Archive for March, 2008

Graphic Organizer and Student Writing

This semester has reaffirmed that students who complete a graphic organizer are better essay writers. They have pre-organized their ideas and many even do a quick check to verify that everything fits where it should and there are no duplicates of the same idea. They are not “winging” it. When students write down random ideas and call it an outline, their writing gets very random.
Next semester, I am going to go even heavier on the graphic organizer. I will only accept their essays if they have completed their thesis statement, three pieces of evidence and the supporting details on their graphic organizer. For some writing assignments, I have elongated a graphic organizer to cover two pages so that they do not run out of writing space. Most of the students who had learning gaps this semester had thinking learning gaps; they did not have enough evidence or they did not have details to support their thesis. Some students had grammar learning gaps but even then I could understand their ideas or lack of ideas.

I want to reduce their revisions or rather make their revisions to change from being proficient to above proficient instead of going from below proficient to barely proficient. I hope to raise the bar for them.

Scaffolding Writing Handouts For Students’ Success

I’ve been revising my writing handouts for my next semester classes. I’ve tried to create a step-by-step approach  in the order that they would actually do the steps and then in the checklist I repeat the steps such as for a contrast paper:
“Do I include two items in my thesis?”
“Do I directly state that I am contrasting them?”
|…..
“Do I include a detail for the first item, a contrast transition word and then a detail for the second item?”

Hopefully, if the students have followed the step-by-step approach then they will just confirm those items in their actual writing as they do the checklist on their draft. If they have missed a step then, they can catch it in the checklist and revise it before handing it in.

My students have wonderful and dramatic stories to tell; they need a structure in which to tell them well. Hopefully, the revised step-by-step process will give them the scaffold they need.

Making a Think-Aloud: A Challenging Task

I’ve spend several hours this morning working on a think-aloud about writing a contrast paper that I will, hopefully, record tomorrow and post to YouTube. I have found that as I went to create charts to represent my thinking about how to write a contrast paper, I had to insert more details. I would have to stop myself and say, “What am I thinking now?” I had to add details one by one to represent how a student would think. What are three main differences? The first is … The second is… Also, as a teacher, I had to think of where the students were likely to make mistakes and to emphasize those points. For example, often writing students write down evidence without thinking of how it provides a contrast to the evidence already existing for a certain category.

It is a challenging exercise to do a think-aloud in which I, as a teacher, have to think through each mental step a student needs to make. I now realize that, in the past, I made some mental leaps in my instruction and I now understand why  numerous students did not leap with me.

Have you created a think-aloud?

Portfolio Requirements-Teacher Does It and Improves Standard Demonstration

In my business writing course I’ve assigned a portfolio as the final. The students are to show that they can write each type of business letter. They are to show the changes in their business letters from their first attempts to their arriving at proficiency.

I wrote up the outline of their portfolio. I decided to give them a checklist to guide them through the portfolio process. I made sure that each portfolio requirement had all of its parts listed.

Then I decided to do a model portfolio for them. I deliberately selected a business communication that they had not done. I went through and began doing each part required in the portfolio. As I did, I realized that my wording was vague or did not allow them to focus on the aspects of each business letter. I realized that some parts needed to be moved around. I omitted some aspects that now seem non-productive rather than demonstrating the type of writing. It was not until I did the portfolio that I learned how to make it a better demonstration of the students’ learning. I am sure that when I assess their portfolios, I will look at them different than if I had not done the portfolio myself! I will have to change my rubric to reflect those changes.

Have you actually done your own portfolio? Your own final?

Giving Students’ learning Choices Through Technology

I like to rent Redbox movies, those red kiosco in grocery stores and McDonalds. I can preview the available titles from the comfort of my home; I can take my time to decide which movie I want. I can even rent the movie online so that it is ready for me when I get to the store. I can return it to any Redbox.

I wonder what school would be like if we could have more options and choices available to students. Sure all students have to learn the same basic standards. How much choice do we give the students in how they go about doing it? Do we provide lectures, demonstrations, guided instructions, interactive activities, group activities, and self-tests in various digital formats for them? By using technology we can have many different forms of learning the standard available to the students. What, if instead of lock stepping the class in terms of the students’ learning, we freed up the class to make their own choices? They can select in what order or format to see/hear/experience the learning.

