Week 10

How does my Ubd unit reflect my understanding of differentiated instruction?

Within my UbD I tried to incorporate elements of differentiation so that all students were able to benefit to their fullest capacity from the lesson within the unit. I have identified 5 components of DI as: pre-assessment/Individual differences, environment, content/standard, process/instructional strategies, and product/post-assessment. All of these components interwoven together within the unit help to ensure that all students are able to gain the most learning. Currently, there is an increasing need for DI as current educational trends indicate the homogeneity of the past has been replaced with widespread diversity in the student population (Subban, 2006).  Furthermore according to Eric Jensen (2005) because students are growing, they have different bodies and brains with different hormones and a unique body clock which will at any given time be at a high or low. We need to always be able to reach students regardless of this high or low and DI instruction is the answer. Bobbie Dunn (2010) also states, “These complicated organs called brains all develop at different rates, and there are some students who are far more ready than others.” To deal with this fluctuation Jenson suggest educators have: tolerance, activity shifts, movement and thoughtful scheduling. In other words we DIFFERENTIATE a principle behind UbD units.

The first component of differentiation, the driving force of the learning needs, that I will discuss is pre-assessment/individual differences. In the modern classroom you will find tremendous differences among your students.  I decided to discuss this component, because for me it is the heart of the unit.According to Tomlinson (2001),  “In a differentiated classroom, the teacher proactively plans and carries out varied approaches to content, process and product in anticipation of and response to student differences in readiness, interest, and learning needs” (p.7). In order to discover the learning needs of my students, I needed some initial data. I used NWEA Skills Navigator as a pre-assessment to gauge what my students needed to learn. I found that students had many missing skills ranging from 2nd-6th grade in the strand of Coordinate Geometry. It was apparent I needed to have a differentiated unit in order to allow all students to grow in this strand. Once I had my pre-data I used some authentic pre-assessments and pre-assessment tests. I used the same pre-assessments as my post-assessments. I decided to throw in a test because I wanted some hard data to prove that learning did take place, but I also made sure to have authentic tests so that students could all show what they learned within their range of skills.

Another very important component of differentiation that I included in the unit, but did not talk about every detail was the environment. This component, I find very critical to the success of the unit because of how the brain responds to perceived threats. In order to help students, I made sure to have their preferred lighting arrangement available, preferential seating based on the activity, students were given choice so that they could work on something that suited their learning preference, multi-sensory instruction that included the use of song, videos, visuals, interactive notes, heating that was adjusted to students’ likings.  Choice was one of my major focuses in this unit as it allows for students to take ownership of their learning. Weselby (2017) supports the use of choice in DI in his statement that when , “Students are given more options on how they can learn material, they take on more responsibility for their own learning.” My goal is to get students engaged and choice helps considerably. Thus, it is my opinion that environment really helps set the stage for engagement a critical component to getting are students on the road to learning.

Both pre-assessment/individual differences and environment were at the foundation of my unit. These two components, in my opinion, guaranteed the success of my unit from the start. The third component of differentiation that I identify in my unit is content/standard. For this unit, technology based assignments were key to differentiating instruction. IXL a web based program allowed me to differentiate coordinate geometry skills from 3rd-7th grade. Students were able to decide if they needed to level up or level down based on their progress because the goal was growth among all students. I found that when students started at their own level they eventually would fly through the higher levels. The key was meeting them at their level first and bridging any gaps. IXL provides a smart score and allowed me to monitor my students’ learning needs. I sued this information to correctly place students if they did not do it on their own and as an opportunity to give individual mini-lessons.  The content would also be approached by allowing students to practice on art projects using the coordinate plane that varied based on their abilities. In this unit technology allowed for differentiation to happen more easily due to the leveled skills while still reaching for grade level standards. Although, not all will meet grade level standards, my goal is that students show growth towards meeting them.  

