Sunday, April 27, 2014

Comments for Teachers

On March 18, 2014, Kelly Tenkely, author of iLearn Technology, blogged about the many uses of Google Story in the classroom. Google Story Builder allows the students to learn about a subject and still be entertained and engaged, because Story Builder requires the students to be knowledgable about a subject before creating a movie. Tenkely explains that Google Story Builder "allows students to demonstrate... understanding in a fun, easy way". I believe that this is a great resource for teachers to use in the classroom and I explained that to Kelly in my comment on April, 13, 2014:

"My name is Megan Long and I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. Before this class, I never really explored all of the resources that Google has available for free. Now, I am using Google Mail, Google Drive, and Google Calendars. I have never heard of Google Story! I believe that this is a great resource for teachers to use in the classroom, especially for visual learners. I will definitely explore this resource more. Thanks for sharing!"

Kelly Tenkely received a product from Orbitek called Sphero, and she explained how exciting and innovative this technology is. Sphero is a a sphere that is controlled through an app that is downloadable on smartphones/tablets. This device will roll around where you direct it to, and you can video students' reactions and activities. Students can interact with Sphero as well, and it makes learning fun and educational! I commented on Kelly's reflection of this device and explained what I thought about it:

"This is a great tool! I have never heard of Sphero, but I am always looking for new technology that is fun AND educational. We, as educators, must make the learning environment exciting and this seems like a great way to do so! I can't wait to explore more about this great resource."

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blog Post Thirteen

The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.In elementary school, children are prepared for middle school, and in middle school, students prepare for high school. Once in high school, students prepare for college, and then every college student needs to prepare for life after college. Through all of the research and references that I have made this semester through EDM 310, I have not prepared for life after college. Yes, EDM 310 has taught me so much about technology in the classroom, but I am never going to reach a classroom if I do not receive a teaching position. In EDM 310, I believe that we should have to witness technology in the classroom. Through field service, students will not only build real life relationships with teachers, but every student will see first hand the positives and negatives of teaching with or without technology.

Blog Post Directions:
Complete 20 hours of field service in your school of choice throughout the semester. For your final blog post, you must reflect on the use of technology that you have witnessed during your field service.
1.) Where did you perform your field service? What technology did the teachers use in the classroom?
2.) What are the benefits of using this technology in the classroom?
3.) What were the negatives of using this technology in the classroom?
4.) Do you believe that the use of technology is appropriate for the classroom?
Answer the questions in a blog post that adheres to the standards found in the ACCRS.

My response to the directions I provided for the blog post:
Mimio in the Classroom

At St. Luke's Episcopal School, the use of technology is strictly up to the teachers' discretion. Every teacher is provided with a Mimio, a device that turns the whiteboard into an interactive whiteboard. With this device, a teacher can use the whiteboard normally, but by turning on the device, the board immediately turns interactive. Along with a laptop, this is the main source of technology that the teachers are provided with.

Although I believe that there are many positive and many negative aspects of using technology in the classroom, but Mimio is a very positive asset to a classroom. I believe that the teachers should be required to attend training sessions about the device, so every teacher is aware of the uses of Mimio. Once the teachers are aware of how to use this device, the teachers of each grade should meet to create lesson plans. This allows every student to receive that same usage of technology in the classroom.
Although I do not see too many positive effects of the use of technology in a classroom, I have, in fact, learn how the use of a Mimio is a great learning tool.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Comments for Kids- April

On April 4th, Venetia, a student at St England School in New Zealand, writes about herself. She says that she is always first to the mat and great at thinking. She reflects on how she can improve on managing herself. She simply says she gets excited about learning, but sometimes she wants to be first. I responded to Venetia and explained how she should always work on improving: 

"My name is Megan and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Al, which is in the United States of America. I love the fact that you love to think. I love thinking, as well, because no matter where I am at or who I am around, I can always think whatever I want to think. Managing yourself can be difficult if you are eager to learn, but it is something that you must learn to do. It is fantastic that you are eager to get to the mat, but make sure you are wanting to sit on the mat because you want to learn, not because you want to be the first one there. It is great that you love thinking and learning. Great Post! Keep up the good work!"
As a teacher, I will have to allow students to reflect on themselves in order to improve. I believe that having students honestly reflect on their actions is a great idea.

Cops and Robbers

On April 11th, Amethyst, a student at St. England School in New Zealand, blogs about a game that she played called Cops and Robbers. The object of this game is to find the cop, which is done by inserting possible coordinates in which the cop may be. If your guess is incorrect, a number will be given that states a number that indicates how many coordinates you are away from the cop. I commented on Amethyst's blog post and told her that the game is a great idea!

"Hello! My name is Megan and I am a student at the University of South Alabama, which is in the United States of America. Thank you for posting the link to this game. I am a future teacher, and I can definitely use this game in my classroom one day. Did you play this game in order to learn about coordinates? Thanks for posting!"

I will be able to use this resource that Amethyst posted on her blog in my classroom one day!

