Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Blog Post #10

When I first began this assignment, I was not excited to see how long this video was. However, after watching it, I am so glad we did. Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Melon University. Prior to giving this talk "The Last Lecture" he found out he had cancer, and he was only going to live another 4-6 months.

In this video Pausch talks about his childhood dreams. These included experiencing zero gravity, developing rides at Disney World, being Captain Kirk, being an author in the World Book Encyclopedia, and playing in the NFL. He then goes on to tell us short stories about each of these dreams, and how he succeeded to meet or fail at them. He states that there are brick walls for a reason. They are there to show us how much we really want something. While trying to accomplish his goal of being in the NFL, he learned of something called head fake. His coach put them on the football field to practice without a ball. When asked why, his coach told them it was because they were going to work on what the 21 people without the ball are suppose to do. This became a very important aspect of Pausch's teaching.

Paucsh used "head fake" as a way of teaching his students indirectly. His main project is Alice, a way of teaching computer programming. His students think they are just learning how to make video games and movies, but really they are learning much more. However, he did not tell us what exactly. We will have to wait for the next version of Alice. This is part of his never-ending desire for fun learning. It is important for the kids to have fun while being taught.

Pausch went of to explain how the many influential people in his life helped him reach his goals and get to where he is today.

His lecture points out how important it is to work hard, stay loyal, never give up, and receive feedback with understanding that those people are trying to make you better.

The last curve ball he threw was at the end of the lecture. He surprises everyone stating that the lecture was not meant for the audience, but that it was all the things he wanted his own children to know.

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture was very powerful and very inspirational. I am very glad I got the chance to watch it. It will really make you think about what your dreams and goals are, and how you should achieve them.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Post #9

Blog Post #9 - By: Shakeya Andrews, Tracy Armstrong, and Emma Boren 
What can we learn from these teachers? 

Back to the future 
We learned that there are many teaching styles that we can use to help students. In ”Back to the future,” the students in the video were in the 4th, 5th, and 6th, grade and they lived in poverty. The teacher realized that the students were not very knowledgeable of where they lived and their phone number after giving them a survey. Brian revealed in his survey that the students lacked knowledge by no fault of their own but because of the narrow curriculum. Even though the students lived in poverty, there were still opportunities for the students to receive a valuable education, which was proved in Brian’s video. As future educators we should know that not all of our students will have knowledge of the things that they should know that’s why It is important to allow our students to be creative in the classroom and to be interactive with each other. When we allow students to interact with other students they will be able to think on their own and share common thoughts. In the class the students learned to create by hands on experiment which is what we plan to do in our classroom. We also learned that students can be empowered and motivated when collaborating on their own. 

It seems that a good teacher is one who empowers, motivates and includes every student in the learning process. We learned that as future educators it is important to use various tools and resources that will spark imagination and creativity to build passion among our students. Brian used tools such as skype, class blogs, and videos to connect his students globally, to gain an audience, and even to include the students sick classmates in the learning environment. The requirements of the ACCRS were met when students tied into a learning network with a school in New Zealand and shared what they learned through reading and writing. Also, students invited their community and inspired other students around the world by blogging about their “high hopes.” By watching the video our group learned that students can benefit from real world experiences like the students in Brian’s video did when Brian brought in an engineering graduate student to talk and work with them. The students were engaged by actively building a boxcar of their own. One of the most important lessons we learned from this video was once students were given the opportunity to build schema for the world, they were empowered and motivated to teach other students. as we so eloquently witnessed through the teaching of the can crushing method to other students by Brian’s students via skype. 
Back to the Future 

Blended Learning Cycle 
There are 5 E’s to learning science, which are engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluate. The five E’s can be blended with online resources and classroom instruction. The video instructs us that it’s okay to stop and make sure we have an understanding of what is going on. In fact, the teacher says he doesn’t allow his students to go on to the next level until he is sure that they can summarize and understand what they have learned. He doesn’t encourage burp back education and neither should we. We want our students to be able to take what they have learned and apply it to daily experiences. 

Mobile, online, and classroom learning blended together is Paul Andersen’s definition of The Blended Learning Cycle. Two things were presented in this video. One was the power of the question and the other was the power of learning. Andersen explained that learning begins with a question that really gets the students attention. He went on the explain the acronym, “QUIVERS.” “QU” is for the question or the the hook to begin the learning process. “I” is for the investigation or experiment that the class will conduct. It also stands for inquiry. “V” is for the use of videos in place of lectures. “E” is for elaboration through reading the textbook in order to gain more depth and to practice problems. “R” is for review of the lesson by meeting with each student individually to ask them question to test their understanding. Last but not least is “S,” which stands for summary quiz. We also learned that another tool that can be used to teach students it live data.
Blended Learning Cycle 

Making Thinking Visible 
After completing assignments students worked in small groups to talk about what they learned in a previous lesson. We learned that we should ask questions that will challenge our students after they have done a project. The students seemed to be more interested and involved when they were asked to think about what they did in the previous lesson and it also helped the teacher know who was really involved in what they were learning. 

