Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Assignment for Ms. Segura's Students

Please follow the link and complete the tasks detailed in the webquest. Please enjoy your adventure and do the best you can.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Alternative Class Assignment

Question a: Did you find this WebQuest informative and useful?
I found WebQuest very interesting and exciting, practical and am looking forward to using it with my ESL students in Junior High.

Question b: Which elements did you find to be most effective?
I believe the introduction is most important as it lays the foundation and establishes the focus of the webquest.

Question c: What (if anything) about WebQuests did you hope to find out from this resource that you didn’t get adequate information about?
I found this to be a very complete resource, one that I am bookmarking to be able to refer back to it specifically when I plan a webquest assignment. I even noted the experts which can be referred to I later have a question about this.

How would you go about bringing WebQuests into your teaching practice?
I would like to introduce webquest to my middle school students. Technology is welcomed and regularly used at my school. I envision an exercise involving researching authors or artists from their respective countries. I have 2 from P.R., 4 from D.R. and one from Yemin, so I personally would find it interesting. Perhaps I can use webquests to complete projects on a monthly bases.

One approach would be for you to look through the very extensive libraries of existing WebQuests that other teachers have developed already and have posted online for colleagues like you to adopt and adapt and use as a model in creating their own. Here are some links to WebQuest collections (A Google search will certainly turn up more!)- eMints http://www.emints.org/webquest/3-5health.shtml- University of Richmond http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/education/projects/- Kathy Schrock’s library http://kathyschrock.net/webquests/index.htm- Best WebQuests http://bestwebquests.com/Peruse the library and then choose one that you feel you could use ‘as is’ or better yet adapt for use in your own teaching practice.

Question d: Which one did you choose?
I selected Young Author's WebQuest, A WebQuest for Literature and Art, from the Richmond University website. This is a wonderful lesson plan because it frames the a writing project in a fun and interesting way which students should find more appealing. My students are difficult to motivate, and this should certainly help them in this process they find most difficult, writing. The link of my choice is below.

Question e: How would you adapt it? What would you create to support your special population students in using it?
I would want to include helps like a synonym list, because my students tend to use the simple words like mad, glad, sad, happy, etc. I am trying to get them to expand their vocabulary and become more comfortable using more selective words.

Another approach would be for you to create your own WebQuest from scratch. There are online tools to support teachers in doing this Here’s 1 – you’ll find others in the resources list below Let's start with a YouTube Tutorial on this approach and the recommended resource: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnJ2moNmbdk And the resource in the tutorial… http://webquest.sdsu.edu/designpatterns/all.htm

Question f: Watch the video, explore the resource, and give your opinion of both: (or select another WebQuest creation tool/resource and give your opinion of that.)
I personally like video for instruction. I want to mention that I have recently rediscovered you-tube, not only as a music video source but now as an instructional tool as well, thanks to this class. I have found that it is a great resource for teaching any subject. Therefore, my opinion is that this video on webquest creations is very helpful and useful to me personally. A visual, and audio help, this video demonstrates what you need to do, and I like to watch examples along with the explanation. It makes teaching in this new way, via webquests, more accessible.
You now have a good overview of what WebQuests are and why so many of your teaching colleagues have gravitated toward them as one of the first technology-based teaching practices of high value. One more thing before we wrap this up… Here’s a recently recorded podcast interview with Bernie Dodge the man who is credited with having invented the WebQuest back in 1995. In this interview (roughly 15 – 20 minutes) Bernie reflects back on the popularity, place, and future of the WebQuest. He also reflects on what’s going on in Education currently and the function technology will continue to have in providing value.Bernie Dodge Interview Podcast URL: http://www.intelligenic.com/blog/?p=103 Listen to the podcast and then share:

Question g: What did you hear Bernie Dodge say that you feel was enlightening, valuable, surprising to you?
I liked his explanation of the development of the webquest model which made me understand its purpose of it, which is structure, as opposed to the traditional way the internet was and probably still is used by the majority of teachers. The traditional internet assignments for the class are disconnected. Meanwhile, the webquest is a solidly focused approach to navigating an assignment on the web. Webquests have all the benefits and novelty of using the internet, without the vague, unfocused approach to just surfing the world wide web searching for answers to questions assigned by the teacher. The latter has the potential to distract the user and soon find the student in other unrelated websites. I agree with Dodge in his analysis of the traditional classroom education being a bit removed from the adult real world. Webquests are a good way to bridge this.

