Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blog Post #5 Part 2

My Personal Learning Networks have grown throughout the semester. I've talked to some teachers that I'd love to stay in touch with. Two of those were met during my observation hours. One taught 1st grade and the other taught 3rd. I loved both of their views and how they taught. Another is the teacher I interviewed for Project #10. I had her for a teacher and she's just awesome. I know I could go to her with any question and she'd give me a very straight answer. Here is my video of her: (Mrs.Anita).
I think I'd like to start subscribing to some blogs to follow. Blogs will be a great way to see how other teachers use their skills and can give me some ideas of how I might want to set up my own classroom. They are also a good way to meet other teachers and contact them. I can comment with questions or even find their e-mail address. I also love the idea of using Youtube. Youtube is a great tool to use. If I don't understand something, there are always thousands of Youtube videos I can refer to. One other website to use is Pinterest. It seems kind of dumb to people who don't use it, but Pinterest is such a great place to keep everything organized, which is great for me because I like organization!
Things I would most likely not use would be Twitter. I very rarely get on my normal twitter anymore. It just really ran its course very quickly. I just know that I would not get on it very often. Also, as much as I love Instagram, I can't see it being a very useful PLN. Perhaps if I search hashtags for teacher's rooms or something, it could give me ideas. I just don't see it being incredibly helpful.
All in all, there are lots of opportunities to form PLNs. Whether it be on the internet or real life. I can't wait to see what the future of my PLNs is. I'm sure I will meet many more teachers, read more blogs, find more things on Pinterest and watch more videos (probably hundreds of those). These will only expand my being as a teacher. They will help improve who I am and what I want to be.

The word pinterest

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Summary Post C4T Teacher #4

Post #1
I posted on a blog called Ideas and Thoughts. The author wrote about how data and numbers ruin the game. He told a story how he was playing golf and had a great time and played fairly well, but not great. He was so focused on the fact that his numbers were bad that it took the enjoyment out of the beautiful, fun day he had. He said the same applies for people learning. I responded by saying that I do the same thing sometimes. I ride horses competitively and I may have a great round, but make a small mistake and end up with a fifth place ribbon instead of first. So then I'm too disappointed that I didn't take the class to focus on how great me and my horse just worked together and how much fun I had. I then said I see how it applies to learning also. We need to figure out how to take some of the focus and pressure off the grades and keep learning fun and optimistic.
Ideas and Thoughts
My horse Scooby jumping a jump at a show

Post #2 I posted on A GeekyMomma's Blog. Her post was about how we don't discipline students anymore. Now teachers get in trouble if they try to do anything to make a student behave. I agreed with her. Kids are allowed to get away with everything and teachers can't say anything. We need to change this way of thinking.
A GeekyMomma's Blog

Monday, November 17, 2014

C4K Summary for November

Post #1
I commented on Rohaan's blog. His post was about Halloween and how much he loves it and candy. He also talked about Christmas and what he got for the past two Christmases. His blog post had a lot of grammatical and spelling errors and it was very random. But it was really funny and you could tell he was passionate about what he wrote. I wrote back about how I was a hotdog for Halloween (true story) and how you could tell he really likes candy. I told him his blog was good and he gives a lot of detail, and maybe just to have someone proof read his posts really well.
Rohaan's Blog

Post #2
I commented on Nathan's blog from Mrs.Meyer's Art Room, Period Three GR8. He did a video about Picasso that he posted to youtube. He put in several facts about Picasso, but here's the kicker: He put it all to the tune of The Big Bang Theory theme song and he sang it and played his guitar! It was really cool. I told him he did an awesome job because he did something really different but got the job done.
Nathan's Blog

Post #3
I commented on Laura's blog. She wrote the beginning of a story called "The Day a Part of Me Died". It was about a 17-year-od girl who's mother and sister were killed in a car accident. I will include the link at the bottom, I strongly encourage anyone to read it. It's three paragraphs long, but I think you'll be amazed by the fact that an 8th grader wrote this. She used great descriptions, metaphors, similes and had no grammar or spelling errors. She's a good writer.
Laura's Blog

a student blogging on a laptop

Blog Post #14

How To Escape Education's Death Valley

I chose this video because I was interested to see what Ken Robinson thought about our education. I've heard many people talk about how education is going in the toilet bowl (especially in Mobile). I wanted to know how to get out of this, how to be a teacher that didn't fail her students.

