Saturday, December 7, 2013

Blog Post # 16 Final Reflection

My dream is to teach kindergarten or first grade. I want to have a fun and happy classroom that my students look forward to coming to every single day. I want to be one person to put a smile on each and every one of their faces, daily. I want the learning process to go both ways. I want my students to learn from me, of course, but I also want to learn from my students. I aspire to be a life long learner and constantly improve my classroom for the benefit of my students.

I want my students to be active and involved in their learning process. I have learned a lot from the famous EDM310 quotes "No more burp-back education!" and "I don't know. Let's find out." These are two quotes that will stick with me throughout my teaching career. I want to help and guide my students, but I also think that it is so important for them to research and discover new information on their own. This introduces them to different technology tools as well as prepares them use these tools throughout their entire life.

One tool I plan on incorporating in my classroom is blogging. I feel that this tool can be used with any grade level and it gets the students so involved and interested with technology while learning. I want to use blogging for projects and for my students to talk about daily activities, as well as use it for their daily journals. In the lower grade levels students usually write in a journal on a specific topic every day or every other day. I want to use blogging instead of pencil and paper for my students journal entries. This will get their work recognized by people all around the world and I feel like this will excite them and inspire them to work even harder knowing that other people will be seeing it and commenting on it. This will also allow my students to explore other students blogs and see about different cultures and what is going on in other classrooms all over.

Another tool I plan to use in my classroom is podcasts. I think this would be a great tool to incorporate in their "centers." I will either have my students read a short story on their own and get in an assigned group to create a podcast on given questions or I will have them create a podcast based on a story we read together in class. This gives the students an opportunity to work together in groups and discuss what each of them took out of the story and what they have learned. This will also get the students using another technology tool in the classroom.

Referring back to Blog Post #1
When I began this semester, I wasn't exactly sure what tools I wanted to incorporate in my classroom. I do want my student to be creative and find out what works best for them, but I now know of specific activities I would like my students to work on when they have free time throughout the day. I had said I would like them to grab a book, or find another activity. Instead I want my students to get on the computer and I will have a list of topics each week for my students to blog about or I want them to get on the apps on the computer or iPad's to help them with our math, reading, or spelling that we are currently going over in class. This way they will get to use technology while learning and perfecting the skills we are working on.

I had said I wanted my primary way of teaching to be through hands on activities. I do want to incorporate fun hands on activities, but now I have seen how important technology is in the classroom and I would love for this to be my primary way of teaching. I want my students to be interested and engaged the whole time. I want to find different ways of incorporating technology in everything we do. I want to use Google Presentations, Prezi, Google Docs, iPads, blogging, podcasts, and much more. I want my students to be active learners and try to find their own information without having to rely on me for everything.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15

Summarized by: Keri Brown
Teaching Mom What her Deaf/Blind Child is Learning on the iPad

This video shows a mother using an iPad to learn what her deaf/blind child is learning. This video showed me that just because a student is blind or deaf they are still fully capable of using technology. The deaf students can see all of the icons that are on the iPad and work the same way a hearing student does. For blind students, this showed the mother learning how to swipe with four fingers to change pages and when she scrolled her fingers over the apps and icons they say out loud what exactly they were helping the blind student hear what they are using or what they are looking for.

Apple has a special link on their website for special education students. They say "We believe that technology can provide great learning tools for all learning abilities. Every Mac and iOS device comes standard with innovative accessibility features." The iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch come with assistive features that have changed the learning landscape for students with special needs. These features help with learning and literacy, vision, hearing, and physical and motor skills. "Guided Access helps students with autism or other attention and sensory challenges stay on task." This allows the teacher to limit a device to stay on one app by disabling the Home button, and even restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen. "VoiceOver is a gesture-based screen reader that lets students know what’s happening on their Multi-Touch screen — and helps them navigate it — even if they can’t see it." This is great for blind students to still be able to work the technology and navigate through the assignments. "Closed captions offer all kinds of visual learners the ability to see captions in video to help with comprehension." This application is very useful for deaf students.

Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Students
Summarized By: Ke’Nesha Brown
Assistive technology is “an umbrella term used for assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices” (Wikipedia). It promotes independence by giving people the opportunity to perform tasks they were once unable to perform (Wikipedia). Assistive technologies give disabled children a chance to feel normal and interact with others in the classroom. It enhances their learning, remove all learning barriers, and pushes students to go beyond their boundaries. Assistive Technologies give each disabled child a sense of hope. In addition, it changes the way people think around them. According to the video, one in 2500 Australian children have vision impairment (ATVHIC). Every day in Australia, one child is diagnosed with hearing impairment. With the statistic given, the curious questions for educators are “Are we doing enough to support impaired children” and “Are we prepared” (ATVHIC). Teachers should be the main line of defense for all children when it comes to quality education. They should be willing to knock down old walls and building new ones. With assistive technologies, impaired kids have the ability to engage, investigate, and explore. Most importantly, it gives the students the ability to interact with their environment. There are many devices that can be helpful to sensory disabled children. Some of the devices are: · Text to speech devices · Text phones · Talking Calculators · Note takers · Sensory aids · Speech to text devices · FM radio’s · iPhone, iPods, iPads · Screen magnifiers · Flip cameras

The Mountbatten
In The Mountbatten video, they explain how vital immediate feedback is to struggling learners. The Mountbatten Braille Writer allows students to receive audio and tactile feedback. It produces braille while announcing what letters are being produced. In addition, the device is an advance tool. It has the ability to save files; transfer files to, and receive files from a computer. For teachers and students who don’t know braille, the Mountbatten Brailler is a great tool for mainstream classrooms. The braille text converts into print and is display upon a screen. This tool allows blind children to be included in curriculum. It also allows them to receive feedback from teachers and participate in peer group projects.

Assistive Technology for Children with Autism
(written by Susan Strokes under a contract with CESA and funded by a discretionary grant from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction)

The assistive technology tool I found useful for the classroom was provided by Autism Consultant,Susan Stroke. She explains how technology have improve the quality of life for people who suffer with different disabilities. However, despite the fact that technology attracts the children who has autism. Stroke explains how technology can be helpful for children who has autism. Stroke explains how technology can be helpful for children with autism. It can help them understand their environment. It also help them with communication skills, social interaction skills, and motivation skills.

Stokes explains how the Visual Representation Systems are helpful for autistic children. Objects, pictures drawing, line drawing, and written words can be used with various modes of technology, as long as the child understands. One software program Stokes mentioned is Boardmaker. Boardmaker is a software from the Mayer-Johnson software program. It is a program for children, as well as adults, that provides 3,000 picture communications in black and white or color. PCS present a clear representation of objects or words. However, autistic kids may dislike color; therefore, teachers should take caution on what color they may use.

Another tool that provides a more concrete images without risking ambiguity because of background clutter is Picture This (20). It has over 2,700 pictures from a lot of different categories like, creating schedules, sequence activities for following instructions, etc. Strokes tells us that some children who suffer Autism have difficulty understanding two dimensional visual representation system. These students may require an actual object, or True Object Based Icon. TOBI can be any line drawn picture that has been cut out in a shape or outline of what it is suppose to represent. The child has the opportunity to see and feel the symbol and shape.

