Monday, July 13, 2015


Will Deyamport, III
In his video (#beyouedu- Finding Your Swagger) on his blog, Peoplegogy, he discusses the importance of having confidence and being yourself. He says if you want to do something, don't be scared, just go for it.

My comment:
This is good. Thanks for the reminder that it is important to be confident. Too many people are worried about what others will think of them. It is important to be yourself and do what ever it is that you want to do.

In his video of his interview with Kimberly Wright, they discuss blended learning. She says that this way of teaching allows students to dictate their own learning. Blended learning gives teachers more time to interact with the students instead of standing in from of the classroom the entire time. They discuss different ideas about blended learning. Kimberly shares some experience she has with introducing blended learning to other teachers. She says that one of the response that she get is that teachers feel like they are being replaced, but she makes it clear that teachers are not replaceable.

My comment:
This is a very good explanation of blended learning for me. Using blended learning is a way to keep the students interested in learning and allows them be in charge of their learning.

Post #14

In Joel Klein's column, Teaching our children can be a profession, he discusses problems that need to be fixed in education today. Those problems include:
  1. Pick from the best
  2. Seniority distraction
  3. Radical change
The first problem has to do with thinking that all teachers are the same. Some think that teachers are interchangeable. Just because a teacher has more years of experience, does not mean they are better than newer teachers. It is a mistake that is made often;  the longer you teach, the better teacher you are. That is not true. You have to stay updated and be open to change to remain a good teacher and push yourself to become a better teacher.,d.aWw&psig=AFQjCNHxNPEkRC9I9UZTY9UsGIPGYnXo5w&ust=1436893493515341

Seniority is a problem because teachers get locked in a school after they have been there for a certain
amount of time, even if they are not doing their job to the best of their ability. If there is a newer teacher that can do the job better, they cannot take the job of a teacher who has been there longer than them. This is a problem because some teachers know they are not going anywhere unless they do something illegal, so they quit trying. They quit trying new things and they are not open to change.

Mr. Klein thinks that teachers "should be subjected to merit-based career ladder and be promoted based on specialty exams."  If this change was made, I feel like teachers would be more interested in trying to be the best that they can be instead of settling for being an average teacher. Not that money is what teachers are in their profession for, but this would be a great incentive for them to try harder and make sure that our students are getting the best education possible. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Post #13- Introducing Project Based Learning

How would you introduce PBL in an elementary school that does not use PBL?

First of all, I would test out PBL in my classroom. I would have a class blog, and I would introduce my students to blogging. If there are not personal computers or iPads available for each student at my school, I would just designate a time for each table to use the computers that we do have in the classroom. This may not be ideal if there are 25 kids in a class, but we will have to start somewhere and make do with what we have. Next, I will add more projects and group work. I would document and video the progress of the students blog posts and the projects that they are working on. 

Blogging with my students:

The first thing I would do is teach them how to blog, and give them the rules about using the computers and the internet. I will have them make their first blog post about themselves. Then they will begin blogging about their day; telling what they learned, what they did, if they enjoyed it or not,,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNFDoxvXCG6oa-fCx2JPR0JS6KsXQw&ust=1436499946111959
etc. After they are comfortable with blogging, they will start blogging about certain subjects. I would give them a choice to pick a subject and write about the content that we went over that day. This will give them the opportunity to learn more about the subject that they choose and will also make them more interested if they get to choose the topic. They will also post about projects that they do and they will share pictures of the finished products. Parents will be able to view their child's blog post so they can see what they have been working on throughout the school year.  

Projects in my classroom:

I would love to incorporate projects in every subject. I really love the idea of combining subjects to create a better understand of how the subjects connect. For example, if I teach a science lesson, I would make them do a writing assignment about something that they learned that day during the science lesson. This can be done for any subject. They can write fiction or non-fiction. I would give,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNGBeApopbmLSIqztUTwlOpYPT15IQ&ust=1436499772808490
them that choice. 
A project that I would love to do is where they act out scenes from their history book. They would dress up, write scripts, make it into a movie, etc. They will also preform these in front of the class. Another way of doing this project would be to have them choose to either act it out, make it into a song or musical, or make a rap about it. 

Introducing my ideas to my principal:

After trying out blogging and doing projects in my own classroom, I would present the videos and the documentation of all of the projects that we have done, to my principal. I would show the progress that my students have made and tell how much more they enjoy learning this way. I would then ask if I could present my ideas to the rest of the teachers and help them get started using PBL in their classrooms. This is how important PBL is to me. I would be willing to be a PBL director at my school, if that is what it takes to get my school on board with PBL, that's what I will do.,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNH_7alKQK5B1Nq3J_-Vh29HF-DM9g&ust=1436499857010748

Post #12- Assistive Technology

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Post #11

These are some good examples of teachers who use project based learning. Here is what I have learned from them.