We can start small with podcasts, emovies, and interactive Power Points as we build up our library. Imagine if a department (all English teachers in 9th grade) worked together to create these resources. Then we as teachers could really be guides on the side instead of the sage on the stage. We can spend time in providing formative feedback to students in one-on-one and small groups instead of being infront of the room “teaching”. When students experience a learning gap, we can refer them to a specific technology application that focuses on that learning gap. We can give more help to those who need one-on-one feedback.

Let’s use technology to help us better guide students in their learning.

Greater Learning Through Same Model and Technology

I talked to a student who had been in the same English classes with several friends from 9th through 12 grade. Each year they had a different teacher and each year that teacher taught them “their” way of writing. When the students got to 12th grade, they just said to the teacher, “Tell us how you want us to write.” She taught them her “official” way of writing. These students are living proof that constantly changing what we expect of students results in less than proficient writers.

How can we expect students to improve in their writing if we constantly change how they should write? They will only improve when we build on one consistent model. They same is true for all subjects.

Do you get together with your department (K-12) to talk over what you expect of students and what model the students will follow? Do various teachers produce Power Points, emovies or podcasts to demonstrate that consistent model? Do other teachers help develop scaffolded handouts or Power Points that guide students through the model?

Restructuring handouts to be more formative

Originally, I had taken the sections of a writing chapter and reduced them down to their essence for my handouts. However, I found out from my students that they only looked at one section, the actual writing examples. When I asked the students about the rest of the handout, they explained that those sections were not helpful.  I had used the book’s terms and “fancy” language which did not explain “how to” do the writing process in terms concrete enough for my students to use.

I’m in the process of redoing the handouts to be the actual steps (and hopefully, the actual order) in doing each type of writing. I would like students to have steps to follow when they need the structure. When students are struggling writers, they need all the scaffolding possible to help them figure out what to do at each step. In order to create the steps, I had to mentally go through what I do in writing each type of writing. That process gave me greater insight into possible learning problems that students might encounter.

Formative Assessment Camps

There are two camps in the formative assessment field. One focuses on what the teacher does. The teacher camp concentrates on all the teacher does- how he/she observes, gather data and plans the lesson. It focuses on future changes for the next year in the curriculum or manner of presenting it. The other camp focuses on the students receiving information for their improvement in the standard for the present lesson.   This other camp simply asks how does what the teacher does help the students to better learn the standard in this unit.

What formative assessment camp are you in? How do you use technology to help you in your camp?

Spring, Student Learning, Formative Assesment and Technology

In the northeast spring is in the minds of people even if it is only 28 degrees. Ice cream stands are interviewing applicants; miniature golfing ranges are getting spruced up, and chicken Bbqs have begun.

I wonder how we prepare for our students’ spring? Do we throw out old non-productive lesson plans? Do we figure out ways to discern the learning gaps (weeds) in our students’ gardens and then to help them remove those gaps? Do we celebrate their learning successes? Do we review the strategies we have used with various students and make sure those strategies have made a positive difference? Do we help them to see what learning succcesses they have had? Do we help them to see the goal that they are growing in?

How do we use technology in this garden of learning? Do we allow students to see their standards-based progress through online “grading” programs? Do we provide many different formats for learning activities to overcome learning gaps such as emovies?

Starbucks as a Classroom and Formative Assessment

A quick seven minute video http://www.masieweb.com/starbucks shows how Starbucks shut down its stores for three hours to do simultaneous training in all of the USA. Listen to the manager as he describes the learning styles and the role of the supervisors in improving the partners (workers). His focus is on improving his partners.  Substitute in “students” for “partners” and ask yourself if you sound like the manager when you describe your students.

Revisions and Formative Feedback: Getting Better

As my students have been handing in their essay revisions, I have come to the realization that I am improving in giving formative feedback. When I notice that students have not made critical changes in their revisions, I discover that my earlier statements feedback statements are not specific enough such as for descriptive essay comments like “Refocus this to be descriptive. Describe things in detail”. These comments are still too vague for the students to know how to improve.

I am learning to be more precise and to include examples. A much better formative feedback would have been “How can you make this more descriptive? You might consider showing many of the senses (sight, sounds, smells, tastes, texture) so that the reader can experience being there. For example, you may use expressions like “a blistering hot day”, “my heart beating like a drum solo” and “her eyes danced with the deep blue color of the ocean” so that the scene comes alive for the reader. What senses will you include? (The examples were modified from the student’s own writing.)

