"For in Him we live, and move, and have our being..."-Acts 17:28

Sunday, April 27, 2014

c4k summary for April

http://wesleying.org/tag/rugby/
Ben is in year 8 class at Point England School in Auckland, NZ. He created a Google slide presentation about himself. He likes sports, specifically Rugby and wants to play for the NRL one day. This was my response to his Google slide presentation,
"I was delighted to learn a little bit about you. I can see you like sports, and possibly like math. I also have a friend who is Samoan! I enjoyed your blog and wish you the best in your aspiration of playing sports!"


http://pesromonadellh.blogspot.com/
Christian is in year 10 class at Point England school in Auckland, NZ. He posted a blog called FiaFia. Ben tells us that in Samoan or Tongan language Fiafia means happy, but in New Zealand it means to have a celebration of cultures as well as happiness. This is what I wrote,
"I have a friend that is Samoan! So, now next time I speak to him, I can show him I know a word in his own native language. Thank you so much for teaching me something new!"


http://www.learningresources.com/product/inflatable+butterfly+life+cycle.do
Machelle is in class 9 at Point England School in Auckland, NZ. She is very creative. Machelle created a vimeo video of the life of a butterfly. The post that I responded on was her post titled Easter. It was a story about a nice dragon who gave a little girl, named Mya, some Easter eggs. This is what I commented,
"I really like the background you chose for your page; it is very fun! My blog page has similar colors. I also like this very imaginative story you created about Easter. Do you like to write stories? You would be a great children's book author. Good job!"


Saturday, April 26, 2014

C4T (April Summary)

What is reading fluency?
"Reading fluency includes the ability to decode words, automatic processing of material read (meaning the bulk of a student’s energies needs to be spent on comprehension, but that cannot be accomplished if they are not fluent), and the ability to read with prosody (expression, phrasing, smoothness and pace)."
-Annie Palmer
My C4T assignments for April were both focused on one educator's blog Breaking Education Barriers by Annie Palmer. Her blog posts were very informative for me as a future educator. I was told by a couple of teachers this semester that teaching kindergartners to read and write is one of the most difficult tasks for their grade level. It may take an entire day to accomplish one complete sentence for K teachers. Miss Palmer posted a couple blogs about teaching reading fluency. The first post that I commented on was titled So, How DO you teach fluency?. She posted a link to a video of how one teacher uses variations in her voice as well as singing to help her students learn to read. She also shared links to documents with rubrics for assessing fluency, as well as lesson plans for teaching fluency. This is what I wrote,
"I’m so glad you shared this post. I particularly like the video with the teacher reading to her class with variations in her voice, and singing. This was very helpful to me because I am wanting to teach kindergarten. I will be summarizing your post on my blog at maddenluanaedm310.blogspot.com on April 27, 2014. Thanks again for the helpful resources you have shared."


http://www.readinghorizons.com/blog/post/2011/04/19/the-fluency-bridge-to-comprehension.aspx


The second blog post, that I left a comment on, was very eye opening. It also was about teaching fluency. This blog post was called The Power of Fluency Instruction She brought to attention the fact that fluency instruction is not a major part of elementary education. Of course, we teach children to read words and write them, but do they thoroughly learn how to read fluently; do they comprehend AND know how to read aloud to others meaningfully. We need to teach students how to read with natural pauses where a comma might be, and to use variations in their voices when they come to a phrase that may mean something different than the previous one. When they read a question, are they truly asking it or are they reading it as a statement. Think about how a news anchor would sound if they did not know how to read fluently. That is a prime example of reading fluently. Anchors have to switch gears constantly from good news to bad news, and they can ONLY do that because they know how to fluently read. If we don't teach our students now, then they may be hindered in the future. This was my comment,
"I just realized, by reading your post, that I observed the lack of fluency instruction in our schools this past semester. The instruction of reading fluency really does bridge the gap between comprehension and phonics. It’s not enough to hear someone else read and comprehend what they’re reading; the question is do the students understand how to read it themselves. Can they read the same paragraph correctly pronouncing each word AND comprehend it themselves as they are reading? In a kindergarten class, where I did my observation hours this semester, I got the opportunity to sit with each student and assess their sight word recognition. They went through each word saying them aloud, but I did actually think to myself, “Do they know what each word means yet?” I understand now why my teachers may have used verbal reading as part of an activity we were doing. Doing that gives the teacher an idea of each student’s reading fluency. Even now, in my junior year of college, there are students (fully grown adults) who do not have good reading fluency. In several classes I have taken there is always a handful of students who cannot read out loud fluently. They stumble over words they should already recognize and be able to use correctly in their daily vocabulary. Maybe this observation I have had in my own classes is a result of the lack of the fluency instruction. If I am right, then it also shows how the lack of fluency instruction in elementary education can follow a person well into their adulthood. Thank you for your post. I will keep this in mind when I become a teacher."

