Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Project #14 PBL Lesson Plan 2


Weather sign

      In this PBL leeson plan, Callie and I decided to teach the students about different weather patterns. Each of the students will be put into a group (one of four). The weather patterns they will be learning about are Drought, Flooding, Hurricanes and Tornadoes. We found a lesson plan we really liked off of the ALEX website and then used the Buck Institute layout for our lesson planning. Each student is required to blog about their experiences along with many other technology based requirements also.

The actual lesson plan is here: PBL Lesson Plan

and the rubric is listed here: Project 14 Rubric

Monday, October 27, 2014

Blog Post #10

What Can We Learn from Ms. Cassidy

Twitter in k-8 classroom chart
     In Ms. Cassidy's videos, she references using Twitter quite a bit. For a lot of people, Twitter is still new to them and the concept of using it in the classroom is absurd. But, for those of us who understand that building a PLN is a never ending process that can continually be used, Twitter can become a staple.
      In Ms. Cassidy's classroom, she uses many different tools for technology such as: blogging, tweeting, using wikis, using flip cameras, and many more. Some of the ways she uses these are very similar to what we are currently doing in our EDM310 course. We are all trying to overcome the same thing: overcoming the technology gap that is present in many classrooms. Many teachers are still stuck in the same old ways of teaching. As Ms. Cassidy shows, there are so many very cool things you can do in the classroom and enhance the learning experience with these tools. 

    I believe that I will most use twitter and blogging in my classrooms. Twitter and blogging can go so well together that is hard to not use one without the other. Tweeting is essentially sending out a statement or a question or thought. You can send this to thousands of people at a time or directly to one specific person. By using twitter we can come up with the answers needed or even find new questions to ask. Blogging on the other hand, is a way to share anything and everything. Twitter is sharing at a smaller level with great results but blogging can be seen by people not using twitter, also. 
    I plan to use blogging and skype effectively in my classroom. I intend to have a class blog set up so that my students, their parents, and people from around the world can see what we are doing in our classroom. We will post daily work and fun projects that we are working on. We can also use skype to contact different experts on their work, and apply their conversations to our projects. Ms. Cassidy uses Skype to communicate with another classroom at a different school and has "blogging buddies"! How cool is that? I definitely plan to take that to my class as well. 
     I really think that I will stay similar to what Ms. Cassidy does in how to protect the students. By only using their first names, and not adding a photo directly of them it can keep their identity hidden from people with ill-intentions. I also plan to use some of the more restricted access blogging sites that have monitoring functions. I want to know my students are safe but still enjoying sharing their works. 
   All in all,  I think we can all really benefit from using technology in the classroom when used appropriately. Ms. Cassidy definitely has it down pat. What I thought was most interesting is that she is still learning how to use twitter and facebook. The best teachers have to be learners as well.  I think the best quote that really captures the essence of these videos lately is this: "In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn."- Phil Collins.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

C4K's for October

 Comments on Kid's blogs for October

10/1- Deneen's blog
    Deneen's blog was a little difficult to understand at first. He was arguing for telling the truth. That's what I got from it. There was a lot of grammar mistakes making it difficult to read. I told Deneen how to fix these mistakes and that I agreed with his statements. There was not much for me to comment on because it was only a few sentences, but I felt like he understood I wasn't correcting him out of rudeness but to help. I explained how he could contact me and how I came to find his blog.

10/6- Andrew's Blog
    Andrew wrote about students losing recess break for misbehaving. Some of his classmates disagreed but I agreed with Andrew. He said that if students are misbehaving then they should lose recess play time, because recess is a reward and if students cannot act accordingly in class then they don't deserve to get to run and play. Andrew had a few spelling errors but other than that his blog was good. I told him I didn't see very many errors and left him notes on how he could easily fix them. Andrew has a good mind set. I left him my blog info to contact me and let him know who I was and what the idea is behind us blogging and commenting on student blogs.

10/19 -Ikechi's Blog
    Ikechi had such a great short story called "The Magical Bite". He wrote a story about disobeying parents. It was a short story where a young boy ate a rotten apple and he became, quite literally, a "rotten apple"! He became "bad" is how Ikechi described him. His language was so descriptive it was hard to believe he was only in 5th grade. I told him how much I enjoyed reading his story and it definitely made me never want to disobey my parents again! I left my blog information and followed back up on his comment.

