Monday, December 3, 2012

Project #13

Google Docs Collaboration for project #15
Ashley, Windy, Amanda, and I used Google Docs to create our presentation for project 15. We distributed the planets between the four of us and we each gave 4 examples/facts about our topic. It took us about an hour to come up with a final plan. We then met later to record our presentation.

Final Project #16

Blog Post #13

Kid with a magnifying glass
Back to the Future
In this video, Brian Crosby is giving a presentation on the disconnection between students and education. 90% of his fourth grade class are 2nd language learners and too many of them were unable to name their city, state, home address, or telephone number. Crosby teaches science at Agnes Risley Elementary School. In his presentation, he proves that teachers can teach a variety of different skills and subjects within their class. For example, Crosby incorporates computer skills, communication skills, writing and reading skills, and 2nd language comprehension skills while teaching his students about science. It just takes a little bit of creativity.
A Vision of Students Today
This is a video about students and their thoughts about school. I'm not surprised that I've come across more than half of the things mentioned in this video in my own life. I buy expensive textbooks that I never open and have to read materials that don't apply to me. As teachers, I feel like some of these problems can be fixed. We could accomplish more in the classroom and give less busy work; homework and classwork that serves no purpose. I remember doing homework in high school and thinking about how pointless it was. Millions of worksheets that help me accomplish nothing but stress. I feel like the teachers who are willing to change with the times are the only solution to this problem.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

C4T #4

Learning is Messy
Brian Crosby has been an elementary school teacher for 30 years in Sparks, Nevada. He uses technology along with field trips, art, hands on activities, and problem based approaches. In his post, Independence Day, Crosby talks about his latest achievement; Taking the position of Gifted and Talented Specialist. These are STEM Academics and are project/problem based, technology integrated approaches towards teaching. They are trying something new by giving all of the teachers HP Laptops for their lessons. If this goes well, the students will get the same laptops. He was interview for the position because of his experience. He is very excited about this change and is looking forward to the new experiences.  

The Mars rover Curiosity
In another post called, Writing Experience Made in the Heavens, Crosby talks about the Mars rover Curiosity. NASA just announced that the Mars rover Curiosity has discovered something groundbreaking or "one for the history books". However, NASA won't be announcing what it is for a couple of weeks. He suggests turning this into a writing assignment. Have the students guess what the Mars rover found. It could be a serious guess or something funny (he suggested your long lost sock). I thought that this was a very creative assignment. It keeps that students current with recent events and let's them show their personality with creative writing. I think that more teachers should think outside of the box like Crosby does. 

Final PLN

I still use my PLN frequently and I'm constantly adding new sites to it. I've added all of my C4T blogs and a couple of sites that we use in our blog assignments. All of the green buttons are education oriented. I set my PLN as my home screen, so whenever I open my browser it takes me straight to it. I like that I can access everything with ease.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Final Progress Report on Final Project

For our final project, Amanda Patton, Windy Powell, Ashley Zaworski, and I, are making a video about surviving EDM 310. The video is based off of the hit TV show "Survivor". We have several different tips to surviving EDM 310, such as: Time Management, Checklist Instructions, Instruction Manual Help, and Google Instructions. We will be using the green screen for the opening credits.

Project #15 SMART Board Instruction

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blog Post #12

A lot of students who take EDM 310 are PE Majors. It's obvious that PE Majors won't be using Smart Boards and computers in the gym. So the huge questions that the these students have when they enter this class is, "Why do I have to take this class? How am I suppose to use technology in my classroom?" Well, I found a couple of items that may give these students some answers.
Watch the video, Wii in School. How do you feel about bringing in interactive video games into your classroom? What are the pros and cons?
Check out this blog, What do you think about using your newly learned blogging skills to record your classroom activities? How would this be beneficial to you and to other teachers?
Lastly, look over this website, This is a wonderful website that you can share with your students. Look through the website and find and explain at least 3 ways that you can use this site with your students.

Wii in School
kids playing Wii SportsI think that using the Wii fitness program in PE is wonderful! Students love the activities and it keeps their attention. Having a base pad for each student is probably pretty costly if you have a large class, but there are ways around that problem. The base pad is basically used to track each students progress. It's very effective if you have the money for it. If not, then you could just play the activity on an overhead projector and have the students follow along. The downside is that their progress isn't being tracked, but the upside is that they're still getting the exercise that they need and they're having fun. Activities include: kick boxing, dancing, yoga, and many more!
Dr. Strange showed me this blog when I complained about the relation between blogging and PE. I fell in love with this blog immediately. It also encouraged me to find other related blogs. It's great because I can keep track of all of the activities that we do and whether they were successful or not. It's also a good way to share my ideas and get opinions from other professionals. This blog serves as a form of inspiration for other teachers who are in a creative slump. I'm definitely starting one once I get my career going.
Super Tracker is a personal nutrition and physical activity plan. Have your students start a Food Tracker and a Physical Activity Tracker and bring in a copy of their progress at the end of each week.
Have the students find their Daily Food Plan. This shows each student a personalized plan of what and how much food they should eat each day. It's based on their age, sex, weight, height, and how much they exercise each day.
Have older students find their BMI (Body Mass Index). This lets each student know their ideal weight and whether they have reached it or not. This is not suggested for elementary students because they're still growing, but it is perfect for high school students. There is a BMI Calculator on this site.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

C4K - November

boy raking leaves

Ethan lives in Alberta, Canada. He has three post on his blog, so far. I read his earliest post because I related to it the most. He mentioned that he likes to hunt deer, squirrels, and chickens. In my comment, I shared my mutual love of hunting and I shared the different things that people hunt in Alabama. His second post was an Animoto video of a bunch of different pictures of Alberta. The pictures were gorgeous and the video was very well made! His third post was a series of different aspects of Alberta. There were pictures of different types of wildlife, videos of society, and several maps. I think Ethan is doing a fine job with his blog. I hope he keeps it up.

