Sunday, December 7, 2014

Blog Post 16: Final Reflection Video

Hello Everyone!

This semester has flown by so fast, and I have definitely enjoyed my journey through EDM310. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my group. They were amazing. Without further ado, here is my final reflection video:



I hope you enjoyed my last video!
Jennifer L. Cole

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Project #4: C4T #4

Reflections of a High School Math Teacher by Dave Sladkey

C4T#4, Comment 1: Shadowing a Student for a Day

      On this blog post, Dave shared his experiences from shadowing one of his students. His schedule was "Algebra 2, Chemistry, Digital Art, US History, PE (swing dancing), Lunch, Study Hall, and English." He shared all of the things he learned from shadowing his student(exhausting days, sitting down a lot, learning a lot, good staff, and getting to know the teachers). Then Dave shared how he thinks he can modify his teaching to adapt to what the students go through on a daily basis. Feel free to read his blog post to see what he is planning on changing!
      In response to his blog post, I introduced myself as a student at USA that is doing for a degree to teach high school math. I told Dave that I think it's amazing that he is so dedicated to his students. I told him that not too many teachers would do what he did so eagerly in order to adapt their teaching style to what the students need. I closed with saying that I plan on doing this every few years to help me stay in the loop to what my students are going through.

C4T#4, Comment 2: Hashtag Closure

      On this blog post, Dave was talking about a fun closing that he learned from one of his colleagues. Basically the students get to make a hashtag to summarize what they went over that day. He explained what a hashtag was for his readers who might not know. After that Dave gave some of the hastags his students came up with as well as the program he used to do it in class.
      In response to his blog post, I told Dave that I really like this idea. I also told him that I think it's awesome that he and his colleagues are doing things that are interesting to this generation. I told him that I am most likely going to incorporate his idea in my classroom, and I thanked him for explaining his process. I closed by telling him that I look forward to his future posts.

I hope you enjoyed my last C4T!
Jennifer L. Cole

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Blog Post 5, Part B: My "Developed" PLN

      This is a follow up post to my PLNs, What Are They? blog post. I discovered what a PLN is and how it is useful. I stated, "[i]t is amazing how many doors you can open for yourself and others!" Since then, I have been building my Personal Learning Network. It is no where near complete, but it is definitely a start! Of course, my PLN may NEVER be complete! Here is a picture of my partially developed PLN:

      The yellow area at the top left has my most used sites for this course. The green area at the top is just a couple of spots on Pinterest that have some math ideas. The purple area at the right are teacher's blogs. Most of them are high school math teachers, but there are a few that just have really cool stuff on them. The blue area at the bottom right is just random sites that I plan on delving into later. I look forward to learning more from these teachers and adding more over the years.

I hope you enjoyed my post!
Jennifer L. Cole

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blog Post 14: Problems in Teaching

Teaching our Children can be a Profession by Joel Klein

Problems and Solutions

Suggested List of Problems and Solutions according to Joel Klein

    1. P:No Solid Math or Reading Instruction
           S:Better Academic Training
    2. P:Letting Virtually Any College Graduate Teach
           S:Recruit from Top Third of Graduates
    3. P:Seniority-Based Rewards
           S:Performance-Based Rewards
    4. P:Terminating the Most Recently Hired
           S:Remove Incompetent Teachers

What I Think

What Makes a Teacher Effective?

      The first suggested problem is definitely an issue, and I agree with the proposed solution. According to NCATE's research on What Makes a Teacher Effective?, there are "[t]wo components [that] are critically important in teacher preparation: teacher knowledge of the subject to be taught, and knowledge and skill in how to teach that subject." Better academic training would turn our future educators into more effective teachers! Our students NEED and RELY on teachers to guide them to a brighter future.
      The second suggested problem is not a real problem. A teacher needs to be someone who is passionate. If you just go talk to the top third, then most of what you get will not truly be interested. Colleges have standards when they are giving out diplomas. At the University of South Alabama, students are required to keep a minimum grade-point average. The requirement is usually higher for courses directly related to your major. With that being said, I do not think we need to have teachers that have higher GPAs because we can lose the much needed passion.
      The third problem is seniority-based rewards verses performance-based rewards. I have never been one to believe that seniority is better than performance when it comes to rewarding. According to Josh Dormont in How to REALLY Reward Great Teachers, "we should recognize that some teachers are better than others." He also says the we need to "build a system that recognizes excellence, promotes growth, and embraces leadership." The teachers that are AMAZING should be teaching their fellow teachers strategies! It is all about the students. Just because they didn't get in your class doesn't mean they don't deserve the best education!

Teachers Helping Teachers

      The fourth problem and solution suggests that we shift from terminating the most recently hired teachers to firing incompetent teachers. Part of my last paragraph touched on how to share teaching skills with others which would reduce the amount of incompetent teachers. However, that will not help all teachers become more effective. I think that this is definitely an issue, and the solution makes sense. in her article, Does 'Last Hired, First Fired' Really Make Sense?, Heather Wolpert-Gawron asks why we have "to maintain a system that may harbor teachers who are of questionable quality, while extinguishing the careers of many who have great potential?" This just proves that we need to get rid of the bad and keep the good.
      In conclusion, a teacher's "worth" is not how long they've been teaching or what degree they have. A teacher's worth should be determined by how effective their teaching methods are. I understand that not all teachers have had great education to be able to provide amazing teaching methods! However, they should be willing to learn. They can collaborate online or in the staff room in order to get great ideas! Teachers should have passion for their students and truly want the best for them. That is the type of teacher I am going to be. If I am not as effective as my students need for me to be, I will adapt my teaching methods to what my students need.

Thanks for reading my blog!
Jennifer L. Cole

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Project #6: C4K Summary for November

October 29, 2014: Marko from Ms. Horst's Grade 5 Class Blog

      Marko is in the 5th grade. He does good in math, but he needs to work on reading and writing. He likes playing a game called Prodigy. He says, "[i]t is a fun and addicting game... about math and fighting." I commented on his "Writing" blog post.
      Marko was writing about what he thinks about writing. He likes to write on the computer. He likes the fact that if you make a mistake it is easy to fix. Marko explained how to fix your mistakes whether you're on a normal computer or a chromebook.
      When I responded to his post, I introduced myself and told him that I like to write on computers too. I told him that it is fast and easy. Then I asked Marko if he likes to have a blog. After that I told him that I think it is fun to have a blog. To end my comment, I told him to have fun with his blog!

