Learning Is Messy

On the website Learning Is Messy, in a blog post entitled, So How Could I Still Teach My Students If School Was Cancelled? , Brian, the author, makes some awesome suggestion of how to get students engaged in schoolwork outside of the classroom. What if students are sick? How will they catch up to the rest of the class after being absent? What if there is a snow day or days off of class due to a hurricane? How would students be up to date with the curriculum? All of these questions are constant concerns with any teacher.

I guess I have never realized how much weather and illnesses can affect a students learning experience. It is so important for the teacher to ensure that his or her students are not only up to date with each other on a day-to-day basis, but also with the standard curriculum requirements. When a student misses school, he or she ends up missing valuable information.  When school is cancelled for a week due to weather or some other factor, students end up missing valuable time.

So, with that being said, what are some cool tips to help keep students up to date? In the blog post, the author suggests students should create a class blog. Blogging gives teachers an opportunity to leave assignments for their whole class with a click of the finger. Students are then able to complete the assignments within the blog and receive immediate feedback. What a cool idea! What if the teacher created a video to demonstrate how to solve a certain math equation? This way students won’t miss a beat! Later on in the blog, the author suggests using the Internet and programs like Skype to take the students on a virtual field trip or guest speaker. How about using Google Docs, in Technology and Teaching, to provide students with useful handouts and documents.

I think So How Could I Still Teach My Students If School Was Cancelled? is a great blog for any teacher to investigate further. It provides helpful tips and advice on how to make student’s home life just as productive as school. By using the Internet and exploring new ideas time spent at home by students doesn’t go to waste.

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10 Responses to Learning Is Messy

  1. Caitlin F. says:

    In my school and society class that I took over winter term, the elementary school that I was visiting had 11 snow days in the month of January. My teacher was 7 months pregnant, about to go on maternity leave and needed to prepare her students as much as possible for the EOG’s before her long-term sub took over. These 11 snow days could not have been more inconvenient. I now understand the importance of class time and how a snow-day can throw off a teacher’s schedule significantly. Using a tool like this could be invaluable for teaching students necessary content while not even in the classroom.

    • Alex K. says:

      My classroom practicum was also affected by these snow days in January and the students missed a huge amount of valuable instruction time. I like how the author of this blog mentioned the use of many tools we have used in our class so far this spring. He mentions using Google Docs and using a class wiki page. If a class had a wiki page or a class blog, they could be collaborating outside of class time just like we are all doing right now on this blog. The teacher could also add a video of them giving a lecture right onto a wiki page.

  2. Brittany W. says:

    The blog had some great ideas for helping those that are sick or the class if weather doesn’t permit school. Skype is becoming more popular and students are starting to use it so having that available as well as class blogs is convenient for the class to learn without being in a classroom. This never occured to me before this blog.

  3. Lindsay Cowher says:

    Like Alex and Caitlin said before me, my winter term class was greatly affected by the crazy weather this January. Kids were having trouble getting caught up because even during the Saturdays of make-up session, no kid truly wants to pay attention to the mass amounts of information they’ve missed. This would be great for days like this so that they are not overwhelmed when they return. A class blog can be interactive and fun to read. Posting some of what they learned in class and having kids comment and be involved would be a great way to avoid the crazy messes of weather and sicknesses. Also, a class blog would be a good idea to have just to fall back on. If the information is there, kids know they can always have access to it!

  4. Tim G. says:

    I feel like this idea for having a class blog would be incredibly useful. It would hold all of the assignments that your class has throughout the year so if a student ever forgets to copy down what they’re supposed to do for the night they can simply look on the class blog and they’ll find the assignment. Along with this, the blog would allow students to refer back to if they must and see how to do the things that they did in class again if they didn’t understand it the first time. This way students can teach themselves the information and it will stick in their minds better rather than having the teacher feed it to them and they’ll forget it immediately afterward.

  5. Ali W. says:

    A class blog is a wonderful idea. One of the biggest problems that I remember from before college is that most classes don’t have any information online, so if you forgot what the homework assignment was or wanted to get more notes, you had to call someone else in the class. So I really like the idea of a blog, because it could be a great place for a teacher to write down all assignments, post the class notes, or any extra information.

  6. Ali.B says:

    I think this is a really useful post. I stress, even now, about how I will keep kids up to date on all their assignments when school is cancelled. Technology is readily available now for our use. I think we need to take advantage of all that technology has to offer, and use it even when school is not in session. My one concern with this idea, though, is how well it would actually work out. How can we, as teachers, make sure that students are actually going to go online and post on the class blog? I feel like if they’re in class then we can control the work that they do, but how are we supposed to ensure that this gets done at home?

  7. Stephanie Broas says:

    I think this is an extremely useful tool for both teachers and students. It amazes me that a teacher can tape how to do a math problem and students can watch from outside of the classroom. I agree that we need to take complete advantage of the technology that is available to us in classroom settings today!

  8. Shannon Foley says:

    Students that are ill or absent due to snow days, etc should not need to miss out on learning! I think this is an extremely useful tool for teachers to continue the learning at home in order to overcome obstacles like the flu or bad weather. I found this post very interesting and after visiting the blog I am sure I will put some of Brian’s tips to use!

  9. kelly johnston says:

    I can see how class blogs can be extremely helpful. It really is a pain when students miss school because he/she is far behind but the rest of the class maybe all on track. It can be hard to try and make up the time he/she missed. Class blogs is an easy way for the absentee student to see what she/he missed without any hassle. It is really helpful if there is a long period of absent days.

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