Sunday, April 6, 2014

c4k summary for march

http://www.stanislawconsulting.com/2013/take-our-empathy-quiz/
In the month of March I was assigned to a young man named Rocky. On his blog page he posted a definition for empathy. Rocky tells us that empathy is when you put yourself in another person's shoes. I wrote,"If the world thought more like you, we would have a better world to live in. I often get empathy and sympathy confused, but today I learned from you that 'empathy is a word or an action you can show to others'. You are right when you said there would be no love if there was no such thing as empathy. How can you really care about someone unless you put yourself in their shoes every once in a while? I appreciate your kind heart and hope the best for you in life! Don't lose your empathy for other people! We all need it from time to time."

March C4T Summary

http://download.cnet.com/Sportplan/3000-2136_4-75770148.html
For the month of March I was assigned to Coach Dylan Blain, a Physical Education Teacher in South Wales, UK. Coach Blain posted a blog about a new software called Sportplan. The software allows Coach Blain to devise physical fitness plans and share them with his colleagues. I commented that something similar should be used for every field of education. Coach Blain mentioned that he could save the plans to a clip board and share it. This is similar to Google drive, but I think it would be great to have software for every subject that already has built in plans you can use for whatever subject is being taught.

http://www.cnusd.k12.ca.us/Page/23912
On another post, Coach Blain talked about an app that can be used on any device, and can be used during class. Students can work freely and are able to save their work for review once class is over. Just like the Drop Box app, students can save their work on any device in the classroom and return later to any device and open their saved work using the Edmodo app. I would definitely consider using this in the future.

Project #10 Interview with Mrs. Rhonda Essary

Interview with Rhonda Essary, a kindergarten teacher at Council Traditional School in Mobile, Alabama.

Blog Post #11

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Blog Post #10

In the video Bring on the Learning Revolution, Sir Ken Robinson talks about an educational revolution, an education that breaks away from the traditional standardization. He says that we are obsessed with getting people to college, which is very true, but we don't realize that college is not for everyone. Sir Robinson made a very profound statement, or at least I thought so. He said,"Human communities depend upon a diversity of talent not a singular conception of ability." Some people may need to wait until a later time in life to pursue a higher education, and for some people education only hides or keeps them away from their natural talents. Where would communities be without bus drivers, waiters/waitresses, sales men and women, etc. There is nothing wrong with these jobs

Sir Ken Robinson told a story about a young man who dreamed of being a fireman, and one of the young man's high school teachers actually told the young man that he was throwing his life away. One day that same young man became a firefighter and saved the lives of the former high school teacher and his wife. This young firefighter had a passion for saving lives, and that doesn't always mean that someone has to have a four year degree to do so. What Sir Ken Robinson was trying to convey with his speech was that education doesn't have to come from a traditional standardized classroom. We can all become educated in different ways, whether it be on our own, through a 6 month training program, or master's degree. What really matters is that we have a passion to do what we are being educated to do, because if we don't have a passion for it, then we are wasting an education and will not be happy within ourselves. Sir Robinson mentioned that there are people who do what they are passionate about, but it is who they are; and to separate the person from who they are, does not make sense. The young man, who was educated to become a firefighter because he was passionate about it, is a prime example of someone who could not be separated from their passion. Basically, Sir Ken Robinson's idea of education goes beyond the traditional classroom.

In my opinion, especially now with technology growing rapidly, one can be educated without a degree. Some careers, however, are difficult to obtain without a piece of paper saying you have been educated properly.

http://sirkenrobinson.com/?page_id=10

Project #12 Smart Board Instructional Video

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Blog Post #9

What Can We Learn From Mrs. Cassidy?

Dr. John Strange, Professor of EDM310 at the University of South Alabama conducted a three part interview (Interview with Mrs. Kathy Cassidy Part 1) (Interview with Mrs. Kathy Cassidy Part 2) (Interview with Mrs. Kathy Cassidy Part 3), with Mrs. Cassidy, a first grade teacher. The interview was centered around her experience using technology in her first grade class.

Mrs. Cassidy's Approach to Technology in the Classroom

Technology is not foreign to children anymore. They have tablets, handheld video games, cell phones, and portable computers. Children are now learning to use technology before they enter into any formal education. Technology has become second nature to young children, needless to say. Because children have become so accustomed to having technology at their finger tips all the time, Mrs. Cassidy put it this way, "Kids don't want to have to power down when they come to school." The use of technology in the class is a fun way to keep children involved and interested in learning. It has become a tool that could possibly make children want to come to school every day.

