Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

A week in review..........

We have only had the Chromebooks now for one week and they have been used each day so far. Shannon Balthazor used the Chromebooks in each of her math classes to incorporate "coding" and use of Google docs for note taking.  Cynthia Merrick used the Chromebooks with her English classes to continue to work on their research papers and specifically to use Google docs and Easybib to cite sources.  If you want to use the Chromebooks in your class, remember to sign up using the Google Form. I have included the link here for those of you that may have missed that email.
The calendar at the bottom of this blog shows what days have already been chosen by another teacher.

English 8 students working on Easybib and Google docs.

Algebra I students working on (coding) and Google docs.

A very happy coder!!!
As you plan your lessons you need to be looking at what DOK or Depth of Knowledge level you are asking your the students to be at. You want your lessons to be planned for DOK level 2 or DOK level 3.  There were several examples this week of students working at DOK level 3. The best examples are the classrooms where the teacher acted as a guide and posed excellent questions for the students. The questions were not off the cuff, but were pre-planned to encourage critical thinking on the part of the students. I have a 30 second video clip here of 6th grade math students in Baptista's class working together to solve their problems. Keep in mind that they had begun this the day before and most of them had "hit a road block."  What you see is the students working through that "road block" to determined their reasoning.

Dunsworth's World History class.  Students worked in groups to analyze primary source documents. Every student had to write after each turn.

Group work where students are working together to develop a level of understanding was also seen in Dunworth's class this week (pictured above). The big take away, you don't need to spoon feed information to the students. In fact, students are more engaged and excited about the learning if they are actively discovering. You must spend a great deal of time planning that discovery out in advance, but the end result for the students is so worth it.

As a reminder we are all signed up to participate in the Hour of Code in December. As I mentioned before we will have both "unplugged" versions and both computer and smartphone tutorials. We will be on assembly schedule that day so that no one loses a class period.This will be an opportunity for all staff to participate as well. I am very eager to work through the tutorials to see how much coding I can learn in an hours time. I have had several conversations with many of you about needing a computer literacy class, computer coding class, etc. We are looking at our options.

Our next Technology PD with Geoff Belleau is this Thursday after school in the library from 3:45-5:30. These have been valuable learning experiences for all those that have been attending. Come out this Thursday and learn some strategies to help improve your classroom. You can earn some Buy Back time in the process.

WORD OF THE WEEK: DETERMINE:  is to find out the facts about something.


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