Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blog Assignment #14

According to Joel Klein in Teaching Can Be a Profession, problems schools face are

1. Needs to give more school choices to families
2. Needs to use technology to improve teaching and learning
3. Needs to adopt a knowledge-based curriculum
4. Needs to start a child's education before turning 5 years old

However, his biggest concern is that we need to make teaching a well-respected profession.

To solve these problems, Klein suggests

1. Recruiting people who are at the top of their class to be teachers
2. Choosing quality over seniority when having to downsize
3. Giving a "national teacher's examination" to test pedagogy and content knowledge

In my opinion, I am not sure if I agree that more school choices should be provided. The only reason is because some counties can not fund more schools, unless they are privately funded. I do agree that technology needs to be taken advantage of in schools. Baldwin County schools are already providing each students with a laptop, so we are striving to better our schools. I think adopting a knowledge-based curriculum would also be a good thing for schools. The students will learn about real world scenarios and will be more equipped when graduating. I also think children should start getting an education before they turn five years old. However, I think the parents should be the ones who provide this; I know this will never happen with some people in today's age. Some students are entering Kindergarten without even know how to write their name or the alphabet and this is very upsetting.

I completely agree that in some people's eyes, being a teacher is not as respectable as being a lawyer. However, lawyers only become so by having teachers.    So when people tell me that I should become something other than a teacher, I ask them how they got where they are. Even though being a teacher is not the "most respectable" job, teachers will always be needed. I want to be someone who helps change the way people think or make them think of something they never would have. The only way for me to do this, for me to make a change, is for me to become a teacher.

In conclusion, I agree with Mr. Klein  when he said, "Self-discipline and high standards can secure the future of public schools." However, I only agree with some of the "problems" he sees in the schools system, I also do not see the solutions occurring unless there are some radical changes that occur to make more people see teaching as a respectable profession.

Blog Assignment #5 - PLN Part 2

At the beginning of the semester, we were asked to create a Personal Learning Network. At first, I did not know what that was and I had very little to add to mine. According to EduBlogs, a PLN allows a teacher to connect with other educators or resources from around the world. At the start of the semester, my PLN consisted of relatives who are teachers, past and current professors, and a few other teachers who I know personally.

Now as EDM 310 comes to an end, I have increased my Personal Learning Network. My PLN now includes Symbaloo, which will help me stay organized as a teacher. I will also use Blogger or another blogging site in my future classroom to publish students' work and to communicate with parents. I will also use Tweet Deck to stay connected to veteran teachers from all over the world. I know my PLN will continue to grow as I continue my education and learn about what is available to me. For example, I will most likely add future teachers. However, right now, I believe I have a good start.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blog Assignment #13 - What did I leave out?

What should I prepare for as I start this journey as a school teacher?


1. Read the articles What I Wish I'd Known as a New Teacher 

2. Watch Behind the Scenes: If I Knew Then and If I Knew Then

3. Go to the Resource Toolkit for New Teachers and choose one resource provided.

4. Write a post and discuss what advice you will take with you from these veteran teachers as you begin your journey as a new teacher.

My post: 

In the article What I Wish I'd Known as a New Teacher, Elena Aguilar discussed that the end of October is very hard for new teachers; there is a graph that proves so. She wants new teachers to know they are not the only ones who feel this way. She says during these trying times we should remember

1. This will get better
2. Always work from the heart.
3. They will remember this about you.
4. Be open to surprises.
5. Find a coach.
6. And if you can't find a coach, MOVE to another school.

In the video, Behind the Scenes: If I Knew Then and If I Knew Then, teachers were given the prompt, "If you could write a letter to yourself on your first day of teaching, what words of encouragement and insight would you offer?" What I learned from the videos is to try crazy things, even if they do not work out, that will be what my students remember. I should also not expect everything to work out quite like I expect it to. But I should not be afraid of failure. One day before I start teaching, I want to write what I expect to achieve my first year teaching and then at the end of the year, read it and reflect on what I could change. I really enjoyed these two videos.

Preparing, Planning, and Support gives advice on how to make a school year successful. The first step is to Prepare for the first days. In the article Back to School: Preparing for Day One, lists six steps to be prepared for the first day, which are

1. Be Organized, Tidy, and Ready
2. Have Too Much and Too Many of Everything
3. Over plan the Lesson
4. Rehearse
5.Be Ready for Anything and Everything
6. Start Learning Names Immediately

The second step is to Review Planning and Time Management Tips. There is a resource called the 7-Step Prep: Make a Weekly Plan for YOU which gives advice to make planning easier. The steps are to Select a Tool, Have a Meeting with Yourself, Set Priorities for the Week, List all Meeting and Appointments, Determine how to Use Free Time, Allow Flexibility, and Review and Adjust Daily.

The third step is to Build a Personal Learning Network. 5 Tips for New Teachers to Become Connected Educators are being able to define what being a connected teacher is, being knowledgeable about Web 2.0, being willing to join social media networks, becoming a blogger, and being reflective and reaching out.

The fourth step is to collaborate to avoid isolation and find sources of support. Collaboration is very important because it makes sure a teacher does not get burned out.

