Monday, August 15, 2011

                     August 28th 2011..."Where I've BEN!:
                      Wilkes University" coming to YOU!

My Name is Ben Green,... and this is "Where I've BEN!"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Continental Traveling Experience!

I traveled to Orlando, Florida via Continental Airlines. I arrived fine and spent 5 days in Disney. Fun, fun, fun! What happened on my return trip is what's worth telling you "Where I've BEN!"


My Name is Ben Green,...and this is "Where I've BEN!"

Monday, May 2, 2011

The 7th Inning Finale! Conquering IBL!

Ladies and gentlemen, and readers of this blog, I have reached the 7th and final week of my EDIM-513 Inquiry Based Learning grad course. This last week has been very beneficial. This week I learned the definition and have been shown clear examples of Formative ( gathers feedback that can be used by the instructor and the students to guide improvements in the ongoing teaching and learning context. ) and Summative (measures the level of success or proficiency that has been obtained at the end of an instructional unit, by comparing it against some standard or benchmark. )assessment. The funny thing is that I was using Formative and Summative assessments without knowing that there were different types of assessments. Another good and long lasting lesson I learned was that technology can be used to perform an assessment but it may not be the best thing to do in all situations.

My final list of questions include:

a) How credible are Summative assessments in the long run?

b) Since Formative and Summative assessments need each other to give a more accurate assessment, which do you rely more heavily on? Or do you?

c) Would the Moodle assignments be Formative or Summative (I feel more Formative)?

It’s been an Inquiriously Based Learning experience and I have to allow this class to soak into my brain so that I can teach the next level of 21st century students!

My Name is Ben Green,...and Inquiry Based Learning is "Where I've BEN!"

Monday, April 25, 2011

Here I am at the end of week (6) of my Inquiry Based Learning (IBL)class and this week was a challenge for me. April 18th – 24th should have been a week off from school since my district had Spring break for Easter. Due to my Substitute status, I chose to work in my previous profession (Radio Broadcasting). I wasn’t on the air but working with a computer, Salespersons, Announcers, and the Program Director.
The stress from that P/T job forced me to focus on my lessons late in the evening and into the early morning.

With that in mind this week I had to think on a low impact process.  Reviewing and understanding the 5E instructional model (The 5E Instructional Model allows teachers to apply a lesson model that supports backward design and inquiry skills, embed 21stcentury skills and technology, and use formative assessment to monitor and adjust teaching.) was the right thing to learn in the state of my stressed situation. I basically used this model to learn the 5E Model. Once I had a grasp on that, the shock of interpreting and using the BSCS 5E (Biological Science Curriculum Study) Instructional Model gave me a mild headache. I kind of and sort of knew what it was all about but to present a way of how I would use it is what gave me the migraine…(smile).

The Template SCARED me to death but once I began using it and viewing my classmates versions, I just shut down and thought of myself as a student (wanting to learn) and then as a teacher (wanting to teach what I’ve learned). I had to step back and see what I wrote. I became so involved that I scrapped my first complete model and re-wrote it. This satisfied the intellectual part of me, and also the crazy creative side of me. Creativity won!

 My inquiry questions that clog my educational brain are:

While taking on the 5E- Instructional Model, can this begin and end within a 50 min. lesson plan? An entire day? Or a Subject or Unit?

Since engagement is the ongoing process, how long do you spend on one of the E’s before you feel that the majority or at least all of the students are ready to move on? How will I know who is  and who isn’t ready to explore, explain, elaborate?

The 5E CFG Template is intimidating upon approach, what is the best way to work on the 5E CFG so that it makes sense to the educator who has to use it for the classroom?

Does any over the counter medicine come with the process of mastering the 5E CFG model? 

My Name is Ben Green,...and this is "Where I've BEN!"

Monday, April 18, 2011

My thoughts on Inquiry based learning April 17th 2011

This week while learning about Inquiry Based Learning I stumbled on to a great musical lesson, which also came to me as a treat! But first allow me to share the eye opener of the week. I learned how to define, “Student Engagement”. You would think that as a current student and as a teacher I would recognize such an obvious action but apparently, student engagement isn’t that easy to totally recognize. I have learned that a good teacher can define student engagement and understand what is going on. A great teacher can go beyond and know how to react to student engagement, and how they should be engaged.

Keeping students current with the ongoing pace of 21st century skills is a must for Inquiry based learning. I have been teaching Music for the Pre-K to 8th grade levels and it has been challenging for me even though there were lesson plans to follow. In a digital environment, I chose to flip my lesson plan and use it to engage my classroom through Inquiry based learning. While teaching the history of jazz, I mentioned that the Big Band era still has its roots in today’s music. My students were in disbelief, so I challenged them to a lesson of “what’s old is new again!”