In Mark Church’s video, Making Thinking Visible,” we learned about the power of collaboration. It seems like this works best when students work together in small groups. The students were able to come up with their headline by bouncing ideas off one another through brainstorming. 
Making Thinking Visible 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

C4T Summary

Connect Educators
This week I comment on a blog post by Kevin Bennett, Connect Educators: Putting Aside Politics for Practice. His post was about the negative feedback teachers can get from the press, or from outside people in general. He states that it is important to stay focused on our job at hand because we shape children's lives, and it is the only K-12 experience that they will ever get. He says that there are three ways for teachers to get connected and feel empowered. These three things are to join a professional learning community, go beyond your profession, and keep moving forward. These three things will help you to get new ideas from other people in the teaching profession, nourish your soul and help you make a commitment with yourself, and help you find ways to step out and push forward.

In my response I told him who I was and that I was an education student at South Alabama. I thanked him for his insightful post. I think it is a great thing for future teachers to read, as well as present teachers, because it gives you a good outlook on our profession. I do think it is important to stay focused on the children because like he said it is their only chance!

Science Notebooks
The other teacher blog I commented on was by Jane Fung. This blog was about way to make the kids "think like scientists". Ms. Fung uses notebooks with her children keep up with their information and become more complex thinkers. She uses hers for science. She gave us tips on four different ways to use these science notebooks. The first was to get students to use them as reference sheets. This just means getting students to copy down a definition or a diagram or pictures to use for later reference. The next way is for recording discoveries. This means that the students will write down there own understanding of different concepts. The third way is to capture evidence of learning or understanding. This means the teacher checks the students notebooks to see if they are understanding. The last way to use these notebooks is to watch the students progress over the year. This just means that at the end of the year, you can go back to the beginning and see how much the child grew with their entries throughout the year. Ms. Hung thinks that this science notebooks are very powerful resources in the classroom. Read her blog on the Teacher Channel, Ms. Jane Fung.

In my response,  I told her that I was majoring in education. I also told her that I thought this was a wonderful idea. I think it is a great idea for science, and I think that it could be incorporated into other subjects also! I told her that I hoped to use this idea in my classroom when I have one because I thought it would be very helpful to the children.

Blog post #8

21st Century Teaching Tools by Emma Boren 
This 21st Century teaching tool that I chose was blabberize. This website makes pictures talk. This way, I, as the teacher, could put up pictures that show what we are learning, and incorporate what they should say to help the students learn. I think this would catch the students attention in a way that I couldn’t. They could get online and browse through the pictures and take in the information. I know when I was growing up, I would have enjoyed something like this. It was so hard for me to pay attention all day in the classroom. I believe that I could make this website fun and informational for my students. Visit Blabberize for more information. Another tool I would use in my classroom would be instructional video games. Such examples are World of Warcraft, Civilization IV, and Diplomacy. These video games are educational, and they would definitely interest the children. In today’s society, all kids do it seems like is play video games. I believe that these games would be useful tool to put in centers and let the children play in their free time. I don’t think there is a better way to keep a child’s attention. I want my classroom to be fun, but I also want the kids to be learning. I think that these would be ways to make my classroom different and make learning fun! I also think it would be a good way to get the kids adapted to technology.

21st Century Learning and Communicating Tools by: Tracy Armstrong
The learning tool that I will use when I begin my career as second or third grade teacher is Spree Learning. This is website that has multiple educational games that promote learning, exploring, thinking, and questioning while bringing high levels of engagement. On spree learning games.com, you can search for games by subject, age or grade level. The site even contained games that were appropriate for children with autism. One of these games in particular autism emotions game allowed the autistic students to adjust separate parts of the face to represent common emotions. Although, I am not planning to enter the special education phase, I know how important is is to be prepared and ready for whatever may come my way.I also think that one of the challenges of educating students with special needs is to be able to keep them engaged in the learning environment. I will use this tool to to help students acquire and practice skills that are needed to enhance their understanding of science, math, art and history. I will also use this tool as a review of subjects that the students are learning at the time.I chose this tool because I think it will allow me to have all of the students completely and totally engaged 100% of the time. This tool will also allow for the students to have fun while learning.

