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?


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