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Discussion Boards<br />Discussion Board #1<br />1. The first master’s thesis project I am interested is utilizing Project ...
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  1. 1. Discussion Boards<br />Discussion Board #1<br />1. The first master’s thesis project I am interested is utilizing Project Based Learning (PBL) into the classroom. Project Based Learning is where students work in collaborative groups to explore real-life problems or challenges, while developing cross-curricular skills. Project Based Learning is an effective way to engage students in learning, as most of the learning in PBL is hands on and active. We all know that students, who are actively engaged, and involved in hands-on learning, retain more than students who simply learn the information from reading a textbook. In PBL, “grading” moves away from traditional rubrics and student’s projects are evaluated on the basis of their project. PBL not only teaches students academic skills, but also key social and communicative skills that they will benefit them in their everyday life. Technology can also play a big role in Project Based Learning. Students utilize current technology in many aspects of their projects, including research, and presentation of their final product. <br />Resources Needed: Access to computers (at least 1 per pair of students), <br />2. The second thesis project I am interested in is integrating blogging into the classroom as a way for students to communicate and respond to each other’s ideas and work. I think it would be neat to have a classroom blog where students could go and see not only useful classroom information, like homework assignments, but also have the opportunity to participate in discussion boards about various topics covered in the classroom. Students could also post and share writing and projects, and include information they have gathered from the web including videos, websites, and other sources. This would also be a way to teach students appropriate ways to use the Internet, and social networking sites, which many of them are already using on their own. <br /> <br />3. The third project I am interested in is similar to the blog idea. I actually came up with this idea after watching an Edutopia video. I will post the video on my blog if you are interested. I was intrigued by how this elementary school integrated technology into everyday life, both at school and at home for their students. Being the teacher advisor for the Student Council at my school, I was fascinated by the idea of creating a School News Network with students to share not only useful school information such as announcements, but also to share student ideas and projects. The News Network set up by this particular school integrated technology into students’ lives while also teaching them communication skills, and organizational skills. The News Network involved students from all grade levels and classrooms. I would be very interested in attempting something similar at my school.<br />Resources Needed: Closed Circuit TV for the school, video cameras, microphones, supportive staff members <br /> <br />Responses:<br />Jeff-<br />I too struggle with student assessment. It would be great to have some sort of tool, like the clickers mentioned by Amy, to assess learning frequently and in real-time. Sometimes it is difficult to figure out who is really retaining the lesson or not while you are teaching, especially if there is low student participation. The time-constraint question is also a good one. There are times that I feel that allotting a certain amount of time is appropriate, and other times that I think giving them as much time as they need is important. <br />Lauren-<br />I think the question you pose about Homework is an interesting one. As a 4th grade teacher, I seem to constantly struggle with not only what to assign for homework, but how much. It is easy to assign what is given to us with our curriculum, but like you say, does this result in higher retention or scores on tests? I would rather assign homework that requires my students to think as opposed to just regurgitate what they have read in a book, but creating those types of assignments in different subject areas can be very time-consuming. <br />I also find your question of the conditions in which students complete their homework very inter<br />Discussion Board #2<br />I agree with Megan. I think that I have a basic understanding of both approaches, but don't see how the Qualitative method is very sound. While, in my opinion, using the qualitative approach would be more interesting and perhaps more insightful, I am not sure how the results could be used to prove a theory or hypothesis since it would be based primarily on one's opinion. I also found it interesting that in qualitative research, the subjects being studied could simply "act" in a manner that they believe the researcher wants them to, if they know what the overall research is about. This seems to prove even more that this method might not produce the most sound or true data. -Kelly Hughes<br />Discussion Board #3<br />I also found Miranda's presentation very helpful. It was nice to have an expert walk us through the process of finding suitable articles/journals to use in our research. I am a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information out there, but I think once I start to really sift through it, I will find it a bit more manageable...I just have to find the time!<br />Discussion Board #4<br />Describe your master's research project proposal to your peers.  Outline in a short paragraph what you see as the problem/question and what you see as a solution or point to investigate further.  Read someone else's and comment from your own experience or perspective.<br />I am focusing my research project on Project Based Learning. I want to investigate successful ways to implement PBL into the classroom to effectively engage all students. I amlooking at the benefits of Traditional classroom environments vs. PBL classrooms, and finding that students taught in a PBL classroom develop better critical thinking skills, retain more of what they are learning because it is being applied to their every day life, and also score higher on standrardized tests than their traditional peers. I would like to apply my research to my own classroom by developing a PBL guide to be used when we study the California Gold Rush. In fourth grade, the entire grade level takes a field trip to Coloma, CA where students take part in a Gold Rush town simulation for 3 days. I would like to develop a PBL unit to be used with my grade level colleagues in the weeks leading up to the trip, rather than just learning about the Gold Rush through our textbooks. <br />Promt#2<br />     2.  What skills do you believe you have personally developed/honed/fretted over/mastered in this EDU 710 class?  There are no right or wrong answers, it's just self-reflection and examination.  Comment on at least one other's reflection.<br />I feel like I have developed my research skills in this class. I have become better at narrowing down my search, and focusing on research articles that relate primarily with the elementary level. Like others have said, time management has been the biggest challenge throughout this class, and I would guess it will continue to be this way throughout the program. The majority of my time is, and needs to be devoted to my students and the work that needs to be done at school. I find myself oftentimes leaving my Touro courses until Sunday evenings. Just when I feel like I have finished one task, a few more pop up, so I never feel totally “caught up”. However, now that the writing of the thesis paper has actually begun, I feel like I have gotten into more of a groove and am able to manage my time a bit better. I agree with Brandy when she says that the light at the end of the tunnel is very motivating. I know that come December when we have finished the program, it will all have been worth it. I am also hoping that because we are taking a summer semester, things won’t seem quite as overwhelming as we will no longer be teaching everyday. <br />

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