21st Learning and Communicating Tools by: Shakeya Andrews 
In my classroom I would like to use tools like Funbrain and Classroom Quizmo. I chose an online resource and a board game to give my students variety of in the classroom. I’m afraid that if I allow my students to use one type of learning tool they will become extremely bored and shut down. I chose Funbrain as one of my learning tools because it has many different subjects that the students can choose to work on. Funbrain is also an online website that includes some of the subjects included in the Alabama Common Core Standard like reading and math. On the Funbrain website there are a list of different math, reading, and fun arcade games for students to explore. There are also word puzzles, comic books, and fill in the blank stories for students to access on Funbrain. The website is not hard to access and the students do not have to create a username nor password to login in they simply go to the website, click on what they want to work on, and get started. I hope to spend at least an hour a week on Funbrain in my classroom or allow students the opportunity to use it during their free time. The activities on Funbrain includes work for children in grades kindergarten through 8th grade. Hopefully my second graders will find interest in the website and use it as a tool to use throughout elementary and middle school. I found funbrain resourceful because on the webpage there are grade levels listed and activities listed below each grade level so that students can work on a lesson that suits what they know. To me the page is organized well enough for a 2nd grader to be able to use without someone supervising them. I would also like to use Quizmo in my classroom. Quizmo is a board game that deals with math, phonics, spelling, writing, and much more. Find out what Quizmo has to offer for your classroom.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Project 13

C4K September Summary

This I believe...
The first week I commented on a blog by a student who named themselves "American Eagle". This blog post was a post about something they believed in. This child believes in hard work. They stated that hard work is what helps you to make money and make a living, and they also stated that hard work will make people respect you. This child also put that if you do not work hard you will not be able to help yourself. They then gave an example of a time they had to mow their aunt's yard and the mower engine went out, and they had to go get a new one to finish the job. However, they did finish the job!

In my response comment to them, I told them my name and that I was a student in EDM 310 at South where I also had to do a blog. I then gave them a link to blog and asked them to check it out. I also stated that I thought hard work was a great thing to believe in! I, too, think that hard work is a necessity to succeeding. Things don't always come easy. Hard work always pays off! I also gave them a little tip; this tip was just to proofread their post for errors before posting it. 
(Link to This I believe... American Eagle's Blog Post)

All About Cool Owls 
This week, I commented on a little girl named Kaitlynne's blog. They learned about owls that day, and she put together a short presentation on the information she had learned. In her presentation she put a picture of what owls look like. It has lines that pointed out each area of the owl and what it was called. She also put in an interesting fact about owls that I didn't even know! They have two eyelids to help them sleep during the day. She added in what they eat and where they live. 

In my comment to her, I told her who I was and that I was an EDM 310 student at South Alabama. I told her that her presentation had a lot of good information. It was also very colorful and attention grabbing. It also had a lot of pictures. My tip to her was to be sure that her pictures did not cover up her words. I also gave her a link to my blog so she could take a look at it.
(Kaitlynne's Blog)

How Much Does the Sky Weigh? 
In this week, I commented on a girl named Janie's blog post "How much does the sky weigh?". Her blog stated that air is all around us, it goes from the ground to the sky. She told us that air is made up of molecules and that all of these molecules have a weight. She informed us also that the air weighs approximately 5 million billion tons! She also says that scientists say this is about equal to 570,000,000,000,000 adult Indian elephants!! She also states, luckily, this is all evenly distributed over the earth, but that it does add 15 pounds to every square inch of our bodies.

In my comment to her I told her that her post was very informative. I told her that I didn't even know that, and I am in college! (I really didn't know any of what she posted about!) My tip to her was to be sure to review for typos before posting. Other than that, it was a really good post! I also told her my name and that I was in a blogging class EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama, and I gave her a link to my blog.
(Janie's Blog)

Blog Post #7

Collaborative Blog Post
PBL Part 1
Project Based Learning allows students to create a project using all the contents that the state requires. Because the students have to know the state contents, PBL is content driven.PBL has an audience, gains student interest and involves the community in order to show real life scenarios. In PBL part one, Icurio was used to write Congressman Bonner thus covering the reading writing and social studies standards of ACCRS. The students really liked this project and they were very engaged. We also learned that reflection and revision are the most crucial parts of PBL.

PBL Part 2
In this summary with Anthony, he shared with us that not everything is going to go well so always be prepared to improvise. Anthony gave an example of how one parent did not approve of the assignment and because Anthony respected the parents concern, he allowed the student to create an alternate project. Anthony gave another example of how things can go wrong when he shared with us what happened when the state representative came for a classroom visit and the comic strip website was not responding. Anthony decided to incorporate some art tips that he received from Dr. Vitulli. Needless to say, when all the representative arrived, ALL of the students were engaged and Anthony and his class won their approval. We also learned to never limit our students and create the opportunity for them to go beyond what we are asking. Also, give the students a choice in regards to PBL because it gives them ownership of their work.By using PBL students know what they are doing and why they are doing it.

