The final workshop is upon us, with a group project to turn in (at least it’s DONE), an end-of-course survey to take (finished!), two exhibits due for my portfolio (and so begins the thesis-replacing work of this degree), and various other more normal things like discussions (posted!) and, yes, a blog post (just about done!).
What the school wants to know about in this post, and for that matter what it also profiteth me to reflect on, is how instruction in my class has improved during and due to this course. Well, one thing that’s been encouraging to me is seeing my students write online. I posted weekly writing prompts for 5 weeks using Edmodo, and the students responded well. I’ve struggled each year to teach writing in my class – it’s so easy to skip when there isn’t a set workbook or test to pull out and everything else always takes longer than I mean it to, squishing out something. I need to integrate it more and work them through some projects that involve more writing, but this is at least one of a few small steps I’ve been making in the right direction lately. Having it on the computer makes many of the students a little more excited to do it, and makes it faster to check and write comments since I type faster than I write longhand and I don’t have to worry about leaving the papers somewhere. I can even access it from my phone, though that interface is rather minimal, not allowing comments.
Some samples of student writing:
List ten things you could do for fun if there was no electricity.
1.taking with friend!
5.play with doll(toy)
6.pasion show by myself! < I Love this!
9.swim in sea < In winter,play slide
10.Help( Help teacher,parents,friends ect.).
Imagine you are a baby bird about to fly for the first time.
I will feel embarest because what if I can`t do it. I`m afraid but, I will try to be brave.I will try to ignore if my sisters and brothers are laughing at me. Will I look silly ? I don`t like hights, help me mom ! Why do I need to do this ? Can`t I just stay at home ? Oh, but I really want to see the wide world, Come on I can do it. Yeah I did it and nobody laughed…..( ;
You were there on the first Easter morning.
It was the third day I’ve been guarding this tomb. And nobody came and tried to steal it. I said to my friend (the other guard),” I’m too tired. Nobody is trying to steal it. Why did they tell us to guard it? What do YOU think, Jacob?”.” Stop complaning!!! Some one might come later today.”. He was right. Suddenly there was a VERY VERY VERY bright light was coming toward us! I wanted to say ‘block that!!’ but I didn’t even say a syllible when I when I when I when I……… I don’t know! The only thing I know what happened was that me and Jacob fell.
Will anything change in the future, related to what I’ve learned this semester? I think so. I’m going to keep using technology for some student presentations, such as the lesson plan I modified and turned in for another assignment earlier this semester, and the awesome PowerPoints the kids made in Reading/Social Studies class. Next year I plan to push more to get the parents on Edmodo too so they will know about assignments there and I can post messages to them all (that will automatically forward to their e-mail addresses). One change in a less positive direction technologically is that I don’t think I’ll teach typing again next year. I really do wish the students could learn it, but we also teach cursive in third grade and it’s one small thing I can cut out of the weekly schedule to make room for other things (such as writing!) I have to accept that it’s going to be taught in fourth and fifth grade, and if they are developing bad hunt-and-peck habits in third grade, well, they’ll overcome them soon. And for one more positive change, I am learning some fascinating things from some online education videos – not many are at a third grade level, but I will enjoy sharing those I find that are and that tie in to our class topics. Those are a few areas I foresee more growth in in the future. And even if my prognostication is wrong, well, I have to keep coming up with exhibits for my portfolio, so there will definitely still be SOME kind of positive change to report!