Process/Instructional Strategies is the 4th component of differentiation that I identified within my unit. To meet this component, I tried to vary the instructional pieces and assessment tools. Instead of direct instruction being the primary method of delivery, I found songs, videos, visuals and used interactive notes, art projects, digital math games, and interactive notes to help deliver instruction.  I also opted to allow students to use voice recording when written work was an option, as I was looking content not the process. With that being said, I found flexibility to be a key factor in the process of learning. According to Hurst (2013), “The very nature of differentiated instruction demands flexibility.” I had to understand that things would not always go according to plan and I would use assessments to help drive my instruction. Daily instruction was assessed by both the teacher and students. Students were to perform a daily checklist assessing what they learned. I used Kahoot to gauge learning and direct instructional needs. Exit slips that involved kinesthetic learning were performed to informally assess students knowledge. Both forms of assessments were used to allow students reflection time, an essential need of learning new content.

The final component of differentiated instruction I identified was product/assessment. This component greatly helps me prove that all my students made progress. Authentic post assessments such as varied journal prompt responses and written short essays with teacher/student rubrics, or a a creative poster product with a teacher/student rubric allows students to be individuals performing real life tasks while still showing what they learned. It does not limit students to a limited range of learning questions, insteads allows them to explore the whole spectrum while working at their individual levels. Authentic assessments are important in that they provide multiple solutions for students to demonstrate mastery while allowing them to display their creativity and innovation and are most effective when they resemble real life situation (Burns, 2015). I also plan to use NWEA skills navigator as a post assessment tool which will allow me to show growth from grades 3-7th if applicable among all students. My goal is growth. Lastly, I will use a post-assessment test on some basic coordinate geometry skills as hard data students did learn the basics, however, the unit was not limited to these basics. Although I can do without the tests as forms of assessments throughout the unit, I prefer them for my own assessment of the success of the unit for data. However, I also believe that with a well thought out unit that embeds the principles of differentiation will ensure success on these tests.

Without all these critical components of differentiated instruction, it would be highly problematic for student success. All these component work together to ensure all students are making progress towards educational goals.  According to Tomlinson (2001) by differentiating what students learn, how they learn it, and how they demonstrate what they have learned encourages substantial growth in all students. I look forward to testing out my UbD units effectiveness in the near future.
Resources

Burns, V. (2015). 53 Interesting Ways to Assess Your Students. [N.p.]: Frontinus Ltd. Retrieved from http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1017975&site=ehost-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_Cover on March 19, 2017

Dunn, Bobbie. “3 Techniques for Brain Based Differentiation.” 2010. Web. 02, March 2017 <http://www.weteachwelearn.org/2010/05/3-techniques-for-brain-based-differentiation/>.

Hurst , S. (2013, August 8). Six Necessary Components of Effective Differentiated Instruction. Retrieved March 30, 2017, from http://www.readinghorizons.com/blog/six-necessary-components-of-effective-differentiated-instruction

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with the Brain in Mind (2nd Edition). Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2005. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 5 April 2015. Retreived from:http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=141347&site=ehost-live

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with Poverty in Mind : What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 5 April 2015. Retrieved from:

http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=301969&site=ehost-live

Subban, P. (2006). International education journal. [Differentiated instruction: A research basis] Issn 1443-1475, 7(7), 935-947.

Tomlinson, C.A. (2001). How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-ability Classrooms.

Weselby, C. (2017). What is differentiated instruction? examples of how to differentiate instruction in the classroom. Retrieved 2017, February/02, 2017, from http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/teaching-strategies/examples-of-differentiated-instruction/

 

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Week 9 Reflection

This week was my Spring Break and it was anything from a break, but that is life with kids of your own. Do to a few things that have arose I am struggling to get things turned in on time. However, I am going to make as many deadlines as possible. Although, I am not quite finished with my UbD unit I decided to get my reflection finished while I have time. God knows this is a rare occurrence lately with illnesses and a toddler.

