Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bloom Smoom

The Bloom’s taxonomy model represents the hierarchy of probing questions that teachers use to facilitate their students through an exploration of learning and lesson. It takes students from the basic introduction of a topic up the ladder to full understanding. The beginning asks the students to recall facts and goes up to the end of challenging the student to create their pieces for learning.

         Bloom created the learning objectives in the 1950’s after a series of conferences held for educators and curriculum creators. In the 1990's, a former student of Bloom, Lorin Anderson, revised Bloom's Taxonomy.

         In Step 1 we have climbed the ladder with activities involving the topic of 5 E lesson plans. In the beginning we were introduced to the topic with the description and basic breakdown of each “E”. Then we were asked to recognize, list, identify, and describe the 5 E lesson plan parts through quizzes.
         We moved up the ladder to Applying and on with creating our own lesson plans. We took what we learned about each one and applied that to our teaches. We then constructed and produced our own forms of the lesson plans that we planned around our own goals.
         We also participated in the activities of evaluating. We have evaluated and tested our lesson plans through the teaches. The actual use of plan and the assessments are activities in which we did such.

         The highest level I reached with my students would be that of analysis. The students got to the point of analyzing the topics I presented to them. They were challenged to compare ideas and findings. They organized their findings and thoughts about the problems at hand. Comparing the inks in the chromatography, comparing the changes of the animals in adaptations, and the probability in my last are all examples I failed to reach the levels of the students creating and evaluating their own.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Assessments...Lord help me.

Assessment Blog

List 3 aspects pertaining to assessments, rubrics, and/or evaluations you have realized in the past few weeks. (1-2 sentences per aspect)

1. Assessments are sometimes the hardest component of the lesson plan. At the same time, they can be the most important.

2. It is difficult to accurately align the assessment to be properly effective with the objectives of my lesson. Also, making the rubric match up with the assessment I choose is crucial, but not always so obvious.

3. Assessments, specifically formative assessments, are probably the best way for both the students and myself to evaluate our progress. They can gauge and assess their work and mine and I can do the same.

Summarize in 2 sentences what you know or are going to learn about assessments and rubrics. 

Assessments are again key in evaluating and producing effective lesson plans. I am still working on how to get the best assessment possible with a correct and helpful rubric that will get better in time.

Provide 1 helpful or informative links about assessments and rubrics. (Do not add Rubistar.)

The following are helpful links I have found on here for assessments and rubrics.

The first is a site for teachers that has helpful discussion boards where fellow peers can discuss their ideas with one another.

The second is a discussion on different formative assessments and how we can use each to learn from our students.

"If you can both listen to children and accept their answers not as things to just be judged right or wrong but as pieces of information which may reveal what the child is thinking, you will have taken a giant step toward becoming a master teacher, rather than merely a disseminator of information." -Easley & Zwoyer, 1975

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Share your thoughts about questioning and evaluating formative assessments. How will you improve upon your questioning techniques? How will you evaluate your students' formative assessments?

You have tremendous freedom in your response to the questioning and evaluating formative assessment blog. Write in a clear, professional manner.

Questions. We use them everyday in everything we do. From the classroom to ordering food at McDonald's, questions are involved. It's how find things out. It's how we get what we need to get done. Thus it only makes sense that we use questions to learn in the classroom. We spoke last week on how "no questions= no learning." 
So in order for me to be an effective teacher I have to pay attention to these questions. I have to watch when I am asking questions and when the students are asking me questions. From my teach and in our classroom I have seen points that will allow me to grow and best utilize the questioning I can use. 
For example, I noticed I asked a lot of close-ended questions..."Do you understand?" "Did you hear what this student said?" "Did your ink change colors?" "Did your time get faster?" 
Instead I could ask, "What is the concept we are learning here?" "What did your ink do?" These questions trigger the student to learning and thinking on their own. In the end they will walk away with a deeper understanding if they figure it out on their own. 
I can also watch the way I ask the questions. Having clear and precise directions on how I want the students to answer can cut down on confusion and chaos. Then having multiple students answer and changing up who answers will allow everyone in the classroom to participate.  Having confidence and spending time on the thought process are places where I can greatly improve. If I ask a question I need to pause and let them think about it. Then allow a student to answer. If they are on the right track or even way off...pause and let them keep thinking and discussing it out loud. Then I can steer them in the right direction instead of jumping the gun and getting to where we want to be by telling them.
By assessing the students I can get a better grasp of what I want to do and whether or not they understand the objectives. The following is a general example of a scoring rubric in Kentucky classroom based on the 1-4 (Novice-Distinguished rating) of how well the student performed.

