Tuesday, April 22, 2014

C4T #4


Shortly after Mr. Shareski's fiftieth birthday, he received over fifty packages in the mail. Each package contained a pair of socks from people all over the world; some of these people he has never met. Mr. Shareski explained that this is such a powerful representation about the strength of weak ties. Every person who sent Mr. Shareski a package had access to his online accounts. Mr. Shareski used this experience to reconstruct the PLN acronym. PLN initially stands for professional learning network, but Mr. Shareski changed it to personal living network. Mr. Shareski's post proves that networking can go beyond a profession. Networking is broad and allows doors to open in numerous ways.


Who Owns the Data

In this post, Mr. Shareski discusses data. He claims that he has a natural knee jerk reaction to the word data for two reasons. His first reason is that, in most cases, schools go after the low level test scores. In order to record a lot of data, the natural tendency is to turn to the lowest common denominator which collects numerical data that fits perfectly in a spreadsheet. This is the cheap and easy way to collect information. Efficient assessments are expensive and can be messy so most schools do not tolerate this type of collection process. It may make for great conversation, Mr. Shareski exclaims, but doesn't make good graphs. Mr. Shareski's second reason is regarding agency and ownership. Mr. Shareski asks, "Who owns the assessment"? Mr. Shareski believes that the students should own their learning, therefore they should have a say in how their work is assessed. He believes the students should own the data. Data has become increasingly more important to Mr. Shareski. This is because he personally collects his own data which allows him to have a connection with the information collected. This post is an excellent reflection on ways teachers can adapt to students. Data collection is necessary, in certain situations, but it is the teachers responsibility to make sure the student owns that data. Mr. Shareski explains that if the students have a say in the way the data is constructed, collected, or assessed then they will be more engaged and begin to value learning for learnings sake.


C4K #9

What Makes an Effective Paragraph

Finau has been thinking about the best way to write a paragraph effectively. In order to do so, she created a rubric. The rubric is based off punctuation, a main idea, juicy details, and if the paragraph makes sense. Finau will grade herself using a three point grading system.


Best Photo Ever

In this post, Richard uploaded a picture. He posted this particular picture because he thinks it is the best photo ever. The picture has two girls and Richard making funny faces while they are holding cotton candy. I think this is an awesome picture because I love cotton candy!

Cotton Candy

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blog Post 13

At times, this course will be challenging but it is necessary to fulfill your passion. Before we divulge into the difficulties, lets reflect on why you chose to be a teacher. Watch the video This is Why You Should Teach then write a post explaining why you wanted to be a teacher and how you plan to reach this goal.

Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I use to sit my stuffed animals, as if they were my students, according to a seating chart that I had made. I would send the “bad students” to my mother, who was the principal. The children would have recess, music, and P.E just like regular classes. As I got older and began babysitting, my passion grew real. I soon realized that teaching was my calling and there was nothing else I wanted to do. One of my favorite subjects is math and during middle school I decided that I wanted to become a math teacher. In the seventh grade I began asking my teachers what degrees and how much schooling it would take to become a teacher. As I got older and reached high school, my dream slightly altered. I fell for the younger age group and realized my heart was at the elementary level. My dream to teach remained the same but what I wanted to teach differed. My sophomore year in high school I was a part of the school’s Spanish Club. One of our community service projects was to go to a trailer park in Canton, Mississippi and help the Hispanic students with their homework. I learned that majority of these students are living in homes where the parents hardly know any English and, for the most part, are incapable of helping their children with their homework. This experience changed my outlook, once again, on teaching. By now I was determined to be an elementary teacher but my dream became bigger than just elementary students. It turned into teaching Hispanic students, at the elementary level, English. This led to extensive research on degrees and the best path to take in order to pursue this dream. As a result, I am an elementary education major with a minor in Spanish. In order to become as fluent as possible in Spanish, I plan to either study abroad in Chile or engross myself in the Hispanic population within my surrounding area. After receiving my undergraduate degree, I will get my Master’s degree in English as a Second Language. My long-term goal is to move where there is a strong Hispanic population and teach within the school system. I believe becoming an English as a Second Language educator can have such an encouraging impact throughout schools and enable English learners to reach their fullest potential at the same rate as English natives. The beauty of the path I took, is that no matter where life takes me, I will have the capability to teach.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blog Post 12

Teaching Mom What Her Blind Child is Learning on the iPad

The iPad has the capability to adapt to blind people's needs. It has a voice over feature that allows each app to be verbalized when a student runs over it with his or her finger. Once a student is in a particular app, there are two ways to use the keyboard: standard mode which requires a double tap to open everything or touch typing mode. The standard mode allows the student to roll over each letter and have the voice verbalize what is being touched, but nothing is entered on the screen until it is double tapped. The touch typing mode does not require doubling tapping; it only requires holding down until the letter has been entered. Depending on the need, the student will use a set number of fingers to navigate the iPad.