Having assistive technologies in the classroom helps teachers and disable children communicate with one another. Every child’s learning ability is different; however, every child has the ability to learn. By providing the tool sensory aid children need, teachers are providing their students with a fair chance in receiving the same quality education as others. It also teaches the other students how to interact and accept people who are different from them. I personally think this assistive technologies is a tool that all teachers should have.

Teaching Math to the Blind,iPad Usage For the Blind
Summarized by: Chelsea Calvert

Teaching Math to the Blind

Both of these videos gave instructions and reasoning for using the two different resources. The first video discussed how it is almost impossible to learn or teach math through braille. The University of San Francisco invented a board or a work space for the student to lay tiles that had the letters printed on them and written in braille. The board also would connect to a computer and the computer would say the numbers as they were placed on the board.

The second video shows how the iPad has the over voice feature. With having this feature one could set the iPad to say out-loud what functions were being used. The video shows how to navigate an iPad with having the iPad read whichever icon you ran your finger over. It will also read books once they are selected. For the blind this is the only tool that you can turn on and have this feature in effect.According to the 2007 National Deaf-Blind Child Count, over 10,000 are children under the age of 21.(National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness. (2008, September)) This tool gives these students the ability to have a book at the tip of their fingers that can be read to them.

Both of these videos were informative on different subjects. I never thought about how difficult it would be to teach a blind person math until now. I think that the board would be a great asset to the classroom with a blind person. I think that this board would be helpful in learning the basics of math. I think both tools would be beneficial in the classroom. Using the iPad to read and for other things is a great tool. The students could read whenever they had free time and it would be an easy transition. I think the iPad could be used for every subject in some way.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Project #11

To collaborate about Project 12B without meeting face to face our group choose to open a Google Document. Within this document we discussed how we were going to present our lesson. Google Drive is a great way to communicate and collaborate with fellow classmates. Using this tool, we were able to communicate while we were doing our daily routines. It will email each of the group members notifying us that someone has added to the document or project. I plan to use this tool in within my classroom because it gives the students more freedom to communicate on their own time. It also can show who did what within the document so the participation from each group member can be seen.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Blog Post #14

For Blog Post#14 we are required to create our own blog assignment for our designated area or speciality. My area of speciality is elementary education.

In this blog post, you will list one grade in which you would like to teach after graduating.

Once you have selected a grade level, you will then explore classroom management strategies. Explain different strategies you plan to use in your classroom. Explore videos, blogs, and other resources to get information. Be creative and specific to your chosen grade level.

Whole-Brain Teaching:
The grade level I would love to teach the most is kindergarten. I think kindergarten would be such a fun and ever-changing grade to teach. There is always something new and the kids are constantly growing throughout the whole year.

I observed a kindergarten classroom last year every Tuesday and Thursday. In this classroom the teacher was so involved and loved fun and interactive classroom management tools. I want to imply the whole brain teaching tools in my future kindergarten classroom.
whole brain teaching strategies
whole brain teaching strategies

I want to use these classroom rules with my students. If I teach the students these rules at the beginning of the school year and have them repeat them I feel like this will help a lot in the classroom. I will teach these rules using a specific tone of voice so the students will be able to easily remember them. I also want to use the "points" system with my students. I will let the students compete as a class versus the teacher, or as tables competing against other tables. With the points they will work towards different things such as, extra free time, prizes, extra outside time, etc. The point system will make the students work harder because they feel like they are actually working towards a goal at the end of each day. I will also use clapping patterns to get my students attention and interact with them. While my students are walking in the hallway they will also have specific thing to do such as having a bubble in their mouth (mouth full of air), or one hand on their hip and one hand on their lips, "hips and lips and hips and lips." Here is a video I found of a kindergarten classroom demonstrating whole bran teaching strategies.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Final Report on PLN Project #2

I have learned so much in EDM310 this fall about technology and different ways to incorporate technology in my future classroom. I have absolutely loved this class because although there is a lot of work, it is so interesting. I plan on using the tools I have learned in my future classroom when I graduate as well as in my personal life. My PLN, "Personal Learning Network," has been useful in keeping me organized throughout this semester. My personal learning network contains many useful websites. On my PLN I have: Google, EDM310 class blog, Google Drive, my personal blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Pandora, Gmail, University of South Alabama, Amazon, YouTube, TeacherTube,WebMD, as well as weather, calculator, and map applications. I created my PLN through Symbaloo which was a very easy website to set up. The use of my PLN has become very easy and natural for me to use to help me in my EDM310 class as well as other things I am doing on the internet.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Project #12B

Here is a link to the Google Site for our lesson plan.

For this project, we collaborated through Google Docs before we met up to film our lesson plan.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Post #13

to this day

Summarized by: Keri Brown

Shane Koyczan is an amazing man who told his story through poetry. Koyczan began by talking about how as a child we are told to "stand up for yourself," but that is a hard thing to do when you don't even know who you are. He says that we are expected to define ourselves at such a young age and if we didn't others did it for us by calling us names like geek, fatty, slut, or fag. "What do you want to be when you grow up" is not a fair question because it doesn't allow kids to be what they already are, kids.

Mr. Koyczan talks about his childhood by saying:
At age 8, he wanted to be a marine biologist.
At age 9, he saw JAWS and said no thank you.
At age 10, he was told his parents left because they didn't want him.
At age 11, he wanted to be left alone.
At age 12, he wanted to die.
At age 13, he wanted to kill a kid.
At age 14, he was asked to seriously consider a career path.
When he told them he wanted to be a writer, they told him to come up with something realistic. They told him to come up with something and then told him what he couldn't be. He was basically told to accept the identity that others would give him. His dreams got called names too, silly, foolish, impossible, but yet he kept dreaming.

During the ages 15-18, he hated himself for becoming the thing he loathed…a bully. At age 19 he wrote, "I will love myself despite the ease with which I learn toward the opposite." He said that "standing up for yourself does not have to mean embracing violence."

Mr. Koyczan talked about one specific time when certain people always wanted his answers for the homework and he wanted friends so he would always give them the answers. One boy would always call him "Yogi Bear" and laugh at his belly. After a while, Shane got fed up with this and when the boy asked for his answers to his homework, he gave him all of the wrong answers. When the boy got his homework back, he looked at Shane mad and puzzled that he had received a zero on this homework assignment. This was just enough satisfaction for Shane.

picture of Shane Koyczan holding up his hands
Shane closes by saying "if you can't see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror, look closer, or stare a little longer." There is something inside you that made you keep trying despite everyone who told you to quit. He says that you have to believe that those people were wrong. Shane said, "yes, those things did hurt him, but life is a balancing act that has less to do with pain, and more to do with beauty.

Mae Jemison: Teaching Arts and Sciences Together
Summarized by: Kenesha Brown
Mae Jemison is an American physician and NASA astronaut. She was the first African American woman to travel into space. Jemison had a successful career at NASA; however, she resigned in 1993 to form her own research company. Jemison participated in the Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) Conference. TED is a global set of conferences owned by a private non-profit organization.
In the video, Mae Jemison explained how arts and sciences should be revitalized. Lewis Carrol quoted “If you don’t much care where you want to get to, then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.” However, Jemison explained that it does matter which direction to take. What we do now is critically important to our future. The world is built off of abstract ideas that people think of today. Knowledgeable ideas came to play as early as the 50’s. The subjects that are now invented, internet, high definition, etc., was thought of and mentioned during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

Jemison explained that during the 60’s people believed in hope for the future. They thought that everyone could participate in giving creative ideas. The tools people think is “hot or cool” now are based off the ideas from the 60’s.

