Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blog Post 5 Part 2

My PLN has grown since I first created it. I use Pinterest a lot for ideas about future lesson plans and activities to do with students. I also use Twitter to follow some of the teachers that we have talked about in class and also other classmates. You can access so much information and people through Twitter. I liked some of the teacher's blogs that I was assigned for C4T that I added their blogs to my PLN. I plan to continue to utilize my PLN and add more to it as my career progresses. I am very thankful to have learned about Symbaloo.

C4Ta #4

Summary of Teacher’s Blog #1- Maiers spoke at #TEPSA15 in Austin. She shared her presentation, Mattering is the Agenda. This is about how important it is to make students feel like they matter. They should feel like they have a voice and a choice when it comes to their education.

Comment on Teacher’s Blog #1-
Hi, my name is Brittany Slay and I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I loved your presentation! It was very inspiring and I had never heard of Choose2Matter before. I think that making your students feel like they matter is of utmost importance. That alone will help make them more confident in themselves and want to give everything that they do their all. Please visit my personal blog to see what I have been doing in my class, Brittany Slay. of Teacher’s Blog #2-
In this post Angela Maiers discusses her classroom mantra, “Sorry about the laughter, volume, chaos, and mess, but we’re learning here.” She says that we are teaching in an unprecedented time. Never before have we had the power to connect, share, and learn with amazing educators using social media to harness personalized professional development and growth. In this spirit of collaboration, this is where my first introduction to genius hour happened. She created this form called Genius Hour, which gives her students voice and choice. The premise of genius hour is that students create an overarching question that requires them to research and synthesize new learning from multiple sources. Here is a link to the Genius Hour form.
Comment on Teacher’s Blog #2-
I think this is such a great idea. The fact that students can have a say in their learning is crucial. I feel that they learn so much more and actually retain information when they are researching in their own way. I think the Genius Hour form is an awesome way to have the students do their research. I would love to create something like that to use in my future classroom.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blog Post #14

Teaching Our Children Can Be A Profession by Joel Klein is an article that discusses some problems in the teaching profession and some possible solutions.
  1. Pick from the best. 
    • Joel's solution: Joel says that this kind of change would require several things, beginning with better academic training for prospective teachers. Next, we need a new approach to recruiting teachers. Finally, we must change how we reward teachers. 
    • My response: I would have to say that I agree with his solutions. I think it is essential that there be a teaching program that meets all of the necessary training and prospectives for teachers. I think the recruiting standards need to be raised. Joel says, "For decades, we've let virtually anyone with a college degree become a teacher." This is sad, yet true. I agree with him when he says, "we should recruit from the top third of our graduates." He also says that teachers should be rewarded differently. I think he is right about this, because rewarding a teacher based on seniority just doesn't seem fair. Some new teachers may perform exceptionally better than a teacher that has been there for 10 years and should be recognized/rewarded for it.
  2. Seniority Distraction. 
    • Joel's solution: He says that job security and seniority dictate the way our schools operate. He points out that in most states it is almost impossible to remove an incompetent teacher and teachers are paid the same regardless of performance. Professionalizing teaching means that excellence would be the guiding hallmark. Albert Shanker recommended doing several things to create a profession, including attracting our best students, developing a demanding "knowledge base" along with a "formal set of ... peer relationships." Shanker also called for a "national teacher examination" that tests mastery of pedagogy and content knowledge, akin to the entry exams now required for lawyers and doctors. In addition, Shanker would require a "supervised internship of from one to three years" to evaluate the performance of prospective teachers. 
    • My response: I do think that the seniority deal is a problem. I think that if a teacher is no longer competent then he/she should be removed. It is a disservice to the students to keep such a teacher just because he/she has been teaching longer. Think about what it would be like if other professions (doctors, lawyers, etc.) focused so much on seniority, scary right? Making excellence the guiding light for teaching would only better our schools. I really think that Albert Shanker has some very good recommendations that would definitely help professionalize teaching. 
  3. Radical Change:
    • Joel's solution: Shanker also proposed that teachers establish their own board to police the profession, establishing standards and providing mechanisms for removing incompetent teachers. Teachers would also be subjected to merit-based career ladders and would be promoted based on specialty exams. Shanker goes on to say that there would be fewer teachers who would be aided by college graduates serving as teaching assistants. Lastly, teachers would abandon their support for mandatory assignment of kids to neighborhood schools in favor of "the greatest possible choice among public schools." 
    • My response: I think that teachers should be able to raise issues to the board and them actually listen and look into whatever their issue may be. The idea of a merit-based job ladder is so smart! Shanker mentions that teachers would be promoted based on specialty exams, I agree and disagree on this. I think it would be great to be promoted based on your knowledge of what it is you are doing, but also, I think that a teacher's performance in the classroom should be rewarded (maybe based on her class' scores). I do agree with abandoning mandatory assignment of kids to neighborhood schools. I think that if, for some reason, a child has to live in a certain area due to certain circumstances, then they/their parents should still be allowed to choose the school they want to go to. Forcing kids to go to a certain school just because of where they live just doesn't make sense; if their parents are willing to drive a few extra miles to take get their child a better education, then they should be allowed to do so without having to move.
Joel Klein and Albert Shanker make many good points and bring many issues to light that people tend to ignore, or just don't try to fix. I found this to be a very interesting and intriguing read. I hope to one day see these problems be resolved and see the good that comes of this transformation.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Blog Post #13

