Friday, November 28, 2014

Blog Post #5 - Part 2

At the beginning of the semester my PLN was pretty much non-existent. By the time we were assigned part one of blog post 5, it had expanded. I had several websites and personal references that made it up. Although my PLN has not grown much since the last assignment, I have been able to refine it. I now have more experience with some of the websites I had on my PLN previously. My list of personal references has grown, also. It might not be growing at the fastest rate possible, but my PLN has grown to have some very resourceful sources on it.
a word cloud about personal learning networks

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Project #4 C4T - #4 Commenting on Kathy Cassidy's Blog: Primary Preoccupation

For the fourth round of C4T assignments, I commented on Kathy Cassidy's Blog: Primary Preoccupation.

Her first post on which I commented was Three Options for Independent Reading on the-iPad. In this post she mentions three options for digital, independent reading in the classroom. The first option she mentions is Epic Books. This app is a library of thousands of books for all ages and is free to educators. The teacher can use his or her sign in on school owned iPads. Ms. Cassidy even mentioned trying it with 20 students all reading the same book at once with no issues. Many of the books on this app can be read aloud.
This app comes highly recommended by her.

The second option she mentions is Unite for Literacy. This website offers books for young readers. What Ms. Cassidy does with her students is to make a direct link to this site on her student's iPad homepages so that it is easily assessable to them. All the books on this site can be read aloud.

The third and final option she mentions in her blog is the Kindle app. The way she does this with her students is that each of the iPads in her classroom has their own account. She will wait and watch the books that become free for Kindle and when they do she will put them on the classroom iPads. She says she does this after reviewing the books on her own Kindle. It is not mentioned whether or not these books can be read aloud; however, according to How to Make Kindle Read Aloud to You on Your iPad : iPad Help this can be done through voice over. The unfortunate part is it seems this would read everything....I think I heard her read "comma" in the video.

a person reading on an iPad
Link to photo source: Cult of Mac

My comment on her post was the following:
"I really enjoyed this post. It has great information and resources that I could use in my future classroom when I begin teaching. I hope I will have the opportunity to incorporate at least one of these into my curriculum down the road."

The second post of hers that I commented on was Blogging in a Primary Classroom-With Only One iPad! In this post, she details ways to make blogging effective in a one iPad classroom. The first two apps she suggests are Edublogs and Kidblogs. She suggests this because it can have multiple users on the same device. Some easier apps she suggest for younger kids are Easy Blogger Jr. (associated with Blogger) and Easy Blog Jr (associated with Edublogs). Easy Blogger is free, except for paying for the app, and the blog creators will even create the blog for you. From there the only task is to put in the names and pictures for the students. This can be made easier because in order to log in, the student just has to tap the picture of themselves. This can be very beneficial for younger students. There is even the option to add voice recording to pictures added. Also according to what she says, Easy Blog Jr. has the same abilities.

a kid using an iPad

My comment on her blog was the following:
"This is definitely something I will have to remember. Because of where I live, it is very likely that I will be teaching in a classroom that has very few pieces of any electronics like an iPad in the classroom (if any). I will have to keep these options in mind for when I have my own classroom for use of my students."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blog Post #14 - Teaching can be a profession

The article Teaching our children can be a profession  by Joel Klein mentions several issues and possible reforms to remedy the issues. The following is a list of those mentioned and my response to them.
  • Better academic training for prospective teachers
Almost half of the states cannot claim a math program that prepares the student like some of the programs in the higher performing nations.
-I agree with this. Some of the classes I have taken so far, I am seen some of my classmates struggle to understand some of the basics. The idea always horrifies me; how are you going to be expected to teach something that you have no even basic knowledge in. 
  • New approach to recruiting teachers
This would change things so that not everyone with a college degree should be allowed to teach, only the top third of graduates.

-I agree with this as well. Similarly to how what I mentioned above; although teachers should not be expected to every minute fact about their subject(s), they should show competency in understanding, adapting, and learning. 
  • Change how teachers are rewarded
This would make it to where keeping a job would be related to competency and not seniority.

-This has a lot of truth in it. Just because you have been teaching for 15 years does not make you a competent teacher, nor does it mean you ever were. The simple meaning is that you began teaching and gained tenure and are just hard to get rid of at that point.
  • "Teachers establish their own board to police the profession"
Teachers would set the standard for removing incompetent teachers. "Merit-based career ladder" would create promotion based on specialty exams.

