Sunday, December 7, 2014



     Thank you to Dr. Strange, and the entire EDM310 staff. I know that this course can be intense and I think that I made it out strongly, and I will absolutely be taking what I learned from this course to my classroom. I am happy to say that I survived EDM310 and will continue to learn and grow from here.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Blog Post #5 Part B

PLN's and Using Them Effectively


     When we first started learning about Personal Learning Networks or PLN's, I had no idea what they were. I was confused by the fact that students across the world knew what they were and had better ones than anything I had ever seen. I am still developing my PLN through this course but I have definitely seen an improvement. Originally my PLN consisted of the few teachers I kept in contact with from my old schools. However, now I am contacting teachers from around the world. I have commented and contacted teachers and students with very different learning experiences than my own, and that has helped me grow in my profession. I believe that if I had not started doing the c4c, c4k, or c4t's my PLN would be drastically different, and for that, I am thankful for a learning experience. I am still using twitter and blogging to follow different EDU accounts and chats to keep my PLN growing.

C4T's for Nov

 C4T's for November

scabble blocks

C4T 11/27
Mathew Needlemen
Creating lifelong learners:
Moving Beyond the Personal Narrative

In this post Mr. Needlemen used a post written by a different educator. This post however, gave me great ideas to bring to my future classroom. Oushing beyond the personal narrative at a young age and allowing students to open their imaginations up and explore. He gives examples of showing paintings or photos of historical pieces, and by using open ended questions, we can explore these photos and let the writings begin. I think that Mr. Needlemen has very good posts and that they bring up some great ideas. In this post, I thanked him for his writings and told him I would definitely be bringing this back into my class and told him how he could reach me at my blog.

C4t /11/16
Mathew Needlemen
Creating lifelong learners:
Clarifying Questions in the Common Core Classroom

In this post Mr. Needlemen is bringing up the idea of open ended questions. He says that by using open ended questions, we can have more detailed answers and the students can elaborate even more. I explained who I was and that we were commenting on teacher's blogs. I also said how I agree with his points about the open ended questions instead of just regurgitating information. I left my name and blog in case he wanted to look into it.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blog Post #14

Joel Klein

never stop learning

Problems listed
  • the problem with choosing our teachers
  • seniority

Solutions listed:
  • recruiting teachers from the top of class
  • eliminating the least effective teachers rather than the new hires

   In this article Joel Klein is discussing some of the issues with our education system, but this time it is more focused on the teachers rather than the students. He lists problems that the schools are seeing and uses a reference to Albert Shanker to conclude his argument with solutions. Some of the solutions don't seem that bad of an idea.

PROBLEM LISTED: Hiring teachers and choosing more effective ones. So with this argument I somewhat agree and somewhat disagree with it. I understand where he is coming from because his argument is stating that teachers are being chosen solely because they have a degree, and not for their actual teaching abilities or knowledge. I think that we should be looking more into depth at the college career of teachers and look at their standards and teaching certification classes. If the grades are poor but they passed, I think we could go more into testing like Klein suggests and make sure that they are highly qualified. I definitely think that that would help with this issue. I know it would make me feel better knowing that everyone becoming a teacher was going to be held at the highest of standards.

PROBLEM LISTED: Seniority. I 100% agree with this one. I think the issue of seniority in schools is outrageous and has gotten entirely out of hand. Even in my own high school, I had seen some of the best teachers that had only recently been added, get cut because they had been hired within the last two years, while teachers that had tenure and weren't effectively teaching anymore, got to sit and continue to do their jobs in a less than enthusiastic way. I'm not saying every school has this problem, but many do. Teachers that are no longer effective in their positions should not be granted leniency due to seniority. I think that again, re-testing teachers to make sure that all teachers are very familiar with the information that is being taught, is a great idea. If they can practice all of the necessary skills, then they should be kept, in my opinion.

