Friday, March 4, 2016

Maker March

This month is Maker March in class. This means that our class is focused on new technology and new ideas. This week in class we were assigned to create something that would be helpful to education. My group decided that since we are science majors with one social science major we should obviously focus on a science related creation. We had issues coming up with an idea at first. We started out by determining if we wanted to make an app or some physical type of tool. We quickly realized none of us had the skill set to make an app. So then we started talking about what we could make. We came up with the wonderful idea of board games. We had issues determining how we wanted to pursue a science board game. At first our board game was just going to be a psychology related one, then it expanded and kept expanding. Finally we nailed down that it would be a series of board games. One for each subject within the science field. We thought this would make it more marketable to schools. Then we determined we wanted the boards to be a candyland style. Lastly, we talked about question types and rules. Ideally the questions written for the board game will follow the Core standards for science education.  If I were assigned to create something individually instead of as a group, I think I would still take the board game route for my creation. I really struggle with understanding technology so creating an app would be hard for me. Also as discussed in previous blog posts I like the idea of bringing games to the classroom. I think it makes learning fun and interactive for the students.
Finals Week - Spoken Word by Stefan Vandenkooy from Daniel Robinson on Vimeo.
This week I wanted to share this video. I think it has a really good message. It says a lot about the values of our current society, as well as teaching. In class we have been talking a lot about teaching for understanding. I think this video calls us out as college students for doing the very thing we want to avoid our students doing. Instead of just memorizing to get a grade, to pass a class, to get a degree we should be absorbing everything. Our education now is what is going to prepare us for the hard decisions and situations we face in the classroom. Another key message I love about this video is it hits home talking about the self centered society we live in. As teachers our jobs our to help others. I know personally if I were going to school for a job that would make me rich, I wouldn't have chosen teaching. I chose teaching because I want to impact others. I want to make a different in each of my students lives. I want to invest in students the way  my coach and teachers invested in me. Even though it's not finals week, I constantly find myself being too busy to invest in others. I should be taking time to be pouring into my friends lives and getting to hear about their struggles. I think that maybe taking time to get experience and knowledge of the way other people live and invest in them would help prepare me to be in a classroom. Every individual in a classroom brings in their own story and influences. Being able to relate and understand students and their life situations will make me a better teacher. Investing in people now when I am busy will help me be able to invest in my students later when I have five thousand papers to grade and lesson planning to do.

TOW- Kahoot!

The tech of the week is Kahoot! It is an online quiz/survey/discussion generator. I am not a huge fan of this site. I would rather just create a quiz on paper. I personally take tests better on paper than on the computer. So as a teacher most of my tests will probably be given this way. I could maybe see using Kahoot! as a fun assignment for students to make their own quizzes over material I have taught them. I tried Kahoot out and made a quiz over information about myself that I have put in my blog.
See how well you know me!
Kahoot! Quiz

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunny Day Sweeping the Clouds Away!

So I'm sure everyone who lives in Nebraska has noticed the beautiful weather that we have been having lately. This weekend I had a blast with a friend going down to Pioneers Park and blowing bubbles and just exploring. It was so much fun to just relax and act like a kid without a care in the world. This past week as been a relief to me homework and studying wise. I didn't have any tests this past week and there are none this coming week. So that is a very very beautiful thing! As I have been enjoying the nature I've been thinking about how to break away from traditional classroom settings. I keep thinking about how as I biology teacher I really hope I find ways to get my students outside during some class times. I think that a change of scenery is a wonderful thing for students. I know for me when I am trying to learn something I sometimes just need to get up and change the room I am in, the newness helps refresh my brain Also taking students outside to actually explore nature helps apply different things they may have been learning in class. In teaching and technology we have talked a lot about the idea of teaching for understanding. I am really excited about having my own classroom and trying out different ideas!