Thursday, May 1, 2014

Project # 16

Final Collaborative Project

Our group decided to complete an ibook. The book theme is centered on the wonders of EDM310. Chapter material includes: a compilation of our accomplishments in EDM310 as a cohesive group. I was very fortunate to work with three wonderful people, who were very hardworking and supportive. Thanks a bunch to my group, and good luck in the future.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

C4K Summary April

I was assigned to comment on a student blog in Mr. Somerville’s class at Pt England Auckland NZ.

The student posted about her uncle’s passing and how she felt at the service, I thought it was very touching and very grown up for her to talk about her thoughts and feelings after her uncle’s death. The student also wrote about 32 interesting things that the reader may want to know about her, a post similar to a C4T I read earlier in the week. The child is a seasoned blogger and she should be thankful to her teacher and the leadership at her school who has integrated technology so effectively in her education. The student responded to my comment and asked me some questions to find out more, I was thrilled to talk to someone so very far away.
"Hi Alexandria, im very interested that you are in Alabama and I really wanna come their one day. I'm so happy that you enjoyed reading my 32 facts about me. I think when I pressed publish on my Uncles Funeral post that I done I felt a little bit better because I let it out like what you just said. Thank you for commenting on my blog and I have 4 questions for you if you don't mind:)

*Is it cool living in Alabama

*Is it small or big there

*How old are you

*Have you ever visited New Zealand"

I responded to her questions and included some information about myself and the area where I live.

The last student for April C4K only had one blog post on his site and he did not respond to my comment. The post was about the things he likes to do after school. He said he likes to play with his two dogs. I asked about the tricks they knew and told him about some of the ways I taught my dogs to learn tricks in my own life. The fact that he only had a very limited amount of information on his site leads me to believe, he is either not blogging or the teacher has not required any technology assignments. There is a stark difference in the children who are in classes of teacher's who integrate technology and those who aren’t. I would like to be a teacher who makes everyone aware of the power of technology in the classroom and how much a student can benefit from the responsible and effective implementation of it within education.


Last C4T

For the final C4T, I was assigned to comment on Denise Krebs Blog titled, “Dare to Care.”

I found Mrs. Krebs Blog very interesting and she was kind enough to respond to one of my comments. I read a lot about the journey she has embarked upon by taking a Kindergarten position in Bahrain off the coast of Saudi Arabia. I wrote about the post where Mrs. Krebs was moving and packing up her daughter’s keepsakes, deciding which papers and school mementos to pack as space is limited. The bulk of the saved items from her K-8 education went into the trash. Mrs. Krebs writes a poignant comment for the reasoning behind the purge:
“It doesn’t matter if a student is a high achiever or a low achiever, no parent wants to have years worth of test scores and reports cards that give little information about who their child really is. Most of the report cards had meaningless letter grades with few heartfelt comments. Year after year of high stakes test results don’t show anything worth knowing about my daughter or her education.”
The comment I wrote spoke about how I was envious of her ability to be honest about the meaningless scores, certificates and grades we as teachers are obligated to assign. Authentic learning is harder to measure with a mere number or graph, but will present itself much later when it is much more important and vital to the success of the individual. Mrs. Krebs responded to my comment by telling me to “speak up” of sorts by creating opportunities for authentic learning by allowing children to tackle problems, create solutions and develop a love of learning and no one would be able to argue with that strategy, even if they agree with the use of high-stakes testing.

Children who are frustrated with tests.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Blog Post # 13

What Did I Leave Out?

What can we do to prevent student misbehavior?

Watch the following links to begin the ongoing journey to improve classroom management.

Positive Discipline Strategies Yield Quick Results

Top 10 Proven Classroom Management Tips for Teachers

Practical classroom management

Classroom management is so important to the instructional day. Students will learn much more when a teacher is able to teach uninterrupted. A teacher’s role in the modern classroom is a very demanding but very rewarding as well. The way the year will play out depends on how the expectations for behavior are put into place in the beginning of the year, starting from the minute the child walks into the classroom for the first time. There is a popular saying in education, “Don’t smile until at least after Christmas.” The general rule of thumb is to use only ‘tough love’ during the first semester. I am not sure if I agree with those anecdotal quotes per say but I do think that a teacher should not be a child's friend. I believe teachers should show we are firm, fair and care. Rules and procedures should be established from the start and consistent consequences should follow without any leeway or wavering. Give them an inch and they will take a mile!

