Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blog Post #5 PLN's What Are They? Part 2

Part 2:

PLN’s never stop growing nor do they stop teaching you. They can provide much needed information personalized to you. On Netvibes, you can click on the RSS feed on the left and it will list all the feeds you chose. Below the RSS feed is the list of apps that are accessible in one easy click. It also has a to-do list and an email wizard. I have enjoyed using Netvibes, learning every step of the way and adding more to it. Netvibes organizes everything so you have easy access to what you are looking for. I was skeptical about using it at first because I thought it wasn’t going to make things easy search. I have since found it to be really useful due to the layout it comes with. It has made realize I want to continue growing my PLN and connect with more teachers. In the classroom, each student can have their PLN and can use it to research while building connections with various people. 


Blog Post #14 Teaching Can Be a Profession


1.       Programs do not prepare the teachers to teach math
2.       Teachers are not prepared properly to teach reading
3.       Seniority makes it hard to remove teacher whether they are ineffective or not performing well.
4.       Teachers get paid the same regardless of their performance


1.       Better course work should be made to better prepare students
2.       Professionalize teaching so the best are picked
3.       Teachers would have to make specialized exams
4.       Teachers establish a own board to police profession
In Teaching Can Be a Profession by Joel Klein, he lists out many problems with how teaching is perceived.  I don’t believe that teachers are prepared enough to teach math and reading. I agree with creating better course work in order to better prepare the students to teach. If a teacher cannot effectively teach math or reading then the students are affected because they do not learn what they need to learn. Seniority also is a huge problem because there are several teachers that are not effective nor do they really care however they have been there for a long time. Having teachers complete a standardized test like doctors do can potentially ‘weed out’ teachers. Whether or not a teacher has receives a raise should depend on the teachers’ performance and effectiveness deemed by a teaching board.  There are teachers that perform better than others and put forth more effort, but don’t get paid what they really should. Teachers that put forth the effort and show commitment are the ones that should be receiving raises.

There are several problems with the teaching program, such as who can get in, seniority overriding everything else, and salary. These issues have to be address but many people turn a blind eye toward it because they don’t want to put money into education. There are many effective teachers that are leaving the teaching profession because they are not paid enough for what they do. I believe the community has to put education at the top of the list because otherwise our children will suffer.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Part 1: 

Summary: In What Educators Should Tweet About, Dean Shareski gives examples of what he tweets about such as lyrics, pictures, and beer. He ends his blog post with “maybe in another 8 years I’ll get better” which I found inspirational. We are always going to get better and learn new things. 
Hello Mr. Shareski,
        I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama and have been assigned to read your blog. I really enjoyed reading about what you post on Twitter. Twitter is new to me, even at a young age! It’s amazing what you can put online and people reply quickly and re-tweet it. I really enjoyed reading your post about what educators should tweet!

Part 2:

Summary: In My Ongoing Struggle with Diffusing the Impact of Grades, Mr. Shareski writes about how he feels about grading and how it is a necessary for teachers to give a number grade. He has students evaluate themselves (1 to 10) after assignments and realized a pattern. There were students who believed they should get 10’s on all the assignments they completed when in reality they didn’t do well compared to what other students did. The students that did very well on their assignment, who Mr. Shareski believed should get a higher score, only rated themselves at a 7 or 8.


Hello Mr. Shareski,
        I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama and have been assigned to read your blog. I understand the very much discussed topic
about grades. Grades don’t really reflect what the students does and there will be students that either give themselves too much credit or not enough. Personally, I think that evaluation grading is going to be difficult. 


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Blog Post #13 What Did I Leave Out

Instructions: There are many websites that help with math. Find three websites you would use in your class, describe what the site provides, and why you will use it in the classroom.

Source: Play is a great website where students can play games while reviewing their math skills. There are soccer and basketball games that incorporate adding, subtracting, matching, and so much more. When the students pick their math concept and game, they answer math questions in order to continue with the game. The game also keeps us with the number of questions they have correct/incorrect. I would use this website in the classroom because the games are a way to review the math concept rather than reviewing through paper and pencil. Children love to play games and incorporating it into math will give them motivation without knowing they are reviewing their math skills.

ABCYA is a website that has games for every subject while organizing it in groups of topic. The games include base ten blocks, counting, and comparing number values, just to name a few. This website has the math concepts listed in alphabetical order so the teacher can easily find games needed for a particular lesson. The games are colorful and viewer friendly as well.  I would use this website for students that need more assistance with math because it breaks the concept down into smaller steps with questions. It also reads the instructions and numbers to the student.

