Friday, May 3, 2013

Blog Assignment #15

The first part of this assignment (the written part) looks back at my very first blog assignment under the subtitle "My Future Classroom". If you have not read it, you should! :) I write it on January 19, 2013, and it answers the following: "Imagine your classroom when you start teaching. What will be the methods of teaching that you will emphasize? What tools will you use, and what tools will your students use? Think about the learning that will take place in your classroom." The next four paragraphs ask similar questions but are in response to this EDM310 course 4 months later, though not much has changed.

Me and My Teaching:
I want to teach high school mathematics, hopefully pre-calculus and calculus to 11th and 12th graders. I still want to be a teacher that students can come to with questions related and unrelated to math. I want to be the fun teacher, the teacher that lets the students get out and do stuff, the teacher would makes their students want to learn more. With my teaching, I hope to incorporate a some-what flipped classroom because since I learned about this concept, I believe that it would add so much to a math course.

My Students and How They will Learn:
I hope that my students are able to be real with me. I hope they can tell me what's up and laugh and cut up with me. I also hope that they will respect me and know when it's time to be serious. I hope they will feel comfortable always coming to me with questions about their work. I never want a student to misbehave just so they can leave class because they don't understand the material. They will learn by hands-on projects, applications, and group work. The focus will be on learning the material and how it relates to their lives rather than can they do 100 problems a night.

Tools that My Students and I will employ:
The learning process that I plan on using is not necessarily traditional, but it is not necessarily technological either. I have learned that technology has it advantaged, though so do pencil and paper. I have to say that I'm on the fence. I'm leaning to the "MESS" system that Florida is implementing though. "Math, Engineering, Science, and Stuff" sounds like the best way to get children involved in something that they don't want to learn. Take a look at my Blog Assignment #5 where I described my ideal learning process under "If I Built a School".

What will my Classroom be Like:
This also could be summed up in my Blog Assignment #5, but I will do it here also. Ideally, I want my classroom to be like a engineering laboratory with stations of students working together to solve every day problems using the math that is described in the standards. When a child gets to the test and sees a picture of a spring, I want them to immediately remember the lab we did using springs to find work and kinetic energy. Math is Science, People!! Do, do, do! I want my students talking and discussing and even debating strategies on  how to figure out the volume of a cone by filling it with sand and rice. This is what my classroom will be like....

The Change:
Between the first blog post and the last (above), I wouldn't say that that much has changed. I don't plan on altering the type of teacher that I want to be after this class. I have definitely learned  how much a part of education technology has become, but I feel that this class tried to take the focus off of the content area and direct it at the technology. I want to teach because I love the idea of getting to work with students and inspire them to love learning, and I want to teach math because I love math.
I want my focus to be on 2 things and 2 things only: the math standards and whether my students understand the math standards. With the students' understanding or not understanding the standards will be what determines how I teach. If they learn best by technology, then so be it, I'll use the technology approach. As for starting out though, I plan on setting up problem solving interaction for the students to work hands-on. A big thing that this class kept mentioning was group work, project based, and doing homework together in class. This can be done using technology or not. I hope to incorporate technology as best I can to benefit the students' learning but this course didn't teach me what to try. There was no focus on teaching whatsoever.

Final Reflection Video:

I'll start off by saying that it was surprisingly hard to keep this video under 5 minutes. The first take was 7 minutes, then next was 6, and the last was 5. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Project #13

Using technology to communicate with my group was a great tool! I used facetime to talk with Whitney and Skype to talk to Whitley. Together we all discussed a time and place to meet to work on our SMARTboard and final projects. We also used Google docs to write up our ideas about what to do and what to say during our videos. These were great tools and super helpful. We were able to find the perfect time and made some pretty great projects! YAY GROUP #1!!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monthly C4K: April

April 11:

This week I have Eli A. from Ms. Geldes' 4th grade class in Nebraska. His comment was left on February 25 of this year when they had a snow day. He says that him and his dad and brother went sledding down a big hill with lots of people then made a ramp and were jumping over it. He then asks if anyone else has had  a snow day. I informed him that sadly down here in southern Alabama, we don't even get to see snow much less get a snow day. His spelling was very good, and he used bigger words than I was expecting. His punctuation and capitalization weren't very good though. I'm not sure how to tell the poor child that so I just told him to keep up the good work and try to make every post better and better!

April 18:

Mia from Mrs. Kathleen and Ms. Jordan's 4th grade class is my student for this week. She goes to Leopold Primary School in Australia. Her school got 2 weeks off for Spring Break/Easter. and her and her family went to Indonesia. She wrote about packing, the airport, and the plane ride over. Her writing was very good and her story flowed and was very descriptive. I told her that I was going to Mexico this summer, and I would be on a long flight too but not quite 6 hours. I really enjoyed reading her post. It was much longer than the post I read from most kids. I also thought it was very cute that she referred to her mom as Mum!

Final Project (#16)

How to Prepare, Survive, and Understand EDM310

Final Project
University of South Alabama

Group #1:
Roanna Council
Whitley Byrd
Whitney Bizjak

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Project #15

SmartBoard Project Part 2:

Blog Assignment #14


1) Teacher Knows If You Have Done the E-Reading by David Streitfeld

2) Major textbook companies such as McGraw-Hill and Pearson have taken on a new program called CourseSmart that comes with their books that allow Professors to monitor if the students are reading the book and taking notes. Obviously, these books are online digital books only and not all of the colleges using textbooks from McGraw-Hill and Pearson have adapted the new program into their classrooms. The article, to be specific, is about Texas A&M. CourseSmart seems to be a great program from the outside looking in. The teachers love the idea of knowing who reads, how much they read, when they are reading, and what they are taking notes about. Unfortunately though, for the students, some prefer to take their notes with pen and paper, some only need to study the night before the test, and some may have perfectly fine grades without reading and taking notes. These students receive low grades on their "engagement index"; the score is based on how much they used the textbook. The publishers love this though because they know which textbooks are a success and which need to be edited for future uses.

3) From the view point of a teacher, I don't think that this is something I would use in my classroom. In my opinion, the point of going to class is for the teacher to teach the students what is in the textbook and the textbook chapters are for the students to use as a reference when going back to do homework or study for the test. I would never put information on the test that wasn't covered by myself in class regardless of it was in the textbook or not. I could careless is my students read the book.

4) As a student, I take the side of some of the students in the article. My study habits involve a pen and paper. I learn best when I can write, go back and mark out, re-write, write in the margins, scribble, draw picture/graphs that help me interpret, etc. The other fault for me with this system is that I can't sit and read an online textbook for more than about 30 minutes before it gives me a migraine (and that is not personal opinion or preference- it's medical).

5) I would ask the teacher in this article:
Why do you care how often your students are using the textbook if they are still doing well in your class?
If you need to "test" if your students are reading when you tell them to, why not give them a TEST!?
What about those students who learn better with a physical text and pen/paper for note-taking?

6) I would ask the students of the class in this article:
Has anyone's grades actually got better since the adding of this program?
Which of you who used to read the text but now refuse to?

