Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Project #15

My Final Reflection Video

Project #16

My group, San Francisco, created an iBook with a Peter Pan theme. The San Francisco group consist of myself (Emily Huff), Emma Elwell, Lauren Reid, and Briley Lovette. Our iBook is a preview of work that we have done collaboratively and individually throughout the semester in EDM 310.
Peter Pan

Thursday, April 24, 2014

C4T #4

This week I was assigned to comment on Jeff Delps blog, Teach for Today...and Tomorrow . His blog gave some great advice for all educators. Jeff gave a presentation to the 7th grade math classes because many of the students were struggling with connection and motivation at school. I explained to him how I loved the topic he chose for his Prezi presentation for the students. The topic he focused on was that we all have choices that we can make, and that we all get better at things with practice and determination. I told Jeff that this is a great piece of advice for teachers and students. He explained how he loved blogging and using social media. I told him how I also love using those too and that I agreed with him that we should share our successes and struggles through social media. There are other teachers and students who are facing similar challenges and have some of the same concerns as myself and others. Sharing our struggles and successes can help and encourage other people around the world. Jeff gave me some great pointers that I will keep in mind as I become a future educator.

The next blog of Jeff Delps that I commented on was My Haitian School Experience . In this post he talked about education and the important role it plays in every individuals life and our society. I agree with him that the ability to read, write, solve problems, and reason are a necessity to navigate in the 21st century. Jeff talked about his recent trip to Haiti where he witnessed the learning environment at a school. He explained how he was overwhelmed by the need of the students. The classes are held in little sheds and the teachers have very limited resources. I explained to Jeff how it saddens me to hear that students have to learn in environments like this. Students in the United States have iPads and computers at school and the students in Haiti are lucky if they have pen and paper. I agree with Jeff that education may be what these students need to change their world.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

C4KSummary Month of April

This week I was assigned to comment on a student named Isaac who attends Pt England School. For his blog post, Subtraction and Addition, he created a little worksheet with word problems. I told Isaac that I loved how he used the computer to set up his word problems so neatly. I also told him that I can use his word problems one day when teaching addition and subtraction to my students. Isaac also provided each of the answers after each word problem and got all of them correct. I told him he did a great job and thanked him for sharing his blog with me.
Addition and Subtraction

For my second blog post for the month of April I was assigned to comment on Loseli's blog, The Life Cycle of a Butterfly. Loseli made a video and was talking during it describing the life cycle. Her video was great and the animations were wonderful during it. This video would be great for students to watch when learning about the life cycle of butterflies. The video showed every stage of a butterfly growing and forming its beautiful wings at the end. I told Loseli to keep up the great work!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Blog Post #13

Find an app that you feel would be useful in your future classroom. Describe the app and explain the advantages of it.

I am an elementary major and I would love to be a kindergarten teacher one day. The app I choose would be great for kindergarten students because it teaches them about numbers. 123 Tracing allows the students to have fun and engage in games while learning their numbers. I love the app because it allows the students to trace their numbers on the iPad. The app is also easy for students to navigate through and play on their own. This is an app that I would use because I feel students need more practice with math. Like Dr. Strange discussed in class, students now days struggle with simple math because they depend so much on a calculator. I feel that math apps like this one can help future students.
Number Tracing App

I also like how parents and teachers can play collaboratively with the students on this app. Parents and teachers can also track the child's progress while they play on the app. This would be great in the kindergarten classroom because the teacher can see which students need extra help with learning their numbers. The app allows the teacher to always keep up with student's progress and allows the teacher to show the parents the student's progress.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Blog Post #12

What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?

There are so many Assistive technologies that teachers can use in the classroom to help students with disabilities. In the video, The Mountbatten, I learned about the Braille writer that allows for both audio and tactile feedback. Technology has such a positive impact for students who have disabilities such as being blind. As the student Braille's on the machine it produces the Braille and also announces what is being Brailled. The main thing that I love about this machine is how it converts the Braille into print and places it on a screen for the teacher to view. This machine allows students who are blind to participate and receive feedback during activities.
The Mountbatten

In the video, iPad Using for the Blind, I learned ways that students who are blind can use the iPad. The iPad offers something called voice over that talks to students and will read every app to them and they just have to double click what they would like to open. iBooks is a great app on the iPad for students who are blind. They can pick stories that will be read out loud to them. All the students have to do is flip their two fingers upward on the screen for iBooks to start reading to them. Another app I found useful for students who are blind is Voice Brief. This app will read students their email, Facebook News Feed, Twitter Feed, weather, and much more. This app is great because it allows the students to be up to date with social media independently.
Voice Brief

As a future educator I feel that it is important to make all students involved and able to participate. This is becoming easier everyday with the advancement of technology. Students with disabilities need to be given hope by teachers and we need to push boundaries. I loved in the video, Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired , how they encouraged teachers to knock down walls and build new ones that all children can climb over. This is so true and something I hope to be able to do by using technology for students with disabilities.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Blog Post #11

This blog post was done collaboratively by my group San Francisco. We watched each of the videos and answered the following question together, "What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?" Each of the videos was great and taught me great ideas to use in the classroom as a future teacher. Below is the link to the blog post.
Blog Post #11

Teaching in the 21st Century

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Project #10 Interview Movie

My interview movie is with Mrs. Cassie Skidmore. She is a Kindergarten teacher at North Mobile Christian School. Cassie is also a previous EDM 310 student at the University of South Alabama. Our interview movie is about using technology in the classroom.