The same general idea can be applied to the challenge of the students by modifying the category and requirements. For example, my last teach I did a challenge of asking 2 adaptations Simba the lion would have to acquire if he moved to the Arctic and Bowling Green. Also what would these adaptations help in Simba surviving. I could take the rubric and tweak it for answering those questions. 1-Attempted to 4-completely answered the questions with excellent understanding of objective. These kind of rubrics will best help me to observe what the students have actually learned.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Reflection 2

1. How did your overall experience (e.g., lesson preparation, practice, implementation, students’ responses, your realizations, etc.) change from Teach 1 to Teach 2? Your well-written, professional response should be 1-2 paragraphs.

Transitioning from Teach 1 to Teach 2, I have seen myself grow tremendously as a pre service teacher. Teach 1 was successful, but I had many areas to work on. So as I started focusing on this Teach I really put concern on the areas I was critiqued on last time. Spending much time creating and fine tuning my own lesson plan allowed me to really immerse myself in this lesson and what I wanted the students to learn. After breaking down and altering the lesson many times with feedback from different teachers and peers, I finally got where I wanted to be before I entered the classroom. I practiced this time, but with different "students" to help me. Having the different views and questions really helped prepare me for this class. As I entered I was a lot more confident and felt more at ease presenting to the students.

While I was far better prepared for this teach with more confidence, of course things didn't go 100 percent smoothly. Small hiccups in the Teach occurred which I handled at my best. This will definitely happen daily as a teacher in my own classroom. Technology glitches, data not following my predictions, and student misconceptions all occurred in which I had to bounce back quickly. I had to resend my powerpoint and open up the video in youtube, describe how our data would change over time, and reroute students in the right direction of thinking. Overall, I looked at the sheets my students completed and I noticed more students were putting right answers with creative thinking on the Teach 2 worksheets. This does make me feel much more successful.

2. Rate your confidence level as a teacher on a 1 to 5 scale with 1 being terrified and 5 being confident. Elaborate in 3 sentences or less. 
As a teacher, I will go with a 4 on the confidence level. There is still a lot to learn and always will be, but with my experience so far I feel pretty confident that I can teach students a given concept with much more ease.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sir Ken...

TED Talk: Ken Robinson

Look out educational reform is occurring. It has been, is, and will be for many to come. In this animation video of TED Talk, Sir Ken Robinson explains the gist of the reform focusing on...
1. Economic reform- How do we educate children to take their role in our ever-changing economy?
2. Cultural reform- How do we educate our children to continue their cultural background and beliefs while being a part of globalization?

Our current education model is not so current and seems to be failing. Built for an earlier time, this model is not challenging students of today's society. He suggests the thought of "changing paradigm."  Let's go in the opposite direction of our education system and break learning down. Can there be many answers to one question?


The problem Robinson brings into play is the overall education system itself. 
Raise standards...Raise standards. 
We all have heard that, but really that is common sense. No? The question now is... how  do we raise the standards? Our education model, as previously stated, is based on the time it was created. The cultural and intellectual movement of the Enlightenment paired with the economy of the Industrial Revolution saw rise to the first "fitted" education model...which we are basically still using today. Taxation paid for free education for all.

However times are different and our children are growing up under very different circumstances. So shouldn't our education system fit that? Students use to partake in the system, get the education, and get a job. Today they can get the degree, but that doesn't guarantee a job at all. So what's the point? The children are losing interest.

Robinson points out the methodological and and systematic approach of factory like schooling. We herd kids in and they go through the line. Divided subjects, divided classes. Here is the question. Give the answer. Don't cheat.

It seems the major thing our children have in common is their birth year. Why are we grouping them this way? Students excel at different rates through different ways. We all know that 2 students the same age can be at very different levels. So why build a system on that premise?