Read about "The Leader in Me" and watch The Leader in Me- How schools can develop leaders one child at a time.

Discuss what you have learned about "Leader in Me" and how you feel about it. did my observation hours last semester at Elberta Elementary School. I found out that they were a "Leader in Me" school, which was something I had never heard of. I now love "The Leader in Me" and the 7 habits. The 7 habits are:

  1. Be proactive
  2. Begin with the end in mind
  3. Put first things first
  4. Think win-win
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the saw

"The Leader in Me" teaches 21st century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader. This program believes that every child is capable and every child is a leader. I think this is a great concept to have in a school. Children should feel powerful and capable when they are at school. There are four main concepts that make "Leader in Me" work so well,  and they are: It embodies a different paradigm; It works from the inside out; It uses a common language—The 7 Habits; The implementation is ubiquitous.

I personally hope to get a job teaching at a "Leader in Me" school. Having seen first hand how well it works, I think it is a great approach to teaching 21st century leadership and life skills. Teachers incorporate the 7 Habits throughout the day in any way that they can. The students in the class that I observed actually came up to the teacher and said "We synergized today when we...", so they understand the habits and strive to use them in their lives.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Project #10: Interview Movie

C4Ta #3

Summary of Teacher's Blog #1-
Wesley Fryer was interviewed by Chris Davis about using media to document classroom learning. Afterward, he asked Chris if he’d be willing to do an interview with him about the podcasting project. Wesley says that it is rare to find other educators as passionate about podcasting. Chris is conducting a series of audio interviews this year for his “Journeys in Podcasting” project, which he is continuing at their school in Bogotá, Colombia.. Chris says that the idea is to find activities, projects, or whatever is going on at their campus and document it, do some research, and then start video casting with professionals beyond. He says that each podcast becomes its own form of research and they try new techniques with each one. Wesley then asks what lessons Chris has learned about the technicality of the podcasts thus far. Chris says that they you have to have a theme or map, a path that you’re chasing after. He then says that every time they record something they put a post it on the wall and analyze that recording.

Comment on Teacher’s Blog #1-
My name is Brittany Slay and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I think podcasting sounds very interesting. Chris’ “Journeys in Podcasting” project seems like it is going to bring a new outlook on using media in the classroom to document learning. I also think it is so neat that they are able to reach teachers and educators around the globe with this idea. This shows how powerful technology can be. Feel free to look at our EDM310 Class Blog and my personal one as well, Brittany Slay, also here is a link to my twitter account, @brittany_vines.

Summary of Teacher’s Blog #2-
This post was about how much he loves sharing videos about space with his students. He shares a few videos that he has found recently that he plans on sharing with his class. One of the videos he shares is actually very interesting, Wanderers. He says that he added these to his STEM curriculum "Curiosity Links" page. I had never heard of this so I thought I would share with you all. It is just a list of links that he finds interesting and wants to save and share later in class to spark and encourage student curiosity.

Comment on Teacher’s Blog #2-
I think these videos are great! I think space is very interesting as well, and there are a lot of fun projects to do with students about space. I will definitely keep these videos in mind when I have students of my own some day.

Blog Post #11: What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?

We can learn so much about teaching and learning from just watching or listening to other teachers/people talk about or do things. We just need to sit back and listen and ask questions whenever we need to. These teachers in the following videos are very talented teachers and I really learned a lot by watching these videos.

The video Back to the Future by Mr. Brian Crosby, is about his fourth grade class in Sparks, Nevada and their balloon project. He states in the video that, "it's hard to know what could be when you don't know what is." I think this is so true! How can you expect children to know about what they are capable of unless you show them what they already are capable of? He goes on to tell us that in his classroom every student has their own computer, which ultimately allows them to think outside of the box. They can achieve so much more by using technology and other tools besides just pen, paper, and textbooks. He has created a hot air balloon project that touches on not only science, but social studies and language arts as well. His class got to send a hot air balloon up along with their "high hopes" cards and then monitor its travel and eventually its descent. I think this is so cool! Not only did they get to learn about the balloons, but they got to actually launch one and monitor it! Then, instead of a test on the information that they learned, they got to create a blog post on their own blogs about it and watch as hundreds of people read what they had to say. This is such a fun project idea and they stayed so engaged in it the whole time.

