Maker #2 Revised Using UDL Framework

Maker Activity #2 (Part 1)

http://http://www.bespokesoftware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/raspberry_pi_pie.jpeg

 

Activity:

Students will be working together to create terrariums or windowfarms for a unit on Terrestrial Environments in our Science Foss Kit program.

 

Objective:  Students will set up a terrarium and learn what environmental factors play a role in the success or failure of the environment.  They will demonstrate knowledge about preferred environmental factors and range of tolerance as it related to light, water, and temperature.

 

1.  Students will watch a video of how to put the Raspberry Pi together and get it up and running.

2.  Students will have access to written directions as well to put the Pi together.  They will have access to diagrams and work collaboratively in groups of 3-4 students.

3.  Once students get the Raspberry Pi up and running, they will go to the Windowfarms website to research and learn about hydroponic systems.  Students will then design and create their own terrarium or Windowfarm.  Students will have choice in this area of how and what to construct their environment from.

http://http://media.npr.org/assets/artslife/arts/2010/04/windowfarm/farm_custom-2a86023b839fde19ab5b5cdd1b444eed2eceb533-s6-c30.jpg

http://http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2011/10/window-farm-jose-de-la-o-2.jpg

4.  Students will also research using the Pi what types of conditions must be present for plants to germinate and grow.

5.  Students will create a voicethread of their knowledge about what plants need so that the entire group may benefit from the “brilliance of their work”.

6.  Students will write in a blog about the process of learning that they will be going through.  Lab notebooks can be kept to keep track of observations but students must represent their thinking in digital format such as a voicethread, animoto, padlet, etc. (again students choice of how to digitally represent the learning.)

7.  Much like the Windowfarm community, I would like the class to offer strategies and success/failure stories.  In doing this unit before, students have learned things like how important location and precise measurement of water are.  This unit is inquiry based in that we really pay attention to the questions that arise and try to find answers that help us to make sense of our learning.  Students learn from the successes/failures of other groups and incorporate that into their learning.

8.  Students could start a class padlet of vocabulary and terms that we have come across during the unit including terms that are puzzling to them. (Self-populating dictionary)

 

Relevancy/Big Essential Question:  How does this unit of study benefit us as people?  Feeding people has always been a relevant question for all of us.  Healthy eating is not always an option for some depending on where they live and their economic status.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are often expensive.  Students could have a way to grow their own or this idea could be used in a more global sense of taking food to developing nations or remote places that are not conducive to growing.  This activity has the potential to grow in a variety of ways.  Students could start a mini-greenhouse at their school.  They could sell plants for fundraisers.  The possible outgrowths of this project are endless!

(Part 2)

In thinking about the process of imposing the UDL framework on my maker activity, it is clear that I had no idea what I was doing the first time around!   My maker activity was a good idea in theory but that was just it.  I seemed to rely heavily on the theory but really had no practical way of bringing that idea to a lesson that could be used.  I feel that I am closer to that with this lesson in the fact that I am using several of the components on the template for UDL framework.  Things such as:  providing multiple means for representation (in both comprehension of the process and in sharing students’ learning with the community), providing multiple means of communication, providing multiple means of engagement which are grounded in student choice and collaboration and finally, developing a rubric that shows depth of understanding with the students as co-authors of this assessment instrument.  I think that this time around, I paid greater attention to engaging more modalities for students.  I tried to scaffold and be mindful of the visual, auditory and kinesthetic learner.  I tried to provide choice and collaboration to increase motivation and engagement.

In reviewing Hobbs’ list of five core competencies, I feel that I planned for each.

1.  Access:  Use of media texts and technology tools were provided for.

2.  Analyze:  Critical thinking skills were used based upon success/failures of each of the groups.  This was needed and important information for students to compare/contrast the results of their terrariums/windowfarms.  In essence, it was creating a closer forum or a physical forum of learning in our classroom but having the “expert” Windowfarm forum just a click away.

3.  Create:  Students had multiple opportunities to create in a variety of ways (physically, digitally, cognitively and creatively)

4.  Reflect:  Students had the opportunity to reflect on their own learning, their groups learning and the learning of the entire class through their blog.

5.  Act:  This speaks more to the global challenge of providing food.  I think that this project has the capacity to go further and have students start thinking about the contribution that they could make to their community once they master growing with a Windowfarm.  This Act piece can be thought of on a global scale such as I just described or on a much smaller level by thinking about the logistics and problems that arose while doing this type of project in the classroom.  Students start to collaborate across groups to share what has worked with them and what has not.

In learning about UDL framework,  I am reminded of:  “The burden of adaptation should be put on curricula, not the learner.”  I feel that I have revamped this lesson in many important ways for the learner to be supported, engaged, challenged and to be the center of the learning!

Sources:

Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L. & Cocking, R.R. (Eds.).(2000).  how people learn:  Brain, mind, experience, and school.  Washington, D.C.:  National Academy Press.

Hobbs, R. (2011). Digital and media literacy:  Connecting culture and classroom.  Thousand, Oaks, CA:  Corwin/Sage.

Wicked Problem Research

Rethink what it means to teach, and reinvent everything about teaching.