I commented on another students blog, but the post was deleted so nothing is showing up. I am having technical difficulties.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Project Twelve- SmartBoard Lesson Plan

Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat
My group and I created a SmartBoard lesson plan based off of a previous lesson plan that is centered around Dr. Seuss. We used the SmartBoard and Smart Tools to teach our students about geometry and math, incoporporating the Common Core State Standards CCSS.MATH.CNTENT.1.G.A.1 and CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.G.A.3. Due to technical difficulty, the video can be found here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Blog Post Eleven

Brian CrosbyBrian Crosby explains that, in order to be successful teachers, teachers need to not be afraid of the standardized tests, statistics, and labels that come with certain classes and schools. Incorporating students' personal beliefs along with a variety of subjects and standards is a great way to assist every student. Teachers need to have passion and creativity in order to empower students to be active learners. The most important lesson that can be learned from Brian Crosby is to be prepared to change lives! In the elementary classroom, teachers influence students in a variety of ways, so it is our responsibility to be great role models and be prepared to change the lives of our students.

Paul Anderson combines mobile, online, and classroom styles of learning in order to accomplish his style of learning- QIVERS. Each student must complete one letter of this acronym before moving on the the next, with the end resulting in a test. First, Anderson creations a hook (question) which catches the students' attention. Then, he performs an investigation to learn how the subject matter works. Anderson, then, creates a video which further explains the topic, and the students can view this video during free time. Before doing a review of the material, Anderson elaborates on the topic by using a variety of diagrams. Once all of these are completed, each student must pass a summary quiz prior to taking the final exam. This form of learning includes the 5 E's of the learning cycle- engage, explain explore, expand, and evaluate. The use of Anderson's blended learning cycle is great for any classroom, from elementary to high education.

Mark Church's style of teaching and learning is very simple- allow students to work together. Mark Church explains that when students work together in groups, not only do students learn the assignment better, they learn gain a variety of perspectives that other members of the team have. Although simple, Church's teaching style allows the students to be better learners.

Sam Pane is an advocate for student safety on the internet because he uses a variety of technology resources in his classroom. In order to teach this to his students, he develops a lesson on superheroes, where the students create an internet safety super hero. The major lesson that Pane teaches, that every teacher should teach, is that the students must be safe, responsible, and respectful when using the internet. If educators emphasize this, students will be able to use the internet in a variety of ways in order to more productively learn.

Dean Shareski uses project based learning to create responsible and educated students. Project based learning engages the students and creates a better understand of the material that is covered. Technology is also used during the projects, and Shareski's form of teaching allows for more time in the classroom. Having more time in the classroom allows students to develop a great product which the student can be proud of. Having students actually care about what they are learning and making the learning process enjoyable is how Shareski creates a successful classroom.

Roosevelt Elementary creates a learning environment throughout the school that is centered around project based learning. Using this form of learning throughout the entire school allows teachers to collaborate with each other in cooperative groups. Students must working together to understand real world problems, and they are encouraged to make decisions individually. This teaches the students life skills that can be used outside of the classroom which students enjoy. Using this form of learning allows students to love learning and that is how teachers need to teach. If the students are enjoying what they are learning, the classroom will be more successful.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Comments for Teachers Number 3- Dr. Paige Vitulli

Puerto Rican MaskDr. Paige Vitulli, a professor at the University of South Alabama and an advocate of arts in the classroom, posted a blog post on her blog about mask making. She explains that through mask making, and art in general, students can learn many subjects, such as social studies and history! Mask are found all over the world, from a variety of cultures, so students will be able to explore the many cultures of the world, which, in my opinion, can teach the students lessons on character. I am currently a student in Dr. Vitulli's class, and I just made my mask. I can honestly say that I will do this project with my class one day because of the variety and depth of lesson plans that can be taught through this activity. I responded to Dr. Vitulli and explained to how much I enjoyed this project and her blog post, but also how I enjoy the use of art in classrooms.

Puerto Rican Mask
Hello Dr. Vitulli! Although I am in your EDU 301 class, I am responding to this blog post for Dr. Strange's EDM 310. I love all of the lessons that can be taught by the use of mask making. I have learned many new teaching techniques by being in your class, and I hope to learn even more as this semester concludes. Art, especially mask-making, allows students to research, but also to be creative. As teachers, it is our responsibility to allow our students to be creative, because that is how they learn. Thanks for sharing! If you are interested as to what I am learning in Dr. Strange's class, follow my blog-

On International Dot Day, Dr. Vitulli allowed her undergraduate and graduate students to make quilts! International Dot Day is inspired by Peter H. Reynold's book "The Dot", a story about how one dot can turn into a collection of art pieces, simply because a child gains confidence and courage. Her students designed on square of paper using crayons then crumpled the paper several times to create a fabric texture. The class, then, connected the squares to create a quilt. This is a great lesson that can be taught in the elementary classroom! I explained how much I enjoyed reading about this activity.

"I love the quit making idea! Ever since you have read "The Dot" to our class, I have been purchasing books similar for my future classroom. This book is so inspirational, and so many lessons can be learned and taught from it, especially in an elementary classroom. The process is so much more important than the product and this book teaches it!"

