Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blog Post Assignment #8

What can I learn about teaching and learning from Brian Crosby

In the video, Back to the Future, Mr. Brian Crosby tells us about how he gets his class of multicultural and at risk students to learn using project based learning. He starts off by telling us about his class and how more than half of his students could not tell you what city they lived in, or what country they lived in. Then he goes on to tell us about how he uses technology to gain the interest of his class. In his class they have a ratio of 1:1 with laptops in the classroom. He uses these laptops to allow his students to connect all over the world with other students. All of his students have a blog and allows them to think out of the box a little bit. He then goes on to talk about a balloon project that they did. The students did several activities to prepare for the balloon launch. He requires them to blog about what they had to do and they also post videos from the activities that they did. They also had to create a wiki page, and stories about if they were the balloon. They have a class flickr account. The students also made stratocards with their high hopes that they wanted for their life. Finally, they sent up their balloon. They built their own payload to send up all their stuff.

I think that Mr. Crosby is a great teacher and is a great example of how PBL can motivate students to want to grasp a deeper knowledge of the material that they need to learn. What can I learn from this is that teaching is not about giving students "busy work" and hoping that they grasp all the concepts from that work. I think that teaching is about making the students learn for themselves and from their peers around them. I think by doing projects that allow students to be interactive with each other and other students around the world, gives the students more motivation to learn and want to know more about a subject. Sometimes learning can be boring and tough to do by yourself. But, if you incorporate others into that learning process then each person may gain a deeper knowledge into the material. Learning is not about tests and grades. Learning is about understanding the material and then being able to use that knowledge to perform in real world tasks. As educators we have to understand that not everybody learns at the same pace or at the same level, so we have to create a curriculum that adapts to every student so that the students can thrive and succeed later in life.

Learning is fun when done together.

Making Thinking Visible - Tonya Murphy

I watched the video Making Thinking Visible. This is a video made by Mark Church. Church wants his students to engage in small groups to perform a certain task. His students watched a video and Mark Church wants the students to come up with a headline capturing what the search for human origin is about. The students get in their small groups discuss the project and write down their headline. Church explains that he is going to display the headlines in the classroom. After two weeks he wants to show the students how much their thinking has changed and progressed. I think this is an awesome assignment for a couple of reasons. It challenges the students to work in a group and come to an agreement on the headline. The headline has to be one sentence, so it challenges them to think and be creative. Also, I think the idea of showing the children their progressive way of thinking is the best part. I think as teachers we should allow the student’s to see their progress. That would also be a way to know, as a teacher, if we are teaching students what they need to know. I believe that at the beginning of the semester the students should be given an assignment to show their starting point in the class. Then at the end of the semester give a similar assignment and show the students their progression.

Blended Learning Cycle - Sherri Hudson

I watched Mr. Paul Andersen's Youtube video about the Blended Learning Cycle. Blended learning is a combination of learning with mobile phones, the internet, and being in a classroom. The learning cycle is consisted with engaging, exploring, expanding, explaining with a posed question. All of this inspires the "blended learning cycle."Mr. Andersen claimed that he strayed from what he knew--the power of the question. One thing I can learn from him is letting the students be more in control of their learning. Mr. Andersen began his class with an interesting phenomenon. For example he presented a metallic disk continuously and mysteriously spinning a mirror. When teaching with a posed question we have to be ready to do the following:





Give a Summary quiz

We can learn that teaching is difficult because you have to entice the students. The best way to do that is to put effort in showing the students something new. We have to teach them in a fashion we'd like to learn in. Lecturing is boring and that's what I learned from Mr. Andersen's video.


  1. Hi Christopher,

    I really like your thoughts on Mr. Brian Crosby's PBL section. It seems like you understand the importance of teaching students to learn, not just memorize. I think you are right to say that students need to connect to something in order for it to truly mean something to them.

    Stephen Akins

  2. Hey Christopher,

    Good job on the blog post. I really liked that you said "Teaching is about making the students learn for themselves and from their peers around them." I couldn't agree with you more. Keep up the good work.