November 6, 2014: Alex from Mrs. Meyers Art Room

      Alex is in the 8th grade. He's a pretty cool kid. He has fun with all of his blog assignments. I commented on his "UNI iPad Lessons: Alternate Personality Trading Cards" post.
      Alex was writing about his process of making a trading card of him and his alter ego. He started by explaining the project and his alter ego. Then he talked about how he made the back of his card. After that, Alex told us that he used the same process for the front of his card. He posted pictures of the back and front, and he also provided a video on the process he used.
      When I responded to his post, I started by telling him that I really liked it. I told him that it looks like he has fun with his blog and that I think his alter ego is awesome! I asked him what inspired his alter ego and how long it took him to come up with it. To close, I told him to have fun on the rest of his blogging journey!

November 18, 2014: Madeline from Ms. DeBuhr's 8th Grade Class Blog

      Madeline is in the 8th grade. She seems to be an extremely bright girl. Her blog posts are well developed, and she is working on many skills! Madeline likes mystery books, and she enjoyed the Divergent books. I commented on her Spring and Fall post.
      Madeline was writing a poem. I have a feeling she was working on descriptive words because her poem had many of them. Madeline said Spring is Drizzling, Blooming, and Most Beautiful. She put Harvest, Colors, Brilliant for Fall.
      When I responded to her post, I started by telling him that I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I told her that I liked her poem and that her words were very descriptive. I also told her that I like the drizzles in Spring and the brilliant collars in Fall. To close, I asked her which season is her favorite.

I hope you enjoyed my post!
Jennifer L. Cole

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blog Post 13: What Was Left Out?

Introduction

Suggestion Box

      In this assignment, I get to suggest a Blog Post Assignment, and then I am going to actually do it. Since the majority of our work this semester has been focused on Elementary Education, I believe there was a lot lacking for future secondary education teachers. I have been so excited about PBL, but I have been distraught because I have no idea how I am not only going to relate PBL to high school but MATH as well. There were only TWO high school math videos all semester. Mathematics is the most despised and dreaded subjects in all of high school by most students. I believe that this means that PBL in MATHEMATICS is far more in need, yet avoided, than most other subjects. With that being said, you can find my suggestion and work below.

My Blog Post Assignment Suggestion: Secondary Education/Math, PBL Lessons

Watch the following videos. What did you learn from them? Share the PBL lessons discussed and/or shown in them. Give us some examples of projects that you thought of that were inspired by or branched off of the ones in these videos.

1. PBL Math Webinar (29:12) BIE

2. Applying Math Skills to a Real-World Problem (10:59) Edutopia

Secondary Education/Math: PBL Lessons

PBL Math Webinar by Buck Institute for Education

Math is Real Life - Different representations of how math is relevant in real life

      I learned several things from this video. You need to have not only real life problems but real live people involved. You can collaborate projects with other classrooms across the globe! I also learned that you need to not only have a driving question, but you need to allow students to derive their own sub-questions. You as a teacher can also have some sub-questions. I like how this teacher acts like they are a company that is taking care of clients and their problems. I think I am going to use this in my classroom. It will help them become enveloped in the process and keep them excited. This will keep them engaged and help the students learn. She even had "roles" assigned to the members of the groups(Manager, Designer, Researcher, and Quality Controller). I like this idea as well! Although, I think I will end up adapting it some. Here is a list of driving questions from the lessons this video had in it.
    - "How can you design a popcorn container that appears to contain
    more popcorn but costs less to produce for the theater?
    - "How can we help NWC parents select the best cell phone plan?"
    - "How can we increase a person's chances of winning
    fantasy football?"
    - "As a financial advisor, what would we recommend to a
    family moving to Sydney?"
    - "How can we design a home for the Cumby family?"
    - "What are the Young's options to save for their son's college?"
    - "What effect does population growth have on our society?"
      When watching this video, I thought about a project that would actually benefit me personally. I want to take my girls on a tour of the 50 states! I have been trying to personally organize this myself, but I think I'm going to end up getting help from a travel agent. This would be an amazing opportunity to get help from someone in my community! I'm sure that the travel agent I pay to organize my 3-5 summer plans would be willing to help out my students! I can give them criteria to meet a families hobbies, wants, needs, and budget. The groups can separate different aspects of planning a trip: weather/hobbies, budget, family size/activities, distance, and many more!

Applying Math Skills to a Real-World Problem by Edutopia

      I learned that it is super important to allow the student's to have a strong voice. I also learned that getting people in the associated career(s) volunteer their time to help increase interest and develop importance and understanding of the mathematical concepts. The lesson that was discussed in this video was "Schools for the Year 2050 Project." This video made me think about designing a town. They could use the same procedures that were in this video except make it on a larger scale. We could probably even assign different buildings to different groups.

I hope you enjoyed my blog post suggestion!
Jennifer L. Cole

Project #12, Part B: Delivering A Lesson via the SMARTboard

Hello Everyone!

Below is a video that my group and I worked on. I always have so much fun making stuff with my group! Kyle is amazing at editing, and Caleb and Sammi bring so much to the group as well!

For this video, we decided to do Math because that is the last subject in our group that hasn't been used in a project yet. I love math! First we figured out what math concept we were going to work on for the project, and then we divided the parts of the video up between all group members. After that we looked for an interesting video to add at the beginning of the lesson to grab everyone's attention. Without further ado, here's the video:



I hope you enjoyed our lesson!
Jennifer L. Cole

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Project #4: C4T #3

Mastery Grid for Students: Novice, Apprentice, Practitioner, and Expert

Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

C4T#3, Comment 1: Mastery Grid with Openly Licensed Icons

      On this blog post, Wesley Fryer is talking about a grid that he made for his students in his STEM classroom. It is based on a book, and that is something every teacher in his district is using. This allows their students to grade themselves on a particular topic or skill before they start developing it. This lets them see how far they have gone.
      In response to his blog post, I introduced myself as a student that's going to school to be a high school math teacher. I complimented his grid and asked him if he is going to use it on a regular basis. (In which he responded saying he was going to use it on a regular basis.) I asked about the book he's using and commented on the fact that he has 9 eBooks. I ended by telling him that I plan on checking his books out and that I enjoyed his blog.

C4T#3, Comment 2: Make Marvelous Movies by Tony Vincent

      On this blog post, Wesley Fryer is summarizing Tony Vincent's movie making topic. He also gave his input throughout. He started with giving links to Tony's twitter and the session resources. He mentioned CollabraCam and Splice. There are a few other things that are mentioned that you should check out if you're interested!
      In response to his blog post, I told him that I enjoyed this blog and that I learned a lot from all of the resources he provided. I told him that I like the idea of using movie making for and in the classroom. I asked him if he had thought about trying CollabraCam again. To close, I thanked him for all of the information and someone else's blog to look at! I also told him to have a great week!

Thanks for reading my blog!
Jennifer L. Cole

Blog Post 12: What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher? How are they useful?