Of the other problems listed, "giving far more school choices to families, using technology to improve teaching and learning, adopting a knowledge-based curriculum and starting education before a child is 5 years old" , I do not waiver from those beliefs at all. I would have to agree. More so than any, the technology portion, and adding more choices in schools. I think these are problems that we are slowly beginning to see being rectified. Maybe in a few more years we can see all of these changes come to life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

C4K's for November

 Final Comments for Kids (C4k's)

Raised hands holding technology

 10/31- William:
William's blog
    William wrote about Halloween for his blog. He discussed his favorite monster, and explained why people used to dress up for the holiday. He definitely did his research because he knew that they used to wear masks to scare away "the dead" from coming back. William asked if anyone knew why we get candy on Halloween now. I told him where I was from and how I got to his blog. I also corrected some of his capitalization errors. After that I told him why we get candy, and wished him a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

11/6- Anna:
Anna's Blog
    Anna is 13 and in an art class where they blog about the different things that they do. Some of the different projects Anna worked on were a product design project, and a collage project. The project I left my comment on was for her collage. She talked about how long it took and exactly how she came to it. Her art even got displayed at the local hospital, and that gave her some great feedback. You can really tell Anna enjoys her art and definitely knows her way around a blog. She has photos and slideshows on each of her posts. I told her who I was and commented how great her photo looked and that I too, enjoy crafting and doing pinterest projects. I really enjoyed her blog.

11/18- Alexis:
Alexis's blog

   Alexis is in the 7th grade in Minnesota. On her blog she wrote about how fast the second quarter of her school was going by. She talked about how she hopes to not be slothful because she wants to do well, and also wants to keep herself active in class. I commented on her blog where I was from and wished her a happy quarter ending and hoped that the second quarter went by just as fast. I also told her to keep up her good work and keep pushing forward.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blog Post #13

What Did I Leave Out?

Available on the Appstore

    If I was in charge of EDM310, I don't know how many changes I would make. But this post was interesting to me. This week we were asked to create an assignment that we would add to the EDM310 class list of blog posts if we could. Interestingly enough, I thought our workload was intense in the beginning, but now I see its not all that bad. I came up with this idea after one of my C4T teachers used it on her blog and showed how important it is and how useful it can be. 
 If I could add to the EDM class, I would assign them a blog post that calls for them to find an app in the app store (because everyone in the class has access to an apple product one way or another) and use it in a lesson. I would want them to do research and find a new app or any app that teachers are using today in the class and show how to use it. Explain why you chose that app and what the benefits of it are. There are so many great apps that teachers use daily and many of them are free. This blog post would give them a lot of freedom to do their own selecting but still has them blogging about technology in the class. I would try to have each student share a 2-3 minute imovie video about the app and how they think it will benefit them.

    There are not many things that this class doesn't cover but I think that something along these lines would be fun and an easy opening blog post assignment for the students to come.

What I'd Use
     If I were the one writing an answer to this blog, I would use the app Paper by FiftyThree. Paper is a great app and is free to use. The only thing you pay for are the extra brushes and tools you wish to use. Paper is a collaborative workspace where anyone from anywhere can draw or sketch notes and put it out for the world to see. It gives the student (and teachers!) the opportunity to break the barrier of "sharing is bragging" or "sharing is cheating" and rather brings the idea "sharing is collaborating". Silvia Tolisano, author of the Langwitches blog, started using sketchnoting and crowdsourcing on her blog to ask why students and teachers were afraid to share. After seeing her sketchnotes and watching Sunni Brown's TEDtalk on doodling, I HAD to find this app, PAPER. It truly is fun. Its like painting and creating without the mess. Once you send it out to the internet it is free to be "remixed" by anyone. Not to go about changing it in a bad way but to see different answers or see different choices of words, colors, etc. Different minds come up with different things. This app would be a great way for teachers to have students create art for an iMovie project, allow for different answers to be shared, come up with notes to add to slides.. the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, my ipad is dead and the cord to charge it MIA, otherwise I would have an iMovie on here about it. LOOK UP PAPER, by FIFTYTHREE. It is really fun, and can be used anytime. You may even find some of my remixes on there! (;

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Project #12 Part B

Delivering a Smartboard Lesson

     In this lesson, Callie and I decided to do a lesson plan we found on the Alabama Learning Exchange. The one we based our lesson plan off of one called Sense Suspense, but after editing it a little more we found a new lesson to deal with similar tasks, listed on the SmartBoard Exchange. We decided we were going to deliver a smartboard lesson plan to a kindergarten class about using the five senses and how we use each one daily. Callie did most of the video speaking, and I worked mostly on the technical side, editing the slides. We worked collaboratively on this project and think we came out with a really great, easy lesson plan on the five senses.