Final Blog Reflection

As we wrap up CEP 810, I want to reflect on several things I learned throughout this course.  I learned about the process of learning, understanding, and conceptual change.  Students come into the classroom with a broad range of prior experiences and conceptions of the world.  It is a teacher’s obligation to get to know their students and access these preconceptions.  Technology can definitely aid in helping students learn what they need to know, correct prior misconceptions, and come to an understanding of what is being taught in the classroom.  The Cooking with TPACK activity and the Networked Learning Project reaffirm this point.  These assignments showed me that the best way to learn is to “roll up the sleeves” and get out there and try new things.  Through experience and challenging your abilities, you can discover new talents and learn a tremendous amount about yourself and what you can accomplish.  From these lessons, without a doubt, I will encourage my students to test their abilities, indulge their curiosities, and never stop discovering new things.

A big reason why I chose to pursue a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology at MSU is because I would definitely like to incorporate technology more into my teaching.  Our 21st Century Lesson Plan gave me a great place to start, and I definitely feel more comfortable with using different technologies in the classroom.  Using YouTube and Twitter, in particular, can provide several opportunities for students to learn using technology.  As long as student activity is being monitored for appropriateness, students can learn new things from YouTube videos out there and learn from each other by communicating via Twitter.  Since these two resources are already popular among young students, this can also help with engaging students and getting them to “buy in” to what is happening in the classroom.  Overall, we have learned about several technologies that can be used in the classroom, but teachers must also be brave and willing to try new things instead of just simply always sticking to the “traditional” approach.

In all, the multitude of technologies out there are great, but it can be overwhelming to think about.  As a teacher, I wonder, “Where do I even begin?”  I guess the best way to answer this question is to try out all of these resources (which I already have a good jump start on) and figure out which ones would be most applicable in the classroom.  Also, getting to know your students is important to figuring out which technologies would adhere to their needs.

I am very excited about continuing my education with the MAET program, and CEP 810 has given me a great foundation in which to build upon.  I greatly look forward to using and trying out new technologies to see how they can be applied best in the classroom. 

 

Final Networked Learning Project Video & Blog Post

This video shows the results of my efforts to be a cartoonist! With only the help of YouTube and Help Forums, I learned how to draw basic cartoons, ranging from people and animals to places I know. Through this process, I learned a skill I always wanted to master. One of the more difficult things for me was figuring out how to show a progression in my comic strips. To accomplish this, I needed to show motion in the figures I was drawing, so I included lines showing motion and also reference points in the background or foreground. I also needed to learn how to tell a short story including something humorous in a limited amount of space. Comic strips and cartoons really get to the point quick, and the punch-line usually comes at the end.

In conclusion, this has been an enjoyable and fun way to learn. I will definitely continue to learn in this way, and I will encourage my students to learn in this way as well. I will encourage my students to learn by exploring, testing their limits, and trying new things. I will encourage my students to remain curious and test their preconceptions of different things. It truly is amazing the things you can accomplish if you put your guard down and are willing to try new things!

Sorry for how long the video is!  Drawing takes time!

Cooking with TPACK

The following video is titled, “Cooking with TPACK.”  In this video, I am challenged to complete a task using tools that are not usually used to complete this particular task.  In my case, I am challenged to make a cheese platter using a plate, bowl, and spatula.  You will see that the plate and bowl do a fine job, but the spatula, which is usually used for flipping or getting underneath food items, struggles in slicing the cheese into nice and neat strips for a cheese platter.

A fun virtual TPACK quickfire activity!

21st Century Lesson Plan

Jake Jewett

CEP 810

Twenty-First Century Lesson Plan

Grade: 4th

Common Core State Standards:

Reading Standards:

RL.5.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

RL.5.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

RL.5.3 Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).

RL.5.9 Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.

Writing Standards:

W.5.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

W.5.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

W.5.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

W.5.6 With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.

W.5.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Language Standards:

L.5.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

L.5.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

L.5.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 4 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

Objectives:

I can…

  • Understand the elements of the mystery genre.
  • Write a mystery using the writing process.
  • Show my learning through the use of technology.

Technology required:

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Student chosen Apps (if needed)
  • iPods (if needed)
  • Microphone

Mystery Book List:

  • The Westing Game
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • The Egypt Game
  • No Place Like Holmes

Accommodations:

Students will be working in groups and with partners to help solidify understanding.  Students will also be able to receive modified assignments if necessary.  The teacher will be meeting with one group each class period.