-I agree with promotions would be better rewarded to those who prove their competencies,  but I do not agree that teachers should set the standard for removal. I believe most people are extremely lazy and if given the chance will set the bar lower to make life easier for themselves.
  • Demonstrate mastery before having college graduates be aides  
-To me it seems like this refers to a student teaching program, in that case, I most definitely agree. You should not be able to teach someone how to be an effective teacher if you yourself are not one. 
  • "Teachers would abandon their support for mandatory assignment of kids to neighborhood schools"
This would give more choice among public schools.

-From what I gather, this refers to students attending school in their district. This does not seem like a problem in Mobile county to me. I know many people who said they were easily transferred out of their school districts for many various reasons. Also, the high school from which I graduated seemed like a very large percentage of its students were on transfer.

There are many issues with our current education system. I agree with almost all of the mentioned changes. This is not to say I think they will all work out to be 100% effective; however, they seem like a good place to initiate change.

joel klein author of teaching our chilfren can be a profession
Joel Klein: author of "Teaching our children can be a profession"
Link to photo source: Amplify

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Project #6 C4K - Summary for November


For the month of November, the first student blog I  was assigned to was that of Nieka. The blog post I commented on was The Life-Cycle of a Frog! In this post she explains exactly what you would expect: the life-cycle of a frog. She mentions that the female will lay the eggs and the male will fertilize them. She also tells that it will be 21 days gestation for these eggs before they hatch. This post describes how the frog will go from a leg-less tadpole to a frog with a tail, froglet. Finally, she describes how after 11 weeks an adult frog will emerge with lungs instead of gills, 4 legs, no tail, rough skin, and ready to mate to repeat the cycle.

depection of a frog life cycle

After I introduced myself, my comment on this student's blog was the following:
"I really enjoyed your post. I think you did a wonderful job giving your summary of the life-cycle of a frog. Your picture is a nice touch in giving a visual of what you explained."


The second student blog I was assigned to was that of Sierra.The post of hers on which I commented is titled Product Design. In this she describes a bed that can connect to an iPod/iPhone or has a built in radio or CD player. It would have these functions so you could listen to music as you sleep.This would be different from just playing music in the room because the headboard would be designed to as to make it feel like "the music was consuming you."

the bed she is describing
After introducing myself, my comment on her post was the following:
"I like your idea. I know I enjoy having music play as I fall asleep, but I am sure sleeping with headphones on (because of the cord) can be a safety issue. This would be a good way to fix that."


The third student I was assigned to was  Sofia. The post of her on which I commented was Happy 1st Quarter Ending! In this post she talks about her first quarter. It sounds like she was busy, but she is still positive. She says it might have been a lot, but she enjoys reading and is good at it which makes it more enjoyable.

a cartoon boy reading a book

After introducing myself, my comment on her post was the following:
"I like your creativity in your choice of words. Also, it is great to see your positivity toward reading. I also love reading, so it is nice to see other people who also enjoy reading."

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Blog Post #13 - What did I leave out? - What are some teaching methods to improve learning?

Driving question: What are some teaching methods to improve learning?
Assignment: Research a source or sources individually of teaching methods to improve the learning process.

In the article Three New Teaching Methods Improve the Educational Process, the author describes 3 educational methods that have been tried and proven to improve learning. The author states that the days of the "chalk and talk" method are gone. They are not even on an equal basis as the newer methods that are being introduced. The first of the three is Spaced Learning. In this method, the teacher teaches but with incremented breaks of physical activities. The example given by the author was the teacher teaches on the nervous system and then the class plays a short game basketball. The author did also say it was an example of a PE class. This could be changed to an activity that could be performed more easily in a classroom.
cartoon of two children heads with information going into them

The second method is Flexible Fridays. In this method, the teacher has a time designated for the students to work on a subject that they might be having more issues with than other subjects. This is done individually for each student. I do not fully understand this method. I think the best way for me to incorporate this into my future classroom as an elementary teacher would be to maybe set aside time for a study hall type of situation. This could be a time for the students to work individually or together. Working together would give the students the opportunity for peer learning. This could help the students because they could be hearing something they had issues with when I taught it from a different perspective that they might understand better.  While the students are doing this, I could be floating around the room helping the students and groups. This would also let me as the teacher know what the students are having issues with because the more groups that were working on something could indicate an issue.

The third and final method mentioned in this article is Engagement. This method involves taking students to local businesses to see how what they are learning applies to the real world. This method tries to make the students feel what they are learning is more real and actually applicable to them in their lives other than just because it is in a text book. The author suggested that this method be used several times a week. If the teacher worked at a school where field trips were limited or hard to get approved, then this could also be done via Skype or some other video chat. If there was the accessibility for everyone in the class to have a computer,  this could also be done individually to where the students can get a more in depth conversation with what they wanted to know.

Project #12 - Delivering a Lesson via the SMARTboard

Monday, November 10, 2014

Blog Post #12 - What assistive technologies are avalaible to you as a teacher?

