Sunday, July 21, 2013

Final Reflection


When EDM310 began this summer I was given my first blog post assignment. In that assignment, I was asked to use my judgement to talk about my ideal classroom. I want to teach eleventh or twelfth grade English, so the answers to the questions I was asked seemed easy at first. What tools will I use? What should my students be able to do? What will be my primary teaching method? Last but not the least, what role should my students play? Before I answered each question, I carefully considered the kind of education high school students might want.


When I was first asked about what tools I'd use I thought about grammar books and literature. The only reason why I didn't say pen and paper is because I figured that everyone knew that was a necessity. Now I know tools don't have to be so basic and unappealing, and I would change that about my first blog. To speak figuratively, tools can be anything from using technology for creativity or practicing 21st century skills with a thirst for learning.
I'll be more specific about tools in one moment.

What should my students be able to do?

In the first post I stated that I wanted my students to be able to think critically for problem solving. Now, I think I was on the right page, but there is actually more to it than I thought. I don't want my students to just only think critically. I want them to be confident to use technology and collaborate like EDM310 has taught me. I also wanted them to be able to speak in front of their peers, but why didn't I suggest in front of world? I want them to be comfortable with standing up and communicating with society. Everyone has a voice for a reason.

What will be my primary method for teaching now? primary way of teaching isn't going to change. I said that I wanted to ask a question and make them figure out the answer. I really liked my idea and truly believe this class made sense of the ideas had before entering this class. That is the one thing I wouldn't change about that blog post. It's always satisfying to obtain the answer to something you desired to know. That's the core of Project Based learning--an opened-ended question.

What roles will my students play?

I basically wanted my students to be responsible, well-behaved, and professional. I still stand by that too. After all, they are young adults. However, I could've been more specific. I should've said that they need to be responsible for their learning. For example, they can participate in rubric designing. I used to think that students might cheat their way through the class if they designed their rubric, but I was enlightened. If I guide them through the designing process, by setting boundaries, I can show them their potential. They might discover that they can do more than they expected.

Now to be more specific about things I would change
I. Tools
  •  Google Drive can be used for collaboration and editing individually on the same document. This is good for short collaborative assignments.  
  • Youtube can be used for watching reenactments of literature.
  • Evernote is great for taking notes about a research paper or a creative writing assignment.
  • Prezi will attract students attention during short lectures--an interesting way to present common mistakes.
  •  Symbaloo is good for introducing the students to developing their own learning network.
  • Blogger can be used for networking and communication.
  •  iCurio and  Son of Citation is good for researching and citing the found research.
 II. Methods
  • Student-centered discussions for learning from peers
  • Pose quality questions 
  • Critical thinking assignments 
  • An nontraditional set-up for desk arrangements. This means the desk in the classroom won't be single file rows. It can look like a curved conference session.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Project 16

Blog Post 15

Interview with Anthony Capps

Dr. John Strange directed a podcast with third grade teacher of Gulf Shore Elementary Anthony Capps. Not only is Anthony Capps a third grade teacher, but he is a good friend of EDM310. They talked about two educational search engines throughout two videos, iCurio and Discovery Ed . One search engine is called iCurio, and it allowed Mr. Capp's students to safely search the Common Core Standards. The other is called Discovery Ed.

The search engine iCurio allows students to access the account. There is a feature that allows the students to pick up where they left off. They can search by criteria, and if there is an abrupt disruption iCurio lets the students pick up where they left off. Students with a seeing disability can have the text read to them.

After listening to Anthony Capps I understood that Discovery Ed is much like iCurio. It does have a feature where a student can watch a video that matches the criteria that they have research. Dr. Strange said that our generation are "listen-watchers" which means we learn through visuals. Because it's more like a hands-on project, I think iCurio and Discovery Ed is a good addition to the classroom.

third grade written on a mouse pad.
According to Use Tech--Don't Teach It Mr. Capps, "technology shouldn't be a list of things to do." He stressed that technology made executing the curriculum or lesson plan easier. His lesson plan didn't consist of teaching the technology either. He suggest that we allow students to figure it out independently. For example, his students rapidly learned iMovie. While they learned the technology, they made mistakes. He recommended giving them time for the reflecting over their mistakes since nobody is perfect. When the students ask questions about using the technology that is incorporated into the assignment they learn two 21 century skills. PROBLEM SOLVING and QUESTIONING.

I learned that iCurio and Discovery Ed are very vital for the classroom, but most importantly I learned to let students learn technology by themselves. It saves time for teachers and gives students the chance to think critically.

ICurio After watching the interview session with Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps, I learned quite a few things that I did not know about iCurio. ICurio has several different features to the program. The first is that it is a curated search engine, to allow students to safely search the web and find videos, music, and texts for their projects that they might be working on. The next feature is that iCurio allows you to store your information that you may have found that would be useful for your project. So you can create folders and then drop your items into those folders. The last feature that Anthony talked about was the timeline. You can go into iCurio and search for specific people from a specific place and a specific time period. It is almost kind of like a directory. But, I thought this program will be a great tool for students to use in the classroom as well as outside of the classroom.

Discovery Ed. After watching the interview between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps, I feel like I have learned a lot about Discovery Ed. One great thing about Discovery Ed. is that you can use this program to add to your lesson and/or text. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, well then I guess a video is worth a million. Anyway you can keep your students engaged in the lesson and have them retain the information, then I don't think we should be opposed to using that method. I think that Discovery Ed. is a great tool and I want to do some more research to discover more for myself. The Anthony-Strange Tips for Teachers Part 1

In the video, Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps discussed a few ideas to be a great teacher and the steps you need to take. These steps are:
Be a great learner to be a great teacher.
Be flexible, The Unexpected will happen.
Teaching Never ends it is hard work and it is very rewarding.
Engage 100% of your students 100% of the time in 100% of their projects.
Reflect, Revise, Share work with an audience.
I think that these are all great things that everyone who is aspiring to be a teacher should set as their goals every time they step into a classroom. I know I cannot wait until I watch the second part of the video series so that we can finish the list and that way I always have something to work towards and remind me of what it means to be a great teacher.

The first video I watched was iCurio. This video was a conversation between Dr. Strange and a previous EDM310 student, Anthony Capps. Anthony is a 3rd grade teacher at Gulf Shores Elementary in Baldwin County. Anthony talked about the important tools that iCurio have to offer. iCurio enables students to begin learning the basics of storing things in folders. This allows students to begin organizing things early in life. Another point he brought up about iCurio is if for some reason the students had to leave what they were doing in a hurry, when they came back, they could just pick up where they left off. I think the best thing about iCurio that was mentioned in the video is the fact that all the information is filtered to the appropriate grade level.
The next video I watched was about DiscoveryED. In this video Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps were discussing the facts about this useful tool that is used in the classroom today. One of the main facts that were brought up is, with DiscoveryED, the students are able to get a video with the topics that they are searching for.
The last video I watched was, It’s Hard Work: A Day in the Life of a 3rd Grade Teacher. In this video conversation between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps, they discussed the downside of being a teacher. Anthony tells us that in the beginning, until October, he was spending 16 hours a day Monday through Friday working. On weekends he would spend about 8 hours a day. In October, he began to get exhausted and cut his days down to 10 hour days and began to hate his job, because he wasn’t able to find time to finish his work. He said that during this time he would go home and mark “yes” or “no” on the calendar. He did this because at the end of the year, he would add them up and that would be the deciding factor as to whether or not he would work the next year. In November, after talking to some of the other teachers, he was about to balance out his work schedule and began liking his job again. He also told us that teaching needs to be a hobby and is not for everyone. He explained that his work does not stop at the end of the school year. In order to be a good teacher, you must take the summer to begin planning for the next year. My favorite part of this conversation was when Anthony made the comment that teaching is a practice, you never master it.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Final Report on PLN

This is my current PLN. I wish I had more time to spend with my PLN to enhance it to its fullest potential. After this class I'll try to use it to the fullest extent, but I was able to think of more useful tiles like Google docs and the Teaching Channel. I figured out how to add links to other websites onto to it which means I can soon start linking all of my lessons together and make things much more organized for me when I start my own blog (link to blogger), teaching (rubrics, pdfs for worksheets), and my writing career(querying websites, Gmail).