10/26-  Elizabeth's Blog
   Elizabeth is in grade 6 at Pt. England school in Aukland New Zealand. This week she wrote a blog on how to protect your skin from sun damage. She had very good points and said that everyone should be wearing hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.  She even had the hours listed that were the most dangerous to people's skin because of the sun's height in the sky at that point. These kids are very smart and know how to write a quality blog post. The only thing I noted that she was missing was a space between a couple words. I told her how to catch me at my blog and that I really enjoyed hers and I agreed with all her statements!

Project #12

Part A Smartboard Tutorial

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blog Post #9

What Can Teachers and Students Teach Us About Project Based Learning?

     It seems as though we have answered this question quite a bit throughout the course, and yet there's a new answer each time. I think that this is funny because answering this question over and over has shown me that there is so much to learn about PBL because it has so much to offer. 

    For instance, in Seven Essentials for Project Based Learning I learned that even knowing the general Idea for Project Based Learning, using the seven fundamentals for it make it seem much easier to apply. Having your students motivated is always the first step. Getting them excited by starting off with an introductory event, which can be a movie, speaker, photo, chat, (anything!) it drives the students to "Need to know". It gives them the sense that they need and want to know what they are going to do.By giving them a purposeful project they feel inspired.

      When I watched Project Based Learning for Teachers I saw how many different ways PBL can be used with technology. We have only begun stepping into the world of technology in the classroom and in a seven minute video he lists at least 10 I've never even heard of...BUT MY STUDENTS WILL. I plan to use this innovative teaching in my classroom because it has been proven useful. It shows you that the students want to learn. They want to succeed. We just have to learn to help them and not do all of it for them.

     I chose to watch What Motivates Students Today? because motivation seems like its the most important role of PBL. If a student doesn't want to learn anything or everything seems boring, then they won't be succeeding. We want to flip our classrooms and not keep them boring and dull. In this video I realized that some of the smaller things can motivate students. For example, one of the older students said that he really enjoyed when the teacher shows his work or compliments his work because it shows that hes doing something. He felt proud because the class and teacher were noting his accomplishments. That's HUGE. Just to know that by SHOWING a student's work, it makes them want to succeed even more, is one of the great things about PBL. one of the final steps is to present it. 

   Learning about how students used PBL in PE was really interesting to me because I never thought that PBL could be used in PE! This project is such a good idea to have the students get involved. By allowing the students to each come up with a different PE unit, not only do they get to decide some of the best ones, but they are collaborating ad self reflecting on how to better not only their projects, but their classmates' as well!

     I also felt similar about the video about Sammimsh High school who flipped their classrooms on  5 year PBL plan. FIVE YEARS to completely flip a school. How intense is that. After watching High School Teachers Meet the Challenges of PBL I realized two things. 1) IT IS NOT ALWAYS GOING TO HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. This may seem silly to say "oh wow, you just realized that...?" No. What I mean is that flipping a classroom is hard work and takes a lot of determination and collaboration from a lot of people! Now imagine doing that with every classroom in a school. This a very rigorous five years and they seem to be seeing a great increase in graduations, better grades, and overall participation levels. 2) Sometimes you will hit a brick wall. (Thanks Randy Pausch for the reminder!) The teachers in this video have to meet every day for a year to come up with ways to add PBL into English and Math, and I never would have thought that those two courses would need it. But it makes sense now, seeing them use it in action. One of the teachers in the video says that "some days you feel really accomplished, and then there are days when you have to go home feeling like its not gonna happen.." But they come back every day and continually collaborate and come up with good ideas to put in their classroom lesson plans. I really think this video was one of my favorites because you can see it happening real time. You can understand the frustration of having to work at it for weeks before coming up with a good starting point, but then you can see the fantastic results.

