Sunday, December 8, 2013

Final Reflection

dropping students off at school
After rereading my blog post about “If I Built a School” my goals for teaching still remain the same, but I have learned so much this semester. Some things that I would change about my teaching methods is I would try to incorporate technology into everything I do not just some things. Technology is such a useful tool if people would take advantage of its full potential. I want to give my students the opportunity to use things like iMovie, iBooks, podcast and blogs to interact with all parts of the world.
I would also make all my activities project based. Before this class I never knew anything about project based learning and now that I do I feel that this method is much more effective than traditional ways of teaching. I feel that hands on things will allow students to really remember and eliminate “burp back” education all together.
I would also change the roles my students will play in the classroom. I have learned to never limit what your students are capable of. I want to give my students the chance to grade their peers and help their peers learn things they may not understand. This will give them a feeling of importance and let them know that they are capable of doing whatever they put their mind to.
My methods of teaching would involve my students much more. I would ask them much more questions and allow them to be interactive in my teaching. I would use things like Smart Boards to keep my students attention and integrate games and activities constantly.
I feel that these methods of learning will be the best ways in the 21st century to teach our students. By incorporating technology, PBL, and eliminating “burp back” education our students can learn effectively in a technology based world.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15

Teaching Math to the Blind- Rachel Hinton
The video, Teaching Math to the Blind, really shows what problem is presented when a student is blind and trying to learn complex things like math. Because blind students use brail to learn, and it is linear, it makes understanding and aligning the math problems difficult. With this being said the students are presented with a device with the number on one side and brail on the other with a barcode that they can scan and the computer reads. They can align the numbers in a digital graphs to keep them in order and able for them to read.
Teaching Math to Blind Students really shows more in-depth the different methods that can be used to teach the blind. One method is using mathematics codes. These codes are placed on a desk plate. This plate can also be used for students to plot points. For upper level trigonometry the students will use objects in the shape of triangles to learn the different functions. For statistics the students will use Microsoft excel to perform the different functions. They can also use other applications such as the virtual pencil algebra program with allows the problem to be read to them and the audio graphing calculator which provides them with assistance just like a regular calculator.
These devices and assistive materials gives the blind students the ability to accomplish something that is essential for working and living today. It also gives them hope that they can accomplish anything.

Assesive Technology- Elizabeth Johnson
For this assignment, I watched a video called ”Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children”. In the beginning of the video, it gives some examples for you to imagine what it would be like to be visually or hearing impaired in a classroom with no assistive technologies available. It really opened my eyes to what it would be like to not have ways to help these students. The video then describes how assistive technologies enhance learning, removes barriers, pushes boundaries, gives hope, and challenges the way we think. The video really encourages and challenges people and teachers to do all that they can to accommodate all students. Some examples of assistive technologies that the video gave were text to speech devices, text telephones, talking calculators, note takers, sensory aids, speech to text devices, FM radios, iPhones, Ipads, Ipods, screen magnifiers, and flip cameras.
”Education World” is another source that gives great information about assistive technologies for students. This website gives some other examples of assistive technologies. Some of them include hearing aids and amplification devices that enable hearing-impaired students to hear what's going on in the classroom as well as glare-reduction screens, screen magnifiers, and Braille note-taking devices that enable visually impaired students to participate more fully.

Ipad Usage for the Blind- Calah Reynolds
The video iPad Usage for the Blind is such an interesting video. I had no idea that the iPad could be set up to assist a person who is visually impaired. This opens up so many different opportunities to me as a teacher, especially if I have a visually impaired child in my class. As you are using the iPad it can assist you the whole way, from starting it up to using the apps. All you have to do is simply double tap to unlock it. If you are on a part of the screen that has no apps and is blank it makes a clicking noise, but when you hover over an app it says the apps name out loud and tells you to "double tap to open". I, as a teacher, already want to have iPads in my classroom for activities throughout the day, and now that I know that they can assist children with disabilities, it makes them so much more useful. Especially now since iPads can have books and textbooks on them. If you open up iBook on your iPad, all you have to do is double tap when the app is open and it will start reading to you.
I was so interested in iPads for the visually impaired that I looked up the video Blind Apple iPad Tech Camp. This is a camp that teaches the blind how to use an iPad and what it can do for them. For those who aren't completely blind, they can zoom in as much as they need to be able to see and those who are completely blind can have the iPad set up to where it can talk you through everything. iPads opens up so many opportunities for children with disabilities. So many of the kids with no vision are behind in their academics and don’t have the same access to technology as their peers that have vision, but iPads give them a chance. It let's them do things that they didn't even know were possible.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Blog Post 14

rita pierson
Rita Pierson has been a professional educator since 1972. Watch her short TED talk video and tell what you learned from her. Also tell how you could apply these things in your classroom when you begin teaching. Why is it so important that we develop good relationships with our students?

