Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blog Assignment # 13

ALEX - Alabama Learning Exchange

ALEX is an amazing website for teachers. I am so glad Dr. Strange assigned us this blog post, because I will definitely use ALEX in the future. This website has so many useful resources. These resources include: Courses of Study, Web Links, Lesson Plans, Search, Personal Workspace, Professional Learning, Podcast Treasury, and ALEXville. Using the Courses of Study, you can browse all of the Alabama Content Standards and you can also search to find the courses of study by grade level, or keywords. Using Web Links, you can search teacher web resources, student web resources, and administrator web resources. you can also search for web resources, recommend a web resource or report broken links. There is SO much useful and awesome information. Using Lesson Plans, you can browse TONS of different lesson plans in every subject and grade level. This is seriously the coolest thing ever! The lesson plans available to you are endless and with just one click you can receive amazing lesson plans. You can also search for lesson plans by title, author, or school. Using the Search icon, you can search the ALEX/thinkfinity database and can find whatever you are looking for. Using the Personal Workspace, someone can create an account so you can create a personal workplace for storing and submitting lesson plan and teacher web pages. This is so amazing. The Professional Learning icon is absolutely fantastic. You can learn everything about ALEX. You can also visit different Alabama Department of Education Program websites to find things from teaching tools to lastest news and so much more! You can also view different pages to find tips, tricks, and tutorials on tons of different technology tools. The Podcast Treasury is so great! You can access different podcasts and add your own!  This is truly amazing. ALEXville is where you can get all the lastest news about ALEX and all the cool stuff that the team is doing!

This website has had a HUGE effect on me. I am in awe of ALL the amazing stuff this website has to offer. ALEX (Alabama Learning Exchange) is truly an exchange of so much information between teachers. I love this website! I highly recommend everyone to visit this website, especially teachers. You can go to ALEX by clicking HERE

Additional Assignment # 4

 picture Tom Johnson's Adventures in Pencil Integration

Tom Johnson's adventures in Pencil Integration

Just Teach Them to Solve for X

This post was about solving for X in a math problem. John Spencer got his students to draw a picture for X instead of just telling them what X is. Not everything in life is easy, just like solving for X is not always easy. I think the students understood the math lesson more using this brilliant idea then the same ole' lesson. 

 Sketchy Portraits: 8th Grade Identity and Pencil

John Spencer uses a pencil as a metaphor to describe middle school students. Middle school students are constantly changing and trying to figure out who they are. A pencil changes as well. You can draw different types of lines. A pencil is temporary and can be erased. As middle school students change their moods, attitudes, desires, they are ,too, like pencils. I really enjoyed this post. This is the post I decided to comment on. John Spencer is a great teacher who treats his students with the respect that they deserve and he understands the trials these students go through while trying to figure out who they are. 

He Just Likes the Class for the Pencils

This post is about a student-teacher relationship. John Spencer is an amazing teacher. He does not talk at his students, he talks to his students. This post is about a "problem" student and a teacher who does not respect this student. She demeans him, etc. John Spencer respects this student, as he does with all of his students. He talks about how he does not try to be the "fun" teacher who is everyone's pal, but students tend to really like him because of the respect he gives his students. I hope to be as a great of a teacher he is!

The Medium Shapes the Learning

I think that this post was about technology and the negative and positive effects of it. I am not completely sure, but I believe that John Spencer was saying when teachers try to add all this different things to a lesson to try to make it more "fun" or intriguing, it can actually change the whole lesson completely, but teachers do not recognize it sometimes.  

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blog Assignment # 12

For this blog assignment we were asked to come up with our own blog assignment that Dr. Strange should have given us this semester in EDM 310. After searching the internet, I found a very interesting YouTube video called "Pay Attention." It is by the Jordan School District (Transforming Teaching Through Technology). I would ask students to watch the video and summarize what the video was about and what they thought about the video. I would then ask them to visit the Jordan School District website as well and look around by clicking   here.