Robinson reaches his conclusion that we are hindering each child from reaching their potential because of a failing factory-like system.  The economic imperative and model of the mind has resulted in 2 types of people
1. Smart vs. not smart.
2. Academic vs. on-academic.

Because of this we stop learning. Brilliant people are out there that don't even think they are. There is chaos. We have to reform the way in which we think in order to reform the way in which we learn.

With divergent thinking students can perform on a genius level. Coming up with hundreds of answers to one question, most of these thinkers are found at the kindergarten level. (98%) Thusly, after a few years, around the ages of 8-10 this cuts down to about 50%. So it seems that as the education continues the ideas of thinking freely deteriorate.


Robinson introduces the modern plagues of ADHD.  

Children are being diagnosed daily with a "fictitious" epidemic. Running wild with ideas and distraction, we must make them focus. To do this we are medicating the "hyper" students with calming medicine. 

In reality, our students are living in the most stimulating times ever know. With technology everywhere, they are being bombarded with information. Instead of taking all of this information and waking the mind of students, we are shutting them down with medications and focusing on one thing at a time. Thus we are making them uninterested and cutting down their learning capacity.


As a teacher, if I continue to teach the same basic method I will be limiting my students. Even in this class we all stress on getting the right answer and making the grade. But what if there is more than one answer?

We must think on our own and get out of this conformity. Think outside the box.


As a pre-service teacher, I can take this idea and reform the way I think. The importance is not in the answer but in the question. How do I see it? How can I answer it? Are there even limitations?

Once I get in this mindset I will be able to start challenging my students to as well. 

Going away from this, I take one main challenge. We need to think differently of the human capacity. We seem to be limiting ourselves more than challenging our minds. Group thinking , thinking for our surroundings, and thinking from different viewpoints can all affect the way in which we learn.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The language of teaching... (4)

     After completing my last teaching assignment, one student stood out in my mind. Amongst all of the children being engaged, exploring, following directions, and responding to questions, there sat a lonely child who just seemed to look around in confusion.
     Surrounded by those who knew what to do and how to do it, one child had no idea what was going on. This boy of topic just relocated to western Kentucky from Africa. While in the middle of students like himself, on the same level, and same age there was only difference...he did not speak English.
    I sat there and thought to myself..."How awful is it to be in a place where no one spoke my language?" I could only imagine if I went to a new country, such as Africa, and tried to live my day to day life. It would be tremendously hard. Now, to imagine being in a classroom trying to learn new ideas as a young child...almost heartbreaking.
    The teacher of the classroom pointed out the barrier he had with the student. He asked the student a question in English in which the boy had no response. I asked, "how do you teach a child with no communication?"

 The teacher replied with..."Do the best you can."

   The more I think about this topic...the more real it becomes. With diversity rising everyday, this will more than likely be a challenge in every future classroom. As a pre-service teacher this makes me nervous. There will be numerous challenges for me to face in order to manage, excite, and motivate the students to learn. This added to the everyday challenges seems impossible to overcome at first glance. How do I make the student feel welcomed and comfortable in my classroom? How do I engage the student in lessons with such a language barrier? In the can I help him learn?
   I've been looking around and many schools are establishing programs to help students transition to English based classrooms. Here is a video talking about such programs for her Alabama based school welcoming a flood of Korean students.
    This may seem like a small topic to discuss, but if we stop and recognize the problem we see how it is becoming a greater need everyday in the US classrooms.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Educational Technology (3)

     This semester has been jam packed with technology. Following suit of many college course, all of my classes this semester of course use blackboard to communicate. Fellow students can communicate with each other as well as student to teacher and vice versa. The simple us of search engines and research on the web have helped in my learning process. 
     Special programs such as "mastering biology" and Bio Labs are being utilized on the net for my science courses. These programs take place class of in class work but still serve as a hands on approach to learning. The assignments are interactive challenging us students to learn and respond through each objective. 
     Diigo, Edu 2.0, and Google+ have helped with this classroom in keeping the communication flowing through different avenues. Here we can communicate, do individual research and share, highlight and bookmark information on the web, discuss topics, and reflect on what we have done with each other and not have to  be in the same place. I have even gotten the chance to use google hangout to conference with multiple peers.
     Even in preparing for the lesson I taught, my partner and I used Powerpoint and the web to download tools into the presentation such as links and  timers. Pretty much everything  I have done this semester has incorporated technology. 

