Saturday, July 20, 2013

Blog Assignment #16

Describe me, my teaching, my students, how they will learn, the tools I will use, and what my classroom will be like.
I have always been a creative person. Being creative has always been a good thing for me while growing up. It was one of the few classes I enjoyed while going through school and when I went to college, it was the first thing I majored in. Though that did not turn out the way I thought, I am glad that I have found something that I feel confident about. Education was not my first choice. I was a graphic design major, then a photography major. I kept choosing majors I thought I would love, but it turns out I did not love them. Majoring in those majors made me hate what I use to love. After 2 years of wasted time and money, I needed to change. My grades were suffering because I hated what I was doing so much that I quit trying. After changing my major to elementary education, I felt so much better. After taking my first education class, I felt that I could really become a teacher. Now that I am taking EDM310, I am even more confident that this is what I was meant to do.

I want to teach my students in a way that they do not even know that they are learning. I want them to enjoy learning, to have fun while learning, and to not feel as if they are forced to learn. I plan on using project based learning in my classroom often. I feel that project based learning is how I will achieve my goal of making learning fun. My students will learn to be curious and learn on their own. I will ask questions often and spark interest in my students. For me, school while growing up felt like a chore. I want my students to want to come to school, to want to learn, and have fun while learning. It is all about fun, fun, fun! Being creative, being artsy, having fun. I have said this is a previous blog post that learning has become too serious. Kids do not want to come to school and listen to a teacher talk. In my Blog Assignment #14, I learned that younger students believe that everyone thinks like they do and lecturing in front of a class is not going to help them learn. They need to be social and learn from other students. Not only will I teach my students what they need to learn but I will also teach them skills that they will need for the future.
Image of a child holding blocks that spell the word learn.

In my classroom, one of the tools I want to use is blogs. After watching Ms. Cassidy's first grade class, I learned that blogging can help students in so many ways. I also want my students to be able to make podcast. I think podcast are a good way to help the shy student open up. One of the biggest things for me is being social. I have always been shy and awkward and anti-social. I have gotten better but I have not overcame it yet. My sister is actually worse than I am. It is a big deal for me that my students learn to be social. Learn to speak in front of a group, give presentations, and to not be shy. I think that it is a very important skill to have. I gave my first presentation in 5th grade. Children should be giving presentations as soon as they start school. It does not need to be in depth, but as long as they get up there and speak in front of a class, it will be enough. I will use any tools that will help my students learn what they need to and learn necessary skills for the future.

My classroom will be welcoming. It will be cozy and a place my student will want to be. My classroom will be decorated in the students work. Every project or assignment I give, students will be asked to make it colorful and to be creative. I plan on hanging all of their work up on the walls. My classroom will also be judgement free. Students can be really mean these days and it can really hurt other students at a young age. I went to school with a girl in elementary school. Her name was Diane. Diane never talked. I was in her class a couple of years, we even had ESL together. I never knew why Diane did not talk, but people always said that it was because someone made fun of her voice when she was in kindergarten. In 5th grade she began to open up. Only to a few people. I went to school with her for almost 5 years and never heard her say one word. I do not want any of my students to ever feel uncomfortable or ever be picked on. Especially in my classroom. My students will give presentations often and I will not allow other students to say mean things or make fun of them. I will teach my students to be supportive of their classmates and teach them to critique nicely. My plan on making my classroom negativity free.

I plan on teaching kindergarten through fifth grade. I am not sure what specific grade or grades I want to teach because I have not been able to experience different age groups. Sometimes I want to teach younger children, sometimes I want to teach older. I am not sure what I would enjoy more, but as long as I am teaching, I think I will be happy.
Image of a quote, "Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning."

How have my ideas changed since the start of the semester?
There really is not much to change. I still have all the same ideas, but now I know how to achieve them. To get student to learn on their own, I would use project based learning. I still do not want to test my students, I will use blogs, podcast, and presentations to test their knowledge. I will find ways to keep my students interested and I will spark their curiosity.

I plan on working hard to learn all that I can about incorporating technology into my classroom. Student will be able to speak freely as long as it is appropriate. I think opinions matter and I think student should have a say in how they are learning or being taught. I think it is very important to value their ideas and opinions. When I was growing up, it felt as if I did not have a choice. Whatever I said did not matter. I want my students to be able to feel like they matter. My ideas are still the same. Now it is using what I learn to achieve them.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blog Assignment #15

What Can We Learn From These Conversations With Anthony Capps?

After watching the conversations between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps, I have learned a couple things. The first thing I learned is that until you use something, you will not know everything it does. While watching the iCurio and Discovery Ed conversations, there were many features of both sites that Dr. Strange did not know about.

After actually hearing someone explain the features of both, I have a better understanding of them. When we first did our blog post on either iCurio or Discovery Ed, I only knew what the site itself said. I actually looked at both before choosing one. There are some really nice features of both.

On iCurio, the content that students are allowed to access has been filtered for educational use. It allows students to search the information they need without being able to access the bad sites. Students can search videos, audios, and images that are related to the ACCRS or other state standards. Another neat feature of iCurio is that it has online storage for students and teachers. It allows students to learn organizational skills. They can make folders and, save and delete material as needed. Another great feature is that the information that students save can be accessed at anytime. They do not have to worry about losing information.

Discovery Education is a site that offers videos and interactive textbooks. It is good for enhancing text during a lesson. It helps students understand as they read text. Students can look up anything in science or social studies. I think both of these sites are great. I do not think that I would choose one over the other. They both provide different kind content and I think they go well together.

I also watched the conversation between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps on “Tips For Teachers.” In this video they discuss some things that you should do to be a great educator. The first one is to be a learner. Part of being a teacher is learning. You need to learn how to teach a class. In school you learn how to teach a class but you will not know how to teach one until you start teaching. I think teaching in itself is a learning process. The second tip is being flexible. You should be able to change your plans if needed. You decided your class will do research but the internet is down. How do you work around these issues? At the daycare, I also need to be flexible. The children have play time outside at a certain time everyday, but when it rains unexpectedly or is going to rain, we have to change our schedule or find other things to keep the kids entertained. I think being flexible is something all teachers need to be able to do because anything can happen at any moment. The third tip is that teaching is hard work, but it can be rewarding. Finding books, games, or anything that you think your students will enjoy is hard work. I think you should always think about your students and being able to see your students improve is a great reward. Tip number 4 is to start with a goal. Everyone needs a goal. If you do not have one, where are you going? A goal is your destination. How are you going to get there. In school, standards are the students goals. They are also your goals to get the students to meet standards. The fifth tip is to engage your students 100%. You need to be able to keep them motivated, interested, and curious in learning. I think this is the hardest part. Finding ways to keep them interested and wanting to learn on their own can be difficult. I think that I believe it is hard because I do not have any experience in it. I do not have enough practice. The last tip was to give the students something to work for. Tell them they have to present it. Show them to have pride in their work. Let them reflect on the project they have done. These were all great tips. It gives me a lot of insight on what to expect when I begin teaching.
Image of Teacher Tip #15, "Teaching should be full if ideas, not stuffed with facts."