Question h: And, having spent a few hours now studying WebQuests, what do you feel about this practice?
I have bookmarked four impressive Webquests sites with full complete lesson plans which I hope to complete as part of my curriculum this coming fall. Bernie Dodge’s webquest.org and the three mentioned in this assignment. Needless to say, this model is a wonderful gift to teachers with much merit and practicality. It is also gift to students, as ultimately it will enrich their education experience.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Assignment #6

This final reading assignment will be posted in our BlackBoard section within a few days of this blog post. You should submit your response there. Due date - August 1, 2008.Podcasting for Teachers - Read Chapter # 7 " Talking to the World - Podcast Format Possibilities".Imagine you have been given the task of creating a podcast for your school, something that will build esprit de corps, tie the community of learners together, help with parent outreach, and in general, be a source of pride and a showcase for the good work done at your school.What kind of podcast would you produce? How often would you 'post' an episode? While elements would you include? What would you do that isn't covered in the chapter? How do you see this powerful 'extra' impacting your school community? (250 words).

Student Response

A podcast for the school would be a lovely idea that would certainly create pride and a feeling of accomplishments both to faculty and students alike. Our school can use this inspiration to motivate the students to put the most effort and complete their best work. If I were to initiate and be responsible for a podcast at say my middle school, I do work for three schools, I would broadcast weekly. Since the middle school, the School of Essence, IS 311 where I work is organized in a way that there is a teacher for each subject, I would ask each teacher to have an input in every episode. We would meet to discuss and record a summary of the lessons for the week. The Week’s Focus would be the name of this segment, in which teachers basically, in 2 minutes or less, discuss what they taught in their respective classes for that week. We have a math, science, social studies, art and technology and English teacher for each grade. The 15 teachers will briefly highlight the important lessons for the week. It would be like a mini-lesson that students can catch up on. Also, students can be aware of what their adjacent students are studying. Total section running time should be about 30 minutes.

Another segment can be called: The Students in Focus and this would reveal the students that excelled in the week. This student can be given an opportunity to discuss his work which the teacher helps selects. A total of 3 students will be selected weekly, one per grade (6th, 7th and 8th grade) which the teachers will choose by vote. Total section should be about 7-8 minutes, giving each student a little over 2 minutes each.

The final segment of the podcast can be named Community in Focus and should feature any active community project, interesting field trips, awards or commendation received by the school by an outside source. Any grants, or parent involvement can be mentioned here. This final section can be about 7-8 minutes, completing a 45 minutes episode.

Episodes can be uploaded onto a blog or school website available to students, parents, teachers and other educators for downloading regularly or automatically as part of a free subscription. If the program is successful, it can be expanded to include video clips also downloadable to I-pods and onto computer, emailed and shared. A blog can be available to all for comments, suggestions, questions. Announcement can be posted there with any applicable links.

This would tie in our community of educators, students, parents, and leaders. Everyone can be aware of what the students are learning in their respective grades and content and who is excelling in their fields of study. Teachers can cross compare of what content should be included or might be lacking. People can also be informed and or involved in what is happening in their community through the Community in Focus segment. This would help motivate students to do their best work so they can be mentioned in the Students in Focus section. The impact would be positive.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Assignment #5

Part 1.a Read Chapter 16 of Podcasting for Teachers"Beyond Course Casting" pay particular attention to the section on Podcasting and Assessment.

Part 1.b Read Chapter 10 in Meaningful Learning with Technology "Assessing Meaningful Learning"

Write a 250 word response for each and draw connections between the 2 chapters if you can.

Student Response

1.a I was impressed with the idea of University professors using the podcasting technology to make available the class lectures online. Although the negative results of using this new technology included a decrease in class student attendance, I believe that the positive educational values outweigh the negatives. There is much that goes on in class that perhaps being able to listen once again to a lecture you are much more able to absorb the material presented in class. It is free of distraction, and you can listen to it as often as you wish. I myself have a terrible memory, and am not an efficient note taker, would thus find this to be very useful. In addition, I can listen and study the lectures on the road, on my I-pod, while exercising or running errands. It expands on moments of study that would not otherwise be there if I only had paper notes to study and rely on. Another good reason to have this available would be for students who were not able to attend class on a particular date. As this chapter points, students who have a preference to learning in an auditory manner will benefit from this approach. Students can take advantage of the most current information posted on blogs, any last minute changes or emergencies.