Ms. Pierson tells us in her TED talk how important it is that we develop good relationships with our students because students cannot learn from someone who they do not like. Many teachers think that all they are expected to do is teach students and not actually develop these necessary relationships with them. Through these relationships the students begin to respect the teacher. At times without the motivation from the teacher students may never feel the real need for an education and they may not have the want to make something of themselves. Sometimes all students need is a "friend" to tell them they are worth something and they can do it. I would try to develop relationships with my students by making them feel important and included. I would try to make them feel incorporated in every way possible. These relationships are very important and can be lifelong because teachers are not only educators but sometimes, in a way, family.


I have continued to use my symbaloo for my PLN. I have really enjoyed using this to keep up with my C4K's and C4T's. This is a great and very well organized PLN.

C4K- November

kids blogging
For my first C4K this month I commented on Emma’s blog. Her class is reading a book called “Out of my Mind.” She was asked to post on her blog about three words she did not know from the story, give the definitions and tell how they were used in the story. I responded to Emma by saying :
Emma, My name is Rachel, I am a college student at The University of South Alabama! I really enjoyed this post. It is great that you are learning so much. A dictionary is a great resource to use when you don’t understand what words mean. It is great that you are learning to do these things. It will really come in handy later in life! Great work.

The next students post I commented on was Nathan from Pt England School. His post was a story translated into English. I responded to him by saying:
Hi Nathan, I am Rachel a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL, USA! This post is so neat! What language is it originally in? This saying is really great. It is a great thing to gather together to learn. Learning is so important and learning through technology, as your class is doing, makes it fun! I really enjoyed your blog post. Keep up the great work.

My last C4K was on Kaya’s blog post titled “Why we need to use the Crossing.” Kaya tells us in this post wy it is so important to be safe and always use the cross walks that are provided. I replied by saying:
Hi Kaya! My name is Rachel Hinton! I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed your video about using the cross walk and being safe. It is so important that you are learning these things so you won't great hurt! Great post. Keep up the good work blogging!

C4T #4

For my C4T I commented on Annie Palmers Blog Breaking Education Barriers. Ms. Palmer’s blogs were very inspirational and she had some very good advice.
For my first post I commented on her post titled “Have you Contemplated your Philosophy for Reading.” In this post Ms. Palmer talks about her relationship with reading. She tells us how things should be different than just reading the words on the page and comprehending it, it should be more of a relationship between the words on the page and the reader. I told her how excited I was to hear her opinion on reading. I told her how when I was a student in school I felt like I was forced to read and hopefully oneday I can give my students an outlook on reading like she has.
The second post I commented on was titled “Improving Teaching One Step at a Time.” Her she gives some really great advice especially for new teachers; take it one step at a time. She tells you not to take on too much, just take it slow and don’t stress. I told her how helpful this was especially for an upcoming teacher and how much I enjoyed this post.

Project 12- Part B

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Post #13

Shukla Bose: Teaching One Child at a Time- Rachel Hinton

In the video, Shukla Bose: Teaching One Child at a Time, Shukla Bose talks about the different schools she has created to enable children to learn. The schools allow children from slums and orphanages to learn things that they would never have the opportunity to without her help. This talk shows us how important it is to give every child an opportunity and not only the children but their parents as well. Bose makes a very good point when she talks about the parents and how many times it is thought that just because they are from the slums they do not care. This is far from true. She says that most of the time at conferences they have 80-100% attendance. This is pretty amazing. Maybe if our parents were as concerned about their children they would be more eager and receptive to what is being taught because they would be proud to show their parents what they are learning.
There are many encouraging things that can be taken from this video. In my opinion if children can go into a school that is taught in a language that is foreign to them, learn things and come out wanting to be neurosurgeons then anything is possible in a country where we have resources to use at our fingertips. We should take this as a lesson that if we push our students then anything is possible. Never expect less of your students because you never know what they are capable of.

Shane Koyczan: To This Day: for the Bullied and Beautiful- Elizabeth Johnson

In the video, To This Day: For the Bullied and the Beautiful, Shane Koyczan takes us through his struggling life journey. He was ridiculed and bullied as a child. He was told that his life ambitions would never come to pass. But from these struggles and pains, he became a writer. He wrote an incredible spoken-word poem called “To This Day”. In this spoken-word poem, he does a beautiful job talking about the bullied and hurting children and how they tend to go unnoticed in classrooms.
There is so much that we can learn from this video! As a future educator, I want to make it my mission to love and encourage all of my students. I hope to facilitate a classroom where all are equal and discipline those who bully others. I really enjoyed this video. It definitely opened my eyes to the issue of bullying and the lasting effects of it.