Assistive Technology
Group #1

I chose to read up on the different resources that Apple has available for special education students. Apple Support for Special Education. It is absolutely incredible to see the amazing ways that Apple is reaching out to make resources for special education. The “Speak Selection” is simple but so incredibly helpful for students who need to hear a word as it’s being read, this can help with comprehension for a wide range of learners! The Speak Selection can read text messages, emails, ebooks, and web pages. This is just one of many great options Apple has for special education students. Another resource that I saw was one that I just recently heard about in my EDM 310 class, iBooks. iBooks Author is where teachers can create a customized learning material to support each and every learning need. iBooks have a variety of features like 3D images, video, and audio. I believe this could be a great resource for special education students, because of the ability to customize the learning material, and that is so incredibly important because each student is different and will learn differently. There are many more wonderful examples of resources that Apple has available for special education students, and I believe that Apple has done an excellent job using technology as a fundamental way of learning for special education students.

I chose the video about teaching introductory math to young blind students by means of a touchpad. This video was Teaching Math to the Blind. In this, Professor Art Karshmer at the University of San Francisco offers a solution to the issue that blind students face in learning math. Here is a simple example of this issue: sighted students see an addition problem with one addend on top of the other with the sum underneath while blind students can only see the problems straight across on one line. This is a problem because the students are not able to develop a strong foundation in math and therefore are severely limited in their potential to go into certain career fields in their future. With the touchpad described in the video, the blind students are able to learn math more like a sighted student would. This would help them learn fundamentals of math better so they have a better chance with it in their futures.

I chose to watch the video Teaching Mom What Her Deaf/Blind Child Is Learning On the iPad. In this video, the teacher is showing one mother Voiceover for iPad. She is teaching the mother how her deaf/blind child is using his/her iPad. She goes over the different ways to use and explore through the iPad with just the touch of their fingertips. I think that this is a great way for the parents to see just how much their child can accomplish with technology, no matter the child’s disability. I suggest all teachers that will have students that might have these disabilities go through an iPad training as this mother did to experience what their student/students will.

for people without disabilties, technology makes things easier. for people with disabilities, technology makes things possible.
 Link to photo source:

Monday, November 3, 2014

Project #4 C4T - #3 Commenting on Liz B. Davis' Blog: The Power of Educational Technology

The third teacher I had to comment on was Liz B. Davis. Her blog is  The Power of Educational Technology. 

The first post of hers I commented on was,  Using Design Thinking to Reimagine Back to School Night. In this she explains how they tried to incorporate the Design Thinking model mentioned in Tom and David Kelly's book "Creative Confidence." To do this, they broke into groups.

In their process, they conducted interviews to understand am "empathize" with teacher and parent experiences. After that, they "defined." This means that they came up "with an actionable problem statement." The next step was to "ideate," or to create ideas. This involved brainstorming, choosing the favorite ideas, and as groups refining the idea they wish to move forward with. After that, the groups were to create a "prototype". It was now time to create their idea. "Prototypes can be anything that takes a physical form." The final step was to "test," this concluded with making their solution better.

After the process, the groups share their information with each other and fill out evaluations of the different ideas presented to provide feedback.

diagram of the topics described

My comment on her blog was the following:
"I like the idea of getting the teachers to get parent responses. I also think the process described is a very effective one to achieve the goals. With a supportive and hardworking group I think this plan could work very well."

The second post of hers I commented on was an older post than the previous one. This post was Passion Driven Professional Development - Teachers Unplugged at NAISAC14. In this post she describes an "unconference." Through this type of conference, whoever shows up suggests the topics, from there the participants voted on which topics they wanted to discuss. If nobody shows up to your conference or the conference you are attending is not what you thought it would be, then go to another one. These discussions will last for about 20 minutes. To wrap up the conferences, everyone in the group tells something they learned.

people participating in the unconference described

My comment on her blog was the following:
"I definitely see how this could be a good change to the tradition style of conference. This could be very welcomed for those who are tired of the same type of in-service"

Project #10 - Movie Interview: Interviewing Mrs. Sarah LeCroy

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Project #14 - PBL Lesson Plan #2

Lesson Plan #2 Group 1 W6
Lesson Name:  Daily experience as a native American
Category: Social Studies
Grade Level: 5                             Lesson Number: 1 of 1
Date: Nov. 2,  2014

Alabama Standard(s): Distinguish differences among major American Indian cultures in North America according to geographic region, natural resources, community organization, economy, and belief systems.
•  Locating on a map American Indian nations according to geographic region

Driving Question:

What can be learned about the lives of native Americans through interviews and research?