Blog Post 14

Blog Post Assignment

What can we learn about getting high school students engaged with learning?

Educators forget that high students need to be engaged in their learning the same way an elementary student should be enticed to learn. Watch these two videos that come from the Teaching Channel and respond to the question using them.

Today I assigned myself to read Literacy Through Creative Dance and Strategies for Student-Centered Discussion.

In the video, Literacy Through Creative Dance, the class at the Bronx Academy had to analyze a poem in order to create a dance portraying literacy devices. The girls separated into group, read the poems to develop expressions, and improvised interpretative dance movements using the words of the poem. The girls displayed a deep connection for the work. Because of that, they were able to comprehend and present the assignment with ease.

In Strategies for Student-Centered Discussion, Ms. Sara Brown Wessling had a different strategy for getting her class interested in learning literature. Her class read the novel A Good Man is Hard to Find, and Ms. Wessling established a learning goal geared towards creating a student-centered discussion. As the class explored the underlying theme in the novel, Ms. Wessling posed opened-ended questions to let the students bounce ideas off of each other as well as acknowledge each other through eye contact. Ms. Wessling became a part of the discussion and was proud to learn the book through her students' perspective.

Enticing high English students to learn is difficult, so I chose to design this assignment because in the examples the students are inspired and supported to think critically, be creative, and interact with each other. The students felt like the project belonged to them, so they were engaged in it deeply.

As teachers we have to let students drive their learning because they are the ones that have to retain it. I learned that if I want to create a good student-centered discussion I have to write down questions I want to ask in order to seem like a participant. I also learned to put effort into making a creative lesson plan.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Post One

This week I was assigned to read Mr. Wesley Fryer's blog Moving at the Speed of Creativity. I read his July 8th post Hallelujah: Oklahoma Withdraws from Common Core PARCC Testing Consortium . Since I barely understand other school systems and how they function, I had a little trouble understanding his post at first. I read it a couple of times, and I was able to grasp the concept. Fryer's main message, "We should not be purchasing technology hardware in Oklahoma, or any state in our nation simply to test students online and raise test scores." Fryer's argument is reflected through his use in Twitter. I agree that testing shouldn't be the only way to educate children and evaluate their learning.

My comment: I am an EDM310 student from the University of South Alabama. I am going into my second year at the College of Education. I enjoyed learning from this post, but what are ways I can better chose which school system fits my teaching style? Thank you and my blog is here.

Post Two

I read Mr. Fryer's Write Well, Sell Well Conference Sept 21, 2013 in Oklahoma City that inspired me.
He acknowledged three authors, notified us about his own success, and spoke about an upcoming writer's conference.

My comment: I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I get so excited when I see somebody succeeding in the publishing business. I've been an aspiring author ever since I was eight and work towards it everyday. I really enjoyed reading this, and it motivated me to work hard to finish my two books this year.

SmartBoard Project Part B

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Project 15 Lesson Plan

Blog Post 13

Education in the Slums

From Ken Robinson's ten favorite Ted Talks, I watched the video Education Innovation in the Slums that was conducted by Charles Leadbeater. I learned that any child can learn through technology. During his lecture he empathized the drive that children living in the Rio and Kibera slums possess to better themselves with education. The children in those slums went to research centers and locations where computers were in the wall and willingly taught themselves information. Two thousand games were designed to teach the children, and they were gathered to sit in a circle to answer a question.  Most of the children didn't have living parents, and the ones that did have parents had dying parents. Those living in those conditions believed "education plus technology equals hope." Mr. Leadbeater says that "motivation is the key," and I believe that motivation kept the children from giving up.

My conclusion: Let children be attracted to their education.

If we make radical teaching more possible then more ideas are developed to improve the future! Think about what Mr. Leadbeater discovered about education from the slums.
I believe American children have a lot to learn from children in the slums. They can learn drive, dedication, and gratefulness for the new aged tools and assistance they have. I learned to attract my students to my lesson. I can ask quality, open- ended questions such as "how" or "why." From there I want them to control what they learn next.

Christopher Perry's Blog Post 13

Salman Khan: Let's Use Video to Reinvent Education I watched the video, Let's use video to reinvent education by Salman Khan, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. He starts off by telling us how he came about making these youtube videos that he has done. He started it by doing these videos to help his nephews learn math. He did not make these videos private and very soon he started getting comments from other people telling him how these videos helped them. So soon after that he decided to quit his job and focus only on these youtube videos. His organization is a non-profit organization.

In his video, he talks about humanizing the classroom. What he means by this is getting the students that are watching these videos and working on these problems in the program are now learning at their own pace and then going and tutoring their peers. Now instead of the students going to class listening to a one size fits all lecture, they can watch these videos at their own pace and as many times as they need to until they understand the lesson they are trying to learn. In the program you can work many different types of problems, any where from basic mathematical problems to vector calculus. This program is designed to help you master each step along the way so you do not miss any important details as you go along in math.

I think that we can learn from Salman Khan is that students shouldn't have to learn in a setting of a one size fits all lecture. I think that students if are given the chance to explore and learn for themselves, then they will surprise all of us. Also if the students can learn to master the lessons on their own and then come back to the classroom and help other students who are struggling is less intimidating, then having a teacher come to them and not understanding why they are not getting it. I think that if we incorporate outside instruction and supplement from someone besides the students teacher, then when they get back in the classroom with the teacher they will be more prepared for what the teacher has in store for them.

Tonya Murphy's Blog Post 13

I watched the video, Shane Koyczan: “To This Day”...for the bullied and beautiful. WOW! What a powerful video. This video brings to life the reality of bullying in the classrooms and in the hallways. This video brought me to tears. The age that bullying starts amazes me. How can children be so mean! As teachers of these young children, we need to tell our students every day, “you are beautiful.” We need to uplift our students to compensate for the tearing down that the other students may be doing. We need to find a way to constantly be trying to build the confidence of our students.

Being a teacher shouldn’t only be about teaching. We have to love on our students as well. I know there are boundaries in school, but we have to find a way to let the students know that they are loved and cared for. We as teachers need to let our students know that we chose to be teachers because we love children and we love them. We didn’t become teachers just because we love to teach reading and writing.

In his poem he said to look in the mirror and see something beautiful and if you don’t see it look a little longer. We need to help children find beauty in themselves. Children are so influential. If they are constantly hearing "you are nothing" and "you are worthless" they begin to believe it. As I said earlier, we need to counteract this and help these children discover their beauty and talents. Show them that they are worth something.