Two Jay-Z songs later (Show them what you got/Public Service Announcement) my students we engaged in a search for more samples of current songs that were using “old” styles of music.

My inquiry this week would be my concern with using web based tools to help teach and engage students. Should I also look for technology tools that will help me assess a student’s ability to learn?

Even though I may not like using a particular web based tool, should I encourage my students to learn the tool for future reference?

Getting students to use a scientific explanation for their work allowed me to think in another creative way, if I struggled at first at this, is it possible that most of student will too?

My Name is Ben Green,...and this is "Where I've BEN!"

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My thoughts on Inquiry Based Learning wk.4

This week my lesson in Inquiry Based Learning has provided my brain with intellectual conversation about facts and concepts along with questions that assume to be investigative and non-investigative. I thought I had a grasp on what is considered a fact and what is a concept. The additional information that was added to my state of factual matter is that the facts focus is on verifiable and discrete details where as concepts tend to rely on the abstract. So now when a teacher or student requests, “ just the facts!” I ‘ll know to stick to the concrete matters.

The challenge this week seemed to be easy at first but upon close inspection I found that creating questions that are determined to be investigative were harder than creating the non-investigative. Some of my best questions start out as non-investigative but when my mind is not satisfied with the end result, I revamp them and they turn into investigative.

My thoughts this week include such questions as:
(1) Is there ever a time when a question can be so close to being non-investigative that it can actually be investigative?
(2) Can the definition of facts and concepts slow down the process of IBL in the classroom?

My Name is Ben Green,...and this is "Where I've BEN!"

Monday, April 4, 2011

My thoughts on Inquiry Based Learning wk.3

     This week while learning about Inquiry Based Learning(IBL), I was blown away by variations of the Essential features of Classroom Inquiry as well as watching a video of (IBL) being taught in a classroom. My classroom experience has never incorporated the following features, 
( Wilkes University, EDIM513INB-Topic B: Essential Features of Classroom Inquiry):
  1. The learner engages in questions that can be investigated.
  2. The learner gives priority to evidence in responding to questions.
  3. The learner formulates explanations from evidence.
  4. The learner connects explanations to knowledge.
  5. The learner communicates and justifies explanations. 
     Within many of my classes I believe I accomplished all of those features but not in one classroom. I believe that this process can happen in any classroom depending on how creative the teacher is. The question that hurls at my consciousness is how would you get all of your students to be this engaging when they are below level or disinterested?

     I maybe answering my own question but, providing a classroom with Structured Inquiry, Guided Inquiry, and Open inquiry can help bring additional life to the classroom. Such classrooms  can also feature a teacher centered model, as well as a student centered model. Both provide a great learning experience but student centered learning begins to show how a student is actually benefiting from Inquiry.
     I can't help but to wonder how a teacher can transition from the standard direct teaching to an open inquiry or guided inquiry without losing half the classroom.

My Name is Ben Green,...and this is "Where I've BEN!"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Where I'm going...!

As I come to the close of my graduate courses I am excited to share some of my writings and projects. This June I will complete a Masters Program in Instructional Media. I am learning how to prepare our future leaders for the 21st Century with 21st Century skills. Here is a video I had to present as an introduction to my classmates about who I am, where I am, and why I am doing these things. We were given a limit of :90 seconds to complete this project. Enjoy!

My Name is Ben Green,...and this is "Where I've BEN!"

Monday, March 28, 2011

Over this past week I have been exposed to how Processed skills can benefit the educational experience of students and teachers, the effect of community in a classroom, and the abilities and understandings of inquiry. All three of these topics are vital tools towards improving education and changing students into 21st century learners.
Getting a student to master the art of observation, questioning, planning and investigating as well as formulating explanations, making predictions, analyzing data and communicating can take years with traditional teaching. Process learning can give students these skills with Inquiry based learning. In a 1st grade classroom, process learning can invite more students to practice science and comprehend what they have learned. During the unit of Organisms, a student can learn and develop their vocabulary, critical thinking skills, and process the data they come across with process skills.
The use of the term “community” automatically gave me a new sense of approach towards my students each day I greet and teach them. It is a friendly reminder as to how I would want my students to grow and learn. Establishing community would a triumph within itself in my school district.
The abilities and understandings of Inquiry are skills that I have begun to notice within my classroom. I have been substituting for a Music teacher and we have been learning about the history of Jazz. The grades that I have been teaching include Pre-K – 8th. My 3rd to 8th graders have been showing their ability and understanding of Inquiry based learning. I begin with a traditional stance in teaching but soon switch hats and challenge my students to tell me about a piece of music that I have played for them.

