Saturday, September 10, 2016

Active learning in the classroom: is it really important?

What is active learning, you ask?  According to the Center for Learning and Teaching at the University of Michigan,
Active learning is a process whereby students engage in activities, such as reading, writing, discussion, or problem solving that promote analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of class content. Cooperative learning, problem-based learning, and the use of case methods and simulations are some approaches that promote active learning.
In the graduate course I am currently taking, we engaged in active learning to examine the topic of active learning.  We partnered with a colleague to prepare a presentation demonstrating and analyzing forms of active learning taking place in real classrooms, shared our presentations with our colleagues, and reflected (via this blog post) on our experience.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Hello from Karrin

My name is Karrin Burns and I am a Third Grade teacher in Illinois.  I am currently taking a course called Integrating Technology Into Programming, Services, and Instruction at Dominican University.

Hi, this is me!
Image source: Karrin Burns's personal photo
I am taking this course because I want to be able to use technology to provide a dynamic and more personalized learning experience for my students.  Here is my classroom website if you'd like to take a look!

This is a year of firsts for me: my first year teaching Third Grade, my first year using Google Classroom, my first time taking a course at Dominican...I even crashed my car for the first time this year (bummer).  I am very excited for all these new beginnings (except the new bumper)!

How did I come to teaching?

I am from Michigan, but have lived in Illinois for 27 years.  This is my fifth year teaching.  I had extremely diverse and exciting career experiences before becoming a certified teacher.  I attended Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T) after high school (dropped out), worked as a make-up artist, then moved to Chicago and worked in the restaurant business.  I started culinary school at Kendall College, and worked in many French restaurants in the Chicago area.  I met my husband, who is a chef.  After some years, I left cooking for the hotel management business.  True to form, after a few years, I decided to leave this career to go back to school to get a B.A.  I graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2007 with a degree in French (minor Art History).  I started my graduate studies in Art History after working for an art conservation company, but I decided that probably wasn't for me.  On a whim, I started substitute teaching, and immediately fell in love!  I got my M.A.T from National-Louis University in 2010.

Always learning...

In my free time, I am an avid birdwatcher, and I love group fitness classes.  My husband works at Wrigley Field, so I am also a dedicated Cubs fan.  I am a very curious person and always learning, wherever I go.

I am so excited to join my colleagues to learn together and improve student learning.  I will use this blog as a reflective portfolio and professional resource, so please check back to read my thoughts and learn about tech resources to implement in your own practice!