Group Work-Collaboration

In one of my college courses, I was very pleased with the group I collaborated with during some online meetings. We were all able to take time out of our busy college schedules to meet on google docs, and have some very insightful discussions. During one or two of our meetings I included my group in a tweet about the progress we were making. Our group was on the larger size which made me a bit nervous in the beginning because I feared that it would be harder to all meet online at the same time, but we all managed to commit our time to this class. I can also say that we all put in an equal amount of effort into all our inquiry discussions which is not always the case in a group project. It was interesting to discuss all our different ideas in one google doc and response to each other’s thoughts. Most of the time we had similar thoughts, but sometimes we had those moments when one of us had never thought about a specific topic in a certain way. This was the most positive group project I have ever experienced, and I’m one to hate group work. I’m very happy with the outcome, and how I learned from my peers.

Below are two documents that were made by my group through Google Slides. 

inquiry-group-meeting-follow-up-activity

inquiry-group-2

My First Ignite Talk

Make sure to have a glass of water close by after your first Ignite Talk. I really enjoyed this experience because I like to talk, but it went super fast! I felt confident, professional, and relaxed up in front of my classmates and my professor. I received positive feedback from my professor, and I am excited to present one in the future. I hope to include an Ignite Talk in an interview for a job or to discuss something about education. This activity was beneficial to me for my career in Spanish Education.

Check it out, and leave your own feedback or questions you might have. 

ignite-talk

My Vision of Education for ELLs

Characteristics of ELLs

English Language Learners have different characteristics and educational needs like any other student. The definition of an English Language Learner is someone whose first language is not English, and may need extra help in the classroom with reading, listening, and comprehending information. ELLs require special attention, and need more motivation and determination. They’re usually not willing to volunteer, and may need extra help in the classroom. ELLs might require a longer amount of time to finish assignments, projects, worksheets, and other activities. Sometimes speaking in front of others can be a challenge for ELLs because English is most likely not spoken at home, and therefore they also struggle with subjects related to English. English can be an ELLs second, third, or fourth language, and not only is the ELL learning English, but they are also learning the common core things that American students learn everyday. Their education is a process that the teacher will have to consider in their individual lesson plans.

images

Culture and Family Factors

ELLs are very diverse and have many different cultural backgrounds depending on where they came from or their family’s background. Therefore, American culture can be overwhelming or outside of the ELL’s comfort zone, this is known as culture shock. Cultural knowledge is a great way to get your ELL to feel comfortable in a classroom where they might feel extremely different from those around them. Having all your students in your class bring in items that resemble their own culture is a fun way for you ELLs to realize that everyone is different and their culture shows that. Culture for ELLs can be food, dress, values, religion, and home life. It is important to research your ELLs family and culture to get an idea about what your ELL might be going through when they come to class.

ELLs go through stages of acculturation which is also known as the U-curve hypothesis. Each stage is fairly different for every ELL. This first stage is known as the honeymoon stage which is when everything is very new and exciting to the ELL. They are fairly happy, but also do not know what to expect. The second stage is hostility which is when the ELL starts to hate their new home, and they might not want to learn the new language. During the hostility stage, ELLs become very upset and homesick. The third stage is humor. During this stage, the ELL is starting to progress and realize that it is okay to make mistakes when they are learning. They begin to feel more comfortable and accepting of their new home. The final stage or fourth stage is home, and this stage is when the ELL can finally feel fully accepted and apart of their new environment.

unknown

Classroom Environment and Best Practices

In the classroom, teachers should try to incorporate basic hand gestures, visuals, and auditory lessons. When teaching ELLs their education requires a lot of assistance, and as teachers we want to make all our students feel included. A great way to do this is by having students respond to questions or lessons as a group so students, especially ELLs, do not feel signaled out or embarrassed. Getting the ELL’s parents involved in their son or daughters education is also an important aspect for any teacher’s classroom. Ways that you can get parents involved are through back to school nights, meetings, and having a staff member contact home in the family’s native language. Families are great support systems for ELLs, and for their education in the classroom.

teachers-corner-management-week1-resource

Assessment

ELLs are tested through the World Wide Instructional Designed Assessment Stages of English acquisition. The stages are 1) Pre-Production, 2) Beginning, 3) Developing, 4) Expanding, 5) Bridging, and 6) Reaching. Each stage includes ways to group ELLs, and meet their educational needs based off their stage and scores. The Pre-Production and Beginner stages are when ELLs might be in the silent period meaning they can’t produce much language. Therefore, as teachers there are things that we can do to improve learning. We can slow down our speech, and give ELLs bilingual signs like nonverbal language to help them follow along with the lesson. Other stages like Developing, Expanding, and so on are advanced stages where the ELL is learning to become more and more native. Assessments allow us to know our ELLs better, and help them progress.

images

Check out my own work on English Language Learners

curtinch-1questions2016

studentprofile2

strategy-38_-think-pair-share-working-with-a-partner-to-negotiate-meaning

individuallessonplan

Infographics: A way to grab a student’s attention.

4737525_orig

What is the goal?

As teachers, our goal is to keep our students interested and engaged in our lessons. Occasionally, we have that one student that is falling asleep in class or their imagination is wondering. How can we overcome the constant battle of keeping our students attention? The solution is infographics! Infographics are great ways to use visuals that capture the sleepy student’s attention. 65% of the population are visual learners, therefore we have to meet the needs of those learners through images, media, and so on. Using infographics, helps us as teachers increase learning efficiency.