Monday, March 31, 2014

C4T #3

Blogging and the Literacy Curriculum
My first teacher I was assigned for this blog post was Kathleen Morris. Kathleen has been a teacher for 6 years. I loved reading her blog post because it gave me great ideas on how to use blogging in the classroom. She explained how you don't need to try to squeeze blogging into your curriculum. When allowing the students to blog they need to receive the full benefits from it. So to do this blogging needs to be planned out for the classroom to use it in the curriculum. I explained to Kathleen how I loved her idea of creating digital portfolios instead of allowing the students to write journals. I love this idea because it is now 2014 and technology is too great for students to be using pen and paper. I also explained to Kathleen that I 100% agree with her that using blogging in the classroom keeps the students engaged because they are excited to learn by using technology.

There's Blogging and There's Blogging...
The second post that I read by Kathleen Morris was about using blogging in the classroom. She explained how there are two ways. There is the Unrestricted program and the Structured Program. I explained to her that I see myself using more of the Structured Program in the Elementary classroom. Blogging is integrated into the literacy program when using this program. I also loved the pointers she gave for teachers when using blogging in the classroom. I will defiantly take all of them into consideration. She said that we as educators should set high standards, provide feedback, and integrate into literacy program. I also like that she said to allow the students to express themselves while improving their educational outcomes. I learned a lot of tips from Kathleen about using blogging in the classroom. I look forward to reading more of her post.

C4KSummary Month of March

Little Voices, Little Scholars

The student that I was assigned to comment on this week was Mata. Mata did her first video recording in her blog for this week. In her video she talked about her swimming lessons. Mata was learning how to write simple sentences correctly and independently. In my comment I told Mata how proud I was of her because she used technology to record herself talking. She did a great job and I was so glad she shared this video with me.

Bio Poem

The student's blog that I was assigned to comment on this week was Marama. Marama wrote a poem about herself in her blog post. A couple of things she talked about in her poem were things she loves to do, her fears, things she hates, and scared of. I told Marama that we like to do some of the same things because I love going to the beach and eating ice cream. I also explained to Marama how I also hate spiders, snakes, and sharks. Marama wrote in her poem that she is determined to succeed in school and that she is proud of being herself. I told her that I loved what she wrote and she did a great job on her poem.
Succeed in School

Going to Rainbow's End

The student's blog that I was assigned to comment on this week was named Muamua. Muamua talked about her trip to Rainbow's End with her family. I told her that I had never been there but that it sounded like lots of fun. Muamua's sister wanted to ride a roller coaster but she was not big enough. Her little sister got upset when she found this out so Muamua bought her an ice cream. I told Muamua how sweet of her that was because she ended up buying her entire family ice cream. I told Muamua that I was glad she enjoyed going to Rainbow's End and that she did a great job on her blog about it.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Project # 15

Project #15 Lesson Plan

I did my lesson plan on MyPyramid this week. The lesson will last 30 minutes a day for one week. The students will learn about healthy foods and what categories they fall into. They will get into groups of fours and create a menu that follows the guidelines of My Plate. Their menus can include different foods that they have never tried before. At the end of the week the students will present their menu to the class. Technology will be included into this lesson by Icurio.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Blog Post #10

What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?

I would like to start off this blog post by saying, "Wow!". I have loved and learned a lot from all of the videos that we have watched in this class, but this one has taught me the most. In this video, Bring On the Education Revolution, Sir Ken Robinson explained how their is a climate crisis for human resources and that we make very poor of our talents. He said that so many people endure their lives instead of enjoying it and are just waiting for the weekend. This stuck out to me so much because I hear people complaining all the time about their job and how they can't wait for the weekend to get here. People nowadays go through their lives simply just going on with it and they get no pleasure from what they do.
Don't Wish Your Lif Away

Sir Ken Robinson explained that every education system in the world is being reformed and that is not enough. Being reformed is no use because that is simply just improving a broken model. Our education systems don't need to be reformed, what we need is a revolution in education. He explained that their are things we are enthralled to in education like the idea of linearity. We view education as something that starts here and you go through a track and if you do everything right you will end up set for the rest of your life. He said that life is the opposite of that; its not linear but organic. We should be creating our lives as we explore our talents and find out what we are passionate about. We should be doing something that we really love. We as humans have became obsessed with linearity and think the point of education is getting you to college.

