Friday, November 22, 2013

Blog Post #16

Part 1:

My Teaching, My Future Students, and the Tools I will use in my Classroom:

When I become an elementary teacher, I hope to get a job teaching second grade. Elementary teachers teach all subjects in their classroom, but I want to change this. I want to split the subjects between the teachers of second grade and have the students change from classroom to classroom like in high school. All of the classrooms will be connected internally, so the students will not have to walk outside. My classroom will be math and science. I think if I, as an elementary teacher, only had a couple of subjects to teach, I could focus and teach those certain subjects better.

In my classroom, I will use technology to the fullest. I will use a smart board for teaching my students, and I will have a class blog to post assignments and events going on in my classroom. I will use a smart board to teach lessons, and also let the children play learning games on the smart board. After taking EDM310, I learned that there are many helpful learning tools teachers can use on the smart notebook to help teach your lessons. Using a smart board and blogging are two very important technology tools, I will use in teaching.

My students will use iPad’s to the fullest, as well as blogging and Google docs on the computer. My classroom will be equipped with one iPad for every four students. Before taking EDM310, I thought it was ridiculous that schools started having iPad’s in the classroom. I thought the students would get distracted and play games not associated with class. I realize now, children grow up with technology. If there were a classroom with just a chalkboard and teacher lecturing, the children would get bored and act out. I will also use blogging in my classroom. With blogging, students can comment and edit their peers work. As well as publish their work for the world to see. I have many friends who have a profession as an Elementary teacher, so I will get my class to comment and edit her class’s work on their blog. I never knew about Google Docs before EDM310, but now I use it for all of my classes. I will have my students do projects and collaborate using Google docs. I will also have assignments on Google docs where my students will all answer the assignment within docs. These are the many reason I will have technology in my classroom, so the students will not get bored because learning can be fun!

My classroom will be set up in sections. There will be a reading pit with comfortable bean bags, a computer section, and then of course student desks with a smart board. The reading pit will have a huge fish tank, so the children can also gaze into the fish tank, think and imagine. The reading pit will be equipped with books, but the students can also bring their iPads to read and play educational games. The computer section will have many computers. I will have iCurio set up on the computers, so the children can search for material and play games that are safe and educational. The desk and smart board will be for me to teach the children lessons. I will introduce projects on the smart board and have the students play educational games. My students will not want to leave my classroom at the end of the year because it will be so fun and filled with technology.

The Differences in Blog Post #1, and my Current Views of My Future Classroom:

After reading my Blog Post #1, there are only a few differences of how I would want my classroom. One difference is my views on the iPad. I said in my first blog post that I would have computers in case the children did not want to use the iPad. In my classroom, I want all students to be able to use the iPad to the fullest. There are so many things that are available on the iPad for learning.

The second thing I would want to use in my classroom is blogging and Google Docs. I did not know about blogging and Google docs before taking EDM310, and they are very helpful in teaching the children how to collaborate with other students. These are two very important aspects on the computer that my classroom with use to the fullest.

Part 2:

Final Reflection

Blog Post #15

iPad Usage For the Blind that was demonstrated by Wesley Majerus.
Written By: Jamie Baxter

iPad usage for the blind amazes me. Technology helps the vision impaired use a tool that people use that can see everyday.

In EDU 301, we had a blind artist come visit our classroom. His name was Ricky Trion. During his presentation he mentioned that he wanted an iPhone because of all the apps for blind people. He said there is one app that you can scan your shirt, and the phone will tell you what color shirt it is to help blind people get dressed.

This will be an excellent tool for me in my future classroom. If I have a student that can not see, this will be very helpful for them. The iPad would allow them to be able to listen to text I assign the children to read and many other things via the iPad.

Jamie found an interesting video titled Deaf Children Use Games Machines to learn in Schools. This was a news report in Birmingham Alabama showing where deaf students use gaming machines to help them learn a book. The children scan the book, and it plays a video clip about what the book page is about. This is a very interesting way to teach the students who are hearing impaired.

Teaching Math to the Blind- Thomas

How would you describe color to a blind person? We don’t often think that some of the most basic things can be complex and difficult to describe. And yet, I can find no words to describe a color that would genuinely describe it to someone whom is blind. It is so simple that it isn’t.

Although this could be heavily contemplated, I don’t think it would be important to describe color to a blind person. They may not be able to see color, but they have other abilities that I would rather focus on. Rather than trying to constantly describe something almost impossible to describe to someone whom has never seen it, I would focus on what they could do. Color may be beautiful, but life is not dependent on it.

However, in our society there are certain things that we have made our lives dependent on. As unfortunate as it may seem for those who don’t have it, we run our society with money. Trillions of dollars are constantly being spent around the world. And money is the only way for us to get our basic necessities for life in this society. We need money to purchase water, food, houses, everything. And I’m certain it is much easier to describe money than it is color. But the fundamentals for using and spending money are math, and how would you describe math to a blind person?

At first I didn’t even notice how difficult this would be. After all, blind people do have a way for reading. But math is truly its own language. We may be able to describe things with words, but it is rare to work out problems simply with words. Math uses numbers, uses many different and ornate signs, has rules for order of operation, and etc. So how could do you teach it to be read?

The video Teaching Math to the Blind showed these complications and one of their approaches to handling it. The video introduced a board which allowed students to construct math equations, to feel and understand the importance of the placement of numbers, and speaks to them. I was very intrigued by this so I looked up another technology being used to help blind people learn math.

I found an article titled, New UAH technology helps the Blind Learn Math. The article UAH Professor Helps The Blind, discusses the development of a computer program that allows math questions to be easily typed into a computer, and doesn’t require specific code. It is amazing the way our technology is advancing, and how it is helping reveal a world that was once almost indescribable.