Icurio per Anthony’s definition, is an on-line tool that students can safely use to search websites that have been polled and filtered for educational purposes. Students can search for images, video, audio and texts. Icurio is good for all grade levels. One of the features of icurio is its storage capacity. This feature allows the students to store content that they find valuable. It also gives the students practice at organizing themselves on line via the folders.Icurio also saves automatically. This is good because students may have to leave in a hurry or they will be able to collect all of their material so that they can go back and finish it later if needed. Some more features are the time line and the historical figures feature. The latter is good for history projects or current event assignments. It allows the student to search by criteria. Icurio is learning disabled friendly. It contains a read aloud feature for students that struggle in that area.

Discovery Ed
In his Discovery Ed video, Anthony explained to us some of the advantages of Discovery Ed. One advantage is that it is good for visual as well as audio learners. Because the text article is coupled with visual materials, the students retain a lot more. This tool also enhances research material by bringing experts into the classroom via videos. Discovery Ed is a great tool for social studies and science. Anthony said that his students associate Discovery Ed with reading but on a higher level because of all the different kinds of illustrations.

The Anthony-Strange list of tips by Emma Boren
The video that I watched summarized Dr. Strange and Anthony’s list of what we should do as teachers (The Anthony-Strange list of tips for teachers part 1). As teachers, what can we do to better our classroom and the learning environment for our students. In this video, Dr. Strange and Anthony listed their top 6 things that we can do. The first is, “be a learner”. It is important for teachers to also be learners. We cannot teach without first learning. I think teachers do, or should, continuously learn throughout our whole teaching experience. The second thing is, “be flexible”. Anthony gave an example from his classroom, where the internet servers were out so he had his students on the floor painting. Things do not always go as planned in a classroom. Things happen that cause teachers to get behind like lack of cooperation from the students. It is important for teachers to be willing to change their plans to adapt to whatever is happening that day. Sometimes, changing your plan is necessary. It is important to be flexible and not worry that you aren’t on your set schedule. The next thing is “hard work”. Being a teacher is really hard work. A lot goes into the planning, the teaching, and the hands on of teaching. However, it is also very rewarding when everything goes right and your students get it. As stated in the video “it is hard work, but it is exciting!” Next is reflect; students need a purpose to reflect. This is why presentations can be helpful. Presentations make students go back and look at their work because they know they will be standing up and showing their powerpoint or talking about their topic in front of a bunch of people. I know that is true for me because if I have to get up in front of people to talk, I will look at the information over and over again until I think it is as good as it can get. Last was to start with a goal. I do agree that this is important. As teachers, we should definitely have a goal of what we want to accomplish in this school year. What do we want our students to learn? What do we want them to accomplish? What do we want them to walk away with this year? Being a teacher takes a lot of thinking and a lot of planning to give the students the best year they can have, but I think it will be completely worth it!

Additional Thoughts About Lessons by: Tracy Armstrong
Anthony says that lessons should be four layers thick. The first layer being how the lesson fits in with your year. The second is dividing the layers into units. The unit projects are done in stair steps so that by the end of the 6-8 week unit, subject should be mastered. The third layer is the week. The week should be devised so that you can get everything done. In other words, set goals for the week. The fourth layer is the daily lesson. This layer is just as important as the weekly, unit and yearly plan. This layer should contain a hook that will keep the students attention while learning. During this part of the lesson, the teacher must measure what the students learn in one day so that he can know what do do on the next day. During the course of the year, all content standards should be covered and the curriculum must be written.

Use Tech Don’t Teach it by: Shakeya Andrews
Anthony says that you should not teach technology. He believes that as a teacher you should not include a list of things that students need to get done using technology. I find this statement to be interesting because it is rewarding when you learn how to work a product or solve something on your own without any help. In the video, Anthony says that it is best to use Project based learning to help students learn how to use technology. Meaning allow students to use different learning tools such as Imovie and Podcast. Anthony allowed his students to use imovie, which is a tool that we have used multiple times in EDM 310 this semester. Just like our EDM 310 class Anthony did not teach his students how to use Imovie he allowed them to explore imovie and create a project by themselves. Trial and error is always a good learning technique to use because it allows students to be creative and find new techniques to use when learning. In http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqqmq_hEPms it Anthony says that his students have learned to express themselves and be creative while using Imovie. Being creative creates excitement because when students are bored and frustrated from trying to follow instructions step by step they are unable to experiment and see what works for them. Also, Anthony informs us that is important to be aware that students will make mistakes when using technology, but hopefully with trial and error they will get better. Once our students master how to use technology, then they will be able to demonstrate what they have learned and how they learned how to complete the project or work the technology.