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.


      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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Project #8: Book Trailer

This Way, Ruby! by Jonathan Emmett

I hope you enjoyed this book trailer as much as I enjoyed making it!
Jennifer L. Cole

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Project #6: C4K Summary for September

Kids on a Computer

September 14, 2014: Rocky from Pt England School

      Rocky is a 12 year old that likes to play rugby league and read. I took a look at his previous posts and he seems to be very energetic, passionate, and honest. I commented on his "Managing Self" post.
      Rocky was posting about an assignment they had been given to make a short movie. He felt like his group did a good job on the video, but they had an issue with the camera lagging. After that he rated himself on 2 out of 3 on managing himself due to the fact that he would still mess around at times.
      When I responded to his post, I told him that I think it's amazing that he made a movie with his group. I let him know that you can't control everything, and that it's important how you react to the problem. Then I told him that I think its great to strive to work harder and asked him what he was planning on doing to get himself to a 3 out of 3.

September 16, 2014: Mikayla from Ms. Horst's 5-1 Class

      Mikayla likes to swim. Red and green are her favorite colors. She likes to eat pizza and Kraft dinners. When I was reading all of her previous posts, I realized that she is a sweet girl. She likes when people are nice to her. I THINK that Mikayla is in the fifth grade. I commented on her "What Is My Smart" post.
      Mikayla was posting about how she believes she is body smart and people smart. She said that she is active, and she is confident when she's running. She feels like she can do anything. She likes having friends that she can talk to as well.
      When I responded to her post, I told her that I really liked her blog. I also told her that being active is super fun and good for her. The last thing I told her was that having friends she can talk to is great, and they can help her with many things.

September 22, 2014: Michael from Mr. Salsich's 5th Grade Class

      Michael is in the fifth grade. He is very ambitious, and he seems like a good kid! I commented on his "Welcome To My 2nd Blog" post.
      Michael was posting just some general information about himself. His parents are in the military, and he has been to many places because of that. He has a younger brother. He wants to be an engineer, and he likes to build robots and Lego buildings.
      When I responeded to his post, I told him that my husband is in the military, but we haven't moved as much as he has. I asked him if he liked playing together like my girls do. Then I told him that it's awesome that he wants to be an engineer. At the end, I told him that my daughters like to play with Lego sets too!

I really enjoyed this experience! I had so much fun reading these children's blogs. I hope you enjoyed my post!
Jennifer L. Cole

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Project #3: Presentations

Thanks for checking out my presentations!
Jennifer L. Cole

Blog Post 5, Part A: PLNs, What Are They?

A Collage of Many Different Website Icons

According to Welcome to My PLE by Mr. H's Seventh Grade Student and Wendy Drexler

      The student refers to her PLN as her "Personal Learning Environment." First, she learned how to search for information and how to bring it to her PLN. Now that she has her PLN set up, she uses it to learn! The student visits her class site and chooses her own topics to learn about. She likes to use a note taking program that allows her to take snapshots of certain websites and saves the source of it so she can go back to it later. The student likes being able to choose how and when she learns. She thinks that having more freedom prompts her to learn more. To sum this up, this student uses her PLN to store sites that she is researching.

According to PLN - Michael Fawcett (@TeacherNZ) Offers His Insights posted by John Hadley Strange

      Michael Fawcett has a pretty cool PLN story. Before he started his PLN, all he had were teachers at his school. However, he was the only one that was using technology with his students, so there wasn't much growth available there for him. Then he went to a conference where he met many teachers that were doing the same types of things with their students. After the conference, Michael Fawcett continued on Twitter and continued to add people. From those people, he found new sites, web tools, blogs to read and comment on, and ideas for teaching and learning. All of the people in his network were very supportive, and he gives them all credit for helping him and his students. Michael Fawcett has also used Twitter to attend conferences around the world. He could even take part in the discussions. To sum this up, this teacher uses his PLN to give and receive new teaching ideas.

According to Personal Learning Networks Are Virtual Lockers for Schoolkids by Vicki Davis

      Vicki Davis states that a PLN "changes based on the student's current course work." Her students search the internet for tons of information as soon as they are assigned a new topic. All of that information goes on a PLN that is strictly for that topic. Her students have also learned how to set up RSS feeds so that they automatically get new information on their topic. I think that that is awesome! I'm looking forward to learning how to do that! Vicki Davis states that one of her students says that it helps her organize. That is the major thing that I keep seeing throughout my research for this blog post.

      I believe that having a PLN is essential. It is amazing how many doors you can open for yourself and others! I have never had one, and I ended up using some of my research time creating my own PLN!

Thanks so much for reading my blog post,
Jennifer L. Cole

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Project #7, Part A: My Sentence Videos

My Sentence is...

My Passion is...

