Sunday, April 27, 2014

C4K Summary for April

My C4K #9 was a student from New Zealand named Trinity. Her blog post was about fiafia night at their school. It is when the parents come to school and watch the students perform a dance. It sounded like a lot of fun and Trinity liked performing for everyone.

My C4K #10 was also a student from New Zealand named Mitchell. In his blog post, he answered questions about his class. He has enjoyed working hard on Google Drive. By what I read, I think he has done a great job so far this semester and has a very bright future ahead of him.

image of children in the classroom

C4T #4 Summary

For my C4T #4 I was assigned to arvind grover. He is the dean of faculty at the Grace Church School in New York City and his blog is called 21apples. The two blog post's I commented on were called "Showing all kinds of loving families" and "Amazing young girls getting toys they actually want".

C4T #4 comment #1

image of the world
arvind's first post I commented on was called "Showing all kinds of loving families". The post was about two men that have been together for almost 50 years but just recently became married in New York City. The post talks about different kinds of families and lifestyles. I think students need to know about diversity among families because so many are taught with one image in their mind. Our world is changing drastically and our children need to be aware of these changes.

C4T comment #2

arvind's second post I commented on was called "Amazing young girls getting toys they actually want". The post talks about the Goldieblox comercial showing little girls creating and engineering things throughout the entire house. I love this commercial because it is not black or white. It is in the gray area because it does not show the girls playing with barbies or dress-up yet it does not show them wrestling in the mud. It shows these young girls creating and building these amazing things with their girly toys around their home.

image of girls from goldieblox commercial

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blog Post #13

The rate of technology being used in today's society and inside the classroom is constantly growing. If you as the teacher, had the opportunity to go paperless and use only technology in your classroom, would you? Why or why not?

image of paper floating around a laptop
As someone who has grown up in one of the first major technology generations I have never known what life would be like if technology was never available. However, I have always had books and paper along with the growing technology in my learning process. I think technology in the classroom is a must if we want our children to one day be able to function and thrive in our world. If they did not learn and evolve along with the growth of technology, we would be hindering them in so many ways because technology is becoming so prominent.

I think if students use the resources they are given, they could soar and learn so much they could not learn or did not have the time to learn during designated school hours. I also think that students should have the opportunity to hold the book while reading, not holding an iPad or reading from a computer screen. I think they should have to take notes and complete homework with pen and paper. Yes, technology is a great resource for students but if they learn everything from a computer screen, how are they supposed to learn how to write? How are they supposed to write anything without spell check or auto-correct? There is an endless amount of pros and cons of going paperless but if I had the option, I would not. The students need to learn how to answer a math problem with the steps and formulas before they can use a calculator. They need to know how it feels to flip a page of their favorite book. Yes, becoming a paperless classroom is possible and many teachers would probably do it in a heartbeat but as for me, I will stick to paper and pencils as long as I can.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blog Post #12

Learning Disabilities Association of America defines a learning disability as a "neurological condition that interferes with an individual's ability to store, process, or produce information." In today's society, there are so many tools and assistive technology that allows students with learning disabilities to be almost, if not completely, included in every aspect of the learning process and the classroom in general. The types of assistive technology varies from hi-tech to low-tech depending on the student's disability. Every disability case is different so an assistive tool that worked well for one student might not work at all for another, you just have to keep trying.

While doing some research, I found a great website called, This website has so much information about learning disabilities and assistive technologies. One assistive technology that I found interesting was an information/data manager. It helps people that struggle with organization and memory. They can plan, store checklists, keep a calendar and much more on this device. Some are portable and hand-held devices that can be taken home with the student each day. I think that would be great for any student, especially one's that struggle with memory and organization. Depending on the grade level, either myself or the student with my assistance, would write down things they need to bring to class each day or homework for the night. We could store it in the data manager at the beginning of the week so they can be prepared for what is coming up.

Another tool I found that would be useful in the classroom is called a Variable Speed Tape Recorder. It helps student's that struggle with listening and reading skills. The recorder allows them to record a lecture during class or instructions for a project so they can play it back later. It also allows them to slow down the speed of the voice that is recorded with out distorting the recording.

Image of a quote by JFK

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Project #10 Interview

C4K Summary for March

My C4K #6 was a student from New Zealand named Punaiuru. In her blog post she had a video of herself talking about her swimming story. The post was called Punaiuru's Swimming Story. She talked about when her class went swimming. They blew bubbles and it was a lot of fun! The purpose of the blog post and video was for her to practice creating simple sentences and I think she did a great job.

