Sunday, June 28, 2015

Post #9- What We learn About PBL From Teachers and Students

 "Some "projects" border on busywork. Others involve 

meaningful inquiry that engages students' minds."-  a quote
from Seven Essentials for Project Based Learning. This quote reminded me that learning is not about staying busy to pass the time, it's about engaging in something that has a purpose and will help you at some point in life. Giving students a "project" where you give them all of the instructions and websites to go to, to me is a way of underestimating the ability for your students to find this information themselves. Students need to know,  at an early age, how to conduct research and find information on their own. Ways to make sure you are conducting a project in the right way:

  1. By having a "Need to Know"
  3. A Driving Question
  4. Students Voice and Choice
  5. 21st Century Skills
  6. Inquiry and Innovation 
  7. Feed Back and Revision
  8. A Publicly Presented Product
I will use this list as a guideline to help me create the best and most effective projects for my students. Each of  these play an important role in making up a meaningful project that will create the best learning experience. 

The video, Project-Based Learning for Teachers, tells that with PBL students learn collaborative skills, communication skills, critical thinking skills, and career and life skills. These skills come from projects that challenge students to get the best out of their learning experience. 

I learned with project based learning comes a plethora of tools and resources online. There are so many collaborative sites out there that students can use to do group work. The blog post,Ten Sites Supporting Digital Classroom Collaboration in Project Based Learning, has a very good list of helpful and useful sites that I plan to incorporate in my classroom one day. Some of the sites that I find to be very effective are: Padlet ,Google Docs, and Skype in Education. These sites can be used for many different projects.,d.cWw&psig=AFQjCNG6PTTSZVjfWW6Spx_gGiQp12Fv0g&ust=1435635144176768
Students can do group work from wherever they are, not just in the classroom. Skype is a great tool for the classroom, because the possibilities are endless. Skype can be used to bring experts in to teach your class, students can have a video conferences, field trips can be brought to the classroom by using Skype, etc.

PBL ultimately is a way to get students interested and excited about learning. Students enjoy being able to come up with their own ideas and find solutions to problems that they experience. Giving students projects that are irrelevant to their lives will not benefit them in any way. However, when you let the students have a voice in their own learning, you will see much better results. An example of the enthusiasm students can have once they are given the opportunity to be creative and use their imagination can be found in this video: Two Students Solve the Case of the Watery Ketchup by Designing a New Cap. Two high school students invented a new cap for a ketchup bottle, to eliminate the messy water that comes out when you squeeze a bottle with a regular cap. These students put a lot of thought into this project, mainly because it was something that interested them. They were able to work together to solve a problem that many others have. This taught me that students can really do anything, if they are given the chance.

In the video,What Does Project-Based Learning Look Like in the classroom Look Like?, I learned a very effective way to get students to understand concepts that are needed and used in the real world. Teaching can be done by partnering with another teacher and combining your efforts to teach two different subject by doing one project. This is a great way to show students how both of the subjects are connected and how the concepts that they are learning are used together.

Learning should be fun, exciting, and interesting for students.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Post #8- Randy Pausch's Last Lecture,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNH-ulNcwmuOkm7C-nO_JqSf5DGrgQ&ust=1434859641536538

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture is truly inspiring. It was one of the most enjoyable lectures I have ever watched. You could tell that he was a man who loved his job and the responsibility he had as an educator. He did his last lecture knowing he only had a short time left to live. He could have been spending time with his family, but he chose to take the time to teach. That is true dedication. He dedicated his life to educating people in a way that made learning fun and interesting.

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?

At Carnegie Mellon University Randy Pausch taught students the importance of working with a group, being creative, sharing their work, and doing their absolute best.
Randy decided not to take the traditional teaching route, he decided to think outside of the box. He gave his students assignments that stretched them to the max, he made them want to be the best that they could be. As a teacher, that is what I would want to do for my students; not let them settle for good if they can be great. I want to be like Randy Pausch and give my students the opportunity to choose where they take their education. I want to motivate them to go the extra mile and not to give up just because something is hard.
Pausch says in his last lecture that "helping millions of kids have fun while learning something hard" is the professional legacy he would like to leave with Alice. What a great legacy to leave. Knowing that the subject that he teaches is hard, he came up with a way to make it fun. This way students will not mind all of the work that they have to put into a project, because they actually want to do it and enjoy it. To him teaching was not just about teaching students from a textbook, it about finding a way for students to learn and also enjoy themselves while doing so.