I would love to make sure that my kids don't all have to conform to the same idea as every student before them. Ken made an amazing point by saying that the world says kids are diverse, they recognize it, yet in school they are expected to all learn the same exact way. And then we're are surprised when everyone but little Johnny did great on a test. It's because Johnny doesn't learn well by doing what the other students do to learn. I was talking to a teacher during my observation that said that one thing that may work with all of her students one year may not work with her students next year. For example, her kids this year loved working in groups and excelled with it. But the year before, those students did not benefit from group work. I have to point out that I loved his point about ADHD. My sister is a psychologist, she just graduated with her masters in May. She always talked about how so many kids were diagnosed with ADHD and how she thought it was incredibly over-diagnosed. Ken is saying the same thing: if you sit kids down for hours on end staring at a board, "don't be surprised when they start to fidget." He also says that arts and humanities are important. Some kids aren't great at math or science or English, but can probably play the piano like it's no one's business. I want to make sure I incorporate fun things like songs and lots of visuals into my learning, to keep kids interested and appeal to those with musical and art talents.

People naturally want to learn, but I think education has kind of killed that want by making it boring. I want to be a great teacher by keeping kids wanting to learn on their own. I don't want to have to fight my kids to keep their attention, I want them coming and asking what we'll be learning that day. The best way I'll be able to do that is by using technology, sounds, visuals, things that make get them interested. Ken says standardized testing is important, yes, but does not need to be dominant. When I was in school and even in some college classes I took, you knew you had a test or quiz every week. And it was not fun. I can say that in my geography class I am in now, I have fun. I was leery at first because I had never had a class that was group based or PBL based. But in this class we have sporadic quizzes and three tests (very little testing). We mostly have group projects and it's been a lot of fun and I've learned a lot without cramming my brain and stressing about tests.

This one kind of ties with the first two. This focuses on kid's diversity and their curiosity. Creativity helps bring out those two things. I want to be a creative teacher. Like I've said, many visuals and sounds, but also I want to give interesting assignments. I want to give fun and creative projects so the kids want to do it.

To sum up, this video made me want to be a teacher that helps her kids want to learn. I want to plant the seed in their head that they can really love learning and they can have fun figuring things out on their own.

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious by Albert Einstein

Friday, November 14, 2014

Project #12 Part B

Blog Post #13

What do elementary students think about technology use in the classroom?

A lot of times, people get so focused on what parents and teachers think of technology in the classroom. We even talk to older students about it. But what do the younger kids think? Watch these videos and then answer these questions:
What did the students seem to like most about using technology in their classes?
What did they not like?
Finally, did these videos encourage you more to using technology in your classroom? Why or why not?
(The last video is not exactly from a students point-of-view, but watch their reactions to using technology)

2nd Grade Students at T Clay Wood Elementary talk about Technology
Elementary Student Blogs: Innovative Classroom Technology
Mobile Technology- Benefits for Students with Special Needs at Eastern Howard Elementary School

What did the students seem to like most about using technology in their classes?
The students thought using different devices was fun or entertaining. Almost every kid said they loved using it, it made things fun for them. They liked that they were learning to use many different tools. They love that it's hands on and there are many different exciting ways to learn a new idea. I noticed they all liked different technologies. One liked the Kindle Fire, one liked the iPad, another liked the computer. Overall, they enjoy it much more than just books and paper work. Using iPads or Kindles or the internet opens their minds up and they can explore all new ways to learn.

What Did They Not Like?
Not a thing! I watched several videos, including these. Every kid in every video was obviously very enticed by the use of technology. No one had a negative thing to say and if you watch all the videos, you notice not a single kid is sitting there bored.

Did These Videos Encourage You? Why or why not?
Absolutely! I loved the way the kids were actually interested in what they were learning. It was awesome for a future teacher to see so many children excited about learning. I think that technology use is going to certainly benefit teachers just as much as it will students. With students ready to learn and looking forward to what they are going to use that day to do so, it's less work for the teacher to keep the students attention. They don't have to stand up there trying to make words from a textbook sound remotely interesting. They just have to point them to the webpage where they can discover things for themselves and have all sorts of hands-on experiences!

A little girl using her computer in class

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Summary Post C4T Teacher #3

The Fischbowl

Post #1
I posted on the Fischbowl. The author wrote two questions for us to answer: What do your last five tweets/posts/snapchats/instagrams/fill-in-the-blanks say about you? What do you want them to say about you? I wrote that I chose my Instagram then I listed my pictures: the weather for the weekend, my horse, my boyfriend leading in a foal, my boyfriend watching TV and a picture of me. I wrote that I think they say I love the outdoors, horses, my boyfriend and myself. And then I put that that is what I want them to say, because those things are true.
What do your last five tweets say about you?