The Mountbatten. This video was created by The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine, FL

Written by, Colin Richard

Life tends to be a series of routines. We tend to go about our lives with our blinders on and let the world happen as it may, as long as it does not interfere with our routine. This “bubble” can make people forget their are others that have a routine too, but has to be structured a totally different way. An example would be people who are blind. Even when we think about it and try to put ourselves in their shoes, the feeling can never even come close. After all, there is something about doing an experiment and knowing that when we choose, our lives go back to “normal.”

So, when dealing with technology that aids people with a disability, normally the inventors are people that can step out of their boxes and understand what the other person could benefit from. The “Mountbatten” is no different. Produced by Quantum Technologies in Australia, this device has become the upgrade from the traditionally used Perkins Brailler. This device can, in addition to the traditional keyboard, include memory which allows braille text files to be stored in much the same way as is done with a word processor, speech feedback allowing the user to listen to the text he or she has just typed or from files, and forward and back translation between text and braille. The Mountbatten can be connected to a printer allowing files to be printed as text, while a regular PC keyboard can be connected to the Mountbatten enabling text to be produced as contracted or uncontracted braille. Speaking of technology, this invention even has bluetooth, which can connect itself to one’s Ipad or Iphone. So, being battery powered too, it is easily portable.

As we can see, this is a wonderful tool for the blind, in any setting. However, not every student will have this piece of equipment, it is almost five thousand dollars. One can not, being a teacher, rely on the disabled student or parents, to provide all the necessary tools that will help that child. As an educator, we need to first take initiative. Find out what tools are used at home and see if we can use these items in our own classrooms. The student will benefit greatly if they use what they already know. The Blind Access Journal is a wonderful website for any teacher that has a student with any form of visual impairment. After all, having the desire for the visually impaired, or any student with any disability, to succeed is the first and greatest step. Then the next step is how. This website gives that how.

In the end, students with visual impairments want to be viewed and treated like everyone else. So, in the classroom, let their routine of learning, become part of your routine of teaching. Now that is a routine everyone should follow!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blog Post #14

For this Assignment you are to create a Wordle.

Go to Wordle and click Create your own. This Wordle is to describe your likes and interest. Enter all of the words you can think of that describe you or things you are interested in. You can change the font and colors to best describe your personality.

Here is my Wordle:

Monday, November 18, 2013

C4T #4

Post #1

When I read Shireen D's post Related Rates and Crowd Sourcing from her Blog titled "Math Teacher Mambo", I learned a lot for when I become a teacher.

Shireen has issues when it comes to teaching related rates and crowd sourcing. She lists these in her blog:

* Finding problems that aren't the Wisconsin of all Cheese Balls.
* Reading and interpreting the problem.
* Being able to translate known information and subtly given information into Math Speak.
* Finding the right equation that links all the variables together.
* Navigating the Dangerous Path of Implicit Differentiation.
* Plugging back in at JUST the right time.
* Finishing things up with a tidy bow.

Shireen was thinking one class period and researching and she came across Bowman's set up with the table for variables in which Shireen thought were very nice, tidy, and useful.

She came up with an idea that with each homework she would get the students to do extra by thinking of real life situations that could be modeled by the simplified version. They would also discuss what rates are needed, and why anyone would care.

I commented telling Shireen that I love the idea she has that the students have to do extra by thinking of a real life situation that could be modeled by the simplified version on one of the homework problems. This will get the students thinking outside the box of just solving the problem, and they will understand it more. I am taking note of this for when I become a teacher.

Post #2

The second blog post I read of Shireen's was Jumping in the pool dogpaddling!

Shireen coached a FTC Robotics team for the first time. She said she and her students on the team were very nervous and did not know what to expect. They ended up having a fabulous time and met a lot of people.

I posted telling Shireen that I loved her post. I told her she might have some future engineers on your hands!

She posted this picture:

I told her I love the captions on her picture. I know she and her students had a great time doing something they never thought they would enjoy.

Final Report on PLN Project #2

This is my final report on PLN. I added the websites Education World and Alabama State Department of Education. I have had to go to The Alabama State Department of Education Website a lot this semester, and I will have easy access to it for the rest of my career. Education World is a very helpful website for teaching special education children. It will be very helpful in my future. I have a lot more space to fill up on my PLN, and I look forward to using this throughout my education career.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Post #13

Alison Gopnik: “What do babies think” by: Jamie Baxter

Alison Gonik is a psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. She researched about how children learn at a young age. In her video “What do babies think”, she explains how the past 20 years scientist and psychologist have changed their views on how babies think. I do not agree with this because I think babies learn and think the same way they always have. The reason one might think they learn different is because there are more tools to teach children due to technology.

One thing Alison said that stood out to me was "Babies and young children are very bad at narrowing down to just one thing. But they are very good at taking in lots of information of lots of different sources at once." I think this is a very interesting thing and made me think. I agree that children can take in a lot more information at a young age. The older they get the harder it is for children to learn because their attention span narrows.

Charles Leadbeater: Education innovation in the slums- Colin Richard

“Education +Technology =Hope”, so sayest Charles Leadbeater. His statements are mainly for children in 3rd world countries, but there are a few things I believe could be used in any educational environment.

One would be “radical” thinking. When it comes to anything that is not working well, it is stupid to continue and hope for the best. Our overall system here, especially in poverty ridden areas, need a different strategy. However, maybe the most radical of all thoughts would be emphasising teachers as the way forward. Making sure that teachers in lower class schools get a much higher pay raise would be high incentive to bring quality teachers away from other schools. Also, let the teachers be free to teach as they feel fit. Of course there would need to be yearly evaluations to make sure these teachers were not being incompetent, but I am sure there would be a more conducive place to want to learn by the students if this was allowed.

Second, “Start from a game or question….teach through normal fun things, not after”. To summarize, education does not need to begin with curriculum and then move to testing; teaching can start from what normally would be considered as extra curricula activities. So, let a game be the start, but have learning thrown in without the students even feel like it is a learning exercise. This, I learned, is called a “head fake” as told by Randy Pausch. Wonderful philosophy and one I will implement in my classrooms too.

