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.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Book Trailer-Project #15

Progress on Final Project

I have started to make progress on my project.  I have one other member in my group at this time but we are trying to get another member in our group.  We are going to come up with an idea this week and begin our work on the project.

Blog Assignment #12

Here are the instructions for my blog post:
1.  View the WKRG article found here.
2.  Then view the Social Media Policy proposed by the Mobile County Public School Board here.
3.  Write a blog post on what ways you feel you could use social networks in an approprite way in your classroom.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Project #14

Special Assignment- Mr. McClung's World

1.  From what I have read about Mr. McClung on his blog he is a man with many varied interests.  I think that this shows through the way his blog is constructed.  He uses many different types of media throughout his blog.  Some posts are written, some are audio, some are video.  Because he knows that one thing does not appeal to or work for everyone he uses these multiple forms of communication so that all students and the audience of their blog can learn from it. 
2.  I think that Mr. McClung is a great educator.  He realizes that "notes, lectures and homework everynight" does not work for everyone.  I think that this realization is very important for every educator to realize.  You have to be able to teach to all students with all learning styles.  I think that the ability, and willingness, to do this is what makes a great educator. 
3.  The first rule Mr. McClung lists is "Follow Directions Quickly."  I don't know why Mr. McClung made this his first rule, but I do know that if I had made this my first rule it would be because I have worked hard to make assignments and to plan out what we will be doing in class but if directions are not followed we will not get the results needed to learn what we need to learn.  I think that this is also important because when the students follow directions this shows respect for the teacher.
4.  The first requirement under "Everyone Needs" is a daily planner.  I think that this is very important because students have to be responsible for their assignments.  A daily planner allows the students keep track of what is do and be organized which will lead to repsonsibility. 
5.  I think that Mr. McClung's penalties for being late are very similar to Dr. Strange's penalties for being late.  If you are late you only have the ability to get a B.  For everyday you are late the highest grade you can recieve lowes by a letter grade.  In Dr. Strange's class you are also penalized for late work.  The way I understand it is is not the exact same way as Mr. McClung penalizes his students but your grade will suffer and you will not pass the class if this becomes habitual. 
6.  Mr. McClung hope that through his blog he will be able to power technological education in his classroom.  This is very important.  It is also the best way for him to communicate with students, parents and others when they are not in the classroom.  If I choose to use a classroom blog I will use in in the same way.  I will use this as my main form of communication with my students and parents.  I will use it in this way because I think that it is often hard for parents to contact teachers because their schedules do not go together. 
7.  I really like that Mr. McClung has a link to The Daily Show with Jon Daily.  I think that this gives students a fun link.  Many of the students are possibly watching this show.  It is a very holarious interpretation of the news.  I think that it is great that Mr. McClung uses this fun link in his classroom.  I think this could be used to incorporate current events in the classroom in a fun way.  I think it made his list because it is a different kind of look at the news-the traditional approach is not appealing to students.
The second link I visited was From The Basement.  This is a site with many different muical artists who are not very widely known.  I think that this is a very interesting choice.  From Mr. McClung's post about himself we know that he is very interested in music.  I think the reason this post is here is to allow his students to better know himself.  I think it could be used as a link between students and teachers.
8.  I think that Mr. McClung's rules for Internet Safety are very in depth and cover everything needed.  I think it was a great idea for him to create a class e-mail the students could use on public posts sot hat they were not giving out their own e-mail address.  It is obvious that Mr. McClung really cares about the safety of his students.
9.   I was assigned to look at the Trail of Tears Class Discussion.  This was filed under Arkansas History.  Under this category I found many very interesting things.  I found that there are mostly videos under the Arkansas History category.  Mr. McClung has videos not only of class discussions, but also of individual students explaining certain topics.  I think that this is a great way to show that a student has mastered a topic.  If the student can explain something to you IN THEIR OWN WORDS I think it shows that they know the necessary infomation on that topic. 
10.  What I like most about Mr. McClung's post, that I feel would be useful, is the multiple pages.  I like how he has links to his different pages such as rules and useful links.  I feel like this is something that is necessary for a classroom blog because you are always going to want students to be able to refer back to other important things without searching around for it.  I am sure this is something that could be done with Blogger but I am not sure how to do it myself.
11.  I think that Mr. McClung's blog is very useful for multiple types of people.  I think that it is useful to his students because it allows them to look back as a review.  It is also a good source for students who have missed class.  If you have missed a day you are able to check the blog and keep up with what was covered in class.  I think it is a good resource for parents as well.  Parents are able to keep up with what their students are learning and how they are learning it on a daily basis.  I think this is a great way to keep parents involved in their children's lives.  It allows them to have a conversation starter.  I also think the blog is great for education students.  In field experience when we are required to teach those first few times I think this would be a great place to get ideas of fun, exciting, educational ways to introduce topics.
12.  Although Mr. McClung's blog is a Class blog he does most of the posting.  Students are involved in the making of the posts but I feel as if this blog is more of a this is what we are doing than a place for the students to blog.  I did see that he had a page where students could do this but it has not been posted to by the students recently and is not the main part of this blog.  Other blogs I have visited the students are the ones posting.  This is the main difference I saw.
13.  Mr. McClung's World is a blog that has so much depth to it is very time consuming to view it in depth.  I think that it is something that should be bookmarked to come back to as a reference.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Blog Post #11

Kathy Cassidy
I was very surprised at the level to which these first grade students were able to use the computers in the classroom.  I think that the way they used wikispaces is something I could incoorporate into my classroom.  I like the way they pose a question and then they have other people share their ideas with them.  I think that a common problem in classrooms is that the only ideas available are those IN the classroom.  This brings in ideas from outsiders, possibly people all over the world.  One problem I could see occuring from the use of wikispaces in this way, especially in the secondary setting, which is where I will be teaching,would be other studetns making inappropriate comments as their answer to the question.  Students at this age think that this is very humorous.  I am sure there is a way where comments have to be approved before they are published to the class wikispace. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

C4T #3

I was assigned to Scott Elias' blog. The first post I read was on a new program Mr. Elias is implementing in his school. I thought this program seemed very interesting. It is in the beginning stages at this point so there is a group of 7 teacher volunteers participating. As a part of the program they are going around, as a group, to each others classrooms and evaluating the teacher teaching. I think this is a great idea. It allows teachers to get feedback from their mentors rather than just their supervisors. It also allows the teachers who are observing to gain new knowledge.
The second post (and only post that had been posted since the first post) was one I considered to be housekeeping. It had nothing to do with education but on how Mr. Elias uses his macbook for organization. It was lost upon me because I don't have a Mac.

Blog Post 10

An Open Letter to Educators
I really agree with Morgan in her feelings about education.  I often feel as though Professors feel as if they are the only ones in the classroom with any knowledge on any subject.  I feel as if they give assignments that are not meant to educate us but to give us a grade.

 I really don't think that the education system here is not meant to educate in the most successful way.  We assign a grade based on what educators think is best.  We give assignments based on what educators think is best.  We don't ever think about the students and what is best for them. 

It seems as if Morgan's experiences and feelings are very similar to mine.  She doesn't feel as if she is being truly educated.  I think that EDM -although I don't always like all of the assignments- is taking a step in the right direction.  It allows students to express themselves and grades on the process as well as the product.

Don't Let the Kids Take Home the Pencils
I love the message in this post.  So often educators must find something to blame low test scores and situations on.  Mr. Johnson finds a solution to these "problems" rather than focusing on them.  As educators we shouldn't be focusing on the problem-we especially shouldn't be using it as an excuse-we should be deciding how we are going to solve these problems.