Sunday, November 2, 2014


What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?

The videos that were assigned to the class by Dr. Strange were all different ways to teach teachers how to use technology and project based learning in their classrooms. These videos allow future educators, like myself, to explore ways to keep students engaged and not just give information and have them memorize it for a test. Dr. Strange posed the question, "what can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?"

Brian Crosby, Agnes Risley Elementary School

Brian Crosby is a 4th grade teacher in Sparks, Nevada, that teaches 2nd language learners. His class consists of at-risk students, which are students who qualify for a program that allows them to get free lunch. His students are working on a project using a high-altitude balloon to show how hot-air balloons are created. In this video, Mr. Crosby suggests not to rush students through their academic journey. He states "we can't race kids through school. It can't be a race. We have to keep making sure to give them opportunities to build scheme for the world." Students should be empowered to learn on their own. This is called active learning. I learned that it is important to always have your students engaged in their studies. When students do a project that is based on PBL standards, students should articulate their words, review their assignment, and shine when presenting their work. I learned that I should be changing my students lives. When they leave my class, I want them to leave with knowledge that stays with them, not memorized facts they will forget later. I also learned in order to build my students' personal learning network, I must connect them to other students and teachers from across the world.

Blended Learning Cycle
Blended learning cycle model

Paul Anderson is a high school science teacher in Bozeman, Montana. In his video, he discusses how a blended learning cycle works. Blended learning could be online, mobile, and in a classroom. A learning cycle consists of engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluate. He teaches his students using this cycle. He uses the acronym QUIVERS to explain his style of teaching.

                                          Qu - Question
                                          I - Investigation/Injury
                                          V - Video
                                          E - Elaboration
                                          R - Review
                                          S - Summary Quiz

This acronym shows what Mr. Anderson implements in each assignment given to his students. I learned that there are many different ways to teach a class. Being in EDM 310, which is a blended class, has given me ideas on how to have my students engaged in learning when they are on holiday vacation. I can still introduce or fine-tune lessons through the class blog. So many times teachers have to reintroduce skills after school breaks. I want to alleviate that problem. I also learned to allow my students to participate in more peer reviews and grading of their classmates' work. This will allow me to get a different perspective on my students' work and take into consideration what the reviews are saying.

Making Thinking Visible

In Mark Church's video, he proposes a topic to his students in order for them to collaborate with each other. After watching a video, he asks the students to write a headline based off the main idea of the video. I learned working in small groups will not disrupt class. It is a good idea to allow students to share their thoughts and work together to develop a headline. As a future educator, I will promote group discussions. Students can get different views and ideas from one another.

Building Comics
I am a digital citizen kid descriptions

In Sam Pane's video, he uses a very innovative and interactive way to teach his students to be good super digital citizens online. He explains to them how to evaluate what information is being advertised on websites they may go to for research. He asks his students "what kind of power does the internet give us?" Each student built a superhero digital citizen, which is a person that uses the internet responsibly, safely, and respectfully. They were to come up with a comic strip using their character and a picture of themselves showing how to be a good digital citizen. The superhero saves the students from making a mistake while using the internet. Making comics is a great way to teach visual presentation skills and text. I loved how he had them communicate with the superhero. I must teach my students to make good decisions while using the internet to do research for school or just for fun. The internet is not something to be feared, but must be used in a responsible way. I must help them recognize safe sites and how to exit out of a page they may have journeyed to by mistake. The concept of a digital superhero is a great idea to implement in my class one day. Not only does it show how to be good digital citizens, but it promotes creativity in my students' visuals and writing.

Project Based Learning

In Dean Shareski's video, he introduces a new approach to teaching core subjects. Classrooms in Canada are combining History, English, and Information processing into a blended course. With this approach, students are able to become engaged learners and develop a deeper understanding of the material. Students are also encouraged to take ownership of their projects and strive to do better on them. The teachers can give more feedback to the students about their projects. One teacher states "students can grasp things that they wouldn't have using paper and pencil." I really like this idea of a blended classroom. I would have my students know the history behind books that they are assigned to read. I would also have them present the assigned book using some form of technology, using the internet to gather information. I would expect more from them because they have time to spend on the project since they do not have to switch classrooms.

Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program

In Roosevelt Elementary School, project based learning is a standard in each classroom. PBL is described as:
                                     - In depth learning
                                     - Integrated thematic instruction
                                     - Based on a real world problem
                                     - Research-based
                                     - Project and presentation

Each teacher is dedicated to teaching each student skills in public speaking at a young age. Each teacher also strives to teach students how to work together and communicate with each other. These are skills that students can use in everyday life like adults. This will help develop a great sense of community participation, which allows real-life experiences. This video taught me that students have a choice in their learning. It is up to me to get them to be self-motivated and help them discover what is inside of them that would allow them shine. Each student has a light, it is my job to help them keep it illuminated.


  1. Hi Sammi! You have a awesome blog and, a great blog post! I would have to say that all the teachers have very different methods for teaching their students but, they all have the same common goal. That is for the students to learn the information effectively than just "burping back the information". My favorite part of your blog post was the Blended Learning Cycle." Mr Anderson's method Q.U.I.V.E.R.S. is very interesting! I love how he allows the students to have the responsibility of learning the information. Then he talks to them about what they learned before he tests them! I also love Sam Pane's "Building a Comic" this exercise is not only fun but it teaches the students the importance of internet safety! Which one is your favorite method? Which one will you incorporate in your future classroom?

    1. Hi Brittney! Thanks for the comment! I will definitely be using the Digital Citizen Superhero in my classroom. This was by far my favorite!

  2. Thorough. Thoughtful. very well done indeed. Thanks!

  3. Hey Sammi!

    Here are my suggestions for this post for our iBook:
    1) "Brian Crosby is an 4th grade teacher..." Use a not an.
    2) " show how hot-air balloons are done." Maybe you could say "to see how hot-air balloons are created and what they experience."
    3) Double check your quote from Mr. Crosby. If you skipped some speech, show it by using ellipses(...).
    4) "Paul Anderson is a an high school..." Remove the an.
    5) "In Roosevelt Elementary School, project based learning in a standard in each classroom." Change the second "in" to "is."
    6) Have your two lists closer to the left margin, and make sure they're the same distance.

    Let me know if you have any questions about any of my suggestions!

  4. Hey Sami, good post but here are a few things to look for:
    In your introduction, "keep students engage" can be changed to "engaged."
    The video for Crosby was one of my favorites, and I think you do a good job on this section relating it to you.
    In Building Comics "person that uses the internet responsibly, safely, and respectably," I think you mean "respectively" or "respectfully" but I'm not completely sure.
    I don't really have any other critiques on your work, I think you did a good job.

  5. Hey Sammi I can not see any flaws in your blog but I do love I am a Digital Citizen picture. The picture is a perfect example of being responsible on the internet. Keep up the good work