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Project 15- Lesson Plan 3

Healthy Eating

Teaching children how to have a healthy lifestyle is an important aspect of a teacher's job. I have composed a month long lesson plan, which includes lessons in art, English, and Math. At the end of the month, there will be a Parents' Day, where parents can come and see all of the art work that the students have created. Also, every Monday, we will have some form of quiz, so the parents will have the opportunity to take the quizzes as well. Please look through my website and comment with any thoughts and suggestions. Enjoy!

Comments for Kids- March

I love blogger

On March 20, 2014, Mrs. She's class in New Zealand had to write a fitness story, but instead of publishing a typed blog post, her class made videos and pictures. Meliana explained in her video how she likes to run fast, jump like a frog, and hop like a rabbit at fitness time. She concludes by saying that she likes fitness, and she posted a picture of a girl jump roping on a sunny day. I commented on her blog post on March 20:

"Hey Meliana! My name is Megan Long and I am a student, just like you, but I go to the University of South Alabama in the United States of America. I like fitness, too! It is a great way to be active and stay healthy. I love the fact that you have to draw a picture along with your story. You picture is very good and I enjoyed listening to your story. Thanks for sharing!"

If Meliana keeps up the good work in fitness class, she will definitely stay healthy! Keep up the good work, Meliana!

On December 16, 2013, Kori-Lee wrote her final blog post for her seventh year at Pt England School in New Zealand. She explained how she has learned so much this year, and she has made many new friends. She really enjoyed her teacher this year, and she explained that she wishes to be in room 20 next year. Kori-Lee says that she loves art and making movies, so I told her how she should try iMovie, because I have really enjoyed getting to learn how to use it this semester. On March 26, 2014, I commented on her blog post:

"Great blog post Kori-Lee! My name is Megan Long and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the United States of America. Ending a school year is always bittersweet. I am happy that you made new friends this year, and I hope that next year you will make many more. This year, I learned how to use iMovie to make movies on the computer. If you have never tried that, you should because it is a lot of fun! Good luck next year at school, and I hope that you learn a lot!"

I hope that Kori-Lee was assigned to a great teacher this year, and I hope that she is using what she learned about blogs and technology to further advance her studies this year.

Blog Post Ten- What Can We Learn from Sir Ken Robinson

TED Talks- Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson discusses the evolving education system in America, and the entire world, during a TED Bring on the Learning Revolution". He states how the education system is being reformed, which is not what needs to happen. When something is reformed, something is being fixed, but Sir Ken Robinson asks the question, "If nothing is broken, why fix it"? Rather than fix the education system, we need to simply revolutionize it.  By revolutionizing the system, we can make the system more effective by transformation. Sir Ken Robinson says that we are in a humanitarian crisis, and this crisis needs to be solved.
talk titled "

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the sotrmy present."Sir Ken Robinson states how "many people go their entire lives without knowing their talent" and the education system is a major cause of this. In an effort to emphasize how we, in the modern society, take many simple pleasures for granted, Robinson quotes Abraham Lincoln- "The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew." He gives an example of this by explaining how older generations wear wristwatches, while people of the 21st century do not see the need to wear a wristwatch. This exemplifies how humans do what humans have always done, and humans do not like change. As a future educator, I need to be a supporter of change, becuse this is how my students will thrive.

"Creativity is a process to have original ideas that have value."
For most students in high school, the end goal is graduating and becoming a college student. Robinson, though, explains how college after high school is not necessary. As aforementioned, Robinson believes that people generally do not understand what his or her talent actually is, and this is mainly because of the education system. We, as 21st century students, feel as though we must attend college and become a wheat others tell us to be, but Robinson explains that "human community depend on the diversity of talent, not a similar conception on ability". As a future educator, my responsibility is to to allow students to explore and discover their talents, and I will support my students in all that they do.

"We have sold ourselves into a fast food model of education"In today's society, students feel as though there are standards that need to be met, no matter what the circumstances are. In order to show this, he discusses how the education system is like a fast food restaurant- everything is standardized. Just like fast food is destroying the human body, Sir Robinson explains that the standardized model of education is ruining the human mind. The standardized education system does not feed students' passion. As teachers, Robinson explains, we need to "create the conditions in which [students] can flourish", instead of forcing students to learn the same material as every other student.

"If you are not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original"
What can we take away from Sir Ken Robinson? In order to reform, transform, and revolutionize the
education system, we need to customize and personalize the curriculum individual students. Every student learns differently, and students all have different passions, so it is necessary that we, as educators, allow students to thrive in their passions. Sir Ken Robinson emphasizes that importance of teaching every student differently, and as an educator, I will always remember this importnat lesson.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blog Post Nine- Little Kids/ Big Potential

teAchnology! Where technology intersects good teaching

Kathy Cassidy, a first grade teacher in Canada, allows her students to use technology resources, such as blogs, web pages, Skype, and Nintendo DS in order to better learn and connect with others. The students in Mrs. Cassidy's class explain how much they love using these resources in Mrs. Cassidy's video, "Little Kids...Big Potential". By posting work on blogs, students are capable of receiving feedback from all around the world, which gives students the incentives to become better writers. This also allows the students to have an online portfolio of the work produced. A class webpage is another tool that Mrs. Cassidy uses. This allows students to have access to many different links and resources all on one page, which is easily accessible for parents as well. Another great resource that Mrs. Cassidy uses is Wikis, which allows students to learn about different topics or subjects by having people not associated with the class explain the topic in his/her own words. The students make videos that they put not only on their blog, but also on their Wikis. By using skype, the students can connect with virtually any person, anywhere, including experts of different subjects. Playing Nintendo in a classroom may sound crazy, but this techniques allows students to learn about sharing and problem solving. The vast amount of technology that Mrs. Cassidy uses in her class causes her class to be successful, because the students are interested and engaged in the resources used to teach material.