The fifth step to ensure a successful school is to Take Care of Yourself. In Teacher Burnout: What are the Warning Signs, teacher burnouts can be caused by lack of preparation, lack of autonomy, difficult student behavior, lack of support and interpersonal conflict, and boredom. If teachers start to feel burned out, they need to reconnect with a purpose. Students want to learn, so they need teachers who want to teach. The collateral damage of a burned out teacher is a burned student. Therefore, we need to stay connected to be the best educator we can be for our students.

This wasn't covered in my educational courses

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

C4Ta #4 - Dean Shareski

The Teachers We Need

Dean Shareski is blogging about how the role of the teacher has changed from 1988 (when he went to college) to 2015. The teacher does not have to be a good instructor anymore, but rather a designer, guide, and emotional and personal need support. There used to be an unwritten agreement that schools would provide academics and parents would provide emotional support. However, schools are taking on a broader role due to the lack of support from home. This is difficult for some teachers who were taught to be just educators. It is not possible to be a teacher who does not possess the commitment to care about and for children.

I completely agree that teachers need to provide emotional support to their students. Having to observe school environments for classes, I have seen teachers who provide the emotional support to students who do not receive it elsewhere. I have also seen teachers who do not and only care about instructing the students as Shareski said. I want to be the type of teacher a student will look back on and say, "She cared." I will not only guide my students, but I will also care for them.


My Ongoing Struggle With Diffusing the Impact of Grades
In this blog post, Mr. Shareski talks about why he does not like giving grades. He says that grading takes up a lot of time and effort. He wants his students to reflect and he wants to be able to give them timely and insightful feedback. Therefore, he came up with a template that he gives his students to evaluate themselves after each assignment.
After each module’s assignment you’ll be asked to submit via dropbox, your personal self assessment. Here is a simple template to follow. For each heading consider writing 2-3 sentences at most.
What I did well this week: Write about your feelings on how well you communicated or completed the assignment
What I struggled with: Think about any struggles related to the concept, the relevance or any technical issues you may have had.
My interactions: This is where you can reflect both interactions within your post or with interactions you participated in or observed with your classmates. Focus on comments of others that made you think.
My grade: Based on the guidelines, how would you grade yourself out of 10. In general, this is how I would like you to approach your grading:
10- Perfect. Not only did you hit all the guidelines but you did so to the highest level. (Note, I doubt many will hit this but I may be surprised)
9-Outstanding. Hit all almost all the guidelines and those that didn’t may not have added to the post. Something you would be happy to share with your colleagues.
8-Solid. Met the majority of the guidelines. Felt like you covered all your basis fairly well.
7-Good. Nothing amazing but still useful and at the level of a grad student
6-Okay. Mostly covered the content but lots of holes and missing guidelines.
5-Barely acceptable. You can make the argument that you’ve fulfilled the requirements but at a minimal level. Easy to tell that it’s rushed or lacks much depth or effort.
How I might improve this assignment or module: If you have any suggestions, please add them.
For the most part, Shareski gave his students the grade they gave themselves, unless he completely disagreed with them. He said that this technique really works and he will continue to use it until he comes up with a new way to grade his students.
I think Shareski has a good technique, having the students self-evaluate. However, I feel as if some students would not be honest about what grade they should receive. I guess that is why Shareski evaluates the work as well to see if the students are being truthful. Also I agree with him asking what he should do if a student gives himself a 10 and Shareski thinks the work is an 8 or 9, what grade should the students receive? I think this would be my problem with letting the students self-evaluate or at least with the template Shareski uses. If I have my students self-evaluate, I would want to tell my students exactly what I am looking for and then let them decide if they met the standards or not.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Blog Assignment #11

What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?

In Back to the Future, I learned that as a teacher, I need to think outside of the box! Brian Crosby from Agnes Risney Elementary School in Sparks, Nevada, talks about how he used Project Based Learning to create a hot air balloon. The children had to write stories about being the hot air balloon. The children learned about air pressure changes and recorded a video to embed into their blog. The students then wrote other classes around the world to send their "high hopes" and they placed them, along with their own and a video camera, and sent the balloon off. The students watched the balloon travel by using Google Maps and watched the video feed from the balloon. This project really was outside of the box.

In the Blended Learning Cycle and Paul Anderson is all about flipping classrooms. Blended learning is blending online, mobile, and classroom by using the five E's, Engage, Explore, Explain, Expand, and Evaluate.
We also need to incorporate QUIVERS which stands for
Summary Quiz

Spider Man Quote
I really liked Sam Payne's 5th Grade. We need to teach our children about internet safety and reliable internet sources. We also need to make sure our students are specific. In one part of the video, a students said "gives information," Payne replied that if he is going to say that, he needs to state what kind of information is being given. Another lesson we can learn from Sam Payne is to keep our lessons relevant to the students. Payne was teaching 5th grade and was teaching about internet safety by letting the students create a super hero. Any child in elementary school would love to build their own super hero, so Payne made sure he was relating to the students' interests. Another lesson we can learn from Payne (and Spider Man) is that "With great power comes great responsibility."

Project Based Learning is a video about integrating subjects into one class by using Project Based Learning. By doing so, the students have more time to work on their projects. The students are alos learning real world experiences. As a future teacher, I learned that I need to give good feedback and to never let my students give up just because they think they are done. Getting feedback from myself and their peers, a student may have to correct a project multiple times, but it will be an end result that they are proud of.


Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program gives a simple definition of Project Based Learning. PBL is
In depth learning
Integrated thematic instruction
Based on a "real world" problem
Research based
Project and presentation
PBL lets students show that they know the material without taking a test, they have to produce and present a project. PBL is based on a student's choice, the students decide how they want to do their project and the teacher is there as a tool. This makes the students self-motivated and puts them in charge of their own learning, which is what I like about it.

Project # 10 Interview Movie

My Interview Movie with Mrs. Tonya Lynn, Rosinton Elemetary School

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Blog Assignment #10

Ms. Cassidy

In Little Kids...Big Potential, Ms. Cassidy uses a variety of technology in her classroom. She uses blogs, wikis, videos, Skype, and Nintendo DS. I think incorporating these technologies gives her an advantage. For example, in my classroom, I would use wikis. Having students have the experience of asking advice or questions to people on the other side of the world is phenomenal. When the students said they asked about traditions and people from all over the world answered, I was amazed. The students are getting real information from real people, not people saying what they think to be true. I would also like to have a class blog. I think having that interaction with my students and letting them show off their accomplishments will be highly effective.

The problems I will face when using any type of technology in the classroom will be making sure the children are getting appropriate and correct responses when using wikis and blogging. The only thing to do as a teacher is to educate your students on how to verify information. I will also teach my students about internet safety; for example, not putting personal information on the internet. Being an elementary education major, I will have very young students; therefore, being safe when using the internet will be my number one priority.

I am very excited and looking forward to being an educator. We are in a new day and age than when I was in school. As Dr. Sharp has said, we do not and can not teach the way we were taught. Learning about all of the technology I can incorporate into my future classroom has my bursting with anticipation. Before starting EDM 310, I was apprehensive about using technology in the classroom. I was also afraid that my students would know more about the technology than I. However, after hearing these spectacular teachers, I now know that as long as I engage my students, we can all learn at the same time.

Other Resources:
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 1
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 2
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 3

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Blog Assignment #9

Project Based Learning
What Can Teachers and Students Teach Us About Project Based Learning

According to Seven Essentials for Project Based Learning a good project has to fulfill two criteria. Number one, students must see the project as meaningful. Number two, a meaningful project fulfills an educational purpose. The seven essentials to creating a good project are
1. Need to Know - it needs to be relevant
2. A Driving Question - gives a sense of purpost
3.Students Voice and Choice - the more, the better
4. 21st Century Skills - collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and use of technology
5. Inquiry and Innovation - guide students in real inquire
6. Feedback and Revision - Formalize the process
7. Publicly Present Product - students care about the quality more.

Project Based Learning for Teachers says, "project based learning has students working over an extended period of time answering a driving question. The question is deep and requires students to complete an end product to share their learning with others." When the Common Core State Standards are the "what," project based learning is the "how." Project Based Learning makes students use skills that they will not only need fore school, but also as adults.

Project Based Learning is not only for the core subjects, but it can also be used in Physical Education. In Project Based Learning in PE, Pflug states that he has high school students create create physical fitness programs for the middle school. In doing this, he is also meeting the State Standards because the students have to have knowledge of the physical education to create the programs.

English and math are the hardest subject to incorporate Project Based Learning; however, it can be done. In PBL - High School Math, the teachers have monthly staff meetings and a five day intensive summer institute to work on incorporating Project Based Learning. The teachers redesigned their courses and departmentally worked together to "inject" Project Based Learning into Math and English. It is important to remember that Project Based Learning will not look the same in every subject, if it did, it would not work. For example, when teaching probability in math, the students can create games using dice. However, creating games may not work for other subjects.

Two Students Solve the Problem of Watery Ketchup by Designing a New Cap is a video of two high school seniors, Tyler Richards and Jonathan Thompson, who were in a project based learning class and were given the prompt to come up with something relevant to them. The students started off with saying, "It really bugs me when..." The decided on when you squirt ketchup and water comes out and gets every where. So they designed a new lid to be placed on the ketchup bottle that prevents this from happening. I could not figure out what subject this class was for, science, math, etc. and I am not sure how it related to a school subject, unless it was Engineering or something separate from the core subjects. However, I think it is interesting how two high school students researched and designed this ketchup lid. I think Heinz needs to pick it up because I agree with Thompson, "Wet bread is gross!"

C4Ta #3 Wesley Fryer - Moving at the Speed of Creativity

Journeys in Podcasting

Wesley Fryer had an Interview with Chris Davis on "Journeys in Podcasting" Project. Fryer and Davis are both excited about podcasting, using it in the classrooms and using it to show other teachers what they are working on. The Journey in Podcasting Project is about people documenting projects and activities around campus, researching them and video casting them. The podcasters reach out to bigger names in education and use them as a type of research to incorporate in the podcasts. Davis states that after doing a video, a group gets together and discusses what needs to be added to it. It surprised him how much of a positive experience it has been making the podcasts.

Check it out: @chrisdaviscng
On iTunes
On Podbean

I thought this was an interesting concept for a blog. Instead of reading an article, there is a description and then a video. I think Journeys in Podcasting is a cool idea, how it is audio or video. I also like how they integrated ideas from highly intelligent thinkers in the education field. I will definitely be listening to some of the podcasts in my future.