This video reminded me some of the video "Did You Know." "Did You Know" showed the viewer very interesting and mind blowing statistics regarding technology. "Pay Attention" also showed interesting stats, but it was more geared towards teaching students using technology. We have been learning about how important and useful technology is in the classroom this whole semester. This particular video reinforced that belief. It had great ideas and ways to integrate technology. The statistics shown were very interesting. Students really do not think what they are learning in school now is interesting or worth knowing. We need to engage them in ways that they are familiar with and that is technology. Using technology (there are TONS of different ways) will keep students engaged and interested. I also believe technology can transform a boring lesson into something exciting and interesting. Cell phones, iPods, laptops, etc. should not be looked down upon in the classroom. Instead, teachers should embrace these great inventions and use them to teach their students. Let's start teaching like we are actually living in the 21st Century, not the dark ages. After all, teaching in the past has proven to not be effective. If we want our students to be effective learners, then we need to be effective teachers.

Progress Report on Final Project

I am working with the same group (plus two more) that I worked with on Project 15. We are going to meet this upcoming week and discuss our ideas for the final project. I have some ideas in mind and I know my other group members do too!

picture of a sign that says work in progress

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Form results for Project # 6

My form was about the new recreational center at South Alabama. I asked ten questions regarding the new rec center. I created this form because of how I feel about the rec center and wanted to know what my fellow classmates thought about it. I wonder if there is a correlation between the rise in tuition and the cost of the new rec center? I never used the old rec center and have not used the new one....yet. I really want to, but I feel like I do not have much time. Plus, I like exercising outside.

I found out that most of the students who took my survey live off campus. I ,too, live off campus. Most of the students who did not use the old rec center have not used the new one. More students have used the new rec center than not. One of the questions I asked was to select the reason(s) of why you have never used the rec center or do not use it more. I had the following answers to select: I am not active in physical fitness, not interested, not enough time, too crowded, and other. I found out that the number one reason was not enough time, which I can relate to. Another question I asked was if my surveyors thought the rec center was a good investment. Most of them said it was.

I learned how students feel about the new rec center through my survey. A lot of them feel the same way as I do. I do want to go and try it out soon, because I heard it was pretty awesome!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Blog Assignment # 11

First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class

This video really impressed me. I think blogging is such a great tool for students. It helps with writing, communication and tons more. The students in this video really seem to enjoy blogging. They are going to be great learners. I liked all the projects they did using the internet. For instance, the students were learning about traditions and they used a wiki to get information from other people. I think that students learn better and enjoy learning when technology is used. I was very impressed with this video and all that technology has to offer!

Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy

This interview was very interesting. Mrs. Cassidy uses a lot of technology in her classroom. She stated that technology was here to stay and that we can not ignore it. I agree with her. I feel like we need to embrace technology and not be afraid of it. She talked about how she had support from her principal which I think was great! I really like how Ms. Cassidy uses technology in her classroom. I want to use technology in mine as well. I feel like the opportunities are endless. I believe students have so many more opportunities with technology because they can use it to communicate with other people, not just people in their class. I believe students learn better using technology as opposed to just reading a textbook. I would definitely use blogging in my classroom, as well as other things Ms. Cassidy uses.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Teach Someone (Project # 14)


 My C4K3# was Junior. He drew a picture of Ronald McDonald holding a stop sign for people crossing the street. I told him that I really liked the picture and the colors he used. I thought the man holding the stop sign for people crossing the street was very creative.


My C4K#4 was K. She made a podcast about Shackleton's Journey. She had awesome sounds effect. I told her that her podcast was excellent and that the sound effects were great. I really felt like I was there on Shackleton's Journey.


My C4K#5 was Bianca. She had a blog post about search engines. I really liked her blog post because she had a few different search engines. Some of them I had never heard of before. I told her that I only use Google. Her post gave me some new resources to use when doing research. I like how gets results from all different search engines.

 My C4K#6 was Grace. Her blog post was a little poem about how much she hates snow. I commented that we do not have a lot of know where I am from, so I really like it when it does snow. I may not like it if snowed all the time though!


My C4K#7 was a girl from Alba Middle School. She took a really cool picture of the railing on the perimeter USS Battleship. There were all this cool lines and shadows that the railing and other objects made. She asked her readers what they would call the picture. I told her I would call it "Lines on the Bay."

 picture of kids blogging

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Summary C4T#3

The Comment 4 Teacher # 3 I was assigned to was Becky Goerend. She is a sixth grade teacher from Iowa. The first blog post I commented on of hers was called, "The Little Things." She talked about how she had been in a slump for a few weeks. She said is all comes down to choice. She wrote about how in their study hall time it can get really loud and it frustrates her. She CHOSE to make a playlist to play during their study hall time. She said it lightened the mood. The second thing she had become frustrated with is an assignment she had her students do. They share about their independent reading in a notebook once a year and turn their letters in. Some of her students had been last. She CHOSE to give her students three different choices of doing this assignment: turn in their letter, record their response on a Flip Camera, or blog their response in their classroom blog. She was excited because two students who used the Flip Camera to record their response were usually late with their work, but this time they were on time. I think it is great to she CHOSE to change things that ended up benefiting both her and her students. I responding saying that I really enjoyed her blog post. You can either do what you have always done or try to solve problems in a creative way. I said that I hope I will be able to solve problems creatively in my classroom. I also found it great that the two students who were usually late with their schoolwork got their work in on time when they could use technology. I said that kids are motivated in many different ways.

