Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blog Post #15 - Final Reflection

The following is a copy of my response in Blog Post #1 about how I see my future classroom.
My Future Classroom
One day I hope to be the teacher that children will remember as being encouraging, helpful, inspiring and caring. I plan to teach mathematics at the high school level. I hope to find creative ways to teach math. My teaching style will be flexible and motivational and I want each student to know that I am approachable.
My students will learn by listening to my instruction, being encouraged to ask questions, participating in group work time, watching videos of math being applied in cool and interesting ways and completing projects that teach them to build, to create, and to imagine.
There are many tools and resources available to teachers and students due to the internet. Many high school students have computers assigned to them when they begin 9th grade. If this is the case at the high school at which I am employed, then I will set up an email system for communication and have all of the class information online. All of the things we are being introduced to in this course will be very valuable to me as a teacher. My oldest child is in 9th grade. He has been assigned a Macbook and his teacher's use Google and Moodle. He is also required to post to a blog on a weekly basis for his history class. Assignments are downloaded and most of the textbooks are online. He has a planner to keep track of his schedule and when his assignments are due. Sound familiar? I plan to use everything I learn in EDM310 in my future classroom because these are the things that are being implemented now at the high school level.
When I think about my future classroom, the word engaging comes to mind. I want students to be engaged in learning from the time they walk in until it's time to leave. This will be a challenge when it comes to teaching math but I will search for ways to be creative with my style of teaching. I can't imagine anyone falling asleep in my classroom. I want there to be a lot of interaction between myself and the students and among the students.

(This is a typed version of what is presented in the above YouTube video)
Final Reflection
As I now reflect on my future classroom after reading my prior blog, I realize that my objectives are the same. I still envision a classroom where students are engaged in learning from the time they walk in until it's time to leave. I want to be encouraging, helpful, inspiring, and caring. I want students working on projects that teach them to build, to create, and to imagine. All of these things are some of the same objectives I stated earlier that I would have as a high school math teacher. However, the thing that has changed since I wrote that first blog, is how I would achieve these objectives.
EDM310 has challenged me to discover methods of teaching that are student focused. I knew that somehow, I wanted to be the kind of teacher that made students excited about math and helped them understand its uses and how it can be applied in the real world. EDM310 has shown me the resources and tools I need to accomplish my goals and objectives. I am most excited to apply the concepts of the "flipped classroom" and project-based learning. I believe these methods will help bring the math concepts from being typed examples in the pages of a book to real life applications. I believe it will allow the students more time to collaborate and it will allow me more time to move around the classroom to observe and to interact so I can better assess the strengths and weaknesses of my students. I have established a network of websites and contacts that will aid me as I prepare a classroom environment that focuses on these concepts.
Through EDM310, I discovered a wealth of technological information. Before this class, I figured I was doing okay on the technological meter, but I soon discovered how low I measured. I thought I was doing pretty well because I had a Facebook account, a smart phone, I emailed and used text messaging, and I could download music and photos. Pretty good, right? WRONG! I was only at the tip of the iceberg. The things you can do with technology seem to be endless. There are so many teenager with technologytools that can be used to enhance a lesson in order to reach your audience or in this case the age of students you are teaching. Since I am a Secondary Education major, my students will be middle school or higher. So I should ask myself two questions, what are my students interests and how can I use those to enhance my lessons? What are they engaged in most hours of the day? Technology; cell phones, computers, video games, ipods, etc. So where can I get ideas on how to use these tools to educate my students? Through EDM310, I discovered how to use social networks like Blogger, Twitter, and Pinterest to connect with many other teachers who share ideas and methods for using technology in a learning environment. I plan to continue to use Blogger and Twitter to connect with others and to stay informed of the latest and most successful developments in education. I also discovered that I really like iMovie. It's a great tool for recording projects, lectures, and much more. The ideas are out there, I just have to keep researching and adding things to my idea bank(Symbaloo). As with any new information, you must sort through your findings and decide what tools fit best with your teaching style and also what resources will provide the best learning experience for your students.

