Sunday, June 29, 2014

Blog Assignment #9: What can both teachers and students teach us about PBL?

My class was given the question, "What can both teachers and students teach us about project-based learning?". After reading through The Seven Essentials of Project Based Learning, I found that the most important part of Project Based Learning is keeping our students motivated and giving them reason to enjoy what they are studying. If students are given some control and power in their learning and projects, they will enjoy it more, and comprehend better because it is something they are interested in. Also, allowing the students to be more creative with their projects, will bring in new ideas from research and learning. Teachers will often learn from their students when doing this because students can find things that teachers would never think to look for or use in their classroom.

From the YouTube Video Project Based Learning For Teachers, it says that "Project Based Learning has students working over extended periods of time answering a driving question". This question has to be answered by research and obtaining an end result to share with their peers. This video is a great resource to understand how Common Core Standards and Project Based Learning coincide with each other.

In the video Two Students Solve The Ketchup Problem, you find out that the students are trying to solve the issue of water coming out of the ketchup bottle. This was their driving question, and a great resource for learning how to form and solve a driving question is The Driving Question or Wing Project: Crafting a Driving Question.

Doing Projects Versus Project Based Learning on Google

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Video Book Commentary

Hollywood Group Collaborative Video Book Commentary

Lesson Plan Part 2: Individual Lesson Plan

For my lesson plan I chose second grade science with a bean plant project including the use of an iPad/Macbook. Check out my lesson plan, collaborative rubric, and weekly calendar for the project!

Project-Unit Design Cycle
Project Calendar
Collaborative Rubric

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Blog Assignment #8: Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture"

Randy Pausch Quote from Google

I really enjoyed the video on Mr. Pausch's The Last Lecture, mainly because it showed me what it's like to really be an accomplished educator. Although he was given only a few months to live, he did everything he could to not only better himself, but to better the lives of others. This itself is what an educators career is all about. Not only should we be teaching the material needed, but we should always do what we can to help our students grow and better themselves in all areas of life. Teachers are some of the most influential people in a students life, because they see those students five days a week for a whole school year. Mr. Pausch discusses the use of project-based learning to make hard subjects more interesting, and how we should not only focus on what we are teaching, but how it is being taught. I can't imagine what I would do with the last six months of my life if given the choice right now, but what Mr. Pausch did with his was incredible and inspiring. Thank you Mr. Pausch for your wonderful, powerful advice. We can only hope that every educator can follow in your footsteps!

C4Tp#2: Langwitches

Langwitches Blog:

Blogging from GoogleIn Mrs. Tolisano’s blog post Blogging As A Curation Platform, she discusses how effective and useful blogging is over other curation tools. Blogging gives student more freedom to share ideas, organize and store their information, and also they can share ideas and opinions with people not only in their social circle, but people around the world. Blogging is limitless when it comes to what you can learn and can be used in many different subjects as a useful curation tool. In my comment to her post I said how much I loved the idea of using a blog as a curating tool. I certainly am considering this approach in my future classroom.

In her post Copyright Flowchart: Can I Use It?..Yes? No? If This...Then…, she shares with her readers a flowchart on how copyright works and how to handle it. I have never fully understood the copyright process and the flowchart she provides is much easier to follow visually than to have someone try to explain it to me.
Copyright from Google

C4Ta #2: Eric Langhorst

My C4Ta #2 assignment was the blog of History teacher Eric Langhorst.

In Mr. Langhorst’s Field Trip: The Roasterie- Coffee in Kansas City, he discusses the trip he made with his wife just to a place in his local area. He makes the point that residents are the worst tourists because we rarely pay attention to the great places that we are around everyday.  That’s true here in Mobile, AL. We have so many historic places to see and learn from and many of the Mobile residents never pay attention to the history of our city.
Smiling Cappucino from Google

In Langhorst’s post Annotating an Image in Google Drive, he does just that. He shows how to annotate an image for uses that he lists such as:
  • labeling a math problem
  • describe areas on a map
  • describe the parts of a cell on a diagram
Annotating can be useful in many subject areas.

Google Drive Logo from Google

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Blog Post Assignment #7: 21st Century Learning Tools

Once we graduate, we are not going to be spoon-fed information on how our lessons should be taught, what we should use to accomplish them, and where to go to find helpful information to get the job done. Of course, every school will have guidelines, but how are we going to make our classes the ones that are most remembered while using those guidelines? I don't know about you guys, but I want my class to be the fun class that other students are envious of. But, I also want my class to be the one that accomplishes the highest reading goals and highest math scores, because my fun(more interesting) teaching methods engage my students in what they are learning, and they evolve good comprehension skills because of that. This cannot be accomplished if I don't find the proper resources to refer to. We will have to search for our own resources and find what works best for our individual teaching situations!
Here are a few resources that I found most helpful:

Pinterest for TeachersPinterest: Although this site is not normally thought about as a resource for educational research and learning, it holds a lot of information on school projects, good apps for elementary children, reviews of these things from different blogs, communication between teachers, and many creative ideas for teachers to use in their classrooms. Besides, Pinterest is probably the one of the most visited websites for me everyday, so I'm already hooked!