Randy Pausch is an excellent example of a life-long learner. He also dedicated his life to furthering his education. Without directly saying so in his last lecture, he tells about his own personal learning network. He had mentors who pushed him to further his education and he was constantly researching new ideas. Randy always had fun and he strongly believed that learning should be fun. That is the one of the most important things I could have learned from his lecture. Learning can be enjoyable if you approach it the right way with the right attitude.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

C4Ta #2

I found Beth Knittle's blog to be very interesting and helpful.

In her post, Updating the Diploma, she discusses the importance of school and how it is not just the diploma that students should be working for. She says that something has to change in our schools today to better prepare students for the real world.

My comment:
I agree with your statement. The things I learned in high school were helpful to pass tests to get to the next grade. However, there should be much more to education than that. Pushing students along isn't helping anyone in the long run. Teaching is supposed to be about helping someone become a better person and leave your classroom with a deeper knowledge and understanding, not just a good enough grade to move on. Students need more teachers that are willing to go the extra mile to give them the tools and skills the need to succeed in the real world.

Her post, Updating the Curriculum, is about the need for a change in the curriculum that is needed in our schools  today. Schools no longer offer classes such as home economics and shop, but they are offering more foreign language classes and coding, mobile app design, broadcasting, etc. She discusses that these are the kinds of classes we need in all of our schools. Then she asks this question: How are your schools addressing the need for change?

My comment:
I agree, it is a necessary change that needs to be made. I have heard great things about Gulf Shores Elementary school. They are very up to date on using technology. They have completely changed their way of teaching, and they have been very successful. Kindergarteners are able to make iMovies and use Alabama Virtual Library, which is amazing to me.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

#7 Technology In Elementary Schools

Six Videos About Using Technology In the Classroom:,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNHCfs9uim4Kyr_rb0zk4fKzqCShRg&ust=1434680542152506

 In the video, Using iMovie and Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarten, Michele Bennett and Elizabeth Davis discuss with Dr. Strange the way that kindergarten classes at Gulf Shores Elementary and Daphne Elementary use iMovie and Alabama Virtual Library. It is amazing what kindergarteners can do with technology when they are given the opportunity. This way of teaching allows the students to teach themselves by practicing and experiencing things on their own. Kindergarten students are making book trailers using iMovie at Gulf Shores Elementary; writing their own scripts, and editing their work. At Daphne Elementary kindergarten students  are using Alabama Virtual Library to conduct research and they love doing it.

The video,  We All Become Learners, discusses the fact that the students are not the only ones who are learning in schools now. Working with technology is so natural for the younger generations and they are able to pick up thing a lot quicker than many people even in their twenties. Kids are able to figure things out on their devices and teach that information to their teachers. Teachers should love teaching their students but they should also love when their students teach them things.

A 2nd grade class at Gulf Shores Elementary School make a presentation on flowers and presents it to a 1st grade class. This is such a great project. These students become the teachers which is helping them develop all kinds of skill that will be helpful to their future. Such as, public speaking skills and  creativity that will help them as they go to college and enter the real world. This also allows the 1st graders to see the enthusiasm the older kids have about learning and doing projects. This should motivate them to want to have the same excitement and interest in learning. Check out the video, Mrs. Shirley and Ms.Lauber's Students Collaborate to see this project in action.

In the video, Career Day Taylor, the students are each dressed up as what they want to be when they grow up. They each tell what they want to be and why. This is a great project because it gets the students thinking about what they want to do in the future and all of their options.

In Dr. Strange's interview with two 2nd grade students from Gulf Shores Elementary, two girls discussed a project that they did on sea turtles. This project was a presentation done on Keynote, which they enjoyed doing because they learned a lot. They had to do their own research for the project using Alabama Virtual Library. They were able to tell step by step how to find pictures for the project and what to do with them. It is incredible how much these students enjoy learning and how much they know about using technology.