Teaching Math to the Blind

Teaching math to the blind is difficult because Braille is strictly linear and does not approach the two-dimensional aspect of mathematics. This is a problem because it is essential in almost every profession to understand the basic two-dimensional approach to mathematics. As a result, Professor Karshmer developed an idea. His idea included small blocks with Braille and visible numbers along with a grid that the students place the blocks on so they can physically run their hands along it. The grid is attached to a device that allows the students to scan each block and hear the number on the block. After the student places the block on the grid, the computer will verbalize where the block has been placed. This device adheres to both the touch and hearing senses of a blind student. Even though this might not help a student master calculus, it can very well help a beginner master the basics of mathematics and even algebra.

The Mountbatten

The Mountbatten is an innovative tool that gives immediate feedback to students. This device is beneficial for blind students, especially those who are not comfortable with Braille, because it helps them in a regular classroom setting. This tool gives both audio and tactile feedback to the user; meaning, as the student uses Braille it also verbalizes what is being typed. This tool is advanced because it can save files, transfer files, and receive files. Another benefit of the Mountbatten is as the student uses Braille, the Mountbatten converts the information to print and transfers it to a screen. This feature is what truly allows the students to be included in a regular classroom setting.

Autism Assistive Technology

Children with autism have a difficult time communicating. They have voices but it is very difficult for them to use it. Autism is a disability characterized by difficulties in social interaction, impaired communication, and restricted and repetitive interests or behaviors. Because of these difficulties, technology can play a major impact in these children's lives. The iPad allows autistic children to find their voice. There are many applications available to download that helps these children communicate, learn, and create. These apps encourage the children to express themselves and give them the capability to do so.

FM Systems

FM systems, or Personal Frequency Modulation Systems, are effective tools for hearing impaired students. This system is like a mini radio station that operates on special frequencies. It consists of a transmitter microphone that the speaker uses and a receiver that the listener uses. The receiver allows the sound to be transmitted to the listener's ear. If the listener is wearing a hearing aid, the sound goes directly to the hearing aid. However, a headset can be used instead of a hearing aid. This device can be used in numerous environments, including the classroom.

Assistive Technology

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Blog Post 11

Brian Crosby- Back to the Future

By: William Taylor

I learned a lot of valuable information from Brian Crosby's informative and insightful speech about some of the effective methods and techniques being used by him and his students in the classroom. Mr. Crosby articulated the importance of allowing his students to be active and engaged in the learning process. Mr. Crosby is an educator who allows his students to express their knowledge, skills, opinions, and attitudes in the classroom. Mr. Crosby takes a non-traditional approach to teaching. Mr. Crosby allows his students to express their thoughts and ideas through blogs and videos. Mr. Crosby also talked about the value of creating personal learning networks. Personal learning networks are formed through resources and tools such as blogs and Skype. Mr. Crosby encourages his students to blog and share ideas and videos with students all over the world. The idea of collaboration between his students is also key because it allows students to seek out answers to questions and problems in the classroom. I believe this method is the best way for students to learn because it challenges them to work hard and stay motivated. I believe motivation is important because students get tired of paper and pencil in the classroom. Technology allows for students to embrace and share their creativity and express their knowledge, skills, and ideas. Mr. Crosby also harped on the importance of allowing students to express creativity and apply their unique skills to technology.

Mr. Crosby's class is composed of second-language learners, but that does not inhibit the focus of reading and writing in the classroom. As educators, it's important to understand our students come from diverse backgrounds and practice different cultures, beliefs, and traditions. It's key that we accept and embrace those traits and apply them in the curriculum. As educators, it's vital we provided our students with significant resources and tools to enrich and enhance their creative and innovative thinking skills. As educators, I also believe it's important to present a curriculum to our students in a way that is comprehensive, interactive, and fun. Mr. Crosby articulated that during a science lesson his students involved in hands-on experience in creating and investigating meaningful science concepts and experiments. I learned from Mr. Crosby the value of not taking a fast-food approach to education. As educators, we need to abandon the idea of linearity and conformity and promote project-based learning and creativity in our classrooms. We need to disenthrall our students and invigorate their passions, skills, and talents.

science experiment photo

Sam Pane 4th Grade

By: Heather Marsh

There is so much to take away from Mr. Pane’s class in this informative and insightful video. The very first thing that I noticed was that all of the students were excited to be learning. Mr. Pane used a very interesting tool to teach his class about Internet safety. The students created a superhero and then created a story that showed their superhero protect people when come to computer safety. This innovative approach not only taught computer safety, but also taught dialogue and writing. His way of teaching should be an example for all teachers. He made the class interesting and fun, but also educational. The students were excited to learn and write. They also had other students read their comic strip, so they were teaching each other. The students wanted to share their work with each other and Mr. Pane. I liked how he had the students talk to each other before they started to get an idea of what computer safety was. Mr. Pane's innovative project also teaches the students about collaboration and communication.

Project Based Learning

In schools today, we are teaching collaboration between students. Not only is this important, but it is also important for teachers to collaborate, as well. What does this mean? In the video, it talked about how three teachers worked together in Canada to combine their classes. They had History and English combined with technology. The idea of collaboration enabled students to spend time creating projects. The teachers worked together to figure out how to combine their classes and create projects that fit the curriculum, and also allow the students to go beyond the required curriculum. We can learn from these teachers that we need to work together more. Two minds are always better than one. Not only do we need to give each other ideas, but also I like how they combined classes. I believe if schools were to implement this idea it would give students the opportunity to use critical thinking.

