Sunday, October 26, 2014

Blog Post #10

First Graders in Mrs. Cassidy's Class

A Summary of the Videos: The students are fond of writing in their practice books; however, they prefer writing on blogs. This gives them the opportunity to showcase their hard work. It is rewarding to them when they have their very own family members comment on their posts. The students get the opportunity to grow and improve their writing skills via public blog pages. With these blogs the kids use it as a sort of online portfolio that shows their progress. A very strict rule that the kids enforce themselves is that when commenting you must be nice. The students organize all of their collective blogs on a class blog like our own in EDM 310. Another tool they used were Wikis, when the students didn't know something they looked it up and found the information themselves. They also utilized Skype in order to converse with students around the world.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 Overview:
Mrs. Cassidy's videos provided an abundance of information about the usefulness of blogging as well as the importance of having a strong and sturdy team. She has had a successful 5 years blogging with her students. The parents especially like that it broadcasts the students hard work they also are able to keep tabs on their progress. Another great point is that it becomes more hands on with technology and enticing than the usual pen and paper. When thinking of the most important aspect of a blog for the students, Mrs. Cassidy says that they need an audience above everything else. With an audience, students then are more inclined to push themselves to perform better. My favorite little tool Mrs. Cassidy uses with her students is the cluster map tool. It shows the students where in the world people are viewing their blog to show them their impact. The lessons you are able to cover with the use of blogging are reading, writing, videos, and commenting. The use of research via the web is a wondrous tool for students. Mrs. Cassidy was asked if "Teachers need to be Technology Literate?", her response was "Yes, technology is here to stay". The growth of technology today provides bigger and better outcomes in the classroom. Using online networking new teachers can connect and advance together. Twitter is a very useful way to do so. Mrs. Cassidy says that we should always keep in touch through technology. She goes on to inform you that you should go where your interests are. This way you are educated and interested in the conversation and are able to comment and start a network amongst similar minds. She uses the term "piggybacking" which may sound negative but put into context it is not cheating off of another's works. It's a collaborative learning process using technology as its medium. A major issue she addresses which is privacy and safety. She teaches her students to not put out their last name, pictures of themselves, and to be aware of what websites they are visiting.

My Classroom:
Mrs. Cassidy definitely has a lot of great insight for future educators. In my classroom I will definitely use blogs so that students can broadcast their written works and view their progress. As well, we will use Skype. Possibly in order to Skype an author or even students around the world to teach each other about different cultures. The teachers and other experts can solidify my lessons and help drive home any subject matter we may be discussing at the time. The class as a whole can think together on a driving question to start a research quest and a discussion. I would also use Wiki so that students can research and collaborate with each other.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blog Post #9

What can teachers and students teach us about Project Based Learning?

Seven Essentials for PBLs This article gives the reader two main perspectives to focus on: one that it is a meaningful task and two that it is truly an educational project. The site breaks it down into seven parts.
1. A Need to Know: This is where the teacher entices students about the project. This in turn causes the students to want to find out more about the task at hand. The teacher would do this through videos, field trips, reading an article, or handing out a newsletter. Like the first paragraph to a great paper this grabs the attention of the reader-students-and leads them towards learning more about the task.
2. A Driving Question: The teacher gives an open ended question to the students so that he or she can mull it over while doing their project. The site compared their driving question to a thesis which was a clearer analogy for me to grasp.
3. Student Voice and Choice: This piece stated that students should be given the free range necessary to utilize tools and sources to fully express their knowledge on the subject.
4. 21st Century Skills: These skills are collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and technology. With these tools-the same ones we use in EDM 310-the opportunities for different and unique outcomes are endless.
5. Inquiry and Innovation: This is a culmination of little steps used to answer one big question in the form of a project. Teachers can utilize this to answer extra questions along with everyday questions with project based learning.
6. Feedback and Revision: This is a great time to use rubrics so that students know what is expected of them. As well, peer reviews can come into play so that students can grade themselves along side their fellow classmates.
7. Publicly Presented Product: This step gives the students the opportunity to show their pride in their work. They are able to broadcast their hard work to their peers and teachers. This list of 7 is helpful in remembering steps in project based learning.

Project Based Learning for Teachers The WHAT to projects are the Common Core Standards. The ideas that make up a project and understanding are the HOW. Technology opens many doors for PBL and is a huge role in the classroom. PBL is a greatly shared idea across many websites. With it being connected to countless other sites it provides opportunities for students to branch out and explore new venues for knowledge. My favorite key point with PBL is that teachers are not there to "spoon-feed" or "hand-deliver" information. We are here to provide them with the tools and skills necessary to complete complex tasks and questions. Every student should be able to follow a rubric for the project, know the purpose of the project, be able to work in groups, adhere to the deadlines, have a process to complete project, and provide a product at the end.