Bryan lives in California and he is 9 years old. He has a brother, a sister, and a dog. His favorite color is purple. He has around 10 post on his blog and more than half of them are about Mario. He even dressed up as Mario for Halloween. He said that was the best Halloween that he has ever had. They had Halloween activities at school and he got to go to a carnival later that night. He got to wear his costume all day. In my comment, I told him that I was glad that he had a good Halloween and that I loved his costume choice. I also  let him know that I love Mario, too. I actually dressed up as Princess Peach when I was his age. He is a very good writer!

Morgan is in 9th grade Pre-IB History. In her latest post, she writes about Napoleon Bonaparte's thoughts while he was on his death bed. Morgan is a very talented writer. She made this, some what, depressing story interesting to read. She had a couple of grammatical errors, but she's still young. Plus, her work was so much fun to read, that I hardly noticed the mistakes. I hope she keeps writing!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

C4T #3

Beth's Thoughts on Technology in the Classroom
Observations from a Waiting Room
September 15, 2012
Ms. Knittle is a K-12 Technology Integration Specialist in Cape Code, Massachusetts. In this post, Ms. Knittle talks about what she experienced while in the hospital waiting room. She noticed that all of the kids in the waiting room were doing homework and the parents were right over their shoulders. These students are ill and are pretty behind in the classes. Ms. Knittle expresses her concern that these students are being pressured too much into studying. There's no time for anything else because they're either in the hospital or they're doing homework. Her argument is that homework is not always necessary. It doesn't always help and some students don't need it. Some people would argue that it's not fair for only some students to receive homework and for others not to, but fairness doesn't mean that everyone has to be the same. Fairness is giving each individual student an equal opportunity to succeed. 

Note Taking A Personal Choice
October 29, 2012
student with an iPad
In this post, Ms. Knittle talks about her experience with note taking. There are several ways of note taking, but some ways work better for some than others. The iPad has over 130 note taking apps for people to choose from. In some ways, this is far better than traditional pencil and paper note taking. The iPad offers guided notes and helpful techniques. Ms. Knittle and her fellow educators were discussing which app to tell their students to use in class. They decided to pick separate apps, learn how to use them, and present them to their classes. This way, the educator AND the student are learning new tools. 
I had (and still have) problems note taking. I never seem to write the correct things down and what I do write down is many times illegible. Having an app that teaches me about different techniques would help my greatly. Teachers can also teach the skills that the iPad gives to students who do not have the iPad. I like that Ms. Knittle is constantly trying to find new technology for her classes. It shows that she is a dedicated and creative teacher. 

Blog Post #11

Little Kids...Big Potential
boy telling his dad that he has a blog
In Ms. Cassidy's Youtube video, she shows several pictures of her first graders using the internet to blog and find information. Teaching kids to communicate effectively this early can be a very positive thing. They learn writing skills by writing to their friends; Some of which who are in different countries. The students also learn internet safety. They know to only use their first name and to only say nice things. Cyber bullying is a growing problem in the cyber world today, and I feel that this is helping to solve it before it starts. The students are taught about search engines and what sites are appropriate to look at and what to do when they come across something on accident that is inappropriate. They use Skype to talk to other people in various places and they use Wikis to learn and find information from outside the classroom. 
I love the variety of technology that Ms. Cassidy uses in her classroom. It is refreshing to see a teacher using all of her resources to make sure that her students get the most out of school. I feel that these tactics used in Ms. Cassidy's class will help students to WANT to be in school. It makes learning interactive and fun!

Ms. Cassidy's Interview with Dr. Strange
Ms. Cassidy has been using technology in her classroom for 10 years! When she first started, she was given computers, but there was no way to download programs onto them. She was limited to use the internet to further her students learning and her own personal learning. She attended professional development workshops to help her become more technology literate. Ms. Cassidy talks about the support that she gets from the Technology Coordinator at her school. She also states that none of the principals she has worked for have been discouraging, but some of them also have not been interested. Ms. Cassidy sends a form home every year that has to be completed by the parents in order to be sure that parents are okay with the students being online and creating a blog. The parents usually accept this technological program because they can see the progress of their children through their blog. Students love learning new things, therefore they love the technology. It helps to keep the students excited about learning. 
One thing that stuck out to me in this interview was that Ms. Cassidy said she doesn't use a lot of technology in her personal life. I feel that this shows she is an educator who is there for her students. So many teachers stick to the textbooks and pencil and paper tests, but don’t want to take the time to share the technology that they use, with their students. This creates a burp-back atmosphere, which may hinder students in the future. I like that Ms. Cassidy stepped out of her comfort zone. She is dedicated to creating the best learning atmosphere for her students. Technology is an important part of life, and she is giving her students the opportunity to learn about what's out there. I feel that because of this, her students will be ahead of other classes, because of the knowledge they are gaining from her class.