I think that most people today put a limit on what children can do. When I watched this video I thought, wow these students started young. When you think this way you are taking away from the students. From this video, we can learn that if we let the students do then they will surprise us. They had first grade students doing PBL, and they use collaboration on their projects. The teachers take real world problems and use them in their classroom. Project-based learning allows students to think for themselves. When I was in school, we did not have this, and to be honest, there was not much thinking going on. Project-based learning also will help students down the road when they are on their own.

Roosevelt Elementary PBL Program

The term that keeps popping up is the idea of collaboration between peers in the classroom. Not only collaboration between students, between teachers. As educators, it's important to understand education is evolving, and we have to work together with not only our colleagues but our students, as well. The idea of educators working together is productive and it also allows them to assign collaborative assignments to their students. A good teacher will receive help and ideas from other teachers and give some of their own. I was talking to a friend the other day, and she is currently a second grade teacher. She was telling me that there were a lot of new teachers at her school, and she was one of them. The principal had the older teachers and younger teachers work together, but the problem was that the older teachers did not want to work with the younger teachers. The approach was counterproductive because there was no communication among them. It's difficult for my friend because she does not have anyone to go to for help and guidance. It's necessary for teachers to work together not only for themselves, but for their students, as well.

Kids science photo

Blended Learning Cycle

By: Brionna Brown

Blended learning is combining online, mobile, and classroom learning into one situation. Technology is a powerful tool that allows educators to connect and communicate with their students. There are five E’s incorporated into the learning cycle: engage, explore, explain, expand and evaluate. By following the five E’s, it is a great way to present and learn new material. Mr. Anderson created an acronym to develop parts of blended learning-QUIVERS. He has six arrows in his quiver that symbolizes that there are six parts to his blended learning cycle. The first part of his cycle is to have a good question. A good question is the hook that grasps the students' interests in the material being taught. An investigation always begins with a good question. Inquiry learning allows the students to experiment with a question. Another approach to teaching the given material is through videos. Mr. Anderson uses educational videos as a way to differentiate the lecture but still deliver the necessary information. After further information has been given, elaboration is necessary. Mr. Anderson elaborates on essential details before moving on to the next step, which is reviewing. During the review process, Mr. Anderson meets with the students individually or in small groups. Each student is not allowed to move on to the last step until he is confident with his or her responses during the review. The final step is a summary quiz, which tests the students’ knowledge and understanding of the material. By using Mr. Anderson’s approach to blended learning, the students are able to experience a well-rounded style of education.

Making Thinking Visible

Mark Church is an educator who encourages the idea of collaboration in his classroom. Mr. Church assigns his students to work in groups to come up with a headline about the search for human origins. Mr. Church used headlines as a way to force the students to think about the challenge behind the given material. This assignment allows the students to focus on how their thinking was extended and go beyond the obvious answers in the text. After time has passed, Mr. Church will have his students return to the material, creating another headline. The second headline should show growth in the students' thought processes and provide a significant difference in understanding the material.

collaboration photo

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

C4K Summary for March

Efa-Lata's Swimming Story

Efa-Lata made a video about swimming. While swimming she is going to blow bubbles and splash the water. Efa-Lata was obviously reading from something but I think this is a great activity to practice reading. It instills confidence and enables the students to read with fluency. This quick, twenty second video encouraged Efa-Lata to read aloud and also read accurately.

Loseli Swimming

Loseli's class attends the Glen Innes Aquatic Center for swimming lessons. As a class, they attended these swimming lessons every day for thirty minutes. Loseli explained how New Zealand is surrounded by water so it is important for the children to learn how to swim. In her swimming class she is learning how to freestyle with a board and rocket arms. Loseli is tired at the end of swim lessons but always has a good time during the class. I think it is a great idea to incorporate swimming lessons in the classroom, especially if swimming is essential to the children's survival.

Multiplication and Division

Anisha is studying multiplication and division. For this post, she demonstrated her understanding of the material by posting numerous problems. I thought it was an interesting approach because they incorporated fractions and I think were using some type of factor tree to get the answer.


C4T #3

TigerCorp Part 2: It's Lending Time

Mr. Chamberlain created a group called TigerCorp, which is students from junior high who invested in the schools Kiva.org group. In this post, Mr. Chamberlain explains how the students made their first loans. He describes the process in which students choose from a variety of lendees and donate to the best candidate. The students picked Kana De Yanaoca Group from Peru, Thomas from Uganda, and Gagik from Armenia. According to Mr. Chamberlain, the loans will be used to provide a market stall, expand a poultry house, and to help buy more cows and pigs.


