Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Blog

May 16, 2008

I’d like to do a major overhaul of this blog, but have absolutely no idea when I’ll get to it. When I do, though, I imagine it will give me valuable insight for the blog book I’m (still!) writing.

On another note, I’ve noticed there are a lot more people out there writing (and perhaps reading) blogs than there are posting comments on blogs! I’m not yet seeing the blog community as a truly interactive community. If anyone has experiences to the contrary to share, or examples of blogs where this is happening, I’d enjoy hearing about it.

RSS feeds (again)

April 2, 2008

I’m not convinced RSS stands for “really simple syndication,” except that some sites like Blogger have it built in and all I had to do was go to Google Reader and subscribe to a few blogs. I’m not sure how to research the other, imbedding RSS feeds within a blog, but with comment moderation I may not need it. I’ve also given up on trying to figure out how to use templates other than those offered by the hosting blog platform. I can find more than one template I like, so I don’t want to take the time to go out to the Internet to search for others. It wouldn’t hurt to put some links in the book for those who do want something else, though. The people who might take the time to research and use other templates might be the same people who already know more than I do, and might not be reading the book anyway.

Standards

March 31, 2008

Now I’m asking questions about standards — what do state standards have to do with standardized tests? What do standardized tests have to do with classroom instruction? Is there any way for teachers to make sense of this thing that is here to stay? I’ve been asking around, and have received a few interesting replies. What do you do with standards?

March 25, 2008

http://otterthoughts.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

RSS feeds

March 25, 2008

Now I’m attempting to learn what I can about RSS feeds. I’ve been able to set up Google Reader and subscribe to a few blogs, which I can read using the reader. The next step will be to figure out how to set up RSS feeds within blogs, so teachers will know when students make posts or comments. Perhaps this is unnecessary, if teachers moderate all comments, but I still think I would need it for student posts. Do teachers really need to know this much technology? I didn’t set out to learn any kind of code, I just wanted to use blogs, and found myself getting in deeper than I imagined into Web 2.0 “stuff.”

Blogs with students

March 21, 2008

Today I’m testing and retesting the different ways in which students can be linked to a teacher’s classroom blog. I’m not sure I’ll ever know everything there is to know about blogs and blogging, and I’m not sure I want to learn all there is to know. I wonder how many people really use all the features available on programs such as WordPress. What is your experience with using some of the advanced features on WordPress?

March 19, 2008

I read a blog post today about Personal Learning Networks. Much of it almost sounds Greek to me. My husband suscribes to some blogs and he reads them in the evenings, but I wonder, when do people have time to mess with this? I think it’s like so many other things, to add something “new” to your life, you have to give up something else. I’m not yet ready to give up walking, reading, occasional crafts, and time with friends/family to follow 20 people online, especially when, as David Warlick notes, rarely does he receive a feed with something of personal interest to him.

What have you learned about PLNs that has been helpful to you?

Blogs in the classroom

March 19, 2008

I sent a question to some friends in education about why teachers should use blogs in the classroom. I’m looking not only for teacher’s input, but for students’ as well. Already a couple of students have responded with some great insight.

Why do you think teachers should (or should not) use blogs in the classroom setting?

5 paragraph essay

March 17, 2008

Today we dove into five paragraph essays… why someone might choose to use this format, and how to outline and write such an essay. I wanted the students to consider various purposes for using this particular format besides “the teacher told us we have to write an essay.” One student thought this type of writing should be used in police work and medical work, due to the detail included. Have you heard of any other original uses for a five paragraph essay?

 We also began discussing introductions and conclusions–the aspects students seem to find the most difficult to write. How have you engaged your students in this process? We’ll talk about this more next week, in preparation for numerous essays and other nonfiction pieces this semester.

Positive Reinforcement 2

March 16, 2008

When I read through and edited part two of the research paper today, I remembered research I read about random positive reinforcement. That is, to encourage students to consistently exhibit the desired behavior, teachers may choose to give rewards randomly so that students do not know when to expect the reward. I must admit, I never remembered to try this in my classroom, as I’m a very routine-oriented person, and I believe students thrive on routine. I always gave “excellence” rewards on Fridays, but students did not know if or when they would receive a reward, or for which work. Since I did not  give a reward specifically for a “perfect” paper, but for effort, students did not know if they would receive a reward, but they wanted to try to get one.

 I’d like to think of a similar system for discipline/classroom management! That’s really my weakness, and a few strategies in my “tool box” would be very helpful! How have you used random positive reinforcement for discipline/classroom management?