Ms. Lauber's class made an iMovie about Planet Earth in which the student gave facts about earth. This projects allow the students to own their own learning. They find the facts and pictures for the movie and I believe this would help them remember it better than a teacher just telling them about it.
Project Based Learning,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNHnRsCwYRLX4aBzyROB2rQIom3wuA&ust=1434672313149539,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNHnRsCwYRLX4aBzyROB2rQIom3wuA&ust=1434672313149539

Saturday, June 13, 2015

What I Learned From the Conversations with Anthony Capps

Anthony sounds like he is an amazing teacher. He has a lot of useful advice and tips on how to be a successful teacher in the 21st Century. He is very passionate about what he does. He uses technology and project based learning in the classroom as a way to keep his students engaged and interested in learning.
Project Based Learning:

In the video,Project Based Learning Part 1, Anthony talks about how projects should not only be used as a way to see if a child has learned something, but also should be used as a way to teach something. It is important for teachers to make this shift in project based learning, because it is a great way for the students to own their own learning and be proud of their work. The project must include all of the information that you want them to learn for them to be able to complete the project. It should involve an audience, for them to be able to show their work, so they are rewarded for the work that they do. The students need to be interested in the project; make it relevant to their lives. Have the project be connected to the community so that the kids can see the connection that it has to the real world. An example of project based learning that Anthony had his class do was where they studied the culture of Afghanistan. Each student would pick a topic to study. They end up studying several different aspects of the culture. Some studied the fashion, food, religion, etc.

iCurio: This is a way for students to safely do research. iCurio is a filtered search engine that is made for educational purposes. Anthony goes into more detail about it in his conversation with Dr. Strange in the video, iCurio. This is a great way to protect your students from things that they do not need to see on the internet. I have never heard of iCurio until Anthony explained it. I am very excited to use it in the classroom. It is a great tool to have to make sure the students stay on task and do what they need to be doing.

Discovery Ed:

This is a great resource for teachers to help bring a visual to what they are teaching the kids. If you are not as good at a certain subject you can pull up videos of experts teaching the subject, which allows the students to get the best possible explanation of what you want them to know. As Anthony says in the video,about Discovery Ed, students remember things a lot better if they can see it, hear it, and watch it being done.

The Anthony- Strange Tips For Teachers
1. Be a constant learner. To be a successful educator you must always be learning. Whether it be new ways to teach things or new thing to teach. Learning is key, not just for the students but for teachers as well.
2. It is hard work, but it is very rewarding. This goes back to learning. You must alway challenge yourself to be a better teacher, and to do that you must work hard at. Researching new things, trying out different methods. The outcome and success that you see in your students is worth the long days and nights in the end.
3. Flexibility. Things are going to go wrong, so you have to be able to adjust and move forward if things do not go as planned.
4. Start with a goal. This will help you get the job done without getting overwhelmed.
5. Engage 100% of the students all of the time with all of the projects. Make sure you stay relevant with the topics and make them interesting. If you do this the students will enjoy learning and doing the projects.
6. Reflection. Reflecting, revising, and sharing work with an audience is a very good way to make sure the project is done to the best of the students ability. If they do their best, check over it, share it and let others critique it, it should be successful.

Teaching vs. Using Teaching Technology:
According to Anthony in the video, Use Tech Don't Teach It, you should never teach technology. You should use technology and the students will learn on their own. Focus on using one type of technology at a time, and let the students ask questions as they need help.

In the video, on Additional Thoughts About Lessons, Anthony says that there are 4 main things you need to focus on when it comes to lessons.
1. Year. Figure out how you are going to cover all of the content that you need to in the year.
2. Unit. Stretch things out to make sure they are mastered.
3. Week. Revise your week as you go to make sure you get everything you need to get done.
4. Day. Make sure you have something to keep them engaged and keep their attention.
This is a great way to look at it. If you stay focused on what you need to get done like this it will help you with organization and keep you from leaving anything out. This way will help you get the important things done.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Project #7

My sentence is... No one can tell that I am not good enough, because I am.
My passion is creating a learning environment where children love to learn, and helping them reach their fullest potential.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Establishing my Personal Learning Network

Personal Learning Network:

To begin the journey in creating my own personal learning network, I started by watching Youtube videos, and reading blog posts about PLNs. I found that this a very simple thing to do. The only thing you really need to get started on your PLN is the desire to be a life long learner and a computer with internet access. There are so many resources on the web for teachers; so many experienced teachers posting very useful tips and advice on how to become a better teacher. I also never realized how useful twitter could be for educational purposes. I have begun reading tweets from educators who also post useful advice and information for teachers.,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNHwFgDFzqAp0QXM05pNOUEihZ3MPA&ust=1433806655327451

After finding a few blogs to subscribe to and people to follow on twitter, I decided to check out Symbaloo, and I absolutely love it. You literally have everything at your fingertips. You can make links to blogs that you enjoy reading, a link to your own personal blog, you can basically save a link to anything that you want to. On this site you can get to everything you need without having to actually type it in and find it every time. I made a little section for EDM310, with links to my blog, the class blog, the master checklist, and I am still adding as I think of things that I need to add. I never knew something like this existed. This is a great way to keep everything organized and it's so simple. I cannot wait to expand my PLN.

Project #3 Presentation Post

Project Based Learning


  Alabama College and Career Ready Standards 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Search Engines,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNF7mk1YU19lbXjHngUj-Yjd2-5i3g&ust=1433728068575808
1.WolframAlpha-A search engine that calculates knowledge and answers questions. It will answer almost any question whether the question be math, history, or science. It can be used as a dictionary and thesaurus. If you type in the title of a song it will pull up the lyrics, or if you put in some of the lyrics it will pull up the title of the song. It can be used to find information about movies and plays. There are specific links you can click on such as; mathematics, step-by-step solutions,people and history, art and design, and much more. This search engine is the best that I have found for educational purposes. It has endless amounts of knowledge available to write papers, do projects, and any school related assignments.,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNGtWVEfKfNw225YvZ67xprnhJB9ew&ust=1433728167892108
2. Bing-bing is good for getting reviews from people you know or people like you. It is good for searching for hotels.
3. Duck Duck Go-A small company based in Paoli, Pennsylvania with only 20 employees, is different from other search engines in that does not track you. It emphasizes on protecting the users privacy.,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNGLdjiXNZIThEU1YoJuGhl0PtsVgA&ust=1433727678746818
4.Yahoo-yahoo is a great way to stay up to date with information on news,sports, style, health, beauty, travel, movies,weather, politics, and more right at your finger tips. Yahoo is allows you to set up an email account. Yahoo, to me, is the best search engine to get celebrity gossip, and news.,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNFg0q3quxuaZJPZlkAVixZx2TuvqA&ust=1433728236003378
5.Yelp-this is a great search engine for finding restaurants, bars, coffee shops, beauty and spas, health/medical, making reservations, and other services. You type in your current location and it will pull up the options for what you are looking for nearest you. Also, they provide information about reviews and health inspection scores.,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNETVLDntokRJ2gRloyG-zqPlrWInA&ust=1433728341494672
6.Trip Advisor-this is a great tool for planning a vacation, or any kind of trip in a place that you are not familiar with. You can find hotels, restaurants, flights, and more.,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNEK5rVbZWNag2OcHO8UieXnkU_R1A&ust=1433728438516892
7.Yandex-A Russian search engine. Used to find a number of internet-based services and products, Yandex is the fourth largest search engine in the world (as of 2012). This search engine is much like the others, but there is also an option for translation.,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNGecYVXyr7Unj0kYvTvFprFKXy6ig&ust=1433729361778803
8. Ask-Founded in 1995, is a question-answering search engine. You can type in a celebrities name and get a biography and picture instantly. It has links at the bottom of the page for many different subjects, providing specific information for each.

What Questions Do We Ask? How Do We Ask?

What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNFascdzD1ZH35DgGkmeabYSmS4lbw&ust=1433702889375138

According to Ben Johnson, in his blog post,The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom, there is a right and a wrong way to ask your students questions in the classroom. Teachers tend to act like they know everything and they assume that the students don't know anything. He thinks that teachers need to figure out why they are asking questions in the first place. Some teachers say they are asking questions to see who understands what you have been teaching. But asking a question like "Does everyone understand?" is not a good way to really know who understands and doesn't. Johnson feels that this is like saying, I gave you the chance to tell me if you understand or not, so since you didn't tell me that you don't understand it is not my fault. Johnson says, the problem with this is that student may not know if they understand or not.