According to rubric in assessment.
Students should finish the project to a minimum 90% completion according to the rubric in the assessment.

An interview will be set up for the class as a whole with a specialist on Native Americans. This will be conducted through means of face-to-face video chat. During class time, the teacher will set up an interview via Skype that will be projected to where the whole class can see the specialist. The students will have the opportunity to have a Q and A session with him.
After this the students will be separated into groups to decide what Native American group they will be assigned to. For a class of 24 students, the class will be separated into 4 groups of 6. All these students will work on the same tribe for the remainder of the project and will work together for a later part. The students will get together to choose a tribe to study. This tribe should be different from the tribes that were the 6 mandatory tribes from the last project. Also, the groups will have to choose different tribes than other groups. This is decided by a first come first some basis. The groups that inform the teacher first of their tribe will get to do their project on that tribe.
From there, the students will conduct their own interviews with someone who can speak on behalf of their chosen tribe. An example of how to do this would to be to go to the tribe’s website and contact whomever is in charge of education as listed by the website. This person should be able to aid the student in finding an interview. This interview can be  conducted face-to-face, over something such as Skype, or even over email and needs to be a minimum of 5 questions. The students will create their own questions for the interview. The students will have to have their questions approved before the interview. Once the student has conducted the interview, their questions and a summary of the answers will be put online on the student’s blog. Also in this blog the students will have an “In the day of a life of ….” post. This might require some extra research. This part of the project will be done on an individual basis.
From there the students will work collaboratively for the rest of the project. The students will get together to work on a presentation. This will be presented to the class and to other classes through participation in a school culture week that the class could help organize in another project.  The students will create a single presentation as a group based of their individual research. Also the students will have to artistically (using visual arts) create things important to that culture. An example of that would be a shoe that is original to that tribe could be created for this part of the project. Each group will have to create 3 different cultural pieces.
At the end of the project the students will be required to create their own rubrics. With these rubrics the students will grade themselves individually, the members of the group, and the group as a whole cohesive team. This is for self-evaluation purposes. If the student finds it necessary, he may make 2 separate rubrics for self evaluation or group. The final grade will be decided by the teacher rubric.

Materials/ Equipment:

Computer, internet access, a blog, visual art supplies (will vary from group to group).


Classtime will be given to work on this project, whatever is not finished will be done for     homework.


10 points
7 points
5 points
2 points
0 points
5 questions and did interview and summary
3 or 4 questions did interview and summary
1 or 2 questions did interview and summary
Questions no interview
No questions no interview
Blog Post
Blog post completed (3 sections) and proper grammar
Blog post completed (3 sections) with obvious grammar mistakes
Blog post incomplete (less than 3 sections) and proper grammar
Blog post incomplete (less than 3 sections) and obvious grammar mistakes
No post
Presentation created and delivered
Presentation created and delivered at less than par standard
Presentation created but delivery was uninformed (read from project)
Presentation was incomplete
No presentation prepared
Visual Arts Creation
3 artistic creations with visible effort
3 artistic creations with obvious lack of effort
2 artistic creations
1 artist creation
No creations
Made rubric and did the evaluations
Made rubric did 4 of 7 evaluations
Made rubric and 1-3 evaluations
Made rubric no evaluations
No rubric no evaluations

Blog Post #11 - What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?

Back to the Future
I liked how he had his students make a blog post of what they learned through the projects. It is very much like a fresh take on the old style of just writing a summary. Also, I liked his idea making the students write from the prospective of the balloon after they did the balloon project. It engages both their creativity and their knowledge of the project.
When the students did the "High Hopes" project, I think it was interesting how they even included ....well, the world into their project. They asked for people to send in their "high hopes" and they received them.
He says through what he does, he is "overpowering kids to want to learn on their own." He is also giving them the resources to collaborate with people, become globally involved, and much more.
It is also incredible how he incorporated the student into his classroom even though she could not actually attend. I am sure that made a huge impact on the student herself and all the other students in his class. I think that is a wonderful example to set for the other students who could attend.

Blended Learning Cycle
It takes online, mobile, and classroom leaning and blends them together into the classroom and combines it with the learning cycle (engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluate).

6 Parts to his Blended Learning Cycle
1) Begin with a good question
2) Get the students to investigate and experiment
3) Show a video to the students
4) Elaborate -maybe a reading is what he suggested
5) Review -meet with the students to make sure they understand
6) Summary -the way he does this is with a quiz

depiction of the blended learning cycle

Link to photo source: Rebecca Lathem's Blog

Super Digital Citizen
I liked how he asked the students a question and then had them talk among themselves before he spoke with them about the question he asked.
Incorporating the comic books is a great idea. It makes them think creatively, work on skills such as their writing and the content, and it is something that grabs their attention. This project was also important because it reinforces what they should know about being digital citizens and being safe online.

