Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blog Assignment #10

An Open Letter to Educators
We all can compare to Morgan Bayda when she says that she sometimes has a hard time staying awake in class and keeping her mind focused on the lecture that is being taught. As students we have gone through years of sitting in desks, listening to the teacher lecture, or taking notes from a power point. While technology is advancing and taking off, education is not catching up. We are still being taught with books that cost us hundreds of dollars and are never even opened.

When I envision my future classroom, I see group work, teams of hard working students, questions being asked, and most importantly the use of technology. I can not wait to learn more about how technology can be used in my classroom. EDM 310 holds great ideas for future teachers, and I am thrilled to be able to use what I have learned in my classroom one day soon.

Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home!
Tom Johnson's post was mainly about how people tend to focus on the problem more than the solution. When a problem occurs it is best to focus on how something good can come out of it, or even work to make something good come from it. Like in this post, taking pencils home was not such a bad idea because he did not care what they were doing with the pencils because it was keeping their minds busy. I hate to think that there are teachers out there who are more concerned with the test scores. Let students "bring the pencils home". They are learning something even if they are using their pencils to play Hangman!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

C4K Summary # 4, 5, 6

For my fourth C4K, I was assigned a student named Chelsea. She is a Year 8 student at Point England School in Auckland, New Zealand. Chelsea is in room 19 and her teachers name is Mr. Harris. Her blog post is called “Health Camp”. She wrote about a time when her and her friend Beni went to camp. She wrote about them playing games and that they got to stay at camp for 2 weeks. On Chelsea's blog I wrote to her that camps are a lot of fun. I asked her to tell me more about Health Camp and what activities she got to be apart of.

For my fifth C4K, I was assigned to a student named Benjamin. Benjamin is 11 years old and a Year 7 student at Point England School in Auckland, New Zealand. He is in Room 22 and his teachers name is Ms. Tito. Benjamin is from Cook Islands and has 5 sisters. The name of his blog post is "All About Me". Benjamin wrote in his blog post that his favorite thing to do is play rugby. On his blog I wrote, that sounds like a lot of fun having 5 sisters around! I only have one younger brother. I have never played rugby, but it sounds like a lot of fun.

For my sixth C4K, I was assigned to Team Two's Photo Challenge slideshow. The students on Team Two are in Mr. Webb Hamilton's room. Tatiana, Ridwan and Tamara are in Room 8 at Melville Intermediate School. Mr. Webb Hamilton assigned his Digital Photography students a special challenge. They had to create a slideshow that feature four sets of five pictures with the Themes being the Library, Around Melville, Odd and Students of MIS. Students had 15 minutes to take the pictures. Team Two did a wonderful job taking their pictures in just 15 minutes. They added background music to their slideshow, which was Classical Jazz.

On their blog, I wrote how great their slideshow presentation looked and sounded together. These three girls worked hard on their challenge and it showed. They also had comments from other students at the end of the slideshow, which I thought was cool! Their slideshow consisted of outside pictures, pictures of their school, and pictures of the girls in their group. What a fun and interesting challenge to have your students do!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Summary Post C4T #3

C4T #1
I was assigned to read Mr. Fisch post, "Archive of School Board Social Media Discussion".

Mr. Fisch post contained two videos and one chat concerning the use of Social Media in the classroom. First, is a slide show that has three circles with illustrations describing each. The three circles are: Purpose, Technology, and People. He has a UStream video and a chat with other teachers about using Social Media.

In summary, I wrote Mr. Fisch, The first slide show by Prezi was awesome! I enjoyed looking at each category and the examples that went along. I look forward to bringing Social Media into my classroom because it offers a great way to communicate, to gain information, and to stay connected with one another and technology. Social Media in the classroom will keep students interested and they will have fun will learning and staying connected.

C4T #2
I was assigned to read Mr. Fisch post, "The Learning Studio".

Mr. Fisch post was about the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia has created a room called "The Learning Studio." So what happens in The Learning Studio? Students work in teams of eight. The have a debate case which helps prepare them for the real world once they graduate and get a job. They read information beforehand and come to class to take a test on what they got from the reading. "Studies also show that individual grades improve when working within a team."