I did a little research and according to, 42 percent of kids have been bullied online. 77 percent of children have said that they were bullied. “The American Justice Department bullying statistics show that one out of every 4 kids will be bullied sometime throughout their adolescence.” As a parent this is appalling. What is wrong with children today. Something has to be changed. Koyczan mentioned that he tried to take his own life. This breaks my heart. According to, “10 to 14 year old girls may be at even higher risk for suicide, according to the study above.” These are babies!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Project 14

I really enjoy C4Ts, so my idea is inspired by that and my will to help the youth learn how to chose their path.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Blog Post 12


Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity and is he lying? No, he is not lying. In his video he lectures a simple but dire subject. Creativity. Where is it going? The curriculum in schools hardly justify creativity, and Mr. Robinson wants his audience to know that. He also gives examples of great, successful people who were innovative, hoping that those examples could open the public's eyes.

Last semester, I learned that school is designed to convert students into conformed, manageable citizens and not engaged, creative learners. I've read articles from various authors that make the same argument. Children who grow up in front of the television or with their noses in books are used to having an imagination something compelling--something they can't resist enjoying. Creativity.

crayons making a heart
"Creativity is as important as literacy," says Mr. Robinson. In his video, he passionately lectured in favor of creativity in the classroom because the children are our future, destined to live in an unpredictable future. How can our children survive the future without creative alternatives? They can if our schools keep striping them away. History is ordained to repeat.

As teachers we have to promote creativity. I learned from Ken that I should let my English students express their imagination because those with great, creative minds are the ones that drive the future. I want my classroom to be the place where it happens.

I watched the video, Changing education paradigms. This was a presentation given by Sir Ken Robinson. The presentation was animated with drawings of the things he was talking about throughout his video.
He started the video out by stating that all countries are reforming public educations for two reasons. The first reason is the economy. He asked the question,” How do we educated our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century?” The second reason in culture. He asked the question, “ How do we educate our children so that they have a sense of cultural identity, so that we can pass on the cultural genes of our communities? Robinson said the way they are trying to achieve these things are by doing what they have done in the past. By doing this, they are alienating millions of children who do not see the point in going to school. One reason students do not see the necessity of an education is because graduating college no longer guarantees a job.
Sir Ken Robinson also talked about ADHD and stated that it is NOT an epidemic. He said that the farther East you travel in the U.S. the worse the diagnosis gets. He stated that children are being medicated to sit still and listen to boring stuff and i agree with this. I believe that ADHD exists, but if education was a little more interesting, maybe children would not have to be medicated. Many students only receive their medication while in school and during the summer, their parents take them off. The reason we have to medicate our students in school is because there is no stimulation in the classroom. My son can play educational games and watch educational movies and give it is undivided attention, but he gets in trouble in class because he can’t sit and focus on the teacher. He also made a point that we are anesthetizing out kids instead of awakening them to what is inside themselves. I agree, we wouldn’t have to medicate as often if at all, if the classroom was an enjoyable place to be.I think the classroom should use technology to teach. Our children are growing up in the times of advancing technology. They are bored unless they have some form of technology or something hands on in front of them. Why not take advantage of that?
Robinson also asked the question, Why are students classified by age? I agree! Why can’t students advance in their own time? Why can’t education be individualized? Why can’t students advance at their own pace?

Christopher Perry's Post

I watched the video, How to Escape Education's Death Valley, and Sir Ken Robinson talked about how the education system is very different here in America. He started with the no child left behind act. He stated that in reality that we are leaving children behind by following this act. He gave three principles to bettering our education system. The first principle is human beings are naturally diverse and different. There are no two children alike. So he asks why do we set up our education system to treat them as such. Sir Ken Robison said that children prosper best when they are introduced to a broad curriculum. The second principle is that children are curious. Children are natural learners. They thrive on wanting to know more information then what they already know. He states that curiosity is the engine for learning. So we have to ask ourselves whether or not we are teaching our children to be more curious when learning something new. Are we provoking them to want to learn more? Teaching is the lifeboat of the school. Teachers are also there to mentor, provoke, stimulate and engage students into learning. Sir Ken Robinson states, "If there is no learning then there is no education." I found this to be a rather curious statement. I said to my self, How can there be no education without learning? Then it hit me, if we as teachers are not engaging our students to want to learn for themselves; then they will not and cannot learn. If they do not learn then we cannot say that we are educating them. Therefore I do not think that we can call ourselves educators. The role of the teacher is to facilitate that learning. Sir Ken Robinson also stated that standardize test should support learning not obstruct it. I could not agree more. Students do not need to wake up dreading going to school in fear of a standardize test. They should be waking up saying that I am ready to learn something new today. The third principle is that human life is creative. We are creatures that want to develop new things everyday. Our minds should not have limits placed on them. If we give our students the reigns and sit back and let them create something, I think they will arise to the challenge and surprise us all.
I think that we can learn a lot from Sir Ken Robinson. He is a great and knowledgeable man that knows a lot about education and how children learn. I think if we stop putting pressure on our students to prepare for these so called standardize tests and start putting more emphasis on the learning of the material, I think that we will start seeing our dropout rate decline. The students that are dropping out are costing us more in money then keeping them in school. If we work harder to keep our students in school and give those students who are struggling the help that they need we will see a rise in our economy.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Blog Post 11

Benefits of Technology in the Classroom

I don't have a younger sibling in elementary school, so it's been a while since I've stepped into a first grade classroom. Yesterday, I saw a video from Moose Jaw, Canada, and in a way I finally stepped into a first grade classroom by watching the video Little Kids...Big Potential. Her class introduced the technology they use on a regular basis.
They create blogs to improve their writing, use laptops to read webpages,compose Wikipages to teach other students, and play Nintendo.

I have to add that I loved the "Graduating class of 2025" sign that was on the door. It gives students a light they can see at the end of a narrow path.

During the beginning of Dr. Strange's interview, Ms. Cassidy gave us an introduction about how she incorporated the internet and technology into her lesson plan. She was suddenly given computers and internet access, so she used it to entertain her first graders.

Techniques I can learn from Ms. Cassidy:

  • Use blogs to present a parent their child's progression. 
  • Use the internet to let children play educational games.
  • Use Facebook to post announcements for class discussions.
  • Use Blogger to network.

blogger sign in page

 Since I want to teach high school English, I think it's wise to let the students build a network through blogger. With this method, they can branch out to college students that attend their dream college and learn more about the school from a student's perspective. They can begin networking with others that work in their desired career field and gain some advice. There are so many ways they can benefit because they are high school students on the verge of entering the world!
My students, however, have to be aware of the creepers. Ms. Cassidy told her students not to post pictures of themselves or reveal their last name. I can tell my students the same. Also, the creepers might try to pose as their role models, so I'll warn my students not give any personal information.
The benefits that I can anticipate from Ms. Cassidy's approach is recognition and admiration from others. If I were to make my own blog, network with other writers, literary agents, and readers, then I can benefit from having connections that will carry me towards my dreams.
As for my students, I can anticipate them being better decision makers and knowing more information that drives them towards their future. Go networking!