Project Based Learning in PE I never thought PE could achieve project based learning activities until I read this interesting site. Using PBL helped students learn more about their bodies and were able to achieve this knowledge and pass it along to other students. This lesson adheres to NASPE as well. Through the awesome use of PBL students were able to question, analyze, and design a PE class of their own. This goes to show when following the steps for PBL it can be utilized in any subject!

What Motivates Students Today? This video is truly my favorite. The responses from all of the students are genuine and are reminders of why we are becoming teachers. It's to better a future for them. Not just a brighter future for ourselves. Giving students the proper tools will help them excel and exceed past the goals they originally thought they could never reach. Positive reinforcement is very helpful in reminding the students what they are working very hard for.

The Ketchup Bottle Case This is a cool article about students who came up with their own everyday problem and a driving question to push them towards a solution. By using PBL, their hard work paid off and now these two young students are very well known for their interesting accomplishment. They are a prime example to students and teachers everywhere that PBL is a highly effective tool in driving students towards more intense education.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blog Post #8

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture put me in a state of awe. He explains that no matter your situation you can reach the goals and dreams that you set for yourself as a child. The "head fake" is a funny concept where students learn more than they perceive they are learning. Also, he goes on into stating that those that oppose you, your critics are your best allies. The critics will inevitably motivate you to work harder. As many teachers and mentors have taught me before, "if no one is critiquing you, you're not doing it right". He goes into talking about his life and a few of the obstacles he had to face. Many of which are troublesome and yet he never gave up on his dream and his path. His dream fulfillment factory is another fun concept. He incorporates technology to drive learning forward. With technology it opens more opportunities for advanced learning. Randy Pausch truly represents a true believer in Project Based Learning alongside the strong use of technology.

C4T Summary #2


In Mary's Blog she goes into Multi-genre projects and her inevitable success with this form of Project Based Learning. She uses this approach to have students analyze their own opinions and viewpoints of literature pieces or even their own works thoroughly. With this they are able to justify anything they have stated and this exercise provides them with more practice. Students have to validate and research their topics and create an annotated bibliography as well. This is also more fun for the teacher because she in turn doesn't have to read the same old boring research papers over and over again. However, she did state the changes between a smaller sized class versus and larger sized class and the success that went along with it. Though it was difficult at first for the larger classroom she was able to adapt and provide a more educational and fun experience for both her and her students.

My response:
Kelia Fagan said at 8:02 pm on October 5th, 2014:
My name is Kelia Fagan I am an EDM 310 student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I have never completed a multigenre project. However, it just makes sense. I love how you brought real world easy tasks such as making a “to-do list” and incorporated it to a series of events in a rough part of the story. I truly believe this helps the students analyze a difficult series of emotions and compartmentalize them into a list that is simplistic yet thorough. I enjoyed your blog today. Thank you for your time.

Blog Post #7

Strengths: Creativity, Discussions, Open-mindedness

Weaknesses: Attentiveness, Technology, Time Management

In order to become a more efficient learner I need to organize my time wisely. Then, I will be able to read up on tough subjects I need help on. I will also be able to put in practice time using proper technology in order to advance my learning capabilities. This will keep me moving in the right direction when it comes to integrating old and new knowledge with the help of technology.

How to Make a QR Code This is a quicker way of recording audio similar to that of an MP3. It is a very useful tool for teachers to record their voice for book reading lessons so that the students can re-read the book. The teacher's voice then becomes a comfort and tutor to the student when they want to go back and read over the story. iPad Reading Center is a way for students to record themselves reading via the video recorder on the iPad. With this at their disposal they are in turn capable of watching themselves read to watch if they need to improve on certain words or if they are improving. AVL Alabama Virtual Library is a portal by which students log on to help them search for numerous things safely. With this site they are able to use search engines to find pictures, articles, audio recording, and a lot more about their own topics. Discovery Education is a site where students create a profile with a user name and password. They are able to make personalized boards on this site by adding: title, design, and videos and images. The consolidates and group of lessons into one major activity. This is a fun tool to use because it reverses the roles of students and teachers providing an opportunity for students to proudly display their new found knowledge. Board Builder This video is an interesting view of children in the classroom today with new technology. These students were given many avenues and portals to retrieve their information. The students are using far more technology that most college students. Board Builder Project This is another Board Builder Project done by students at Gulf Shores Elementary. They are utilizing PBL (Project Based Learning). With this technology the students were able to incorporate their passion to help the community and the internet to improve their knowledge on vocabulary words as well as creating a presentation. All in all it was a wonderful display of young learners expanding their knowledge via the countless possibilities that technology possesses. iMovie and AVL in this video Dr. Strange interviews two media specialists, Michelle and Elizabeth. They explain their experience with kindergarten teachers introducing iMovie process to their students. The same book trailer project we did in our class, they did as well! With AVL they are able to teach proper ways of research. It is a free site and it provide plenty of knowledge for students to use. Everyone is a Learner This is another video with Michelle and Elizabeth. This video truly speaks to my favorite part of teaching. "Everyone is a Learner", students become teachers, teachers become students, and knowledge is reciprocated continuously. They also mentioned Padlet. Another item that we are using as well as the younger students. Overall, it is a great video reminding teachers it is okay to be the learner as well.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Project #7 Part B