Note Taking, Moleskines, and Modeling

From this post, I learned some helpful note taking tips. The first tip Mr. Chamberlain emphasized is that note taking is not simply a task done in schools. It is a lifestyle choice and needs to be approached as such. Mr. Chamberlain also highlighted the fact that note taking is an act of learning. This approach to note taking can change the way teachers teach note taking and personally take notes. One of the most interesting tips Mr. Chamberlain states is that taking notes to memorize facts is wrong. Note taking is meant to grasp concepts and big ideas, not memorize facts. Note taking is an individual act according to the individual's needs. When notes are copied, the student misses out on the personal connection with the material. Mr. Chamberlain emphasized on the quote, "Do as I say, not as I do." Along with this helpful information, there were two videos that gave more detailed ways to customize notes. This post was helpful because I find note taking very difficult especially at the collegiate level where classes are mostly lectured based with no visuals.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Project #15 Lesson Plan

Synonyms and Antonyms

This is a two week project meant to help students increase their understanding and application of synonyms and antonyms. The driving question is, can you recognize and apply synonyms and antonyms in everyday writing? The students will be required to make two blog posts applying their understanding of synonyms and antonyms. They will also use online educational games to help review the material.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Blog Post 10

Bring on the Education Revolution

According to Sir Ken Robinson, there is a climate crisis of human concern. This crisis has occurred because the human race makes poor use of its talents. Robinson believes the world is divided into two categories: those who endure their life and what they do and those who enjoy what they do because what they do is who they are. Education systems are being reformed, but that is not enough because it is simply fixing a broken tool. Education needs a transformation, a revolution, into a new tool. The way to transform education is to innovate fundamentally. This means challenge the things we take for granted. Understand that life is not linear, it is organic and we create it as we go along. The heart of a challenge is to reconstitute the ability of our talents. Robinson believes this is important because communities rely on the diversity of our talents. Education systems have been built on conformity- the idea of fast food, where everything is customized into a standardized way. People are often good at things they don't really care for, but if they are good at things they love, time is a different thing entirely. People are dropping out of education because it does not feed their interests or spirits. We have to go from an industrial model of education to a model based on agriculture. In order for the human race to flourish we must transform from a mechanical process to an agricultural process. The outcome can not be predicted but the conditions under which the race will flourish can be created. The crisis will be solved once a movement in education that is based on people developing their on solutions with the help of external support is formed.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Blog Post 9

First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class

Ms. Cassidy uses this video to show the children's perspective on the use of technology. They use computers, headsets, and a projector screen throughout the classroom in order to complete various assignments. The students enjoy using blogs to produce their writing because they are proud to post their work and they feel it pushes them to become better writers. They also anticipate the comments left on their blog posts. Ms. Cassidy uses a webpage as a guided search engine for her students during center time. They also use Wiki to research needed information. Skype is used, in the class, to talk with other classrooms and various teachers. To help with problem solving and sharing, Ms. Cassidy has her students play the Nintendo DS.

Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 1

Ms. Cassidy uses technology to enhance the education of her students. She protects the students' identity by using first names only and posting pictures but not matching the pictures with the names. She uses blogs as an online portfolio for the students' work. Ms. Cassidy admires blogs because blogs have an audience. She uses a specific blog site that records the amount of times the page has been visited. I think this is an interesting additive because it can be a positive and negative thing for young students. Young students are competitive, so what happens when one page gets more views than another? What are the children's reactions to this? Ms. Cassidy emphasizes the importance in keeping up with technology and allowing the students to develop their own online network.

Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 2

Ms. Cassidy explained that the best place to start is where your interests lay. For example, if you enjoy pictures and videos then start with a media that requires the use of pictures and videos. Flicker is a resource that can be used to network photography, whereas Blogger can be used to network writing. Dr. Strange and Ms. Cassidy then further explained the advantages of Twitter. Twitter can be very useful in building a PLN, especially for future educators.

Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 3

The amount of time dedicated to blogging can be flexible. It is based on the amount of students in the class, the number of adults assisting the class, and the allotted time given to each subject matter. Ms. Cassidy suggests that the best way to eliminate cheating is to reconstruct the assignments in a way that makes it difficult for a student to copy a previous assignment. The reconstruction can be similar enough that collaboration with a previous assignment is involved, but different enough that copying verbatim is not possible. One way Ms. Cassidy protects her students is by using her curated webpage. This allows the students to go to a single site and follow specific links to material relevant to them. She also educates her students on the importance of staying within her given links and the dangers of wandering.

After watching all the videos, I believe my favorite of Ms. Cassidy's approaches is the use of Skype. I believe incorporating the one-on-one interaction and involving other teachers and classrooms can be very beneficial for the students. There is so much information that other people can give and different questions they can challenge the students with. It is also an opportunity for the students to hear another voice besides their main teacher. It is a challenging tool because the face to face aspect requires the students to engage in what is being said. I think it is important to develop a strong PLN in order to make the use of Skype truly successful.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Project #14 Lesson Plan

Vocabulary Group Projects

EQT's are around the corner and it is time to study in a different way. Some vocabulary words might have gotten lost in the mix but we are going to refresh memories. This lesson plan will require students to create a story, on iMovie, incorporating vocabulary words. By the end of the week, students are expected to be more familiar and knowledgeable of all the words that have been discussed this quarter.


