Sunday, December 8, 2013

Blog Post #16-Final Reflection

Final Reflection

technology in classroom

In this blog post, I will be reflecting on all that I have learned throughout this semester in EDM 310. In addition, I will be looking ahead to my classroom when I begin teaching. I will discuss how I plan to teach, how my students will learn, and the overall environment of my classroom. So much has changed in my thinking about teaching and learning. My eyes have been opened to new methods and technology that are available.

I am majoring in Elementary Education, however, more specifically I hope to teach third or fourth grade. My desire and goal is to be a loving, caring teacher. I also hope to be a technologically literate teacher that is constantly reflecting on and revising my teaching and students. This is so important with constantly changing children, curriculum, and technology. I also hope to have a structured classroom with set rules that are enforced. I will discipline students who make fun or bully others. My students will know they are loved, cared for, and respected, and I will expect the same from them with their fellow peers.

If I were to describe my classroom in one word it would be fun! There is no reason that learning should not be fun for children! In fact, it is where they spend most of their time. I want my classroom to be bright, cheery, and organized! Children need structure and organization. The last thing I want is a chaotic classroom. My classroom will have numerous amounts of technology available. I will also have various centers set up all around the room where technology can be implemented. In addition, I will have many books for my students to read at any time.

I will teach using Project Based Learning. I have learned the danger of Burp Back Education where normal pencil and paper are used to assess, and students simply spit back out the information they have been fed without actually learning and applying the material. I will use many projects in all different subject areas. Like I stated earlier, I want my classroom to be fun, so we may make a mess every now and then, but what matters is that they digest the information and learn it. In fourth grade there are so many options that students can do with projects. They are older and do not need to be walked through projects. They can be creative and have fun!

There are so many technology tools and resources that I will use in my classroom. I should have a Smart board in my classroom, so that is one tool I will use. I can use it for bell ringers and instruction time. The students can also use it in free time and during centers. In addition, I hope to have classroom computers and iPads. These tools can be used in a wide variety of ways. In the fourth grade, they can be used for blogging and research. They can use websites like iCurio, Blogger, and Google. In addition, they can use the iPads and classroom computers to play educational games. There are so many options that technology can be for in a classroom.


So... What has changed since the beginning of the semester?

My view of teaching and what all is required to be an effective teacher has changed SO much since the beginning of the semester. My thinking has definitely been refined in a positive way. The main thing that has changed is the importance of asking questions. As a teacher, I need to know what types of questions to ask my students in order to broaden their thinking. This is so important! Another view that has changed from the beginning of the semester is the importance of peer review. Through peer review, students are able to get feedback from someone of equal status as them instead of a teacher. I also learned the importance of self reflection and review. Students need to learn to look at their work and see how they can improve it. It is critical to do this in order to grow in your thinking.

However, the tools and atmosphere that I plan to use in my classroom has not changed. At the beginning of the semester, I said that I would use Smart boards, iPads, and personal computers, and I still plan to use these tools. I also stated that I want my classroom to be fun and colorful, and that is also still true. Last, I stated that I wanted my students to learn more through project based learning and hands on activities. This is also still how I want my students to learn.

So, as you can see, this semester has caused me to really evaluate my thinking and strategies I will use in my classroom. I am thankful for the experience that I had in EDM 310.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15

Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children
By: Elizabeth Johnson

Assistive technologies

For this assignment, I watched a video called ”Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children”. In the beginning of the video, it gives some examples for you to imagine what it would be like to be visually or hearing impaired in a classroom with no assistive technologies available. It really opened my eyes to what it would be like to not have ways to help these students. The video then describes how assistive technologies enhance learning, removes barriers, pushes boundaries, gives hope, and challenges the way we think. The video really encourages and challenges people and teachers to do all that they can to accommodate all students. Some examples of assistive technologies that the video gave were text to speech devices, text telephones, talking calculators, note takers, sensory aids, speech to text devices, FM radios, iPhones, Ipads, Ipods, screen magnifiers, and flip cameras.
”Education World” is another source that gives great information about assistive technologies for students. This website gives some other examples of assistive technologies. Some of them include hearing aids and amplification devices that enable hearing-impaired students to hear what's going on in the classroom as well as glare-reduction screens, screen magnifiers, and Braille note-taking devices that enable visually impaired students to participate more fully.

Ipad Usage for the Blind
By:Calah Reynolds

assistive technologies

The video iPad Usage for the Blind is such an interesting video. I had no idea that the iPad could be set up to assist a person who is visually impaired. This opens up so many different opportunities to me as a teacher, especially if I have a visually impaired child in my class. As you are using the iPad it can assist you the whole way, from starting it up to using the apps. All you have to do is simply double tap to unlock it. If you are on a part of the screen that has no apps and is blank it makes a clicking noise, but when you hover over an app it says the apps name out loud and tells you to "double tap to open". I, as a teacher, already want to have iPads in my classroom for activities throughout the day, and now that I know that they can assist children with disabilities, it makes them so much more useful. Especially now since iPads can have books and textbooks on them. If you open up iBook on your iPad, all you have to do is double tap when the app is open and it will start reading to you. I was so interested in iPads for the visually impaired that I looked up the video Blind Apple iPad Tech Camp. This is a camp that teaches the blind how to use an iPad and what it can do for them. For those who aren't completely blind, they can zoom in as much as they need to be able to see and those who are completely blind can have the iPad set up to where it can talk you through everything. iPads opens up so many opportunities for children with disabilities. So many of the kids with no vision are behind in their academics and don’t have the same access to technology as their peers that have vision, but iPads give them a chance. It let's them do things that they didn't even know were possible.

