EC&I 834

Blended Learning – How can I make it work?

In my classroom, I use a number of different student- student and student–instructor interactions. The Collaboration Space in OneNote is a great one. My non-risk takers really like it, as they don’t have to speak to everyone. They are able to give their thoughts without having to step out of their comfort zone (though there is a time to have them step out). We have tried Padlet, and it works in the same manner, as well as having different options. We have portfolios, using Flipgrid and Seesaw, that we use interchangeably. The Seesaw posts go straight away to the parents and the Flipgrid is used at conferences. Menti is great it has many different options.

 

If we decide to kick it up and make a competition, Kahoot allows you to put your student into teams.  This is a team building activity but competitive.

When we made our Prototype we utilized a number of the apps and extensions that I already use in my classroom.  Google Classroom is an extension of Google that seems to be widely used.  My division uses Windows so OneNote is what we are encouraged to use.  As this is our system-wide tool, it works very well when connecting to other teachers, it also works very well for my students to connect to other teachers.  Teachers at other schools can invite my students, and I theirs, to a Notebook where assignments and interchanges between students can occur. We used Kidblog instead of the WordPress, Poster my Wall, Yoteach, and Adobe Spark. I feel confident in my ability to use these with my students and my students are able to help each other almost better than I.  I had students create PSAs ( public service announcements). We kind of emulated our idea around The More You Know, I suggested Adobe Spark but many  chose to video themselves. I am finding that my students, after being on the computer since September, are finding sites and applications that the prefer to what I am asking of them. I think this lines up with this weeks readings were the learner is taking ownership of what and how they are learning.They are collaborating with each other and basically moving away from me as the instructor.  They have their own ideas and how they want to represent them.  This is very cool to observe as they are 12 years old and totally into their own learning.  Listening to them reflect on the learning is amazing, you will have to wait for that in my Summary of Learning.     Credit

EC&I 834

Evaluation Feedback Post

The feedback we are reflecting/commenting on included the following:

  • Does it excite students or engage them differently?
  • Does the complexity of what you are doing combined with three classrooms full of “strangers” have a negative impact on student learning?
  • What to do if people are not aware of how to use the programs?
  • Timetable for student due dates  
  • Missing vocabulary (word study)
  • Add reference to YoTeach

 

 

Differentiated learning is a huge part of twenty-first century teaching. Typically doing Literature Circles in one classroom means that one teacher is in charge of 5 books with different groups in the classrooms. By having one teacher in charge of one book, this can deepen the students learning because it limits the amount of interchanging teachers have to complete. Teachers are not splitting their time up with each novel group, s/he focuses on one novel and the students within that grouping. Splitting the novel up amongst 3 schools allows for smaller groupings for teachers and students to work with. We could also include our teacher librarians which would allow teachers to have even smaller groups, this would also open up more book choices as well. This way if students need a challenge, teachers can add content, challenge the creative component, ask higher level thinking questions, or if students need some differentiation, there are several options we could implement.  Examples of this enclude: having audiobooks, using speech to text, or Google Read and Write(prediction tools, dictionary, etc.)

We do not believe there is a negative impact on student learning by working with strangers. We think this can engage those students who are introverts because it gives them a space where they can engage in conversations about their novel without the restrictions of being face to face. In addition, we feel that it provides students with a goal each week and there are specific apps that can allow us to view the progress of our students. If we see that a student is struggling with their online posts, individual teachers can speak with those students and encourage them along the way. With YoTeach for example, teachers can print out the discussion forum and you can track what students are commenting throughout each week. This can track student engagement and involvement. In addition, because they do now know who they are working with and who they are speaking too, they are more confident in terms of what they are sharing online.

 

Organization of structure for students could also be added to the course itself. Something like adding Google calendar would really help students stay on track as well to remind them on important due dates. Google calendar is super easy to use and could be accessed on a personal device as well online. It can be shared amongst all the
members in the reading groups and anyone can be given the permissions to add to the calendar itself. As well, depending on the difficulty of the novel, a word study could be added to each module. Reviewing and going over important words that will be used in the chapters will help students comprehend the book deepening their understanding of the questions being asked of them. In addition, getting each leveled group together at the end of the unit would be a great culmination! Just being together and chatting with both the strengths and challenges of the unit can create some great, constructive, and important conversation between the students.