Thanks for watching my sentence videos!
Jennifer L. Cole

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Project #15: Search Engines

Magnifying Glass over the word Search

1. White Pages

      This search engine is "the largest and most trusted source for people, businesses and phone numbers." It is used to identify unknown calls, verify real identities, and control your info. I have personally used this site to see who my missed calls are from. Sometimes they don't leave a message, which is annoying because I don't know who they are or what they wanted. However, I just started searching on here. Most of the time they are from CVS Pharmacy or American Red Cross.

2. Amazon

      This search engine is used for shopping! Most of us college students can say this site is good for finding inexpensive text books. There are different types of memberships you can get too! I personally have prime and most of my time spent on here is reading reviews on my husband's books. Although, I do enjoy looking at other things on here too!

3. Ebay

      This search engine is used for shopping as well. You can even bid on some things. However, I personally find it less appealing than Amazon. That probably has to do with the fact that almost nothing on this site interests me. Or maybe it is because it just looks unprofessional. Oh well, you get the idea!

4. Priceline

      This search engine is used to book hotels, flights, rental cars, and more! I personally have not used this site, but it looks a lot like Southwest Airlines. So, considering I am use to the format of the site, I find it appealing. The reason I haven't used this site before is because I haven't needed to. When I visit family, I just stay at my mom's house. If I'm going to the beach, I stay at my in-laws'condo. However, if I were in need of something like that, I would use this site!

5. Kayak

      This search engine offers the same service as Priceline. You can "[c]ompare hundreds of travel sites at once." I personally do not like the way this site is set up. It is fairly easy to navigate, but I still don't like the way it looks. Of course, there could be a lot of people that prefer this format! That is why I decided to share it with you!

6. Wikipedia

      This search engine can be used to find practically everything. You can look up definitions, history facts, landmarks, geographical information, and so much more. Of course, anyone can change the information, so you can't use this as your only source or as a source at all for some classes.

7. YouTube

      This search engine is used to look up videos. Whether the video is educational or for entertainment is completely up to the user. Since anyone can upload a video, there is a variety of different types of videos. Music videos, advertisements, cats, lectures, and practically anything else you could possibly think of.

8. WolframAlpha

      This is a search engine that can help you with your math. This site is truly amazing! You will see multiple different ways you could write the answer as well as the step-by-step process to solving it! That is absolutely awesome! I would recommend this site to anyone who is having issues in math. Of course, you could always get me to tutor you! I am a Mathematics major after all!

Thanks for reading my blog and taking this journey of searching search engines with me,
Jennifer L. Cole

Project #4: C4T #1

Math Symbols

Math in the Middle by Christy

C4T#1, Comment 1: Keeping It All Together

      On this post, Christy was talking about all of the different tools she has tried out to help her keep all of her online information organized. She has tried Diigo, TweetDeck, Feedly, and Flipboard. As Christy was going over her journey with them, she explained the pros and cons of each one as it relates to her personal needs.
      In my comment on this post, I introduced myself as a Secondary Education/Mathematics college student in a course that requires me to have a blog as well as read other blogs. After I introduced myself, I thanked her for providing so many new online tools for me to try out. I also told her that I think it is amazing that she has tried so many sites to organize her information.

C4T#1, Comment 2: Listen and Learn @MTBoS

      On this post, Christy was talking about online conferences with Global Math. She couldn't make a lot of the sessions, but she was thrilled when she found out that they were recorded and put online. She watched "Review Activities That Don't Suck." Then she went on to explain that she was planning on using them for her next review day, but she ended up using one of them the next day! The principal even stopped by and saw how engaged the children were in the activity.
      In my comment, I thanked her for the conference link. I also informed her that I watched the video and liked many of the ideas on it. I said, "I think that some of them could even be used in a high school setting. However, it might need some modifications!" Then I told her that I think it's awesome that she got to use one of the methods the next day and that her students enjoyed it.

Thank you for spending the time to read my blog,
Jennifer L. Cole

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Blog Post 4: Asking Questions: What questions do we ask? How do we ask?

Question Marks

According to Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom by Maryellen Weimer, PhD

      It is extremely important for a teacher to spend time preparing questions. The author said, "...I never prepared questions. I just asked whatever came to me at the moment. Not surprisingly, I asked a mixed bag of questions—some stimulating and provocative; some mundane and not especially clear." After the author had been motivated by an article to start preparing questions, the author stated, "... it made a world of difference." I completely agree! I believe a teacher should have prepared questions. When a teacher doesn't fully prepare his or her questions, the questions can seem to have no true meaning. They don't lead to any particular point, and sometimes time will be wasted by rewording the question a couple times. Not to mention, random questions will make students feel like they are just being tossed about the brain of their teacher.

According to Asking Questions to Improve Learning by The Teaching Center

      This source was extremely informative! In this source, you find out that it is not only important to ask the right questions, but it is important to prepare for questions you think your students will ask and respond effectively. I am going to talk about the all of subtopics in this source. However, I will not be covering all of the information from each section, and there is a lot of interesting information here! Check it out if you want to know more!