Another way to prevent student misbehavior is to learn preemptive strategies to limit or negate the reinforcement of negative behavior. Rob Plevin has created a series of video’s to help an educator learn the skills needed in order to prevent the actions and reactions in the negative behavior cycle. The teaching profession is one where experience is really the best way to learn, are you going to gain that experience the easy way or the hard way?

Words used to describe children with problem behaviors.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blog Post 12 (I chose to write this blog post individually)

What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher? Select a few and discuss how they may be useful to you.

The local school district in our area answers the question of what assistive technology consists: According To the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, assistive technology is defined as
"any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially or off the shelf, modified, or customized that is used to increase, maintain or improve capabilities of individuals with disabilities."
The use of assistive technology in the classroom is only limited to how much time and energy we as teachers put into helping those children who are identified with disabilities. There are low tech and high tech equipment that may be utilized for the educational day and beyond. Speaking with a particular student’s parent, former teacher or para-professional can help determine what methods or strategies should be utilized. In certain instances it may be necessary to consult with an experienced professional or specialist about the disability, this can help a teacher gain much needed perspective about what the student is feeling and what technologies he or she might benefit. There are very simple tools a teacher can make very inexpensively that can help with transitions, tasks and behaviors that may be in need of a modification. Visual aids and anchor charts are very simple and easily applied to any subject or activity. The visuals are a reminder to not just the child whom has been identified but serve to assist the other children in the class as well.

The IEP or Individualized educational program team will help the teacher determine the products, tools or programs which may prove useful for educational success. One site the local district offers as a resource is ablenet. The site can be explored and they offer a wide variety of products. If the student is visually impaired or deaf or hard of hearing there are many new technologically advanced products coming down the pipe. One such program is the icanconnect distributed by the FCC (Federal Communication Commission.) The services will be offered to the deaf and blind who are low income and in need of assistive technology. The Braille type machines can run up to $6,000.00 dollars. UltimateNews© contributes news about new technology offered to the deaf and blind.

Assistive technology is ever changing. Some tools are rudimentary and basic in design or implementation, others are costly and complexly constructed. Whatever the technology the IEP team and teacher choose to use, there will be time invested and it will be an experiment of sorts to find the best tool possible in order to move the child toward educational success.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Project 12B

For Project 12 B, group Castleberry taught a third grade lesson on fractions. We used ideas from a lesson plan found on Smartboard Exchange. The lesson plan addresses the ACCR standard 13. Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts and size 1/b. [3-NF1]

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Blog Post # 11

What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers? What can we learn from Brian Crosby, Back to the Future, TED Talk? Mr. Crosby teaches 4th, 5th, and 6th grade at Agnes Risley Elementary School, Sparks, Nevada. We can learn so much from a teacher who inspires children to learn through methods that are not representative of modern-day education. The typical model for education would include traditional teaching and learning in order to meet the standards set forth by the state. Mr. Crosby goes above and beyond the standards and challenges the children, who are also English Language Learners and Low Socioeconomic Status, to think outside of the box. Instruction is real world based through experiments and cooperative learning not only with in the classroom but across the globe. I think if a teacher is allowed to have creative control over the learning process, anything is possible. There are many school districts that are very focused on test scores and data that can be quickly measured by a standardized test. The class population in Mr. Crosby’s class is learning in a meaningful way, one they will never forget. It is inherently visible the passion this teacher has for teaching and learning. The experiments prove to excite the teacher, individuals in his class as well as children elsewhere who learn from their blog posts, that is powerful learning every kid deserves.

What can we learn from Paul Anderson and the Blended Learning Cycle? Mr. Anderson is a high school AP Biology teacher in Bozeman, Montana who knows the value of asking good questions. The model for learning is a mix of Blended Learning and the Learning Cycle. Blended Learning is a combination of models which includes classroom learning mobile learning and online learning. The Learning Cycle is a model that uses a central goal to evaluate surrounded by the ways in which a person comes to that point using explore, explain, expand, and engage. While Mr. Anderson implements this Blended Learning Cycle, he uses an acronym he created called Quivers: questions, investigations, video, elaboration, review, and finally summary. The summary will be a quiz but the student must demonstrate mastery of the topic or else there should be remediation and further investigations conducted. The cycle of learning continues until mastery is achieved and the answer to the question posed has been evaluated, which is the ultimate goal of science teachers.