 

To begin with what I have learned this week, one of the most shocking parts for me is that I was way off on my transfer goals, essential questions, and understandings. Currently, that is the part that I am struggling with. However, for the most part I feel like my unit is reflective of nice well designed unit, but now I need to get the wording down so that my  transfer goals, essential questions, and understandings meet the requirements. That is something I planned to work on into the later hours of tonight if I have to, even if I am running on fumes.

 

Both my boys have ended up in the emergency room back to back. I spent most of my time watching my infant and nursing my kids back to health. Any spare time I have used reading others’ blogs. I enjoyed reading Mariah, Kendra, Jules, and Chelsea’s blogs. Although, everyone did a fantastic job with their planning of their assessments, I really feel like Jules and Mariah taught me something. Or maybe it was Chelsea in terms of her ability to make authentic assessments and her passion and dedication to it. I found it inspiring and I plan to springboard off of her drive to be a better teacher.
Most importantly this week I learned the importance of knowing how to assess and why I should be assessing. I am feeling better about assessments and even a little eager to be better at assessing my students. I look forward to reaping the benefits of the intelligently planning assessments and using them to guide my instruction so that students are benefitting the most.

WK 9 Assessments

I decided to start this unit based of an NWEA Skills Navigator report. I the data from NWEA Skills Navigator to help guide my initial unit design. I only used this data to see what areas in general my students needed work in and again at the end to see if there was any improvement. It was not to guide my everyday instruction because as a norm reference test it did not cut it in terms of supporting instructional decision (Popham, 2014).

 

Once realizing my students needed help in plotting points on the coordinate plane with a wide range of abilities among my students, I knew differentiation and the use of assessments were the key to successfully planning this unit. “Teachers’ responsiveness to data is a key factor in determining success (Shores & Chester, 2009, p.39).”

 

In planning my assessments, I tried to balance what documented student learning or contributed to their learning. According to the Edutopia article Why Is Assessment Important? (2015) assessments should provide diagnostic feedback, help educators set standards, evaluate progress, show students’ progress, and motivate progress. With that being said, I knew I needed a mix of assessments in a given amount of time and I needed to do them more than at the beginning and end of assessments. I also felt it was important students did not feel like all they were doing was assessing and not learning. To do help accomplish this I integrated technology I planned some initial performance assessments that were just short and brief. I was not looking for an extensive assessment, but rather a shorter quiz that contained the key points. However, those were not authentic and did not tell me much more than data to prove my unit was a success. In order to have authentic assessments, I allowed for students to show their work in either a journal response with multiple open-ended options or an informative poster. Also in the journal responses they had the option of recording their voice and emailing it into me. I also wanted to add assessments that helped contribute to their learning and allowed them time to reflect. However, due to a lack of time in a class period I had to make sure they were quick and reflected the daily learning targets. I created short 2-minute student checklist to allow them to reflect on their learning or exit slips in which I assessed their knowledge on how they performed. I also mixed in formal assessments in the form of Kahoot. I found this as a great tool to assess and use as review. I could use the information at the start of class to adjust my instruction. “Formative assessments provide the teacher with practical information used to alter instruction for increased student learning” (Shores & Chester, 2009, p.39). I also plan to assign IXL assignments based from their assessment information. I will further use IXL to assess their learning as this program has built in graphs into the system showing what students are getting what and where they are struggling. This form of assessment is supported by Shores & Chester (2009) who state, “Feedback that is genuine that is related to the stated goal is necessary and can be provided in the forms of graphs clearly illustrating student progress (p.39).” This statement also helped me realize students needed a simple rubric attached to the larger authentic performance assessments that allowed students to self reflect and understand their final grade. So I made a rubric with two columns for entering grades one for the student and one for the teacher.

