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!