Mr. Paul Andersen is a high school AP Biology teacher in Bozeman, Montana. His video Blended Learning Cycle discusses how this cycle blends together online, mobile, and classroom learning with the learning cycle. He has a very clever acronym that he uses, "QUIVERS". The "Qu" stands for question, and this is like the hook that gets the student's interested in what they are about to learn about. "I" is for investigation/inquiry, this is when the students experiment or start asking questions about what they are learning. "V" stands for videos, which he finds through podcasts and lets his students watch when they reach this point in the learning cycle. "E" is for elaboration, and this is the point when students will get out their texts and read about what they are learning or look at diagrams. "R" is review, and this is when Mr. Andersen pulls either one student or a small group of students to the side to review with them and see if they understand enough to move on to the "S". The "S" is summary quiz, which is when the students will take a quiz on the information that they have learned thus far. Mr. Andersen says something towards the end of his video that I strongly agree with, "You haven't really learned something until you can explain it to someone."

The video Making Thinking Visible by Mark Church is discussing how small groups are useful for the students. He focuses on how to make your students better thinkers. He says that one way of doing this is to let them see things from different points of view. They cannot always be led to only look at things from their own personal views or only hear their own opinions on things. It is very important for them to broaden their minds and learn not only from their mistakes or successes, but also those of others.

Sam Pane teaches his students how to be Super Digital Citizen's. His video is all about being safe on the internet, which is incredibly important. The students get to create a character ,or they can use their own picture, in a comic book app and then they have to make a comment that shows safety, responsibility, and that is respectful. This is such a great project that really shows the students what is appropriate, but in a way that is fun and engaging at the same time.

Project Based Learning by Dean Shareski teaches us how to use project based learning (PBL) in lesson plans. Students are more engaged when PBL is used. They also have a deeper understanding of the subject they are learning.

Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program is a video about how project based learning really is a great way to teach children. The teachers and parents in this video tell how much they really love using PBL and how wonderful it has been for their students or children. The children in the video look excited and like they are enjoying learning and are not afraid to get up and be a leader. I loved this video, it really helped my views of PBL to grow in a positive way.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs
Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs has compiled a ton of valuable resources together for teachers and parents to use with their children or for themselves on her website Curriculum 21. I am so thankful that she has done this, because I have found some great apps and websites that I cannot wait to use in a classroom! Here are six that I liked the best:
  1. Visuwords: Visuwords is an online graphical dictionary. Through this website you can look up words and their definitions, create diagrams, and best of all it does not require a membership! I would love to use this for my students whenever we are reviewing our vocabulary words or spelling words or maybe even just to look up a word we don't know the meaning of. I absolutely love this!
  2. Shadow Puppet: This app is an easy way to save and share your student's work that is on their iPads. You can also create videos and presentations with this app. This is very similar to Seesaw as well. I really think I would like something like this just so that I can easily organize my students work in one location. I can also easily share their work during parent-teacher meetings or situations like that and show errors or brag about that student.
  3. Cookie: This website has great options when it comes to games. Also, it has stories, videos, arts & crafts, and a blog. I think I could use this as a springboard and maybe just use some of the offers from this website. Kids love to play games, and if there is a site that offers educational, helpful games then I am willing to give it a try.
  4. Zoomsci: This is a PBS kids website and it offers a lot of different science projects. I think this is a great resource for ideas on fun, different projects to do with students. I have already picked a couple that sound interesting and very educational.
  5. Sentence Builder App: This app helps students learn about words, sentences, pronunciation, grammar, and punctuation. The design for this app is very kid friendly and interactive. It has pictures and also allows you to record a reading of the sentences. I would love to use this on the smart board as a whole class. I could let students come up and add the "verb" or "noun" to our sentence.
  6. Picturebook App: This app lets you create and share your own illustrated stories. I think this would come in handy when we start learning about writing narratives or maybe for certain projects. I love that it lets the students get creative and personalize their projects or stories.

Blog Post #10

Kathy Cassidy is a first grade teacher in Moose Jaw, Canada. She has such a fun approach to letting her students use different types of technology to do things. In the video Little Kids...Big Potential we see some of the different ways that she incorporates technology in the classroom. One of her students explains that they get to write blog posts and that they enjoy it because different people can see their work and comment on it. There are some rules for writing blog posts, of course you should never write anything mean or hurtful. The students can choose from a number of programs on their "page" depending on what they feel they need to practice more on. The kids seem to love the fact that they can talk to other students from around the world and also see what they are doing via Skype, wiki, and their class webpage/blog.

