Home schooling is getting such bad publicity because oftentimes people fear what they do not understand. I was in such a bind three years ago trying to decide how to educate my child who has been a public school all her life. I didn’t pull her out of the school because they were not working I pulled her out because she needed to know how to better utilize her time. Home schooling is not for everyone and the school building setting is not for everybody either. So it brought me to my question “Should I choose to home school or not?” Whatever you decide make it a conscience choice not a last resort option.
What is a Connect-Type Activity?
In my own words it is bringing together something that you already have previous knowledge of and connecting it with an activity to further enhance what you already know. According Horton (2014) ” If the purpose is to link to something already known or prompt application of learning, it is a Connect activity.” The students in this activity will take a situation that already have knowledge of and apply it to situations in real life. The assignment chosen was internet safety. We live in the 21st century and our children are sometimes more tech savvy than we are however they are not aware of some of the hidden dangers that comes with the usage of the internet. This connect-type assignment will give them a different outlook on how to look out for those hidden dangers.
The Connect-type activity chosen for this assignment was internet safety in and out of the classroom.
The activity is chosen for students who are home schooled but can be used with any students. Most of the activities thus far have been outside of the four walls of the house. The students have traveled, have been to the museums, the parks, the science centers, libraries and even the zoo. Our activities have been on the computer mainly when they are doing research papers however this semester some of them began to take online courses. Because we live in the 21st century and one of the students will be leaving of college shortly and the other two will be returning to the public school setting it was necessary that they learn the hidden dangers of the internet.
I have a 17 year old student, one that is 12 years old and the other student just turned 14. The assessment was performed to see what they already knew about the internet and most of their time was spent on YouTube or Spotify listening to music, or writing emails, chatting with friends or basically shopping. They had limited knowledge of identity theft, strangers requesting friendships with fake pages (via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and the importance of signing out of their accounts. I found that the Questioning Activity would be the perfect example of a connect-type activity for the students because it required critical thinking skills.
“Questioning Activities” is the connect activity that has been chosen for the students. This activity was chosen because it gives the children the opportunity to ask questions as they do their research. “Like all other types of activities, questioning activities provide evidence of learning that can be used to assess learners and to evaluate learning efforts.” (Horton 2014) This was a great activity because we do a lot more open ended type assignments and this was still in the flow of how they learn. One of the great things about this subject is that my brother is a police officer and he deals with topic quite often. He was able to share some of his experiences with them. This topic gave the students the opportunity to get answers about things that happened to kids who fell prey to the wrong people or situations on the internet.
Before the assignment took place the students viewed a video via YouTube speaking about internet safety, they were given pre-test and took part in practice exercises. They were allowed to asked questions as they explored some of the topics discussed on the video. And as a result of our “Questioning Activities” I have some expectations:
1. Will the students understand why internet safety is necessary
2.Will the student understand where the privacy settings are located on the internet (social media sites) and how important they are for their safety
3. Will the student have a better understanding of what should and should not be posted online
4. Will the students be able to detect fake emails and social media accounts
5. What can they do if the wrong picture, post or email goes out?
The student have now collected all the information from the Questioning Activity and is ready to share with teacher, and fellow classmates. Before we come together with our open forum of questioning the students will take part in a short post-test to see if their knowledge has been challenged or were they on task with safe searching. The information was gained from Formative Assessment and this helped give the students the answers they were seeking along the way as well as let the teacher know how well they are understanding the subject. “The purpose of formative assessment is to promote the students’ learning through the feedback from both the teacher and the students. In order to achieve this purpose, the teacher must adjust the teaching from time to time to close the gap between the students’ desired goal and their present position.” (Yu, H., & Li, H. (2014)
The students have been keeping a journal of all the questions they have about the information they have learned thus far. The students are now ready to come together with the other students and the teacher and discuss anything they have questions about as well as start brainstorming ways to incorporate what they have learned. The information is being shared with one another, the teacher and will be documented and shared on the blogs they have created.
This assessment was designed to help student of all ages to help protect themselves while on the internet. This assignment was created to help home school students to create a venue of safe searching and they could share with their friends. The assignment was constructed by the teacher, parents, a police officer and the students. They all came together to create a module for safe searching in effort to promote awareness about the dangers of the internet and to spread ways to avoid falling into the dangerous pitfalls. “A better way to approach school Internet safety is for the school to set up a comprehensive Internet safety plan that includes: 1. An Internet safety policy with clear rules, a student contract, and consequences for failure to comply. 2. Filters. 3. A school-wide Internet safety curriculum.” (MELGOSA, A., & SCOTT, R. 2013) With the guidelines in place it leaves no room for guessing when it comes to safety. Since the children are home schooled they have a bit more freedom on the internet so it was important for the topic to be discussed.
retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FlU_y9Otns
MELGOSA, A., & SCOTT, R. (2013). School Internet Safety: More Than ‘Block It to Stop It’. Education Digest, 79(3), 46
Yu, H., & Li, H. (2014). Group-based formative assessment: A successful way to make summative assessment effective. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 4(4), 839-844. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1519975990?accountid=32521
Horton, W. (2014) E-Learning by Design 2nd ed. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc
This weekend we will be celebrating the graduation of one of your fellow students. She will be leaving for college in one month and because we celebrate one another I have decided we would combine math and art this week as we create a Hollywood theme party for her. There have been 100 guest invited to the party so the students will use critical thinking to figure out how to use the materials supplied to create center pieces and main table decorations for the party.
The children will be creating Hollywood movie theme reels which will require them to measure and cut out accurate circles. they will be providing centerpieces for five tables. They will be supplied with rulers, writing utensils, markers, scissors, glitter, glue gun, glue sticks and black foam boards. Their responsibility is to use the internet as a learning tool to find out what the movie reels look like as well as how they can be created out of the materials provided.
The second project will display the artist hidden within the children. They will be creating a center piece that the based will be a popcorn holder container and it will be for 5 tables. The group will be supplied with the popcorn holder containers, straws, flowers (plastic and cloth) and glue guns. Because I don’t want them to show their creativity I did not supply them with a template or a picture; I want them to use the learning tools from both the internet and the computer if needed to create a great centerpiece for the party.
Our goal is to allow the students to use math skills and artistic skills to create the projects. They will also use individual learning intelligence’s to plan, communicate, and create the perfect party scheme for the graduate. The children created a stand for Oscars to be presented to the guest from DVD cases, tape and gold wrapping paper.
I have currently just finished home schooling my daughter for three years who is getting ready for her first year in college as well as two other young men. This has been an awesome experience for me and I wanted to share some of the projects we have leading up to her graduation. This will be a fun project and it will also go along with my philosophy that every opportunity is a learning opportunity. I will use this post to discuss the pre-home school moments I had and the post home school moments as I finish up with her and the other two young men return to school.
My next step is to take my experiences from this and my 20 plus years as an educator to build a community of learners with no boundaries.