Sunday, April 28, 2013

Final Report on PLN

my final PLN

I am still using Symabloo for my PLN. I use it all of the time! I have added many of the educational blogs I read, more educational resources, and other websites for my personal use! It is amazing to have all of these stored in one place, and they are so easy to find. I am still adding to my PLN. I love color coding the tiles to organize them!

Project #15

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

C4T #4

It's Just Life Itself

student's working togetherIn this post Teacher Tom talks about John Dewey and how when you are talking about "hands-on education" you are quoting Dewey. "The teacher is not in the school to impose certain ideas or to form certain habits in the child, but is there as a member of the community to select the influences which shall affect the child and to assist him in properly responding to these influences. ~John Dewey" Tom also talks about a typical "hands-on" day at the Woodland Park Cooperative Preschool where he teaches. Students walk in with their parents and show them what they have learned at certain stations in the classroom. Tom was asked if he finds it difficult to have some parents come to school to help students when they haven't been trained. Tom's response was wonderful! First he said no, and then explained his reasoning. He said that you can see the personality of each of these parents when they help the students, and how everyone is so different. They don't need training, because they let the students be themselves and they even have their own imagination. He suggested that sometimes we may even need "un-training".

My comment:

Thank you for such a great post! I am currently in school for elementary education, and I hope to teach K-5, or first grade. While reading your post, the part about "un-training" really caught my eye. I believe it is so important for children to be creative, be different, and be who they want to be. I feel that I have been trained/taught to color inside the lines, and I was almost scared to be different. Through the education program I have realized how important it is for children to be their own person. It took some "un-training" for me to show my creative side. Thank you for the information on Mr. Dewey also!

The Skills Most Necessary For The Life To Come


In this post Teacher Tom takes us through a small trip down memory lane. He takes a trip to visit his old elementary school, and tells us all about his time there. Everything he talks about involves his friends, the
people he met, and the fun they shared. None of his memories involved the education and what he learned in school. In the end he explains how important those friendships were for necessary life skills.

My comment:

This post had me take a small trip down memory lane myself! Years of school brought me the best friends I could have ever imagined. Through these friends and learning to make new ones has opened many great opportunities in my life. These skills are extremely important! Especially in college when "networking" becomes an important topic.

Blog Post #14

Teacher Knows if You've Done the E-Reading
courseSmart logo

This article explains a new technology, CourseSmart, that is being tested now at Texas A&M. It allows teachers to know if students have even opened the text book, read the text book, and even highlighted the text. CourseSmart allows teachers to track each student through digital textbooks. This article presents many pros and cons for the teachers and the students. A teacher could have a student who is doing well on quizzes, but their "engagement index" is low. This could mean that the student had not even opened their book. The question for the teacher is "what does that say about the student?" Should a teacher talk to that student about their study habits? Is the text book not helpful? Is the course too easy? As for the students they are not actually able to see their engagement index, but they know they are being watched!

As a teacher I feel like I would ask myself the same questions presented in the article. The biggest question would be, "how exactly should I interpret this information?" What should I do with this information? I do like that as a teacher I can see if my student actually did the reading. Some students complete the reading but have terrible test anxiety. In younger students this may be a way to identify this test anxiety at an early age. It also may be a way to provide participation points if students read, and will cut out reading quizzes in class. As a teacher I think it has its pros and cons, but can at least be used as a reference.

As a student my first thought is, "how could someone get around this technology?" I feel like I would read the text regardless, because it is supposed to help me, but I know there are students who will try to get around reading the text but make it look like they have. This was even one of the cons listed in the article. You can't say it hasn't even crossed your mind. Wouldn't students be able to just leave the screen up, and perform other tasks? This allows the computer to be "tricked" into thinking you are actually completing the readings. Then you would ask, "well what if I asked them to highlight key points?" Students are going to find a way around it! Believe me, I know people that will go through the trouble to fake their readings, so they do not have to take ten minutes of their time to actually complete the reading. Then my next question would be about the teacher. I would wonder how much the teacher is going to rely on this information. Would I really have to change my study habits to accommodate this new technology? I really do like that this may allow more class time for students who actually read, and pay attention to continue with the lesson and class.

My questions for a teacher currently testing this technology:

1. How beneficial do you think this product will be in your classroom?
2. How will you hold students accountable? Or will you? Will there be a grade for reading?
3. What will you do to ensure students are not cheating their readings? Is it possible?
4. What would you say to a student who is performing well on test/quizzes but according to their engagement index they are not completing the readings?