Blind Doing Math
By: Rachel Hinton

blind person doing math
The video, Teaching Math to the Blind, really shows what problem is presented when a student is blind and trying to learn complex things like math. Because blind students use brail to learn, and it is linear, it makes understanding and aligning the math problems difficult. With this being said the students are presented with a device with the number on one side and brail on the other with a barcode that they can scan and the computer reads. They can align the numbers in a digital graphs to keep them in order and able for them to read.
Teaching Math to Blind Students really shows more in-depth the different methods that can be used to teach the blind. One method is using mathematics codes. These codes are placed on a desk plate. This plate can also be used for students to plot points. For upper level trigonometry the students will use objects in the shape of triangles to learn the different functions. For statistics the students will use Microsoft excel to perform the different functions. They can also use other applications such as the virtual pencil algebra program with allows the problem to be read to them and the audio graphing calculator which provides them with assistance just like a regular calculator. These devices and assistive materials gives the blind students the ability to accomplish something that is essential for working and living today. It also gives them hope that they can accomplish anything.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Blog Post #14

Visit National Geographic Kids website. Describe ways in which this tool could be used in an elementary school classroom.

National Geographic Kids

There are so many ways in which this website would be so useful in the classroom for children. The students could easily access this website from iPads or computers in the classroom. It is a safe website with a lot to offer. There are many educational videos and pictures that the children can so much about animals. In addition, there are so many cool stories that the children would really find interesting. Also, the website offers fun games and activities for children to play.

national geographic kids magazine
Also, this website would be a great tool for teachers. I could introduce a science lesson using one of their videos. This website has unlimited possibilities for use in the classroom. The children would love it!

C4T #4

Jabiz Raisdana

For my final C4T I was assigned Jabiz Raisdana. According to twitter, he is a "teacher, learner, dad, bleeding heart, music and film addict."

Post #1 - "Toys R Us We are Watching"

In this post, "Toys R Us We are Watching Jabiz talks about a reaction he had to a Toys R Us commercial. Moreover, he desires that children not get so caught up in toys, but to appreciate the outdoors and simple things of life. He uses pictures of his own children and a personal story of spending the day with them to support his point. He also uses other videos as well. He gives advice like talking to your children and taking them outdoors to help with this issue.

Comment #1

In my first comment to Jabiz, I introduced myself and told him about our class and why I was visiting. I also left links to the class blog and my blog. I also told him when I would be posting a summary of my visits to his blog if he would like to see it. Also, I told him that I could relate to this post. I told him that I have two nephews and a niece, and I watch their faces light up every time a toy commercial comes on. However, I told him that I am so glad that they still love the outdoors. I told him that it seems like toys and technology has overtake society.

Post #2 - "Ubiquitous Exposure"

In this post, "Ubiquitous Exposure" Jabiz talks about his upcoming trip to Thailand to explore the jungle. He then goes on to talk about the importance of outdoor experiences for children. He offers great examples of ways that children could get this exposure to the outdoors in school. He talks about outdoor classrooms, chicken coupes, school gardens, and animal centers.

Comment #2

I really enjoyed reading this post! I loved his thoughts about the importance of outdoor experiences for children. I wished him safe travels and great learning experiences while in Thailand. I also told him that I loved his examples of ways to expose children to the outdoors. I told him that I had an outdoor classroom when I was in elementary school and loved it! I also reminded him that I would be posting a summary of my visits to his blog on my blog.

Project #12 Part B

PLN Project #2


I added a few more tiles to my PLN on Symbaloo. You can view it by clicking here. I added the National Geographic Kids website. I thought this would be a great tool for teachers and students to learn more. I also added the Starfall website. I learned about this website while working in an elementary school this semester. If offers great educational games and activities for elementary students. Last, I added the Etsy website. This website allows me to buy and order all kinds of different things from individuals around the world. I really enjoyed expanding my PLN. I will definitely use this in the future.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Post #13

Shane Koyczan: "To This Day.. For the Bullied and Beautiful"
By: Elizabeth Johnson

In the video, ”To This Day.. For the Bullied and Beautiful”, Shane Koyczan takes us through his struggling life journey. He was ridiculed and bullied as a child. He was told that his life ambitions would never come to pass. But from these struggles and pains, he became a writer. He wrote an incredible spoken-word poem called “To This Day”. In this spoken-word poem, he does a beautiful job talking about the bullied and hurting children and how they tend to go unnoticed in classrooms.
There is so much that we can learn from this video! As a future educator, I want to make it my mission to love and encourage all of my students. I hope to facilitate a classroom where all are equal and discipline those who bully others. I really enjoyed this video. It definitely opened my eyes to the issue of bullying and the lasting effects of it.

stop bullying

Shukla Bose: "Teaching One Child at a Time"
By: Rachel Hinton

In the video Shukla Bose: Teaching one child at a time Shukla Bose talks about the different schools she has created to enable children to learn. The schools allow children from slums and orphanages to learn things that they would never have the opportunity to without her help. This talk shows us how important it is to give every child an opportunity and not only the children but their parents as well. Bose makes a very good point when she talks about the parents and how many times it is thought that just because they are from the slums they do not care. This is far from true. She says that most of the time at conferences they have 80-100% attendance. This is pretty amazing. Maybe if our parents were as concerned about their children they would be more eager and receptive to what is being taught because they would be proud to show their parents what they are learning.
There are many encouraging things that can be taken from this video. In my opinion if children can go into a school that is taught in a language that is foreign to them, learn things and come out wanting to be neurosurgeons then anything is possible in a country where we have resources to use at our fingertips. We should take this as a lesson that if we push our students then anything is possible. Never expect less of your students because you never know what they are capable of.
one finger