Haley Torries - Don't Teach It, Use It
iCurio
Dr. John Strange hosted an interview with Mr. Anthony Capps in July of 2013. Mr. Capps is a third grade teacher at Gulf Shores Elementary. He previously was a lab professional at the University of South Alabama in the EDM310 program. During the interview of iCurio, Mr. Capps explains the ways iCurio is useful in the classroom. What is iCurio and how do you use it? The iCurio program is a digital curriculum that gives teachers flexibility to develop lessons that meet their students individual needs. This program helps students K-12 improve their achievements. The curriculum aligns with state and Common CORE standards. Students can go into iCurio and search through texts, audios and videos on the internet for educational purposes. There are over 330,000 digital resources on iCurio that are safe for children. Storage space is provided for teachers and their students to store information that they find valuable in iCurio. This tool helps teach virtual organization to students. There is a directional feature setup for historical purposes. This allows the students to put keywords in the search engine and get only results dealing with that subject. The iCurio program was developed to help disabled children as well. If the child is unable to read the materials, then iCurio reads the materials to them.

Discovery Education
Dr. John Strange continued an interview with Mr. Anthony Capps in July of 2013. Discussed in this interview was Discovery Education. Mr. Capps shared with Dr. Strange how he uses Discovery Education in his classroom and how Discovery Education works with Project Based Learning. Discovery Education is a digital media program that brings the world into the classroom and gives students a chance to see new people, places, and events. It is aligned to state standards and custom curriculum can be used. Discovery Education links a visual with the text to help children store information more efficiently. Most knowledge that is needed for research in the science and social studies fields can be found on Discovery Education. Educational videos supply the students with a full description of each subject on Discovery Education. Students use Discovery Education for searching topics while the teacher can use it to compare with the text they are teaching.

Mr. Anthony Capps was interviewed by Dr. John Strange in July of 2013 on the subject of Don't Teach Tech - Use It. Mr. Capps shares with Dr. Strange why it is important for teachers not to teach technology, but allow their students to use technology. Dr. Strange asked, “Do you teach technology or do you create a situation that technology can be used in?” Mr. Capps stated that he allows children to use technology, which is natural for them. Children enjoy using technology to learn or improve their learning experience. Technology should be taught with your curriculum. Whenever a child is out of the classroom, they are constantly around technology. So a classroom without technology would be boring. Mr. Capps introduces technologies one at a time to allow students to become acquainted to the program. He keeps it in the curriculum to allow the students to continue to review the technology. Mr. Capps stated, "Never teach technology, just introduce it smartly." Make sure you always introduce the technology first, therefore, when your students ask you questions about the technology, you understand the questions they are asking. You might not always know the answers to the questions your students have about technology. When a question is asked that you don't know, then work with the students to find the answer. The most important concept about learning is to always ask questions.

Kaitlyn Parker - Additional Thoughts About Lessons
In the icurio video with Anthony and Dr. Strange, they discussed icurio and how Anthony uses it with his third grade students. Anthony mentioned many different reasons why icurio is helpful in the classroom. One reason that stuck out to me is how students can create folders and drop files into the folders to organize their information . After they drop the files into the folders it is automatically saved for them. This is helpful when students have to go to lunch or recess and are not finished with the assignment they are working on. Another reason that Anthony mentioned that caught my attention was the fact that icurio can read information aloud to a student. This is helpful for students learning to read or disabled students. Icurio is like an online search engine that is moderated and controlled for students. This makes the inappropriate garbage unable to be searched or seen on icurio. This is especially important in an elementary classroom.

In the video about Discovery Ed Anthony and Dr. Strange discuss Discovery Ed and how it can be used for project based learning. Anthony uses Discovery Ed to help students see and hear what they have been learning in class. They can search for the topic they are looking for such as plants or bears and the students can see pictures and hear audio to learn more information about that topic.

In the video Additonal Thoughts About Lessons Anthony explains what he believes a lesson is made up of. He explains that a lesson is four layers thick. The first layer of a lesson is a year. In a year you will you cover your standards. The second layer of a lesson is a unit. A unit is how you are going to organize and teach your information to your students in a organized and well prepared way. The next layer of a lesson is the week. The week is how you are going to divide your week so that every day you can get your information taught and everything done. The fourth and final layer of a lesson is the daily. The daily lesson is just as important as the other three layers and plans. This is how you will deliver to your students. Each daily lesson needs a hook to keep your students engaged. These are the four components to make a lesson. All of these have to be done before you complete on lesson.

I have learned from these conversations with Anthony Capps that there are many different ways for students to search for information. I also learned that their are several ways to keep students away from inappropriate material when searching for information and that the information can be moderated so it is safe for students eyes. I think this is very important for children; especially in a classroom setting. Students should be able to search for the information they need without seeing inappropriate sites or ads popping up on their screens. I plan to try out both icurio and Discovery Ed in my classroom and see how they work for my students.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Blog Assignment #14

What can we learn about how children think and learn and how can we use this knowledge in our classrooms?
For Elementary Education majors, read the article "How Children's Thinking and Learning Develop" by Kids Matter, then write a post that answers the question above. Follow the directions in Writing A Quality Blog Post.

In this article by Kids Matter, it discusses the development of how children think and learn. It shows developmental patterns and the development of thinking skills in language, attention, memory, planning, and problem-solving. It also gives you points on how to support children's thinking and learning by encouraging, building confidence, and removing distractions.

After reading "How Children's Thinking and Learning Develop," I have learned that all skills that children have, such as attention, memory, and planning and problem solving are more effective as they grow with age. I also learned that for a child to be successful in school, the parent must be involved in the learning process. Most younger kids have a difficulty focusing their attention. This is true. I work with 2 to 3 year old children everyday. Unless they are completely interested in what they are doing at that moment, most kids can not focus for longer than 5 to 10 minutes. I think that being an adult, you sometimes forget what it was like to be a kid. I believe this make it harder for you to teach them. Something that comes so easy to you, is the hardest thing in the world for a younger child. You just have to remember that they are learning and they are children. At the daycare I potty my class every afternoon. For these 2 to 3 year old children, putting on their pants is the hardest thing for them. You think about yourself and how easy it is, but for them it is not. I have watched kids breakdown, cry, and throw fits because they just could not pull their pants up.

After reading this article, I learned to always remember that they are children. They are learning and you need to be there to give them a helping hand.

One of the things I have learned about children that I can apply in the classroom is that younger children tend to believe that everyone thinks the same way they do and that children with this mind set will benefit from group activities. This allows children to learn from other children and it allows them to build social skills. I think social skills should be started early on. Many people have social anxiety and I believe that mastering this skill will help them in the future.

Another thing I learned about children, is how to develop their attention skills. By using games such as "iSpy" or maybe even a scavenger hunt can help them focus on one thing at a time.

For developing language skills in speaking, listening, and understand what other are trying to say, I believe that making podcasts could be very helpful. Maybe having the students check out a book from the library every week, read it, and have weekly discussions on the book one on one with the teacher. Not only does this allow you to speak and listen to the child, it also rids of any distraction that might keep the child from focusing.

With planning and problem-solving, I learned to always ask questions. Questions such as "How can we solve this?" allow students to be creative in finding the answer. I think those questions keep the mind of a young child active.

There is still a lot to learn about children and how they think. I think a great educator knows who they are teaching to and knows how to teach them.
Image of book cover - Child: How children think, learn, and grow in the early years by Desmond Morris.

Friday, July 12, 2013

PLN - Final Report

Personal Learning Network
Since my last report, I am still using Symbaloo and I still like it. I get to place each site where I want it to be and I know that all the sites I have added are not going to go anywhere. Although I have not been using and building my Personal Learning Network as much as I should, I have added a couple of things that I think would be very useful when I begin teaching.

One of those things is a site called "Internet 4 Classrooms." I4C is a site that is closely connected to core standards. They have sections for kindergarten to eighth grade. Each sections offers games that are related to certain standards in language and math. I came across this site when I was looking for educational games for my project based learning project. As a future elementary teacher, I found this site to be very helpful when I begin teaching.