 

There are many different tools being utilized within this online blended course. If students have limited knowledge of these tools, mini lessons should be given prior to the beginning of the unit. This way, students will be confident using the different types of tools and technology being used in the class.  If needed, there are videos below that would support teachers if they were unfamiliar with the platforms provided.

Adobe Spark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2oyYMTjDQg

Yo Teach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6m6BErGnLU

Postermywall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwrSwNZoWDg

KidBlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSQ_MXfPisw

Google Read and Write: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwC_hJ7KmAg

YoTeach-  The Classroom teacher goes over questions that will be addressed in the live chat prior to the chat. This gives students the opportunity to see the videos, focus their thinking and then engage in the chat.  Teacher who is leading YoTeach then puts the questions into the YoTeach forum, then students answer them in the live chat.

 

We have completed more than the required modules for this assignment.  We hope that you can use what we have constructed and to continue to build on to it as we will.  Bullying is a topic that should be taught at all grade levels. We believe this unit, with different novels, could be used from grade  4 and up.

Thanks to my group, Amy and Kyla for all of their hard work

EC&I 834

Blended Learning and Higher Education.

I had a really difficult time trying to decide what to write my blog post about this week. Blended learning means so much in so many different ways and I thought about how the three blended classes that I’ve taken have provided me with different learning opportunities. And that’s when my idea popped into my head.

Differentiated instruction, different learning opportunities. As a primary teacher I spent much of my day looking for ways to adapt my lessons to accommodate the needs of all of my students. Do people in higher centers of learning work to achieve the same goals as I do? As I pass my students onto the high school level, I’m aware that all of the adaptations I make are not available to them in high school. 70% of their science and math marks are all about exams. Exams are not the primary focus in elementary school. I asked my high school counterparts what does blended learning mean to you and how are my students going to be ready to enter your classroom? This then translates to how are high school kids ready to enter university?

It’s a well-known fact that class sizes are increasing. Increasing at the elementary level, the high         giphy      school level and the post secondary level. Are all instructors having difficulty in reaching all of their students? Is blended learning the answer? Searching for articles that could help me answer my question…and then tadaa!!!      giphy

Boelens, Voet & Wever (2018). article, The design of blended learning in response to student diversity in higher education: Instructors’ views and use of differentiated instruction in blended learning. Blended learning not only gives us the opportunity to reach the distance, but it gives us the opportunity to diversify the instructional lesson and requirements that need to be fulfilled by the students.

Differentiated instruction through Blended Learning looks at four components; these are content, process, product, and affect. Flexibility in content is adapting the curriculum or modifying resources and how curriculum is being presented. Process is understood as how content is being processed and the acquisition of new skills. Product is how the students show what they know and affect is how students feel about the classroom environment. Most of the studies on differentiate learning have been done in the elementary and high school environment, although blended learning holds great potential for face-to-face and online activities in higher education. Unfortunately a large population of higher level instructors do not believe in the use of a blended learning environment.

I have been working in my classroom to develop blended learning with a number of other teachers through novel studies that we are teaching. My students are thoroughly enjoying the interaction that online learning, in conjunction with the face to face times is giving them. I would say out of the three classes that I’ve taken in a blended learning environment, two have been very enjoyable for me. Should differentiated instruction be part of higher learning, and can blended learning by the key to this?

EC&I 834

Useful, or not so much?

So I looked at a couple of different options and shut them down right away. Photobabble looked like a cool option, but I already use SeeSaw  that you can use voice over on and Flipgrid whereby students hold up a picture (test, work, etc.) and talk about it. Smore flyer creator looked like something I could use to have students create a project with, but we already use Adobe Spark and we make excellent videos and posters with it.  We also use PosterMyWall which works great for my students. Powtoon looked like a very cool site.  I thought I could have students use this to create messages for Health, Career Guidance or Religion.  I set about to try it out and had some of my students try it too.  They always seem to catch on quicker than me.  If they are able to try it with me, I then have a few helpers in the group. So three kids started with me.  One student made an entire story about how to help with stress. She liked using the site but found it did not save well and she had to retype a few times.  Retyping for kids who have no keyboarding skills is treacherous.