In Dr. Strange's Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 1 she tells us some of the things she has set up for her students. She explains how she created a personal webpage for her class so that her first graders are not just searching the web aimlessly. Their page has certain apps/programs on it for the students to choose from to get more practice on something or to just review certain subjects. She has had her class blog for about five years. When asked about how the parents feel about their children blogging and making their work public, like an online portfolio, she says that they actually love getting to see their child's work and progress. I know that if i were a parent I would love getting to view my child's work online from my computer. This is so convenient and very practical for today's world. She is also asked how the students feel about the blogging and she says that they love the fact that their work is viewed publicly by people from all around the world. She has their blogs set where they can actually see how many "page reads" their blog/post has gotten. Kathy makes the statements, "technology is part of their world," and "we have to change, because the world has changed." I could not agree with her more! How are we supposed to help our students prepare for their future by still teaching them the way we were taught? The world is so different now. As a teacher, you are actually doing your students and yourself a disservice by not utilizing what technology is offered.

Part 2 of the interview starts off with talking about where to start with technology. Kathy says that you should start your network off with something that you are interested in. She and Dr. Strange talk about how they were both hesitant about using Twitter, but they eventually gave it a chance and learned to love it. I think this is very important! Just because you get frustrated with certain technologies because you don't know how to use them, or maybe don't see their purpose, dose not mean that you should just give up on it, give it time and feel it out. You never know who you might connect with or maybe even be able to help out one day, or better yet someone could help you and answer some of your questions.

In Part 3 Dr. Strange lets some EDM310 students ask questions for Kathy to answer. She reiterates some of the information she has already shared. She also discusses ways to use blogging in other areas of education, such as PE. One student asks about cheating being more of an issue through the use of blogs. Mrs. Cassidy says that collaboration is not cheating and it is okay to "piggyback" off of other teachers projects or lessons, but just present it in a different way.

I really like Mrs. Cassidy's technique with using a class blog and also using small, collaborative groups for some assignments. I think I could possibly run into parental concerns about the safety of their children being online and having their work so accessible. I would have certain rules in place, like Mrs. Cassidy does, and let the parents know that their child's last name is not on their blog and neither is their picture. I believe that by using some of Mrs. Cassidy's approaches I would end up with a class full of students that are engaged and excited to learn.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Blog Post #9:

Teachers and students can teach us many things about PBL. Here are five videos in which we learn a lot about PBL and why it is such a great approach to teaching and learning.

Seven Essentials for Project Based Learning teaches us that there are seven essential elements of meaningful projects. These elements are:

  1. A Need to Know- This discusses how teachers can use an entry event to engage student interest and initiate questioning. 
  2. A Driving Question- Driving questions helps give the project a sense of purpose and challenge to the students. 
  3. Student Voice & Choice- Teachers need to make the project feel meaningful to the students and sometimes even let them choose the topic and driving sentence of the project.
  4. 21st Century Skills- Incorporating 21st century skills is giving the students the opportunity to use a skill set that will benefit them in their futures. 
  5. Inquiry & Innovation- Having students conduct a real inquiry lets them dive deeper into the project and become even more engaged.
  6. Feedback and Revision- This makes learning more meaningful and shows students that they are not always going to get everything right the first time.
  7. A Publicly Presented Project- Students are able to present to more than just the teacher.

In the video Project Based Learning by Tony Vincent I learned that Common Core Standards are the WHAT and PBL is the HOW. This video lists the may different skills that children learn through PBL, such as, collaborative skills, communication skills, critical thinking skills, and career & life skills. This video also describes some of the important actions of PBL as questioning, investigating, sharing, and reflecting. There are so many technological resources today that students could use so they should be allowed to. Todays students want to "take charge of their learning." They also "have a voice and choice in their learning" and we as educators should embrace that.

The author of Project Based Learning in PE explains that she found a way to incorporate PBL in physical education. She let her high school students create a physical fitness program for the middle school students. This not only keeps the high school students active in their own physical fitness plan, but also address several levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. This teaches us that if you look for a way to incorporate PBL you can almost always find a way.

Two Students Solve the problem of Watery Ketchup By Designing A New Cap is about two students that really hated wet bread. These boys created a new cap for ketchup bottles using a 3D printer. Having access to this technology and also getting to pick a topic that interested them led them to create something great. They did not want to give on it, because they were so passionate about it and just got to go about it in their own way. This is how we should let children solve problems.