1.b Chapter 10 in Meaningful Learning with Technology "Assessing Meaningful Learning" was mostly about assessments; specifically, how to use computer technology as an assessment tool. Pros and cons considered, I think, once again, all technology is good. Technology applied to all areas of education is a positive thing as improvements can be garnered through the use of it. Assessment is important, but difficult to achieve accurately and effectively. Once proper assessment is administered, which in my opinion is a trial and error process perfected with experience, then only can we differentiate instruction and make use of the results. As teachers, we must use the results of the assessment to change and direct our instruction, gearing towards correcting deficiencies in our students education. Computer assessment would be fun for the student and more efficient for the teacher, once the teacher has learned how to use this software.

Drawing similarities or comparisons between these two readings, I find it difficult other than to point out the obvious that computer technology and such is improving education on every spectrum. From test taking, to planning, to implementing lessons, to displaying to homework assignments, special projects and tasks, and now follow up activities through the online lectures and assessments, it should be streamlining and organizing the information we are processing in the process of education. Computers allow us to organize and process much more effectively and therefore reach more children and have a higher level of achievement than ever before the computer age.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

32 Adjectives song


Please listen to the 32 Adjectives song and pick 10 words to use in sentences.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fun with Music Disney Part 4

Assignment #4

I’ll make this one due by Wed. 7/16/08 which will give all a chance to get caught up.In the interim, be sure to participate in Discussion #1 (blog and or Blackboard).Also, here’s an extra article you may want to read:CORRECTED: Technology Reshapes America's Classrooms http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/technology/tech-usa-education-technology.html?_r=1&oref=sloginYou may want to listen to this week’s episode of The Teachers Podcast (if you listen be sure to check out the links given in the website) http://www.teacherspodcast.org/Also, you may want to review our class blog. As you build out your blog you may find the “technology tips” I’ve put in to be useful. Our class blog is an organic, ongoing item and may offer you a model of approaches you would use in a similar blog in your own teaching.Assignment #4Part 1Read chapter 5 of Meaningful Learning with Technology.Write a response (approx. 250) on your reflections on the how this fits into your understanding of education and how it might be used in your own teaching practice.Part 2Building out your blog a little, let’s try a ‘post’ that you might create for your students. Find an item on the web that you feel is appropriate and worthwhile to present to your students. In your text (a paragraph or 2) put a hyperlink into your blog that will take the reader to the item you’ve selected. Give directions on what to do with the content you are sending him to (i.e. print this out, read in entirety, read the first 3 paragraphs, etc.). Also, give directions to the student on processing the content (i.e. summarize, list new vocabulary, write a short reflection, etc.).The above is required, but the following are suggestions for how you might enhance the blog experience for your student:Upload a still photo or a scanUpload (or embed) a videoPut a link in to a podcast or sound fileUpload or embed a slide showHow would you use the item you include instructionally?


1. Concept maps are very popular with teachers of students of all ages. I myself have many different types of formal maps I have come across and regularly use. We brainstorm topics we will cover in themes in our stories we read. For example, when I read the Hungry Caterpillar, we brainstormed caterpillar then wrote everything we could think of relating to that topic. Another mapped approach I use to expand on a topic is the "spider" concept map, organized by placing the central theme in the center of the map surrounded by outwardly radiating subthemes. Flow charts provide a linear view of information and I normally use it for sequencing events. Mapping is a very useful tool for managing information. It is a contributor to the educational success of students. According to The Teaching for Student Achievement Guidebook, which we were all given from our Fellows department, using mapping tools are considered “HITS”, or High Impact Teaching Strategies which when employed result in a remarkable increase in student achievement. Specifically categorizing and organizing information into charts is a very effective teaching strategy. I already employ this method of teaching and transferring that usage online is worth trying. Recently we learned about the website readwritethink.org where these types of mapping tools are pre-arranged. By selecting a map the computer prompts you to enter in information which is automatically mapped. This is, once again, a more appealing and attractive way to use this high impact strategy than simply presented on paper.

2. Instructions for Student Assignment:

A. Please go to this link: http://www.etseverywhere.com/category/grammar-songs
B. Read and listen to the story: Extremely True Facts About Cats
C. Please print out the section to be filled in.
D. Please complete the sentences with adjectives about cats.
E. Draw a picture of a cat using paint.
F. Watch the cat video above and write a few sentences to describe its contents. Did you hear any adjectives in the song? Please list.
G. Listen to the link, 32 Adjectives Song and pick 10 words to write sentences for.