7) Comment: I think that this program is a great way for textbook companies to monitor the success of their books. They need to feedback to be able to adapt the book in a way to better serve its readers. For the teachers who are using this, I believe that the scores students make on their "engagement index" should never be reflected in their actual course average, and should not be compared to the students success. Just like every teacher has his or her own teaching style, each student also has his or her own learning style. By incorporating this program into their classrooms, they are forcing students to learn a specific way which may or may not be that particular students least restrictive style of learning. Due to this, not only will "engagement indexes" be low, but the actual level of learning in the classroom could also decrease.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Final Progress Report of PLN

PLN Progress Report:

I have been doing my entire PLN on Symbaloo. I love this site because it is so organized, and I have everything I need on one screen. I have added about 5 or 6 tiles to my Symbaloo since the last progress report. These include Socrative, Educreations, Nearpod, and StudyBlue. These are amazing for integrating technology into the classroom as a way to make and share presentations, flashcards, and surveys with your class. I don't doubt that I will continue using this site even when I get out of this class. Its great because when I find something I know I will use, I just save it on my Symbaloo and even in the future when I forget the name of that site, I will have it saved on my Symbaloo!!!

C4T Post: April

April 11:

Dan Meyer was a math teacher for 6 years and now going back to school at Stanford University. He attends many lectures, both speaking and learning. He post all of them on his blog for others to see. The post that I read is from April 8th, 2013. It is called Sal Khan on the Difference between Math and Wrestling Practice. In this he refers to the interview of Salman Khan on Charlie Rose. (Founder of Khan Academy) Basically, students complain about 6 math problems but beg their coaches to push them more and more for sports. Dan summarizes the interview and then posses a question for his readers to respond to just for the sake of having others' opinion. His question is this, "What makes sports practice satisfying and how is sports practice different from math practice?" Many others have commented and I read through a lot of their comments with which I agree. I just wrote that students get a choice of which sports they want to play and get to choose how well they preform at game time. With schooling, they don't get to choose which subject to take or not take, and they definitely don't love "game time" in school because that means that they must recall all the old material. Not to mention that sports are physical and academics are mental. Students NEED to exert energy. And to think they are removing recess from elementary schools. There is no way that those children will be able to focus now... On a side note, you may recall watching one of Dan Meyer's speeches on TED for this class. I recommend watching it again to any math ed majors out there.

April 23:

This week, Dan Meyer posted about Math tiny games. The "tiny games" part is just that these games shouldn't involve computers or tablets or really any materials other than the brain. They also shouldn't take very long, should encourage interactive communication, and should be fun! All the comments were examples of games that could be played and have given me lots of examples. One of the tweets from Jason Dyer that Meyer included in his post says that the line between Math that is a game and a game that is Math is very thin but students can smell the difference from a mile away. This is so true. Students just hate Math. They don't like it before they even try it. One of my teachers this semester always starts his lectures with some type of unrelated discussion about our weekends or a question about some event that took place. We discuss it and then he sneaks in tricks that make us relate it to math and many times suggests a game that is similar to the event. We are already half way into our lesson and notes before we even realize that we aren't even talking about our weekends anymore. He relates math to our lives in ways that we just get! I think this form of teaching that I see everyday is exactly what Dan Meyer is talking about in his post and also exactly what we saw in the 2 videos in last week's blog. Meyer, Crosby, Anderson, and my teacher Pillen are all great teachers, and I hope that I will develop a style like them someday.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog Assignment #13

1. My TEDx Denver Ed- Brian Crosby- Back to the Future

This video was great! The students were incorporating technology into their studies and learning and were having fun and loving it. The difference in what I see in this video and what I feel we are being taught in EDM310 is that the children in this video didn't learn from the technology. They used the technology to help them do other things outside of the technology in order to learn. If this isn't clear, let me explain. Mr. Crosby approached his atmosphere levels/pressures standards as a way to get his students involved. He taught them the material then took them outside and let them live it. The made a real hot air balloon and got to watch it launch and explode and track it on a map. They really experienced it. THEN, they used technology to share it with everyone and write about it and reflect. I feel like in this EDM310 class, we are being taught that there is no need to take your students outside and do the experiment because surely there is someone who has already done it that we can just watch online. Let's just blog about it and see what others have to "say" about  this. Yes, students like technology and like the feedback they get from others around the whole, but the reason that Mr. Crosby's class is so successful is because he teaches then he DOES. The students get to touch and live the science. This is what they will remember for years to come. I have nothing against technology or against this class I'm taking. What I do not like it when someone tries to drill down my throat that technology is the ONLY way my students won't get left behind. I guarantee that when my students leave my class they won't say they learned by talking with others on the web and writing about their thoughts. They will say they know and like Math because they lived it and experienced it! They will use technology to help them learn, not to help them think..... There is a difference that some are missing. Mr. Crosby gets it though. Bravo! I loved this video, and it made me smile and almost cry.

2. Paul Anderson's Blended Learning Cycle

Anderson combines the Blended Learning (Mobile, Online, Classroom) and the Learning Cycle (Engage, Explore, Explain, Expand, Evaluate) into his own little system in which he calls QUIVERS. This stand for QUestion, Investigation, Video, Elaboration, Review, and Summary Quiz. He proposes a question to his class and lets them debate and investigate the answer. Once they have all agreed on what they believe the answer is, he shows them a video of his own presentation with his voice over that reveals the true answer. Then he goes into an explanation of the answer and elaborate on it. Then he has the class review by teaching each other and having them explain things back to him. Only once he knows that all of his students fully understand does he give them a short multiple choice quiz that tests their knowledge of the subject matter. I love his approach. I am taking a math logic/deduction/induction reasoning class this semester, and my teacher always comes in and asks a question and lets us debate it. He then continues asking questions that will purposely guide us to discovering the true answer. He draws diagrams on the board that might help guide our thinking and writes down anything we say that might be useful. Once we figure out the answer, turns out that we just derived a theorem all on our own. He then elaborates and gives examples and formal definitions for us to have in our notes to look back at. I believe that it is one of the best teaching styles I've had the pleasure of observing. I think this is exactly the strategy that Anderson is using with his students, and I think it's brilliant. I hope I can develop this type of style in my own teaching.

Final Project Progress Report

This week, Tuesday, we made all of our picture slides for the project introducing the project, each other, our topics, and acknowledgements. On Thursday, we filmed all of our tips and suggestions. We also edited all the slides and videos into the order they appeared on our outline that we made last week. None of the music has been added yet and hopefully the finalization and uploading will be easy to complete next Tuesday. Be ready for a sweet Final Project!!!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blog Assignment #12

This Post is me creating an assignment for future classmates. It is not hard or necessarily long but it will help future Math teachers start to develop pieces of the PLN for uses once they get in the classroom.

1. Create a Pinterest account is you do not already have one. If you have one, there is no need to create a separate account, just use existing.

2. Once you have an account, create a new board. To do this, click on the drop arrow by your name in the top  right corner and select Boards. Scroll down until you see a black board that says Create a Board. Title this board something unique that has to do with your subject area. For example, mine is "Math Fun".

