A reflection about how we view and use assessments

Being an educator in an after school setting certainly poses different challenges for me with assessment; most of the time evaluations and surveys are how my programs are assessed and usually for the purposes of reporting on grant requirements or in applying for funding.  Despite this, I find that a more flexible environment for assessment… Continue reading A reflection about how we view and use assessments

How can assessments enhance intrinsic motivation in students?

As I’ve been observing students in Survivalcraft this week and thinking of ways to improve my diffi-tool (Student Resources Wiki Page), I’ve been reminded about why using MinecraftEdu is a useful tool for engaging and assessing students.  It’s not simply because they are using a game but because there are many opportunities for formative assessment… Continue reading How can assessments enhance intrinsic motivation in students?

A reflection on my impossible “ways to be” and why I think they’re possible

We associate the brain and learning with the mental and psychological skills or behaviors, so this week’s focus on the physiological was important because it highlights the factors that learners cannot control – environmental factors of poverty, neglect, stress, malnutrition, lack of sleep, etc.  So much of education is focused on quantifying learning and placing… Continue reading A reflection on my impossible “ways to be” and why I think they’re possible

Connecting Brain-Based Teaching & Learning to Differentiated Instruction and Problem-Based Learning

While we know that learning takes place in the brain and there is always more that we can discover about how that happens, the current research about how students learn and develop can and should inform how we teach.  Brain-based learning occurs when teaching is informed by that research and learning environments are intentionally designed… Continue reading Connecting Brain-Based Teaching & Learning to Differentiated Instruction and Problem-Based Learning

A reflection on preparing effective diffi-tools

This week our twitter discussion about assessments and differentiation helped me to come up with ideas for my infographics for Survivalcraft.  I created an infographic for each experience to show how a teacher might differentiate the tasks for each scenario.  While MinecraftEdu is the focus of the Survivalcraft experience, there are still many opportunities to… Continue reading A reflection on preparing effective diffi-tools

Differentiation opportunities in Survivalcraft: The Maze Runner & Lord of the Flies

I created two infographics to share my ideas for differentiation with Survivalcraft:  The Maze Runner & Lord of the Flies.  I hope you enjoy them as much I enjoyed making them! The Maze Runner In Scenario 1, student teams can draw a design of their maze including dimensions and possibly even some traps!  Students can also research… Continue reading Differentiation opportunities in Survivalcraft: The Maze Runner & Lord of the Flies

A reflection on diffi-tool considerations for the Survivalcraft experience

It feels like I’m still recovering from Givercraft ending over a week ago!  I was very happy with my diffi-tools and being able to collaborate with others on the diffi-team.  Our twitter session this week BLEW UP with all of the chatter, reflections, feedback, and ideas about the impact of our diffi-tools.  I realized that… Continue reading A reflection on diffi-tool considerations for the Survivalcraft experience

An assessment of my diffi-tools

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about how I would measure the effectiveness of my diffi-tools in Givercraft; looking back at how my tools were used, I realize that I need more structure to measure effectiveness and impact on teachers and students.  An important factor in whether or not my tools can be effective… Continue reading An assessment of my diffi-tools

A reflection about PBL tools, resources, tips, roles, and helping others to learn them well

It was a slow week in Givercraft since most of the classes were out for spring break, so I had very little monitoring of my diffi-tools.  I’m not sure if the in-game  tools I created will be useful in Scenarios 2 & 3 but I know that the Wikispaces Resource Page can still be used… Continue reading A reflection about PBL tools, resources, tips, roles, and helping others to learn them well

My 8-stage recipe for PBL

Since Project-Based Learning centers around a specific problem or issue, it makes sense to start with clarifying and defining the problem.  McCarthy (2015) proposes a “driving question” to kick off the PBL unit and that it must be focused on the content and understandings that students must know after completing the project.  The culminating product… Continue reading My 8-stage recipe for PBL