Post One

This week I read Mr. Jabiz Raisdana's blog Intrepid Teacher. I read his exciting May 29th post. He finally received permission from an activity director to teach his passion in a class called The History of Rock and Roll. He teaches middle school, so I found it extraordinary that he could balance his passion and teaching. I've been told it's almost impossible to do both.
guitars in a circle

My comment: That is so wonderful that you get to share your passion with your students. Along the way you might even meet some students that will want to expand what they learn in your class! It’ll be exciting because I know it’s hard for teachers to juggle their other passions and their career. I’m trying to be an English teacher and I write novels too. I’m scared it’ll be too hard for me to tend to both.

Post Two

This week I read Ms. Raisdana's April 17th post Formula for Engagement. He passionately explains his experience in teaching writing to thirteen-year-old eighth graders. From what I interpreted, it seems like his students wanted to fictionalize historical events. If that's true, then that is amazing and creative! After illustrating the way his students pecked their keyboards, Mr. Raisdana emphasized challenging students.

I won't make my students write a book, but I do want to make writing a habit for them so they can acquire insight about themselves. It worked for me. I shrug right now hoping I can do the same for my English students.

My comment: While I read this post I couldn’t help but to recall my eighth grade year. I love to write, and that’s the exact year I decided to be a published author. If you look at my blog you’d see that I blabber about it all the time. I do it because I came a long way from where I started, a poor English student. Keep encouraging those students to write! I love it!

I can't wait to see my responses! I swear these C4Ts make me feel like a little, curious kid again. Is that the purpose of them?

Project 13 Project Based Learning Lesson Plan

This is my group's first lesson plan assignment, so if anybody has some constructive criticism we'll be happy to see it. Thanks!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Project 9 Podcast

Project 12 Smartboard Project Part A

Blog Post 10

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Randy Pausch's last lecture is by far one of the most inspirational lecture's I've ever seen ever. In his video, he lectured about pursuing your dreams and never letting the "brick wall" stop you. He accomplished all of his dreams and paved the path to helping others see their dreams. He died six months after the lecture because of an illness, but we can all learn that life is short--go for your dreams! He empathizes that we have to live life with others, never be depressed, and be proud of what we can do and achieve.

What can teachers learn from him? What did he teach?

Teaching and learning are beneficial with one, simple phrase. Perseverance and willing to accept humility.
I say perseverance because when you work hard, results show. They won't show instantly, but they do show. Teachers can learn to put extensive effort in rubric and lesson plans. I learned very quickly that if a teacher seems lazy, then the students won't care either.

Main Lesson for Teaching: Randy says, "Teach something while they are learning something else."

How do you do that?

It's simple and like Project Based Learning(PBL). If we teachers decide to incorporate (PBL) into our classroom then we'd be teaching our students collaboration, citizenship, and skills they'll need their entire life.
I know when they do a group presentation on a project they are proving their knowledge on the subject, but they are also learning public speaking, linguistics and professionalism. In Dr. Strange's class we seem to be learning about blogging, but we are really learning to watch what we post on the internet, publication of work, networking, collaboration, and much more than I should explain on this specific assignment.
Main Lesson for Learning: Randy says, "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted today."
I completely understood what he meant when he preached that.
Let me back up and explain that sometimes inspirational words of wisdom never make sense unless you experienced a sense of failure in pursing your dream.
an inspiring phrase in the universe

In my experience from last year, an experience I'll never forget, I queried over sixty New York literary agents my favorite book. I thought it was a great book. It was 52,000 words and one of my best composed pieces compared to all the others I've done in all my eight years of writing. All sixty of the agents rejected my proposal(they reject 99% of proposals). I was frustrated, but I didn't let the brick wall stop me. Now I am still refurbishing the same book which is now 90,000+ words and it's better than before because I gained experience and learned from my mistakes. I'll be ready to try again before the end of the year because I work hard on it everyday.

Whether it's in the classroom or outside in the world, life experience teaches you everything even when you didn't get what you wanted. As far as learning is concerned, from Randy I learned that failure is very vital in the learning process. Without it I can't advance to get better.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blog Post 8

Blended Learning Cycle

I watched Mr. Paul Andersen's Youtube video about the Blended Learning Cycle. Blended learning is a combination of learning with mobile phones, the internet, and being in a classroom. The learning cycle is consisted with engaging, exploring, expanding, and explaining with a posed question. All of this inspires the "blended learning cycle." Mr. Andersen claimed that he strayed from what he knew--the power of the question. One thing I can learn from him is letting the students be more in control of their learning.

Mr. Andersen began his class with an interesting phenomenon. For example, he presented a metallic disk that continuously spun a mirror and it didn't stop at all. When teaching with a posed question we have to be ready to do the following:

lab beakers
Give a Summary quiz

We can learn that teaching is difficult because you have to entice the students. The best way to do that is to put effort in showing the students something new. I learned that I have to teach them in a fashion we'd like to learn in. Lecturing is boring and that's what I learned from Mr. Andersen's video. I wish I could've learned more from him, but some of the science stuff he said went over my head, and I had trouble understanding other things he said. I honestly wished it was a AP English teacher. Maybe I should recommend it to Dr. Strange.

Christopher Perry's Back to the Future

In the video, Back to the Future, Mr. Brian Crosby tells us about how he gets his class of multicultural and at risk students to learn using project based learning. He starts off by telling us about his class and how more than half of his students could not tell you what city they lived in, or what country they lived in. Then he goes on to tell us about how he uses technology to gain the interest of his class. In his class they have a ratio of 1:1 with laptops in the classroom. He uses these laptops to allow his students to connect all over the world with other students. All of his students have a blog and allows them to think out of the box a little bit. He then goes on to talk about a balloon project that they did. The students did several activities to prepare for the balloon launch. He requires them to blog about what they had to do and they also post videos from the activities that they did. They also had to create a wiki page, and stories about if they were the balloon. They have a class flickr account. The students also made stratocards with their high hopes that they wanted for their life. Finally, they sent up their balloon. They built their own payload to send up all their stuff.

I think that Mr. Crosby is a great teacher and is a great example of how PBL can motivate students to want to grasp a deeper knowledge of the material that they need to learn. What can I learn from this is that teaching is not about giving students "busy work" and hoping that they grasp all the concepts from that work. I think that teaching is about making the students learn for themselves and from their peers around them. I think by doing projects that allow students to be interactive with each other and other students around the world, gives the students more motivation to learn and want to know more about a subject. Sometimes learning can be boring and tough to do by yourself. But, if you incorporate others into that learning process then each person may gain a deeper knowledge into the material. Learning is not about tests and grades. Learning is about understanding the material and then being able to use that knowledge to perform in real world tasks. As educators we have to understand that not everybody learns at the same pace or at the same level, so we have to create a curriculum that adapts to every student so that the students can thrive and succeed later in life.

Tonya Murphy's Making Thinking Possible

I watched the video Making Thinking Visible. This is a video made by Mark Church. Church wants his students to engage in small groups to perform a certain task. His students watched a video and Mark Church wants the students to come up with a headline capturing what the search for human origin is about. The students get in their small groups discuss the project and write down their headline. Church explains that he is going to display the headlines in the classroom. After two weeks he wants to show the students how much their thinking has changed and progressed.

