Sunday, April 29, 2012

C4T Four

Intrepid Teacher

For this C4T, I had had the opportunity to explore Mr. Jabiz Raisdana. In the post, Identify the Boundaries , he raises questions about sharing. After exploring around on his blog , I realized that Mr. Raisdana is a advocate for open expression and sharing for students and teachers. He teaches at the Sinarmas World Academy and is building a community of learners. Mr. Raisdana wants students to fulfill their human potential.

He raises many questions in the post, for example, what do we feel uncomfortable sharing online?, what can we gain from it?, and how does openness connect us to others?. Having the openness to connect and share with others gives unrelated individuals the opportunity to relate to one another. Sharing can form relationships that are long-lasting and helpful. A community of learning that is limitless through the web. Living in a very open world today, wouldn't you want your students to explore and be susceptible to many things? What better way than to guide them to share. By sharing, we can find people to befriend and learn from them. A connection that ties us all together.

Mr. Raisdana makes a good point that we all mostly share the positive things about our goals and life in general. Why not let out some negative aspects, or something that has happened that we learned from? This, I believe, could help others. He asks the readers to think about three questions that were somewhat tricky to answer. The three questions were as follows: 1. What makes you feel uncomfortable? 2. What is too private to share? 3. What is too much to share?
They were tricky because it took a while for me to answer. Think about it, even though most of us are very open to share our thoughts and views, there are some things that we hold back. Some say that individuals should only post appropriate things, but what really is appropriate? It varies from person to person. As I commented on the post, if something is going to make me feel uncomfortable when people asks me questions then I will not write it. All in all the boundaries are based on the actual person.
In reality there should be no boundaries, except the cultural no nos, and he points a few out in the post also. The more we share, the more people can relate to us, and the more we can learn from each other.
Jabiz Rasidana

Launch Forth

In this post Mr. Jabiz is discussing Walt Whitman and Ze Frank. I have never read anything by Walt Whitman and the poem that I was introduced to was Noiseless Patient Spider. Mr. Jabiz discusses the connection that Walt Whitman makes to connections and the web. The best part of this post was about Ze Frank. He is very interesting. As I commented on the post, I took a very powerful thought with me; which was that our thoughts can make us feel unconnected, actually connect all of us. We connect on the web. The point was very well made.

Wordle: intrepid teach

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blog Post #13

Engage in an E-Media Fast 

no media

I was asked to engage in an e-media fast, meaning I was not allowed to use any type of electronic devices from television to cell phones. I mean nothing. I attempted this process about three times. It was very difficult. Having two children it was extremely hard to refrain from the television, even though I really do not watch it, and my cell phone. I can say that I did refrain from my cellular device the longest.
All the time in the past, growing up, I do not see how I survived with out a cell. I actually turned mine on vibrate and had my daughter Kaylee check when it vibrated that it was not anyone super important. She thought I had gone nuts. I think the hardest part of not having my cell phone was that I am constantly checking my Facebook on it and/or checking my email and I could not do that. I never realized how much time I spent flicking through pages on my phone. WOW.
At first I did not think this assignment would be hard. I quickly found out that I was wrong.My computer was a big issue also. It was very hard to stay off of it, seeing as how I am on it 24 hours a day it seems like. My fingers were just itching to get on and type or check something to do with school. I realized that when I got bored; I wanted to get online or get on the phone and chat.
I just realized how dependent I am on these devices. I actually felt somewhat empty with out my phone. I know it sounds crazy. My grandmother has always told me to just glue that thing to my hand. I see what she is saying know. When I was in school I didn't have the devices that I have now. Not like my kids, who both have tablets and televisions in their rooms. I attempted to get my oldest daughter to do this with me but she quickly rejected. Saying, MOM what will I do if I do not have my tablet. That made me think, I wonder if that is what most kids these days say when they get to school.
I wonder if they are just counting down the minutes to get home to their devices? Then it dawned on me they probably are. If we incorporate these tools in the classroom the students would surely be more engaged. Time has changed and now I see the beauty of technology devices and multimedia tools and still wonder how we ever did anything without them.

banned cell phone

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Final Report on PLN

I really think that having a PLN is great. I created mine through Symbaloo and I am still using it. I have added many sites to mine and I am continually trying to fill it up. The only problem I am having is that I regularly still use my book marking sidebar. It is what I am used to doing. When I realize that I am navigating through my bookmarks, I think of my PLN and quickly go to it. I think if I made my PLN my homepage, I would use it more. It is a quicker way to getting where I need to go online. Having it all at my fingertips in one place is great.
One thing that I prefer to do when I am adding a tile to my PLN is to create my own. I have noticed that most of the web-pages I have added already has a tile, but I like the idea that I can pick how it looks. I hope that I get more and more familiar with it and use it more often. I know that when I become a teacher, with all the shuffle, that it will definitely be a helpful tool. One idea I have is to create one for my classroom with learning games and material that the children can do during center time.