Mrs. Cassidy's Techniques and the Benefits of Using them

I am not sure if I really caught a specific technique Mrs. Cassidy uses, but I did notice that she used blogs for her students to create stories and share them. I think it's a wonderful idea to use technology as a means of creating. By incorporating blogging into the lesson plan, Mrs. Cassidy is monitoring the progression of the student's grammar, and writing skills. Furthermore, the parents and other family members can also become involved in the students' education by commenting on their blogs. Parents can see the progression of their child's learning as well when using blogs for assignments.
Blogging opens up doors for interactive learning from other students nationally and internationally. Students can learn about different cultures from interacting with students in other countries. With blogging, doors are open that otherwise would not be there.
One other technique Mrs. Cassidy uses in her classroom is Skype. I absolutely love the idea of connecting to other professionals, educators, researchers, doctors, etc., in order to bring a lesson to life. For example, I think a question and answer session with a meteorologist would be a great utilization of Skype in the classroom if I was teaching my students about weather. I think it would be an exciting thing for the children to do. Possible Impediments with Technology in the Classroom

There was a question and answer session conducted by Dr. Strange at the end of the third part of the interview. Most of the questions raised were about impediments with technology that Mrs. Cassidy may have encountered. One question was about the possibility of cheating with technology being used so much in the classroom. Mrs. Cassidy's suggestion was for the teacher to change the way questions are asked or present assignments differently for each new year. In other words, don't use the same question twice so that students can come up with their own answers and limit the opportunities for cheating. Another impediment question raised was about the concern for these young students being a victim of online predators. Mrs. Cassidy teaches her students about cyber safety, and respect. She teaches them not to use their last names, and not to click on the flashing links around the edges because those are not learning links. I love this idea and will very much use this technique in the future.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Project #14

Luana Madden's Kindergarten Reading/Language Arts Project

Subject areas to be included are Art, Technology, and Collaborative Skills.

 http://stevewhibley.blogspot.com/2011/03/happy-birthday-dr-seuss.html The idea of the project is for the instructor to read a short story book at the beginning of the week without showing the pictures, letting the children use their imaginations. Either before or after reading the book, take some time to teach them what the front and back covers of the book are, as well as the title page.

Over the course of a week assign small groups to one laptop per group, and after having each individual student put on paper what their imagination allowed made the characters and setting of the story look like. Have the individuals in each group put their ideas together collaboratively to create their own book covers and title page for the story the instructor read to them at the beginning of the week.

Of course, these are kindergartners, but they are already learning how to use technology pretty well. So, using Microsoft Word/Clip Art/ and Word Art, students should be able to make a simple page of each requirement with help from the instructor.

With this project, students are taught Alabama College and Career Ready Standards [RI.K.5] which is identifying the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book, and [SL.K.5] which is making strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.

Friday, March 14, 2014

C4T Summary

Both of my c4t comments were posted on Dorothy Burt's Manaiakalani blog page.

http://manaiakalani.blogspot.com/2013/06/transition-years.html#comment-form
Pt. England has made it a point to make sure each child has their own device. Where I live a lot of the schools require that students bring their own device but there are some families who honestly cannot afford to buy any sort of electronic device to bring to school. Pt. England shows that it is possible for schools and school systems to go out of their way to provide for a child who may be less fortunate. I am very impressed with the steps Pt. England has taken to ensure ALL students have equality in their educational opportunities!

http://manaiakalani.blogspot.com/2013/01/rolling-over-individual-blogs.html?showComment=1394849273861#c4580641272864710969
I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to read and comment on children's blogs. I believe blogs can be a great educational tool for young students, especially when they can be monitored by the teacher. Blogs can help students stay up to date with using technology on a daily basis. Students can practice use of proper grammar while perfecting their typing skills, both of which are highly wanted skills in the professional world.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Blog Post #7

In Randy Pausch's Last Lecture there were several motivating and inspiring words Professor Pausch had to share from his own life experiences. I would like to highlight only a handful of ideas that were the most inspiring to me as an aspiring educator.

What I learned about teaching from Randy Pausch
Professor Pausch stated that a good teacher enables someone to become self-reflective. A person, who is willing to admit they are wrong about something and realize they need to fix something within themselves or with their work, is a good student of life. What is even better is when an educator can cause or teach someone to become someone who is willing to say,"Hey, you know what I was wrong, but I am going to fix the mistake I made."

Professor Pausch said,"The best way to teach somebody something is to make them think they are learning something else." What an awesome revelation I had when he said this! Professor Pausch gave an example of a group of children thinking they are only playing video games when they are actually learning some programming skills.