    We can learn a lot from teachers and students from PBL but I think the main thing we keep seeing is KEEP BEING A LEARNER. No matter what you are doing, become a life-long learner and nothing can stand in the way of inspiring people to do and become what they love by using real tools used everyday in the workplace and classroom.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Implications and Teaching Opportunities for Camera Use in Teaching and Learning


camera and phone rubberbanded together
 Dr. Strange gave us these astonishing facts:
"A recent study by Zogby Analytics reports several interesting findings regarding young people aged 18 - 24:

1. 87% say their smartphone never leaves their side.
2. 80% say the very first thing they do in the morning is reach for their smartphone.
3. 78% say they spend 2 or more hours per day using their smartphone.
4. 68% say they would prefer to use their smartphone instead of their laptop or personal computer for personal use.
5. 91% say that having a camera on their smartphone is important (61% very important)
6. 87% say they use their smartphone camera at least weekly. 59% use their smartphone camera at least every other day. 44% use their smartphone camera for still or motion picture taking every day."

With so many recent updates to the world of technology it is almost impossible to NOT own a smartphone. I got my first phone when I turned 13 and I was LUCKY to have a camera on it, AND IT HAD A FLASH! It was intense, feeling like I had won a million bucks. The truth of today though is that kids that are under the age of ten have smartphones, use them daily, and guess what.... theirs has a high speed camera in it already.....And it has a flash. Uncle Ben said it best: "..with great power comes great responsibility." (Spider-man... for all you non-nerds...) Children today hold a great power and with that must learn their responsibilities. Some of the issues with having smartphones in the classroom is that students do not have a very long attention span. Everyone wants to be updated on whats happening, even if its happening in the same room that you're in. Fighting the urge to not text your friend in class is like trying to fight off the urge to not blink.... its really hard to do but eventually you cave. I know that being a student in college, this is definitely hard so I cant imagine how it would be for students in an elementary school.
cell phone clipart

Knowing that my students will have always known cell phones with cameras can be entertaining. We could bring in old phones and ask them to figure them out and take a photo, only to show them what its like not having one. This presents an issue though, with every new technology, there are teachers that still have no idea about them. Many teachers want to keep technology out of the classroom and that, in my opinion, is a terrible idea. These students know so much about technology and smartphones that they are teaching the teachers how to use it. Teachers that embrace the technology revolution can do so much more in the classroom.

  • Using their cellphones on a "fieldtrip" around the school taking photos of certain plants, scavenger hunt style, to bring them back and upload them to a poplet for a science lesson.
  • having them do a venn diagram about the differences and similarities of phones from the past and phones they have now
  • creating an idea for a future phone by basing it off of the phones they have. What would they keep/change/add
  • record the teacher's lecture/project instructions so they have them to take home and don't forget
  • Using their tablets to search AVL and other virtual libraries for links and upload them to their blog
  • Text-a-friend assignments: when your partner is absent from school you can text/skype them so they are not behind
  • playing music that they don't know and having them use the listening features on the phone to identify it
  • taking photos to add to iMovies
  • creating poplets/iMovies
  • having them look up individual answers to questions they don't know and see who can find the most answers
  • taking photos of a page from a reference book that cannot leave the library, so they can have it with them later
  • playing TELEPHONE while using an actual telephone, for famous quotes
There are so many different things that we can come up with. These are just a few ideas on how we could use each individual child's tablet/phone in the classroom. These could all be used in conjunction with other projects as well.  I really believe that technology is going to be in the classrooms a lot more from now on because of all the cool things we can learn to do with it! Hopefully one day we can create more signs like these: Cell Phones in use signs

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Project #9

Teaching Digital Natives Video Commentary
Group #5 
Topic #1

Group: Jennifer Flowers, Callie Barton and Patrick Morrison

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blog Post #8

What Can We Learn About TEACHING and LEARNING From Randy Pausch? 

Randy Pausch

     "I mean I don't know how to not have fun. I'm dying and I'm having fun. And I'm going to keep having fun every day I have left. Because there's no other way to play it," he said in his Carnegie Mellon lecture. "You just have to decide if you're a Tigger or an Eeyore. I think I'm clear where I stand on the great Tigger/Eeyore debate. Never lose the childlike wonder. It's just too important. It's what drives us." -Randy Pausch, Last Lecture

     Let me start off by saying, WOW. What an emotionally-filled, fun, entertaining way to grab someones attention with a video like that. I've never felt more, like I am on the right path, than I do after this video. There are so many things to be said about learning and teaching from Randy's video and I don't believe we will all come up with the same thing, because there are so many different aspects to it. I'm going to attempt to cover a small fraction of what I have learned from this experience. Randy's Last Lecture.