There are many things we can learn from Sam Pane in his video, Sam Pane 4th grade. I love the idea that he based a project on how to be safe while using the internet. He let his students make a comic on how to use the internet safely. I have never even thought about making a comic in my classroom, so this is something new that I would love to do! Sam teaches us (the viewers) how important it is to address online personal information, as well as, informing us that we can do so many activities that allow students to learn to use safety online. Most importantly, Sam teaches his students to become a Super Digital Citizen. He wants his students to be able to go to a website and evaluate the information they’re after. The way he approached this is by stating this quote from spiderman, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Then he brings it into his lesson by asking, “What kind of power does the internet give us?” From this, we, as future teachers, should learn to introduce a subject in a way that catches the students attention. Reel them in by the things they are familiar with and love.

In the video Project Based Learning, three teachers (an english teacher, a history teacher, and a technology teacher) combined their one hour class, to make a 3 hour hour class that included all three subjects. With this they have more time and flexibility. One thing I feel I learned from this video is, when we give our students the time, the dedication, and the feedback needed, they can go above and beyond what they ever expected and want to take ownership for what they did. With more time, they are able to do more projects (in this video that includes all three subjects) and be satisfied with their project. We, as future teachers, want to be able to teach more than just the curriculum, we want our students to enjoy what they do in the classroom. The english teacher in this video, Melanie, stated at the end of the video, that before they combined the classes all the students used was paper and pencil and they hated it. With the extra time, they are able to do different projects on the computer and enjoy it. Project based learning is what kids are all about now, and this video has taught me to shower my students in project based learning, and they will be more satisfied, and willing to take ownership of the work they did.

After watching the video about Roosevelt Elementary’s PBL Program I learned about the benefits of implementing project based learning from a young age. Roosevelt Elementary School is located in Redwood City, California. Project based learning begins in the kindergarten level at this school. PBL emphasizes real world problem solving in the classroom. Teachers, as well as students, collaborate in creating projects that meet state standards. Not only do students receive quality knowledge from PBL, but they are introduced to public speaking at a young age. Practicing this skill from a young age is beneficial because the students receive feedback from not only their teacher, but their peers as well. This feedback can increase confidence among students and make students proud of what they learned. This helps build social skills. The community is also involved in the PBL movement. Community residents speak to classes at Roosevelt Elementary to tell students real life stories. PBL is self motivating and encourages students to learn!

Grade 12 Reading Standards for Literature 1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain. [RL.11-12.1] 16. Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem. [RI.11-12.7] 20. Write informative or explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. [W.11-12.2] 22. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 19-21 above.) [W.11-12.4] 24. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information. [W.11-12.6] 28. Write routinely over extended time frames, including time for research, reflection, and revision, and shorter time frames such as a single sitting or a day or two for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. [W.11-12.10] 30. Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data. [SL.11-12.2] 32. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks. [SL.11-12.4]

C4K Summary March

The first C4K in March was John from Mrs. She’s class in the Pt England School Auckland, N.Z. John is new to the class so he didn’t have anything in his blog at the present time. John did; however, have a birthday recently so I posted a comment: Hi John, I hope you had a super birthday! My name is Alexandria Butler and I am a student at The University of South Alabama in the United States. It was so sweet for your grandma to bring you a cake to school. My favorite cake is chocolate; it must be your favorite too. I really like the video and I wonder what gifts you may have unwrapped. Thanks so much to you, your classmates and Mrs. She for posting it.

Hosea in Miss. Lavakula’s class at Pt England School Auckland, N.Z. was the second student I was assigned to comment in March. Hosea included a interactive map activity on his blog to help learn about following directions. Here is my comment: Hosea, I think you have a very interesting blog. Can you tell me what the words “Kia ora” mean? After viewing your blog, I can see you are learning so much! The Rescue! Hansel and Gretel Geometry Sessions is a very informative presentation, great work! Do you enjoy using technology and blogging in the classroom? What is your favorite post on your blog or what are you most proud of this year? Keep up the good work and don’t forget to thank your teacher for making sure you are able to blog and use such a great resource! 