Kakenya Ntaiya: "A Girl Who Demanded School"
By: Calah Reynolds

In the video A Girl Who Demanded School, Kakenya Ntaiya shows us the troubles she went through to get to where she is now. When she finished middle school, she had the chance to go to high school, but she had to get her father's permission first. She made a deal with her dad, saying that she would go through the traditional Maasai rite of passage of female circumcision if he would let her go to high school. While she was in high school she met a young man from her village who had been to the University of Oregon, and she wanted to go to where he had been. She applied and was accepted into Randolph-Macon Woman’s College with a scholarship, but before she could go she had to get the support of her village so she could raise money to fly to the United States. After she finished college, she came back to her village and, with the help of her village elders, built a school for young girls in her community.
We can learn a lot from Kakenya Ntaiya. At her school in her village, she is making a difference in so many young girls lives. She is teaching them that they don’t have to go through the traditional Maasai rite of passage of female circumcision, they don’t have to get married when they are 12 years old and they can all create and achieve their own dreams. She is opening up so many doors for these girls that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. From Kakenya we can learn that you have the opportunity to make something of yourself and that you can achieve a lot in your lifetime if you put your mind to it and do it.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

C4K Summary for November

C4K Summary for November

children and technology

Post #1- Uili
First Day of School

Uili begins by stating the directions for the assignment. He writes about his first day of school, then he revises and edits it to make it better. Uili talks about his routine that morning, his car ride to school, and what it was like once he arrived at school. He talked in much detail about all of these tasks. In his second piece of writing, Uili revised his work. He made some grammar corrections and chose some better word choices. It was a big improvement!

Comment #1-
In my comment to Uili, I introduced myself, explained where I went to school, and left links to the class blog and my blog. I also told Uili that he did an excellent job of writing his post. He used great grammar and word choice. I also told him that I saw awesome improvements from his first post to his second post. I also told Uili that I could relate to his post because I have also had many first days of school.

Post #2- Kaya
Kaya Tells Us Why We Need to Use the Crossing"

In this post, Kaya uses a video to explain the importance of using the Crossing (or Crosswalk). She says that she uses it when coming to school. Kaya talks about how it is important to use it and not walk in the road so that people will be safe and not get hit by cars. She did a great job, and I loved how she used a video!

Comment #2-

First, I introduced myself to Kaya. I told her my name, that I was from EDM 310, and left her links to the class blog and my blog. Also, I told Kaya that I loved her post and how she used a video to tell what she wanted to say. I told Kaya that I thought it was great that she was learning how to be safe so that she won't get hurt. That is very important to learn at a young age. She did a great job!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Project #15 Learning Plan 3

Blog Post #12

What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?

Ken Robinson

#1- Changing Education Paradigms
by: Rachel Hinton

In Ken Robinson's video he begins by talking about the reasons the school have began to change. First of all schools want to teach children how to be apart of the changing economy and secondly they want them to have a sense of cultural identity and globalization. Robinson points out that this is being done in the wrong ways.
Schools are trying to teach students with old methods of teaching, ways that are non effective and boring. He states that we are alienating students and they have no desire to want to be in school. They are now saying what is the point because they see so many people, even with college degrees, not succeeding why would they want to sit through something so boring if it will not further then in the future? This current type of education is not for this age. They need something new and exciting, something to engage their interested.
We found it very interesting the point Mr. Robinson makes about ADHD. We had never really realized how many people had been diagnosed with this. If you really think about his argument against it it makes so much sense. In today's world students are thought to be unruly and uncooperative if they don't want to sit still and listen to a lecture for an hour and thirty minutes. If we gave them something more interesting it is a good possibility they would not be this way. This is something that should be considered by teachers and parents alike.
Divergent thinking is something Robinson points out that I find very important. Divergent thinking is not the same as creativity. This is when you take a question and are able to interpret it and answer it in many different ways. If we teach children how to not only be creative, but also become divergent thinkers, their thought process would develop so much more than we could even imagine. We are killing this type of thinking by educating the students. It's like when they are " educated" they forget how to learn on their own.
Mr. Robinson tells us if we can begin to think differently about human capacity, understand that collaboration is key and understand the habits and habitats of instruction that is when we will have effective teaching.

School of Parafigm

#2-How to Escape Education's Death Valley
by: Elizabeth Johnson

There are many things that we can learn from Ken Robinson’s video How to Escape Education’s Death Valley. He begins by saying that he was told that Americans did not get irony. However, he discovered that Americans do understand irony when he heard about No Child Left Behind, because children do, in fact, get “left behind”. According to Ken Robinson, scary numbers of students drop out of school in America. It’s not that money isn’t spent on education in America, it is that the money is going in the wrong directions. He describes three principles to allow children’s minds to flourish. First, human beings are naturally different and diverse. In NCLB, diversity is ignored and conformity is encouraged. I learned from Mr. Robinson that children must learn from a wide and broad curriculum instead of a narrow-based spectrum. The second principle that is crucial for children to flourish according to Mr. Robinson is curiosity. Children are natural learners. They just need to interested and spark their curiosity. He says that great teachers not only pass on information to students, but they also mentor, stimulate, provoke, and engage. I want to be this kind of teacher! I want to be more than just a “passer of knowledge”. I want to facilitate learning in my classroom. The third principle is that human life is inherently creative. We create our lives as we go through them. He goes on to talk about standardized testing and the educational school system in Finland. So, what are some things I learned through this video? I learned the importance of valuing students through teaching. It’s so important to individualize, be creative, and spark curiosity when teaching. No two children are the same, and the way they learn is different. Also, I need the support of others while teaching. It’s so important to continue to learn and be trained throughout my career. I really enjoyed this video! I learned so many things from Mr. Ken Robinson.