Kakenya Ntaiya: A Girl Who Demanded School- Calah Reynolds

In the video A Girl Who Demanded School, Kakenya Ntaiya shows us the troubles she went through to get to where she is now. When she finished middle school, she had the chance to go to high school, but she had to get her father's permission first. She made a deal with her dad, saying that she would go through the traditional Maasai rite of passage of female circumcision if he would let her go to high school. While she was in high school she met a young man from her village who had been to the University of Oregon, and she wanted to go to where he had been. She applied and was accepted into Randolph-Macon Woman’s College with a scholarship, but before she could go she had to get the support of her village so she could raise money to fly to the United States. After she finished college, she came back to her village and, with the help of her village elders, built a school for young girls in her community.
We can learn a lot from Kakenya Ntaiya. At her school in her village, she is making a difference in so many young girls lives. She is teaching them that they don’t have to go through the traditional Maasai rite of passage of female circumcision, they don’t have to get married when they are 12 years old and they can all create and achieve their own dreams. She is opening up so many doors for these girls that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. From Kakenya we can learn that you have the opportunity to make something of yourself and that you can achieve a lot in your lifetime if you put your mind to it and do it.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blog Post #12

Changing Education Paradigms- Rachel Hinton
In Ken Robinson's video he begins by talking about the reasons the school have began to change. First of all schools want to teach children how to be apart of the changing economy and secondly they want them to have a sense of cultural identity and globalization. Robinson points out that this is being done in the wrong ways.
Schools are trying to teach students with old methods of teaching, ways that are non effective and boring. He states that we are alienating students and they have no desire to want to be in school. They are now saying what is the point because they see so many people, even with college degrees, not succeeding why would they want to sit through something so boring if it will not further then in the future? This current type of education is not for this age. They need something new and exciting, something to engage their interested.
We found it very interesting the point Mr. Robinson makes about ADHD. We had never really realized how many people had been diagnosed with this. If you really think about his argument against it it makes so much sense. In today's world students are thought to be unruly and uncooperative if they don't want to sit still and listen to a lecture for an hour and thirty minutes. If we gave them something more interesting it is a good possibility they would not be this way. This is something that should be considered by teachers and parents alike.
Divergent thinking is something Robinson points out that we find very important. Divergent thinking is not the same as creativity. This is when you take a question and are able to interpret it and answer it in many different ways. If we teach children how to not only be creative but also become divergent thinkers their though process would develop so much more than we could even imagine. We are killing this type of thinking by educating the students. It's like when they are " educated" they forget how to learn on their own.
Mr. Robinson tells us if we can begin to think differently about human capacity, understand that collaboration is key and understand the habits and habitats of instruction that is when we will have effective teaching.

How Schools Kills Creativity- Calah Reynolds
I watched Sir Ken Robinson’s How Schools Kill Creativity, and I thought it was very interesting! I love his humorous attitude. He is entertaining to watch and I think we can all learn a lot from him. Robinson makes a very good point when he says, “We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it.” If you think about it, that is true. When you look at a child they have such creativity and wonder, but as you watch them grow into adults most of them lose that spark. Schools nowadays are so focused on the math and sciences rather than the arts and music, and many people look down on the idea of someone wanting to grow up to be an artist or a singer. That is one thing that is wrong with this world. We should be embracing the idea of our children wanting to use their creativity and think outside of the box. We need to educate our children on “their whole being so they can face this future”, not just one side of the brain. Children grow up learning that it isn’t okay to be wrong, but as Robinson said it, “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” He’s right, you shouldn’t live your life trying to please others. You should live your life by taking chances.

“We might not see the future, but they will. Our Job is to help them make something of it.”

How to Escape Educations Death Valley- Elizabeth Johnson
There are many things that we can learn from Ken Robinson’s video How to Escape Education’s Death Valley. He begins by saying that he was told that Americans did not get irony. However, he discovered that Americans do understand irony when he heard about No Child Left Behind, because children do, in fact, get “left behind”. According to Ken Robinson, scary numbers of students drop out of school in America. It’s not that money isn’t spent on education in America, it is that the money is going in the wrong directions. He describes three principles to allow children’s minds to flourish. First, human beings are naturally different and diverse. In NCLB, diversity is ignored and conformity is encouraged. I learned from Mr. Robinson that children must learn from a wide and broad curriculum instead of a narrow-based spectrum. The second principle that is crucial for children to flourish according to Mr. Robinson is curiosity. Children are natural learners. They just need to interested and spark their curiosity. He says that great teachers not only pass on information to students, but they also mentor, stimulate, provoke, and engage. I want to be this kind of teacher! I want to be more than just a “passer of knowledge”. I want to facilitate learning in my classroom. The third principle is that human life is inherently creative. We create our lives as we go through them. He goes on to talk about standardized testing and the educational school system in Finland. So, what are some things I learned through this video? I learned the importance of valuing students through teaching. It’s so important to individualize, be creative, and spark curiosity when teaching. No two children are the same, and the way they learn is different. Also, I need the support of others while teaching. It’s so important to continue to learn and be trained throughout my career. I really enjoyed this video! I learned so many things from Mr. Ken Robinson.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

C4T- Tom Schimmer

tom schimmer
The first post Mr.Schimmer talks about how teachers use homework as a means of practice, but if it really considered practice then why do we grade them on it? He makes a very good point. This was a very informative post to read. He believes that homework should be for practice and used formatively rather than being used as part of a summative reporting process. I have to agree. This was my reply to his post,
Mr. Schimmer, I am Rachel Hinton an EDM 310 student at the University of South Alabama majoring in Elementary Education. This semester in EDM we have learned so much about 21st century learning and ow helpful if can be in making our students excited about learning. Before this class I would have probably went into teaching thinking the same way most teachers do about homework, that the students need to do it to learn or that it has to be required but there are so many different things that can be used besides homework, especially if it is going to be graded. I find this blog post very interesting. I agree with you 100% that homework should be only for practice and formative assessment. If the students are only worried about gettting it finished to earn the points many times they will not really be learning anything anyway. Thank you for a great post can’t wait to read more!