Project #15 - Smartboard Lesson Part 2

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Report on Final Project

So far my group and I are working towards creating a video about the class. A preview of EDM310, that will take intimidating thoughts away form upcoming students. After we video project 15, we plan to merge our ideas together that we have been discussing on Google doc and Google hangout. The video will serve the purpose for the new students to familiarize themselves with the tools we use in the class. It will consist of many different things. Basically it will be a video to help students prepare for the class.

think different

Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts- Special Post #12A

Creativity and Curiosity 

    In my opinion, creativity and curiosity go hand in hand. How can we have one without the other? Either a students creativity will spark their curiosity or their curiosity will spark creativity. For me, creativity sparks my curiosity. If an assignment or project allows me to be creative or is presented in a creative way, I am more curious about the subject at hand. I think I could become more curious if I start to look under the surface of things. Most of the time there is an underlying message in all that people do.
   We were asked if teachers can increase the creativity and curiosity of the students and my answer would definitely be YES. I read the article by Elspeth Bishop, who is a writer for In Good Measure and goes by Elli, Curiosity fuels Creativity and she makes some really good points. One of them is that we should let the students know that it is okay not to know the answer and to ask questions. This will spark curiosity in the children. Elli also comments that the curious student is an engaged student. Isn't that what we all, as teachers, want to accomplish? Asking questions and and the children being involved invites creativity. The students can bounce off of each others questions and give ideas to others. One good way that teachers could allow this process to happen is instead of the teacher answering a posed question, he or she could let the other students have a try at answering it.
     "if you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with something original"
                                                                                            Sir Ken Robinson

     Teachers kill curiosity and creativity by not letting the students express their ideas freely in the classroom. The classroom should be a place where students want to learn. Personally I believe it lies in the teachers hands. Some teachers are so rigid that they do not even involve the children or promote question asking. As I learned from Mr. McClung, we should let the audience guide our lessons. The curriculum has a lot to do with the creativity and curiosity of the children. The way the material is presented is very important. The more creative way material is presented the more curious the students are about the matter.
    In the article Creativity in the Classroom, the author gives suggestions to teachers on promoting creativity and I wanted to share it with all of you.
  • Encourage owning and creating ideas, and discourage borrowing and stealing answers. The idea is to teach children the importance of assembling their own thoughts and ideas, even if they are imperfect.
  • Always assign grades with some productive feedback about what to do in order to improve bad grades. Never undermine a child for lack of effort, because if she is getting bad grades it is solely your fault and responsibility.
  • Instead of demonstrating something to the children, have them practice it individually. A child will never learn the right way of doing something without doing it the wrong way first.
  • When a problem arises, it should be defined and analyzed before a structured solution is offered for it. This is a far better way of doing things than simply explaining an example.
  • Discourage conformity and challenge the child to think for herself. Do not praise neatness and tidiness too much as this restricts the child from truly expressing herself.
  • Instead of making suggestions yourself, ask open questions. Let the flow of the interaction determine the course of action to be taken. You will be amazed at how often the end results of this process coincides with the very suggestions you had in mind.
  • Lastly, teach the child to follow their own minds rather than copying the answers from other places. Originality and uniqueness is far more valuable than a blatant duplicate of someone else's work.

