Week 15: Group Project Reflection

April 26, 2014

I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed all of the videos and everyone have good plans for their schools. I think that we all included unique components to our schools. I like the idea of a student centered school that has an open feel to it. I think that the school offers a nice relaxing environment to encourage students to feel good about their school and have an open dialect with their teachers and the administration.

I also liked the green school, I think they had some amazing ideas and it kind of reminded me of a large home school group environment. I’m not sure if I like K-12 together, but hopefully somewhere it would work. I love the idea of students being more hands on, more creative, and involved in their education.  I think that is similar to the model we created for our vocational type school. I think students really need to have a school where they can enter the job force once they are out of high school. I know that in some areas this school model would be difficult to pull off, but in the larger more suburban areas (like we live in) where they have several large high schools you could certainly pull from the student population of several schools and have students in a more centrally located school where they are prepared for their future. I think we also have to understand that every student is not going to college, at least right away.

I think everyone did a great job on this project and brought unique perspectives that are desperately needed in education today.

 

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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Week 13: Curriculum and Instruction

April 13, 2014

Building curriculum can sometimes be a challenge. I have found while working with my ESL students it is better for me to build curriculum around things they do not have prior knowledge of. I build curriculum around things that are not taught in their native countries that are academic requirements in our school system and by the state. I have built my curriculum around World History, US History, Earth Science, and writing strategies. My students seem to able to grasp Biology, Geography, Math, and with some help Reading, but struggle in the areas I focus on. My students have no prior knowledge of US History or World History, they just have never learned the history of the world.Earth Science is not focused on in other countries and for ESL students writing is the last skill that develops for them. I have tried to meet their needs and often help them with grammar questions and problems. I have tried to model good use of grammar and help students with sentence structure problems and use of punctuation and capitalization (which they never use).

I use backward design lesson plans to help me develop well planned and thought out lesson. I generally include 4 or 5 activities to help students remember the lesson and apply what they have learned. I frequently repeat information for them and often use some of my activities as warm ups to help my students keep the information fresh in their minds. I also obtain information from their other teachers to help keep my lessons on track with what is going on in other classrooms. I think this extra collaboration helps my students work through some of the difficulties they have been facing.

I think for each of us curriculum is something different and has different elements that are unique to all of us. We all have our strengths and we should be able to build off of those to develop a strong curriculum that works for us and our students so they can excel!

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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Changing World of Education

April 6, 2014

Education as I knew it no longer exists. We live in a world that is changing and evolving at the speed of light. There are so many new elements to the classroom, problems, strategies, and devices it is difficult to know what is better and what is appropriate to use in the classroom. I think that pedagogy is changing and developing in every classroom.

 

Even though things are changing there are some important aspects that must remain intact for the classroom to work. Teachers must maintain a level of integrity, maintain control, and guide students to help them discover and obtain information. These elements must stay intact! With that said, the classroom needs to evolve and remain relevant for students and the changing world. Students need to be ready for what lies ahead of them, whether it is college, career tracks, or a combination of these. We fail students when we don’t properly prepare them. Unfortunately I believe we are not keeping up with this task of preparing them. Educators hold on to old ideals and methods, even after we have determined that they don’t work.

 

If we know that students need to be able to process information and utilize to copious amounts of resources and information out there, why aren’t we teaching them how to use information more effectively and utilize resources to their maximum potential? I feel like other countries are ahead of the United States (US) on this aspect of education. The US tends to bogged down in politics and peoples opinions  and fail to make necessary changes and progress towards much needed outcomes.

Dr. Michio Kaku: The Problem with the learning system in school. (2010, March 31). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9yUXVzs0Qw

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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