Monday, April 15, 2013

Blog Post #13

Back to the Future

"The second day of school, I took a survey with them to find out where they stood and here's what we found out: nine out of twenty-four knew they city in which they lived...twelve out of twenty-four knew what state they lived in..." - Mr. Crosby

Mr. Crosby really got my attention at the beginning of his presentation after showing some information he had gathered from his his school where over 90% of the students lived in poverty or in low-income homes. The survey was simple. It asked questions like: "What city do you live in?",  "What state do you live in?", and to my disbelief, very few students knew what city and state they lived in and they had been going to that same school since kindergarten. He believed that the school he took this survey from was teaching a narrow curriculum and in order for these at-risk kids to succeed, they needed to be exposed to more than what they were getting by with currently.

He then goes on to tell his audience about how he was able to create a learning environment for his students. Every child had their own laptop and had a blog in which they were in encouraged to be creative and express their imagination. Using their blog, they posted videos of their experiments and projects along with written assessments for their project. People from all over the world read their blogs, which I'm sure was HUGE confidence booster for these kids.

I loved Mr. Crosby's science experiment! He and his students sent a device with a camera strapped to a balloon and parachute 80,000 feet into the atmosphere. The camera rolled all the way up and all the way down from it's trip into the sky, so the footage caught was probably breath taking. As an added bonus, Mr. Crosby incorporated a creative writing assignment with the experiment to were the students had to pretend they were the balloon and describe what they saw on the way up, what the view was like, where they were located in the atmosphere and what it was like tumbling back to Earth after they busted from the pressure. It was awesome!

My absolute favorite part of his video was when he told his audience that he was given a student with Leukemia, who really couldn't physically participate because he was either at home resting or in the hospital receiving treatment and therapy. Mr Crosby did what most teachers have never thought about doing and included the student, via web cam, so the child could participate and contribute to the class even though he could not physically be there.

 It's teachers with hearts like Mr. Crosby that change the life and direction of these students' lives because instead of shuffling them in like cattle, barking a lecture and sending them home, they nurture their talents, address and work on weak points together and encourage imagination and creativity.

Blended Learning Cycle

Paul Anderson is an AP Biology teacher in Bozeman, Montana and he is an big believer in using the Blended Learning Cycle in his classroom.

 He opens his video with some things, event and people who inspired him to try new things in his classroom. he explains what Blended Learning is and how it takes the compelling parts of mobile, online and classroom working and "blends" them together. Next, he explains the Learning Cycle and it's five parts: engage, explore, explain, explore and evaluate. So, when one combines Blended Learning with the Learning Cycle, one gets "The Blended Learning Cycle".

Mr. Anderson created an acronym for his Blended Learning Cycle, QUIVER: Question, Investigation, Video, Elaboration and Review. To begin his lesson, he asks his students a question to get their mind engaged and intrigued in what the lesson is on. Next, they investigate the question by performing experiments then recording their results and data in a Google spread sheet to share with the class. Mr. Anderson has them watch a video independently where he explains what the goal of the experiment and lastly, he sits down with students one on one or in small groups and goes over a review with them to make sure the completely comprehend what has been taught before they go on to take a summary quiz and finally, an old-fashion "pencil and paper" test.

I really like Mr. Anderson's approach to the Blended Learning Cycle. It keeps the students engaged in what lesson is being taught and it sort of allows the students to progress at their own pace. My favorite  part of his cycle is when he reviews one on one or with a small group of students to make sure that they totally understand what is going on in the classroom. That way, the other students can still be engaged and busy in the assignment while he can address issues and concepts if they are not comprehended by some students. One on one help does wonders!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Brittney! I thought you gave a very thorough description of both videos. Science was not one of my best subjects in high school but I think Mr. Crosby's approach to teaching would have changed that. I think the Blended Learning Cycle is great because the focus is on the student; keeping them engaged and keeping track of their progress. I also wrote in my blog that my favorite part was the review. I completely agree that "one on one help does wonders!" I enjoyed your post.