The second post I read was about students being curious. He says that we should ask ourselves as we are planning our lessons if this will strike the curiosity of our students or if it will just bore them. He tells us to start with questions and ask them what they are curious about before we even begin class. He encourages teachers to foster the kids curiosity and soon it will become easier and easier. My reply to this post was:
Hi, I am Rachel Hinton. I commented on one of your more recent post for my EDM 310 class. I really enjoyed this post. It is very helpful especially for future teachers like me. This is something that I will keep in mind when I begin teaching in the future. Hopefully if I were to start out with things like this it will be easy to maintain throughout my years of teaching. I have really enjoyed your blog. Thank you for all your great post and I can’t wait to read future post. Rachel

C4K- October

students blogging
C4K #4- Lauren: The American Dream Lauren’s post on the American dream was very interesting post. She talked about how the true American Dream is to become leaders. I replied to her by saying,
Hi Lauren, I see you have been getting many comments from our EDM 310 class this past week! My name is Rachel Hinton, and I am so glad that I was chosen to comment on your blog along with a few others. I really enjoyed reading your post! I am so glad to see someone so interested and passionate about something. “The dream to be a leader, a champion, a protector of natural rights.” This gives me a new look on what we as Americans see as the “American Dream.” Your post really gave me a lot to think about and had me questioning my thoughts about the American Dream and the real genius of our founding fathers. I am so thankful that I have been given the opportunity to become and be a leader. Thank you for your outstanding post! Keep up the blogging. I can’t wait to read more! Rachel Hinton-

C4K #5- Briana: Melody and Penny Briana’s class was reading a book called Out of my Mind. In her post she had to answer two questions: • How do you think Melody will react to having a new sibling in the house? I think Melody wa nervous about having a sibling in her family. • What themes or big ideas do you think that Sharon Draper is trying to get us to think about as we read these chapters?I think that he is trying to tell us that we are suppose get along with other people even if there like Melody because is a really nice girl and I think in the book I can hear her voice when Ms. Eppele is reading the book. I replied:
Hi Briana! My name is Rachel. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL, USA. Although I have never read the book that you are reading it sounds really interesting. Service dogs are really neat and good to have especially for those who or blind or for older people who are alone. Did you know that some dogs can even be trained to smell cancer in humans before it can even be detected by doctors or test? Although I’m not sure of Melody’s situation I am sure I would be very nervous for a new sibling to be coming into my house! It would be so strange to get use to such a change like that when things have been the same for so long. Out of my Mind sounds like a great book especially if it teaches us to get along with others! I will have to try to read it soon. I really enjoyed reading your blog! Thanks so much for your great post! Keep up the good work!
C4K #6- Matt: Trip to Yamnuska Matt talked about his trip to a park called Yamnuska where he learned about fungi, moss, and lichen. He included pictures as well. This was my reply,
Hi Matt, I’m Rachel Hinton an EDM 310 student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Al. I really enjoyed your blog post! It is so great that you are learning about this neat stuff! I really liked your fun fact about the caribou! That was something that I never knew! This sounds like a really cool place to go! Your pictures are great! Keep up the good work blogging! Rachel
C4K #7- Jun: Rebuilding Christchurch In his post Jun talks about his three wishes for Christchurch community: rebuilding the damaged buildings, having things for tourists to do, amazing amusement parks and trams to travel around Christchurch. I told Jun:
Jun, I am Rachel a college student in Mobile, AL, USA. Your thoughts and ideas for you town are great! I think it is great that you are so concerned about your town. You have some really good ideas. I love the idea of amusement parks probably because I love them so much myself! Bike trains sound like so much fun! I wish we could put something like that on campus! I really enjoyed reading your post! Keep up the good work blogging. Rachel

Blog Post #11

wordle 21st century learning
Ms. Cassidy is a first grade teacher who is implementing 21st century learning in her classroom by allowing her students to blog and explore certain areas of the internet. Through blogging her students are learning how to write while learning how to use technology. Her students not only write on their blog but they also post pictures and videos. The students also use the homepage website to explore the internet and different websites and games.
Ms. Cassidy’s number one concern is the student’s safety on the internet. She first teaches the students not to ever use their last name and also to never post pictures of themselves. She also makes sure it is okay for the students to use the blog by getting permission from the parents. I think that this is very important especially with young children because if the parents are not behind you 100% then most likely you will encounter some type of trouble.
I really enjoyed how Ms. Cassidy allowed their students to video themselves and place them on widgets to interact with students from all over the world. I can only imagine how exciting this must have been for the students to have people all over the world adding videos to something they started. I would really like to use this in my classroom one day to show students that their work is important and that people care about what they are doing.
I can see where all of these different things would come in handy in my future classroom. These are very fun and interesting ways to incorporate learning into technology. It also really helped me to see that no matter what age your students are they are capable of using technology.