The most important thing I learned in EDM310 is how to learn. Read, Research, Respond, Role play, and be Ready. Join a social network. Find people whose ideas and interests are similar to yours. Ask questions and read through comments to find out what tools seem to be working well and what's not. Respond to blogs and ask questions. Finally, be the teacher and think about whether or not the tools you've discovered would increase student interest and add value to your classroom. Not every tool you see or hear about will be a perfect fit in the design for your new classroom. Read, Research, Respond, and Role play, then be Ready to use technology to create a classroom that inspires collaboration and learning. EDM310 has equipped me to be a 21st Century educator. Thank you!
21st Century Education

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Project #13


Catherine Warren and I had a great time working on our projects together.  We were able to use several different forms of communication in order to plan our projects.  We tried FaceTime but found it much easier to use Google hangout since we both have Google accounts.  It was also easier to use hangout because we were usually on our computers anyway and already looking at Google Drive or Mail.  We used Google Docs a lot.  I love the fact that we could be on one document at the same time.  I could see instantly the changes she would make to an idea and I could also add details and make changes at the same time.  I like the instant feedback/response you get with Google Docs.  We also sent texts to confirm times for recording our projects and to confirm when we were at the College of Education building and in what room or area.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Final Report on PLN

I am still using Symbaloo to organize my PLN. The above photo is of my personal webmix. This page is almost full and when it is I will probably reorganize it into a page of classroom tools, a page of the blogs I follow, and a page of items that are combined for professional and personal use. My webmix page is organized in this same order. On the left side of the page are blogs that I follow like F.I.T,, tech4mathed, and  It also contains sights that are specific tools for math since my major is Secondary Education-Math.  At the bottom center of the page are sights that I use on a regular basis such as University of South Alabama, MyMathLab, Moodle for, Twitter, and Facebook.  The top center are helpful links for all educational topics.  They include edutopia, Edudemic, Curriki, and Mentoring Minds.  On the right side of the page are sites that I will use in the future to enhance my lessons as I plan to be a teacher who uses technology in the classroom.  Symbaloo is a great tool for keeping all my resources organized and accessible in one location.


I was assigned the Middle School Matrix by Hadley Ferguson. Hadley Ferguson is a middle-school history teacher at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia. Ferguson is co-founder of edcamp philly and a board member of the edcamp Foundation. You can read her blog and follow her on Twitter at @hadleyjf.
student asleep at deskThe first blog I read by Hadley Ferguson was a SmartBlog on Education Article, which was called A cure for "those days!". By "those days", Ms. Ferguson is talking about the days when students could care less about what you are trying to teach them. For whatever reason, all the student wants to do is "put their heads on the desk and zone out." The question Ms. Ferguson presents is, "so what will it take to move students from passivity to engagement, from boredom to curiosity?" In her blog, Ms. Ferguson suggests combining movement with social interaction to re-engage students. She then gives examples of ways she has incorporated this into her classroom and how it benefits her students.
I commented on Ms. Ferguson's blog by introducing myself and stating my purpose. I told her I enjoyed reading her article on incorporating movement into the classroom.  I was glad to see that teachers do notice when students become glossy eyed or their heads start to bob.   I told her I've seen many teachers who walk in, start a lecture and not stop until the bell rings.  I agreed that students need to move, especially in situations where schools are using a block system and classes can last well over an hour.  I shared with her that I hope to incorporate ideas that will keep my classroom energized when I become a high school math teacher.  I thanked her for sharing tips on how to keep students moving and learning!

Projed Based LearningThe most recent blog I read by Ms. Ferguson was How I Spent My Weekend!. In this blog, she talks about the rapid approach of the end of the school year and how she wrestled with doing a big Project-Based Learning(PBL)project because she didn't feel there was enough time. She began planning an assignment where the students would create a museum exhibit. Once the project was planned, Ms. Ferguson took her idea to the Buck Institute's website and put it in their Project Planner to see how well it measured. It told her what she already knew; that she was only pretending she had designed an assignment that qualified as project-based learning. She knew what she had to do, even if it was Saturday. She started over, creating an assignment where the students would collaborate and learn together because that is the purpose of PBL. She talks about designing the assignment around what would "hook" her students. She spent her weekend building "the scaffolding that the project needed". Ms. Ferguson didn't write this article to whine about having to work all weekend. Instead, she expresses her excitement as Monday morning begins, the students enter the classroom, and a real PBL project begins.
Once again, I left a comment introducing myself. I then talked about how much I like the idea of project based learning. I think it's a great way to get students engaged and collaborating. As a future teacher, I appreciated the example she gave of what teachers need to do to provide a learning environment for students. I told her I would be following her blog to see how her students do on their project. I thought the best statement she made was "we dream and build for our students!" I thanked her for her commitment to education and to the students.