What I learned about learning and teaching combined from Randy Pausch
There was one statement Professor Pausch made that really stepped on my toes. This thought could not only affect the way a student responds to constructive criticism, but also a thought to keep educators in tune with the reason they chose the profession they are in. Teachers care, or at least they should. Professor Randy shared that "your critics are the ones who tell you they still care about you." For example: If I, as a teacher, decide to walk around the classroom observing the childrens' school work. If I see a student constantly answer a question, or draw, color, or write something and it's not correct what would a good teacher do? Well, they would tell the child they are wrong and show them how to fix it even if it has do be done several times but in different ways. Otherwise, the teacher does not care about the student or his/her job.
"Brick walls are there for a reason; they show you how badly you want something," is a quote made by Randy Pausch in his Last Lecture. This statement has been experienced in my own life. You learn some lessons by watching other people, and you learn also by your own personal road blocks. The road blocks are there to make a person stronger. What Professor Randy was trying to say was that when something comes into your life only to hinder the dreams you are trying to pursue, that's when you kick into overdrive. Usually if you want something bad enough, then you will try everything you can to get to that one goal. When the pressure is on to get something accomplished, our brain goes into fight or flight mode, and then we stumble across some pretty awesome ways to overcome those obstacles. To relate it to learning and teaching, think about the goals you have as an educator or even as a student. What is hindering you now as a student or what could possibly hinder you as a future educator? Think outside of EDM310. What is hindering you in life? How bad do you want to be a part of something bigger than you? Find out what is stopping you and use it to climb over that brick wall.
http://izquotes.com/quote/285511
Disclaimer: With all due respect, I do not condone the use of profanity as it is used in the video, Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. I represent the ministry of my church and my pastor, and want to make clear that I do not approve of using, watching, or listening to profanity. However, for the sake of my assignment, I did watch the video. Aside from that, the lecture was extremely inspiring, and I enjoyed the nuggets of wisdom Professor Pausch had to share.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

C4K Summary for February

Liam, a student at an all boys school, in Ms. Toal's 4th/5th grade class, in Fhursa Dublin, Ireland, posted a blog called Sharks with Jillian. I learned some very interesting things about sharks from Liam's post. An average of 100 million sharks are killed every year compared to an average of 5 human deaths per year caused by shark attacks. I am unsure if the statistics are the same for U.S. victims, but the statistics are still horrendous. In addition, the reason these shark attacks take place is mainly because a shark only knows that something is food by using their teeth to figure it out. I really enjoyed reading Liam's blog post about sharks. My view of sharks are so different now.

Max, a 10th grade student in Mrs. Long's class posted a blog called Motocross at Its Best I wasn’t sure what Motocross was, so I watched a video on youtube. I had seen the sport before; I just didn't realize that Motocross was the name of the sport. Max informed me, through his post, that the bikes used several years ago were not as safe as they are now. I told him I didn't know how Motocross could be any less dangerous than what I saw in the Youtube video I watched. Regardless of the safety of the bike, these guys are doing some incredible and incredibly dangerous tricks!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blog Post #6

Personal Learning Network
What are personal learning networks?

Personal learning networks are a group of people and tools an individual can use to call upon experts, fellow classmates, or fellow educators for help or assistance.

How can they help you as a teacher?

Teachers are constantly learning how to be better teachers. Teachers are constantly trying to find new ways to engage their students in learning activities. A personal learning network is a great way for teachers to connect with other teachers so that they can share ideas with each other and give reports on what works in the classroom and what doesn't.

How are they formed?

Networks can be formed through several tools such as twitter. Twitter can be used to connect with a network of people who you can call on for help or assistance. You can also use twitter to stay connected with other students who you may collaborate with on a class assignment.

How can you create your own PLN?

One way to create your own PLN is to find out what tools other people say works best for them. I am just now learning about symbaloo and I like it so far. Symbaloo allows you to create one page in which all of your personal networks are located for easy access. I can see all the sites I use on a regular basis in one spot.

Who will be the first additions to your PLN?

My first additions were already added previous to this course, but have added several new ones. My first of the PLN is facebook, twitter, pinterest, and instagram. These are tools that I use to stay connected to friends and family. I just got an account with symbaloo and I will most likely use it as something similar to a dashboard of all of my most frequently visited websites. Some of these websites include dictionary.com, biblegateway.com, HGTV.com, and CNN.com. I use Bible Gateway to look up scriptures that I need in order to educate myself or to help someone else find what they are looking for. I like HGTV because I get great decorating ideas from some of the top designers in America. I also follow CNN on twitter so that I can keep up with news without watching the newscasts. That is probably one of my favorite pages to follow because I feel connected and not so "out of the loop" so-to-say.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Project #8

CAMPING DAY
Written by Patricia Lakin
Illustrated by Scott Nash

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Blog Post #5

There were so many things I learned from watching the conversation videos of Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps. I would like to focus on the topics that really impacted the way I think about teaching.