On her trip to space, Jemison took three items with her. She took an Alvin Allen poster of a dancer performing a dance piece called Cry, a Badu statue that was given to her by a women’s society, and a certificate from the Chicago Public School students to work and improve science and math. People found it strange that Jemison took the items she chose. However, she felt as if each of the three things she took with her represented human creativity. Human creativity is what allowed them to conceive, create and launch the rocket into space.

Albert Einstein stated that “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true arts and sciences.” The differences of arts and sciences are deconstructive. People look at science as deconstructive because often times it is something that has to be pulled apart to understand. However, Jemison explained that science provides an understanding of universal experiences; whereas, art provides a universal understanding. People must realize that understanding, resources, and will are the cause of the outcome. Ideas and innovation should be driven from a person’s intellect. Jemison stated that ideas should be thought of as potential energy. Nothing will happen until someone takes a risk. I believe that the arts and sciences play an important role in critical thinking for students. As teachers, we should to continue to stay ahead on a technological standpoint. However, we must remind our students that inventions come from people who are not afraid of sharing their ideas and failing. Students need to learn the importance of embracing culture. They need to understand that there are many ways of viewing situations. Therefore, as educators, we need to teach our students how to accept abstract ideas.

Shukla Bose: Teaching one child at a time
Summarized by: Chelsea Calvert
Shukla Bose is a woman who went to the Indian slums to start making a difference in the education system they have. She has never been educated how to teach but she has been in the corporate word for twenty six years. In 2003, she started the Parikrma Humanity Foundation out of her own house. They started by walking through the slums and visiting the children and the parents. They realized that most of the children did not go to school. They tried convincing the parents to send their children to school. Once they got back to Shukla Bose's house to begin a plan they were overwhelmed with the numbers of children that should be going to school but do not. The number of students that attend school but cannot read or even do basic math. It was then they realized they are focusing on one child at a time. They started a school in a slum of 70,000 people living below the poverty line. The school was on the rooftop of two story building that was only partially covered. The school started with one hundred sixty five students. Now, after six years they have built four schools and a junior college with one thousand one hundred students that are attending. Their goal is to prepare these students to be educated and be able to function in this chaotic world. They teach every student how to speak English within about three and half months. They also chose one the most difficult curriculums and their students excel in it. The students are also excelling in sports.

The schools not only address the student’s education but also the parents. The parent attendance to school meetings is over eighty percent. At first the parents would sign in by using their thumb print but their children taught them how to sign their names. Some of the fathers had begun to attend the school. They had some mothers approach them about wanting to learn how to read and write. They school formed an after school program for these mothers to attend to educate themselves. She says that 98% of the fathers are alcoholics who they send some of them to a facility to get sober. Once the father has gotten sober, they help him get a job so that he does not relapse. The school as also taught some fathers about hygiene and how to prepare meals. Some of them work at the school and cook for the students. This type of job gives the father a sense of importance. The school also has programs for the older children in the families so that they will attend and the younger ones will have a way to school.

Bose addresses a few myths in her discussion. One of them is that the children from the slums cannot integrate with mainstream. She shows a video of a student who was selected by Duke University to participate in a program and was sent to a place that had many different cultures. In the video, the girl discusses how much she loved socializing with people of a different race or class then she was. She said normally she would have never approached people that were not in her social class or of her race. Once she had spoken to many different people she realized they are all the same they were all very friendly and could interact with her.

Shukla Bose shared a great testimony that anyone who has the will to make a change can. Within six short years she has help build four schools and a junior college that in itself is amazing. She not only educates the students but also the parents. I think it was a great of them to start an after school program for the mothers to become a part of the learning process. Helping the parents and getting them involved with education will benefit the students. The parents are more likely to make sure their children go to school and get an education if they are excited about it too. This program is also changing the whole demeanor of households by helping the fathers get sober and finding new jobs. They are also teaching the fathers how to cook and how to set up their kitchens. This not only gives the father a new skill but also gives them the knowledge to share to their spouse. They also provide programs for the older students to ensure they will come to school along with their younger siblings. This is something I would have never thought about doing because normally the action of the older siblings does not affect the actions of the younger children. It was a great idea for them to impalement a program to keep the older students engaged in school.

Friday, November 15, 2013


A “Radical New Teaching Model” That is Missing the Point
This blog is by Brian Bennett. In this blog post, Mr. Bennett talks about his opinion on an article that Wired Business put out earlier this month. He talks about how the article downplays the role of the teacher. He says that "While on the surface, this looks appealing for a lot of reasons. Students can explore on their own without the dictator at the front of the room. They can work collaboratively, problem solving and self-democratizing. This is all great, but having a teacher is still important (and that’s not because I’m a teacher at heart). All of this can be done, but the role of the teacher is to provide context for the content. Anyone can get online and look up facts about the moon, DNA, or the French Revolution. What is missing is a facilitator providing context to the flow of information we get from the Internet." He talks about how it is the teachers job to be the content resource, but to also provide provoking questions for the students while they are using technology.

My Response to Mr. Bennett
I explained to Mr. Bennett that I am currently a student in EDM310 in which we are learning to incorporate technology into our future classrooms. I explained to him that I have learned a lot of useful tools from this class but I do agree that students still need the guidance and support from their teachers while using all of the new technology.

Brian Bennett

Listening Past the TED Talk
This blog post by Brian Bennett talks about a recent TEDxBeaconStreet talk he had watched. He talked about how at first he liked the talk and he agreed with what Richard was saying especially in his opening statement when he said "There’s a more serious digital divide that we face in this country. That is the divide between those who know how to use technology to reimagine learning and those who simply use technology to digitize traditional learning practices." As the talk went on, Brian began to disagree more and more because he said, there are so many things in this story that put Richard, in my mind, solidly in the camp of “digitizing traditional teaching practices.” Brian said "I think I’ve come to the conclusion that most of the widely-publicized talks on education are either 1) given by people with lots of money, or 2) given by people who want to make lots of money. There have been very few compelling TED talks lately that have really communicated some of the major change that can come to education when we really think hard about what technology can help us do."