I think this is an awesome assignment for a couple of reasons. It challenges the students to work in a group and come to an agreement on the headline. The headline has to be one sentence, so it challenges them to think and be creative. Also, I think the idea of showing the children their progressive way of thinking is the best part. I think as teachers we should allow the student’s to see their progress. That would also be a way to know, as a teacher, if we are teaching students what they need to know. I believe that at the beginning of the semester the students should be given an assignment to show their starting point in the class. Then at the end of the semester give a similar assignment and show the students their progression.

Friday, June 21, 2013

C4T# 2

Post One

I was assigned to read Denise Krebs's blog Dare to Care . Her June 9, 2013 post is called "Failure," and it was written to inspire you to believe that failure is good. Failure is the first attempt in learning and the last thing you should beat yourself over. Her post reminds you of that in case you forget. Resilient people that strive to learn from their failures, despite the stigma failure carries, are the one that reach success! I commented on her blog with this (I omitted my introduction) "I actually like to write novels in my spare time. When I get rejections from literary agents or criticism, I think of it as failure that will make a change. Failure is very important and hard to accept, but it makes us all better individuals if we handle it maturely and learn from them." I haven't received a reply yet, but I can't wait until I do.

failure and success street signs

Post Two

Today is June 21st and I logged onto my email to find a surprise reply from Ms. Krebs.
"Great example of writing and being rejected by publishers for a time. I love those stories about famous authors who did the same. Perseverance and grit will bring you through, like Dr. Seuss, whose To Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street was rejected dozens of times."
---Denise Krebs

Today I read her May 4th Top Ten Reasons I Teach post. I favored her number three "I want to leave a legacy" and her number nine "Rubbing elbows with our role models" because there is nothing more interesting than leaving a legacy that impacts young minds. Also, she wanted to make sure we knew what her number nine meant. We are not the children's role model. They are our role models. My response: "Thanks for making me realize that the children should be our role models. How else are we supposed to know how to teach them if we don’t let them inspire us? Thanks for checking out my blog. It really did make my day."

I enjoyed this C4T. Thanks Dr. Strange!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blog Post 7

Assistive Technologies for Classrooms

In the video, Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children , the instructors gave their students the opportunity to identify, explore, investigate, question, and interact with their environment using customized learning.

  • Text to speech
  • Text telephones
  • Cameras
  • Screen magnifiers
  • Interacting calculator  

Another assistive tool is the Mountbatten, a technology for the blind that is designed for audio and tactile feedback. It can receive files from computers as well as save them to computers.

The assistive technology for the blind and hearing impaired reminded me that I have to teach English, a form of a communication class. When they write papers I can tell them to use Purdue Owl or Son of Citation Machine to check their works cited page. In Microsoft office there is spell/grammar check, and it will definitely help my students. Dictionaries and thesauruses come in handy too, but there is nothing better than a reference website to help my students know the literary jargon. Glossary of Literary Terms

For the seeing impaired students I can have computers that interact with them as they type. It can read to them what they are spelling.
spell check stamped in a dictionary

My eleventh grade English teacher read our papers, found common mistakes, and posted them in a Powerpoint for the whole class to see each others' epic fails. When I passed his class I found out he did that to be slightly funny, but mostly to let us learn from each other mistakes. It actually worked. When I'm an English teacher I'll do the same and I'll need a laser pointer to present my students' out of place commas. 

 Citations: Newton Public Schools Website

Tonya Murphy's Assistive Technologies
The two most amazing forms of assistive technology I found were the FaceMouse and the Sip-and-Puff Systems. Both of these programs are for students that struggle with mobility. The FaceMouse uses the webcams as a computer mouse. Different movements of the head and different facial expressions will operate different commands on the computer. The Sip-and Puff Systems uses a student’s breath to operate a mouthstick which according to this site is similar to a joystick. I located this information on the website 8 Helpful Assistive Technology Tools for Your Classroom. If available, I would definitely use these programs in my classroom. This would give the students that feeling of independence of not having to rely on help all of the time.
I also watched the video on the ipad using voice over designed for the blind. This would be a very useful tool in the classroom. It would give the student a little bit of independence by being able to find things he/she may be looking for without having to get constant help. The ipad seemed hard to use. It wouldn’t do some of the things he was trying to show to the audience. This could have been because he was going too fast trying to get all the information covered in a short amount of time, but what he did cover seemed helpful. Audio books were available on the ipad which is a great tool because you can get the textbooks on an audiobook for the blind as well.

Christopher Perry's Assistive Technologies
Doing this assignment I had no idea what kind of technologies were out there to help with students and their disabilities. I found this assignment to be challenging, and difficult. So the only thing I could think of was to make a phone call to my mom, who is a math teacher at my old high school. I asked about some of the things that they might be using to help with these students. She told me about a few that they had in place and so that gave me an idea of where to start looking.
So I started my research and found that there are numerous technological devices, and apps to help with all kinds of disabilities. One that I found most interesting was a software called Mathtalk. In this software you can write out a problem using your voice and it will input it into the computer. Also this software makes the need for parents to write out these math problems null, if your child/student is blind. Also within this software, it allows the student to print their work in braille, so they can read it and check it to make sure there are no errors within their work. I just thought that this software was the neatest and interesting "new to me" tool to help those students that are blind. Within the website I found several demo videos explaining and showing how to do each different type of math problem that you may encounter. I would definitely like to use this tool if I was lucky enough to have a blind student in my class. I was fortunate to have a blind classmate when I was going to high school, and I was amazed at how her other developed senses allowed her to learn differently than the rest of the class. it might be difficult or more work to have a blind student, but I think that it would be very interesting to learn through his/her method. I want to teach high school math and with this software you can do several types of mathematical problems from, algebra to calculus and more. Click here to view examples of different problems, and commands using mathtalk.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Progress Report on PLN #1

What can I say? It's an interesting useful tool. I can access some of the apps I would need in English class like Purdue Owl (Citation Machine). Before I can make it to English class I have to know if it's going to rain. Bam! Weather Channel App! I also have my email apps, my banking app, and quick access to all of my social media spots.

My Symbaloo homepage
My Symbaloo Homepage

Hangout notifications
My Google Plus Hangout notifications after using Symbaloo

During project nine, I can use Symbaloo to access all of the tools I might need during my podcast.  For example, I have Google Plus, and I can easy record hangouts. When I refer back to my Symbaloo homepage, I can click on the Youtube app to visit my Video Manager in order to view the hangout. I am satified with it, but I can see the other tiles having more diverse buddies in the near future as I explore Symbaloo more.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Blog Post 6

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

In my first post I said, "my school would have litters and litters of independent learning kitties," so I want to experiment with that philosophy.

No, I do not literary want cats running wild in my school. Cats, in this reference, are a metaphor for curious students.They are also here to make you laugh.

Let's meet some of my students.

  Chi from the anime "Chi's Sweet Home"


Youtube sensation Nyan Cat
Nyan Cat

  Random Clip Art Cat
kitten reading a book


All aspiring teachers experienced the classroom setting as a mere student. We know the ins and outs of how it functions. The smart one answers all of the questions so the one who doesn't care about school can drool all over the desk. The class clown makes everyone laugh to stop the lesson while the daydreamer thinks about the mall. What wakes up the class?

A question?

You know, I was teacher once. I taught a litter of cats at a high school that doesn't exist. Let's see how my students reacted to questions I asked in the past while we were in the classroom.