My questions for a student currently testing this technology:

1. Do you actually physically complete you readings?
2. Since using this technology in the classroom do you find that you are more susceptible to completing the readings versus before when the technology was not being used to check?
3. Do you feel that your grades have improved due to the fact that you know you are being "watched"?
4. Do you feel that this technology is effective in the classroom?

My comment on this article:

I feel that my opinion is on the fence right now. I am curious to see the results of this experiment with this technology. I think that maybe it might be more useful in younger classrooms to identify comprehension problems, and test anxiety. In a college setting...maybe not so much. I feel it would eventually lead to a good bit of people trying to "cheat the system" to get participation points, or what ever may be at stake. Also in many of my college classrooms we "refer" to the text book, or use it to complete homework. That is why I feel that e-books should be an option in almost every classroom, especially due to the cheaper cost! That is a completely different topic, but I do not know how effective it would be to "watch" college students to see if they are reading. College students are there because they want to be, do they need something to actually watch them and make sure they are completing their readings?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blog Post #13

Back to the Future

In the beginning of this video it is shocking to see how little Mr. Brian Crosby's fourth graders know about what state they live in, what country, their telephone number etc. It is SO EXCITING to see how engaged these students become in this hands-on real world experience! The survey in the beginning showed that most of his students did not even know what country they live in. Through this video we see how eager these students are to learn, and how much they learn! These students are now much more advanced than most fourth graders I have seen. These students participated in active learning and the results are amazing. It provides educators with a tremendous amount of hope for active learning to succeed in ALL schools.

Blended Learning Cycle

In this video Paul Anderson provides an amazing display of blended learning. He explains this teaching style as taking the three components of mobile, online, and classroom and blending them together. He also uses the learning cycle which is engage, explain, explore, expand, and evaluate. He then blends these two things together,and he provides us with his learning cycle. He explains that you should "hook" the students, for example with some phenomena, and then ask a question about it. That leads to them investigating and inquiring. Next he uses video for instruction. I think that is a great idea, because as he suggested it frees the
pass ideas of a future classroom
teacher to help those who may need it or prepare for something else. Next is elaboration and review. Students are not able to move on the the last phase, summary quiz, until Mr. Anderson is sure that they have grasped this concept. Summary quiz is just a test of what they have learned. This is an amazing learning cycle for teachers to utilize in the classroom. Students are still being tested on what they have learned, but not before they truly understand the lesson. In class Mr. Anderson is going around and talking to students and asking questions about the lesson. Students answer in their own words, and if they do not understand they can repeat the cycle. This provides wonderful feedback for the teacher AND the student. The student has the opportunity to share what they have or have not learned before being tested, and the teacher is able to see how well the students are understanding the lesson.

Progress Report on Final Project (Anthony Group)

For my group's final project we are going to reflect on the pros and cons of the project we participated in with Anthony Capps. I have already started a list of ideas that I feel could make this experience even better. I hope more students will be able to participate next semester, because it has shown us what really goes on "behind the scenes" as a teacher. Hopefully we can also show other students how beneficial this experience can be for your future career as an educator.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blog Post #12

For this blog post I am going to create my own assignment that I feel would be helpful to future EDM 310 students. So far there have been so many helpful resources, projects, blog post assignments, and more. I wanted to choose something we have not covered that I felt like would be beneficial for future elementary teachers (like me), as well as future middle and high school teachers. I was extremely blessed this semester to work with a great group of classmates to help a teacher create lesson plans for an actual classroom incorporating project based learning. We soon realized we had no idea how to make a REAL lesson plan. None of us had ever made lesson plans that weren't for a pretend classroom. We had to consider every minute of class time available. Our biggest question was "where to start??" That is where padlet came to the rescue! Our unit was a weather unit, so we decided to ask the question "what is weather?" as our introduction. So where, and how would the students answer this question? Mr. Anthony Capps recommended PADLET! So for your blog post assignment I want you to:

1. Pretend you have a classroom in your field (elementary, middle, etc.). Pick a subject and topic for your lesson for the day. EX:(Science/Weather). I want you to incorporate Padlet in to your lesson somehow. For example: "My subject and topic is science/weather, we are going to use Padlet to answer our bell-ringer, "What is Weather?" at the beginning of class. Students will have 15 mins to complete".

2. Explain what Padlet is and how you can use it in your future classroom.

3. Create an account (it's free), and create a wall. Choose any topic you wish for your "pretend" classroom. Play around with the effects on your wall. How will your comments be displayed? Will you change your background? Will it be totally private, open, or require a password? You will need to let your students know how to access your Padlet. Embed your wall in to your blog.