In The Anthony-Strange Tips for Teachers Part 1 conversation there was a list of tips, to prepare future educators, that Dr. Strange and Mr. Capps developed during the video. These tips gave me something to "take home" so-to-speak.

The Number 1
First on their list was "be a constant learner". The more I learn about teaching, the more I realize teachers are just professional learners who have been trained to teach. In-fact, a teacher is and always will be a student. Anthony inspired me to approach teaching as someone who is willing to continually learn through the art of teaching.

The number 2
Second on the list of tips informs us that teaching never ends; yes it's hard work, but it's also very rewarding. I have had a chance to experience this first hand when I taught Sunday School for 3-5 year old children. It is extremely rewarding when a child is excited about what you are teaching them and they can go home and tell their parents what they learned. Teaching really does never end. If we think about it, if a teacher is a constant learner, then that tells me new material and information is being developed everyday. There is always something new to explore, and discover. We as educators just have to create new ways to introduce new things, and help the students apply the information to every day life.

The Number 3
Third on Anthony-Strange's list is "be flexible, the unexpected will happen". Educators have to think on their feet all day. They have to be prepared to answer the difficult questions as well as to be honest when they don't know the answer. Telling a student, "I don't know the answer to that, but we can search it out together," is a great way to show a student they don't have to know everything; they need to be inspired to search things out for themselves. Being prepared for the unexpected means that sometimes ideas will not succeed as well as others, or a higher authority may decide to change the lesson plan for a day. All of these unexpected, and possibly awkward situations can give birth to an excited learning experience that the teacher initially did not expect.

The Number 4
The fourth tip on the list is "start with a goal". How can you reach a destination if you don't even know where you are going? In essence this is what Anthony is saying. With each lesson plan there should be a specific goal or list of goals in mind. Teachers can use project based learning as a tool to creatively develop or sharpen more than one skill at a time. This is great due to the heavy standards required for each state's core requirements. Anthony gave an example of this when he talked about how he used different aspects of one project in order to allow the students to use more than one skill. His students read a book and used their critical thinking skills to analyze and decide which parts of the story were most important. Anthony also taught his third-graders how to support their reason behind the parts of the book that they chose. Once the students gave Anthony a valid argument for why they chose each particular scene, they were rewarded by being allowed to create a comic book with paint to portray those particular scenes. So, with one project these students learned reading, critical thinking, debate, communication, creativity, and artwork. We've heard the phrase,"The possibilities are endless," but I would re-phrase it like this,"The goals are endless, but so are the ways with which we can use to reach them."

The Number 5
The fifth tip is to have 100% of the students engaged for the entire time in 100% of their projects. Anthony assured us in the video that it is possible to do this. This is something I worry about upon becoming a teacher. Keeping young children, especially, engaged and focused on what they are learning is the result of enjoyment of their education. I have noticed that when a child enjoys the activities with which the teacher uses to teach the material, they are more eager to learn.

The Number 6
The sixth and final tip is to reflect, revise, and share working with an audience. To be honest I am not exactly sure what Dr. Strange and Mr. Capps were referring to when they said reflect. Dr. Strange was correct when he said,"I don't know if my students have never been asked to reflect on their work." I personally can't recall being asked to reflect on my work. If I was, I do not remember. The best way that I can put it is that I'm not sure I understand what is expected of me when I am asked to reflect. Of course, I know what revise and share with an audience means and am able to do that with no problem. Anthony mentioned that using these three techniques gives confidence to his students as they share their project and it also gets the students acquainted with peer editing and constructive criticism early on. Sharing also gives the students experience in public communication, and helps sharpen their speech and social skills.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Project #3 Presentation

C4T #1 Summary

C4T Comment #1
Dorothy Burt, Digital Learning Coordinator for Point England School in Manaiakalani, New Zealand, was involved in an exciting Google event featuring her school. Education in Manaiakalani is expanding tremendously with the help of Google Apps. A team from Google visited Point England School in June of 2013 to create an advertisement, Point England School Has Gone Google, featuring the school and it's learning community. What this community of learners entails is collaborative teaching and learning through Google's website. Google has created educational tools such as Google Drive which allows educators and students to work together on assignments, projects, and sharing learning materials. Being able to use these types of tools allows students to learn outside of the classroom, and bridges the gap between home and school. Point England School, more specifically, has provided laptops to each student (if I am not mistaken) with which they learn in and outside of class using Google Apps to work either individually or with classmates while being monitored by their P.E.S. teacher. When the students learn to use these tools effectively they are being enabled and empowered to discover, explore, and learn beyond what has been assigned to them. These tools, therefore, increase students' desire to learn as well as their enjoyment of doing so.