February 2, 2005
Wednesday at 8:39 AM

Me: Today we compared and contrasted antagonist and protagonist. Do you understand the difference between them, class?


Okay, so none of the students replied. Why not?

I learned questions like "do you understand?" and "doesn't that make sense?" don't challenge students' understanding. The student knows the answer should be yes whether they listened or not. Asking the student to explain why it makes sense is much more effective because their brain has to process the information they learned and generate a logical response.

Make sure your students don't regurgitate the lesson after you check for understanding. What I mean is, don't pose general questions.

Here's an example from last Thursday.
I just caught Chi snickering about the way my pants makes me look fat. Ignoring her I said this:

Me: The protagonist in the Fancy Feast commercial returned the canned food to the supermarket after the evil cat stole it. Doesn't that mean that the protagonist is good, Chi?
Chi: Yeah, he's good and he'd be better if he'd start you on a weight loss program.

Not only did the class laughing at me, but I asked a poor question where the answer was too obvious. I had to challenge my students. Also, I had to remember to call on others besides Chi to keep the class more alert in case it was their turn to answer a question next. I continued class remembering that.

One month ago, I made a classic teacher mistake. I asked a complex question and expected all my students to be able to answer it.

Me:It's Sunday and you have six feet of yarn left. How much does it cost to get a refund on the yarn if its the middle of August? By the way, Meow-Meow, the cat that lives by the mall, wants to come over and play at a quarter to six o' clock at night. How much Meow Mix do you have put in your food bowl if the train to Florida leaves forty-six minutes after two o'clock traveling seventy-six miles per hour?

Now my smart student has her paw in the air. She somehow knows the answer to my ridiculous question, but she doesn't know which question to answer because I asked more than one. The rest of my students are discouraged because the question was complicated.

The bell was about to ring and I haven't gotten any of my students interested in anything that day. I knew I had one more chance.

Me:Okay, what if the cafeteria decided to serve dry cat food instead of wet cat food(cats prefer wet food)? What actions should students take to get the wet food returned to the menu?
Chi: Prank the cafeteria workers until they make wet food again.
Nyan Cat:Is somebody planning to get rid of the wet food? I think we should start a petition.
Random Clip Art Cat:I suggest that we establish a committee that shares our same viewpoints. In response, we write a persuasive essay to the school board.

I asked the students to interact with each other and I was happy to see them interact with one another until a cat fight started...

As a teacher, it's important to be patient with students' responses and be thankful for the response. Avoid general questions and ask open ended questions that make the students think.

I learned one last thing. No teaching cats.
Book Trailer for the Funny Little Woman

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Blog Post 5

 It's Story Time With Mrs. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano's Podcast

Grab a teddy bear and get tucked into bed because this time Mrs. Tolisano's first grade class class will be concluding our evening with bedtime stories! This storytime is brought to you by Langwitches, a very creative blog centered around global learning, twenty-first century technology, literature, and digital storytelling.

teddy bear
Have you ever heard of Flat Stanley's story? It starts with Stanley walking down a school hallway before he is suddenly flattened by a falling bulletin board. Ouch! That's hurts! As a result, he was flat enough to fit inside of an envelope and ship where ever he wanted to explore.
Wait...Stanley was able to go anywhere after his sender paid a couple of dollars? I'm jealous! I have to pay several dollars just to put gas in my car, and he gets to explore the world for five dollars?!

Okay, so I'm probably telling this Flat Stanley story very badly, but Mrs. Tolisano's first grade class told it better in Langwitches's Flat Stanley Podcast. All of the students were flattened by their classroom's Smartboard like the way Stanley was flattened by the bulletin board. Mrs. Tolisano used sound effects to insinuate shrinking her students to be flat like Stanley. She sent her students away, asking them to describe their location. They used their senses and each student described their location. Storytime has gotten so much more fun because I heard stories about London, Antarctica, Alabama, space, Israel, Tokyo, and other places without even leaving my bed sheets.

Morale of the Story Number 1) I listened a podcast about English rules once and I must admit, sound matters. Sound effects like those in a movie or in a play create a mood. I should incorporate them into my podcast.

Now the next story for bedtime might put you to sleep because it wasn't in English.

In Listening-Comprehension-Podcasting, her second grade students learned Purim with their Jewish studies teacher and recorded it speaking Hebrew. The students performed skilfully, joyfully, and rhythmically. It kind of reminded me why I prefer to watch my anime in Japanese. Mrs. Tolisano emphasized that her projects are not centered around using Garageband, a recording tool. Her lesson was about writing a script, listening, comprehension, collaboration, and fluency in learning a new language. Her goal was to motivate students to create and be creative. By the way, you won't fall asleep because the way the young students performed was miraculous!

Morale of the Story Number 2) Music should be in every podcast. Without music, it's just bland voices and a  message to get across. Like sound effects, music sets a mood and a tone.

In our last story, my personal favorite, Mrs.Tolisano's first grade class found out about another second grade class that recorded a story to create a podcast that went worldwide. Mrs. Tolisano allowed them to each take turns recording Vacation Under the Volcano (a Magic Tree House book). All of the students were enthusiastic in describing Pompeii and their story went worldwide!

Pompeii ruins

Morale of the Story Number 3)
I need energetic seven-year-olds in my podcast. I'm just kidding.

No...I'm actually not kidding. I think those kids would blow my performance away.

In that case, I need an energetic, positive attitude for my podcast that matches my music and sound effects. Lastly and most importantly, I have to compose a valuable story that I have a passion for telling. That's what making podcast is all about! 

Project 7

My Sentence

My Passion

Friday, June 7, 2013

Blog Post 4

21st Century Tools Improving Learning and Technology

I have to start off by admitting that this assignment was slightly difficult for me. I'm pretty sure that I was making it harder than it is. Let me remind all of you that I want to be a high school English teacher. I am accustomed to English class being a critical thinking environment. Critical thinking has always been enough of a tool for me. This assignment made me realize that I need to expand my methods in using technology with my students. I like tools like Microsoft Office's PowerPoint and Smartboard are my lovely assistants when I teach English. They can be used when I interact with students simply because they are visuals.
I had to think harder. Hmm...what else could I use? I have to teach grammar and literature in an interesting manner.

After all, it's the best two subjects in the world! Between you and me, I honestly favor writing.

This assignment taught me to think more about what my students would like to work with and less about being extremely technical. I also learned to broaden my technology horizons.

I want my students to get comfortable with writing and reading because it's the two activities students dread. Even I dread it if the material is a snooze fest. The easiest way to get comfortable with writing/reading, in my opinion, is getting involved with your favorite genre.
Since iPads are becoming more popular in schools around the nation, I think the iPad can become a vital learning mechanism in my classroom if I use it in this way.
1) Initiate occasional group assignment in my lesson plan.
2) Compose a survey that tells me which genre each student likes and place them in groups according to the survey. (This assures that the students can somewhat get along with one another)
3) Make each group compose a short story or analyze a piece of literature using their iPad for note taking using one of my favorite apps: Evernote.

