Wednesday, October 17, 2012

C4T #2

Adventures in Pencil Integration: Remember Pencil Quests?

I was assigned to Mr. Spencer for my second C4T assignment. His blog is entitled "Adventures in Pencil Integration," which grabbed my attention immediately. When I was first exploring Mr. Spencer's blog, I saw that he had written this in his biography: "I teach. I write. I live. I want to do all three authentically." I thought that was an awesome and powerful thing to say. Teaching, writing, and living authentically are things I personally want to accomplish as well. The first post I read of Mr. Spencer's was "Remember Pencil Quests?" His entire post was written to describe a story through his use of dialogue. The conversation was between him and his former teacher. The teacher told the class that they were going on a pencil quest. The class immediately got very excited because they thought they were going on a field trip. Little did they know that this quest would be an adventure through imagination and writing with their pencil in the classroom. Mr. Spencer's post focuses on how important imagination is when writing and how vital it is that writing be made fun.

In my first comment to Mr. Spencer, I began by introducing myself and explaining how I would be commenting on his blog for my EDM310 class. I gave him my email address and links to my blog and the class blog where he could get in touch with me if he wanted to. I told him how interesting and captivating his use of dialogue was and how I could relate to his description of pencil quests. I explained how I am studying to become a middle or high school English teacher, and I told him how passionate I am about writing and teaching others about writing. I let him know that I would love to use his idea of the pencil quest in my future classroom to get my students excited about the writing process and about using their imaginations. I concluded by thanking him for his thoughts.

Adventures in Pencil Integration: The Con Academy

The Flipped Classroom
Mr. Spencer's second post I read was "The Con Academy." He again used dialogue to tell his readers a story. The conversation in this post was between him and his boss, the principal of the school where he worked. His principal led him to a classroom to talk with Sam, an advocate of the flipped classroom. The basic idea was that Mr. Spencer felt that a flipped classroom is beneficial in some ways, but he described how he still enjoyed using a simple pencil to accomplish great things in the classroom. He wanted to blend students working individually with students working collectively as a class. He said that the free gift of the flipped classroom should not be taken lightly and should be combined with other teaching methods.

In my second comment to Mr. Spencer, I again told him how clever I thought his use of dialogue to tell a story was. I let him know that I had recently learned about what the flipped classroom was as I was researching in my EDM310 class. I then told him that I thought there should be a happy medium between flipping the classroom and maintaining a healthy student-teacher relationship. Teachers shouldn't get so bogged down with the details of how to flip their classroom that they lose focus of the most important thing: the students. I told him that I thought a blend of technology with "pencil writing," as he described, would help students succeed in the classroom.

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