As I watched the video for the first time I was enlightened as to how effective tools like Google Apps can be used to enhance a child's learning, and open up a new world of learning opportunities. I informed Ms. Burt of this enlightenment in my comment I posted on her blog. Mrs. Samuels, one of the mothers of a Point England School student, was interviewed about what using Google Apps has done for her children educationally. She basically said that learning has become a part of her children's lifestyle as opposed to learning just being something that is only done during school hours in a classroom.

C4T Comment #2
A blog post made by educator Dorothy Burt called Partnering with the Super City shared a video,SchoolTV SchoolTV Part One, 28th June 2013-Mayor Len Brown, of the Mayor of Auckland City, New Zealand, Len Brown, signing a memorandum agreement with the Manaiakalani Education Trust. The agreement made it possible for all citizens both Auckland and Manaiakalani to have free access to internet service in their homes by mounting access points on street power poles. This is what the Mayor, Len Brown, had to say about it, "I am excited by the opportunity for Auckland Council to pool resources and share information with the trust to support digital learning for children and young people." By doing this, the leaders of Auckland and Manaiakalani are hoping to cut down educational barriers, and provide an equal education opportunity for all children and young people.

In the comment I posted on Ms. Burt's blog Partnering with the Super City, I mentioned how impressed I was with the Mayor Len Brown and the entire community of Manaiakalani. The desire for education and an opportunity for a better future are very apparent in this community. I commented that the U.S. could learn a few things, in terms of priorities, from the community of Manaiakalani. I also said it would be a revolutionary idea for cities in the U.S. to offer free internet service in homes so that those less fortunate may have the same educational opportunities as others.

Manaiakalani: Living Local, Learning Global

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Blog Post 4

What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?

Teacher Asking Students Questions in Class
First of all, let me start this post out by saying that I think Dr. Strange was using a specific strategy on us by using an open ended question. I am having to really think about how to answer this question.

In order for students to learn, we as teachers need to know how to keep the students engaged in learning, and critically thinking. The way to do that is by asking the right questions in the right form. If a teacher is simply wanting to know if a student knows the correct answer to a question, then I would suggest a closed ended question such as a 'yes' or 'no' question. If a teacher wants to keep the students engaged, then I suggest asking an open ended question which will cause the student to think more intensely about the answer. In doing so, the teacher allows the student time to think critically about the subject and come up with answers that may pose new questions or ideas for other students to think about and learn from. The answer, the students give to the initial open ended question, also acts as a window for the teacher to see if whether or not the student grasps the topic being discussed. In Questioning Styles and Strategies Dr. Harvey Silver demonstrates how to keep a 5th grade classroom fully engaged in a discussion by alternating using both types of questions.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blog Post 3

3 Steps to Peer Editing
Peer editing is much more than finding fault in someone else's work and scalding them about it. Many times that's what we think when we hear the word 'editing'. We initially think about finding fault in a written work. Truthfully, editing is much more about suggesting something to your peer about what might make their work more interesting, creative, fun, informative, etc. Peer editing is caring about your peer's success.

There are 3 important steps to use when peer editing. The first step is to complement your peer on their overall work and highlighting the positive points. The second step is making suggestions on what might make it better. Finally, you can make corrections in a gentle way. Additionally, if you are making corrections on a public forum, DON'T. This is the best way to come off as being rude and inconsiderate. Making comments through text can often be mistaken, especially if you cannot hear the other person's tone of voice. Sending your peer a private message or talking with them in person is much more tactful.

Use the Golden Rule
The actual golden rule we learn in Kindergarten was not mentioned in the video What is Peer Editing?, but it came to my mind when the narrator mentioned the ONE rule of peer editing. That rule is to stay positive! I could not agree more! I am trying my hardest to stay away from negative people and nobody likes it when someone is nothing but negative toward them or their work constantly. So the golden rule of peer editing is to be as positive toward your peer's work as you would want them to be positive about yours! That is exactly what constructive criticism is, giving criticism with a positive and helpful attitude.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Blog Post 2

What will teaching in the 21st Century be like?

