I am a participant teacher in The Thinking with Technology course. One of the most interesting topics to me has been Curriculum Framing Questions. I have been inspired to think more in-depth about my curriculum and lesson plan creation and how it relates to our school-wide goals. One important goal that we have implemented school-wide is Writing Across the Curriculum. I started thinking about the Essential Question behind this goal and I came up with an answer that resonates with 21st century learners: how can I express myself in order to communicate better with others?
I am the computer lab teacher and I collaborate with classroom teachers on curriculum projects. I use both the Visual Ranking Tool and the Seeing Reason tool in order to promote higher order thinking skills among my students. I find these tools help students to bounce ideas off each other, provide evidence to support statements or positions, afford reflection for ideas, and promote character education by learning to agree or disagree with another's opinion in a respectful way.
I hope to show that by creating opportunities to use these tools in order to improve student writing across the curriculum, I can help students answer an essential question: how does one become a more effective communicator?