Blog Post 8

10 Social Media Tips for Reaching World Language Learners

My dream career would be teaching Hispanic students, at the elementary level, English. The more I look into ESL the more I realize how difficult this could be, and I enjoy finding resources that would be helpful. I follow Edutopia on Twitter and they post links to numerous insightful articles. This specific article explains how educators can use social media as a way to reach ESL students. The article explains the social networks EDM has familiarized me with, such as blogging, Twitter, Google Drive and YouTube. However, it introduces some new ideas and sources. Instagram is a popular social media, but I have never thought to use it for educational purposes. According to Edutopia, using Instagram is an engaging way to teach vocabulary words. The teacher can post daily pictures of things that would not usually be seen on a vocabulary list and require the students to stay updated with the posts. Another source teachers can use is called SlideShare. SlideShare is similar to YouTube except it is strictly presentations. This site allows students to search, create and post presentations among the world. Edutopia also suggests using Facebook as a way to post questions for debate. The teacher would make a page and the students like it. A new source Edutopia introduces is called Duolingo. This is an educational gaming site that allows teachers to reinforce grammatical structures and allow the students to compete against each other. The final idea Edutopia introduces was the use of polling sites, such as SurveyMonkey. Teachers can make a survey regarding a specific theme they are studying and have the students respond to the survey. This is a way to initiate speaking practice in class. Even though I am familiar with many of the networks mentioned, the ideas presented are new. The combination of the new ideas and the few new sources made this article valuable.


C4T #2

Fun Activities with Conditionals

Mrs. Buyuksimkesyan gave a list of different activities to do with conditionals. One activity is to write a chain story or poem. If you do this activity, it is best to give the students an example to follow. Another activity includes preparing conversation cards with either cards, PowerPoint, or Google presentation. You could also construct two sets of cards, one set for the If clause and the other set for the Result clause, and have the students play tic-tac-toe or match the halves. The fifth activity she mentioned was using songs to teach or revise conditionals. She gave a list of some songs that are good to use. You could also have the students stand up and form a circle. As the teacher, you shout half a conditional sentence then throw a ball to a student and have him finish the sentence. My favorite activity she explained was the snowball activity. In this activity students write five half conditional sentences on scrap paper then have a snowball fight. After a short period of time, the snowball fight stops, the children pick up the closest snowball, and then finish the sentence. I think this would be the most interactive and interesting activity. Her final activity idea was to have the students find superstitions from different countries and their own then prepare a quiz or a poster. I think all of these ideas are unique and engaging for the students. I am glad I read this post and I will definitely keep these ideas in mind for future reference.

A Cool Tool for #Flipped Literature Classes

Mrs. Buyuksimkesyan introduced a new source called Curriculet for language classes. She explained that Curriculet is an online reading platform meant to enhance literature. The site allows teachers to create specific reading classes, assign questions, and post videos that their students will have access to. Mrs. Buyuksimkesyan emphasized that it is a free site and tempting to use. I enjoy reading her posts because they are full of new ideas and resources.


Friday, February 28, 2014

Blog Post 7

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Pausch had many inspirational quotes throughout this lecture. The main one was, "Brick walls are there for a reason, they let us prove how badly we want things." I believe this quote is a great motto to abide by for everything in life. If we want to achieve something, whether it be learning the alphabet, helping a student in class, becoming a football player, or writing a book, we cannot let obstacles hinder us from being successful. In regards to learning, Pausch reiterated the fact that fundamentals are key. Similar to an athletes perspective, you have to master the fundamentals before you can attempt anything else. When you are learning, it is important to remember that your critiques are not your enemies, they are your support system. The minute you stop having critiques is the minute people have given up on you. There will be times when we, as learners, fail and it is important to remember what Pausch said: "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted".

Educators must realize that most of what is learned, is learned indirectly. Therefore, the best way to teach someone is to have them believe they are learning something else. Pausch called these head fake lessons. Teachers do not have all the answers, but there are ways to say I don't know. Pausch explained how there is a good way and a bad way to express your uncertainty. One of the best things an educator can do, is set the standards higher than the norm, allowing students to reach exceptionally high expectations. The end goal is for the students to be self reflective. Educators are learners themselves; therefore, it is essential to be willing to learn from your students.

Pausch's Last Lecture was a very insightful and encouraging lecture. The most important piece I attained was preparation meets opportunity. Those three words sum up his entire speech and shed light on the world around us. I learned that, in time, people will almost always surprise you and the way people perceive you can limit the things you accomplish.

Randy Pausch

Thursday, February 27, 2014

C4K Summary for February

Should Athletes Who USed Banned Substances Be Allowed in the Hall of Fame

In week one's post, Matthew introduced the controversy about allowing athletes, specifically baseball players, who have used performance enhancing drugs into the Hall of Fame. He mentioned the fact that it was not against MLB regulations until 2004 for players to use PED. In my comment, I mentioned that I think this is an important fact. I believe we should not punish those who possibly did not know the negative effects of PED and were technically following the rules. He brought up the fact that using PED is cheating. However, I question that statement in terms of rewarding these athletes in the Hall of Fame. Today using PED is considered cheating mainly because it is a violation to use them. With that in mind, can we consider it cheating prior to 2004 if it was not a rule? I found this debate very interesting and I look forwarded to hearing the outcome.

About You and About You Only Survey

In week two's post, Jamie constructed a survey. This survey was designed to tally the results of questions regarding information about ourselves. The questions included things like your favorite food, your gender, where you are from, etc. I think the questions were well construed and will have diverse results. My favorite part about this survey was the comments made under each question. I think they added flavor to the survey and made me laugh at points.