Cheyanne in Miss. Clark’s class at Pt England School Auckland, N.Z. presented information on her blog about butterflies. She included life cycle information, what they look like and how they live. I think judging from her information she learned much about the topic and was very thorough. This was my comment: Cheyanne,thanks so much for such an interesting blog post. You have clearly learned a lot about butterflies during your research. I just watched a very informative movie called: The Flight of the Butterfly. The film chronicles the life cycle and migration of the elusive Monarch. For years no one knew where in the world the butterflies would migrate. Then after 40 years of searching a butterfly enthusiast, Dr. Fred Urquhart, solved the mystery. I very much enjoyed watching this movie in an IMAX theater in 3-D because it was like being there with the butterflies. I don’t know if you have a theater in your area that plays IMAX movies but it would be great if you could see it. Keep up the good work, I enjoyed your blog.

C4T Summary Teacher # 3

I was assigned the 21st Century Classroom: The Amaryllis blog for my third C4C. I thoroughly enjoyed the ideas presented in this blog; although, the teacher Mrs. Heidi Siwak is a seventh grade teacher, there are activities that could be adjusted to fit any grade level. The first post I commented on was an Oreo-type cookie writing activity. Everyone is partnered up and handed a cookie. The partners are then challenged to come up with as many different/unique ways to eat the Oreo-type cookie. This is Mrs. Siwak's follow up to the writing activity:

“I then asked students to eat their oreo cookies without hands which causes a great deal of laughter!

Finally we debriefed.

1. We tend to fall into patterns of behaviour that we don't really think about.

2. We stop finding new ways to do things because of habit.

3. To spark creativity and get new ideas we need to break our patterns of thinking and doing, and then deliberately try to think of new ideas.

4. We discussed how it felt to not be able to eat the cookie the way they had planned to. For some it was slightly stressful.

Finally I asked students to think of something they do in a habitual way and to come up with three new ways to do that task. These they shared with other students. It was a fun 40 minutes of learning. When we meet again, we'll revisit the activity to consider our ideas about the right way to do things.”

This was my comment: What a fun idea. I love an activity that includes the use of food. I think if you want to spark creativity, definitely use the sense of taste. I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t eaten an Oreo-type cookie before, breaking the “but I never…..” cycles sometimes children get on, who are not very confident writers. I may borrow this idea for my second graders, any tips? Thanks so much for the interesting post!

The second post I commented on was a very well done video reflection by seventh graders who used causal modeling. The technique looks similar to a brainstorming sheet and links ideas in an interconnected loop. The example shows the ways we are able to define very complex ideas or thoughts in a story or as a pre-writing activity. I enjoyed the reflection video because it showed how much we can learn when things are examined starting at the root. The question or main idea is posed to start off the chain of events that explain the concept or question. This map of reasons and causes can help break down the learning to the fundamental or basic elements. This was my comment to the causal model reflection video: I think this tool is one that could be used across all grade levels, thanks so much for sharing it. So frequently children are so bored at the thought of being asked repeatedly to find main idea and details of a story. This tool could also be used for writing or group projects. I am going to try using this technique in the future when we examine fairy tales which almost always have a deeper message embedded within the story and characters. Thanks again for illustrating examples about how to use such an interesting tool for thinking and learning.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Project # 15 PBL Plan #3

Education should be customized based on the student you are teaching at the time and what they are good at intrinsically and are passionately drawn to in life. The standardized model of education is all wrong and learning would prove to be infinitely successful if it were allowed to be more natural and organic. According to Sir Ken Robinson, “We have to change from an industrial model to an agricultural model, where each school can be flourishing tomorrow.” Parents, teachers and administrators will be afforded the opportunity to bear witness to a child’s dreams. How can we foster the growth and development of said dreams? It is our greatest responsibility to find a way.
“Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” ― W.B. Yeats, The Wind Among the Reeds 1899

Project # 12 Part A

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blog Post # 9

What can we learn from Mrs. Cassidy?