In summary, I wrote Mr. Fisch, The Learning Studio sounds like a fantastic idea. It is a great idea to have students working together in groups because each students will bring something different, which will make the group grow in learning together. I am a Elementary Education major, so I believe in starting group work early. Students will then be more prepared for group work in the years to come.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blog Assignment #9

After reading Mr. McClung's What I've Learned This Year, I found that he wrote about some very important rules to consider when teaching. Mr. McClung wrote these rules after his first few years of teaching in Noel, Missouri. It is great that Mr. McClung decided to blog about some of the things he learned because now we, as future teachers, are able to get some knowledge of what to expect.

One important rule that he wrote about is that it is not "all about the teacher". In his first few years of teaching he thought that it was all about him, the teacher. He saw teachers who were more worried about how they delivered the lesson than how their students comprehended it. "In order to be effective you have to be able to let your audience drive your instruction." Teachers have a tendency in wanting to make the perfect lesson. The lessons we make will turn out different than how we expected, and that is okay. We will learn how to make the situation a learning experience even if it does not go exactly the way we planned it to.

Another important rule Mr. McClung wrote about was our expectations of our students. Teachers seem to have high expectations for our students and sometimes if they do not meet the goal they are punished. Mr. McClung states that when a student does not meet the goal that has been set, do not punish them, instead help them to get back on track and maybe meet the goal next time.
"Our job as teachers is to simply pick them up after they fail, dust them off, and encourage them to try again."

A third rule he wrote about was "Do Not Be Afraid of Technology". As future teachers, we need to be aware and prepared of the technology that is available for us to use in our classroom. He explains that even though we may not master technology, at first, we still should keep working with it. Technology will help us and our students learn and grow, so we should start learning as much as we can about it!

The last few important points that Mr. McClung made was to listen to our students. Something so simple makes all the difference. It helps to get to know our students in order to build a good relationship with them. Also, if we are taking a interest in their life outside of school their parents will love that too. Students will grow closer to us and want to listen to us if we listen to them. Also, Mr. McClung wrote about never stop learning. This is one of the most important rules, in my opinion, because we can never learn to much. There is so much that I am going to learn in my next few years at South and I will not stop learning after graduation.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Project #13 SMART Board

For our group's SMART Board project, we chose to teach Fourth grade Life Science. We taught a lesson on Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers. Before the SMART Board project, I had no idea how to use a SMART Board. So my wonderful group trained me on how to use it! Together I think we all did a great job on our presentation. Everyone worked hard and participated with everything we did to make our presentation happen!

From our critique, the audience rated our presentation a 9.2 out of 10 when asked how helpful it was to them. When asked which part of our presentation did they enjoy the most they said, "Learning New Technology", "Subject Matter", and "Seeing The SmartBoard in Action". The audience rated our presentation a 9 out of 10 when asked how helpful the SmartBoard would be in their future classroom. Finally, all of the members of our audience found that they learned something new from our lesson.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blog Assignment #8

This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2
Richard Miller’s video, This Is How We Dream, is showing how multimedia is being used in classrooms all over the world. EDM 310 is similar to this video because we do not use books to find answers or information, we use the internet. Students in EDM 310 learn so much because we are watching or reading something online and having to blog about what we just watched or read. I believe having to search for our answers online with little guidance helps us grow.

Using the internet makes research much faster than going to the library and searching for books. With the internet you really have an endless amount of material to choose from. Also, people come together online which makes learning more fun because you are able to share what you with people all around. This idea gives everyone the ability to share information through things such as: blogging, skype, podcasting, and more.

Will I use multimedia in my classroom? Yes, most definitely. I believe multimedia is a great way to incorporate different ideas into the classroom. It would make the lesson so much more fun and interesting and would be another great way to engage your students. With multimedia you are able to combine audio, text, images, and animation together into one. I would love for my students to use multimedia as well. Assigning your students to a multimedia projects have many possibilities for learning things such as: working together in groups, the importance in research and planning, presenting information in a different way rather than on a poster board, and creatively constructing something.

The Chipper Series
The overall message from the two videos was to do your work on time and to work hard at what you are doing. The Chipper Series, showed many different things. One of the things it showed was EDM 310 can be overwhelming at times, but it is not too much and it can be done. Also, Dr. Strange talked about the importance of deadlines. He said that deadlines are there to get you to turn your assignments in on time. In the video, Jamie Lynn was upset with Dr. Strange because “he wasn’t doing his job”. She felt like Dr. Strange was not teaching and making us learn and figure everything out on our own. I feel that Dr. Strange is making us grow as students and as future teachers by making us figure things out on our own. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment after I finish my blog post, my projects, and other assignments because I know I could have had help if I needed it, but mostly I did all of these things all on my own!