Another site I added was a Youtube Playlist of this show called "Alphablocks." I found this to be very helpful for children learning their alphabet or beginning to read. Each show is approximately 3 minutes long. I have not watched all of them so I do not know what age the show gets to.

Another site I added was TED. I added TED because after the many TED Talks I have watched, I find them to be inspiring and actually very interesting to watch.

The last site that I added was from Diane Krause's blog, "The World’s Largest Repository of Free Online Learning Tutorials." I found this site after being assigned her blog for C4T. As an upcoming teacher in the technology world, I think this site would be very helpful when I begin my career.

Image of a screenshot by Paula Lu of her personal learning network.

C4T #4

For this assignment, I was assigned Diane Krause.

Diane Krause is an Instructional Technology Specialist and Coach. She provides professional development, assistance, and support for the Wissahickon School District's faculty.

Post 1
The first blog post that I commented on was Daily Digital Discoveries 06/25/2013. The first thing that Diane Krause discusses is "The World’s Largest Repository of Free Online Learning Tutorials » The Rapid eLearning Blog." This is where she has listed every blog that contains a video tutorial on how to create something related to online learning. The second thing she talks about is "How To Address Negative Student Behavior in 1:1 Classrooms | Edudemic." In this section of the post she discussed students behaviors in 1 to 1 classrooms. She says that technology is revolutionizing the classroom but we do not always think about the negative effects it can have.

In the comment I posted, I wrote about how I love that she put all the blogs with tutorials in one place. It makes it easy to find. I wrote that I think it will be very helpful to me when I begin teaching. I said that most blogs talk about how they have integrated technology into their classrooms but none have tutorials. Sometimes looking for these types of blogs can be difficult too. I am glad that she has put it all in one place.

I also wrote that with technology and teaching with technology comes new obstacles. All it takes is one student who is not interested in the lesson to mess things up. I said that her post showed me to always think like a kid/student so that I can try to prevent things from getting off track. One of the things that frighten me is cyber bullying. Technology now makes it so that bullying behind a screen is very easy.
Image of a vault open with elearning material.

Post 2
In this post, "Daily Digital Discoveries 7/10/2013," Diane Krause discusses a website that has been built that offers more that 32,000 tutorials on different academic subjects that are taught by thousands of teachers. This site is called Sophia. It helps teachers enrich their classrooms and empowers students to learn their own way.

In the comment I posted I write about how I think this is an awesome discovery. I think this is great for those students who need some extra help or for students who just need to be taught a different way. I said that not everyone thinks like you do. You can explain something to a group of people and 1 of those people just will not understand. They need someone else with a different mindset to explain it to them. I think Sophia allows them to see things a different way. At first I wrote that the only problem I have with it is that you need to sign in. I am not too sure how it works, but right now my only question is how do you get the younger kids to see the videos if the need to sign in? But after exploring the site a little and the sign up page, I wrote that I now notice that you do not need an e-mail address to sign up. You can sign up with a text message confirmation or with a username using a teacher's or parent's account.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blog Assignment #13

What Can We Learn From These TED Talks?

From the few TED Talks that I have watched, I have learned many things. From Sugata Mitra’s “Build a School in the Clouds,” I learned that children are naturally curious and if you ask the right and get them interested they will learn on their own. From Brian Crosby’s “Back to the future,” I learned that learning should be fun and we should be teaching students in a way that they forget that they are even learning. From Sir Ken Robinson’s “The Importance of Creativity,” I learned that creativity is important and aids in making learning fun.

From Sir Ken Robinson's 10 Favorite TED Talks, I watched, “Kakenya Ntaiya: A Girl Who Demanded School.” In this lecture, I learned that if you are determined, you can reach your goals and dreams. Kakenya Ntaiya is from the Maasai Tribe in Kenya. When she was thirteen, she demanded and made a deal with her father to let her go to high school. She could only go to high school if she would undergo the tradition of female circumcision during a Maasai ceremony. What the people of the tribe did to her could have killed her, but she was lucky. She attended high school and wanted to attend college. She met a boy from her village who had recently returned from college in the United States. She asked him to help her get to college and he did. She applied to Randolph Macon College in Virginia and was accepted. She then had to receive the support of her village to allow her to go and attend college in the United States, which she did. She promised them that she would return and do whatever she could to help the village.

She went on to finish college and return to get her Master’s Degree. While she was in the United States she learned many things about her village that was very wrong and should not be allowed. When she returned from her studies, she remembered her promised and asked the village how she could help. The women of the village wanted to build a school for the girls and the men one for the boys. She agreed to build one for the girls and for the boys, another male college graduate would help them build one. The village was supportive and provided land to help with the construction.

After all was done, she ended up helping and protecting many girls in their village. The girls are happier and safer. She shows that she can accomplish anything as long as she is determined.

I enjoyed watching this video a lot. I grew up in the U.S. where we have toilets, air conditioning, and fast food. I have never been to another country where they did not have those things. I love learning about the environment and living in other places. One of the things I have always wanted to do was go and stay with a tribe or village who do not have the things that the United States does. I want to experience what it is like to not have a bathroom, to not have air conditioning, or fast food, or even ice. I want to make a difference. Maybe I won’t accomplish anything like Kakenya Ntaiya did, but even changing the way we teach is good enough for me.
Image of Kakenya Ntaiya's Dream of a School for Girls.


Haley Torries - Jose Antonio Abreu: The El Sistema Music Revolution
TED Talks hosted Jose Antonio Abreu in February, 2009. In Jose Antonio Abreu: The El Sistema music revolution, he discusses his founding, growing and developing the National System of Youth, Children's Orchestra's and Choir's in Venezuela.

The opportunity to become a musician was given to Mr. Abreu by the great support system he had as a child. His dream was to allow all Venezuelan children to have the same opportunity that were given to him. He made his dream come true by allowing all children in Venezuela, no matter their families’ income, to play or sing in his orchestras. All of his hard work has made Venezuela’s music programs top notch. Music is important for children in Venezuela because it helps them learn organization and coordination skills, builds self-esteem and strengthens values that they would not of been able to accomplish without music.

"El Sistema" attended to 300,000 children of the lower and middle class in 2009. This program has made cultural changes and social rescues all over Venezuela. Three fundamental circles are affected by "El Sistema": personal/social circle, family circle and community circle. Music has developed the children's emotional and intellectual side on a personal/social level. Children have increased their self esteem, therefore they do better in school. Achieving the dream of music allows children to know that any dream is possible. Music is the number one prevention against prostitution, violence, bad habits and anything else that degrades the life of a child in Venezuela.

I can relate to the “El Sistema” music programs in Venezuela. Since the fifth grade, music has been a major part of my life. Learning how to play the marimba has taught me coordination skills. Playing with music groups has taught me how to work with other people to accomplish a common goal. My self esteem was raised when I played for an audience with a group of musicians for the first time. I plan to give my students in my class the joy of music. Children learn songs on the radio easily because they are having fun while learning all the words to a song. I believe teaching should be just that fun. Music is a great way to teach children hard subjects while having fun.