skypeIn Dr. John Strange's interview (part onepart two, and part three) with Mrs. Cassidy, she explains how her classroom, which incorporates a variety of technology, is so successful. She emphasizes that technology is never going away, so we, as teachers, need to stay up-to-date with new technology, but this may be difficult because of a school's budget. Mrs. Cassidy uses technology when teaching her students every subject, even if simply a blog is used to journal what each child has learned. She also states how important it is for students in college to learn as much as possible before becoming a teacher. As an education major, I believe that it is my responsibility to learn as much as I possibly can, so once I become a teacher, I can use the resources and knowledge I have collected in college to be the best teacher I can be. Mrs. Cassidy's classroom is a great example of what a 21st century classroom should look like.

Caution: Danger Area. Proceed with Care ad Knowledge
In order for students to become bloggers, or for students to use the internet for educational purposes, students need to follow proper internet safety precautions. Teaching these precautions and making sure that students are following the precautions are the teachers two main priorities when it comes to internet safety. I believe that, when first introducing technology in the classroom setting, teaching internet safety is very important.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Project 14- Lesson Plan Two

"History shows us that people who end up changing the world are always nuts, until they are right, and then they are geniuses." -John Eliot

History is the most important subject to teach, because every event impacts the future, either directly or indirectly. I have provided a month of lessons revolving around history that has occurred on a specific day. The calendar explains what event has occurred on this day in history, along with the activity that goes along with the event. The overview and checklist summarize the learning objectives that are covered throughout the month, and the overview also has the driving question as to why we are studying history every day. Enjoy! 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Comments for Teachers Number 2

On February 14, 2014, Sharon Davison, a Kindergarten teacher with so much aspiration to truly teach her students, explains in her blog post "Tweets, Tweeting Via Twitter" how she enhances the learning process of her students by introducing them to the world of technology. She uses Twitter to allow her students to collaborate efficiently with students from many different schools, by allowing her students to "see what others in the world are doing today". As Sharon explains, allowing her students to blog and be involved on social media teaches them more than simply how to use technology. By connect with people globally, her students are learning how to makes connection throughout the world and actually be engaged in their learning. I responded to Sharon's blog post and informed her of how informative her blog post was.

"My name is Megan Long and I am an EDM 310 student at the University of South Alabama, and I will be following your blog over the next few months. I really enjoyed learning about the way you are incorporating social media into your teaching style. We, as teachers, can use resources, such as Twitter, to connect with other classes throughout the world. I believe that it is our responsibility to introduce our students the all the positives of social media and truly explore the benefits of these sources. When the students know that other students are going to see their work, I believe they will perform much better. Thank you for sharing! If you desire to connect with me, please follow my blog at, or on Twitter @meganelainelong"

I provided Sharon with my blog address along with my Twitter name, which she quickly began following me and she even told me how much she enjoyed my blog! I feel as though we, as teachers, need to research how other teachers are using different resources to teach their students. I believe that Sharon has a passion for teaching that every teacher should have!

On March 13, 2014, Mrs. Davison explained some of the exciting events that has been occurring in her classroom. She loves to teach her kindergarten class how to read, and seeing the progress of her students really excites her. She has used tools such as the iPad, Google Hangout, and AirServer in order to engage her students, and she explains how she can see how these resources assist the students with learning. For instance, her class has been studying the works by Dr. Seuss, and she uses Goggle Hangout to allow the students to connect with other kindergarten students in another state. AirServer has also been a successful resource for Sharon's classroom, because this tool allows students to "remotely access what is on [your] iPad". Sharon concludes her blog post by explaining how teaching students to read is a magical event, and she excitingly states how "Learning is for everyone. Technology gives all my students a voice".

"Sharon, this is a fantastic blog post! I truly enjoy reading about the resources you use in your classroom and I know that your students enjoy learning this way. I recently wrote a blog post about different resources that are useful in the classroom, and I should have added Google Hangouts and AirServer. I have never heard of these resources before, but I am anxious to learn more about them now that I have learned about your success with them. Also, I recently worked with a group to develop a Project Based Learning plan centered around the use of technology, and coincidentally, we chose to create our month long plan using Dr. Seuss. He is a fantastic author and students can learn important character lessons from his works. If you are interested in chacking that website out, the address in Please feel free to check it out and let me know what you think! Thanks for your enlightening post!"

Sharon Davison is a great example of a passionate, inspiring teacher, and I am so honored to be able to follow her blog to learn about her teaching styles. I consider Sharon to be a part of my Personal Learning Network, and I am excited to keep learning of the work she is doing in her classroom.