I've included links for additional insight into Project Based Learning: Steps to Better Student Engagement/ is PBL?/

Blog Post #14

Teacher Knows if You Have Done the E-Reading
ereader by David Streitfeld is an article that discusses new technology from CourseSmart that allows professors to track their students’ progress when reading digital textbooks. This technology is being tested by several professors at Texas A&M to see if there is a correlation between the amount of time a student spends reading and highlighting digital text and a student's success in a course. CourseSmart claims that they can provide a constant stream of data for faculty and administrators that will serve as an indicator of how well a student is doing. The article also states how this information will benefit publishers and authors because it will provide them with data to better plan and produce textbooks. After beginning with several good points, the article then presents some arguments against this type of technology. It states that there are concerns with software glitches, privacy issues, and data reliability. CourseSmart defends their technology and says this is just the beginning of their efforts to create a system that will "ultimately show how the student traverses the book".

How would I react to this technology if I was the teacher?
I would probably reject this technology. I don't think a student can learn just by reading and highlighting a textbook. There are some courses that don't even use a textbook. Although textbooks can be used to enhance lessons, teachers don't always cover every section of a textbook. I think it is important as a teacher to give suggested reading that will compliment the topics discussed in class. I also believe that there are current methods being used to gauge how well a student is comprehending the material. Student blogs are a great way to have students display their understanding and interpretation of assigned materials. Having an interactive classroom will also give a teacher a visual of how well a student is engaging in learning. As a teacher, I would like to have class time to encourage open discussion and allow group interaction. During group time, I would be free to walk around and observe what input individual students are contributing to the activity assigned. Having students fill out a reflection sheet or take a quiz can also help a teacher determine how well a student is learning the material. As a teacher, the biggest problem I see with using this CourseSmart technology, is that I don't want to judge a student's ability to learn on one, possibly unreliable, computer generated outcome.

How would I react to this technology from a student perspective?
I am not a robot. Every student does not learn the same way. I am a visual learner so I do like to see things in print and pictures, and I enjoy reading, but I believe I learn the most from experience and interaction. I enjoy hearing other people's insight. Besides, how much of the textbook is my professor going to use? Am I going to be judged on how much of the book I read, how long it takes me to read, how much I highlight? As a student, I like to find out what the professor expects of me and how he or she will be determining my success in the course. I would prefer not to have my success determined by a computer program. So overall, I'm not a big fan of the CourseSmart technology.

Questions I would ask the professors at Texas A&M
What specific area are you evaluating from the data collected by CourseSmart?
Do you feel they provide accurate and reliable information?
Do you see this information as a means to provide your students a better education? and how?
What do you personally see as the pros and cons of using this data?
I understand that this program measures who is reading/highlighting and how much, but how do you determine how much they are learning or comprehending?
Is this the only data or source you use to measure a student's study habits?
What other variables would you say affect a student's test score?
What tools are you using to evaluate how well they are able to apply what they are reading and what you are teaching?

Questions I would ask the students at Texas A&M
How much do you know about CourseSmart and the program that is being tested here at Texas A&M?
Do you feel this technology is enhancing the learning environment at Texas A&M?
Does this increase the level of pressure you feel as a student to perform?
Does your professor explain the importance of this data and how he or she will be using the results?
Have you made any changes to your study habits based on the data given to your professor by CourseSmart?
Have you experienced any discrepancies in the information that has been provided by CourseSmart?
Would you like the professors at Texas A&M to keep using this technology? Why or why not?

My Comments
nose in a bookWho stands to benefit the most from this technology?  If the answer is not the student, then what is the purpose?  I love to read, and it is a great way to learn, but it is not the only way.  My concern is that this software seems to be making a direct correlation between the amount of time a student spends in a digital textbook and their ability to learn. Although there may be a correlation, it is not as significant as CourseSmart makes it seem; it's not the only measure of success or failure.  To me, it's not a measure of whether or not, or how much a student reads the textbook; it's how much the student is comprehending.  Can a student take the material being taught and apply it to real life situations? How can I develop better student engagement in my classroom?  Incorporating more project-based activities will help create an active learning environment that will provide better opportunities for students to learn.  I believe reading is very important, but it's also important that teachers encourage students to get their noses out of the book and get them engaged in hands-on, collaborative, learning.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Project 16 Movie

ON Group Project #15 - Smartboard Lesson

Smartboard Lesson - Art Vocabulary
This lesson will help students review vocabulary words and definitions for an upcoming test.  It can be used with any grade or subject.