Kaitlyn Parker - Shane Koyczan
Shane Koyczan: "To This Day" ... for the bullied and beautiful is a very dynamic and intense video. Shane Koyczan is a poet. He is so inspiring and has opened my eyes to many things. In this video he points out what it is like to be young and different. This video is a spoken-word poem about bullying. He explains his personal experience with bullying and how it has affected him. The poem shows the effects of bullying, abuse and even depression. He speaks about how children are spoken to and treated in school when it comes to bullying. This poem tackles bullying head on. He says how we are expected to define ourselves at a young age and if we do not define who we are, someone else will do it for us. He says, "They ask us what we wanted to be and told me what not to be." This happens often with young children because people will put down the child's dream and say it is impossible. We should not do this. We should let children dream and encourage them to reach and accomplish their dreams. "Standing up for yourself does not mean we have to embrace violence." I really like this statement. All too often when people think of standing up to bullying they picture fighting and violence, but it does not have to be that way. That is not the only way to stand up for yourself. For example, Shane stood up to someone who was bullying him by giving him the wrong homework answers. Shane Koyczan is an amazing poet. He makes the audience feel what he felt. He has shown the profound and lasting impact bullying can have on an individual. He shows how much of a battle it can be to overcome the emotional scars from bullying.

I think as a future teacher it is imperative to have discussions with my students about bullying. As educators we should reinforce the need to think before speaking, because once you have said something, you cannot take it back. A negative comment could possibly hurt someones feelings or ruin a possible friendship. It is essential for students to know how to do the right thing instead of the wrong thing and how speaking negatively to a peer may affect them. It is substantial that students know that bullying is bad and will not be tolerated at school. They should be educated on the matter. Bullying, whether it be physical or verbal, is not acceptable. Cyber bullying also should not be tolerated. This is something that is becoming more and more common with the increase of children having access to technology. Students should also be told that they can confine in myself as a teacher and all other teachers and adults. It is critical that students know that you are there to do whatever you can to stop bullying and for them to be comfortable coming to you about bullying. Schools should be a bully free zone. Bullying can really affect someone and the effects of bullying can last for a lifetime.

Project #15

Project Based Learning Plan 3

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blog Assignment #12

What Can We Learn From Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson is a creativity expert. He challenges the way we are educating our children. In his TED Talks lecture “The Importance of Creativity,” he discusses how education is killing creativity. He believes that creativity is as important as literacy. He says that in this generation, children are frightened of being wrong and we are the cause of that. It is also the reason that school kills creativity. He says, “If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.”
Image of a quote from Sir Ken Robinson, My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.

I completely agree. Kids are scared of being wrong. I am scared of being wrong. All through middle school and high school, I never spoke a word, never answered a question, I was always afraid of being wrong. Though that did not stop my creativity, I understand how important creativity can be. For me, art was an outlet. I could not be “wrong” in creativity. Everything that I created or drew was made for me, myself, and I. No one could tell me that I did something wrong. Since creativity is such a big part of me, I want it to be a big part of my future classroom.
Image of a quote from Albert Einstein, Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Sir Ken Robinson says that we grow out of creativity. In his lecture he quoted Picasso, “All children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.,” and its true. School really does kill creativity and what is worse is the further you get in education, the creativity dies more and more. There is a big difference on how elementary kids are taught compared to college students. Bette Fetter says “Schools are producing test takers, while businesses need thinkers and innovators.”
Image of a quote from Bette Fetter, Schools are producing test takers, while businesses need thinkers and innovators.

Sir Ken Robinson says that everywhere you go, art is on the bottom of what I would call the “education food chain.” Which is completely true. When a school is low on funds, what is the subject that gets thrown out first? The arts. Why is that? I understand the importance of Math and Language, but I think art is important too. Why is it that education can not be fun? Why is it so serious. I do not learn that way. Kids do not learn that way. Who really benefits from school?

Sir Ken Robinson has many interesting points and I agree with him completely. I did not realize until now, but this is the reason I wanted to become an educator; to make learning fun.

Kaitlyn Parker - Changing Education Paradigms
Sir Ken Robinson is a creativity expert. His video "Changing education paradigms" was a very interesting and controversial video. In the video, Sir Ken Robinson talks mainly about three things; attention deficit hyperactive disorder or ADHD, rising dropout rates, and schools' dwindling stake in the arts. He begins by talking about ADHD. He believes that America is drugging children and saying children have ADHD when most do not. I think he proves a good point. He says we surround our children with computers, iPhones, TV and much more and expect them to go to school and pay attention to the boring stuff. Then, when they do not pay attention in class we assume it is ADHD and automatically put them on prescription drugs for it. According to him people start losing interest and ADHD is more common as you move east across the country. The southern states that surround Alabama are some of these. He calls it a "fictitious epidemic". One thing he says that stuck out to me is that we all have the capacity to be a "genius", but as we age it deteriorates. We have the ability to change even though society has made it this way. We have been told all our school age lives, that the answers are in the back of the book and things of this nature. So because of this we stop challenging ourselves as we age and instead of our intelligence growing, it shrinks. He talks about a study where they took a set of indigo children. Every five years they tested the same children and each time they did their scores were lower than the time before. Another thing he discusses is how most great learning happens in groups and collaboration is great.

I think we can learn from Sir Ken Robinson. We can learn from him to keep our students engaged and be creative in the ways we do this. Creativity and art are great ways to keep children entertained in the classroom. We should discourage the use of ADHD medication and students dropping out of school. We need to encourage our students to grow and want to become better learners. We can learn a lot from him because he shows a different views on problems that our students may face. My eyes are now open to how often ADHD is diagnosed in my area, as well as surrounding states. Sir Ken Robinson pointed out great facts on how it may not always be the correct diagnosis. He showed me that medication is not always the right prescription for someone with ADHD. Maybe that child could benefit from less time spent in front of games and television and more time spent in a classroom where a teacher engages his or her students with creative project based learning.

Haley Torries - How to Escape Education's Death Valley
Ken Robinson: How to Escape education's death valley is a discussion about the problems with our educational system. Ken Robinson was told that Americans do not understand irony. When he arrived in America 12 years ago, he found out that this is not the case. He knew Americans understood irony when he heard about the legislation "No Child Left Behind". He said this is irony because 60% of children drop out of high school. This does not count the children who are in school and do not enjoy or benefit from it. The United States spend enough money on education and Mr. Robinson believes we are headed in the wrong direction. He stated that we are stuck in believing that teachers must labor and students have to endure.

Mr. Robinson says that the three principles that human life flourishes under is diversity, curiosity and creativity. "No Child Left Behind" is based on conformity and not diversity. This only allows us to find out what kids can do based on a narrow spectrum. This legislation focuses mostly on the standards, which is important but not the only things children need to learn. A well rounded education deals with arts, humanities, physical education and the standards. Over 10% of children are diagnosed with ADHD. Mr. Robinson believes too many children are labeled with this diagnosis that do not suffer from ADHD. If you sit any child down for hours to do work, most will start to get antsy. Arts are important because they deal with parts of children that normally would not be touched otherwise and keep children from building up energy.

Children naturally want to learn. Curiosity allows the child to learn. If a child is interested in learning a subject, then their natural curiosity will foster learning. Curiosity is the engine of achievement. Teachers are what keeps the schools going. Teaching is a creative profession which is achieved by mentally stimulating, provoking and engaging students. Educators, parents, legislators and society should discuss learning rather than education. If learning is not taking place, then there is no education. Standardized testing is important but should not be the main goal of education. These test should support learning, not obstruct it. Instead of encouraging curiosity from our students, America is encouraging compliance with our standardized test.

Humans are naturally creative and unique. People create the lives they chose to live. When people do not like the life they have created for themselves, then they recreate it. We should encourage our students to be creative and different. America has become a culture of standardization.

Death Valley is a very hot place in America where plants rarely grow. This is because it rarely rains. During the winter of 2004, it rained seven inches. Therefore in the Spring of 2005, there were flowers covering the floor of death valley. The flowers eventually died from lack of water. This proves that Death Valley is not dead, just dormant. This is the same with education, it is not dead but just needs some climate control.