      Hello visitors! Today I have a Google Slides Presentation that was created by my group! It is about technologies that are used to assist blind and deaf children. We had several videos we were instructed to watch, and we decided to divide up the work. All of us watched at least one video. I got to format the slides and put all of the links in! Well, here's the final product:



I hope you enjoyed our Google Slides Presentation!
Jennifer L. Cole

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Project #10: Interview Movie

      Hello everyone! I had fun doing this interview! I started looking for a local high school math teacher about 3-4 weeks before this project was due. However, I couldn't get any responses from any of them. So I started looking for a high school math teacher with a blog, and I was hoping I could set up an online interview. I was super lucky when I found Math Teacher Mambo and contacted Shireen Dadmehr! I first contacted her on November 3rd, and she worked in the interview on Skype only 5 days later! Without further ado, here is my video!



I hope you enjoyed my interview video!
Jennifer L. Cole

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blog Post 11: What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?


Embed of My TEDx Talk by Brian

      Brian Crosby uses technology to inspire passion in his students. He uses computers, cameras, and blogs. He talked about how he uses project based learning to get them interested. They also got to create their own wiki page. Brian Crosby talked about how students' attention spans expand when project based learning is involved and they get to have fun. The students get to communicate with a ton of people around the world.

Kids around a computer talking to a girl with leukemia

      Brian Crosby talked about a couple of his projects that he did with his students. He also talked about something his class did for a child with leukemia. He also stated that "not only are they learning, we're learning to change each others' lives." He states that "we can't just keep racing kids through school... We have to keep making sure that we're giving them opportunities."
      The main thing I learned about teaching is that you need to truly inspire your students. When they are motivated, it is truly amazing what they can accomplish. I also learned that it shouldn't matter where a student goes to school for them to be able to succeed. With technology, it is possible for students all around the world to have equal opportunities.


Blended Learning Cycle by Bozeman Science

      In this video, I learned that learning how to figure out the best teaching style for you is a long process. You need to try new things and also go back to other ideas and tweaking them. In science, you start with engaging the students with a questions. Then you let them explore and explain the phenomenon. Then you expand upon that and evaluate it. This talks about Paul Andersen's Blended Learning Cycle. Here is an acronym that he came up with:
    QU - Question
    I - Investigation / Inquiry
    V - Video
    E - Elaboration
    R - Review
    S - Summary quiz
      This seems really interesting. I can definitely see me using something similar to this in my math classes. I learned that sometimes having a process that you use on a regular basis is a good thing. Instead of having a bunch of projects that are completely different, some of them can have the same base process so that they don't have to worry about making sure they're doing it right. They can focus on the content itself.


"Headlines" Routine by Mark Church

      In this video, Mark Church shows that you need to engage your students by a video. Then he gets them in groups and discussing what they learned. In this video, he is empowering his students to interpret different stories. He also lets his students see their own thought process development. I think it is really cool how he is getting them to interpret things at the beginning of a learning journey. Then to get them to evaluate how their interpretations changed from their learning process.


Super Digital Citizen by Teaching Channel and Common Sense Media

      This video explains how important it is to show students how to be a good digital citizen. He is showing his students how to be safe on the internet. This is extremely important for educators today. We need to teach our students how to protect themselves. After that, he let them build a super hero on a website. After they create their super heroes, they get to build a story around them. This is so cool! Like seriously, I want to go do this assignment right now. It makes the activity more meaningful to the students. Then they'll remember the process better. After that, he let the students go around and critique each others finished comic books. The students enjoyed that and learned from their classmates' works.


Project Based Learning by Dean Shareski

      This is a video about a class that is combining three classes in one. This allows a truly project based learning environment because each project enriches many topics. In this video, I learned that it is important to speak up. These teachers wanted to help their students, and they knew that the best way to do that is to revamp their teaching processes. If I ever see something that needs to change in my classroom, I hope that I will be able to step up like these teachers did. After all, it is all about the students. I need to be willing to step up for them. Another cool thing that I liked was how their teaching their students more than what the curriculum is requiring from them. They are truly getting their students to think and develop as individuals.


Roosevelt Elementary's PBL program by Trish Reilly Taylor

      This video was explaining what Project-Based Learning. It also goes over all of the benefits of it as well. PBL teaches the students more than the old style teaching. They also begin to work on their public speaking skills at a young age. I can see this being extremely helpful for the students. They are learning how to communicate and collaborate. Not only that, the teachers are learning to collaborate as well. The children are starting to learn how to take responsibilities seriously.
      With the students being able to choose what they do, it helps empower all of the kids. This makes it to where all students can benefit from education. The students truly learn a lot more through the project-based learning method. The kids are excited about learning because it is fun and engaging. I think that project-based learning is simply amazing, and I want to learn as many ways as possible to bring this into my high school math classroom!

Thanks for taking the time to read my post!
Jennifer L. Cole

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Project #14, Group 6: Project Based Learning Plan

Exploring Health and PE Topics

      When introducing this project to our students, we would start by going over the basics of the project. You can find this on our Project Design Overview. After we explain the project to them, we would show them this Obesity Epidemic in North America Video by Truelifefitness.

      After the video, we would put this picture up on the screen and give a few other examples on which they could focus their project on. Some of the examples would be as follows:

Food and Exercise Pyramid for Kids

- The effects of yoga on your life.
- The benefits of daily exercise.
- Social messages about eating and its influence on nutrition choices.
- Dangers and benefits of contact sports.
- Why using weights is important.
- Organic or not?
      As we were figuring our the rest of our learning plan, we were looking at the PBL Essential Elements Checklist to make sure we were making an effective plan. We put together Three Rubrics. The first one is the project rubric, and it will be used to grade the final product. The second one is the individual group work rubric, and it will be used to grade each student's individual effort in the group. The third is a peer review/grading rubric with a spot for praises, suggestions, or concerns at the bottom. The students will grade each presentation and leave notes.
      One the first day of the project after we introduce it, we will assign groups. We will post these Common Core Standards for Health and PE on our class blog. The groups will choose a topic, look at the standards, and then develop their own driving question to be approved by the teacher by the end of the first day. We are requiring an interview with this project, and they will find someone who is credible by study or experience. If they do not know anyone, they can find a credible file online with an interview from the past with someone who is credible. You can check out our Calendar for the rest of the details on the project! The students will not only post their projects on their blog, but we will have an "Exploring Health and PE Topics Seminar" that the students will host for family, friends, teachers, and community members.

I hope you enjoyed our learning plan!
Jennifer L. Cole

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Project #6: C4K Summary for October

Why should kids have a blog? It's fun!