Two of my boys thought they would made how-to videos.                                       Cass’ help 

I thought I could have my students create book talks or book reports using this template

As the boys tried to share their ideas, they had difficulty saving their creations.  They started over twice and I called it quits.  This turned them and me off of the site.  Saving should be the easiest part the process.  Having to restart and restart is off setting.  I thought that this is a different option for my students.

The idea of the site is pretty cool.  There are a number of options to use for presentations as it is a presentation tool.  I do not think I would use it from much other than book reports.  It has has a very limited number of templates and you cannot upload any of your own pictures or images.  It does have a blank template but you have to use the material provided thus limiting the end result.  There is a time limit on the free presentation material and a cost if you go over the time limit.  As a teacher, I am always looking for free…free just about anything.

I think there is probably something better out there.  What I would like to know is who has time to find it.  I admit I am not at all good with looking for new ideas.  I will try out a number of things but seem to fall into using what I think is good and then get stuck there.  Ideas anyone?

EC&I 834

Course Profile: Bullying a multi school novel study

Course Profile

(Completed by Amy, Colette & Kyla)

Overview/Description

The focus of our unit is “Bullying”, a novel study with grade 7 and 8 students across 3 different schools. There are a variety of novels which we hope will engage all students at their own reading levels. Throughout this Online/Blended learning experience, we are going to  use  technology which enables us to connect with the other schools as well as within our own building contexts. Each student has a specific teacher they will working with in regards to their assigned novel. Their connected teacher could be a teacher from a different school, but the classroom teacher is also there to support each student in their classroom environment. Students will report weekly via weekly blog on their section of the novel. They will also complete a creative component pertaining to that section of reading. In addition, there will be a weekly online discussion forum(chat) on each section of the novel. Students will be reporting to the teacher in charge of the novel, to which they have been assigned. This allows for diversity of needs as well as connectivity of students outside of the classroom.

The unit will begin by having all 3 classrooms meet together on zoom to review the expectations, course outline, weekly assignments, and connect each student to their “lead” teacher in charge of their particular novel. This will be our only synchronous meeting until we have finished our novels. The platform which we are sharing/collaborating on is: https://onlineunit.home.blog/

This way, all teachers have collaborated together to share the weekly assignments and it is made readily available for all students to access from school or at home. The link can also be shared with families for quick access to check in on what their children are doing at school. There would be no login required and no need to recall a password to access the website.

We have chosen 13 Reasons Why, The Outsiders, and Wonder as our main focus. We have listed additional resources that could fit well within this unit.

The Novels:

  • 13 Reasons Why – Jay Asher
  • The Outsider – S.E. Hilton              
  • Egghead – Caroline Pignat
  • Wonder – R.J. Palacio
  • The Only Game – Mike Lupica
  • BLubber – Judy Bloom

 

Course Format:                                                                            Pic credit                   Pic credit

For our unit, we have split up our novels into five different weekly sections. The expectation would be that students complete the required readings for the assigned period, whether that be reading on their own, with a partner, or listening to an audiobook. The audiobooks help learners who have lower reading comprehension, keep up with the pace of the weekly reading assignments. As stated earlier, students will be assigned a novel, a teacher, and also a learning partner from a different school. Students are able to connect through Zoom to talk to their learning partner about their weekly tasks that go along with the reading. This promotes collaboration and creativity.                                               Pic Credit                                                                                                                                         Course Toolset:

  • WordPress Bloghttps://onlineunit.home.blog/
    • This is where all of the student assignments will be posted.
  • KidBlog https://kidblog.org/home/
    • Each week, students will be required to complete several questions based on reading strategies and they will publish their answers to their blogs.
      • Kidblog provides K-12 teachers with tools to safely publish student writing. Teachers can monitor all activity within a community of authors. Posts can even be public, but nothing goes live until a teacher approves it. Kidblog empowers students to write with a meaningful purpose for a real audience. Connect with other classes down the hallway, across your district, or around the world. Students practice digital citizenship within a secure environment.
  • Postermywallhttps://www.postermywall.com/index.php/edu
    • In some weeks, students have a choice on how they want to represent their creative component. They can use postermywall to design a poster related to their novel and assignment. For example, creating a poster that demonstrates why kindness matters.