My opinion is that students should be encouraged to stay active rather than given medicine for wanting to be active. Medication should be a last resort to a child being overly active. I agree with Ken Robinson's views on education. We should be encouraging learning rather than just education. "No Child Left Behind" focuses on keeping children all at one level. We, educators and society, should encourage children to exceed the standard level of education and focus on advanced learning.

Project #14

Project Based Learning Lesson Plan 2

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Blog Assignment #11

The video "Little Kids... Big Potential," is about Ms. Kathy Cassidy's first grade class. These first grade students use technology in their room everyday. It helps them share, learn, and collaborate in the classroom. They use blogs to help them improve their writing skills and the comments they receive boost their self-esteem to work harder. Every time they write a blog, their skills get better. During center time they can go onto different websites with games on different subjects. The good thing about having their work and information online, is that they can access it anywhere and anytime they want. The students in Ms. Cassidy's class make wikis. They use it for research, learning, and keeping information. They also Skype. This allows them to speak with kids from other schools, other places. It also allows them to speak with experts on different subjects. The students are allowed to use their Nintendo DS. It teaches them problem solving and to share with others. In the Skype interview between Ms. Cassidy and Dr. Strange, Ms. Cassidy believes that in this generation, students can not be taught using methods that once worked years ago and I agree. I think that their are many more skills that the younger kids can learn from incorporating technology into the classroom.

Technology is growing everyday. The children in this generation use ipads, tablets, computers, laptops, and smartphones often in their everyday lives. I think Ms. Cassidy is doing a great thing for her students. It is allowing them to learn on their own. Two of my favorite methods she used is blogging and Skype.

The reason I like blogging is because of how blogging helped those students. It helps them improve their writing, to be creative, and they can access it anywhere. They can easily go home and view their blog, write on it, and view the class blog. I think it is great that the students can receive comments from any of their followers. It makes them feel better about themselves and makes them want to work harder and improve. I also have found a love for blogging. I love receiving comments on my work. I like reading the comments and seeing if I did good or if I need to improve. I think that blogging is good for students and I will probably use it in my future classroom.

The reason I like Skype is because it allows the students to meet people and kids from all over the world. I like that it allows them to speak and talk to experts without having to try and have the person come to the school. You can Skype from anywhere and the students can meet people just like them. I think video chatting with someone on Skype catches a kids attention better than a video of that person in an interview. Children are naturally curious and for younger children who have never seen this type of technology before, it will get them interested and wanting more. I think after they realize that they can speak to anyone they wish, they will ask to chat with more people. I would like to try this in my classroom one day.
Image of Kathy Cassidy's first grade class during a Skype video call.

I like the use of technology in the classroom because it exposes students to people outside of their classroom. I think this helps the shy students break their shyness. I have always been a very shy kid, even now as an adult, I can be shy. If my former teachers where using technology in the classrooms back then, I do not think that I would be as shy as I am today. It allows students to be open and not be judge for what they do. I think it brings students in a classroom closer together.

C4T #3

For this assignment I have been assigned Wesley Fryer. Wesley Fryer is a digital learning consultant, author, digital storyteller, educator and change agent. He has taught many grade levels from elementary education up to higher education. He is a Google Certified Teacher and an Apple Distinguished Educator. He lives in Oklahoma City where he works helping integrating technology into classrooms.

The first blog post I read was "Changing Our Vocabulary as Technology Integration Coaches."

In this post, Mr. Fryer discusses the use of "techy terms." He says in this post that it is easy to intimidate or confused someone with these terms when it comes to educational technology. He says we should avoid these terms and using a different way to say words such as blog, can help open minds to new possibilities. The picture below should explain it all.
Image of Wesley Fryer's poster for changing vocabulary for technology integration.

I posted a comment saying that I enjoyed reading this post. I said that everyone should be changing their vocabulary because I, like many other people do not know all the internet and technology lingo. I wrote as a future educator, I think that using these words would be helpful when talking to parents about what we are doing in class. It is a better way to communicate without the confusion.

The second blog post I read was "Learning About Google Fusion Tables."
In this post he discusses "Google Fusion Tables." They allow the ability to connect information to geographic locations. He had an opportunity to learn more about them in 2011 and last week at a conference he found some more information on Google Fusion Tables. Fusion Tables can be created in Google Drive to quickly map data or information. He says that he would like to learn more about Google Fusion Tables.

I posted a comment saying that I have never heard of Google Fusion Tables until I read that post. I think that they are interesting and would be good to use in a science lesson or project. From what I read in his post, I think that they would be good to use for students to keep data for a project. I then wrote that I still do not know much about them but I would like to learn more. For some reason they are very interesting to me.

Project #13

Project Based Learning Plans

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blog Assignment #10

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. On September 18, 2007, Randy Pausch gave his last lecture.

After watching "Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dream," it was very inspiring. He begins talking about his "childhood dreams" and how he achieved or came close to achieving those dreams. It was amazing to me how he spent living his life trying to achieve his childhood dreams. When he started talking about those dreams, I started thinking to myself. I could not remember any of my childhood dreams, or even if I had any. Every time I try to think about it, all I see is a blur. I can not even remember one thing I wanted to do when I was a kid and now that I think about it, I do not think many kids now know either. He also talks about the many people he has met and the people who have made him who he is today.

One of the things he discussed that stuck out to me most was "head fake." "Head fake" is when the student learning thinks that they are learning something else. The example that Randy Pausch used is "Kids make movies and games; the "head fake" is that they are learning to program." From other videos that I have watched, such as "Brian Crosby - Back to the future," I have noticed both have similar ways of teaching. You give students fun assignments that get them interested while teaching them what they need to know and they forget that they are even learning. In Brian Crosby's video, he used the balloon project to teach his students about the layers of the atmosphere without them knowing. I really like this way of teaching. The cliche of a teacher standing at the front of the room lecturing and students in their seats taking notes should not exist anymore. We should be making learning fun for our students. Make them forget that they are learning at all. This idea is to help students have fun while learning something hard.

I think the message Randy Pausch was trying to get across is that to achieve what you want, you need to learn how to get there. You need to have dreams and goals and some sort of path to get you where you want to be. Allow kids to be kids. Allow them to dream, imagine, create, fantasize, and let them do what they please as long as it does not harm them in any way.

I learned a lot from Randy Pausch. How to teach kids while having them think that they are not learning anything. How to keep dreams alive and believe that anything is possible. He achieved his dreams, why can't we?
Image of a book cover for Randy Pausch - The Last Lecture

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blog Assignment #8

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning from these Teachers?

In the TED video "Brian Crosby - Back to the Future," Brian Crosby, an elementary teacher in Sparks, Nevada, talks about his 4th grade class and their want to learn. His 4th grade class consist of second language learners and students living in poverty. On the second day of school he surveyed his students on things that I believe most 4th graders should know. Out of twenty-four 4th graders, only 9 knew what city they lived in, 12 knew what state they live in, and only 3 knew what country they lived in. Less than half the students knew their address and very few knew their home phone number or did not have one. In his classroom, each student has a laptop and each of them have a blog. These kids are building learning networks and the feedback they receive makes them happy.

One of the experiments he did with his students was the balloon project. He used this project to teach them what they needed to know. The balloon project taught them imagination and creativity, and also about the atmosphere, which was a standard. A video camera was attached to the balloon when it was released. It allowed to students to see what happened as the balloon floated higher into the atmosphere and what happened when it had floated to high. He asked his students to write a story about being the balloon describing what was happening.