#3-The Importance of Creativity
by: Calah Reynolds

I watched Sir Ken Robinson’s How Schools Kill Creativity, and I thought it was very interesting! I love his humorous attitude. He is entertaining to watch and I think we can all learn a lot from him. Robinson makes a very good point when he says, “We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it.” If you think about it, that is true. When you look at a child they have such creativity and wonder, but as you watch them grow into adults most of them lose that spark. Schools nowadays are so focused on the math and sciences rather than the arts and music, and many people look down on the idea of someone wanting to grow up to be an artist or a singer. That is one thing that is wrong with this world. We should be embracing the idea of our children wanting to use their creativity and think outside of the box. We need to educate our children on “their whole being so they can face this future”, not just one side of the brain. Children grow up learning that it isn’t okay to be wrong, but as Robinson said it, “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” He’s right, you shouldn’t live your life trying to please others. You should live your life by taking chances.

Children Creativity

"We might not see the future, but they will. Our Job is to help them make something of it."

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Blog Post #11

Technology in Kathy Cassidy's First Grade Classroom

Kathy Cassidy

Kathy Cassidy is a first grade teacher who uses technology extensively in her classroom. Mrs. Cassidy uses different forms of technology including blogging and wikis. In her video, First Graders in Mrs. Cassidy's Class, I was able to watch how her kids use technology hands on. Her students post frequently on their class blog and receive comments on their posts. I loved how one of the little boys said that he loves blogging! You could hear the enthusiasm in his voice.
One of the techniques that I may use in my classroom is found in her first video Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 1. I loved her approach to frequent blogging. Even as first graders, she still allows them to use technology to blog on a frequent basis. A lot of people would just dismiss the thought of using technology at such a young age, but I loved how she still encouraged it with her little ones.
I think one of the impediments I may face would be students that do not receive permission from their guardians to access the technology I would use in my classroom. Mrs. Cassidy says that she sends home a permission form at the beginning of the year, asking for permission form parents for students to use technology in the ways that she does. If a student was not given access from their parents, I would still require them to watch other students and listen to me explain to them how to do it.
There are so many benefits from using Mrs. Cassidy's approaches to technology. I loved what she said in Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 3. She described how blogging could be used in Physical Education. Coaches could post practice times or exercises to complete on the blog. I thought this is a huge benefit. It improves communication between students, teachers, and parents. Another benefit it the fact that it is paperless. Using technology cuts back on the use of paper that is used in classroom.
I really enjoyed watching the interviews with Mrs. Cassidy. I learned so many things that I will use in my classroom one day.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

C4K Summary for October

C4K Summary for October

child with a computer

C4K #1- Lauren

I was assigned Lauren's blog for my first C4K. Lauren wrote about the "American Dream". She explains that the reason she enjoys history class is because the government and its purpose always remains the same. She says she believes that a person does not have to be a devout historian to understand this. She describes that maybe the American dream is being a leader and a protector of natural rights. However, in other countries it can mean different things.
In my comment to Lauren, I told her who I was and gave her links to the class blog and my blog. I told her that she did a great job explaining her thoughts. They were clearly stated and easy to follow. I told her that my favorite part of her post was saying that you don't have to be a devout historian to understand the concept of the American Dream because I am definitely not one. I told Lauren that she did an excellent job and keep up the good work!

C4K #2- Briana

The second C4K I was assigned for October was Briana. Her blog post was entitled "About Melody and Penny". In this post, Briana was answering some questions about a story she had read. The questions were as follows: "What are some things you can do to help when you see a service dog?", "How do you think Melody will react with a new dog in the house?", and "What themes or ideas do you think the author is trying to get us to think about when we read these chapters?"
In my comment to Briana, I introduced myself and told her that I was a student at USA. I gave her links to both the class blog and my blog. I then told her that I had never read the story, but I thought she did a great job of answering the questions. In particular, I told her that I liked her first answer about service dogs helping blind people and people with disabilities.

C4K #3- Patrick

The third student that I was assigned for my C4K in October was Patrick. His blog post was titled "The Bearrific Levels of a Forest". Patrick talks about the four different levels of the forest. The first level is the canopy where all of the birds live. The second level is the understory. Squirrels and wasps live there. The third level is the floor where animals like deer and cougars live. The fourth level is the subfloor. This is where insects like beetles and worms live.
I introduced myself to Patrick and left links to both the class blog and my blog. Then, I told Patrick that I thought he did a great job of describing each level, and I enjoyed learning about the different animals that live at each level. I told him that I would probably like to live in the canopy level because I love birds.

C4K #4- Alex

The fourth kid I was assigned for my C4K was Alex. His blog post was called "What Makes Us Kiwi (speech)". He describes that what makes them kiwi is four different things. It is food, sport, nature, and history. Alex then goes through each of the four areas and describes them. For food, he describes things like BBQ, sausage, and fruit. For sports, he describes things like rugby, basketball, and the Olympics. For nature, he describes ferns. Last, for history he describes how the Maoris made their history.
In my comment to Alex, I introduced myself and left links to the class blog and my blog. I told him that he did an excellent job of organizing his post, and it was very easy to read. I also told him that he did a great job of describing each of the four areas.

C4K #5- Jack

The final student I was assigned in October was Jack. His blog post was called "Milking the Cows". In this post, Jack describes the process of milking the cows on the farm. They have a semi-automated milking system that helps them milk the cows. Jack says that the cows come to the parlor when they need to be milked. Then, they wait their turn to be milked. Last, they go back to their pen. Each cow milks about forty liters.
In my comment to Jack, I introduced myself and gave him links to the class blog and my blog. I told him that he did a great job of describing the process of milking cows. I told him that I bet he is happy they have the semi-automated milking system, or it could take them a while to do this. I enjoyed reading his post!