My Response to Mr. Bennett
I once again explained to Mr. Bennett about our EDM310 class and how we are learning to incorporate technology into our future classrooms. I explained that I think technology is important especially in the day and age, but I do agree with his points as well. I think it is so important to be an involved and engaging teacher. I agreed with him about being the first thing my students see when they walk into my classroom with a smile on my face greeting them to begin the day together. I also thanked him for being so engaged and involved with his students.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

C4KSummary for November

The first student blog I commented on was for Jacob, a year seven student in Mrs Nua and Mr Barks class at Pt England School in Auckland, NZ. On Jacobs post, he created a Google Presentation to show a math problem he worked out with a group. On the first slide he showed the problem, and on the second slide he showed how they worked out the problem. I told Jacob about how we use Google Presentations in our class and I liked how he showed exactly how he worked out the problem and showed each step.
divide, multiply, add, subtract, equals

The second C4K I was assigned was for Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog on how to write a compound sentence. For this post, Mrs. Yollis wanted her students to practice writing compound sentences by talking about their Thanksgiving plans and traditions. Since November is "Family Blogging Month," Mrs. Yollis told her students that this would be a perfect blog to get their families involved on. I wrote a little bit about our EDM310 class and our C4K assignments. I also told Mrs. Yollis and her class a little bit about my Thanksgiving plans. I really enjoyed looking around on their classroom blog. Everything was so neat, organized, and creative. The students are awesome at blogging and seem to really enjoy doing so. This encourages me even more to incorporate blogging in my future classroom.
turkey with Happy Thanksgiving

Friday, November 8, 2013

Project #15

For my Project #15 lesson plan I chose to do a Google Site using the BIE forms. I created a one week lesson plan for first grade on Helen Keller and the different ways she communicated. Here is a link to my Google Site.

Helen Keller feeling a woman's face

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Blog Post #12

How to Escape Education's Death Valley

Summarized by: Keri Brown
Sir Ken Robinson begins by giving us a statistic that states "in some parts of the country 60% of kids drop out of high school, in the Native American community it is 80% of kids." This is a very sad fact to think about in our educational systems. One estimate about this is that if we half that number, that would create a net gain to the US economy over ten years of nearly a trillion dollars. Mr. Robinson explains that American spends enough money on education, America has small class sizes for the most part, and we have hundreds of initiatives to improve education. All of these impacts on education are good, but they are all going in the wrong way.

In this video, Sir Ken Robinson outlines three principles that are crucial for the human mind to flourish and how current education culture works against them. The first principle he discussed was that human beings are naturally different and diverse. The education under the No Child Left Behind Act is based on conformity not diversity. Schools need to start focusing on the arts, humanities, and physical education more rather than just the core subjects. One estimate says that nearly ten percent of kids are being diagnosed ADD and ADHD. Mr. Robinson says that "children are not suffering from psychological condition, but yet childhood itself. Kids prosper best with a broad curriculum which includes all of their interests." The second principle Robinson discussed is curiosity. He says that we are all natural learners, we just need something to spark learning. Teaching is a creative profession, and in this profession we need to mentor, stimulate, provoke, and engage our students. Education is all about learning, and as teachers we have to facilitate learning. Robinson says that standardized test should not be the dominant part of education. They are good, but they are not everything. Standardized tests should support learning, not obstruct it. Instead of curiosity we have a culture of compliance and teachers are encouraged to follow "routine algorithms" rather than to excite that power of imagination and curiosity. The third principle Robinson addressed was that "human life is inherently creative, it's why we all have different resumes." He talked about how we create our lives and we can re-create them. Robinson compared Finland to a state in America by saying that when he was at a conference and someone asked their educational leaders about their drop out rate, they looked funny and stated they do not have a drop out rate because when kids have trouble they get help and they have a very broad curriculum. In the United States of America we need to begin by individualizing education and learning. The responsibility of this should be on the school level to "get the job done." Education is not an industrial process based on mechanics, it is a human system. Sir Ken Robinson ends his discussion by saying that "the culture of the school is essential. The "Death Valley isn't dead, it's dormant. Right beneath the surface are these seeds of possibility waiting for the right conditions to come about."

I loved watching this discussion. I feel like we have lost sight of the creativity that is necessary in education. Mr. Robinson had so many wonderful and true points. I completely agree that standardized tests are good to have, but they should not be everything. I feel that students learn better when they are interested and actively engaged in what they are learning. I hope to be a creative mentor to my future students.


Changing Education Paradigms
Summarized by: Kenesha Brown
In Sir Ken Robinson’s video, Changing Education Paradigm, he explains how every country is reforming public schools. The main reason why public education is reforming is because of economics and culture. With economics, people are trying to figure out a way to educate children in the 21st century, given that people cannot anticipate what the economy will look like at the end of the week (Robinson). With culture, on the other hand, people are trying to figure out a way to educate children so that they will have some type of cultural identity. However, where the problem lies with education is educators are trying to meet the future by doing what they have done in the past.

A lot of kids are being alienated because they don’t know the purpose of their education. Robinson explains how when he was younger he was taught to go to school, work hard and in the long run, hard work pays off; however, kids these days don’t believe in that. As educators, we have to raise standards, but the current system is designed and conceived for a different era. The educational system is conceived in the intellectual culture of enlightenment. Robinson tells us that before the 18th century there was no form of public education. Mostly wealthy families could afford schooling. Public education gives compulsory to everyone. It is funded by taxation and free at the point of delivery. On the contrary, a lot of people objected to public education. They felt as if it was impossible for poor and work class families’ children to benefit from getting an education. People believe that these children were incapable of learning how to read and write.

Robinson explains how public education base kids’ academic ability off of deducting reasoning and knowledge of the classic. Children who are smart are considered academic; children who are not smart are considered non-academic. However, non-academic children don’t know how brilliant they really are. Robinson views the model of education as trouble. He explains that the modern epidemic of education is ADHD; however, this is not an epidemic. “Children are being medicated routinely” (Robinson).In today’s society, kids are living in the most stimulating time in the history on the earth. They have a more advance perspective of how technology works. Instead, they are being force with information. Their attention is being pulled away from every technological platform. Lecturing is becoming boring. Children are getting through education by being anaesthetized. Instead of shutting students’ senses off and deadening them to what’s happening teachers should be waking them up.

In addition, Robinson tells us that education is modeled on the interest of industrialization. Schools are being organized as if they are factory lines. Children are being educated in batches, age groups, instead of ability. Robinson explains that the model of education don’t start from the line of mentality; it is about standardization and changing directions.

“Divergent Thinking is not the same as creativity” (Robinson). Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value; whereas, divergent thinking is an essential capacity of creativity. There are a lot of possible ways to find answers. Teacher should encourage students to find creative ways to interpret a question. Questions can have multiple answers, however, kids are taught there is only one answer and it’s in the back of the book. They are often told not to look or copy because it is cheating, but outside of schools’ walls, it’s collaborating. This is because of the gene pool of education. Sir Ken Robinson made valuable points on how our educational system works. Teachers don’t realize that they are failing our students by not taking advantage of the technological opportunities that is being presented. Great learning happens in groups. Allowing students to collaborate is the stuff to growth in the classroom. As educators we need to embrace our stimulating society and apply real world application to our classrooms. Kids have more advanced opportunities that they need to be exposed too. The educational system from the 18th century has no use for this 21st century generation.

The Importance of Creativity
Summarized by: Chelsea Calvert
Sir Ken Robinson believes that as an educator we have to prepare our students for what the world will be like in just a few years even though we ourselves have no idea. He believes that creativity is just as important as literacy. In every school system the arts at the bottom of importance. Mathematics and English are the two most important things in the education system. Art and music are taught but not on a day to day basis like he believes they should be. He refers to the woman that was a choreographer for the production "Cats." He tells us how even she was a child her teacher thought she had a learning disability because she could not sit still and was a distraction to the class. Her mother took her to the doctor to learn that her daughter did not have a disability she only was able to learn when she was active.