He says, "We have been teaching kids how to be taught, to raise their hand when they want to ask a question, but that is changing." We are empowering kids to want to learn on their own. They get to connect to the world and collaborate with classmates and others. Technology is changing the way students are being taught. In one of his classes, he had a student learning through her computer at home because she was ill. She became a part of his class. He says that we should stop racing kids through school, that it is not a race. Everything that we are doing should be providing them with opportunities.
Image of Bill Crosby - Back to the Future concept

My Thoughts
It was really surprising to me that these students did not know this information about where they live and such, but knowing their background, I can understand why. When I was a 4th grader I knew what city I lived in, my home phone number, my address, what country I lived in, all of that. In a way, I guess I was force to know this information for emergency purposes. I really enjoyed watching this video. I want to be able to teach this way in the future. I want to make learning fun for my students just like Brian Crosby does. With the balloon project, he used it to teach them what they needed to know as well as spark their creativity. It is like killing two birds with one stone. He has them creating videos, posting them to their blog, and have them explain what, why, and how it happened. He made learning fun. He sparked their curiosity and made them want to learn. From the video, he did an experiment with a can that when it got close to this liquid, the pressure dropped and the can implodes. I am actually still trying to figure out why and how that happened. He even had me curious. I remember in elementary school we never did stuff like this. I do not even remember doing many experiments. Technology is really changing things, but I think it is for the better.

Making Thinking Visible - Kaitlyn Parker
In the video Making Thinking Visible , Mark Church, a 6th grade teacher, asks his students to discuss in small groups a video they saw the day before. He asks them to sum up in a few words what they think the video they watched is about. He gives them a piece of paper to write the headline on after the group has decided. By doing this he is engaging the students and really getting them to think about their opinion on the video and what they think the video was teaching. I like the way he puts them in small groups. This gives the students an opportunity to talk to the other students and hear their opinions also. I can learn from Mark Church's way of promoting engagement and thinking with his students. He gives them a chance to be independent by voicing their own opinions, as well as learning to work in a group and decide on a final headliner together. As a future teacher I believe I can really benefit from observing other experienced teachers with their classes. I can see what works for them and what does not. I think I can really learn a lot from other teachers and I can utilize some of the teaching techniques they use in their classroom in my future classroom.

students doing group work


The Blended Learning Cycle - Haley Torries
BOZEMANSCIENCE , by Mr. Paul Andersen, is a science blog with educational videos, notes and video translations. In one of the videos, Blended Learning Cycle, he describes the full process and essentials of his Blended Learning Cycle. It starts with the components of online, mobile and classroom by blending them into one. Then he adds five e's in this learning cycle; engage, explore, explain, expand and evaluate. First, he engages the students with an engaging question. Then, he allows the students to explore all of the possibilities of the answer. After they explore, he explains the answer by expanding it. Finally, the question and answer gets evaluated. All of these components make up the Blended Learning Cycle.
This is bubbles of the process of the Blended Learning Cycle.
He uses the acronym QUIVERS with a picture of a quiver holding six bows. The bows signify his six ideas. The QU in QUIVERS stands for the question given to the class. The I stands for the student doing an investigation needed to find the answer. V stands for the independent videos the students watch. The E stands for elaboration, so the students have a chance to expand the information on the subject. R stands for review. The teacher goes around the room to each group individually to make sure each student understands the answer. The last letter is S because this is the summary quiz, which the students are not allowed to take until the teacher knows they understand the subject. This cycle would be beneficial for a teacher to use in a classroom.

Friday, June 21, 2013

C4T #2

For this week I have been assigned William Chamberlain's blog.
William Chamberlain is a middle school teacher at Noel Elementary and Jr. High in Noel, Missouri.

It Would Have Been More Fun...
In the first post I read, Mr. Chamberlain talks about a project he had given his students on figuring out the cost of his baseball trip. Then he went on to ask his students if they had enjoyed the project. One student asked him if he enjoyed the project and another said she would have enjoyed it more if it was a trip she was taking. So he began creating a project for a trip they want to go on. For the project he gave them guidelines on the trip. The trip had to be 5 days in length, each student needed to spend 75 dollars a day for food and 50 dollars in souvenirs. After the students began working, he learned that some students were planning a real trip they wanted to take, some students planned a trip with other students, some had a hard time choosing a place to go and still bargained on hotels, and some students wanted to plan a trip to visit relatives who did not live nearby. The project ended up being a great way to get the students engaged in learning.

After reading this post, I commented saying that while reading I thought to myself, "I do not think that I have ever seen a classmate when I was in school answer a question with a question." I told him when I was younger, I was kind of quiet and did not talk much. I wrote that I like that his students seem to want to learn. They gave suggestions on what would make the project more fun for them. I also do not think that any of my previous teachers even asked me or the class if we liked the project. I like that he keeps his students interested and wanting to learn. I also wrote that I agree with his students that if I can relate to the subject, I am more interested in it.

Whispersync for Voice
In this post, Mr. Chamberlain talks about Whispersync for Voice. He starts by saying if you love to read or be read to, Whispersync is for you. He explains that if you own a Whispersync for Voice enabled ebook and audio book for Audible.com, they will sync as you read them. As an example he says that if you are reading the ebook and need to go somewhere. When you get in the car and turn on the audio book, Whispersync will start where you stopped reading. There are many great deals on books Whispersync ready on amazon for a great price.

On this post, I wrote to him that I also love to read and I think that this is great for all ages. I think it would be a good edition to a classroom and will be helpful for required reading books. I commented and said that audio books were always helpful in my Literature class. I also said that I think it would be good for younger children and help them with pronunciation of larger words.

Here is a picture of one of the Audio books that was Whispersync for Voice ready and only 99 cents.
Image of a screenshot by William Chamberlain

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blog Assignment #7

Assistive Technologies
After watching Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children, there are a lot of assistive technologies that I did not even know about. I actually have not heard of any of them. I did not know that we had this type of technology for these children. Then I watched The Mountbatten video presented by The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine, FL. That was when I was introduced to the Mountbatten for the first time.

The Mountbatten
The Mountbatten is the perfect tool for blind students. It is a brailler manufactured in Australia by Quantum Technology. It can type braille as well as send to and receive information from a computer. Along with being able to do all of that, the Mountbatten says the letter out loud while the student enters it. It allows the students to be able to tell if they made a mistake or not. The first time that I saw this, I was amazed. I did not even know a machine that is capable of this existed. It literally blew my mind.

I think this is great for children who are blind. I think it helps them connect to the rest of the class and the rest of the world. It allows them to not feel left out just because they have a disability. The Mountbatten should be given to all blind students to use. According to the mountbattenbrailler.com, the Mountbatten is also helpful for children learning braille. It reinforces the recognition of braille characters. Children are able to type, hear, and read the letter that they are typing. It shows students how to use files and edit documents. I think that it is an amazing product. It gives blind students an opportunity to be a part of the world they live in.
Image of The Mountbatten

Image of a student using the Mountbatten


Kaitlyn Parker - iPad Usage for the Blind
The "iPad usuage for the blind" video was very eye opening. I did not know that the iPad had options for the blind or visually impaired. An iPad has "voice over". Voice over can be used when a person drags their fingers over the iPad screen. As the person does this, a voice tells them what they are dragging their fingers on. If it is a blank page it just makes bumping sounds. The voice also tells them to double tap to open an application when it is needed. Voice over can also be used to read books to the blind in the iBooks application. Nook and Kindle do not have this option. This is where the iPad really stands out from others. It is able to be used by anyone. It does not matter if you're deaf, blind, five years old or fifty years old. The iPad is easy and effective to use. I really enjoyed this video because it taught me things about my iPad that I did not know it could do. This is good to know because I may have a hearing impaired child in my future classroom one day and he or she may need assistance by using a iPad and voice over. Voice over may be just the thing he or she needs to help him or her learn and excel. He or She could listen to books or do things online with the assistance of voice over. I think voice over is a very powerful tool. If needed, I would use voice over in my classroom to assist a child in their learning.