Space Picture

Amazing Animated Space Films: Wanderers and New Horizons is an article about space videos shared with Wesley Fryer. I think sharing these videos with elementary school students would be really useful. The thought of space is a hard concept to grasp and looking at pictures does not do a student much good. However, watching a video and feeling like you are zooming through space really grasps a student's interests. Also, each video is educational; they are about events that have happened or are going to happen, For example, one video is about an upcoming mission to Pluto.

I really liked these videos. As an elementary school teacher, I will be teaching science, so having these resources shared by other teachers is helpful. I thought the videos were educational and will be a good tool to use. I liked looking at Wesley Fryer's blog because he shared a lot of resources that he and other teachers use in their classrooms.

Project 12 Part A

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Project #14

My group came up with a science lesson for our project. The lesson is about biomes and habitats. The students will be put into groups and each group will make an iMovie about one habitat. The first day the children will given an overview on the biomes and on how to make an iMovie. Day two through four, the students will research their habitat and make their iMovie. On the last day, the students will present the movie to the rest of the class. Attached below is the lesson plan, rubric, and calendar the teacher will use for the week.

Lesson Plan

iMovie Rubric


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Blog Assignment #8

Randy Pausch

On September 18, 2007, Randy Pausch gave his Last Lecture. This was not a normal lecture that a teacher would give in a classroom. This lecture was about how to achieve your dreams. This lecture was about how to live your life. Randy Pausch said that there are brick walls in life. The brick walls are there to show us how badly we want something, the let us prove how badly we want things, and let us show our dedication. When I become a teacher, I need to teach my students that simple statement. That yes, there will be brick walls or road blocks in life, but only the people who want something will move past them. If you sit there idol, that means that you did not want it bad enough.

Another thing I learned from Randy Pausch is that I should not limit my students. No matter how good their work is, there is always room for improvement. The greatest thinkers are never satisfied with their work. We always need to push ourselves and others to get better. Being satisfied with your work is just a disguised brick wall. If you settle for what you are doing, then you will never be the best you can be.

What can we learn about learning from Randy Pausch? We can learn to always have fun! Randy Pausch was given three to six months to live, yet he said he was going to have fun every day until he died. We can learn that life is full of "head fakes," things are not always as they seem. We need to learn to get more out of life. We need to learn to help others and put others first. We need to learn to never give up on our dreams, no matter how silly they are. Randy Pausch never gave up on his childhood dreams, he may have modified them, but he never gave up. We can learn many things from Randy Pausch and if ever anyone is feeling down or sorry for themselves, they need to watch this video. It could change the way they think forever.

C4Ta #2 Education Rethink - John T. Spencer

John T. Spencer
Website: Education Rethink
John T. Spencer

10 Ways to Improve Student Brainstorming
This is an artical by John T. Spencer about how students often struggle with brainstorming. Students have great ideas, brilliant even, but will say "I don't have any ideas." because they are afraid to share their ideas. So John T. Spencer created a list of ten ways to improve how students brain storm:

1. Have students brainstorm in isolation first.
2. Emphasize that there are not dumb ideas! List every one on the board.
3. Experiment with formatting.
4. Be clear in the brainstorming topic.
5. Be intentional about the brainstorming space. This means how you want them to sit, listen, and speak or if you want them to use technology or not.
6. Create breaks for individual reflection.
7. Have a brainstorm leader who write down the ideas, guides the brainstorming session, and makes sure there is no criticism.
8. Move students around.
9. Try multiple visual methods, paper and pencil, web lists, poster and markers, etc.
10. Do not use a timer. Children can panick when time is running out, so they do not come up with their very best ideas.

I will definitely use this list with my future class. I would even like to make a sign or poster to hang up in my class. I think any future teacher needs to read this article. Even though it is a simple list that some may think is common sense, I think it will affect brainstorming sessions dramatically. For example, number 8, moving students around, people may not think that just moving to a different location can change a brainstorming session but it can! If a teacher, current or future, wants their students to brainstorm and be creative, they need to go read the 10 Ways to Improve Student Brainstorming.

Five Ways Techers Can Limit the Fear of Creative Failure
Spencer starts this article by saying how he is working on a web design, yet he is hitting a wall. He can not decide how he wants the graphics to be done and he simply can not remember codes for somethings he wants to do. He goes on to say, how he is afraid of failure, he is afraid it will not work out right. Then the statement, "Ultimately, it's the fear, not the frustration, that kills creativity." Then he lists the Five Ways Teachers can Limit the Fear of Creative Failure:

1. Share your own fear as a maker.
2. Promote a growth mindset with students.
3. Encourage risk taking as a part of your classroom culture.
4. Switch to standards-based grading.
5. Keep the creative work meaningful to students.

Once again, I love Mr. Spencer's article. I think it is important to help students be creative. At one point in the article, Spencer states that when people become adults or get older, the quit dancing, they quit singing, and they quit stopping, observing, and wondering because they are afraid of being embarrassed or not being productive. I think this is very true and very sad. People in today's world get embarrassed too easily. I think to help children be creative and not be embarrassed, we as teachers have to learn to do the same.

