Friday, February 24, 2012

Who Run The Schools? Girls.

Most people will undoubtedly admit that females have been the disadvantaged gender throughout time. It was not until 1920 that the 19th amendment passed that gave women suffrage; they have constantly been viewed as homebodies only good for cooking, cleaning and childbirth. Well guys I have some news for you, the year is 2012 and girls have slowly climbed their way to the top of the totem pole. Girls are now showing that they are more academically advanced than their male counterparts. According to this Educational Article there are two main reasons why females are excelling in school: one is because girls are more determined to do better at school and further their education whereas male counterparts tend to flat line with their education. Another reason is that males are lagging representation in college graduation rates.

So what is the real reason behind this decrease in male academic success? Some say that classrooms and reading material are geared towards female success. Also the slow decline of recess and scarcity of male teachers could be a contributing factor. According to USA Today 57% of college students are women and 43% are men.  Kimberly Tsaousis, a college-prep adviser, said "Girls are way more likely to just pay attention" during advising sessions, she says. "It's almost less cool" for boys to show interest in college.

According to Richard Whitmire, early education is now emphasizing literacy skills which are proving to put male students at a disadvantage from the get-go. Being a Secondary Education-English major I can definitely concur that females pick up the required reading skills earlier than males.

So what can we do to eliminate this gender gap?

1)Make reading male friends so that guys want to read. Provide educational readings that guys will find appealing. Say a kid enjoys space, instead of reading Captain Underpants you can give them something interesting and education such as a book on the solar system. Boys normally do not want to write about their goals and aspirations instead make them grow and learn from something that they enjoy to write about it.

2) Research shows that young students benefit academically, as well as physically and behaviorally, when they get breaks to blow off steam on the playground. Guys will do better in school if they get time to blow off steam and get active outside of schoolwork. Recess helps kids get involved and boys

3)Boys are also proven to do better if they get a private tutor. Boys are at a disadvantage with reading and  grammar and some one-on-one time would help boys get the extra help that they need.

This gender gap makes teaching a difficult task to create equality in the classroom, but it can be done. As a Secondary Education-English major I hope to make grammar an equal opportunity class and no gender advantages. Although I enjoy that girls are making big steps in the education world, equality is what we should strive for among all of our students. 


^ these are some books that delve more into the gender issue in the classroom.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Talking About Twitter

So at the beginning of this semester in my Sedu 183 class I was told I was going to have to have a Twitter account by the end of the class period. Having a Twitter account already I thought, no big deal this will be easy! Needless to say, this project required a lot more than having a twitter and tweeting about what I ate for breakfast I had to incorporate my future classroom techniques in my Twitter account. I took this change with much hesitation, I like to keep my social and my student life separated and with this that line of separation is gone. I also was not into making a whole new Twitter account, I have way too many accounts as it is and I would forget the username and password for a new one. With all of this nagging out of the way, Twitter could be a valuable tool. For someone teaching early education it will not seem very valuable for a k-6 student to make a Twitter account. Being a Secondary Education English major though I can possibly use it to find grammar errors online or to get information. Will I use Twitter in my classroom? Probably Not. Is it nice to know about new things? Of course it is.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Perfect PowerPoint

This project helped opened my eyes on how to make a fun, innovative PowerPoint for my future students. Through this project I learned how to link slides within a PowerPoint and include voice narration. Although it took a while to make the PowerPoint I enjoyed watching it all come together and going through the slides. I also learned that Gifs can be a lot of fun and that kids will always enjoy short videos in their presentation. I also enjoyed using standards to create this PowerPoint that really will pertain to my teaching. The hardest part of this assignment was linking the PowerPoint above! With technology our teaching possibilities are endless :) I cant wait to use my knowledge of PowerPoint in the classroom. Although I already had a good understanding of the uses of PowerPoint before this lesson it was good to learn new tricks to made them more effective. My PowerPoint consisted of a short game where students will try to collect fruit for correct answers to grammar questions or they will receive garbage for every wrong answer. This got all the kids involved and self satisfaction when they got their fruit. I also included a small game where they had to pick the correct spelling of words and would receive a cute graphic if they got the answer correct. You can view a short clip of my PowerPoint above and understand the general gist of what I did.

I hope you enjoy my PowerPoint! :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Blog Response to Chapter 1

“Please hear this loud and clear: we’re not taking about getting rid of schools. We are, however, talking about seriously rethinking the way they work to meet the needs of the current realities our students face.” (Richardson & Mancabelli, 2011) As I sit in my math lab behind a computer watching the online tutor teach me slope-intercept form, this new age of technology becomes more apparent. While reading this chapter my mind was constantly questioning: if we can get taught online why do we need math teachers? With all of my homework and tests online does that make my math teacher useless? Of course not, it makes for a new generation of learning you can do outside of the classroom. As an aspiring teacher myself, I took this new generation change from teaching to technology with much hesitation. I do not want my future career to be outsourced by a computer.

Throughout the reading I realized that teaching is not being outsourced, but more innovated. The part of the chapter that stuck out the most to me was the section titled “Network Effects.” To be truthful, I never understood the need for technology in a classroom. As a child, I remember being the kid who always minimized the screen of matching vocabulary words and played Oregon Trail instead. With that mindset, when I read the real advantages of technology in classrooms it was eye-opening. The seven common traits that schools that use technology have are:

1) Students are better prepared for life and work in the 21st century.
2) Classrooms are more engaging.
3) Students are responsible for their own learning.
4) Instruction is more individualized.
5) Adults become better at their jobs and build problem- solving capacity.
6) Students are safer.
7) Schools save time and money.

Each trait is explained in further detail in the book, but the trait that made me question the most is the students are safer. Normally you hear parents complain that their child is online and it is not a safe place for them. But in current day we can almost assume that most if that all school children are using the internet. With the addition of an internet safety class kids can learn to be safe online. This chapter opened my eyes to different aspects of online teaching that I was not aware of before. This information will be useful to me as a future teacher and I will hopefully be able to incorporate technology in my classroom.