My C4K #7 was a student from New Zealand as well. Her name T.A. and her post was about Mazes. She gave a few questions and answers about mazes. She knew a lot about them and they seem like a lot of fun. Maybe I can go through a maze one day.

My C4K #8 was also a student from New Zealand. His name is Jayden and his post was about dividing in math. He gave some of his strategies when dividing three digit numbers by one digit numbers. His favorite subject is math and I know why. He is great at math and his strategies are great ways to divide larger numbers.

Image of students working on a computer

Blog Post #11

By: Sarah Carl

Image of children thinking
The video of Roosevelt Elementary School's PBL program is proof of how project-based learning is so great for students. The Roosevelt teachers teach their students skills necessary for the real world such as public speaking. So many adults go through school and enter the real world never being able to properly give a speech or how to interview and that is a major reason why our society is the way it is today. Project-based learning not only teaches the students public speaking skills at an early age, it also teaches them self-motivation. They need to know that sometimes the only way to keep moving forward in life is to be able to motivate yourself to do things because they will not always have someone to hold their hand through everything. The students learn to work independently and cooperatively. By working together in PBL, the students practice social skills and how to work together which is also very necessary for the real world. Project-based learning does not use just one way of learning, it incorporates multiple intelligences so each child receives the most information from each lesson. By using multiple intelligences, it makes the students much more engaged and interactive. It makes them curious and wanting to learn. As the teacher's at Roosevelt Elementary School said "It's not easy. It's a lot of work for teachers." But I think to see the students so engaged and excited about learning makes it completely worth it.

By: Ashley Howell

In the video, Super Digital Citizen, Mr. Pane, who is a fourth grade teacher, teaches his students about Internet safety. I feel like in today’s society kids are constantly learning how to use the Internet and technology, but they don’t really learn much about how to be safe. Mr. Pane wanted his students to learn how to be good digital citizens, which meant knowing how to act safely, respectfully, and responsibly on the Internet. He decided to teach his kids about Internet safety in a really neat, fun way. He had his students use a website to create their own Digital Superhero, as well as their own imagined situation in which the superhero would save the day when it came to Internet safety. The students basically wrote their own narrative, like a comic. Not only were the students learning about how to use technology and Internet safety, but they were also learning more about their English and writing skills. You could tell by the video just how much fun these students were having with this project. In the video, Mr. Pane mentions how it’s important to create some projects that are about the students because it makes them more meaningful. As teachers, it’s important to remember that the students are exposed to so much online and they need to know how to make good choices.

Kids surrounding a computer

We have been learning a lot lately about Project Based Learning and how great it really is. In the Youtube video titled, Project Based Learning, we learn how three teachers in Canada restructured their day to use Project Based Learning. In this particular classroom, students don’t learn in segmented subjects. Instead, the teachers integrate subjects like History and English coupled with technology. In the video, we learn that research shows that integrated learning through projects allows the students to be more engaged and provides an opportunity for deeper understanding. The three teachers in this video realized how beneficial Project Based Learning can be, but all they needed was more time. The teachers decided to restructure their day to make time to blend ideas and content, go deeper into learning, and provide feedback. It’s hard to do a good, thorough project when the students are limited. With Project Based Learning, teachers are allowed to teach things beyond the curriculum. It gives the students a chance to create something great on their own and be proud of the process, as well as the outcome.

By:Holly Shaw

Brian Crosby is an innovative, exciting fourth grade teacher who does not take the easy route in teaching his students. While most teachers are satisfied with high test scores and multiple choice tests, Crosby is not. In this video, he talks about a particular project dealing with atmospheric pressure and the levels of the atmosphere. Rather than just teaching his students verbatim what their textbook claims, Crosby used the book, charts and had the students complete various exciting activities. The students videoed their experiments and embed them to their personal blogs. In Crosby’s class, the students are doing more than learning meaningless facts, they are getting hands-on experience. By the students blogging they are getting to reinforce what they learn. The students are also exposed to flicker, wikipages, and other 21st century tools. Brian Crosby-Back To the Future

students sitting and standing in a circle with laptops outside
The most rewarding part of Crosby’s class is that his students are getting more out each lesson rather than just a simple science lesson. Students are learning to read and write to learn content, to write for the purpose of clarifying and sharing, and to give an receive feedback along with many other language intense skills. Brian Crosby believes in active learning where students are being empowered to learn and to learn on their own using 21st century tools. Students are also encouraged to collaborate in and outside the classroom. Students are motivated because they are able to connect with people all over the world.

