Thursday, January 13, 2011

Have paper and markers become a novelty?

I assigned my grade 6 class a science project to research and make a presentation on energy sources. I allowed students to make any type of presentation that they wanted. For example, they could use any computer program such as Glogster, Prezi, Bitstrips or Powerpoint. If they did not want to use a computer program they could also choose to make a poster or a pamphlet using paper. To my surprise over half the students choose to make a poster using paper! Interestingly most of the girls choose to make posters on paper, whereas most boys choose to make a presentation using the computer. Differentiated learning at its best! This made me wonder, in our age of computers has paper and markers become a novelty?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Professional Development: Relevant or Not

I just finished tweeting in the #edchat tonight on “What are the roadblocks stopping teachers & administrators from engaging in PD?”
There were lots of opinions on what quality PD looks like, but everyone seemed to agree that teachers should be in control of some of their PD opportunities.
PD should be relevant to what teachers are doing in their classroom, not just some random lesson that has no real point. As teachers we attempt to make our lessons engaging for students, PD also needs to be engaging. To me, engaging PD would include teachers being able to “talk” about the issues or topic, whether this be verbal or tech talking. I also think that schools should use their teachers to provide PD rather then obtaining outside sources to present to a staff. Teachers engage in PD everyday. Talking to each other to problem solve situations in their classroom and to share great lessons and student success. Real life, relevant PD is the most beneficial PD for me and my students!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Twitter & #edchat

Last night I participated in #edchat on Twitter. The topic of discussion was Participatory Learning. At first I was not clear as to what this meant. However the great thing about Twitter is that when you ask a question, many people respond with an answer and a link! From my understanding, Participatory Learning occurs when students are given options in demonstrating their knowledge. I have participated in #edchat previously, however, last nights chat seemed to go at lightning speed! People were very eager to participate and share how they are using Participatory Learning in their classrooms with specific examples. I made some new Twitter connections with people from across the globe. After the chat I was so full of new ideas and contemplating ways to implement them into my class, I was up really late! I am so happy that a teacher friend introduced me to Twitter, it has opened my professional world to endless possibilities!