This post was originally written many moons ago, but somehow got stuck in the iPad and I never noticed it was not published. Well, better late than never…
My Period Four US History and Government II students have a test on Friday, it is based upon their presentations to the class on the 1950’s and vocabulary from the Civil Rights Unit. Actually all four of my US II classes have a test on Friday.
We created a Padlet from questions the student generated based upon their presentations. Student projects were posted on the class wiki and all of this information was wrapped up nicely and neatly in Edmodo for student access. Students were encouraged to use class time to collaborate and see if they could use their notes to answer the review questions. I used this method to study in college, I dislike studying in isolation.
As students worked together, I floated about to see if there were any questions they were having trouble with and if they were staying on task. We had mixed results, most students were on task and few had questions they could not answer. There were some students who were off task, redirected when I came by, and then went off task once I left. That happens, I did the same at their age.
Today, a couple of students started playing Hangman on the Interactive WhiteBoard in the front of the room. A number of other students jumped in and seemed to be enjoying themselves. I made a suggestion, which seemed to catch them a bit off guard. I did not tell them to get away from the board and study, I suggested that instead of playing Hangman with random words, why don’t they use the information from the class and use the game as a review.
They seemed to enjoy the effort, the majority of the class worked together and played in a large group. They assisted each other with the terms being asked and what some words meant as they were guessed. I had a few students who are not as social in class continue to study on their own. Overall, it seemed like a productive class. Students worked on their reviews, seemed to enjoy themselves, and it broke up the monotony of conducting the usual reviews. Sometimes going off the beaten path can be a good thing.
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.
Today one of my students said I looked like a baseball dad…I have no idea what that means or meant. When I inquired as to the meaning, the students who were sitting there whispered amongst themselves then replied, “We don’t know…like a dad who likes baseball.”
I have no idea if the comment was complimentary or not. It is dress down day, I have on jeans, my KTI Golf Shirt, tenna shoes (in my best Pittsburghese), and my $1.00 reading glasses on top of my head. No full selfie to go with the description, I thoroughly dislike the angle needed to show the entire pic, but here is part of me…
Later I overheard the term “Soccer Mom” being used by these same students. It was not directed at me, but knowing how many of these terms have both positive and negative connotations…I must expand my culturally aware vocabulary.
Until next time…
My daughter has supplied a huge amount of motivation for me to improve my blogging efforts and overall writing endeavors.
Last night while I was posting to my personal blog on Blogger, as opposed to my professional blog you are reading now, she asked what I was up to. When I told her I was writing a blog post, she asked to read it. Her reaction can be found here. The post she read can be found here.
I hope to finally ensure I make time to contribute ideas regularly across my social media sites. The goal is to add positively to the world around me, leaving it in better shape that I found it.
I have tried several times to begin blogging more frequently. Unfortunately, I have failed on each occasion. This summer I plan to try again, however I wish to not just blog more often, but post more often with relevant and high quality posts.
I will be updating several of my websites that contain educational resources; maybe…just maybe…I can combine the two endeavors into a lasting behavior.
Yesterday, May 19, 2011, we ran a little experiment with a Color Nook in our High School Library. I had a couple students who were using the devices as eReaders test several tasks. I should have tried this before, but it is sort of hectic right now.
The students jumped on the Internet using the web browsing app and were able to log into Google Docs and edit documents. The next step was to log into Edublogs and post to the class blog, which was easily accomplished. This creates another option for mobile technology in the classroom. With ever shrinking, or straight out disappearing budgets in public education, the more options the better.
In the spirit of full disclosure, when I am in Geneva on the Lake, Ohio, I focus on few things besides the beach and the lake. One is Capo’s Pizza, I grew up eating it summer after summer and I consider it tops anywhere. The other, I added another pizza to the list, Sportsters. It was a 9 inch pie for three dollars. We added pepperoni and my daughter was very happy. They run a special on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
Much to my wife’s pleasure and my consternation, she snapped a few pictures of me not only eating the pizza, but enjoying it. Oh well, Capos does not open until later in the day during the week, so we could not have eaten there for lunch anyway. I must begrudgingly admit, that there are now two pizzas I can enjoy when up in Geneva on the Lake.
My daughter is almost 16 months old. She truly is a miracle and we are very lucky to have her. I sit and watch her add daily to her repertoire of tricks and knowledge, it is truly amazing. My daughter loves to play on the computer. She will walk to either the laptop or desktop and gesture to be picked up to access the keyboards. My daughter is an avid typist, playing with the keyboard pushing buttons and watching what happens. I have published some of her typing to my other blog, but I think I will post her work here in the future, it is a more appropriate setting since she is learning. Once, as she was typing on my laptop, she reached rather quickly and grabbed my cold cup of coffee that was on the dining room table to have a quick drink while recording her thoughts down on the keyboard…I was quick enough to keep the coffee cup on the table and off the floor. Her reaction was to turn around and give me a big cheesy smile from ear to ear with a “gotcha daddy!” look. Now she grabs the mouse and acts like she knows what it does…I have read where kids like her will be more knowledgeable with technology by the age of 10 than most adults today. She is able to scan the screen and point at items that pop up, she really likes the task bar at the bottom of the screen for some reason. I can not figure it out, but she is very attentive. She also loves to curl up in our laps with a book, but only if you let her turn the pages and go at her own pace. I hope to be able to keep up.