“All of our notions about teaching were developed for eras in which the oral tradition was the main way that knowledge was transmitted from one generation to the next. Libraries existed, but only the very lucky few had access to the kinds of resources that virtually all of us take for granted today. When most any practical question can be answered in microseconds via the network, and in most cases, with a variety of perspectives and viewpoints also included —

what is the role of the venerated teacher? What are the defining attributes of the teachers we need to help the next generations build on (or fix) the work we did? What can and should be the key competencies of a teacher? We know we need education overall to be more experiential and more hands – on. We need to be emphasizing good choices, and ethical decisions. Learning must be global, and more based in the realities of the world as it is. It should be more authentic. What we do not know is how to prepare people to be successful with these very different kinds of skills, and that makes this a wicked problem. ” (NMC) My partners Jon, Alexis and I are rethinking the role of the venerated teacher.  The NMC report states, “The role of educator continues to change due to vast resources accessible to students.” (NMC, p. 8)  Students can get at whatever information they need whenever and wherever they need it.  It also goes on to say, “The demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices. The increasing demand for education that is customized to each student’s unique needs is driving the development of new technologies that provide more learner choice and control and allow for differentiated instruction.” (NMC, p. 10)  As technology has changed so dramatically, we have a teaching force that is “caught in the middle”.  They are caught in the middle of learning these new technologies and completely changing the way that they teach.  This definitely sets the scene for a wicked problem, indeed!

Jon researched best teaching practices.  Below is a summary of his findings:

Jon-best teaching practices (gradual release of learning EX; stepping

away while monitoring, routines well established.

 

Munro, C. R. (2005). “Best practices” in teaching and learning: Challenging current paradigms and redefining their role in education. College Quarterly, 8(3), 8. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/61861733?accountid=12598

Summary:

 

           This article raises the question does the current practices of teaching connect learners with their learning outcomes in this always changing landscape, how do we address the vast amount of diverse learners when the standard curriculum practices might not be meeting the of the learners, and how do we deal with these different circumstances, constraints, and limitations?  With a shift in learning contexts it is believed that answers will start to emerge.  It is suggested that new paradigms that prioritize strategies that help educators identify, respond, and reflect on student learning and engagement would help teachers make more well informed decisions.   Seeing and responding to the needs is deeply connected to analysis, and with that the distance of gaps and the interventions needed to bridge become clearer.  Assessing these help create a learner profile where performance standards can be started, with these the teacher can start to deliver higher caliber classes with content that connects to various learners.  This will excite and engage the learner.  Feedback is another important component; here students can voice their understanding or lack thereof.  With this teachers can adapt and change lessons, but this feedback should not be something that happens at the end of a project or lesson, it needs to be done throughout so that the changes being made affect the learner then, not later.  This opens up in-class dialog where students start to engage in reflective process, helping them grow as learners.  Teachers must also go through reflective process in order to critically assess their effectiveness.  This should not be a solitary reflection, but one that is shared with colleagues so that an educational community is created and nurtured.   Doing these will result in improved best practices and help develop and sustain teaching excellence.

Lee, C., & Picanco, K. E. (2013). Accommodating diversity by analyzing practices of teaching (ADAPT). Teacher Education and Special Education, 36(2), 132-144. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1361829158?accountid=1259

Summary:


This article’s goal is to recognize, research, and reflect on various successful teaching methods that improve student achievement and performance.  Movements like No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) press teachers to look into research based teaching methods, but there is little support and assistance implemented between practices to help get others started. After researching 4 levels of learning were established, acquisition, proficiency, maintenance, and generalization.  When a student works through these they start at having the new topic introduced to them, after mastery of the basics students enter a discovery and repeat phase, after that student starts to retain knowledge, then finishes with being able to apply knowledge to other various situations.  These phases help teachers gauge where students are at in their learning, and by analyzing these practices it helps modify and find better suited practices and teaching methods.  These methods are strategically used as ‘tools’ to improve the fundamental focus of student learning.  With these practices teachers can design lessons that cater and guide different learning types and levels, peer to peer assistance, give students multiple avenues to express what they have learned, and provide students with both visual and verbal examples and explanations.  With this students are less likely to fall behind.  With all this teachers can start to be provided with useful frameworks to guide their instructional practices, which is the current method AD supports.

http://search.proquest.com/eric/docview/1361829158/13F151EB57150907C1B/21?accountid=12598

full txt here at http://tes.sagepub.com.proxy1.cl.msu.edu/content/36/2/132.full.pdf+html

 

Mahiri, J. (2004). At last: Researching teaching practices: “talking the talk” versus “walking the walk”. Research in the Teaching of English, 38(4), 467-471. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/62071833?accountid=12598

Summary:

 

           In this article Jabari Mahiri informs and reflects on a curricular implementation created by her and some other colleagues, this lead to Mahiri discovering that connections between understanding and implementing educational ideas can be better acted upon through research meshing with actions. Mahiri’s research work, which is based on Gee’s ideas, focused on increases in student achievement through reflections, multi-modal approaches, student accountability, and goal setting.  Improvements and interventions were successful, but challenges were face daily.  Mahiri connected the new curriculum’s success to the teacher also being the designer and researcher.  This experience granted a better understanding that both teachers and researchers had to “walk the walk” and “talk the talk” in order to successfully implement dramatic positive change to student learning.  Along with successes, both Mahiri and students did frequent reflections in order to keep constant and make the changes happen when they were needed.  Because of this relationships were made with students which gave insight to combining research and teaching in order to become a more successful in changing education.

