637 Week 11 Reflections

Essential question: What are my challenges and successes in implementing my unit?

This week we talked about challenges and success for our unit project. I have had a few set backs (challenges) with health issues, but was able to thankfully recover in time. The success was that I was teaching something that I was very familiar, so I was able to rework the schedule. If I had been teaching something that was foreign to me, the schedule would have suffered.

I learned from my peers:

  • Chelsea shared how challenging it is to work outside of the classroom (her usual space)
  • Cherie shared that how she will be giving pre-assessment quizzes and her personal experience with foreign students as well
  • Kendra shared her challenges with not having enough time for her lesson plan

 

EDET 637 Week 11

Essential question: What are my challenges and successes in implementing my unit? 

My unit involves teaching adults how to use Excel for everyday use. I enjoy teaching tools that will enhance ones skills and can be used at one’s job. It is good to show both the personal and business side of spreadsheets. Excel has to be one of my all-time favorite go to tools.

 

Excel basic

 

10 reasons you should take time to increase your skill with formulas (Bruns, 2015):

  1. Formulas are important in many jobs. In a recent survey we conducted about formulas, over 90% of respondents said that Excel formulas were “important”, “very important”, or “vital” to their job.
  2. Formulas are a powerful way to capture and save a working solution. They let you repeat the solution again whenever you like, always with perfect accuracy. They are far better than your faulty memory.
  3. Formulas help you translate your vision into reality. Ever felt like you can explain what you want to do in plain English, but you have no idea how to do it in Excel? Formulas let you build the analysis that’s in your head.
  4. Your understanding of formulas helps you design better spreadsheets. You can organize data in a way that takes advantage of formulas, which drastically reduces errors and troubleshooting.
  5. Hardly anyone is really good with Excel formulas, so being good with formulas is a chance to differentiate yourself by providing more value and productivity. And all businesses love productivity.
  6. Being good with formulas allows you to build elegant solutions that avoid complexity. Nothing in Excel is more dangerous that unnecessary complexity — it makes it impossible to understand if a spreadsheet is really working correctly.
  7. Because the business world relies on spreadsheets to make decisions, being good with formulas keeps you close to the action.
  8. Formulas help you quickly visualize data. When you combine formulas with conditional formatting, you can instantly “see” important trends, insights, and relationships.
  9. Skill with formulas allows you to deploy a full set of razor-sharp tools when solving problems. Without formula skills, you are forced to use a dull saw on every job, no matter how large or tedious.
  10. Formulas let you get home on time. When you understand how to use formulas, you can do your work faster and spend more time with friends and family. Priceless.

 

Challenges: Different levels of learners can create setbacks when completing assignments. Differential Instruction might need to come into play when talking about navigation and functions. Some students might have zero exposure to spreadsheets while others will already have experience. I will need to plan a cushion in case I need to review certain features.

Success: I love hearing when my students tell me that they went home and played with spreadsheets. Hearing that they can use Excel to better plan for projects or make a budget is proof that my instruction is relevant to today’s world which is a great feeling. I always tell my students to go home and play with the templates to see what they can do with spreadsheets. I love seeing finished projects from my students.

Reasons to learn Excel according to Anwar:

  • Excel is a universal language spoken in almost most offices
  • Stop thinking of Excel as a spreadsheet (it’s a problem solving tool)
  • Create more time
  • Excel is not going anywhere
  • Small data
  • Excel is like an analytical sketchpad
  • Value networking
  • More Excel skills make you more marketable

 

Experience with spreadsheets is something that most business office jobs require experience. Knowing how to navigate through the menu and to create new project is a must for most jobs. I feel like these tools open the door for more advance programs like Access and SQL. The wonder of the functionalities create a curiosity to learn more simplistic programming applications.