Grandparents: 10 Good Things and 10 Bad

In week three's post, Imaan discussed the ten good and bad characteristics of grandparents. Imaan started this post by explaining how everyone loves grandparents but some things need to be said. I found this post very amusing and accurate! Some of the top good things Imaan included were: they give you presents, they are always on your side, and they give you awesome candy. Some of the top bad things Imaan included were: sometimes they can not hear what you say, they fall asleep whenever they want, and they eat the most boring things for dinner. I love my grandparents very much, but I agree with everything said in this post, both the good and the bad. For example, one of the good things Imaan said was grandparents are always on your side. My grandparents are always on my side, especially when I am in trouble with my own parents. One of the bad things Imaan said was their stories can be really long. Whenever mine get ready to tell a story, I have to make sure I am comfortable because I know it's going to be a while. I really enjoyed this post because I thought it was personal and accurate.

I Believe

In week four's post, Russwell wrote about NFL football. This post was a very passionate description of football and the teams/players involved. Russwell further explained who his favorite players were and why they're his favorite. The post was difficult to follow at times, due to punctuation and grammatical errors, but overall it was a fascinating post. I am not very interested in football, therefore this post taught me things I was definitely unaware of. Being an ex-athelete myself, I enjoy seeing the passion in other people's work and I could definitely see Russwell's passion for football.


Project #13 Lesson Plan

Befriend a President-Lesson Plan

In this week and a half project-based lesson plan, 5th grade students will obtain and share knowledge and information about a particular and interesting United States president that their group selected. There are five groups consisting of four classmates to a group. The objectives are to research, collaborate, share important information and create Google docs presentations. The groups will then present their presentations on the assigned day. Students are expected to use appropriate online tools including iQuiro and YouTube. Our driving question is: what were some of his most successful accomplishments during his presidency, as well as fun facts about his life?


Friday, February 21, 2014

Blog Post 6

A personal learning network (PLN) is a network of people or tools that you can use for help. After watching Steven Anderson's Building Your PLN and Michael Fawcett's PLN, I realized how important it is to start constructing my PLN now. Because I am not from Alabama, I believe I have started building my PLN without even meaning to. I have kept close connections with my old teachers, specifically to use them as resources once I begin teaching. I have contact information for most of them and I follow a few on Facebook. I remain in contact with the principal of my old elementary school, and had always planned to turn to her for advice when applying for jobs. I am friends with a kindergarten teacher on both Facebook and Instagram, which has given me awesome bulletin board and classroom decorating ideas. I follow many teacher pages on Pinterest for activity and decorating ideas as well. I did all of this before learning about PLN and I am not sure if any of that really counts but I think it is a step. Now that I have learned what a PLN is and how to establish one, I am interested to see who and what I can find. I have already started searching for relevant Twitter pages and we will see what I come up with!

PLN Heart

Project #8 Book Trailer

Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Sentence Videos

My Sentence Is...

My Passion Is...

Blog Post 5

Project Based Learning Part 1

Project Based Learning, or PBL is reconstructing the way of teaching. Mr. Capps explained, in this video, that using projects is no longer just a means to show understanding, it is also a way to teach. Mr. Capps also taught me that projects are not just busy work; they are assignments that are meant to be designed by a specific set of guidelines. These guidelines include: having an authentic audience, enticing student interest, involving community involvement, and being content driven. The goal of PBL is for students to be comfortable with self correction and reflection. After a few projects, we want students to have the capability to recognize their mistakes and the confidence to correct them.

Project Based Learning Part 2

Never limit your students! From this video, I learned that students have the ability to go far beyond our expectations as long as they are given the opportunity to. PBL allows the students be more involved in their learning and make decisions in the way things are done. It results in the students being proud of their work and more willing to show others what they have done. PBL takes a lot of meticulous planning, but if well put together, the outcome can be miraculous.


iCurio is a specifically developed search engine made for students. The purpose of this search engine is to allow the students to search through filtered text, video, etc. and find information based on the state standards. Another important feature of iCurio is its storage unit. It contains a storage unit that allows both the teacher and the student to organize information within the iCurio search engine. This feature shows the students how to maintain their notes in an organized way. Criteria research is another helpful aspect of iCurio. Because students may not know specific details, criteria research allows them to look up what they do know. An example would be searching for a race or gender within a certain time period.

Discovery Education

Discovery Ed is a resource for Science and Social Studies. It is an opportunity to implement pictures and video with the text. As Mr. Capps said, this is a chance to bring the text to life, another way to engage the students and allow them to actively participate in their learning process. Discovery Ed is a way to enhance reading and encourage students to enjoy researching. Discovery Ed allows the students to recognize what is being said in the text by comparing it to what is being seen in the pictures.

