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Showing posts from February, 2011

Blogging with Students: Internet Safety & Digital Citizenship

We have entered the Edublogs Challenge, and set up a class blog. I am so excited to be part of this 4th grade team-teaching experience!

Today, we are focusing on introducing the students to why we are setting up a class blog, digital citizenship, and Internet safety.

Purpose of Our Blog: The purpose of this blog is to learn the art of writing and lessons of language arts through a real world experience with a real audience. Blogging is more than just reading and writing, it’s about respectfully conversing with others. Through this project, students will practice the responsibilities of digital citizenship and Internet safety. We then discussed Cyber Citizenship and Internet Safety: We are part of our physical community and our cyber community. What do we mean by that?

First, let's define "community." It's where we live, places we go, and people we interact with. It's also the group of people who participate in similar activities, play on teams, are members of club…

Remove the Navigation Bar from Blogger

I always thought of the "Next Blog" button more like a "Life is a Box of Chocolates" button, because if you click on it, you never know what blog you might get next!

I honestly didn't think anything of it until students started going to my blog, then it glared at me.

Thanks to the help of Linda Yollis, I learned how to exorcise it.

Steps From the Dashboard, edit the design. Click "Edit HTML".Scroll 4/5 down towards the bottom of the template HTML code. Look for]]></b:skin>Add this line of HTML: 
#navbar-iframe {height:0px;visibility:hidden;display:none}<== Add this line,
]]></b:skin> <== immediately above
</head> <== these 3 lines,
<body> <== that are already there.

Tips
It's recommended that you backup your template before and after you make changes.Tracy's shortcut is to copy all (CTRL A) the HTML and paste it into a document before making any changes.Another shortcut is to take a screenshot before…

Touring TitanPad

The TitanPad wiki was introduced to me back in September by Nick Sauers during our One-to-One training. What I liked was the immediate setup with no accounts needed, the way it color-coded who wrote what, the easy viewing of the revision history, the options to place passwords on it, and the built in "back channel."

Process of Introducing

During our 4th class, we divided chapter 5 into sections (jigsawed it), and wrote down what what struck us about the section.

After modeling it as a class, we were able to divide and conquer the remaining chapters for our next class.

High School Teacher Tours TitanPad

After seeing how easy it was it implement, AJHS teacher, Sandy Rollefstad, chose to do this with her AP Biology kids. Her students had a great experience with this.

She said the first day there was discussion on the chat, but nothing more than what we as teachers have in our classes, and they still completed their assignment. On the second day, there was less discussion on the ch…

Powerful Rubrics for the 21st Century Learner

How do we make our rubrics less 20th Century and more 21st Century? 
Focus on the evidence of learning and less on the product or the performance. Easily said, difficult to do. In fact, building a powerful 21st Century rubric to assess learning is an art. If made improperly, it could hinder the learner.


Benefits of the Rubric
Rubrics define expectations, which should be introduced to the students (and parents) before learners start working on their projects.


20th Century Rubric Flaws
I will be the first to admit, I didn't know my rubrics were flawed. Here is an example of one of mine that I used for the "book report project" that was not PBL (if this seems out of context, you may want to visit "Projects are Not PBL").


Flaw #1:  Don't record grades as percentages by converting the number correct out of the total number of points. 


I'd take this rubric and would habitually convert
it straight over to a percentage grade. For example, if a student scored 3 out of 4…

Conversations of Collaboration Coaching

Collaboration Coaching is individualizing and adapting to the readiness of the person you are working with. There is a predictable progression of technology integration, and understanding this development of growth can help with creating short term and long term goals--which ultimately leads to the learning-centered classroom.

Technology Integration Progression: 
Key: 1 Beginning - 5 You've Arrived
How much will you pay me to attend the training? I might take a class, and I might use it to teach. I might let my kids use the technology in class, but I need to guide every step of the way, and I really need to know the program before I can. I will use it to teach.I will use technology for teaching and learning. I will allow the students to create products for learning, but I still limit what technologies they can use. I will use technology for teaching and learning. Students will learn through creating products or project-based learning with whatever technology is accessible to them. I…

Projects are not Project-Based Learning

A project may look appealing, but is it project-based learning? My answer to that without hesitation is no.

The focus of a project is the product, while the focus of project-based learning is the learning that occurs through the development of the project.

If that just sounds like pitter-patter, then let's just focus on the quality of the project or project-based learning.  How do I evaluate the project's caliber?

Here are the three questions I use to scrutinize the quality of the project:
Does it qualify as one of the top three levels of Bloom's Taxonomy?Is there variety in project outcome due to student choice and critical reasoning?Does the assessment measure the learning?Rigor

It's rigorous when it is focused on higher level thinking from Bloom's Taxonomy. How do you know? There is diversity in the product, and it's not something that can be looked up online or read in a book.

A project that takes a long time to complete does not make it rigorous. Creating a …