In Brian Crosby's lecture form his blog,Learning is Messy, he mentions that the majority of his students are second language learners and live in poverty. Most do not even know basic knowledge about where they are from. However, he has high hopes for them and he does not give up on them or just tell them what they need to know to pass and push them through, he does things with them to get them excited about learning. He does experiments and gets them involved with projects. His students write about what they have learned on their blog posts, he mentions that they use wikis a lot, and they use flickr. When they do a science experiment, they take what they have learned and write stories about it, which goes into language arts.
Brian Crosby is an excellent example of someone who uses PBL in an effective way. He knows what will get the attention of his students and he runs with it. I need to remember this for my class, projects work a lot better when you carry them over to different subjects and get the students passionate about learning more.

The way in which Paul Anderson teaches according to the video, Blended Learning Cycle, is by using blended learning. You have to start out with a good question, then you want them to investigate and ask their own questions. Show them a video instead of just telling them about something. The next step is elaboration. Have them read about it, and research. At the end, you review, to make sure that they understand the concepts of the lesson. Then he gives them a summary quiz. He gives them a test after he is sure that they know the material.
Anderson reminded me that every student is important. I love that he waits until every student is ready to take the test, and then he moves on. The process in which he uses to teach makes it a lot easier for the students to remember what they need to know, because they are involved in their own learning.

Ron Richhart says, in this video that it is important to create a culture of thinking. It is not only about teaching lessons, it's about the culture in which the lessons are taught. This is eye opening, because most people think that more time and work should be put into the lesson, but in reality, it is more important to create an environment in which students want to learn and think for themselves that helps teachers convey the lesson.
For my classroom, one day, I want to create a culture of thinking. That was a good way to put it for me. Just telling the kids what the need to understand isn't going to help them understand it. You must teach them in the way that they comprehend and learn.

In the video, Super Digital Citizen, Sam Pine starts off the activity by giving a quote from Spiderman, a familiar quote to get them engaged right away. He asks them a question and then tells them to discuss it wit their table, so he is giving  them time to think about the question and hear their classmates responses as well. Then he introduces the activity and shows them an example. This activity is creating your own super hero and customize it however you want and then make a comic book with the character that they created. This is exciting for the students because they are interested in the subject. After the students finish, the students walk around and see what their classmates have done. I like this idea because the students get to show their work.
I love the creativity used in this classroom. I would love to incorporate something like this in my classroom. Making lessons relevant to students make a huge different. Using quotes that they have heard before is a lot more effective than using one from your time.

The video, Project Based Learning, three teachers completely change the way that students are used to being taught. Instead of going to a different teacher for each subject, the teachers work together to combine their efforts to teach multiple subjects. In the video they talk about the importance of PBL. It says that PBL keeps students engaged and provides a deeper understanding. These teachers all put in a bit of feed back as their students work on a project, and they can all help in different ways.
This has shown me how effective it is to collaborate with other teachers. The students are excited about their work and end up being proud of the outcome when project based learning is done right.

Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Plan defines PBL as: in depth learning, integrated thematic instruction, based on a "real-world" problem, research-based, projects and presentations. These teachers are teaching the students to think for themselves. They are trying to get past teaching students so that they can pass a test, they are trying to instill in them that it is important to know the material and understand it, and you can really see if a child understands the subject using PBL. They are also getting ready students used to public speaking, which will make it easier for them in the future. They give the students the opportunity to make their own decisions on a lot of things. This also gives them a sense of ownership so they will want to do the best they can do. This school encourages community participation. There are so many people in the community that can contribute to the students education to help them get a better understanding of a subject. This way of teaching sparks a curiosity in the students to want to know more about the world around them. I want to keep my students'  parents involved, and make them just as excited about PBL as their kids are.

Project 10- Interview with Mrs. Ashley Guy

Mrs. Guy is a 4th grade teacher at Prichard Preparatory School, and here is what she had to say about using project based learning and technology in her classroom.

Friday, July 3, 2015

C4T #3
In John Spencer's blog post Seven Stages in Moving from Consuming to Creating, he discusses the stages students go through to eventually get to the point where they are coming up with their own ideas. These stages are:
1. Exposure
2. Active consuming
3. Critical consuming
4. Curating
5. Copying
6. Mash-ups
7. Creating

My comment:
 Yes, creativity seems to be one of the hardest things to pull out of students. They must be scared to express themselves and think outside of the box. I like how you list the stages that students move through, they are very accurate to me. It takes them so long to get to the point where they are using their own ideas to create something new.

