Megan's Classroom Connection

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Technology for Week 11 March 30, 2010

Filed under: Reading/Literacy,Technology in the Classroom — meganmeyering @ 9:43 pm
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For this week’s blog post I decided to explore wiki spaces.  I was first introduced to wiki spaces last semester and helped create one, this semester I actually created my own.

Wiki spaces are designed for people to essentially create their own web page.  It is very user friendly and the layout makes it quite easy to figure out. The only negative side is that there are not many creative options.

For younger students I could see this used as a teacher based resource, teachers create a wiki then have the students use it as a resource.

It would be great and beneficial for older students to create their own wiki spaces. It is a great way for students to learn how to research and organize data. It also gives the students a really concrete final project that they can display to others.

I also see wiki spaces as a useful way for teachers to communicate with parents ans students since it is a site that can be accessed from any computer.  It can be a place for students and parents to look at for news as well as educational links ans activities.

Here is a link to one of the wikis I created.

 

Graduation

Filed under: Classroom Culture,College Ed.,Uncategorized — meganmeyering @ 9:58 am
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I was in my Popular American Culture class today and the topic of graduation as a ritual was brought up.

Our instructor informed us that the robes we wear actually link back to robes that monks wore long ago and related that to the obvious topic on the minds of the seniors at Michigan State University. He also brought up the idea that graduation is a ritual or ceremony that really gives a person identity.

Talking about graduation as a way to give someone identity makes me wonder if that is a good thing and if it is why don’t we have more kindergarten and elementary graduations? A family friend back home teaches kindergarten and does her own classroom graduation every year. I understand that this takes her personal time and money, but I think it is really important and gives the students a great sense of pride in themselves.

Elementary graduations do not have to happen every year or be full-out celebrations, but I do think that teachers really need to make an effort of celebrating the completion of every grade. Moving up in grades is a big deal and students should feel as though they have really accomplished something when they do so!

 

Culture in the Classroom March 29, 2010

Filed under: Classroom Culture,Uncategorized — meganmeyering @ 12:38 pm
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I was talking to two girls in my placement today who are of middle Eastern descent. One student is from Pakistan and the other student is from Turkey.  Only one of the students currently wears a headscarf, but both eventually will wear headscarves.

I was able to ask them so many questions, from why the scarves are needed, how to choose when to start wearing the scarves and the different types of scarves there are available. I was also able to talk to the girls about the countries that their families are from.

I also noticed that there is a culture night happening at the school in two weeks. It is a place and time where parents and students can bring in a dish from their home country and share their culture.

Today I just kept thinking what a great atmosphere this school was creating for students from other countries. They are in an enviroment that makes them felel welcome and encourages them to share thier culture!

 

Airports, Airplanes, Kids and Layovers March 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — meganmeyering @ 6:41 am
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I recently flew to Florida, but it was not a direct flight, I had a two hour layover in Detroit on the way there.  I usually don’t mind a hour or a little more, I can find ways to amuse myself pretty easily. I usually walk around, get a coffee or a bite to eat, read or my favorite- I people watch. Most of us have to admit to partaking in this guilty pleasure at least one time or another, on this particular trip I noticed a lot about children.

It seems like there are two types of parents and children in airports, and they go together. The first kind is the frazzeled, bored and can’t wait to get out of here type and the second is calm and prepared.

Examples I saw of the first type:the child pounding the back of my seat on the three hour flight while the mother gave up any hope of trying to make her stop, the two young boys having a melt down when our layover got extended due to a mechanical error and began literally running around the terminal like a game of chase.

Examples I saw of the second type: a mother and father taking turns walking the two year old around so that he was not bored and perhaps got tired out and a family of three children all equipped with backpacks that held things to keep the children occupied and entertained for a long time.

I love kids, so I am in no way trying to suggest that children should not fly or that all children in airports are bad, I  am jsut asking parents to be the second type of traveler so that their children can be too!

 

Tabblo as a Tool March 23, 2010

I gave a brief introduction to Tabblo in my blog post “Abby Jo Tabblo.”

Tabblo is a great resource for students to create reports, but in a more creative way. The downside to using Tabblo for a report type project would be the lack of text space available. I actually see Tabblo used in every class.  Some examples include:

Math- each picture should be the step of a math problem or a picture of a story problem and the caption could actaully be the steps taken within the picture.

Science- I mentioned the example of a catepillar to butterfly with description and detail in the captions.

Social Studies-  Tabblo could be used to showcase different cultures and/ or cultueral events again with descriptons in the cations.

Language Arts/ English- Each picture could represent a simile and the caption could be the simile.

I like Tabblo becasue it can be adapted for any grade, it is very direct and simple to do and it can be done on virtually any computer (no software or microphones are needed.) It is also a great way for shy students to express themselves and gves tech savvy students an outlet to really showcase their abilities. There are so many uses for Tabblo in the classroom, from teacher based to student centered that it is a very valuable tool and I am definitely happy it is the one I choose.

 

Abby Jo Tabblo

Click here to see the tabblo I did on Abby Jo, who is actually my boyfriend’s dog.

I could really see using Tabblo in a classroom for older students to use to tell their own story. For younger and older students I think that it would be a great way to show the progress of something. I am specifically thinking that it could be used in science to show the progression from caterpillar to butterfly.

 

Cuts in Northern Michigan March 16, 2010

It seems like every time I am home I hear some bad news on the 5 o’clock news. A school closing, rumored cuts in a district near by and more programs being cut in a school that just lost some teachers. It is not as though I live in an area where schools are notorious for not having enough money. In fact northern Michigan schools seem to be doing alright, at leas up until this year.

The ‘not so popular’ sports, like wrestling, tennis, and cross country are at risk and being cut. Drivers training used to be paid for by the school, but that changed two years ago. Music programs, like strings and jazz band are being cut. Our schools no longer have cheer leading teams. I feel so bad for the kids going through school right now. I feel like I had so many more opportunities than the students who are going to school now. It’s such a sad cycle, the more programs that get cut, the fewer opportunities students have to express themselves and grades drop.

I am not saying it is jsut this bad in northern Michigan, I realize that cuts and downsizing are taking place everywhere, but home is where it hurts the most.