Teaching ESL Students

In my ED 100 class, we discussed student individuality a lot over the course of the term. It is very important that a teacher knows their student as a person, and not a number. The number of ESL students continues to rise, and teachers need to have tools at hand to help these students toward success in school. In doing research for my Final Project, I can across that I think would be helpful someday as a future educator.

Below are some links to a few sites that I anticipate will be helpful:

English Language Games, ESL quizzes and Activities, Reading Practice 

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Mobilize Learning!

Almost all of my high school classroom walls were decorated with posters forbidding cellphones. The posters were plastered on the doors, walls, hallways, and library windows. Are cellphones really so bad that they should be forbidden in schools? Can their powers be harnessed for good? I think they can. Many teachers don’t allow cell phones in class because they often cause distractions, but we all know students will use them anyway. Why not focus on ways to use mobile devices for our students’ benefit?

I hope to be a Third grade teacher, so one obstacle I may end up facing while trying to integrate mobile learning is that not all students will have a mobile device. Although it is becoming more and more common that younger children have cell-phones, there are still bound to be a few that do not. A way to solve this problem is by making sure that all apps or sites that I have my students use are compatible on both mobile phones, and computers or Ipads.

In my classroom, I think I will end up adopting a BYOT (Bring your own technology) system. This system seems to be the best of both worlds because there shouldn’t be students left without access to a device (either their own, or a classroom computer/Ipad), and if they bring their own device, they will already be comfortable with navigating the web on their device.

In “Mobile Devices for Learning What you Need to Know” Edutopia writes numerous helpful tips, examples of web tools, and things to consider when incorporating mobile learning in to the classroom. Many of the Websites and Apps suggested seem to be interesting and fun. I am confident that my Third Graders would find them fun, while also productive. One tip that I found extremely important was to allow students to give suggestions for ways to learn through using their devices. This is a great idea because it gives students a chance to be more involved in the process of learning by having input on the  teaching strategies used.

Review games can be very helpful in solidifying concepts learned, especially with younger elementary school age students. Another way to solidify knowledge is by making a podcast. Students can create a podcast as a sort of evaluation of learning in which they explain what parts of a lesson they understand, and which parts they feel like they could use a little help with. In doing this, students need to evaluate what they learned, and organize the information in a way that is easy to convey and understand. Students can also use podcasts to “publish” a story that they’ve written so that they can listen to each other’s stories.

Students can also benefit when teachers create the podcast. For my Third Grade class, I think it would be helpful, especially when doing math, to have example problems posted online (maybe on a class blog) and post podcasts in which I walk through the example problem. This could be very helpful for my students because they will be able to access it away from school as well as in.

The concept of mobilizing learning is a sea of opportunities, and students could really benefit from teaching styles in which technology is used to their advantage. Incorporating technology provides variety in lesson plans as well, which will increase student engagement and participation. As teachers, we need to be open-minded and willing to try out new teaching strategies for the sake of our students and a chance to enhance their learning.

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Philosophy of Education Technology Integration

http://goo.gl/VjPoRY

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Podcasting in the Classroom

podcasting

During high school, I came across many teachers who used podcasting to their advantage in their teaching. I see it as an amazing resource that is worth utilizing. When thinking of different ways to use podcasts in the classroom, my initial thought is to use Jing to record intructional videos for using other websites as a class. I have found that it is much more effective in explaining certain website functions if the students can go through the steps with the teacher. Podcasts can make this possible, and save the teacher the time it would take to visit each student at their computer, and repeat the step-by-step instructions.

There are many different situations where I think podcasting could be helpful in the classroom. Many language arts teachers have their students write journal entries about their weekends and different activities that they did. Students can do the same thing by using Animoto to create a slideshow from their weekend (or if they don’t have their own pictures, they can borrow some off of the internet), then using Jing, they can voice over their own narration about their weekend.

Video creation can be used much like podcasting. Because each student is different, and has different preferences, some may not enjoy being in front of the camera, but may be fine with doing a voice-over in a podcast. I think having both options of creating videos and podcasts provides a way for students to get excited about their assignment because they have a choice. Throughout my education, I remember strongly disliking, and becoming very disengaged when I had to do a project where I had no choice about whether it would be a video, poster, play, or song… etc. When I did have a choice, I was more excited about it because it was MY project and I was in control of the outcome. I could make something that I was proud of. Videos and podcasts provide two more venues for student to choose from, and be proud of their work.

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Hungry For Knowledge, and Also CarrotSticks

I found a website called CarrotSticks through Go2web20 which I think could be very helpful in my hypothetical classroom. CarrotSticks is a math game website that allows students to create a customized avatar, and answer math problems. It can be used on any device, so if I have computers and Ipads in my classroom, students can use either one. If  I only have my personal computer, I can use the site as a flashcard tool, and have the class use it as a group. We could create and name the avatar together before we begin our journey in the land of CarrotSticks.

My hypothetical class is a blended class of students in kindergarten and first grade. If I were to use CarrotSticks with my students, I think it would be very helpful in solidifying the knowledge that my students already have. CarrotSticks is basically like online flashcards for k-5 students, but it allows them to earn points (in the form of carrots) and also allows them to challenge other students around world.