Project Based Learning
This video tells about teachers trying to blend 3 classes to cross curriculum and create a better learning experience for the students. According to the video this method helps students. It engages them and helps them gain a deeper understanding.

Roosevelt Elementary's PBL program
In this video, the speakers describe PBL as in depth learning, integrated thematic instruction, real-world problem based, research based, involves projects and presentations. This take cooperation and collaboration between both students and teachers.
The speakers describe that they give the students choice in this method. It is trusting them and giving them ownership. It gives them skills they can use in the 21st century. Makes them responsible to teach other and depend on their peers. They encourage community participation. This is a different approach to teaching than what is traditionally used. Through this method they become more engaged. Students are given the opportunity to have a spark to question and learn about their world. They are also given the opportunity to work with other across the school and community.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blog Post #10 - What can we learn from Mrs. Cassidy?

Over all, I think there is a lot that can be learned from Mrs. Cassidy in the following videos. I thoroughly enjoyed viewing them and found them resourceful for ideas.

Little Kids...Big Potential 
These students enjoyed the use of technology being incorporated into their classroom.
One of the first things mentioned was how the students enjoy writing in their blogs because people see what they do and will comment. This probably gives the students a better feeling of having their work appreciated. It is like hanging the student's work in the hall, except on a global scale. It also lets them see what they have done and where they have come from. One of the students described the class blogs as being a portfolio of their year.

The class also had a class webpage. On this the teacher has links posted that will help the students with the lessons. The students have the opportunity to utilize this page during center time.

I feel the incorporation of  Skype into the classroom is a great one. It creates a much larger opportunity for influence on the students. It is no longer just what the teacher said. The teacher might say it first, but it is reenforced by the person from that area, in that field, or doing whatever is being mentioned. I am sure this also makes the idea stick better for the students. This can keep the students interested in the lesson, incorporate technology, and still ensure the students are learning.

Another thing that can be clearly seen, but was not specifically mentioned is that it is a big deal for these students to have "the people from Alabama" commenting on their blogs. The fact that the students even mentioned it shows that it made an impact of them. The C4K assignments mean a lot to these students to be recognized by somebody (in this case) in a completely different country.

students using a laptop
Link to photo source: Frances Judd's Blog
Cassidy 13 Part 1
One thing that stood out to me was when Mrs. Cassidy said that her students really enjoyed the use of technology in the classroom because it was not strange to them. In their world it just is there. For the students that I will be teaching, most of the technology we have now (or at least something similar) has been around for their whole lives. They have not known a world without it. Also as she put it, it is a handicap to not take advantage of the tools now available for education.

According to Mrs. Cassidy, the best thing about the blogs is the audience. It is exciting for the students to see the page views and for them to know that are interested in what they are doing.

Cassidy 13 Part 2
I liked her advice that a good place to start is where you are interested. "For everybody there is a different entry point." Also, how she said that at first Twitter seems useless because you feel like you are saying something and nobody is listening, is very true for me. At first I was thinking that it is useless and that nobody was even looking. Shortly after I started getting more followers (I still do not have many, but there is at least something).

animated image of a person being plugged into technology
Link to photo source:

Cassidy 13 Part 3
While she was talking about how often she incorporated technology she mentioned that it varied from year to year. I definitely agree that it is important to change the classroom depending on the class and also to keep things original and updated. I liked; though, how she said in years where she has a larger class, she uses blogs as a station. I think that is a great idea.

Something she reiterated in this video that I think is important is how she helps keep her students protected. She teaches them to not use their last names, not to post pictures of themselves, and also what places are safe places on the internet for her students to go. She also tells them to only click on the things they should, such as telling the students, "the part in the middle is what you should click on that is what the teacher wants you to use to learn."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Project #6 C4K - Summary for October


The first student I was assigned to for October was Marcellus. I had already commented on his most recent post, so I went back one farther to one I had not commented on. This post was Making My Mark. In this post he said he would make his mark by volunteering at a homeless shelter and by also volunteering at one.

A picture of a homeless shelter.
Link to photo source:

After I introduced myself, my comment on his blog was the following:
"Volunteering with the homeless is a great endeavor. Far too often they are a group of people who are forgotten if it is not a holiday. We have to remember that they are somebody's family: somebody's baby, parent, sibling, they mean something to somebody."