3. Now go up to the categories and click Education or go to the search bar and type in your subject. Look through all the pins and if you find something interesting for your classroom, click on it to enlarge it, then click the enlarged picture to link to the original website of the pin. Explore some!

4. Make 5 Pins on your new board. To do this, click repin on the picture of the pin you wish to add to your board. Select the board you created from the drop down list. Then in the description, write yourself a note of why you pinned it for future uses.

5. Once you have done this, screen shot your page of all 5 of your pins within that board and post it as the picture of your blog. Title your blog post as your Pinterest name so that others in your class with the same major can view your pins and use them.

6. Explore extensively one of your 5 pins. List the website you found, what drew your attention to it, what the site offers you as a future educator, and other info about the site that others might see as helpful. Don't forget to include the link to the site in your post.


Now I will do the assignment for myself.
Roanna Council (councilr) on Pinterest:
I already had a Pintesrest but did not have a Math Ed Ideas board. The name of my new board, as a stated above, is "Math Fun" And this is what my new boards looks like after exploring and finding at least 5 awesome sites!

The website that I found that I thought was most appropreiate for sharing with this class (EDM310) is called! This site is for teachers and educators and it is somewhat of a facebook/twitter/pinterest all mixed into one. Not to mention that your account can be linked to any of those accounts and shared through them as well. For the most basic version, it's free! To upgrade to Pro, it's just $13 a month. At the Pro level, your could even be published in magazines for your posts! This would be great for me as a teacher as a site to go to to get ideas about teaching my students and keeping it fresh. It also is a great way to stay connected, meet new people, and get help from other teachers just like you. Here is what the site looks like at a quick glance: First the home page, then the math search.

Thanks for participating!!! :):) Hope you enjoyed.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Blog Assignment #11

Ms. Cassidy's First Grade Class Video and Interview with Dr. Strange:

Ms. Cassidy's first grade class video is pretty impressive. I know that these kids use technology in and out of school and it is there first nature to have them.  Using it in class would just be normal and taking it away would be a negative. I understand why she uses games to help the kids learn and uses blogs and podcast to help with their language and reading. The students really like it. I really like the idea of using technology as a means to help my students learn in a way that is fun for them so that they don't just forget the material after they have tested on it. I would be scared that my students would use their computer or cell phones or whatever to look up noneducational sites or cheat. In her Skype interview with Dr. Strange, Ms. Cassidy didn't really seem to have an answer for this specifically because with her students, she can just sit down and talk to them and solve the problem. For secondary students, this may not work. I think if the students like the work they are doing and they understand it then they may not need to look up other stuff or answers. She did, though, describe cheating with the internet as learning collaboration. She says that it's not really cheating but instead just sharing your learning experiences with others. I'm not sure how this applies to math. I'm not sure how any of this applies to math. I love the idea of technology and all the wonderful things we are learning in EDM310, but I am having a really hard time thinking of ways to use it all in my classroom. Please, someone show me how to use it in my future math class, and I would be happy to. All we ever used in my classes are Smartboards and some swivel laptops. I'm interested to see how next week's blog assignment is going to go. Fingers crossed I find something I like.

Monthly C4K: March

March 5:

This week I read Andrea J's blog post. She is from Iowa in Mr. Boylen's Language Arts class. Her question of topic was "What do you think you as a student gain from blogging with students and others outside of the school? Is it worth the time? Why/why not?" How appropriate, right? She said that she likes learning from strangers and thinks it is definitely worth her time. On the down side, she views blogging as a temporary assignment for class and not as something she will always incorporate into her learning style. I simply told her that blogging can always be a tool for learning, and she shouldn't give it up when her class is over.

March 11-15: Spring Break

March 20:

The student's post that I read today is by Taylor. She is in Mr. Seyfert's 6th grade class in Waukesha, WI. It seems like they use their blogs to post answers to questions about the books that they are reading. The latest blog post is called "Character to Self" in which she list some of the characteristics of the main character of her book then compares that character to herself. She is reading "Just For You To Know" by Cheryl Harness.She says that Cameron, the main character, blames her baby sister for "killing" her mother and hates having to take care of her younger siblings. She says that she is nothing like the character. Taylor's grammar and spelling was very good, and I congratulated her on such a great post. I also encouraged her to keep up her joy of reading.

March 27:

This week I am reading a persuasive post by Shorya Malhotra called " Illegal Immigration". This post is about the differences between illegal and legal immigrants and the rights and freedoms that force immigrants to become one or the other. It lists 3 main reasons: 1) illegal immigrants don't have to wait in any long lines and pay lots of money like legal immigrants do. 2) Legal immigrants have to pay for a green card then wait for it to come before they can act on certain rights, whereas illegal immigrants don't. And 3) illegal immigrants don't pay taxes yet get free schooling, healthcare, and social security while legal immigrants have to pay taxes like the rest of the citizens for these things. I don't know about you, but I was certainly convinced that the government needs to tighten down the reigns on the immigration in our country and make sure they know that doing things the illegal way has consequences. Not only did this post accomplish the persuasion aspect but it was also a very well written 5 paragraph paper with an intro, 3 body, and conclusion paragraphs.

April 1:

This week I have a student in Mrs. Krebs' 7th or 8th grade class from western Iowa. Her blogging name is Cowgirl. Her latest blog post is from March 8th and is titled "Religion Assignment". In this assignment from her Religion class, she is told to pick a verse from the Bible and find an illustration that depicts it. She picked Mark 16:16a which states, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved." She likes it because she knows the saving power and love of Christ. She hopes everyone will seeh er picture and read her verse and understand what all Christ does for his followers. She ends with a powerful prayer. This was her picture.

I congratulated her for standing strong in her faith and not being scared to share Christ's love with the world. Praying in front of people (classmates) is hard out loud but also online where it can never be permanently erased. This girl deserves some serious props! I loved reading and being able to comment on this post.

C4T Post: March

March 20:

My teacher for this post is Ms. Beth Knittle. Her blog is called "Beth's Thoughts on Technology in the Classroom", and she focuses on  Education, Technology, and Learning. The specific post for this week is called, "Happy Birthday Copernicus". I loved this post! She says that she noticed Google's doodle the other day was of Copernicus for what would have been his 540th birthday. She explained who he was and how he challenged the "Earth-centered" universe and introduced the "Sun-centered" universe. He is known for giving us the modern astronomy that we know today. In response to his challenging the norm, she says, "In Science, nothing is ever really settled." I love it! Math, just like Science, is never full figured out and that is what makes it so much fun and full of adventure. Shen then explains the process of scholars thinking the atom was the smallest piece of matter then finding out about the electrons, neutrons, and protons and thinking they were the smallest. But then again, they discovered Quarks. We learn more and more every day and over time, we are able to make wondrous discoveries! Never stop challenging the norm; Discover something!