I do disagree with some of Mr. Leadbeater’s arguments. One would be his displeasure with the current system that has a push, as opposed to a pull, element. Well, considering he said he was pushed into his education and he graduated from Oxford University with that method, how can one say that is a negative? Also, he says “Education has a payoff, but needs to be quicker if you are poor.” So, instant gratification is what technology has made our society and now we need to make education that way because of the poor? Now, should there be more technical and vocational schools? Yes, absolutely, but do not sacrifice higher learning due to a growing sense of deserve over desire.

Overall, this video was educational from a third world perspective toward teaching. There are problems all over the world that need to be addressed, but let us not doubt that without the funds or public outcry to back up radical thinking, there will never be the desired outcome that can only be talked about among the people that already have an education.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

C4K Summary Post (November)


Mya is from a School in England, and she is in her 7th year of school. I commented on Mya's post "Rainbow Warrior Bombing".

Mya wrote about a yacht called the Rainbow Warrior. A crew was on the yacht and did not know at the time there were two french spies planting a bomb under the yacht. Mya wrote, "BOOM! Went the bomb, blowing Pete Willcox off his chair with ultimate force." Pete Willcox got everyone off the ship, and the New Zealand police caught the two men and put them in prison for ten years. When the French government found out about this two men in jail, they demand the New Zealand government release the men or they would not buy anymore dairy products from New Zealand. They New Zealand government gave the men to the French government, and the men stayed in jail for two years.

I commented telling Mya that I really enjoyed reading her post about the Rainbow Warrior bombing. She did an excellent job describing what happened in the bombing. Her story had so much detail, I felt like I was reading a history book. C4K #10

I commented on Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog Post Dr. and Mrs. Strange Visit!

The post was a visit Dr. and Mrs. Strange made to Mrs. Yolli's calls. Dr. Strange and Mrs. Yolli have been blogging for a while, and they have never met in person before this visit. Mrs. Yolli let her students ask Dr. Strange open ended questions. The class then separated into groups and did projects. One of the projects the students worked on were a PuppetPal Video. This is when they can choose a picture of something and insert it into the video. Mrs. Yolli posted two examples of videos her students had created.

I commented on the blog post telling Mrs. Yolli that I was so excited her and Dr. Strange finally got to meet. He was telling our class about Mrs. Yolli's blog at the beginning of the semester. He mentioned that he head never met face to face.

I have learning a lot this semester about 21st century learning, and I am excited to see it actually being used in this blog post. The students seem so excited and involved when completing the PuppetPal Videos. They are so enthusiastic and use their imagination in the videos.

I am definitely going to use blogging and other 21st century tools in my classroom because they seem very efficient.

I told Mrs. Yolli, "Thanks for sharing Dr. and Mrs. Strange's visit."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blog Post #12

What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?.

Changing Education Paradigms Written by: Jamie Baxter.

Ken Robinson’s video, Changing Education Paradigms, was a very interesting video and agree with everything he said. I learned a lot from his thought about ADHD medicine and divergent thinking.

I once was a daycare teacher when I was in high school, and there was a child in my class whom was on Ritalin. The days that his mother did not give him his medication, he acted out and was very hyper and disobedient. I did not realize then what the problem came from. I know children, when I was in elementary school, did not have medication for ADHD, so there had to be another solution. After watching this video, it makes so much sense to me that children are bored in classrooms. They are smarter and more educated through TV, phones, and computers; they get bored with boring lectures. Children cannot concentrate when the teacher is lecturing on a chalkboard. They need to have fun things to learn and be more involved with 21st century tools for learning.

I like the way Ken Robinson explained divergent thinking. He said, “Divergent thinking is not the same thing as creativity.” He explains that creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value. Divergent thinking is an essential capacity for creativity. It is to see multiple answers not one. I learned a lot from this because it made me realize that my students in my future classroom are not all going to learn in the same way. I need to realize this when making my lesson plans, so I can accommodate for all my students.

How to Escape Education’s Death Valley Written by: Colin Richard

After watching this video, I know one thing for sure, I love Ken Robinson. His philosophical statements on education are spot on and right inline with my own. When I do a brief summary of this video, I will only reiterate in my own words what he states because I am really only echoing sentiments that I have held for at least a decade. So, let us not hesitate, let us just jump in.

“Humans are naturally different.” He explains that even siblings are entirely different so why should we expect great things to happen in school systems now based on conformity. Well, the easy answer is you can not. The “No Child Left Behind” educational protocol has done just the opposite of its mantra; it has actually left behind millions of children because of a premise of a cookie cutter educational system of “learning.” A fundamental problem has become the de emphasis with subjects such as Art, the Humanities, and P.E.. ADHD has become a scapegoat for children falling behind as opposed to teaching methods being so boring that kids just want to fidget. Curiosity has almost died in our education. Lost are the days of exploring why as opposed to being spoon fed everything to make sure you pass the test. Which brings us to standardized testing. If we look at Finland, which scores tops in Math, Science and Reading, it is not because they solely focus on these courses, it is because they do not obsess over these courses. It is also because there are no standardized tests. Plus, there is not even a drop out rate. Which brings us to a few answers to why. First, education is about learning. Kids learn in these environments where their natural instincts are satisfied during the learning processes. Second, testing is not the dominant culture of education. Third, they support learning not obstruct it. Finally and maybe most importantly, teachers are just as highly regarded as doctors.

“Humans are creative” so why not have Individualized teaching and learning. In this country we can not because we take responsibility away from the teachers. Bureaucrats tell us what is best and that is because there is not a high status in teachers. Teachers are put in a position where they can do the minimum, as long as their kids pass the standardized tests. Schools that are generally left alone to do as they please, tend to do better. They can see what they need to do, what needs improvement and what works with what they have. Dropouts have reasons too and most of the time the outside world engages them, right or wrong, a lot better than the classroom. We do need to create conditions where students thrive. Which brings us to his last and most poignant case in point.