I loved the story he told about the guy he met when he went to his book signing in San Francisco. The guy told Sir Ken Robinson that he was a fireman and had wanted to be one for his entire life. He explained how when he was in school he had one teacher that told him that he was throwing his life away if all he wanted to do with it was become a fireman. The teacher told him that he should go to college and become a professional person; that he had great potential and was wasting his talent to do this. The guy said the same day the teacher said this to him he applied for fire service school and was accepted. He explained to Sir Ken Robinson how he was thinking about the teacher that had said this to him during his speech at the book signing. He said about six months ago the teacher and his wife were in a car wreck and he saved both of their lives by pulling them out of the car and performing CPR on the teacher. This story is so inspiring to me and I agree with Sir Ken Robinson that this story shows the fact that human communities depend on a diversity of talent and not just a singular conception of ability. Sir Ken Robinson explained how the heart of this challenge is to reconstitute our sense of ability and intelligence.

I loved how Sir Ken Robinson explained the issue of conformity and how we have built our education systems on a model of fast food where everything is standardized. He said that we have sold ourselves into this model and it's bringing down our spirits and energies as much as fast food is depleting our physical bodies. This so true because no one is the same and everyone has different talents. Your passions are important also because you can be really good at something you don't care for. This is true for me, I am really good at cooking but I don't enjoy it. Being that I'm not passionate about cooking I would not take the career path of being a chef. We as educators need to inspire our students to do what they love. If you are doing something you love, an hour will feel like five minutes and you won't be waiting for the weekend.

The last thing that I would like to point out that Sir Ken Robinson said was that we have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process - that it is an organic process. Educators can't predict the outcome of human development, all we can do is act like a farmer and correct the conditions under which they will flourish. We need to encourage our students to explore their talents and find their passion for what they love. If you are doing what you love, you will not have to work a day in your life. We can do this as educators by using the technologies combined with our teaching talents to revolutionize education.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blog Post #9

What can we learn from Mrs. Cassidy?

In the first video, First Graders in Mrs. Cassidy's Class, the students talked about all the different ways they learn through technology. I was shocked by all the things the students knew about technology and how to use it. The students like to write on their blogs because everyone can see and comment on it. The students were saying how their parents and grandparents leave them comments. I love how the parents can see how much the students are learning and their progress by reading their blogs. The students explained how using blogging improves their writing and they get better each time they write a blog. I think that it is awesome that the students are seeing improvement in themselves by using blogs. The students also use webpages to find learning tools on the internet. They use Wiki to ask questions and learn about traditions around the world. One students explained how they use Wiki to learn about the alphabet. Another tool the students use is Skype. They use Skype to talk to other students from all over the world. This allows the students to learn from different students and cultures. The last thing the students talked about in this video was using Nintendo DS's in the classroom. I have to say I thought this was a great idea and I hope to be able to do this in my classroom one day. The students explained that the Nintendo DS's help them become better problem solvers and also learn how to share.

Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 1
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 2
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 3

Above are the next three parts to the Skype interview with Kathy Cassidy. Cassidy explained how she got involved with using technology about ten years ago when she was given five computers in her classroom. She gave some great ideas about using technology in the classroom. I liked the first tip she gave about sending forms home the first day of school to the parents for permission for the students to use the internet. She said that the parents always like the students using technology because it allows them to to be able to see their child's progress anytime without having to have a meeting with the teacher. Cassidy also explained how technology is not going away and that it is here to stay. She said that educators have to change and learn to use technology in the classroom because their are so many opportunities for the students to learn through using online tools. If we as educators don't allow technology in the classroom we are handicapping our students. She explained how her students love using technology in the classroom and how it makes them excited to learn. Using blogging allows the students to have their own personal audience because the whole world can see it. Cassidy explained ways to start using technology in the classroom if you are new to it. I love her idea of starting from what you are most interested in. An example she gave was if you are interested in videos you could start by signing up for a YouTube account. When I become an educator I would love to start by using Blogging in my classroom. Blogging is so beneficial to the students in so many ways. It can be integrated into every subject.

In the last Skype video with Cassidy, she answered questions from Dr. Strange's students. One response that stuck out to me was about using technology with your students if you are an Physical Education major. She gave some great ideas that I had not thought about. She recomended using a blog to tell students if practice is changed or use a cell phone to text each of them. I have to say that each video I watched about using technology in the classroom makes me more excited about becoming a teacher. Technology is advancing more everyday and allowing so many opportunities for the students. I learned a lot from each of Mrs. Cassidy's videos for my future classroom.
21st Century

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Project #14

Project #14 Lesson Plan
I did my lesson plan on plants for this project. This lesson plan addresses the Alabama State Standards for 3rd grade Science and Writing. The students will be learning about plants and will be able to identify the different parts of a plant. They will be using the computer of iPad to research about their favorite flowering plant. The students will have to write a paragraph about the plant of their choice and give a brief summary of the plant to the class. The students will also grow their own plant and will learn what a plant needs to survive and how to take care of it. This lesson will be covered for 30 minutes a day for a week.