Overview:

This lesson consists of three parts; reading, writing and publishing.  The first part is utilizing the site Edmodo to facilitate literature group discussions and complete assignments.  The second part of the lesson consists of students showing what they have learned by writing a creative story and publishing it using their program of choice.

Lesson:

Reading:

The lesson will be introduced by the teacher defining the mystery genre.  The teacher and students will give examples of different types of mysteries.  The teacher will discuss what needs to be included in a mystery by going over plot, setting, characters, problem, and conclusion.  The teacher will create a poster of the specific components that defines a mystery.  Each book will be introduced by showing a video clip about the book.  The students will give their top three choices of the books they want to read.  The teacher will place students into groups based on what books they want to read and their reading levels.  Every group will be assigned a book from the mystery genre.

After the groups have been chosen, the students will receive a literature circle calendar to map out their reading over the next few weeks.  This calendar will then be put into the Edmodo group page to help keep students on track.  The teacher will discuss expectations for online responses and discuss the different roles of students.  For the beginning of the lesson, the teacher will act as the facilitator for each group.  They will ask the questions that promote discussions on specific components of the book.  The students are expected to respond at least twice to the question whether it is replying to the teacher’s post or replying to another student’s post.  The teacher will check in with each group frequently to make sure that students are on the right track and to provide guidance for understanding.

Questions students will answer in their group discussion board are:

  • What is the setting of the story?
  • What is the main problem/crime that has taken place?
  • How is this story different from other stories you have read?
  • How does the setting create the feeling of suspense or mystery?

Students will answer these questions and build off of other students’ understandings to help them solidify their own understanding of the setting of a mystery.

The next set of questions will deal with the characters.  The students will choose the main character from the story and describe their personality and how it fits in with the mystery genre.  The student will then add on to this discussion by determining the point of view from which the story was told and how this effects how they understand the story.

The final set of questions given by the teacher will be about the clues that were given to help solve the mystery.  The students will keep a journal of what they have read and write down any clues that the story gives them.  They will then follow each clue with a prediction about how to solve the mystery.

After the first three questions, the teacher will have modeled being the facilitator and the students will then take turns taking this role asking questions that are specific about their book.  The students must get their questions approved by the teacher before posting them onto the group discussion board.  This must occur two days before the intended response.  Teacher guidance will be necessary for this task.

Students will be assessed on the number and quality of their responses.  They need to have capital letters and proper punctuation along with proper spelling of grade level words.  After the students are done reading their book, they will take an Accelerated Reader Comprehension Assessment over the book they read.

Writing:

After the students have finished reading, they will be working individually to write a mystery story using the components discussed in their literature book.  The curriculum that will be used to teach the writing process is Write Steps.  The students will start their writing plan by giving who, what, when, where, and why as well as choosing their villain and coming up with three clues they want to use in their mystery.  Students will learn how to come up with a creative lead into their story and how to unfold their plot creatively through the introduction of characters, setting, main problem/crime, and conclusion.  The teacher will discuss all of the six traits of writing and how to incorporate each one into their writing.  Students will be graded using the six point writing scale from the Write Steps unit.

Publishing:

After students have completed the writing process, they will begin to create a storybook with illustrations to go along with their writing.  Students can choose from the following programs: imovie, Photostory, Moviemaker, Prezi, or PowerPoint.  To launch this project, the teacher will show students examples of projects using different programs to give them an idea of what the final product should look like.  The teacher will then go over expectations for the project.  The students will need to choose the program they want to use.  Students who are using the same program will be put into groups.  Once in these groups, students will be taught how to use the program by tutorials and with teacher guidance.  While working on their individual projects, students will also be in their small groups so they can help each other.

For the final part of the project, students must post their presentation to Edmodo.  Students will then be given time to look at other projects and make positive comments to each other.  The teacher will go through and grade each project using the writing rubric along with the presentation rubric provided in the Write Steps curriculum.

Rationale:

In the beginning of a student’s educational career, the initial and one of the most important focuses is reading.  This focus continues throughout their education and grows as they get older.  By the time they have hit middle elementary age, the task of reading, answering comprehension questions, and writing a book report becomes tedious and overdone.  Our job as teachers is to make learning fun and exciting as well as to best accommodate for our learners.

