WordPress and Bloom’s Higher Level Thinking

How appropos…this week, I am blogging about blogging. WordPress is a free technology that can be used in any classroom. By requiring students to publish online, they are writing for a global audience. This makes it more meaningful for them, and they take the writing more seriously. I required my students to create a blog through WordPress. One of their writing assignments was to ask an open-ended question about the novel we are reading, Flowers for Algernon. For example, they may post: Imagine you are Charlie, how would you have reacted to the increase in your intelligence? To take it a step further, you could even provide students with a handout on Bloom question starters. This way, you know they are addressing the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. Teachers could even require students to work with all six levels, tailoring their questions to fit each category. Great idea…I think I’ll take my own advice and distribute a list to my students on Monday. They also had to reply to the questions of their group mates. This way they are both asking and answering questions about the book. Finally, they were to make a comment back to an individual or to the group as a whole. Collaboration, technology, and Bloom’s…oh my. Here is a link to WordPress (as if you need it) www.wordpress.com. I will post a link to a student blog sometime next week so you can see this assignment in action.


Attribution: teamstickergiant

Story Cube -Read Write Think

Attribution: By Mélisande*

Read Write Think has a handy technology tool to aid in critical thinking. This tool, story cube, allows students to plan and then write into a program that will save their answers in a cube format. The students then print the template, cut it out, and fold it into a three dimensional shape. Although some of the prompts fall into the less challenging layers of Bloom’s Taxonomy -characters, setting, favorite, there are also more complex categories such as conflict, resolution, and theme. Since the conflict can be analyzed in terms of an inner struggle, it definitely falls into the higher levels of bloom’s taxonomy. Theme is also a strong example of critical thinking as the students have to determine and judge the general insight to life the author is trying to express. Teachers could also change the favorite prompt to an evaluation prompt, operating on the highest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Please see the link for more information: http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/cube_creator/

Blog Post 8 Creative Commons PPT

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/melanieyocum/melanies-technology-and-education-1&#8243; title=”Melanie's technology and education (1)” target=”_blank”>Melanie's technology and education (1)</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/melanieyocum&#8221; target=”_blank”>melanieyocum</a></strong> </div>

Microsoft Learning Suite

http://www.flickr.com/photos/babystone/6202530308/

Microsoft Learning Suite is a free technology geared for schools, teachers, and students. This technology offers four categories of technological learning: Creativity, Collaboration, Research and Study, and Teacher Tools. A program of special interest to me as a high school English teacher is the Windows Live Writer -under the Collaboration section. I plan to use this with my students this year as it will allow them to use technology to collaborate on written assignments. For example, I could assign a small group a research project that requires them to create a presentation and write a research paper. Using the Windows Live Writer will allow them to work on the project at the same time from any location in real time. This is especially important as the new standards require high school students to do just that. The only other program I know of that has the same capability is Google docs. Offering my students a choice in which technology they prefer using will give them ownership. It will also allow me to differentiate as I can tailor the assignment to the student and what works best for their learning. http://www.thewindowsclub.com/download-microsoft-learning-suite-free

Podcast Post

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips podcast will prove very useful in my classroom. This is an aspect of Language Arts that some students naturally understand, while others find it quite difficult. There are so many rules in the English language, with many exceptions to those rules, making grammar a life-long friend or foe. Grammar Girl’s podcast will help give me a fresh perspective on teaching grammar, while offering my students a supplemental resource that is quite friendly and accessible. The particular episode I listened to was Lay vs. Lie. When do you use lay and when do you use lie? This is an age old question that seems to stump us all. Thankfully, Grammar Girl is here to save the day… and clean up our grammar.

Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty, received her B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and her M.A. in biology from Stanford University. She created the podcast to share her knowledge and love of grammar with the world. She, ” believes that learning is fun, and the vast rules of grammar are wonderful fodder for lifelong study.” Luckily for us, she makes the rules that stumped us for so long seem easily accessible, providing memorable examples and connections to real life. She even references songs by Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan in her podcast on lay vs. lie.

No technologies were discussed, but there are links to technologies such as: iTunes, Podcast RSS, Article RSS, Download MP3, Email, Facebook, Twitter, and Delicious. This podcast didn’t teach me anything new about grammar yet, but it did teach me new ways to present the material to my students. It will also give my students another vehicle for learning, one they can access through their personal technological devices. Let’s face it, almost every teenager has an iPod, Smartphone, iPad, Kindle Fire, or some other device they can use not only for entertainment, but also for education. They can use this podcast to help them better understand their grammar lessons.