Here are two of my pictures I was talking about:

My horse Scooby

My boyfriend leading our foal, Nova
Post #2
I posted again, on the Fischbowl. This time the author wrote about homework. To sum it up, his post basically said homework does not do much for students. They did some research and according to the results, homework only brought up test grades a couple of points and made no significant impact on their overall grade. He says teachers give three basic reasons for assigning homework: 1. Students need the practice. 2.I can't cover the curriculum unless I give homework. 3.It teaches responsibility. He then disputes each of these reasons: 1.They've proved the extra practice makes little difference. 2.Change the curriculum instead of force more onto the kids. 3.There are better ways to teach responsibility. I basically agreed with what he said. I said that I remember the days of tons of homework. I wrote that kids are already putting in eight hours a day at school, then they are expected to go home and do two or more hours of extra work. I said this is why kids don't want to get outside anymore, because after all that they just want to stare at a screen so their brain doesn't have to do much of anything.
Data-Driven Schools: Homework

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blog Post #11

Questions are everything in the classroom. When opening a new lesson, it's important to have a question ready to ask. This gets the kids motivated on answering that and hopefully they'll pay more attention to your lecture to try to find the solution. Also incorporating new ideas, like showing more videos in class is a great idea. When I was in school, teachers would show a whole class period worth of video and by the middle of it, kids were bored. I think it's important to just show a three or four minute video that ties into your lecture to reiterate your point. Review is also important. A lot of times when I was in school teachers would just dismiss the class. It's a good idea to ask some review questions after the lecture and maybe even a few at the beginning of the next class.
The biggest thing I learned from these videos is that teaching is certainly changing. There's so much more technology being used in class. Kids are working in groups much more. It used to be just a few projects were done in a year as a group. Now it's pretty much every project and even many times everyday work. And kids are loving it. It's exciting and fun for them. It's being used from kindergarten to high school. PBL teaches kids to think independently rather than having a teacher tell them what to learn and then having them repeat it all back. It gets them thinking like they are in the real world already, even at a young age. While some people view this as a bad thing, like they are being pushed to grow up too fast, I see it as good. So many people enter the real world having no idea what it's about. Having them doing projects in school that have them actually exploring reality builds social skills, understanding of the world and prepares them for what they will have to deal with one day. I think it takes education to a new level by giving students a brand new, hands on experience. And being in groups gives them help they may not get otherwise. They'll have help forming the project and have peer editing so few to no mistakes are made.
Basically, project based learning is taking over in schools and we don't need to run from it. We need to embrace it. It teaches kids skills they will need later in life, forms bonds they may not have made otherwise, get's them excited about what they are learning, has them using technology, I could go on and on. The great possibilities are bountiful and still growing!

the word technology with a mouse pointer over it

Project #14

Lesson Plan
Group Rubric
Individual Rubri

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Project #12a

Blog Post #10

What I Learned from Mrs.Cassidy's Students
They love their blogs. Blogs get the kids really excited. I think that this is replacing the old way of writing in a notebook and then reading out loud to the class. This is a better way for kids to write because a) they can get comments from much older students and even other teachers and b) they aren't as nervous about what they write. I think reading in front of peers sometimes makes kids nervous and holds back their writing skills. They don't think so much about the people reading their blog so they are more open to writing what they really think.
They are learning to write good critiques. They are being taught how to respond to other people's blogs by seeing how people respond to theirs. They understand that it's best to critique someone in a kind but firm way. Point out what they did good first then help them find their flaws. It's much more effective than a rude comment or just saying what all was wrong.
They are learning to use so much. These kids probably know more about computers than I do. They are learning about webpages, how to navigate their own class webpage and how to use wikis, and even skype.
They like making videos. Videos are a great tool for learning because kids can go back and watch them and see where they made mistakes and where they excelled.

What I Learned from Mrs.Cassidy

Stand up for your ideas. Not everyone will be totally on board with your ideas. She says in the video that a lot of her principals weren't discouraging but they didn't really help her out. However, the parents loved it and the students absolutely love it so sometimes even though not everyone loves an idea it doesn't mean it isn't a good one.
Stick with the times. Things are changing. Teaching will be different now than it was when I was in school. You have to stay on top on understanding new things, especially about the internet because there's so much on it that can help. You have to keep up with the new ideas people are coming up with for learning in schools.
Be open to blogs. People really love blogs. Kids love blogs. Blogs are just good all around because these students know they have a huge audience and the amount of people that read it can be pretty astounding. It's a great confidence booster for writing.
Use what you like. The best way to get connected with the internet world is by getting involved in an area that you really enjoy. Example: if you like writing, blog. If you like photography, use Flickr.
Use the internet to establish PLNs. Using new sites can be weird and confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it can really help you later in your career.
Blogs can be used in every class. People don't think blogs can be used in every class but they can. They can be used just to get a message out there. But even for P.E. they could use it to post inspirational videos and quotes dealing with a certain sport. Or in math, they could post complicated problems and fun word problems for everyone to try to figure out. The use of blogs is limitless.
Make cheating either difficult or preferably impossible. I'm not quite sure how to do exactly this yet, but it'd be helpful to try in the classroom.
Protect your students. No last names, no pictures, teach them to be kind. Keep them also from other websites. Give them very specific rules on what to click on on the websites they use. They should not go to any other websites without permission.
Balance your time. This was kind of random, but spend time with your kids. Don't use your computers 24/7. Just something good to remember.

