Monday, March 31, 2014

C4K March

C4K #6 Meliana

This weeks C4K student was Meliana. She posted a fitness picture as well as a video explaining her fitness picture. Meliana's teacher likes the students to make a picture to go with the story that they tell on their video. I believe this is a great way to incorporate not one but two types of technology into the classroom. The students have to use a particular program to make their pictures and then have to record their videos and post them. The students seem really excited to be doing this, and according to Meliana's teacher the students love being able to share what they have done with other people. I let Meliana know that she did a good job not only on her fitness picture but also her video.

C4K #7 Jacob

This weeks C4K student was Jacob, a student in Mr. Barks and Mrs. Nua's class. He did a journal entry post as a soldier in the Boer War. There were three journal entries listed and each depicted what life for a soldier would have been like.
Student blogs
Jacob did a very good job placing himself in the shoes of a soldier. He discussed what the food was like, the scenes he would have seen, as well as how they had pay for their rations. I really enjoyed his post and I believe it was very well written. Jacob even included a picture that he had made which had his face cropped in the place of a soldiers face.

C4K #8 Sapphire

This weeks C4K student was Sapphire, a student in Ms. Squires class. Sapphire did a post entitled Sapphire my bio poem. She posted two biography poems both describing herself, her likes, and her dislikes. Each poem offered the reader more information about what Sapphire liked, what she was afraid of, and who she was. I told Sapphire that I remember doing these in both high school and middle school English classes. I also told her that she did a very good job on both her biography poems.

C4T # 3 Ken Halla

C4T #3 Comment #1

Ken Halla is a high school history teacher, and this week on his blog he posted The College Application Process. This post had a video ,as well as a link from where the video came from, that would be useful for teachers in high school grade levels to view. It discussed the college application process and admission process. Teachers would benefit from viewing this video to inform their students about what colleges are looking for. I know when I was in high school it would have been beneficial to have my teachers know this information and be able to guide me.

C4T Comment #2

This week on Ken Halla's blog he posted a video on how to edit YouTube videos. Halla was planning on using YouTube to have his students create a video to go with their family immigrant project. Since his students all have YouTube accounts set up, this will be a good tool for him to use to have his students produce these videos. I was not aware that YouTube was also a video editing tool until I viewed this post. It seems to be very user friendly and I believe it will be a good tool for not only Halla's students, but for myself as well.
Ken Halla

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Blog Post #10

What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?

In Sir Ken Robinson's video, I learned that teachers need to create environments and learning conditions where children will flourish. Students all have different learning styles, and just reading and writing down facts does not work for every child. Robinson gives the example that you can give two children the same exact thing and get two different results from each child. For example, one might show an interest in the assignment you have given them and excel, while the other will have no interest and barely get through the assignment. By creating an assignment that has multiple parts or by using technology, you can create a lesson that will be interesting for all students. Robinson suggest that your teaching evolve and that you customize your lesson plans and how you teach based on your students needs.
Raising hands
This goes along with project based learning since you are getting the children involved and have multiple ways of teaching students subject matter. We should continue to tweak our lesson plans we have students do in order to make lessons more interesting and keep it up to date with the technology that is used. At the end of the video Robinson leaves the viewer with this thought, "Everyday, everywhere, our children spread their dreams beneath our feet and we should tread softly." I like this thought because it reminds us that we are responsible for helping children achieve their dreams. We need to provide material in the classroom that will benefit all students and help them all succeed and grow as a person.

Project #15 Lesson Plan #3

For this weeks lesson plan I decided to focus on first grade science. In this lesson I will have students research a certain sea creature, in groups of two, and do "dash" facts on them. "Dash" facts are short abbreviated facts that the children have to pick out of sentences. This way they are learning what is important in the sentences, and are only listing the facts. After they have found the facts students will make an image of their sea creature and present to the class. The link to my lesson plan can be found here.

Sea creatures

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blog Post #9

What can I learn from Ms. Cassidy?

This weeks blog post we were given video interviews to watch between Ms. Cassidy and Dr. Strange.
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 1
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 2
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 3

Upon watching these videos, I learned a lot about technology use in the classroom and how it benefits students. In First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's class, you learn about what kind of technology tools Ms. Cassidy has her first grade class use. She makes use of the computers, blogs, Wiki, Skype, Nintendo DS, as well as student made videos to help her students learn and communicate with other students in other states. In this video students tell you that they enjoy blogging and that it actually helps with their writing skills.