C4T- #3

My teacher I was assigned to for my C4T-#3 was Karl Fisch. According to his twitter, Karl Fisch has taught middle school and high school math for 23 years. He is currently Director of Technology at Arapahoe High School. His blog that I have been visiting is called "The Fisch Bowl".

Karl Fisch

Post #1

Mr. Fisch's first post that I commented on was in regards to the Douglas County School Board elections. He began by saying that the elections are not about unions, although that seems to be what people are making the election about. He says that the election should not be about the adults' agendas. Instead, it should be about the students' learning. Mr. Fisch also gives some advice for the voters to do before they decide to cast their vote.

Comment #1

First, I introduced myself and told Mr. Fisch that I am in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I told him that I would be making a couple of visits to his blog over the next couple of weeks as a part of the class. I gave him a link to the class blog and to my blog. I gave him the date that I would be posting a summary of my visits to his blog. Next, I told him that I found his post to be very interesting even though I am not familiar with the Douglas County School Board elections. I told him that I agreed with him that the election should be about the students' well-being. Students often get forgotten in elections. Lastly, I told him that I loved his advice for voters to do before casting their vote. I really enjoyed this blog post!

Post #2

The second post that I commented on was entitled, "We've Got it Backwards". He talks about a phrase "Are you college ready?" being changed to "Is college ready for you?". He states that 'high school' could be substituted in for the word 'college' as well. He says that the purpose of education should not be able preparing students to do well in school.

Comment #2

In my comment on this post, I told Mr. Fisch that I really enjoyed his post. I felt like I could relate to it since I am a college student. I agreed with him that the phrase, "Is college ready for you?" is more applicable. Students should enter college with an open mind, but also a mindset to bring something to contribute, whether it be to the class discussion, other peers, or even society. I told Mr. Fisch that I enjoyed my two visits to his blog, and he should look for my summary here posted this week.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Project #14- Project Based Learning Plan #2

Blog Post #10

What can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch?

There is so much that we can learn from Randy Pausch! In his video, "Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams", I learned so many things. Not only did I learn so much, but it was so intriguing. His story and wisdom kept my attention. One of the things I learned about teaching and learning is to take the good out of everything: lesson plans, colleagues, project, etc. Will things always go as planned? No. But just like Randy Pausch said in the video, he may not have become an NFL player, but he learned and received something good from that childhood dream.
Another thing I learned from Randy Pausch is the importance of dreaming. It is important for our students to dream, but it is also important for us as teachers to dream. Dream about what we want our children to learn, what we want our classrooms to be like, or what resources we hope to have one day. It is also important for our students to dream big! Help them to cultivate dreams for themselves and push them to go further.
The last thing that I learned about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch was the importance of learning from students and listening to the advice of others. Often, teachers seem to think they are are the only possessors of knowledge in the classroom. However, that is untrue. Students bring so much to the classroom to learn from, and it is important to acknowledge that. Also, listen to feedback and advice from others. Don't be so critical when others give you feedback. You need to know it.
I really enjoyed watching this video. I learned so much about teaching and learning!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Post #9

What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?


In the first video we watched, Back to the Future, Brian Crosby is talking at a TED conference about his class structure, the students within his class, and the different projects he uses to teach them. Each project he does is one that sparks the interest of all his students and helps them to become more excited about learning. One thing he emphasizes is that no tests are given, but the student use different things like videos and blog post to gage their learning. The project he emphasizes the most is a weather balloon project his students did. He tells us how the students were involved in the project and how much they enjoyed it. He also tells us how after they did the project the students were asked to make a blog post that talked about their “high hopes” which became a world-wide sensation. It really shows us how PBL can be used to empower our kids to learn on their own and make them love to learn. We think that this video is a great representation of what PBL is and how when it is used correctly in the classroom how the kids can learn to collaborate, become motivated, connect with others and become empowered through using technology. Crosby makes a great point when he says that we can’t race kids through school but we must give them the opportunity to build skills from the world. We feel that if we can incorporate different projects like Mr. Crosby and allow the students, no matter what social status they hold, to have a chance to learn through PBL we will have a group of students who will be prepared for what their futures hold.

In Mr. Paul Anderson’s video, Blended Learning Cycle, we learn a lot about the Blended Learning Cycle. We think it is a great concept! There are six parts to the Blended Learning Cycle. You start with a good question and/or hook. You have to have something that will get the students attention right off the bat. Next, you want the students to investigate, experiment and use inquiry learning. You then have a video. For example you could use a video podcast to do a lot of the ‘direct instruction’. The fourth thing is elaboration. During this part, Anderson does diagrams and explains the physics of the example he is showing the students. Next he talks about the review portion. Anderson explains that he meets with the students individually or in small groups and asks them questions to check their understanding. They can’t go onto the next part, which is summary quiz, until he knows that they understand everything. So when they are done with the review, they go onto the summary quiz which will test them on their knowledge. If they don’t understand it they will have to go back to the beginning. We think the Blended Learning Cycle is a great tool that will be very helpful in the classroom. It’s a great approach for students to learn something, and to help the students who aren’t so engaged in learning become more engaged. We agreed that we could use it in the classroom when we are introducing a new topic to the students. It’s a great way to make sure the students actually understand what they are learning, and are not just going through the motions.

The third video that our group watched was called Making Thinking Visible. Mark Church, a sixth grade teacher, asked his students to make a headline regarding a video that they watched the day before. They were placed in small groups and were asked to sum up their thoughts about it into one headline on a strip of paper given to them by Mr. Church. Then, after a few weeks into the lesson, the students were asked to reevaluate their headline and see how it may have changed after learning more. We definitely saw where we could learn so much from Mr. Church. We learned how important it is to make learning visible to the children by ways like making a headline visible on paper. In addition, we learned how working in small groups really helps to develop ideas and learn from one another. Lastly, revisiting previous work after learning more about a topic can be very beneficial. It causes students to engage in critical thinking about how their ideas may have changed.
So our group learned so much from all three of these teachers. We learned many things that we could definitely use in a future classroom one day.