4. I want you to find your own resource/website. Find something that will help you with ideas or lesson plans for the classroom. It can be a blog, an educational website,or a tool such as Padlet. Tell us about your resource and post your link on my Padlet wall titled: Lesson Plan Ideas!

My post: Padlet is an online pin-board used to collect different ideas on a certain topic. It works like an online sheet of paper where you can add any content (images/videos/text). I feel I could use this in my future classroom with bell-ringers at the beginning of class, or even use it as a class to-do list. I could even use it to share ideas with other teachers. The possibilities are endless! I chose to use EDM 310 as my classroom. We will use this wall to share educational resources and websites that could help us in the future. Here is my Padlet wall:

The website I chose to pin was Discovery Education. It provides wonderful ideas for hands-on lesson plans for all grade levels!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blog Post #11

Little Kids...Big Potential

alphabet wiki
Little Kids...Big Potential is an outstanding display of first graders blogging, making videos, wikis, and using all sorts of technology in Ms. Cassidy's class. The kids even used a Nintendo DS in the classroom to help with sharing and vocabulary. I have never thought about using a Nintendo in the classroom! These first graders were beyond excited about writing on their blogs and wikis. They were even more excited about the comments they have received! It is exciting to be a future elementary teacher and see that these first graders are so advanced in technology. I would love to use some of these techniques in the classroom. It will definitely be a challenge for me to implement these changes in a new classroom, but I am ready for the challenge. Ms. Cassidy started using technology in the classroom almost ten years ago. Technology was not something that was commonly used in the classroom then, but yet she found a way to make it work. Now there are so many resources available to use in the classroom it is hard to find which ones to not use! This video shows me that I will be able to use technology in my elementary classroom, and that there are so many options for me to use.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

C4K Summary for March

Amber A's Blog

In Amber's post she wrote about blogging in the classroom and what you would gain from blogging with students outside of the school. Amber felt like she is able to talk to people she may not have ever come in to contact with otherwise. She also said that students can find out how each other feel about the same topic in other places. I told Amber that I follow teachers and student's blogs all around the world whom I have never met! I think it is very exciting. I asked her what has she learned from blogging with other students outside of the classroom.

Sloan's Blog
Steelers (Excerpt)

In Sloan's post she wrote about the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sloan is very passionate about her team, and it was evident that she did her research! I told her it is wonderful that she is so passionate about something. Her post was very enjoyable, and I learned a good bit about the Steelers. I had no idea their original name was the Pirates. She did such a great job. Her post was well organized and full of facts. I even shared an experience I had with the Steelers when I met their head coach.

Anna's Blog
Religion Bible poster Mark 9:35

In Anna's post she was to choose a Bible verse and had to create a poster to go along with it. Anna chose Mark 9:35. She shared how the verse pertained to her, and I was impressed. She explained that she wanted to serve God by becoming a missionary, and that the verse may not meant the same to everyone else. She said that her poster shows what she sees when she reads the verse. I told her that I enjoyed her interpretation, and that a mission trip is a great example of this. I told her that the poster was very creative. It was an amazing post!


Live the Conversation

By: Becky Goerend

In this post Mrs. Goerend writes about her class's behavioral issues. Her class was having trouble putting learning before socialization. She was looking for a way that the students would be held responsible for each other, therefore the "nagging teacher" could be eliminated. She explains that she will be experimenting with a new method and will report back.

My comment:

I am a college student at the University of South Alabama in elementary education. Thank you so much for this post! I can not wait to read about the results from your experiment. I have so many resources, blogs, and websites bookmarked to help me with my future in teaching, but advice like this will be most valuable in my first few years. I can remember how difficult it was to concentrate as a younger student when half of the class was socializing. Eventually the entire class was socializing during lecture and no one could concentrate. I am very excited to read your follow-up post! Thanks again!!

Turning it over to them - Success in the making!
By: Becky Goerend

This post reveals her first results! She decided to have the class create a rubric that would assess their behavior as a whole. She picks two students to score the class for the day, and they will discuss their thoughts with each other after each subject. Mrs. Goerend shares her rubric in her post.

My comment:

This sounds like a great way to get the students more involved in the classroom! I feel that the students who are being assessed will be more focused on the lesson and participating in class. This will definitely make them more aware of their actions. My only question would be about the students who are assessing the classroom. Is it possible they will be more focused on the classroom behavior than the lesson being taught?