     In education, the internet is present. In researching I use the internet for information. Sharing and retrieving information is done through the internet. Simple e-mails to send classroom tools help in teaching. Pulling articles, videos, pictures, and presentations from the "net" are daily processes in my education. I am no longer a 1.0 person. I don't simply read items on the net and act as a viewer. I now participate in the spreading of information and continuing learning. 
     "A Web 2.0 site allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators..."
     We can now add our own input through the sites we are using. Teaching is the best form of learning and now we can teach and learn from each other and the web. As a  student, I can post helpful links, ask and answer questions with other students, and reflect my own thoughts through pages such as diigo, Google+. Blogger, Edu2.0, and other forum sites.
     As a teacher, I can present information to the students through sites. Offer ways of learning through exercises the students can do on their own is a great idea as a teacher. I can even create my own "teacher website" to allow students to further explore topics and lessons. 
     We are all moving towards a 2.0 society. Some of us are jumping at the opportunity while others are slowing giving in. We have the world at our fingertips and need to do our part to share what we can.

Excerpt from "Reflection 1"

1.            Comment on your overall experience (e.g., lesson preparation, practice, implementation, students’ responses, your realizations, etc.) Your well-written response should be 2-5 paragraphs.

2.            Rate your confidence level as a teacher on a 1 to 5 scale with 1 being terrified and 5 being confident. Elaborate in 3 sentences or less. 

1.             My first experience in teaching with the Sky Teach program went better than expected, however I still have a lot to learn. The part I worried the most with (the actual teaching/classroom management) went smooth and seemed to be the quickest part of the process. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of bumps and roadblocks with time/participation...yet I feel it was an overall success. 
                The planning of the lesson and putting our ideas together to get the main objective required most of our time and focus. A lot goes into what few minutes we have with students. Thus we want to make the biggest impact and utilize the full time we do have with them. This requires a lot of planning. Planning and practice can be a struggle when working with a partner. Setting up times that coincide with both schedules and being on the same page at all times can be challenging. That is just another part of teaching and working in general. Though I feel we were prepared...I think we can never practice enough. At least now we know more of what to expect in the classroom.
                Putting our "planning into action" seems a little different in the actual doing than it does in theory. Remembering everything we wanted to say and do, while dealing with the issues and questions arising can be difficult. The major difference I noticed was, in our eyes, we thought we had broken down our lesson in the simplest form and made it very clear. Yet with the numerous questions and was obvious we could have done a better job. 
                I realize that each person has a different teaching style and way of approaching a classroom and lesson. I seem to have a relaxed and approachable manner. However I do need to work on establishing a teacher/authoritative presence and presenting myself in that light. Vocal tone, management techniques, and the simple way in which I carry myself can all improve for the class benefit. I am excited to tackle another lesson. 

2.            After this run, I am both more and less confident as a teacher. Overall, I would say I am at a 3. The evaluations brought things to my attention that I did not realize and sort of shook up my confidence, while other parts I was intimidated of doing in the beginning I did well on. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The 5 E's....Learn it. Love it. Live it.

The 5E Instruction model...

What is it? What does it do? How can we utilize it to best aid our classroom? Today I am going to break down and summarize the 5E's in this model.

1. Engagement
    -First impressions are everything...whether it's for yourself or the lesson you are going to teach. Here is when you want to GRAB the students' attention. The questions start here. You introduce and idea and a problem.  The students become introduced the material you are about to cover, laying the groundwork for their exploration. Brainstorming is a key idea. They make connections with the new material and what they already know.

2. Exploration
    - Students begin working with the material presented. Questions that were raised before are the driving source. Working as a team you will explore and test the questions discussed. Students will work together collecting data, making decisions, and building their knowledge base.

3. Explanation
    -Explain the discoveries and processes observed. Develop the content and lesson you are trying to achieve. Written, verbal, and creative resources will aid in clarification and feedback. Sum up the ideas, explain vocabulary and new terms, review what you have spoken on.

4. Elaboration
    -Take it a step farther. Take what the students have learned and apply it to a new stiuation to reiterate the idea. This can lead to new inquiries and questions and help the students fully understand.