Blog Post #8

Find some 21st Century Learning and Communicating Tools? Tell us about them. Tell us where we can find them. Give a thorough review of at least one of them.

The first learning and communicating tool I discovered was LitPick. LitPick is a website that provides electronic books for students. One thing I loved about LitPick was that it is free. The teacher can contact the website and set up accounts for all of the students. On this website the students can not only read the books but they can also be a book critic and post reviews anonymously that can be read by others. One thing that I found very useful about LitPick was that it has a list on the homepage that will show the students the top books and new releases. LitPick is a website that the students can use at home to do their AR reading so they don't have to carry home their books. I think this a great website that will be very useful for my classroom once I become an educator.

After researching many learning and communicating tools, the one I feel will be very useful for me as an educator is QuadBlogging. QuadBlogging is a website that allows teachers to connect their students with three other schools so the students can blog with each other. The teacher can connect their students with schools in the same area or with schools around the world. I think this website is great for elementary teachers because it allows the students to connect with students all over the world from different cultures. One thing that I like about QuadBlogging is that each cycle lasts four weeks. After four weeks the students switch and blog with three other completely different schools. I like this because the students are constantly connecting and learning from different students.

I had no idea there were so many learning and communicating tools that I could one day use as an educator. I found multiple tools from while researching but these two stuck out to me the most. They are both great tools to use in the lower grade levels. I will defiantly take advantage of all the tools I found today to use in my classroom to make learning exciting and fun through technology.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

C4T #2

EDpuzzle: Like Video in the Classroom 2.0
My teacher that I was assigned to this week was Kelly Tenkely. I explained to Tenkely how I learned a lot from reading her Blog because I have never heard of EDpuzzle. I think that EDpuzzle is neat because it will show you when and if the students watched the video they were assigned. Edpuzzle also will show you your student's progress by the embedded questions they are asked from the videos. I also explained to Tenkely how using EDpuzzle as a guided reading center would be a great idea for me as a future educator. I learned a lot from reading this blog about EDpuzzle.

The next blog that Kelly Tenkely wrote was about Stoodle. I have also never heard of Stoodle until reading Tenkely's blog. Stoodle is an instant online classroom that is free. I like how Stoodle can be used when reviewing or tutoring in the classroom. I also like how students can use Stoodle to connect with other piers and also allows the students to connect with other classes. I explained to Tenkely how I learned a lot from her blog post and would love to use Stoodle in my future classroom. I love how Stoodle will walk the students through their projects and also the parents. I explained to Tenkely how I am excited to use Stoodle when I become a future educator.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Project #13

Lesson Plan #1 Created by San Francisco Group for Project #13

For this project, we created a PBL lesson plan on the Solar System. This lesson plan addresses the Alabama State Standards for second grade Science, Technology Education, Visual Arts, and Dance. The students will be learning about Earth and Space. They will be able to identify the basic components of our solar system including the sun, planets, and the Earth's moon. The students will develop an improvisational movement activity to understand how the planets orbit around the sun. They will also create a 3D model of their assigned planet with their group. This lesson will be covered for two hours a day for a week.
Solar System

Blog Post #7

I loved watching the video for this blog post, Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, it was very inspiring. Randy Pausch found out that he had cancer and was told he only had three to six months to live. He died at the young age of 47, only a couple months after giving "The Last Lecture". On the video he showed a picture of his x-ray and he had more than ten tumors at the time he gave "The Last Lecture". When watching this lecture you would never know that Randy only had a few more months to live. He was happy and excited to share about his childhood dreams and accomplishments. Randy stated that one of the most important things for children is to not lose sight in the permission to dream. This is so true, students need to try to achieve their dreams and also enable the dreams of others.

Randy Pausch talked about his childhood dreams during the lecture. I loved how he described his dream of playing in the NFL. He said that he received more from this dream without even accomplishing it. I like how he explained how his coach showed up for the first day of football practice without a football. He explained how it was all about the fundamentals or otherwise the fancy stuff isn't going to work. This is something that is true all throughout life and important for us to learn as educators. I also like how Randy Pausch explained being critiqued and how it was a lesson that has stuck with him his entire life. He said that it was a good thing when the coach was screaming at you during football practice telling you what you are doing wrong. If you are screwing up and no one says anything to you anymore that means they have gave up on you. This is something that I need to remind myself as an educator. When critiquing a student we are showing them that we love and care about them and only want what is best for them.