Summary for John T. Spencer Overall, I loved reading John T. Spencer's articles. I will have to add him to my Personal Learning Network. Even though, I have thought the same things, I never really understood the impact a simple list can make on brainstorming and creativity. These rules should be common sense; however, some people do not think in the same way we do as teachers. I think everyone needs to read these two articles, and I will definitely read more of Mr. Spencer's work.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Blog Assignment #7

Using iMovie and Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarten is a video conversation between Dr. Strange, Michelle Bennett, and Elizabeth Davis discussing the use of iMovie and AVL in kindergarten classes. Mrs. Bennett discusses how she teaches her Kindergartners the steps to using iMovie by starting with the basics and then moving up. Since Mrs. Bennett is teaching the children how to use iMovie, teachers are incorporating them into stations in their classrooms. The students are making iMovie book trailers for the books they are reading in their class. Once the students are established, they take off and sometimes educate the teachers. Mrs. Davis talks about AVL which is a free resource for Alabama students, whether elementary or college. Mrs. Davis says they are educating the kindergartners the basics of research. She states that either she or the teachers assign the students animals and every week the students will use AVL to research their specific animal. I think using AVL in kindergarten is a wonderful idea because as she said, it is teaching them how to research. Research will always be a part of life, whether in school or out, we all need to know the proper ways to research.

We All Become Learners is another video conversation between Dr. Strange, Michelle Bennett, and Elizabeth Davis about how whether teacher or student, we are all learners. Having one to one devices changes the dynamics of a classroom. Children are so amazed with technology that they can figure out something on one before an adult can. Therefore, the students are educating the teachers about technology. Everyone becomes a part of each other's Personal Learning Network. I completely agree with this video in saying that students can educate teachers because I have a five year old niece who can show me things on my Galaxy S5 that I did not know it could do. Children in today's time know so much more about technology than I did at that age, or even now, that we have to incorporate it into classrooms to stay relevant.

Interview Rosado How to Get a Job is a conversation between Dr. Strange and Dr. Rosado, the principal at Gulf Shores High School. Dr. Strange asks Rosado what he looks for when hiring a new teacher. Rosado lists the following:
1. Works with technology
2. Understands technology
3. Is a team player
4. Not a lecturer
Dr. Rosado says that he asks, "How are we going to deliver material in a different way to reach our students?" He wants teachers to have "real world" related subjects to keep students interested. For example, their engineering students are partnering with an architect to build a Boy Scout's building. Dr. Rosado says he wants a teacher who thinks differently.

Planet Earth by Lauber's Class is an iMovie that Ms. Lauber's class made about the earth. I thought it was really cool how each student would state a fact about the Earth and with each statement was a coinciding picture. I think it is wonderful that elementary students were able to make this video and I may just steal this Project Based Learning idea for my future classroom.

Kirby "I Can" Statements is a short video with four elementary school girls. Each of the students share two "I Can" Statements and then do the activity stated. An "I Can" Statement is a simple statement about something you can do. The statement does not have to be anything significant or spectacular, just a simple ability. For example, one of the girls said, "I can count to one hundred by one's and by ten's." Then, she proceeded to count to one hundred by ten. I like replacing "I Can't" with "I Can" because children do not need to focus on the negative things they can not do. If children start focusing on positive things they can do, I think the world will be a happier place to live.

Tammy Shirley sharing 1st Grade Students Becoming Leaders of Their Own Learning is a video by Ms. Shirley telling about how her first grade students took charge of their own learning. Ms. Shirley says that she assigned her students a research project. While she was trying to finish her graphic organizer, the students got their Macbooks and started doing their research without her telling them to do so. The second half of the video is Ms. Shirley showing and talking about the Graphic Organizer she and some other teachers created for their students.
I love the fact that the students got out their Macbooks and started their own research. This shows how technology in the classroom is a wonderful resource. When I was in elementary and middle school, we would have to go to computer labs to do research or do it at home. Now, students have resources at their fingertips in their classrooms.
Teaching with Technology

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Project #13 Project Based Learning

I am in Group 5 and we created a project using padlet. We are going to have the students create their own padlet and naming each of the planets in our solar system, the Milky Way. Next, the students will have to place the planets in order and insert a picture of the planets. Next, the students will have to use the Alex Resources and other resources to gather information on each of the planets. The students, then, will share the information with the rest of the class by sharing their padlet link. Attached is the example padlet with the resources and lesson plan.

Padlet: Teacher's Example and Resources
Lesson Plan

Solar System

Padlet Rubric

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Blog Assignment #6

Being a children's pastor, I use object lessons to teach the children a lot. An object lesson is doing something that the children can physically see changes or unnatural things happen instead of just lecturing. Even though with Project Based Learning, it is the children who are doing the projects, I think it is the same concept. I feel this way because Anthony Capps states in Project Based Learning Part 1 that project based learning is when the children are doing the projects and learning from them, not showing what they have learned. I really like the idea of project based learning because most children will remember the process and outcome of a project better than remembering a lecture.

After watching the conversation between Dr. Strange and Anothony Capps about iCurio, I think I have learned a lot. I have never heard of before. I think it is a very interesting website. I like how students and teachers can save files to the site. I know being at a university, I have to save or "favorite" items on the internet to my computer all of the time. So to have files on the website to save things to would be really useful. I also like the fact that it is a filtered site and you can find audio and video along with text.

When watching the conversation video Discovery Ed, I remembered that when I was observing a third grade classroom last semester, my teacher used Discovery Ed. I was intrigued by the site; however, I was unable to ask her about it and unfortunately, I had forgotten about it. So, I enjoyed watching this video because I wanted to know more about this site before this class. I think Discovery Ed is a very useful website. I love how it has so many resourceful videos available to teachers and students. As Anthony Capps said, it is like "bringing in experts into the classroom via video."