EducationWorld: EducationWorld is a free online tool where teachers can share lesson plans, homework, advice for dealing with students and parents, and much more. It also lists app reviews, online learning games, and has a section for creating a classroom website! This would be a great resource if I decide to use a blog or website for my classroom to help my students and their parents keep up with assignments, news, etc.

Te@ch Thought: Te@ch Thought is an online blog where teachers communicate back and forth about their opinions on current events in education. There is a section for Common Core articles and information, a section for iPad, which includes articles about apps and other media, and a section called #hashtag, which explains the different hashtags used on Twitter in education. This would be a great resource for keeping up with technology and social media information.

Project #13: Lesson Plan #1

For our group lesson plan, we chose to create a lesson about shape recognition in Kindergarten students. Here is an overview of our lesson plans.
Shapes from Google

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Blog Assignment #6: Conversations with Anthony Capps

What did I learn from the conversations with Anthony Capps?

In the video conversation Project Based Learning Part 1, the main subject that stood out to me was Mr. Capps’ discussion of the difference between using Project Based Learning as a means of making sure your students have learned what they should after a lesson, and using it as a means of learning. I had always considered the “project” part of Project Based Learning to mean the students being assigned a project to display that they comprehended a lesson they were recently taught. After listening to this video conversation, I have come to the conclusion that using this style of teaching as a means of learning the lesson will keep my students more engaged in the lesson. When a student has to sit and listen to a teacher, they will often “zone-out” and not comprehend what is being taught. Having them engaged in some sort of hands-on project will prevent some of that problem.

In another video conversation with Anthony Capps,iCurio, he discusses how he uses iCurio in his classroom. The two parts of this video that I found most important and useful that I learned about iCurio are:
  • iCurio is used by students as a search engine-like system where they can search websites, images, audio, video, and much more. It filters these internet media to allow students to only search for things that should be used for educational purposes.
  • iCurio also has storage capacity for the students. They can store things that they find useful to their education. This would become useful when doing a research paper, in order for the student to save their research in one central location. Also, this allows for students to start becoming organized with their information on this storage center.

I found the video Use Tech Don’t Teach It to be really interesting. I never considered anyone ever teaching technology as a part of their curriculum, but I can certainly see where that would come into play. Mr. Capps discusses how you should use the technology in your classroom but not teach it. In his words, technology should not be “a list of things for you to get done”. He suggests to use the technology that is available to you as part of certain assignments that you give, that way the students have a chance to learn how to use it, but you are not having to spend classtime teaching them how to use it.

I’ve learned a lot from not only these videos, but from the other videos that we were assigned. These were just the few subjects that stood out to me in these video conversations. Here is a list of the other video conversations:

Thank you Anthony for the information and useful advice for my future classroom!

The Cloud to Technology from Google

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Blog Assignment #5: Building My PLN

Before now, I had no clue that the idea of a PLN (Personal Learning Network) existed, much less knew what it was. A PLN is a list of contacts, websites, documents, etc. that one finds beneficial to their everyday life and continual learning. For this project, I’ve used Symbaloo to start building my PLN, and I’m already finding it very useful! On Symbaloo, I can created “tiles” with links to different websites that I find useful. Right now, I have tiles created for the websites I use nearly everyday. Here are a few examples:
And I’m sure I will add much more as I find more websites that I can benefit from. I’m really enjoying using this website to keep all of my webpages together. I have every website that I use most often all in one central location, all I have to do is click. It remembers my Sign In information for each website that I set it to, so I’m automatically signed in to whatever I need. Thank you Dr. Strange for introducing this to our EDM310 class!
Image of Symbaloo Setup

Project #7: My Sentence Videos

My Passion Is...
My Sentence Is...

Project #3 Presentation

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Blog Assignment #4: Asking Questions

What do we need to know about asking questions to become an effective teacher?

One of the most important things that a teacher must do is constantly ask questions. Asking questions allows students to think about what they’re learning and apply it. The question is, how do we determine what questions to ask and how they should be asked? In “The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom”, we are told that teachers don’t have to know everything. In fact, students often show the teacher new things about technology and new trends, as well as the teacher educating them in subjects such as math, reading, and science. The motto for our EDM310 class is “I don’t know. Let’s find out.” The teacher doesn’t always know the answer, and I don’t know how anyone could know it all. The simple solution to this is knowing what questions to ask, and how to find the answers.
Asking Questions

Asking Questions to Improve Learning” gives several tips on what we should and should not do when asking questions. First of all, we should come up with questions to ask, or potential questions that our students might ask before we enter the classroom, and be prepared for them ahead of time. That gives us time to think about the questions and come up with well thought out answers before class time. Also, we should avoid asking leading questions, or questions that answer themselves, because that takes away the opportunity for our students to really apply themselves to what they’ve learned. I really learned a lot from these sources about asking questions, and I did not realize how important it will be to ask my students questions to better their learning. Thinking about it, I realize where I learned to ask questions, and that was from some of my first teachers in school. In doing so I became a better student and hopefully will be a better educator because of their influence. I will strive to set a good example for my students in the same way my teachers did that for me. 