By: Caitlyn Barton

Paul Anderson teaches AP Biology in Bozeman, Montana. This past year he turned his classroom into a video game. He thought it was a great year but a little too different. So this year he wanted to do a blended classroom. He talks about it in this video. His idea for blended learning is combining mobile, online, and classroom learning. For biology, he teaches his students by using the 5 E's: engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluate. His idea of blended learning combined with the 5 E's makes his blended learning cycle. Mr. Anderson likes to start a lesson with a big question that catches the students' attention. Next, he lets the student investigate to try and answer the questions they all have. Once his students have more answers, they get to watch a video that goes along with the topic. He ends his lesson with a review and testing. I think his way of teaching is something that every teacher should try in their classroom. The class does not all move along at one time. He makes sure each student is ready to move on to the next part of his blended learning cycle. Mr. Anderson says all of his students have responded positively to this method of teaching!

 Year 2000 Classroom Prediction

March Church's Making Thinking Visible video gives us a look into his classroom. Mr. Church likes to break his students into small groups. While in their groups he gives them questions to elaborate on with the other members of the group. Each group comes up with a headline that captures the essence of their topic. He then asks the groups to present their headline and explain why they chose it. To finish the project all of the headlines are joined together to make a bulletin board!

C4T #3 Summary

For my C4T #3 I was assigned to an english teacher named Eva Buyuksimkesyan. Her blog is called A Journey in TEFL. The two blog post's I commented on were called "5 fun activities for the Monday morning" and "Virtual Tourists".

C4T #3 comment #1

Eva's first post I commented on was called 5 Fun Activities For the Monday Morning. The post was about different activities to do with the students on monday mornings so they wake up and get excited for the week. I think anybody could say monday mornings are usually the hardest part of the week to get excited for school or work. These activities are a great way to get the students engaged and ready for the week.

image of a dog laying on the floor

C4T #3 comment #2

Eva's second post I commented on was called Virtual Tourists. She was teaching her class about the pyramids and pharaohs and one of her students asked if they could go see them so she said they could. She used many different websites that allowed them to do virtual field trips. I think cites such as these are great for the students learning process because it gives them a major visual experience to help them learn and remember the information.

image of virtual field trips

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Project #15

Image of the United States map

For this lesson, I created a project called Know Your State. This lesson plan addresses the Alabama English and Language Arts State Standards for third grade. This project will be completed in a two week time frame giving the students about one week to work on their presentation and one week to present.The students will split into groups of four and assigned a state to research using iCurio. They will use Prezi to create their presentations of their group assigned state. The second week the students will present their presentations to the class, showing all of the interesting facts they found while conducting their research with their group.

Here are the sources below:

Project Calendar

Project Overview

Project Checklist

Project Rubric

Blog Post #10

In Sir Ken Robinson's TED Talk video called Bring on the Learning Revolution, he says, "Human resources like natural resources; they're often buried deep. You have to go looking for them, they're not just lying around on the surface." This quote stuck out the most to me because I feel like this is how many people think about education. They think that as long as they go to class or do what the teacher tells them, they deserve to be successful. I think we are teaching our kids this idea of education and it has to stop. They have to want to learn because if they do not want to learn then what are they in school for?

Sir Ken Robinson said that we make poor use of our talents and so many people go through their entire lives without knowing what talents they have. I think as a teacher, that is our duty. It is our responsibility to help children find their talents so they can grow into successful adults in the community. If everyone walked around living lives that they did not love, what is the point of the whole process? Sir Ken Robinson taught me that we have to start a "revolution" in education and customize each child's learning process to fit their talents or to help them grow in any way we can.

Image of Sir Ken Robinson

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blog Post #9

"It's not going away, it's here to stay" is what Mrs. Cassidy said about technology in the video Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 1. I think she is absolutely right. We have the choice to use or not use technology in our classrooms but as fast as our world is progressing, especially in technology, I think we would be hindering our students by not using technology in the classroom. Mrs. Cassidy had a great approach to technology. When I think about using it in my classroom I think, "where do I start?" That is the thing that so many people get overwhelmed by and it should not be that way. There is no certain place to start, no right or wrong answer. You choose a place to begin using technology in the classroom that best fits you and your students and build from there.