 

In this unit I struggled with authentic assessments because I found it hard to relate coordinate geometry to real life. Authentic assessments are important in that they provide multiple solutions for students to demonstrate mastery while allowing them to display their creativity and innovation and are most effective when they resemble real life situation (Burns, 2015). I struggled with this task tremendously because within a week with my specific targeted group, because they are already a struggling group. However, to ensure I was offering multiple solutions I created 3 platforms in which they could turn in their final assessment. One in which was a poster. They were also able to turn in any written work in the form of a voice recording on their computers or phones and turned in via email. To allow students a chance to express their creativity I created open-ended questions that required them to explain their thinking. In example, please explain to your mom in detail everything you have learned about coordinate geometry and how it applies to real-life situations. To tie it to real life I added into the prompt or directions.

 

Although I ended the unit with authentic teacher and student assessment, I also plan to use NWEA skills navigator to see if any improvements were made. This will only be used for data purposes and nothing more. My goal is to see improvement because I used authentic carefully planned teacher and student assessment. I chose not to use this as an final result as it would be considered a low-stakes test in which it might not show students performance accurately as they were less motivated to show their true knowledge (Samzir, Martinez, Rutherford, Domina, & Conley, 2015).

 

  • YES! I tried to balance the two based on time and effectiveness. I also left time at the end of each unit for short student assessment in the forms of checklists so students could have some self-reflection time.
  • I had a mixed of open-ended and closed response. For the most part the closed response were quick reflections in the form of a checklist. This was done to reinforce key points, show what students thought they learned, and allow some reflection time. The open-ended responses were used more for performance projects at the end of the unit.
  • My performance assessment is the final project of the unit and it is the key to the unit. Students are given the same assessment at the beginning of unit to see what they know but also as a way to teach them what they need to learn and the procedures to finish the project.
  • The grading criteria is very transparent as they are given a rubric in which they are required to self assess before turning in. I kept the rubric simple so that they can be creative and innovative. If students are struggling on daily activities they are allowed to move to a lower level or vise versa using a computer based program.
  • They are a combination of both with the majority being low stakes. The high stakes testing will be used just for data purposes only to test the effectiveness of the unit. The low stakes test will be graded –mainly because it is easier to differentiate and easier for students to earn partial credit for their knowledge they have learned.

 

Edutopia. “Why Assessment is Important?” 2008. Web. <https://www.edutopia.org/assessment-guide-importance>.

 

Shores, C., & Chester, K. (2009). Using RTI for School Improvement : Raising Every Student’s Achievement Scores. Chapter Two: Selecting and Implementing Ongoing Assessment. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin. Retrieved from: http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=473693&site=ehost-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_34

 

Burns, V. (2015). 53 Interesting Ways to Assess Your Students. [N.p.]: Frontinus Ltd. Retrieved from http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1017975&site=ehost-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_Cover on March 19, 2017

 

James Popham, W. p. (2014). Criterion-Referenced Measurement: Half a Century Wasted?. Educational Leadership71(6), 62-68. Retrieved from: Egan Library http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eft&AN=94925708&login.asp&site=ehost-live

 

Simzar, R. M., Martinez, M., Rutherford, T., Domina, T., & Conley, A. M. (2015). Raising the stakes: How students’ motivation for mathematics associates with high- and low-stakes test achievement. Learning and Individual Differences, Vol 39: 49-63. Retrieved from http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2066/10.1016/j.lindif.2015.03.002

 

 

WK 8 Reflection

Week 8 Reflection

 

This week was a wonderful week of learning. I learned that the brain is a very dynamic and multifaceted feature that affects the way we learn. In the past, I had known that the brain is the powerhouse of our learning, but I never knew to what extent and to how it was affected by events or how it processed information. These two phenomenons of the brain are very important to how we learn.

 

What really got to me this week was why did it take me so long to really focus on how we learn. Although it seems like the most effective way to teach, sometimes, I find it too easy to fall back on the traditional “one size fits all” approach. Throughout the blogs of others I found they also had similar experiences.