http://search.proquest.com/eric/docview/62071833/13F151EB57150907C1B/46?accountid=12598

full txt here at http://www.jstor.org.proxy1.cl.msu.edu/stable/pdfplus/40171691.pdf

I researched  classroom climate, connections, relationships and collaborative strategies (both

between student to teacher, s to s, and teacher to teacher)

 

http://search.proquest.com/eric/docview/61872174/13F152B6770879CC78/4?accountid=12598

full txt at http://www.ifets.info/journals/8_3/15.pdf

Interesting article on teacher knowledge sharing (more for PD?)

Klem, A. M., and J. P. Connell. “Relationships Matter: Linking Teacher Support To Student Engagement and Achievement.” Journal of School Health 74.7 (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

Summary:  This article breaks down some key components that contribute to students’ academic success.  They include:

  • high standards for academic learning and conduct

  • meaningful and engaging pedagogy and curriculum

  • personalized learning environments

  • clear sense of structure, behavioral engagement

  • student engagement is a “robust indicator” in school with improved performance (regardless of socioeconomic status).

In this study, elementary students reporting high levels of engagement were 44% more likely to do well and 23% less likely to do poorly on performance and attendance index.  Middle schoolers were 75% more likely to do well on achievement and attendance index.

Conclusion: Either teacher support or a focus on learning and high expectations leads to improved levels of engagement or achievement; however the combination of the two far exceeds the outcomes associated with either one individually.


Phillipio, K. (2012, November 01). “You’re Trying to Know Me”: Students from Nondominant Groups Respond to Teacher Personalism – Springer.”You’re Trying to Know Me”: Students from Nondominant Groups Respond to Teacher Personalism – Springer. doi: DOI

full txt at http://www.ifets.info/journals/8_3/15.pdf

Interesting article on teacher knowledge sharing (more for PD?)

Summary:  This study was conducted in an urban area and showed that teacher personalism has the potential to deliver support but also to bring about tension.  Bill Gates (2005)  asserted that “Student-teacher relationships support academic support.”

Scholars have found that teacher support boosted academic performance and that students who received teacher support and had a good relationship with their teachers outperformed their peers in GPA, attendance and persistence to graduation.  Those that encountered teacher support with poor achievement before improved their achievement levels as a result of their relationship with a teacher.  Teacher support also found to moderate negative effect of neighborhood violence on academic achievement.  Nieto p. 32 goes on to say engage in relationships with teachers.  They were:

*Culturally responsive pedagogy

*Teacher caring

*Relational trust in schools

There were some students who did not respond well to teacher support but it was found that they had major distrust in school as an institution, etc.

 

Hoffman, L.L., Hutchinson, C.J., Reiss, E. (2009). On improving school climate: Reducing reliance on rewards and punishment. International Journal of Whole Schooling, 5(1).

“Haynes, Emmons & Ben-Avie (1997) suggested 15 key components of a healthy, supportive school climate: achievement motivation, collaborative decision making, equity and fairness, general school climate, order and discipline, parent involvement, school-community relations, staff dedication to student learning, staff expectations, leadership, school building, sharing of resources, caring and sensitivity, student interpersonal relations, student-teacher relations. For these 15 supportive components to exist all members (administrators, teachers, parents, staff and students) of the school must possess a set of cooperative values that calls for shared power, a set of social and emotional skills that facilitate healthy interpersonal interactions, and self-regulation and conflict resolution skills to handle disagreements. These social competence skills are rarely taught in teacher preparation programs. Whether a teacher possesses these skills or not would be determined by how they were parented, past relationships, and media diet.”  This study is one that determines the efficacy of teaching teachers emotional intelligence and thereby teaching their students emotional intelligence through the Conscious Discipline model.

   The rewards/punishment extrinsic motivation can cause other problems and should be reduced. “There is a growing body of scientifically-based research supporting the strong impact that enhanced social and emotional behaviors can have on success in school. This research is so strong that a 17-state partnership created a document entitled “Findings from the National School Readiness Indicators Initiative.”Basically this study shows that teaching teachers about emotional intelligence directly impacts their students and the need to eliminate rewards/punishments and move to a classroom where mistakes are viewed as opportunities to learn.

parents, staff and students) of the school must possess a set of cooperative values that calls for shared power, a set of social and emotional skills that facilitate healthy interpersonal interactions,

 

Sanchez Fowler, Laura T., et al. “The Association between Externalizing Behavior Problems, Teacher-Student Relationship Quality, and Academic Performance in Young Urban Learners.” Behavioral Disorders 33.3 (2008): 167-83. ProQuest. Web. 6 July 2013.

This study showed school bonding as attachment, commitment, involvement and belief.  Within attachment two subcategories emerged:  positive school experiences and student/teacher relationships.  More authoritative and controlling teachers had lower quality relationships with aggressive students.  Positive teacher/student relationships affected minority youth more significantly than Caucasian students.

