Saturday, November 28, 2015
Audio recording and upload >
Based on Valerie's ideas, what does tell us about checking student comprehension before they perform a task and what does comprehension entail?
Sunday, November 15, 2015
The talk centered around these four questions:
We need to understand that learning goes the same way for all of us - teachers or students. They come with something to offer - procedural knowledge, learning styles, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Their Proximal Development Zones vary and are activated on their own time. We have to be sensitive to what is known as #Readinesstolearn; since this disposition can happen at any time, we have to be AVAILABLE and ON CUE when they come to us. In other words, #readinesstoteach. Are you ready?Ts need support & scaffold but also need to understand professional expectations & need to have a #growthmindset for change #edumatch— Olwen (@notjustup2u) November 15, 2015
Friday, November 6, 2015
Blogging has been around for some time. Seen as a way getting your ideas out on the Web, it has ridden waves of popularity with every tide that washes in the latest social media trend.
Often when I tell people I keep a blog (in the plural, I must confess), the reactions flood in as fast as or faster than a live Facebook or Twitter chat: Nobody reads blogs anymore! I try to convince them and myself otherwise, but even with empirical data they'll most likely question me all the same.
What's in now is to vlog: have a YouTube channel, get millions of views and then land a licensing contract and start collecting the dough. You name the topic and target group, there's a vlog qualified for the job.
So why waste to blog this, you might ask? Well, you ARE reading this, right?
My attention turns to education: how do teachers (and students) use blogs in the name of learning? Invariably, the aim is to work on writing skills, but blogs go beyond the traditional model we use in the classroom: assign a task, students (sometimes) hand it in, teachers correct it and return it, students keep them in their books and life goes on.
Blogs offer a.chance of a real audience and a chance to foster an ongoing conversation about what is written.
They promote reflection, responsibility and citizenship in all its forms.
They work on the four C's: Communication, Creativity, Collaboration and Critical thinking.
They qualify the user as author, editor layout designer, illustrator, curator and agent.
For these reasons and more, we might not be wrong in saying that #BloggingistheNuWriting. All in favor?
Wanna read some more on the topic? Join me in the quest for knowledge as we share ideas around the virtual world with blogs!
Friday, October 23, 2015
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
This week's #FLedchat on Twitter sought to look at the differences between collaboration and sharing. The conversation that ensued was a case in point - participants pooled ideas and came to common conclusions about the subjects in the most respectful and engaging manner.
Apart from reminding myself that collaboration always conjugates its verbs in the first person plural, it sparked some reflection as to whether I am in fact collaborating with the vast number of educators I have met thanks to Twitter chats, Voxer groups, Skype meets and Google Hangouts or just sharing ideas.
Sharing has its value -let that not be forgotten- but not always does sharing lead to collaboration, the ideal situation, as far as I see it.
Why spend time talking to other educators (who could be the colleague in the next room or the teacher in another region or country) if not to create something fantastic out of the experience? This should be "fantastic" for all those involved -mutual effort, mutual benefit.
Collaboration, then is sharing to discover the talents and abilities of others, NOT to showcase what I already know (or think I already know). In short, it synthesizes Kagan's principles of cooperative learning - the PIES framework.
What does collaboration look like? No one answer can put it in words, but these are what struck me most:
How have you collaborated lately or what are your plans for collaboration with another teacher? Share your story in the Comments.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Monday, September 7, 2015
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Friday, June 12, 2015
The student had lots of difficulties with listening type tasks, which spurred me to make something authentic and challenging for her. Thus the idea of reaching out to my Voxer pals and asking them to talk about what they do briefly.
It went beyond reinforcing the importance of having a PLN by stressing the need to organize this network that I build. This organization will probably help me see how I can connect with people, the kinds of projects I can engage in and how these people can help me and I them.
Thanks to all the tweeps from the EduMatch (#edumatch)and New Teachers to Voxer (#Nt2V) groups for the prompt answer to the "call of duty". I hope I didn't forget anyone who kindly recorded.