Blog Post 8- Great Tools for Teachers!

teacher and board
The internet contains so many useful websites for teachers! As EDM 310 reaches the final half, I can reflect on the resources that I know so much more about, which makes me anxious to learn about even more resources. As a future elementary educator, I will rely on the resources in which other teachers and sources provide on the internet in order to successfully begin my teaching career.

Crayola CrayonsI believe that arts are a very important aspect of the classroom because many subjects can be taught through the use of art. Crayola provides a great website for educators which provides creative, engaging lessons centered around art for every grade level. This website gives access to hundreds of lessons which is fantastic for any future or current elementary teacher!

Math Swirl
For any grade, math can sometimes be difficult to understand, which is why the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives created a website specifically for math. Here, math activities are provided for every grade level, from shapes to functions. Since technology is being used in many classrooms throughout the nation, this website is a great tool to incorporate technology into math lessons. Among hundred of great math-teaching websites and resources, the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives really stands out.

Smithsonian logo

The Smithsonian provides a website for teachers to virtually learn and teach students. On the site, educators can find virtual tours of current exhibits at the Smithsonian, along with lesson plans to assist educators in teaching the material. Do you or does your class still have questions about the material, don't worry! The Smithsonian provides simple ways to contact the experts. For any subject, but especially science and history, this website is a great tool!

Project 13- Lesson Plan One

Dr. Seuss book collage

In order for a classroom to have an exciting learning environment, teachers have a responsibility to engage students in every way possible. For a lower elementary grade level classroom, Dr. Seuss is a great resource to use in order to engage and enlighten the students. We have created a website that includes a month long lesson plan all centered around Dr. Seuss's books. On the Overview, we have listed a summarized explanation of what the lesson plan covers, along with which common core standards are covered throughout the month. The checklist explains the objectives for the month, and the calendar has every lesson for the entire month. Enjoy!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Blog Post Seven- Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch Photograph

Dr. Randy Pausch, a deceased professor at Carnegie Mellon University who passed away after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, truly lived to teach others. In his final lecture, Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, explains how he accomplished his childhood dreams, and strongly believed that others can as well, as long as you strive to achieve them. Randy forced his dreams to become a reality, which is why influencing others to accomplish childhood dreams was his mission in life.

"It is not the things we do in life that we regret on our death bed. It's the things we do not."Randy explains that teachers need to trick their students in order for students to learn, which is a process he calls "Head Faking". Project and group-based learning are great ways to do this because students learn life lessons, such as teamwork and responsibility. Students may believe that they are completing an assignment in order to receive a grade, but the more important lessons being taught are those the teacher doesn't assign. Head faking truly allows students, and even teachers, to learn without realizing it!

"The brink walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."Randy also discussed a concept known as brick walls, which is a concept used to show the desire we have to achieve our goals. I have definitely learned from the brick walls that I have hit in my life, and I believe that I will hit many more in the future, both professionally, as a teacher, and personally. A brick wall is symbolic for anything that forces us to change paths, but with faith and perseverance, we can climb these walls and overcome any challenge. The brick wall simply shows people the determination and desire in which they either have about something or don't. This is a great way to teach students about overcoming challenges, and I will use this technique in my personal life and in my classroom.

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."Creativity is the key to allowing students to learn anything, and Randy absolutely believed this. He allowed his students to make mistakes and did not set standards for projects, which taught students about life. Once students are in the "real world", they are not going to have people explaining what to do, so if teachers allow students to make mistakes, the learning process will be very effective and efficient. Granting students the ability to make mistakes and be creative is a great way to teach and learn!

"If I work hard, I will be things I can do tomorrow that I can't do today."Randy Pausch is a true inspiration to me, and I have learned many things about teaching and learning, but also about life in general. Dr. Pausch did not allow his terminal cancer to take over his life, but instead he used his time on earth to make an impact on peoples' lives. I will definitely remember the lessons that I have learned from Dr. Randy Pausch and I will incorporate these lessons into my personal and professional life.

Comments for Kids Summaries for February

On February 5, 2014, Jerry blogged about his first experience with gymnastic. Jerry seemed to have loved gymnastics and he explains how he had to take off his shoes and use a mat for cushion. After gymnastics, the class had to stretch their muscles. I responded on February 9. I told Jerry about how I did gymnastics for almost ten years and that he should pursue the sport if he really enjoyed it.

On February 5, 2014, Seth blogged about what he would  do if trapped in a department store for a night. I feel like Seth and I would get along great because he said that he would eat candy until he feels sick. He said that he would eat and then rest, and once he felt better, he  would eat more candy. On February 16,  I told him that he should have explained what store he was stuck in and what type of candy he would eat. I told him that I would have chosen to eat Ressee's Peanut Butter Cups!

On February 21, 2014, Luis from Ms. Ruiz's class blogged about the need for privacy versus the need for socialization. He explained that he loves having privacy, but too much will cause him to be bored. Likewise, he says that he loves hanging out with his friends, but he needs some alone time occasionally. I explained to Luis how I feel like I need alone time as well, but I do like having a great time with my friends. Luis does not understand that the proper noun "I" needs to be capitalized, so I informed him that proper nouns must be capitalized in order to have correct grammar. Overall, I really enjoyed exploring Luis's blog!