Overview of our features for schools

  • Create projects to organize designs created by students.
  • Students are not required to create an account.
  • Students see only student appropriate content.
  • Students’ projects are never made public.
  • No ads.
  • Completely free to teachers. We believe in supporting our schools. You can help keep it free by sharing a link to PosterMyWall.com with your parents. Their purchases help to fund the PosterMyWall.com Classroom Accounts Program.
  • YoTeachhttps://palms.polyu.edu.hk:8448/
    • A set time for each week has been designated.  The teacher in charge of each novel will invite students to the group chat to respond to questions in real time.  Students will discuss a series of per-compiled questions and dialogue with other member of their group about their assigned novel.  This gives the students a weekly opportunity to connect on a weekly bases.
    • Yo Teach! lets you create online backchannel spaces to facilitate discussions. To get started on Yo Teach! simply go to the site and name your room. You can get started by just doing those two steps, but I would recommend taking a another minute to scroll down the Yo Teach! site to activate the admin function, the password function, and to select “avoid search.”  The “avoid search” option will hide your room from search results so that people cannot find it without being given its direct URL. The password function lets you set a password that must be entered before students can participate in the chat. The admin features of Yo Teach! let you mute or remove students from a discussion, delete your room, and view statistic about the usage of your room. The admin function that reveals statistics will show the names of participants and how active they have been in your Yo Teach! Room.

 

  • Adobe Spark  
    • Each week students are required to complete a creative component. An example would be having students use Adobe Spark to create a post with the key quote (or quotes) from your novel. The background must represent you think the setting of your story looks like.
    • Features:
      • Graphics: Pick a photo, add text, and apply design filters to instantly stand out from the crowd.
      • Webpages: Turn words and images into beautiful, magazine-style web stories that will impress readers on any device.
      • Video Stories: easily add photos, video clips, icons, or you own voice. Select from professional-quality soundtracks and cinematic motion.

 

Course Content/Learning Objectives:

  • CR 7.2 → Select and use appropriate strategies to construct meaning before (e.g., formulating questions), during (e.g., recognizing organizational structure), and after (e.g., making judgements supported by evidence) viewing, listening, and reading.
  • CR 8.2 → Select and use appropriate strategies to construct meaning before (e.g., previewing and anticipating message), during (e.g., making inferences based on text and prior knowledge), and after (e.g., paraphrasing and summarizing) viewing, listening, and reading.
  • CR 7.6 → Read and demonstrate comprehension and interpretation (including thoughtful and critical response to content and craft) of grade-appropriate texts including traditional and contemporary prose fiction, poetry, and plays from First Nations, Métis, and other cultures.
  • CR 8.6Read and demonstrate comprehension and interpretation of grade-appropriate texts including traditional and contemporary prose fiction, poetry, and plays from First Nations, Métis, and other cultures to evaluate the purpose, message, point of view, craft, values, and biases, stereotypes, or prejudices.
  • CC 7.1Create various visual, oral, written, and multimedia (including digital) texts that explore identity (e.g., Exploring Thoughts, Feelings, and Ideas), social responsibility (e.g., Taking Action), and efficacy (e.g., Building a Better World).
  • CC 8.2Create and present a group inquiry project related to a topic, theme, or issue studied in English language arts.
  • CC 7.4 Use pragmatic (e.g., use language that demonstrates respect for others), textual (e.g., use common organizational patterns within texts), syntactical (e.g., ensure agreement of subjects, verbs, and pronouns), semantic/lexical/morphological (e.g., avoid overused and misused words), graphophonic (e.g., enunciate clearly), and other cues (e.g., use appropriate gestures and facial expressions) to construct and to communicate meaning.
  • CC 8.4Use pragmatic (e.g., use appropriate language register), textual (e.g., use artistic devices such as figurative language), syntactical (e.g., combine sentences to form compound and complex sentences for variety, interest, and effect), semantic/lexical/ morphological (e.g., use words to capture a particular aspect of meaning), graphophonic (e.g., correctly pronounce words with proper emphasis), and other cues (e.g, arrange and balance words and visuals as well as fonts) to construct and to communicate meaning.

