Discuss the PLN that you are developing
The PLN I am developing now is very small. I have found some people to communicate with that are teaching similar topics and ages. I have been reading others blogs and looking at their Diigo pages to find new and different information that may help my teaching or things that will address some of the same needs in the classroom. I am also looking to increase my contacts through twitter and other methods of chat to discuss ideas and gain insight from others. I have also spent some time looking at sites they recommend. And have started following a few of their recommended “tweeters”. I still need to improve my communication with other teachers through twitter and other methods but that is what this class with help me to create so I look forward to improving that.
Discuss the attitudes that you will need to complete the MOOC
One attitude I will need to complete this MOOC is one of perseverance. I have already spent many hours searching the Internet for information and looking into different apps for my class. It has taken much time and reading different articles has done that too. I need to continue to see the assignments through and not lose focus. As I stated in my previous blog I will also need to stay open and keep a positive attitude toward all conversations including the new material/methods that may be frustrating.
Discuss your own thoughts and feelings as we proceed.
This week my thoughts are still about organizing everything for this class and keeping it all up to date. If I can accomplish this and feel confident that I have it organized I will be able to feel more confident in class to share. If I have time to work with some of these apps and read and reflect on these articles I feel better prepared for conversation and collaboration with others.
What tools might provide me insight into the learners in my classroom and how might I use this information?
There are many tools that can provide you with insight. First of all you have to have your eyes open at all times as well as analyze what you see daily. Student behavior is a good indication to let you know if they are able to keep up or not You just need to be open to it and realize that you as a teacher can always try something new or different. Rubrics are a great way to track student progress and a great way for them to track their own. This gives them some ownership in their learning they can see what they need to do and it is not you telling them. Another tool at your fingertips is the topic assessment. You can keep track of how each students’ performs and decide who needs review and who does not. I do this by using a spreadsheet (Another teacher created it and used it with great success so I borrowed it) this is my first year using this and it has been a challenge to keep up with it. The more students you have that are below grade level the harder it is. Student attendance and behavior data can also help you decide which information is the most critical for those students that are not in class regularly.
The next three that we use in our school are AimsWeb, SBA and SBA practice data. There is SBA practice tests available and I have used these in my class to see what they know and how they are applying what they know. In third grade I use them to teach test taking strategies as well as document progress. The Next form of data we use is AimsWeb data for reading and math. This data is monitored every two weeks to track progress and to see how the interventions are working and what we need to focus on next. The last bit of information I will discuss is the SBA data. This information is usually given to us the last week we are in school then by next fall our students have forgotten half of what they have learned. This tells us which students are making progress compared to the national norm. That type of information on our island means little to people here since many of the students stay on the island.