I love how Randy described how he learned that sometimes you run into a brick wall. Brick walls are in our way as dreamers so we can work harder to prove how bad we really want something. Everyone hits brick walls a couple of times throughout their lives, I know I have hit a couple already. The brick walls are there to make us stronger and to get us to work harder for what we really want. As I am beginning my carer as an educator I am sure that I will hit multiple brick walls along the way. I believe these brick walls are what will make me a stronger and better educator.
Brick Wall

One thing that stuck with me when watching this video was what Randy said about presenting yourself. He explained how he went to his Dean at the time and explained to him about the once in a lifetime chance he had to do the Imagineering project with Disney. The Dean did not know if it was a good idea so he did not want to work out any agreements with Randy. So Randy went to the Dean of Sponsored Research and Randy asked the Dean if he thought it was a good idea. The dean responded by saying, "I don't know if it's a good idea but all I know is one of my star faculty members is in my office and he is really excited so tell me more." Both of the Deans said the same thing but presented their answers in completely different ways. This is very important for educators to learn about. You can present yourself in a good or bad way. You need to listen to your students and learn more about what they are saying before jumping to conclusion.

Randy taught me so much through his lecture. He is a true inspiration and I hope all educators have the opportunity to watch his lecture. The last thing I would like to point out that I loved about his lecture was how Randy responded to his students work. He was blown away by the assignment the students did in two weeks in his course called Building Virtual Worlds. He said that he would have given all the students A's for the class if he had given them a whole semester for this one assignment. He had no idea what to do next so he called his mentor for some guidance. His mentor told him to tell the students, "you all did pretty well but I know you can do better." This was something that I found very useful for myself as a future educator. He explained that you don't know where the bar should be for the students and you always encourage them to do more. He said his students just kept going and blowing his mind more and more. Randy taught me that a dream is never too big and that there will always be brick walls along the way but to never give up!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

C4KSummary for month February

My MysterySkype with Jillian Morris
The student's blog that I was assigned to comment on this week was named Craig. He did an excellent job on giving facts about sharks. Before reading Craig's blog I knew little about sharks. He taught me that 100,000 sharks are killed each year to make soup. I also was shocked when I read in his blog that only 5 people are killed by shark accidents a year. I also learned that if scientist tag sharks they have to be put asleep. Craig did a great job on his blog and I look forward to reading more.

About You Survey
This week my student that I was assigned was named Jordan. I had to do an About You Survey on his blog. There were five different questions that I had to answer. I told Jordan where I lived, that I was a female, my favorite color, favorite sport, and favorite book. I told Jordan that I loved the idea of having a survey on his blog.

Of Mice and Men
When doing my third C4K, the student I was assigned was Edson. Edson had to do a reflection on the book "Of Mice and Men." He explained the rules the character, Lennie, needed to follow. I love how he put himself as a character and explained in his blog how he could never get along with one of the characters, Curley. He said that Curley was always looking for problems. I explained to Edson that I agreed with him and I don't think I would get along with Curley either. Edson explained how he thought the book should be titled "A Better Life" instead of "Of Mice and Men." I told Edson that I loved the title that he came up with and that I think it would be a great title also.
Of Mice and Men

Disney World
For my fourth C4K I had a student name Gillian. I loved Gillian's blog because it was about Disney World. Gillian talked about the rides she rode in Disney. She talked about the ride Tower of Terror and it is one of my favorite rides. Gillian also talked about how her family has the tradition to ride Pirates of the Caribbean first each time they go to Disney. They do this because that is what her mom did with her parents when she was a little girl. I told Gillian that I loved how they had a tradition and I thought it was very neat. I told Gillian she did a great job on her blog and I loved reading it because I love Disney World.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Blog Post #6

When first reading about Personal Learning Network (PLN) I had no idea what they were. After watching the video, Building Your PLN-A Primer for Anyone, it really put in perspective what a PLN was and what it is used for. Steven Anderson explained in his video how PLN's are a tool that you can use to help you as a teacher. They consist of teachers and tools, such as Twitter or Pinterest, that allow you to connect with educators all over the world to help extend your thinking. Personal Learning Networks allow you to not have to know everything because you have a network of thousands of Educators to talk with and ask questions to. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and Pinterest could all serve as Personal Learning Networks. I did not realize until after reading the resources from this blog that I had already started my own PLN. I have a Pinterest account where I follow other teachers across the world and pin the ideas that they share. I have acquired many art ideas from teachers on Pinterest and also found multiple worksheets and project ideas for all subjects.

I also learned a lot from the video, Michael Fawcett Discusses his PLN. Michael explained in the video how 12 months ago his PLN was the staff room. Michael explained how Twitter is a great social network that serves as a PLN. On Twitter you can follow other educators and they can suggest blogs for you to read and you can communicate and collaborate with them. I loved the example Michael gave of how Twitter can work as a PLN. He said that one day he asked a question on Twitter about space and within 30 minutes he had gotten an answer from NASA. This is mind blowing. I find it interesting that we can connect with anyone all over the world through a social network like Twitter.


Personal Learning Networks take time to build and form. It is not something that you form over night. To start forming your PLN you would make accounts for social networks such as Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Blog, YouTube, etc. After forming the accounts you need to start following and becoming friends with people from all over the world. You can share and receive ideas from other educators.