Brody does sports

The second student blog I posted on this month is "Brody does sports." The post I commented on was No Shout Out. In this he talks about the cure for aging. He says he would want to find one. He goes on to explain why. He could see his dad young, he could stay young, and he could make a lot of money off of the cure. He poses the question if the reader would like to live forever. He follows this up with he could see many generations of life and since he would have all the time in the world, he could spend all his time on inventing.

a picture of the same person at three different stages of life
Link to photo source: curepages

After I introduced myself, my comment on her blog was the following:
"I do not think I would want to find the cure to aging. For one thing, the world would get over populated because everyone would still want children. For another, there would be no rest, if there was no aging there would be no retirement and everyone would work forever. Finally, if you know aging is not waiting around the corner, then you will not live like you have a limited amount of time, so you would not live with a purpose."


The third student blog I was assigned to for this month was Kieran. This blog the student tells a story about a wedding. The student describes the cat and the dog that are there and what they were doing. It is also mentioned that it was nice and the student would have liked to be there.

a bride and groom walking away
Link to photo source: ULC

After I introduced myself, my comment on this student's blog was the following:
I like the mention of animals in this wedding. To most people their animals are part of the family  and to include them in the joining of two families just seems natural.


The final student blog I was assigned to for the month of October was Taiaha. The blog post I commented on was My Holiday. In this post he mentioned how he and his cousin were playing a video game, "Black Ops 2," together. He also went swimming with his family at a pool. When he went down the slide he accidentally ran into his cousin. After they had gotten very cold, they got out and went shopping. While shopping he got some new shoes. To finish up his day he watched a movie.

the word vacation
Link to photo source: Goodbye Crutches

After  I introduced myself, my comment on his blog was the following:
"It sounds like you had a wonderful time. It is nice to spend a day relaxing and enjoying yourself with your family. Whenever I get to have a nice break with my family, it is always a welcomed treat."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blog Post #9 - What can teachers and students teach us about project based learning?

Seven Essentials for Project Based Learning
In order for the project to be meaningful, the "students have to perceive it as personally meaningful" and it must "fulfill and educational purpose."

to boys involved in project based learning
Link to photo source: DDCE Central

The Essentials
1 A Need to Know
Give them a reason why they need to know the information you are about to present. A good way to do this is an "entry event," this is an introduction to the lesson that makes the students have an interest.
2 A Driving Question
This is a question to provoke thought and to get the students interested in doing to project and learning what can be learned from this project. According to the site, "The question should be provocative, open-ended, complex, and linked to the core of what you want students to learn."
3 Student Choice and Voice
This involves giving the students some choice in what their project will be and what they must do. While it is important to give the students choice, the article does give some examples of how the students can have choice while the teacher still maintains control of the overall project.
4 21st Century Skills
Some of these skills involve collaboration though team-building skills, communication, self-evaluation through use of rubrics, organizing time and task, problem solving, and oral presentation among others.
5 Inquiry and Innovation
This involves the students thinking of, answering, and learning from questions that they generated.
6 Feedback and Revision
This is important because it lets the students know what was wrong or can be improved and gives them the opportunity to improve upon it.
7 A Publicly Presented Project
This makes the student care more about the quality of the work because it will be seen. Also, it makes the project more meaningful because it is no longer just for the eyes of those in the classroom during the presentation.

Project Based Learning for Teachers
This video goes over the basics of project based learning, what will gained, and what it required. Some quotes from the video are: "The project is deep and requires students to complete and end product to share their learning with others." Through project based learning, "students can learn collaboration skills, communication skills, critical thinking skills,  and career and life skills."

words that represent project based learning
Link to photo source: IPEL

PBL: What motivates students today
In this video students were asked questions and they answered. The following is the questions asked and the answers the student's gave.
What motivates students?
  • Acknowledging students' good work
  • Having a good, stable future 
  • The ability to have a higher education to achieve future dreams
  • To stay out of trouble with parents
Rewards that work
  • A classroom money system
    • On certain colors a certain amount of money is lost, also on certain colors a certain amount of money is gained. Things can be bought at the "store" in the classroom.
  • Candy, time outside of the classroom, food, school supplies (pencils, notebooks, ect), stickers
  • Different events for different days of the week
 Project based learning: Tips for school
These are tips put together from educators, both teachers and administrators. 
 1 Look to schools for inspiration
2 Do the project yourself first
3 Encourage students to work together to critique their work
4 Give project based learning time to be effective and time to learn how it can be effective
5 Encourage those who are weary of the change
6 Allow time for reflection for students and teachers after the project
7 Let students take control in the learning process
8 Keep the projects and everything involved with it simple at first until you have the hang of it

Case of the Watery Ketchup
This video is about two high school seniors who do a project about getting ketchup to squirt out of the bottle without being water.This required lots of brainstorming on the student's part. They solved this by designing a new cap for the bottles. This was an effective project because the students were interested and they also learned to ask and answer their own questions though this project.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blog Post #8 - What can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch?