Grey background with the word blog surrounded by other words

Monday, October 20, 2014

C4KSummary for October

C4K #1
I commented on Abo's blog this week. His assignment was to write about what he really hates. He wrote that he hated when he worked hard but then someone else gets credit. I agreed with him and said that unfortunately that happens sometimes in life. I also told him to be sure to write more than just a couple of sentences next time.

C4K #2
I commented on Elise's blog this week. Her topic was the best "last" year. She is moving up into 6th grade next year. She said she thinks she will make new friends, but worries about the homework load and having several teachers as opposed to just one. I told her moving up a grade can be scary but not to worry because she will make friends and having many teachers isn't a bad or scary thing.
Elise's blog

C4K #3
I commented on Arabella's blog. It was called "The Diary of Catherine Perr." I think it was supposed to be a diary entry from Catherine's point of view from a book they were reading. She wrote about a man named Henry and how horrible he is and how Catherine felt that she was ready for him to die. I told her her post was great. She wrote in a very formal style, it truly resembled a diary entry and she had no mistakes. I honestly had nothing negative to say about it!

C4K #4
This week I had Michael's blog. He did a slideshow about the meaning of the three kete of knowledge. I told him his grammar was good and also his slideshow was great with its visuals. However, the slideshow did not make much sense to me so I told him to be sure his message is clear to his audience.
Michael's Blog

The Three Kete of Knowledge

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blog Post #9

Seven Essentials for PBL
Kids need to know what they are trying to answer, why they really should care about answering it, a choice in what they are doing and technology to back it up. This teacher really gave great detail on how to do that. The question needs to be wide open and deep, so that the students need a long time to come up with an answer. It should challenge them. Giving them an opening video or something like that makes them open to answering that question. It gets their brains going and drives them to find an answer. Once they have their question, they should be given a set of assignments. But this doesn't mean that they can't pick something of their own to do also. Letting them choose a certain way to present or some tool to use gives them some control over their project and makes them feel more responsible. Finally, they should definitely be using technology for their project. We are using technology everywhere now, it should certainly be used in the classroom. And don't forget to have them present to an audience.

Project Based Learning for Teachers
The biggest thing I got from this video is there is really no end to the questions you can get a student involved in. It just needs to be open-ended so they can come up with their own answer instead of stressing over finding the exactly right answer. It's more about being able to back up whatever you choose to say. Also, at the end it showed just how many different things there are to use on the computer, for educational purposes. There's so many!

PBL-High School Math
Not all classes are so simple to integrate this new way of learning into. But I liked how one teacher in this video put it as they were trying to think about how professionals in that subject actually do and then give them more of that experience. I thought it was a good way to put it. They talked about one way to teach a book and it showed really how we as teachers are trying to move away from that old way of teaching. They read a book and instead of doing some poster about the book or the author, they answered a very open question about being silent. This just shows the new ways of teaching really coming up in the classroom. It really helps students learn to apply what they learn to the real world and they don't have to wait to do that on their own, the teacher brings it to them.

What Motivates Students This was a great video to get a students perspective of what motivates them. They named off some really great things. Pointing out that a student did well. This really boosts a students confidence and shows them that they did a good job. It's a very positive way to remind them to keep up the good work!
Future goals. Whether they're working toward an awesome job, a big family, an expensive house, etc., teachers should let students know that all of that is much easier with a good education and motivate them to keep at it.
Extracurricular activities. This is more on the parents part, but one kid said he couldn't play baseball or swim if he didn't have good grades. Getting to do things that are fun certainly help motivate kids in school.
These kids were also asked what rewards worked for them.
Charts. These show kids basically where they are with their teacher. If they are on the low end, they aren't getting much, perhaps anything. The higher they go though, the better the prize.
Outside work. Most kids LOVE the outdoors, so an awesome prize for them is to get to do work outside or have a nature walk or something like that.
Food/candy/school supplies. This one's simple. Kids like to eat and they like fun things to use in the classroom. Easy as that.
Daily activities. Kids love having something different to do everyday, even if it's just for a few minutes. It's best if it teaches them at the same time.

