Thursday, July 21, 2011

21st Century Skills

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills website ( is a great site to explore. However, I did feel that it was a bit overwhelming at first. So I looked at some things and then revisited it a couple more times, just because there was so much useful and interesting information. I didn't realize just how important and big these Skills have become, but it definitely makes sense. We need to be preparing out students for their future in the 21st Century. P21 has created a great framework and their mission is to be a catalyst for putting 21st Century Skills at the center of the US education system by teaming up with businesses, communities, and government officials. They want to fuse together the 3R's (reading, writing, and arithmetic) and the 4C's (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation). This site offers many great publications, on-line tools, and resources, along with events, news, and state initiatives. Also, for educators, they have a P21 MILE Guide Self-Assessment Tool, an interactive resource library called Route 21, and a video site where you can see teachers using these skills in the classroom. So as you can see, there are many great things to check out when you visit the P21 website.   


One of the things I really liked the most was that there was a 21st Century Skills Map for Social Studies, which is what I teach, that gives you the 21st Century Skill, the Skill definition, an outcome for the skill, and examples of activities that students can do that go along with that skill. The site also offered an ICT Literacy Map for Social Studies, which are 21st Century Tools for Learning and Thinking. I also really liked the fact that Ohio is committed to being one of the P21 Leadership States. Actually, there wasn't really anything, so far, that I didn't like about this website. In fact, I added it to my Favorites (bookmarked it) and will be following them on Twitter. P21 is a great resource for information regarding 21st Century Skills and will aid me in, creating and maintaining a 21st Century Skills classroom and preparing my students for their future!

P.S. I will continue to explore this website and discover more great things it has to offer.

Crystal Moyer

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Here are some questions about blogging that I would like to answer.

1. How might you use a blog in your classroom?
I actually read another colleague's post about how she plans on using a blog in her classroom and I really liked her idea. I would like to set up a classroom blog with information about my classroom. Here parents, students, and community members would be able to view my blog and see what is going on in my classroom. They will also be able to write comments on it as well. I would put up different types of information such as homework, pictures, school calendars and events, useful websites, and general information about my classroom. I think it is an excellent way for parents to stay up to date with what is going on in their child's life in my classroom.

2. What purpose would the blog serve?
Like I mentioned above, it would be used to display various types of information about my classroom and things that we are doing. Parents, students, and community members can view my blog and respond if they would like. It will help everyone keep up to date on what the students are learning in the classroom and it is an excellent way to communicate things to and with the parents of my students.

3. Is it a place for students to interact about content? Is it a showcase for their work? Or?
I would love to be able to set up my blog in order to both, allow the students to provide comments, ask questions, or interact with one another and to display their work. Along with providing tons of information to the students and parents. Along with providing numerous websites where students can practice their content skills or study for tests or just extend their learning of the content material.

4. How does using a blog enhance the lesson?
Well, the way I would be setting up my blog, it would enhance the lesson by creating more interest to the students and allow them to interact, practice, study, or extend the lesson. As we know, technology, when used correctly, really seems to spark students' interest and motivate them to learn. The become more engaged and are more willing to participate in the lesson.

5. What is your grade level and content area?
I teach fourth grade Social Studies

6. Why do you think that a blog is a good tool for the instructional context?
I think that blogging definitely is exciting to the students and engages them in the lesson. With a blog, they are able to participate and discuss how they feel about the lesson or content they are learning about. They interact with their peers, offer different ideas, and can just be creative writers. Sometimes students are nervous about speaking in front of their peers so blogging allows them to share their views without having to be uncomfortable about speaking in front of the class. However, I do feel very strongly about the fact that our students also need time to verbally communicate with one another as well. With some of these types of technologies, I am afraid our students are going to forget how to interact with one another face to face. That is why it is important to find a balance between the two.