As stated about Project Based Learning, children learn better when they can physically see something rather than just hear it. Learning about the different resources available to us has made me excited to become a teacher. I am looking forward to using project based learning, iCurio, and Discover Ed in my future classroom.

Project Based Learning

Project #8 Book Trailer

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blog Assignment #5

Edublogs Teacher Challenges

What is a Personal Learning Network?
According to About Eduaction a PLN is a powerful, professional development tool that allows teachers to connect with others across the country. The connections are usually made through social media.

How Can They Help You as a Teacher?
According to Edublogs Teacher Challenges, "a connected educator is a connected learner..." Having a PLN lets you connect with fellow educators to get and give advice, grow as an educator, network with colleagues, and get information.

How Can You Create Your Own?
You can build your PLN by joining social medias. For example, Twitter is a great way to connect with educators around the world. A PLN is usually built through social media, but it is not restricted to that. You can also connect with fellow teachers at your school or in your community.

Who will be your first additions?
Being as I come from a family of educators, my first additions will be my sister, a kindergarten teacher, and my mom, a school counselor. I also have many aunts and cousins who work in the school system in Baldwin County. I have also followed Dr. Strange and Dr. Vitulli on twitter. I would also like to add some of my teachers that I have had since attending the University of South Alabama. As I further my education and start my career, I know my Personal Learning Network will continuously grow, but I think I am off to a good start right now.

Project #3 Presentation

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Blog Assignment #4

One of the most important parts of being an educator is having the ability to ask not just good, but effective questions. I like Ben Johnson's definition of the goal of a question in The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom. He says to ask yourself a question, "What does a teacher asking questions of a class expect the class to learn from the questioning process?" Johnson says, "...we need to come to grips with the fact that we do not know everything, and there is no reason to assume that students know nothing." I think this is a powerful statement because some times teachers get consumed by what they are teaching that some times they do not pay attention to who they are teaching. We need to remember that we are not teaching for us, we are teaching to help benefit the students.

According to Maryellen Weimer, PhD there are Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom. The first step is to prepare the question. You should do this for the same reason you prepare a lesson plan, it helps you explain better and you already know what kind of answer you are expecting. The second step is to play with questions. Questions are the most powerful when they engage the students. The third step is to preserve good questions. This way, you will have questions prepared for the next class to refresh their memory.

The Teaching Center has a lot of strategies to use when Asking Questions to Improve Learning. Some of the strategies include when planning questions, you must stay focused on what your objectives are. You must avoid leading questions that hint to its answer. Another strategy is when asking a yes or no question, you can follow up with another question asking the students to explain their answer. Another good strategy is when having a class discussion, be sure you only ask one question at a time, this way students do not get confused of off track from the main objective. Teaching Center also has a list of good strategies to respond effectively. For example, do not interrupt a students when he or she is answering a question.

That's all folks! Any questions?

Project # 15

What are you looking for?

Since I am majoring in Elementary Education, I wanted to find search engines that are kid-friendly and can be used in the school system and my future classroom. Here are the search engines I accumulated:

KidRex is a search engine that can be used by a child to search for many things. This site was created for kids by kids. It uses Google Custom Search and Google Safe Search to filter any inappropriate material. It does not filter one hundred percent, but there is a parent's tab where you can notify them if you found an inappropriate site. I thought the site was very cute and it looked kid-friendly. I found it intriguing that children made the webpage and hope to use it in a future classroom.

KidzSearch is another search engine that students can use to look up information. This site also uses Google Safe Search to filter inappropriate material. When students save it has their homepage, they can customize the background. It has a lot of links on the homepage for homework help or free learning sites and many other kid-friendly websites. I am absolutely in love with this website.

WolframAlpha is a search engine that would be most useful for questions with homework. However, students can use it as a regular search engine as well. If a student has a question about a certain subject, he or she can look below the search bar and find the subject in question. Then, the search engine goes to a webpage that has numerous sub-topics to specify the question. I thought this site was intriguing. If you go to "About" and scroll to the bottom of the page, there is a link that says "For Educators" and it has different ideas on how teachers can use this website.

Kidtopia is an even more kid-friendly search engine that is a lot like WolframAlpha. There is a main search bar and below it are subjects to choose from, once you click on them, it takes you to sub-topics. After narrowing your search, you can type in whatever your question or topic is. I will definitely have to remember this website if I end up in a younger classroom. Love it!

KidsClick! is search engine I found that could be useful for gathering information to do a report. Once again, below the search bar are subjects; however, after clicking on the subtopics, it gives links for the information. You do not have to type in exactly what you are searching for. I did not like this site as much as the others, but I think it can still be useful.

Start Squad is another website that students could use for help with homework. However, you can not type in your search. It once again has subjects to choose from and then takes you to links with the information needed. You can also choose from preschool, elementary school, and middle school. I like how this site is interactive, but I did not like that you can not type in your search.

SearchyPants is a search engine that children can customize. When you open the link, you have to add a name in the tool bar. Once you do this, it will take you to the search engine. I do not think this website is as filtered, if at all, as the other sites. However, I think it is cool that the children can create and customize their own search engine.

