Sunday, September 16, 2012

Blog Assignment #3

Thoughts on Peer Editing

Peer Editors
After watching "What is Peer Editing?" and "Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial," I gained a better understanding of what it means to be an effective peer editor. This video and slideshow presented three main steps in becoming a better peer editor. They are as follows and in this order: compliments, suggestions, and corrections. I've never really thought about the order in which you should approach peer editing and how important the steps are in becoming a successful peer editor. It makes total sense to start your peer edit off on the right foot by beginning with compliments. I know I have had hurtful comments made to me in the past from fellow peers when they were editing my paper, so this information has helped me realize how to show positivity while also substantially editing someone's paper or work. Positivity is extremely important to me in my day-to-day life, so I fully plan on incorporating it into my classroom and into my students' work. Making suggestions and corrections are also very important in the peer editing process, and there are specific ways to help accomplish them in the most effective way possible. The main point in these two steps is to be specific. It is important to point out specifically what errors you may have seen or ways for your peer to improve his or her paper. As we make specific suggestions or comments, it is again most important to do it in a positive manner.

I really enjoyed watching "Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes." I liked how these 4th and 5th grade children used humor to help us learn what the top 10 peer review mistakes are. It always seems to hit home better when you hear something coming from a child, so I thought this video was a very nice way to improve my own peer editing style. As they described different types of peer editors, like "Mean Margaret" and "Picky Patty," I was able to relate to some of them. Unfortunately, I have been a Picky Patty in the past. I always had the best intentions in high school on peer edit day in class, but looking back on it now, I realize that I could have gone a little easier on my peers by not nitpicking tiny things in their papers. Seeing these top ten mistakes has helped me look closer at my own peer editing style where I can become the best educator and encourager possible.

Technology in Special Education

Computer technology
I thought "Technology in Special Education" was truly awesome! This video shows you just how important and vital it is for technology to be used in a special education classroom. In this video, a teacher takes you through a typical day in her classroom. I loved how she explained the old ways of how her students learned versus the new, better way of learning with technology. She gave an example of one student who would have to go out in the hallway with a helper during silent reading time, but with the audio books on his iPod touch, he was able to stay involved with the rest of the class and read independently. Another example the teacher gave was how one of her students had trouble communicating with her and how she struggled with understanding what he was trying to tell her. When this student had the opportunity to use his laptop in the classroom, he was able to use a program to help him communicate better with his teacher.

I am taking a Special Education class this semester, and I am so excited to learn new ways to help my students, especially with incorporating technology into the classroom. We have studied situations that argue that technology in a special education room is not good and that it shows discrimination against regular education students. I disagree with these arguments because I believe technology is a positive tool teachers can use to better their students' education. I know I personally would want to treat each of my students the same, but in my opinion, that means doing whatever is necessary to help each individual learn to their fullest capacity. "Technology in Special Education" has shown me that I want to do whatever I possibly can to help my students in the most effective way possible, and if that means bringing lots of new technology into the classroom, I fully welcome it. I can use technology for numerous things in the classroom. To name a few, I could use it for silent reading time, interactive powerpoints, and as a communication tool for my students.

Special Education and the iPad

Articulation Station app
After watching "How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism," I was very excited to go to Apple.Education to find which app I would use in my classroom to improve my students' learning. Since I am a Secondary Education/English major, I chose "Articulation Station." This app is designed to help students and children to learn how to pronounce and practice the sounds in the English language. It uses colorful pictures and images, sounds, and different levels so that the students can take control of their own learning. Learning words, their meanings, and how to use them in context can be quite difficult, so I think "Articulation Station" can help significantly.

One of the best things about this app is that it is free. Each student and parent can download it onto their iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad without having to spend a lot of money on it. If they like the results they see, students and parents can also purchase the "Articulation Station Pro" version of this app to extend their knowledge even more. According to iTunes, "Articulation Station is a full featured articulation application to help children as well as adults learn to speak and pronounce their sounds more clearly. Beautiful high quality images represent target words to be practiced in fun-filled activities with the assistance of a Speech-Language Pathologist, teacher, or parent." I am very excited to be able to incorporate this wonderful app into my classroom one day!

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

Vicki Davis' classroom
Vicki Davis' video "Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts" was awesome to watch. It was so cool to see a teacher focused on bettering students academically through the use of technology in the classroom. Vicki Davis uses blogs, presentations, and all sorts of programs in her classroom to get her students engaged in the learning process. She stated that teachers feel they should know everything before they teach their students. I loved how she responded with saying that it's okay not to know everything because our students can and will teach us many things. When a student is able to figure something out for his or herself, the empowering feeling they get cannot be matched.

I personally wish I grew up in a classroom like Vicki Davis demonstrated in her video. It is so important for students to stay up-to-date with the increases in technology, and it is vital they learn to use it in the classroom. I would have especially loved creating the Avatar world she explained in her video. Allowing her students to have fun while learning was extremely important to her. As a future middle or high school teacher, I want to do my best to capture the attention of students each day in my classroom. By standing at the front of the room lecturing with them taking notes with a pencil and paper on what I say is not the type of classroom environment I want to establish. When students walk out of my classroom, I want them to say, "Wow, I learned so much today in Ms. Langham's class, and I can't wait to see what is in store for tomorrow!"


  1. Claire,

    Another excellent post! I don't have any criticism to offer besides reminding you that you aren't supposed to credit images to Google, unless Google owns those images. The first two pictures you used are sourced to but I'm sure they actually are from a specific website. For example:
    For this image here you would put "" as the TITLE source.

  2. Thanks so much for pointing that out, Bailey! I went back and fixed the pictures by putting the correct TITLE source.

  3. Hi Claire,
    I enjoyed reading your post. I really like the app you found to help students learn how to pronounce and practice the sounds in the English language. That's amazing! I think this app also helps students who learn English as second language like me to learn English. Actually, it is most hard for international students to acquire speaking skill because English has different pronunciation sound from foreign language. I would like to use this app in the future as a teacher.

  4. I'm so glad you like the app, Keiko! I bet it can be difficult learning English with all of the different pronunciations, but I definitely think this app could help ease the transition for students. I look forward to talking with you in the future!