grannynannycook

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Differentiate Between a Chicken With Nuggets and One Without. January 29, 2013

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Week Two Essential Question:

What tools might provide me insight into the learners in my classroom and how might I use this information?

“Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.”

Chinese Proverb

Multiple formal diagnostic tests exist in Special Education for isolating learning differences, as do an equal amount of formal inventories and surveys.  Rarely are these formal instruments used by the regular classroom teacher. Generally, it is the more informal items which classroom teachers find to be more user friendly: simpler to administer and easier to interpret.  A variety of learning style inventories, observations, anecdotal records, pre-tests, readiness tests, and formative assessments, are a few of the tools available to identify how students prefer to learn.  Ultimately, relationship building helps all educators gain insight into understanding how their students learn best.  “The teacher understands that learners bring assets for learning based on their individual experiences, abilities, talents, prior learning, and peer and social group interactions, as well as language, culture, family, and community values.”  (p.12, Standard 2: Essentail Knowledge, l) Outside of the legally mandated identifiers of learning, the interpersonal and informal tools are what I have found to provide me with the best understanding of how young people prefer to learn.

By analyzing the information gained about student’s learning styles and multiple intelligences using the above tools, I can decide where a child is on the path to learning.  This requires me to use the higher order thinking skill: differentiation! (Bloom’s Taxonomy) From what I know about each learner, I can create a differentiated learning environment.  The process of differentiating instruction involves research and development of strategies to incorporate into culturally responsive, inclusive lessons.  The goal of the carefully crafted learning opportunities is to authentically engage each learner to learn, at their own level, in their own way, at their own pace.

 

Nine months of skiing, three months of bad winter.

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Week one Essential Question:

What are the characteristics I will need to be successful in this MOOC?

The characteristics of an experienced mountain climber hauling skis up a steep scree slope during the three months of bad skiing are similar to what is needed to be successful in the  Differentiating the Classroom Environment through Technology MOOC (#diffimooc).   The skier’s target is to reach the pinnacle of a glacier in summer.  First, at the trail head, the survival supplies are packed: food, water, first aid (sun screen too!).  Then, tools necessary to reach the goal: skis, poles, ski boots.  Finally, documentation necessities are brought along: friends, cellphone/camera.  Dressed in hiking boots, sunglasses, hat, and doused in mosquito repellent, the hiker shoulders the load and embarks. Hours are spent hiking to the bottom of the snowfield.  There, the trade is made from hiking equipment to ski equipment for the final ascent up the ice.  Summiting, the cruise down the ice takes only a few minutes.  What makes the trek successful?  Is it defined by climbing the mountain or skiing down?  Getting to the ice field is an accomplishment in itself, but returning to the starting point, the trailhead, is always the same: it’s all downhill.  What goes up must come down.

As a master teacher and lifelong learner, it is the following characteristics of the summer alpine skier which contribute to my success in this first Diffimooc model:  preparation, organization, enthusiasm, optimism, perseverance, resource management (time and energy), self-motivation and self-direction, risk taking, problem solving, sense of adventure, flexibility, understanding of social media, sharing, collaborating, advocating, participation, focus, sustainability, practice, and common sense.

 

Intro January 23, 2013

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<p>Peepz Intro week 1</p>

Intro

Requisite intro

 

 
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