Mrs. Cassidy is a professional and a teacher whom we can learn a great deal from. I enjoyed learning about the ways Mrs. Cassidy uses technology in her classroom. What a wonderful advantage she has given the children in her class to become familiar with the tools of technology and encouraging writing using said tools. I believe the use of computer science should be one of the foremost concepts taught in today’s educational system. I personally have been computer illiterate in the past but I am learning to use these new materials slowly but surely.

Children today are being left behind if they are not afforded the opportunity to learn and participate in the educational process through the use of computers and technology. Mrs. Cassidy has been implementing the use of computers and blogging for ten years now and to the betterment of her students. While watching the children use computers and IPods and different programs, I was amazed at how confident they were and looked completely capable as well. Mrs. Cassidy has gone above and beyond what an average teacher could, by preparing her class for this ever expanding global community. I think the world of education should and is following in her footsteps, some faster than others. I plan on using a tool called Glogster in the future because who wants to read in a dusty old text book or write using pencil and paper anyway. I think the educational possibilities are endless because the speed at which the technological market is changing there are ample programs, apps, and teaching and learning strategies coming available for our use in schools. The question is not if we as teachers should utilize these technological materials, but when because the time is now.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Blog Post # 8

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

There are many different programs that are purchased for schools each year. One that I have found very beneficial is a program called IXL Math. This tool allows children who have internet at home to log into their account and work toward mastery of the Common Core math standards for their particular grade. This program may also be used for remediation and enrichment, as all grade levels are secured on this site. The student will move through whichever subject they want or the teacher and parent may suggest individual concepts. As the goals are met the student will earn rewards and trophies. There is a visual representation; a picture of a treasure chest, to show all skills completed and what the child is working to attain in the future. A percentage is shown on the page to allow instant access to current grade point percentage. This feature allows the child to gage where their performance level is at presently and where they should make improvements. This tool can be utilized as a whole group lesson on the Smart Board or a class may be taken to the computer lab to hone their skills. The children are working to master objectives aligned with Common Core in a fun and relatively simple way using this convenient program. The last point for consideration is a very effective log system which sends the teacher a report for every skill practiced, the problems attempted and time on task for each individual student. A teacher may then encourage those who have not practiced certain skills to try and complete those standards before moving on to the next. I think this is a program that will become very popular within the educational system, much like the current reading programs used to promote reading.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Project # 14

C4T #2 Summary

I commented on a blog called 21apples for C4T #2. I really found the videos on this blog profound and thought provoking. I think the first video reaffirms something we all know but choose to ignore; we are inundated with social media and technology, sometimes to the detriment of our relationships. I have been guilty of ignoring the outside world and in the not so distant past becoming completely absorbed in social media. I think like most good things moderation is the key and overindulgence is killing our ability to connect to each other in real instances.

The next post I commented on was about a young boy who comes to the conclusion; he doesn’t want to eat his lunch because it is made from an animal. The child is speaking very intuitively to his mother about the fact that we should take care of animals not eat them. The mother allows him to make his own determination about the consumption of animal products. I was moved at the pure honesty of the little boy and the perceptiveness of his mother to enable the child to reach his conclusion. 21apples author posted this comment:
“sometimes our job is just to get out of the way.”

Project #9

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Project # 13

This concept could easily be applied to any grade, given our new technology. The teacher must be willing to give up a little control, allowing the children creative control, and the administrators must be onboard in order to give the teacher the freedom to explore such projects. According to Mr. Pausch, every two weeks there is evidence for the effectiveness of the role each group member played and a system for grading their work. Mr. Pausch states,
“That’s hard feedback to ignore,” causing the educator to give the best gift they can give; getting somebody to become self reflective.”
When you are aware of mistakes you are making, a person who is willing can make the necessary changes or improvements to ensure a better quality product or outcome. This teacher believed in this way of learning and worked hard to produce amazing results. He believed in his students, in a way not unlike the way his mentors believed in him. The head of his university, President Cohon, reminds him “Tell them about having FUN” and sometimes the students will not even realize they are learning because the fun masks the real objective. Mr. Pausch states: Decide if you are a Tigger or an Eeyore. Are you going to take a positive outlook and make things fun or are you going to be negative and focus on what can and will go wrong. What a very moving message this dying man leaves as the final piece of his legacy. A teacher can and should hope to leave an imprint on the world as substantial as Mr. Pausch has in his lifetime.