In Spencer's blog post Go Make Something, he addresses that teachers need to become makers. If you see something you don't like in the school, fix it, do something about it. Teachers know what is best for their students and they should do everything they can to make things better for them. He also discusses the risks of being a maker (e.g. failure, upsetting people, limitations), and the benefits of being  maker (e.g. fun, serve others, test what works)

My comment:
Very inspiring. Teachers do need to become makers, for the sake of their students. Teachers need to become more bold and take risks for the benefit of their classrooms. I can remember the teachers that I had in high school who were makers and the ones who were not. Makers  are definitely the ones who leave a lasting impact, for sure. When I become a teacher, I plan to become a maker. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Special Blog Post- Resources From Curriculum21,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNFAUtIUCJ_Cd9pCmZ24b8spO2mhCw&ust=1436029273104783
Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs is a well known leader in education. She is the president of Curriculum Designers, Inc. and Curriculum21, she is also known for developing approaches to 21st century teaching and learning. On her Curriculum21 website, you can find many resources that will help you as teacher.

Here are some resources that I  have found to be helpful:

100 People: A World Portrait
 100 People: A World Portrait displays a world map where you can click an area on the map and you can watch a video about the culture in that area. This would be a great way to introduce students to different parts of the world. They are able to see where the place is in relation to the United States and hear a little about the place. The purpose for 100 people is to find 100 people that represent different cultures form all over the planet. They share pictures and stories from these people on their site. This can be used as a way teach students about different cultures and find information for projects.

Visual Thesaurus
This is an amazing site that goes beyond the average thesaurus. You can search word and dozens of words that are linked to that word come up. This is a way to find further understanding of a word. In the classroom this can be used to help students look up and find the right words that they are looking for.

With the Visual Thesaurus, you can:,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNErX64UMMhQJ4RpIRvwJwwmUa9q4Q&ust=1435887779243476
  1. Find the right word. 
  2. Develop a better vocabulary. 
  3. Use words precisely. 
  4. Master word usage. 
  5. Improve your grammar.Explore 39,000 proper nouns. 
  6. Check your spelling. 
  7. Hear words pronounced correctly. Personalize your experience. 
  8. Connect to the Internet. 
  9. Access the VT from anywhere. 
  10. Email word maps to friends. 
  11. Explore five additional languages. 
  12. Unlimited access to our magazine. 

Science 360
With Science 360 you can find a video for almost any science related subject. This is a great tool to have for a quick visual for your students. I plan to use this in my classroom to provide a better understanding of a subject for my students.

Story Bird 
I plan to use writing as a way to help my students embrace their creativity. I want to incorporate writing in every subject; having them write stories about different subjects, fiction and non-fiction. Story Bird is a wonderful tool to get students engaged in writing and make them feel like real authors.  They can also share their work in the "class library," which is an idea that I love because students do better when they are able to share their work. Since they know that others will be able to view their work, they seem to want to make it the best that they can.

Google Art Project
Google Art Project is a very useful tool to let students study art. They can search any artwork or artist on this site and the art or information will come up. It is a much cheaper way to go on a field trip to an art museum.

Pinterest is an amazing way to find ideas for the classroom. There are so many ideas for activities, projects, experiments, etc. It is also good for finding ways to organize your classroom and ways to decorate the classroom to make it more interesting and inviting. I plan to use Pinterest as a way to keep my classroom up to date, getting the latest ideas from teachers from around the world.

Post #10- What We Can Learn From Ms. Kathy Cassidy's Class

The video, Little Kids... Big Potential, from Ms. Cassidy's first grade class is so inspiring. Seeing children so excited about writing a blog post is such a wonderful example of what project based learning will do for your students. These first graders know more about technology than most adults. They are able to write blogs and they are excited to do this because they can share what they write with the whole world. Blogging is also a great way for the students' family to stay updated on their child's progress throughout the school year. The students were happy to receive comments on their blog posts; this gives them a sense of pride in their work, and will challenge them to want to do better.

I want to use blogging in my classroom when I become a teacher. I believe that blogging is a great way for children to express themselves and share their personal ideas, experiences, opinions. This a great way for children to keep up with their work. Blogging can be used in class and at home. For the older grades I would have my students post about each subject
that we cover. This will be beneficial to them as they go to the next grade, they can always look back and review what they have learned.

The only thing that I feel like I would have a problem with is that working with technology may cause distractions. However, like Ms. Cassidy said in one of her interviews with Dr. Strange, you have to educate your students on how to use the internet. Let them know ahead of time what they should and should not be doing on the computers. Make sure they know the consequences of straying from the assignment.

Ms. Kathy Cassidy gives such great advice in her interviews with Dr. Strange.  I am already working on my personal learning network by using twitter to get ideas, like she mentions in the interview. I love how passionate she is about the use of technology in the classroom.

Check out the interviews:
Interview with Kathy Part 1
Interview with Kathy Part 2
Interview with Kathy Part 3