Project #10

Project #12- Part A

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blog Post #10

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture- Childhood Dreams

give yourself permission to dream
A Carnegie Mellon University alumnus, Randy Pausch, is not only known for his Last Lecture, but he is also known for the ETC program and Alice, a fun way to teach computer programing. Pausch found out in 2007 that he only had about 6 healthy months of life left. With this he presented his last lecture, on his childhood dreams, to approximately 500 people at Carnegie Mellon. It has now been viewed, and talked about by millions.
Randy Pausch makes many good points in his last lecture. He lets us know what can be achieved if you follow your dreams. He shows us how important it is to have dreams and push through everything that is thrown in your way in order to achieve them. He also shows us how important it is to facilitate the dream of others. As teachers this is the most important thing. We should push our students to become the best they can be and to learn everything they can learn so they can one day achieve their dreams. Many times we may doubt student’s abilities but I would hate to be a “brick wall” in a student’s life. We should always encourage them to do their best.
I think the most important thing I learned from Randy’s video s that dreams can be achieved no matter how big them may seem as long as we put our mind to them and do not allow anything to stop us from getting them. He achieved so many great things in his lifetime just by putting his mind to it and striving for the different things.
He also shows us that if we don’t achieve our dreams we can still learn lesson from the journey we took along the way. Although he was not able to play in the NFL he learned many great things from his coaches that he carried with him throughout his life. Randy Pausch shows us the importance of dreaming and he also shows us the importance of living life to the fullest. His use of his childhood dreams to gain so many great things in life is a great example of what we should be striving for as teachers. We should place goals to make our ways of teaching fun and interesting and promise to always push our students to dream.

Project #14

Website for lesson plan on measurement for K5.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Post #9


In the first video we watched, Back to the Future, Brian Crosby is talking at a TED conference about his class structure, the students within his class, and the different projects he uses to teach them. Each project he does is one that sparks the interest of all his students and helps them to become more excited about learning. One thing he emphasizes is that no tests are given, but the student use different things like videos and blog post to gage their learning. The project he emphasizes the most is a weather balloon project his students did. He tells us how the students were involved in the project and how much they enjoyed it. He also tells us how after they did the project the students were asked to make a blog post that talked about their “high hopes” which became a world-wide sensation. It really shows us how PBL can be used to empower our kids to learn on their own and make them love to learn. We think that this video is a great representation of what PBL is and how when it is used correctly in the classroom how the kids can learn to collaborate, become motivated, connect with others and become empowered through using technology. Crosby makes a great point when he says that we can’t race kids through school but we must give them the opportunity to build skills from the world. We feel that if we can incorporate different projects like Mr. Crosby and allow the students, no matter what social status they hold, to have a chance to learn through PBL we will have a group of students who will be prepared for what their futures hold.

In Mr. Paul Anderson’s video, Blended Learning Cycle, we learn a lot about the Blended Learning Cycle. We think it is a great concept! There are six parts to the Blended Learning Cycle. You start with a good question and/or hook. You have to have something that will get the students attention right off the bat. Next, you want the students to investigate, experiment and use inquiry learning. You then have a video. For example you could use a video podcast to do a lot of the ‘direct instruction’. The fourth thing is elaboration. During this part, Anderson does diagrams and explains the physics of the example he is showing the students. Next he talks about the review portion. Anderson explains that he meets with the students individually or in small groups and asks them questions to check their understanding. They can’t go onto the next part, which is summary quiz, until he knows that they understand everything. So when they are done with the review, they go onto the summary quiz which will test them on their knowledge. If they don’t understand it they will have to go back to the beginning. We think the Blended Learning Cycle is a great tool that will be very helpful in the classroom. It’s a great approach for students to learn something, and to help the students who aren’t so engaged in learning become more engaged. We agreed that we could use it in the classroom when we are introducing a new topic to the students. It’s a great way to make sure the students actually understand what they are learning, and are not just going through the motions.

The third video that our group watched was called Making Thinking Visible. Mark Church, a sixth grade teacher, asked his students to make a headline regarding a video that they watched the day before. They were placed in small groups and were asked to sum up their thoughts about it into one headline on a strip of paper given to them by Mr. Church. Then, after a few weeks into the lesson, the students were asked to reevaluate their headline and see how it may have changed after learning more. We definitely saw where we could learn so much from Mr. Church. We learned how important it is to make learning visible to the children by ways like making a headline visible on paper. In addition, we learned how working in small groups really helps to develop ideas and learn from one another. Lastly, revisiting previous work after learning more about a topic can be very beneficial. It causes students to engage in critical thinking about how their ideas may have changed.