Death Valley, the driest place in North America, where nothing really grows. However, after a massive rare rainfall, the following Spring, flowers were everywhere. This synonym to education is when given the right circumstance, learning can happen where once education looked dead.

So, let us stand together with people such as Ken Robinson and begin a revolution. Let us make sure that we will not stand for average. That we will not stand for millions of kids left behind. That we will not let bureaucrats from the top, dictate what the people in the trenches know. Let us stand up for our students, our kids and this country's future. Let us stand united in making teachers the greatest revenue this country has.

How Schools Kill Creativity Written by: Thomas Leytham

It is difficult to write a good summary for this TED talk simply because there wasn’t very much to it. I literally can sum up his message in two sentences.

Schools were created to industrialize people and because of this they kill creativity. To fix this, we should stop stigmatizing the arts and promote the arts as equals.

The rest of the talk was that of a poor stand-up comedian. I don’t mind jokes, but it was so constant that I found it obnoxious. They also didn’t circle into his message… lack of message.

I didn’t learn anything from this TED talk, which is quite a shame. I’ve heard this repeated banter about how to fix schools numerous times, specifically how we need to stop stigmatizing the arts, and this was by far the simplest and worst regurgitation that I have ever heard. You know what is killing my creativity? Being told to watch videos about how school killed my creativity.

Project 15

My project 15 Lesson plan is How Smart Is Your Food?

The school is hosting a Smart Foods = Smart Kids event to promote local wellness and healthy eating. You will divide your class into four groups to make four healthy recipes from - 1 entrée, 2 side dishes and 1 dessert.

Each team will present the recipe along with the calculated amount of supplies and total nutrients using a PowerPoint. The attendees of the event will vote for their favorite suggested meal.

Lesson Plan - How Smart Is Your Food? by: Jamie Baxter

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Blog Post #11

Little Kids...Big Potential is a very interesting video, and I enjoyed watching it. It is about Ms. Cassidy's first grade class learning how to use 21st Century learning tools to learn. This includes Skype, Blogs, and Nintendo DS.

The school provided Ms. Cassidy's class with five computers. She started using these computers with her class because she did not want them to go to waste. The school would not allow the teachers to download anything onto the computers, so she was stuck using the world wide web. She starting using blogging and personal web sites because it was one of the only things she had access too.

Ms. Cassidy's students enjoy blogging because it makes them feel special that the whole world can see what they are writing. She states the internet and technology comes easy to the students because it is already a part of their life. I agree with this because my nephew who is five years old can operate a computer and iPhone all by himself. He can operate a cell phone and play games better than I could at age thirteen.

Ms. Cassidy always keeps her students identity safe by excluding their last name and never putting a picture on the internet of her students. She also teaches them how to surf the internet safely. This is a great thing to teach students at an early age.

During Ms. Cassidy's Skype interview she mentions how she uses "blogging buddies". A student from Ms. Cassidy's class and a student from another class from another school comment on each others blogs. They also Skype with each other to communicate on how to improve each others grammar. I am taking note of this because I will use this in my future classroom.

I am going to use technology such as blogging, Skyping, and making videos in my future classroom. I have a lot of friends who are teachers, and we can get our students to communicate with one another through technology. This will also improve my students communication skills because they will be communicating with children they do not know.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

C4T #3

C4T #3 Post 1

My C4T #3 was to post on Nico Rowinsky blog Yo: A Math Teacher's Blog. I commented on his blog post, Is this going to be on the test?

Nico feels like he has done something wrong when a student asks, "Is this going to be on the test?" He states "The word THIS is the problem for me. To a student asking this question, THIS, means a piece of information that will be copied and reused very soon (and then likely never again)."

I commented telling Nico, my EDM310 teacher favorite saying is "NO MORE BURP-BACK EDUCATION!" This post reminds me of this saying because I think that is what he is trying to get away from as well.

I told Nico that I am in school to become a teacher, so I do not have experience with children quite yet. I can imagine students that try to remember everything just to pass the test will most likely not remember the information the next week. I feel if the students have fun and learned the material in different ways other than just a lecture, they will remember the lesson more.

C4T #3 Post 2

I commented on Nico Rowinsky's blog post "How My Students Impressed Me In The First Week".

Nico started the school year by prompting his students with this.

I commented saying I enjoyed watching the videos his students created on YouTube. This is a great way to get students to use their imagination and be creative. I am definitely going to use this in my classroom.

I told him I loved Video 9. This is a very neat way to illustrate math using Legos and technology.

C4K Summary Post (October)

C4K #5

My first C4K this month was Mara from the blog The Pickles.

Mara wrote about the book Out Of My Mind by: Sharon Draper, which she is reading in class. She said Melody, a character in the story, is having a baby sister. Mara said she is so excited to keep reading to find out what happens to Melody and her family.

I commented telling her that I think it is wonderful that her teacher is allowing her and her classmates to use technology in the classroom by making a blog. Mara sounded so excited when she posted her summary about reading and finishing her book on her blog. I told her that I love reading as well, and reading will help her in her studies in the future. I told her to keep up the good work.

C4K #6

My second C4K this month was Joey from Mrs. Hartoon's Class.

Joey wrote about his first day of seventh grade science. He was scared to go to class. His best friend told him to stop being a baby and get in there, and that is what he did. When he walked in to science lab there were veggies all over the table in front of him. His teacher had a Mr. Potato Head project planned for the students. Joey made a real Mr. Potato Head out of a potato. He was not scared of school andymore becayse he had a blast on his first day of seventh grade.

I commented telling Joey that I loved his post because I remember when I was in seventh grade. I was also scared to go to school because we were in a new building. After being there for about 10 minutes, I was not scared anymore.