October 1, 2014: Brodie from Mrs. Tharp's Math Gaming Class Blog

      Brodie is in the 7th grade. He loves playing football and baseball. Brodie enjoys doing fun things and being adventurous. He also likes to travel. He wants to learn more about The Bible. I commented on his "How schools should change" blog post.
      Brodie was writing on what he thinks schools should change. He thinks schools should allow students to research on their phones in class. He also wishes that more recruiters would check out there teams to give more scholarships. He thinks schools should learn more about The Bible. Brodie thinks that school uniforms should be spirit shirts with normal shorts. The last thing he wrote on was simply amazing. He wants people to stand up for what they believe in.
      When I responded to his post, I introduced myself as a student at USA working on a degree so I can teach high school math. I told him that phones are very useful tools and that the use of my laptop is beneficial in some of my classes. I told him that more scholarships from recruiters would be amazing because school is expensive. I told him that it's great that he wishes schools learned about The Bible. Then I told him about different programs my school use to have, and I asked him if there is anything like that now. Then I told him about how I pay for uniforms for both of my daughters, and I asked him if he knew that preschoolers had to wear uniforms sometimes. Then I complimented his statement that "[m]ore people should stand up..." To end my comment, I told him to have a great day.

October 9, 2014: Xavier R from Miss Jacklin's Grade 5 Class Blog

      Xavier is in the 5th grade. He likes to spend time with his friends. He goes to the pool and the park. Xavier also likes to play basketball. I commented on his grandfather blog post.
      Xavier was writing about his grandfather. He said that his grandfather is from Puerto Rico, and he likes taking walks and hanging out with his family. Xavier celebrates Puerto Rico Day with his family.
      When I responded to his post, I told Xavier that it sounds like you have a good relationship with his grandfather. I also told him that I'm glad he likes to hang out with family. I asked Xavier if he ever takes walks with his grandfather. To end my comment, I told him that it's good to have traditions with his family, and I asked him what else he does with his family.

October 17, 2014: Madison T. from Naugle AM Block's Class Blog

      Madison is in the 4th grade. She seems like a sweet girl, and she is very detailed in her blog post. I think that she is going to love blogging for her class! I commented on her How to Babysit post.
      Madison was talking about everything you need to do when babysitting. First, she talked about all of the materials needed to take care of a baby, and she went over how to burp a baby. Second, she went over a couple of fun things to do with babies. Third, Madison went over many safety tips for babies. A few examples are as follows: "[D]on't leave a baby by a fireplace," "Be careful if you have stairs," and ""Don't leave babies around small objects." She also said "I would advise you to get two pairs of glasses, and wear the old ones around the baby." She closed with saying that babies are cute, and they cry. Then she said to not look at the negative but focus on the positive.
      When I responded to her post, I told Madison that she knows a lot about babysitting. I also told her about how I started babysitting in the 6th grade. I told her that burping a baby can be hard because all babies like different ways to be burped. I told her that my daughters liked the "Where did the baby go?" game. I told her she is super careful with babies and that is a good thing. I closed with telling her that I am going to use her idea about wearing old glasses when playing with a baby and thanking her for sharing information on babysitting.

October 24, 2014: Collin from Pt England School

      Collin is in the 6th grade. He loves sports because they are fun and energetic. He also likes writing and math. He seems like a cool kid. I commented on his Reading Maps post.
      Collin had posted a slide show that he had worked on. There were two maps that he either created or altered, and there were also directions to tell him how to create or alter it. Under the slide show, Collin said that he learned how to read maps carefully. He also learned how to use "polyline" in Google Docs.
      When I responded to his post, I told Collin that I enjoyed seeing his maps. I told him that being able to read maps carefully is a beneficial thing. Then I told him that developing skills in all of the tools Google offers is really good. I asked Collin if he has ever used any other Google tools and recommended that he check them out.

I love commenting on children's blogs! I hope you enjoyed my post!
Jennifer L. Cole

Project #12, Part A: Mastering SMARTboard tools



I hope you enjoyed my video!
Jennifer L. Cole

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blog Post 10: What can we learn from Mrs. Cassidy?

Ms. Cassidy Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 uploaded by Dr. Strange

      Ms. Cassidy was not used to using technology in the classroom, but she knew that she needed to incorporate it. She was passionate about doing what was best for her students, and she knew that bringing technology in the classroom was what was best for them. She started using technology about 10 years ago because her classroom was given 5 computers. She started with a webpage for the class, and then she started having the kids blogging about 5 years ago. Then two years ago she started to use video. She started with what she was comfortable with then moved on from there by developing other technological skills. She received funding from the government to get professional development help in bringing in this technology. She didn't have much help from the school or the district, but she had a very supportive technology coordinator that helped show the administration the importance for technology in school.

Kid Blogging

      Ms. Cassidy uses blogging in the classroom but how often depends on her class for that year. If she has a smaller group of kids, they blog once a week sometimes twice a week because they blog all together. If she has a larger group of kids, blogging is used as a station. There are also some kids that blog from home, and they gain more experience with blogging because of that. With a blog, her students have a bigger audience. Why have just the teacher see their work when they can have the entire world available to see it? Her students even talk to college students on Skype to help develop their writing skills. Students love technology because it is a part of their world. It is only natural for them to be engaged by it in school. Their parents also love it because they can see their child's progress at any time of the day. If you would like to know more about what the students think about technology in the classroom, you should check out Ms. Kathy Cassidy's video Little Kids...Big Potential.

High School Students with Technology in Classroom

      I will be using a blog in my classroom like Ms. Cassidy does. I think it is a great way to give fun assignments, and allow the students work to have a large audience. I am also planning on having a class webpage. I think this is an amazing tool. I can post links to websites. I can also make videos and post them on there or organize the webpage to offer a lot of additional math problems and help for the students. This way they can see every step I took and why I took that route. I can put the rule/theorem/property that allows me to algebraically manipulate problems so they can be solved.
      There are a few issues that I might encounter when bringing technology into the classroom. Just like Ms. Cassidy, there might be other teachers in the school that oppose what I am doing because they don't want to change. The way I can overcome that issue is to show the importance of it. I can show how technology in the classroom can truly help students grasp information better. This way they can grow in their understanding of math and other students. If this happens, they will want to continue their education past high school. Isn't that what every teacher wants for their students? Another issue I might face would be my technological skills. I know that I have a long ways to go before I am well-versed in all of the technologies that can be used in education. However, I am fully prepared to learn as many as I can so that I can offer the most to my students. I want them to succeed, and I will make sure I am doing everything in my power to help them make that happen.
      I expect to see many benefits from using technology in the classroom. The webpage, as I said in the previous paragraph, will help them truly understand math and all of the steps and concepts involved in it. With the blog, they will feel like their work is important. They will try harder and see the value in the work that they are doing. Using technology in the classroom will also help them develop 21st century skills. Collaborating, critical thinking, creativity, and many other skills can be cultivated through technology!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog!
Jennifer L. Cole

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Blog Post 9: What Can Teachers and Students Teach Us About Project Based Learning?