Special Blog Assignment

A World Where Grades Will Be Left Behind
computer with a diploma on it
In this article, USA Today covers professor Sebastian Thrun's education company called Udacity. This program is one of Thun's many online start-ups. It is based on free online courses. This is a revolutionary concept that it changing the idea of school. Schools are encouraged to "flip" there classrooms. This lets students watch the lecture at home on their computers and then use class time for homework and activities. Online colleges are continuing to grow as well. Students will be able to take colleges classes without the extreme cost of a traditional college and they can do it on their own time.
Thrun goes on to talk about what the future will look like in 30 years. He predicts that grades will not exist, that learning will be quiz and game based, and that instruction will be free. However, he does not predict that traditional schools will disappear, rather be separated from the modern educational system. They will both be effective in their own ways.
I really enjoyed this article. I agree with his predictions. In my own opinion, I feel like a greater percentage of schools will be working with flipped classrooms in the future. This seems to be a growing trend and from what I have read, it seems to be very effective.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Blog Post #10

Adventures in Pencil Integration
Mr. Spencer is using this cartoon to make fun of the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials. The Papermate guy is related to the PC guy and the Ticonderoga hipster is related to the Mac guy. I think it's funny that he relates Mac users to hipsters. He's basically saying that some people only use Macs because they're "in style". It's also funny that the PC guy is pictured as a nerd.
Although the two computers can do the same basic functions, like the pencils, it's a matter of which you prefer. However, now it has turned into a popularity contest.
Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?
In this post, Mr. Spencer writes a story describing how schools nowadays are moving away from creativity and towards making high marks on standardized tests. Some schools don't understand that you can learn while having fun. Games and stimulation's are more important than you think. Students will retain more information if they're having fun. At least, that's how I feel.
I know that when I was in grade school, the things that I remember the most were the fun activities. The games that we played helped me to learn the Solar System, my Times Table, and even the Periodic Table of Elements! Making students memorize facts for the test will not help them learn. The chances of them forgetting all of the information that they memorized is very likely. When students have fun, that information is logged into their long term memory and saved forever!
7 Reasons Why I Quit Reading Your Plog
In another one of Mr. Spencer's post, he talks about why he has quit reading certain Plogs (Pencil Logging). He gives several examples of plogs that he has quit reading. He says that some people are using their plogs to promote different information sites or products. Others are using their plogs to rate about their faculty and peers. He said that he hates reading these because he himself wrote a couple of mean post about his peers and got in trouble because of it. Mr. Spencer also talks about the fact that plogs are suppose to be interactive and that the authors have gotten lazy and do not reply back to comments.
So far, I love all of the post that I have read by Mr. Spencer. He is a very humorous man. I love his sense of sarcasm and the way he uses it to express his feelings about the school system.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
In my opinion, I feel that Scott McLeod is taking the role of an old fashion educator at the beginning of this post. This old fashion educator is stuck in their old ways and refuses to change to meet the needs of the students. Sure, this educators method worked well at one point, but now that society has grown and changed, it's time for our schools to do the same. 
I like how McLeod dictates this situation. It really makes you think. There are still educators out there that still feel like technology is hindering our students. The old fashion educator who says, " know they're just going to look at porn" doesn't understand that when students are given the freedom to learn through technology, they're learning to use technology the CORRECT way. The chances of them wondering off onto bad sites are far less than when they were stuck studying with pencils and paper. Of course, there are always going to be some advantages to sticking with pencil and paper. I mean, what happens when the power is out? The point is that students need to learn about what our society is growing towards. They need to know how to use it properly. This is our job as educators. 

C4K - October

The word October

OSG's AP Government & Politics 
This is an online 12th grade AP comparative government and politics class blog run by Mike Gwaltney. The students in this program are from around the globe. They post reflection pieces on a rotating basis and they also post to the blog for project assignments. The post that I read was by Courtney Ann on October 3rd. It was about the recent political debate. In her opinion, she feels that Romney won the debate. She said that Obama was not as motivated or as inspirational as usual. Also, his body language revealed that he was not on top of his game. She says that both of the candidates put up a good fight, but Romney pulled ahead. She hopes that Obama is more prepared in the next debate. The post was very well written and her views were very clear. 

Trancas, Barrancas and Petancas
Leti is a student from Dionisio Aguado Secondary School, in Fuenlabrada. Leti is in the process of learning how to speak English. His class uses their class blog to complete activities and interact with people from around the world. Leti's latest post was pretty confusing. He was asked to describe a celebrity. He did a very good job explaining these celebrates using the English language. The confusing part was that he was describing celebrities from Spain. I had no clue who he was talking about. The correct answer was a group of puppets named Trancas, Barrancas and Petancas. I looked it up, but couldn't understand it because it was in Spanish. It looks like a pretty funny show, though. 

Austin is a student in 7th grade English. His latest post was a summary of the character, Dally, from the book The Outsiders. He describes Dallys' thoughts, actions, and emotions. Austin did a very good job describing Dally. He used several quotes from the book and referenced the page numbers. He had a little bit of a problem with punctuation and grammar, though. A lot of his sentences had unnecessary words and were a bit confusing. I got his point though. I could see what he was trying to say and read it that way. I told him that he was doing a great job and to keep blogging. 

Susan Santoli 

In her post on October 31, 2012, Santoli talks about the keynote speaker at the conference in Ireland. The speaker was Dr. Patricia Mannix-McNamara. She is the Co-director of the Research Centre for Education and Professional Practice at the University of Limerick. On the final day of the conference, Dr. Mannix-McNamara gave a speech entitled So What is all this Education For? Santoli says that Dr. Mannix-McNamara is worried that there is a huge disconnection from what's happening in schools and what's happening in society. Schools are focuses more on high test scores and less on the child's mental and emotional development. Schools are no longer teaching about values and self-esteem. Dr. Mannix-McNamara says that the suicide rate in Ireland is at a extreme high. She directly correlates this to the lack of moral attention in the schools. 
I hate that schools are moving in this direction. Schools are lacking in creativity and the students are beginning to resent it. High test scores can be a very good thing, but as educators we need to make sure that we squeeze in some time to teach our students about self respect and other emotional and mental values. This way we develop the whole student.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blog Post #9

