One of the great ways for teachers to learn is by connecting with their peers and finding out what is working for them, and applying it to their own classroom, as they see fit. This week, we had the opportunity to watch 3 videos made by teachers. In their videos, they are detailing what they are doing in their classrooms and describing how it is working for them.
Here is a summary of what we learned...
First we watched a video by Brian Crosby Back to the Future. Brian discusses his fourth grade class and everything that they have accomplished throughout the year. He talks about projects involving the community and making sure that it is technology sufficient. Brian believes that there is no narrow curriculum at all. Curriculums should expand and not be such a basic idea. Imagination and creativity should make up the majority of the teaching
The students were given an assignment called "High Altitude Balloon Project". The students were to pretend that they were the actual balloon and had to talk about their experience of being shot off and fired up. As a balloon, you had to describe every detail about what happened from the second you were on air, until you were way up in the sky. Brian said that the students had a great time doing this, and learned from it. They remembered everything, and were able to learn from each project their teacher made them do. It is so important to be able to provide projects like this as a teacher. Especially with fourth grade, their attention span doesn't last very long. Providing activity projects such as the Balloon project, or the air pressure from a coke can project, are great ways for students to successfully learn.
Brian Crosby talks about the Language Intense and what all students get from being active and independent learners. The students are able to...
- Read and Write to Learn Content
- Write to Clarify and Share
- Write to Tell a story; Creativity and Imagination
- Articulate Orally
- Connect Globally
- Authentic Audience
- Remember Audience
- Remember the science, high hopes art
Brian discussed a lot about how active learning is the key. Empowering students to become independent learners and learn on their own. He is a great motivator as well as an educator to really get his students involved in their learning. He makes it fun and memorable.
Brian Crosby decided by using these projects, it helped his students learn to be independent learners. Technology has made a huge leap in the education world. A girl in the fourth grade class was very sick. She was not able to physically be in the classroom, but she still got her education. We were so enthused to see that Mr. Crosby let this little girl still attend his fourth grade class, but not actually be there. It was a very touching and great thing to do for a child who cannot do everything other kids can do. To be able to still get her education through the use of technology really shows us, that anything is possible through successful learning.
In the next video, Blended Learning Cycle, Paul Andersen, a teacher from Bozeman, Montana shows us how by utilizing his PLN (Personal Learning Network) he was able to come up with a new technique to use in his AP Biology class. The “Blended Classroom” is the idea of utilizing more online and mobile resources with the 5 E’s of the “Learning Cycle”; engage, explore, expand, explain and evaluate. Combined together, Mr. Andersen refers to this as “QUIVERS” which is an acronym for,
I - Investigate and Inquire
V - Video (podcast)
E - Elaboration
R - Review
S - Summary Quiz
In his classroom, Mr. Andersen prefers PBL (Project Based Learning) plans, so this “blended classroom” works well for his students. His unique approach to teaching provides his students with an alternate way to learn that peaks their interest and promotes their eagerness to learn.
The last video we viewed featured Mark Church, the author of Making Things Visible. Church presented a new topic to his class and asked them to create a headline based on what they thought of it. After teaching the topic in depth, he asked the class to re-evaluate their headline and to see if their opinion changed.
We all agree that Church did a wonderful job engaging his students in the new lesson by allowing them to pre-teach themselves and grow throughout the lesson. Also, going back and seeing how much more you know is always exciting and for students, it is fun to see whose prediction of a particular topic was mother most similar to the true facts.
Authors: Hilliary Sanders, Lauren Patterson, and Claire Williams