After watching, Little Kids... Big Potential, it really made me realize the use of technology has no age limit. Mrs. Cassidy's students blog weekly and they are first graders. I have had a blog for only a couple of months and I have gained so much knowledge from using it. Imagine your students using blogs weekly. They would gain so much more knowledge then from a book and they can also share what they have learned with the world. When I have a classroom, I want my students to have blogs because it enhances their reading and writing skills, their communication skills, and of course their use of technology. The use of blogs has so many positive aspects that I want to give my students the best education and learning experience possible.

Image of Mrs. Kathy Cassidy teaching a student

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Project #14: Project Based Learning Plan #2

Image of the cover of Where the Sidewalk Ends
For this lesson, I created a project called Poem Cartoons. This lesson plan addresses the Alabama English and Language Arts State Standards for third grade. This project is to be completed in a two week time frame giving the students about a week and a half to create and three days to present. The students will be split into groups of four and each group will be give a poem by Shel Silverstein. They will read, discuss, and brainstorm ideas in their groups of how they want their cartoon to look. Using Creaza, they will create a cartoon or comic strip illustrating their groups poem. At the end of the week each group will read their poem and present their groups cartoon to the class. This project will allow the students to be as creative and open-minded as they want because there is no right or wrong answer.

Here are the sources below:

Project Calendar

Project Overview

Project Checklist

Project Rubric

Friday, March 14, 2014

Blog Post #8

When the prompt for this post said we could not use any of the sites that we have discussed or used in this class I thought I would never find anymore sites. After one simple online search I was very wrong. I found so many new learning tools that it was difficult to even choose a few to talk about. There are so many great online tools to incorporate into my classroom and I cannot wait to put them to use in my classroom one day.

Image of the ePals logo

The first one I found is called ePals. ePals is a website that allows students to engage with other students all over the world. They can find students learning the same concept as them and they can interact with each other about that concept. The two separate classrooms can even work on one project together from two different countries through ePals. Teachers can use ePals to find other educators lesson plans or classroom curriculums to enhance their own personal teaching practices. Parents and students can access ePals at home to find poems, games, and children's stories of any kind to continue their learning process outside of the classroom. Through part of ePals called "Clubhouse", students can safely connect and interact with other students. I will use every aspect of ePals in my classroom because it does not offer just one certain tool. You can use it inside and outside the classroom, for lesson plans or games to add to a lesson, and it can be used by teachers, parents, and students. My favorite part of ePals is that the students can interact and work together with another student or class from across the world. I want to give my students as many new learning opportunities as possible and by using ePals, it would give them so many new outlooks and resources on topics they are learning.

Image of the Popplet logo

The second one I found is called Popplet. Popplet is a website that allows you and your students to collaborate, brainstorm together, and create mind-maps to assist in the learning process. I have always been a visual learner so I think Popplet would be great to use in my classroom. I like to teach visually as much as possible because I was a visual learner. I want to help in any way I can to enhance the students knowledge and understanding.

Image of the Socrative Logo

The final I found was called Socrative. Socrative is a website that allows students to engage in games and exercises of all kinds on any type of device they have. Teachers can also see each students progress and track grades which would be a major asset in a teacher's assessments. I would use this in my classroom because we could do some as a group inside the classroom but they could also use it at home. It is simple to use and can be personalized for each student.

C4T #2 Summary

I was assigned to Dr. Wesley Fryer's blog called Moving at the Speed of Creativity where I commented on two different blog post's. I commented on "Educational Vouchers are a bad idea for Oklahoma students and families (HB 3398)" and "Free Browser-based Screencasting with Screencast-O-Matic".

C4T #2 comment #1

Dr. Fryer's first post I commented on was called "Educational Vouchers are a bad idea for Oklahoma students and families (HB 3398)". The post was about a new House Bill 3398 being proposed in Oklahoma about the students schooling. If the bill was passed it would allow homeless children the opportunity to go to private school on the money from the Oklahoma Education Saving Account. Dr. Fryer does not agree with the bill and did not want it to be passed because he thinks it will hurt more than help. He said it "would have a devastating impact on the finances of our already financially strapped public schools." I responded by saying that I agreed the bill should not be passed. They are trying to use money that is not there to begin with so it becomes a vicious cycle within the school system. I think they should start at the core which is the schools themselves. If we helped the schools and the teachers, then both public and private school students would have an equal learning opportunity.

