Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blog Post #3

red pen

Peer Editing

The What is Peer Editing? video and the Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial slideshow really opened my eyes to what peer editing is all about. I have to admit, before watching this video, I wasn't really sure where I was supposed to be going with the whole Comments for Classmates assignment. Like Paige Ellis states in her blog post on this topic, I was a bit scared to criticize a classmate's work. However, these two resources gave great tips on what good peer editing involves. There is one main rule, stay positive, and three main steps: compliments, suggestions, and corrections. I learned you should always begin by telling what you think the person did great. Next, with suggestions, you could talk about things like word choice, detail usage, and organization. Finally, correct any spelling and grammar mistakes you find.

I thought the second video, Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes, was adorable and funny. I know whenever we did peer editing throughout the elementary and middle school years, I definitely ran into people like the ones in the video! The Picky Patty, Mean Margaret, and Jean the Generalizer characters stood out to me the most. Nobody likes to hear that things are wrong with work they think is perfect, so you should never be mean about the comments you make or overly picky! Going back to the number one rule of peer editing, stay positive! On the other extreme, there was nothing that annoyed me more about peer editing growing up than when I spent time writing good feedback for my partner, only to recieve, "great job" in return. There has to be a happy medium of specific, constructive criticism.

ipod touch

Technology in Special Education

Before watching Technology in Special Education, I had never thought about the impact that technology has made on special education. The students in this video look so happy and proud of themselves to be able to communicate and complete assignments easier. A huge way this teacher has integrated technology in her classroom is by using laptops to communicate with students who are unable to speak aloud. One student types what he wants to say into a word processing program for the teacher to read. Before, students who could not speak had to point to each individual letter on a piece of paper with the alphabet on it until the whole message was communicated. This way, the student can type what they want to say to the teacher while the teacher is helping another student. It is a way more efficient method.

My favorite use of technology shown in the video is one that I would use for any special needs students in my classroom. At the very beginning of the video they show a boy listening to a book on an iPod. The teacher said that before they began using the iPod for his silent reading time, he had to sit in the hall with a teacher's aid reading aloud to him. I think this would be great to incorporate into my classroom because the student doesn't have to feel different by being separated from his or her classmates. In fact, I bet the other students would be quite jealous of the iPod!

Another way I could use technology for special needs students that is not shown in the video is using iPads. There are so many amazing teaching apps out there! Students unable to write for example, could use a math app to complete practice problems with the touch of a finger. There are some great art apps as well that I'm sure the students would enjoy.

catepillar and numbers

iPads and Autism

How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism is a video about an Autistic third grade boy who is using an iPad to learn. His dad helps him use apps to count, read sight words, and write words, and says that it was very hard to motivate the boy to practice these skills before he started using the iPad. Now, practicing these skills seems like a game to the boy, even though he is learning at the same time.

I chose an app called Counting with the Very Hungry Catipillar to use for special education students on a similar level as the boy in the video. The app is based off of the children's book, The Very Hungry Catepillar, so I would start by reading the book to the child. Then I would go into the app, and have the child play the level one game. In level one, pictures of a fruit, such as 3 apples, will be on the screen, and it will say, "Please eat the apples." The child touches each apple, and counts along with the app. As the child progresses with his or her counting skills, there is a harder game. For this game a certain number of fruits are on the screen, such as nine bananas. The game asks the child to eat four of them, and the child must touch only four of the bananas.

Digi Teen Logo

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

Watching the video Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts provided a whole new outlook on the teaching profession. Vicki Davis believes that there is more to education than paper and pencils. Her students learn through technology--a class blog, a wiki, and much more. They participate in Digi Teen, which is an online learning program that allows students from around the world to interact and work on projects together.

I love the idea behind Digi Teen. I think it is amazing that these students have an opportunity to see how students all around the world work and what their opinions on different topics are. I also really liked Vicki's comment about not having to know everything about a certain aspect of technology in order to use it in your classroom. I think a lot of older teachers don't even give the used of technology a thought because they don't understand it. Even if the teacher doesn't know exactly what is going on at first, kids are great at figuring technology out, and the teacher could actually benefit from the students, sort of like reversing roles.


  1. Awesome job on blog post #3! You are a great writer! I just saw a few grammatical errors in your "Peer Editing" paragraph. Your pictures are really cute also! I agree with you on Digi teen! I think it is awesome how students can interact with other students all around the world about school work.
    Keep up the good work :)