What I learned this year - 2009/2010
In his second post, Mr. McClung talks about his achievements, faults, and lessons learned in his second year of teaching. He brings up some very good points. You have to adapt your lesson plan to your students. Otherwise you will become the "ghost of [history] teachers past". If you go through your lessons without taking into consideration of who your students are and what is important to them, then you're not helping them grow to their full potential. You're simply passing them along into the next grade level. I like his idea of finding a "mother figure" in the school. Finding someone who knows what's going on in the school can really help you to stay sane and up-to-date. They can also be a source of comfort when you're going through stressful times. McClung says to "leave your ego at the door". This means, don't be afraid to be passionate or "crazy" about what you do. Students follow by example and if they see that you love the subject then they're more likely to love the subject too. It's never dorky to be in love with what you do.
He also says not to be a control freak. If you try and control your students too much, then you could stifle their learning. There's no freedom or chance at creativity. Students need time to figure things out for themselves and use the teacher when they've hit a mental "barrier". You can't let the students always depend on you for the right answer. You might not have it. They need to know that not everyone has a right answer and some things only require an opinion. I want to get my students talking and see what their opinions are.

What I learned This Year - Volume 4 (2011-2012)
In his fourth post, Mr. McClung expresses what he has learned during his fourth year of teaching. He said that although he has had another full year of experience, he hasn't learn anything particularly new. He blames this on the fact that he has gotten comfortable with his surroundings and is beginning to fall into his own place in the school. The students and staff know him and were he stands as a teacher. He talks about his concern with his comfortable situation. He worries that this level of comfort is messing with his creativity. In order to fix this, he stepped out of his comfort zone and is teaching two new classes.
In this post, Mr. McClung also expresses that he is more aware of how his coworkers feel about him. He's starting to care too much about what his peers think of him and less of what his students think, although, his students opinions should be the ones that matter most. I completely agree with this. I will know that I am doing a good job as a teacher when my students love coming to my class. It doesn't matter what your fellow teachers think. They're not the ones who have to take your class.
I put a link to Mr. McClung's blog on my PLN. I plan on checking back with him to see what else he has learned. I can learn a thing or two from his experiences.

Project #12 - Book Trailer

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Project #10 - PLN

I decided to use Symbaloo for my PLN. All of my social and resource tools are at the top. The green buttons are for education related blogs and the red buttons are for USA related services like PAWS and Sakai. I really enjoyed putting this together. It has shown me how much I rely on the internet and how many programs I use. My PLN will help me with my future career by giving me easy access to all of the resources that I use most. It also serves as a reminder to check other teacher's blogs for help and inspiration.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blog Post #8

This Is How We Dream - Parts 1 and 2
Dr. Miller says that we are living in one of the greatest times of change in communication. He makes the point that with the internet we constantly have access to information, however, in a library, if someone checks out a book, that book is inaccessible until it is returned. Most of us grew up with paper books, and in only the past few years books have gone electronic. The new technologies that are merging their way through our society are very promising and will greatly enhance the way our students learn. Dr. Miller also points out that the internet has given us the tools to work in great distances from other people and still come to the same point, or end goal. People no longer how to travel to meet their partners. They can do everything that they need to via the internet. This means that teachers can collaborate with other teachers from around the world 
to create better lesson plans and strategies. Students can learn from other students from different schools. 

In Part 2 of this series, Dr. Miller states how our methods of research have changed. It could takes weeks to years for updated material to reach the libraries shelves, however, information on the internet is updated almost every day if not every second.  The internet is more reliable due to the fact that it can be changed so easily. Unfortunately, some schools feel that they don't have "room" to teach classes based on this. I feel that if we could teach students these things at an early age then they could make a huge difference in the future. As teachers, we need to take the initiative to broaden the horizons of our students and show them the possibilities that are out there. We put limitations on ourselves and we have the power to take them away. 

Carly Pugh - Blog Post #12
Carly did an excellent job with this post. It is a very creative assignment and provides a lot of freedom in the work space. With this assignment, I can express myself and my teaching philosophies through video. It's kind of like having a playlist of music that describes your mood, but instead it's videos that describe your goals and thoughts on teaching. Carly demonstrates Dr. Miller's hopes for writing with multi-media by being creative and using the unlimited resources on the web to teach something not only to herself, but to others. She is going to be more than capable of adapting to the changing society. I never thought about all of the possibilities that were out there with YouTube, because like others, I was narrow minded to the use of an abundance of technology in the classrooms. This post was definitely an eye opener

The Chipper Series
EDM310 for Dummies
These videos made some very good points. The Chipper Series tells a story of a student who dropped out of college because it was to hard and time consuming. She ended up working as a garbage collector. Stories like this happen more than I would like to imagine. Students think that the problem is the school or the professor, but the true problem is within the student. In order to be an effective student, you need to be able to follow the instruction of a teacher. Getting your degree isn't going to be a piece of cake. You actually have to work at it. These two videos made me think of a video that I would like to create explaining how YouTube can change your life. So many videos that I've watched in this class have changed my opinion of things. I want people to know that whatever your searching for in your life, there is probably video talking about or showing someone going through the exact same thing... or worse. YouTube is a wonderful website for soul searching.