April 1:

I have Ms. Beth Knittle's blog again. Her post is from March 30th and is titled "Losing Focus".  In this post, she writes about not being able to focus on anything long enough to get through her "process" of writing. This process is to read, think, read, converse, think, then write. She left a link to an article called "Is Google making us Stupid?" So, being the over achiever that I am, I read it too. This article was written by Nicholas Carr of The Atlantic in July of 2008. I can't begin to summarize all that this article offers as far as ideas about what the internet does to our brains. Just an overview, then I suggest that you read it yourself, would be that as you used the web to click between different pages and links and skip around from idea to idea, which the web makes so easy and convient, we start to think like that too. We have fast, short, shallow thoughts instead of diving deep into single thoughts and staying there and taking them in. It was a good read, but long. Can you finish it? Or is one article for that length of time just too "deep" for one thought? Will you be able to concentrate long enough to finish it..... I couldn't. I urge you to try.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Project #11

Again, this project did nothing but make me hate Macs. I think the idea of using a green screen sounds like a blast. I had my whole project planned out and filmed. But then when I went to edit it all in iMovie, everything went wrong. The directions given by all the sources I could find didn't work, no one in the lab knew how to do anything, and I messed with it for 4 hours before giving up and filming this goofy, unprofessional short movie. It is not a great job on my part but after spending 5 to 6 hours trying to do this project, and it still not turning out perfect, I was just to frustrated to try again. I did not like this project and I will not use iMovie in my classroom. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Project #14

I really enjoyed this project. I love using smart boards and learning what all they can do! Hope you enjoy and learn from my video as well.

Blog Assignment #10

This is a cartoon drawn by John T. Spencer. The drawing of the boy on the left says he is a Papermate (a cheap brand that makes pens, pencils, etc.) The drawing of the boy on the right says he is a Ticonderoga (a more expensive brand of the same thing). Notice that the Papermate boy is dresses for success and looks very intelligent in his glasses and combed back hair. The "Hipster" Spencer draws as the Ticonderoga representative looks unhappy with scruffy clothes and long untamed hair. What does the pencil they each were drawn with have to do with the look of the boy in each picture? I, myself, am not 100 percent sure, but I think Spencer is trying to convey to his readers that investing in all the expensive merchandise is not what makes you smart or successful. Investing in hard work, perseverance  and the depth of the material is what makes you smart and successful.

In Spencer's Why Were Your Kids Playing Games post, he describes a conversation between him and his principal in which he was getting in trouble for "playing games" during class. Unfortunately, the principal failed to see the educational approach that Spencer was using and that the results were very educational. The principal told him he was not allowed to play games and sent him out saying that he should try an algorithmic factory. So Spencer created a new game called "The Factory".
In Spencer's Remember Pencil Quests, he tells about a time in his sophomore year when they went on a 'pencil quest' that was like a scavenger hunt yet all the students were given maps and had to all take the same route. As he looks back and criticizes the activity as something that didn't give the students the opportunity to choose and learn, he realizes that back then those teachers were the ones trying to do "something different" just as he is now. He then wonders if his students will grow up to think that his activities didn't help them learn.

The last post is by Dr. McLeod. It is Don't Teach Your Kids This, Please? It basically lists all the things people who aren't technologically literate think that technology will do to our students. They might cheat, look up porn, or get bullied. They don't need an audience when they write. They definitely don't need cell phones in school. These are all things that he mentions in his post, which, I might add, is tackled from a completely sarcastic point of view. At the end, he proposes a challenge for teachers not to do all this and see how is ahead in the long run as far as student learning goes: him or them.
I can't say that I agree 100 percent with what he says about they way others think or with his own point of view. I guess I'm on the fence. I do think that technology is important, and I do think that it will help children learn. But I also think that students are too immature to use it for the right reasons. A friend of mine is in the 11th grade and has a Mac issued by the school. He told me the other day that he loves being able to have it in front of him in class because he just watches movies all day... and he is number 1 in his class. What does this say about everyone else in the 11th grade? It also scares me to think that technology is starting to replace teachers and the students don't have a choice. I despise online courses at South. I like having the option to sit in a class where the teacher only lectures and no technology is required. I fear that someday students won't have that option, and some students will get left behind.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Project #12

I did my Book Trailor on M. Christina Butler and Jane Chapman's children's book "The Dark, Dark Night". This is a great examlple of who all children are scared of the dark because of the monsters in the shadows. I enjoyed working with this book and making this trailor for it. Enjoy!

"The Dark, Dark Night"

Friday, March 22, 2013

Blog Assignment #9

Mr. McClung starting teaching in 2009. At the end of every year, he writes a blog post for the summary of his year and what he learned. I chose to read this first one and his most recent one.

What I Learned this Year (08-09):

Mr. McClung's first year of teaching was in an Elementary School in Missouri. He's starts with "How to Read a Crowd" saying that one thing he learned was not to worry about how you come across to your supervisors when you teach, but instead, focus on how well the students are understanding what you are teaching. Second, in "Be Flexible" he sums up how he feel about things not going as planned by saying, " NO LESSON IS EVER PERFECT. THE LESSON YOU TEACH AND THE ONE YOU PLAN ARE ALWAYS DIFFERENT." Amen, brother! Next, "Communication" with the teachers you work with is key. Always work on building your communication skills with those in your workplace. "Be Reasonable" with your students. Set expectations that are high and if they fail to meet them, encourage them to do better next time. He next has a short paragraph about Technology and not "being afraid" of it. He say that it's our friend and to jump in head first and discover it. Then he says, "Listen to your students. You might be the only one that does." Listening to them builds relationships with them which is one of the most important things about being a teacher. Lastly, he writes, "Never stop Learning". We need to keep learning as we teach. We beg our students to learn, and we should to!

What I Learned this Year (11-12):

This is Mr. McClung's most recent year summary post , and he approached it differently. Instead of listed a lot of things he learned, he focuses on 2 main themes that make up his teaching career. They are "Dance with Who You Came to Dance With" and "Challenge Yourself".
"Dance with Who You Came to Dance With"
This section he tells us that he started worrying about what his peers thought about what kind of teacher he was. He concludes, though, by saying he has one rule: to keep hos students having fun and enjoying learning.
"Challenge Yourself"
In this last section,  Mr. McClung challenges us as "soon-to-be" teachers to never get comfortable. Once you have been teaching a while and can rely on old lesson plans to get through the lessons, then you get lazy and your students stop enjoying class. He encourages us to always be creative and never get comfortable.