 

Resources:

Bruns, Dave. (2015 Nov 23). Top 10 Reasons to learn Excel Formulas. Retrieved on 4/5/2017 from: https://exceljet.net/top-10-reasons-to-learn-excel-formulas

Lee, Donn. (2013, Jan 13). Why you need to learn MS Excel. Retrieved on 4/5/2017 from: http://edonn.com/2013/01/13/why-you-need-to-learn-ms-excel-now/

Anwar, Sohail. (2015, Jan 12). 8 Reasons you must get better at Excel in 2015. Retrieved on 4/5/2017 from: http://chandoo.org/wp/2015/01/12/get-better-at-excel-this-year/

 

 

EDET 637 Wk 10 Reflections

EQ: How does my UbD unit reflect my understanding of differentiated instruction?

This week we talked about the framework for delivering DI. I like that layout of the approach in that it is very loose and we focus on some things and touch lightly on others because this is a customized approach. This is a holistic approach touches all important areas of teaching so that we can view DI from different angles.

 

I learned from my peers:

  • Jim also had a hard time with finishing my unit this week. He resolved it by reaching out to his peers.
  • Heather shared her Nurse Track experiences as part of a group that moves toward student-centric courses.
  • Cherie talked about using pre-assessment tests to measure her student’s growth.

EDET 637 Week 10

EQ: How does my UbD unit reflect my understanding of differentiated instruction?

My teaching unit is centered on adult learning. I have four 30 min lessons where we will learn the basics of spreadsheets via Excel. I have laid out a lesson plan, but can expand on topics that my students want to focus that might be related to their personal lives or work. For instances, someone might want to create a project estimate list or a shopping list. We will learn how to enter data in the cells and total them. We will talk about how this program is beneficial with financial uses and view the tables, graphs and chart for better visuals. The differentiated instruction will come into play when a student might need more concrete examples. I will try to provide real world scenarios to work through the understanding.

5 key differentiation elements:

  1. Environment
    1. Growth mindset
    2. Student-teacher partnership
  2. Curriculum
    1. Understanding-focused
    2. Planned for high relevance and “teaching up”
  3. Assessment
    1. Authentic
    2. Focused on feedback and differentiated assessments
  4. Instruction
    1. Readiness emphasized
    2. Consistent use of flexible grouping and respectful tasks
  5. Classroom Leadership and Management
    1. Learning-oriented
    2. Focused on leading students and managing routines

 

Environment is when we set the tone for a growth mindset that we can learn new things. We are learning a valuable tool (Excel spreadsheets) that is useful in real life. Student teacher partnership happens when we inspire peer learning. We welcome questions and small group study sessions.

 

Curriculum is instructed in a way that is easy to understand. For example, we create the cells this way because this is how you might see a layout as an accounts payable clerk. We are teaching exposure to real world tools that is helpful in everyday life.

 

Assessment is the pre and posttest to ensure that the student is digesting the material in a meaningful way. We want them to be able to use Excel outside of class to help them with personal and business functions.

 

Instruction is close to curriculum, but is centered on how we deliver the message. We want our students to see that spreadsheets are fun and useful. I am teaching the lesson in an open format, where I can welcome real world projects and questions to help the students be able to perform basic functions independently.

 

Classroom Leadership and Management is when I am able to talk about my experiences with the program and how it has helped me understand the program. I use Excel for my budgets, to do lists, shopping lists, Christmas/Birthday lists, etc. These examples will help inspire questions and further thinking how this powerful tool can help in their personal lives.

 

 

Resources:

Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-ability Classrooms.

 

Tomlinson, Carol Ann and Murphy, Michael. (n.d.). Leading for Differentiation. Retrieved on 4/2 from: http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/115005/chapters/So-You-(Might)-Want-to-Lead-for-Differentiation%C2%A2.aspx

 

McCarthy, J. (2015, Aug 28). 3 ways to plan for diverse learners: What teachers do. Edutopia. Retrieved 4/2 from: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/differentiated-instruction-ways-to-plan-john-mccarthy