 

Alexis researched intrinsic motivation.

 

Barlow, T. (2008). Web 2.0: Creating a classroom without walls. Teaching Science, 54(1), 46-48. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/207242059?accountid=12598

 

Summary:

 

Tim Barlow, a science teacher, reflects on his journey of using technology to increase the intrinsic motivation of his students.  He discusses why his first blog failed and how he changed his next blog to be successful.  After realizing the success of his blog and the interest level in science of his students Tim Barlow then began creating podcasts for his students.  This article is a great ready for any teachers interested in incorporating technology in their classrooms.  It is written from the perspective of somebody in the classroom – and it shows his failures along with his successes.

 

Key points about the article:

 

– needs to be relevant to students

– engaging

– give students choices

– “students are engaged in the content because it is relevant, current, and real world”

– “…by embracing technological tools, such as weblogs and podcasts, that are used routinely by your digital native students I have been able to reach them beyond the usual confines of a classroom.”

– “by giving students a choice about what they wanted to research they held ownership of their learning and this motivated them to achieve”

– “Students made their own learning decisions and extended themselves as a result”

– “After all, intrinsic motivation has been long recognised by educational psychologists as being associated with high educational achievement and enjoyment by students”

 

Ediger, M. (2001). Reading: Intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/62283770?accountid=12598

 

Summary:

 

This article compares what extrinsic and intrinsic motivation look like in a reading classroom.  It does not state that one form is better than another.  It provides ten examples of intrinsic motivation strategies and ten examples of extrinsic motivation strategies.  It states that most teachers will use a combination of both.  One thing to recognize that embedded within all of the intrinsic strategies was the power of choice for the students.  There was choice not only in the learning but also in the assessment.

 

Bartholomew, B. (2007). Why we can’t always get what we want. Phi Delta Kappan, 88(8), 593-598. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218520642?accountid=12598

 

Summary:

 

This article by Barbara Bartholomew explains what intrinsic motivation is, how intrinsic motivation can be achieved, and why it is lacking in many classrooms.  Barbara Bartholomew recognizes the lack of training and education on motivation for both pre-service teachers and current teachers.  All teachers in the classroom recognize the importance of motivation but often do not know to properly and effectively motivate their students – they are never taught to do so.  She also shows the impact of standardized tests on motivation, specifically the motivation on the teachers to be risk takers in their classrooms.  She provides eight rules to creating a classroom where intrinsic motivation rules.  This article is insightful, eye opening, and empowering.  It uses real world examples to supplement the content.

As we approach this wicked problem, we seem to becoming up with more questions than when we started.  This is a far-reaching problem but I feel that we are getting to the heart of the matter with our perspective subject areas.  We have started an informative Voicethread and are well on our way to addressing this wicked problem!  We have discussed doing some candid, short interviews with real people and what they identify as something that helped them to bond with a teacher.  Our plan to rethink teaching starts with the teacher herself in the belief that all students can and will learn.

Source:

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S.,Cummins, M., Estrada, V., Freeman, A., and Ludgate, H. (2013). NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

“IPhone 5 Docks, Oblong Pizzas, and Craigslist Thumbnails.” Lifehacker. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 July 2013.

Reflection on UDL 21st Century Lesson Plan

images

    The first thing that I took into consideration was that the reading of this story needed to be accessible to all.  In the past, I would have read the story to my class but in reviewing the UDL guidelines, I decided that allowing the students to listen and watch the story would engage more of their senses and appeal to both the visual and auditory learner.  The discussion of the story and main themes will require that all learners engage in a “Think-Pair-Share”.  This type of discussion structure allows the “safety” of conversing with a classmate (somewhat informally) but for those who are not comfortable offering contributions in the whole group, this type of structure encourages risk taking and scaffolding.  When we use this type of structure, we then ask partners to share something that they felt important about what their partner said to the group at large.  Again, asking partners to share their co-worker’s thought takes the pressure off the individual but also validates the co-worker’s response as it is worthy of sharing.  The creation of their understanding puts the learner as central and provides them many choices as far as what they will use to represent their thinking thus increasing engagement and motivation.

    “As you recall, Bransford, Brown and Cocking (2000, p. 23-25) suggest that (a) schools and classrooms be learner centered, (b) that instruction focus on knowing what but mostly on understanding why and how to organize what is learned in meaningful ways, (c) that formative assessments be designed to emphasize students’ learning processes, and (d) that classroom norms be developed to encourage collaboration and the development of ‘intellectual comraderie and attitudes toward learning that build a sense of community’ (p. 25)”.  This lesson focuses on going deeper into the story A Bad Case of Stripes by digging deeper into different perspectives and the theme of the story.  In addition to this, students must create a visual representation of what their synthesized understanding of the story is in a meaningful way to share with the rest of our learning community.  Collaboration is evident in the “Think, Pair, Share” discussions and in large group discussions.  In addition to this, students will work collaboratively in pairs to apply their technology skills to create.

    According to Hobbs, I considered the following things while planning this lesson:

1. Access: Students had access to both the traditional form of the text and media text as read through the Screen Actors Guild.  They also were involved in a process of self-expression in choosing what and who to “Step Inside” from the story.