Math Playground has a list of math games that students can play while learning. The website is broken into concepts then lists the various games they can play to review concepts. The students are given a choice about what games they would like to play to
review the concept taught. I would use this website in the classroom because it has various options to choose from while incorporating animals, aliens, and much more. Students may find this website more interesting because the math games have topics that they are interested in (kangaroos, puppies, etc.).

Project 12 Part B Lesson Plan Presentation

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Blog Post #11: What Can We Learn About Teaching & Learning From These Teachers?

In Brian Crosby's presentation, Mr. Crosby talks about a hot air balloon project his class conducted. His students created hot air balloons and attached a camera to them so, after landing, they had a video of the balloons’ adventure. While the hot air balloons were aloft, the students could track where they were. The students would also upload videos to their blog where they can write about and reflect on the balloons’ travels. The class was also able to Skype other people that were interested in the project. Mr. Crosby taught me to incorporate fun projects where the students can combine writing, science, and other concepts. Students learn more when the assignment is a project because they exciting and fun. Furthermore, when students write their blog, they are able to share their enthusiasm with the entire world. This idea can be taken a step further by letting students Skype with other students, which allows them to teach what they learned. By sharing in this way, they in effect become teachers themselves.

In Blending Learning Cycle, Mr. Anderson  explains the blending learning cycle which, incorporates blended learning and the learning cycle together. He explains what blended learning includes online, mobile, and classroom while the learning cycle includes engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluate.  Mr. Anderson teaches viewers that we have to engage our students from the beginning of the lesson and students can watch videos at home which will allow more time for other activities in the classroom. Students will learn and retain much more when the lesson is engaging.

In Super Digital Citizen, Sam Pane has students create their own superhero and a comic to illustrate the importance of staying safe online. He starts his lesson with a quote from Spiderman which draws students in. After everyone created their comic, all the students changed seats and read each others comic. Mr. Pane knows that his students understand how important it is to be safe online through their comic. He shows viewers a creative, effective way to teach students through creating a superhero and comic.

In Project Based Learning, three teachers came together to improve their teaching through project based learning. When they realized one method was not working, they then came up with another method and brought all the students together for three hours. The teachers incorporated history, language arts, and information processing while teaching together. Project based learning was the main focus in the three hour span the students were there.  These teachers taught me that if one method of teaching/learning doesn’t work then to try something else and don’t give up on it. Working together with other teachers can also help you learn what is best for the students.

In Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program, PBL is explained in a simple and concise manner. This is a great video for teachers to watch because it breaks it down and explains the process. PBL gives students a choice, which can give them self-motivation while they are self-learning. They also learn public speaking skills at a young age so they are not afraid. Developing public speaking skills at a young age may eliminate future fears of speaking in front of an audience. This video teaches viewers what PBL is in a very simple way and show us how to explain what PBL is to other teachers.


Thursday, July 2, 2015


Part 1: 

In Authentic Learning, Ms. Brokofsky goes into depth about connecting students to text that matters to them. She discusses some ways teachers engage students in reading and writing that is authentic. She questioned how authentic math would look like and what she could do to make it authentic.

Here is my comment:

Hello Ms. Brokofsky,
             I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama and have been assigned to read your blog. I really enjoyed reading your blog about authentic learning and the various ways teachers incorporated it in the classroom because it gets students connected to the lesson and motivated. It gives the students a reason to learn and can boost their interest. 


Part 2:  

In Cooking with Your Kids…. A Perfect Time to #TalkMath, Ms. Brokofsky write about cooking always involving some sort of math whether it be if the food cooked long enough or how much of an ingredient is needed. She writes about how she has always had children in the kitchen with her to help cook. Using math in an everyday situation such as cooking creates connections to life that children can see first hand.

Here is my comment:

Hello Ms. Brokofsky,
              I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama and have been assigned to read your blog. I really enjoyed reading your blog about using math while cooking. I think having children with you while cooking is a great way to introduce math because it creates a life connection. My stepson loves being apart of cooking, just tell him what you need. When cooking with his dad, they have mini math lessons which is amazing because he sees the real life relevance. 

Project #10: Interview

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Special Blog Post

Khan Academy

Khan Academy caught my eye because it is used at home with math. This website provides help with various subjects from basic elementary math to chemistry. The user is given problems they need to solve however, if they are having a hard time with it there are YouTube videos that are linked to explain the concept. The user will also get a certain number of tries for the problem and if he/she doesn’t get it right it will go back to the last concept reviewed. I predict that this will be useful because the students progress can be checked. Khan Academy will show where the student struggled the most and where they were proficient.