So our group learned so much from all three of these teachers. We learned many things that we could definitely use in a future classroom one day.
-Elizabeth Johnson, Calah Reynolds, and Rachel Hinton

Sunday, October 13, 2013

C4T #2

For my C4T #2 I was asked to comment on John Spencer's blog "Education Rethink". When I commented he was on a break to finish up the book he is co-writing with his wife Wendall the Worlds Worst Wizard.

The first post I commented on was titled "Even on Good days..." In this post he talked about how somedays are rough and very tiring but it is a good kind of tired and very rewarding. My response to this was:
Mr. Spencer, I am Rachel Hinton, an EDM 310 student at the University of South Alabama. I have been asked by my teacher to comment on your blog. It is very encouraging to me to read this post. Although many future teachers may look at as discouraging I think that it is encouraging to know that I will be doing something everyday that presents challenges and will never become old. It is also great to know that teaching can keep a person humble and not allow things in life to take their minds off of what really matters. Thank you again and if you would like to check out my blog you can. ( I will be posting a summary of my thoughts in a few weeks.

The second post was an accident. It was actually suppose to be posted to "Wendall's Blog". It was a short story about when Wendall picked out his dragon.It was very fun and interesting to read. I can't wait to see what his book is going to be like. This was my response:
Hi, I am Rachel Hinton. I commented on your blog post a few weeks ago for my EDM 310 and was asked to keep up with you and comment again. Although this was posted on the wrong blog, Im glad it was. I enjoyed reading the short story and am excited for your book! I visited the Wendall website and really enjoyed reading the stuff there. I think it is so awesome how you and your wife are co-writing a book. Thank you for your post and I hope to keep reading. Rachel

Blog Post #8-

Ted Talks Education- Rachel Hinton
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference and TEDGlobal -- TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize. On talks from TED confereces are available to all for free. These videos allow people all over the world to view the great ideas presented at these conferences and use them in anyway they can. You can narrow the videos down by searching the site to find what you are looking for. After typing in “education” I found many different playlist pertaining to education that has ideas to use for teachers in many different areas ranging from teaching in the liberal arts to what has went wrong and needs to be changed in our education systems today. is a great resource for teachers to use to broaden their horizens and gain knowlege through others around the world.

iCurio- Calah Reynolds
I am interested in teaching Kindergarten and the tool for communicating and learning in the 21st century that I picked is iCurio. We have learned quite a bit about iCurio this semester in EDM 310 and I have come to find that it is very useful. For Kindergarteners I think that it would be an easy tool for them to start off with.
iCurio is a place where students are free to explore the internet while still being limited on what they can see. You can use iCurio as a search engine and if you find content that is valuable to you, you can then save it in your storage. iCurio is a place that can teach students how to be organized on the internet at a young age. Students can save websites and online materials to their storage, then go through and organize and delete them as they please. On iCurio you can also form study groups online with students who are the same age as you and in the same class. I like it because it limits students to what they can see, so they don’t run into anything inappropriate. There are games for students to play on iCurio that can help them learn in a fun and simple way. You just simply type the subject you are learning about in the search bar. It then pulls up links to a bunch of different websites that they can choose from. There are a variety of different websites the student can pick from, it ranges from worksheets to games to everything in between! iCurio is a very useful learning tool that I think will come in handy in the future for my classroom.

teaching channel
Teaching Channel- Elizabeth Johnson
The Teaching Channel is an online website that offers videos, common core resources, and lesson plans for teachers. The possibilities are endless of the resources available to teachers on Teaching Channel. Teachers are able to browse through videos organized into different categories based on subject, grade level, or topic. Like I said, the resources are unlimited. One video that I watched was called ”Super Digital Citizen”. In this video, Sam Pane who is a fifth grade teacher at Focus Learning School is Omaha, Nebraska, describes his lesson on teaching students how to use the internet in the correct way. The students create superheroes on their personal laptops in order to describe scenarios of how to use the internet safely, respectfully, and responsibly. This is just one video of many on Teaching Channel that teachers can view and use in their classroom.

Project #9- Podcast

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blog Post #7

Project Based Learning: Parts 1 and 2
By: Rachel Hinton, Elizabeth Johnson, Calah Reynolds

Anthony Capps is a 3rd grade teacher in Baldwin County. We really enjoyed his videos about Project Based Learning. He really brought to light just how effective PBL can be in the classroom. It is really great to actually have someone give their different experiences with PBL and how they used it. He gave great examples of how he used it in his classroom. Through PBL, Anthony gave his students the chance to become involved in their state, community, and even half way around the world. Another things Anthony really stressed about PBL is the importance of self evaluations. A major thing we learned from these conversations is that if Project Based Learning can become the basis of learning in every classroom, then we will have a group of students that care about what is going on around them and are passionate about learning new things.

iCurio and Discovery Ed
By: Rachel Hinton, Elizabeth Johnson, Calah Reynolds

Anthony uses iCurio frequently in his classroom and let’s his students use it on their own so they can have the freedom to use the computer and search the web while still being limited to what they can see. He lets his students use iCurio like a search engine so they can save content that they find valuable in their storage. iCurio teaches virtual organization and allows students to start getting organized online at a young age. They can store websites and online materials in their storage and go through to organize and delete as they please. In addition, Anthony talks about the importance of another tool called Discovery Ed. ”Discovery He talks about how it is great to have visualization to couple with learning to support whatever text you’re learning about. It can be used to research further into what they are studying. It gives videos to gather more information about a topic. Students can use it for research, but Anthony also uses it to teach with as a teacher. Students tend to learn more when they can see and hear the information. So, Discovery Ed is an awesome tool for both students and teachers to use.