In my more recent formative feedback for writing, I limit my feedback to two to three critical issues and provide very specific examples. Then when I get back the students’ revisions, I can see that they have integrated those critical changes into their papers. The changes in the students’ papers depend on my formative feedback. If I am vague, then they make vague changes.

What type formative feedback do you give?

 

Oprah’s Book Club, A New Earth, and Classroom Education

I have attended two of Oprah’s online book club sessions on Tolle’s A New Earth. I am fascinated with how Oprah selects to present information. Other than the face shots of Oprah and Eckhart, there were two screens of quotes from the book. Then there were various people who are skyping in, emailing in (Oprah reads their email), and phoning in.

I am struck by several aspects.

When there is a compelling topic, there is no need for a “three ring circus” to keep people interested. Do we have compelling topics in our classes? Do we have essential questions that are really essential to students’ lives? The battles of the US Civil War are not critical but the differences that cause wars (personal, national, and international) is a critical understanding.

Words have to be carefully chosen to convey a precise meaning. Eckhart uses words like “form” and “ego” very precisely. How carefully do we select our words in the classroom or do we “wing” it? Have we planned out a powerful verbal or visual script that guides our students in their learning? Are our words so precise that students can see differences in concepts?

Big ideas need to be accompanied by vivid examples so that the ideas become “visible”. How do we take the big ideas/concepts in our subject area and make them visible to our students through concrete examples? Do we have a story, a visual, an emovie, or some technology to show that depicts the big idea?

Outside Reviewers Assess Learning in Web 2.0

My sister-in-law lives in Australia and is working on her dissertation. She says that only “experts in the field”, not university professors, will be the final reviewers of her dissertation.

I wonder how often with all of Web 2.0 tools that we have  that outside experts evaluate the work of our students? Do our students only produce work for us or do they produce real world work? Do they apply their math to real life projects so that others can react to their work? Do they investigate science environmental issues and have  local scientists review their work? Do they write up proposals for changes in traffic patterns in their English classes and then have local traffic officials look over the plans? Do our art students create designs for local buildings and then have people judge which design best fits their building?

Do we use Web 2.0 for real world learning or for academic within-the-classroom learning? Do we challenge our students to do real world work?

Modeling Think Alouds with Emovie

How do we model the thinking for students so that they learn how to think in our subject area? We can do think-alouds in which we think aloud “When I.., I..”  or “What if ….” .However, if we do an in-class think-aloud then our students have nothing to refer to do as they work at home. What if we do an emovie of our think-aloud where they hear and see our thinking? We can show how we complete a graphic organizer or draw a model of something.  We could put the think-aloud up on Youtube, Teachertube, or our district server. Students can view our think-aloud so that they can develop the same thinking process. They will begin to think in a scientific fashion, a language arts fashion, a mathematical fashion, etc.

Social or Learning Network

Web 2.0 apps are called social networking. They build on people to people exchanges.  However, I wonder what we evaluate in the Web 2.0 apps.  Do we measure how much students learn academically? Do we measure how much they share that truly helps another student to grow academically?  Social learning is a critical part of the learning process if we structure it as students coming together to learn from each other or learning together.  The social is more the medium than the purpose. How do you evaluate your  students Web 2.0 learning?

Wii, Web 2.0 Learning, and Improving Student Learning?

I got to spend about 2 hours with Wii sports -bowling,baseball, tennis and golf. I am not very coordinated; you could say I’m ambispastic. I bowl with either hand, both equally poorly. When I play virtual bowling, I do even worse. Being virtual does not make me better.

So how do we prepare our students to be better at learning in Web 2.0 environments? Just popping them into Twitter, Wiki, Blog,  Social bookmarking, etc. does not make them any better learners.  How do we as teachers prepare them for and create environments that are more than just social environments  but that are truly learning  environments?  How do we structure an environment that creates in-depth thinking? That promotes comprehensive thinking about a learning goal? That causes the students to make the connections among big ideas?

I do not need to hear more student chatter, I want to hear more ahas.

How do you structure your Web 2 environments to be be powerful learning environments?