On February 24. 2014, Kylie from Mrs. Miller's class explained that her class had to read a book and either choose five songs that have a similar theme or create a presentation using pictures, poems, or quotes that explain the theme of the book. Kylie chose to make a presentation using Google Docs, and she says that this helped here learn the theme of the book better. Kylie was not very specific in her blog post, so I explained how she could explain more about the book she read and the presentation she created next time.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blog Post 6- Personal Learning Networks

Personal Learning Network

What is a Personal Learning Network, or PLN, and how can these resources be useful for us, as teachers, in the classroom?  If you can use a resource or a person for assistance, consider this tool or resource a PLN, but these resources or consistently changing which means we need to be consistently learning. A PLN can be formed simply by using social media, such as Twitter, or by finding professional resources, such as blogs. A Personal Learning Network is very useful for beginning a career in education because I can form relationships with those who are more wise than I am. The best part about Personal Learning Networks is that they are extremely EASY!
My education professors at the University of South Alabama are extremely knowledgeable, so they will be a part of my PLN. I have connected with my EDM 310 professor (Dr. John Hadley Strange), along with my EDU 301 professor (Dr. Paige Vitulli), on twitter and I know they will be great resources for me to gain insight to the teaching field. I have recently connected with a kindergarten teacher in Vermont (Sharon Davison), who I believe will become a mentor to me while on my journey to become an educator. While doing observations at St. Luke's Episcopal School, I gained a great relationship with Cara Dube who will be another mentor of mine on my journey. What is so exciting about my Personal Learning Network is that as I meet new professors, I will be able to add them to my network.
As I stated before, Twitter is a great resource for creating a Personal Learning Network, but there are so many other resources as well! For instance, Education Possible is a wonderful board on Pinterest that provides teachers with unusual resources that are great for the classroom. Another board on Pinterest is Education To The Core where we can "find ideas for effective and efficient teaching practices" to use in our classrooms.
There are a variety of useful websites on the internet that are useful when creating Personal Learning Networks, but the exciting aspect of these networks is that they are always changing and improving. As teachers, we need to realize that we will be lifelong learners and prepare for the journey ahead!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Sentence/ My Passion

This is My Sentence
This is My Passion

Blog Post 5- Anthony Capps

SJCSO Foundation
Dr. John Strange, a professor at the University of South Alabama, interviews a former student, Anthony Caps, who is currently teaching third grade in Gulf Shores, Alabama. In part one, Anthony describes how projects aren't a means to show that you have learned the material, but it's a way to actually learn the material, and students become excited to learn. The project needs to interest students and teach the students the material in which is needed to know. Many projects can cover many topics that the Alabama College and Career Ready standards. During the second part of the interview, Anthony explains that not every parent will agree with the projects that you are assigning his or her child, which teachers need to respect. The parents are giving their children to teachers for the school year, but, ultimately, the children and parents need to be respected.

VimeoIn another interview between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps, iCurio, which a tool to assist children with searching the internet by narrowing down related and appropriate websites, is discussed. Along with searching the internet, iCurio allows students to go learn how to be virtually organized, simply by saving important documents and delete the files if necessary. When searching for sources, iCurio allows the student to search by specific criteria, which is very useful when searching for specific information. iCurio, as Anthony and Dr. Strange discuss, is a very safe tool for children to work on projects at individual paces.

Discovery Education
Discovery Ed is a resource that allows students to learn information through the use of visual examples. This resource is fabulous for students and teachers to use, because most children, and even adults, learn by doing an activity or watching an activity take place. Discovery Ed provides students with visual examples in order for them to remember information.

Center for Inspired Teaching

Anthony provides those who are considering entering the teaching field with some helpful advice with strange tips for teachers.  I agree with Anthony when he says that teachers have to want to teach and have a desire to learn, because if the teacher has no passion, the students won't have any passion neither. Although teaching is a very rewarding career, Anthony does not ignore the fact that teaching is very hard work, but the teacher has the opportunity to make this hard work enjoyable. Students learn whatever the teacher teaches them, so it is our job, as new teachers, to learn how to efficiently instruct our students.

Paradigm-Enterprise Schools
Technology consumes our everyday life, whether we are checking the weather on the internet, or reconnecting with old friends through social media. Anthony emphasizes in his video "don't teach tech-use it" that teachers need to use technology in the classroom instead of simply teaching students how to use it. In Anthony's classroom, he allows his students to use one new technology at a time, so the students will slowly become more proficient when using different technologies.  Teachers need to understand that children will make mistakes when learning new skills, but that students will learn from the mistakes.

Efficient vs. Effective Teaching
In order to become an exceptional teacher, Anthony describes additional thoughts for lessons, where he explains that teachers need to be able to plan lessons ahead of time and learn how to efficiently teach. The key to doing this is first, planning lessons for weeks at a time, then entertaining and incorporating the students throughout the day in order to complete every lesson. Anthony emphasizes the many factors that one must possess in order to be an efficient teacher, which I will certainly use once in the classroom.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Project #3 Presentation- Project Based Learning and Alabama College & Career Ready Standards

Comments for Teachers- Post Number One

C4T#1-Comment One

Lisa Thumann, the author of blogs on, has been studying to improve the Common Core, which is the standards in which schools must follow to provide a clear understanding on what students are required to learn. Thumann and her team at SGEI have founded "Common Core Communities of Practice", where they perform conferences for teachers to learn how to enhance the learning process. I believe that teaching with technology is very important and I explain to her my beliefs.