My Personal Learning Network is very small right now. I am learning new ways to expand it everyday. I have learned many things from these resources about building my own PLN. When I become a teacher I would love to use blogs to connect with my students and their parents. My goal as a future teacher is to have a blog and post pictures and videos of the students and what they learn each week for the parents
Social Media
to view. I am already using Pinterest and Facebook to grow my PLN. I have created a Twitter and I am learning how to use it to expand my PLN. On twitter the first few people that I have followed to grow my PLN is Dr. Strange, Dr. Vitulli, and the lab assistants. I am excited about expanding my PLN and learning and sharing information with other educators.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blog Post #5

What do you learn from these conversations with Anthony Capps?

The seven videos we were assigned to watch this week were about project based learning. In the first two videos, Project Based Learning Part 1 and Project Based Learning Part 2, I learned a lot about how project based learning is used in the classroom. Project based learning is constantly evolving. The goal of using it is to show not only what the students have achieved but what they have learned. I loved the example of project based learning that Anthony Capps used in his classroom. His students wrote letters to Congress about women fighting in combat. When doing this project based learning activity he meet writing, reading, and social studies standards. He allowed his students to critique each other and choose the top eight letters to send to congress. This gave them the opportunity to review work like a democracy. I love the idea of using project based learning in the classroom because when I was in third grade we were taught straight out of a book. I feel doing projects excite the students and make them want to learn. I also loved that Mr. Capps pointed out that when he had twelve administrators come in his room to ask him about project based learning all of his kids were raising their hands excited to share and explain what they were doing. I learned from these videos how to approach being a project based learning teacher. Teachers should never limit their students and they should always create an opportunity for them to go beyond expectations.

I learned a lot from the third video iCurio. I have actually never heard of iCurio until watching this video. In this video iCurio was explained as a search engine that searches text, audio, and video around subjects that would fit in with state standards. iCurio allows virtual organization for the students and it also allows the students to get back right where they were on the computer if they get interrupted. I think this is very neat and useful because in school, especially the elementary level, there are a lot of interruptions throughout the day. One of my favorite things about iCurio that Mr. Capps explained was the read allowed feature. This is a great feature to have for students that have certain disabilities because it will actually read out loud to them.

After watching the video, Discovery Ed, I learned that it is a tool that uses videos for the students to learn from. Mr. Capps explained that he can bring experts into his classroom for his students to learn from via video. Mr. Capps said that Discovery Ed has everything science and social studies related. Discovery Ed is a great tool because students are now listeners and watchers and videos are a great way for them to learn.

In this video, The Anthony-Strange list of Tips for Teachers Part 1, I learned the five things any new teacher should think about. The first tip is to be a learner. We, as teachers, have to be interested in learning ourselves and model that behavior for other people. The second tip is hard work. Hard work can be exciting and fun if you let it be. The third tip was be flexible. You have to be able to respond to events even when something happens that you don't expect. The fourth tip was get kids engaged. You have to make the kids excited about learning. The fifth tip was reflection. Students need to want to revise their work to make it better. All of these tips are great and something I will go by when I start teaching. I think the first tip, be a learner, is very important for teachers. Learning is something we should be doing everyday as teachers to come up with new ideas about teaching our students and making them excited about learning.

In the video, Don't Teach Tech-Use It, the title explains the video perfectly. This video talked about using technology in the classroom. Teachers should use technology to make students excited and let them share what they are doing. When using technology teachers should also only use one tool at a time. I love how in this video it said you should never expect perfection. This is so true. We are teaching students they should not do everything perfect. Technology is something that teachers do not need to teach their students how to use, you need to let the students learn the technology hands on while focusing on one aspect of technology at a time.

In the last video, Additional Thought About Lesson, I learned that there are four components you need to think about when making lesson plans. The components are from your daily lessons to what you need to fit in your year. When teaching a lesson every day teachers need to start off with something that catches the students' attention, then have the students engaged in the content and actually wanting to learn, and close your lesson with something to see what the students have learned and make sure they are on the right track.
lesson plans

Thursday, February 6, 2014

C4T #1

The Problem with Relevance
In my assigned teacher's blog the author, John Spencer, explains how there is a dark side to relevance. He explains in his first paragraph how technologist promise us a personalized experience based upon our interest in things, such as Spotify and Pandora. Another example shown in his blog was how your news feed on Facebook is determined by what pages you like and who your friends are. Spencer explains how the "relevance" filter, such as on Facebook, feeds him things he agrees with or has interest in. This is why he believes there is a problem with relevance. He explains that he needs to engage in hard conversation with those he may not agree with so his view on the world can be broadened.

My Response
I explained how I completely agree with him. I have noticed on multiple occasions how my Facebook page is geared towards things that I am comfortable with and agree with. I explained how I agree with him on the fact that relevance can hold people back from learning and exploring new things. I agree with him that we all need people who engage and sometimes irritate us so we can broaden our views on the world.