Learn to change, change to learn
This video talks about the importance of change in our school systems. Students need to learn to work with the upcoming technologies instead of staying in the old ways of memorizing facts and spitting them onto a test paper. They need to know how to find those facts on the web, make sure they're legitimate, and learn how to communicate it. One of the speakers proclaimed that, "Technology is not a choice." This is a very true statement. We now have technology like smart phones and iPads. We could show students how to use these things educationally. We could teach them about communication, not only across the city,county, or country, but across the world. In doing this we open our students to new opportunities and allow them to learn about other cultures and activities of kids their own age. Learning shouldn't solely be about education, but about building a community and new relationships.Half of the things that I learned in high school were put in my short term memory for the next test and then forgotten. This isn't going to help me now that I'm in college and searching for a job. It hasn't prepared me at all. This new way of teaching will help prepare students for the future. The people in the video talk about students that are coming from these new programs are coming out smarter and braver. This is what we need to install in ALL students.

Web 2.0 Scavenger Hunt
Comic strip from Make Belief Comics
Animoto is a video tool that let's you create a video using your photos, video clips, and music. Their description says that it is, "Fast, Free, and Shockingly Easy". You start off by adding your photos or video clips to the sight. They can come from your computer or off the web. Next, you would add music. They have hundreds of songs in their music collection, but you can add your own mp3 if you want to. There are several different video styles that can help to spice up your production. The website states that, "There’s an Animoto style for every story, event, or theme". Your video also has that option of being High Resolution and Cinematic. This means that your video can have the same look and quality as a movie!Once your video is made, you can share it anywhere! You can put your creation on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and others. You can also use Animoto on your mobile device. You can create videos on the go! This is a great site for teachers and students. It's very easy to use and would be great in classroom settings.


Poll on the presidential election

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

C4T #2

Breaking Education Barriers
A Better Workshop: Jim Knight's Partnership Approach 
June 18th, 2012 
In this post, Annie Palmer talks about what she learned from Jim Knight’s Unmistakable Impact: A Partnership Approach for Dramatically Improving Instruction. The partnership approach helps to make the workshops more interactive and keeps the listeners entertained.   It's purpose is to make memorable connections between all of the people in the meeting. There are six training strategies for Partnership Learning. They are: Thinking Devices, Question Recipes, Cooperative Learning, Experimental Learning, Reflection Learning, and Stories. Some Thinking Devices would be a film, audio clip, artwork, photograph, concept. Teachers would use this type of stimuli to help instigate students to think and visualize the subject matter. Question Recipes are open-ended and nonjudgmental questions that require students to engage in discussions and debates. Cooperative Learning is basically a form of group work. Teams are formed and each member has a certain part to contribute. Experimental Learning involves structured learning activities that simulate the instructional method or other content about which participants are learning. Reflection Learning helps students relate what the have learned to their personal experiences. Finally, Stories are to provide examples and further descriptions for the learning content. This post was full of helpful information. Most of it was meant for trainers who teach training courses and meetings, but it can easily be applied to teaching. It is a wonderful process!
Inspire the Desire to Read, Year Two of Transforming Readers: Basic Reading Block Structure
May 25, 2012
two kids reading back to backMs. Palmer's basic reading block is one hour (separated into two 30 minute sections) of guided reading. For the first 30 minutes, Palmer teaches a lesson from Lesson by Design; a mandated district wide reading lesson plan. This plan is modified to fit what her students need to know and what they already know. For the next 30 minutes, students engage in independent reading or small group instruction with Ms. Palmer. The small groups rotate weekly and are used to reinforce the lesson. They are also based on reading levels. Each student has a reading goal of 40 books per year. It's not mandatory that they reach 40 books, but it is pushed as an important goal. Ms. Palmer suggest that students keep books that they are reading or want to read in a bin. This way they spend less time roaming around the class library and more time reading. Each student has a Readers Notebook; a binder that they use to keep track of their reading. They are also required to complete a Reading Response after reading. This keeps them responsible for what they have and makes sure that they are not just mindlessly reading through their book. Her goal is to create life-long readers.
I wish that I had this program in my elementary school. According to Ms. Palmer, her students love this class. She really is contributing to our future by guiding these students to the magic of books. I was never pushed to read as a child. Because of that, I'm not an active reader. If all schools implemented this type of learning, more and more students would grow to love reading. Children are our future. We as teachers, need to make sure that the light that they shine is at its brightest. Students who read more, learn more.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Project #8 - Group Podcast

Blog Post #7

The Networked Student
stick figure surrounded by technology
      I think that more and more schools are going to move towards procedures like this. It is an awesome opportunity for students to learn on their own. Through technology and the appropriate tools, students are not constrained to just the information in a textbook or in their notes that they take in class. It gives them a broader learning point. 
      On the other hand, the students who may not learn as quickly, and the students that learn better in a classroom environment may struggle with this process. Not all students are the same. Some learn visually, while others are more kinesthetic (hands-on). Without the classroom environment and the one-on-one teaching, students that are more tactile may find this way of learning difficultOne thing about this system though is that it is forcing students to take an initiative. They will have to learn on their own. It will set apart those students who are eager to learn from those that are there solely because they have to be. 
       Why does the networked student even need a teacher? Well, with all of the information that a student can access, there needs to be someone around who can tell them how to organize this mass amount of info. Students need guidance. They need help managing a blog or website, finding correct and reliable sources, sharing ideas, and finding information that will enhance their knowledge. Without teachers, students would be left to wonder the internet. Who knows what they could come across and believe to be a reliable source? I believe this system of learning is catching up with the our technological world, and I believe that in some ways it will definitely help. 