2. Choice:  Students are given many choices with the type of digital tools they are to use to represent their understanding, and again with whom they choose to represent in the story.

3. Students multiple perspectives are valued:  By using the Visible Thinking Routine of “Step Inside”  students are encouraged to choose what they will represent from the story.  This is a very open ended activity with no “right” or “wrong” answer.  The “essential” question that would transfer over to the student’s life is represented in the theme of this story and that is the theme of “Fitting in”  or “Being Yourself”.   As they explore other perspectives, they also get to move beyond their own thinking, thus broadening their own ideas and perspectives.

4.  At the end of the lesson, there will be an opportunity for students to share and blog about what they have learned.  This allows for students to reflect on their process of learning and what they learned as a result of working with others.  In essence, how their thinking changed from the beginning (from their individual thinking) to the end (when they combined ideas with partners and/or the entire group . . . how did thinking change?)

 

   The second thing that I considered in this lesson is  the time that students get to “play” with the different forms of technology and deciding upon that which they feel will best represent their learning.  This is an important feature that cannot be ignored.  Thomas and Brown go on to say, “Much of what makes play powerful as a tool for learning is our ability to engage in experimentation. All systems of play are, at base, learning systems. They are ways of engaging in complicated negotiations of meaning, interaction, and competition, not only for entertainment, but also for creating meaning.” (p. 97)  It is through the engagement of play that an understanding occurs and with that an elaboration of the original concept or idea.

    Finally, when I consider the overall value of this lesson, I am reminded of what Thomas Friedman of “The New York Times” writes about Tony Wagner’s comment:

“The capacity to innovate — the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life — and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge. As one executive told me, ‘We can teach new hires the content, and we will have to because it continues to change, but we can’t teach them how to think — to ask the right questions — and to take initiative.’ ”  This lesson is littered with all of what he speaks.  Innovation, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and play.  It is a recipe for success!

 

Sources:

Friedman, T. L. (2013, March 30). Need A Job? Invent It. The New York Times.

Hobbs, R. (2011). Digital and media literacy: Connecting culture and classroom. Thousand, Oaks, CA: Corwin/Sage.

 Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace?.

UDL 21st Century Lesson Plan

UDL Lesson Plan for A Bad Case of Stripes

 

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Students will listen to/ watch A Bad Case of Stripes at:

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http://www.storylineonline.net/stripes/fullscreen_yt.html

Students will utilize the Visible Thinking Routine of “Step Inside” to explore different perspectives of the story.

http://www.oldpz.gse.harvard.edu/vt/VisibleThinking_html_files/03_ThinkingRoutines/03g_CreativityRoutines/StepInside/StepInside_Routine.html

This will be done after group discussion of the main ideas and theme of the story.  We will utilize a “Think-Pair-Share” routine to make the learning accessible to all students and to make sure that all students share their thinking in some format (either by partner or to the entire group).  All voices will be heard in this context.  Students will share their VT routine with a partner and then take their ideas to develop them into a digital representation.  They will have their own individual ideas but then be able to create the digital representation in the support of partnerships.  This takes the individual ideas and helps students to synthesize their learning or blend it into an extension of their original thought.

 

The Common Core State Standards that this lesson addresses are:

 

Objectives:

CCSS that this lesson address:

     CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says                explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3 Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1d Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.

 

They will create a visual representation of their perspective using multi-media tools such as:

  • Prezi

  • Glogster

  • Flickr

  • Creativity 2.0/Drawing

 

The creation phase of this lesson will have time embedded to allow for “play” of the technology.  Students need some time to explore these technologies and choose which will be best suited to their needs.

 

Materials:

Ipads or laptops

internet web-site resource list

Access to the book A Bad Case of Stripes and/ or  website to the reading of the story to which to refer.

Visible Thinking Routine written notes

After students create their digital representation, students will share with the rest of the class.  They will also reflect on the learning process, as a whole, and document how their learning or understanding has changed over the course of reading, discussing, and creating their visual representation.  This will be posted to a blog along with their presentation.

images

    The first thing that I took into consideration was that the reading of this story needed to be accessible to all.  In the past, I would have read the story to my class but in reviewing the UDL guidelines, I decided that allowing the students to listen and watch the story would engage more of their senses and appeal to both the visual and auditory learner.  The discussion of the story and main themes will require that all learners engage in a “Think-Pair-Share”.  This type of discussion structure allows the “safety” of conversing with a classmate (somewhat informally) but for those who are not comfortable offering contributions in the whole group, this type of structure encourages risk taking and scaffolding.  When we use this type of structure, we then ask partners to share something that they felt important about what their partner said to the group at large.  Again, asking partners to share their co-worker’s thought takes the pressure off the individual but also validates the co-worker’s response as it is worthy of sharing.  The creation of their understanding puts the learner as central and provides them many choices as far as what they will use to represent their thinking thus increasing engagement and motivation.