Storybird is a great website where students can create stories, connect with other readers/writers, and learn. Many people have created books on this website and people can read it. Viewers can also comment and the writer can respond to them. Teachers can use some of the texts to teach and students can create their own account with the peace of mind of safety. Artists can upload their artwork onto the website where it can be copyrighted. This website interests me because it is a great way for students to express themselves through writing while getting feedback from classmates. Storybird will be useful to me as a teacher because it creates a website where students can be creative and have other people read their work. 



This website interests me because of what it has to offer younger children. It has various audio stories that are ready to play in a touch of a bottom. Children can comment on the story they heard while receiving feedback. Storynory can be useful when teaching children to read. Listening to audiobooks will give the children the opportunity to listen to fluency and repeat it in their own reading.



 Starfall first interested me when I was informed about it during my teacher interview project. This website interests me because it helps children with reading, which I strongly believe is important. Without reading we couldn’t do what we are doing today in class. Parents can purchase this for their young children and get a head start with reading. Starfall is useful to me as a future teacher because it provides a unique
way of teaching young students how to read. Students are more inclined to remember visual things they learn. 


Pinterest is an app that I use constantly because of all the various ideas and projects that teachers come up with. There are many pins for teaching material and projects that list out the standards that it fits. Pinterest is useful to me because there are many teachers that are making hands on activities for various lessons. If I ever needed a different way of teaching a concept,  I can search Pinterest for options. 


 WorkFlowy interests me because it is an organization website which will help with organization.  This website will be useful when trying to complete many tasks for the week such as lesson plans and gathering materials for projects. Workflowy allows the creator to organize and create links to the document for easy reference. 


Blog Post #10: What Can We Learn from Mrs. Cassidy?

In First Graders in Mrs. Cassidy’s Class, students are doing projects using technology. Each student has their own blog, records videos, and plays Nintendo. I had never considered Nintendo as an education tool but Mrs. Cassidy uses fit in the classroom and students loved it. Getting students to create blogs and using Nintendos in the classroom are things that I could use in my classroom. It’s wonderful that these students know how to comment on blogs and about the dangers of the internet.

In Mrs. Cassidy’s interview (Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3), she explains how she began using technology in the classroom (by being given 5 computers for the students to use) and began to look for ways to incorporate them in classroom use. She uses blogs and can view the number of times people have viewed her students’ blogs. She mentions that students don’t have an audience when they write with pencil and paper but it’s different when they write a blog. They can get feedback from various people from all over the world and really enjoy reading the comments. This made me really think about how much feedback students are given when they write. I haven’t seen many elementary teachers comment on students’ work but with blogs, they get various comments and suggestions from all over the world. She suggests beginning with a subject students are really interested in when implementing new technology. I would really like to use blogs my classroom because they allow for feedback and give students the freedom to write about what they want.

Some impediments I anticipate while using technology is the safety of students.and the occasional tech failure. To better address the safety concerns, I would hold a parent informational technology night to explain our safety measures, such as only going on certain websites to research and post blogs. When technology breaks, I will either ask a teacher if our classroom could borrow a laptop/ iPad or , if my school has an onsite repair center, I would take it to get repaired. Some benefits to using Mrs. Cassidy’s approaches are the connection that students receive and comments from various people. The blog will help the students become better writers and accept suggestions. 


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Blog Post #9: What Can Teachers and Students Teach Us About Project Based Learning

Teachers and students can teach us many things about project based learning. In Seven Essentials for Project Based Learning, Mr. Larmer and Mr. Mergendoller give details and insight of what teachers/students can teach us. These seven essentials are:

  1. A Need to Know- Teachers can show an interesting video to get the students attention. This can potentially create discussion among students.
  2. A Driving Question- A leading question can engage student interest.
  3. Student Voice and Choice- Giving students a choice in how the assignment is done gives them a purpose and a voice in their project. They feel motivated because they have a say in how the project is completed.
  4. 21st Century Skills- Incorporating 21st century skills will allow students to collaborate and build upon their skills.
  5. Inquiry and Innovation- Letting students create their own experiment allows them to connect to the project at a deeper level. They have a personal connection to the project which will motivate them.
  6. Feedback and Revision- Receiving feedback on projects will make them more meaningful . Students can use rubrics given to them by the teacher to give feedback and suggest revisions.
  7. A Publicly Presented Project- Presenting the projects to people other than classmates and teachers gives students an incentive to do their best. Projects can be presented to senators, principal, or to their community.