   Similar to what we covered, he mentions a few times about staying a learner. In the Pausch video Randy explains that throughout your time, stay curious, and learn always. One of the examples he gave of that was when he explained his first year of teaching Building Virtual Worlds. He was lost on what to do with students that had exceeded his expectations so he called his mentor for advice, and was told: "Tell them they can do better," and they did. For ten more years. Because he was constantly developing a way for his students to continually become better learners (and teachers) he himself was evolving and becoming a better learner. 
Another thing that I learned from watching this video is that PBL is not a new concept. Randy Pausch and his team were using PBL in their class in the 90's. Project Based learning WORKS and it is so effective that you can eventually make it the only way to get things done. 
RANDY NEVER STOPPED TAKING ADVICE FROM HIS COLLEAGUES AND PEERS. Did anyone else notice this? Any time he was presented with advice on how to change something or become better, he took it in stride. He worked collaboratively with people every day to become one of the best professors and he did so with the help of others. Learning is asking questions, finding the answers, and sharing those answers. One of the final thoughts he had was about sharing. People need to be able to share their work and show it off. In order to get to the best final product though, it takes a team of learners, not just one person.

  Throughout his lecture Randy goes back to his theory of "enabling others' childhood dreams." As an educator he does not focus on just his own, but others around him. I think this is one of the most important lessons he can show about teaching. Teaching has its hardships and not everything will go as planned the first time around. You won't always get into the school of your dreams, but with determination, help from others and taking good advice, you will probably be there. As a teacher Randy never gave up and he kept things FUN. He wanted to make sure his courses were entertaining. I think that if a course is not challenging AND entertaining then you lose a lot of the student's attention. "Never stop pursuing your childhood dreams." I think this speaks volumes about everyone's determination. One last thing on teaching would be that sometimes you have to give the students a "head fake". Sometimes we are teaching our students to develop a particular skill by making them think it is something entirely different. I just think this is such a great idea.

     Most importantly though, I think the lesson I learned from this video is that sometimes two people can be saying the exact same thing, and yet be saying to very different things by HOW they respond.
If a student brings you a question and you do not know how to do it, its easy to push it away and say "I DON'T KNOW!" and brush it away. But a true learner will respond in such a way that they too want to learn about it.... "I DON'T KNOW, BUT NOW I'M INTERESTED BECAUSE YOU'RE INTERESTED...." This is definitely something I will keep in mind, and I hope everyone else does too.  

Monday, October 6, 2014

C4T #2

Summary of Comments for Teachers #2

Teacher/blogger nameplate

My Teacher for the past couple of weeks has been Ms. Beth Knittle. Ms. Knittle is in Massachusetts and was a middle school science teacher and has recently left to become a K-12 "Technology Integration Specialist." This means that she is helping the teachers and students understand how to use technology in the classroom more and more. I am very interested in finding out more about her position because it sounds like a great job!
On her first post, Value Added Models: Where Are We Headed? she discusses how many states are adopting the value added models and bringing forth DDM's or District Determined Measures, to see how well each teacher does in the classroom. It gives the state a determinable amount of teachers that are doing exceptionally well and can show the top % of said teachers. 
In WEEK 6: I commented on her blog post: who I was, what my assignment required and how to contact me back. I explained that I didn't know much about Value Added Models or DDM's and that her blog was the first time I had heard of them. I explained that I was interested in looking into it more and that it was a very different subject. I am still a tad confused by them, but hopefully I will be able to find more information about them.

This week was a little different. Ms. Knittle's post this week actually coincides with something we recently went over in class. Her post was called The Power in Connections. She discussed how connections allow us to regain a lot of inspiration when we need it most. Being a teacher can sometimes be a bit of hardship but by keeping her PLN together, and checking in with other educators, this allows her to feel better and get more information, and ideas to revamp her lessons. The comment I left this week explained how we recently went over PLN's and how that was interesting because I am looking for ways to build my own. I told her I understand the sense of unity in using her PLN to her advantage and keeping in touch with people around the globe. She also gives a link at the end to Connected Educators. OCTOBER IS CONNECTED EDUCATORS MONTH. This truly is a great site and I am so happy to have been given Ms. Knittle's blog or I wouldn't have known about this great site. 
In both comments I left her with my name and my website and how she could contact me. :)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Project #13



In this project, our group decided to come up with a project about VOLCANOES!
The project requires the student to find research on their ipads using AVL for the information about specific volcanoes and how they work. They are given specific vocabulary word to use during their presentation, and make a model of a volcano using clay. We used the ALEX system and the BIE.org website to make these plans.