I told him that I have never heard of the real Mr. Potato head project. It sounded very fun and got the students involved in a group project. I am going to do this project with my students when I start teaching.

C4K #7

My third C4K this month was Jen from Mr. So's Second Grade Class.

Jen's post "My Hero" was about who would she consider her hero. She chose her mom because when she gets hurt or sick her mom is always there to take care of her.

I commented saying I enjoyed reading her post, that she chose her mom as her hero. I would chose my mom as my hero as well. I know Jen's mom read her blog, and it made her day that she chose her as her hero. I told Jen to keep up the good work.

C4K #8

My last C4K this month is Giselle L., and I commented on her blog post about Soybeans.

Giselle told the history and some interesting facts about soybeans. Soybeans are one of Nebraska's natural resources, and some chocolates and dog food are made out of soybeans.

I commented telling Giselle that I learned a lot from her post. I did not know soybeans are one of Nebraska’s natural resources. I have never had chocolate made from soybeans, but I am willing to try some foods made from soybeans because it is really good for your health. I asked her if she had ever had chocolate or any foods made from soybeans? I told her about my cousins baby that had to have soy formula when she was born because it was better on her stomach. She did not have anymore stomach issues once my cousin switched her to formula made from soybeans.

Project #12 Smartboard Instruction Part A

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Project # 14

A Gardener's Dilemma By: Jamie Baxter, Thomas Leytham, and Colin Richard

Students will learn the following in this project:
1. Determine perimeter of geometric shapes.
2. Determine area of geometric shapes.
3. Use grids to record designs.
4. Use of ordering pairs to identify location.
5. Group Collaborative Skills

Lesson Plan - A Gardener's Dilemma Created by: Jamie Baxter, Thomas Leytham, and Colin Richard

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blog Post #10

I feel very inspired by Randy Pausch after watching his video, "The Last Lecture". He really kept it together when talking about his life achievements, knowing that he has cancer, and that he will pass away soon.

I love when he was talking about his childhood dreams of becoming an NFL player. He said that it is very good for all children to play in sports when they are young. Even if they are not good at sports, it is important because it teaches children how to become team players and get along with others. It also teaches them how to work towards a certain goal. Pausch calls this “Head-Fake” learning. This is indirect learning. This is explained when he is talking about sports. Children are playing sports to have fun, but at the same time they are gaining knowledge of how to get along with others. I totally agree with this concept. I think that it is great for children to be involved with other children because it teaches them valuable lessons they cannot learn in school.

Pausch went through a lot with his directors and deans at his job when he was trying to get a furlough from work to go and do a project with Disney. He always dreamed of being an Imagineer with Disney. The Dean of Sponsored Research was very open-minded about the situation with Disney. The project did not work out, but later on in Pausch’s life he was able to have his dream of working with Disney. He got the opportunity to work on a virtual reality project with Disney. This is a life lesson that Pausch taught, which is to never give up on your dreams. This hit home for me because I have always dreamed of becoming a teacher. I graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelors of Science in Commerce and Business Administration in 2009. I have worked in the accounting department at an oil company for four years, and I finally decided to follow my dreams and get my Education Degree. I am glad that I am following my dreams, and I am going to do something I have always dreamed of.

At the end of Pausch’s lecture he explains the two “head-fakes” that were in the lecture. The first one was the lecture was “not about achieving your goals, but how to lead your life”. If you lead your life and never give up on your dreams, your dreams will come true. His second “head-fake” was the lecture was not intended for us, but for his children. Pausch loves his children and wants them to live a life they always dreamed.

Pausch is a very inspiring person. This lecture was exactly what I needed to hear because I know now that I am doing the right thing and not giving up on my goal to become a teacher.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Post #9

"Back to the Future" by: Brian Crosby

Well, starting with the “Back to the future video”. Once the video was finished, the first thought was, this is a great teacher. Obviously he cares on just about every aspect when it comes to his “kids”. He is very enthusiastic with all of his projects and gets real excited which gets the students involved.

The balloon project was particularly innovative and most definitely educational. The projected helped develop the students’ knowledge and concept about pressure. Also, the students use critical thinking and creativity while writing from the perspective of the balloon. Most importantly, the project did all of this while being attention grabbing and fun. Jamie is going to save this project and use it in her future classroom because she really enjoyed how excited the students got while completing it.

When he was describing what students learn from 21st century tools, it really caught our attention. This is a very helpful and useful part of the video for us as future teachers. For example, learning how to collaborate, motivation, empowerment, and connection with others. Students will learn and practice all of these activities when using 21st century tools.

We also loved the fact that the child with cancer was brought in through skype and became an active member of the classroom. This teaches communication, understanding, tolerance, compassion, and learning to change each others lives.

We would, because of his new teaching plan, love to know what the kids knew after his class compared to their first day. It seems like if you are advocating a certain plan of teaching, backing it up with statistical data would help the cause. On top of which, he already mentioned the parts that they did not know. So, it would not be difficult to show their progression.

The most important aspect of this video is the teacher and his passion for teaching which makes things work in the classroom, and is more than a video on how technology has turned around a low income student based classroom from not knowing to knowing.

Blended learning Cycle” video by: Paul Henderson

The first thing that struck us in the Blended Learning Cycle videa was how much we loved the tweet by Dr. Tae, “remember, it’s not fair to tell your students that grades are not important if you are ultimately giving your students grades.” True information for sure.

Thomas noticed that in the beginning of the video he mentioned doing a TED talk about making the class a video game. He watched the TED talk video which made this video much more understandable. Essentially, making the class a video game was quite difficult. There were many problems that led to many parts failing and needing revisions. Thomas feels this is why his approach changed overall. Mr. Anderson definitely believes it is okay to fail and that we learn from failure. This is definitely true and teachers should learn to rework failure. It has such a terrible connotation when it shouldn’t.