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment
Students who learn using a PLE are definitely going to learn a valuable lesson in responsibility. Each student has to keep up their blogs while working on their own schedule. It looks like a really fun way to learn! It gives the students freedom to use the internet's millions of resources to answer their questions. A PLE organizes a students resources onto one space that can be easily accessed from any computer. No textbooks or paper required which is a very green approach. Once again, I only see a limited purpose for a PLE in the PE department, but I'm definitely keeping an open mind.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

C4K - September

the word September

C4K #1
Taite is a 12 year old student in Australia. She has just completed elementary school and is on her way to middle school. She has three siblings and a couple of pets. Her and a couple of friends are a part of an organization called the Children's Animal Protection Agency (Chapa). They work together to raise money for animal shelters and organizations that are in need of financial support. Taite's latest post wrapped up her semester in 6th grade. She posted a slideshow of pictures from her graduation and gave thanks to her teacher, Mr. Avery, for helping her start this blog. Towards the end of her post, Taite explains the middle school program. There are three different towns combined into one school district. The students are randomly group into teams that are labeled 7-1, 7-2, and 7-3. These teams will be together for the rest of the school year. She sounds very excited to start middle school! She did a very good job putting her blog together. I hope she continues to blog in the future.

Mr. Capps is a math teacher in Gulf Shores, Alabama. In his post called "Coin Combinations", his class learns about counting money. The students are asked to find the sum of groups of coins that are equivalent to one dollar. He didn't explain much about how to play the game, but in the picture it looks like the students are using a dry erase marker to color in pictures of coins on a laminated piece of paper. This game is an excellent way to teach children about money. It is a life-long skill that must be taught early.

Autumn is a 9th grade student in Canada. In her latest post she describes her first 4 weeks at her new school. She says that, unlike her old school, the halls are much more crowded and she gets pushed around a lot. Other than that, she says that she has really enjoyed her first 4 weeks. She goes on to describe her "Quality of Life". Since she has changed school, she says that her Quality of Life has increase. She has made new friends, higher grades, and seen new things. In my comment I told her about my freshman experience and how large my class was (1,000 freshman). I also reminded her that these are some of the best years of her life and to live it up to the fullest.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Project #9A - TimeToast

Blog Post #6

Randy Pausch standing at a podium
In Randy Pausch Last Lecture, he spoke about his childhood dreams and all of the things that he’s accomplished. This was his last lecture because he was only given 6 months to live due to tumors in his liver. He was very friendly and seemed to be feeling spectacular. He even did push ups on stage! He used PowerPoint, pictures and props to illustrate his points. His childhood dreams were: Being in zero gravity, playing in the NFL, authoring an article in the World Book Encyclopedia, being Captain Kirk, winning stuffed animals at the fair, and being a Disney Imagineer. He was able to experience zero gravity with a student group, but he had to pretend to be a journalist. He never played in the NFL, but he did play football and learned several valuable lessons from it. He learned that “when you screw up and no one says anything to you about it, then they've stopped caring.” This was one of my favorite quotes in the entire lecture. I am going to remember this quote throughout my entire teaching career. He did write for the World Encyclopedia, he became like Captain Kirk by being a leader in a virtual reality project, and he manage to win A LOT of bears. Pausch says that “brick walls are there for a reason; they let us prove how badly we want things. They’re there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.” By “brick walls” he means obstacles that everyone will run into at some point. If you can get through it, then it proves how badly you want what’s on the other side. He worked on a virtual reality program at Disney. It was an virtual Aladdin flying carpet ride. They asked him to become a permanent “imagineer”, but he said no and became a imangineer consultant. He asked the question “how can I enable the childhood dreams of others?” As teachers, we need to ask ourselves this question. When teaching, we need to help our students pursue their interest and show them that anything is possible. Pausch is a good example of someone who had dreams and followed them. He shows us that if you want to do something, there’s always a way. He was a brilliant man and he will be greatly missed.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blog Post #5

The iSchool Initiative and ZeitgeistYoung Mind's Entry
Travis Allen
Travis Allen came up with the iSchool Initiative idea when he was 17 and he made the idea a reality when he was 18. The iSchool Initiative is a revolutionary program that is trying to switch schools from textbooks and paper to iPod and iPad technology. There are so many ways that you can use the iPod touch in your classroom. Using iPod technology will also save classrooms and students money. Allen said that it would cost around $600 for a student to get all of the materials that they need for school, but with iSchool it would only cost $150 a student. The iPod can hold textbooks, notes, calculators, and several apps for History, Math, Science, and English. Students can send and receive emails and keep up with due dates through the iPod.
Many schools are already giving their students and staff Mac computers and iPad's to work with in there classrooms. This idea of moving our schools to a more modern way of learning is growing fast. Travis's program has definitely made an impact on education. He has opened many eyes to using the technology that most of us already have, to improve the quality of learning in schools. Students love using technology at home, so why not bring it into the schools!

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
This is an amazing video of a virtual choir. Each of the choir members are on their own computers in their separate places. They are singing together on what looks like Skype. The conductor is in a separate video also. The sound of the song was so beautiful. It truly sounded as if they were all together in a room instead of on web cameras. It's pretty neat that they were able to put this together.

Teaching In The 21st Century
Basically, this video brings up that students can get whatever information they want without the help of a teacher. The internet has so much information on it and teachers are no longer the main source of education. As teachers, we need to be a "filter". We need to teach our students how to use the internet effectively and efficiently. We need to give them questions that they can answer using whatever resources they feel like. Since the internet is so large, teachers can help to focus their students on things that they really need to see instead of just letting them wander aimlessly around the web. This will change traditional teaching completely. It's expensive to keep books up to date with the changing times. The internet changes without much cost. I'm very excited about moving teachers towards the internet!