The Rhumba Dance Steps in Diagram
The central message of the video, Professor Dancealot, is that there are so many innovative tools to use in education. For one thing, the class is about dancing. I can understand taking some notes, but the best way, in my opinion, to learn how to do something is to do it. When Professor Dancealot began to demonstrate the steps of the dance the students could not see what he was doing. There should have definitely been a demonstration, but the instructor should have used some other form of technology such as a video, or had the students to practice one pair at a time. The author of the video portrayed the message by using the instructor's faulty methods as well as the students' reactions to the methods. Students were obviously bored with the lecture because there was no interaction. The conclusion of the video demonstrated how teaching dance with a lecture and books did nothing for the students. I do agree with the conclusion made by the author because I am a student who learns best by visual demonstration (that I can actually see) and also by applying what I have been taught by practicing. In this video neither of these learning methods were used effectively if used at all.

21st Century Education Logo
In the video, Teaching in the 21st Century, Kevin Roberts’ thesis suggests that if teachers can only provide content, facts, dates, and other information, then the student’s role is obsolete because we can find information anytime and anywhere. He also says, “Teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge, we are the filter.”

ARGUMENT & SUPPORT
Roberts supports his thesis by proposing questions. In reference to his statement that teachers are the filter of all the available information, Roberts asks, “How do we teach students to handle these resources” and, “with all the information available, should the curriculum be focused on facts and content, or skills?” Who will show students how to validate, synthesize, leverage, communicate, collaborate, and problem solve with the information available? Teaching students the skills to navigate and sift through the infinite amount of information is more important to Roberts than teaching the information because it is already at students’ finger tips. They just need to know how to benefit from the information, and create a learning experience for themselves as well as fellow students. Roberts gives examples of ways students can create this learning experience. The examples include blogging, podcasting, animating, planning, recording, designing, and programming. If students partake in this type of independent, technologically based learning, it also opens up doors for other skills to be learned and utilized such as subscribing, editing, posting, locating, linking, networking, and uploading just to name a few.

POSSIBLE REBUTTALS
Roberts believes that any lesson taught must be relevant, challenging, and engaging. He addresses the possible question, “why does there have to be entertainment when teaching?” Roberts answers the question by explaining that engaging lessons are not the same as entertaining lessons. Entertainment is passive enjoyment of other people’s creativity that is short-lived, allows people to escape from their problems, and does not require relevance. On the other hand, lessons that are engaging are active learning with long-term results. Engaging lessons give meaningful and applicable information to help solve problems using the creativity of the participant; and they should be fun and exciting! Roberts addresses the possible concern of managing the high tech devices that would be involved in this innovative learning on school campus. He says that teachers would manage these devices the same way that traditional classroom utensils are managed. Furthermore, Roberts suggests that even though they provide the temptation to participate in negative behavior, the devices and tools are not the source of it.

SUMMARY
Gathering and discussing information can be done on Twitter, Facebook, and cell phones, etc. Students can collaborate on, publish, and evaluate assignments on certain websites. Struggling students also have many tools available that target their particular learning style. For example, video lessons are a great tool for someone who needs to see something demonstrated before they can fully grasp a specific concept. From Roberts’ point-of-view, the 21st Century classroom would produce different types of problems for students to solve, and new educational tools to use.

Social Media Icons
My initial reaction to the video, The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler, was "Why are these people using paper cut-outs instead of real people?" We are talking about 21st Century education here. To be honest, I was distracted from what the narrator was saying because of all the cut-outs and paper being moved around. What really got my attention was the question at the end, "Why does the networked student even need a teacher?" The main idea here is that we are capable of teaching ourselves and each other as connected students via the network. There are so many ways to stay connected to information from websites, and share it with our social network of students and friends. Because there is so much information to learn and be shared, we have to sift through the junk to get to the credible information. So, instead of students blindly sifting through the information ourselves, there is an educator who has been trained to be the filter for us. For this reason, the networked student still needs a teacher, or "informational guide" if you will.

No More Pencil and Paper Learning
The thesis in Vicki Davis' video, Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts, suggested that if you empower students, to learn through exploring and finding information on their own as well as collaboratively, the learning possibilities are higher. Every student is an individual, and each individual has a different way of learning and analyzing in order to discover new skills. Additionally, Mrs. Davis goes on to state that only certain students are successful with merely pencil and paper. I completely agree with this statement because as a student myself I would be outside of that certain group of students. My best learning experiences have all been through actively applying what I learn.

The Flipped Classroom
Flipping a classroom reminds me of the blended courses at the University of South Alabama, where as the majority of the time students learn through educational tools online, and the lesser part of the time is spent reviewing in a traditional classroom. I have never heard of flipping a classroom until watching the video Flipping the Classroom. As I listened to Mrs. Munafo explain what is involved with flipping a classroom, questions filled my mind. To me, this approach to teaching could be effective IF parents monitor their children to make sure they are watching the teaching videos. I realize parents are supposed to be doing that anyway with the child's traditional homework assignments; but as Mrs. Munafo mentioned, some students do not have access to technology. Therefore, if the teacher is spending time creating a video lesson, and having to re-play the video for less fortunate students, then there really is no time saved. The only difference is the teacher is not spending time standing in front of the class. From another point-of-view, by re-playing the video versus standing in front of the class teaching, the instructor can walk around to students who may have questions, and help those students while the others are watching the lesson. I still think, however, some students could be left behind if part of the class is watching the lesson for the first time while others are moving ahead. If the lesson videos were for review of something that I had already gone over in the classroom, then I would utilize this as an option for my students to use as a homework aid only.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Blog Post 1

What About EDM310?

