Despite feeling slightly under the weather due to a head cold, I woke up feeling productive and proud of my educational achievements this week as an educator. I really enjoy learning about how to become a better teacher and ED637 is rightfully doing so. In the past, I have taken workshops but because of the short time investment and lack of a grade, it is just as motivating as a longer credited class.
This week I started the week out by hosting the Twitter session with Kendra. I enjoyed creating the questions for the class–because I felt like I took more responsibility for learning the content due to the fact I would be leading a discussion. It was this realization that had me thinking I should think about giving my students the same opportunity. In all reality it might take less prep for me as an educator and allow students to take ownership of their learning. Dr. Mary Lee Graham you are a brilliant woman!
I’m thinking I will start with the next section in my Geography unit with journal responses to the essential questions. However, I do believe some of the buy in factor in an accredited Master’s degree program is the financial and time investments of students so I am a bit leary of the outcome in a middle school setting. Nonetheless, I believe it is worth a try and the same principals here could be adjusted to fit the needs of my student population. I would likely bet I will need to have some buy in factor. That will be the lingering question on my mind this week as I prepare to try this method of learning on my students.
After finishing the twitter session on Monday, I realized how important it is as a student that I have all the materials read before we tweet. In order to have a worthwhile meeting with rich discussion, we all must read. With that being said I am thankful we have class later on Monday. It gives me enough time, if I haven’t gotten my reading done for the week. The best part about hosting a Twitter session for myself other than learning new content was being extra prepared to write my blog.
Wednesday afternoon came and I was not rushing to post my blog, a huge feat! Periodically I would check others blogs so that I could learn from their research. As prepared as I thought I was, I overlooked the video. In rush to get a video posted I googled how to do it. The internet is an amazing resource. In a matter of minutes, I was able to watch a few video and get started on creating one. Posting the video was a bit challenging because the wordpress account I have does not allow for video without paying a fee. Hopefully, my idea to create a google classroom to post my video worked. What I realized from the video task, is I am a bit outdated. It is apparent my video creating skills are infantile and I need to work on them. I watched Heather’s and Kendra’s video and was motivated to continue adding more technology into my classroom. More importantly, I learned from watching others that I am not as tech savvy as I believed myself to be.
In another break though I had this week was in thinking about my unit. I spent some time reviewing the Understanding by Design (UbD) method. Although, I should be more versed in this method, because it is the adopted approach to my district’s classroom maps, I had limited knowledge on this concept. I realized that UbD will require some practice and time to create these units, but well worth the outcome. I know for myself, this is where I would like to see myself in a few years with well designed UbD units. Most of the time, I have the good intentions to have transfers skills the goal but fail to do so. Right now I am struggling with what concept I would like to teach in my UbD unit. I have done some initial assessment testing in math using NWEA’s skills navigator. Currently, I am leaning towards a geometry math lesson. However, I am having an issue with the transfer part. I really wanted to do a unit on coordinate geometry since it was an area of weakness shown in the pre-assessment. I might take on the challenge because it is a weakness of mine. So in the meantime, I will be pondering journal prompts about the coordinate geometry ithat show my students know the skill being taught.
Oh yes! I must not forget to say that this past week, I was a tad bit envious of those educators at ASTE. In the past, I was lucky enough to attend more than once but it has been years. I always request to go, but the district I work at tends to send newbies. Every year I have a desire to go, however, this year was magnified after broadening my perspective with technology in the classroom from enrolling in ED 637.