In Project Based Learning for Teachers, teachers are introduced to PBL and the benefits it can have in the classroom. PBL changes the classroom from a “playing school” method to an engaging project. Students are given the freedom  to use various websites to create their projects. Using PBL can motivate the students to be creative and research so they are actually learning the information rather than just hearing it. This video explains what PBL is and what teachers can go in the classroom. It also gives examples of various websites students can use to create their presentation.

The Watery Ketchup Problem is solved by two high school seniors as a class project. They were given a year to research and created a model using a 3D printer. They conducted market research and their solution can potentially sell  for more than it costs to make. These students created a solution to water in the ketchup giving viewers a first hand look at what project based learning can do. This project allowed these students to look at a problem and come up with a solution.

In High School Teachers Meet the Challenges of PBL Implementation, teachers were given the task to incorporate project based learning. There were subjects, such as literature, that PBL was seen as a problem because teachers didn't want the context to lose its meaning. Teachers would constantly meet up to create PBL activities, but there were certain concepts they couldn't incorporate it in. They noticed that PBL motivated their students and saw an increase in grades. Implementing PBL at this school was only in its 3 year and still has 2 years to go.

In Project Based Learning in PE, the author explains that PBL can be used in physical education but not in a way that people would think. High schoolers would come up with physical activities  for middle schoolers while implementing the 6 NASPE standards. Creating these activities would also  incorporate Bloom's Taxonomy. Students would analyze various factors that could affect physical activities such as age and motivation. Using PBL in physical education shows that PBL can be used in just about any course. 


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Blog Post #8: What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?


Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams was very inspirational and funny. Randy Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and gave one last lecture before he passed away. He began by discussing the elephant in the room (the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer) and stated he didn't want that to be the topic of the lecture. He listed out his childhood dreams and showed pictures of accomplishing them. He mentioned “head fake” which is when someone is taught something but they are really learning something else. This can help many students who don't believe they actually can do the work or learn the information. In a way, this is tricking the child and making them realize their true potential. He continues to mention the brick wall throughout his lecture and how we should continue to push through the brick wall. We shouldn’t let the brick wall stop us from doing what we want to do and we have to break through it to keep learning. There will be obstacles in our lives but we have to get through them to get to the goal and have fun doing it!


Friday, June 19, 2015


Part 1:

In Peoplegogy, Dr. Will interviews Connie Hamilton, Ed. S. about standard based learning. She explains that standard based learning focuses on the standard rather than the topic. Dr. Will asks her many questions so viewers can get an insight on what standard based learning is. Mrs. Hamilton explains standard based doesn’t limit creativity but rather encourages it.

Here is my comment:  

Hello Dr. Will,

        I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama and have been assigned to read your blog. I really enjoyed watching Standard Based Learning with Connie Hamilton, Ed. S. and found it was filled with information I was not aware of. To your question regarding what the mastery of the standard really say about the students’ learning: I have heard students say many times that the letter grade does not represent what they really know but didn’t understand what they meant until now. I like how Mrs. Hamilton pointed out that standard base learning makes students aware of their weaknesses and strengths, giving them the opportunity to focus on what they don’t understand. I am excited to learn more from your blog! 


Part 2:

In The Dr. Will Show- The 411 ISTE Newbies with Tammy Neil and Kimberly Wright, they discuss helpful tips and what to expect when attending ISTE. ISTE is a non-profit organization in educational technology. Some of the tips Ms. Wright said included knowing what you want to attend, don’t bring many things with you because you may be walking out with many bags, and pick comfortable shoes. Dr. Will made a very interesting comment, “you never go to a conference for how to’s,” but rather to interact with other people and learn from each other.

Here is my comment:

I did not know what ISTE was and had to look it up. I am currently entering the courses for my major in education. How many times a year is ISTE held and can anyone go (as in does the principal choose who gets to attend)? The tips and information were very helpful and informative, especially the shoes suggestion!


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Blog Post #7: How Do We Become Learners

The Using iMovie and the Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarten in Kindergarten video explains what kindergarteners do with iMovie and the Alabama Virtual Library (AVL). Kindergarteners make trailers for books they have read and are very excited about making them. Alabama Virtual Library is free to everyone and is a way to teach basic research. Kindergarteners can do so much more than some college juniors and seniors, like creating and editing videos in iMovie.