The Anthony- Strange List of Tips for Teachers Part 1

This video taught me some great tips to help prepare me for teaching. In order to be a teacher, you must be interested in learning yourself. You can not expect your students to be willing to learn if you are not willing to learn yourself. Another aspect to teaching is that the work is not separate from play. This means that the work is never-ending but it is always rewarding. You can learn a valuable lesson for your classroom at any moment, like at the dinner table, and it is your responsibility to act on what is learned. Teaching is a difficult job because it is never-ending. As an educator, you must be open-minded and flexible with your ideas. There will be many times when things do not go as planned; therefore you must be comfortable with changing the way things are done. A good mindset to have is to start with the end in mind. This allows you to have a goal and be flexible enough to reach it despite the obstacles throughout the year. An important goal, as an educator, is to have full classroom engagement. You want the students to be engaged 100% and actively participate in their learning process. This will result in a much higher success rate with their academics. The final tip, that I learned, is about reflection. You want your students to be able to reflect on their work and self-evaluate themselves. This can be a very helpful characteristic for them, especially as they grow in their academics.

Don't Teach Tech- Use It

Students enjoy using technology to show that they are learning; therefore, never teach technology. There is a difference between teaching the technology and implementing technology in your lessons. Introduce the different types of media throughout your lessons and build on what is used. Do not just throw a media device on your students at once. Also, never expect perfection, but do not be surprised when their results are better than yours. Your students may not be able to make Hollywood style movies, but they will have the ability to manipulate technology quicker and possibly better than you can.

Additional Thought About Lessons

In order for a lesson plan to be successful it must have four layers. The first layer begins by looking at the big picture. It is seeing how the lesson will fit in your full year. The second layer is unit sized. This step is breaking the lessons into a six to eight week process which gives students time to master the lesson. The third layer is devising each week in a way that allows you to get everything done. The final layer is the daily lesson. In this layer, you figure out how to deliver each lesson to your students, what the hook will be and how to you keep them engaged throughout the entire lesson. Mr. Capps believes thinking from the outside in is the best approach to lesson planning.

Classrooms of the Future

Friday, February 7, 2014

Blog Post 4

The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom

This article was very interesting because it reminds us that educators do not know everything and are not expected to know everything. I think one of the biggest fears of young teachers is the expectation to know everything. It also mentions the fact that the students have their own knowledge and that educators tend to forget that. This article showed that the important aspect of asking questions is understanding what the students already know and what they are supposed to be learning. I learned from this article that an important part of asking questions is to do it in such a way that will captivate the entire class's attention and not single out a certain group of students. Not all students are interested in answering questions or knowing the answers to the questions, so it is up to the teacher to find a way that will engage every student and force them to be involved in the questioning process.

Asking Questions to Improve Learning

This post was very helpful because it gave examples along with short descriptions of the type of questions teachers should be asking. From this post, I learned that asking questions is meant to improve learning; therefore, teachers need to understand the correct way to ask a question in order for the questions to be effective. In order to ask valid questions, you have to first understand the different types of questions. If a question is closed then it has few answers and is meant to test the students' understanding of the material. If a question is leading then it suggests the answer within the question. An open question tends to be the most effective and does not have a single answer which leads to more discussions and active learning. This post explains the different types of questions in more detail which I found very helpful for future responsibilities.

Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom

An important thing to know about asking questions is that a teacher's question is an example for the students. So the type of questions a teacher asks shows the students the type of questions they should be asking themselves. Also, questions encourage students to reach a higher level of thinking and really participate in their learning. This article discusses three ways to ask better questions. If we simply prepare, play with, and preserve the good questions then educators can begin to ask better, more effective questions. I think the most interesting thing I learned in this article was to prepare my questions. Everyone knows that you have to plan your lessons and what the students will do for the day, but who would have thought to plan what questions you will ask throughout the day. Being well prepared in every aspect of teaching can lead to such a productive atmosphere.

Asking Better Questions in the Classroom

This video discussed the difference between open and closed ended questions. As an educator, it is important to know the difference or else you could easily get frustrated when you are not receiving the feedback you desire. A closed ended question allows the student to give short answers with no requirement for discussion. An open ended question, however, requires the student to give a longer response that often leads to class discussions. Open ended questions are more effective because they require participation and allow the students to engage in critical thinking.

Questioning Styles and Strategies

This video taught me that it is important to use many different techniques when asking students questions. This allows the students to remain interested in the lesson as well as actively participate in the questioning process. Therefore, it is a teacher's responsibility to become familiar with and understand all the possible techniques.

Bloom's Taxonomy

Thursday, February 6, 2014

C4T #1

Showing How Awesome You Are- Building Your Brand

This blog discusses how the digital world is important to personal branding. According to this blog, personal branding is discovering who you are and sharing it with the world. Personal branding allows each individual to show off their good traits while creating their ideal traits. This blogger discusses, in detail, the four steps to personal branding. The first step is to create a landing page. A landing page is just a page that has basic information about you, similar to a biography. A good site for this is About.me. The second step is to create a blog or portfolio site and share your work with the world. The third step is to create a social media profile. Do not stop at just one, create numerous profiles. This does not mean you have to update or check each profile daily, but it is an excellent way to get your information out there. I also believe this a great way to define yourself and create the ideal you. My comment on this post included my opinion on how helpful social media can be. Social media gives us the courage to post, retweet, or favorite things we might not say in person and it gives us the capability to create an identity we've always wanted. The final step is to pick a name and stick to it. Do not change your name with every profile, pick one that identifies you and keep it.

