Check out my store:

6th, 7th, 8th - Science, Education -

June 29, 2009

Thoughts on Week Two

This past week has really opened my eyes to the endless number of possibilities that a PLN has to offer. Although it is very overwhelming, it is also extremely powerful and I believe it will help guide my teaching for many years to come. I am most impressed with blogs and the time saving features of Google Reader. I have added each member of our class to my Google Reader account and it is now very easy for me to see everyone’s blogs. What I find most powerful is the ability we now have to collaborate and share our resources. I think we all spend way too much time reinventing the wheel and through our personal learning networks, we now have a great way to share with each other. For anyone interested, here is a link to my 7th grade life science lesson plans and examples of student work:

June 19, 2009

Science Teacher Blog Reviews

I began by using the search engine and I searched for “middle school science.” Then I chose to review the following blogs:
Blog #1
This blog was being updated on a weekly basis during the school year to communicate assignments and examples of student work with students, parents and the community. The blog also includes a calendar, student-made videos, slideshows, and project / lesson plans. I think this blog gives good examples of how to showcase student work.
Blog #2
On the sidebar, the blog states, “The goal of this blog is to bring my science classroom into the student's home. I also want provide my science students with information about the material we are currently studying as well as additional science-related information I think they might find interesting”. This blog uses pictures and follows a year-long bird watching project in which students learn to identify a different bird that is posted on the blog each week. There are links to bird identification sites, and a list of the birds that students have seen on their school grounds. I think this blog is a great example of how to incorporate technology into other lesson plans that follow the curriculum. The blog also highlights examples of student work.
Blog #3
This blog includes links to classroom project information and links to classroom notes (in the format of a slideshow). Both of these links use the Google Docs interface that I used this year in my classroom. The blog also is used as a place for students to read the class syllabus and find project links and lesson plans. All a student would need to access class information and assignments would be an Internet connection. I like how this teacher has incorporated animations, readings, notes and rubrics into this blog.

Science Demonstration

June 18, 2009

Guiding Principles for Using Technology

Guiding Principles for Using Technology

Ultimate Goal: enhance student learning.

Technology should be used to:
1. Address worthwhile science in ways that are pedagogically appropriate.
2. Make scientific views more accessible.
3. Enhance another teaching strategy.
4. Provide tools that facilitate and enhance instruction through improving data collection, visualization of abstract phenomena, and simulations of experiments that would otherwise be impossible in school classrooms.
5. Help students explore topics in more depth and in more interactive ways.
6. To promote more student-centered, inquiry-based learning.
7. Facilitate communication and collaboration.
8. Allow students to explore data, make predictions, and form conclusions.
9. Guide student discovery.
10. Prepare students to be competitive and successful with the digital revolution.
11. Transform the ways that teachers teach and students learn.
12. Enhance scientific understandings through imagery and visualization.
13. Stretch the boundaries of what is possible in the science classroom.
14. Engage student participation and interest.

Examples of how to use technology to create new and different learning experiences for our students:
• Allow students to learn from people they never would have been able to without the technology.
• Allow students to interact with information in a way that is meaningful and could not have happened otherwise.
• Allow students to create and share their knowledge with an audience they never would have had access to without the technology.
• Push students and the teacher to new heights, new learning, and new knowledge.