Quarterly Benchmarks Programs and the Role of Teachers

Many companies are now selling quarterly or more frequent benchmarking of the students. The companies make it sound like the benchmarking will solve the educational woes of teachers and schools. I agree that benchmarking can provide a valuable summative assessment of the student. Unless the benchmark specifies what the student can do to improve than the benchmark is summative, not formative. The teachers have to spend time going through the data to figure out what each student needs. If a school’s solution is for a computer program to diagnose and then give formative feedback (i.e. have the student do certain activities which the benchmark happens to provide), I wonder what the role of a teacher becomes. Do teachers in such environments simply become managers instead of instructional classroom leaders? Does all their expertize get thrown away since the computer program does it all? Teachers could be working with small groups of students but then the benchmarking program would not have that information to keep track of students’ progress. How do teachers integrate these benchmarks into their class?

Birth of a Child and Hope for the Future

Rowan

My grandson, Rowan, was born yesterday early in the morning. Mom and Dad are doing fine. As I ponder what his life will be like I focus in on his schooling and technology. I think about my many years of teaching and my son’s educational experience. The last school district I was in had limited technology -every teacher did not have an LCD; in fact we shared one within the department of 20 people. There were a few mini-labs but there were many thousands of students and their teachers vying for those labs. My son had many excellent teachers and some not so good ones. A few teachers used technology but he had more technology at home than in school.  I think that maybe schools have changed but then I think about my working with a large city school district for the past year and I know that some schools have not changed. They have not changed in terms of curriculum and in terms of using technology to create in-depth learning experiences.

Have we fundamentally changed how and what we teach? How we globally integrated technology to provide probing learning experiences? What will be different in five years when he starts his first formal schooling? What will cause a change?  I wish the best for Rowan in his schooling!

Oprah’s OnlineBook Club and Your Use of Technology

I joined Oprah’s online book club not just for the great book but to see how she does a book club online. I was intrigued by whom she had skype in, call in, or email in. I’m sure that she received thousands of online requests. I think that one criteria was location – she selected a person from China and another from Germany to show the world wide nature of the show. Each speaker was easy to understand, no heavy accents, only native English speaking people. She would wait to bring the outsider in until when they were at a particular point in the discussion. Each person amplified the topic that was being discussed at that moment. Since this online book club was live, I am sure that her staff was screening calls, synthesizing what book point each person was making, and deciding where that book point fit into where the discussion was in the show. Then someone made decisions as to which people best expanded or probed deeper into the book and forwarded that information to Oprah. She then waited to introduce the person at the appropriate moment. Did it work? Definitely. Powerfully.

How do we as teachers bring in appropriate resources at the “right” time to amplify what we are teaching? Do we have these electronic resources ready to bring into the classroom? Do the resources show a wide range of thinking to allow our students to explore the topic in-depth?

Excitement or Content in Learning

I recently attended a conference. In the first session I went to the person was enthusiastic, excited, and full of personal stories that had very little to do with the content. We got through about 1/4 of the content and then very superficially. The next session was a very methodical person who went step by step through a process and showed examples. I wonder how we are when we teach. Do we focus on content as the second person did or do we focus on being interesting & friendly as the first person? Yes, we can combine both but usually we focus more on one than the other. I spent time last year in visiting many schools and I find most teachers were trying hard to make the class exciting. They tried so hard that they spent less time on content and more on “fun and games”. One of the teachers had PowerPoints that made weird sounds and had flying things. The PowerPoint become more like a circus show than a learning environment.

How do you teach and how do you use technology to support your teaching?

Feedback that serves a purpose or that confuses

I get lost easily. A few years I spend one half hour in getting from point A to point B in a large city because I kept on getting lost.

I wonder how lost most of our students are when we give them feedback such:

Study more!
Get serious!
Focus/ Concentrate!
Think /Think it through!
Try harder!
Redo/ Revise / Rewrite!
Reread the chapter/handout!
Look it over!
Do it right!

Using formative assessment we give them precise suggestions that guide them in their improvement. Our formative feedback does not leave them wondering what to do.

Do you have other words that you will no longer use as you change to formative assessment?

Technology Skills Assessment

A push is on to assess the technology skills of students and teachers. Let’s add administrators.

Here are some questions that Roger Sevilla and I thought of:

  • Who will determine what skills will be assessed?
  • Will the skills be assessed in a “paper and pencil” self-perception survey mode or will the skills be assessed in actual performance?
  • Will the teachers be assessed on what technology skills they have or on what technology skills they use in the classroom? Same for students. Same for administrators.
  • Will the district create its own assessment or will they use commercial programs?
  • Will everyone be assessed or will there be a sampling? If sampled, will it be a percentage of each school or only certain schools?
  • If the survey reveals that the students, teachers, and administrators have a high degree of technology skills, are technology integration teachers needed?