By: Rachel Hinton, Elizabeth Johnson, and Calah Reynolds

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blog Post #8

There are so many 21st Century Learning and Communicating Tool available to future educators. This blog post allowed my group to research some of them and found out how they can be useful to us in the future.

Teaching Channel
By: Elizabeth Johnson


The Teaching Channel is an online website that offers videos, common core resources, and lesson plans for teachers. The possibilities are endless of the resources available to teachers on Teaching Channel. Teachers are able to browse through videos organized into different categories based on subject, grade level, or topic. Like I said, the resources are unlimited. One video that I watched was called ”Super Digital Citizen”. In this video, Sam Pane who is a fifth grade teacher at Focus Learning School is Omaha, Nebraska, describes his lesson on teaching students how to use the internet in the correct way. The students create superheroes on their personal laptops in order to describe scenarios of how to use the internet safely, respectfully, and responsibly. This is just one video of many on Teaching Channel that teachers can view and use in their classroom.

By: Calah Reynolds

I am interested in teaching Kindergarten and the tool for communicating and learning in the 21st century that I picked is iCurio. We have learned quite a bit about iCurio this semester in EDM 310 and I have come to find that it is very useful. For Kindergarteners I think that it would be an easy tool for them to start off with.


iCurio is a place where students are free to explore the internet while still being limited on what they can see. You can use iCurio as a search engine and if you find content that is valuable to you, you can then save it in your storage. iCurio is a place that can teach students how to be organized on the internet at a young age. Students can save websites and online materials to their storage, then go through and organize and delete them as they please. On iCurio you can also form study groups online with students who are the same age as you and in the same class. I like it because it limits students to what they can see, so they don’t run into anything inappropriate.


There are games for students to play on iCurio that can help them learn in a fun and simple way. You just simply type the subject you are learning about in the search bar. It then pulls up links to a bunch of different websites that they can choose from. There are a variety of different websites the student can pick from, it ranges from worksheets to games to everything in between! iCurio is a very useful learning tool that I think will come in handy in the future for my classroom.

TED Talks Education
By: Rachel Hinton

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference and TEDGlobal -- TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize. On talks from TED confereces are available to all for free. These videos allow people all over the world to view the great ideas presented at these conferences and use them in anyway they can. You can narrow the videos down by searching the site to find what you are looking for. After typing in “education” I found many different playlist pertaining to education that has ideas to use for teachers in many different areas ranging from teaching in the liberal arts to what has went wrong and needs to be changed in our education systems today. is a great resource for teachers to use to broaden their horizens and gain knowlege through others around the world.

Project #9 Podcast

C4T #2

Pernille Ripp

"Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension"
According to her twitter account, Pernille Ripp is a fifth grade teacher from Madison, Wisconsin. She is a wife and mother to three children. In addition, she is the Creator of the Global Read Aloud.

Post #1:
Passionate Learners at #RSCON4"
September 28, 2013

Mrs. Ripp begins this post by describing her main mission in teaching, which is giving the classroom back to the students. She means changing the way teachers teach and bringing passion back into the classroom. Her book has not come out yet, however, she is presenting her ideas at the 2013 Reform Symposium on October 12, 2013, at 5 pm CST. She then describes the Reform Symposium. It is a free, three day virtual conference that will join educators all around the world from the comfort of their homes or wherever they chose. It allows educators to connect using the Blackboard Collaborative webinar platform to share ideas or resources.

Comment #1

In my comment on this post, I told who I was and left links to both the class blog and my blog. In addition, I told Mrs. Ripp when I would be posting the summary of my visits to her blog. Then, I told her my thoughts about her blog post. I loved it! I told her that I loved the idea of giving the classroom back to the students, and I would love to hear more about what she means by this. I also told Mrs. Ripp how I loved the idea of the Reform Symposium. It is awesome that teachers all over the world are able to attend a virtual conference from the comfort of their home or place of choice. I enjoyed Pernille Ripp's blog, and I look forward to visiting it more in the upcoming weeks.

Post #2:
Some Small Confessions from an Almost Veteran Teacher"
October 13, 2013

Pernille Ripp describes some confessions of her struggles as a teacher. She describes how her first year was a struggle for her. She was ready to get it over with and be one year closer to being a veteran and having it all together. Now, even though she is in her 6th year of teaching and considers herself close to being a veteran teacher, she still does not know it all. She describes confessions like lesson plans not going as planned, or raising her voice instead of explaining calmly. This post was simply a confession that she still doesn't have it all together.

Comment #2

In my comment to Mrs. Ripp, I told her how comforting her post was to me as a future educator. I explained that observing in a classroom and seeing teachers that seem to be professionals at everything and not struggling at all, can be intimidating to an upcoming teacher. I wonder how I will ever get to be like that. I told Mrs. Ripp that her post gave me comfort that even these veteran teachers still do not have it all together and succeed at every little thing they do.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visits to Pernille Ripp's blog. Her work is very interesting, encouraging, and educational. I will definitely be visiting her blog more.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blog Post # 7

A Collaborative Assignment

PBL logo

Project Based Learning: Parts 1 and 2
by: Rachel Hinton, Elizabeth Johnson, and Calah Reynolds