The questions that call to me this week include, how should process skills be introduced to a traditional classroom? How would you tell and introduce to a student, their 21st century skills? Once community is established in your room, how do you keep a consistent flow between classes and teachers?

My Name is Ben Green,...and this is "Where I've BEN!"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My thoughts on Inquiry Based Learning

As I pursue my Masters in Instructional Technology, I am taking the last (2) of (3) courses in my program. Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) is one course that is truly “new” to me and I have some thoughts about what I have learned this week. Over the past week my eyes have been opened and my mind has been prepped and filled with information about IBL that did not know.
The definition of IBL alone opened my mind to the fact that it meant that I would have to “Unlearn” so that I could learn. IBL is somewhat indefinable but the fact is that it does differ from the traditional approach to classroom instruction. I am intrigued on how a student’s lessons may change depending on their learning ability, which means the teacher has to be flexible in their teaching. At the same time with my early understanding of IBL, I am nervous about the process and the flexibility involved. I ‘ve learned that IBL can supply just about every type of student and their learning ability/disability. One interesting fact about IBL that I think many students would have to get accustom to the fact that the teacher does not have to be the center of information. By working together a flow of information can be discovered and distributed by the student and/or the teacher.

I have noticed that IBL is a deeper set of teaching and learning. It truly involves a different way that students involve their thinking process. The thinking process fits the train of thought like that of a detective or scientist. Questions can be asked but it requires that you use your talents to research (comprehend) and work towards the answer, which makes it a rewarding accomplishment.

With all that is involved with IBL, I am left with such questions as:
How long would it take for an educator to become well versed in the art of IBL? Does IBL work well with students who bring personal baggage with them to the classroom? Is parental involvement a major necessity with IBL? These and most likely more questions pop into my mind with hopes of getting an answer as I continue to learn.

My Name is Ben Green,...and this is "Where I've BEN!"

Monday, February 28, 2011

Meeting the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S)

When students use Web 2.0 tools for school projects they must follow a technology standard to verify that they understand the 21st century skills needed to survive within their lifetime. I am going to share with you how student use of communication, collaboration, and publishing Web 2.0 applications can help students to meet the NETS-S.

Creativity and Innovation is the first standard where students should be able to illustrate and communicate unique ideas with Web 2.0 tools. By using this standard students are on the right track. If a student invents a board game and eventually makes that same game digital and accessible to other players, creativity and innovation meets the NETS-S.
When students research the manys to save our planet and decide to go green by limiting their Ecological footprint, their actions help to meet the NET-S. In many ways students are meeting the NET-S with baby steps when they begin projects in school. If it's a class that meets 1x a week then everytime they research, make decisions, print, text, or share online then they are within the NET-S.

The NET-S is designed to foster critical thinking. This is demonstrated when students learn about shapes and then critically think about the various kinds of shapes they want and create. When the shapes manifest into a digital poster in KidSpiration, they are helping themselves to meet the NET-S standard.

REFERENCES: (2007) (2007)

Inspiration/Kidspiration (2007)

Monday, January 31, 2011


In the (3) exemplars of project-based learning I noticed that the common thread among the articles and video was the art of textbook meets reality. In all, the circumstances were similar where students were taught a subject and had to experience it by actually participating in an event. The design principles included real life experience, where participants had to learn and earn as well as get graded on their projects.

The roles of the teachers were to teach and reach the students. In order to help the students to succeed in their goals, the teacher had to grasp their lesson plans and present the work as clear and distinct as possible. The students had to follow a similar route. They were responsible for learning the material and putting it into practice. In essence, the teacher became a student (learning process) and the student became a teacher when the educational process began and finished.

These learning experiences increased the student engagement by capturing their cognitive skills and personal interest. Once students became familiar with the process they were taught, some were eager to do the work and see the payoff the followed. In the case of “More Fun Than a Barrel of …Worms?!” students went beyond the call of duty by starting a business and then getting involved with the stock exchange.

The students who designed the school through the Architect project were able to be challenged and judged by experts in that field. They learned praise and the agony of defeat, real life issues based from an educational challenge.

The prize at the end of this educational rainbow is that students as well as teachers will have discovered a skill that will increase their ability to be noticed and become a valued commodity in the 21st century.

My Name is Ben Green,...and this is "Where I've BEN!"