Dr. Lodge McCammon's FIZZ - Flipping the Classroom
Flipping the Classroom - 4th Grade STEM
The flipped classroom is a modern idea in education. Instead of the students coming to class and listening to the teacher lecture, the students watch the lecture at home the night before. This way the class time is spent doing activities and asking questions. The students will have more time for one-on-one help in class. I really think this is a neat idea. The only problem that I see happening is the student not watching the lecture before class. The teacher will have to spend time catching up the students who weren't responsible. If the teacher is excited enough about this flip, then the students will be excited. Hopefully this will encourage the students who don't want to work.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blog Post #4

Girl with headphones dancing to music
Langwitches - Podcasting with 1st Grade
Silvia Tolisano and her 1st grade class made a podcast about a book called Vacation under the Volcano. They treated it like an interview with the two main characters of the book, Jack and Annie. The boys played Jack and the girls played Annie. All of the kids rotated turns talking in the podcast. During class, she would bring kids to the back of the room or in the hallway to record. As a class, the students put together a script and read from it. Although, after the kids heard that their voices didn't sound natural, they agreed not to read off of the script anymore. All of the kids were really excited about  recording and hearing their voices, including the shyer students. The skills that were being taught were: Listening, Speaking, Presenting, Comprehension, Storytelling, Performance, Voice acting, Oral fluency, Media, and Technology.
The student's did an amazing job on this podcast. You could tell by listening to it, that they were really trying to sound professional and that they were having a good time. Using a podcast in a classroom can bring out the best in students. They don't really feel like it's work when it's fun. Also, they were able to share their accomplishment with the world! People from all over have listened to and commented on their podcast. This is a very valuable tool to use in the classroom. As a PE teacher, I'm still not 100% sure why I would need to use one, but I'm glad that I'm learning about them just in case. 

In this post, Ms. Tolisano's 2nd grade students were learning how to speak Hebrew fluently by using Garageband, Smartboards and podcast. The students were working on putting together the story of Purim. Each student would record a sentence from the script. Once all of the sentences were recorded, they downloaded them into Garageband. From there, the computer was hooked up to the Smartboard so that the students could use their hands to move the sentences into the correct place. At the end, the students had a complete story that they had put together themselves. 
This is a great tool for ELL's because the student's can actually see and hear the words that they are trying to learn. It's also a great tool for student's that are learning a foreign language. Being able to hear how a word is use and what it sounds like, can greatly help student's who are struggling with language. 

Judy Scharf Podcast Collection
Ms. Scharf has created a post that explains everything that you need to know about podcast. She gives step by step instructions for teachers who want to start podcasting with their students. There is a list of tips to think about before starting, such as, learning as much as you can about the software that you are going to use before the students start the project. She has also included an agenda that teachers should follow in order to have a successful podcast. Other resources include: podcast topics, research suggestions, instructions for using Podbean and iTunes, a grading sheet and rubric, and several example podcast.
This is a very good resource for teachers who want to podcast with their class. The instructions are clear and concise. It's practically idiot proof. I appreciate that she took the time to make this post for struggling teachers.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

C4T #1

Science Teaching for the Future
Sunday, September 11, 2011 - The Nuts and Bolts of Flipping
Upsidedown classroom
Amanda Ooten has been teaching at the high school level for three years. Her recent project has been to "flip" her classroom. Flipping a classroom basically means flipping what happens in the classroom with what happens at home. Instead of listening to a lecture in class, the student watches the lecture online at home and at their own pace. The class time is spent doing activities and solving problems together. In my first comment, I told her how much I love the idea of this program. I acknowledged my concern with the responsibility of the students. I hope to hear back from her.
Sunday, October 23, 2011 - My Flipped Classroom, Part 2
Amanda has recently blogged about the progress of her flip and about what has and hasn't worked. Unfortunately, she has reported that flipping a classroom 100% takes more time that she planned. So far, she is flipping her classroom slowly and wants to have it at least 50% flip by next year. The reason it takes so long is because there is a level of responsibility expected of the students regarding them actually watching the lectures before class and reading their assigned chapters. She reports spending most of the class time catching up students who didn't do their homework. There are always going to be bugs in new programs, but they can be worked out with patience.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Project #5 Google Presentation

Blog Post #3

Tutorial Peer Editing and What is Peer Editing?
Punctuation saves lives poster
Peer editing is an important tool that all students should learn how to use effectively. Not only can students use these skills to help their fellow classmates, but they can also use them to critique their own work.
There are three steps to use while peer editing: Compliments, Suggestions, and Corrections. It is a good idea to start all of your peer editing with a compliment. Compliments are a great confidence booster and they create a bond between the two peers. Next, give the peer specific suggestions that may improve the quality of their work. Remember to stay positive! Nobody likes a Mean Margaret (Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes ). Corrections come next. When giving corrections look for spelling and grammar mistakes, missing punctuation, and sentence clarity.Remind the peers that it important to proof read before posting.
I really enjoyed watching these videos. Especially, the Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes video. Those kids were hilarious! "You spelled dinosaur so wrong, you shouldn't even try!" I'm definitely sharing this with my friends!

Technology in Special Education
Technology today has greatly effected the lives of special needs students. Without it, these students struggle with reading, writing, and communication. This video shows special students using iPod's and laptops to complete their schoolwork with ease. Chris, a student in the video, struggled with communication. As the teacher asked him questions, he was able to answer with his laptop. He used a special mouse that scrolled through the letters. He would click on the letters that he wanted to use to make a sentence. Another student used his iPod while reading books. They iPod had an audio version of the book he was reading. Struggling readers in all classrooms could benefit from this application.
As a future PE teacher, I'm not exactly sure how I could use this technology in my class. If special needs students are placed in my class that have communication problems, perhaps they could use their computer to express how they are feeling before and after exercises. Also, to communicate with the other students.

