Monday, November 26, 2012

Blog Post 5 Back to the Future 521

This semester I have been surprised by the literacy levels of my students, they are able to read, analyze stories, and develop plot characterizations verbally and effectively. They are not however able to effectively convey this same information in well organized and thought out essays with proof.

On September 30, 2013 My students are be engaged in a group project where they will talking about and discussing with each other the aspect of the story plot and how they have contextual evidence to support their claims. This was a good exercise because they all have been reading a novel of their choice. They have talked in small literature circles about the importance of their novels with other students. But seeing them animatedly talking to other students about a book they have read in exciting.

December 15 2013
My students are writing a persuasive essay this week they have had a lot of practice arguing and discussing novels and out side non-fiction texts. It has been interesting to watch them understand that a well-informed opinion is better then just a feeling. They are also excited to debate their finding with each other and vote on the most convincing persuasive essay in the class. They have also been using the computers in class and their personal smart phones and devices to find evidence and refute finding. They really seem to love checking the facts that I present them and more importantly proving my data wrong. Yeah they miss use their devices occasionally but the benefits out strips the negatives.

May 30 2014
My students are capable of independent learning when it comes to reading text and finding arguments or the writer’s purpose.  They not only can read these text but they are good and look for evidence to counter ideas and writing them in clear and logical ways.  Not only that but they are comfortable looking at others thoughts and allowing their own opinions and feeling to be changed by well thought out arguments. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

521 Blog Post number 4 Speak up!

521 Blog Post number 4 Speak up!
 In Projects Tomorrow’s website the report by Speak Up“ Learning in the 21st century mobile devices + social media + personalized learning” had some interesting information regarding how students and teachers and parents access the internet. What I found surprising in this report was that 50 percent of students now have smart phone. More than that, two thirds of their parents also have them. While it comes to no surprise that we are seeing more and more students with personal cellphones, the ability for them to use and have smart phones is game changing idea. Often, we think of Internet access as a student being able to log on to a computer to get on the Internet. Rarely do think about students using their phones to look up websites or read articles. Yet, these actions are done by millions of smartphone users every day. As, a teacher I have to take into account this method of connection to the information super highway. If nothing else I can set up a twitter account to tweet students on their phones about assignments or to bring their books to class. In this Manner, student’s smart phones can become a source of support for student’s achievement and not just a distraction.
RR2     Students are also very well informed when it comes to how technology and their schooling will affect their adult lives.  In the video by speak up entitled “studentsspeak to president Obama on how to improve school students talk about chances they would make if they were the president. What really surprised me was how much these students understood the role technology would play in their future careers.  More than that though how many wanted teachers to make their lessons more relevant to the real world and not just to the test they would be taking. I believe this is the key not just in motivating students, to but also in designing good lesson plans, which are relevant and engaging. After watching this video I began to think about how I can, not only bring technology into my classroom, but also ways of continuously making my lessons have a real world connection. 
RR3     Starting a Teaching to Learn program or club at my school site could be possible. My school site requires a minimum of 22 students to sign up in order to start a club and a teacher to sponsor it. This type of club could benefit not only my students in teaching them how teaching works but also the students they would mentor. Kids learn better from other kids and allowing students to mentor younger generations of students is an exciting way to make all students engaged in their own learning. I believe that some of these teaching sessions could even take place online. Recently, my wife and I have thought about how to do just this type of interactive lesson. She is a middle school teacher across town from my high school and we have thought about using our pads and computers as bridges to connect our students together in a collaborative assignment where the high school students will guide their younger counterparts in a task. This type of club would be perfect for this type learning environment and I believe it is an endeavor that I hope try one day. 

Lesson Planning Blog Post #2

511 Blog post 4 Unit Plan

This Unit plan is for English 10 and covers writing a biographical narrative, although it also can be modified to work with an auto biographical narrative. It covers 5 days of study an starts with a timeline information gathering project. Next, the unit plan covers finding and providing character traits. The next assignment allows students to fill out a map to help them organize the timeline information they gathered. On day four the lesson helps students modify and edit their own work to help them add sentence variety and meaning to their sentences. The last day has students using all their notes and writing a biographical narrative. All the lesson plans the unit plan and hands outs can be accessed though the link Below.

Bio Narrative Unit Five day Unit Plan

Monday, November 5, 2012

521 blog post 3 TPE4 Making content accessible through student based products

In my classroom I try and foster creativity in multiple ways, mostly by giving students the opportunity to show me how they understood the concepts I want them to learn. For example, in my class I wanted my students to analyze Hamlet and discuss if they thought he was really insane or not. I could have just had them write me an essay. Instead, I allowed my students to choose how they wanted to show me they understood and analyzed the play. So while they are still meeting state adopted standards the purpose has not changed just the product. The class got into groups and they were able to collaborate with other students on projects and decide how to proceed. This allows students the opportunity to be creative in ways that makes them feel like their skills are appreciated. By allowing students to pick their own projects it also allows them to solve different kinds of problem and reasoning skills that a traditional paper might not have.  Students not only have to navigate how to obtain new information but working in groups they need to learn how to communicate clearly and collaborate effectively. By allowing students the opportunity to work in groups with their peers I no longer become the funnel for their learning rather my role becomes more of a facilitator for where information can be found. Students learn then how to use a variety of sources to find answers to their questions not just me.  Students not only learn effective Internet research techniques but as I discuss what they are doing, I am able to help them learn how to make their project happen. For example, I have a group who wanted to film a newscast, by showing them how to use their IPhones to film and edit the project I was able give them the tools and root by which they could make their vision come alive. This type of project that I try to facilitate encourages students creativity and imagination but also because students are picking project they believe they can accomplish they them selves differentiate the products creating a balanced and comprehensive experience.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The danger of the single story Sociocultural Aspects of Schooling for ELs

One of the social or cultural issue that English language learner faces is the stereotype which Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie, calls The Danger of a  Single Story. Too often in our rush to incorporate multicultural text or social facts about a culture we find out self-spreading stereotypes about people and their habits. We introduce stories about other cultures as true statements about everyone one in that culture. For example how many Mexican American stories are there about Mexicans who love to farm or grow fruits, or the Native American who seem connected to the land in a magical way. While these stories have relevancy and cultural perspectives that are important in the right framework. They are ultimately the story of one person, the writer. It is culturally irrespirable to present these stories as truths about a whole culture or a people. It makes students from these cultures into stereotypes and makes them harder to fit in or to be seen as more than just “the other culture". So I plan to always present these texts as part of the writer’s truths. To tell students, that the customs and heritage which are represented in literature are not indicative of all people of that culture but of the writer and his family. In this way one can help eliminate preconceived notions about a students cultural experience and place them in a box as if we understand them.