Use Technology- Don’t Teach It! – Rachel Hinton
In Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange’s conversation on technology in the classroom, Anthony gives some really great advice on how teachers should allow the students to actually use technology in order for them to learn it, not teach it to them. ”Technology Anthony tells how if you allow students to experience the technology for themselves, without teaching it to them, they are more likely to take away from their mistakes and know what to do next time. He allows the students to experience different types of technology everyday so they can become familiar with different things that will help them in future projects. He also makes a really great point that many times the student may actually know how to use the technology better than you. With this being said, there may come a time when the student has a question that you cannot answer, this is okay, together you can find out. We can use our students to help us learn every day and technology is a great way to allow them to do that.

The Anthony-Strange List For Teachers Part 1- Elizabeth Johnson
I really enjoyed this video, ”The Anthony-Strange List for Teachers Part 1” ! I learned so many helpful tips that I will be able to use not only now, but also as a future teacher. There were six tips that were discussed in this video.
1) Be a constant learner yourself. It is so important to be interested in learning yourself as a teacher. If you are not a learner, then you won’t be a successful teacher. You have to model learning for your students, and if you cannot do that, then how will your students ever be able to learn from you?
2) Teaching never ends. It is hard work, but it is rewarding. As a teacher, it is important to know that work is not separate from play. You can learn the craft of teaching in your free time. Yes, read books for entertainment. However, substitute them for research books to help you become a better teacher. Allow your work and love for teaching to come up in conversations. You cannot limit your work hours to an eight hour day. You will never be as effective as you can be. Allow work to be fun. The effort is rewarding.
3) Be flexible. The unexpected will happen. You never know when surprises will happen when you are a teacher. It is important to be creative and flexible. I loved the example in the video where the servers were down, so the students were painting on the floor. This is a prime example to always have a back-up plan. You cannot always plan for these things, but you can have a good attitude about it and be flexible.
4) Start with a goal. If you do not have a goal or expectation to reach, it is a sure thing that you probably won’t make it there. Start with the end in mind. Think of the expectations and results you want to accomplish. What do you want your children to learn or get from the lesson? You may not get there the way you planned, but you can still get there another way.
5) Engage 100% of your students, 100% of the time, in 100% of projects. It is important to make sure that what you are teaching is shareable. Is what I am teaching or how I am teaching motivating my students to learn? One question you can ask yourself is, “How can I get all of my students on board today?” This will change your entire outlook on teaching.
6)Reflect, revise, and share your work with an audience. Even as a teacher, we must constantly be reflecting on and revising our work and teaching strategies. Take critiques you get from your audience or students to revise your work and make it better. Students change, technology changes, curriculum changes, so it is important to constantly be reflecting and revising our work in order to be the most effective teacher we can be.

Additional Thought About Lessons- Calah Reynolds
According to Anthony Capps in Additional Thought About Lessons, lessons are at least four layers thick.The first layer is how the lesson fits in with your year.
You should make sure your curriculum fits in with all the standards. The next layer would be the unit. You have to make sure your unit flows together and that everything is connected somehow.You can’t just give the students the work all at once, you have to give it to them in units and at the end of each unit they should be able to master what you have gone over. Next is the week and during the weekly schedule you need to make sure you can get everything done that you have planned. Last is the daily lesson. This is how you deliver it to your students. You should have something to keep their attention, something to keep them engaged, and something after the lesson to cover what you taught and make sure they understand it so you know where to pick up the next day. I think that those four components are really important to remember when making lesson plans. I also think it’s important to remember not to fall behind with your lessons because if you do it might mess up your whole unit and maybe even year.

