After watching parts one and two of "Project Based Learning: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher," I learned that project based learning is a great way for students to learn, and it is not hard to place into your lessons. The projects Anthony mentioned sounded very engaging. I especially liked his idea about the culture projects. I love international studies, and I think it would be really fun to do something like that with my students and give them each different countries to study. In addition to the students enjoying their projects, he also said that the parents and administrators think he's doing a great job too. Even if you think things are going well, it's always great to get good feedback from important people.
In the first two videos, Anthony mentioned using iCurio as a resource in his classroom. This was further explained in iCurio: Conversations with Anthony. Anthony said that it allows students to search the web safely. The results from searches are all filtered and appropriate for children to use. iCurio has storage abilities, which I interpreted to be a lot like our ePorfolios or Google Drive. I think this would be helpful for students because it sounds very user-friendly considering it was made specifically for school children to use. I had never heard of iCurio, so this was an interesting video. I'd like to be able to personally see how it works!
Another resource I had never heard of was discussed in this video. Dr. Strange and Anthony talked about Discovery Education, which is good for finding images to go with Social Studies and Science lessons according to Anthony. He mentioned that a video is worth a million words, which I think is a really good point. In a classroom, especially to get the kids' attentions, I could see where it would be very worthwhile to find a video to go along with your lesson instead of just a basic image. Another good point he made about Discovery Ed is that it brings experts into the classroom. Because teachers actually don't know everything, I think it's awesome for kids to have a resource that allows them to search their topic and find documentaries and expert opinions and explanations about these topics. Watching this video taught me about the existence of this website and made me think about the possibilities that can help enhance my own future lessons.
"Strange Tips for Teachers" is a very interesting video in my opinion. Since Anthony was a new teacher at the time these videos were made, all of his and Dr. Strange's tips are especially relevant to us as students and future teachers. The most important things I learned involved learning about yourself and your students and remembering to have fun while learning. Dr. Strange and Anthony both brought up being flexible at one point, but for me that goes with learning about myself. I don't think that will be something I'll
While watching Use Tech Don't Teach It, I learned/confirmed that Anthony is definitely a huge advocate of technology in the classroom! The 3rd graders in this classroom barely have to be taught anything and still usually exceed the expectations of the project they were assigned. It is best to immerse students in technology and let them learn how to use it without being lectured on it. Teachers are usually still learning about technology everyday too. The use of technology in the classroom provides opportunities for kids to be creative and have a nearly endless amount of resources to do their research with. In addition, students can share their creations with the world via the internet, or even just with their classmates or family, which is really important to them. Children feel special when others are seeing what they've done and giving them positive feedback, and I feel like it's our job as teachers to let every student know they are special in some way or another.
The last video, "Additional Thoughts About Lessons" I learned that while planning a lesson you have to think about how it's going to fit into four different things: the school year, the unit, the week, and the day. There are standards that have to be met by the end of the school year, and when making a lesson plan, you have to ensure that it is meeting a standard and worth your time. At the end of your lesson, if the students haven't learned what they need to be able to move on to the next chapter, unit, or grade even, then in my opinion, that lesson isn't even worth teaching. Next, while making a lesson plan you have to be sure that it is being taught from the units in the textbooks that the state picks out for you. The plan has to fit in with everything else you're doing in class that week. If it's going to take longer than one day, you have to factor that in. Which comes to the last component, which is fitting it into the day. This is important because time is crucial when you only have less than seven hours to cover every topic you need to that day. For example, if all your lesson plans should take two hours, then you're going to run out of time. Time is something to keep in mind the whole time you're constructing a lesson plan.