These are the links where you can find our lesson plans:

Specific Lesson Plan


Link to the Student Rubric

Blog Post #7

How Do We All Become Learners?

Youtube logo
Summarizing the different videos:

1) How to create a QR code:

     In this video we are shown two different websites that are combined in order to make a QR code. A QR code is also known as a Quick Response code. This code allows anyone with a QR reader to quickly scan it and be brought to the link or photo that the creator of the code has established. In this video we are shown first, how to make a voice recording by using Recordmp3.org. We are shown how to record the voices we would like to put on the code. Then we are shown QR-monkey.com. QR-monkey is how we actually create the code itself and then copy it to print. This can be very useful for classrooms because you can have the students use this as a project on technology and then bring it to an image of a famous painting where they could hear a voice recording on it, and then write a summary on how they got there, where it took them and what they learned from it.

2) iPad Reading Center
      This was a very cool little activity demonstrated at Gulf Shores Elem. The students are in kindergarten and are recording themselves reading their phonetics. This allows them to listen to themselves and play it back to see if they missed anything. The students video, watch and learn from their mistakes, and then reread and rerecord. What a great way to see to it that each student is taking in positive criticism and learning to be self helpers!

3) Poplet as a Center
   In this video, we are taught how to make a Poplet. A Poplet is a virtual web stemming from a center that the students are doing their projects on. The video itself is very informative about how to make one but is kind of short. The poplet is a great (FREE!) app on the app store that can be taught in the class about foodwebs, different careers, types of cars, etc! It is a great tool that also allows them to work together in groups and collaborate!
    In this video we are shown yet again that sometimes, the students will surpass the SOON TO BE teachers! AVL stands for Alabama Virtual Library, and it is a research tool used by students of all ages. In this center, the students are given a set of vocab words that they must search using AVL and then draw a picture of it. The following week they draw a picture and write a sentence about it. This shows the teacher they are paying attention and taking notes to keep learning, and not just goofing off.It holds the students accountable for their work and also incorporates art into the classroom.

5) How to Build a Board
   In How to Build a Board, we are taught how to make a board on DiscoveryEd. Making these boards can be a great way to show self teaching and learning. The students are given topics to cover and then use the DiscoveryEd search engine as they would the AVL and find videos and photos to add to their board. The board video reminding me of making a poster board project, without all the mess.  

6) Ms. Tassin's 2nd Grade Board Builders 
     So this video was actually a little different. In this video, the students were showing off their board and explaining all the work they came up with for Whales, after taking a "virtual field trip" to Glacier National Park in Alaska. The two students explained where they got their info and how to add it to the board.

7) Student's Sharing Their Board
     This video was adorable. It was a board builder about one of my favorite animal shelters, The Haven. These girls were raising money to donate to The Haven so that the animals there, would get more blankets, food, sheltering, pillows, toys, etc. The girls did a short presentation on why it is important to donate the loose change to the organization and all three seemed very excited about the project.

8) Using iMovie and the AVL
   This video is  conversation between Dr. Strange, Ms. Bennett, and Ms. Davis about AVL and using iMovie. Kindergarten students are using imovie to create book trailers exactly as we did not but three weeks ago. It seems a little intense to think that children that are under ten years old have better knowledge of the same project that we are doing and how to do it. As far as the AVL goes, most of us have been using this since high school. I love that students k-12 are using it all of the time now too so that they are used to it by the time they reach our grade levels.

9) We All Become Learners
   This video is probably the best of the nine. This video focuses on the fact that everyone becomes a learner.  We are learning that students and teachers are constantly learning. Many students know how to use a lot of technologies in the classroom and are proving that even the teachers need to be retaught sometimes. Ms. Bennett talks about using Padlet, in the classroom. We have recently used Padlet in our classes so that we are doing the same thing. Each of the students using Padlet becomes a learner by teaching one another something new each day. Technology is constantly evolving and now, learning is as well. As Ms. Bennett says, it changes the dynamic of the learning.



For the Parents:

For the Students: