Evaluation

Posted on April 3, 2010 by christinedaniels.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Since this classroom blog encompasses a wide range of subject areas and activities the rubrics to assess each area will vary. I plan to assess student progress by their ability to follow the directions outlined at the beginning of each activity. For example, under the history page students are prompted to do the following:

Directions:

  1. Post a current event that connects to the content you have learned in your course.
  2. Write 1-2 paragraphs explaining how this current event connects to the content.
  3. Remember to include the source of your current event using MLA format.
  4. Repond to three of your classmates’ posts, each with a one paragraph response.

Therefore, grades will be assigned on how well students meet each of the four points outlined in the directions. This will be true for all graded collaborative assignments including those under English, History, Science, and Art.

Alternately, the posts under math and service learning are intended more as a place for students to help each other gain a deeper understanding of the content. I do not intend to use these areas as a particular graded lesson for the course; however, will assess the effectiveness of these areas based on how often students use them and if they are following the directions for posts and comments.

If I find that students are not posting or commenting according to the directions, I will address that student individually to review the workshop and job aid that were previously provided. In addition, new students enrolling in the program will be provided a copy of the job aid at enrollment to help navigate through the process of signing up, posting, and commenting.

Implementation

Posted on by christinedaniels.
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According to the administration at my school, all students participating in classroom blogging activities must have written consent from their parents and sign a contract agreeing to proper behavior and conduct (also known as the Internet and Technology Use Contract signed at enrollment).

Once these factors are taken care of, I plan to introduce the classroom blog through grade level workshops followed by a job aid. Since I have 40 students grades 6-12, these workshops will be small enough to answer individual questions and concerns and teach students how to post and reply properly. I will walk students through the process of logging on, posting assignments, and giving peer feedback. I will also review proper use and behavior and review the Internet and Technology Use contract students are required to sign at enrollment.

Initially, my plan was to monitor student use by requiring that all student posts be approved by me first, but realized that with the large amount of content involoved, it would be a tedious task to sort through every post. Therefore, I plan to monitor student posts at the end of each day in order to give immediate feedback to students posting and monitor posts on a regualr basis. In addtion, students will be trained to report any misuse of the blog immediately. If a student is found to misuse the blog for any reason, they will be given a warning and their parent will be informed. If the misuse happens again, the student’s future posts will need to be approved by the teacher before they are published.

Development

Posted on by christinedaniels.
Categories: Uncategorized.

In order to develop the classroom blog, I set up an edublog account at: http://www.audeopacificbeach.edublogs.org/

In addition, I developed individual pages for the different content areas that I wanted to address (English, History, Math, Science, Art, Service). If necessary, I broke the content area down into relevant levels or subject areas for students to post work for collaboration with other students.

Overall, I am satisfied with the simple design considering that I have included content for all core areas across seven grade levels. I have included directions and support materials, where necessary, for each of the activities students will encounter. Students are given the ability to post assignments and comment to peer questions. On pages that do not require a post or comment, such as pages with directions only, I have disabled the ability for students to post to avoid confusion. Depending on the subject area, I will need to update learning activities as the school year progresses. For example, the book clubs under English will need to be archived and adjusted as students move from one book to another.

Design

Posted on by christinedaniels.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Since Audeo is primarily independent study, students have different schedules throughout the week depending on their academic and social needs. For example, students needing extra support may come four days a week, while students needing little support may come two days a week. However, all students must spend six hours on school work every day Monday-Friday regardless of their classroom schedule. Since schedules are so varied, the classroom blog is a great way for students to collaborate with one another.

In addition, the classroom blog is designed in a way to help students easily locate the subject area they are working on and connect with other students to develop a deeper understanding of the content. It is important to maintain a clean and organized design focused on the core subject areas since students will be using this site primarily at home and on a recurring basis. Overall, the blog site is meant to be a place where independent study students have the opportunity to collaborate with their peers and receive feedback from their teacher without having to physically be in the classroom to do so.

Due to the variance in scheduling and student needs, the design of the blog must incorporate collaborative activities for all core subject areas and academic levels. I will create a new page for each core subject area and sub pages for the specific courses or workshops in which students will be engaged. The following flow chart shows the planned content for the site:

content map

Analysis

Posted on April 2, 2010 by christinedaniels.
Categories: Uncategorized.

I plan to develop an interactive blog that encompasses activities for all of the grades and core courses that I teach. I decided to use the idea from my “Using Blogs in the Classroom” post. 

My audience includes students grades 6-12 learning in an independent study environment. These students are ideal candidates for this product because they are accustomed to performing independently with teacher provided resources. Although the majority of students have not used blogs in the classroom setting, they are quick in learning how to use online resources and I plan to provided grade level workshops and a job aid demonstrating how to use this tool effectively. In addition, these students have enrolled in the program as an alternative to the traditional learning environment for multiple reasons including: flexible schedule, one-on-one tutoring, small group and personalized instruction.

As a result of using this blog, I have the following objectives for my students:

  • Given the blog address, the student will be able to access the classroom blog site and content area as instructed.
  • Given the blog, the student will be able to post student work according to the directions provided.
  • Given the blog, the student will be able to comment on peer work according to the directions provided.
  • Given the blog, the student will be upload documents and images according to the directions provided.

Since Audeo is an educational option for students in San Diego, there is little resistance in the way of motivation because students choose to learn in a non-traditional way. Most students are motivated to do well in this program because if they do not perform they must return to the traditional setting. In addition, the students thrive on regular and immediate feedback on their assignments. Posting assignments to the blog will allow students to collaborate with one another on a regular basis. It will also allow me to respond to student work quicker than when I have to sort through piles of paper to find student work. Students will also be able to access feedback once it has been given, rather than having to wait until their next classroom appointment. Furthermore, all students have access to a computer with internet either at home, at school, or at the library.  Therefore, the only performance driver that may prevent students from learning with this tool is skills/knowledge. This is because most students have not experienced using blogs in the classroom setting. Some performance problems I expect from students include:

  • Trouble accessing the blog
  • Trouble finding the page they must post to
  • Trouble posting or replying to comments
  • Trouble uploading documents to the blog for others to comment on

In order to assist students in a smooth transistion to effectively incorporate the blog into their schoolwork, I will provide a direct instruction workshop, followed up by a job aid to provide students support both at school and at home. Although I was unable to find a similar blog at the high school level that incorporated all core subject areas, the ones I did encounter developed multiple pages to organize different projects or topics for their class. Therefore, I  plan on organizing content into separate pages to make navigating the blog easy for students who are new to this technology.

Using Wikis with Students

Posted on March 27, 2010 by christinedaniels.
Categories: Uncategorized.

As discussed in my previous post, I work with a diverse population of students grades 6-12 in all core curriculum areas. It is a challenge to organize content since there is so much; however, I envision using Wikis in many situations, including:

  • Service Learning opportunities
  • Writing Workshops
  • Math Workshops

The service learning Wiki is a collaborative list that students add to explaining their community service placement. Placements can be deleted if the opportunity no longer exists.

The writing workshop Wiki is used for students to give each other feedback and assist one another in the revising/editing process. Students post writing assignments to the Wiki. Students are assigned a partner that they are responsible for giving feedback to. The students will work together to help edit each others papers before a final draft is submitted. 

The math workshop Wiki is used for students to develop a list of steps that explain the process of different types of math problems. Students can assess one anothers process and make corrections if necessary. This allows them to think critically about mathematical processes and to see that there are multiple ways to solve the same problem.

In order to avoid inappropriate content from being posted, changes will be made with teacher supervision during workshops. Any changes being made by students outside of the classroom will require that they are a member of that wiki so that changes can be tracked.

Using Blogs with Students

Posted on by christinedaniels.
Categories: Uncategorized.

I work with students 6-12 in an independent study setting in all core curriculum areas. There is a lot of content that I have to balance throughout one given school day. Therefore, my classroom blog is organized with multiple pages sorted by subject area or topic across the top. The pages include the following:

  • English (Book Club)
  • History (Current Events)
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Art
  • Service Learning

In the English section, students post their drafts under their particular writing group blog. Students are provided with a rubric to assess one another’s drafts. Since groups are kept small (5-10 students) the time it takes students to give their classmates feedback is minimal and helps them practice their revising and editing skills. In addition, there is a section for students to join a book club, where they respond to teacher lead questions and respond to one another’s questions and posts. 

The history section is used for students to respond to  political cartoons and primary documents from their history course. In addition, there is a section for current events, where students post current events that connect with the history they are learning.

The mathematics section is used for common questions that students have. Both teacher and students can help answer questions. It is understood that this is not a spot to “give” answers but to help each other with the process. The math section also includes an area where students and teacher can post online tools that help with math skills.

The science section is used before and after small science workshops. The teacher posts a question that students respond to with a hypothesis. During the small workshop, students perform the experiment and post their analysis on a follow up blog. Here they critique one another’s conclusions with scientific data.

The art section is used for students taking Art 1 or 2 to post their art work and critique their peers’ work.

Finally, Audeo requires that students graduating from the program complete a volunteer requirement of 120 hours. The service learning page allows students to post comments about their volunteer placements and offer advice to guide other students in their search.

In order to avoid inappropriate comments from being posted, the teacher will be responsible for approving all posts before they are published to the blog. In addtion, students will be required to enter a username so that all posts can be tracked.

 

Edublog Award Reviews

Posted on by christinedaniels.
Categories: Uncategorized.

1) Kathy Schrock’s Kaffeeklatsch http://blog.kathyschrock.net

Kathy’s posts centered on technology tools used in the classroom and how they have been implemented. I thought her blog was very well organized and easy to follow, but I didn’t feel like this would be a blog that I would visit regularly. However, there was one post that I found very useful called “The Networked Student” posted on December 6, 2008. It was a video created by a student and his mother explaining the theory of connectivism and how it is implemented in the classroom. The video is about 5 minutes long, but includes references to many online resources that students can use to get reliable information from the internet. I plan to invest time in researching the resources presented in this video that I can use with my independent study students.

2) TeachPaperless: Real Teacher Education http://teachpaperless.blogspot.com

My impression of this site was WOW! Just about every post I read, gave me a great idea for the independent study environment in which I teach. I especially liked the post titled “Using Jing to Assess Online Student Writing” posted on March 4, 2010. The post included a video showing how the author gives feedback to student assignments through jing video. This would be a great way to give constructive feedback to students that could be accessed more than once to make corrections to an assignment.

In addition, I added a comment to the author’s post titled “Real Teacher Education.” The post included the author’s reaction to his school’s idea of professional development for teachers. He felt that not enough emphasis was being placed on catering instruction to the individual student. There were nine comments on this particular post and the majority of people commenting agreed with the author’s perspective of personalization. Only one comment took an alternate perspective, arguing that teachers should focus instruction through lecture because this is the primary way students are taught at the college level.

3) Free Technology for Teachers http://www.freetech4teachers.com

I thought that this site was very well organized. It has links to pages along the top that include presentations on how to use free tech resources in the classroom. I especially liked the section with tutorials on using google tools because google resources are an interest of mine currently. However, I think this site would be more useful if the author had provided video resources rather than slide show presentations. Without audio, I feel like I am missing important information that could help me use these resources more effectively.

4) The Fischbowl http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/

Once again, I liked this blog because it was neat and organized. I find it difficult to start reading posts on a blog if information on it is not organized or presented in a logical manner. I liked the way the author embedded google docs and video into his blog. I also like that he posted the results to any surveys to share with his readers. This blog was a great combination of insight on important topics in education and resources for teachers to use.

5) English Companion Ning-Where English teachers go to help each other http://englishcompanion.ning.com/

I liked the way that this site was organized and laid out. There are multiple groups that teachers can join; however, you must sign up for a group and your membership must be approved before you can access information or post to the blog. I signed up for the “Teaching with Technology” group and was approved in about five minutes. This site is different from the others I reviewed because it is composed of posts from different authors, where the other blogs had one author who allowed other bloggers to comment on their blogs. This being said, I was a little intimidated at first when scrolling through all the different posts, but soon found that the site is kept up well and it is very organized. The posts are easy to navigate through and contain useful information from each author’s experiences using different online tools. I even learned what glogging is through one of the posts and have started researching it.

The Pointless Rambles of a Cometeer?

Posted on March 11, 2010 by christinedaniels.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Christine and Kaelyn

Christine and Kaelyn

My name is Christine Daniels! For the past four years, I have been fortunate to have a stable teaching position at Audeo Charter School in Pacific Beach, where I work with students grades 6-12 in all core subject areas. I also serve as a college counselor to students throughout the school.

My experience with blogs and wikis is almost non-existant. I have perused blogs in the past, but  have to admit that I have not enjoyed reading any that I have come across so far. In my experience, blogs tend to be focused on the person writing them in an attempt to gain attention. If given a choice, I’d much rather read a good piece of literature or God’s word than to read some random person’s self glorifying stories.

However, I have not had much experience with blogs or wikis and am looking forward to changing my perspective, perhaps finding forums that are constructive and thought provoking, rather than an endless list of pointless rambles.

Here are some true and not so true facts about me. See if you can guess which is true and which is false:

  1. Rubio’s Baja Grill paid my way through college.
  2. I am a member of the NRA.
  3. I am the mother of three.