- Problem-based Activities and Assessment

The two main ideas I reflected on and learned about in this module’s readings are problem-based activities and on-going assessments. Problem-based activities serve as an alternative to PowerPoint lectures, workbook activities, and other strategies that make the teacher the focus of the learning experience. One of the benefits of this is that “From a teaching perspective, the problem- based activity provides you with the potential to transcend from a textbook- centered learning approach to a more student- centered approach” (Coffman, 2013). Problem-based activities engage students on a higher level than tasks such as workbook pages, because your students are given a task that poses a question that is interesting and relevant. Giving students a choice about the “topic and content of the finished product” also adds to their motivation and interest (Coffman, 2013). When students are invested in the task, they will learn more from it and remember it long after the assessments are completed.image

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Coffman also encourages teachers to include assessments throughout units, rather than saving assessment for the end (2013). I feel that this strategy is more forgiving, as the learning process should be. It gives students a chance to reflect on what they are learning and the teacher to reflect on what needs to be reviewed, reinforced, or explained further. Too many students have had the experience of “trick questions” and tests that they dread and fear. Assessments aren’t torture devices but tools to help students and teachers in the learning process. This is why I think giving students the rubric at the beginning of the assignment and telling them this is exactly what you are going to grade them on helps clear up some of that anxiety and confusion.

References

Coffman, T. (2013). Using Inquiry in the Classroom: Developing creative thinkers and information literate students (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education.

 

Module 3 Reflection- Web Quests

What I love about Web Quests is that they are so adaptable. In my opinion they are more easily adaptable for the elementary grades than Telecollaborations or Web Inquiries, but that’s just coming from someone with my particular teaching style. Because I am in transition from teaching high school to teaching elementary, I found that as I read about Web Quests, I was not only thinking about how they would work in my kindergarten classroom, but also how they would work in my old 9th grade classroom.

Because kindergartners are learning to follow directions and should only be given directions in one or two steps at a time, I believe organizing the task and process portions of the Web Quest should be done differently than they would be done for higher elementary levels, middle school, or high school. Students should only be able to see one to two steps at a time so they do not jump ahead or get confused or overwhelmed. Just as Coffman (2013) says, “Your goal as a teacher is to ensure that these expeimageriences [investigating, questioning, collaboration, etc] are taking place and are appropriate.” We want the students to feel confident as they take on the role of investigator, however that may manifest itself depending on the subject being taught, and if they are not given directions and scaffolding in a way that supports that, the Web Quest was not designed successfully.

Thinking about ways Web Quests might be used in the 9th grade English classroom, the big research paper that they assign every year came to mind. The process includes teaching students how to evaluate sources, compile information, and present it in a research paper so that it proves their thesis. A Web Quest would be a beneficial introductory activity for the research paper because 9th graders are still learning about the research process and how to evaluate sources, so they would greatly benefit from the fact that the teacher chooses the sources that they use. The teacher could compare the strong, reliable sources she chose to specific examples of bad sources.

 

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References

Coffman, T. (2013). Using Inquiry in the Classroom: Developing creative thinkers and information literate students (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education.

Module 2 Reflection

inquiryIn beginning the web-based inquiry lesson, I have come to realize how much opportunity there is in inquiry-based activities in the classroom. It is such a great way to get the students engaged, appeal to their interests, and help them to see how what they are learning is relevant to life outside the classroom. Inquiry-based methods are great for making the classroom/learning experience student-centered. For example, instead of presenting the various types of clouds and information about them on a Powerpoint, the teacher could first ask the students to describe the various types of clouds they have seen in the sky. She could then take them outside and have them describe the clouds they see. Next, the students could use an online database to find and identify the types of clouds they observed. As Coffman (2013) puts it, “the curriculum for your students begins to come to life” (787). The students investigate and answer questions, under the direction of the teacher, so that they can take ownership of their own learning. Some great ideas for inquiry-based lessons can be found here.

Another great aspect of inquiry-based learning is that it can be designed to accommodate any grade level and any special need. The goal is for the “students to discover and pursue information with active and engaged involvement in the material” (Coffman, 2013). This is possible, indeed necessary, with all students. It all begins with a big question that directs the students in their discussion, research, experiments, or whatever else the teacher decides they should do to discover the answers. This big question will prompt sub questions and encourage the students to probe farther and think deeper, which is what we want! Inquiry-based methods are also a great way to integrate technology and meet the ISTE standards. Because so much information is available to our students online, it is important to teach them how to differentiate between solid, credible sources and unreliable sources. With all of the research involved in inquiry-based activities, teachers are given the perfect opportunity to teach this to their students and for the students to put it into practice.

 

References

Coffman, T. (2013). Using Inquiry in the Classroom: Developing creative thinkers and information literate students (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education.

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Module 1 Reflection- My Digital Footprint

 

To have my own domain means I have an official platform on which to present and store my own ideas and opinions, as well as compile information belonging to others as long as I give them credit. Having my own domain gives me the opportunity to share with my students and their parents information about my class, such as the syllabus, assignments, field trips, upcoming tests, etc. Though the school I am currently employed at provides its teachers with a program on which to store grades and post announcements, handouts, and assignments available to the students and parents, it must follow a very set format and presentation. Having my own domain gives me the freedom to personalize and present the information in my own way.

Twitter is a great tool to use in the classroom with secondary students because most of them are so adept at it and use it often. As an English teacher, I could use it to encourage class discussions on particular novels that we read or to teach the students about characterization. They could take on the persona of a particular character and post on Twitter as that character. Their posts would have to demonstrate their knowledge of the character based off of direct and indirect characterization from the novel. Because I am not as familiar with Twitter as I am with Facebook, it would be good for me to practice by posting more often. The more I practice and gain confidence with it, the better I will be with interacting with my students on it and monitoring their activity. The students should see that I am confident and capable at using the social media tools I incorporate in my lessons.

This is something that is expected of teachers today because we should always be one step ahead of our students. We should be willing to learn new skills, even if it is outside of our comfort zones. There will be times when we encounter problems or questions we don’t know the solution or answer to. If this happens in front of our students, we should see it as an opportunity to model flexibility and a willingness to learn and be taught. There will even be times when the students can teach US something, which is great! This year I had a student on the school’s tech team in my 1st period class. It was convenient, because I would often let him demonstrate how to do something on the computer or Ipad for the class or help his classmates one on one if I was tied up with another student. He helps me, the class learns something new, and he gains confidence in his own abilities.

Source: O’Hanley, Heidi. (Dec. 2013). Using Social Media. Arts and Activities, 10. Retrieved from: http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA352230660&v=2.1&u=crrl&it=r&p=ITOF&sw=w&asid=63b5a3ad6e8d933be77b3abd5cafdd41