 

Assessment Strategies

Each week, throughout our unit, the students will receive immediate feedback based off of a rubric to offer, suggestions, and compliments by the assigned teacher.This will allow students to improve their next post prior to it being submitted.  Each week will serve as a formative assessment, with the final assessment at the end being summative. In addition, the students will complete peer assessments each week with their “blogging partner”. The students are required to use the format:  “3C and a Q” – which means they must compliment the student, comment on the students work/contributions, make a connection (via text to text, text to self or text to world) to that student’s post, and pose a question as well. This will keep the dialogue going and provide students with a set structure.

 

Considerations for Common Concerns

Overall, our main consideration for common concerns is as follows. For those students who require adaptations for their reading, there is access to Google Read and Write which assists in completing assignments. There is a word prediction tool, spellcheck, voice to text, and many more tools. We will also have access to audiobooks for those students who require them. All books are at different reading levels to accommodate the diverse needs in the classrooms. Fortunately, all schools working on this project have easy access to technology at school. In some cases, students who have homework and limited/no access to technology at home, may have trouble if they cannot keep  up with the academic demands and there would be a need for a teacher intervention to support those students.

Rationale

Our rationale is to make connections with other schools, teachers and students alike. We will be spending our time creating a product that will be utilized in our own classrooms! We chose a relevant educational topic that is part of the curriculum for every grade and we hope that all students will be able to create many “takeaways” from the readings provided. We have chosen this forum as it is easily accessible to all of our students and our school all have availability to the apps or websites. Each of the sites provides their to be multiple leaders or teachers which is necessary for a project like this to work.  

Group Chat

The questions listed below will be distributed to the students prior to the weekly chats.  Students will be provided with the opportunity to reflect on the direction of the questions and the answers they would like to give.  This is an adaptation that allows students not to be put on the spot and to feel comfortable with their contribution to the chat.

13 Reasons why:

Week 1 Questions

  • What are your initial thoughts about Clay? Support your answer with 2 direct quotations from the novel.
  • What are your initial thoughts about Hannah? Is she sympathetic character? Do you like her? Why or why not?
  • What was your reaction to listening to Hannah’s voice over the tape?
  • What was Clay’s reaction when his mother wanted to listen to the tape?
  • Do you think Hannah’s tapes will stay between the twelve people on the list, or will they be shown to the authorities and/or released to the public? Should they be? Why or why not?
  • At the beginning of the first tape, Hannah says, “…there are thirteen sides to every story.” What does she mean by this?

Week 2 Questions

  • And in the middle of the room, one desk to the left will be the desk of Hannah Baker. Empty. – Clay (Prologue, p.4) What is your reaction to this quote?
  • How do you feel about Justin Foley? Are there any reasons you feel you should not trust him?
  • Who is the last name in the list of people to receive the tapes?
  • What is the purpose of Hannah’s tapes?
  • Another student sabotages Hannah during a class project. Clay’s nightmares about Hannah spill over into the daytime. How does this make Clay feel?
  • What does Tony do to support Hannah and Clay throughout this process? Do you feel he is a good friend who is making sacrifices for better or worse?

Week 3 Questions

  • What did Mr. Porter do wrong? What could he have done better? What will he do with the tapes when he gets them?
  • How does Hannah and Clay’s dual narrative enhance the story? What additional details are revealed through this method of storytelling that might have otherwise remained secret if the book had been written from only one of their perspectives?
  • How do you feel the teachers are handling the situation?
  • What are specific experiences that have led to Hannah’s 13 reasons why?
  • Hannah’s classmates even said that “whoever wrote the note just wants attention” (9.222). What do you think of this quotation?
  • How do you think Clay internalizes all of what Hannah is staying on the tapes?

 

Outsiders – Week 1

  • Describe each of the characters relationship with one another.
  • Who are the socs?  Who are the greasers?
  • How do Ponyboy’s relationships with Darry and Sodapop differ?  Explain.
  • Why is the ‘gang’ important to Johnny?
  • How does Ponyboy react to what Sodapop tells him about Darry?
  • Do you think Darry loves Ponyboy?  Why does he treat Ponyboy the way he does?