    “As you recall, Bransford, Brown and Cocking (2000, p. 23-25) suggest that (a) schools and classrooms be learner centered, (b) that instruction focus on knowing what but mostly on understanding why and how to organize what is learned in meaningful ways, (c) that formative assessments be designed to emphasize students’ learning processes, and (d) that classroom norms be developed to encourage collaboration and the development of ‘intellectual comraderie and attitudes toward learning that build a sense of community’ (p. 25)”.  This lesson focuses on going deeper into the story A Bad Case of Stripes by digging deeper into different perspectives and the theme of the story.  In addition to this, students must create a visual representation of what their synthesized understanding of the story is in a meaningful way to share with the rest of our learning community.  Collaboration is evident in the “Think, Pair, Share” discussions and in large group discussions.  In addition to this, students will work collaboratively in pairs to apply their technology skills to create.

    According to Hobbs, I considered the following things while planning this lesson:

1. Access: Students had access to both the traditional form of the text and media text as read through the Screen Actors Guild.  They also were involved in a process of self-expression in choosing what and who to “Step Inside” from the story.

2. Choice:  Students are given many choices with the type of digital tools they are to use to represent their understanding, and again with whom they choose to represent in the story.

3. Students multiple perspectives are valued:  By using the Visible Thinking Routine of “Step Inside”  students are encouraged to choose what they will represent from the story.  This is a very open ended activity with no “right” or “wrong” answer.  The “essential” question that would transfer over to the student’s life is represented in the theme of this story and that is the theme of “Fitting in”  or “Being Yourself”.   As they explore other perspectives, they also get to move beyond their own thinking, thus broadening their own ideas and perspectives.

4.  At the end of the lesson, there will be an opportunity for students to share and blog about what they have learned.  This allows for students to reflect on their process of learning and what they learned as a result of working with others.  In essence, how their thinking changed from the beginning (from their individual thinking) to the end (when they combined ideas with partners and/or the entire group . . . how did thinking change?)

 

   The second thing that I considered in this lesson is  the time that students get to “play” with the different forms of technology and deciding upon that which they feel will best represent their learning.  This is an important feature that cannot be ignored.  Thomas and Brown go on to say, “Much of what makes play powerful as a tool for learning is our ability to engage in experimentation. All systems of play are, at base, learning systems. They are ways of engaging in complicated negotiations of meaning, interaction, and competition, not only for entertainment, but also for creating meaning.” (p. 97)  It is through the engagement of play that an understanding occurs and with that an elaboration of the original concept or idea.

    Finally, when I consider the overall value of this lesson, I am reminded of what Thomas Friedman of “The New York Times” writes about Tony Wagner’s comment:

“The capacity to innovate — the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life — and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge. As one executive told me, ‘We can teach new hires the content, and we will have to because it continues to change, but we can’t teach them how to think — to ask the right questions — and to take initiative.’ ”  This lesson is littered with all of what he speaks.  Innovation, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and play.  It is a recipe for success!

 

Sources:

Friedman, T. L. (2013, March 30). Need A Job? Invent It. The New York Times.

Hobbs, R. (2011). Digital and media literacy: Connecting culture and classroom. Thousand, Oaks, CA: Corwin/Sage.

 Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace?.

MOOC

In my Amazing Animoto course my peers will master video production skills  by creating their own videos (do you want to be specific on the types of videos) and sharing them with their peers.

 

1. Course Topic: Amazing Animoto 1

 

2. Course Title & Photo: Amazing Animoto 101

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3517/3969196503_ab7e9e89f7_o.jpg

3. Who is coming to your course?

The people that would come to my course are first time videographers.  This is a very basic course which is an introduction to making your first video.  I want people to be inspired and motivated by the amazing ideas that they have in their heads and making them “come to life” in a video.  This will certainly lead to motivation and engagement.  I think that veteran teachers could really use this technology to breathe life into their teaching and easily engage their students.  This speaks to the idea of human memory and as Gee points out that human memory “was designed to help us make sense of the world, see connections and find patterns, all in the service of accomplishing goals, surviving and flourishing in the world, and fulfilling our needs and desires.” (Gee, p. 26)

What will attract them?

I think once they see how easy it is and how individualized each project can be that it will be a wonderful resource for creative expression and deeper understanding of any content.   By having teachers use this Animoto, they are having students “make sense” of technology in their world as it relates to themselves.  An integration of two worlds per se.  As teachers/students view each others ideas, they meld them into their own to form a “super understanding” of any content area that is being explored.How can you attract them using the Gee quote? Talk more about this idea. Attract them by helping them see how they can make sense of the world.

 

Why would they want to participate in this experience?

My course would be for the first-time Animoto video user.  It is a place to explore video production and creativity in a “stress-free” environment.  People who might want to make a quick family story video, teachers, parents, virtually anyone that wants to capture a memory or share some insight with the world.  This speaks to the idea of Agency by Gee, “Humans need to feel like agents whose actions count and who have a chance of success or impact.  .  . Digital tools are opening up many ways to focus, leverage, and empower the actions of all sorts of people, to resource their creativity, and to engage their active participation.  The affinity spaces we discussed earlier are one example, too often seen out of school rather than in it.” (Gee, p. 211)

 

4. What do you want learners to be able to do when they are done?

 I want students to utilize their memories of meaningful things and their creativity to come to a deeper understanding while using this new technology.  They will produce a series of 3 Animoto videos.

Learning theories that are addressed in this MOOC are a reinforcement of the TPACK model.