Evernote app on the i Pad

I've been using Evernote since 2011 after my husband introduced it to me. It's constantly updating with ways to be a more efficient app. I use it when I am away from my laptop by using my android app. Whether I'm thinking about a project, a paper, or my book I can always log in to my Evernote account and take notes instantly.

a screenshot of one of Sherri Hudson's Evernote notes
  My notes for English papers
The notes can be as short or as long the students want them to be. They can also create several journals to keep their thoughts, class notes, and personal notes organized. Since I believe critical thinking is the primary tool in an English class I believe getting my students to install the Evernote app provokes the critical thinking since it forces them to translate their thoughts into words. Since it works though email they can email their group thoughts to me and I can evaluate their learning. In addition, they can use it outside of class if they like sitting on a hammock to meditate on their thoughts.

home screen of my evernote account
Evernote Homescreen
If you have a messy notebook and sticky notes lining the bottom of your purse/bookbag GET EVERNOTE! Here is a link on how to use it on the How to use Evernote on the iPad .


Tonya's Murphy's Post #4
Flipping the classroom is a way of enhancing learning. As a math teacher I find this tool very interesting. In Katie Gimbar's video, Why I flipped my classroom, she points out a very important fact concerning classroom learning. She points out that there are three learning types in the classroom: the "middle" group, the "high level" group and the "strugglers." The Middle group in her video is the students who are the average students who are keeping at the normal pace of the class. The "High Level" group are displayed in her video as the sleeping students because they are advanced and bored. The "strugglers" are the students who have no idea what is going on in class and cannot keep up. Flipping the classroom takes learning outside of the classroom and makes learning more of a self paced form of learning. The students who are struggling are able to watch the videos over and over again to try and understand what is going on. This also allows for the advanced students to be able to get ahead in class and push themselves and work at a higher pace. Also, I like how Gimbar set her classroom up in her diagram. She put the teacher in the center and the students, grouped according to learning classification, around her. This allows her to be able to get around to all the students and answer questions.

Christopher Perry's Post #4
Google Chromebook What's one machine that can keep all your documents, files, and friends all together and allows you to share them instantly and easily? It is built and designed like a MacBook, but is an eighth of the price. That would be the Samsung Google Chromebook. This computer comes automatically with built in apps that allow you to collaborate freely with your friends. It comes with Google drive for sharing documents, as well as Google Play for listening or downloading music, and has a built in photo editor and media player to watch your friend's movies or your own. The Chromebook allows you to keep all these apps in one place and will keep everything organized for you. Do you remember the days when you were looking for that document or file and you couldn't find it. Well no Chromebook easily will find it for you, and keep it stored right where you left it. Do you have multiple children, or adults needing the same computer? Well no problem with the Chromebook. You can have multiple users on this computer and have no problem with someone downloading unwanted apps onto your account. Viruses and other "nasties" are all taken care of with the state of the art virus protection plans. This state of the art computer is light only weighing 2.4 pounds, so you can take it anywhere and not be bogged down by weight of carrying a heavier laptop. You don't even have to carry your charger with you because the battery life on this computer is 6.5 hours. Do you have trouble remembering that website you always visit, not a problem for the Chromebook. Now this computer will start downloading that webpage you visit often as soon as you start typing in the url address. Tired of waiting on that slow boot-up time of your old computer. Well now with the new Chromebook, it boots up in less than ten seconds. Now I know you are asking yourself, "Where can I get one of these awesome machines?", and "How much is this new device going to set me back?" Actually they are very easy to find and do not cost that much at all compared to other computers and devices. You can find these computers by simply searching in google or you can go here. The costs of this machine is only $249. I think that this new innovative machine can be a really great investment in all classrooms and schools across the nation and the world. I think it is less expensive then buying bulky computers that take a lot of IT support. These computers allow you to minimize this support and the chrome operating system seamlessly updates and improves itself automatically, and with the available web-based management system allows the administrators to control the access to the different apps from the Chrome app store. There are thousands of apps to choose from and most of them are FREE! What better way to promote collaborative learning then giving students the power and the means to do it with. This machine allows you to talk and video chat with up to nine people at a time. Talk about making group projects easy. I would definitely want to use this device in my future classroom.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

C4T# 1

Post One

I was assigned to read a recent post from Becky Goerend's blog Live the Conversation. I read her March 29th post Turning it Over to Them--Success in Making . Goerend is making an effort to improve her class after discovering three major things students struggle with while in the classroom: staying on task, voice level, and showing respect towards others. She designed a rubric and an assessment for the children to use in order to interpret others' behavior. Her students are in control of interpreting everyone's behavior including their own.
Admiring that she promotes better classroom behavior, I told her that her project was time consuming but amazing. The students are our future leaders. Why not give them a little responsibility? She commented immediately with the news that she didn't finish her project because of maternal leave, but she did mention trying again next year with her new students. Awesome!

students engaged in learning with teacher

Post Two

Today I read a different post from Mrs. Goerend's blog. Since she didn't have a more recent post I decided to read her November 13th post The Checklist . She wanted her students to improve on self-evaluating their Narrative writing. According to her, the project isn't quite a one-hundred percent success but she did manage to see more quality writing and an improvement among her students. First she lets the student assess their work with the checklist (rubric) she created and then she grades it with the same checklist. Hmm...that's how you learn the honest students from the dishonest students.
Check out her checklist because it's something we could all use before we turn in an assignment to a professor. I told her that I could use her checklist on some of my personal writing. I also added that I wanted to use it in my classroom also!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blog Post 3

How Can I Provide Meaningful Feedback To My Peers?

Part of my assignment this week was to read Paige Ellis's Blog Assignment #12 . Ellis's post focuses on doing adequate peer reviewing. She admits that constructive criticism is difficult and unappreciated. Communication is complicated to master also. In her post, she portrays the struggle of communication by showing us an email conversation that happened between her and Dr. Strange. Ellis wanted to know if she should publicly announce her fellow student's mistake, and Dr. Strange proposed that aspiring teachers have to practice criticizing students whether it's private or publicly in order to provoke learning . He also added that we should practice both approaches. Ellis learned from his advice and was able to peer review her fellow students.

The video Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes was indeed humorous. I can remember the actions of those children being reenacted in my English 101 class. This is a cute, funny video animated the mistakes made during peer review. We shouldn't be general, cruel, pushy, or sensitive during peer review.

Our fellow students depend on us to catch mistakes that they may overlook. It is easy to forget a comma just as it is easy to make an incorrect subject/verb agreement. If students allow themselves to have bad peer review habits then they won't recognize a bad peer review when they receive one.

What is peer review? According to the video What is Peer Review? Peer review involves evaluating and editing the work of someone else that is your age group. During the process, the editor should give compliments before handing out suggestions to improve the peer's work/writing. Word choice, grammar, organization, sentence fluency, topic, and correct punctuation and spelling make a difference in one's work.

I learned the same thing in the slideshow Peer Edit with Perfection . Compliments, suggestions, and corrections are key! The lesson I learned from that slide show is that I will encounter paragraphs as horrible as one that appear on both slides 8 and 12.