Taylor Davis & Luana Madden
One of my friends, Taylor Davis, has already taken EDM310 in the past and was able to give me some advice on how to succeed in the course. One thing she told me was that the class was stressful, but if you manage your time wisely and take it one step at a time you will do well. Taylor also told me that she learned a lot from this course. She was not sure at first how anything from EDM310 could be incorporated into the classroom. When Taylor allowed herself to have an open mind, however, she realized that many of the tools can be used to make the classroom a more interesting and fun environment for children to learn.

My Fears
Home Alone Movie Photo of Macaulay Culkin
There are several fears I am currently facing for this course. I am afraid there is so much information to remember that I am going to forget something in every blog post or project I complete. EDM310 is very different from my other courses, and I think Dr. John Strange says it best, "This is not a burp back course." This is fine with me! I love hands-on learning. That is when I learn best and retain what I learn much better. This is the first course in my college career I have taken that is all hands-on learning, as well as completely independent. Additionally, only one class I took in high school could even come close to EDM310, which was yearbook. Even so, yearbook can only compare to a fraction of what we will be doing in EDM310.

Difficulties
Stressed Face
The most difficult thing I believe I will face in EDM310 is keeping up with assignments on top of all the other classes I am taking, as well as working around my work schedule. Nevertheless, I am confident I will stay on top of things. The first few weeks of a new semester is always challenging for me because I am learning how to adjust to each new instructor and each new workload. So, what usually works for me is making note of which classes require the most attention in the time span given during the week. Once I do that, I can better manage my time for each course and give the appropriate amount of time to EDM310.

Questions
Confused Nerd Emoticon
I am not really sure if I have any questions about EDM310 itself. I mostly am having a difficult time processing all of the technicalities and rules for the blogs, which I am hoping I will get better with as I go. I plan to keep the time slot for this course open regardless of whether or not we have a mandatory meeting on a particular day. My idea is to use the Mondays and Wednesdays we are not required to come to class for my out of class work time. I'm also hoping to be able to utilize the lab as much as possible to maximize the possibilities for each project, blog post, and activity. I want to do well in EDM310 and have fun doing it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Practice Post

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My name is Luana, and I was born in Mobile, Alabama. I love Mobile, but haven't always lived here. From six months old to my toddler years I stayed on and off with a foster family, but not for any terrible reasons as it may sound. I stayed with them in Nashville, TN sometimes, but I mostly lived with my mother in Mobile. When I was in elementary school my mother moved us to Cairo, Georgia. From there we moved to Albany, Georgia and also Sylvester, Georgia. Needless to say, I was a professional "new kid". On the positive side, being the "new kid" all the time taught me how to be sociable. I also lived in Waveland, Mississippi for a short period of time. I love to travel, but Mobile is my home.

The Fall of 2005, following my senior year of high school I attended Capps College of Mobile for pharmacy technician training. I didn't think getting a four-year degree was for me. I finished Capps College as well as a nine month ministry training program called Mobile Master's Commission. Then, I decided I needed to get a degree and enrolled at The University of South Alabama in Spring of 2009. Within a few weeks of classes I had to drop out because my mother was ill with cancer. In 2011 the Lord received my mother as she passed on at the age of 55. Since then I have successfully completed five semesters of college. After changing my major 3 times I have decided to stick with the one answer to the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Teaching elementary school has always been the one idea that stayed in my mind no matter what else I did. Watching my six year old nephew grow educationally and intellectually is so awesome. I love to find out what new things he has learned. The mind of a child is so sensitive, and I want to be a part of molding and shaping children intellectually.

I not only want to teach children in public schools, but I also enjoy teaching children in Sunday school. This brings me to my passion. I love ministry. My passion is creating and singing music. I sing songs better than I create them. Leading worship at my church, More Life United Pentecostal Church in Grand Bay, Alabama, is my favorite thing to do.
Music ministry is what I'm used to and comfortable with doing, but I desire to minister to other countries one day. I have experienced ministering in Honduras and would truly love to go back!
Luana Madden on mission trip in Honduras
Children native to Honduras

Monday, January 13, 2014