I think that Robinson has made a great point in this video. I had never thought about much the arts get overlooked. Every student learns in different ways and as an educator it is important to meet the students’ needs whatever they may be. Teachers should incorporate the arts into their classroom. Incorporating the arts in lessons would not be difficult to do.

After watching this video, I think the schools are more focused on trying to catch up with today's technology. It seems as if the schools are putting so much money into technology and having less teachers. The school systems have always been low on funding when it comes to teachers so they will get rid of the art teachers first but to be sure that every student has a personal computer to take home.

I think it is important for students to be technology literate but I think that it is equally important for them to be able to express themselves and be creative. The education system needs to find a way for the students to do both. If the school cannot afford to have a teacher for the arts then the classroom teacher needs to be sure to incorporate it into their lessons.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Blog Post #11

Watching Little Kids...Big Potentialreally opened my eyes to the different opportunities for using technology in my future classroom. This video actually got me more excited about trying different things even with my younger students. When I become a teacher, I would love to teach kindergarten or first grade. I always knew you could incorporate technology into these grades, but I never imagined using blogs, wiki, facebook, or even twitter until I watched Ms. Cassidy incorporating this into her first grade classroom.
computer and apple

One of the tools and techniques Ms. Cassidy uses in her classroom that I plan to incorporate in my future classroom is student blogs. I think student blogs are an excellent tool to help children learn to use computers and be on the internet while still working on their writing skills. Ms. Cassidy explained that technology is only going to get bigger and keep expanding in our world. It is better if children begin learning how to use these tools early on. Seeing her class post blogs and hearing about how excited they are when they get comments and views from people all over the world shows that it is an interesting and effective tool for learning. Students in younger grades normally have a daily journal where they write their thoughts and ideas about a specific topic. I have even thought about starting a student blog and for part of the week their "journal" entries would be on their blog. I really enjoyed hearing about Ms. Cassidy's ideas of using technology in her classroom. I can definitely take a lot out of this and learn from her things to incorporate in my classroom.

Project#10 Interview

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

C4T #3

Casual Models Help Uncover Hidden Thoughts
My first teacher was Heidi Siwak. Ms. Swak wrote about using a responsibility circle and a casual model of responsibility after her students had read Ray Bradbury's book All Summer in a Day. Using responsibility circles requires the students to find reasons for their opinions, but does not ask them to think at a deeper level, nor to find connections between their justifications. By using a casual model of responsibility, it helps students by making thinking more explicit. This model breaks down the hidden layers and causes students to build connections between ideas.As students dug deeper into causality, they begin to link ideas and see how one aspect influences another. It is a fun thinking task to engage in.

Responsibility Circle

casual model

My Response to Ms. Swak:
I explained to Ms. Swak about our EDM310 class and how we are learning to use technology in our future classrooms. I thought this was a very good post because she seems like she is such a fun an active teacher in her classroom. The use of both of these models in her classroom and her interaction make it seem like she is a very good teacher. I would love to incorporate the use of these models in my future classroom.

Structuring Effective Collaboration and the Place of the Individual
The second blog Ms. Swak wrote about was group work. Ms. Swak talked about collaboration and effective group work. She discussed the role of the individual in the group based on accountability and their contributions. She also discussed some projects her class worked on. She had her students construct knowledge on longitude and latitude to teach the younger students how it works. Ms. Swak had her students hold a knowledge building circle after they had all gathered their information so they were able to share. Ms. Swak also discussed collaborative inquiry, co-operative learning, and flexible groupings within her classroom.

avocado model

My Response to Ms. Swak:
I explained to Ms. Swak a little bit about our EDM310 course and how we are learning to incorporate technology in our future classrooms. I also explained to Ms. Swak that we do a lot of collaborative group work in this class. I really enjoyed reading her post because it showed me different ways to incorporate group work in my future class. Ms. Swak is good at working around each individual students needs and I feel that her information and resources will help me later in my teaching career.

Monday, October 28, 2013

C4KSummary for October

children around the world

My first student was Amy in Ms. Eppele's class in British Columbia, Canada. Amy was to look at a website on service dogs and explain what are other jobs dogs do for people and what you can do to help when you see a service dog. Amy explained that service dogs are used for several different things such as, people who are blind, people who are disabled, and people who have seizures. Amy also told different ways to help such as making donations and teaching dogs to be service dogs. Amy thinks that Melody will like having a little sibling at first, but after a while she will get uneasy about the situation because she is used to being the only child.

The second student blog I commented on was for Jett in Mrs. Hartooni's seventh grade science class. Jett wrote about gardening and how he does not know much but he wants to learn more. Jett wants to know more about irrigation and how much to water his garden. He also wants to know what flowers make the prettiest garden. Jett is wanting to use this project and experience to see who he works well with in the classroom for later group projects and things. I think that is such a great way of thinking on his part. I hope Jett learns who he works well with and also learns more about gardening.

The third student blog I commented on was for Man,a second grade student in Mr. So's class in Canada. Man wrote about "his genius hour project." He wrote a short post about how he loves to color and draw. He also likes to use scissors for art projects. He seems like a very creative boy and I hope he never loses site of his creativity and always strives to do more and be creative.

The fourth student blog I commented on was for Jenna, a fourth grade student in Mrs. Geldes class. Jenna wrote about Jack-o-lanterns and the tradition of carving pumpkins and other facts. I did not know any of this about pumpkins, but Jenna said that the Irish brought the tradition of carving pumpkins to America. She also said that there are at least 500 seeds in a pumpkins. Plus the top 4 states for growing pumpkins are Illinois,Ohio,Pennsylvania and California. I enjoyed reading her post so close to Halloween.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blog Post #10

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?

Randy Pausch

I truly loved watching Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. At first, I wasn't sure what to expect when we were told to watch an hour and sixteen minute video for this weeks blog post but shortly after turning it one I was hooked. Randy Pausch is such an inspiring man and there is so much that we can all learn from him. Even though Pausch has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and was only given a few months to live he was making the most of his remaining time on Earth with his family and friends.

In the beginning of his lecture Mr. Pausch tells us the things he is not there to talk about which included his wife and kids, cancer, and religion. He was there to talk about his dreams, helping other people enable their dreams, and lessons he has learned. Mr. Pausch went on to talk about football, imagineers, and being at zero gravity.

I took several quotes from this lecture. The one that I really thought about was "experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." This quote can apply to all of our lives when we get disappointed about something we really wanted or thought we deserved. Pausch also discussed "brick walls." He tells us that the brick walls are there for a reason. They are there to let us prove how badly we want things and to let us show our dedication.

Mr. Pausch was all about helping others in any way that he could. Head fake was another thing Mr. Pausch addressed. I think this applies so much in the classroom. Using a head fake is making someone think they are learning something, but they are really learning something else. Alice was a program that he and a group of other people worked on for years that was based on millions of kids having fun while learning something hard.

I loved this lecture from Randy Pausch and I cannot wait to begin reading his book, The Last Lecture.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Project #14

For my Project #14 lesson plan I chose to do a Google Site using the BIE forms. I created a two week lesson plan for first grade on Mardi Gras in Alabama. Here is a link to my Google Site.