C4K Summary February

My first Comment for Kids post was for a student named Morgan in Mrs. Schneider’s class. The student was researching the case for the health benefits and longevity of life attained by a pet owner. I asked the student to visit the CDC’s website for more information, there is an article listed there about some interesting research supporting the thesis statement the student posted.

The next comment within this assignment was for Mathew in Mrs. Caddy’s class. He posted a snippet about why he enjoys using technology, mainly for homework questions. I left a comment about the importance of the internet when one is stuck on a troubling question. There is a wealth of knowledge waiting for us all we need to do is ask.

The third comment was for Cassidy in Mrs. Reuter's Class Blog. This student left a very entertaining post on the way people get on her nerves, especially during testing. I gave Cassidy some feedback on my experiences with testing and distracting noises. I also left a quote for her to think on,
“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” ~St. Augustine

For my last comment for this assignment, I chose Pickle and his fictional narrative titled: “story.” It is a tale about a group of kids meeting up at a haunted house and being frightened and murdered by the likes of Freddy, Jason and Mama and her children. Here is my response:
“Hey there! I am a student at the University of South Alabama and I have been assigned to comment on your blog. Great narrative about what would happen if Freddy, Jason and Mama with kids in tow just so happen to be haunting the same house. This story really put a horrifying picture in my mind about the grizzly scenario that could play out if those forces combined! I like the way you described Freddy’s and Jason’s actions’ in the end of your story. It reminds me of a particular style of story my family and I tell on camping trips. Someone starts a ghost story, and then they pause and pick someone else to take over the next portion. The story may end up silly or really scary, whatever your preference. As far as I can tell from your last line you may have a sequel in store for us all. Good job."
I really enjoyed reading the first of the four blog posts by kids; it’s great to see what they are creating and how technology is being used today.
Children Blog!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Project # 8 Book Trailer

Blog Post # 6

What are personal learning Networks? How can they help you as a teacher? How are they formed? How can you create your own PLN? Who will be the first additions to your PLN?

Personal learning networks are a network of resources students and teachers can use to learn and grow. According to Steven Anderson, PLN's are a way for teachers and students to take the typical school based (PLC) or personal learning communities and expanding them to a global scale, including a virtual panel of experts from around the world. Learning will never again be confined to the limits within the four walls of a classroom/school.

In the future, a teacher will be a facilitator for children to connect and learn from professionals in any country. Teaching will get better as we as professionals become comfortable with the process of learning to make those valuable connections and utilize our ability to network with in our field and beyond. The possibilities are endless, given this new wave of technological applications for people to research, learn, and gain resources in an instant. The way teaching and learning is conducted will be changed for those willing to open the lines for communicating within the global stage. Children today are using this way of communicating everyday depending on which social media sites they are on or how frequently they use search engines. It will be the duty of the teacher to require they make good use of the internet and the plethora of resources increasingly available to us all. Michael Fawcett, throws down the gauntlet, challenges all teachers to maximize their potential for growth using PLN’s.

I plan on developing my PLN using the Twittersphere, Delicious, Symbaloo, PortaPortal and Blogger to connect to educators and participate in workshops/conferences around the globe. Twitter is a very convenient networking tool because there are recommendations based upon who a person follows. Said recommendations can provide users with an endless supply of possibilities for authentic opportunities for collaboration and instruction. Information can then be saved and stored in one place for quick access with technologies like Delicious and PortaPortal. What a wealth of knowledge we are privy to, all we have to do is show up!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Sentence Videos

My Sentence Is...

My Passion Is...

Blog Post #5

What do you learn from these conversations with Anthony Capps?

Anthony Capps is a third grade teacher, who has been successfully experimenting with technology and Project Based Learning in the past year, which also happens to be his first year teaching. There is a wealth of knowledge to be obtained from the conversations Mr. Capps and Dr. Strange posted. Project Based Learning is a tool for educators to use but also a learning process, for the teacher as well as the student. Children who are involved in this learning process are engaged and excited about what they are studying. One of the most important things I gained from this set of videos is that the students are engaged and happy to learn while using PBL, which are authentic experiences we as educators are trying to achieve as our ultimate goal.