Get Your MOOC

In this post, the blogger explains what MOOC is; it is a massively open online course. So far three MOOC courses have been developed. One course will help teachers implement technology within their classrooms. Another course will help explain multiplication and division according to the common core. The third course will help with digital learning at the k-12 grade level. This post gave more details about each course and links to obtain more information on MOOC. In my comment, I mentioned the fact that MOOC is a new concept to me and I would like to do more research on it.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blog Post 3

Each article or video discussed the correct way to peer review. Peer reviewing is helping someone your age, usually in your class, correct his or her writing. There are a few important steps to follow while peer reviewing. The first step is to give compliments. You always want to be positive while editing someone else's writing. The best way to maintain a positive attitude is to imagine how you would feel with someone editing your paper. The next step is to give helpful suggestions that will improve the substance of the writing. The important part of giving suggestions is to make sure you are being specific. Vague recommendations are not very helpful in any situation. The final step is to make corrections. These corrections can involve grammar, spelling and sentence structure mistakes. By following those three steps, you can be a very effective peer editor.

I think one of the reasons people are bad peer editors is because they are fearful. Correcting someone your own age can be intimidating and I believe that is what hinders us from fully editing someone's work. I know when I peer review, I get nervous that my corrections may be wrong and therefore I am not helping. Another aspect of peer review is the fact that you are critiquing the work of a classmate. Sometimes being criticized by your classmate can be harder to swallow than being criticized by your teacher, and I think that is another reason we hesitate to truly correct our peers. I think if we attack peer reviewing as truly helping our peers instead of criticizing them, then we will become effective peer editors.

Paige Ellis Blog Post

What is Peer Editing

Peer Editing Tutorial

Peer Editing Top 10 Mistakes

Image for peer editing

Friday, January 24, 2014

Blog Post 2


During this video, Mr. Dancealot is attempting to teach his students the basic steps of different dances. The goal is that by the end the students are able to perform the dances that were taught in class. Mr. Dancealot, however, does not do a good job of demonstrating what is necessary. Throughout the lectures, Mr. Dancealot spends majority of his time reading directly from his power points. When he is not reading, he is showing the footwork behind a desk so no one is able to see his movements. At the conclusion of the lectures, he requires the students to partner up and perform each dance that was taught. I dislike how Mr. Dancealot handled his class. Because he is teaching dance, each lecture should have included class participation. The students should have attempted the footwork while Mr. Dancealot was demonstrating them. Then at the end, they would have known each dance and performed well on the final.

Teaching in the 21st Century

Roberts believes that teaching in the 21st century will require more than simply explaining what is in the textbooks. He believes educators must step outside their comfort zone in order to fulfill every aspect of the students' needs. Roberts proved this by showing how popular technology is becoming. He explained that teachers are no longer the original source of information; students can now go on the internet and find anything they want. Roberts went on to explain how educators can incorporate the advancement of technology in their lectures and assignments. This way students can become more engaged in their learning. I feel that Roberts' views are correct. Technology is changing every day and with that change is growth. The children today are learning how to work devices at such an early age that I believe incorporating media would help increase both their desire to learn and how much they are learning. If his views are correct, this will affect my teaching slightly. It will force me to become a more well rounded educator, in the terms of pencil and paper versus technology. I also believe it will help provide more hands on activities for my students. I think I can help my students be more individualized with the help of technology. People have more confidence on the internet and I think this will enable my students to reach their highest potential slightly quicker than with pencil and paper.

The Networked Student

This video demonstrated the responsibilities of a student in the 21st century. The video showed that connectivism is the new way to learn. The student in the video was able to truly understand his subject and network with people all over the world. His teacher was no longer used as the primary source of information but as a resource to his education. When I was watching this video I immediately thought about EDM 310. I believe that is the objective of this class. By the end of the semester, we will have learned so much about technology and have introduced ourselves to many new people across the world. This is the beginning of learning in the 21st century.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

This video discusses changing the perspective of learning. It justifies how learning does not have to be the teacher explaining and the student using pencil and paper. It shows that technology can be involved and the students, in fact, can be the ones teaching. I think this mindset is very similar to Roberts' in the sense that technology is the way to engage students rather than entertain them. I somewhat agree with Davis' perspective. Learning no longer has to be black and white, but it is the teachers responsibility to add color to the lesson. I think students will enjoy the more hands on experiences and be grateful for the networks in their future. However, I am still a strong believer in face to face interactions and the students having the ability to ask questions when necessary. I believe if we take the benefits of technology to far, we will in fact hinder our students from learning. I believe technology was meant to be an additive not a replacement.

Flipping the Classroom

The concept of flipping a classroom is somewhat new to me. I have not heard of this type of teaching for students at the younger age levels. I think we have adjusted the idea with some hybrid classes in college. However, I very much dislike and completely disagree with this style of teaching. Who is to say the students will actually watch the videos? Who will help them if they do not understand the concepts? I believe we are beginning to take advantage of technology to the point of trying to cease the need of teachers all together. Teachers are essential to students especially at the elementary level, and I do not think putting a lesson in a video would benefit them in any way. I understand the need to engage the students rather than entertain them but the teachers need to be the ones engaging, not the internet. The internet should only be used as a resource to help the students learn but it should in no way be used as a tool to replace instruction that the teacher can offer.