Having a great time teaching a mom what her deaf/blind child is learning on a iPad

This video was also educational. In the video, a mom was taught how to use voice over on an iPad. This was to show her what her child was learning on an iPad using voice over. It was shown in this video that when typing, no letters will be inserted until the user double taps them. When the letters are touched only once, they are read aloud. There are two modes of typing; standard and touch typing. She really enjoyed learning how to operate the iPad so she can better assist her child. The iPad is a great way to assist blind children in their learning. If I have a student who is visually impaired, I would use the iPad to assist them in their learning and education in my classroom. I would also like the student's parents to know how to use the iPad and the voice over option so that they can help their child also at home and to know what their child is doing and learning in school. I think if the teachers and parents know how to operate the iPad with voice over it could be a very helpful tool to help a visually impaired student learn and also feel more independent.

Haley Torries - 50 Must-See Blogs For Special Education Teachers
50 Must-See Blogs For Special Education Teachers allows special education teachers and other teachers access to 50 different viewpoints on special education. The site, edudemic.com, where this information is posted is a great tool for teachers. Edudemic has information for not only teachers, but for students also.

Special Education Strategies And More...
When I first accessed this blog, I was impressed. Special Education Strategies And More... is a blog for teachers or parents of a child with special needs. Different strategies for education that have worked for other people are given in this blog. These strategies explain how to apply them, shows how these strategies worked for someone else and even points out what could go wrong with these different strategies.

Assistive Technology
The Assistive Technology blog is a great resource on different technologies available to be used with children with special needs. The most recent post is iPad Workshop: Using the iPad for Students with Learning & Organization Disabilities. There was a link to where a teacher or parent can sign-up for this workshop right in the post. I did not know there were multiple types of apps on the iPad for children with special needs. This is only the beginning of this blog, there are more technologies and tools that will help anyone with a special needs child.

The Shut-Down Learner
Children with special needs often find school a threatening place. The Shut-Down Learner has different techniques on how to make school less threatening for children with special needs. There is also a post on how parents can make after school activities more helpful for these children. This blog was created by a child psychologist, making it a good resource for teachers and parents.

I only discussed a few blogs from 50 Must-See Blogs For Special Education Teachers . I encourage all teachers to visit this blog to expand your knowledge.

Kabrina Harris - Voice Recognition Software
What is Assistive Technology? Assistive technology is any device that helps disabled children or adults learn. These devices enhance learning, remove barriers and give hope to disabled students. Without these devices, students would have a hard time participating in class. Voice recognition software is a great assistive tool that helps disabled students keep up in the classroom. Voice recognition software turns spoken words into typed words on the computer screen. This device can be very beneficial to students with visual and mobility impairments. Voice recognition software helps empower students and gives them a sense of independence by allowing them to write their own papers without the assistance of others. This tool can also be beneficial to teachers by giving them written evidence of the students’ progress. Since this tool allows the students to write their own papers, teachers have more time to focus on other important educational areas. I think this is a great tool that can also be used outside of school in other areas such as work, communicating with others, and creative purposes. Information about voice recognition was found on this site.

Teaching Math to The Blind
The video, Teaching Math to The Blind, is very interesting. Before watching this video, I never thought about how blind people did math. If I had to take a guess at it, I would have said that they used Braille. According to the video, I would have been partly wrong because braille is not 2 dimensional and it would be hard to write math problems with it. The professor on this video explains a more helpful way of working out math problems. He suggests that student use little cubes with invisible numbers and braille. The cubes can be placed on a grid and conformed into 2 dimensional numbers on the computer screen. The student can hear the number and place it on the grid to create or solve a problem.

PLN - Progress Report

My Personal Learning Network A Personal Learning Network is a network of sites educators use for professional development. For managing my Personal Learning Network, I used Symbaloo. When I first opened the Symbaloo page, I had already started loving the way it looked. I like the fact that it is customizable and that you can arrange your sites to your liking. It keeps things organized. You can also create webmixes, which are different networks of different sites. Lets say I have a PLN webmix with all the sites and information that are related to my personal learnng network and I have a My Favorites webmix, which includes all of my favorite shopping, social, and new sites. Webmixes allow separation of sites so that you do not get your work involved with your life. I also like the fact that I can access my PLN anywhere when using Symbaloo, on a computer and on my smartphone. I know where all of my information is at when I need it. It gives me access to all the sites that I add to it anytime, anywhere as long as I have internet access. Not only is it useful to me, if a classmate of mine wanted to check out some of the sites I have saved, I can easily share my Webmix with them.
Image of Symbaloo Logo

Image of Webcam Photo of Paula Lu and Symbaloo App

Symbaloo also has another site called Symbaloo EDU. Symbaloo EDU allows teachers to share sites with his or her students. It allows the teacher to give students quick and easy access to sites that are helpful with the lesson and other things. When I start teaching I plan to use Symbaloo EDU with my students. It will allow me to share sites with useful information to my class. I also think it is a good site to use to teach organization.

So far, I enjoy using Symbaloo. The way it is set up and organized is a plus for me. I like to have my sites organized and separated by things they have in common. I keep my news sites together and my social sites together. Overall I think that it is a great site for teachers and students.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Project #8 Book Trailer

That Yucky Love Thing

Blog Assignment #6

What questions do we ask? How do we ask?

As a teacher, questions should always be asked to keep students interested, but they need to be the right questions. For this assignment, the question to be answered is what do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?

After reading Asking Questions to Improve Learning, I learned the strategies for asking questions. You should ask questions that keep your course goals in mind. Questions should be formed to make students think, such as yes or no questions should be followed with a question explaining why they chose that answer. Use a sequence of questions that all connect to answer a larger question. You should use a mix of different types of questions such as "closed" questions and "open" questions.

There are many things that you should keep in mind when asking questions. What is the goal of the question? What are you trying to learn? Do you want more than one answer or one specific answer? I never knew that there was so much to a question. As a future educator, I think you should learn these strategies. I always said that as a teacher I want to make learning fun for my students and keep them interested. I wanted to keep them curious and make them want to learn. I think that questions are a good way to keep the curiosity in your students but only if you ask the right questions.

One of my favorite strategies from this page is when a student gives an incorrect answer you should ask a follow up question to lead the student to the correct answer. I think this might make students want to answer questions. All through school, I never raised my hand to answer a question unless I absolutely knew the answer. I never wanted to raise my hand and answer a question and get it wrong. When I was reading The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom by Ben Johnson, I learned that you should always think like a student. In one scenario he wrote about asking the entire class a question and after calling on one student, the rest of the class would sigh in relief that they were not picked to answer, but it would get their mind flowing until the student is called. I remember this very very well. Even in college this happens to me. When a teacher or a professor ask a question and I do not know the answer, I sit in my desk hoping that the teacher does not call on me. I would try and think about the answer but I always felt relieved after someone else was called. You should think about how students act to get them involved in answering questions. One way that Johnson mentioned was that teachers use a system to make sure that every child at least answers one question throughout the day. I think this would work because if students think that after they answer one question they do not have to answer anymore, it would have them wanting to answer questions earlier in the day.

Back to the question what do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?From the reading, I learned that we need to know what we are teaching and what the students need to learn. We need to know what type of questions go best with the topic that is being discussed. I learned many tips about asking questions and asking the right one. I can not wait to start using some of the techniques I read about in my classroom one day.
Asking students questions

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Sentence Videos

My Sentence Is...