The second blog post I commented on was called, "If You Give Kids a Meaningful Project...". She talked about how someone had dropped off some technology stuff from AVerMedia to her classroom. She asked her students to learn about it, research about it, and teach her about it. Her students were so excited. They had to teach themselves a lot about the equipment they were using. They all helped one another and collaborated ideas. I responded by saying that we learn a lot about technology in our EDM 310 class. Sometimes I had to teach myself to do things or do research to figure things out. I explained that I like teaching myself sometimes, but it is also great to have a teacher their for some guidance, just like she had been there to her students and Dr. Strange has been to us. I said that technology is a great teaching tool and that I have learned a lot about it in my EDM 310 class. I also said I thought it was wonderful that her students were so motivated and that I liked how her students chose their own groups based on their strengths and weaknesses. That is true collaboration. I really enjoyed Becky's blog posts.

picture of kids

Monday, November 1, 2010

Additional Assignment # 3

Sir Ken Robinson: Changing Educational Paradigms 

I there are a lot of important things in the presentation, but if I had to pick one I would say that the most important thing is how we drug our kids because they can not concentrate. For example, children with ADHD. I do not know if ADHD even exists. I like how Sir Ken Robinson said that children have so many distractions now (Ipods, computers, video games, tv, etc) and we expect them to not be distracted. Maybe educators should change everything about the old teaching system and find ways to keep kids interested by using technology! That is what I believe! I do not think I disagree with much in this presentation. It had many excellent points. I believe that Sir Ken Robinson's position are congruent with what I am been taught in education at South, especially in EDM 310. I believe as a future teacher, I can encourage all types of learning (groups, alone or with partners), encourage creativity and be creative in my lessons so that my students are interested. If I were to do a project like this, I would want to play the role of the narrator. This video was very inspirational and definitely made me think about education today.

Blog Assignment # 10

 Morgan Bayda

Morgan Bayda is an educator who completed her teaching degree in Spring 2010. Her blog post reflects her thoughts on the video called  "An Open Letter To Educators" by Dan Brown. Click here to watch the video. Dan Brown dropped out of school because "his schooling was inferring with his education." Morgan Bayda talks about how North America still using the same schooling model that it did hundreds of years ago. She talks about feeling cheated at the university she attended. After all the time, hard work and many lectures, she did not feel like she was getting anything out of school. This is because North America's schooling system is so out dated. She talks about how she was not allowed to speak about certain topics or give her opinion on them. She compares that certain class to her Ed Computers class. In her Ed Computers class she could share ideas, opinions and topics through a variety of technological sites (Twitter, her PLN, videos, photos, etc). She discussed how these tools even helped her outside of school and how they also opened up many opportunities! She even found out about an inexpensive volunteer opportunity in Costa Rica through Twitter. She simply stated what she wanted and someone commented on her tweet the next day with a lot of great information! I think that technology is a great tool to help people collaborate and share ideas! I am happy to know that more and more schools are starting to integrate technology in their classes. We are in the 21st Century, so we should start teaching and learning like that!

Tom Johnson's Dont Let Them Take the Pencils Home

In this blog post, the teacher was not allowed to let students bring pencils home. He was told that it lowered test scores. The other teacher who told him this only had test scores on her mind. She was saying that if students only played with their pencils at home then they would not be learning anything. Learning can be fun! How does she know that the students were not learning anything? This blog post was interesting. 

picture of pencils
Two Questions That Can Change Your Life by Daniel Pink

This video was very inspirational. It talks about self  motivation. It talks about how people need to find a sentence that can help motivate them in everything (work, school and for the rest of their lives). It also says that you need to ask yourself the question, "Was I better today than I was yesterday?" This video really spoke to me.

I can achieve anything I want with hard work, determination, perseverance and a positive attitude!