Mardi Gras mask and beads

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Post #9

Keri Brown, Kenesha Brown, and Chelsea Calvert

Back to the Future
Brian Crosby has a 4th grade class that will be enrolled in his class for the next three years (grades 4, 5, 6). Over 90 percent of his students are second language learners. At the beginning of the school year, Crosby took a survey of his students’ knowledge in his class. Most of the students weren’t able to give basic demographic information.

There is a disconnection between students and learning because of a narrow curriculum. However, students only know a narrow curriculum. They have only been taught in a lecture style. Students don’t have any experience or input to build schema for the world. It is hard for them to imagine if they don’t know how to do this. As teachers, if we don’t have imagination or creativity then where would the students passion stem from?

Crosby took a narrow curriculum and enhanced it to 21st century learning. A hands on activity that he and his students did with the hot air balloon covered standards that the students needed to know and gave them experience on how air pressure and other things work. After the activity was done, the students embedded videos and summaries about the activity and why the reaction was the way it was on their blog.

Crosby explains that active learning empowers students to learn own their own. It allows them to connect with others, collaborate with classmates, and include thoughts and ideas during activities. Brian Crosby changed his 4th grade class by doing things that attract their attention. His class went from not knowing their basic demographic information to illustrating science projects to other students in a different country. Crosby’s class is the perfect example of innovative learning.

Blended Learning Cycle
properties of the blended learning cycle

In this video, Paul Andersen who is a high school AP biology teacher, is explaining a system he uses within his class. Mr. Andersen uses a strategy known as the blended learning cycle. The strategy is combining mobile, online, and classroom learning. There are six parts to this learning cycle. The first one is a question. This is also known as the hook to get them interested in the topic. The next step is investigation/inquiry. Then they have a video of instruction. This frees up some of Mr. Andersen's time and the students are able to review the videos when they do not understand. The next step is elaboration which goes into the explanation of the answer to the question originally asked. Then he reviews with the students. He meets with the students individually or in small groups to ask them questions to check their understanding. This also gives the students the opportunity to ask him questions if they are having trouble understanding. The last step is a summary quiz which is about what they had just covered. He will not give them the quiz if he can tell that they do not have a good understanding of the subject. If they do not do well on the quiz then he makes them start the process over.

We think that this strategy is a great idea. We think the first step is extremely important because it gets the students interested in the topic. The investigation step is important because the students need to find the answer out for themselves. They are more likely to remember the information more if they find it out on their own. The video gives the students more insight about the topic at hand. The review stage is especially important because it gives the teacher the opportunity to evaluate if the students are ready to take the summary quiz. We think that it is good that he gives the students the chance to go back and learn the information again if they did not get it the first time.

Making Thinking Visible
Making Thinking Visible book cover

In this video, Mark Church, co-author of the book Making Thinking Visible, describes a little bit about a lesson he does in his 6th grade classroom with this students. This lesson is the “headlines routine.” The students are going to work in groups to do a project on a video they had watched the day before in class on early human beginnings and the origins of society. He will have the students talk about the puzzles and video their groups and come up with a short headline to tell what it is really all about. He gave each group a long thick sheet of paper to write their headline on after their discussion. After every group had completed their headline they shared them in front of the class. The students needed to have just a little bit to back up why they chose this as their headline. After doing the same unit for two more weeks, Mr. Church will ask the students what is the headline now since they have learned a lot more and things have changed since the beginning to when they are doing their final projects.

We think this would be a great idea to use in the classroom. This would work especially well for long projects like the one in the video. This engages the students in thinking about what they already know, or what they think they know in the beginning. This also allows the students to stay interested in the assignment and continue to learn and change the headline as time goes on and they learn more about the specific unit.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blog Post #8

Dr. Lodge McCammon and Ms. Katie Gimbar explain in their videos about flipping the classroom. Dr. Lodge McCammon explains that a lot of times in todays classroom the teacher just stands in front of the class and lectures. This is not a good technique because it is inefficient, not engaging, and it is a one shot deal. Both of these instructors explain how 90% of the class time is spent lecturing and the other 10% is spent on actual application. Katie Gimbar explains how she has a set of higher level students who are bored and not challenged, struggling students who are not understanding the material, and a range of middle students which she ends up gearing her lectures towards. By flipping the classroom, the teacher provides the students videos to watch before they get to class. By doing this, the students can pause or re-watch the videos as many times as necessary until they understand what is being taught. This helps with all levels of students in the classroom. When the students get to class and already know the concept that is being taught, they can begin working on the application. This changes the percentages from 90% lecture to 10% lecture, and from 10% application to 90% application. I feel like this would be a great thing to incorporate in your classroom for all of your students benefit.

Summarized by: Keri Brown
spelling test
Spelling City is a website and also has an app for iPads other devices. This app has a feature to search the language arts standards correlation list for standards by region and grade. This app provides correlations to U.S. Standards by State, Common Core Standards for each State's Implementation, Australian Standards by State, Canadian Standards by Province, and English National Curriculum Standards. This is a great tool for teachers to work with students in the classrooms as well as at home on their own time for homework or extra help. There are many games provided on this site for parts of speech, nouns, synonyms, contractions, phonics, Dolch-sight words, as well as vocabulary activities. There are also premium membership opportunities depending on how many students you have. There are many benefits with the premium membership such as, student activities being tracked, student test results and activities are automatically recorded, and you can create customized lists and lessons to meet each student's individual needs. This makes it great for ESE, ESL/ELL, and RTI.

Pearl Diver
cutting the eel picture

Summarized by:Chelsea Calvert
This is an app that covers number and operation standards. Since iPads are becoming more common in the classroom this is a tool that could easy be accessed. This app helps the students understand how numbers are represented and the number system. The students must understand and know how to represent fractions on a number line. This game is more geared toward grades third through eighth. I chose this tool because it is something that will keep the students engaged. The students can also move into harder levels as they learn more so they are not confined to the same problems. If the teacher was to cover fractions and their place on the number line, they could let the students play this app to practice and check their understanding.

21st Century Learning is Here!
Summarized by: Kenesha Brown
the brain one side consist of fun the other side consist of work

Mark Stevens explains how the technology people use in their daily life influences how students learn. Students and teachers have changed, and learning has changed, as well. However, the former setting of a school remains the same over the last 100 years. Stevens states, "We live with the reality that the same structure of brick, mortar, and steel will continue to greet us each morning" (Stevens). The great thing about 21st century learning is it can take place anywhere. Stevens explains that learning environment is not about the cool gismos and gadgets that are being used but the teacher applies today's technologies to make materials for students more engaging. "In other words, encourage the students to create, communicate, and collaborate in many ways" (Stevens).

"Learning in the 21st century takes new thinking" stated by NEA Executive Director John I. Wilson. 21st century skills are required in order for teachers to prepare their students for the globalized workforce. The teachers should find ways to incorporate technology while fulfilling the requirements for the curriculum. There are many useful tools that are available for teachers.