One of the issues that is brought up in the conversations between Dr. Strange and Ms. Cassidy is how to protect student identities, as well as protect them from certain material on the internet. Ms. Cassidy sends forms home at the beginning of the year that tells parents that their child's work will be posted online. In order to protect student identity, first names are only used and students are not to post their pictures with their name tagged. This is a good way to protect student identity and still allow parents and family members to find their child's blog to view it. I will definitely be using this as a model to follow when using blogs in my classroom. When it comes to sites that the students might accidentally access online, I might handle it a little bit differently. Though I will probably have links to different sources that children can use on my blog page, I will probably also have different approved links on the computer home screen.

Another good teacher tool that Ms. Cassidy mentions is Twitter. She says that Twitter is a good tool for teachers to collaborate with and share information. She recognizes that Twitter and blogs are not for everyone but that there are other avenues to help you become more tech savvy. Technology is not going anywhere since it is beneficial to student learning as well as teachers learning. Teachers need to keep up with what is happening with technology so that they can find more and more resources to help their students learn. I believe I will be using all of Ms. Cassidy's techniques because they seem to be working for her. I am going to remember her advice on keeping myself up to date on what the latest technologies are and come up with new ways to implement them in my classroom.
Technology in the classroom

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Blog Post #8

What are some 21st century learning and communicating tools?

When looking for new tools that teachers are using to help facilitate 21st century learning and communicating I ran across Edudemic. This website gave 50 Education Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know About, which ranged from social learning, to help with lesson planning. One website I found on here that I thought would be helpful and fun for elementary students was FunBrain. After playing around on this website I found that your students can play educational games, read books, or just have a good free time game to play. Each game or book is set up to your students grade level and skill and allows them to learn in a fun interactive way. I would definitely use the math games offered on this site to help students learn math and improve their basic math skills. The grammar and reading tools that FunBrain offers are beneficial in getting students engaged in reading, as well as help them improve their grammar skills in a fun way.

Educreations was yet another website that I believe would be helpful to use in the classroom. Topics that have already been shared on this website cover every subject in school and then some.
21st Century Learner
Teachers, or students, use iPads to post their presentations online to share with the classroom or others around the world. To me this tool would be especially beneficial to use for math "how to" videos. The presentation can be viewed online and looks like an on-screen white board. To me this seems like a better option than doing a YouTube video of a lesson. The student can clearly see what is being written in front of them, and the teacher does not have to worry about standing in the way of the problem while it is being worked. Students can pause the video if they need to catch up, or go back and view how to work a problem again.

A tool that I found which would be beneficial to me as a future educator was Teachers Pay Teachers. I have actually seen this site in action during my observation hours. This site is loaded with worksheets, coloring sheets, and activities for different subjects and topics. Teachers Pay Teachers allows you to access other teachers activities and ideas from around the world. All of the items offered can be printed off for your use in the classroom. Some are offered for free while others you have to pay a small fee to use. I think I would use this website often as a teacher to help bring new material into my classroom. I can also get helpful and creative ideas to teach a new subject to my students.

Project #14 Project-Based Learning Lesson Plan #2

This weeks project was to do an individual project-based learning lesson plan. I chose to do a lesson plan on prominent African American figures in history. This lesson plan is geared toward 2nd grade history students and can be viewed here.

Martin Luther King Jr.

C4T #2 Elvira Deyamport

C4T #2 Comment #1

In Elvira Deyamport's post The Greatest Stories Never Told: Showcasing Our Gifted Classrooms Through Social Media and WebTools, she discusses how her journey to the National Association for Gifted Children Conference all began with her class blog. She goes on to say that her students have been able to collaborate with other students around the globe and that students are excited about learning.
Ms. Elvira
She also discusses how she uses Twitter to show students how to use social media. I mentioned how we have a class blog and how I am actually interacting with people from around the globe as well. I told her that I believe it is very important for students to be using these tools available to them, and it is also beneficial for them to be able to communicate with others around the world. This helps people to share ideas and discuss new ways to view different topics or teach students skills.

C4T #2 Comment #1

Ms. Elvira had not written a newer post for this weeks C4T, so I went to a previous post of hers entitled Animal Research Poems. Ms. Elvira had her students research an endangered animal and then write a poem based on templates she had made. A few of her students finished products are posted on her blog. She had her students create their projects using Pages, a program I was not familiar with until I read this post. This program is designed to be used for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Pages helped students to create beautiful and colorful projects on their own, as well as help Ms. Elvira sneak a helpful and fun tool into her lesson plan.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Blog Post #7

What can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch?

