Students have completed this short project for my class over the last couple of years., This year they asked me to complete a copy. Here it is:
I think it is important to build connections and let the students see “behind the curtain” if you will. We as teachers are not perfect, we make mistakes, and we enjoy life outside of the classroom. Students need to see those characteristics in us.
So, another school year is upon us, and Summer disappeared in the blink of an eye, or so it seems. Every school year I try and add something new to my class in an attempt to keep up with current trends in education and prevent myself from becoming stale. This year is no different, there will be several new websites and apps utilized throughout my courses, however, my main addition is not a website or an app; it will be INTENTIONALITY.
Intentionality is completing actions with a specific and/or deliberate focus. This addition is not just meant for myself, I hope to instill the concept into my students. I made this the focus of my upcoming school year after numerous discussions with my PLN, Professional Learning Network, within PAECT and KTIs, Keystone Technology Innovators. The focus of a podcast I am honored to co-host, the PAECT Pod has been interviewing various members about our week-long KTI Summit at Shippensburg University in July, and the term Intentionality kept entering into the conversations.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized I need to not just introduce my students to new learning opportunities, new concepts, new ideas, and new tools to utilize, but I also have to help instill a purpose for all of this new information. The previous sentence seems like it is an overly obnoxious run-on, but so be it. I need to instill the thought in students that their actions, no matter how trivial they may seem, reflect back upon them and therefore are worth their best effort. Hopefully, this concept can then be carried forward after they move on through school and life. This post s not meant to be some sort of melodramatic declaration, it is more of a correction based n self-reflection.
My PAECT Pod co-host Eric Verno and I have mentioned the need to keep current and sharp since educational technology changes so quickly, think AI in Education. Eric has mentioned his efforts to keep from getting complacent. That is when I realized that in a way, I continually work to keep current with new ideas in education, but I do not always communicate the why f new tools and concepts to my students. I push out the information, but sometimes I lose focus as to why we are doing things or using various tools and websites. This year, I will do my best to not only communicate the why to my students, but to instill the concept of INTENTIONALITY into their everyday actions.
Ah, two Saturday’s ago I was awake and in learning mode rather early so I jumped into a Twitter #satchat, a fantastic learning and networking opportunity each and every Saturday. The topic was based upon student listening skills and how we teach those skills.
I had to admit that I do not formally teach those skills in my class, I emphasize them throughout lessons, but do not actually formally assess student listening. As I thought more about the topic, I also realize that I need to improve upon my listening skills, in class and real world.
Often, especially in the classroom, I am multitasking as students are asking questions. This prevents me from giving my full attention to the student which is not only impolite, but it may cause miscommunication between those involved in the conversation. I am making a concerted effort to address this ASAP. Modeling skills we want students to use in our classroom is key, if we cannot meet the expectations we ask of our students, WHY should they.
Some other take aways I will implement in my classes are exit questions and peer to peer review time either at end or very beginning of my classes. This will allow students to reflect with a classmate and practice listening skills while reviewing course content. To keep this from being a full fledged chat and gossip session, I will have to float about the room and engage the students, which IS MY JOB. A quick student reply/summary of their peer to peer would allow for students to earn points for their efforts and hopefully give me insight to content with which they are comfortable or need further assistance.
I will post further as this endeavor moves forward.
In the meantime, if you get the chance and are awake by 7:30 AM on a Saturday, check out #Satchat.
It has been a long time since I participated in a Saturday morning educational Twitter chat, called #satchat. I thoroughly enjoyed today’s on Digital Citizenship, I archived most of it via Storify.com. The hashtag #satchat was either continued or highjacked after our conversation, so I had to manually create the Storify today. It took almost 2 hours of work on my part…from now on, I will create my Storifys as the #satchat ends.
Here is the Storify from the #PAEdChat from Thursday, March 2, 2016. It is also cross-posted on Blogger at the Southwest Regional Directors blog.
Here is the Storify.com review of our #KTIchat from March 2, 2013. We discussed last week’s PETE & C event. This story is also cross-posted at our Southwest PAECT Blog.
This is the last planned post of tweets from Storify. This is cross-posted to the Southwest PAECT Blog located here.
EdCampPGH is a free “Unconference” where educational stakeholders gather to discuss how to improve education and share ideas. Below is a Storify of Tweets from EdCampPGH.
Last night we interviewed Rachelle Poth, PAECT member and foreign language teacher at Riverview School District. You can access the show recording here.
This is the Storify of our Twitterfeed from last night.
Admittedly, we have not had a lot of Tweets, but we will continue moving forward. It will catch on.
Well, the current school year of 2013/2014 is coming to a close…as of Thursday, June 5, 2014, my students are sone for the year. Before the end of the year we started having what was called “Step-up Day” where students would go around with their next year’s schedules and meet their teachers for the upcoming year. We are a smaller school, so most of the high school students and teachers can at least recognize each other on site if not know each other already. The big introduction comes from the Eighth Graders who come up from the middle school. This year due to a myriad of issues, there will be no “Step-up Day.”
I will have two Ninth Grade Honors Civics Classes next year. The transition from 8th to 9th Grade is a tough one for some students; add to that jumping in to an honors course AND the non-traditional structure of my course…it can take a bit of time for them to adjust. To combat the changes I have already set up my Edmodo classroom for the Honors Classes and emailed the code to their 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher. Students will not be given mandatory summer assignments, but will have the opportunity to voluntarily check out resources and items that will be posted over the summer.
Those who participate will receive badges, or some sort of fun reward for taking the time out of their summer to peruse the Edmodo group. The direct benefit for them will be that they will be comfortable with the online classroom and resources before the school year even starts. Hopefully they, and their parents, will also be comfortable enough to communicate and ask any questions that may arise during the upcoming year. My goal is to make them more prepared for the challenges they will be facing next year and beyond…(sorry Buzz Lightyear, I could not resist stealing your line.)
It has been less than 24 hours since the students have had the Edmodo join code and 4 students have already joined the group. They will be greeted with a typed message and two Touchcast videos from yours truly, but that is another post…