Using an Animoto is a context that students will be engaged with because it utilizes their own creativity.

As Punya Mishra (Mishra, 2012) points out:

“Daniel Pink (2005) argues that the skills that were important in the information age (the so called “left- brain” capabilities) are necessary but not sufficient for the current emerging world. He suggests that “the ‘right brain’ qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness, and meaning—increasingly will determine who flourishes and who flounders” (p. 3) in the future. In trying to respond to these creative demands, organizations such as the Partnership for 21st Century Skills have aimed resources at infusing creative thinking into education for the 21st century.” (Mishra, p. 14)  Creativity is certainly utilized in this MOOC as students will be creating a series of their own videos.  A baseline video to begin with where students may just upload an image about themselves.  A mid-class video in which they would incorporate adding sound to their video and a third video in which they would incorporate text and reflect upon their own learning process.   The creative process is pulled in when students/teachers create the video from a baseline.  They represent themselves in creating a video as an initial representation of what they know.  As they view other classmates videos, this understanding changes as we share ideas.  During the next bank of lessons, where students add audio to their video they learn to represent their understanding by finding just the right words or just the right song to “drive the point home”.  Finally, in the third video, their creativity expands to finding just the right phrase, word, or analogy to define and represent what they are focusing on.  When we represent ideas in these multiple ways, the layering going on is somewhat analogous to multiple intelligences or multiple modalities.  That is, representing our understanding in a variety to ways but put forth in a novel and unique context.

Learning theories addressed in this MOOC:

The Design Principle that I would utilize is helping teachers/students to refrain from the “Twin Sins of Traditional Design”.  This MOOC would focus on hands-on and minds-on approach. By this, I mean that the hands-on approach is the active participation of creating a video representation of the students’ understanding.  The student is creating a visual/audio/text representation of their understanding in multimedia form.    The minds on approach speaks to the reflective process the student must undergo and identify to show where understanding has changed.  That is to say that we would not simply do the Animoto in isolation without having a reflective piece about what was learned during the process of creating one’s own video.  In addition to this, as students were working, I would build in the teacher’s ability to “Share The Screen” and conference during the actual creation phase much like a conference during Reader’s or Writer’s Workshop.  I would like students to speak to the “overarching” ideas of using Animoto and how this type of medium gets to the heart or essence of understanding.   I think that when people need to connect images to their understanding, it includes one more symbol or representation of their understanding.  It speaks to using multiple modalities with which to demonstrate understanding.

The Design tip that I would use comes directly from the book Understanding By Design (Wiggins and McTighe, p. 16)  in which the author talks about “saddling” up to the student and asking the following questions:

*What are you doing?

*Why are you being asked to do this?

*What will help you do it?

*How will you show you have learned it?

I want my learners to feel comfortable navigating the web between different sites, grabbing and uploading images and making a cohesive digital story.  The course experience would last about 4 to 6 weeks depending on the student.  MOOCs give all learners accessibility that we have never had before.  It reminds me from this scene in the movie “Accepted”.  This video speaks directly to the idea that we are all learners.  We may not “fit” into traditional molds of learning and that is o.k.  Because even though we are not “traditionally learning”  we are still learning and growing and changing.  We are all experts in something.  And we are all novices in other areas.  Authentic learning is just that, authentic.  It may not be able to measured on a “standardized test” but if it helps us in the pursuit of knowledge isn’t that what we all strive for?  The evolution of our knowledge base is in constant flux.

http://youtu.be/KZtF_gT3Sgg

 

5. What will peers make?    Peers will make a set of three videos.  The first a basic video of pictures alone.  The second video will be pictures with audio.  The third video will be pictures, audio and text.  Merriam Webster Dictionary states that the definition of creativity is:   The ability to produce something new through imaginative skill, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form.  These videos are an artistic representation of the students’ learning over the course of the class.  They are authentic, unique and original works that represent one’s own thoughts, ideas and memories.

Skills included:

  • 1.  Navigating between websites without getting lost.  Students must be able to navigate back and forth between websites in order to collect different images, sounds, etc.

  • 2.  Creating a digital story.

  • 3. Grabbing images and uploading them.

  • 4. Adding simple text to your video.

  • 5. Choosing an appropriate background to make it visually appealing.

  • 6. Digital Citizenship (Creative Commons lesson)

6. Now that you’ve identified skills and made projects for each skill, how do those activities hang together as a course?

The technology is the Animoto, Google to search and navigate, Google and Creative Commons to look for appropriate images for Digital Citizenship, Pedagogy is the human-centered design (high interest) and the content is digital storytelling.  This also reminds me of a quote from “Why Do I Teach?”  “Knowledge, when it comes, flares up, when the time is right, from the sparks good teachers have implanted in their students’ souls.”  I think that this speaks to the teacher as a “creator” and repurposer of technology to get at the heart of the content through meaningful activities that the student is capable of doing at their own level.