 

Before I get too far into discussion, I would also like to add that I found the material a bit overwhelming but very intriguing. I am very interested in learning about how we learn because, in my opinion, it is the key to our success as educators. However, there is so much to the brain that it was hard to keep the information straight. I had a hard time with this week’s information because I had a lot of information to apply to how I already teach. I was trying to assess what I was doing right and what I could do to improve my teaching based off of brain based research. In order to process all of the new information and organize it so that I could relate it to helping me in the classroom, I used what I learned this week from the reading which was to take in my learning in chunks. This also went along with the idea that “Less is More”. I loved this concept because more too often than not I find myself trying to cram more content into a lesson than is reasonably possibly. Usually I find the results are students who did not learn what I had covered. I had my “Ah Hah” moment this week when I learned that the brain can only process so much information without going into overload–much like my computer. This had me reflecting on why my particular class which is a remedial class does so well. I have lessons that are focused and we take are time. In some ways much of what I am doing follow the UbD design and follows researched based practices but I had not known that until this week.

 

Before this week, many of the strategies only intuitively made sense to me. Some strategies are new to me and I was able to add that my repertoire of tools. The idea of backing up your teaching principles with brain based learning is phenomenal to me. I love that there are a multitude of strategies out there to help students that are grounded in research.

 

It is almost mind boggling that brain based learning is not really at the forefront of educating students. It makes sense that we as educators should be teaching to how students learn. In my opinion, educators using  brain based learning is a “no brainer” (No pun intended).

 

There are a plethora of strategies available for many different types of learning situations. The key word there is “different” because the brain is unique and brain based learning recognizes the need for differentiated instruction.

 

We are no longer able to approach education in the traditional way–modern research is saying otherwise. A lot of what we knew and thought about what affects students’ learning is a response to how the brain responds to things. One comment that I read which had really hit home to me

had to do with are behavioral responses to emotions. In the reading Eric Jenson pointed out how if we are in a life or death situation we are going to behave differently because of how the brain responds to situations. Although his statement is so simple and almost common sense, it is clear that the brain responds to our surroundings and in order to learn we have to be in the right mind frame. I really like how my research this week led to my own epiphanies as an educator. I had always known that students come with issues beyond our control, however, it was all too easy to act as if we can’t do something about it. However, the truth is that we can do something because there are strategies. It made me realize that the mindfulness training I had was important and that it was an important strategy that helps to ensure learning takes place. To further this topic, I decided to check out Jules page because she tends to talk about the social/emotional aspects of education and sure enough she did. I loved reading about what she had to say.

 

All in all this was a pretty successful week of learning about leaning. Yahoo! My final thought are we as educators should learn about learning so that we can teach to how students learn.

WK8

WK 8

Brain Based Learning (BBL) recognizes the fact that there is a no “one size fits all” approach to education because at no given time will all students be synchronized and ready to learn equally. In order to work with the brain, teachers need to differentiate their instruction using brain based research. BBL is a researched based practice that will greatly allow a teacher to differentiate instruction (DI) so that students are learning to their fullest capacity. BBL and DI go hand in hand in that  BBL recognizes that the brain is dynamic and unique among individuals while DI will be most beneficial when research based practices such as BBL are used.  

 

BBL recognizes the educator has the resources and knowledge available to them to teach using methods that work with the brain to ensure maximum learning. To do this an educator must have some knowledge of how the brain works. This is a challenging task because the human brain is differentiates among students require the need for DI. According to Eric Jensen (2005) because students are growing, they have different bodies and brains with different hormones and a unique body clock which will at any given time be at a high or low. Bobbie Dunn (2010) also states, “These complicated organs called brains all develop at different rates, and there are some students who are far more ready than others.” To deal with this fluctuation Jenson suggest educators have: tolerance, activity shifts, movement and thoughtful scheduling. In other words we DIFFERENTIATE.

