Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I'm still thinking about our last meeting...especially the group session led by Brad and Barb. I greatly appreciate that newer teachers said they valued the veterans' input, but I think we old teachers should have done the same in return. In large part, I joined this group to spend time with a variety of colleagues: newbies and veterans, teachers from other disciplines, geeks and the technically challenged, etc. Over the last few years in working with the mentor program, I've been humbled by all that new teachers have to offer Arapahoe. You're on the cutting edge of technology and teaching techniques, you're enthusiastic, and you're the future of our profession. So I'm hoping that we old teachers will return the favor of listening to our new teachers.

Friday, September 22, 2006

September 22 Meeting

I greatly appreciated the chance to share thoughts and observations with other members of the class. The discussion seems to have cleared the air of some misperceptions and miscommunications. I want/need more time to continue processing (as an individual and with the group) some of the core goals, purposes, definitions, activities, etc. of the course. For instance, Karl's closing comments reassured me that our journey will be treated as an individual process. Also, his response in regard to finding balance and understanding as to what constructivism is reassured me that we weren't abandoning all we know, discarding all syllabi, throwing the reins to the students, and launching into a student directed universe. It was also helpful to have Brad reveal that he has posted only 14 times since last year. Barb's admission that she is a private person who doesn't blog also helped to relieve some of the pressure I'm feeling. I'm understanding more thoroughly that it is necessary and helpful for me to spend more time reading the cohort's blogs and class blogs. I'm definitely feeling more comfortable with blogging as homework for this class. Thanks.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Thinking About Homework

I took Tony Winger's class on grading last year. Tony provided such thought-provoking ideas about grading that I found myself looking at everything from the meaning of my grades to what assignments I make and tests I give. Especially with homework, I wanted to make sure my assignments and expectations were valid, but most of all, I wanted students and parents to understand why I value homework. The following is what I came up with and put on my syllabus this year:
Homework is an integral part of your success in this course. Here’s why your teacher assigns homework:
1. Homework exposes you to information necessary to understand the concepts presented in this course.
2. Homework allows you to formulate questions you may have over the information you are learning.
3. Homework prepares you to be an active participant in class discussions.
4. Homework allows your teacher to monitor your academic progress in a variety of skills.
5. Homework prepares you for success on exams. Through completing homework assignments, reviewing the information in class, and participating in discussions, you will have covered the material several times prior to taking an exam.
I know I'm not done with thinking about homework, grading, blogging, etc. which is what I hope will continue in the 21st Century Learners class. I'd love some feedback.....