 

7. How will peers help each other in your course?  Google Hangout,  Students will start a blog and upload their videos to their blog.  Peers can review and leave comments so that there is a digital footprint of the learning for all to learn from, peer review.  I love the idea of working in pairs to start off.  I think that this provides a great deal of scaffolding and makes the task seem a lot less scary!  Two heads generally think better than one so I would have students pair up for the first video.  This type of structure also speaks to the gradual release of the student in their own learning of becoming more independent.  Another great quote from Gee, “Some days on the site a person leads and mentors, sometimes the person follows and learns.  There is ample status and bonding for everyone.  Like a candle flame, no one loses their status because someone else gains theirs.” (Gee, p. 210)

Sources:

Gee, J.(2013).  The Anti-Education Era.  Palgrave Macmillan. pg 26, 210-211.

The Merriam Webster dictionary. (1995). Dallas, TX: Zane Pub.

Mishra, P., & The Deep-Play Research Group (2012). Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century: Crayons are the Future. TechTrends, 56(5), 13-16.

 Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design, Expanded 2nd Edition.  Prentice Hall.  pg 13-33.

 

Design Experience #1

https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/11cGtTdTziV_4D4kA86F9rmF6NQyaD2wwSQaQOZ1l_YM/edit

Here is an example of my current classroom.  It is not a rectangle but is shaped more like a wedge of pie.  It has a collapsable wall that connects with a fifth grade classroom next door.  This classroom is set up for what we knew about learning in the past.  It does not reflect where we are headed for the 21st century!  Although, I do my best to allow students to work together, the room arrangement and space does not adequately promote this.  My classroom does open up into a centrum or “pod” which students can work collaboratively out there (it has a large table with chairs and lots of floor space in which to gather).  Unfortunately, my classroom window faces another brick wall of the building.  We had a Large Group Instruction Room (or LGI) built about two years ago.  Although this room is great to have, it blocks a lot of natural light from my classroom and we are also located in an alcove so our view, and our natural lighting are somewhat limited.

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 10.50.42 AM

This is a screenshot of the classroom that I would reconstruct.  It would be a very open floorplan with large round tables conducive to group work.  The entire classroom would be walls of windows to the outdoors in an effort to connect students with the outside world and to let in as much natural light as possible.  There would be a large group meeting area where students could share and see presentations.  Off to the right would be arc-shaped cushioned group areas for work, reflecting and sharing.  Outside the windows would be natural green gardens again to connect students with the outside world but also to have a learning lab of growing plants right outside the window.

This image speaks the individuality of making a space “your own”.  I think it is very important in our classroom to have children feel like it is a place that belongs to them.  As a part of the “Conscious Discipline” structure in my classroom, one bulletin board is devoted to “Family & Friends”  which holds pictures of our loved ones.  It comes from the same concept of having a picture of your family on your desk.  When we are away from our loved ones, seeing a picture or happy memory can invoke feelings of serenity and thus make us more productive workers.  Kids like to bring pictures of their families and their pets and the learning community enjoys getting to know them as well.  I think this and putting kids work up as displays like in a museum exhibit speak to the idea of human centered-ness, personality and behavior which was evident in the TED videos that we watched this week.

http://static.squarespace.com/static/509c0d15e4b058edb8f35a86/t/50ec7ca4e4b01d8c697c0b6c/1357675684568/79%20Ideas%20Overall%20List.pdf

This is the list of ways in which to redesign a classroom.  Many of these ideas really resonate with me and the concept of making children central, putting the stakeholders personalities into the space to create ownership and investment and setting up the classroom to promote collegiality and collaboration.  The furniture that I drew in Sketch-up is brightly colored, cushioned fabric to ensure the safety of the students.  In the “Conscious Discipline” program that I use everything revolves around the safety of the children and that is priority one since the brain cannot learn optimally if it feels stressed or endangered.  I would have  lots of sunlight flooding the room and green plants all around to give a calm and serene tone to the environment.  I like the organization of being able to move around freely and unencumbered.  Our ability as a class to group in small groups or large groups is a design feature that I feel strongly about.  Having things to care about such as plants in and outside of the classroom also reinforces the “Caretaker” attitude which again, reinforces investment in one’s own environment.

Finally, what all of this has to do with is developing engagement and investment of the stakeholders with which you work.  According to the Journal of School Health,

“Regardless of the definition, research links higher levels of engagement in school with improved performance.  Researchers have  found student engagement a robust predictor of student achievement and behavior in schools regardless of socio-economic status.” (Klem and Connell, p. 262)

The cost of this project would be great to my existing classroom because ,as it stands right now, my classroom has one window.  It would entail cutting windows out of the brick wall or cutting windows in the ceiling for skylights.  The room could be expanded if we opened up the collapsable wall but that would displace the classroom next-door.  New furniture would have to be purchased as now I have large, cumbersome desks that take up an enormous amount of space.  In addition to all of this, there would be great cost in constructing the student gardens that would run the perimeter of the classroom.  This is a “visionary” blog so I would equate that with a “wish list” of things that could be.

Sources:

Bailey, R. A. (2001). Conscious discipline: 7 basic skills for brain smart classroom management. Oviedo, FL: Loving Guidance.

Klem, A., & Connell, J. (2004). Relationships Matter: Linking Teacher Support To Student Engagement and Achievement. Journal of School Health74(7), 262.

O’Donnell Wicklund Pigozzi and Peterson, Architects Inc., B. (2010). The third teacher: 79 ways you can use design to transform teaching & learning. New York: Abrams.