Awesome Library is a search engine for regular searching but also has a mode for teachers, kids, teens, parents, librarians, and college students. Each mode has the main subjects to choose from, but then they each have different topics that relate to them specifically. For example, the teacher's mode has a lessons plan tab which has different lesson plans for multiple topics. I liked this site as well, and will use it in the future.

C4Ta #1

The 3 Things Digital Classrooms Really Need
Steven's blog was about teachers using the "power" of technology to their advantage in the classroom. Steven said teachers need to have engaging content, meaningful assessment, and reflections by using technology. Steven said that teachers have the opportunity to use multimedia to make their lessons more engaging. This blog said that along with using formative assessment, we can also collect data and take polls by using technology. Last Steven said that he reflects by creating blogs. He said he not only uses blogs for reflection but also in his classroom. He feels as if teachers and students alike can benefit from blogging and that using technology can create a more powerful classroom.

I completely agreed with this blog. I think that technology needs to be taken advantage of. However, I do not think that we need to rely solely on technology. I found it interesting that he said he blogs his reflections and that he felt as if blogging made him the professional he is today. I liked his idea of "three digital things classrooms need" being engaging content, meaningful assessment, and reflection. Even though he meant for those ideas to refer to technology, I have also heard those ideas in my other classes and completely agree that it needs to be applied to classrooms.

Evaluating Technolgy? Here's What to Look For...
This blog post was about helping school leaders better understand technology. Steven said he created five questions to show the school leaders how effective technology in the classroom is. One of the five questions is who is using the technology? Are teachers solely using the technology or do the students use it as well? The second question is if you took the technology away, how different would the lesson be? Students are using Mac books to write papers, but they can also use paper and pencil. However, if a student has to create a podcast, the technology can not be taken away. Third question is how much variety with technology is there? There is a huge variety of sources that students and teachers are using in today's time to benefit their school work. The fourth question is what opportunities do students have to collaborate with or through technology? Students can teach each other different uses for technology. The last question is what opportunities do students have to create new knowledge or products with the technology? Students learn better when they take what they have learned and producing something from it.

I thought this post was very thought out. I loved the questions he came up with to give to school leaders. The questions show just how much technology is needed in the school system today. Elementary school students have more knowledge about what is going on in the world now than we did when we were children; this is due to them having technology. If there is anyone who says that technology should not be in the schools, then they need to read this post. Technology is not used just for entertainment anymore, it is used to gain knowledge and what better place to gain knowledge than in a school?
What School Leaders Should Look For

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Blog Assignment # 3

How Can You Provide Meaningful Feedback to Your Peers?
Peer editing is very useful in a classroom. Instead of a teacher having to read a paper multiple time, he or she can get other students to read the paper and help edit or advise. What is Peer Editing? is a video about the three steps to peer editing, which are compliments, suggestions, and corrections. You have to say positive when peer editing because you do not want to offed the person you are helping. Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial was a slideshow that had almost the exact same information as the video, except it had more examples and a trial paragraph. I thought both the video and slideshow were informative. I have always known how to peer edit, but I am not sure if I was given those exact steps before.

Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes is a very cute video that I will use in my future classroom when assigning peer reviews. My favorite portrayals are "Whatever William" and "Jean the Generalizer" because I have been in both situations. After watching this video, I have learned that when peer editing, you must follow the three steps to peer editing, which are compliments, suggestions, and corrections. When being peer edited, you have to be able to accept the criticism and advice given to you. You do not have to change your paper, but you do not need to be offended if they are just trying to help. I am not very good at accepting criticism, even if it is positive. After watching this video, I know I need to work on it and not be a "Defensive Dave."
Tag Method

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Blog Assignment #2

21st Century Teaching

Mr. Dancealot
The central message of the video, Mr. Dancealot, is that teaching is an interactive process. Teachers should not lecture alone, they need to get their students involved in the lessons for them to understand. The author proved this throughout the video by having the teacher explain the steps well; however, since the students were not allowed to participate, they were bored. Then at the end of the video, the teacher expected them to know how to perform the dances for the final. Even though the final was open note and open book, the students still had no idea how to do it. I completely agree with the message of this video because when people, not just children, learn how to complete a task, they have to practice doing it themselves before fully understanding the concept.

Teaching in the 21st Century
Teaching in the 21st Century is about using technology to our advantage in the classroom.
I.Teachers becoming obsolete
A. Search Engines
B. Social Media
C. Teach Fact and Content or Skills

II. Use Technology to our advantage
A. Use resources technology offers
B. Teach about technology
C. Entertainment Vs. Engagement

I agree with Roberts idea of teaching in the twenty-first century to an extent. I agree that teachers need to use technology and its resources to their advantage. However, I think we need to teach skills along with facts and content, not just one or the other. Since technology has become so big in our society, many people rely on only technology to get them through the day. People need to get back to speaking and writing properly or else we are going to become a failed society. Although technology is advancing, our generation and society is falling because we rely on technology so much. I can not point fingers in no area because I use technology; however, I do not agree with using technology as the only source to get information and to communicate.