"There are so many ways to teach with technology, and I believe that teachers have a responsibility to teach those ways. I believe that every teacher should believe that teaching means collaborating, celebrating, and sharing. I look forward to learning more about the success and learnings of this project!"

I hope that Lisa and her team at SGEI will find much success by providing teachers with this resource.

C4T#1-Comment Two

Lisa Thumann has raised another interesting question while attempting to raise the attrition rates at UNconfrences. Lisa assists in organizing free conferences, which takes much time and planning, and after many years, she has become annoyed with the low attrition rates at these conferences. For instance, people must sign up for the conference, but not every registrant actually attends, and she explains that once, only 25% of people who signed up actually attended. This is frustrating because this causes unnecessary stress to Lisa and her crew. She never knows how much food to order and how big or small the venue needs to be because the number of registrants rarely equal the number of people in attendance. I provided Lisa with my opinion as to what she should do in order to resolve this issue.

 "You have raised great questions, Lisa. I sense your frustration and agree that we MUST figure out a way to solve this issue. Charging a nonrefundable fee sounds like a great idea, but what is not as many people want to register because of the fee? I definitely believe that you must overwhelm your registrants with emails and reminders, that way the event is frequently on their minds. If you do run out of food for a free event, that is okay. Besides, the event is free so food is simply an added bonus to the knowledge they are receiving."

I understand why Lisa becomes annoyed with this issue and I hope that she will resolve this issue.

Blog Post 4- Asking Questions

Question MarkQuestion Mark                     
 What do we need to know about asking questions in order to be an effective teacher? In order to properly insist knowledge upon our students, as teachers we should be required to answer this question properly. It is very important to learn not only what questions to ask and when to ask them but how to ask questions in order to become an effective teacher. Many resources are available in order to learn how to properly ask questions to a class, but the same lesson can be learned from every blog, website, or video- teachers need to know how to properly ask questions in order to properly teach students. Ben Johnson, along with The Teaching Center at Washington University in St. Louis, has discovered to correct way to teach a classroom by simply knowing how to challenge students.

Ben Johnson explains to key to successfully questioning students in his blog "The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom", along with informing readers what teachers are doing incorrectly when asking questions. Johnson explains that teachers need to realize the specific types of students in classrooms, such as the ones who are smart, the ones who do not think they are smart, and the students who do not care. Certain teachers believe that in order to obtain full participation from a class, a question must be directed to the entire class while some teachers believe that a specific student needs to be asked a specific question. Johnson informs readers that the key to asking questions in the correct way, we, as teachers, need to combine these two techniques. For instance, instead of asking one individual a question or asking the class as a whole a question, teachers must ask the entire class a question, wait for each student to have the opportunity to consider what the answer may be, then call on an individual to answer the question. This approach engages the students as a whole, because the students know that someone must answer the question.

The Teaching Center at Washington University in St. Louis instructs teachers how to ask questions to improve learn, both in the classroom and beyond the walls of school. The Teaching Center explains how asking questions in the correct way will ultimately teach students how to learn outside of school. In order to properly ask questions, teachers need to prepare the questions, know the objective of the question, and respond effectively to the students' answers. Questions should be clear and simple, rather than complex. For instance, only one question should be asked at a time, giving the students the opportunity to critically think about one topic. Once a reply is given, without interruption by the teacher, a follow up question should be asked in order to engage and test the students and we, as teachers, need to respond on a way that keeps the students thinking. As teachers, we need to ask a variety of questions and remember that it is very important to be interested in what the students have to say, whether the answer is correct or incorrect. The Teaching Center encourages teachers to learn how to ask questions because "active learning extends beyond the classroom" and it is a teacher's responsibility to encourage students to use these techniques "to asses what they have learned, to develop their thinking skills, and to study for exams".

In order to teach a classroom, teachers must ask questions and engage students. If students are not engaged, they will daydream and not learn. As a teacher, we must be responsible for teaching students how to learn and that begins by knowing how to ask, challenge, and engage our students.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blog Post 3- How Can You Provide Meaningful Feedback to Your Peers?

In order to ameliorate one's work, students need to understand the procedures of peer editing, along with what not to do while reviewing others' work. Peer editing simply means revising and improving the work of students of similar age. In order to positively review another students work, one must first compliment what the student did correctly, before giving suggestions as to what the student can improve on. When giving suggestions, students need to focus on the author's word choice, attention to detail, organization, and how well the assigned topic is covered.  After complimenting the work's positives and suggesting how to improve the imperfections, the peer editor can make corrections to the author's work. This includes correcting spelling and grammar mistakes, along with correcting missing punctuation and incorrect sentence structure. In order to peer edit effectively, students must first compliment the work, then suggest any improvements that should be made, and finally correct any mistakes that should be made.

