Wednesday, November 25, 2009

21 century teaching

After reading through the 21 century teaching website, I had mixed emotions about it.

Connecticut is not a member of the initiative.  I think it is great that businesses are willing to work with schools and districts to help prepare our students for the 21 century.  Where I disagree is states and businesses telling me how to teach and the best way to teach my students.  As an educator in Connecticut I am not aware of what skills I am required to teach my students intechnology.  We are so focused on RTI and core subject skills for our state testing, we have little time to make education fun anymore.  Our instructions are so rigid and our day is layed out for us.  I have each lesson pre-written for my science units so that anyone could teach it.  I feel like I could better reach my students if I was able to create my own ways to teach skills.  Guidelines are important but actual lessons we are mandated to teach is rediculous!  I went to school to learn how to teach and I feel like I am not doing that.  I am reading from a lesson plan.  Districts are so concerned with test scores they forget we are in the profession of teaching children.

As for businesses telling me what I should be doing in my classroom, I have a probelm with that.  They are not in the classroom to know what is best.  They want to promote their product.  It reminds me of special interest groups in government.  They want only what would benefit them and their company.  Again, this is only my opinion.  I do not believe all companies are like this but a vast majority are.  Everyone is out to make a buck.  If these companies involved were companies simply supporting schools it would be different, but they are companies who have other motives in mind.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Blogging in the classroom is so new to me but the excitement of the possibilities drives me past my fears. I am thinking and contemplating ways in which I can incorporate blogging into my classroom. I work with fourth grade students and their technological skills vary. With the start of my new social studies unit on the New England Region, I am going to try to create blog assignments for the students. This will start as a simple question for them to respond to. I will require a response to my question posted and for starters a single response to a classmate. This will first require a lesson on how to find my blog and how to properly respond. I will also create a rubric to help guide their writing. I can only imagine the number of obstacles I am going to encounter, especially since I am a blogging rookie! So I pose a question to bloggers of all levels. What do I need to think through at a deeper level before beginning this project in the upcoming month?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Comfort Level

As I explore more and more with blogging, I am becoming more excited about finding ways to use it in my classroom and with my students.  I think it will be a place where, at first, I can keep parents informed of the happenings in the class.  Although my school uses assignment agendas, parents rarely look through them.  Many, if not most, people are on the computer at some point during the day and maybe this will be an easy way for parents to check in. 

Any other ideas on how a beginner like myself can gain more of a comfort level and use this blog as a classroom tool?