Infographics in the Classroom

  1. Instead of doing the standard lecture or “chalk and talk” lesson, try creating your own infographic that highlights all the points you would have made in your lecture. This way students have to look, and read all of your points instead of listening to you read them or copy them off a screen. Make sure to include pictures that correspond to the topics and the lesson you are trying to teach.
  2. Change up your lesson plan by having the students make their own infographic. The students can then reflect on the things they have learned during the lesson, and will increase their need to pay attention because the won’t be bored with the same material. By changing up your lesson, the students are eager to learn, and need to pay attention in order to learn. Infographics are unique and a fun way to see your students brainstorming.
  3. Create your classroom objectives in an infographic. As teachers, we want to lie down the line, and instill respect, integrity, and cooperation in all of our students. Instead of highlighting those discipline rules or class objectives in a normal bulleted style. Try to switch it up with an infographic that displays your expectations.
  4. Display community or school events using an infographic. They’re organized, and a great way to draw a student over to a poster or flyer.
  5. Comparing and contrasting lessons are a great way to use infographics in the classroom along with other lessons like science and math. Comparing and contrasting data through an infographic could replace a boring venn

Check out the site below which gives you free downloadable templates for creating your own infographics!

https://venngage.com/?gclid=CJqgqOLL09ACFUdYDQodGBALBw

My First Twitter Chat #sschat

Overall Experience

I participated in my first Twitter chat on Monday November 9, from 7-8 pm. I’m going to be honest by saying I was not thrilled to participate in a Twitter chat. I had a negative attitude when I went into the chat, but through welcoming users and multiple participation from other teachers around the country I enjoyed the hour. In fact, the time was flying by for me, and I was surprised that at 8 my attitude made a 360. I was able to connect with other teachers who have experience in teaching Social Studies at the elementary, middle, and secondary level. I was inspired by the different forms of teaching that I came across during the chat, and even though I’m not a History major I learned a lot about the difficulties of teaching young students history. Sometimes the history content is out of the comprehension of younger students, and elementary social studies teachers don’t know how to go about introducing the topics. With the United States Election taking place this week, many themes came up regarding our elementary schools, and the content that we present to children at a young age.  What content is too much for elementary? What information is too graphic? I’m currently taking a History class at Moravian College, and I was able to use my prior knowledge about colonization, the revolutionary war, and the civil war to relate it many of the topics that were brought up during the chat.

What questions came up?

The questions were centered around the limited amount of time that is devoted to social studies specifically at the elementary school level. I found it interesting that many other teachers and myself thought it would be a beneficial idea to try to incorporate cooperative teaching throughout elementary schools. Cooperative teaching could look like reading a history text in a language arts classroom or doing an art project that expresses a history theme. As teachers, we enforce cooperation, group work, and working together into our students, but sometimes we don’t do the same things with other teachers. With that being said, I believe that cooperative teaching is an excellent way to help elementary school teachers work together to teacher their students the common core subjects. If their was more cooperation in the elementary schools, social studies would be able to expand outside the social studies classroom and into other classrooms. Below is an social studies infographic that talks about how we can compare social studies to other subjects, and “close the gap.”

the-importance-of-social-studies-in-the-common-core-infographic

Overall, I recommend that all Twitter users experience a Twitter chat because they’re fun, engaging, and beneficial for those who are aspiring or practicing teachers. Regardless of your subject or education level, I also recommend that teachers check out other subjects beside your own. If you’re a Social Studies major I recommend that you check out this chat on Mondays from 7-8 pm on twitter at #sschat. Please feel free to post your own Twitter chat experiences below!

Ted Talk on Education

Mae Jemison: Teach arts and sciences together

When I came across this video, I was intrigued by the title because the arts and sciences are complete opposites to me. I absolutely love the arts and I have ever since I was little, but science is a subject I absolutely hate. I was interested to hear how the two could be used together in education, and Mae Jemison gave me an explanation. As she began her talk she brought up my very first statement, and explained how the two subjects are partners in the way we understand ourselves and the universe. Every day we are making decisions about our society, and without the arts and science we are going to have problems. Science and scientists are creative in the same way that artists are creative, and artists are analytical in the same way that scientists are analytical. When we attempt to accommodate art and science, we see that they both resemble creativity and logic. Therefore, according to Mae Jemison science and art are avatars of human creativity. As human beings we are attempting to form our own understanding of the world around us, and we do that through art and science.

Mae Jemison broke her idea down into even simpler terms by saying, “Science provides a understanding of a universal experience, and arts provides a universal understanding of a personal experience.” After watching the whole video, I agree with Jemison and believe that the arts and science are a collaboration of the same ideas, creativity and expression. With that being said, I also believe that we need to use those ideas in education. Creativity makes us who we are, and we are all different in the way that we look, act, feel, and learn. As a future educator, it is my hope to instill creativity in all my students. I also hope to base my own creative teaching skills on three points that Jemison ended her talks with and those points are: 1) Is it attractive? 2)Is it analytical? 3) Does it know its place? Teaching is analytical, but it is also creative, and I now can see how the arts and sciences share a relationship built on understanding and creativity. My question for you is this: How do you express your own creativity?

Check it out at: http://www.ted.com/playlists/124/ken_robinson_10_talks_on_educ