C4Tp: Comment for Teacher (Permanent)

In the post “And You Thought It Could Not Be Done: Blogging In Math”, Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, the author of the blog, discusses how she uses a blog to help her math students succeed in school. I never thought that blogging in math would be of any use, but she uses it for her students to communicate problems they are having and help each other. In my response, I explained how students are more engaged in school when they are using things that they are interested in, such as the internet and blogs. Reading this post has made me reconsider using a blog in my future classroom, because it will keep students engaged in school and in contact with each other outside of a classroom setting.
Math E-card

C4Ta- Comment for Teacher

For my temporary C4T (comment-for-teacher) assignment, I was given the blog of Mrs. Hadley, a Middle School History teacher. In her post “Almost Boring”, she talks about the way her students act toward the end of the year. She says they know what to do on their own and she doesn’t have to do much of anything, but  is just there to help and answer questions. In particular, she describes how her students handled their Black Death assignment. Once given the assignment, her students were allowed to get up and get in groups with their friends, study in the hallway, and talk amongst each other about the project they were assigned. In my comment to her post, I told her how I thought giving the students free reign of the classroom was risky, but her students were so well behaved and stayed focused on their assignment. I hope that my future students are that well behaved, or that I’ll know how to handle my students in a way that they’ll want to behave in such a way. I know that I study best when I’m comfortable, so maybe her students felt the same way and thrived in her classroom because they were allowed to get comfortable.

Keep Calm and Avoid the Black Death

Project #15: Search Engines

For this project, I had to find 8 search engines and try them out. I’ve almost always used Google, but finding these new search engines has given me several new places to search for information.

WolframAlpha- This search engine is unlike many I’ve found before. It allows you to look up items like most search engines, but it also will calculate math problems for you. After it has calculated the answer to your question, it explains how it came up with that answer in several different ways including number lines and graphs.

Bing- Bing is a search engine very similar to Google. It allows you to search for images, videos, search for places using the “maps” feature, and look up news articles. Bing also keeps a history of your past search subjects.

Yahoo- Yahoo search is not only a search engine, but a great place to find recent news. Also, it is set up as an e-mail server. This search engine includes Sports, Weather, and Games as a few of the items you can look up.

Dogpile- Dogpile is very similar to Google and Yahoo, except it allows you to search the White Pages, like an online phonebook.

Ixquick- This search engine claims to be “the world’s most private search engine”, mainly because it does not keep a history of your searches, or track your IP address. It is not a US based website, so it is also not under US jurisdiction. It allows you to search for images, videos, and phone numbers, along with a web search.

DuckDuckGo- This search engine displays nothing but a search bar and it’s slogan is “the search engine that doesn’t track you”. If you click on the link “What’s new” it will take you to a page where you can search for photos and videos, places, it has a dictionary, you can find recipes, and weather.

Metasearch- Metasearch is your typical search engine which allows you to search the web for any subject, search for images and news, but it also has a “shopping” section and a section for “downloads” where you can download songs, videos etc.

AOL Search- AOL search is enhanced by Google, and is also an e-mail server. It is very similar to Yahoo, because you can search for news, photos, etc. but also sign in through your e-mail. 

Search Engine Word Art

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Blog Assignment #3: How Can You Provide Meaningful Feedback to Your Peers?

Most likely, you have had to produce some kind of writing assignment to a teacher in your high school or college career, or possibly for your job. You struggle at a computer desk for a while, in an effort to get your thoughts on paper, and have them make sense all at the same time. You finish your assignment, scan it for errors over and over again, and finally it’s complete! You go into class, so proud of what you’ve accomplished, but then comes the next and most important step in the writing process: Peer Editing. Many students fear this step, and it often turns them away from becoming a successful writer. Why, you ask? Many students do not know what it means to “peer edit” successfully, or maybe don’t even know what Peer Editing is, therefore giving incorrect or hurtful feedback to their peers.

According to the Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial, Peer Editing is defined as “working with someone your own age, to help improve, revise, and edit his or her writing.” The YouTube video, What Is Peer Editing?, explains the steps of peer editing very well. According to this video there are three steps to follow when editing someone’s writing: Compliment, Suggestion, and Correction. When editing someone’s work, you always want to start by encouraging the writer with something positive about their writing such as, “I really like what you chose as your title”, or “This was a great topic to write about.” After complimenting the author, you should come up with suggestions and ideas to make their writing even better. Remember, you are making suggestions, so you should not insist that the author use your ideas. Being pushy with suggestions will often make the writer think that their ideas are insufficient. Lastly, make corrections by looking for spelling errors, grammatical problems, and fragmented sentences. Always explain why you believe something should be corrected, so that the writer understands the problem and how it should be fixed. Peer editing should be a way to improve one’s writing abilities, so you should always use constructive criticism when editing something!
"Punctuation Saves Lives"