The next part of the series of clips contains information about an important tool for the children when they are researching and creating using technology called icurio.This resource offers a safe way to view information when researching topics, as well as store work created during the learning process. No jump drive or pencil and paper required! The safe search engine can be utilized by the teacher to ensure material is appropriate and aligned with curriculum standards. Discovery Ed is another valuable resource discussed in these clips and it can be viewed at:I have used Discovery Streaming in the past for video clips on just about every topic you can think of in just about every content area. Children today are much more apt to tune in to a visual on the Smart Board, rather than have the teacher drone on about any given topic.

Finally Dr. Strange and Mr. Capps offer these essential tips for future teachers: 1. Teachers must be constant learners. 2. Teaching never ends its hard work but very rewarding. 3. Always be flexible because the unexpected will happen. 4. Start with the goal in mind. 5. Engage 100% of kids, 100% of the time on 100% of the projects. 6. Reflect, revise and share the work with an audience. I learned after viewing the interviews with Anthony Capps that the way children learn is evolving and educators today must learn to scaffold our lessons to allow for each child to discover and use technology to gain information about the world because the knowledge is already out there waiting for us to explore.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

C4T # 1 Post # 1 Summary

I commented on the, Mr. Mike McDowell responded to my comment. The blog post was about the Educreations app. The app seemed to allow the children to go on a scavenger hunt and included practice with the skill, main idea and details. Mr. McDowell informed me in his response to my question about classroom management, “I would say first and foremost, a discussion on expectations and lesson objectives needs to be implemented prior to any activity taking place.” I fully understand this is an aspect of teaching that should not be overlooked, especially in the lower grades. After using this app most of the children were able to master the concept and utilize this skill using regular old pencil and paper. What a great real world concept! My second comment was about the use of QR codes, an app that can be utilized for even the youngest of children. The codes were used while counting money. This tool is an easy way for the teacher to check for mastery, and it seems very easy to use. I plan on researching the best lessons to include this technology with because it appears to practically be effortless to integrate this app.

Blog Post # 4

Asking questions: What questions do we ask? How do we ask?

Good questions are one of the most important aspects of teaching. Not only are questions vital in order to assess learning but they are essential while implementing lessons in virtually any subject. Asking questions can frame the lesson as well as set children up for success when testing must take place. There must be opportunities daily for every single child in the classroom to share ideas and contribute to the conversations taking place during the teaching and learning process. Many times children who are shy or feel they do not have anything profound to add to the lesson will ultimately just keep quiet. This is a bad habit that must be broken. Children will disengage and become inactive observers instead of eager participants. There must be rules and procedures emplace because good conversations will not become a part of the daily routine if the proper measures have not been take to allow for it to be so. Children should be respectful, patient, thoughtful and appropriate when a teacher presents the type of question needed for investigations of the topic at hand.

What type of questions should we ask? I think the typical questions that include a yes or no answer are useful in some settings like mathematics and science; however, when teaching reading and language arts an open ended question will most likely be important. In the video titled: Asking better questions in the classroom pt. 1, Joanne Chesley reminds us about the benefits of using open ended questions, allowing the student to delve into the subject matter more completely rather than closed ended question.

Another resource I found useful was the very informative video about the way questions should be posed in the classroom. Questioning styles and strategies, demonstrates the process for effective questioning and sample student responses. Student understanding is shown and the lesson flows quite well. Student learning will be exponentially improved if we, as educators, can harness achievement through the use of effective questioning and quality answers.

Presentation Project # 3

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Blog Post # 3

How Can You Provide Meaningful Feedback to Your Peers?

Feedback is an essential tool used by professionals in every career you can think of, especially teaching. How can anyone expect to grow if they are never shown how effective their methods are when completing tasks within their profession? Evaluations, assessments, scores, critiques and the like are useful when judging the work of another. The trick is to evaluate with tact. Professionalism demands appropriate use of feedback, so as not to offend, in order to guide the individual to conclusions about how to improve. As teacher’s we will be called to evaluate the work of our students as well as our peers, so it is very important to get the message across without being hateful or trying to embarrass those we are critiquing. Paige Ellis states in her blog about the topic,
“Like communication, to be effective, it takes practice to master this skill.”

