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 Scoop.it! 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.