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