The video PBL- High School Math discusses how students can use a program, Khan, to work their math problems on their own. If they get stuck on a problem they can click on the hints button or they can watch a video of a similar problem being worked. This program tells them when to review or practice more. This allows them to stay engaged and have a sense of ownership of their learning experience.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Blog Post #8- What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch? video Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams is about, well, exactly what the title says, Randy Pausch and his childhood dreams. We first learn that Randy was diagnosed with cancer and was given a certain amount of time to live, but he lived longer than the doctor's expectations. Randy is very inspirational, needless to say! I love how he set up his lecture, he really makes it a very laid back experience yet gets his point across very strongly. He first discusses his childhood dreams and how he achieved them. He is also very entertaining, I laughed so much while watching this video! He discusses when he became a professor and the first assignment he assigned his class, which was to create their own virtual worlds. He did not set any limitations on what they could create or what it had to be. He talks about how well his students did on this project and that he just did not know what to do next, so he was told to tell them, "Guys, that was good, but I know you can do better." This was because he obviously didn't know where to set the limits for the class, and by not setting any limits his students just kept getting better. He continues to use the quote "brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance show us how badly we want something." This is such a powerful quote, it really shows that you should not let the brick walls stand in your way on your path to success. "Have something to bring to the table, you will be more welcome." This quote also speaks volume to me. This is so true, if you are good at something and have something to share with others, then you will be more welcome. I love "head fake". Randy says that "the best way to teach someone something, is to have them think they're learning something else." This is such a smart method, especially when it comes to teaching children. For example, when the students are using iMovie for a project, they just think that they are making a movie or trailer about something; when really they are learning a new technology and how to use it to create something in order to teach or share information with their classmates. I really enjoyed this video and found Randy to be such an inspiration.

C4Ta #2:

Summary of Teacher's Blog Post #1: Chamberlin is such a great role model for EDM310, he has some really great posts on his blog and discusses some important issues. His latest post is, "Do We Need a Consumer Movement?" I thought this was a very good question, In this post he discusses how we need to be consumers in order to be able to make something. We all learn by doing and consuming information, and then using that information that we learn. He also points out that innovation is very rare in today's society, which I would also have to agree with. This is not to say that innovation does not happen at all, but just that you are more likely to see someone using someone else's work as a springboard versus starting from scratch so to say.

My comment:
I am an EDM 310 student at the University of South Alabama. In this class I have learned how to create a blog and blog posts, feel free to go view my blog,, or also you can view the class blog, I have never really thought about this before, but I think I would have to agree with you how can we focus so much on making without consuming? We have use and consume things in order to figure out what, if anything, we can make to improve it. There has to be a starting place for everything, because like you said, innovation is rare, therefore most of the time ideas or things are just brought further from what someone else started.

Summary of Teacher's Blog Post #2:
As a planning team member of an edcamp, I saw the amount of time and effort that went into the acquisition of giveaways. I realize not all edcamps work hard at getting 'sponsors' but many I have been to have. Considering the amount of mental capacity and man/woman hours that are spent on getting these giveaways, is that time well spent?

 So my question to you is: How important is the giveaways at an edcamp? Would you attend an edcamp if you knew there would be no giveaways? Would you go to an edcamp because they are giving away something?

My Response:
I had no idea what an edcamp was so I had to look it up. They sound interesting and I like the fact that the agenda is made up the day of, based on what the participants are interested in. I feel that if I were already an educator that I would not go for swag. I would probably like the giveaways, but that definitely would not be the only reason I would go. I also would go to an edcamp because they were giving something away. I feel that you could gain some useful information from attending an edcamp, and I am very interested in hopefully attending one of these unconferences one day. My personal blog page is Brittany Slay. My EDM310 class blog is EDM310. Also, my twitter name is @brittany_vines.

*I didn't include this part in my post, because this teacher already knows what edcamp is. I thought I might share with our class what edcamp is. This is an unconference. A conference has a set agenda or schedule, but these meetings do not set up a schedule until the day of. The schedule is also based off of what the participants are interested in. There is no single person that stands and talks to the group, instead they encourage people to have discussions and hands-on sessions. Here is a link to their website if you are interested in learning more about it, Edcamp Foundation.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Project # 13- Project Based Learning Plans

Lesson Plan

Blog Post # 7- How Do We All Become Learners?

The video Using iMovie and the Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarten is a discussion between Dr. Strange, Michele Bennett and Elizabeth Davis about the use of iMovie and the Alabama Virtual Library (AVL). Mrs. Bennett tells us about the use of iMovie in the Kindergarten classroom. She talks about how she could not believe that Kindergartners had already started using iMovie trailer. I have to agree with her, it is very impressive that they have already accomplished this. She also talks about how much the kids enjoy making book trailers and getting to edit them. Elizabeth Davis talks about the Alabama Virtual Library. This resource if free to anyone in the state of Alabama. AVL teaches children basic research skills. She says that to practice using AVL they give the students a list of animals and let them look them up and research them.