To find out more about providing meaningful feedback to your peers, students were asked to view some very informative links. In the simple presentation by nrpatric, Peer Editing, our memory is refreshed on the responsible way one must approach editing our peers using, “suggestions, comments, compliments and changes.”

Another resource listed was Adriana Zardini, who presented a slide show on peer editing. The author reminds us to “Always start your peer editing with compliments!” a very important positive approach to evaluating writing. In the teaching profession, starting an evaluation off on a positive note is a method that should be practiced repeatedly. Students, parents and peers will be more open to whatever message you are trying to convey after you compliment them on their accomplishments.

Lastly in the video by Tim Bedley’s students, Writing a Peer review (Peer Critique) Top 10 Mistakes, there are ten scenarios presented for ways in which mistakes can be made while reviewing writing. The short film illustrates negative styles for critiquing. Students are pretty convincing as they act out all the ways reviewers can be cruel, inappropriately critical and ineffective while judging the quality of each others writing. As a final note, when you judge another persons work, do so in a respectful manner, they will reciprocate your kindness and should learn from their mistakes. Evaluations are essential but kindness is key.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blog Post # 2

Blog Post # 2 What Will Teaching In The 21st Century Be Like?
Mr. Dancealot
In the YOUTUBE video, the teacher demonstrates his vast knowledge of the subject he has been teaching for twelve years; however, his students are at a loss when the time comes for them to demonstrate what they have learned. Teaching and learning has changed significantly through the years, a course on dancing should not and can not be effectively taught through rote memorization, as such is the case with many important subjects faced in education today. I agree with the central message of the video because it would be extremely difficult to learn without doing. The video reminds teachers to involve the students in the learning process. This is the most efficient method for delivering instruction.

Teaching In The 21st Century
After viewing the Kevin Roberts clip, I have a better understanding about the urgency for technology driven lessons and teaching and learning in the 21st century. Children today gather information instantaneously. The internet and social media are an ever-present source for unlimited use in the lives of children today. Teachers must integrate the use of technology and soon because societal consumption of digital media is growing rapidly. If content, facts, dates, formulas, research, theories, stories, information are the only thing teachers can provide, then our role in the lives of students is obsolete according to Roberts. A teacher must not simply deliver information but enable the student to discern how to receive and implement information to best equip them in this digital age. Honing higher order thinking skills are what teaching has evolved to, gone are the days when multiple choice testing will remain a sufficient basis for measuring knowledge.

I believe the way students are learning should evolve to parallel trends in technology and modern life, for if it lags so will our success as a nation. To ignore the ways of modern society would be shortchanging our students. People today can gain a wealth of knowledge in a split second; teachers are going to have to work at breakneck speed to keep up, or we will ultimately be the ones who are left behind.

The Networked Student
Wendy Drexler created a movie, where the question is asked: Why does he, the networked student, even need a teacher? The answer is the teacher is a person the student may use as a guide while navigating the abundance of digital resources available. Students are able to obtain information from around the world from credible sources about any topic exponentially. Teachers will be facilitators who teach students to evaluate, network, credit, integrate and problem solve while researching and learning. Teaching in the modern sense will be that of a mentor role, independent discovery will drive instruction, which is what maybe teaching should have been all along.

Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts
Vicki Davis talks about student achievement in her short film titled Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts. Davis speaks about how teaching should not be limited to pencil and paper because only certain students will succeed. The perspective Davis presents is one that should motivate teachers across the globe to connect to each other as well as the world stage because we are now a global economy as the world is growing more and more interconnected so should our teaching.

Flipping the classroom is a new concept to me, and I like the idea of providing instruction prior to the lesson. I personally have met many students who would benefit from this type of instruction. Background knowledge is so important when a student can make those connections to the lesson, they are more engaged and will follow along so much more than if they fall behind and become disinterested. As school systems integrate technology, lessons delivered in this manner will prove invaluable to those struggling students who will be afforded the opportunity to use technology and supplement their own education with lessons catered to their individual needs. This is an exciting time in education right now; I am thrilled I get to be a part of it.