EDM 310 for Dummies
EDM 310 For Dummies was very funny and entertaining. I believe that we all probably feel stressed out and overwhelmed at times. However, if you stay on track, keep up with deadlines and assignments, and do not procrastinate then you should be doing just fine.

An idea that I had while writing this blog post would be to show the different websites that I have been introduced to in EDM 310. Before EDM 310, I was unaware of all of the resources that were online and available to use in the classroom. I think it would be great to share the websites to others and show other students and teachers so they would be able to incorporate them in their classroom too. Websites I would include would be many from my PLN because I found many useful websites while it. I would talk about PBS Teachers, Wordle, National Geographic Kids, Story Starters, and others in my video and the importance in each. It would be good to add lessons and how you could use the web sites in your classroom.

Learn To Change, Change To Learn
What an awesome video about educators speaking of the changes that could be made in the classroom. One of the things I found interesting in this video was the quote, “Technology is not a choice, it has created a world.” This is very true because technology is simply not a choice of whether or not to use it in the classroom or not. If you are a educator not using technology there is so much that you and your students are missing out on. Another thing I found interesting was when one of the educators said, “All of the social networks that kids are using and are good at are banned from schools”. Students are good with social networking and it is something that interests them, so why not incorporate it in the classroom somehow?

A final quote that I found important was, “It’s not about memorizing the facts that they will need to know for the rest of their life, it’s about knowing how to find information, how to validate it, how to synthesize it, how to leverage it, how to communicate it, how to collaborate it, and how to problem solve with it. That’s the new 21st Century set of literacy’s and it looks a lot different than the model in which most of us were raised under.” This was probably the most important thing that was said in this video, to me, because it reminds me of EDM 310. When the educator said this quote it made me think of Dr. Strange explaining to the class what EDM 310 was all about. It is important because it talks about how remembering facts and memorizing information is not what should be important in the classroom.

Now check out Learning To Change, Changing To Learn-Student Voices:

RSA-Animate: The Secret Powers of Time
First of all, the animation was amazing. It kept you interested and it was a great way of illistraing points throughout the video. This video by Zimbardo, speaks about how time can affect our work and our health. He also talks about how time can affect who we are as a person and how we view relationships and act in the world. Zimbardo talks about six time mythos:

Past Positive – Focus on the better times in the past.
Past Negative – Focus on the regrets of the past.
Present Hedonistic – Interest in what feels good now.
Present Fatalist – No sense in planning because my future is fated.
Future Oriented – Goal making and planning.
Future Transcendent – True life begins after death.

RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us
Dan Pink’s video, The surprising truth about what motivates us, is about what motivates us at home, at school and in the workplace. He illustrates that most people think the way to be motivated is through money or rewards. However, studies show that rewarding people with money only works to a point. In his video, he discusses three main points: autonomy-the desire to direct our own lives, mastery-the desire to continually improve at something that matters, and purpose-the desire to do things in service of something larger than ourselves.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Summary Post C4T #2

C4T #1
I was assigned to read Mr. Scott Elias post, "Narrative Research on a Mac".

Mr. Elias's blog post was about tools that he has found interesting over the semester for
transcribing interviews, coding and reviewing notes, and outlining and diagramming major themes. He describes himself as "a major Apple geek". Scrivener was the first tools that he wrote about. Scrivener was an invaluable tool for transcribing audio files and putting together a final transcript. The second tool he wrote about was iAnnotate. By using iAnnotate he was able to use several colors of highlighter to identify key themes that he identified in a interview. The next tools he wrote about was OmniOutliner. Not only does OmniOutliner save in its own native file format, it also has the capability to export outlines in the standard OPML format that can be read by other applications. OmniGraffle Pro has the ability to read files that have been formatted in OPML and turn them into visual displays.

In summary, I wrote Mr. Elias, I have enjoyed reading his blog about “Narrative Research on a Mac.” As I read his blog, I clicked on the links that he posted and went to each one. I looked around each one to learn a little bit more about each section. I hope to one day have a Mac that I will be able to use in my classroom because there is so much you can do and much more to explore on the Mac. This blog was helpful to me because, like I said, I hope to own or be able to at least use a Mac with my students and I will now know some things that can help me to get started. His blog post will help me in the future to remember important things to be sure and have on the Mac.