Image of a stack of books with the word politics written on the bottom book

C4T #2 comment #2

Dr. Fryer's second blog post I commented on was called "Free Browser-based Screencasting with Screencast-O-Matic". The post was a video showing how to combine two PDF documents into one by using a software program called PDFMate PDF converter free. He demonstrated the step by step process to combine two PDF files into one PDF document and then upload it to a website. I commented that after watching his video I realized how simple the process actually is because I have been in that position before and could not figure out how to combine the files. I thanked him for taking time out to make the video and for showing us how easy the process actually is with the correct software program.

Image of the world connected to a computer mouse

Project #9: Video Book Commentary

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Blog Post #7

"Too many people go through life complaining about their problems. I've always believed that if you took one tenth the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you'd be surprised by how well things can work out." Randy Pausch said this in his last lecture before he died in 2008 called Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. I had not heard of him until I watched his video and wow, his message was powerful. It is true that most people and I am one of those people sometimes, go through life complaining about anything and everything. We never seem content and appreciative of what we have and the opportunities that come our way. In today's society it is always "I want more" and that is such a bad attitude to have towards the life you were given. As teachers, we must make sure our students are grateful for the opportunities they are being given in the classroom because it will show them that they can always be worse off than they are now. They are blessed to even be given the opportunity to receive an education at all.

Image of Randy Pausch presenting his last lecture
Another statement that Randy Pausch said in his video was "It's not how hard you hit. It's how hard you get hit...and keep moving forward." I think that is the toughest balancing act as a teacher to do with your students. It's like a mother of a toddler. She wants to keep him in a protective bubble so he will not get hurt but that is not reality or how the toddler will every learn. As a teacher, you have to watch your students fail and become discouraged by there failure but then you have to be the hero that helps them stand back up and try again. Without the help to get up and keep moving forward, they might never get back up or try again.

The last statement that stuck out to me from Randy Pausch's video was "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." This statement is very important to me because my dad has always said something like that to me and they are both very true. Not one person in this world can truly control the obstacles in there lives so you have to improvise and use what knowledge you do have about the problem at hand and deal with it head on. As teachers and constant learners, we have to continuously deal with problems or modify something because it is not going to work out like you had planned. We have to teach our students this as well because if we just teach them the facts and never give them obstacles to face, they will come to an obstacle one day and they will not be prepared and isn't a teachers job to get your students prepared for the real world? That is how I see my job as a teacher and I think it is one of the most important parts of teaching. If your students leave your classroom unprepared, how are they supposed to keep progressing in life to one day become a successful part of our society? I hope one day my students will be able to say that I make an impact on them and helped them progress in life because that is what teaching is all about.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

C4K Summary for February

My C4K #1 was a student from Ireland named Jack. In his blog post he talked about his fun filled day with his friend Conor. They play Black Ops 2 and watched Despicable Me 2 while eating popcorn and jellies. He was sad when his friend Conor had to go home but their mothers said Jack could come over to Conor's house the weekend of Valentine's day so they were both very excited. Jack is a great writer and seems very smart and fun to be around.

My C4K #2 was a sixth grade student named Luke. His blog post was titled "Three goals I have set for myself are...". Luke's three goals were "get another million dollars, retire at the age of 28, and have a life time of whoppers from BK". He seems to be the kind of dreamer that every adult wishes they could be forever. I told him that if he achieved his three goals, he would be set for life. Being retired at 28, with money and a life time supply of burgers seems like a pretty great life.

Image of three children on a laptop in the classroom
My C4K #3 was a classmate of Jack from my C4K #1. His blog post was titled "Mystery Match hmmmmmmmm!" He plays football (soccer) and he has a match this weekend but the coaches did not tell them who they were going to be playing. Liam said he hoped they were going to play a team called Cromlin because they have only played them once. He loves playing football and that is not an easy sport at all. I told him good luck on his match this weekend and the best of luck in the future.

My C4K #4 was a high school student from Baldwin County named Hillard and his post was titled "Belief". Hillard believes that we as Americans should be allowed to carry guns because they have many purposes. You can protect your family if you are robbed in your home and you can also go hunting with it. I agree that we should be allowed, with the correct permits, to own guns because if the Government took away everything that was "dangerous", we would not have much left because even cars would be gone.