Sunday, June 7, 2015
A1 Twitter connects passionate global educators and those interested in education to share and support each other. #NT2t— Jerry Blumengarten (@cybraryman1) June 6, 2015
A2b: It's not about the number of followers or ppl you follow, it's about the connections you build for your professional learning #NT2t— Joe Young (@Jyoung1219) June 6, 2015
A1: What I love about Twitter is that it rewires your thinking. I'm constantly challenged and inspired by educators from all over. #NT2t— Keith Peters (@principalkp) June 6, 2015
Sunday, May 24, 2015
The questions that guided the chat covered:
- ways to stay connected as an educator
- ways to connect your classroom
- technology tools to help you make global connections
- plans for staying connected
- ways to convince others to connect
Before we can talk of connecting globally we have to develop in ourselves as educators the habit of collaboration with our local colleagues whenever possible. And this collaboration should be interdisciplinary to make the experience more worthwhile, to help students connect the dots between knowledge learned in one field and ideas acquired in another.
A2: Allows our students to think & act at a local, global & digital level simultaneously! #teacheredchat— Marialice BFX Curran (@mbfxc) May 19, 2015
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Monday, February 16, 2015
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Sunday, January 4, 2015
Note to the reader: These tips are based on my experience as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language. All things considered, I believe the ideas shared here can apply to any teacher, regardless of the subject.
Experience, with the kind collaboration of time, is the best master we can ever have. But what if you're new to the game of teaching? Your school principal or manager, your supervisor, and most importantly, your students, won't probably be interested in knowing that you're still coming to terms with the syllabus, the methodologies, the materials, and the classroom techniques. Here are six things you might want to consider:
1. If you can explain it in different ways, then you can teach it.
You probably have heard the expression "there is more than one way to skin a cat". With the pardon of animal rights groups, the same applies for teaching. Although there several ways to explain things - synonyms, mimes, analogies, real-life examples, songs, just to name a few- we tend to use the one that we are most comfortable with or the one that always does the trick. But sometimes when a student doesn't get the explanation, it might help to use a different technique instead of repeating yourself. For those who understood it the first time, it is a moment to drift off. For the student who asks for further clarification, it may mean that the topic is over their head.
2. Pay more attention to the students and to what they say than to the syllabus or the textbook - listen, read and feel them
Yes, we have lesson plans to be followed and schedules to be met. The content has to be covered for our students to sit the tests successfully. But, if our role is to help shape responsible and constructive citizens, we have to meet them where they are, listen to what they have to say non-judgmentally and, when possible, use their contributions as paints to form a learning canvas.
3. Students want to hear what you have to say
As teachers, we are a model for our students. Notice I used the indefinite article to stress the importance that we are not the sages on the stage (we never were, actually), so we should be careful not to use our privileged position to get our students to think exactly as us. Our students take into consideration what we have to say, so we should always present them with differing opinions, not only our own. By doing so, we unconsciously teach them the importance of respecting opposing views and looking at things objectively.
4. Learn to improvise and be spontaneous
Teaching is probably one of the jobs that require large doses of improvisation. Our lesson plans, teacher guides, and syllabi don’t prepare us for the students we are going to interact with everyday. After all, each group is unique and each student one-of-a-kind. Do you remember tip number 2? We have to have the resourcefulness to take what students bring to class everyday and weave it into our lessons to make the learning experience meaningful for you and for your group. Not all of us are naturally spontaneous, but I believe we can nurture it when we are wearing our teaching hat.
5. Trust your gut feeling - be willing to go out on a limb
This tip is an extension of the previous one, but requires more boldness on our part. When the class is not going the way we had planned we have to be able to trash it and start from scratch. Find the right mix of content, adaptation, student motivation and learning outcomes. This may seem scary for a new teacher who usually depends on the teaching aids made available at their disposal.
6. Share your successes and failures with a colleague.
Spontaneity, gut feeling, adaptability come with time and with a little help from a colleague. Schools sometimes assign a one-to-one mentor or teacher coach for the new teachers. You can take the initiative and choose your own “mentor” to help you out. Having a more experienced teacher to talk to about how things are going in your classroom, as simple as it may sound, can work wonders for your skills and most importantly, your self-confidence.
7. Watch and learn from fellow teachers
Even better than having a “mentor”, one of the best ways of gaining confidence and know-how is being able to observe teachers like yourself – new or experienced. Most of the times newbies are recommended to sit in the classes of teachers considered more competent and who can serve as professional models. Teachers are teachers, so we can always learn a new trick to add to our personal repertoire. What’s more, we can learn what not to do.
How to grow your PLN using Twitter
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