There are 3 groups of students; the ones who don't understand, the ones who do understand, and the ones that don't care. When teachers ask questions to the whole class the ones who are going to answer are the ones who understand, and the ones who do not understand and don't care are not going to pay attention. Then if you call on a random person and ask them a question, everyone else will just be relieved that you did not call on them. The right way to ask a question, according to Johnson, is to ask the question and wait three seconds before calling on someone (random) to answer. That way you will give all of them time to think about the question you are asking, and by the time you call on a student they should all know the answer.

I agree with Ben Johnson. I can remember when I was in middle school, I was a part of the "I don't care" group. I never voluntarily answered a question. If the teacher was going to randomly choose someone to answer the question, I wasn't worried about the question, I just sat and prayed that she would not call my name.

In Maryellen Weimer's blog, Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom, she gives advice on better ways to ask questions.

These questions are: 1.  Prepare Questions- Instead of just making up questions on the spot, think about the questions and write them down so you have your thoughts together about what you really want to ask.
2. Play with Questions- A way to do this is to leave a question open for a while, this is a good way to  get the students to think about the question and come up with the answer.
3. Preserve Good Questions- When you come up with a good question you can use keep a note of it and use it again in another class. If you ask for questions and the students do not respond, you can bring up the question to them to get them started to think of their own questions.

Rebecca Alber's blog post,5 Powerful Questions Teachers Can Ask Students, talks about five simple questions that are just as important as the more detailed questions.
These questions include:
1. What do you think?
2. Why do you think that?
3. How do you know this?
4. Can you tell me more?
5. What questions do you still have?
To get the best results from the questions you ask, give the students time to think about their answer. Students age will depend on the time that you need to give them to think about their answer. It is important for you to stay silent and give the students time. This will also help the students work through their thoughts and figure out where they stand on the subject.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

C4Ta- Arvind S. Grover

21 Apples Blog, by Arvind S. Grover

Summary of the blog post #1:

This post was about the way you talk to your students. Keeping a positive attitude when dealing with students is the best way to handle a situation. Watch how you word things and make sure you never use sarcasm, at any age.

 My comment:
Thank you for this reminder. Sarcasm seems harmless but you never know how it will make someone feel, especially if you continually use sarcasm. At first it may seem playful, but over time it may come across as being mean and this could ruin your relationship with students or co-workers. Summary of blog post: If you're not sure where you students stand in the class or what they need help with, try this activity: Have the students write on a sheet of paper 1. Name 2. What is one idea from today's class that you feel like you really understood well? 3. What is one idea from today's class that you need more help with? 4. What is one question you would like me to explain next class? Then have them turn it in as an exit slip. This can be done once or for an entire week. My comment: This seems like a great way to get feed back from your students. They can be honest about what they have learned and even tell what they feel like needs to be improved in the class. I will have to try this when I become a teacher.

Summary of blog post #2:

Teachers need to observe in other classrooms to get ideas for changes that they could make to improve their own class. It is important to have a teacher role model and always want to be a better teacher.

My comment:
This is a great reminder. Often times teachers feel like they have it all together, and they know everything they need to know to teach their students. But they don't realize that students change, and as they change teachers must adapt to to the change. Observing other teachers and finding a role model teacher is a great way to better yourself and use different strategies to become a better teacher. Teaching can be done by anyone, but teaching effectively can only be done teachers who keep an open mind and apply new strategies of teaching.

Peer Editing

A peer is someone that is your age. Editing is making comments and suggestions about writing. Peer editing is when you help someone your own age make corrections to their work. The first step in editing someone else's writing is compliments. You need to make sure you let the writer know what you liked about their writing. It is very important to stay positive while peer editing. Next is suggestions; this could be about word choice, details, organization, sentences structure, or topics. Make suggestions on things that they should change to make their writing better. Then you make corrections. Make sure they've used correct grammar, punctuation, sentences, and spelling.

It is important to follow each step in peer editing to make sure it is done correctly. The most important rule is to stay positive. Think about how you would want someone to give you advice. You cannot be mean or negative about someone's writing. Your job is to simply give them advice on how to make it better, not make them change it to the way you want it. It is also important to make sure you stay on task, and not get distracted talking about other things.