Project #13

2030: A Day In The Life of Tomorrow's Kids book cover

For this project, we created a Lesson Plan titled DIY (Do It Yourself) Ending. This lesson plan addresses the Alabama State Standards for third grade English and Language Arts. It refers to learning about key ideas and details in which the students should be able to determine the main idea of a text, recount the key details, and explain how the details support the main idea. This project covers a period of two weeks in which the students will be actively engaged. The students will read a book titled, 2030: A Day In the Life of Tomorrow’s Kids. This is a great, age-appropriate book for the kids in today’s society. Technology and our environment is constantly changing, so it’s fun for kids to think about what the world will be like in 20 years from now. Here’s the catch: the students will only read half of the book and at the beginning of the second week, they will come up with their own ending (before they know the real ending). The students will work on this project collaboratively in groups of 4. They will work together to discuss the main idea of the story and come up with a few key details. They will also do some individual work in writing a blog at the end of each week. The main part of the project is that they will be creating/writing their own ending to the story and presenting them by using either a Google Site, a Prezi presentation, a poster, or iMovie. We think that the students will really enjoy this project. After all, there is always that one book that we wish we could go back and rewrite the ending to. Here’s the chance.

Check out the few sources below:

Project Calendar

Project Overview

Project Checklist

Project Rubric

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blog Post #6

A personal learning network (PLN) is exactly what it sounds like. According to a blog that I found called Once a Teacher... explained a PLN as "the entire collection of people with whom you engage and exchange information, usually online." Each person's personal learning network will be different from another but that is what makes it personal. Your PLN consists of blogs, twitter accounts, and any other way you can connect with other educators around the world. If your personal learning network is used correctly, you will benefit from it tremendously.

Personal learning networks can help you as a teacher in many ways. It can help you find an answer to a question you are not sure about. It can help you learn things to pass on to your students. The list could go on forever telling the many ways a PLN would benefit you as a teacher. A personal learning network is formed by first choosing how you will keep track of everything you are going to have in your PLN. After reading all of the links Dr. Strange gave us, I would use Symbaloo because it seems to be the easiest to navigate and use on a daily basis. All of my PLN connections could be organized on one single page and all you have to do is click on the one you are wanting to go to.

Image of animated people all connected through PLN's
I would begin my personal learning network (PLN) by following different educators on Twitter. I could have daily updates on their thoughts about things but I could also message them on Twitter if I had any questions and vice versa. I would also use different educators blogs and YouTube for valuable information I might need. By starting with just a few tools in my PLN I have a place to start from and work my way up. Each time I find something that would be beneficial for me as a teacher and my class, I can add it to my personal learning network so I can go back to it whenever I need to. After reading more about personal learning networks (PLN), I think every teacher should have one because nobody knows everything and as constant learners ourselves, even the smallest piece of new information can help you and your students in the classroom.

Project #8: Book Trailer

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Blog Post #5

After watching the seven videos between Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange, I feel much more confident in my understanding of project-based learning and the use of technology in the classroom. The first two videos I watched were called Project Based Learning Part 1: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher and Project Based Learning Part 2: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher. In these two videos Anthony and Dr. Strange discussed project-based learning in the classroom and how the students, teachers, parents, and faculty feel about the use of PBL in the classroom. PBL is where the students put what they have learned to use in some kind of project instead of the students just memorizing the information and taking a test on the material. According to Anthony, the students love using PBL in the classroom because they are so much more engaged than the would be in a classroom with out PBL. They are given the opportunity to be creative in their learning process and it makes learning so much more memorable and fun.

iCurio is a great tool to use in the classroom for all ages. It is a safe search engine for the students to do their research on while in the process of completing a project. The internet is a great thing but so many people use it in a negative way. If we want our students to be able to use the internet and excel in their learning process, iCurio is the best way to allow them to do exactly that. I know I will use iCurio in my classroom one day because it is a safe search engine but it still gives your students so many options and resources. I had never heard of Discovery Education until seeing this video and it seems like a great tool to use in the classroom. Similar to iCurio, it allows the students to have other resources and videos explaining topics or learning about certain topics more in depth that they may not have had time to do in the classroom. Anthony gave the great example of the students using Discovery Education to look up different kinds of plants and it gives them not only pictures of the plants and facts but it also gives them videos of other teachers talking about the plants.

Image of a stack of books connected to a computer mouse
The Anthony-Strange list of Tips for Teachers Part 1 was a great video giving us tips on how to be a successful teacher. So many teachers think of what they do as just a job that pays the bills but to be a successful teacher "you have to love to learn", according to Anthony and Dr. Strange. I agree because if you do not love to learn than why did you go to school to become a teacher to begin with? Being a teacher is a constant learning process. You never stop learning because you are teaching the students but they are also teaching you things even if you do not realize it at the time.