Anderson developed his “quivers” approach to teaching in response to his video game “failure”. Quivers seemed like a very good concept. We do not always like acronyms because they can detract from the actual concept, and people remember the acronym word and not what each part stands for. All we can remember is Questions, Videos, and Summary quiz. Colin found the video part to be idiotic and a waste of time. Not having anything that could spontaneously happen or be asked by the teacher while talking. Sitting and watching a video, only calls for distraction and daydreaming.

Jamie thinks the video would be a good idea because some students learn from watching videos. Most children or young adults grow up watching television, so maybe the video will teach them something they missed while investigating. We think the review step of “quivers” is very important because this is the step where the teacher can make sure the student he is reviewing, learns everything that was intended to be taught.

Thomas thinks that all students learn differently. So, having a video could be beneficial to some and not as beneficial to others. It would be important to have all of the knowledge learn-able in different ways. Thomas is a kinesthetic and auditory learner. So, the video would probably be beneficial to him., but for a visual kinesthetic learner the video may not be.

We also found it interesting that he is teaching AP Biology. Good for him and his students, but what about students in a poverty ridden neighborhood at a state school with minimal funds, would this process still work? He says we should start with a question, well that would be ours for him.

We learned from this teacher a great concept to use for our future classrooms. Although we might change a couple of steps in the “quivers” approach, overall it is a good idea.

Making Thinking Visible” by: Mark Church

This video is pretty straight forward by having the kids watch a video, and then create a project that builds upon each weeks learning. We can learn from this video that critical thinking, analysis, and building upon what has already been learned is the fundamental building blocks to project based learning.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blog Post #8

Thomas and I found many 21st century tools being used in classrooms today. Out of the ones we found, there are two tools that we both really like. We both learned about them from the sources listed, and so the information about them is communal knowledge that we share. The explanation on how we will implement one of them in our classrooms, however, is separate. Since I was more intrigued with GIF’s, I wrote about how I would use them in her classroom. Since Thomas was more interested in video games, he wrote about how he would use them in my classroom. Some 21st Century Learning and Communicating tools we found are GIFs, PhotoPeach, and video games.

I did not know anything about GIFs until my second C4T. I commented on Mary’s blog post Experimenting with GIFs. She posted four GIFs she and her classmate created together, and they are quite entertaining.

I think this would be an excellent tool for my elementary classroom. The students could brainstorm and think of what they want to use in their GIF. Then the students can either take pictures of the object or subject they want to use, or download pictures off the internet. The students can go to They can upload their pictures and move them around as they wish. Then they can decide which speed they want the GIF to be, and they can save it to the computer.

Students could use this in the classroom as a group project. They would get separated into groups and go out and take pictures together. This will get the students involved with technology, as well as taking pictures. The students would use their creativity and create a GIF to post on their blog or you tube.

Here is one that I created from three pictures I took of my puppy.

Another 21st century tool that we discovered being used are video games. Thomas has always considered that video games sometimes receive harsh scrutinization because some of them are violent. However, it would interesting if students could learn without realizing it, and Thomas thinks video games could be used to achieve this.

Thomas found this article Level Up: Video Games Are The New Educational Hack, that discusses specific topics on how video games are being use in education now. The article focuses on two different ideas that have been implemented.

The first is The National STEM Video Game Challenge, which promotes students’ to make their own video games and submit them in a competition. The point of this is to get students interested in technology and engineering. They learn code and build video game platforms on their own. It requires a lot of thought and knowledge to create a video game, and this innovation is quite impressive.

The second focuses on the use of a videogame playing to teach students. They give a specific example created by The Mind Research Institute’s ST Math. The video game teaches math by showing math in motion and having students solve the problems. Being able to see how math works is very important, and video games can allow a broader spectrum to be seen by students than traditional methods allow.

Whether it be creating them or utilizing them to teach different subjects, video games are becoming a great tool for teachers to use. We are excited to see what direction they will take.

Thomas wrote:
I am excited to see what developments have been made for video games by the time he start teaching. They are constantly getting more and more advanced. I would love to be able to tap into them as an effective tool to teach with. However, I wouldn’t want my students to know they were learning as much as they would be.

At the moment I did not believe there is a game out there that subtly requires students to gain math skills, but I am certain it could be done. Many popular video games are problem/puzzle solving games. They require you to think to solve them, and yet they are fun because of this challenge.

So, I would love a video game that would require us to solve physical mathematics problems, but in a way that didn’t feel like we were solving math. The game would need to be fun, have a plot line that intrigued people, required other kinds of puzzle solving alongside solving math problems, and be good enough to make the learning subtle.

Since we don’t have that at the moment, we can settle for the technology we have now. I would like to find video games that required students to do math and would love for that to be their homework. “Get through level 5 by Sunday” or “Go to this area and do problems such and such to unlock your quiz for next week.” Again, I slip into a dream that hasn’t been achieved. But even though we know the technology isn’t quite there... yet, just having them working on problems in a video game would be enough. After all, the goal for math homework is practice. I can’t wait to use them.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

C4T #2

C4T #2 Post #1

I was assigned Mary Worrell's blog to comment on for my second C4T. I commented on her post Embracing the Grey Area. This post was about how Mary started teaching in the Netherlands. This was her first year teaching, so she did not have much experience. She was so excited because they did not have the state standards to worry about, and she could research and use her own material. She did not purchase a textbook because she wanted to find short stories online for the class to use. This became very difficult because it was like she was writing the curriculum for the class. The next year she decided to purchase a text book, and also use material she found from the internet.

I commented on Ms. Worrell's post saying, she has been an inspiration to me, and I have learned a lot from her blog. I told her, I have got overwhelmed with a few assignments I had in college. We have to write lesson plans, and there is so much information to use that I get very overwhelmed. After reading her post, I see that you can not only use the text book, but also find your own sources for information. I enjoy reading her blog and look forward to the next post I am assigned.

C4T #2 Post #2

The second of Ms. Worrell's post I commented on was Experimenting with gif's. She loaded four different GIFs that she and her classmate made during a quickfire activity. They had an hour to figure out and create a GIF in class. She posted four of the GIFs they made, and they were quite entertaining.

I commented saying that I have heard of the computer term GIF before, but I never really knew much about it. After watching her videos, they made me laugh, and I want to learn more about making one.

I asked her what website she and her classmate used to create the gifs. I would love to use this in my classroom, and get my students to make one to experience this form of technology.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blog Post #7

Our group had different opinions on the videos. We agree the videos were quite informative and interesting, and that Dr. Strange and Mr. Capps did a very good job with explaining project based learning (PBL) and iCurio. We do not have such differing opinions as a whole, but we do differ on how we feel about specific aspects of this blog post.

The first video interview with Anthony Capps about Project Based Learning was a great example of a project that can be used in the classroom. The project Anthony instructed with his third grade class was to write letters to the congress about if women should be able to serve in the armed forces. The students had to critique each other’s work and choose 8 letters out of the 28 letters written to send.

I think editing and critiquing classmates work is a great way to teach students what not to do when writing a letter. The students will see the mistakes their classmates made, and they will not make those same mistakes on the next project.

Thomas very much liked Capps’ examples of PBL especially the Afghanistan culture example.

Thomas found that he already knew much of the information that was presented. He knew and understood the concepts of PBL. He had a project that illustrates his knowledge of it, and it remains within the same consistency of these videos. Though, he wish he had these videos when he began learning about PBL. He liked the direct examples of actual learning that had occurred through utilizing PBL. He thinks it would be more beneficial to have linked it with his project where he was actually learning about PBL, rather than having him summarize it.

We all agree that project based learning is an effective way of learning. This project shows how students get excited about the letters, and what kind of responses they received. Choosing the 8 letters got them to think critically and be non-bias.

Our group has different opinions on this iCurio interview as well. The iCurio Video with Anthony Capps was about what iCurio can provide to the students and the teachers.

It explains that iCurio is used by students as a safe search engine. Students can search and explore the material in iCurio, which is pulled from the internet and monitored for student use. The material also follows the standards for all the different states, so the teacher can make material available from whichever state is applicable. The children will then learn according to those standards. Anthony explained, students can save what they find when researching and start organizing their resources online with folders.

Teachers can find sources, and specifically make them available to students. It is also an organizational tool for teachers as well.

We agree this is a wonderful tool for the children. The children will learn from searching and exploring along with getting organized through iCurio, which is a very important aspect to their future. Teachers will not have to worry about the students searching and finding something inappropriate because iCurio is monitored and edited for student use.

Thomas had the same feelings about iCurio video as he did for the Project Based Learning videos.

Thomas still considered this to be an interesting discrepancy that he had with Dr. Strange and our group, and he felt that it should be asserted. If you were to go through his PBL presentation and his icurio presentation, you would gather the same information these videos present. So, he feels this post should be about something else, and the videos should be justly linked to the projects that they are connected to.

As a group, we agree these videos are very informative. Thomas just thinks they should have been presented to us before we completed the projects on Project Based Learning and iCurio.

Additional thoughts about lessons by: Jamie Baxter

Anthony Capps did an excellent job when explaining lesson plans in four layers. The first layer is thinking about the entire year, and how your lessons will be sufficient. He explains, the teacher needs to think of goals and concepts the students should learn throughout the year. These concepts can be broken down into units, which is the second layer he described. This will allow teachers to plan the lesson over a course of time, and not expect the students to know everything in one day. The teacher can start with one aspect the first day, and by the end of the unit the students will know everything the teacher is trying to teach in that unit. The third layer is the teacher’s plan for a week. The teacher needs to figure out what the students need to learn each week, and make sure everything is covered within that week. The fourth layer is the lesson plan for each day of the week. This has all the details that are being taught that day. This could include activities for the students and the questions the teacher wants to ask the students. All of these layers are equally important when a teacher plans her lessons.

I find this explanation about lesson planning very important and useful. When you break it into these layers, it makes it easier to adjust your lessons to be more efficient for your students. It will also be easier to make sure you cover everything you want to in the school year. I am going to use this when I start making my lesson plans in my classroom.

Don’t Teach Tech- Use It- by: Thomas Leytham

This video does a good job explaining how to properly utilize technology in the classroom to make for better learning experiences. Honestly, the title says it all. Don’t just teach technology, utilize it.

As my dissent describes, I find that for many of these videos, there are better places for them to be placed, and this video falls in the same category. I believe it should have connected either with blog post 2 or blog post 3.

Blog post 2 is discussing utilizing technology and it could be effectively placed there. Blog post 3 discusses podcasts, and there were many points that stated not to teach podcasting, but to teach through podcasting. Though, I believe post 3 needs a facelift completely, and I’m unsure this video will be as applicable there after that occurs. (Read my blog post 3 to see my opinion about this.)

I wish I had more to add about this video. But since I already understood the information, I was a little bored and didn’t learn anything personally.

Project #13

Our Lesson Plan is a project in which the students are hired as a shot analyst for an All-Star Soccer team. The students will use Geometry to determine the region in which to maximize their chances of scoring a goal, and to prepare some sketches to show coaches. The students need to convince the coaches that they can maximize their chances by using the ideas from the sketches.

This lesson plan will teach the students how to represent geometric figures, such as points, lines, planes, segments, rays, and angles pictorially with proper identification. They will distinguish between undefined and defined terms. They will also validate conclusions by constructing logical arguments using both formal and informal methods with direct and indirect reasoning.

