Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Blog Post 11

Group Pine Apple:

William Taylor, Heather Marsh, and Brionna Brown

Brian Crosby - Back to the Future

I learned a lot of valuable information from Brian Crosby's speech about meaningful and effective methods and techniques being utilized in his classroom. Mr. Crosby articulated the importance of allowing his students to be active and engaged in the learning process. Mr. Crosby is an educator who allows his students to express their own knowledge, skills, opinions, and attitudes in the classroom. Mr. Crosby takes a non-traditional approach to teaching. Mr. Crosby allows his students to express their thoughts and ideas through blogs and videos. Mr. Crosby also talked about the value of creating personal learning networks. Personal learning networks are formed through resources and tools such as blogs and Skype. Mr. Crosby encourages his students to blog and share ideas and videos with students all over the world. The idea of collaboration between his students is also important because it allows students to seek out answers to questions and problems in the classroom. I believe this method is the best way for students to learn because it challenges them to work hard and stay motivated. I believe motivation is important because students get tired of paper and pencil in the classroom. Technology allows for students to embrace and share their creativity and express their knowledge, skills, and ideas. Mr. Crosby also harped on the importance of allowing students to express creativity and apply their unique skills to technology.

Mr. Crosby's class is composed of second-language learners, but that does not inhibit the focus of reading and writing in the classroom. As educators, it's important to understand our students come from diverse backgrounds and practice different cultures, beliefs, and traditions. It's key that we accept and embrace those traits and apply them in the curriculum. As educators, it's vital we provide our students with significant resources and tools to enrich and enhance their creative and innovative thinking skills. I also believe it's important to present the curriculum to our students in a way that is comprehensive, interactive, and fun. Mr. Crosby talked about the inventive science lessons and experiments he formulated for his students that allowed them to engage in hands-on experience. I learned from Mr. Crosby the value of not taking the fast-food approach to education. As educators, we need to abandon this idea of linearity and conformity and promote project-based learning and creativity in our classrooms. We need to disenthrall our students and invigorate their passions, skills, and talents.

science experiment photo

Sam Pane 4th Grade

There is so much to take away from Mr. Pane’s class in this informative and insightful video. The very first thing that I noticed was that all of the students were excited to be learning. Mr. Pane used a very interesting tool to teach his class about Internet safety. The students created a superhero and then created a story that showed their superhero protect people when came to computer safety. This innovative approach not only taught computer safety, but also taught dialogue and writing skills, as well. His way of teaching should be an example for all teachers. He made the class interesting and fun, but also educational. The students were excited to learn and write. They also had other students read their comic strip, so they were teaching each other. The students wanted to share their work with each other and Mr. Pane. I liked how he had the students talk to each other before they started to get an idea of what computer safety was. Mr. Pane's innovative project also teaches the students about collaboration and communication.

Project Based Learning

In schools today, we are teaching collaboration between students. Not only is this important, but it is also important for teachers to collaborate, as well. What does this mean? In the video, it talked about how three teachers worked together in Canada to combine their classes. They had History and English combined with technology. The idea of collaboration enabled students to spend time creating projects. The teachers worked together to figure out how to combine their classes and create projects that fit the curriculum, and also allow the students to go beyond the required curriculum. We can learn from these teachers that we need to work together more. Two minds are always better than one. Not only do we need to give each other ideas, but also I like how they combined classes. I believe if schools were to implement this idea it would give students the opportunity to use critical thinking.

I think that most people today put a limit on what children can do. When I watched this video I thought, wow these students started young. When you think this way you are taking away from the students. From this video, we can learn that if we let the students do then they will surprise us. They had first grade students doing PBL, and they use collaboration on their projects. The teachers take real world problems and use them in their classroom. Project-based learning allows students to think for themselves. When I was in school, we did not have this, and to be honest, there was not much thinking going on. Project-based learning also will help students down the road when they are on their own.

Roosevelt Elementary PBL Program

The term that keeps popping up is the idea of collaboration between peers in the classroom. Not only collaboration between students, between teachers. As educators, it's important to understand education is evolving, and we have to work together with not only our colleagues but our students, as well. The idea of educators working together is productive and it also allows them to assign collaborative assignments to their students. A good teacher will receive help and ideas from other teachers and give some of their own. I was talking to a friend the other day, and she is currently a second grade teacher. She was telling me that there were a lot of new teachers at her school, and she was one of them. The principal had the older teachers and younger teachers work together, but the problem was that the older teachers did not want to work with the younger teachers. The approach was counterproductive because there was no communication among them. It's difficult for my friend because she does not have anyone to go to for help and guidance. It's necessary for teachers to work together not only for themselves, but for their students, as well.

Kids science photo

Blended Learning Cycle

Blended learning is combining online, mobile, and classroom learning into one situation. Technology is a powerful tool that allows to educators to connect and communicate with their students. There are five E’s incorporated into the learning cycle: engage, explore, explain, expand and evaluate. By following the five E’s, it is a great way to present and learn new material. Mr. Anderson created an acronym to develop parts of blended learning-QUIVERS. He has six arrows in his quiver that symbolizes that there are six parts to his blended learning cycle. The first part of his cycle is to have a good question. A good question is the hook that grasps the students' interests in the material being taught. An investigation always begins with a good question. Inquiry learning allows the students to experiment with a question. Another approach to teaching the given material is through videos. Mr. Anderson uses educational videos as a way to differentiate the lecture but still deliver the necessary information. After further information has been given, elaboration is necessary. Mr. Anderson elaborates on essential details before moving on to the next step, which is reviewing. During the review process, Mr. Anderson meets with the students individually or in small groups. Each student is not allowed to move on to the last step until he is confident with his or her responses during the review. The final step is a summary quiz, which tests the students’ knowledge and understanding of the material. By using Mr. Anderson’s approach to blended learning, the students are able to experience a well-rounded style of education.

Making Thinking Visible

Mark Church is an educator who encourages the idea of collaboration in his classroom. Mr. Church assigns his students to work in groups to come up with a headline about the search for human origins. Mr. Church used headlines as a way to force the students to think about the challenge behind the given material. This assignment allows the students to focus on how their thinking was extended and go beyond the obvious answers in the text. After time has passed, Mr. Church will have his students return to the material, creating another headline. The second headline should show growth in the students' thought processes and provide a significant difference in understanding the material.

collaboration photo


  1. I really agreee with you about the idea of leaving conformity behind. Subjects need to be adapted to each individual classroom, allowing every student to have the chance to have a fun and enriching education. It is kind of like how Brian Crosby said that a good and fun education is the birth right of every child.

  2. Great job with all the writings from your group! Remember, collaborative means to be done as a whole, though! Next time try to make it a whole group discussion. You can do this by recording a conversation done as a group or even by creating a google slide as a group. Great job!

    1. Thank you, Jordan. Also, we did work (collaborate) together as a group to write this blog post. Instructions from the checklist: The product can be text (develop collaboratively in Google Docs). We used Google docs and shared the document with Dr. Strange as well as with EDM310. Lastly, we spent a good deal of time together reflecting and revising our craft.

  3. William, it is so important the we guide our students to work with technology and help them engage in it. This is our generation, so we have to use the material given. To me, Mr. Crosby to them is who Dr. Strange is to us. He encourages his students to blog, share, skype, make videos and work collaboratively. Learning on our own is the best way to learn. It keeps us motivated, like you said. This is a main point Dr. Strange has been trying to get across to us all semester. I enjoyed reading your groups blog post, great job!