Sunday, December 2, 2007

Project Based Learning

I would like to take the curriculum for each of my classes and make them project based and more relevant to real life scenarios. I've started doing this little by little, but it takes up a great amount of time. I have a few thoughts - I think that teachers need more time somewhere built in - otherwise our whole life becomes teaching and planning. If you are dedicated and want the best for your students, teaching is your life and you have little time for the things that you enjoy doing outside of teaching. Second, I graduated high school 10 years ago. Things were not THAT much different then as they are now, as far as careers students were pursuing - yet there was not so much pressure on teachers (that I know of) to change how they teach. I think that it is very important for teachers to teach students what they will need to know for the workplace, but teachers also need the support and time to do so. It is overwhelming to try to differentiate to reach every student, teach in a 21st century manner, and deal with many IEPs for students. How do you do it?

Friday, October 26, 2007

What is my goal?

I am really enjoying reading the blogs that my classes are writing and for the most part, I am able to touch base with them and it is like a weekly 'how are you doing?' and where are your trouble areas. I want to extend it so that it has more meaning and more of a collaborative aspect for the students. I'm trying to think of how I can do that. Many of the students, more so freshmen than upperclassmen are giving me feedback that they do not like it and do not see the point. I do explain that it is a way for me to see how they are doing and what concerns they have, but I would like for them to get more out of it.

I'm doing a presentation on wikis in 2 weeks. If you have seen some good wikis to show or have any ideas, I would love to hear them.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New tools

I came into this year with high hopes - wanted to do weekly podcasts, wikis and blogging. I feel good. I started the year off with blogs - the students do them weekly or every 2 weeks. I am determining what exactly I want to accomplish with them, but even so, they have been great so far. I know I can take it further and I want to make sure I am having the students get the most out of it. Podcasting - weekly is not feasible - but having them do end of unit reviews - so far this has been fun for them and a neat way to have an audio review for audio visual learners. Wikis have been great for end of unit reviews also - it is a big study guide where everyone can add their piece. I wonder what other teachers are using wikis for and I think language teachers can do great with podcasts. Sometimes I find it hard with math though. I keep looking!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Math blogs

I am trying to determine which direction to take the math blogs in the classroom to. Has anyone seen any neat math blogs that are current and kept up? I really like reading what the students write, but I want to make sure that it is worthwhile and effective and making connections. I have used wikis to do a study guide or lesson review but also want to make use of these more as well. Any math teachers out there, please contact me!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Blogging in the classroom

I came across the first issue with blogging this week. All of my high school students have set up accounts and it has been really cool so far. The beginning took a while to set up their blogs and google reader and get them into it, but a few weeks in and it is growing on them more. I do still hear "Why do we have to do this?" and see faces of disgust! One of my freshman students told me there was another blog that came up when he logged in that was inappropriate. I wonder if I can limit this. Otherwise it is going well - but that will become a parent issue - not good!

My student blog assignments are posted at