Friday, May 10, 2013

Digital Citizenship in the Classroom

This week in my Technology for Education class, we have been discussing Digital Citizenship. Although I have heard the definition of it before presented in many different ways, I have never actually used the term "Digital Citizenship". Defined as "the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use" (Ribble) a digital citizen uses technology safely, responsibly, critically, and proactively.

Elementary school students have probably had exposure to technology for a large portion of their lives, and even if they haven't they need to become aware of what is expected of them as a digital citizen. In the third grade, students are constantly searching the Internet and they probably have access to a variety of tools such as cellphones, iPads, iPods, computers and the social networking sites that can be accessed on any of these devices. A good digital citizen keeps in mind their "digital footprints" that they leave whenever they post or share anything on the Internet. They should also think critically about any impolite or rude comments that they post can be seen by anyone and could lead to cyber bullying. Information that is placed on the Internet can be accessed by anyone so it is important to remember to be proactive and think about their safety and keep secret information private.

There are a variety of resources available to teachers to teach students about digital citizenship. YouTube is a popular site that shares videos containing information on just about any topic, and there are websites specifically designated to teaching digital citizenship to children in the Early Childhood Environment. When accessing these sites, remember to keep your self safe and secure and keep in mind your digital footprint!

Check out my Prezi to learn more about Internet Safety!

*Works Cited

Friday, April 19, 2013

Learning to Unlearn

Change. Change is inevitable and for humans it is something that we often don't want to happen, but have to accept. As future teachers, we have to realize that the educational system is constantly changing and no matter what, we must learn to unlearn our previous ways of doing things, and adapt and relearn them to what is fresh and new. When each of us graduate and find jobs in school districts, we might be required to unlearn teaching methods that we were taught in college in order to comply with the school districts preferred method or in order to differentiate for individual students.

 When I was researching the true meaning of what it takes to learn, unlearn, and relearn, I found an article titled Learn, Unlearn, and Relearn. Author Marcia Conner states that "the secret to learning to new things is to be willing to unlearn--even if your behaviors previously brought success". In order to accomplish this method of learning, unlearning, and relearning, we must begin at the beginning, stay open to different ideas, look for people to help you reflect, examine your beliefs and set them aside to stay focused on relearning new concepts and skills.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Flipped Learning: Take One!

Long time no post! Over the last few weeks we have been introduced to a style of teaching called "Flipped Learning". To me, this was something extremely new and a bit overwhelming at first. I was not grasping the concept of the lesson, but I was quite determined to learn! I was weary about how well this lesson would work in Early Childhood Education, and growing up in a lower income area, I know that not all families have a computer in their home to access the Internet. Although I am still a little skeptical about the availability of computers that students have, I now realize that if there is access, students in 2nd grade and above should be able to handle this sort of lesson. What I have taken away from this type of lesson is that by presenting students with the material before coming into class, teachers are able to use classroom time to apply what they have learned. 

My flipped learning lesson taught students how to understand several types of graphic organizers. I should have planned for the video more, considering I made a couple errors, however, one was not my fault! HeHe :) My enthusiasm and confidence could have been better, but I shouldn't be too hard on myself, it was my first experience with Flipped Learning.....Anyways here it is!

The following day I would focus on creating a Timeline about the changes throughout history. My original idea for this lesson came from a different course I was taking. It was around the time of the election when I created it, and my plan was to have students form a timeline representing changes in Presidential clothing throughout history. However, after getting tips from my classmates in my Technology for Education class, I would much rather have students compare changes throughout history using a topic of their choice (i.e. music, sports, etc.).

Any more tips you'd like to share? Feel free to comment!
Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Quick Look Into My Life This Week...

Hello again! I hope that everything is well in each of your lives this week. I have such a hectic schedule and it often times seems like my mind is going into overload, but somehow I manage to accomplish everything I need to do. One of my assignments I managed to squeeze into my schedule this week was for my Environmental Biology class. Our task was to contact family members and find out the years in which they were born that way we can use this information in class at a later date. As I called my relatives, I had flashbacks about memories I shared with them and how they influenced my development throughout life. All of the thoughts I had were allowing me to tie that information into what I recently learned in my Children's Environment class; how a child's environment affects them, and how an adults guidance supports their growth. 

Furthermore, thinking back to the training I attended for work tonight, our speaker talked about how important it is as a teacher to guide children to do what is right and wrong because children are not born with the ability to know these things. A child's environment should be warm and encouraging in order for them to fully develop in their own way. I know that when I was a young child, my family, and other adults around me, showed me the love and guidance I needed to grow and learn. It is sometimes difficult to remember how much impact I actually have on students, but I try to keep this in mind every day, not only while I am working right now in a daycare, but later on in life as a teacher.

Can you remember having a role model in your environment who was a positive influence when you were growing up? It could have been a parent, other relative, friend, or teacher. I'd love to hear your stories! Share them in the comment box below!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Twitter Find!

This past week I created a professional Twitter account for myself and after following several early childhood educators, I found one who I really enjoy; Paula Naugle. Paula tweets about many useful sources that will come in handy for other teachers. One recent post was for a science website for The Lawrence Hall of Science. The website provides hands-on science activities for kids as well as online games.

One great activity that caught my interest was the Parachute Drop. There are instructions for students to create their own parachute and how to perform the activity. After testing the experiment, the results can be entered onto the website and compared with results that other students had.

An experiment that I have heard of and performed before, but forgot how to make was Oobleck. This gooey green substance is used quite often in science classes to perform experiments. The website provides directions to make Oobleck, and questions to ask when investigating it's characteristics. For those of you who have never experimented with Oobleck, use the link provided at the top to create your own with your class, or watch this short video to see how it's done!

I hope these links help you. I know I will surely be using this science website in my classroom. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Welcome to OUR class!

Hello all! Recently, I have had to complete a project for my Tech for Ed class presenting what I would use to introduce myself to parents in my classroom. Besides having to introduce myself, I also give my teaching philosophy, plans to incorporate technology into my classroom, and various ways parents can contact me. Take a look at my presentation and see what I created! After that, if you could take the time to complete the brief feedback form below, I would appreciate it. Thank you! Keep checking back for more posts!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Look What I Found For My Classroom

Last week, I started following third grade teacher, Genia Connell, on The website features several blogs created by different teachers. Each teacher is from a different state across the country and teaches at various grade levels. I enjoyed reading each educators' blog because they all shared useful tips and stories that they have experienced.

As I explored her page, I came across a post for the organizationally challenged teacher.  Genia gave many tips and tricks about how to keep a classroom organized. I enjoyed this particular post because I know that children can focus more when a classroom is neat and tidy. I visited a classroom one day that was not so organized, and there was too many items out in the open that seemed to overflow the space. The children did not seem too involved in the actual lesson, rather they were looking around the room. Another class I observed was completely opposite; there was a place  for everything, and everything in it's place.

I hope to bring organization into my classroom, keeping Genia's tips in mind. Being in an environment that is well organized would allow children to see the importance of it. Giving out random awards for clean desks would keep students on their toes, and might make them try harder to stay organized. Genia used old materials that she recycled to store crafts and school supplies, such as frosting containers to hold borders. If you remember from my About Me post, I love to save money in any way possible, therefore, I completely agree with the techniques that Genia uses in her own classroom. My belief is that any improvements a teacher can make on classroom management, will make their classroom run more smoothly.