My Passion Is...

Blog Assignment #5

After exploring the Langwitches blog and reading Podcasting with First Grade, it shows that students can learn many things from podcasting. I learned that podcasting teaches students how to listen, to speak, to present, comprehend, storytelling, performance, voice acting, oral fluency, media, and technology. It helps shy kids open up and come out of their shells. Kids can be very shy these days. I remember that I was a very shy kid. I am still shy. It was not til college before I actually started coming out of my shell and I do not think that I have fully came out yet. I think this is a good for children. It teaches them skills that they will need in the future when they are graduating college and applying for jobs. I think it shows kids that they can do anything they put their mind to. I wish that my teachers had podcasted with us when I was younger. Maybe I would not be as shy as I am today.
Image of Podcasting Skills

After reading We Podcasted Today! So Did You Learn Anything?, I also learned that podcasting teaches students to be creative. The teacher would ask the students to gather into groups and they would script out different sections of the podcast. It taught the students how to work with others and how to collaborate with others. It also showed them that if you mess up, try again.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Blog Assignment #4

21st Century Learning and Communication Tools

As a future elementary teacher, the tool I would use in the classroom is YouTube EDU. YouTube EDU is a similar site to YouTube, but it is for learners and educators. As YouTube EDU calls it, it is a “global video classroom.”
Image of YouTube EDU

It gives students the chance to find short lessons on material they might have missed or do not understand well. It also gives educators the ability to teach without having to be physically there. This also is related to flipping the classroom. I do not like the idea of flipping the classroom because I believe that kids will not learn that way due to the fact that I believe kids will not take the time out of their day to do the work. In a way it is pretty similar to having homework, which no kid is happy with. But, I like the idea of teaching without having to be physically there. Imagine a child who is hospitalized for whatever reason and cannot attend school. Videos of the lesson will allow the student to be able to learn and keep up with school work at home. One way I would incorporate YouTube EDU into the classroom is by creating videos. I think that a good project would be to have the students group up to learn a specific topic and help them create a video to post on YouTube. I believe that this is a fun way to teach the students and help them learn the material. It teaches students how to work in a group and how to work with others. I chose YouTube EDU because I believe this is a good way to help keep students interested. I think that most elementary students are very visual learners and this would help them in the process. You might ask, “What if the students do not want to watch the video?” I would say, If I were to show a video in class, I would make sure that it is fun, entertaining, and interesting. I know that sometimes educational videos can be extremely boring, so it is my duty to pick the ones I know they will watch.
Image of Video Can Engage Students


Kaitlyn Parker
When I begin teaching elementary education with my second grade students I want to utilize technology to keep them interested and engaged, as to maximize their learning. I found two learning tools I would love to use in my classroom to occupy my SMART board. The first tool is the SMART table collaborative learning center. This interactive table lets students work in groups and use visuals, auditory, and physical elements to learn. The table is multi-touch and multi-user which means that more than one student can use it at the same time. Students can use this to help each other learn material and also learn good teamwork skills.

The second tool I found that would be useful in my 21st century classroom is a SMART response interactive response system . This is a wireless handheld device or clicker that students can each have at their desks. It has large, easy to understand buttons for the young minds I will be teaching and is great for all reading levels. Teachers can ask a question on their SMART board and have students choose an answer on their clickers and teachers will receive instant feedback. This allows them to see if all students are engaged in the lesson and to also see where the class is having trouble understanding material. This is also a much more quick and efficient way of evaluating students than giving problems via paper and pencil and then the teacher having to grade the problems and tally up the results that the SMART response interactive response system can give in seconds. I hope to be able to utilize one or both of these learning tools in my classroom in the future so my students can learn and be more engaged in the lessons. I think this is a fun and exciting way to get students interested in the lessons and interacting in the classroom.

Kabrina Harris
Wikispace is a great collaborative site that can be used by students and teachers. Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit web page content using any web browser. The site allows people to view others work and edit it. This tool reminds me a lot of Google drive. Teachers can give assignments to students and allow them to work on it as a group outside of the classroom. I would use wiki in my class for the purpose of group research projects. I would expect my students to do their own research and share it with their group through wikis. If a group member sees a mistake in someone’s work they could edit it. The benefits I would expect from using wikis are my students will learn to effectively collaborate with each other and edit others work. I chose wikis because its a great collaborate tool that could be used by anyone at anytime. Wiki also promotes group work.

Haley Torries
While there are numerous 21st century Learning and communicating tools, I decided to focus on WebMD and Blackboard.

WebMD
WebMD is one of the more popular websites in the medical industry due to the ease of finding the resources located there. All the information on this site can be reached in these categories; A-Z, Drugs and Treatments, Women, Men, Children's Health, News & Blogs and Message Boards. The information found on this site is well-research and comprehensive. Anyone is able to search for what causes certain symptoms or how to treat any disease a person might have. The Message Board allows visitors to discuss remedies and information they have learned from doctors all over the world. I will be able to use this in my classroom to help students learn about different types of diseases. I believe it is important for students to understand that there are many different diseases in the world. They also need to understand that some illnesses can be prevented by good health care; such as lung and heart diseases. Some illnesses people are born with. WebMD can give students an awareness of the daily lives people with these diseases live with. Children with a better understanding of these diseases are less likely to bully. This will help the students lead healthier lifestyles.

Blackboard
Educators from around the world are using Blackboard to reach students in personalized, new ways. Blackboard keeps the educator's up to date and involved with different techniques on how to keep students interested. This is a great resource for teachers to use whenever they want to consult the whole class about an update on course materials, calendar changes, ect. Grades can also be posted on this site. Blackboard has e-text. Students can also use voice narrative of the text if desired. It has interactive, reinforcing activities, like matching games, etc. This helps the students enjoy learning. This would be a great tool for me to use in my future classroom.

Project #3

C4T #1

For my first Comments4Teachers assignment, I have been assigned Jabiz Raisdana.
Jabiz Raisdana is a middle school teacher. He is passionate about many things and loves to share his passions with other people. He said he loves teaching and cannot think of anything he would rather do.

I Wanna Rock
The first post that I commented on was "I Wanna Rock." Jabiz wrote that he was excited because he had just received an email about his ideas on a Rock and Roll after school club for high school students. At first the activities director was hesitant with the idea, but after hearing the ideas that Jabiz had for the after school class, the director was on board.

In response to this post, I congratulated Jabiz on getting his after school class. I like that his interest in Rock and Roll led him to want to share it with students. I also like his ideas of making the class fun by having the students learn different songs and perform them or creating digital stories, instead of a typical history class. I stated that it makes it more of an after school activity than a class which makes it even better.

No Budget
In this post, Jabiz begins to say how it has been a while since he has posted anything. Then he begins to talk about an email he had received from an artist named Adriana. Adriana came across a picture from his blog a long time ago and it inspired her to create a series of paintings in her Pop Surrealism Style.
Painting by Adriana
He begins to talk about whether if this email meant anything to him, was it important? He states that it feels right. He also says, "...giving of my life in a way that might connect to other passions matters to me." After the email, he has been getting to know Adriana and her work a bit more and also asked to buy the painting.
He also receives another email from an author and graffiti writer named KET. KET came across his photo of graffiti and asked to included it in book on street art. Jabiz then writes, "After years of living online and sharing my life with the internet, I am more often than not pleasantly surprised by what comes back to me."

In response to this post, I commented how I like that he is passionate about passions, his passions and others. It is great that he inspired these two people and knowing that he has makes him feel good inside. I wrote that I believe everyone wants to feel as if they have inspired at least one person in their life.