Anthony Capps is a 3rd grade teacher in Baldwin County. We really enjoyed his videos, Project Based Learning Part 1 and Project Based Learning Part 2. He really brought to light just how effective PBL can be in the classroom. It is really great to actually have someone give their different experiences with PBL and how they used it. He gave great examples of how he used it in his classroom. Through PBL, Anthony gave his students the chance to become involved in their state, community, and even half way around the world. Another things Anthony really stressed about PBL is the importance of self evaluations. A major thing we learned from these conversations is that if Project Based Learning can become the basis of learning in every classroom, then we will have a group of students that care about what is going on around them and are passionate about learning new things.

iCurio logo

iCurio and Discovery Ed
By: Rachel Hinton, Elizabeth Johnson, and Calah Reynolds

Anthony uses iCurio frequently in his classroom and let’s his students use it on their own so they can have the freedom to use the computer and search the web while still being limited to what they can see. He lets his students use iCurio like a search engine so they can save content that they find valuable in their storage. iCurio teaches virtual organization and allows students to start getting organized online at a young age. They can store websites and online materials in their storage and go through to organize and delete as they please. In addition, Anthony talks about the importance of another tool called Discovery Ed. He talks about how it is great to have visualization to couple with learning to support whatever text you’re learning about. It can be used to research further into what they are studying. It gives videos to gather more information about a topic. Students can use it for research, but Anthony also uses it to teach with as a teacher. Students tend to learn more when they can see and hear the information. So, Discovery Ed is an awesome tool for both students and teachers to use.

Discovery Ed logo

The Anthony-Strange List for Teachers Part 1

By: Elizabeth Johnson

teaching tips sign
I really enjoyed this video, ”The Anthony-Strange List for Teachers Part 1” ! I learned so many helpful tips that I will be able to use not only now, but also as a future teacher. There were six tips that were discussed in this video.
1) Be a constant learner yourself. It is so important to be interested in learning yourself as a teacher. If you are not a learner, then you won’t be a successful teacher. You have to model learning for your students, and if you cannot do that, then how will your students ever be able to learn from you?
2) Teaching never ends. It is hard work, but it is rewarding. As a teacher, it is important to know that work is not separate from play. You can learn the craft of teaching in your free time. Yes, read books for entertainment. However, substitute them for research books to help you become a better teacher. Allow your work and love for teaching to come up in conversations. You cannot limit your work hours to an eight hour day. You will never be as effective as you can be. Allow work to be fun. The effort is rewarding.
3) Be flexible. The unexpected will happen. You never know when surprises will happen when you are a teacher. It is important to be creative and flexible. I loved the example in the video where the servers were down, so the students were painting on the floor. This is a prime example to always have a back-up plan. You cannot always plan for these things, but you can have a good attitude about it and be flexible.
4) Start with a goal. If you do not have a goal or expectation to reach, it is a sure thing that you probably won’t make it there. Start with the end in mind. Think of the expectations and results you want to accomplish. What do you want your children to learn or get from the lesson? You may not get there the way you planned, but you can still get there another way.
5) Engage 100% of your students, 100% of the time, in 100% of projects. It is important to make sure that what you are teaching is shareable. Is what I am teaching or how I am teaching motivating my students to learn? One question you can ask yourself is, “How can I get all of my students on board today?” This will change your entire outlook on teaching.
6) Reflect, revise, and share your work with an audience. Even as a teacher, we must constantly be reflecting on and revising our work and teaching strategies. Take critiques you get from your audience or students to revise your work and make it better. Students change, technology changes, curriculum changes, so it is important to constantly be reflecting and revising our work in order to be the most effective teacher we can be.

Use Technology- Don’t Teach It!
By: Rachel Hinton

Technology and Learning

In Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange’s conversation on technology in the classroom, Anthony gives some really great advice on how teachers should allow the students to actually use technology in order for them to learn it, not teach it to them. Anthony tells how if you allow students to experience the technology for themselves, without teaching it to them, they are more likely to take away from their mistakes and know what to do next time. He allows the students to experience different types of technology everyday so they can become familiar with different things that will help them in future projects. He also makes a really great point that many times the student may actually know how to use the technology better than you. With this being said, there may come a time when the student has a question that you cannot answer, this is okay, together you can find out. We can use our students to help us learn every day and technology is a great way to allow them to do that.

Additional Thought About Lesson
By: Calah Reynolds
lesson plan

According to Anthony Capps in Additional Thought About Lessons, lessons are at least four layers thick. The first layer is how the lesson fits in with your year. You should make sure your curriculum fits in with all the standards. The next layer would be the unit. You have to make sure your unit flows together and that everything is connected somehow. You can’t just give the students the work all at once, you have to give it to them in units and at the end of each unit they should be able to master what you have gone over. Next is the week and during the weekly schedule you need to make sure you can get everything done that you have planned. Last is the daily lesson. This is how you deliver it to your students. You should have something to keep their attention, something to keep them engaged, and something after the lesson to cover what you taught and make sure they understand it so you know where to pick up the next day. I think that those four components are really important to remember when making lesson plans. I also think it’s important to remember not to fall behind with your lessons because if you do it might mess up your whole unit and maybe even year.

Project #2 PLN Progress Report 1

PLN Progress Report #1

symbaloo icon

I used Symbaloo for my Personal Learning Network It was very easy to organize and understand. It came with a lot of resources already on there, so I really liked that. I would have never thought to add some that were on there, so I am glad they were there. I changed some of the colors, moved some around, and added more "gadgets". Some of the ones I added were iCurio, BIE, Scholastics, and Teachers Pay Teachers. These are all websites that I have found to be very useful in my journey of learning thus far. I organized them by colors. You can see how I have it organized by clicking here.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

C4K Summary for September


C4K #1-

I was assigned "Boo Boo's" Blog to post on for my first C4K assignment. The student was asked to write about something they believed in. Boo Boo wrote about how she believed it was important to live each day to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised. She used an example of how her MawMaw and dad were in a very bad car accident when her dad was a child. This incident helped her to form this belief of living for today. In my comment to Boo Boo, I told her that she did an excellent job on her post because she did! Her belief was explained very clearly. I also told her how I loved the personal touch that she used in her post. It added to it a lot! I explained to her that I also agreed that we should live for today and be sure to accomplish what we want to accomplish when we can. I also left her a link to my blog and the class blog. I told her to keep up the good work!