Seven Essentials for Project-Based Learning by John Larmer and John R. Mergendoller

Elements of PBL

      First off I'd like to say that you should check out this article! There is a lot of information in here, and there are some examples that I will not be going over! There is also a story that is woven throughout the seven essentials, and it is pretty interesting. Now it's time to get to the article!
      The authors start by describing the difference between projects and busy work. Then they go into what every good project needs. It has to be personally meaningful to the students as well as fulfilling an educational purpose. Now that the authors have set the tone, it is time for them to give us seven essentials for Project-Based Learning. Here is the list with a summary of that section of the article and comments of my own:
    1. Need to Know - Here the article is saying that a project needs to be introduced with an "entry event" so that the students feel a need to know the information. I think this is great! This way, you get the students excited about the project instead of them feeling like they're just getting it finished.
    2. Driving Question - Here the authors say "[t]he question should be provocative, open-ended, complex, and linked to the core of what you want students to learn." That one statement pretty much covers it; although, they did provide a lot more information on this part. I think that the question is the most important part of Project-Based Learning.
    3. Voice and Choice - Here they are saying that the project will mean more to the students if they get to choose their resources and what products they will create using the technology they want to use. I think this is pretty important too! You have to allow the student to work with their strengths. Allow them to explore where they want and produce the type of media they want. This way, you don't limit the creativity of your students, you are encouraging it!
    4. 21st Century Skills - This part of the article is talking about how it is important to expose our students to the skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century workplace. I believe that Project-Based Learning is the best way to urge our students to develop the skills that are so critical to their success!
    5. Inquiry and Innovation - "[S]tudents follow a trail that begins with their own questions, leads to a search for resources and the discovery of answers, and often ultimately leads to generating new questions, testing ideas, and drawing their own conclusions." This statement was just too good for me to summarize! This is perfect! This is exactly what we want our students to do! Learning is evolving into the students taking charge of their education and moving forward with it. Students today can take things much farther than we think they can, so we don't need to limit them!
    6. Feedback and Revision - This sections shows us that we need to emphasize the importance of high-quality work. Students need to understand that in order to get something to a high quality, you need to revise it. This is so very true. It is important for students to know how to take feedback and apply it to their work ethic to become better students and workers in the future. This also allows the students to develop their own personal peer review skills.
    7. Publicly Presented Product - They are saying that work means more when others will see it, and it might produce usable products for others to use in the real world. This makes the students feel like their work is actually worth something, and that is an amazing feat to accomplish! I think that having a blog is the perfect way to accomplish this!


Project-Based Learning for Teachers by Tony Vincent

      This is a short video that is talking about Project-Based Learning. This video explains what a driving question is and how students will be working on it. Then the video goes over some traits of the Common Core State Standards, Project-Based Learning, and skills the students will be developing. Here is a list of them with some comments of my own:

Common Core State Standards

Common Core Apple

1. Rigorous Content - This encourages our students and pushes them to do their best!
2. Aligned with College and Work Expectations - This gives parents comfort in knowing that after going through a project-based learning education, they are ready to succeed in college and the workplace.
3. Clear and Understandable - Since it's easy to understand, it will be easy to work with and truly delve into.
4. Application of Knowledge - This focuses on the students knowing why the information their learning is important and what it relates to. This will help keep the students interested and engaged.
5. Evidence-Based - This is where having credible sources come into play.

Project-Based Learning

1. Inquiry-Based - The questions make the students want to learn more.
2. Open-Ended - When you ask a student a yes or no question, you are limiting what they can learn. If you ask open ended, the students will delve more into it so that they can learn everything. This will also allow them to create their own questions.
3. Problem-Solving - This is one of the 21st Century skills that is extremely valuable in college and the workplace.
4. Personalized - This allows teachers to tailor around individual student's interest so that they will be willing to learn more. This engages the students in the work.
5. Look at Project-Based Learning as:
    a. Questioning - With a driving question in place,
    the students can take control of their learning!
    b. Investigating- - This shows how the students delve
    into all of the sources at their fingertips to find
    credible information.
    c. Sharing - When the students get to share their
    work with people around the world, they feel like
    what they are doing matters! This is why a having
    a class blog is really important!
    d. Reflecting - This allows the students to look back
    not only at the process they used to finish their
    project but also the effort they put into it.

Skills Students Develop

1. Collaboration Skills
2. Communication Skills
3. Critical Thinking Skills
4. Career and Live Skills

      Then the video shows how technology is used in Project-Based Learning. It provides a long list of different sites and programs that can be used. Then this video gives us this quote from Einstein: "I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn. Then a list of things that PBL includes is shared with us! You should check out the video if you are interested in seeing the rest of the information on it!


Wing Project: Crafting a Driving Question by Buck Institute for Education

Driving Question Truck

      In this video, teachers are trying to derive driving questions from what they want their students to discover through their exploration. They are deriving questions from one main concept they want the students to understand. Eva Reeder says, "The academic teachers typically have not applied what it is they teach. So it's head knowledge... And coming up with project ideas is very difficult because they're not talking from the depths of their own experience. So how do you remedy this... the simplest way is to pair teachers up with subject matter experts." I think this is a great idea. I can definitely see how this can be an issue for teachers that teach certain subjects. In this video, it is designing wings for a plane. I highly doubt the teachers have actually designed wings for a plane for a company to use in building one. It would be extremely beneficial to work with people working in the fields you are teaching.
      Thom Markham says, "A good driving question sets up a process of inquiry that the students are interested in and that guides them towards how they're gonna do the work and what the kind of work their going to have to produce in order to answer the question." This is extremely important! If you want your students to be engaged, they have to have a good driving question. There is a lot of good information in this video, so you should check it out if you want to see the teachers develop their questions.


High School Teachers Meet the Challenges of PBL Implementation by Edutopia

      This is a video showing how hard it is for teachers to adapt their courses to Project-Based Learning. The school in the video is on year three of a five year transition. The teachers needed to rethink how they teach and then change the curriculum to fit the new teaching style. They are shifting from teaching the books to engaging them with the text in a different way. So what they end up doing is apply the lessons learned in the text to modern issues and current problems in the world today.
      Emma, a 9th grade student, says "I think using PBL in English classes or in any other class really kind of changes your perspective on what that subject is and what that subject entails. You really see how the subjects you're learning at 15 years old, how you can use them for your future and the rest of your life." To have a student say this is extremely inspiring! I personally believe that she is experiencing what Project-Based Learning is meant for. Angelo, a 12th grade student, says "The project helps me... focus more. Making the game project, it's fun. And then, there's like a connection to it. It makes me more engaged though math." This is pretty awesome too! Since I want to be a math teacher, it is encouraging to know that PBL is helping students grasp concepts. There was a lot of insight and perspectives from the students that is interesting in this video. I shared a few of them with you, but feel free to check it out yourself!