 

Outsiders Week 2

  • Why does Pony have a problem with Johnny’s idea to disguise themselves? What does it take away from him?  Why do they have to disguise themselves?
  • Why does Johnny think Dally is a hero?  Do you think Dally is a hero based on what he did?
  • Why are the socs and the greasers going to fight in the vacant lot? What is at stake?
  • Who is the spy for the greasers?  Does this surprise you? Why or why not?
  • “Maybe people are younger when they are asleep”.  What do you think about this comment? What does it mean?
  • When Pony asks what kind of a world it is, what comment is he making about how society judges people?

 

Outsiders Week 3

  • Even though Pony does not want to be a greaser and does not like many of the things that greasers do, the rumble allows him to be proud to be a greaser. Explain this contradiction.
  • What is the difference between Tim Sheppard’s gang and Ponyboy’s?  Explain how Pony feels this difference might give his group the upper hand?
  • What are the rules of the rumble? (pp. 140-142).
  • Explain why Pony might rather anyone’s hate than their pity?
  • What do you think is going on with Ponyboy when he says, “Johnny didn’t have anything to do with Bob’s getting killed”?

 

Wonder Week 1

  • Why do people look quickly away when they first see August?
  • In this section August discusses the issue of him going to school.
  • Why has he never gone to school? Do you think he should?
  • August goes on the tour of the school and meets three students. In your opinion which one would turn out to be a bully?
  • How would you describe the other students’ reaction to August in homeroom?
  • What does September’s precept, “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind,” mean?

Wonder Week 2

  • Do you think Via is jealous of all the attention August gets?
  • Did Via have a good first day of high school?
  • Who is Miranda and why did she call?
  • August decided to change his costume. How do you think mom reacted to this?
  • Would you describe Summer as a good person? Why or why not?
  • Do you think Summer thinks Jack is a good friend?

Wonder week 3

  • How does August feel about going on the 5th Grade Nature Retreat?
  • Jack and August find themselves in trouble. What is the trouble and who helps them?
  • August lies to the teachers about not being able to remember the 7th graders’ faces. Why do you think he did this?
  • What animal does August use to represent himself? Do you think it is a good choice?
  • There is a ceremony at school, what happens at the ceremony that shows a change from the beginning to the end of the school year?
  • Mr. Tushman says “Always try to be a little kinder than necessary.” What does that mean to you? In your opinion what character shows this the best?
EC&I 834

Can I Blend?

giphy

I think last year was my first real experience with blended learning. As a classroom teacher and part of the Regina Catholic Schools Connected Educator program I both use both technology and face-to-face meets (obviously, the kids are in class) with my students. My students create, interact  and connect with each other with the use of their devices through OneNote and other tools and we work in groups and collaboratively in the classroom face-to-face. There have been many opportunities and obstacles since September when then I joined the 3rd year of the project.  My students have had the opportunity to connect with students in the United States through the Global Read Aloud (GRA).

We are currently connecting with 11 other groups throughout the city in an online format. At the end of this online learning we are arranging for all of the students to meet face-to-face. I’m currently teaching my students how to a blog using Kidblog. We are using  3C’s & a Q as a format for our blogging This includes a compliment, a comment making a connection and then asking a question. This provides students with a outline in which to learn to blog. We are all really excited about this project and all of the interaction between students.  I think the biggest asset has been that with the diverse needs of my students blended learning provides them, and me, a variety of tools to give them the best boost for their learning.  Of course every new “thing” has some setbacks, but overall it has been  very positive.

Personally my class with Alec last semester was my first positive blended interaction as a student. Prior to that I had taken a university spring class and it was terrible. I believe that it being terrible made me make sure this “blended” design was going to work in my classroom.  Sometimes a negative experience is the best learning tool.  I very much knew what not to do. I chance another online class and luckily with Alec’s help, EC&I 833 had many positive experiences for me.  I learned about many tools, was able to try them out in a safe setting and finally was able to apply a lot of my new knowledge to teachings in my classroom.

Thank you Anne for the chuckle on will it blend and your comments on charging the blend tech to a school MasterCard. I would enjoy doing that some days as well.  Tony Bates discusses the variation in delivery methods of blended or hybrid learning.  I have come to realize that I need personal interaction.  My first on-line class was very much a lecture based class.  The interaction we have with Zoom adds to my learning experience. 

What is your learning style?

What is your teaching style?

Is there a correlation?

 

photo credit