Saturday, April 30, 2011

Final Project # 16

Final PLN Report

This is a screen shot of my PLN.  I have added many links that I use on a common basis.  Although it is not full this is something I will be able to continuously add to.  I think this is a great tool for everyone but especially teachers.  I gives you the most important links right at your fingertips no matter where you are.  I have links to websites, as well as to blogs on my PLN.  I know that this is a tool I will use often in my future not only as an education student, but also as a teacher.  

Friday, April 29, 2011


For this final C4T I was assigned to Kim Cofino who's blog can be found here.  Kim is a teacher at an oversas school.  She was teaching in Japan on March 11 when the tsunami and earthquake hit and devistated the area.  The first (and only) post that I posted on was dealing with this.  She was explaining how she had contacted people from her school and people she knew directly after the disaster.  Kim was able to use technology such as Twitter to check on others as well as to let everyone know she was okay.  Kim and her husband left the country soon after the disaster and are currently in Singapore.  Kim has not posted again since this post.  I think that she has a great attitude about the situation she had been faced with.

Blog Assignment #14-Special Assignment

I honestly am not very sure why I did not grasp this metaphor.  I do not think it was a very obvious metaphor.  I guess, had I been thinking about the context of this class while reading it, it may have been much more obvious to me.  I was just reading the article and taking it as it came across though. 

I have never before had a problem understanding metaphors.  After being given this assignment I was much more aware of all of the metaphors I heard on a daily basis.  One I commonly heard is "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."  One I have realized I use quite often is "give me a ballpark."  I am constantly saying this in reference to needing a time frame for something.  One I have heard quite often lately, with the end of the semester being so near, is "burning the candle at both ends"  There were others I heard since recieving this assignment, but this were the most common.

I think that it is important for us to make sure that our students understand what we mean when we are using metaphors.  I don't think this is something that can really be taught fully in a lesson setting.  It is something that is being continuously learned.  If you have never heard a specific metaphor before it will take more time to understand.  I think that, as educators, it is important that when using metaphors we ask afterwards, "What do I mean by that?"  If students do not know what you are trying to get across to them it is necessary to explain this in detail.

I think there are many reasons to use metaphors.  One reason is to say something that may not always be appropriate in a more appropriate way.  For example, although it is still not nice, it is nicer to say "not the brightest crayon in the box," than to say some one is dumb.  Another reason is to add depth to our conversations.  This adds an interesting level to conversations.

Friday, April 22, 2011

C4K Summary - Posts 7, 8, 9 and 10

I think that these last C4K assignments were definitely my favorite.  I like how there were two weeks dedicated to two great classroom blogs. 
For C4K #7 I was assigned to read a post on the trail of tears class discussion video on Mr. McCLung's World.  Since I am a history major this assignment appealed to me.  I really like how Mr. McClung uses many different types of media on his website.  I think that, if I decided to have a classroom blog, this would be how I would use it.  In this particular post Mr. McClung had set up a video camera to record a class discussion.  It was obvious that the topic had already been introduced.  The students knew what they were talking about and they seemed very passionate about their views on the topic.  My favorite part of the video was when one student made the comment to the effect of "The Indians weren't contributing to society so they didn't deserve anything." A second studend responded to the effect of "Well what do you do to contribute to society."  I thought it was really cool that the students were so into the discussion.  I also like how Mr. McClung guided the discussion but let the students do the majority of the speaking.

For C4K #8 we were again directed to Mr. McClung's world.  We were told to go more in depth in the category in which our first assignment was posted.  I though this was really interesting.  Again I was able to see multiple types of media put to use. Mr. McClung links every posting to at least one category (even if that category is uncategorized) so that you can see all information that is similar to the post you are looking at if you want to.

For C4K #9 we were introduced to Ms. Yollis' 3rd grade classroom blog.  I was really surprised by the quality writing on this blog.  The writing you see on this blog is not just done by Ms. Yollis but by her students.  They are very impressive for 3rd grade students.  This month is Family Blogging Month so we were assigned to comment on this section.  I think that is is amazing how the families participate in the blog.  I kept seeing parents commenting on every post.  I think that this is a great way to keep parents involved with their kids.  Ms. Yollis uses her blog as a writing and reading tool which I think is a great application of a blog.  When her students write on the blog everything they write has to be quality marerial or it will not be posted.  I think that this is great because she is using this to teach them to write correctly and effectively.  Ms. Yollis also required that any comments left by others are considered quality comments.  This means that she will not approve any comments with spelling or grammatical errors.  I think this is also great because it sets the right example for her students.

For C4K #10 we were again sent to Ms. Yollis' blog.  This time we were assigned a particular child to comment to.  I was assigned to Grace.  Grace recently wrote a blog about her Bunny.  Her Bunny is now her "mascot."  She has had Bunny for 9 years-she got him when she was born.  She had pictures on her blog post of Bunny dancing and playing the piano.  I thought that the quality of her post-and the inclusion of pictures- was great.  The first comment left on this post was by Grace's mother.  Grace had mentioned in her post that she had gotten another Bunny just like the original and she was Bunny's sister.  In her comment Grace's mother shared the story of how she got this second Bunny after her father turned around after they were an hour into a trip to visit family because a 2 year old Grace had forgotten Bunny.  I thought it was great that her mother shared this in her comment.  I shared with Grace how great I thought her post, and her classroom blog were.

Blog Post 13

When I first read the instructions for this post I had no idea what ALEX was. I did some research on the website and found some very useful information. ALEX is a website for teachers. It has many different topics of interest on it.

This website gives you information about the standards that teachers are expected to teach their students in different subjects. There are lesson plans available in many different subjects. There are links to other websites that may be useful to teachers, or in our case, future teachers. There are many handy tools available on this website!

I am certain that this website be quite useful to me during my time as a teacher. It is full of ideas and resources that will be available anywhere I have an internet connection! I believe the lesson plans will be very helpful to give me ideas to use in my classroom.

The Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, Students Statewide (ACCESS) is another amazing tool. This program allows students to participate in online classes that may not be offered at their school. This gives students the opportunity to receive Advanced Diplomas from school who may not otherwise have the resources to offer and Advanced Program. These courses can be offered as a web-based class or as a video conference. The web based class is similar to the online classes that you find at Universities. The video conference is delivered by a teacher and the student is able to watch.

Through ACCESS students are not only able to get Advanced Diplomas; they are also able to take Dual Enrollment and AP classes. These classes allow students to get college credit if they make a qualifying grade. The coursework in these classes are generally more on a college level.