Monday, November 26, 2012

EDSS 521 Blog #5

This semester, I have been surprised by the literacy levels of my students. They are able to fill out worksheets and search for specific information in their text book. They are not able to write anything more than  few sentences. They can read, but many students in my class need a huge amount of work at writing in order to be a proficient writer. They don't want to read and they don't want to write. It is impossible for me to allow them any opportunities for independent learning, because they are simply not interested.


Sept. 30, 2013

My literacy rich classroom is filled with books relevant to my subject area. My students have an abundance of resources to read and are hungry for new information.

My students are engaged in reading additional texts and debating with their peers their views on history. They are constantly questioning what is written in books. They haven't yet begun to look at their sources and decide what to trust and what to be skeptical with.
They are reading primary source documents as well as scholarly sources. Any book I have in my classroom is open to them to read, and they take full advantage of it.


December 15, 2013

My literacy rich classroom is filled with hungry learners. My students are trading books with each other and are constantly questioning the texts. We have debates regularly on some of the popular scholarly texts, and we are able to find bias and conflicts in these texts.

My students are engaged in debates with their fellow students. I am just a facilitator and a I am not needed to lead their learning. I think of myself more of a guide in their learning than their all-knowing teacher. My students are starting to question sources such as wikipedia, a source that just a year ago they would have believed as law. We discuss its merits, but also its faults.

They are reading primary source documents and scholarly source documents. We have textbooks in our room to help summarize some events, but they are not the focus of our learning.

They are writing argument papers and book reviews on the scholarly sources they read. They are starting to write down their own analyses of primary source texts, but they still need time to develop this skill.

They are discussing whether or not their texts are valid or full of bias. They are also discussing the main themes in history. Right now it is the end of the first semester and my students have read the Treat of Versailles. They are in the process of discussing if Germany was treated unfairly, and if they really lost World War I, or simply were tricked into an armistice.


May 30, 2014

My literacy rich classroom now has access to tablets with almost endless amounts of books to read. My students are continuously reading up on topics I present to them, and they are coming up with their own thoughts.

My students are engaged in discussion and debates with their peers and with me. We are exploring history on a continuous level, and we aren't only about the facts. I am able to discuss with them the main ideas, and I am able to facilitate their learning but not take control of it. They are free to learn what they want.

They are capable of independent learning, and this is evident in their ability to choose a book and take off with it. I have given them a list of suggested readings that I feel would cover the main ideas they need to know, but they are not required to follow this list. My class is free to start up their own debates on topics, and I have created an online class forum in which they can carry their academic conversations online at home. I moderate these forums and provide some minor feedback to keep them moving along, but nothing more. My class is almost completely independent, because we are free from the burdens of a standardized test. My class wants to learn, and wants to be in school.

It's fun to dream sometimes isn't it...

Monday, November 12, 2012

EDSS 521 Blog #4 - Project Tomorrow

The report I looked at was regarding the use of smart phones. From 2006 to 2011 parents of school aged children have seen a 3x increase in smartphones. From this time period, teachers have used smart phones 2x more. And 87% of parents say effective implementation of smart phones in education is important to their child's success. These figures did not surprise me, because it seems everyone has a smart phone now. I am just not as optimistic in their usage in the classroom, because kids can get off task too easily and we can't possibly enforce all students staying on task.

Monday, November 5, 2012

EDSS 521 Blog Post #3

Creativity in my classroom only occurs when we have the occasional class project. The students seem to respond to this and like it, but other than that they are in a routine. Students however are allowed to critical think when we go over primary source documents, and exhibit problem solving when in groups. In these group projects, my students are allowed to discuss their ideas with their peers, collaborate to complete their assignment, and communicate freely. Overall, this is a strong aspect of our classroom and the California standards allow for this to occur. Students are given a certain schedule to complete tasks, and are constantly given updates on how much time has passed. I constantly show my students how to find the information In their text book, instead of just telling them the information they need to find. I find this is a much better way to teach my students about information literacy, because sometimes they find information that is not relevant to the question, and they are guided as to why it is not relevant. For the most part, my students are not taught media literacy. There will be a project where they will have to find information on their own from internet sources, at which time we will teach them what is a reliable source. For technology in my classroom we use a smart board and a projector. There aren’t many other options that we can use. To help my students become independent learners, they are given free time to work and are monitored so they don’t get off track. But the responsibility for their own time lies mostly on their own shoulders. For group activities, students are given jobs needed to fulfill an assignment. Students in these jobs are responsible for their task, but also for the completion of the project. This keeps them focused in groups, and allows them to still interact with the group and manage their own role.