Thursday, July 9, 2015

Differentiation in the classroom...Summing it all up

My first five week course is about to come to an end. Who would believe that I have used Twitter and Google Hangouts this summer? It was really a lot easier then I had expected.  Everyone should give it a try.  They are great for collaboration and giving out bits of information.   I have learned many new web tools to implement into my classroom. I did not just learn about a wide variety of web tools, but I also learned how they can differentiate in the classroom.

The school corporation that I work for has a wide variety of options for the students.  Our students have a wide variety of chooses to choose from for their high school diploma. They can choose to attend classes in the career center.  They can take AP and Dual credit classes.  They can join the STEM program, Honor program, IB program, or the 1:1 program.  This coming school year every high school student will have a school issued laptop.  I only hope that we have enough bandwidth to hold 2,000+ students and staff with access to the internet.  

I have many ideas and ways in which I have differentiated in the classroom in the past. Very few of my ideas have been with the use of technology.  I have gotten many compliments over my approach to my learning needs students that I work with.  Primarily because I take the time to get to know my students.  I then use what I know about them to apply Earth Science to the world. Through this summer course I have learned more than I had ever expected. I have changed my mind on a few of my teaching views through this course.  I can see how using technology in the classroom can be very beneficial to all students.  I plan on using many of the web tools that I learned and to seek out more that would be appropriate for my class.

I believe that if we vary the types of activities used in a week we have the best opportunity to meet the needs of all our students.  I can see that this really would not be a difficult task to achieve.  Yes, it is going to take some experimenting and additional prep time to begin.   However, as a teacher, I want my students to succeed and if I need to spend a little extra time with planning it would be well worth it.

I created this little PowToon to represent ways to differentiate.

Differtiation in the classroom 

(You can click this link or it is at the bottom of this blog page.)

<iframe width="480" height="311" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe>

The best advice I received through this class is to provide a variety of web tools for projects to choose from.  Students will choose the type of web tool that best meets their educational needs.  The second best advice I received was to let the students have do-overs.  I have been more against this issue than for it. I have felt that at the high school level the students need to be prepared and do the best that they can on each assignment.  When they go off to college there are not any do-overs.  That has been my main reason behind this thought.  I think now that having them redo an assignment helps them to learn what they missed the first time.  In that respect it is helping them prepare for college. I also think this would help many of my learning needs students succeed better in school.  It would lift there spirits and make them feel proud for getting a better grade on an assignment.

I hope you enjoyed my video.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Back to School video using Animoto

I have been taking two college classes this summer. This post is on my second college class.  Today I was asked to learn about and create a video using Animoto. We could create something personal or something school related.  We had to have at least 7 slides, music and add one text.  It did not take me long to think about what I was going to create.   At the beginning of the school year we like to tell the students a little about ourselves. Typically we do a slide presentation. I have been learning all about technology this summer.  I just had to make my introduction more exciting for the students.   I used Canva to create some posters with information all about myself. I then uploaded those to Animoto and chose some music to go with it.  If you have not used Canva, you are missing out!  I absolutely love using it.

I really did like using Animoto.  It was  very easy to create this video.  You will see the watermark in the video.  I do apologize for that.  The only way to get rid of the watermark is to upgrade to a subscription.  Which I may do once school gets into session.

I hope you enjoyed my creation and are inspired to create your own.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy 4th of July

I learned how to use this web tool this summer.

So I wanted to express ...

Happy 4th of July everyone!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Do you use Warm up and Exit Tickets?

Do you use Warm-up and Exit Tickets? 

I know exactly what warm up tickets are.  Our school system has used them for many years.  A warm up ticket is an activity that can be completed without teacher direction and takes about five minutes. Warm up tickets are partially used so that you can get attendance done and other things ready for the lesson to begin.

On the other hand exit tickets are a quick assessment and used at the end of the class. They should take about two minutes and help to improve students retention.  This is something that I have not experience or have heard of teachers using in my school corporation.

I believe that these activities should be a type of formative assessment.  By adding warm up and exit tickets as a teacher one can get a better understanding of the needs of the students.  Our goal is for each student to be successful in class.  I think that using a variety of tools would help in assessing the students needs.  It would also give a teacher a more accurate picture of what students know and understand.  After gathering the information we can quickly identify any problems or misconceptions that students have and address them immediately or the next day when information is fresh in students minds.  All of these things would help each student to be successful in class.

There are a lot of warm up and exit activities that can be used.  A few ideas that I have used include:

  1. Quizlet
  2. 3 Statements - where you give the students a subject or topic and they must tell you three things they know about that subject or topic.
  3. SOS Statement - Give a Statement, Students provide opinion (agree/disagree), Support their opinion with evidence, facts or examples.
  4. Post it questions - Students post a question on padlet or some other device relating to the lesson that they didn't understand or want to know more about.  The next day students can try to answer Post it questions that were posted.
  5. Art Photo - Students are shown a photo and tell what they see or feel about the photo.  They can predict what happened before or after the photo. 
  6. Current Event article - Students find a current event article and summarizes it on blog or somewhere the class can access.  
  7. Read an article provided and answer questions related to the article.
  8. Answer Poll or Survey in Google docs, Edmodo, etc.
A colleague, Lisa, and I created this list

More Ideas

What have you used for warm up or an exit ticket?