In the video We All Become Learners Dr. Strange, Michele Bennett, and Elizabeth Davis discussing how the learning dynamics have changed since schools have started using devices (iPads, MacBooks, etc). Mrs. Bennett says that it is not only teachers teaching students, but also students teaching students and students teaching the teachers. I love how Dr. Strange summed this up by saying, "Everyone becomes a learner and a teacher." I think these learning dynamics are great, we should all be able to learn from each other and help each other. She also talks about an app called Padlet. Padlet allows you to post a question on a URL and anyone can answer it and all of their answer show up simultaneously. Also, she says that they (the teachers/librarians) can show the students the mechanics of a program, which saves the teachers a lot of time in the classroom. Mrs. Bennett says that teachers are not really worried about knowing the mechanics of a program, that they can just get their students to show them, which is so great.

I chose the Kirby "I Can" Statements video. These Kindergartners are so very smart. They showed me how they can count to 100 by 10's; read Kindergarten books with purpose and understanding; identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book; identify the main topic and retell main details of a book. This is a great video to encourage other students to use "I Can" statements, plus it was just adorable!

I also chose the video Boosterthon Update!. This is a video of the students telling parents and friends about how much they have raised in their classroom. I think this is such a great way to relay information versus sending it home on a piece of paper or an email. Making an iMovie lets the students be involved and lets their parents see just how excited they are to have raised some money and reach their goals.

I would absolutely love to do an iMovie trailer like the one in Sawyer's Story for each of my students towards the end of the year. This video simply shows some of Sawyer's experiences throughout the year. It tells you that he is happily learning at school with all of his friends, and you can tell how happy he is by all of the pictures. Now the fact that Sawyer made this trailer by himself, that is the amazing part! This would have been so fun to do when I was in elementary school! Allowing students to do projects like this broadens their capabilities in technology and is so amazing.

My final video that I chose was A Conversation with 2nd Graders on Doing Research and Creating Presentations. In this video Dr. Strange asks these two 2nd grade girls to tell him about their presentation and how they made it. The girls said that they used keynote to create their presentation. They said that they like doing these presentations because they learn a lot of information that they did not know. Dr. Strange then asks them how they went about doing their research. The little girl starts listing all of the steps on how to get on Safari or Alabama Virtual Library on their iPad and find pictures and information. These kids are so intelligent, I could not even keep up with all of those steps! They said that they enjoy these types of projects because they get to use their iPads.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Sentence Videos

My Sentence Is...

My Passion Is...

Video to Parents

Video to Students

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Blog Post #6 Based Learning (PBL) with Anthony Capps Part 1 and Part 2 taught me that PBLis always evolving and changing and it is our job as teachers to try and keep up with it. One of my favorite lines in Part 1 is, "PBL projects are done at the end of a lesson to show what you have learned, they are not the method by which you learn." My interpretation of this is that projects should be a creative outlet for students to show you what they learned from the lesson and from your teaching, not the time when they should be learning the information for the first time. I also learned that the goal of PBL is that it is a means to get a student to learn something and be excited about learning. Projects are important and need to be relevant to the student's lives and contain knowledge that they are going to need in their lives. Part 2 explains a lot about how you are going to do many projects and they may not always go as planned, but I think of this as learning from your mistakes, which can be very valuable. I love when Anthony says, "My kids are not trapped in worksheets." This is so great! I love that PBL is a whole new outlet for students than just using pencil and paper all throughout their time at school. 

iCurio is something I had never heard of before. This is a search engine, a storage unit for the content that the user finds valuable, and you can also search by criteria based on what your project is about. This sounds so nice and organized to me and it made me want to go explore how to use it. I like that Anthony said that it is safe, since you do have some interruptions at the school (bells, emergency drills, lunch, etc.). Anthony also said that iCurio has a read aloud feature which makes this accessible for special needs students, which is great!

Discovery Education is a great research resource. This gives videos from experts on whatever topic they are researching and gives them so much more than just words in an article. Children will learn and retain more about a topic if you show them pictures or videos instead of just giving them something to read. Anthony says that the students do not like this better than reading, but alongside reading, which makes sense to me. It is not that you really want students to just stop reading, but just maybe give them a different tool to use while they read.
The video Anthony-Strange Tips for Teachers was really insightful for beginning teachers. Anthony says that teachers learn to teach in their free time, and that becomes fun for you. I think this is very important to make your work fun for you, because when you enjoy something you are willing to learn more about it and keep yourself up to date on information about it. I also agree that teachers must be creative. Say you end up with some extra time in your class, for whatever reason, you do not want your students just sitting around, but instead have some little fun things for them to do, such as the painting activity Dr. Strange spoke of in the video. My favorite tip was from Anthony, "Start with an end goal..." This is so important to me. No one wants a teacher that is just teaching you information without caring if you actually learn it or not. Teachers should want the best for their kids and strive to start something with an end goal that will benefit their students. 