We Still Use Spreadsheets
In my second assigned post from John Spencer, We Still Use Spreadsheets, he took a survey by asking people what app or program they use the most. The number one answer he received, from doctors to accountants, was spreadsheets. He explained how he understands that kids are now suppose to be learning how to use greater programs out there and that we need to move past the "old school tools." Spencer said after stopping and thinking about his survey he realized that he uses spreadsheets all the time. Spreadsheets are used more than we realize, from budgeting to data analyzing. He explained how spreadsheets are powerful for what all they can do. They can add formulas, sort, and make graphs. Spencer explained how there are now multiple programs that can do about everything a spreadsheet can do. He explained how he still uses spreadsheet in his classroom even if they are not considered "cool". He said that spreadsheets are amazing from what all they can manage and accomplish.

My Response
I explained how I also love spreadsheets and think they are pretty amazing. I think spreadsheets are great for budgeting money each month. I explained to John Spencer that I believe that all students need to be taught how to use spreadsheets. In his blog he said that he still uses spreadsheets in his classroom. I responded to that saying I think that is great and I hope there are more teachers out there that are like him that will continue to use spreadsheets in the classroom.

Blog Post #4

What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?

My initial reaction to this question was confusion. I didn't know if I was supposed to put myself in the position of the student or the teacher. After putting myself in the position of the teacher I realized that questions are more important than the answers. Questions are what make you think, and thinking is what helps you learn. After reading the link by Ben Johnson, The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom, I found it very interesting and I loved how the author was blunt and honest. The author said that we, as teachers, need to understand that we do not know everything. "Does everybody understand?" is a question that I have heard multiple times as a student in the classroom. To me this is a pointless question because students do not normally speak up even when they have a question. I agree with the author that asking that question is practically saying, "Ok, here is your last chance. If you don't ask any questions, then you understand completely, and I am free to go on to the next subject"(Ben Johnson, "The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom"). When asking a direct question to the classroom, a teacher does not need to have the students raise their hands to answer. I agree with the author on the questioning strategy researched by Mary Budd Rowe. She proposed that teachers simply ask a question, pause for 3 seconds, and then call on a random student to answer. This questioning strategy is a way to be an effective teacher because it allows all of your students to have a turn. By calling on students the teacher can see who knows what and notice if some students need extra help.
Do you understand?

After reading the link, Asking Questions to Improve Learning, I learned strategies for asking questions and ways to respond to them. It is very important to ask students questions that are clear and specific. I strongly agree with the point made in this blog that when you plan each class session include notes of when you will pause to ask and answer questions. This is very important so the students can interact and the teacher can make sure the class understands and see what needs improving. The way a teacher responds to a student's answer is very important. A teacher should never interrupt a student trying to deliver an answer. Teachers should always let students give their full response before engaging. Hearing the full response of a student will allow the teacher to hear their ideas and know what they do and don't understand. Teachers should always encourage students no matter if their answer is right or wrong. Smiling and nodding at the student when they are delivering an answer is a perfect way to encourage them. When a student answers a question incorrect, point out what is incorrect about their answer, and ask a follow up question that will lead the student to the correct answer. This resource also gives great reasons as to why teachers should ask open ended questions in the classroom. Open ended questions prompt students to explore attitudes, values, or feelings. They also allow students to ask and predict possible outcomes and illustrate a concept with an example. At the end of this resource it explains how to refine your questions as a teacher. After teaching a class session you should take notes on the questions that were asked and decide which ones were the most effective.

After learning from the following resources I believe we can answer the initial question, "What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?" There are multiple things that teachers should know about asking questions to be an effective teacher. Teachers should always make sure that each student is getting a turn to answer a question. How we as teachers respond to an answer is very important. Teachers should never make their students feel uncomfortable especially if they respond to a question wrong. As a future teacher, learning how to ask questions to be an effective teacher is very important.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blog Post #3

What is Peer Editing?
Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial
The video, What is Peer Editing? and the slideshow Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial both explain peer editing and talk about the three steps to peer editing. The video and slideshow both explained that a peer is someone who is your own age. They both stated that peer editing is normally done with someone who is in your class and it is done to help improve, revise, and edit his or her work. Both the video and the slideshow explain what the three steps to peer editing are. The first step is compliments. The number one rule while editing is to stay positive. When editing the work of your peers, you should always start with a compliment on what you think he or she did well on. An example of a compliment would be saying, "I really loved your topic." The second step to peer editing is suggestion. You could explain to your peer ways to make their writing better with things like word choice, detail, and organization. An example of a suggestion would be giving advice. You could suggest that instead of using the word good, maybe you can use the word exceptional. The last step to peer editing is correction. When peer editing you should always check for grammar, sentence structure, and spelling.