I  really enjoy hearing/reading teachers' stories and experiences. I loved reading these posts by Mr. McClung. I feel like him and I think a lot alike, and I can learn from wthe things he wrote about. I love the idea of summarizing what I learned in the first years of teaching. I'm definitely going to do this when I start teaching.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Blog Assignment #8

1)      Richard Miller’s “This is how we Dream” videos Part I and II:

In Richard Miller’s video, he tells us that he loves to read and write. He grew up around books and always wanted a career where he got to use books. But now there has been such a growth in the technology of literature that he has been able to be a part of that instead. He wrote a book, but it is part of a virtual library and can be sold for only 59 cents.
In video Part I, he begins explaining the increments of writing. First were pen and paper and libraries, and now is on the desktop of a computer where we can bring up multiple windows with different things in them and operate them all at the same time. He was using one window with his internet, one window with documents, and another with the essay that he was writing in it. We can access all the virtual books in the world instantly from the comfort of home. He then explains how books that we get tired of in libraries or at home, we throw away after they are old or boring, but on the web, stories, book, essay, etc. live on forever. Also, once someone “checks out” the book, it isn’t gone. Others can still view it and read simultaneously as you are.
Second, not only do our books just consist of words on the computer. Technology allows us to add pictures and film. He calls it collaborating networks. This allows us not just to view and upload pictures and videos, but also to share them instantly with anyone in the world, not to mention streaming live!
In video Part II, he starts by talking about how technology allows us to see changes instantly. You can close out of a website and bring it back up and the info can be completely different. Then he shows us a screen of iTunesU and somewhat explains what it is. He says it’s a place where people upload their audio books and lectures for others. He says, “Ideas don’t belong to us individually, but together as a culture, and we as educators must be in the business of sharing those ideas freely.” He says that he sees a day coming when students won’t be taught to write with the same old word processors but with a digital composing processor.
How do I plan on using this in my classroom? Well, for classes that involve writing, this sounds wonderful. I have nothing against technology, learning it, and using it in my classroom. The only thing I know for certain is that no matter how fancy, fun, and new the technology is, I won’t use it if it isn’t helping my student learn MATH because math is what I am there to teach them. I am always open to hearing about how teachers are using technology in their math classes but so far, I haven’t really seen much.

2)      Carly Pugh” Blog Assignment #12:

In Carly’s blog post, she creates an assignment for her EDM310 class as if she were Dr. Strange. Her assignment is to make a playlist on Youtube that has 10 songs on it. Each of the song represents a way of answering question that she has asked about things such as motivation, inspiration, creativity, etc. This is similar to Dr. Miller’s idea about writing with multimedia because you are literally answer questions with someone else’s word (videos) off the internet. I think this is an awesome assignment by Dr. Strange to have us create an assignment for the class, and I also think it was a great assignment by Carly.

3)      The Chipper Series and EDM for Dummies:

The Chipper Series is a series of videos about a girl named Chipper who doesn’t like Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class because she doesn’t know how to teach herself or how to manage her time (which are the 2 primary purposes of this class). So she drops out and creates a school that eventually fails. The second video, EDM310 for Dummies, is a typical first week for EDM students. They are mad, frustrated, and want to just quit. Eventually, though, they learn how to manage their time and explore and start finding out the awesomeness of some of the things Dr. Strange is trying to show us.
Although the videos are great and amusing (and truthful about the course), I don’t have a desire to make even more videos of the same. In contrast, I loved very first video we watched about the lecture on time management. It was funny and actually taught me something, not to mention it was done by a professional lecturer. These videos were about what NOT to do in EDM310, whereas the time management video was about what TO DO in EDM310. I think this is what videos there needs to be more of. They tells you when you start a diet, don’t focus on all the pizza, ice cream, and bread that you CANNOT eat, but instead think about all the delicious fruits and smoothies you get to eat (and that smoking hot bikini you will be able to fit into). These videos need a new approach. Not so much “Don’t do this” and “Don’t do that”.

4)      Learn to Change, Change to Learn:

This video is a bunch of what appear to be very educated individuals who are downing the idea of “education” and looked forward to the pure idea of “learning”. Our typical educational system is centered on English, Literature, Math, Science, and History. They have standards to meet, and they don’t diverse too far off the path so that they can quickly return. Sometimes this kills the spark in students to veer off just the information that will be on the test and discover wonderful related ideas. One thing in the video that I definitely agree with that I almost even quote without knowing is that classroom shouldn’t be made of brick and mortar but out of the world that we live in. Students should be out in the world learning how to use their subject matter (those standards) in the real world.

5)      Scavenger Hunt 2.0:
       (This video is in Justin’s Blog Assignment #12)

1. Edmodo almost just like Facebook and Twitter but it’s for teachers and students. You subscribe to different subject areas and get all the statuses/posts from others about that subject matter. As far as I have looked at it, it is great because all the teachers ask for help, and teachers give them links to great resources and such. This would work great for me as a teacher and my students because we could always ask for more help and help others.
2. Photopeach is a tool that allows students to create accounts without email addresses and save their projects under the teachers account without publishing them until they are finished. They can upload any videos off the web and any music off their personal computer. All of these can then be added to the presentation. For educators the price for this is $9 a month for 50 students and $125 a month for 150 students.
4. A Video like this one and its prices: The tool I found to make videos is called Animoto. It takes all kinds of videos and mixes them together into your own movie and you are able to add sound and text and everything. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

PLN Summary #1


I'm not really sure how this summary is supposed to look or if I am supposed to include a video or audio clip or anything but basically I am figuring out Symbaloo. This website allowed you to save all your websites as they might look as apps on like an iphone. By clicking on any of the small blocks/icons it will open up a new tab to connect you to whatever your website is. I am just figuring it out and have not put all of my sites up on it yet, but I have set it as my default for when I open my browser or any new tab. This way, all my information is right where I need it and stays organized. Also, I believe that once I have my profile complete, then others can view my, what they call, webmix and get links to all my websites. This is great for all my awesome educational help sites. I can send any fellow teacher right to my Symbaloo to see all my sites.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Blog Assignment #7

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
I am obviously not going to retell everything that was in this video or even discuss how I felt about ALL of it only because is was about an hour and 16 minutes, and I'd be here typing, and you reading, for a really long time if I did. Still, I would like to touch on some of the phrases that he said during this video and how they affected me and my thoughts on my future classroom.

The first part of his lecture was about "My Childhood Dreams" and I have 5 phrases that I would like to get you to think about:
The first is, "Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome." I love this! Imagine a Thanksgiving day dinner in which the guy who was supposed to be in charge of bringing the turkey didn't bring it! No one would want him to even be there anymore. Life, education especially, works easier if everyone contributes what they know to everyone else. This is a lesson I can use with my class everyday when working in groups. Everyone must bring what they know to the surface and share it with the others in order to solve the problems.
The second quotes is the definition of what he calls a "Head-fake" or indirect learning, "The best way to teach somebody something is by making them think they are learning something else." I know this from experience because when you play games that are fun, and it feels like you aren't learning, the material sticks!  I will definitely try to find games and activities or labs for my students to do so that they can stop focusing on learning and start thinking about solving problems.
A third is, "When your screwing up and no one is saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up on you." This in itself says all I need to say about it. It teaches me that I should never stop correcting a student who is wrong even if I have to repeat myself 50 thousand times. I don't want to give up on any of my students.
Another, "Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you. You just haven't given them enough time." This one, I believe, coincides with the previous. Though I may have to repeat myself over and over and over to get a point across, don't lose hope because they will always impress me eventually. I just need to be patient with them and try new methods.
Lastly, this quote is a tough one to read because in today's society with all the emailing and texting it is hard to hear tones. "There is always a "good way" and a "bad way" to say the same thing." For instance, telling a student that they are wrong, yet again. You don't just want to say, "You're not even close. Have you even been paying attention in class?" Instead, you might say, "This answer is wrong because you began using the wrong method. Remember this morning when we went over the new method? Try using that."