PBL: What motivates students today by Suzanne Ball

    This is a video showing responses from students. I think this is super cute! It is really important to get feedback from your students! If you want your students to learn, you need to see what is working and what isn't working. Then you need to adapt your teaching style! If there was a certain aspect of a project they didn't like, change that in the next one and see if they like it better. The children were asked two questions. Here are the questions and their responses:

What motivates you to do good in school?

      - When a teacher acknowledges something a student did well.
      - Want for future prosperity with a good job.
      - Business degree aspiration.
      - Vet aspiration. Be successful in college.
      - Parental punishment of grounding.

Rewards

      - Color chart for behavior. They receive money.
      - Candy. Walks in a garden, and do work in the garden.
      - Food. School Supplies. Cool notebooks, pencils, and stickers.
      - "Brownie Points." Teachers start to like you.
      - Different activities each day.

Thanks for reading my post!
Jennifer L. Cole

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Implications and Teaching Opportunities for Camera Use in Teaching and Learning

smart phones

My Special Assignment from EDM310 Class Blog

Part A

      The main implication that I got from the data on this post was that technology is unavoidable. This means that education has to change. We need to adapt to our generation so that our children can learn and lead us to a better tomorrow. Schools need to be able to support this change. They need to have the technology available for students to learn. Teachers need to change their methods to adapt project-based learning with technology and stay within or go beyond the curriculum requirements.
      There are a couple other implications in this data that stem off of the above one. It proves that we need to use many types of technology. Computers, smart phones, cameras, iPads, and any other technology device or program that comes into existence can be used to enhance the learning process. That is a process that never ends because our world is always changing. It also implies that our generation can not function without technology, and that they can be easily distracted by technology. So why not use the appeal of technology to the teachers advantage. Let their learning activities distract them from pointless activities.

Part B

      I think that technology can enhance the learning process for my future students. This post is focused on using a camera. Since I am going to be teaching high school math, this limits my usage of a camera. I know that I am going to use the project-based learning method to teach my students, and I know that I am going to have a class blog. I will have them post their thoughts on their project on the blog, and I can get the students to post pictures of their group as they are doing the project. I think this can help create a fun, friendly environment when working on their projects.
      I was also thinking about how I could use a camera with Popplet. When I have the students in groups working on a problem, I can have the students post a picture of their work on Popplet. With math, this can be very helpful. There are many different ways you can approach a problem. One group may use the easiest way possible, and it could make sense to everyone. Other groups may use harder methods that can help other students understand the concept of the problem better. Some groups may go completely wrong, and that can help other students understand why that method for that problem is not good. This will help them experience all of these paths in a shorter time.
      Another idea is to have them manipulate the pictures of shapes. You can take a picture of a triangle and blow it up or make it smaller. The students will be able to see how the angles are the same but the sides are different. They can also see how some triangles fit together to make a rectangle, and this can help them teach the properties of a line that passes through two parallel lines(the angles the line creates and the similarities between them). I'm sure this can help with all of the shape's properties in Geometry. This way they can experience first hand the relationships and properties between shapes.
      I know that there are many other ways I can use a camera in the classroom to enhance learning. I plan on collaborating with teachers across the world to learn more ways to incorporate technology into my classroom. I look forward to using project-based learning with cameras and other technology! I also look forward to being a life-long learner, not for my benefit but the benefit of my future students! It is all about them, right?

Thanks for reading!
Jennifer L. Cole

Blog Post 8: What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?

kids having fun on computers

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams posted by Carnegie Mellon


      First, I'd like to start by recommending this video to you. Click the link above when you have can spare an hour and change. Second, I would like to give you a quote from the video. "Millions of kids having fun while learning something hard. That's pretty cool." I think that this is a nice way to start my blog because it is where everything in his speech led to. I think that it is a good quote, and it can tell you a lot about what needs to be learned about teaching and learning. Kids need to have fun while they're learning.
      Now I want to talk about what Randy Pausch did while he was a professor at Carnegie Mellon. He piloted a project-based program where students built virtual worlds. He got 50 students from art, design, drama, and CS. Once he did that, he randomly chose teams and changed those teams for every project. There were two weeks to design and test these virtual worlds. I think this is really cool. The students got to experience working with other people. And since this changed with every project, they figured out how to adjust to different people. After all, in the real world, they don't get to choose how easy the people they work with are.
      Since Randy Pausch was piloting this program, he wasn't sure where to start. With content, he said anything with a couple restrictions. He was super amazed at what everyone came up with, and he wasn't sure what to do next. Randy called a friend of his to figure out what he should do, and his friend told him to tell them they can do better. Since Randy didn't know how high to set the bar, don't set one. This part of the video proves that students can learn on their own, and that they will do much better if they get to. I learned that I need to not set a bar and allow my students to fly as high as they can!
      This led to Randy Pausch and Don Marinelli heading up a two year professional degree at Carnegie Mellon. It was called the Masters of Entertainment Technology. He believes there were a several keys to the success of this program, but I'm only sharing a few of them. Their curriculum was project-based, and the students had a lot of fun and went on field trips. I've learned that project-based learning truly engages students and makes the students thirst for more knowledge.

I hope you enjoyed my blog post,
Jennifer L. Cole

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

Project #4: C4T #2

I love math.

For the Love of Teaching Math by Andrea Kerr

C4T#2, Comment 1: Revisiting Integer Operations with a Freebie!!!

      On this blog post, Andrea Kerr is talking about her favorite activities when teaching on integers. She also made a couple videos in the past, and she put links on those older posts on this blog. I went back and read those posts and watched the videos, and she has a lot of good ideas! She sells stuff on Teachers Pay Teachers, and she is going over some of her products on her posts and videos.
      In response to her blog post, I introduced myself as a student planning on being a high school math teacher. I told her that she approaches teaching in a great way and that it is important to keep students engaged. I told her that she has some cool resources on her Teachers Pay Teachers website. I told her that I wish I could use her games in high school, but that the concepts of them can be changed to fit high school curriculum and interests.