I want to teach high school English, so this particular assignment is very vital to my future career. I have to be patient if a student turns in a poorly written paper because that student might not have received proper training. My students in no time can be charismatic writers if they learn to maturely handle peer review.

pen tearing through sword

Always remember how it feels to be critiqued. As an aspiring author, I like being critiqued. When I get published one day people will do it anyway, so I have to be prepared for it whether I want to hear it or not. Everybody should prepare for constructive or harsh criticism because it'll come whether you want it to or not.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Blog Post 2

Professor Dancealot Lectured More Than Danced

From experience, I can relate to those poor, drowsy students in Professor Dancealot. Last summer I signed up for drama at the University of South Alabama, and I didn't get what I expected. I thought I was going to be doing plays, but I really sat in a classroom for an hour and a half listening to lectures about people who performed many eons ago. We did get to act a few times, but I never really learned drama. Professor Dancealot made a classic mistake teachers tend to make--he lectured the students about dance without letting them actually dance. When the final exam came he expected the students to perform dance even though they learned nothing and never went to a dance studio. From what I saw, the students all failed. I'm not a fan of always blaming the teacher, but in cases where a concept can only be learned through performance, it's the teacher's fault if he/she doesn't encourage students to get up and learn. I think teachers shouldn't expect their students to learn without exposing them to the environment that they should learn.

The Networked Student

In the Networked Student Wendy Drexler used caricature to show a young college student aspiring to succeed in American Psychology. The college student's teacher never lectured, so how was he supposed to learn? Well, she believed in something called Connectivism, and she used her belief to encourage the class to gain their own education through a learning network. 

The college student took control of his education's destiny through reaching out to other students via learning network. Through that learning network, he gathered tools he needed in order to succeed in American Psychology. His professor acted as a "Learning Architect" and improved his ability to communicate. I think that is wonderful because we all need somebody to push us in the right direction.

 stick figures around the earth

Why do we need a teacher?

We need teachers because teachers have a status that ordinary citizens don't have. Teachers are expected to have expertise in a specific field like English, math, science, or history. That's okay. Think about it. If somebody who bagged groceries told you he wanted you to join a learning network to become immersed with your education, you'd probably ignore him because he doesn't have the status that suggests he knows something success. It's the cold truth about this world. In most cases, we can't (and shouldn't) trust information from illegitimate sources. The college student in the video needed the professor because she was a reliable source to go to in case he needed extra help. We need teachers because knowledge will not be obtained and passed on without their hard work. It's the student's job to work also.


Tonya Murphy discussed Teaching in the 21st Century

Kevin Roberts sees the future filled with technology. I agree with the idea that teachers should be teaching their students about computers. The world is at your fingertips with computers, as long as you have the knowledge of how to find it. I believe that computers should be a must in schools today ,and not just the simple typing classes, but the basics of the internet. The world is going green; everything is becoming computerized. While all of the subjects (math, science, english, etc) are necessary, it will be hard to get a job without the knowledge of computers. Roberts also pointed out the fact that we need to engage our students, not just put a teacher in front of the classroom. The students need to have fun while learning. We need to allow them access to their phones in school as a learning tool. At the same time the school board cripples teachers in that aspect, because the principals will not allow phones on the premises. A technology class should be offered where cell phones are welcomed in at least that class.

Christopher Perry discussed Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

Mrs. Vicky Davis is a great example of what we need from future generation teachers. She believes that if you give the students the tools and accessibility to look up information that they may not know they can find out for themselves. In one part of her lesson she told them to do a certain thing that she did not know how to do. She required them to look up how to preform the operation and then report back to her and teach the rest of the class and herself. This operation that she had them do was called terraforming. She also went on and connected her students to other students around the world in a global collaboration to work with students around the world. Those students coming from a rural community in southern Georgia are learning things that are a head of their time. Basically, what she is trying to say is that we as educators should not be trying to discourage the process of learning but taking away the most powerful tools that we have available today.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blog Post 1

If I Built a School, What Would it be like?

In Krissy Venosdale's blog If I Built a School anyone could see that children are the motivation in Venosdale's life. Her mission has a no curriculum, a student oriented vibe, and Project Based Learning. There is nothing silly or impossible about her vision. Actually, her mission can turn out to be a significant, life changing alteration for elementary education. Her colorful and inviting school provides the vision that cooperative learning is possible and could be good for children. As a student pursuing secondary education, I have to admit that I'm jealous that I can't share her positive aspect and vision for elementary education.

I blame my impatience for small children.

Sugata Mita's video inspired me so much I had to press the like button the Youtube video Build a School in the Cloud . This kind of meant something to me because I usually am too lazy to press like on Youtube videos. Mita is a professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education Communication and Language Sciences. He does this in Newcastle University, England. He says, "schools as we know them are obsolete." That quote did in deed shock me because...well, schools still exist and we use them as efficiently as we can. How can they be as useless as a payphone? He conducted experiments in a few isolated foreign villages by installing an English-based computer in random places to intrigue young children to learn. The computer taught cell division in English, a language the children aren't exposed to. After months, he discovered that students can learn the cell division in English without a teacher. Mita came to a grave conclusion. School is pointless.

Just this morning I was discussing with my husband about our educational system. During our conversation I told him there is so much technology around us. All the children that spend hours on Facebook could use the same internet connection to become anything they want to be by trying in a search bar. The answer is everywhere--cellphones, computers, libraries, schools, and the entire universe if you take the time to observe and admire. What stops us from becoming what we wish to be is us.

What do I want my students to know?

Secondary Education/ English is my major's status right now so it's safe to assume I want my high school students to learn English. They need to be familiar and comfortable with grammar rules. Like I tell my husband, "you don't deserve to break grammar rules freely in creative writing until you know the rules." The rules are simple to me and I want my students to know they are simple as well. Literary elements are an interesting convention and tool to have in your creative writing toolbox so I want to teach them those literally elements through literature.

Yes, I know literature and grammar rules = snooze fest, but that can change if I can get my students aware that it is important to be engaged in learning.

What do I want my students to be able to do?

I want my students to be like Mita's students. I want pose a question and anticipate my students' response. I want them to be able to increase their linguistics and vocabulary without my help. If they see a word they don't know and what should I do? Nothing. Maybe use it in a sentence to make them think. I want them to be independent learners because the world is immersed with opportunities in which you are forced to learn on your own.

My primary way of teaching

Curiosity is very important in learning. What provokes curiosity? I don't know. It's natural to be curious, right? Kittens are naturally curious. Let's not take this literal folks, but I want to treat my students like kittens that want a ball of yarn. I'll dangle some interesting topics in front of them. They'll reach for it, and I'll snatch it before they can grasp it to get the answer. I want them to know that it is much more satisfying to reach out and finally obtain the information than for someone to give to them every time. It's kind of like Venosdale's vision in a remote way. In her vision the children reach out for their education like it's a treat. Being educated is a treat like a ball of yarn to a kitten.

kitten reading a book

What tools will you use in your classroom

Well, the tools I'll use are a wrench and a screwdriver. Just kidding. I will use creative writing references because students do enjoy them. I know because I was a high school student not too long ago. I will use Powerpoint for a visual learning and make them speak in front of class to increase their interaction skills and confidence. I can't have a rainbow classroom or animal crackers for good grades because that will insult my students' intelligence, but I will use a reward system of some sort to boost confidence and promote motivation.

What role will students play in my classroom?

Let's get real. It's high school, so none of my students will be running around making ruckus while painting doggies and kitty-cats on the dry erase board. Students will, however, interact with each other and me. I expect them to maturely handle the crucial, dreaded "group work" assignments. Also, my students will play ADULT. No late assignments. No bad behavior. No crying.

My school would have litters and litters of independent learning kitties. By the way, I like kitties.