In the second part of the lecture, Pausch discussed how he wanted a way to help more than one person at a time to achieve their childhood dreams so he created a course called Building a Virtual World. In this section, he talked about his class and mistakes he made and ways to go about not making them. His first mistake was assuming he knew how smart his students were. His lesson to us is, "You don't know where the bar should be set and you're only going to do them a disservice by trying to set it somewhere. Let them show you where the bar is set and then you raise it from there." I love this because it's so true. Just because it took all your past classes 2 weeks to finish Chapter 1, doesn't mean that it will take this year's classes that long or it may even take them longer. Don't assume that because previous classes learned well from a particular approach that all others will too. Basically, don't teach based on the past. Teach based on the present.
The other awesome point he brings up in this part of his lecture is, "Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore? Never lose your child-like wonder, help others." If you have ever watched "Winnie the Pooh", you know who these characters are and that Tigger is a big bundle of joy and fun who loves to help others, and Eeyore is a gloomy cloud of depression who secludes himself. I think the point he is trying to make is that everyone should dig down in themselves and find the child (or Tigger) within them that makes them joyful and happy and wanting to help others. Also, it is about checking yourself. It is something that you should ask yourself every single day to determined if you are in the right mind set to really impact your students' lives.

The last thing that Pausch does is recap his lecture in a list which I will list for you:

1) Brick walls are there to separate those who don't really want to achieve their dreams.
2) Don't Bail
3) Get Feedback and use it
4) Show Gratitude
5) Don't complain just work harder
6) Be good at something, it makes you valuable
7) Work hard
8) Find the best in everyone
9) Be prepared: "Luck" is where preparation meets opportunity

This list is every powerful and is a checklist for us to being great educators, dare I say people, someday. Don't ever give up on your dreams regardless of whether it seems impossible or not. Most of them speak loudly for themselves, and I think would make a wonderful set of class rules to hang on the wall in our classrooms someday in honor of such a smart innovative man, Dr. Randy Pausch!

**He also lets us in on a little secret in the last seconds of his video. That this whole thing was a "Head-fake". Did you catch on?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Group #1 Podcast

I am part of Group #1, and we did our podcast on Rafe Esquith's book "There are No Shortcuts". Our podcast covers the prologue, chapter 3, chapter 4, and the epilogue. Enjoy!

Also I would just like to add that though the final projects of our podcast turned out great, the process by which we arrived was not so. We followed all directions correctly and didn't have a problem due to lack of "know how". The Macs and imovie were slow and unhelpful. I could have done the entire project on my HP and finished in less than half the amount of time. It took us over 2 and a half hours just to edit the video, transfer it to the Mac, and upload it to Youtube. I really enjoyed the book, my awesome group, and the project as a whole, but if it taught me anything, it's that I don't not want to get a Mac. (Which I'm pretty sure was the exact opposite purpose of the whole project.)

C4T Post: February #2

C4T Feb 19:

The blog that I was assigned for my C4T is called "Cooperative Catalyst: Changing Education as We Speak." This site is a place for teachers to come and blog and share their views with each other and with the world. Their vision is: "Passionate educators challenge one another to propose sustainable solutions and structures for re-imagining schools and education, supporting one another to enact and refine the ideas." The specific post that I read this week was called "The Diversity Crisis in Taxpayer-Funded Education" by Jabreel Chisley. He is not a teacher but an 18 year old boy who dreams of someday owning his own school and becoming a lawyer. His post was about how no education is being achieved if students graduate without learning to work and get along with people of other cultures. He claims that the dominant "white" race is given the title "right" and that others feel uncomfortable when having to work along side a "white" student. He thinks that because students today aren't learning to accept diversity but that sameness is being emphasized. Unfortunately, none of his reasoning directly supported his argument. He started talking about "No Child Left Behind" and the funding of schools and whether schools were rural or urban. He talked in circles, and his post was very long and vague. I did not particularly enjoy reading his post but was kind in my comment. I told him that schools everywhere in the US did not support sameness and have a lack of acceptance for diversity. I told him that I agreed with him that if I had not learned to civilly work with and accept others of different culture than I wouldn't have considered my education complete.

C4T Feb 28:

This week I have "Cooperative Catalyst: Changing Education as We Speak" again, and the post is by Chad Sansing titled "People, Problems, and Wonder." He starts off by listing 4 "wondrous" things he had witnessed in the past month. 1) Watched/Heard Jeff Mangum play his guitar, 2) Bought a record player for the house, 3) Watched the International Space Station fly overhead in the full moonlit night sky, 4) Oversaw 2 project based learning students recreate the wiring and circuit boards for old arcade game machines. He says that it's amazing that 1 out of 4 of his "wondrous" experiences in one month happened at school. Unfortunately, he knows that students lose this sense of wonder and sink into what hs calls "ennui" which means boredom. He then goes on to quote, "It is past time we designed schools to be wondrous places. It is past time we designed schools to keep kids full of wonder. It is past time we taught one another how to wonder again, fearlessly. It is past time we stopped confusing following instructions to complete a project with solving a problem to complete a project. It is past time we stopped confusing people with problems."

I know that this is true and sadly, it's hard to prevent. I hope that I am able to start changing this is my classroom. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to learn and make the subject of my learn my passion. So this is just what I commented to Chad. I said that I hoped that I could be one of these future teachers that he refers to that can change wonder into wondrous.

Monthly C4K: February,d.b2I&psig=AFQjCNG4zg8O73TmyBfHFpzI-v2rxhzfrQ&ust=1362257105046353

C4K Feb 8th:

My kid for this week is from Mrs. Behm's 8th grade English Language Learners class. My student's name is Ta Nay Tha. I'm not sure if this is a boy or girl's name, but for the post I would assume it is a boy. His post is about what he would do if he had $200. He says he would give $50 to his mom to go buy him some apples and oranges, then use the rest to buy video games. He loves to sit around and play games while eating fruit! I recommended in my comment that he just rent video games from a "Red Box" and that fruit is not even close to $50. I explained that he could have a day of fun playing games and munching on fruit for less than $10!

C4K Feb 14th:

This week my kid is from Robbins Elementary School in Prichard, AL. He is in the 4th grade in Ms. Muhammad's class and his name is Keenan. Keenan's Blogs are very short and only about 2 or 3 sentences. I read 3 of them and 2 were about reading and 1 was about becoming president. The one I chose to comment on was called "The Day I was inspired by the Assembly." It said this:

"The Reading Like a Rock Star assembly inspired me to do better on my reading test. Then it inspired me to learn new things like reading my book daily. It motivated me to stop playing and do my work. Now tell me how this assembly inspired you?"

My comment was also short just encouraging him to keep his focus in reading because reading opens the doors to learning every other subject.

C4K Feb 19th:

My kid's name is Aaron this week, and he is from Ms. Lavakula's 5th grade class. They are in Room 13 of Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. Aaron's post is a Google presentation just like the ones that we made in EDM310 not too long ago. It was all about him. He is from Afghanistan, plays Cricket, and his favorite movie is Alice in Wonderland. Aaron's profile says that his favorite subject is Math, and I was able to comment about encouraging him to pursue a high level of Math because I am going to be a Math teacher. But out of all of this, my favorite part about Aaron's blog is that it had his picture on it, and I was able to see the face of the child hundreds of miles away to whom blog I was writing on.