  Teachers who can relate to the students are the one's that will spark creativity and curiosity in the students. They remember what it was like being a student. I will say that some teachers want to be the ONE who promotes creativity, but the school will not let them. The schools play a big role in not allowing the students to be expressive. I completely agree with Sir Ken Robinson in that the schools are killing creativity. They are to worried about the presentation of the school and the overall test scores that it is diminishing creativity for the students. How can students express their ideas freely if the overall school system is demeaning the idea? These individuals should be more interested in what the students are actually taking form the educational experience rather than uniform policies and scores. It should be an experience that will help them excel in the present future. I truly think that incorporating technology into the classrooms will spark so much creativity. The students could do so much more with what they know and take the assignments to the next level.
    A transformation in the classroom that involves the students in giving ideas about what happens in the classroom. I recently tweeted Ms. Cassidy, a first grade teacher in Canada, and asked her how her classroom has changed since she has incorporated technological tools like blogging in her classroom. She replied back that she thinks her classroom is more connected, the kids are more empowered and parents more aware of what is happening in the classroom. Ms. Cassidy's reply should be enough to sway teachers into using technology. The children are more empowered. Think about how they will carry this empowerment and succeed in the future. We should start instilling this in our children at a young age. The kids already use technology as a tool at home socially and for games; why not use it in the classroom as a learning tool to expand their knowledge. In general schools, teachers,and administrations should understand the need for creativity and curiosity in the classroom. We all should let the children have a voice and instill values that promote creative thinking and spark curiosity to the highest degree.

"I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn"
                                                                                            Albert Einstein

Saturday, April 21, 2012

C4K April Summary

Cool Chicks With Power Kicks For this C4K I got to experience the World Blog Challenge. I was introduced to Daisy W, a student in New Zealand. My first comment was on her post about New Zealand. She really know a lot about where she lives. I learned a few things from her, for example, I did not know that New Zealand was separated by three different islands. The island that she lives on, Mount Maunganui, is located in the North Island. They had a ship crash into the reef and destroyed the beaches; I thought that was sad. Daisy stated that she has traveled many places, so I asked her to name a few; because I would love to travel. I think it is great to be able to travel. It shocked me that she had traveled to France and Thailand but had not ever been to the South Island of New Zealand.
New Zealand Map
My second comment on Daisy W. was on her avatar. I thought this was neat. She was able to create an image of herself to place on her blog. I was curious about this and asked her what site she used because it was a good picture. I also encouraged her to write another post on New Zealand. I think that it is a beautiful place. For the third comment I was suppossed to write on Daisy; I chose another student on her blog. They had been on their holiday and had not posted anything new. I chose Lily. We had a lot in common. Her post was on ten random things about her, and I think it is good to learn about new people. I found out that Lily has a rat and likes to have parties. She seems to be a prankster, because she stated that she placed whipped cream on her Nana's couch. I thought that was funny.
The last and final C4K I got to do for now was on a Self Portrait by Shayna in Ms. Cassidy's Year one class. It was a nicely drawn picture of three girls with different colored shirts on. It just amazes me that first graders are using technology in this way and sparking a revolution for education. I was wondering which girl in the picture was her, so I asked. I went on to discuss my favorite color was green and that if I drew myself, I would have on a green shirt. I also asked who she drew in the picture with her. I wanted to know if if was her sisters.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blog Post #12

My Blog Post Assignment:

For this Blog Post assignment, watch the Videos: Inclusion in Education and What is Inclusion by Lynne Adams. While watching the videos, I want you to think about what "Inclusion" really means.
Write an two or more paragraphs on your reaction to the videos and how you feel about inclusion in the classroom. Also, Identify the three types of inclusion and which one you feel that is most helpful to the student.

Inclusion In Education

Inclusion means that kids with special needs are included in classrooms with others. There are three types of inclusion: full inclusion, partial inclusion, and substantially inclusion. Ms. Lynne Adams gives very good insights to what the three mean in the video, What is Inclusion. I believe that inclusion is a good thing for the children with special needs. It allows them to feel involved with the other students and not so much like outsiders. I feel that full inclusion or no inclusion is the best.
In my opinion, partial inclusion can lead to children asking questions about why the others are only in the room for part of the day. If a child asks, where the other went, what would a teacher say? We as teachers do not want to place any kind of rude thoughts in the mind of a child. Even though I will say that if the student can only handle partial inclusion and needs to be taken out of the classroom for specific reasons that can only be handled outside of the regular classroom, then it is the best. It is hard to determine which one works the best in a classroom. It depends on the child and their needs.
Inclusion is a good thing in the schools. We as teachers should include these children as much as possible, so they will feel like part of the group. As in the video, Inclusion in Education, we all can have the same destination, but the path doesn't have to be the same. No two children are alike, despite if a special need is there or not. I feel inclusion will bring the children together more and act as one. If we prove that there is no difference in a person but only differences in characteristics, then the students might want to learn more and be more inviting to the special need students. Don't you think?
circle of children

