an animal that’s about the size of a Loonie (that’s a Canadian dollar
coin to you non-Canadians), but sometimes it can grow to be heavier than a
small child. It’s usually
green, but some are also shades of brown and black.
Some are “painted” with a yellow streak.
It has small eyes and flaring nostrils along with four stout legs.
you know what animal I’m describing?
Neither might your child or a student.
If I further continue my description to include that on some
species of this animal, its tail looks
like that of a dinosaur, can you now guess the animal?
however, I were to post or show you a picture of the animal I was
describing, I am sure that at any age, almost everyone would be able to
identify it. Perhaps not
the specific name of the animal, but you would certainly be able to
identify the species.
at any age, takes repetition. Have you ever watched a young child watch
the same video over and over until they “get” it?
My aged mother has to repeat a new telephone number many times
before as she says “it sinks into my old brain”.
But repetition of the same method of learning is not as good as
being exposed to new material or a new concept in a variety of ways.
Just as we use our senses of touch, taste and smell to identify a
food, learning about new concept, or, in this case a new animal, is made
easier by the use of a variety of teaching methods in order to comprehend
and grasp the new idea. One of the best learning methods is visual –
seeing a picture.
my talking about a “Teasel”, to that of seeing a picture of one.
A Teasel, by the way, is a genus of a flowering plant in the Disacaceae
family known as Dipsacus.
It’s an amazing specimen of plant with lavender flowers located
on prickly heads that form on tall stems.
The plant blooms on the heads in an outward fashion resulting in
what looks like a purple floral belt.
The flowers continue to open blooming towards the top and bottom of
the head leaving a barren cone where the spent flowers were.
Get the idea? I’ll
bet an image would help?
More images of
teasels and other weeds
are located under Plants
Be sure to also check out the many North American
that are often considered weeds.
Have you ever wondered where the term “a picture is worth a thousand
words” came from? Believed
to have come from an article written by Fred R. Barnard used to promote
images in advertising, the phrase affirms that a visual image can easily
take the place of a lengthy, textual description.
be they teachers or parents, are ever in search of images to enhance their
lessons. In fact, students
also have a great need for photographs for school projects and
assignments. Neither has much
time to spend on research nor wants to expend the effort it takes to
register and become a member of a website only to get access to a limited
amount of free materials. Paying
for image resources – have you seen a teacher’s budget or a
student’s allowance lately? – is usually out of the question.
Cutting and pasting images from your search engine’s internet
image search result pages, may result in your using images that are
copyrighted. Such usage is the
same as stealing the work of others.
good sites that offer free images, bookmark them and check often for new
materials. If you do find a
Ensure they hold the copyrights to the images and be very sure you
understand what you can and cannot do with the pictures.
Be aware of any restrictions or requirements there may be for you
to use and download the photos.
The animal described above, by the way, was a snapping turtle.
The reference to “painted” is in relation to
wide-spread Painted Turtle species. More images like the ones above can
be found in the turtle section.
Roiser BAA, BEd.
The webmaster and owner of this site is a retired teacher currently
working with young children on a volunteer basis.
Although not a professional photographer, her work has been
published on a variety of websites and some of her photographs are part of
Environment Canada’s photo bank.
Come Blog With Us !
response to requests, we've started a Blog to share new things that
we've learned while taking photographs.
example, our first blog entry deals with fungi. While hiking through the
Finger Lakes region of New York state, I found myself surrounded by
colourful mushrooms. Coming home to research the identity of the
specimens I'd photographed opened up a whole new world to me.
Fluigo sceptica - A slime mould!
I've now discovered that there
is no such thing as a simple mushroom. Fungi are classified as
Earthballs, Puffballs, Sac fungi, Slime Moulds, Boletes, Morels, Jelly
fungi, Corals, Tooth and Bracket fungi. In addition, there are
some plants that look like mushrooms, and some mushrooms that look
am more aware of my surroundings while photographing. I'd never
before noticed the tiny folds in the grasses by the lake, only to
discover that each fold was identical and inside was a spider,
guarding her eggs.
about the day I saw a raccoon eating what I assumed to be a worm, only
to discover that it had captured a Painted turtle and was pulling out
the contents of its shell.
me share with you information that I didn't learn in school but
acquired AFTER my teaching degree. We'd love to hear about your
experiences in teaching too. Please visit:
Roiser BAA, BEd.
reading more and more literature about the use of PowerPoint slide
presentations in student learning. The reviews and comments
of its use are mixed. While some articles stress that slide
shows enhance learning and retention, others argue that its
cognitive style hampers comprehension and clarity.
however, that students like and use PowerPoint
presentations and for many teachers, the slide show has replaced
commenting upon the use of presentations in US forces, an article
in the New York Times
stated that Commanders said that PowerPoint presentations “stifle
discussion, critical thinking and thoughtful decision-making”.
One teacher I recently spoke with who rarely uses
presentations stated that slide shows make students into passive
consumers of knowledge with no interaction.