Quiz- Book’s answers or students’ in-depth thinking

I recently gave a quiz on a textbook chapter; they had done six exercises applying the ideas in the chapter. The ten item quiz had application and evaluation questions; I had taken the questions from the book’s test bank.

As each student came up with the quiz, I corrected it. Next I asked the students to reread the question and tell me their thinking for their answer. However, about 3/4 of the “wrong” answers were not “wrong” if you explored the students’ thinking. In one question, the book had the correct answer as the four steps in the negative message, a student reasoned that it was more important to think about your negative message first and then plan your four steps around it. I agreed with him. In another question, a student said that a certain positive word in one of the answers might go against the negative bad news so she selected another answer. Good thinking.

I was overwhelmed by how thoughtful they were in their thinking. They were “right”!

Student Checkpoints: Great for Diagnosis and Feedback

My college students are starting the research paper phase of the writing course. I have built in many checkpoints for the first few classes. They are to show me their thesis that they could select from a page and a half listing or make up their own. I helped about 25% complete or modify their thesis. Many selected the questions such as “Should the government provide child day care centers for working parents?” but they did not put in their position such as “The government should provide child day care centers for working parents”.

Next I asked them to complete a graphic organizer of what they think the possible supporting topics are and to show it to me. About 20% have put down topics that do not support the thesis but are a variation on the topic. In fact, they modify their thesis after re-examining their topics. One student has “Gays should be admitted into the military” but for his topics he has “distinguished military record”, “daily duties”, “friendships”, and “advancement”. He modifies his thesis to “Gays deserve equal treatment in the military”

The more times we build in checkpoints, the more we can diagnose and give formative feedback to our students.

How many checkpoints do you have in the unit you are presently teaching?

Formative Assessment & Technology Workshop: Hands-On or Minds-On

I am doing a two hour formative assessment and technology “hands-on” workshop this weekend. I do not like “hands-on” workshops since they imply that the physical activity is the focus of the workshop. I prefer “minds-on” workshops where the participants spend time thinking and then they may do something on the computer. In the past, I have been amazed when people finish my workshop and they complain that they “didn’t use the technology very much so why were we in a lab?” They have just seen ten different examples of formative assessment that use various technologies; they have seen simple yet highly effective ways of integrating formative assessment into the class. They know how to implement these techniques. However, they want to complain about not using technology very much. I would like their focus to be on education and not technology.

Cherry Picking Metaphor For Technology Integration

One summer I worked picking cherries. I would move a tall ladder into a cherry tree and pick as many cherries as I could from that one location before I would get down and move the ladder to another section of that same tree.

What if I told you that I moved the ladder to one tree, picked one cherry, moved the ladder to another tree, picked one cherry, and continued tree by tree picking one cherry each time? You would think I was crazy! Yet isnt’ that what many technology integration teachers do? They work with one teacher in one building, go to another building and work with one teacher, go to another building and work with one teacher. When they are done, they have a few cherries in their basket.

What if they had a cherry picking mentality of working with a large group of teachers from the same building – perhaps, all 7th grade social studies teachers, perhaps all English teachers at the high school, or perhaps all elementary teacher in one building interested in using a wiki in their classroom? By working with a group, there can be group momentum and collaboration. The technology integration teacher can work with a larger group at once in the same building and help them to be successful in learning how to integrate the technology into the classroom. The classroom teachers can feel excited by the success of their students in improved learning through the onsite mentoring of the technology integration teacher.The technology integration teacher can collect many cherries at once; he or she can share with the building principal a big success instead of just working with one person. The technology integration teacher can collect large groups of cherries in each building; therefore, they have a huge basket of cherries in just a few months.

How do you collect technology integration cherries?

Twitter – Meaningful or Trivial -Up to the Writer

I recently read an article saying that twitter is another example of technology dumming down education. It stressed that nothing important/worthwhile can be said in 140 characters. I disagree; much can be said in those few characters. More important than the word limit is the intent of the writer. Some writers tell about their daily existence while others try to share with others. Here are some of my tweets:

Do we evaluate students’ technology based experiences on their excitement, instead of their in-depth learning?