The Networked Student
At first I was a little taken a back by this video, The Networked Student, due to the fact that I thought they were claiming that students do not need teachers anymore. However, after watching more of the video, I realized that the idea of the video is about how teachers need to teach about technology and show their students the right resources to use. Children have a vast of information just a click away, and they need to be taught how to get that information and how to decipher if it is correct information or if it is from a faulty site. Regardless of how any one feels, technology is going to be in schools and a part of the way children learn, so teachers need to take hold of this fact and use it to their benefit.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
The idea of Ms. Davis used in her classroom is that she was not teaching the students herself, she was guiding them and then the students were teaching each other. Ms. Davis called herself a "teacher-prenuer" and I thought that this was a very good idea. I have taken classes were we had to teach certain topics and for the most part I enjoyed doing it. However, there are times when some people do not get into the project and then it gets boring. As long as the students are engaged and participating, I think this is a great way to teach in a future classroom.

Who's Ahead in the Learning Race
I agree with Dr. Strange on how elementary school children are ahead in the learning race due to the fact that children learn faster than adults. At that age, it is a fact that children's brains are like sponges and they absorb everything quickly and easily. However, in late teenagers and early adults, the learning capability drops. I am not saying adults can not learn, but they can not learn as quickly as a child, and this is a scientific fact, not my opinion. I think that it is a good thing that children know so much about technology and now we have to catch up.

Flipping The Classroom
I have never heard of flipping the classroom before; however, I find it to be an interesting idea. I would definitely use it in a future classroom of mine. This way you are not teaching a new topic every day, the students will have prior knowledge when coming into class. I would use this as a way to use that extra time to let students work on projects in class with my help, rather than at home, possibly not understanding the instructions. Flipping the classroom allows students to come prepared if they have any questions. The teacher could send a survey at the end for the students to submit, that way the teacher has knowledge of the students' questions before class.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Blog Assignment #1

Before taking EDM 310, I heard a lot of negative comments. Other students said that the class was not hard but it was a lot of work and very time consuming. My fear for this class is that I am going to get busy one day and forget to do an assignment or miss an activity listed on the check list. Although I fear this class, compared to other classes, I feel like this class is going to be more relevant to today's teaching methods. Other classes can teach us ideas and methods to use in our future classrooms, but I feel as this class will be more useful because of how much of an impact technology has made on the schools, especially living in Baldwin County. I think the most difficult part of this class will be staying on top of the checklist and not accidentally skimming over an assignment. The best way I can address this issue is by staying organized and managing my time efficiently. Also, I am not very technologically advanced for someone my age; therefore I am nervous, yet excited about learning about the new technologies. The best thing for me to do in this situation is to ask questions and explore what technology has to offer in this day and age. I am looking forward to furthering my learning in EDM 310 and wondering what technologies we will be learning about and how they can be used in the classroom.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Practice Blog Post

Who Am I?
       My name is Krystal Taylor and I live in Robertsdale, Alabama. I graduated from Robertsdale High School in December of 2012, after which I attended Faulkner State Community College. After getting my Associate's Degree, I transferred from Faulkner State in the Spring of 2015. I am the youngest of four children in my family, the closest one in age being five years older than me. All of my siblings are married and have children, leaving me with five nieces whom I love dearly. My brother and sister-in-law found out recently that they were expecting their second child; we are all hoping it is a boy. Although I am not married, I do have a long term boyfriend of over four and a half years and I am hoping one day soon, I will not be far behind my siblings.

     I live a very fast paced and busy life style. I am currently working two jobs until the end of the summer. Since October, 2012, I have worked as a student hire at Baldwin EMC, an electric corporation in Baldwin County. Being a student hire means that while I am a full time college student, I work part time during the fall and spring semesters and full time in the summer. I recently picked up my second job as a hostess at Ivey's Fine Dining in Robertsdale. With both of my jobs combined, I work a total of forty-five to fifty hours per week. Something interesting about me is that along with my jobs, I am also the children's pastor at my church, Robertsdale First Assembly of God. Adding on to my hectic summer schedule, I will be taking children from my church to camp and hosting Vacation Bible School.

     After being a children's pastor, I have realized my passion for working with children. I chose to become an educator because I want to be able to teach children the skills and morals they will need when they become adults. I want to be a part of changing the future because the children of today are the adults of tomorrow. I chose to enter the field of education because I want to be "that" teacher that people remember when they are older as the one who pushed them to their limit and made them think outside of the box.

     Being an educator in the 21st century, entails a mixture of skills and knowledge. Being a teacher entails having organization and preparation skills. Being a teacher also requires time management, your own and your students' time. Being a teacher means committing time outside of school hours to prepare for classes. Today, teachers need to have knowledge of not only the material but also new technology to keep the material educational and relevant. Teachers need to be able to use this knowledge and incorporate technology into lessons to keep the children interested. I am looking forward to learning more about the technology in classrooms today and learning how to incorporate them into my future lessons.

Practice Post: About Me Outline
  1. About Me
    1. Live in Robertsdale
    2. Robertsdale High School
    3. Faulkner Community College transfer – Spring 2015
    4. ¼ siblings in my family
      1. 5 nieces
    5. Boyfriend of 4 ½ years
  2. About Me continued
    1. Busy life style
    2. 2 jobs (43 hours/week between the two)
    3. 2 summer classes (usually full time)
    4. Children’s Pastor
      1. Camp and VBS
  3. Why I Chose Education
    1. Teaching skills and morals
    2. Help change the future
    3. Want to be “that” teacher a child never forgets (make them think outside the box)
  1. Educator’s Work Entails – 21st Century
    1. Organization and preparation
    2. Training and Management (Time and Classroom)
    3. Knowledge of Material
    4. Knowledge of Technology to be relevant