Writing Peer Review: Top 10 Mistakes
The second video was called Writing Peer Review: Top 10 Mistakes. I loved this video because it was funny and it also pointed out some things that I feel are important for students to learn about before peer editing. The video was of elementary students who were showing us the peer editor we don't want to be. I loved the example of being a Picky Patty. A Picky Patty peer editor would be someone who picks out pointless mistakes like having too big of a space between those two words or you have too many of the word "and" in your paper. Next was Whatever William. William had no interest in the help his peer was trying to give him. When she would point out one of his mistakes he would just say "whatever" instead of trying to fix it. Another example shown of a peer editor you don't want to be was Mean Margret. Mean Margret would use ugly words such as stupid or dumb when editing a peer's paper. She would say things like "your topic is dumb". It is not nice to put down students in that way. When peer editing you are supposed to help students and point out the good and the bad in their paper. One of my favorites while watching this video was Defense Dave. Dave would take everything personally that his peer editor was trying to help him on. Peer editing is a very helpful thing that every student should experience. When being a peer editor you don't need to be a Picky Patty, Mean Margret, pushy, speedy, or defensive. Peer editing is used so we can help our peers out and make them stronger writers with our criticism.
Peer Editing

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Blog Post #2

Mr. Dancealot
The central message for this video, Mr. Dancealot, is that students not only need visual learning but also hands on learning. In this video the professor would only let the students listen to his lectures and watch him explain how to maneuver the dances. He believed that his students could learn how to dance while sitting in their chairs. The author's theory that hands on learning is needed in the classroom was proven when the students were completely lost when they went to take their final exam. He expected his students to take the final and know exactly what to do with the given notes and no practice. This did not work out due to the fact they had never really practiced any dances, and they had only just taken notes from a PowerPoint. As someone wanting to be an elementary teacher one day, I agree with the author's conclusion that hands on learning is a must. Both children and adults need hands on practice when they are trying to learn things that they have to physically do.
Hands on

Teaching in the 21st Century
In the YouTube video, Teaching in the 21st Century, the author Kevin Roberts thinks that teaching in the 21st century will be completely electronic. Roberts' main idea of teaching in the 21st century is that school will be completely online. He makes the point that teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge. Students now have Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, and blogs to turn to when they have questions. However, Roberts pointed out the good and bad that come from students having access to these sources. The good that he pointed out is that students can publish their work so they can share and collaborate with each other and also compare their work. The bad that comes from these sources is students can plagiarize and infringe on the copyrighted work of others. Some of these sources are also not reliable all the time. Websites such as Wikipedia can be accessed by anyone and changed at anytime making it false information. Websites such as Wikipedia are one of the negative effects to the way teaching is changing. I agree with Roberts' theory that teaching will become completely electronic one day. You now see children as young as the age of two walking around with iPhones and iPads. Technology is now a second nature for the young generation. If Roberts is correct that teaching will become completely electronic one day, it will effect me as an educator. Growing up I always thought teaching would involve me in a classroom teaching with pen and paper. I now realize that will not be how I will teach one day. I will have to overcome new obstacles with technology and learn new things as technology progresses.

The Networked Student
In this video, The Networked Student, it shows how students can network using technology and how they have access to multiple resources that allow them to teach themselves. Networking allows students to connect with people all over the world and share their opinions. Networking can lead students to resources such as iTunes U where they can have access to learn from some of the best professors in the world. Students can now rely on networking as a way of learning and completing work. The video then asks why does the networked student even need a teacher? The networked student needs a teacher to act as their guide and teach them how to build the network and maintain it. Teachers can also show students how to take advantage of learning opportunities. Teachers act as a guide and can teach networked students how to communicate properly to individuals and ask for help respectively from experts. My reaction to this video is that I agree with the author Wendy Drexler. Students need someone to guide them and teach them how to communicate with other peers and experts. Even the networked student needs to have someone available that they can call on if they ever have questions or need help.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
In the video, Harness Your Students, Digital Smarts, the thesis is teaching students about technology so they can guide and teach themselves. The teacher explained how she will use words the students have never heard of so they will have to search and teach themselves what the words mean. She wants to teach the students to explore and learn about things that she may not even know about so they can teach her. I like how this teacher makes learning fun and allows the students to explore. She is pushing them and making them want to learn about new things. I believe this is a good way to make students want to be involved and it allows them to connect and share ideas through technology.

Flipping the Classroom
In this video, Flipping the Classroom, it shows an innovative approach to classroom instructions. The students are to watch a video at home about what the lesson will be on the next day in class. This is so they will come to school prepared and no class time will be wasted. Flipping the Classroom is new to me. I have never heard anything about it previous to watching this video. Depending on what grade I teach, I will decide as to if I think this technique will be useful. If I teach Kindergarten I don't see a five year old going home and doing homework and also preparing for the lesson the next day. I could maybe see an older student, like a fifth grader, doing this as a part of their homework. I think this is an interesting technique but not sure if I will use it one day.