Monday, April 4, 2011

Special Assignment: Mr. McClung's World

1. The way Mr. McClung constructed his class blog shows that he really likes to bring technology into his classroom. He uses his blog to show off what his students are doing in his classroom for parents, students, and others to view. In Mr. McClung's class, his students learn through group and partner work, which I really like and will use in my classroom. Mr. McClung makes it very easy for everyone to view his blog and find just what they are looking for.

2. Mr. McClung seems like he has many great qualities of a truly passionate teacher. He believes in working in groups and teams, which I think is such an awesome way for students to collaborate and share ideas with one another. You are able to learn so much when in a group because each student has something different to offer and share. Mr. McClung says that he believes it is hard for students to learn through traditional ways of learning. After years of going to school, listening to lectures, taking notes, studying material, and taking tests, students begin to get bored with the same ways of learning. Teachers must work hard in keeping students engaged in their classroom so they are excited to learn. The best thing, that I have found out about Mr. McClung, is that he loves to keep learning fun in his classroom. From his posts and assignments that we are able to see, it looks like he is very fun, engaging, and passionate in everything he does with his students. Someone with so much love for teaching has to be a wonderful educator.

"I’m a very avid supporter of technology in the classroom and try my best to implement technology as much as possible in my everyday instruction."

3. Mr. McClung's "rules" are pretty basic rules for an everyday classroom. His expectations, listed at the beginning, are so cool because they are all about listening and talking in his classroom. On a list of expectations for a classroom you rarely see "I expect you to talk in class". I really like that Mr. McClung has this on his expectation list because it shows how important group and partner work is to him, in his classroom.

The addition of Mr. McClung's rules is where it gets interesting! As a future Elementary teacher, I would love to incorporate some of his ideas in my classroom. Not only because they seem like a lot of fun, but also because they seem very engaging. The first procedure that I would like to bring to my classroom would be using gestures when learning and making my students do this in return. I am a visual learner, learning just seems easier that way for me. So I can completely see how using gestures myself and making my students do them could be a learning experience. Another procedure I would like to bring to my classroom would be Teach-OK. Students listening to Mr. McClung and then in return having to teach what the just learned to their neighbor sounds like a good way to get students involved with their students, as well as, helping them remember what they just learned. The last procedure that I would really like to use in my classroom is the Scoreboard game. What a great way to reward your students at the end of the day! We have fun games and rewards for our kids at the Learning Center and I have always wanted to use some of the teachers ideas in my classroom because you can tell a difference in your students after you reward them for good behavior. I can see how these rules and procedures could work in a classroom and I really can not wait to use some in my room!

4. The first thing under Everyone needs is a day planner. Everyone needs a planner to keep up with assignments that are due or tests that are coming up. I feel that a day planner should be a requirement in the classroom, even at an early age in school. The earlier teachers help their students get familiar with a planner, the better it will be on them in the long run. I'm not sure what I would do without our upcoming assignments on Google Docs for this class. It is sort of like our calendar for EDM 310 and it is very helpful in reminding me what I need to get busy working on. I think Mr. McClung requiring a day planner for his students is a really good idea.

5. Mr. McClung says that he tries to keep homework at a minimum as possible for his students, so I feel that the penalties for it being late are fair. In my classes I have always remembered having consequences if my homework was not turned in on time. I think having penalties for late work will make your students strive that much harder to get their assignments accomplished on time. Also, I think it helps to keep students from procrastinating. If they truly care about school and their grades, then they will stay on top of their homework and other assignments so the consequences will not happen. Having penalties in your classroom prepares your students for the years to come. It will help prepare them for high school and college.

I believe Dr. Strange's penalties are like Mr. McClung's for the most part. However, they are a little different because we do not see our grades until the end of the semester, making us work that much harder toward our final grade. EDM 310 is a perfect example of a college class where students are required to get their assignments done by themselves on time. We have Google Docs to help remind us of what is coming up so that we do not forget or procrastinate. Lab assistants and Dr. Strange are here to help if we have questions and the lab is always open. For the most part, Mr. McClung and Dr. Strange's assignment penalties are about the same.