Don't Teach Tech- Use It showed me something that I somewhat already realized and that is that the children that we will be teaching have grown up using this technology and knowing how to use it. This may not be so necessarily every student, but many of them will already know the basics of an iPad or computer. Teachers do not need to spend so much time teaching students how to use technology, but just allowing them the option of using it. I think Anthony made a great suggestion, if you are unsure about something, try it yourself first. That will allow you to understand problems that your students may incur and you might be able to better answer their questions. 

Additional Thought About Lessons says that lessons are usually four layers thick. The first layer is focused on how you are going to cover everything you want and are required to cover in a year. The second layer is about the unit size, which looks at if you have devised projects for each unit that is appropriate to that unit and connects everything in a certain way. The third layer is about how you plan out your week and making sure you will be able to get your work done for that week. The fourth layer is the daily lesson, which is how you deliver the lesson to your students, and measuring what they learn in a day so that you can pick up where you left off the next day. These are necessary for a "good" lesson plan and will help you make sure you reach all of your goals for the year.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blog Post 5- PLNs What Are They?

     Personal Learning Networks (PLN) is the network of people and tools that you can use to get help, come up with ideas, or just ask someone to review your work.  A PLN would allow you, as a teacher, to be able to easily broaden and expand your knowledge, which is very important for educators. Teachers can communicate with other teachers and also their students to learn so much new and helpful information to help them further improve their quality of teaching. Many of us already have a PLN and do not even realize it. Family, friends, and colleagues would be considered your original PLN. Now your PLN can be much broader due to all of the social networks available, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Two of the most widely used websites to create a PLN are, Symbaloo and Netvibes

     I personally liked Symbaloo, it seems very easy to use and learn. The first person I am going to add will be teachers that I have gotten to work with and also teachers on Pinterest. I have a Pinterest board devoted to interesting school projects and worksheets and things for my future classroom. I created my Symbaloo account by logging in through Facebook, so I will also be adding people from there.  I cannot wait to start utilizing my PLN, it is such an interesting way to learn from so many different sources.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Project #15- Search Engines
Apparently there are other search engines out there besides Google...who knew, right? Well, here are eight that I actually might start using along with Google:

1) Wolfram Alpha would be useful for a lot of things. They work by providing the public with expert-level knowledge and algorithms to answer your questions. This search engine will also run an analysis and create a report on the information that you are searching for. This is a very interesting source. I really liked how organized it is and how they break things down by categories for you to search in. 
2) ChaCha is very similar to The user asks a certain question and it will bring up some answers. This website also has some fun quizzes you can take and they listed some photo galleries that are interesting to look through.
3) Internet Archive is very interesting. This site lets you look through the internet at how webpages, books/documents, music, etc. from over 479 billion pages on the internet. This is such a neat site. They break everything down into categories and then subcategories. This is very well organized and it made me just want to start looking through all of the folders that they offer!
4) DuckDuckGo is fantastic! I always hate it when Google pulls up something that has nothing to do with what I asked in the first place. This website has much less clutter and they do not track you. You can also customize the look to suit you. This site allows you to create or discuss answers that are given as well.
5) Bing is a neater version of Google in my opinion. Bing is very easy to figure out and use. They have some trending topics along the bottom of the homepage and then some categories along the top of the page as well. This would be useful just to search for general or specific information.
6) Mahalo is a 'human-powered' search engine. This means that their are actual people that sift through the answers that you are being given, making them more relevant to your search. The only downside is that you will get fewer answers than if you used Google or Bing, but like I said, they will be more relevant.
7) Dogpile has a very cute presentation. I love how the trending topics are called "Favorite Fetches". This is just a basic search engine, just with a little different presentation. 
8) Yippy is a deep web search engine, meaning that it searches other search engines for you. This would be great to use instead of jumping around among different engines, all of their information is given to you through this one site. This makes searching for information very convenient. 

Blog Post 4: What questions do we ask? How do we ask?
     Asking questions is something teachers should do all of the time, but they need to be mindful of how they ask questions and exactly what questions they ask. Andi Stix says, in her video Open Ended Questions, that teachers should try and always ask open-ended questions versus close-ended questions. I completely agree with her, because this allows for the student's mind to start working and thinking of an answer instead of just a quick yes or no response. The lack of student involvement during classroom discussions can be a problem and in the video, Asking Better Question in the Classroom, Joanne Chesley says that we (teachers) are getting what we asked for by asking close ended questions. Teacher's should always try to engage their students and involve them in discussions and have them create questions or answer them a little more in depth, this can only help the students further themselves in their education.
     How might one go about asking such intriguing questions? The article, Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom, gives three very good ways to come up with questions. The first way they say is to prepare your questions. You, the teacher, should go into your lesson with some questions already written down so that you do not have to think of how to word it or present it while in the middle of teaching. The second way is to play with good questions. This is when you present a question maybe at the beginning of the lesson just to stimulate the student's minds, but do not answer the question until the end of the lesson. The third way is preserving good questions. This does not mean only preserving the questions that you asked the students, but also preserving their responses. This may help you rethink or revise your original question.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How Can You Provide Meaningful Feedback to Your Peers?

