Jennifer Pearson teaches 3rd grade at Manson Northwest Webster Elementary. A few days ago I asked her how her classroom environment has changed this year because of her professional learning and the district's emphasis on technology integraton. She was kind enough to write about it. I want to share it on my blog. You'll find as you read, she is definitely a reflective practitioner. I'd encourage you to visit her blog and website. And, she's a great follow on Twitter.
"Recently I have been doing a lot of reflecting on the look and feel of my 3rd grade classroom as compared to previous school years. As a teacher, I have always been focused on pouring lessons through my relevancy filter. I try to ask myself about relevant work and assessments. Here are some questions I have asked myself: Is it useful to teach cursive handwriting? Why would I expect my students to copy or rewrite (with pencil and paper) a writing project knowing that I would never do the same? Is it important for my students to identify sentences that are written correctly? Wouldn't it be more relevant for them to create their own sentences? Is it relevant for my students to cut and glue and do 'crafty' things?
I have been able to answer some of these questions and, some, I have not. However, these many questions, and the addition of a twitter handle, helped me discover my passion for technology in the classroom. This school year has brought a new atmosphere and new set of partnerships to my classroom. My classroom has become a place to experiment, explore, share ideas, and try something new. The conversations that I hear between my students is evidence that this is a place to learn and share. It's exciting for all of us to be in a place where we frequently try new technology and new learning strategies. The use of websites like kidblog or todaysmeet have given my class a place to work and connect at school and at home. We are now at a place where making global connections is more than possible, it's expected.
Although, I know that my classroom has many aspects that can be improved, I feel like we are headed in the right direction. I still ask myself those questions about relevant work in my classroom. And now I've learned that some of the most relevant work is in the exploration and experimentation of trying something new."
Class blog: http://www.pearsonclassroom.blogspot.com/
Mike Richman's Classroom Blog: http://mrichman.blogspot.com/