Gismo Gadget man with 21st century tools

The question that Stevens mentions is "what does this 21st classroom look like?" He explains that interactive demonstration allows students to work through materials together. In addition, having access to the internet allows students to engage and transform content from around the world through tests and reliable learning portals. Students should have pens that records audio and data, because it helps students learn organization skills and allow teachers to share notes easily. Also, Stevens states that mobile devices allow students to learn on the go. Moreover, web-based applications allow teachers, students, and parents to stay connected outside the classroom.

The question is where do we start from here? Stevens explains that all teachers must think through the entire learning experience that they are creating for their students. Stevens provides NEA's and SETDA's key questions to inspire teachers thinking on how they can incorporate technology this school year:
gold man sitting on world

-What tools and technologies will help the students create, collaborate, and communicate better?
-How can teachers let students learn with technology they already have?
-What is the appropriate role of the web, social media, mobile technologies, interactive white-board, etc., in today's classrooms?

Mark Stevens made some great points on 21st century learning. Teachers should consider ways to incorporate technology in their classrooms. These generations of students that educators are up against are more advance. Every moment of their lives is evolved around some form of technology. Educators must enhance their lesson plan to keep the attention of their students and cover all of the state standards. The main focus of the teachers' lesson should be allowing students' interest be the guidance to their learning process.

From reading Mark Stevens article, I did a search on tools to use to incorporate technology in students learning process. The website I can across is called BrainPop. BrainPop is a great tool to use as an inside or outside source in the classroom. It provides students with videos and games on any subject and topic. BrainPop is a tool that I would use to make sure my students are using technology as a tool of learning.

C4T #2

5 Chrome Settings That Will Make Teachers Smile
Mr. John Sowash is a strong believer in Google Chrome. This has been his browser of choice since it was launched in 2008. In this post, Mr. Sowash talks about his five favorite "tricks" for getting more out of Chrome. "These tips do not require any special plugins, extensions, or applications. They are available for anyone running Chrome OS or the Chrome browser for Windows or Mac." The first trick is launch tabs on start up. With this trick you can set it to where every time you pull up Chrome it pulls up your selected (most visited) webpages. Mr. Sowash recommends doing no more than three websites. The second trick is bookmark sync. "With this trick, you can use Chrome on your PC, Mac, Chromebook, iPhone or Android tablet. As long as you sign in to chrome, your book marks will be there when you need them." The third trick is tab sync. "With tab sync, you can view any open tab on any of your devices and open them with a single click." The fourth trick is zoom. "When you are projecting something in class and you want to highlight a specific area of the screen you can use the keyboard shortcut ctrl and + to zoom in. When you are ready to zoom back out, use ctrl and - or ctrl and 0." The last trick Mr. Sowash talks about is settings search. With this trick, Chrome user settings can quickly be found and adjusted.

Google Chrome logo

My Response to Mr. Sowash:
I thought this blog was so interesting because this is exactly what we are learning about in EDM310. I explained to Mr. Sowash a little bit about our class and blogs. I also told Mr. Sowash that we use Google Chrome as well as Google Docs in our class. I explained that these tips/tricks will be very helpful not only during this class, but definitely when I become a teacher. These tips will make using the internet a lot easier and faster. I really like the launch tabs on start up and will apply this on my Chrome because I view several of the same sites every time I get on.

Free Plagiarism Checker for the Classroom
Mr. John Sowash explains a little about The Plagiarism Checker. This is a free service for teachers to use to check their students work for plagiarism on the internet. The teacher simply copies and pastes a chunk of the work onto this site and it will check to see if the work was plagiarized or not. The basic service of the checker is free to use, but their is a more advanced service for $8 a month. There are other sites out there that cost a lot of money and require a lot of leg work, but this site has been very useful to teachers and is nice because it is free or fairly inexpensive if you want the advanced options.

My Response to Mr. Sowash:
I thought this was a very useful post for educators. I explained a little bit about our class and how it is based on incorporating technology in the classrooms. This would be useful to all of us in our future classrooms when we are incorporating technology and allowing our students to use the internet to work on projects and papers.

Podcast Project #9

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blog Post #7

Project Based Learning Part 1
In this interview between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps, Dr. Strange begins by asking Anthony about the different aspects of being a project based learning teacher. Anthony states "When we think about project based learning we think projects are what you do at the end of a lesson to show that you've learned what you are suppose to have learned." The goal of project based learning is that it is a means to get the students to learn something, not only to show what they have learned. As a teacher, you have to create a project that the students will need all of the content you need them to know in order to complete that project. Project based learning allows students to be excited about what they are learning and to be engaged in the lesson since they are creating their own work and using their own knowledge. The goal of a good project is one that has an authentic audience, one that has student interest, one that involves the community, and one that is driven by content. One of the project based learning projects Anthony has done in his third grade classroom incorporating writing standards, reading standards, and social studies stands was have the students do research in iCurio and write a letter to Congressman Bonner whether they thought it was appropriate for women to fight in open combat or not. This specific project really sparked the students interest because they have family, friends, and neighbors who are in the military that they interviewed and got input on their opinions. There were twenty-eight students in the class and the students worked together to pick the eight best letters to send. The students also got responses from the state office and this made the project even more interesting for them.

Project Based Learning Part 2
In this interview between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps, Anthony starts by explaining another project he did in his classroom. The project Anthony explained was his favorite project that his students have done. His third grade class had been studying the elements of different cultures. The class started out exploring Haiti. When the students started studying Afghanistan, Anthony Anthony told the students they were to write a narrative on what it would be like to be a child in Afghanistan and record the narration in iMovie on an iPad. The students were to pull pictures from Discovery Ed or iCurio to incorporate in their narration. The students focused on food, fashion, warfare, religion, and some did a blend on those topics. This specific projects got the students to be very engaged. Anthony held a parents awards night to allow the students to display their work and the outcome was great. Anthony states "with project based learning you are going to get more than you expect, so never limit your students by giving them exactly what you want them to do." Anthony also talks about creating opportunities for your students to go beyond what you want them to and they will. Anthony is a great model to learn from. He loves seeing his students excited and engaged in what they are learning. Students learn more when they are actively involved and engaged in the project. When students are involved in project based learning they are proud of their accomplishments and projects and this also encourages them to learn more and be more creative.
iCurio logo
In this video, Dr. Strange begins by asking Anthony about iCurio and what it is and how he uses it in his own classroom. Anthony tells us that iCurio is an online tool that can serve several purposes. One purpose is that iCurio allows students to safely search websites, videos, images, and other online media that have been pulled and filtered for educational uses. This tool is a filtered search engine that allows us to search text, audio, and video around subjects that would fit in the Alabama College and Career Ready standards as well as other state standards. The students are able to go on iCurio with their personal login and use it themselves. Another component of iCurio is its storage capacity for students. iCurio allows teachers and students to store any content that they find valuable. By using the storage capacity, the students are able to learn virtual organization. This feature helps with doing projects over a period of time or when the day gets interrupted by different things the students can just store their findings and pick up right where they left off. iCurio also has a "historical figures" feature. With this feature, you can search by criteria. iCurio is useful for any grade level with a teacher that feels comfortable letting their students search the web. iCurio also has a read-aloud feature that is useful to students with disabilities, ELL students, or blind students.