C4T#2, Comment 2: Some of My Favorite Things……

      On this blog post, Andrea Kerr is going over a few of her favorite products on her Teachers Pay Teachers site. She has one that is for graphing, and the picture the students end up with is the mocking jay pin from Hunger Games. She also posted games that relate to graphing, fractions, and a couple more. Feel free to check it out yourself!
      In response to her blog post, I told her that I love her resources and asked if she made some for high school. I told her that the mocking jay pin was cool, and I remember doing something similar when I was younger. I told her that I might purchase some of her resources when my daughters get old enough because I think the reinforcement would be nice.

Thanks for reading my blog!
Jennifer L. Cole

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Blog Post 7: How Do We All Become Learners?

Don't worry, be happy, keep learning

Part One: How am I doing?

      Hello, readers! This past week, I have had the privilege of watching many videos and learning from them. You can learn from them too! They are all below with some information on them and a few opinions of my own. When I think about how classrooms are focusing on Project-Based Learning, I get super excited! I think technology is extremely important in education. I use to not think this way. Especially since I'm going to be a high school math teacher. I use to not see the relevance of PBL with math in high school. It has always made sense with elementary students, but I was worried I wouldn't know what to do. However, I also found out that is okay. I will always be learning, and I have a long journey ahead of me to prepare me for when I get to that point. I have a personal learning network to build, and I'm sure there are plenty of experienced educators I can learn from! I plan on engaging my students fully with technology in a PBL emphasizing classroom!
      I think my main strength is that I WANT to be a lifelong learner. Even though I haven't experienced all of the things below, I am willing to learn it even if that means my students would be teaching me! My main weaknesses are the fact that I haven't used most of these programs before and I'm not sure how I can incorporate a lot of technology in the teaching of math. The importance is not what my weaknesses are, it is how I approach them. I will succeed, and no weakness will stand in my way. There are a few things I need to do before I graduate and begin my career in education. I need to learn more programs. I know that I will not be able to learn all of them, and I also know that there will be new, cooler programs available by the time I start teaching. However, I think it is important to go ahead and learn as much as I can from the ones that are currently available. I think the knowledge of them will help me learn the new ones that come out! I also need to build up my personal learning network! If there are teachers all around the world that want to help other teachers, I would be silly to not take them up on their offer!

Part Two: What did I learn?

How to make an audio QR Code by Michele Bennett

      This video taught me how to make an audio QR-Code. First, you have to create your recording. Then after you save the recording, it will generate a URL for you to copy. Now it is time to create your QR-Code. You will paste your URL into the box then click create! This is pretty neat. I can see how this can be helpful!

iPad Reading Center with Ginger Tuck uploaded by Michele Bennett
      In this video, Ginger Tuck explained one of her reading centers. After she explained it, she had one of her students demonstrate. With this center, her students record themselves while they're reading. After they finish a reading, they listen to the recording and follow along to see if they see any mistakes that they might have made. Ginger Tuck says that this is extremely helpful and fun. Her students enjoy it, and she can walk around the room and help other students while the students working on this center help themselves.

Poplet with Ginger Tuck uploaded by Michele Bennett
      This video explained Poplet. It is a free app that you can download. Ginger Tuck uses them as another center in her classroom. Basically, the children take a picture of an image in a book, and write a sentence about it. They usually write the same sentence that is under the image in the book. The children do this 5-8 times and it creates an image web on a page. This helps them with reading and their typing skills. I think this is amazing! I'm thinking about downloading it for my daughters. I didn't start learning how to type in school until I was in the 8th grade!

AVL and Kindergarten Students with Ginger Tuck uploaded by Michele Bennett
      This video is talking about the Alabama Virtual Library. The students use AVL to research a word that pertains to their lesson. There are pictures and information. The information is given by video or audio along with words. Then they use the worksheet they have to draw a picture, and the next time they use the center they write a sentence to go along with the picture. I think an interesting thing about this video is that the teacher learned from her students. She didn't originally have the students writing the sentences, but then she noticed them doing it anyways. Then she added it to that particular center.

Tammy Shirley Discovery Education Board Builder Moon Project uploaded by Michele Bennett
      In this video, Tammy Shirley talks about how they worked on a PBL on the moon by using Discovery Education Board Builder. They started with a video, and then the students collected facts about the moon. Now it is time to use Board Builder! The students sign in and begin setting up that particular board. They get to choose the background, title, images/videos, and facts. Then one of her students showed a little more detail on how to add images, and she told us the information she put on her board about the moon. Then they got to write a story about their adventure on the moon. The student shared her story with us on this video. This video is super cute! This is probably because there is a little girl that is explaining things.

Mrs.Tassin 2nd Grade students share Board Builder Project and Mrs.Tassin students share Board Builder Project uploaded by Michele Bennett
      On the first video, there were two boy students that introducing themselves and went over their board that they created for whales. One of the students then explained how to find and upload an image to the board. On the second video, there were a group of three girls. The girls go over their board for The Haven. They are collecting money for The Haven, too. Then they talked about their resources. They used Word Hippo to expand their vocabulary, and they used the new words on their board. I think it's really awesome that children are having so much fun with PBL. I wonder if using Word Hippo is required or if they just chose to use it. With the way education is working today, it wouldn't surprise me if they just chose to use technology to learn new words for projects!

Using iMovie and the Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarten by John Hadley Strange
      This video is a conversation between Dr. Strange from University of South Alabama, Elizabeth Davis from Daphne Elementary, and Michele Bennett from Gulf Shores Elementary. First, Michele Bennett talks about kindergarten students using iMovie. She is amazed at how the students are able to use iMovie to make book trailers. She talks about how the students use iMovie. She is super excited about how the children get so deep into the technology. They learn to edit and all sorts of things! Second, Elizabeth Davis talks about Alabama Virtual Library. This is amazing on teaching students how to do basic searches. The results are also tailored to kindergarten. By the way, using Alabama Virtual Library is free! I'm definitely going to use this for my first grader at home! That would be super amazing! I'm sure that would help her in many ways!

We All Become Learners by John Hadley Strange
      This is another conversation with the same people as my previous link. The start of this video by saying that in the experience of using technology in the classroom leads to everyone learning and everyone teaching. This includes teachers and students, and I'm pretty sure that we could add in parents. They start to talk about different apps that are free for their students. They talk about Padlet, and this is actually something that we've personally used in our EDM310 class. I personally find it very useful and interesting. I bet even my high school students would enjoy using this! Then Michele Bennett was taught how to do something on it by a student. She also mentions that it is important to just teach the mechanics of different programs so that the students can delve into it and learn the rest of it. The main take away from this video is the title of it. "We all become learners."