In order to do a quality peer review, even when suggesting how to improve a peer's work, the peer editor must stay positive. Rather than being picky when peer editing, students need to accept that others have different writing styles and instead spend time on the paper and give specific examples of how to improve the major issues. Not every piece of advice will be taken, so reviewers should not get upset if his or hers input is not followed. Likewise, the student who is being given advice, should not take any criticism personally. Students simply need to stay on task and spend a significant amount of time while peer editing and revising work. For a peer review to be effective, students need to learn how to give and take advice.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Blog Post 2- What Will Teaching Be Like in the 21st Century

Mr. Dancealot

The ineffective teacher is the one doing all the work!

     As time progresses, scientist are studying more in depth of how the human brain works, and with these new discoveries, the ways of teaching are quickly progressing. The key to learning anything is doing, which is exactly what Professor Dancealot teaches. Mr. Dancealot lectures to his class for the entire semester, but he does not allow the students to actually dance. Instead, they must sit and listen while taking note of what Mr. Dancealot lectures. When the time comes for the students to take a final exam, which is actually dancing, the students have no idea what to do. This scenario proves that one must actually practice a skill in order to master it. At the University of South Alabama, some classes are beginning to perform team-based activities in order to enhance the ability to learn by practicing the skill. Practice really does make perfect, and without practice, no skill will be fully mastered.

Teaching in the 21st Century

Redefining teaching and learning in the 21st Century

     So what does it mean to teach in the 21st Century? According to Kevin Roberts in his video Teaching in the 21st Century, teachers must fully understand this question in order to be successful in teaching our students. Roberts informs viewers that students can find information virtually anywhere and at anytime, meaning teachers are no longer the main source of information, rather the source that shows them how to use the resources. Questioning whether we need to focus on facts or skills, Roberts understands that we, as teachers, need to "rethink the tools we use and the types of problems we ask students to solve". For instance, students not only use the internet to collect and discuss data and publish and evaluate work via facebook, blogs, twitter, and more, students now can publish artwork in e-portfolios to reflect on progress made.

     Roberts asks the critical question of how teachers manage cell phones and other electronics, and his answer is simple- just like pencils, notebook paper, and other classroom supplies. Electronics are just another resource, and they "provide temptation, but are not the source of negative behavior". He goes on to say that students need to be engaged rather than entertained. Whereas entertainment is passive, for enjoyment, and not relevant, Roberts explains that engagement in active, for learning, and meaningful and applicable. Furthermore, entertainment allows individuals to escape problems by using the creativity of others, engagement teaches individuals to solve problems by using one's own creativity.

     Roberts ingeniously informs teachers and future teachers of the ways in which the methods of teaching need to change. Technology is taking other the world and it is important, as teachers, to teach students how to use these resources at their full potentials. Roberts's statement "students do not need to be entertained, they need to be engaged" could not be more applicable to teaching students in the 21st century. We, as educators, need to learn how to engage our students in order to teach them skills that our needed in today's society.

The Networked Student

Connectivism: Have you ever thought about...?

      Wendy Drexler provides another example of how teachers play a role in the 21st Century in The Networked Student, where the narrator states that connectivism is taking over to world of learning. Connectivism is "a theory in which learning is a part of a social network of diverse connections", which simply means that others strengthen the learning process. Drexler suggests that first, students must learn how to validate information and use Google Scholar to find websites in which they want to keep on bookmarking sites. Blogs are a source in which one can comment on others viewpoints after learning about the topic, then the student can create a new blog with the information he or she has learned. Drexler informs viewers of the convenient tool of video podcast, such as iTunes U. The internet provides useful tools to learn from others, so why do students need a teacher? Drexler says that teachers show students how to use these resources, provide guidance on how to differentiate between positive and negative articles and how to get organize, and most importantly, help to develop a student's passion for learning.

     Although connectivism is taking over the world of learning, teachers still need to teach students information. Online learning can have many positive effects, but overall, reading material then having a teacher review the information in his or her own terms allows information to be better retained in the brain. As a teacher, I will teach my students in the classroom and provide the resources if some students desire to further learn.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

     Adding to the world of technology in the classroom in the Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts, Vicki Davis believes that if students only have a pen and a sheet of paper then only certain students will succeed. She instead believes in turning school upside-down and customizing her lesson plans to fit individual classes, emphasizing that a teacher must teach how to learn. For instance, Davis uses new terminology hoping that her students will use resources to determine what she is talking about. Davis has taught rural children how to connect with the entire world, which assists in teaching students to use knowledge in a social setting. Vicki Davis has found a perfect balance of teaching and using technology, because she teaches what she knows but allows the students to learn individually as well.

Flipping a Classroom

The Flipped Classroom: Turning the traditional classroom model on its head

     Dr. Lodge, a professor at NC State, has developed a new innovative way of learning called Flipping A Classroom, which allows direct instruction to occur at home while homework is completed at school. The students watch a pre-recorded instructional video at home, where they practice problems and prepare questions for the following school day, which allows for a higher level of learning in classrooms. As elementary students begin learning more advanced material and the parents can not assist with homework help, I believe that this method would help parents interact with children after school if desired, but if the parents do not have time to spend with the children, which is an unfortunate reality, the child can do this independently.  For more information on this innovative system of learning, please contact visit the website that Dr. Lodge has created to further explain this innovation learning technique or email the teacher currently teaching math with this method.