At first I was skeptical about this site because I don’t want my students to be required to make an account, but there is an option to play as a guest, so that is no longer a concern.

In order to get everything possible out of this site, students must have knowledge of number concepts, and be able to solve basic addition problems. I would not use this website as a teaching tool. It would be used for practice after the lesson has been taught.

One concern in using this site may be that students will get bored. I see this as a limitation, but this can be easily avoided. When using this site with my students, I would give them either a time limit, or a goal of how many points they need to earn. This way, students will not feel like they are meaninglessly solving math problems over and over again with no end in sight. Just like many other educational sites, with proper supervision, CarrotSticks could be extremely beneficial tool in solidifying the lesson.

 

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Llama Break

Sometimes I just have to take a breather from all of these midterms and stressful events going on. Sometimes I just need to take a step back, and write a post about Llamas. I really like Llamas. Not so much that I would want to own one. It’s more the thought of a Llama. Llama’s are funny. I mean… look at this picture. Now don’t even try to tell me that didn’t put a smile on your face.

If I had a Llama, I would definitely take it for walks. I would take it for hikes. No doubt I would take it camping with me.  I would also make it one of my goals to be an outstanding Llama Jockey. One day, this would be me.

Just to make my point about how great I think Llamas are, this is my actual wallpaper on my phone right now:

llama wallpaper

Here are a some links to websites that  may improve your day. If you don’t look at all of them, at least look at the first one. You will NOT be disappointed. I promise.

Llama Font, 20 Wonderful Pictures of Llamas, Rent-a-Llama, Llama Jokes

You’re welcome. Have a nice day.

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TPACK Lesson Plan (ASSURE Model)

Lesson planning can be quite difficult, and there are many things to consider when creating one. By following the ASSURE model, it is much easier to remember all of the details that need consideration when lesson-planning. I’ve written below what my plan would look like for a lesson about TPACK based on the ASSURE model.

A– students are college students, mostly ages 18-24, and the enjoy doing group work

  1. Students know nothing about TPACK previously
  2. They prefer group work with clear instruction

S– Given Internet Resources, students will summarize, analyze, and critique TPACK framework by researching and presenting what they’ve found to the class

S– Teacher will give a short explanation of what TPACK is-a framework for teachers about the different types of knowledge and how they can work together-and

  1. Students will post ideas on Padlet about obstacles or problems they foresee in following TPACK
  2. students will be split into three groups
  3. Students will research their assigned knowledge area together, and make a poster to present their research to the class (they are the teachers)
  4. Present Posters (other groups take notes)
  5. Students and Teacher together will create an online Venn Diagram of TPACK
  6. Students will have a TPACK Quiz on the basics of  the next class day.

U– Teacher needs to prepare poster paper and markers for the students, and make sure that all computers are  working and have internet access.

R–  a.  Students will be involved when they present, post on padlet, and hopefully contribute some answers for the Venn Diagram

b. I will give feedback for the Padlet posting verbally, and grade the presentations, participation, and teamwork using a rubric. I will give the students a letter grade for the quiz.

E– See Rubric below

Rubric

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Presentation Design

Throughout my years of schooling, I’ve done numerous presentations, but unfortunately, I know I could have done all of them much better than I actually did. One of my biggest mistakes that I tend to make when presenting, or rather, preparing for presentation, is to put what I am going to say directly on the slide, or put way to much information down. I have improved in this however, as my public speaking abilities have also improved.

I think it’s easy to put extra information on the actual slide, rather than practicing your presentation enough ahead of time so that you are prepared to share the extra information verbally. This is one the things that trips me up with presentations. Since I am not the most confident public speaker, I feel “safer” and more prepared when all of my information is on the slide. Unfortunately that approach is impractical because it will overload students with information, and the presentation will be extremely boring.

After reading the presentation design article, I learned that a good approach when adding graphs and charts to your presentation (other than not adding way too many graphs and charts) is to make sure that the graph/chart is the only thing on that slide, then be ready to explain it. This eliminates  clutter on the slide, and also provides a point in the presentation to regain some attention because students will be curious about what the graph means.

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Digging Up The Truth

Finding credible sources for online research is a tedious, yet necessary task. So many informational websites are biased and inaccurate, so researching information for an assignment or a lesson becomes more like a complicated maze. Knowing how to find credible sources and use the information given is known as information literacy.

While it is important that teachers are information literate, students must also be taught how to analyze the credibility of a sources and the information that it presents. “In True–Or not?” by Debbie Abilock, she states different techniques to go about training students to be information literate. Students must pay attention to the author of the site, number of links to the site, and whether the site they are extracting information from is biased or objective.

While I completely understand that it is difficult sometimes to take the time to evaluate sources, students can be taught to do so effectively. One tip stated by Abilock is to encourage students to ask questions about the credibility of not only the sources of their classmates’ research, but also that of the teacher while lesson-planning. I think this is one of the best points made because teachers exist in order to be an example to students, and impart to students the knowledge that they have gained, whether it be from their time in college, or from the internet.

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XBOX :)

Don’t worry guys. My XBOX name is Spiderwaffle44. It’s all good. 🙂

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