Two Students Solve the problem of Watery Ketchup By Designing A New Cap
I won't even lie. I totally picked this video because I can completely relate. I LOVE KETCHUP. And watery ketchup is the worst. So I learned some pretty cool things about students from this video.
Give students a choice and they're more likely to get invested in their project. Do you really think if the topic would have been something assigned by a teacher they would have been this involved? These boys felt passionately about saving millions of users from the imminent disaster of water damage to a delicious supper (do you understand my feelings for ketchup yet?), therefore they worked hard to make an amazing project.
Technology expands learning and makes it fun. They got to use some cool technology to build a model and then build it in real life. This also saves them time of having to keep rebuilding several models over and over again.
They had fun. How many kids come out of projects saying this was fun? Not many. Project based learning is working and kids are really enjoying it. Learning can finally be fun and still sufficient.

7 Essentials
PBL for teachers
2 Students

large shark following a kayak and it says motivation: some people need more than others

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Project #7 Part B

Video for parents

Video for kids

Blog Post #8

First off he talks about childhood dreams. As he lists them, you can see these are big dreams, several of them most people never get to do. But that's something I learned from this video is that kids dream big. And as we get older, a lot of us don't dream as big. We tend to shrink our dreams down into what we assume are more manageable pieces and that's sad. I also learned that (if we carry our dreams with us out of childhood) we may accomplish some of our dreams, others we may not. But we can learn things from both experiences. Failing or succeeding, they both always teach us something. Also, sometimes our dreams change. We try something out and then we realize it wasn't what we expected it to be or it just doesn't satisfy us in the way we want it to.

Being a teacher is probably the best way to enable childhood dreams. I like how he said that you can't put a bar up for students. I as a student know that if someone says, "Do this and you'll get an A" then that is exactly what I am going to do and nothing more. Not giving them a specific level to reach allows children to go above and beyond, surprising their teachers and maybe even themselves.

This video taught me many things I want in myself when I become a teacher. I want to teach kids to make goals and truly work towards them. I want to teach them to try and learn from every experience, good or bad, success or failure. Also to never cap themselves off, to always push to impress more and be better than before. And finally to work as a team and to pull their weight. They should learn to never let their team down and learn how to become close with the people they work with.

Girl with balloons and it says: if you never chase your dreams, you will never catch them

C4TSummary #2

C4T Post #1
My first post was on 21apples, which is run by Avrind Grover. He posted a video of a woman named Jamila Lyiscott talking about three ways to speak English. Basically her video is stating that there is not a certain way to speak English and people shouldn't be judged by how they speak alone. I wrote that I could listen to her all day, as she did her speech in a sort of rap/poem form and it was awesome. I really liked the point she was getting at and I just loved the video.
3 Ways to Speak English

C4T Post #2
I commented on another one of Avrind Grover's posts. This one was a video about technology basically controlling our lives. The video follows a young adult woman, trying to enjoy her life, only to be stopped by everyone in her life staring at their phones. She can't be with her boyfriend, out with friends, even at a birthday party without everyone staring at their screens. My response to this was feeling guilty of some of it, but I like to pride myself in that I try not to be on my phone constantly. I wrote that I did not want to see a world where everyone was more focused on their phones than on their lives and loved ones.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Blog Post 7

1. I believe I still have a lot to learn about PBL. I wouldn't be ready to go into a classroom today and confidently use it as a tool. My strengths with it is that I really like projects so I'd be excited about teaching them and watching the kids make their own. The new way of teaching with all the technology is still so new to me though, since I was taught things so differently. So I still have a ways to go in understanding it fully. I also need to familiarize myself with all the tools and technology the kids are using nowadays.

2.How to make a QR code
I learned from these couple of videos how to make a recording. I learned this is a great tool to help students but not be actually teaching them. They kind of have to just listen to the recording and use it as a guide to what they're doing.

iPad in the Reading Center
I really liked this tool. Basically a child reads and records himself. Then he goes back and listens to the recording he made and reads along with it. This helps the child hear it twice and check for mistakes. I think this was one of my favorite tools because they are somewhat teaching themselves how to read and I think that's pretty cool.

Poplet as a Center
This form of technology seemed to me to be a tool for summarizing. It has a simple layout that's easy for kids to use to summarize a story they just read or something. I liked this and would probably like to use this in my classroom one day. It makes summarizing easier and more understandable.

