A bit about me...

My name is Nicole Henderson. I am currently a student at the University of South Alabama pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. I have high hopes of one day having my own classroom. This blog is intended for you to learn more about my interests in education.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Technology in the Classroom

This past semester has opened my eyes to the many uses that technology has in the classroom. I have come familiar with blogging; I've learned ways to use Google earth; I've even thought of different uses for Skype. Our world is getting smaller, and to keep up, we teachers need to tech literate. There are many resources out there for teachers if we are comfortable enough using the technology required to reach them. What better way to learn about the temperature in Alaska than to have a Skype conversation with a meteorologist that lives there? Wouldn't you have a better understanding of the Great Pyramids in Egypt if you could see them in a live streaming video versus looking at pictures of them in your text book? If you are teaching your students how to write a business letter, wouldn't you like for them to be published so others know the concerns of your students? You could blog about the letters, use Google earth to "go" to Egypt, and Skype with a scientist that lives hundreds of miles away, IF you aren't afraid of the technology required to do it.

The Progressivism Approach

I was influenced by a wonderful teacher at an early age. She taught me that if I want to truly learn something, I have to not only know facts about it, but I have to understand how it works. The best way to see something in action is to either go there, or do it yourself. Grades are a good indicator if you want to see how well students can repeat information they've been told to memorize. Grades aren't necessary, however, if your classroom time is spent doing projects that express how well you know a subject. I feel that as a future teacher, I have a responsibility to my students to not just get them to pass a test, but to really learn a subject. I will not only give students written tests, but hands on tests that they can be creative with in showing me a certain subjects content.

7 Intelligences

Howard Gardner's research suggests that every one is intelligent. He states that individuals are intelligent in their own ways. There are some people that are extremely gifted in the interpersonal intelligence. They are our politicians, teachers, and social workers. The Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence produces our surgeons, actors, dancers, builders, and soldiers. Those that excel in the Verbal-Linguistic category tend to be writers, lawyers, and journalists. The Logical-Mathematical group gives us doctors, pharmacists, economists, and engineers. Intrapersonal people are usually therapists, theologians, and authors. Visual-Spacial people become architects, artists, and engineers. Musical people become on-air personalities, singers, composers. And the Naturalistic group cultivates gardeners, farmers, horticulturists and conservationists. It is our jobs as teachers to find the intelligence of our students and give them ways to cultivate their gifts.

Incorporating Art into the Classroom

Studies show that incorporating art into a child's life is one of the best ways to encourage creativity and promote self-esteem. I believe this to be true. There are many ways that teachers can help facilitate this. In math, don't just have your students copy questions from the book and write their answers. Allow them to create the math problems using real-life situations. Let them write songs to help remember multiplication facts. Let them create their own tessellations. In history class, help students understand a particular war by having them make models of certain battles. Science is full of art! They can mix primary colors to create secondary colors. Have students go home and bring a leaf collection to school. Made rubbings with your leaves and label them. There is no need for art to only be found in a studio. Art is all around us, so let's use that in our classrooms!