Monday, June 18, 2012

guest blogger - Miss V's Busy Bees

Hi all! This is Sara from Miss V's Busy Bees! April was kind enough to allow me to be a guest blogger for her today, so here I am!

I'm new to the blogging world, and the teaching world! I recently just graduated from the University of Cincinnati with my Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. I'm officially certified to teach PreK-3rd grade, but I wanted to go beyond that. So, I'm currently working on an endorsement in 4th and 5th grade which requires me to take 4 courses total. I'm taking 3 courses this summer, but I took a course this past quarter. We had many different discussions about how to help 4th and 5th grade students in Math and Science, and how to integrate these subjects together with one another and with other subjects. Anyway, we also had a discussion about 21st Century Skills. I had never heard of these set of skills prior to this course, but thought that they were incredibly fascinating! So, what are 21st Century Skills, you ask? Well, I'm here to tell ya!

Below is a screen shot of a list my group and I came up with in relation to what 21st Century Skills were. Below the skills list is a list of common misconceptions or misunderstandings students have in the classroom. Our main point of the discussion was to figure out how to utilize the 21st Century Skills to help students get over the misconceptions and misunderstandings in the classroom. Anyways, here's a general list!

So now that you see the various types of skills.. some may look familiar and some might not. For example, I was not aware that courage was a 21st Century Skill that students could gain. But, if you think about it, you have to have courage to face the subject you like the least and so forth. You also have to have the courage to know that it is okay if you mess up. Having the courage to move on from messing up is a big deal for some children, even myself, really!

Anyways... how can we, as teachers, use these skills to overcome the misconceptions at the bottom? My group and I came up with a few resources for these misconceptions and how to get over them. For example, the misconception that technology can only be integrated in science is TOTALLY wrong. Am I right? We are using technology as we write these posts back and forth, which can be considered language arts! We also use technology to create our own PDF files that we share with other teachers, in various subjects from math to language arts to miscellaneous subjects. We can show our students this by providing them with these resources to give them a glimpse that technology isn't used just to dissect animals or plants. Technology is used when writing our spelling words, watching a video on how money is made, and so forth.

21st Century Skills is a relatively new process that teachers are using in their classrooms. There are a few resources available to teachers on the Internet. I'm listing them below for you all to further explore if you so choose!

What are 21st-Century Skills?
Framework for 21st Century Learning
Preparing Students with 21st Century Skills

We are moving more towards a technology advanced world each and every day. These skills will soon be what our classrooms are based upon, and where we get our ideas to teach from. Creativity and reading will be integrated into each and every thing we do, as well as technology. Problem solving skills have always been relevant in everything that teachers do, but it will become more enforced in the future due to the 21st Century Skills we will employ in the classroom.

Welp, that's all I've got from my end! I just thought these skills were incredibly interesting because the misconceptions our students have each and every day can be resolved simply by relating them to 21st Century Skills. My teacher knows EVERYTHING is a common thought by students. We can show our students that, in fact, we do NOT know everything and that we still research ourselves when we don't know something. Showing our students the work that we do shows them that we are still learning, even though we are no longer "in school as students." We are still STUDENTS to the world, and always will be for as long as we'd like to continue learning and expanding our brains! Our students need to see that we mess up, too, and that it's okay to admit that you failed at something. But, if you keep trying, you can always end up succeeding!

Have a good night, y'all!

Sara @ Miss V's Busy Bees


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