Virtual Library
This tool helps kids with their vocabulary. It's very simple, all they have to do is type a word in the search engine and get the definition. Then they can compare the other words they have in a list.

How to use and build a board in DE/ Share Board Builders
This tool allow students to make interesting projects and layout information in a fun way. It's very visual, it's good for keeping kids attention.

We all become learners
This video showed me that even teachers are still learning. And more importantly teachers are still learning from their students. Even the very young ones are sometimes better at using technology than we are. It's pretty crazy. Talk about the student hath surpassed the teacher!

A Poplet about the sea

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Project 8 Book Trailer

SummaryC4K for September

C4K #1
My first post was on Lisia's blog. She is in eighth grade at Pt. England School. Her post was about her made up mascot. She chose New England and drew a kiwi named Wairua because it translates to spirit and she believes New England has a lot of spirit. I told Lisia I really liked her drawing. I then told her about my high school mascot and asked if her school has one and what it was. I told her to watch her grammar and spelling and pointed out one of the errors she had made to help her out.
Lisia's Blog

C4K #2
Sydney's blog was about what she does in her free time. She named off six of her favorite things, including dancing, playing with her dog and texting friends. I told her that her post was good and that I was impressed she could dance, that I was an animal lover and that she was probably fun to hang out with. I asked if her dog could do any tricks and she actually responded and told me what tricks she could do.
Sydney's Blog

C4K #3
This is Emma's blog. She was asked about what school change she would make. At her school, they have assigned tables for lunch and Emma does not like it. She says you don't get to sit by all your friends and you should because that's really the only free time they have at school. I told Emma her post was great and that she made her point clear. I liked that she gave reasons behind why she wanted to change that rule and why it bothered her. I told her I hope someone saw her post and would consider changing the rule.
Emma's Blog

Lisia's Drawing

A brown kiwi (the bird) holding two flags

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Blog Post 6

Anthony points out that kids will be really excited to use technology in the classroom. I think it has a big part to with how they learn to use these new tools. For example, I like that he rotates different areas of technology, instead of throwing a lot of different things at them at one time. They get a chance to really learn about the certain technology they are using and get comfortable with it before moving on to something new. Then once they come back to the first thing they used, they are able to use it without much direction. He puts it as they get to "review" the technologies they have used. He basically puts the project into tiers and the students get to learn about one section at a time.

The main tool that Anthony talked about was Discovery Education, which basically sets up a visual to go along with whatever it is you are teaching. I have been observing lately and I cannot tell you how much of a difference visuals make. I didn't notice it in elementary school (because I was young and unobservant) but I notice now when I walk into these classrooms that I sit in on, there are posters or pictures for everything. Even their work is done on the smart board and most teachers I've seen use games or pictures in their lessons to get the point to stick. Point is kids love to be able to see what they are learning, whether it is through a game or an illustration or a video. It's our jobs as teachers to come up with good visuals to help our kids learn as best they can.

Lastly, Anthony states that projects show what students learned at the end of a lesson rather than the process used. Sometimes we get caught up (especially in a subject like math) on how we got to our answer and we don't even care what the answer was. Projects are a fun way to help avoid that. His tips to a good project are having a real audience (he says this rewards the kids, but I also think it helps them with giving speeches in the future so they aren't so nerve racking), making the project relevant, make it somehow related to the real world, and give them content that they need to know. All these ways make projects more real to a student and I'm betting they take them more seriously and are probably more driven with them.

Sources used:
Discovery Ed
UseTech Don'tTeachIt
PBL Part 1

Sticky notes and middle ones says Projects
Photo Source: Photo

Friday, September 19, 2014

Blog Post 5

What are PLNs? PLNs are Personal Learning Networks. Basically they are the things and people that help you throughout your career. It can be coworkers, friends, books, websites, etc. These people and tools can help you out majorly as a teacher. Coworkers, for example, can help you if you are stuck in rut, perhaps with a student or lesson plan. They can especially help if they have been there longer and have more experience.
PLNs can be formed over time. When you meet someone, you aren't immediately going to ask them for help. But over time, one a friendship forms, you'll be more comfortable going to them for advice. PLNs aren't just people though. If you go to a website and you find a lot of helpful information, you can use that as a PLN.
I think the first person I would want on my PLN would be a teacher I observed the other day. She teaches first grade and she was just awesome. I loved how she interacted with the kids and the little things she used to keep their attention and make lessons fun. I'd probably add more teachers over time. Also, I'll probably meet some pretty great people over the next couple of years as I'm finishing out my degree that can help me.
PLNs are great tools to have and they certainly can help during hard times. You'll want your PLNs to be easy to access, I'm sure they will be used a lot!