There is a lot that can be learned from Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. It can be applied to many aspects of life, but much of it can be applied to teaching and learning.

Although it is not directly related to question, "What can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch," there is one thing about him I think is important to mention. He is very positive. I feel that is an important attribute of anyone, especially an educator.

positivty pass it on
Link to photo source: Channeled Essence

Much of what he said in this video can be used in teaching. One thing I noticed about him was that he was great with keeping the audience's attention. He was energetic, spoke in a modulated tone, was expressive, incorporated visuals and stories that were interesting and relevant. Another important lesson teachers can learn from this video is to "wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you" just "give them enough time." Every student has a strong point, you just have to find it.

A skill that is useful in every day life and with teaching. It is a lesson in being tactful. There is always a good way and a bad way to say things, like in the case when he was talking to his bosses trying to get his sabbatical. The two bosses said the same thing, one just said it in a much better way. Another important thing to remember is to desire to help people achieve childhood dreams. My degree will have me working with children, so it will not be to help them achieve those dreams but to set them on the right path to achieve them.

a girl holding a sign saying we all have dreams
Link to photo source: Favim

He also made a good point in telling a story about his students. He said to not set a bar, let them show you how high they can achieve. If you set an expectation they might meet it, but you will never truly be able to see what they are capable of. Also, it is important to take things farther than just your one classroom. A good example of this is when the ETC program he was working on started to go global or just when he was able to get a large group of people to come see students show their work.

Another thing he did that was important as both a speaker and an educator was that he was able to take a topic I knew nothing about and he did not lose my attention nor did he make me wonder, "what is he talking about." He also stressed that educators should learn from their students.
One thing that was important to him was to know the importance of fun. He explained this by saying, "decide if you are a Tigger or an Eeyore." Finally, we should "never lose the child-like wonder."

a picture of tigger and eeyore
Link to photo source: NSC Blog

We can take away from this video for learning as well. One important this he did was to aspire. He had goals and dreams that he set forth and was dead set on achieving them. The ones he did not achieve he used as learning experiences.

Some of what he said could also be applied to both learning and teaching. Like with football for him, he said, "if you do something young enough and you train for it, it becomes a part of you." This can be important for teaching to instill this in students. It can also be important for students to find something they can apply this to."Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." This can also be applied to both. When you expect something to go one way as a teacher and it does not, then you have gained experience. Also this can be applied to students. An example of this is if a student does not get the grade they wanted it teaches them to change something in their study habits or just study all together.

experience straight ahead
Link to photo source: Bently Master Minds

He viewed the "brick walls" in his stories as opportunities to try harder or in a different manner. They are there "to give us a chance to show how badly we want something." This can be applied to everything, teaching and leaning included. He said, "you can't get there alone." You have to get help from other people. This is important for everyone to remember. It is always okay to ask for help if you need it. The last thing is "dont complain; just work harder." Things will not get easier if you moan about it.

randy pausch wrote a book on living while dying
Link to photo source:

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Project #4 C4T - #2 Commenting on Shireen Dadmehr's Blog: "Math Teacher Mambo"

For my second part of  Project 4 C4T, I was assigned to Shireen Dadmehr's Blog Math Teacher Mambo.

The first post I commented on was Learning is Hard. In this she discusses how the students in a Digital Electronics class are practicing soldering. She mentioned how they watched a video, had a safety discussion, gave a few tips, and then had them jump right into the project.

Shireen Dadmehr's example of soldering

My comment on her post was the following.
"I like how you had had the discussion with the students about safety and tips, but when it came to doing the project it was all on them. With many things, having to figure it out on your own is a great way to get something to stay with you for longer."

The second post I commented on was Trig Identity Match Up Activity. In this she described an activity she did with her students. She had several different problems cut up and handed them out to her students and told them to match up a sequential pair, then a triplet, and eventually the who problem was worked out and matched up with the other steps of the problem.

a congolmeration of different trigonometry words and symbols
Link to photo source: Wikispaces-Trigonometry

My comment on her post was the following.
"I really like this idea, especially having them figuring out for themselves that they had all the steps to the problems in front of them from the start. I feel this is a great way to get the students to work with each other and to recognize the different parts of the process of figuring out this type of problem."

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Blog Post #7 - How do we all become learners?

I have not had much exposure to project based learning in my schooling so far. That will definitely be a weakness for me. However a great strength and resource I do have is my family. My mother is a teacher and she is very willing to help me come up with ideas of things to do in addition to letting me steal ideas from her. My sister is about to graduate with her degree in graphic design where most of her work falls under project based learning. Her college career so far has given her experiences as a student in a project based learning situation that make her resourceful in getting a different perspective on it.