6. In my opinion, Mr. McClung is making many parents very happy with what he is doing with his blog and how he is involving his students online. Also, I'm sure as a parent it is so reassuring to know what is going on in your child's life at school and what they are learning in their classroom. They way Mr. McClung has everything set up on his blog is so easy for parents to keep up with whats going on. Parents are able to go on the blog and find videos of what their children are doing, which I'm sure makes them so proud!

Mr. McClung says that his blog is a daily newsletter online for parents and even students. He says the blog is what drives technology in their classroom. Parents are able to come on the class blog and see what their child needs for school and the games, procedures, and rules that their children are doing. Allowing parents to view the blog is a great way of communication and keeping them connected with you, the teacher, as well as, their child.

7. As a scrolled down the Useful Links, I clicked on many but wanted to keep searching until I found just the two I wanted to post on here. There are a lot of good links on Mr. McClung's blog. The first one that I really found interesting was Stixy. Stixy is basically a website that saves your "sticky notes". Stixy is an online bulletin board where you can create notes, upload photos, add documents, or add your todo list. You can share your webpage with you friends so they can see these things to. Stixy allows you to customize your bulletin board however you like. The second Useful Link I found was Scholastic Story Starter. This website is actually on my PLN. I found this site while making my PLN and really loved it. Basically, Scholastic Story Starter is a helpful site to get students excited about writing. It has hundreds of combinations to help students in grades 1-4 get started writing. With the Spin lever, students are able to produce a topic that they should write on. If you do not like a section of the topic you can even set the Spin lever to a specific part in the sentence to change. If this explanation is confusing, go try it out for yourself! It really is fun and I think it will be helpful in the classroom.

8. The internet can be very dangerous if not properly used. Without the right precautions, kids could get into serious trouble using the internet, which is why as teachers we must be on the look out at all time. We must give the right guidance to our students and watch over them as best as we can when using the internet. It is best to be overprotective when it comes to the internet and not giving out personal information.

9. After scrolling through others blog post, I found Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I decided to stop here and read more about this post since I have a love for Dr. Seuss. Mr. McClung used the Dr. Seuss book, "The Sneetches", to explain the MLK Jim Crows Laws. He split up his class into two groups, one group with stars and the other group without stars. He demonstrated how the group with stars got more attention and were treated better than the group of students without stars. By the end of the day, the group without stars started to get frustrated, which helped them to understand the point of Jim Crow Laws. This activity was really a fun way to show and teach students about Jim Crow Laws.

10. After reading more into Blogger vs. Edublog, it seems like there are quite a few differences in the two. With Edublog you are able to create and access student blogs. Students blogs can be on your blog, the teachers, and you are able to see and post their work onto your blog. Also, you are able to get to your students blogs from your blog. So your class is altogether on one blog. Another thing that I found was it seems Edublog is allowed in more schools. Some blogging sties, such as Blogger, have been banned from schools. Edublog sounds pretty cool and it looks like it makes your blog easily organized and easy for students and parents to find what they are looking for.

11. Mr. McClung's blog is extremely helpful to the classroom. He is using his blog in a way that is very easy for students, teachers, parents, and others to browse and find anything that they are looking for. Mr. McClung is very organized with his blog so there is no confusion trying to find things on his blog. The class blog is so helpful for parents to be able to see what their children are doing at school. Also, with the syllabus on his blog it is easy for parents to look online to find the material that their children need for school instead of using paper! I think Mr. McClung is making many proud parents. Proud that their children have him as a teacher and proud of what he is helping them to accomplish in his classroom.

12. Mr. McClung's blog is different from other blogs because he has made a blog for students, parents, teachers, students not in his classroom, and others. His blog is very easy to browse around and find any information that you need. Mr. McClung's blog is not only for students, but it is a guideline that parents can read too.

13. I am highly impressed with Mr. McClung's blog and can not wait to use the links I have found and try out some of the Procedures in my own classroom one day. I am so glad that we all got the opportunity to check out Mr. McClung's blog because he has a lot to offer us as future educators.

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