Differentiated Instruction

Einstein Art Print by Tracie Andrews modern artwork

Over the course of my university career and my internship experiences, I have grown to appreciate the concept of differentiated learning environments in the classroom. All children deserve to learn in a classroom community that fosters the learning needs of all students, and it is important as the educator to provide positive experiences for our students to learn through classroom set-up, materials, content, and overall environment of the learning space.

I was very lucky to intern in a school that began to implement differentiated instruction into the classroom. In my coop’s classroom, I was lucky to experience what it is like to be in a differentiated space for children. We did not have desks in the classroom, but rather had different spaces with tables, carpets, comfortable chairs, bean bag chairs, and pillows for sitting on. What I particularly liked about the space that we created during my internship was that it was very welcoming and inviting for students, teachers and parents. The classroom was spacious and allowed students to explore and learn in a comfortable environment that meets their needs. We had lap-trays for the students so that they could work on the floor, on a chair, on a pillow, and essentially anywhere that they wanted to work, with a hard surface to write on. If I were given the chance I would absolutely love to set-up my classroom in a similar format to that of my coop.

Below are a few of the pictures that I took of the classroom environment that I was lucky to intern in. In my future I hope that I can create a space that allows children to explore their learning in a different context.

Children have so much potential to learn, and if we teachers do not provide our students with the learning opportunities to succeed, then I believe that we are not being successful in our practice. Differentiated and inquiry based learning are phenomenal tools that allow children to explore their world in a new light.

I want to change the world…

I came across this image in my online browsing, and what drew me to it was how this powerful image gave off an impactful and relevent meaning, particularly in regards to teaching and learning.

As a learner it is important to think critically and meaningfully about the world. As a teacher it is important to show how critical and meaningful thinking should and can be done.

Teachers are influential people in the lives of students, and for that reason, it is so important to advocate for the creation of a just and accepting world community.

I appreciate the artistic expression that the creator used in sharing the message that is being portrayed. I feel that the image is very bold in its representation, as it portrays the message of “working together for a common good”.

This image is inspiring to me, both as a teacher and as a learner, as it implies that together we can make a difference!

Key Learnings from ECMP – 355

Over the course of the semester I have learned so many new ideas about how to incorporate technology into the classroom.

I learned about digital citizenship and the true importance of social networking with online colleagues from around the globe. I had never used Twitter before entering into this university class, however, I began to use it in  ECMP – 355 and soon realized the true relevance Twitter has for educators, as an educational tool and resource.

I learned that the internet should not be feared, but rather, explored. Through the use of social media and other online applications professionals are able to share information and collaborate with one another.

As an educator, I have grown in so many ways from engaging in this course, and it is my greatest hope that other educators and pre-service teachers consider taking this course in their university experience.

ECMP – 355 has opened so many doors for me as a professional, and I am grateful for that. I feel that my newly acquired knowledge of the internet and technology in the classroom will be an excellent asset to bring into my new career.

I cannot wait to try many of the fabulous ideas in my future classrooms to come!

Here is a video of my ECMP – 355:Summary of Learning. Enjoy!

Here is a list of things that I would like to try in my future classroom:

  1. Slide and a quote. An example can be viewed here.
  2. Creating a video with the use of a Flip Cam.
  3. Creating podcasts.
  4. Schoology and Edmodo.
  5. Have my students create their own Kid Blog.
  6. Create a classroom blog.
  7. Use Twitter as a tool to communicate with other classrooms.
  8. Skype with another classroom.
  9. Creating and collaborating using Google Docs.
  10. Go on a digital field trip via Google Earth.
  11. And so much more…

Thank-you  ECMP – 355 for a fabulous semester, and remember to always share, explore and collaborate!                                                   

                                                                                       

100 Inspiring Ways to Use Social Media in the Classroom

I recently came across this website and was drawn in by the title “100 Inspiring Ways to Use Social Media in the Classroom“. This topic reinforced all of the concepts that my peers and I have been learning in our Introduction to Computers in the Classroom course. There were many great ideas of how to connect your class through social media, including entering into other classrooms through Skype, taking a virtual field trip, blogging, and collaborating with other professionals in the field. Another idea about how to use social media in the classroom that I found to be very creative was “Making Literature Real” by creating a Facebook page for a character in a novel. I never would have considered doing this in my own practice as a teacher, but this webpage allowed me to view how one teacher succeeded! He posted the task on his classroom blog, which can be viewed here.

Which ideas stuck out to you? Do you have any other ideas of how to use social media in the classroom?  I would love to hear from you!

Below is a picture of a “Facebook Bulletin” that I found while searching Pinterest for some new resources. Would you use this idea in your classroom?