The last one I found to be very informational was called Don't Teach Tech- Use It. I have always thought using technology in the classroom was a great way to engage the students and help them excel but I have never really thought about the process of being able to use the technology in my classroom. Anthony says that he does not spend much time, if any at all, actually teaching his students how to use certain parts of technology used in their classroom. He gives them the basic explanation of how it works and then he makes them figure it and use their brains and knowledge to learn how to use those technology tools. After watching this video, I will most definitely use this concept in my classroom because I want my students to learn to be independent and well rounded.

My Sentence Videos

My Sentence Is...

My Passion Is...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Project #3 Presentation

Blog Post #4

The question being asked is "What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?" Growing up I was one of those students that hated to ask questions or have to answer questions out loud during class because I was afraid of saying the wrong thing. I think that is a major reason most students do not ask questions when they have them or want to answer questions during class. Many teachers prepare lesson plans, tests, projects, and each thing that will be done through out the day but not very often do they prepare questions to ask the students during certain lessons that will be taught. After reading a few sources, I have found that the questions being asked to the students during the lesson can majorly enhance the lesson being taught and also help the students think more about the topic besides the facts that are being given to them.

One of the sources I read was called The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom. The part of this source I liked was near the end that talked about how to approach a question and the strategy behind it. The strategy is to ask a question and allow a few seconds for all of the students to think of an answer. Then randomly call on a student to answer the question. If the student answered correctly but maybe did not give enough information, ask another question to only that child that will help them elaborate or clarify their initial response. It will make the student use his/her higher-level thinking but it will also help the other students by making them think of an initial response before a name is called. I also think open-ended questions are much more effective than close-ended questions because it makes the students create their own personal response and not choose an answer from a pre-made list (yes, no, etc).

Another source I found helpful was the YouTube video called Questioning Styles and Strategies. This video shows a teacher asking questions in his classroom about a book the students have been reading. He asks a question and then tells them to write down their answer in their learning logs. He gives them a few seconds to get their answers written and then calls randomly on a student to read their answer to the question. He also asks his students to elaborate on their answer if they are on the right track but have not said enough information. He asked one child to stand up and show what one of the animals might look like in that world they were talking about. This technique is called physical representation and it allows the student to not only tell his/her answer but to show the class as well.

Animated children raising their hands in class
The way questions are asked in the classroom is a major part of the learning process for students. It allows them to use higher-level thinking and lets them sometimes even express themselves through their answer. Some teachers take the easy way out and ask close-ended questions or questions such as "Does everybody understand?" and neither of these help motivate or help the students to learn. The students want to be involved but they sometimes do not know how to get involved. By having questions already prepared and allowing each student to answer the question before the answer is said out loud helps make the student feel a bit more knowledgable and involved in their learning process.

C4T #1 Summary

I was assigned to Mrs. Henrietta Miller's blog called Classroom Chronicles where I commented on two different blog post's. I commented on "A New Beginning" and "Our Class Essential Agreement".

C4T #1 comment #1

Mrs. Miller's first post I commented on was called "A New Beginning". The post was about how she was starting back to school soon and she realized she had not been preparing for the new semester like she should have. As any teacher would, she was beginning to panic a little. She then read a few articles that made her realize that it is ok and to take her time. Mrs. Miller talked about balancing your work life and school life which can be difficult sometimes. I responded by saying we over work ourselves in many aspects of our lives. As a perfectionist, stressing over simple things can make a day very overwhelming so I have had to teach myself to take everything in my life one step at a time. If I do not, I get very overwhelmed and it is not a pretty sight. I also said when I become a teacher I want to do my best to have a balanced life between school and my personal life. I want my students to be constantly learning and excelling as much as possible but I also want to have a personal life at the same time.

Image of the quote: Don't stress, do your best, forget the rest
C4T #1 comment #2

Mrs. Miller's second post I commented on was called "Our Class Essential Agreement". The post was about how she sets certain rules or standards in her classroom. She places certain questions around the room for the students to answer on a sticky note and the students place their ideas by each question. As a class they talk about what everyone's ideas are and then are broken up into small groups to talk about a one certain question that was asked. They agree on ten statements and then each student chooses one of the statements and modifies the statement to fit them personally. They are then put into new small groups creating the classroom standards that make up their "Class Essential Agreement". At any time the agreement can be changed or modified but it is posted on the wall in the classroom for the class to go by through out the year. I responded by saying it was a great idea. Mrs. Miller gave the students a base to start from and allowed them to mold and change the standards they will go by through out the year. It gives the students a sense of community and allows them to have a role in how the classroom is ran. I will use this in my classroom one day because I think by allowing the students to have a role in how they learn and how things are run in the classroom, it makes them want to learn more.