Lesson Plan - Geo-Soccer Created by: Jamie Baxter, Savannah Rhodes, and Thomas Leytham

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

PLN Project # 2 Post 1

For my PLN I choose Symbaloo. I added some of the websites that I use frequently such as USA Online and PNC Bank. I am glad that Google, Facebook, Twitter and Gmail are on there because I use those everyday. There are a few education websites that I put on my Symbaloo that I plan on using in my future. I added iCurio, EDM310 Class Blog, and Sarah's Frist Grade Snippets. Sarah's First Grade Snippets is a blog I came across while doing one of my blog post that I found very useful. She has a lot of resources that will be helpful to me in my lesson planning. Symbaloo is going to be very helpful in my future because it will have all of my websites I need in one place.

My Symbaloo is not complete, and I will be adding websites and blogs throughout the year, for the rest of college, and into my teaching career.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

C4K Summary Post (September)

C4K #1

I commented on mj01's Blog Post This I Believe. This student is in Mrs. Martin's 1st Block class.

His post was about how sports helped him make better grades in high school. He was hanging out with the wrong crowd. When he got involved in sports, he was motivated to make better grades. He made friends with people that played his sport, he never thought he would.

I commented saying, that I really enjoyed his post. Extracurricular activities are a great way to stay involved in school and meet new people. Also, that all athletes need to know they need to have good grades before they can play sports.

C4K #2

My Second C4K was to post on Damon A.'s blog post Guess Who am I?. He had to write a poem in a point of view, and the teacher asked us to identify which one he was using. His poem was about a fight in the lunch room. The teacher called Damon to come help catch the kids that were fighting. Damon went to his car and got his canine dog to help catch the kids.

I commented telling Damon that it was a great post, and he used the first person point of view. I told him to keep up the good work!

C4K #3

My C4K this week was Taunese from New Zealand. His post My Life's a stage presentation was a presentation about life's a stage.

I commented saying that he did an excellent job on his presentation. I told him I loved how the first slide has pictures from the presentation. It was an overview of the presentation, and I thought it was very creative. I told him to keep up the good work!

C4K #4

Cheyenne is in Mr Rhosus' 6th Grade Class. I commented on her post, How Much Does the Sky Weigh?
I commented saying, her post was very creative and funny! She used a comparison of how many adult elephants it would take to equal the weight of the sky. I told her that I loved that comparison because it was very creative. She did a fantastic job on this post.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Project #8 Book Trailer

Blog Post #6

Students learn and gain understanding of the material being taught if teachers ask questions. It not only benefits the students, but also allows the teacher to see if the students are learning the material efficiently while they are teaching the lesson.

There are certain aspects teachers should think about when asking a question to students. It is important for teachers to ask questions during the lesson and not wait until the end of class. Students tend to tune the teacher out when it is getting close to dismissal. Teachers do not need to ask more than one question at once. The students need to be thinking and elaborating on one question at a time, to get the full learning benefit from the question. Teachers need to follow a "yes or no" question with another question. This will allow the students to provide examples or further discuss the "yes or no" answer from another student.

Teachers need to avoid asking “leading questions” and ask “open” questions to students. A leading question is a question in which can only be answered with one response. It does not allow the students to think and brainstorm on the answer. There are many reasons why teachers should ask “open” questions. These types of questions can teach a student to clarify a vague comment, prompt students to explore attitudes, values, or feelings, see a concept from another perspective, and predict possible outcomes.

When teachers plan lessons for a class session, they need to include notes for when they need to pause and ask a question to the class. This will make the class more interactive, and the students will learn while listening to the other students answers the questions. It is a great way for teachers to see if their students understand or misunderstand the material that is being taught throughout the lesson.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blog Post #4

Langwitches' Blog post Flat Stanley Podcast is about a first grade class who read the book Flat Stanley by Jim Brown. The class brainstormed with their teacher, and they came up with a story line for their audio segment. They would be flattened by the smartboard and sent in an envelope all around the world. The students picked a book, did research on the location of their choice, and created a script for the audio recording. The teacher reminded the students and their parents that this is an audio recording, so the children need to think about the senses and sound effects they can use to help portray the mood: How did it feel to be mailed? How did it sound and smell at the places. What did they see?

After listening to this adorable podcast made by the first grade students, I now get a sense of what it is like to make a podcast. The children expressed a sense of excitement in their voice while reading their segment in the audio recording. The change in their voices and the sound effects helped the listener know what was happening in the audio segment.

I will definitely use sound effects and change the tone of my voice when completing my podcast assignment.

Langwitches' Blog post Listening-Comprehension-Podcasting is about a group of students who are studying the story of Purim. The teachers decided to record the story as a podcast for the parents of the students. The students all recorded sentences from the story out of order. Then the students listened to the clips over and over again and put them in order. They said the sentences in English as well as Hebrew, so they would learn the Hebrew words. The children had fun while listening to their recorded clips. Listening to vocabulary words is a great way to learn the words of a different language.

After reading and listening to this post, I now realize the value of podcasting for children. The students learned the sounds of the Hebrew words when doing this exercise of recording the story of Purim. The children also showed off their creativity with their parents, which will motivate them to be more imaginative and resourceful.

Langwitches' Blog post Podcasting with First Grade is about a class of first graders who were reading Vacation under the Volcano by Mary Pope Osborne which is from the Magic Tree House Series.
The podcast the class created was an interview with the two main characters of the book. The students had a great time recording all of the different segments. Even shy students who did not talk much, came out of their shell and talked in the podcast. After editing and adding sound effects, the students were really eager to hear the audio recording the next day.

What did the students learn from this lesson? They learned many skills such as:
  • listening
  • speaking
  • presenting
  • comprehension
  • storytelling
  • performance
  • voice acting
  • oral fluency
  • media
  • technology

This blog post showed me that students can learn many skills from podcasting. I never realized how out of date some of the classrooms are that I have seen lately. I can not wait to have a classroom of my own, and use technology to its fullest to get students involved with collaborating and communicating with one another.