Grammar Girl Podcast

RSS Feeds

The RSS feeder I am using is Bloglines.com. I subscribed to the following blogs from our EDFI 560 class: Kayla Richards, Jeremy Reed, Alvin Trusty, Richard Yocum, and Andrew Stein.

RSS technology can benefit my teaching tremendously. It is perfect timing actually because I had my students create Web blogs for the first time this school year. The RSS feed will save me so much time. I can subscribe to my students’ blogs, organize them by period, and read all of their required postings while visiting one site. How convenient!! This is very exciting; as teachers, we all know how precious our time is. This is just one way to help me cope with the demands of my schedule. My students will also benefit because they will get feedback much sooner than if I had to visit each of their blogs individually. Thank you RSS technology.

Beneficial teaching is not the only plus to this technology, RSS will also enhance my learning. I am able to subscribe to blogs which will help me grow in my understanding and use of technology. This year my focus is on learning new technology for both business and pleasure. I feel there are so many tools and techniques available that I am not using. By subscribing to feeds that will keep me abreast on the latest and greatest technologies, I will learn more and learn faster. Watch out world, another “techie” has been born.

Blog Post Three – New Technology: Google Docs

Google Docs: Create and share your work online

Google Docs is an educational technology that I will use on a daily basis in my classroom. This technology offers myself and my students a chance to create and share documents with many more features than Microsoft Word. For example, the new Ohio State Standards for high school Language Arts require students to use technology to create and collaborate. Google Docs allows students to work on one document simultaneously. They can see what each other writes in real time, and they can access their documents from anywhere in the world. This allows students to have more access to their files and gives them the mobility to use their smart phones, iPads, and personal devices (with internet connection) as vehicles for learning. Google Docs speaks the language of the 21st century learner.

https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=writely&passive=1209600&continue=http://docs.google.com/%23&followup=http://docs.google.com/&ltmpl=homepage

Teacher Blogs -English Education

This is a photo of a student from a retired English teacher’s blog who now works for Web English Teacher. English teacher and blogger, Carla, blogs about everything from learning disabilities to the benefits of iPads to writing lessons. She blogs to offer her thoughts and passions to others. She even discusses the irony of a student who used improper grammar to express how well he scored on his report card, “I done real good in your class.” Her blog is a way to express thoughts such as the discrepancies between what assessments tell us and what reality tells us. Her links on the right hand side are a useful feature. With titles like “Cheeky Lit” and “Moving at the Speed of Creativity” any fellow English teacher would be excited to explore them.

http://webenglishteacher.com/chalkdust/

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This is a photo from Mr. B-G’s blog on English education. It was posted with a caption that explained how he took the students from his last period class for a five minute walk before asking them to focus on a major writing assignment.He believes that blogging is a way to connect with his students in a language they respond to -by using technology and social media.  He believes in the value of reflection, “there’s real value in finding the time to record and reflect on events – both in and out of the classroom.” Blogging is a way to do just that, while on a global level that is highly accessible to both students and fellow teachers. Mr. B-G’s blog is extremely thorough, with links to many videos on literature, vocabulary, technology, and social comparisons. This is a site you can’t cover in one sitting as its resources are endless.

http://www.bgenglish.blogspot.com/search/label/Musings

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Whether you love the beauty of his language (like me) or loathe his archaic diction, Shakespeare is a staple in the English curriculum for high school students. The following blog would be helpful for any teacher who is faced with the arduous task of teaching Shakespeare in their classroom. And although it is not limited exclusively to “the Bard,” it offers fun anagrams, riddles, and parodies while providing useful links to recordings of various plays and lesson ideas. The blog’s creator, Bill (coincidence?), focuses on the importance of technology in the classroom and offers many ideas for creative interpretation of Shakespeare. He blogs to share his self-proclaimed obsession (as noted on another page) with all things Shakespeare -from the plot lines to the freshly arranged phrases. He also blogs to share his opinions and the things he finds interesting, inviting others to join in on the creation of his interactive site. It seems that Bill believes by using what speaks to students today (technology) perhaps teachers can help them to reach back in time to one of the greatest writers of the English language. http://www.shakespeareteacher.com/blog/about

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I believe that blogging will be important to my teaching career because it forces me to understand and use technology. Also, it will give me a working vehicle through which to reach my students. It is exciting to watch my students get excited about creating their own blogs, which we are doing on Monday. Wish me luck!