How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism
This was such a touching video! Braden is such a bright little boy. The iPad is a wonderful tool for him to learn at his own pace. He was able to practice writing and it looked like he was getting pretty good at it!
It was pretty difficult to find an app that I could use in a PE class. I settled on the Visible Body 3D Human app. I'll be able to use it to show my students which muscle group we're working on and how it works.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
Vicki Davis creates an atmosphere in her classroom in which all students can learn. All students are different and all students learn differently. Many students struggle when given limited material such as pen and paper.  She creates projects for her students that show the strengths of each student, while teaching them to use new software. Just like in EDM310, these students learn how to learn on their own and how to blog effectively. They create virtual lives, blogs, and several other projects in the technological world. A global collaboration that Davis and her students are credited with is DigiTeen which is an online forum that students and teachers can communicate with other classes all over the world. I like the fact that her students are expected to figure out how to complete the task without her giving them step-by-step instruction. It forces the students to use their brains and to truly learn it rather than just memorizing the steps in the task.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blog Post #2

Did You Know? 3.0
This video is about the ever changing world that we live in. As the years go by the world becomes larger and more dependent on technology. It's crazy to think that in 2013 there will be a supercomputer that is more intelligent than the human brain. This video actually scared me a little bit. I knew the world was changing, but I didn't know that it was changing this fast! By the time that I'm my parents age, technology is going to be so different. I hope that I can keep up with the times.

Mr. Winkle Wakes
Mr. Winkle is a prime example of how some schools work. As society grows and technology changes, the schools have stayed the same. The students in this video look bored and frustrated. Students need to be placed in an environment that is stimulating and interesting. No student should feel that school is a waste of time. Mr. Winkle is old and is stuck in his old ways. He didn't want change because he didn't understand change. As teachers, we need to understand that society is constantly changing. In order to keep up with our students and give them the best education possible, we can't let ourselves stay with old habits.

The Importance of Creativity
Sir Ken Robinson, in my opinion, is an amazing speaker. His views and ideas of education astounded me. He said that the public school system is teaching children skills that will help them to get into college and to get a career in the future. What the school system has forgotten about is the fact that not all humans work well under this system. The human brain is a two sided system and the public school system is only exercising one side. Creativity is being "educated out" of students and they go through school. Robinson suggest that students need to exercise their own talents and intelligence instead of following a strict guideline that might not get them anywhere. College degrees are pretty much useless now because everyone has them; they're not special anymore. Too many students are coming out of college and not getting the job that they trained for because someone else already has it. I feel like if students were to exercise their creativity, there would be more jobs to choose from and people would be much happier with their job of choice.

A Day Made of Glass
Fat people from Wall-e
Although I love the idea of this upcoming technology, I can't help but think of the fat people in the movie WALL-E. They were the product of a nation who became too dependent on technology.
This technology is a great devise for learning and discovering, but I fear that it may take over our lives at some point. I mean, why do I need to store the contents of my closet on a screen in order to decide on what I'm wearing for the day. As a PE teacher, this screams laziness. Also, I hope that we as humans do not lose sight of the natural world. I could look at pictures of flowers and bugs online all day, but I'll never get the true experience unless I see them in real life. Will students lose interest in the natural world when all they have to do is look it up online and get the information that they need or will this technology encourage students to go out and experience it with their other senses? These are the questions that come to me when I see this video. I guess only time will tell.
On the plus side, doctors can use this technology to make further discoveries with the human body, students will have an abundance of resources to use in their studies, and life as we know it could become easier to manage.
I just don't want to lose sight of what's real.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blog Post #1

Me marching onto the football field with the USA Marching BandHi, my name is Meredith Anderson. I am a Physical Education major. I was a member of the USA Marching Band Color Guard from 2009 to 2011. This will be my seventh year of Color Guard experience. I teach my own Color Guard at Robertsdale High School and I'm also a lifeguard at the USA Rec Center. I went to Murphy High School and graduated in 2008. My dad works with the public school system maintenance crew and my mom is a secretary for a lawyer. My one brother is 28 and working towards a degree in Psychology. Whenever I get my degree in PE, I want to teach at an elementary or middle school level. I'm a kid at heart, so working with kids for the rest of my life seems to fit my personality. I'm very passionate about children. They are our future and I want to teach them the importance of an active lifestyle while they're young. I can't wait to get started!

Randy Pausch on Time Management- I have heard of Dr. Pausch before. He was an amazing speaker who died from Pancreatic Cancer. Even through all of his struggles, he managed to give amazing speeches with great enthusiasm to the public before he passed. I really needed to hear this message. My time management skills are definitely lacking. Here are some notes that I took during his speech.
*People are more money conscience and less time conscience.
*Failing to plan is planning to fail.
*Just because you make a plan doesn't mean that it can't change. You can't change a plan unless you have a plan in the first place.
*When looking at your "to do" list, make sure to do your least favorite idem first and get it out of the way. Start with the biggest task and work your way down.
The last note is the one I've used recently. I sat down and made a list of everything that I needed to do for school, work, and around the house. After the list was made, I numbered them from most important to least important. With the aid of this list, I was able to accomplish everything that I needed to within the time that I had to do it. I'll definitely continue to use this method.

Penn State Learning I am not very happy with my time management skills. I need to plan with more structure. I also procrastinate and I'm wasting a lot of my time with T.V and Facebook. This website gives excellent tips on studying and avoiding procrastination. One of the tips says to keep a notebook nearby to scribble down any random thoughts that are clouding your mind while you're trying to study. I found that one pretty helpful when I'm dealing with a lot of stuff at one time. It's nice to get it out of my mind and onto paper. It also helps me to remember what I need to deal with later. I've learned a great deal from this website.

Project #2 - Wordle

Wordle picture made from the blog post number one paragraph.

Test Post

Test Post