 

Educator have the dynamic task of working with their students’ brain capacity at the time of educating. To aid in this process, Jensen (2005) suggests building instruction based off of two powerful concepts: prior knowledge and examples or extrapolation of mental rules/models. Furthermore, it is important to remember that more is not always better in terms of teaching content, a concept that is hard to manage for many teachers in the world of standardization. Jensen (2005) points out that because of the way the brain works, “you can teach more and faster, but students will simply forget more and faster (p.42).”  Therefore, cramming too much into a lesson could actually result in less learning. It is important to add down time into lessons so that students have time to process new information. Jensen (2005) highlights that the frontal lobe where short term memory quickly processes and learns new information can only handle a range 3-7 chunks of new information before overloading. Audrey Prince, M. Ed. (2005) states the brain learns new information in chunks therefore it is best to teach in small chunks. This limited capacity for new information supports and reinforces the idea of using assessment to guide instructional design like that of the Universal by Design concept that differentiated based.

 

The process in which the brain learns supports the notion that learning should be designed with variation in instruction and resting periods. Jensen (2005) explains the need for variation and rest as a direct result of the how neurons work in the brain causing the need for a resting period because the brain needs to recycle the neurons in order for long-term memory to happen.  Many educators have transfer knowledge as their ultimate goal and is only possible if long term memory takes place. To ensure long term memory learning takes place, “World renowned neuroscientist Terry Sejnowski suggests allowing personal processing time (Jensen, 2005, p.44).” This settling time varies from student to student which is another reason Di is needed. According to Jenson (2005), there is a general guideline of 2-5 minutes of processing time needed for every 10-15 minutes of heavy new content (p.44).   

 

However, educating students is not as simple as giving them resting time and variation of instruction because these same neurons that allow for long term memory are affected by stressor and other outside of school factors. Jenson (2009) outlines lack of positive relationships, learned helplessness, cultural awareness, perception of threats, brain anomalies, drug use, and perception of school relevancy as behaviors due to brain differences among students that change the way in which the brain responds.  For instance, sleep is a process vital for learning. The hippocampus is where memory making takes place and most of it is subconsciously done in sleep (Jenson, 2005). These behaviors that students express all come from a pool of potential emotional states students are in that will affect their learning either positively or negatively (Jensen, 2009). According to Prince, M. Ed., (2005), “The brain performs better in a positive emotional state. Students must feel physically and emotionally safe before their brains are ready to learn.” It is our job to help students reach an emotional state that is conducive to learning a job more complex than the traditional method of teaching. DI requires that the teacher tries to read her students’ emotional state in order to best approach instructional practices.  

 

It is important for an educator to understand these emotional states because they are the body’s environment for learning and only selected ones are conducive for learning. Emotional states affect our students engagement, “For one, states combine our emotional, cognitive, and physical interactions to allow us to make all our decisions. Evoking specific emotional states allows learners more freedom, not less, to make new discoveries” (Jenson, 2005, p.108).

 

In order to best serve our students, it is important for educators to learn about the brain so they can formulate lessons that work well with students and standards.

Ironically the word standards is a bit of an oxymoron for education when the brain itself is a multifaceted organ scientifically proven to be unique to each individual. We must differentiate learning by using brain based strategies in order to ensure all students are succeeding to the best of their abilities. It makes perfect sense that an educator learns about learning and is somewhat baffling to me that brain based learning is not the most common way of preparing in educator.

 

Resources

 

Dunn, Bobbie. “3 Techniques for Brain Based Differentiation.” 2010. Web. 02, March 2017 <http://www.weteachwelearn.org/2010/05/3-techniques-for-brain-based-differentiation/>.

 

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with the Brain in Mind (2nd Edition). Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2005. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 5 April 2015. Retreived from: http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=141347&site=ehost-live

 

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with Poverty in Mind : What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 5 April 2015. Retrieved from:

http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=301969&site=ehost-live
Prince, Audrey. “Using the Principles of Brain-Based Learning in the Classroom how to Help a Child Learn.” Super Duper Handy Handouts 2005: 81. Print. Retrieved from: https://www.superduperinc.com/handouts/pdf/81_brain.pdf

Week 7 Reflection

It is Sunday evening and it is time to reflect. It has been such a busy weekend that I wrestled with the idea of writing my reflection tomorrow morning. My only goal tonight is to get good sleep and the only way that is happening is if I get my deadlines done.