5. Evaluation
     -Be aware of how well the students actually learn the material. This is an ongoing process through many source by teacher and learner. Follow ups, checklists, portfolios, and interviews. Further needed problem solving will be decided upon.

         This model is all about challenging the students to figure out things on their own. The E's are developed to have the student think outside of the the box. Introduce a topic. Have the students take what they already know and use that to develop the new ideas and solve problems. Continuing that idea, the students then take the observations and information and use that in challenging another idea. This model keeps the learning process going with the students driving it the whole time. The teacher is just a controller, leading them in the right direction. This is interesting and challenging at the same time. As a teacher, most of us will have the inclination to explain everything and show the children what is happening and how it is happening. Though they will learn far more when they figure things out themselves.

   In confidence of my execution and performance, I would rank the E's as follows. Most confident to least....

1. Engagement
2. Exploration
3. Elaboration
4. Explanation
5. Evaluation

1. I seem to do well engaging students and getting them excited on a topic. Introducing the idea and getting things going will be fine.
2. Exploring the topic and letting the students go doesn't seem too hard. Showing them how to perform the lesson and keeping classroom management would be the only difficulties I could foresee. Other than that it is pretty straight forward.
3. Challenging the students to take it the next step on in exploring their ideas may be tricky but with a little guidance I can see it being fine. Any misconceptions may be the main issue here. 
4. The explanation is the only time where we briefly "lecture" on the topic. The main concern here is truly getting the point across while maintaining their attention. I have to be on my game and  be able to explain the objective in a simple enough way.
5. Evaluation is the ongoing process of improving ourselves. Stepping back, examining yourself, and being critiqued all are harder than they appear. Then figuring out how to improve on what I did seems to be challenging.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Friend or Foe:Technology

A new day a new blog...

Today's topic?    TECHNOLOGY

If you're alive today, well awake know about technology. From the living room to the classroom, technology is aiding, guiding, and controlling the lives of us and our children. I myself can't even imagine getting through the day without it. We as a global community have gotten to the point where it is a necessity. Yet as with most powerful movements, ideas, and brings great benefits as well as detrimental downfalls.

From the time we wake until we close our eyes at night we are surrounded by and using all sorts of technology. What home doesn't own or use a source of technology like the computer, television, or a cell phone. You are reading this blog not brought mainly from new technology.  We now have the world at our fingertips. With technology, information can be found and downloaded before you're t.v. dinner is finished cooking in the microwave. Flooding us with facts like a hydrant gushing water, documents and data can indeed be shared and passed within seconds all around the world. You can teach students thousands of miles away and reference a source found in another. Need a recipe? got it. Need to send a message quick? Done. Want to catch that movie you missed? Here you go. You can even find a future spouse with dating technology! You can find anything you need on the internet and do anything you want quickly without leaving your home.

While some are resistant to learn and keep up with technology, it is a necessity for everyday living. But when is a good thing too much? The world has become so dependent on technology that side effects have indeed appeared to hinder the progress of the world. Anything indeed can be found and done with technology...but some things shouldn't be. People with wrong intentions have been aided like everyone else in making their goals simple to achieve. Privacy, security, and comfort can quickly be lost from technology. Socially we have lost basic skills that we had due to technology replacing. Jobs and people needs have been replaced. Physical activities have been outdone by games and movies. And time for simple things are no longer available. So as I see it technology is a friend and foe.

A journeyman. I would say that's an apt title to give myself in my role with technology. I seem to use the source with competency as I navigate needed outlets. While not an expert, I seem to get the job  done and do it comfortably. Although I do seem to find myself enthralled with technology sometimes...the downfall of many with this idea. I can use technology to get what I need and reach out to where I can utilize information.

While just starting at WKU, I do have college experience. With that I see professors have used programs such as blackboard, Microsoft office, and e-mail opportunities to keep it simple. Reaching from outlets like science kits online, articles on the net, and video conferencing they have been able to present material not only found in books.

I myself have used technology in, bing, wikipedia, and blogging have brought much needed info immediately. Programs such as CAD, 20-20, scansource, and science centered activities bring new life and quick learning to the classroom.

So whether we embrace it or is here to stay. I only hope the positives outweigh the negatives for the good of all.