We all know that they’re elephants in the classroom but do we know what they all are? Do we know how to address the elephants? In the article “9 Elephants in the (Class)room” One of them is something that I though most teachers know happens whether we want it to or not.
The first one is that most students will forget the content that we teach. So we know what it is but how do we address it? How do we fix it? Well, maybe we need teach students what is relevant to their lives. Of course we all know that as teachers we need to teach the curriculum but there has to be a way to teach so it’s both from the curriculum and so it’s relevant to the students’ lives right?
The second elephant is that students are disengaged in the classroom and with their learning. According to a recent Gallup survey, only 32% of high school juniors reported that they were “involved and enthusiastic about school.” Almost worse, only 17% said that they have fun in school, the same number that said they “get to do what they do best” in school. As teachers these statistics should make us sick to our stomachs. We need to make learning more interesting to our students. But how do we do that by not always giving them technology? Could we teachers be more enthusiastic about what we’re teaching? Could we get the students more pumped up about what’s happening in the classroom.
The third elephant that is mentioned in the article is that schools and classrooms are not really built for long-lasting learning. In the vast majority of curriculum driven schools, however, students sit and wait to be told what to learn, when to learn it, how to learn it, and how they’ll be assessed on it. As teachers we need to teach outside the classroom. One place to teach would be to teach outside on the football field. This will get students outside of the classroom and maybe open their minds a bit.
These are just some elephants in the classroom. Even though there are more elephants in the classroom I will just mention a few of the things that stood out to me in the article.
“Most of what we teach kids we teach them “just in case” they may need it some day.”
I don’t know how many times my teacher told me that you will use this one day and I have yet to use it. So I totally agree that anymore we do “Just in case”
I want to be the type of teacher that students remember the material even weeks after the test. I want to be the teacher that asks questions such as “what’s best for my students.” I want to be the type of teacher that if my students are struggling with a concept or the material, I want them to be able to come talk to me and get extra help. I want my students to succeed. When I say succeed I don’t mean straight A’s, I mean I want them to understand the material and I want them to remember the material and I want them to succeed in the classroom by asking questions and by having them explain their thinking. I want them to succeed beyond the gradebook and beyond the classroom. I want them to become leaders and I want them to become good citizens that always do the right thing no matter how hard the right thing to do is. I want my students to do the impossible because I want them to make it possible. I want to help it make it possible for my students.
I also want to be the type of teacher that learns from her students. I want to listen to my students and ask them what they expect from me over the course of the year. I will do this by having tell me what they expect from me and I will write it on a piece of paper and hang it up in the classroom as a reminder to myself what my students expect from me on a daily basis. I will also do the same for my students.
From this course over the semester I have learned how to incorporate technology into the classroom. I have so many ideas that I can’t wait to bring to the classroom. I want to incorporate ILP in my classroom. I have also learned what digital literacy is.
Even though I didn’t get as far on my ILPs this year as I would’ve liked. I still want to continue working on yarn projects and who knows maybe someday I will actually get the hang of knitting or crocheting. Since tomorrow is no school for finals, I wouldn’t mind working on finals and finishing my pom pom rug and along with watching Netflix. I have also learned that blogging and tweeting are not for me.
So we all know the positives of technology. However, there are also negatives of technology. If we allow our younger kids to have too much technology then they will begin to rely on it and they won’t have problem-solving skills. My niece will 2 by the end of the December and she loves the snapchat filters. She is better at running a phone than I think most people are. I will give her my phone and next thing I know she’s taking pictures of herself or pocket dialing someone.
I think that we need to limit the amount of time that we allow our kids and students to spend on technology. As a teacher, I’m all for allowing students to use technology, however, I also want my students to know how to write cursive and think on their own without having to google how many quarts are in a gallon. I want my students to be to rely on themselves and not rely on technology to answer their questions. I want my students to be free thinkers I want them to ask questions and I want to get them in that metacognition stage. I want them to be able ask questions on the higher level of bloom’s taxonomy.
I feel like kids these days have no imagination. I don’t see kids coming up with their own games or playing red rover at recess or even in their yards it seems though kids only want to play video games. I don’t think kids have the imagination that we did when we were younger. My cousins and I would spend hours playing with dolls or comin up with new games to play or horseback riding and not once think about what was on tv or playing video games. We would just enjoy each other’s company. Now when I see my cousins we just sit on our phones and have the tv on as background noise. We don’t really talk much. However, my other cousins and I still talk and socialize when we’re together and yes do we watch tv but we still go horse back riding and play cards against humanity or other card games. I think that the difference is that I see some of my other cousins more than I see my other cousins so since I don’t see my other cousins as much so we have more to talk about.
I’m going to sound so old saying that I remember using the hashtag as a number sign when giving friends my phone number. I’ve never been one for tweeting or keeping up with the trends. I remember asking people what a hashtag was and why people use it. I never did understand it and I barely understand it now. When it comes to texting to I do understand emojis. I love emojis. I don’t know how many times my friends and I will send random emojis to each other just because we’re bored and we need a laugh. Emojis express how we’re feeling when words won’t describe it. However, emojis are showing up everywhere. There are emoji pillows and little emoji lip balm. Emojis are not just a texting thing they are a franchise. They’re becoming more and more popular. It seems like they’re coming out with more and more emojis and that emojis are becoming more and more popular. It’s really funny talking to my mom about emojis because I’ll tell her that so and so sent me an emoji and she’ll ask what’s an emoji? I’ll show her and she’ll just shake her head and roll her eyes. My dad doesn’t even understand the concept of texting so his reaction to emojis would be very interesting. My mom tries to understand the texting world and will text me when she has work and can’t talk on the phone.
Language is changing so much these days we have acronoyms and we hav eour own language that only very few people understand. We have words such as LOL, JK, NM, HBU, and other short handed words that we have a complete conversation with. We have this whole idea of how to make it so that not everyone can hear our conversation and not everyone will know what is going on. I know that when I had friends over at my house and we wanted to talk about something but not want my parents to know we would sit there on the same couch and text back and forth. my mom will just give us weird looks and ask us if we’re texting each other and we would say no and just give each other a secret look. Our language as diminished into short handing words, emojis, and texting. We don’t really know how to communicate with each other anymore.
At first I was confused as to why a teacher would use comics or graphic novels in their classroom. I was never allowed to read graphic novels in school for Accelerated Reader. but now anytime I’m at a bookstore that’s all I see. The only comic books I ever read were the Archie comic books. In the take 5 article that I read, the onlyone that jumped out at me was the bitstrips because I used to use them. After awhile they got boring. After doing a little bit more research, I realized that I could use comic strips and graphic novels and have my students create them to explain a certain concept or idea. By doing this then I can reach my students who excel in art but may not always have the opportunity to show their skills.
this site has a whole bunch of activities that you can do with your students and the purpose behind it. I like that the website did this because then I got a better understanding as to what the students are supposed to be doing when they use the comics or graphics. Students could create their own comic strip to understand the concept better. This will also allow the students to hack into their creativity. I also think that by allowing students to create comic strips then they’re more motivated to learn the material so they can accomplish they’re comic strip. Technology is all around us and the more that we can incorporate it into our lessons the more motivated the students will be motivated into the lesson. However, if you incorporate technology too mcu then the students get bored with it and they might even get frustrated with it. When come to doing things like comic strips and bit strips then find the sweet spot with it. Doing maybe once every other month. It’ll give the students something to look forward to and something different from time to time.
This site has websites for students to use to create comic strips. The website also has tips to help your students and yourself. I posted them below.
When I have my students do a comic strip the one site that I would have them use make belief comic because the students don’t need an account for that comic site. They also have apps for Ipads and tablets that will also work well if the student would rather do that than do it on the computer.