In We All Become Learners, Dr. Strange, Elizabeth Davis, and Michelle Bennett discuss how everyone is a learner and teacher. Mrs. Bennett advocates deeper learning and introduces Padlet. She talks about how she teaches students to use various applications and is taught by students as well. Children are quick learners and can teach many of us new things!

From Mrs. Bennett’s Google + Site I watched the following 4 videos:
  1. A Conversation with Two Second Graders: Doing Research and Making Presentations- In this video, two second graders explain how they completed their research and how they created their presentation. They used Alabama Virtual Library to research and enjoyed using the iPad. The second graders gave their presentation to 1st and 2nd graders. They were very enthusiastic when they shared their information and were eager to get hold of the mic.

  2. Mrs. Shirley & Ms. Lauber's Students Collaborate- In this video, 2 second graders present their plant presentation on the iPad. They have animations and pictures incorporated into the presentation. They have a clear understanding of how to use an iPad, and their presentation is straightforward and easy to understand.

  3. Sawyer’s Story- In this video, there are many pictures of Sawyer and his friends. The video gives insight to Sawyer’s friends and school environment. The video was created through iMovie and was put together really well. It gives the audience a sense of knowing the student just by watching the video.

  1. CW PBL 1-  In this video, Christie Whitehead discusses different aspects of technology in the classroom. She talks about how her students sometimes teach her, and how she can provide them with a non-threatening environment. Christie elaborates on how project based learning connects all the subjects and the dedication the students have.  She describes the evolution of education and how technology has impacted it.

When I begin my student teaching in the next year and a half, I will ask my teacher for meaningful involvement in project based learning (PBL) activities. I will watch how the teacher runs PBL projects then actively participate in creating them. To keep up with current technology, I will watch videos, participate in meetings that teach new technology, and learn from my students. Some of my strengths are being a quick learner and the ability to apply my knowledge. My weaknesses are inventing projects that include Alabama standards and time management for multi-part assignments. I intend to reflect on the PBL activities, after helping create them, to make better ones in the future.


Project #13 Project Based Learning Plans

Project Based Learning Plans


Friday, June 12, 2015

Blog Post #6: What I Learned From Anthony Capps


Project Based Learning Part 1 and Part 2 is filled with information and reflections. Anthony Capps summarized project based learning in a very simple way; he said it’s a means to getting the student to learn something. After watching Part 1, I learned that project based learning has to be relevant to the students lives and has to be driven by content (to fulfill the state standards). I have found students are more motivated about assignments if they are  connection to  their life. In Part 2, Anthony gave some benefits of project based learning and explained how he got feedback about the projects. One of the benefits of project based learning is that it creates opportunities for students to go beyond what you ask of them and they will take those opportunities. Students can be very creative, if they are given the chance. An amazing way Anthony received feedback about the project was by listening to students’ conversations about the project and recording them. Feedback is essential to better project based learning because the students are the ones that are completing the project so they have more of an idea how to make it better for their age level.

    In the iCurio video, Anthony mentions iCurio as an online tool that allows student to safely search the web. Safety online is a big issue with websites because anything can happen, but iCurio keeps the students safe as they are researching. iCurio has a research tool that allows students to search through criteria when researching such as searching only people. It also allows student to store and organize important information (i.e. creates folders), which gives them practice creating organizational schemes. Another great website for research is Discovery Education because it provides videos, pictures, and articles. The videos are especially useful because visual information is easier to retain. Anthony made an interesting comment about Discovery education videos. He said, “students listen and watch more than they read and write.” I found this to be true in the classroom last semester.
    The Anthony-Strange List of Tips for Teachers Part 1 is filled with much needed insight about teaching. A tip that I enjoyed and truly believe in is “be interested in learning”. We never stop learning and it is amazing the amount of information we accumulate. Another tip I try to apply is being flexible. Classrooms can be hectic and your day doesn’t always go as planned. When life throws us a curve ball we, as future teachers, have to manage and rearranged things. The last tip that really called to me was to reflect! Reflecting on the lessons, projects, and assignments can only make you a better teacher.

    In Don’t Teach Tech-Use it, Anthony says to use the technology and build on it. It’s particularly important to focus on one part of technology before moving on to the next. Students need to review what they learned the day before in order to reinforce the information. In Additional Thoughts About Lessons, Anthony guides viewers through the “four layers”, which include year, unit, week, and daily. Using lesson plans lets teachers plan out what needs to be reviewed and taught. In the lesson plan, teachers can input technology, review and plan for it.