Asking Questions: Basic Rules

   - Avoid asking questions that suggest the answer. Would you answer a question that was already answered?
   - "Yes-or-No" questions need to be followed with an question that builds off of the student's answer. It is very important to try to get the students to delve deeper into their thought process.
   - Don't ask one question that has many layers. Instead, ask a series of questions that delve into the layers. This can generate a lot more information than just asking one big question.
   - Only ask one question at a time. If you ask 2-3 questions at once, how will the students know which one you want them to answer. Not to mention, their brains will be trying to focus on too many things at once. We all know that multitasking is not effective.

Responding Effectively

   - Give the students' time to think about the question. Students need to be able to process the question and figure out what the answer is.
   - Don't interrupt. Not only is it rude, but it can break the student's train of thought and stop them from delving deeper.
   - Always show interest in what the students are saying, even if they are wrong. Most answers are somewhat related, so try to get them on the right track by positively reinforcing them and directing them.
   - Respond in a way that keeps the students' thinking. Urge them to keep thinking deeper.

Asking Questions: Why Open-Ended?

   - To elaborate on vague answers or comments
   - To show something from a different perspective
   - To provide reasons for conclusions
   - To start class discussion
   - To link information together

Bloom's Taxonomy: Level of Questions Complexity with Definitions

   - Knowledge: Memorization
   - Comprehension: Interpretation
   - Application: Problem Solving
   - Analysis: Determining Motives
   - Synthesis: Combining Ideas
   - Evaluation: Judgment

According to The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom by Ben Johnson

      I think that this source approaches the topic from a unique perspective. A lot of teachers ask questions to make sure that the students understand what the teacher is saying, but does the teacher think about what this is actually doing for the students? After all, teaching is all about the students. It is important to ask questions with substance to determine their understanding. The questions that simply check understanding have many flaws. Here are a few:
   - The students know what the teacher wants to hear.
   - Some students will not want to speak up and feel like they are the ones holding back the rest of the class.
   - A student may think they understand, but they really don't.

Thanks for reading my blog,
Jennifer L. Cole

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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

Peer Review with Magnifying Glass

Peer Editing by nrpatric and Tutorial Peer Editing by Adriana Zardini

      These two sources provide almost identical information. The main difference is how the information is given; the first one is a simple video and the second is a PowerPoint. First, they give the definition of peer editing. This is where you help a classmate improve and revise his or her work. Then the sources make sure that you know one very important rule: stay positive. I've always considered this common knowledge, but I can see how some students would need to be reminded of this courtesy.
      Then the two sources went over the three steps to peer review. The first step of peer review is to compliment their work. If you tell your fellow student what they did well on first, it is not only polite but it will help the other student become comfortable with you critiquing his or her writing. The second step is to make specific suggestions. Here is a list provided by both sources of different suggestions you can make:
           1. Word Choice - Boring or Interesting?
           2. Details - Are there enough details?
           3. Organization - Does it flow well?
           4. Sentences - Is it too choppy? Are there
              TOO many long sentences?
           5. Topic - Is it on topic throughout the work?
The third step is to make corrections. Here is a list (also provided by both sources) of different corrections you can make:
           1. Spelling Mistakes
           2. Grammar Mistakes
           3. Missing or Incorrect Punctuation
           4. Incomplete or Run-on Sentences

Writing Peer Review (Peer Critique) TOP 10 Mistakes by Tim Bedley

      This video is quite amusing. The children demonstrate similar topics from the previous two sources but from a different angle, and they shed some light on a couple new areas that I would like to touch on. I think that it is great that this video not only talks about what the student reviewing needs to be aware of, but it also shows the mistakes that the author of the work can make during the peer review process. I would like to mention that three of the "Top 10 Mistakes" are irrelevant. Being too loud and being social with surrounding groups are not problems due to the fact that we are doing our reviews as comments on blog posts. Being too picky is not relevant because it was about human errors due to it being written not typed. So, there are seven relevant mistakes that I will be touching on.
      First, there are four mistakes that the reviewer needs to avoid. Here they are:
           1. Being General
           2. Going Too Fast
           3. Being Pushy
           4. Being Mean
If you are too general or fast, you are not helping your peer. You are most likely just going to make him or her feel helpless or overwhelmed. If you are being pushy or mean, all you're doing is making your classmate not listen to you or hurt his or her feelings. How does that help your peer?
      Second, there are two mistakes that the author needs to avoid. Here they are:
           1. Not Caring
           2. Being Defensive
Please acknowledge what your peer is helping, and take the advice they give you into consideration. Also, your peer is not out to get you. They are trying to help you, so try not to be too defensive.
      The last mistake can be made either by the reviewer or the author. Neither one of the participants in this process need to be off topic. Don't post random things in the blog posts or the comments. Now that we all know the expectations, let's do our best to make the peer review process what it was meant to be!

Thanks for reading,
Jennifer L. Cole