A Few Important Things to Keep in Mind When Using Comic and Cartoon Creation Tools in the Classroom
Try a few tools yourself and find those you think will work best in your classroom
Make sure that the app(s) you select actually work in your classroom (they are not blocked, for example)
Watch out for inappropriate content created by other users
While I was reading 6 Recommendations for Learning in the Digital Age, One of the recommendations was to redesign learning so that student can learn anywhere any time. I love the idea of this because there are so many ways to allow this in the classroom. One way that I would allow this in my classroom would be flexible seating. One way to this would be to allow students to sit where they feel most comfortable in the classroom while they work as long as they were quiet. By doing this then you are trusting your students and they feel like they have some say in their learning. By giving our students choices we are trusting them to make the right decisions. When I have my students choose their own seating I will have rules in place and we will go over these rules every time before they choose a seat. These rules will be that 1.) they must be arms length away from another student. 2.) They must be working on the given task. 3.) No talking will be tolerated. 4.) Once they get done with the assignment they can go back to their spot and working on something else quietly.
The next article I read was Key Characteristics of learners in the digital age. There were a couple of things that stuck out to me in this article. The first one being that the average age graduating students in North America is 31. There are many reasons for this. Here are some of the reasons that the article mentioned:
- students are taking longer to graduate (partly because they tend to take a smaller study load when working)
- increasing numbers of students are going on to grad school
- more students are coming back for additional courses and programs after graduating (lifelong learners), mainly for economic reasons.
I would agree with these reasons and another reason that I think the average college graduate age is increasing is that people are working before going to college or they’re starting families at a younger age and they put off college until later.
Another thing that stood out to me in the article was that not all learning is a one size fit all. Ever since my freshman year of college this has been burned into head that as teachers we need to fit the learning to the student and not the student to the learning. the whole reason we are teachers is because we want our students to succeed. If our students don’t succeed then we have failed as teachers.
While reading What Teens are Learning from ‘Serial’ and Other Podcasts
I thought that it was really interesting how students who didn’t really pay attention in class were skipping classes and listening to the podcasts from home when they’re sick. I personally don’t like podcasts because I’m more a visual learner. I would rather read stories than listen to them. However, I do like the idea of having students listen to podcasts especially if those students are auditory learners. I love how the students were able to get so involved with this podcast that they were able to have debates and conversations about the podcasts.
The next article I read was Teacher’s Guide to Digital Storytelling. I have never heard of digital storytelling. After reading the article I would have my students do a digital story on a book that we read as a class or have the students choose a book but it has to get approved by me first. With doing a digital story, the students are using their creativity and they are using technology skills that they may not get in other classes or with other experiences. This article has a couple ideas about digital storytelling.
Digital Storytelling Lesson Ideas
Dream Scenes. Have students write a narrative essay about what they’d like to be when they grow up. Then have them draw digital pictures to animate their vision and put it all together in a YouTube video.
Animated Personal Narrative. Teach students how to write a personal narrative. Then help them turn that narrative into a storyboard, and finally have them put it altogether in an xtranormal animation.
Google Story. You know those (tear jerking) Google Ads, like the one that uses Gmail to tell a father’s story about his love for his daughter? Teach your students the epistolary format, and then have them write a Gmail story of their own, to be compiled via video or compressed into an illustrated PDF. Alternatively, use this Google search Parisian love story as inspiration. Have students brainstorm plotlines, write an outline, and flesh it out with the magic of Screencast-O-Matic and Google search.
Historical Slide Show. Have your students pick a favorite figure from history and write their biography. Then have them scour the web for Creative Commons images that are relevant to their project, distill the biography down into its essential parts, and put it all together in a shareable Slideshare presentation.
Book Trailer. Who needs a run-of-the-mill book review when you could have a book trailer? Trailers should help students practice their critical reading and analysis skills, while also developing their constructions of arguments and use of rhetoric as they battle to convince their classmates to read their book next.
How To Guide. Every student has a secret talent. Have students describe theirs in a straightforward YouTube video, laying out each step in logical sequence. This is an especially effective lesson for more hands-on students who struggle with writing and need a more intuitive connection to a physical skill as they learn to lay out steps logically.
Two Sides of the Story. Sick of the regular old persuasive essay? Assign students a controversial topic. Then have them research arguments supporting both sides, and put it all together in a video, presentation, or infographic that must devote air time to articulating a clear thesis for both sides of the story.
Family or Community History Project. Send your students out to interview and record members of their family or community about their past. Then challenge them to put this together into a podcast, video, or newscast, reviewing all that’s come before.
The one that I would most likely have my students do would be the book trailer because then that way we could show them to the class and other students might be interested in reading the books.