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Code.org Class for K-6 Teachers

Katie's Lead

Excited to be hosting 17 teachers and librarians — from as far away as Singapore and as close as two blocks from our beautiful St.Kate’s campus– learning Code.org’s program for K-6 teachers.

How awesome to learn that the representative for Code.org in Minnesota is a St.Kate alum.

Lead. Influence.

#mystkate

Gathering our feedback to send to Code.org for the day here.

St.Kate Alum Leads K-6 Coding throughout MN

MSTEM Students Advocate Recycling

Some of the Montessori-STEM students put their skills together to build a very constructive tutorial on building a school recycling program.

As we move out doors again with the sun rising on the horizon it is nice to consider how we can protect the earth for future generations.

Congratulations to the MSTEM students Sharon, Nicole and Aaron for their excellent technology integration skills modeled in this project.

Create a Recycling Program at Your School

Recycling Encouragement

The curriculum page includes helpful resources and books for those who wanting to further extend the project into the learning.

Use of High-Level Questioning to Increase Student Achievement in Reading

Graduate students Emily Ewing and Amber Remark are using their Action Research to develop their own skills in asking high-level questions during reading activities. Their Literature Review (opens in new window) captures the urgency and promise of developing skills in this important area of pedagogy.

Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy

They begin:

“Statistics show that most teachers ask an average of 300 to 400 questions on a daily basis however, 60-80% of these questions are low-level questions which only require students to recall something they already learned (Tienken, et al., 2010). Statistically speaking, this shows that upwards of 18,000 questions asked each year in a classroom do not push students’ thinking beyond the point of simply recalling what they know. Although questioning has been long thought of as an important aspect of education, more recently through a variety of research studies, it has been brought to the forefront as a critical component of effective teaching (Hannel, 2009). This literature review shows that the use of planned, structured, and systematic questioning teachers can increase reading comprehension, engagement, and metacognition skills.”

Stay tuned to see their results this August in Sophia!

Thanks for sharing your work Amber and Emily! Best of luck in your research.

Welcoming Spring, with Gratitude!

bouquet-156651_1280 (1)One of the many features of work for which I am grateful is the gift of being able to read teachers’ literature reviews about topics of concern in their practice.

This literature review on The Effects of Gratitude on Student Engagement (opens in new window) serves as a reminder of the importance of gratitude, and the joy of a well-written literature review!

Graduate student in AM2, Vanessa Callaghan, summarizes:

“Numerous studies have investigated the benefits of gratitude, focusing on outcomes such as enhanced well-being, strengthened relationships, and increased life satisfaction.  However, research has primarily focused on adults and adolescents, leaving much to learn about gratitude in younger children.  Drawing upon a large body of positive psychology research, engagement research, and gratitude research, this section examines the connections between the Montessori approach, positive youth development, and gratitude interventions in schools.  Specific gratitude interventions and curricula are examined in order to illuminate various strategies and developmental considerations.  Finally, this section reviews school intervention suggestions in regards to younger students (e.g., six to nine years old) and synthesizes them into a tailored intervention.”

“How Technology Evolves” and Montessori Education

Many people wouldn’t associate computers with Montessori education, but students in our STEM program explore the connections between technology integration and the needs, interests, and possibilities of work students in Montessori settings might do.  Here one of our graduate students explores material that dances with various considerations of how to conceptually understand today’s technology. 

 

After watching and listening to Kevin Kelly give his presentation titled “How Technology Evolves”, I was struck by the connections to the Montessori curriculum, specifically in the area of biology. He theorizes that technology could be considered the 7th Kingdom, in addition to fungi, plants, animals, etc. I must admit, I was skeptical at first. I thought, “How can technology, which to me seems so mechanical and man-made, be thought of as a kingdom, as something that is living?” However, as he explained his theory, it began to make sense. Organisms move toward specialization, and become more complex, diverse and social; the same is true of technology. For example, the internet is not just used for finding or posting information, but it is also used for connecting and collaborating with other people (i.e. social media, the growth of online classes).

Kelly makes another interesting connection to the Montessori curriculum when he talks about technology being a cosmic force. Hmm….seems to me that Maria Montessori had some ideas about cosmic education. In his lecture, Kelly says, “Somewhere today there are millions of children being born whose technology of self-expression has not been invented.” (2005) Furthermore, he shared a power point slide that expressed that technology provides us with options, choices, opportunities, possibilities and freedoms. As educators, can we incorporate the use of technology in our classrooms to help give children a cosmic education, one in which they can explore, discover, create and imagine?

In the You Tube video “The Machine is Us/ing Us”, Michael Wesch, an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University, explains how the web has evolved from a “read only” platform to an interconnected platform where people can upload and share not just text, but also photos and videos. I learned a lot about how at first, web sites were written in HTML, and now they are written in XML. What’s the difference? With XML, data can be exported because form is separated from content, making it possible for everyday users to upload content. It’s not only text that can be exported, but also photos and videos (think blogs, You Tube).   Good thing a person can pause, rewind and replay these videos!

What is the semantic web? I found that in order to understand “A Story about the Semantic Web” by Kate Ray that I had to look up the word after I watched the video. Then I watched the first part of the video again for a second time, and it became more definitive. First of all, the semantic web is an idea that the web can be more intelligent and even more intuitive about how to best serve users. This concept is an idea of the web inventor, a physicist by training, whose name is Tim Berners-Lee. I had not known this previously, so I found it very interesting. At the beginning of the video, the narrator says, “The core problem is our ability to create information has far exceeded our ability to manage it.”   This statement expresses perfectly my conundrum with technology! How do I use it in a way that will actually make me more efficient? How can I easily incorporate technology into my classroom, without having it consume endless amounts of precious time? The idea is to transform the web into more of a database, an index of sorts. Back to tried-and-true technology, the old-fashioned index located in the back of reference books!

Kelly, K. (2005). How Technology Evolves. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_kelly_on_how_technology_evolves

Ray, K. (2011). A Story about the Semantic Web. Retrieved from Vimeo: drop.io/web3point0

Wesch, M. (2007). The Machine is Us/Ing Us. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLIGopyXT_g

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