C4K #2- Andres

Andres' blog post was titled "Getting My Dog Canela". Andres talks about his pet dog, Canela, and the day that he got her. It was four years ago, and he remembers it very well. There was a lot of excitement, but his mom was wondering if they should gether or not. They ended up buying her from the pet store that day. In my response to Andres, I told him about how I have two dogs and told him all about them. I also told him that he did a very good job writing his blog, and he used excellent vocabulary, and it was easy to read. He did an awesome job!

C4K #3- Tiulipe

Tiulipe did a weekly reflection on her blog post. She said that this week she learned to obey her teachers and others. She said that next term she wants to learn how to get better at extra math and other math stuff. In my response to Tuilipe, I told her that I thought it was really great that she was learning how important it is to obey teachers and others. It is an important concept that will be used throughout her life. I also told Tiulipe that math was my favorite subject. I told her that I hope she is able to get extra math practice and learn more.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Project #8 Book Trailer

The Three Little Pigs

By: Frederick Warne
Illustrated by: Leslie Brooke

Blog Post #6

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

Why do we ask questions? How do we ask?

In Ben Johnson's article, "The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom", I am intrigued by one of his comments regarding the goal of the questions we ask. As teachers, do we ask questions for our own benefit to affirm ourselves or do we ask questions to benefit the learning process for students? I loved what Ben Johnson said regarding the question "Does everybody understand?". He states, "What we really end up telling the students when we ask this sort of question is, '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. Because I asked this fair question, and gave you a fair chance to answer, I am absolved from any lack of understanding on your part.'" I could not agree more with Johnson about this topic. We have to be careful about the purpose of our questions. WHY are we asking our students this? The Teaching Center Website also offers some great insight into the question of why we ask questions to our students. This source talks about keeping in mind our course goals when we ask our students questions. What are you wanting your students to receive from the lesson? That is the type of questions you need to focus on asking.

students raising hands TITLE=

So how do we go about asking questions to students? What are some ways that we can ask students questions effectively? The Teaching Center describes some strategies that teachers can use in the classroom when asking questions. One example this website gives is to follow a yes or no question with an additional question. This means to ask students to explain why they answered this way. It is important for students to not just "spit" information back at you. They need to be able to explain how they arrived at that answer. This could be referred to as avoiding burp-back education and the benefits of project-based learning. Another strategy this resource describes is to ask a mix of different types of questions. Closed questions, which only have certain correct answers, can be asked to assess students' comprehension. Open questions need to be asked in order to encourage discussion and active learning.

"Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom" is an article that describes some other ways to better answer the proposed question of How to Ask Questions. The three ways are to 1. Prepare the questions. Be sure to prepare ahead of time and not make them up on the spot. This can assure you are being more effective. 2. Play with the questions. It is okay to leave questions unanswered and let the students ponder. 3. Preserve good questions. You can save certain questions for a specific audience or time period. This way they are most effective.

apple with question mark

So we can see the important role that questions play in the classroom. However, this important role requires that they be asked in the right way. I hope to have described some ways to ask questions in order to be an effective teacher.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Blog Post #4

Why Podcasts? Why Do We Do a Podcast?

Langwitches is a resource that offers different blog posts regarding podcasts. There are seven resources about podcasts that we were given, but I will summarize three that will hopefully help us answer these questions effectively.

First Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Book

Child reading a book

The process of how first grade students were able to make their own read-aloud audiobook is explained in this blog post. Two instructors tag-teamed to make this happen. One instructor would go ahead and script out the next chapter, while the other teacher took a group of students to record them reading the book. In the end, an audiobook made by them was finished. It was a really neat idea.

I really liked this idea and would definitely use it in my classroom one day. It's enjoyable for the students, and they are really engaged in the activity. They are able to listen to themselves and correct it if something is not right.

Flat Stanley Podcast

Flat Stanley

Many people have heard about Flat Stanley, but this approach of incorporating him in a podcast is very unique and creative. Students were asked to chose a location of their choice and find a library book about their location. They could even do internet research about this location. Together with their parents the children were asked to read the book and make a script that included certain criteria like where they went, how they got there, what they did while they were there, and how they got home. Their Flat Stanleys visited the world!

I loved this project. I remember doing a Flat Stanley in elementary school, but this activity using a podcast took it to a whole new level. I would definitely use this in my classroom as well. This activity is beneficial for the students in MANY different facets. First, the students learn so much about geography. They are asked to chose a location and do research on it. Could it get any better? Next, students are able to be creative. They get to make up a story about what their Flat Stanley does on his trip. Students are able to expand their minds and make up stories using the geography they learned about. All around, this is an awesome project!

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom


Joe Dale describes several benefits that podcasting in the classroom possesses. A couple of the ones that he stated that stood out to me were the relevance of it to students. It also promotes creativity and innovation. A third benefit of podcasting in the classroom is that it allows parents to see what their children are learning and doing at school. These are just a few of the many benefits that he discusses in this post.

So, back to the questions from the beginning. Why Podcasts? Why Do We Do Podcasts? I believe these two questions have been answered in all three of these posts that I have talked about. We do podcasts for the MANY benefits that they offer. From creativity, relevance, to even learning different subject matter in a fun way like geography with Flat Stanley. That is why we do podcasts. They only bring many benefits. There is no reason that we shouldn't.