C4K Feb 26th:

This week I have a 1st grader by the name of Daniel. He is in Mrs. Vannoy's class. His post "Ethan and I" was posted January 3rd and said, "Ethan is my friend. He is smart. He is nice. He is cool." Unfortunately, he didn't put spaces after any of his periods to separate his sentences. I told him I was happy he was learning to blog and told him his mistake. Then I told him his friend Ethan sounded like an awesome guy.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blog Assignment #6

Wendy Drexler

This video by Wendy Drexler was very much like the class that we are taking, EDM310, in which we as students are assigned projects, activities, posts, comments, and etc that force us to dive into the resources we can find on the web and using our technology in new ways. We have done projects that involve imovie and Google presentation. We have created accounts with Twitter, Skype, Prezi, Google, Youtube, and more. We have commented on posts of students, teachers, and classmates from around the globe. We have watched countless videos throughout Youtube that have supported and given us examples of the “Network Learning” our teacher and Wendy Drexler are trying to get us to see.

After comparing Wendy Drexler’s video with what I, myself, am learning in my class, I see why the question, “Why does a networked student even need a teacher?” is asked by so many. The video tell us that the teacher is still very much needed to answer questions and guide the students in the right direction. What I have learned from EDM310, as far as this question’s answer is concerned, is that 1) I would not do any of this work or research into any of the websites and resources without a teacher that was giving me a grade for it, and 2) that technology has its moments when it just decides not to work, and in those instances, you need a teacher who knows more than you do to adjust to issues and, like the video said, “guide you in the right direction.”

In one if the comments below the video, a former EDM310 student wrote that she believes that teachers should be the experts of the classroom/subject matter. This is easy to do in a math course (because before I graduate as a math teacher, I will have had some of the most advanced math classes offered) so I expect to know way more than my students. As far as being a Network Learning teacher, I do not believe that I am ready. I could not confidently say that I could walk into a classroom and know more than my students. This mainly is because it is something that students can teach themselves. Also, it is because “technology” is a subject that never stops changing. As a teacher, you must continue learning as you teach.

Wendy Drexler also posted a video of a 7th grader’s PLE. She has it all organized on one page. Her school stuff is all on the bottom half, and all of her personal stuff is on the upper half. It is a perfect example of a Networking Learners PLE or PLN. She clicked on many examples on her page and showed what she has been working on, and it was rather amazing to see how far ahead she is than I am on developing my PLN. Right now I just have my blog. Everything that I have researched or created is on my blog in some type of post. Hopefully by the time that I am a teacher, I will be able to organize my info and references in a way that I can access any of it with ease to best aid my students.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Project #10: Finding the Right Tool,d.eWU&psig=AFQjCNH6g_jQFDcRt1oA-jnNIKSSyhfGWA&ust=1361654752810650

"It's Everybody's Job to Give the World a reason to Dance: We were made to be Awesome!"

I would like to start off by saying that I have always loved math and always learned it with no problem. My learning style was exactly how teachers taught: the  teacher would lecture and provide a couple of examples, then The End. I always assumed that my learning style would also become my teaching style. Since I entered college though, I have realized that there are other teaching styles out there, and although I may not learn best from them, other students seem to respond better. This has taught me to be open about where other teachers' styles and my students learning styles can take my teaching style.

With that being said, I took it upon myself to search for websites that will help me in the future to form the atmosphere of my classroom and it's learning/teaching style. Then this assignment asked us to find some and share them with the class. Done! I have found many websites that are connectors. They provide links for me to explore to find what suits my class and students. The first one is EduBlogs. This website provides all the latest "best" educational teacher/student/class blogs, podcasts, twitter posts, apps, websites, etc. By "best", I mean that the creators of Edublogs do all the searching for you, and then provide you with the links in order to save you time from reading stuff that will just waste your time. Another great website to keep you up to date and connected is Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. This site has tutorials to help teachers incorporate technology into their existing classroom using social media that their students are already familiar with: blogging, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Skype, Twitter, and Youtube.  In addition to all this, it provides links to some of the most educational based journals in the world for you to learn from the best. Still another that is basically the same, but individually run and operated, is Free Technology for Teachers. Lastly, is a website that my first C4T was assigned for is TED (this specific link is to Dan Meyer's "Math class needs a makeover.") This site is full of speakers and educators who have "Ideas Worth Spreading" about Technology, Entertainment, and Design. The videos are no more than 10 minutes a piece and really get you thinking about how to change your classroom for the better. Most of them are funny and enjoyable to watch. Here is one for example:Kid President: Pep Talk. A must watch: ENJOY!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Blog Assignment #5

Krissy Venosdale

Krissy is a 3rd grade through 6th grade Special Education teacher. She loves technology, photography, learning, and inspiring her students and others to chase their dreams. She bases her teaching off of STEM: Science, technology, engineering, and math. And she tries her best to encourage her students HOW to think, not WHAT to think.
I really enjoyed her blog post “If I built a school”. I would say that I have a very traditional learning/teaching style, but Krissy’s post left me thinking. At her “school”, she would create standards based on rooms and subjects. Reading would take place in a huge tree-house in the library. Science would take place in a real laboratory where experiments were always taking place. Math would take place in an engineering/problem solving environment. Art would take place in a real art studio. Technology would be taught in the mist of everything. All students would be encouraged to use their labtops, phones, etc throughout the day with everything. And she even goes as far as to say lunch would take place in a modern-styled cafĂ© with couches and inspirational and innovative speakers. I think her school sounds like a blast. Obviously I left out all of her decorating and outside of school ideas, but they too would create the perfect environment for all of this to take place.
If I built a School, it would not be in a School:
If I had to build a school of my own, I would also base everything off of the idea of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Reading, Writing, History, and the Arts are important, (I know in the past people got angry with me for stating otherwise) but there is a reason that there is a shortage of secondary Math and Science teachers. It’s because they are hard subjects to learn and hard ideas to wrap the mind around. Students nowadays don’t want to be made to think, and this is what Sciences and Maths require them to do. My school would encourage “The Nerd” in everyone to emerge! Let the uniforms be lab coats and safety goggles, let the school supplies be rulers, protractors, measures, and calculators, and let the classrooms be outdoors in the world! Our world could not exist without biology, physics, space, chemistry, geometry, and, believe it or not, Calculus (speed, velocity, acceleration, length, area, volume, etc). It kills me that people want to work jobs in which all they do is sit behind a desk, but then again, that’s all they have done K-12! Let’s get the students out into the world and have them study and live the math and science that is always all around us!