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Post # 11

Ms. Cassidy's Class and Skype Interview
Kathy Cassidy

Ms. Cassidy is a first grade teacher in Canada who uses technology as an educational tool in her classroom. In the class video, Little Kids Big Potential, the students give a overview of the things they use in the classroom. One of the tools that I want to use in my class room would be the class webpage. The students can access it at home to see past assignments and parents can keep up with the activities that the children are engaging in everyday. Ms. Cassidy posts pictures on the site with links to information that will help the students with assignments or learning material. I think that is a great idea.
Another tool I would like to try in my classroom would be the blogging experience. Ms. Cassidy states in the Skype interview that she has had a class blog for about 5 years. That just shows me how I was behind the advancements of education until this class. One of the students commented on the video that they feel they are better writers on the blog. All of the students in her classroom seemed excited about the things they do while at school. That is something I hope to accomplish in my classroom.
I want to now to talk a little more about the Skype Interview that I had the pleasure of watching. I wish I could have been in that class during the interview, because I would have asked Ms. Cassidy, how her classroom as a whole has changed since she began using the technology.
The fact that she made the computers useful in the classroom was great. I am sure that their are some teachers that would have just brushed them off as a reward. For example, some might have put the computers as a reward to use on Fridays for having good behavior. I think Ms. Cassidy had courage to attempt what she did years ago. As she stated in the interview, we do not want to handicap the kids. If given the opportunity for the children to learn more effectively and learn in a way that is not strange to them, then why not? It will only benefit them in my opinion. We all, even as teachers, learn something new everyday.
After watching these videos, I am now trying to find my entry point to pursue, as Ms. Cassidy advises. I hope to instill some of these things in my classroom, and starting now with ideas and collaborating with different people is only going to help me in my journey.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Technology in Education

Something valuable found on twitter, that I wanted to share. I opted to follow the 21st Century Teacher (@21stCenturyTch) on twitter. They sent me a message to check out the website The 21st Century Teacher. I think that this site is very valuable to teachers.
The post that got my attention that I wanted to share is Technology in Education- Why? by Jake Glasgow. It is a very informal post on why we as teachers should include technology in our classrooms. On statement I caught on to is "it is our job as educators to prepare our students to succeed in a world as it is (will be)the best we can."
I encourage all of you to check it out and my comment I left on the post. Also check out John Pages's answers to why we should have this technology in education.

Here is also a video from the post I wanted to share.
Learning to Change/Changing to Learn: Student Voices:

Friday, April 6, 2012

Blog Post # 10

Do You Teach or Do You Educate?


In this blog post I was required to watch a short video on the differences in teaching and educating. The two are very separate, but also go hand in hand. I intend to educate as many children as I can while I have the opportunity. In the video, educators are tied to inspiration, enlightenment, guidance and mentoring. All of these qualities I hope to uphold. Teaching is in reference to giving instruction, explaining how to do something and causing someone to learn by example. Can't we as teachers tie both of these together?
I want to be the teacher that is wanted by every student. Not because the past students have passed and enjoyed my class, but because I made a change and inspired children in ways that others do not. Instead of just explaining information; I want the children engaged so I can be a guide to their success. I plan to tie the teaching aspects into my educating skills by being a supporter of student centered activities. You can not have instruction without guidance and you can not have inspiration without some kind of examples to bounce off of. I plan to give my students the lee-way to explore different options and finding out that they to can be an inspiration to me.
I want an open classroom, where the students and I have great communication. Some might say this is impossible, but hopefully I can prove them wrong. I intend on using my skills and to help the students prepare for the upcoming years and give them a sense of reasoning that follows accomplishment. Accomplishment that they have set forth themselves and achieved it.

