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Showing posts from October, 2015

To Prezi or Not to Prezi...

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Presentations are synonymous with teaching, especially during the NCLB era when I got my teaching credential. Without question, PowerPoint was an unspoken tool that every teacher needed to be competent in. So naturally I used PowerPoint all the time for my direct instruction. During my student teaching, however, I began to get bored with PowerPoint. My presentations seemed repetitive and boring to me, which  would mean it was incredibly boring for my students. I started desperately looking around for new templates, themes, backgrounds, anything that would jazz up my PowerPoints.

Around that time, I had a classmate use this interesting presentation tool that was so fascinating. It would zoom in and out then flow from slide to slide. In all honesty, the information itself wasn't that interesting, but I was engaged because I wanted to see what would happen next. At the end of class, I found that it was Prezi. I forced myself to learn how to use it and tried using it a few times for l…

Good, But Can You Do Better?

Words are powerful, especially the ones that you find as unimportant or insignificant. Someone saying hi, asking about their day, or remembering a small details about their lives is sometimes all it take make an impact on a person. As teachers, we all have that story of at least one student who you made a deep connection with even though you didn't realize it. It wasn't until the recent GAFE Summit in Bakersfield that I realize there is another statement that is influential to students: 'Good job'. Now, I don't mean this in a students-need-to-hear-positive-reinforcement kind of way. While positive comments are necessary, Brian Hamm, the keynote speaker, challenged me to reevaluate the kind of feedback that I give my students and myself.

As Hamm was getting us attendees of his session ready to experience design thinking, he discussed the significance between 'good job' and 'good start.' Obviously, 'good job' implies that the task the person h…