Discovery Education
Discovery Education logo with earth
In this video, Anthony refers to the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" and he says that " a video must be worth a million." If you can pair any text article you give a child with a visual then the students will retain a lot more information. Discovery Ed has everything for science and social studies that you could think of to help add visuals to your lessons and to help your students learn and retain more information. Discovery Ed offers great resources for students to research specific topics. Discovery Ed is a very effective tool for project based learning. Discovery Education takes you way beyond just a picture, it provides a video for the topic and brings experts into the classroom via video. Anthony uses Discovery Ed for student searches so that they can enrich their research experiences, and Anthony uses Discovery Ed to bring different texts to life. This allows Anthony to provide his students with the opportunity to compare and contrast what they are reading, to what they are actually seeing and finding on Discovery Ed.

Don't Teach Tech - Use It
Summarized by: Keri Brown
Anthony starts off by explaining that whether we like it or not we use technology every day. He states “we’re immersed in it whether you want to be or not, you can’t buy groceries without it.” Anthony says that technology is natural for kids whether they are in low-income areas or high-income areas, technology is a part of their lives. When creating your lessons, you should scaffold technology into those plans. Anthony says that you should focus on one technology at a time and make sure your students have different opportunities to review and continue practicing and using each technology. Once students have practice with a technology tool you can then add on and incorporate the use of other technology. Anthony uses iMovie with his third graders and he says that by allowing them to use iMovie they can be creative, express themselves, it is free, it is clean, and the students love it. You should use technology in your classroom to allow your students to get excited about what they are doing, use it to let them share what they are doing, and scaffold it to let them use one tool at a time then progressively add in more tools. Do not expect perfection from your students, because it is not going to happen. Students will make mistakes, but as a teacher you should allow time to reflect on those mistakes so they can better themselves the next time they use this technology. Dr. Strange states “you don’t have to worry about spending a great deal of time or energy teaching your kids how to use technology, just give them the opportunity, and don’t expect perfect.” As the teacher, you should “do it first.” Use the technology and do the projects to better understand why students are asking questions and how you can help them.

The Anthony - Strange list of Tips for Teachers Part 1
Summarized by: Chelsea Calvert
In this video Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps are creating a list of things that consists of things that as teachers we should do. They make a list of four things that teachers should do. Teachers need to be lifelong learners. To prepare ourselves to get into the teaching field we need to be extremely interested in learning. We need to be constantly learning and modeling how to learn. Teaching is hard work and even after you leave your classroom you should still be seeking to learn new information. Learning how to teach should be a teacher’s hobby and part of their everyday lives. It can be very rewarding once you have learned something new that you can incorporate within your classroom. Teacher need to be flexible and creative. As teachers, we need to be prepared for surprises that might arise in the classroom. We need to be prepared to go outside the normal routine if something were to come up. Teachers should also reflect on their work. We need to be able to critic ourselves to master teaching. These four things are all important tasks that teachers need to focus on.

Additional Thought About Lessons
Summarized by: Kenesha Brown
Anthony Capps explains that “a lesson is four layers thick.” When teachers are preparing their lessons, there are four things to think about. The first layer is think about the lesson in terms of the year. Teachers should think about how are they going to cover the content standards and have the curriculum they prepared covers all of the standards. The next layer is a unit. There are layers within unit that create the rest of the four layers to an effective lesson. Teacher should consider unfolding a unit in a way “that is meaningful and that is connected in some type of way.” The unit should be a stairwell of goals that teachers want their students to meet. “Stretch out a unit by saying we going to start the unit off with this and by the end of the unit the student should be able to do this.” The unit then moves down to the week. Teachers should think about their goal on a week scale. They will need to try to figure out how everything is going to get done. Most importantly, the final layer is the daily lesson. The daily lesson is the way teachers get students’ attention. It is the hook to what they can expect to do. It is also the way teachers can evaluate students learning.

Project #13 Lesson Plan #1

Kenesha Brown, Keri Brown, and Chelsea Calvert
Our Google Site:Project #13, Lesson Plan #1
North American cartoon settler holding a gun with a wagon behind him

This lesson plan is for a two week lesson for fifth grade students. Our driving question for the lesson is "What is colonization? Describe the early colonization of North America." We will begin this project by playing a trivia game found on iCurio for fun and to see what they already know. The students will be assigned one of the thirteen colonies and conduct research to write a research paper. After the students have written their research paper, they will be paired with another student that was assigned the same colony. The two students will then work together to create a Google Presentation to present in front of the class. This lesson will cover the English Language Arts Common Core Standards of Writing two, six, and seven. This lesson will also cover the Alabama Course of Study: Social Studies standard five.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Project #2 PLN Progress Summary

picture of PLN

I chose to use Symbaloo to create my Personal Learning Network. On my PLN, I included many websites and resources that will be helpful to me throughout my educational journey and teaching career. In the top center of my PLN, I included a link to my Google drive, EDM310 class blog page, and a link to my personal EDM310 blogger page. I use these sites on a daily basis and felt that they would be better in the center. On the left side of my PLN, I have included links for Google, the weather (I edited specifically for Mobile, Al), and a calculator. On the right side of my PLN, I included links that I use frequently. I included Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, Teachertube, Pandora, Gmail, the University of South Alabama website, and Amazon. All of these links are helpful for school and my future teaching career in a different way. Facebook and Twitter are great sources on my PLN because they allow me to get connected and talk to people in my classes and teachers all around the world. I want to continue adding to my PLN each time I find a website or teachers blog that will be useful to me now or later on. The Google search in the middle of the PLN provides a faster way to search the web. I have really enjoyed using my PLN so far. The use of my PLN will help keep me organized and have all of my resources in one place.

C4KSummary for September

kids around the world
The first student blog I commented on was Hanna. Hanna wrote about softball and how she believes that this game instills hard work and determination in people. Hanna talked about the time her dad told her that he would pay her if she hit a home run and she didn't think she would, but she actually did that game. She was so excited, and she could not believe that happened. Hanna did a great job expressing her thoughts and feelings throughout her essay. Her paper was organized and only had a few grammatical errors.

The second student blog I commented on was for Noah, a fifth grade student from Mrs. Huebner's class in Iowa. Noah wrote a poem and you were supposed to figure out the point of view he was writing from. Noah wrote his poem from a coach at Sioux Central's point of view. His title told his point of view, but his poem was written very well with details where if the title did not say you would still be able to figure it out. Noah talked about the class doing pushups, the coach being happy, and the coach feeling good when the kids work out.

The third student blog I commented on was for April, a Year 5 student at Pt England School in Auckland, NZ. April wrote a short blog about taking a field trip to youth town. She talked about how they rode on a bus to youth town and she did not like that. April wanted to take a nap on the bus but she could't because of all of the other children singing and being loud. April said that everyone was happy when they arrived at youth town because some people could swim and if you did not want to swim you could go in the recreation room and play pool and table tennis. In my comment, I asked April if she swam or played the other games. This blog was short, but she included pictures which I thought made it better.

The fourth student blog I commented on was for Shane, a sixth grade student at Elsanor Elementary in Robertsdale, Alabama. Shane wrote a short blog about "how heavy is the air." Shane tells us that the air weighs 570,000,000,000 pounds but it is spread evenly and that is why it does not crush us. Shane made simple grammar and sentence errors in the post, but he expressed his thoughts about the weight of the air well.