Sunday, December 31, 2006

Essential Questions

Where are we headed in high school education? How would you answer these questions authored by Stephanie Sandifer:

  • How do you think high schools need to change in order to meet the needs of 21st Century students?
  • How do we measure that our objectives have been met?
  • What do you think high schools will look like in (a) five years and (b) ten years?
  • What steps do we need to begin taking in order to meet the objectives?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wiki Project Ideas

I need your help! I want to generate a list of topics for 7th grade to develop wikis. For example, the Civil War, cell division, solving for the variable, King Solomon, weird things like this. We want to apply the wiki skills we have learned to help us all study other courses better. I just need topics from Science, History, Bible, & Math that they will cover this spring (Jan. - May). Comment on my blog here with ideas, email me, or Meebo me (see the widget on the blog?).

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Book Club Podcast

In January, I hope to begin a podcast with 2nd grade. A Book Talk or Book Share, where they would write the script and then record the podcast. It will have to be simple. All ideas are welcome, since I have few.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Differentiated Classrooms

Brain Research claims that no two learners are alike. Not surprisingly, each learner

  • learns in their own way (visual, auditory, kinesthetic learning styles)
  • is brilliantly intelligent (Gardner's MI Theory)
  • needs to be facilitated in becoming a life-long learner
  • should be taught to think & learn for themselves
  • is a social being created by our God for relationship
  • finds personal power in collaboration

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The BCA Bloggers

No, not Cloggers, but Bloggers. Seems some hidden talent for blogging has surfaced in the 7th grade. Conversations between our students and students in CT abound. Cheerleading, favored branches of the military, and pets seem to be oft repeated themes in many blogs and comments. I'm hoping that we can find a classroom with which to collaborate. I'll keep you all posted, and yes, I have a podcast.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Literacy

If students lack the ability to discern validity of sources, can they be considered literate? Is literacy defined by 20th century skills of decoding and encoding language, as I was taught? Or could literacy be redefined as the ability to critically analyze, apply, evaluate materials in any medium? This sounds a lot like Bloom's taxonomy!
If this redefinition is true, with what skills/strategies do we need to equip them before graduation?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Wiki Ideas

I need your help! I want to generate a list of topics about which 7th grade would use to develop wikis. For example, the Civil War, cell division, solving for the variable, King Solomon, weird things like this. We want to apply the wiki skills we have learned to help us all study other courses better. I just need topics from Science, History, Bible, & Math that they will cover this spring (Jan. - May). Comment here with ideas, email me, or Meebo me.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Motivation

The current issue of the Journal of Educational Psychology has an interesting study on the relationship between motivation and emotion in students. Based heavily on previous research which showed that students display positive emotions in classes where they perceive they have some control over activities and achievement, the researcher found that students who set "achievement goals" for themselves, experience pride in their work, but students who set "mastery goals" show more enjoyment of learning and hope as well as pride in their work. Pekrun, R.; Elliot, A.; & Maier, M. (2006). Journal of Educ. Psychology, Vol 98(3), 583-597.
This research does not seem to apply to some upper classmen that I try to motivate. It does sound like the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Violent Video Games

Teenagers who play violent video games may display increased activity in areas of the brain associated with emotional arousal, according to research from the Indiana University School of Medicine, located in Indianapolis.
Researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to monitor brain activity in 44 adolescents randomly assigned to play either a violent or a nonviolent video game. Immediately after playing the games, those who had played the violent video game exhibited more brain activity in a region thought to be important for emotional arousal, and less activity in a brain region that governs self-control, compared with those who had played the nonviolent game.
— Laura Greifner
Retrieved verbatim from http://www.edweek.org/

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Collaboration

Schools where collaboration is the norm are more effective than their counterparts. How can BCA foster this school-wide collaboration? I believe one way we can collaborate in our time crunched society is to contribute to the bca wiki and blog, which I will continue whether you all are brain-dead or not.

Passionate Learning

What images are brought to mind when one hears the phrase “passionate learning”? I think of someone, anyone, in a state of flow. We talked about flow in seventh grade study skills….how immersed in something we become. We don’t even hear our mothers calling or our brothers fighting. Usually we experience flow while playing video/computer games. Some of us experience flow while playing music or reading good books. The great question for me is how do I facilitate the avenue into flow for my students at school. How do I get students to be passionate about learning?

Sonic Creativity

What are the essential skills that will be needed by 21st century citizens. Which skills will be brand new, like blogging, and which skills will have enduring qualities, like critical analysis? Can we start a list of those skills?
creating online blogs
recording podcasts
reviewing material via a wiki
time management
writing well-developed essays