Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Past, Present, and Future

This is a collection of quotes that I have heard myself, that I do now say, and that I look forward to saying in the future.

Where I was:
"Twitter? What the.....? Hell no I ain't freakin' tweeting and twitting or whatever. Do I look like Ashton Kutchner?"
"Diigo? What the freak is a Diigo? That sounds like some Star Trek vesicle!"
"I now have a blog. Great. I feel like a 12 year old girl with boy problems. Maybe I should start writing in my diary again."
"When is this guy going to understand, I am a simple and basic guy. I can't be tweeting until dawn, diigoing up a storm, and then weeblyin it out all weekend. I need some air!"

Where I am now:
"Seriously dude, I really feel like this stuff is the future. We need to start doing this with our students."
"I know man, I thought twitter was for celebrity stalkers too, but now, I realize that my twitter account is the best PD I have ever gotten."
"#EDCHAT is amazing. In the span of 2 hours I get ideas for the classrooms, best practices, worst practices, ideas for bettering the school, links to websites, and support. In 2 hours of PD, I normally get tired, bored, and frustrated."
"What the.....? You're not on twitter? How do you expect to run for office, when your PLN doesn't even exist!?!"

Where I will probably be in the future:
"Okay estudiantes. Log onto my blog to find the conversation I posted. I want you to find the 5 mistakes in the conversation, and then create a new blog post in your own blog that lists all 5 mistakes."
"Principal Powell, I would love to give a demonstration at tomorrow's PD on how to use twitter and blogs and pixton effectively!"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Teaching With Primary Sources

I read an article entitled "Supporting Inquiry Learning" from the Teaching with Primary Sources Quarterly. The article stated a case for 1) why inquiry-based learning is essential in the classroom, and 2) why primary sources should be used with inquiry-based lessons. The article talked about the 6 phases of inquiry-based lessons which are wonder, connect, investigate, construct, express, and reflect. The article explained how to walk students through an inquiry-based lesson so that they feel supported and so that they get the best out of the lesson.

The website itself, Teaching with Primary sources from the Library of Congress, was very confusing to me. I do not understand how to retrieve an article/book/source if I want it. I have used similar sites in the past, but they were thru my college, and I usually received a tutorial with each website. The website seems like a great source of primary sources, however, I would need a quick training session in order to fully figure out the website.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Teaching Paperless....Let's Get It On!

The future is now, and I am a part of it. On the first day of class I learned that not only am I behind technologically in thousands of ways, but by the end of class period, I would be behind in probably even more than that. Our world is moving at a fast, fast pace. Ever since Shelley turned me on to ways to use social media in the class, more and more social media has come under my radar, and at first it seemed too overwhelming. At first, I felt like a tiny ant trapped in a room full of different sized and colored computers that all had indecipherable code on them. Delicious, Diigo, Twitter, Pixton, etc. All of these new made-up words had me feeling like I was in my third semester of Calculus again when my Professor said the word "anti-derivative" and I just laughed because I thought he was making it up. But he wasn't....and neither was Shelley.

I cannot say that I have fully emersed myself in social media, but I can say that I am now a believer in the movement. With Hopkins work, TFA work, and being a second-year teacher, I do not have too much time to explore each new avenue, however, even in the last 2 months I have picked and chosen certain sites that I know regard as essential.

I love Pixton comics. It provides such a great way/forum to introduce new discussion vocabulary when learning a foreign language. I have used it multiple times to introduce new questions and answers in Spanish, and my students are normally very receptive to the comics. My goal for the remaining part of the semester is to have my students create their own comic on Pixton using most, if not all of the phrases that we have learned thus far.

In the beginning, I have to admit....I once called Twitter, "Ashton Kutchner's personal stalking website". However, after only 2 months on Twitter, I now find myself STRONGLY suggesting it to others. I love #edchat. It is such an amazing way to connect with teachers across the world. I even placed #edchat on my IDP this year! Also, once you build a good PLN, you frequently get links to tons of interesting articles, websites, and many other resources for your students.

While I have not used it as much as I would like to, I can see the power in Delicious. It is a great way to keep articles so that students may read them either for class or at their leisure. I may not have time this semester or even this year, but my vision for Delicious is very clear. I eventually ant my students reading an article every single week and blogging a response to that article every weekend. It would be such an amazing way to teach culture in a foriegn language classroom, and a great way to hold my students accountable for their own learning.

What you have read above, and what I have output for this course is just the beginning of my integration of technology in my classroom. I know that I must be graded based on my output, but if I were to be graded based on my attitude and stance, I went from a D- to an A+. And one thing I CAN say for sure, is that if you were to enter my classroom next year, you will see students engaging with the materials from so many different levels/venues.

In closing, as corny as it is to say, Thank you Shelley. It just proves that the latin root for education is educare meaning to lead, to guide to. You guided me to social media, and I have grabbed on!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Eliot: The Waste Land

Alliteration: summer surprised, winter warm, little life, forgetful feeding, mixing memory, lilacs land

I think that Eliot ends The Waste Land in the manner that he does because he begins the poem in the same way, by drawing from different languages in order to convey his point. He also uses different languages possibly to portray the universality of his message and of his pain/sorrow.