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.