EDCI 506 Blog Week 5: Governing and Administering

February 15, 2014

One would think in this day and age that school systems would be able to provide a free and appropriate education for each and every student that enters their doors without federal, state, and local mandates. But, alas they do not. I find this saddening and appalling for so many reasons. I think that once something is left to the government to determine and set guidelines for that it opens up school systems for many unnecessary and useless practices. The concept of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is good, but the implementation of it is poor at best. I think it should be every school districts goal to provide every student with an excellent education. The guiding rule for that is the community, if you provide students with an excellent education your community will succeed, the workplace will prosper, and so will the workforce. I do think that NCLB brought about so good things like having highly qualified teachers. I just don’t think that the goal of “having every child making the grade on state-defined education standards by the end of the 2013-14 school year” (Ornstein, Levine, Gutek & Vocke, 2013, p. 19) is an obtainable goal on any level. Some students are not going to be able to function on that level, ever. What do we gain by having these students testing? I think compiling a portfolio of the students work and submitting them to the governing agency can obtain a true portrait of a student’s progress and abilities. I think one of the major problems NCLB is that we got so caught up in testing and the guidelines that teachers have to follow that we lose focus on teaching the students what they need to know to be successful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_F7N-_pSOk

As a teacher I look forward to having my special education class, which will probably be a collaborative class with the current trends in education. I hope to be able to have an effect on all of the students in the classroom. I think that by working with all of the students in this collaborative environment that the students who are identified as having special needs with not feel like they are being singled out and made to feel different than the other students. I think that for these students they need to feel like they are just as important and equal as other students. Also there are always some students who are not identified or their parents didn’t want them labeled who are in these classrooms that need and want extra help. The point is at the end of the day kids just want to feel like they are people and matter to someone. It is our job as teachers’ to create a learning environment in our classrooms and to remain professional at all times, no matter the amount of stress laws and mandates place upon us.

Ornstein, A. C., Levine, D. U., Gutek, G. L., & Vocke, D. E. (2014). Foundations of education (12th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Portfolio Assessment. (2011, June 22). YouTube. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_F7N-_pSOk.

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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EDCI 500 02: Blog Reflection 7 Formative and Summative

April 28, 2013

Formative assessment is a helpful tool for teachers. Formative assessment is used before or during instruction to determine what students prior knowledge is, to determine if they are retaining information that is being given during instruction, identify areas of weakness and to determine if teaching methods are effective for the lesson.  Using formative assessments can help a teacher determine if the lesson plan or teaching methods need to be altered for a unit or if the lesson in place is an effective plan for the unit.

 

Summative assessment occurs at the end of instruction and can be used to determine what the student knows, the students level of accomplishment and whether the lesson plan in place is effective. Both formative and summative assessments are valuable tools for the classroom, while the assessments are testing different information they both provide valuable feed back for teachers. The information gained by using the assessments gives the teacher guidance on whether they need to come up with a better lesson plan and different approach for teaching the unit or if they can keep the lesson plan in place. It also identifies specific areas of weakness that the students are having so the teacher is able to review this information with them and expand upon the lesson.

 

As a future special education teacher I think that formative and summative tests are incredibly valuable to me. I think that formative assessments should be used at the being of every school year to establish where my students are. So much information is lost over the summer and some special education students have extreme difficulty with memory. It will help guide me on how much information we need to review, how far the students are ahead or behind other classes. It would also tell me if a student is further ahead of his or her classmates and could be used to help students who are struggling with information. I can also see the added benefit of using formative assessment throughout the school year to make sure that my teaching methods are working and students are progressing with the information.

Categories: Educational Psychology.

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Week 5: INDT 501-01 Creating a Video

February 17, 2013

I was very apprehensive about this assignment when I heard someone tell me it took that person three days to make his or her video. I had not even looked at it until Thursday night in class due to Internet issues at home. Thankful they were an easy fix and here I am! When I saw the videos that had been created in class I was a bit worried about the assignment and that I had waited to long. Once I decided on a SOL for US History 11th grade, I opened up animoto and found the easiest and most user-friendly site ever. I absolutely love it and will use it as much as possible in the classroom.

 

I will be a Special Education teacher once I am finally done with my degree, and I know that children learn differently from each other. Some children learn visually, some are auditory learners, and some are tactile learners this shows us that most children learn in an environment that offers a mixed learning format or a variety of techniques are used to hold their attention and to trigger the learning process. I do think that animoto is a great tool to enticing children’s natural curiosity and sparking an interest into a topic that might otherwise fall flat if the teacher stands in front of the class and gives a boring lecture about the Land and Lease Act and the Fourth Neutrality Act. I’m bored just thinking about it, but if you create a video that is exciting and maybe invite a local historian to Skype with the class and answer questions along with the lecture. You have created a lesson that is broken down and offers a variety of different things to hold their interest. I know some students that unless they are visually engaged prior to the lesson, they fail to comprehend the lesson and fall behind. This is such an easy fix, we can create a quick video to spark the interest of all the students and the students that need that visual interaction are being given what they need. This creates a better learning environment for all students.

 

While exploring the new environments of the digital world this week we focused on Google Reader and Twitter. Of the two I must say that Google Reader was the my favorite, I liked how we could link to our classmates and other interest areas and follow them in that one place instead of logging onto five different web sites and having to find them. It is a very useful tool and I think it would be useful in the classroom for the teacher as well as the students, it would save a lot of time for grading and also reading and sharing blogs. Twitter was my least favorite, I really just do not care that much for social web sites. I do think it is something that I need to become more comfortable with and investigate further and see where I can use this tool in the classroom. Most kids love tweeting and facebook, my only concern is parent reaction and explaining that it would be a classroom tool to enhance learning. I would be easier for a child who does not like writing to be a put a tweet out and can some confidence in themselves and the would be able to approach a larger writing assignment with a different attitude.

Categories: Technology in Education.

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INDT 501-01 information Literacy and Creativity

February 10, 2013

What a bunch of great, fun activities this week! I enjoyed playing with almost all of the tasks that we were assigned this week, I do however need to become more fluent with them. I really did not encounter any major problems with the varied exercises. The most difficult task was waiting for account approval, when I sit down to complete an assignment I really like to be able to work through them. Patience is something that I will be working on the rest of my life. One major thing that I have learned since starting this course is that I do not know anything about technology, but I will. I really thought that I was pretty up to date on a lot of things, that just is not so! I really enjoyed working on the Personal Learning Network for Educators, I know that for me it takes me several days to get used to something and to figure out exactly how it works. I have set a goal for myself to go onto this site everyday next week for at least 30 minutes and familiarize myself with the site better. This is a must for me, and I know that.

 

I really like the Google search engine and think that this is a real asset to the classroom, it really eliminates a lot of sites that I think that kids would get lost on and would delay their work. It offers the teachers a lot more control of what the kids are getting into and eliminates the large majority of poor or misinformed sites. I do think that kids need to figure out how to do better research and as they get better at they can venture off more on their own. I will be teaching Special Education classes so I really think this will be highly beneficial to my students. It offers more structure and control to the vast amounts of information out there.

 

I was not really happy with the searches I did on Technorati, maybe I just missed the point all together but the things that I searched really weren’t on there, except for the Washington Redskins which I found 90 results for, all of my other searches had zero or two results. I think that this needs to be explored further so that I can determine if this is beneficial to me in the future. As I continue in this class I really see the great benefits to myself and the kids that I will be teaching, I am glad that this class is in the curriculum and think that it gives me a broader base of information and tools to utilize in the classroom.

Categories: Technology in Education.

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