Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog Assignment #13

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Brian Crosby: Back to the Future

I really enjoyed watching Brian Crosby's video Back to the Future. I found it very concerning when Mr. Crosby was discussing some statistics from the survey he gave his fourth grade students at the beginning of the year. He discussed that 90% of his students are second language learners and are at risk students. When he did his survey on the second day of school he asked students questions such as: what city do you live in, what state do you live in, and what country do you live in? Only nine students knew what city they lived in. Twelve students knew what state they lived in, and only three students knew what country they lived in. Brian Crosby then wondered why there is such a disconnect for these kids. He discusses that these students have really had a narrowed curriculum since the time they were born and that they have not had the experiences necessary to develop a wider view of the world. Mr. Crosby then discusses how all of his students have their own blogs, and he has an interactive whiteboard. So, his students are leaning how to think outside of the box when they are not test prepping. I think this is an important concept. While it is important to perform well on standardized tests, those tests do not provide real world experiences. Students need to be able to think creatively and know how to problem solve. I love how he uses technology and creative ideas in his classroom to teach his students. For example, students had to research and find a lot of information before they could begin their hot air balloon project. Then, they had to build their hot air balloon and were able to use google to track their balloon. Other students began commenting that they wanted their teacher to do some of the experiments that Mr. Crosby had completed with his class. So, they set up a Skype interview. Now, his students were able to articulate the steps it took to complete the experiment which allowed them to review the material. I think Mr. Crosby has great ideas. He doesn't just teach the curriculum, but he expands on it and allows his students to experience a more creative type of learning. His students are making connections with people all over the world and are able to explain their projects to other students around the world. He is raising the bar for future educators because he believes there is so much more to learning than sitting quietly in the desk. He is using technology and teaching his students how to be independent learners. I also thought it was incredible how technology allowed Celeste to be a part of Mr. Crosby's class. Even though she is sick, she is able to be an active part of the class through the help of technology.

Mr. Paul Anderson

I enjoyed watching Paul Anderson's video Blended Learning Cycle. In this video, Mr. Anderson discusses how he uses the blended learning cycle and flipped his classroom. Now, his classroom is more student centered. He then explains that blended learning is taking the parts of mobile, online, and classroom learning and blending them together in the classroom. Mr. Anderson then explains the learning cycle in which there are five "E's" which are engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluate. When you merge the two forms together, you get the blended learning cycle. He then discusses a concept he calls "QUIVERS" in which there are six components he includes in all of his lessons. The first component "QU" is question: Paul Anderson begins each of his lessons with an interesting question or concept so that he can gain the attention of his students. The next component is "I" which is investigation/inquiry. In this step, Anderson allows his students to experiment with the question he has asked and allows them to begin forming questions of their own. The third component is video. Students can watch videos independently and can begin learning information about their topic. Elaboration is the fourth component in which students expand on the topic they are studying and researching. The fifth component is review. In this step, Anderson meets with the students individually or in small groups and asks them questions to make sure they are comprehending what they are learning. The final component is the summary quiz in which Anderson's students are tested on what they learned in the other five components.

I think Paul Anderson has a very interesting idea for flipping his classroom. The QUIVERS method seems very effective for keeping his students engaged in learning and effectively teaching them the topics they are discussing. I think his QUIVERS method could be used in any classroom. As a future educator, I could incorporate this method into my classroom. What I liked most about his method is that it is all student centered. He keeps his students engaged in hands-on learning which effectively keeps their attention. I hope to incorporate a similar method into my classroom.

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