Thanks for reading my blog,
Jennifer L. Cole

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Project 13, Group 6: Project Based Learning Plan

Exploring the Civil War

Civil War with two soldiers and two flags

      The first thing my group did was decide which subject we were going to make a lesson plan for. Since we're all planning on teaching different subjects in high school, we had to pick between them. Our options were Math, Health, PE, and History. We decided on History because we thought it would be the most fun! Of course, then we had to decide which event in history we were going use for the lesson plan. We chose the Civil War.
      After we had decided the event in history, we needed to make sure we were doing everything we needed to do in order to make sure we were utilizing every aspect of Project-Based Learning. We started throwing ideas around, learning what we needed to develop, and figuring out how to incorporate more uses of technology. Our group did a pretty awesome job at making sure we covered everything on the PBL Essential Elements Checklist.
      After we figured out how everything we had planned fit into the checklist, we started making our Project Overview, Rubric, and Calendar. Overall, I believe our group did an amazing job! The Project Overview has almost all of the details for our project lesson plan. The little details that it is missing is in the rubric and calendar. The rubric is nicely detailed and well thought out, and the calendar will help the students stay on track.
      There are a couple things about the lesson plan that I am super excited about! As far as the media project goes, we wanted to make sure that they could have fun with it! They can choose to do a reenactment, music video, movie, poem, or pretty much anything else they could think of. Another part I think they'd be interested in is the fact that they get to TEACH the class what they learned. I think this could be developed a little farther than what we did in the lesson plan. Maybe they could develop a short questionnaire for each student to fill out while they're going through their presentation.
      Now it's time for a few side notes! First, the picture was found by Sammi, and the group decided it would be a great picture to start the discussion with our students. We found it fitting to share it all with you! Second, I tried to find a game to assign groups for the project, but I couldn't really find anything that I thought high school students would enjoy. I plan on finding a few before I begin teaching because I think a fun game is a nice icebreaker for group projects! Last, this was super fun, and I can't wait until I can use Project-Based Learning with my students!

Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope you enjoyed it!
Jennifer L. Cole

Friday, October 3, 2014

Project #7, Part B: Two Movies as a Teacher

Mrs. Cole's Math Class: Intro for Parents



Mrs. Cole's Math Class: Intro for Students




Thank you for checking out my intro movies as a teacher!
Jennifer L. Cole

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Blog Post 6: What do you learn from these conversations with Anthony Capps?

Project-Based Learning word collage

Project Based Learning Part 1 and Part 2

      The first thing that Anthony Capps said really hit me. "My ideas about project based learning are consistently evolving." That is an extremely loaded comment, and this is the way it should be. The world and the needs of children are always changing, so the methods in which we teach them need to change as well. Then he went on to talk about how most teachers look at projects as ways to make sure that the kids understand what they were teaching them instead of actually using the projects as a method to teach them. He also talked about how he had to tweak projects to make the students learn what the state requires them to learn by doing those projects. Then he went into a few examples of how he has used project based learning. Everything that was talked about was extremely interesting! Hearing him talk about all of the things he has done with his students has made me super excited about project based learning!
      About one third of the way into the second part, Dr. Strange asked Anthony how his 3rd graders' works compares to EDM310 students' works. He basically said that the works are the same, but that's comparing 9 year-old children with adults. The main point they wanted to make with these two parts is that it is important that the project based learning is used as a method to teach not to evaluate if they have learned. This will take a lot of time to prepare, and the results are amazing! Kids love it! Parents love it. The kids are actually learning because they are engaged.

iCurio

      In this video, Dr. Strange is asking Anthony Capps about iCurio. The main cool use for iCurio search engine is the fact that it is filtered content for the children. I think that this is a great tool! It also allows teachers and students to store content that they find useful. They can organize and sort different information. iCurio is easy for children to use. It has a great tool for history as well. There is also a feature for children with different types of disabilities. Overall, this search engine sounds amazing! I just wish that I could use it as an effective tool for high school math students.

Discovery Ed

      Discovery Ed is basically a tool that can be used to find images and videos to couple with different material. This helps keep the students involved. The students can also enrich their learning experience by finding different videos on more specific topics. Dr. Strange has said before that there is no way any teacher will know every single little detail about everything they teach. This tool allows students to delve into their projects much more than basic classroom materials would have been able to provide. I think that it is absolutely amazing! This literally gives the students the power to learn as much as they want to learn about what topic they are really interested in!

The Anthony-Strange Tips for Teachers

      This video was Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps having a conversation about different things that would be important for a future educator to consider before they take their first step into their classroom. The first thing is to want to continue learning yourself. The second thing is that it is hard, but you can make it fun. Spend your free time learning your teaching style. A teacher's work is never done, but it is extremely rewarding. The third thing is to be flexible and creative. Be ready to adjust what you were planning in case something comes up. Also, if something turns out differently than you imagined, adapt to that and figure out how it got there. The fourth thing is to reflect on how a particular project turned out. Did the students like it? Was it effective? You need to be willing to critique your lesson plans and get feedback from students and parents. If you find out that you need to change your strategies, change them. Do not be afraid to increase the quality of your lessons! At the end of the video, Dr. Strange added a few things or separated them, but I do believe I covered most of them! I definitely learned a lot from this. The more of these videos I watch, the more excited I get about teaching!

Use Tech Don't Teach It

      All of your students will have experience with technology. It doesn't matter if they're at a low income school or a high income school. Our society is surrounded by technology. Anthony mentioned that you shouldn't teach technology, you should use it. The students enjoy being able to create things on iMovie and other tools. Let your students get excited about what their doing by using technology. They get to share their work! How exciting is that! We have seen how excited children get when we simply reply on their blogs. This can definitely encourage them. There is also a lot of layers of the work that allows the students to learn a lot about the programs. If you want your students to learn how to do something, do it yourself! This can help them learn how to ask valuable questions, and of course it can help you in answering it most of the time. It also helps them problem-solving skills.

Additional Thoughts About Lessons

      Your lesson plan has four layers. The first layer is what you plan on doing for the entire year. Make sure you are covering all of the content that is required. The second layer is the unit. Are the units organized in an effective, meaningful way? Does it makes sense, and is it connected in a certain way? The third layer is what you are planning for that week. You need to make sure you organize your week in a way that allows you to get everything done. The fourth layer is what you plan to do on a daily basis. This plan has all of the details of your day. How do you get their attention? What do you use to keep them engaged that day? Use something at the end to see what they learned that day. Each of these four layers are equally important. I actually believe that this video is the most helpful one for me. Since I'm teaching math, I won't be able to utilize technology as in depth as other subjects will be able to. I always knew that I would have to plan my lessons somewhat like this, but I like the way it was explained. I will definitely be using this strategy when making my lesson plan!

I would like to take a moment to thank Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps for so much valuable information for all of us future educators. I would also like to thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my blog post! I hope you enjoyed it!

Jennifer L. Cole