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir and NPR Interview:

The choir in this video is good but to think that they never once met with each or practiced together is amazing. Everything was done through the internet, and people from all over the world got to participate. His interview with NPR explains about how it all started with a young girl who recorded herself singing his song and sent it to him. He then decided to get 50 people to do this and 185 people responded. Once his first piece had been edited and released on youtube, he did his next song which had 2000+ responses, and his third song had 3000+ responses. He says that this just proves that people long to be part of something bigger than themselves and part of a community who shares in their love for music. I have seen another video similar to this, Nelly’s “Just a Dream” performed by Christina Grimmie and Sam Tsui and music by Kurt: Youtube- Just a Dream . I often thought about how awesome the internet is when I first saw this video. They never once met but did the entire performance, singing and instrumentals, via internet, and it is amazing! Check it out (the end is the best).

Teaching in the 21st Century:

This video was very long yet informative about all that technology is good for in the 21st Century.  This includes podcasting, blogging, learning, researching, and much more. He had many lists of the different programs available for students to use such as Facebook, Youtube, Google, Wikipedia, and more. He describes teaching as becoming a tool to guide students into teaching themselves. All the technology out there can provide students with basically every bit of information that they will ever need to know.  Roberts suggests that teachers are just a tool for teaching students how to find the answer using technology. In my opinion though, teaching a student to look up an answer only works for some information such as, “Which country has the largest population?” or “How many gallons of water is in the Gulf of Mexico?”, but what about the analysis and application problems? Yes, they can find it on the internet, but how much of the actual thinking process is lost by this. Just because I can take any math problem out of my Calculus 2 book and plug it into Wolfram Alpha and get the answer does not mean that I “learned” how to solve the problem. And some might suggest that if we have internet programs that give us answers for this type of problem, then why in the world would anyone take the time to learn it? Are you kidding me?!!!! I’d like to take all the technology in the world and shut it down for a day and pretend like it’s the 1800s or something and see how many people literally go crazy. People have learned to rely on technology for everything in their lives and lose the pure intelligence that comes from really thinking. I don’t want to offend anyone; I think that technology is great and that we do need it. Everything Roberts stated in his presentation is right! I’m just a math nerd and nothing bets the sensation when you solve a problem that you had to work on for an hour. Technology takes that joy away. It’s just a sore subject for me. People in my “Math for Elementary School Teachers” class couldn’t even divide 324 by 3 without using their calculators; it’s called long division and we all learned it in the 4th grade! I guess I’d end my little rant by saying, use technology, teach technology, benefit from technology, but don’t replace thinking and problem solving with technology. Please don’t teach your students to use technology as a short cut to thinking.

Flipping the Classroom:

Dr. Lodge McCammon has designed an idea called “Flipping theClassroom”. In a typical traditional classroom, the teacher spends time lecturing and then gets the students to practice at home with application problems. The idea of flipping this would get teachers to make videos for the students to watch at home for homework and do the application of the concepts in class while the teacher is there to help. At first, I thought this was a terrible idea because no student is actually going to watch the videos, and the teacher would just have to re-teach the lesson in class regardless. Then, I watched a video by teacher Katie Gimbar about how she flipped her classroom, and she has a set of FAQs which explain how to avoid problems like this. After watching all of her FAQ videos, I am seriously thinking out starting my classroom in this type of style. I have been hesitant about using technology to teach math, but I really like this idea. I would be a good way to incorporate other methods of using the internet for math as well. I would of course mend it into something that I am comfortable doing, but I like the idea of using class time to work together, teach one another, and get questions answered. I also like how it is a great opportunity to build responsibilities and relationships.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blog Assignment #4

Langwitches’ Podcast Videos

It’s amazing to see and hear 8 year olds learning and fluently speaking Hebrew! The technology is very cool but knowing that it is helping these children to learn to speak and read in other languages at such a young age amazes me. I think that all schools should have a tech teacher that works with the children to teach them how to help themselves learn thing such as Hebrew through technology.

This post was so creative and cute. The kids wrote a book about a boy named Stanley who got crashed by a bulletin board into a flat piece of paper. So they folded him up and put him in an envelope and mailed him to all of their families who then wrote a letter and sent it back with Stanley. The students had a huge map of all the places Stanley had traveled and all the letters that came back with him. They then recorded a book/podcast of the journey that Stanley had been on. It was very cute, and I think that the children are learning a lot.

First of all, the audio clip of the little 6 and 7 year old reading the book is absolutely precious. Aside from that though, this is a great opportunity for the children to learn how to record and make books and create something of their own, but more than that, they are learning to read! And after they read the scripts to record, then the whole class gets to read along with the recording. I think this is a great idea, and it’s so cute!

Friday, February 8, 2013

C4T Post: February #1

C4T Feb 7th:

My first C4T was originally assigned for a teacher whose website crashed so I am a week behind and trying to catch up. I was reassigned to "Teacher Tom" whose posts I am super excited to read just because of his opening page. He has a picture of himself in a superhero outfit. Now this guy has got to be an awesome and fun teacher. And to top it off, he teaches preschool!
The first blog post of his that I read was called "Students Refuse". This post is about a high school in Seattle that requires their 9th grade students to take a standardized test, called the MAP, that measures material not yet covered in their classes. As the teachers refused to give the test last month, claiming it wasted time, money, and resources, many parents and students have stood by their sides in a boycott. Teacher Tom expressed his opinion on the matter and how he is proud that the teachers in Seattle will take such a bold stand for the education of the students. He said that secretly the test is used as an evaluation of the teachers and is used for determine pay and promotion which even the makers of the MAP test say should NOT be done. Though all the teachers, parents, students and Teacher Tom are very passionate about this issue, authority rules. The superintendent has made all the teachers take 2 weeks without pay and forced all the students into taking the test. Needless to say, there are many people who are not happy!
I told him about the EQTs that schools are making the students take now and how crazy they are. They leave students behind rather than keeping them all together. Teachers loss focus of actually teaching the students a good quality lesson and focus on having them memorize facts for their EQTs.

C4T Feb 8th:

The next post that I read of Teacher Tom's was called, "Yeah, but it's not broke." This is a post that he said he wrote over a year ago but decided it was due for a renewal. I am very glad that he did re-post it so that I got the chance to read it. It touched my heart a little. And the story goes like this: Teacher Tom brought in 3 air pumps onto his preschool class one day and laid them on the table. Without telling the students what they were or for what they were used, he told them they could play with them. They quickly figured out on their own how to use them and began blowing air on each other and laugh and playing with them. Some used them as light sabers and others to make bubbles in the fish tank. Then Teacher Tom noticed that one of the pumps was not producing bubbles into the water and announced that that specific one must have been broken. Then one of the students spoke up, saying, "Yeah, it's not broken. That's what a light saber is supposed to do!"
If this doesn't get you thinking then i don't know what will. It's amazing to me to think that just because something doesn't serve the purpose that we think it should that it is useless. These 4 year olds teach us a different lesson. Sometimes they teach us more than we could teach them. He also mentioned this line in his post, and I want to end by quoting it because as teachers, I think we all need to hear it.

"I've written here often that I'm not all that concerned about what the children learn. From among the infinite bits of trivia that comprise our existence, who am I to choose what becomes permanently stuck in their brains and what has to be looked up later in life on the internet? No, my primary concern is that they develop the habits of inquiry and exploration: not that they learn, so much as that they think."
-Teacher Tom