This video was possibly one of the most inspirational videos I have ever seen. Randy Pausch was a positive and enthusiastic speaker and you could really tell he was passionate about his work. In his lecture he covered different times of his life that influenced who he was as well as people that influenced him. One story he told that interested me was when he was young and played football. He said that his coach was very focused on fundamentals and that this is what they worked on most of football practice. Though at the time he didn't see it, he later realized that this helped him in football as well as his life. You have to get the fundamentals down before you can jump into the big stuff. This is a great lesson to use in the classroom since you need to have students get the fundamentals down before you expect them to tackle bigger projects. Pausch also said that he was not that good at football and that his coach would ride him to do better. The assistant coach noticed that Pausch was feeling upset and told Pausch that the coach was only doing this because he wanted him to do his best. The assistant coach said that "when your screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they gave up." I believe that this quote is a good one to live by and remember as a teacher. You always want to push your students to do their best because if you stop pushing them they will realize you gave up on them and will give up on themselves.

Another lesson that I learned from Paush was his brick wall theory. He said that "the brick walls are there to show us how badly we want things, they will not stop those who want it badly enough." This is just an amazing quote to remember when life gets tough or you get frustrated with the cards you are dealt in life. This is an awesome learning experience for children and adults since things will come up in life that might change the course of what you were trying to accomplish. Those who want it badly enough will overcome these obstacles and reach there goals.

Pausch also gave examples of how much students enjoy project based learning. He told how his classes were set up for his masters students and how they went above and beyond what he had expected. His classes are set up to where students do five projects in a semester that are two weeks long. Students were to present these projects to just the classroom, but the project grew. Soon the whole school, parents, and friends where involved in viewing what his students had accomplished. Students were excited and eager to share there work with everyone and the projects they created were amazing. In the video you can see one of the projects that his students made that even has a little twist to it. These projects helped lead to the creation of ALICE which is a virtual reality program that young students can use to help learn difficult concepts. Children have fun since learning is approached as a story-telling activity, and may even forget that they are learning. I learned so much from Randy Pausch's last lecture that I can not even begin to list it all. Watching this video really does give you a different outlook on how to approach teaching and learning. I recommend that anyone going into education or currently teaching view this video.

C4K Summary for February

C4K #1 Week 1:Alayna

This week I was assigned to Alayna, a student in Mrs. Reuter's class. In her blog she wrote about how they had been using ToonDoo as well as Make Beliefs Comix. These programs allow the students to create comics on whatever topic they want to. They had only been using these programs a week in class and she already had a preference of which program she preferred. I think either on of these sites would be an awesome teaching aid in the classroom. Students can make comics based on the subject area they are learning about. For example if students have a history research project on a United States president, they could use the president as one of the characters. This character could then tell their life history or some major events that took place during their presidency. Students can then present this to other students which makes it more interesting than just reading out of a book.

C4K #2 Week 2:Camilo

This week I was assigned to Camilo, a student in Mrs. Little's class. In Camilo's post he told how he had been injured during the day. He later had a play date that made it better though.
My response to this was that I hoped he was okay since it sounded like it hurt. I said that play dates are always fun, especially if it is with a really good friend. I told him to keep up the good work in his class as well as on his blog.

C4K #3 Week 3:Tatyanna

This week I was assigned to Tatyanna, a student in Ms. Ruiz's 3rd grade class. The class post this week was on a book they are reading and the thoughts and reactions to what they read. Tatyanna commented on why she liked one character over the other in the story. She gave some personality traits of the characters and said whether or not she would get along with them. My response to her post was that I have read the story as well and really enjoyed it. I agreed with her on the traits of the characters. She did a good job on her blog and I told her so and to continue to do well in class.

C4K #4 Week 2:Tristan X

This week I was assigned to Tristan X a student in Mrs. Long's class. He wrote about marijuana and gave different facts for or against the legalization of marijuana. He presented very good facts for either or. I did learn that some doctors use marijuana as a replacement for inhalers in asthma patients. Tristan did a very good job on his post and presented valid and interesting facts about marijuana.


Project #13

This week we were assigned to make a group lesson plan. The group consisted of Chloe Woodham, Brittany Sparks, and myself. We chose to do second grade science and the topic was the solar system. Here is a link to our project Group Lesson Plan #1

Solar System