In order to accommodate for our students, we must understand how they learn.  The clientele we are currently teaching have experienced a greater range of technology and have access to large amounts of resources.  Using a computer, cell phone, and iPod are of second nature to this generation of students.  These students are different learners, and teachers must be cognizant of this when planning lessons.

Literacy is no longer just text but instead is a variety of media and formats.  These concepts are often known as, “21st Century Literacy.”  Twenty-First Century Skills include being able to develop proficiency with the tools of technology as well as create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts.  As educators, we need to become familiar with these standards and include them in our everyday teaching.

In order to reach our students and be highly effective teachers, we must utilize technology and the multitude of resources out there.  The use of technology in the classroom will accommodate for our students who are multiprocessing problem-solvers and to help teach 21st Century Skills.  The use of online and collaborative communication can be an effective way to implement technology into your classroom.

There are many ways to utilize technology in the classroom.   I focused on utilizing an online discussion where students are more engaged and can build off other students’ understanding.  In addition, I incorporated students having the ability to innovate and use their own tools to show their learning and understanding.

Networked Learning Project Part 3

Lately, I have been working on drawing my cartoons with motion.  To be a cartoonist, one cannot just simply draw still pictures.  The figures or images must be talking, running, jumping, etc.  The following YouTube video has helped me with putting motion into my drawings:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cItIbDsfRFI

Through learning my new skill of drawing awesome cartoons, I have encountered some struggles.  First, I have had a hard time drawing certain animals.  I feel I have come a long way with drawing people, but drawing animals has proven to be difficult for me.  To practice this, I have worked on drawing my dog Moses from a still photograph of him.  Here is the photo I am using: Image

In my final Networked Learning Project blog post, I will document my progress with this.  Second, incorporating motion into my illustrations has been hard.  When writing and drawing a comic strip, for example, it is important to show a progression from the beginning to the end.  With the help of YouTube videos and reading comic strips in the newspaper, I will get better with this skill.  Drawing lines indicating motion, putting points of reference in the background or foreground of your pictures, and drawing your figures facing different ways (not just always straight ahead) will definitely help create motion in my cartoons.  In all, I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of becoming a better cartoonist so far!

Networked Learning Project Part 2

Image

Above, you will see my latest creation.  I have found that creating people, animals, and various objects out of an initial circle has really helped me out.  However, all of the objects in my drawings seem to be suffering from a massive weight problem, but it is a working progress, right?  Since I am currently a second grade teacher, I have gotten most of my inspiration from famous authors and illustrators such as Dav Pilkey (Captain Underpants), Quentin Blake (Roald Dahl novels), Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), and many, many more.  I have learned that most of their illustrations begin with simple shapes, where the details and color come later.  The following YouTube video has probably been the most helpful to me in my efforts to become a cartoonist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUaSN2QK09Q

Overall, I am still very excited about becoming a better cartoonist, and I am anxious to continue to show my progress throughout.  I am also extremely excited about sharing my new-found abilities with my class, for it will undoubtedly spark interest and student engagement!

 

GTD: Getting Things Done

In the CEP 810 class I am taking at MSU, we have been learning about making our workflow more efficient.  We have examined David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (2001).  Through reading the overview of Allen’s book, I can really appreciate the importance of making a to-do list and prioritizing the items on the list.  Once this is established, action can be taken to get things done efficiently and effectively.

To help with getting things done, technology can be incredibly useful.  Out of all the resources out there to choose from, I chose Evernote to help me with managing my workflow.  Evernote is a great program to help you put everything in one place – your notes, reminders, images, and important documents.

I use Evernote mostly to store my important documents (résumé, letters of recommendation, lesson plans for school, etc.) .  You never know when your computer may crash or you will need quick access to your documents.  Evernote keeps them safe and secure.  I downloaded the Evernote app on my phone, so I have my important documents with me at all times, especially when a computer is unavailable.

The only issue I have had with Evernote is that its search engine can be slow at times.  I am not sure if it gets backed up or what, but I just close the program and reopen it and it usually starts working for me again pretty quickly.  For others out there seeking a program to organize their to-do lists, store their important documents, and manage their workflow more productively, I strongly recommend Evernote!