Another said she didn't remember life before slide shows and
couldn't picture teaching without them. She finds them to be
an incredibly useful educational tool.
major criticism of slide presentations is how material is
condensed into short bulleted points. Not all curriculum topics can be taught as
bulleted lists. Instead of essays and writing assignments,
students are often allowed to present ideas by way of
presentations - all in short summarized points.
for those teaching exceptional students or for those with learning
disabilities, one strategy that works well is to break up and
introduce new material in small increments. Large topics are
taught broken into their smallest components and introduced
sequentially in order to avoid information overload. This
works well with the junior learner as well.
negative comment about presentations is that it turns students into
"zombies". Teachers prepare slide
presentations, read them to their students, while students sit
dazed staring or taking notes. Sounds like a fun class does it
not? Let's do this everyday! Is it the material, the
teacher, the presentation, or the way the presentation is being
PowerPoint presentations have a place in your classroom?
Effective teaching means using a variety of tools to ensure
student learning. There are many learning styles and the
PowerPoint presentation should be just another arsenal in a
teacher's supply of materials - but only good presentations.
the PowerPoint program is relatively easy to learn, almost anyone can slap
together some material, copy some text and call it a
presentation. Making an effective, good presentation, that's
the hard part. That takes planning, time, commitment and
dedication. It also takes skill.
good presentation is one that meets the needs of your students, is
designed for your course curriculum, is visually appealing, and
one that will engage your learners.
important key to
preparing a good slide presentation is design. Characteristics of a
poorly designed presentations include: bad choice of colours or
distracting patterns; backgrounds that are too busy; illegible
text with light text
on too light a background or dark text on too dark a background; difficult
to read fonts; inconsistent text sizes; too many colours on
one slide; a hodgepodge of multiple fonts; too much “exciting”
animation with texts flying and spinning; too much information on
one slide; complicated graphs that are difficult to read or
inappropriate graphics in the first place; blurry and low
resolution images; overuse of graphics and clipart, etc. etc.
What can I say about transitions?
Some presentations make you dizzy with spinning wheels,
checkerboards, newsflashes and so forth. If
it's an option, some feel they must include it. I
could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.
used appropriately, presentations are excellent to use as scaffolding for
critical thinking and learning.
discussions I’ve personally had with teachers, all agreed that
presentations can be effective and powerful communication tools.
A good presentation can enhance any subject.
to Best Achieve student learning with PowerPoint
The following suggestions have been compiled from teacher
comments. In order to use a slide presentation effectively
in the classroom -
Don’t just “read” the
Anyone can read a slide.
What would you need a teacher for?
Remember – the presentation is just a basis
for your teaching. You
must add your own comments and expand on the points included in
the slides. Include
student discussion, tailor the material to your grade level,
community, and environment.
Practice running through the
slides before your
classroom presentation. Know
what is coming up. Know
when you click “next” what slide, text, bullet or image will
appear and in what order. It’s
a good idea to keep a printout of your slide presentation in front of you.
Select "print" and you have the option of printing
the presentation as handouts or slides. By the way, did
you know that the "save as" feature allows you not
only to save as a presentation, but also as individual JPEG
files? Using free software such as OpenOffice allows you
to make a pdf of an entire set of presentation slides.
Why not have your students hypothesize as to the answers
for new slide topic headings? A good design will allow for
this. Students can be asked to add
to the points included in the presentation.
Ask questions of your students to encourage student participation.
not have individual students read the text aloud?
Make sure to ask the one paying the least attention!
Think about turning the projector off during
parts of the presentation. To white out the screen during a
show, press the
“W” key. If you
prefer a black screen, press “B”.
To reactivate the presentation, press the same key again.
Never, ever, show presentations in darkened rooms where you
and your students can’t see each other.
It's a good idea to
turn off the front lights in your room to show good pictures,
but leave the lights on in the back of the room. Ensure you are always aware of your students and have eye contact. How else can
you judge how engaged your students are and if you need to change
teaching styles, go faster or slower, etc.
Should I or should I not hand out slide
handouts for notes? I have found
mixed opinions on this subject. Some
of my fellow teachers only make handouts available AFTER the
lesson or for those who missed class.
They find that students do not participate as well if they
are reading the notes ahead of time or concentrating on the
handouts instead of class discussion.
exceptional student or ESL learner, however, having concrete notes
in front of them DURING the slide presentation gives them the
flexibility of not having to take notes.
In this situation, it actually helps the students to follow along more easily
and frees up their time to listen and participate in discussion.
I’ll leave the decision up to you based upon the
needs of your students.
your students are engaged, they will ask questions, debate, share
their life experiences and add personal knowledge to the presentation.
If this should happen, go with the flow!
End the presentation, skip ahead to a different slide or go
back and review material. Don’t feel
that you have to stick to a pre-planned presentation structure.
Do not use a presentation as a crutch, rather, see it as an
aid. Remember that
slide presentations appeal most to the visual learner.
Those students who have strong intelligence strengths in
other areas may quickly become bored.
Mixed up your teaching style and don’t use presentations
for the majority of your teaching time.
presentations are tools –
how creatively you use them
is up to
Roiser BAA, BEd.
Kevin Chorowiec OCT, BAS, BEd.
the newly added FreeTiiuPix PowerPoint Presentation Collection
times, April 26, 2010 - “We Have Met the Enemy and He Is