For Parents

For Students

Blog Post #6

1. Project Based Learning Part 1 Project based learning has a unique audience. It is effective when it involves the community and is purely driven by content. In order to be effective, students must be able to learn all along the way. Anthony used a prevalent topic on women in combat arms to drive discussion in his social studies class that led to writing to their congressman. This is an effective and interesting way to get students involved and thinking. The students were ecstatic about their project because it had content and was centered in the community.

2. Project Based Learning Part 2 The children were assigned particular cultures such as Haiti and Afghanistan for their next project. This project was used for a Science lesson. This project brought up the usage of tools in order to complete the assignment. The students were to write a and star in an iMovie production told as if they were an child from Afghanistan. They pulled pictures from the internet to put into their project as well. Students used different mediums for their project; food, warfare, religion, and fashion were a few mentioned. One student's father served in Afghanistan and felt uncomfortable having their child participate in the project. Anthony gave the student an alternative project to be sympathetic to the parent's requests. From this video I learned that with the right tools students will prove to you that their capabilities are endless. They will always supersede your expectations and exceed limits. As well I learned to always remain flexible for my students in case a problem arises so that no one is left out.

3. iCurio Baldwin county uses this function. It is a search engine that searches text, audio, video can be saved. Like most search engines students will have their own login. It also has capabilities for storage so that they can save their items. Along with providing a spot for storage for both students and teachers it also organizes items in the search engine.

4. Discovery Ed This tool gives students visual pictures. Since, a "picture is worth a thousand words", students are able to retain more information with visual aids. Students can also look at videos and this site is good for all kinds of research. It welcomes other educators into the classroom by way of video to help students learn about subjects they may be interested in but their teacher may not be familiar with.

5. Addtional Tips A collective point that Anthony and Dr. Strange agree on is that teachers learn for fun, on their own time, like a hobby or a pastime. Teachers are then able to become more driven and excited about many subjects by presenting fun and innovative projects for students. Hard work becomes rewarding for teachers whereas others may think it's tiresome. Being creative for teachers becomes secondary and they should be flexible. Like my favorite line of the Army's Warrior's Ethos, "I will never leave a fallen comrade". This is very important to think about in the classroom as well. Never leave a child behind. Find ways and topics that interest them.

6. Use Tech Don't Teach It Technology is abundant in everyday life and it is exciting. The young people of today love technology and it should be taught in everyday curriculum. It is beneficial and is easier to grasp for students when you introduce it by creating an assignment where it is relevant. Dr. Strange made a comment in the video-as well as in class-that the 3rd graders mastered and learned iVideo and iMovie faster than his EDM 310 students. This may very well be a fact being that they grew up in a technological world with all sorts of devices whereas the older generations did not. Growing up, my generation was scuffing up their knees where the younger generations grew up playing games on their parents phones or other electronic devices. Things are changing; however, it isn't necessarily bad.

7. Additional Thoughts The last video of the series Anthony states that your lessons should consist of four layers. 1. To ensure you've met the standards for your curriculum make sure you cover all topics within your allotted time. 2. Unit Size, make note of the importance of some lessons over others and break apart into proper efficient lectures. Week, how effectively are you using the school week you are given? Are you being flexible and getting things done on a day to day basis? 4. Daily Learning, this is the evaluation of the collective knowledge children learn everyday. Collectively this is a good group of questions to ask yourself when reflecting and moving forward on your lesson plans.

Project #13

For this week's project, our group decided to make our lesson plan for a 9th grade Drama class. The lesson is a comparison of the Shakespearean classic, Hamlet, and Disney's The Lion King. In the lesson it is required of the students to research the two pieces in order to create a presentation to the class to display their knowledge. To introduce the subject to the students we will start off with a pre-quiz to test their knowledge. Next, they will conduct research. From their findings students will create their own screenplays to portray a particular scene that shows a strong comparison between the two. They will create their play on iMovie and present the final edited version to the class at the end of the week. After all presentations have been viewed the students will take a post-quiz so that they will grasp how much they have learned since the beginning of the exercise. I think this will be a fun and interactive way for students to utilize technology and to learn about a play that may be difficult for them to grasp by comparing it to a movie they know all too well.


Project #8 Book Trailer