C4T #2
I was assigned to read Mr. Elias post, "Engaging Teachers in Instructional Rounds".

Mr. Elias's post was about his personal goal to support teachers in talking to each other about their practice. He wants to improve on high-quality learning and get the teachers involved. By next year he hopes it will expand throughout the whole school, but for now he says he is starting small. Each teacher will open their classroom to the group one time and have the opportunity to observe the other six over the course of the pilot.
In Elmore’s parlance, I have a theory of action that looks something like this:

If we develop and nurture a school culture that supports collaborative inquiry and the sharing of best teaching practices, then classroom instruction will be strengthened and students will learn in deeper, more authentic ways.

The most challenging part is arranging class coverage for the observing teachers so that we can all be together to observe and de-brief the process.

In my post to Mr. Elias, I wrote that I believe that teaching students at a high level is great and very engaging, Some students are being to learn rapidly and educators need to be right there behind them. The Instructional Rounds in Education sounds like a awesome way to reach his goal. I read some things about this book and one of the things I liked was, “Through this process, educators develop a shared practice of observing, discussing, and analyzing learning and teaching.” I felt like this statement had a lot to do with his post and his idea.

Project #11 Short Movie

For my Short Movie Project, I chose to read Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse by Leo Lionni. I chose this book because Leo Lionni is one of my favorite children's book authors. I read Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse to the three year old class at the Learning Center. At the Learning Center, our children love puppets, which is the reason Marty Mouse was in my video. I really enjoyed doing this project because I felt like it was a good opportunity to get creative. The three year olds enjoyed my project too!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blog Assignment #7

Randy Pausch’s video, The Last Lecture, was very inspiring. He made some very good points and he seems like he was a wonderful educator. Randy Pausch used different methods when teaching which made his course even more fun and interesting. His love and passion for teaching showed through him and that is truly a way that students get excited about learning. The Last Lecture was about Randy’s childhood dreams, enabling the dreams of others, and lessons that you learn as you go on to be an educator. Also, he shared that we will be able to use the methods, he told us about, to enable your own dreams and the dreams of others. He talks about his own childhood dreams and shares his life situations which make it easier to see that your childhood dreams can come true.

One method that Randy Pausch discusses in The Last Lecture is the importance of enabling childhood dreams. He says that enabling a child’s dream can often be better then enabling your own. It is so important to help children reach and get to their dreams because that is something they strive for. As future educators, we have to have the drive to help every student accomplish their dreams and goals. Part of our job will be to enable the dreams of each one of our students.

Another method that Randy Pausch spoke about was a different meaning of brick walls. “The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. They are there to keep out the other people. ” With this quote, Randy gives brick walls a whole new meaning. This is such a motivational quote because we all reach “brick walls” in life but we have to decide how to get over the wall. We have to work hard and push through the wall to make it to the other side, to what we want. This quote has a lot of meaning behind it because it could be a great illustration for our students, as well as us. Teaching our students about the importance in “brick walls” and how to get to the other side is a good way to help them accomplish anything they want!

A final teaching method that Randy talks about is the importance in creativity and having fun while teaching. Teaching is so much more than books, paper, pencils and chalkboards. It’s about engaging your students in learning and having fun while doing so. Randy Pausch sounds like he was a very fun, creative, lively, loving, passionate teacher. He had the motivation and the skill to make students want to learn. I am a firm believer of keeping your classroom alive with creativity and fun! Don’t get me wrong, I understand learning is serious business and we will be preparing our students for the future. But who says that learning can’t be fun? And if there is any opportunity to make the lesson interesting, I’m going to take that opportunity and run with it.

Randy Pausch was a very driven man that never gave up. He had a passion and love for what he did and that showed through him. I think that is what being an educator is all about, having such a passion for teaching that it shines through you and your students. If we are excited about teaching and bring new ideas and techniques to our room, our students will be excited about learning. Also, the more excitement we have with teaching will make our students more willing to try new things and even ask more questions. As a future educator, I will now strive to be more like Randy Pausch and bring some of the methods that he taught to my classroom, as well.

“The only thing stopping you from your dreams is yourself.”