Project #13- Project Based Learning Plan 1 (Collaborative)

Project #2- PLN: Progress Report 1

For my PLN I decided to use Symbaloo. I really like how this site is organized. It is very easy to use and access. I added different things that we use all the time in this class such as Google Drive and Blogger. I also added a link to the EDM blog and all of my C4T's that I have had so far. I really like this PLN because it is an easy way to keep up with, and access all the different websites for this class.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Blog Post #6

What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?
questions? written on a piece of paper

In Ben Johnson's blog post,"The Right Way to ask Questions in the Classroom" he makes some really great points. Many times, teachers present themeslves as if they know everything when in all reality, no one knows all there is to know. We should also assume that the students know some too and allow them to express their thoughts and feelings. This can be done as long as questions are presented in the correct way.
With this being said, he states that we should be asking ourselves the question,"What does a teacher asking questions of a class expect the class to learn from the questioning process?" The thing that teachers are looking for most is understanding. Mr.Johnson states that many times in a classroom teachers ask students if they understand, but never really take the time to make sure they do. The wrong way to ask if students understand: "Does everyone understand? Good, okay, moving on." The correct way: Ask specific questions pertaining to the topic at hand.
Teachers are also ineffective on how they allow students to answer the questions given to them. Many times in the classroom a teacher will ask a question, and the same people will give the answer. This allows the other students to zone out and not even attempt to answer the question because they are not expected to answer. Mary Budd Rowe presents that teachers simply ask a question, such as "What do you call it when an insect kills itself?" pause for at least three seconds, and then say a student's name: "Sally." By doing this, all the students will automatically be thinking about an answer and only after another child's name is said will they sigh in relief because they were not chosen.
Numbers 1,2,3
Maryellen Weimer gives us three great ways to ask better questions in the classroom in her post, "Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom."
She states to first prepare questions. Actually take the time to write out the questions that you are going to ask the class so that not only the wording is clear, but you can also be sure that the questions are not repetitive or boring.
Secondly, play with the questions. Playing with the question means leaving it unanswered for a while and using some strategies that encourage students to think about it.
Lastly should preserve good questions. Keep your questions, change them up some, and use them again. You can never use a good question too much.

Using methods like this, along with many others available in todays teaching world, effectively questions students is possible.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Project #8- Book Trailer

This is my book trailer on Walt Disney's 101 Dalmatians.

C4K- September

C4K#1: This I Believe- Mrs. Martin's 10th grade English
For my first C4K I commented on Hanna's "This I Believe" post where she talked about how she believed that softball taught people to work hard and keep striving for their very best! She told a story about how she was up to bat and her dad had told her he would give her 20 dollars if she could hit a home run. Although she felt like this was pretty much impossible she believed that she could do it and she did. I told Hanna that this was a very great thing for her to believe and he personally story really gave it alot of meaning. I told her to keep striving for her dreams and wished her luck on her school and softball carrer.
C4K#2: Taya- Cats Cradle
cats cradle
Taya is a student in Mrs. Lieschke's Y-5 class at Mt Ousley public school. For her blog post she talked about a thing called a cats cradle. Cats cradle is when you take string and form it into different things like the Eiffel Tower, cup and saucer, and witches broomstick. I talked to Taya about how I use to do these things when I was about her age in school. I think that it is so neat how things from years ago are still being done today and halfway around the world!
C4K#3: Raewen-Eve
the brothers grimm book cover
Raewen-Eve is a in Miss Ouano's 5th grade class in Auckland, NZ. Many of her post were just of pictures with nothing really said or anything so I went down a few and chose to comment on her weekly reflection. She was asked to reflect on her learning and behavior in order to become more successful. She said the most important thing that she learned this week was reading a book called Sweet Porridge, and next week she would really like to play with her friends. I took the time to read Sweet Porridge by The Brothers Grimm and told her how my favorite part was when the mom said "Little pot, cook" and it filled the town. I also told her I hoped that her week with her friends was lots of fun like she wanted it to be.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Blog Post 4

Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, known in the cyberworld as Langwitches, was born in Germany, and now resides in São Paulo, Brazil. Ms. Tolisano has about seven pages posted in her blog about podcast. What is a podcast you may ask? According to Webster’s dictionary a podcast is a program (as of music or talk) made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet. In this blog post I was asked to summarize three of the podcast posted on Ms.Tolisano's blog.

In this post Ms. Tolisano talks about a podcast she made with a first grade class where they each took turns reading a script she made for the book Dinosaurs Before Dark. In this podcast each student took turns reading the script to create the podcast. Ms. Tolisano says in her reflection on the experience, “It amazes me every time. Students are so engaged, wanting to re-record, if their voice, didn’t sound “just” right.” This shows how interested the students became in the podcast and how great these type things can be to engage the students and make them become more interested and involved in the things being learned.

In this post Ms. Tolisano describes when she used podcasting to teach her students about the story of Purim. Using podcast she allowed the students to do just like she had done previously and records the post, but instead of putting them in order she allowed the students to do this using Smart-Board technology. This allowed the students to learn about the Purim while having fun editing and making the podcast. Ms. Tolisano really stressed in her blog , “This lesson was about writing a script, listening, comprehension, collaboration, speaking skills, and fluency in the target language.” This podcast shows that things like this can be used for many things in many different ways to keep the students excited about what is being taught.

For Flat Stanley the students use a podcast to tell where they went with Flat Stanley, how they got there and back, and what they did when they got there. They were also required to rent a book from the library, or search the internet about the place they decided to go with Flat Stanley. Through using the podcast the students were excited to create the project and really put forth a good effort.  This shows how 21st century learning can be very effective even for students of young ages.

Presentation-Project #3