 

So reflecting on this week, I am happy to report it was a very successful week. I was able to read and post on a few blogs throughout the week. It was a bit challenging to learn from others when they are not meeting deadlines. That frustration fueled part of my drive to get my work in on time.  

 

Nonetheless, I was able to find a few blogs early on in the week. One of the first post I read about was Kendra’s on Nearpod. I was pleased to see she reviewed Nearpod, because it is something I am very interested in. I was just a tad bit overwhelmed with it, to comfortable review it. I do plan to overlook. The next person I chatted with was Mariah if I am remembering correctly. To my benefit, she also reviewed Nearpod. I learned different aspects from Nearpod from her. So with the combination of the two I was feeling like I had a better feel for the program as well as a deepened desire to explore it.  I also communicated with one more lady who was also reviewing Nearpod.

 

With so many choosing Nearpod, I am definitely going to be checking this out more. I also plan to read more blogs by tomorrow to see what other’s found of value. One thing I plan to do is review some Youtube videos on this topic. Just saying that very phrase is telling me that education is changing. I know how I learn and within a few clicks of my keys I am learning. It is amazing how much this class has opened my eyes up to new possibilities with technology. This week I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a video on education in the United States which I could really relate to. This video pointed out how everything in the world has changed but for the most part schools are still using the same one size fits all policy which does not work. I couldn’t agree more and I am glad I am doing something about making sure I am not following through with the old mentality.

 

I plan to take what I learn about technology to help create DI. I really enjoyed this week’s blog assignment, because I am learning about teacher tested resources. The blogs gave me great insight to popular resources such as Nearpod. I look forward to the weeks to come, because I know each week I am improving greatly as an educator. Yahoo!

WK1 Reflection

This week I found myself feeling frantically busy! I am trying to play catch up. I find it a lot of work to keep the previous weeks I am trying to catch up and the current week separate.  Most of the time, I find the concepts relate and I am wanting to go back and forth. I must say I appreciate all the hard work that has gone into the blogs, because it is making a challenging task a bit more bearable. Thank-you to all you amazing educators and peers.

 

I really enjoyed reading through other’ experience with differentiated instruction. It was reassuring to know that I am not the only who is overwhelmed with the process. I am also not the only one who finds the job as an educator stressful. The overall consensus I was getting is the job itself is challenging and DI will require more work on our behalf as educators. Although it is a challenging tasks, I believe it is worthwhile to practice DI for the both students’ learning needs and our sanity as educators. Right now the traditional methods of education don’t work more than ever on our current population of students. Throughout the required readings, it was made clear we are teaching a different population of students with different learning needs.

 

I agree it might be more work on top of what we are already doing, however, I want to make it clear, I believe that DI will eventually lighten the stress load because our instruction will have become better and students will have less gaps because of effective DI. The whole one size fits all motto is a really archaic principal. When I am feeling overwhelmed this is what I will have to tell myself, because it is to easy to fall back on the familiar.

 

One thing I would like to mention is I was really proud of the fact that we are all taking part in professional development as educators. We all have a huge stress load and we chose to do something constructive to alleviate the load. Kendra felt like I did before about how I lived and breathed being an educator and as a result my personal well-being took a toll. I eventually learned that I needed to take care of myself from a mentor teacher. It was some of the best advice I have ever gotten. I was happy to hear Kendra is making advances to take care of herself. I also could really relate to Jules as a once first year teacher pursuing higher education. It is so overwhelming and I had to commend her for her efforts. I also have to admit that even with 9 years under my belt, I also still struggle with DI. I would have to say it gets easier and from experience I have learned that technology helps tremendously with DI.

 

As the weeks go on, I look forward to learning from others through blogging and collaborating electronically.