In the video"How to make an audio QR code"she describes the process to creating an audio QR code. The first step to take is to go to the site "" Once you are ready to record, hit the record button and wait until the counter rolls over to 1 second. Once you have made your recoding, you can listen to it and either start over and repeat the previous steps or save it. After that you will need to copy the url code given by the website and take it to "" Paste the url code into into url code area on the website. This will make the QR code. From there just copy and paste the QR code into Word and print it.

a q r code with the words how to maje a q r code
Link to photo source: Babble

In the video iPad Reading Center Ms. Puck shows the example of her students reading to themsevles via recording. She had the student record themselves as they read it the first time and then they play the recording while reading along with the recording of themselves. This could definitely be a useful tool with reading. It shows the student exactly how they performed in reading. This is very precise and exact with the students because they cannot convince themselves of a different reading level than exactly where they are because they can show how they read out-loud.

children using an iPad
Link to photo source: Securedge Networks

In Tammie Shirley Discovery Education Tammie Shirley and her student, Karley show how to used board builder. First, sign into Board Builder,  then choose background, give it a title, click continue, add,  and then create a board. From there, you will add a headline, facts about the moon, and an image or video. You can search discovery education to find video for board builder. Type in what it  is you are wanting to search for into search. Your quick list will show all videos saved, from there you can drag from quick list. 

In  Using iMovie and AVL I like when Ms. Davis mentions that AVL teaches students basic research.

Also,  I feel some of my classmates might be more willing to participate in their classwork a little more if they felt it were more appreciated. I know I cannot be the only one who feels at least a tiny bit insulted when we are laughed at on a weekly basis in the videos we have to watch for our blogs. We did not have access to iMovie and other software in kindergarten, we are just as new users of it as they are. When a project is finished and we step back and think we did a good job just to be laughed at and have it called kindergarten work the next week, it is easy to get a little disheartened.
It has not stopped me from doing my assignments, but it does make me feel like a fool for ever being proud of what I am making in this class when it gets laughed at (especially when it is laughed at on Youtube where everyone in the world can see it).

Project #7 - Four Movies Part B

Parent Video

Student Video

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Implications and Teaching Opportunities for Camera Use in Teaching and Learning.

Part A
The most obvious implication of the amount of smartphone ownership will be the assumption of a working knowledge it. With so many people using it, the owners will automatically assume that most people know how to use them. Another major assumption will be that everyone has one. I know on a regular basis now people tell me, "You can do this on your smartphone." That is under the assumption that I have a smartphone. While I do have a phone, it is a very "dumb-phone."

People will want to utilize many of the functions that smartphones have in classrooms, but I doubt that will be allowed. Schools like to keep communication between teacher and students/parents very visible and communication with smartphones will not allow that. I do believe parents will think that the teacher should respond to emails quickly, though. The assumption will be that Jimmy's teacher has a smartphone and will get the email straight to his or her phone.

smartphones stacked up
Link to photo source: Forbes

Technology will definitely be expected to be taught in schools. Maybe not teaching with smartphones, but just technology in general. There will be certain things teachers will be expected to use and teach in the classrooms, just like PowerPoint and other things of that sort were when I was in grade-school. For the students I am sure there will be an even bigger assumption that the children will know the technology.

People assume that me and all the other 20-somethings know technology because we are young and have seen it used growing up. As it was pointed out earlier by Dr. Strange, these children will not know a world before much of this technology. Starting out, Google will most likely be about 10 years older than the children I will be teaching. I know people will assume that they automatically come out of the womb working an iPad. 

Part B
One idea for learning purposes could be for a science class. Depending on what the kids are learning, it can be assigned for them to go take pictures: examples of flowers/trees, basic groups of animals, clouds, or anything identification. Another idea is to video themselves making a "tutorial." There is the saying "if you can teach it then you know it." This could be for something such as math. Whatever are they are working on (ex:long division) have them make a video explaining the steps and working though it as if they were teaching it. Another video they could make could be one related to a theatre type of lesson. They students could work in groups to make a production and then record it.

a child taking a picture with a tablet
Link to photo source: Phonedog

The students could also be required to make a portfolio of their work in a subject. It could also be used to simply take pictures on a field trip to aid in a later assignment that could be connected to the pictures taken. If there were a science project the students could do that through technology instead of the stand-up poster boards. Depending on the age, the students could be instructed to write a book and then create or take pictures to illustrate their creation. This could be a great resource for anything that could not be brought into the classroom for children to still get the effect of hands-on.