Do teachers give online pretest/survey before a new concept? If not, then they teach with blinders on,not aware of students.

What do students remember about writing paragraphs? Spelling, grammar & punctuation! Not the writing process, not expressing ideas. Oouch!

I’ve noticed concept maps often limit students’ thinking. They fill in the boxes & then stop thinking. Maps are starting points

Weight lost program says man lost 100 lbs (“results not typical”). Are our students’ technology-based learning typical of higher learning?

If teaching is to impart (or stuff in) knowledge & educate is to nourish (or pull out), which do we use technology for?

My twitter is http://twitter.com/HarryGTuttle.

What do you use Twitter for?

Do We Think in a Student Success or Failure Mode?

In the northeast, we have warmed up to 32 degrees. There are about four inches of snow on the ground from the last mini-storm. Today has been sunny. I watched two young boys shoot basketball in their backyard. No dribbling but they did play basketball for about half an hour. They have hopes for the summer regardless of the present cold and snow.

I wonder whether we have hopes for our students.

Do we think in terms of   students  success or failure mode?
Do we build success into our course so that students can be successful or do we build in quizzes and tests that show what they do not know?
Do we encourage rewrites and redos or do we have a one time make-or-break policy?
Do we show students examples of good work so that they can build up to that level or do we keep the level a surprise until the test or project?
Do we constantly give them feedback so that they can improve or do we withhold any information until the report card and then give nebulous “work harder” statements?
Do we focus on covering the curriculum/textbook or do we focus on what the students are actually learning?
Do we give them the textbook to work on or do we scaffold learning for them?

More on Local History & Technology

Someone emailed me that they liked the idea of having students do local history but they were not sure where to start.

Some ideas for Buildings:

Have each student pick an “old” building in town and take many pictures of it – its position among other buildings, the cornerstone , old signs on it, what it looks like from front, both sides, back, and any interesting features. Then they post the pictures to a class wiki under the name and location of the building.

The class invites many senior citizens who have lived in the community into the class. Or the class goes to a local senior citizen center. Each student, in turn, shows his/her pictures. The senior talk about the the building and its meaning to the community. The seniors are either emovied or podcast to record their memories. Someone will have to keep the conversation focused on the building since memories can extend out to many other things. A student will word process any other topics that come up as the senior talk. Another student serves as the recorder for each building; the recorder word processes the critical comments on the building such as its previous names, what other types of stores were in that building, what people owned it, what local events were associated with it.

Later on the class consolidates its information about each building with the student who selected the building as the “chair” for that building. The students read any local community histories or “old” newspaper clippings that pertain to the building. They integrate that information.

Next, the class reinvites the seniors in to hear what they have collected. After each building, they wait for the seniors to react. Again, their reactions are emovied or digitally recorded. Again, a student recorder makes notes of any new information. Later on, the chair person revises the history and reposts it to the class wiki.

Then the class works with the local newspaper to write a local history column about the community. After giving the history of a building and its role in local history, they invite the readers to add additional information, photographs, etc.

When the students finish this local history of the buildings, they give copies of this local history to the local library, the local historical society, and the town government. They have learned much about their community through real life skills of interacting with people, writing for an audience, writing and revising, incorporating various sources of information, etc.

Pre-assessment: Open Eyes or Blinded

This semester I have given many pre-assessments to my students. Last semester, I made many mistakes in instruction because I did not know enough about my students before the beginning of the semester. I taught material that they knew and did not delve into material that they did not know. I assumed that they could read the textbook when their reading rate and comprehension which I tested once I saw a problem revealed an average class reading rate in the low 100s and a comprehension rate of 60% or lower. I thought that since they were college students they could organize their own writing.

So this semester, I have given them writing diagnostic, writing patterns past knowledge diagnostic, grammar diagnostic, vocabulary diagnostic, and reading diagnostic. I can hear the moans about wasting all the time on diagnostic. My students spend 45 minutes on the combined writing and grammatic diagnostic, three minutes on the vocabulary one, four minutes on the past writing patterns and about 15 on the reading one. So in just about one hour and ten minutes I have done six diagnostic tests that have transformed how I teach writing to the students.

What pre-assessments do you give and how do you change your instruction to better improve your students’ learning?


RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
    hgtuttle
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
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  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
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  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
    hgtuttle
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
    hgtuttle
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
    hgtuttle
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
    hgtuttle

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