Tom Johnson's Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home


Don't let them take the pencils home sends a good message to others. It took me a while to figure out what exactly he was referring to but I think I finally got it. The writer shows us that it is less important to focus on the problem at hand, and more importance on finding a solution to better the situation.
Teachers should be more focused on what the child is actually learning rather than the test scores they obtain. What really does a test prove? In most cases nothing. Some children can be very bright and make very good grades except when it comes to test taking. It is not fair for them to be rated or judged because of the test they took.
The outcomes of a student should be far more interesting than a pencil and paper test. Teachers should look at their whole learning process. They should be focusing on the advancements that the students are making as the year goes by.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog Post # 9

At the Teachers Desk

For this blog post I had the pleasure of reading a few posts by Mr. McClung. The posts were about his experiences and what he learned throughout the first three years of teaching. I was instructed to only read two of the posts, but I thought it was proper to read all three. Especially after I read the first one and then the last; I had to read the middle post. It was interesting to see how his outlook on things changed.
He continues to list things he has learned from year to year. The list in the beginning is somewhat different from the end list. In his first year, the most important thing he learned is to stay positive. He talks about being flexible and having good communication with the students. One piece that got to me was that he saw teachers more concerned with teaching the material correctly that they lose sight of the children. They become consumed in just the material. I hope that I never become so concerned with the material and teaching it correctly that I lose sight of what I plan to achieve in my classroom.
Letting the audience guide my lesson is the perfect way to get to the audience's attention. Audience meaning the children. First and for most, if the children are not interested in the lesson then teachers are wasting their time. If they become the lesson and are engaged in it; then the students will actually learn. Mr. McClung wrote about good communication and how important it is. Yes we must all as teachers have a proper relationship with our students that involves good communication.
From reading these posts, I have learned that a day in the classroom is ever-changing and I need to plan to be flexible, to roll with the changes. If something goes different with my lesson, I can not let it bother me. Teachers need to be prepared to change up their plans from day to day. One point he made was to listen to the students. This I know is very important. I think of children who have no one at home to talk to, children who do not have people to turn to when in trouble. The teacher could be this person. That's what I plan to do. I know I say this over and over in my posts but I hold this statement close to my heart; I want to be the one who makes a change if not in all of my students, then just one. As Mr. McClung pointed out, teachers might be the only person that will listen to these children. Its a sad world we live in and we, as teachers, should be there to help the children and guide them in directions that no one else will.
After reading these posts, I have learned that I need to keep myself motivated. I hope that teachers do not lose what they set out to do in the schools. Teaching is a gift to me. A gift that not everybody gets to experience. Seeing the children learn and succeed is more than a gift. It is a honor. What the students bring in the classroom is another thing that Mr. McClung learned. He stated that he learned to "learn with the students". Teachers should be open minded to the students and what they have to offer. They do not come in as 'blank slates", as the old teacher centered generation thinks. Sometimes they come in the classroom with more knowledge about certain things than the teacher has. So, why wouldn't a teacher be susceptible to learning from them. I know I will be. I hope I get to experience the lessons that Mr. McClung has over the past three years. I take these posts as advice to upcoming teachers and I know I will surely take it and apply it in my classroom.
motivational quote

C4T Three

New Prep, New Digs

For this C4T, I was assigned to Mr. Frank Noschese. This post was on his new class for the quarter. A chemistry class with only 11 students in it. I was shocked to see that their was only 11 kids in the class. That is a great size classroom for the students to learn and actually grasp the material. As I commented on his post, I like small classes; because the teacher- student relationship is closer. He will be placing emphasis on student-centered models and use the OPPS curriculum. Which deals with three types of matter. The students can focus on the material and take it with them. Seems exciting. The fact that the communication level will be high is another thing I like about this type of class. Mr. Noschese seems very interested in the subject, even though he stated it had been a while since he had chemistry. I hope one day I get to experience a class as this one. I wish Mr. Noschese the best of luck with his new class!
chemistry lab

My Challenge to Silicon Valley
by: Frank Noschese

In this post Mr. Noschese is somewhat comparing the "flipped" classroom to the traditional one. He uses informal graphs that show that interactive engagement outperform traditional classes. This was no surprise to me, with all the hype about the technology that is ever-changing schools and the students embracing it. He also gives some good points about the learning cycle. I completely agree with him,, in that, students should be continuously engaged in the learning cycle.
Children need time for exploring all the new resources that are available to them. I was a bit confused on the post, because I could not tell if he was for the advancements or not. I read the post a few times and came to the conclusion that he is in support of the somewhat "flipped" classroom. In my opinion, it is very important for the children to somewhat learn on their own and move away from rote memorization. But the fact of doing the classwork at home and the homework in class, is disturbing to me. The children should be able to explore on their own at home in different areas without guidance of a teacher. The instruction and lecturing, or the things a teacher does should be done in class.
Flipped Classroom