     These videos and slideshow taught me a lot about peer editing. I have always been the type of person that never really wanted to call someone out on a mistake or correct them. Peer editing is something I am usually not very good at. These presentations about what it means to be a peer editor showed me the correct way to go about helping people see their mistakes and correcting them. The video, What is Peer Editing?, tells you all of the things you should be looking for. For example, the author's word choice, organization, using details, etc. The slideshow, Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial, says that three important steps to remember are: compliments, suggestions, and corrections. As a peer editor you do not want to attack the person or their work with mean or hurtful comments, instead, use compliments and then make some suggestions on how they could change or correct their work.

     The video, Writing Peer Review Top Ten Mistakes, was so cute! I love all the names for the students. They described the top ten types of peer reviewers and I would say that they did an excellent job. This shows exactly how to not review someone’s work and I like that it also shows the reaction of the student whose work is being reviewed. This video helps you realize how your actions or words you use while reviewing someone else’s work can really affect them. You really have to follow the three steps (compliment, suggest, and correct), stay positive, and be specific while trying to help a fellow student better their work.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Blog Post # 2: What Will Teaching in the 21st Century be Like?
1)      1) Mr. Dancealot shows what happens when teachers do not teach their students properly. He is teaching a dance class and none of his students actually practiced the dances until their final exam, that just does not work. The author makes his case for this conclusion by showing the students during their final exam. They all looked lost and like they had not learned anything from his class, because they had not. I completely agree with the conclusion, a teacher cannot half-way teach their class and expect them to excel, it takes a lot of work. Teachers should be asking questions during their lesson, not just blurting out information and having the students write it all down.
2)      Roberts seems to think that to teach in the 21st century you need to be more than just a filter for your students. I love that he used the term “filter”, because once they have gone home and used Google or any other search engine, then it is the teachers job to make sure that they obtained accurate and useful information. I agree with Roberts that teaching is changing all of the time. Teachers should stay up to date with society and new technologies, because that is what their students will be interacting with and using. As a future educator, I will try and keep myself as relevant as possible. I do not want to be one of those teachers that do not know how to do things; if the students have to use/deal with certain technologies, then so will I.
                                I.            Information is Everywhere
·         Whatever
·         Whenever
·         Wherever
                              II.            How would your students use this information?
·         Remember, apply, understand, analyze, evaluate, create
·         Responsibility, reliability, integrity
                            III.            Reevaluate tools used in the classroom
·         Discussion
·         Reliable sources
·         Publishing and evaluating work
·         Collaborating
·         Benefits
                            IV.            Entertainment vs. Enagament
3)      I did not care for this video as much. I think that this is the exact opposite of what Roberts said about not using search engines and just letting the teacher act as the filter. The teacher is made out to only be his filter and not give him any other input. I would not be happy if I went to a class where the teacher did nothing except tell me if my information is credible or not. The 21st century student will definitely be overwhelmed with all of the technology that is available to them, but they need to know which to use and not use. This teacher, I suppose, did help him decipher that information, but that also makes her seem like just a filter.
4)      I like that Davis is teaching her students in order to make them more confident in using technology. I think there should be a happy medium between the teacher teaching and her students leading a lesson. Having the students teach requires them to truly understand what it is they are learning about, not just memorizing. The teacher should stay involved by correcting any misleading information. Having said this, I do not think that the students teaching should outweigh the teacher’s.
5)      I believe that the first graders definitely have a leg up on the under grads and grads. The older people have grown up with the development of the technology, whereas the first graders have never lived without it. Therefore it makes sense for them to be learning more and doing more with the technology at such a young age. Society is so dependent upon technology that you almost have to know how to use it now. For example, the cell phone companies have almost completely done away with any phone that is not a smartphone.

6)      Flipping the classroom is very new to me. I really like this idea. The fact that the students would have the little bit of knowledge and questions already prepared would really save a lot of time in class and allow more time for in depth learning of the lesson. I like how she said that they could bring strategies that they used the night before and share them with the other students. Flipping could be great for other subjects besides math. Teachers could use this as a springboard for the next day’s class and just jump straight into the information.