Photo Source: suewaters

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Project #15

WolframAlpha: This search engine was very detailed. I looked up the word "person" and received several different definitions, the pronunciation, even when it was first used! It's also good for calculations. I searched "2x2" and pulled up the answer, plus how that answer would be plotted on a number line and a visual representation.
Source: WolframAlpha

Bing: Bing is very similar to Google. Bing did present a little more information than Google. For example, I searched "Alabama football" with both search engines. Bing seemed to pull up more things from the past, like something you might be using to write a paper on or something of that nature, while Google brought up things that are more relevant to the present, such as the next game they are playing. So in my opinion, bing would be good to use for searching for things the you need to research. It also brought up several things for related searches.
Source: Bing

Dogpile: This engine was pretty simple to use. It was set up very simply, perhaps to be more inviting to people who aren't very computer savvy. One thing that was different about this engine was it had a tab for the white pages, right on the main page. So, it's probably best for quick look ups for phone numbers and addresses and such.
Source: Dogpile

Wikipedia: Wikipedia, in my opinion, is best for looking up definitions. I realize you have to be careful with it due to the fact that it is open for editing, so I usually keep it pretty simple or check my sources. But it is a very good encyclopedia, and it comes in all different languages. It's good if you just need to quickly look up a word and get a short, sweet definition.
Source: Wikipedia

DuckDuckGo: This search engine was very minimal. It only had web, images, videos and products options. I think it is good if you don't want to get overloaded with information. Many search engines throw a lot at you at one time. This one seemed to have much less and in my opinion was less chaotic. It also brought up mostly well known websites.

Ixquick: This was also very minimal. It had web, images, video and phone options. However, the phone option will be coming down soon. This engine is very focused on a "safe, private" way of searching. So I think this would be best used if you are kind of a nervous person about using a search engine.
Source: Ixquick

Exalead: This engine was predominantly about products and services. It was very well set up, a little complicated for people who aren't good with computers yet. Very handy for business use. I even had a somewhat difficult time navigating this search engine, so it would not be good to use for something quick.
Source: Exalead

Gigablast: I hated this search engine. I used it to look up something I was searching for the other day for Geography. It brought up one thing titled what I was actually looking for, the rest were things the term had to do with, some completely irrelevant all together. I searched another term, thinking maybe it was just what I had looked up initially that was the problem. No. This search engine pulls up completely useless information and mostly websites that are not helpful or relevant to what you are searching for.
Source: Gigablast

Blog Post 4

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

Questions play a huge role in learning. The way I learned in most of my classes went like this: the teacher read the lesson or we read to ourselves, we had some problems put on the board, then we were assigned more problems to do on our own. We weren't very involved with what we were learning, just hearing whatever the teacher said. Teachers should be making the students inquire about what they are learning. Here are some ways to help increase student involvement in the classroom.

Make sure you will involve questions in your lesson. To ensure that questions are asked, write out in a lesson plan where you will ask what questions to keep students' brains going and to make sure they are paying attention.

Make sure the students know what you are asking. Sometimes teachers ask several questions at once. Sometimes they very complicated questions that are hard to really wrap your brain around. Sometimes they do both at the same time. Either way this is a very easy way to have students quickly shut down and not want to answer questions. Be sure questions are clear and if it has several parts, break it into several different questions. Give the students time to answer one question before throwing another at them.

Have students explain their answers. So many questions can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no". Make sure the student actually understands the question they are answering by following up the simple question with a "why?" or "explain your answer". This helps the student evaluate their answer.

Use different types of questions. Closed questions have a few specific answers that help students retain knowledge on the subject. Managerial questions make sure the students have proper materials and understand the lesson they are assigned. Open questions don't have a specifically correct answer. These questions allow for discussion, hopefully among the students, not just between one student and the teacher.

By using these tools, teachers can use questions to further students learning and hopefully increase their interest in the topic as well.


Source: Photo:

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Blog Post 3

From these posts I learned that peer editing is a lot more work that it appears to be! You have many things to remember when helping someone with an assignment. You must remember to first compliment that person's work. They worked hard on the assignment, don't tear them down just because they made some mistakes. Let them know that their work is good, they just need to fix some mistakes. Instead of telling them to make a sentence better or change their word choice, help them by making suggestions. Remind them of organization of their sentences, focus on detail and let them know if they are straying away from their topic. Also, be kind with corrections and help them out. They may not have seen the mistake or they may just have no idea how to spell the certain word. Don't say "you spelled this wrong". Say "This sentence is very good, but you need to fix [insert word here]".

"Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes" showed several different common mistakes that are made by peers when helping someone and also some for when you are the one being helped. I think many people make these mistakes without even realizing it, such as Picky Patty, Whatever William and Off-Topic Oliver. It's very easy to start picking apart someone's assignment without noticing how much you are actually changing. Allow someone to be themselves through their paper and don't try to make changes just because it isn't how you would write it. And of course we all have those days where we just don't care what someone is telling us and days where we just can't focus on our work. Just try to stay focused and positive on those days! Some though are doing these mistakes fully knowing what they are doing, like Mean Margaret and Pushy Paula. Some people just don't know how to correct someone without downgrading them. And many times people get very offended if you don't take their advice. Those people you just have to learn to ignore. And always take criticism with a grain of salt, unlike Defensive Dan. Understand that your peers are just trying to help you out and get a better a grade!

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Blog Post 2


The video is showing that some classes need to be "hands on". Not all classes are meant to just be about taking notes and learning from a screen. In order to succeed in certain classes, you have to get up and actually do something. At the end of the video, none of the students can properly do the dance they were assigned. They had only taken notes and never been able to practice with a partner, making it awkward and difficult to do well. I certainly agree that this type of class would need more than just notes taken . It would certainly need to involve people getting on their feet and trying out what is put in front of them.

Teaching In The 21st Century

I.Teacher Roles
A.Teachers are becoming less needed because of technology.
i.Information simple to find.
ii.Several places: google, blogs, twitter, etc.
B. Teachers no longer main source of knowledge
II. How to use technology
A. Teachers can teach how to synthesize, validate, communicate, etc. info.
B. Teach how to answer real life questions.
C. Teach other, more difficult technology uses.
III.How technology helps further education A. Expands creativity i. Blogs ii. Twitter B.Allows individuality C. Must be taught fluently and well IV. Technology in schools and use A. Technology is replacing paper and must be treated as so. It is a required material to have.
B. Lessons should be interesting to students.

I see both good and bad sides of technology. For one, it can be easily misused and I still really like the old fashioned paper and pencil. Plus, computers and tablets are still buggy and we should be aware that all of our work could be erased or messed up. However, the technology of this world is growing so I think it should be brought into schools to some degree.

The Networked Student

The Networked Student pretty much showed how many classes are now going today. It is a "blended" course. Some time spent in class, much time spent on your own. I think blended courses are great. They make students get active and learn on their own, but they still have a class they can go to and actually talk to a teacher in case they have questions or need guidance. Teachers are certainly needed still in college. No student should be able to just fully teach themselves.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

Vicki Davis believes that students should be taught a lot about technology. She thinks it helps tremendously to use technology to learn rather than just paper. She also says that she is still learning along with her students. They can even teach her things sometimes. I think learning to use technology is a good idea. Technology is a great tool and with it seemingly getting more complicated, we need to keep up with how to use it.

Who's Ahead In Learning

In this video we see that the elementary students of Baldwin county are far more versed than many college students in using Macbooks and iPads. I believe at my old high school they are now starting to get their own computers but when I went there we didn't have that. I think I'd be okay using an iPad but a Macbook would take me a while to learn. It shows how much younger each generation is getting with using technology. Sometimes the very young children are teaching the college students new things.

Flipping The Classroom

I have never heard of this concept. I see it as a pretty interesting idea. Kids could watch videos on how to do their work, then be able to do it during class time, when there is a teacher around. I believe having a teacher standing there while you are trying to do homework would be the most beneficial part of this. Many times, after having someone explain it, kids go home and still completely forget how to work a problem. If they had someone to help, after reading the instructions on their own, it may make learning easier for them. I think I would try a form of this: teaching kids, but giving a short lecture, then doing several problems together, so they are less likely to forget steps.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Blog Post 1

1. I had a class with a girl that had taken EDM and she told me it seems very difficult to begin with, but you learn that it really is just more time consuming.
2.I really would like to graduate within the next two years and I tend to have a somewhat bad memory, so my biggest fear is missing assignments and not making a good grade in this class!
3. EDM 310, I can already tell, is definitely going to be using the computer more than I have in any other class. It's going to teach me new things for my technology side, which is very different because most classes using the computer are generally very basic.
4. The hardest thing for me in EDM310 will certainly be remembering my assignments. But besides that learning the new things for the class on the computer will most likely be quiet challenging for me too.
5. Definitely keep my assignments written down, have alarms on my phone and check the syllabus and assignments often to check for changes.
6.I don't really have questions. I just have things I need to and am ready to learn about, such as new things to use on the computer, writing better blogs and so on!