Image of the word Inspire

Friday, January 31, 2014

Blog Post #3

After reading "Page Ells' Blog Assignment #12" and "Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial", I realized you can peer edit someone's work in three easy steps. The three steps are compliments, suggestions, and corrections. By using these three steps you can successfully edit a peer's work with out them feeling like they are being picked on.

The first step is to compliment the author of the work. Make that person feel like they did a good job and accomplished a lot. The options are endless when it comes to the amount of compliments you can give. Whatever you say, make sure you say it in a positive light. The second step is to suggest to the author how he/she can improve their writing. This step still needs to be said in a positive light so the author does not take your comments negatively. You also need to be specific when giving the author your suggestions. Don't just tell them they have bad sentence structure; tell them where they can improve the sentence structure and how they can improve it as well.

The last and final step to peer editing is corrections. To make corrections to a peer's work you need to check for grammatical mistakes. Any type of spelling error, incomplete sentences, or missing punctuation would be a grammatical mistake. The main part to remember through out the peer editing process is to stay positive in your commenting. If you stay positive the author will feel as though they have gained a good critique from a peer instead of being put down.

Image of colorful people in a circle

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blog Post #2

In the Mr. Dancealot Youtube video, the central message is that students need to experience and practice what they have learned to fully understand the concept. This idea can be used with anything someone is learning. If you read the book and take notes in a math class all semester but never work a math problem, how will you be able to do well on the final that consists of only math problems? You most likely would not do well at all! The same idea goes for Mr. Dancealot's class. He taught them many different types of dance and the steps that go along with each dance but they could never see his feet nor would he allow them to stand up and practice the moves. When the final came and all they had was their notes from class, they had no idea what they were doing because they were not allowed to practice the steps as they were taught. I agree with the author's conclusion because as a dancer myself I know how hard it is to be taught dance choreography and not allowed to practice it first and the teacher turns on the music and expects you to know exactly what she just taught. That is how it works at dance conventions with famous choreographers but I believe, with out practice you will never fully understand the concept at hand.

After watching Kevin Roberts video about teaching in the 21st century, he thinks that to teach in the 21st century you will need to integrate technology as much as you can into your teaching strategies to benefit the children. The rate our world is advancing in technology, our students would be missing so much of information and learning opportunities if they are not taught the many different ways to use technology. I completely agree with Roberts that teaching is rapidly changing because we have so much technology in todays society. I think it will greatly affect me as an educator because not only will the students be constantly learning new things but I will be learning along with them. I also think that technology should not be the main point of a students learning journey, it should just be an extra resource.

In the Youtube video The Networked Student, they are explaining why a student that takes a mostly online class, with no textbook, needs an actual teacher at all. When I first think about the question I would say well of course he needs a teacher because no matter how much technology is used, it is not a class with out a teacher in my opinion. But after watching this video it really makes me think more about the question. I agree with the video when they say "the reason the student still needs a teacher is because she teaches him how to make those connections" and use the many aspects of technology. In a way, I think of the teacher as the link between the student and the knowledge and opportunities waiting in technology. Without the teacher, the student would learn things but not near as much as he does with the help and knowledge of the teacher.

In Vicki Davis' video she is talking about how she is teaching her students to grow in knowledge through technology but also helping them connect with other students all over the world. She is not just the speaker of boring facts, she is now a teacher that aids these students in unlimited amount of learning opportunities and teaches the students so much more than they could ever learn from a book. I agree 100% with her thoughts of technology and how the students are much more enthusiastic about coming to class and learning when they do not have to sit there for an hour and stare at a boring book.

I have heard of flipping a classroom before but I have never actually seen a class do it nor have I done it myself. I personally do not like the idea of flipping the classroom at all. I think, especially in younger grades, the students need to learn the lesson with the teacher in front of them and in the classroom setting. I know this idea would have been awful if it was used when I was growing up because I had dance everyday after school until late and then I would come home and try to stay awake while doing my homework. What if I had to come home and not only do my homework but learn and practice a new lesson for the next day in class? I think that is too much self learning for the child. It also seems as if flipping the classroom is like going through instructions out of order. I like to start at step one and go from there but if I used the flipping method I would start at step three or four in the learning process and I feel it would be less efficient and useful in my classroom.

Image of Alphabet letters