Monday, April 22, 2013

C4K Assignment for April

C4K#9 - I have been assigned Jacob C who is in Mrs. Geldes 4th grade class in Nebraska. He has written a blog about his state and has titled it Nebraska. He writes that he lives in Bellevue, Nebraska. He says the state motto is equality before the law and the state capital is Lincoln. He tells about several of the bodies of water; niobrara river, snake river, republican river and little blue river. He gives a list of the state seals; state tree - cottonwood, state bird - meadowlark, state flower - golden rod, state gemstone - blue agate and several more. He tells about the different landforms in Nebraska. They have badlands, high plains, till plains, great plains, and Sandhills. Some of their tourist attractions are Chimney Rock and Ashfall fossil beds. He also says that some people call Nebraska the elephant state. He concludes his blog with the question, "Where do you live?"
I introduced myself to Jacob and told him about this assignment. I told Jacob that all of the information he provided about Nebraska was very interesting. I also wondered why some people call it the elephant state? I told him that I attend school in Mobile, but I live in Fairhope, Alabama which is on the opposite side of Mobile Bay from the campus. I stated that the bodies of water that surround Fairhope are probably the biggest tourist attractions for our area. I explained that Fairhope is on Mobile Bay, which is great for boating, fishing, kayaking, and watching a sunset. I also said that we are also very close to the beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama and that we have amazing weather. It is warm and sunny most of the year. I then asked Jacob what the weather is like where he lives?

For C4K#10, I was assigned Millie who is in 4th grade at Leopold Primary School in Victoria, Australia. At the top of her blog she states, "Hi, my name is Millie(Amelia) and I am a passionate blogger and horse rider."
Her latest blog is titled, "Exciting News!". Millie's exciting news is that her Aunty Gyanmitra, who has been living in an ahsram in India for one and a half years, called to wish her a happy birthday. She said her aunt will live in the ashram for another year and a half, and then she will return to Australia. She says that Gyanmitra enjoys doing yoga. She also says that her aunt doesn’t have access to electronical devices, but was able to call because she is currently in Kolkata waiting to have gromets put in her ears. Then she asks if "you or any of your family members do yoga?" and "have you ever been to India?".
I commented by telling Millie that I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I also told her about the assignment. First, I wished her a wonderful birthday! Then I answered her first question by saying that I have a sister-in-law that has done yoga and she says it is very good for your body and your mind. I told her I would love to try it one day. My answer to her second question was that I have never been to India. I also said that I've never even traveled outside of the United States. I told her I would love to visit Australia some day. Then, I asked her what places she would like to visit?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blog Post #13 - What Can You Learn From A Weather Balloon and Quivers?

Mr. Brian Crosby - Back to the Future
Mr. Crosby's weather balloon

As I watched Mr. Brian Crosby's TEDxDenver ED presentation, Back to the Future, I was amazed how one science experiment could "encompass a huge range of learning". At one point, Mr. Crosby, introduces a slide, and if it was the only thing you saw, you might believe this to be an English/Language class.
Mr. Crosby's class
The slide says...
Language Intense:
Read/Write to learn - content
Writing to clarify and share
Write to tell a story, creativity
Articulate Orally
Connect globally / Aware globally
Authentic Audience
Remember the science, High Hopes, art?
He talks about how all of these language skills are very important for a class which includes mostly 2nd language learners. In addition to these skills and the science material, I also noticed that they experimented, reviewed history(hot air balloons), used photography, and read maps.
Mr. Crosby's class using technologyI was very impressed that Mr. Crosby is able to incorporate all of these learning experiences into one subject, but what was equally impressive, was how he engaged his students in learning. I couldn't help but pick up on how many different tools he uses with his class at Agnes Risley Elementary School. I heard Mr. Crosby mention laptops, interactive white board, digital cameras, individual blogs, collaboration with UNR professors, videos, Wiki, free online software for designing book covers and trading(strato)cards, a learning network, Skype, Flickr, Web 2.0, radiosonde, Google maps, and yes, he did mention they used the science book a little bit. Why do you need all of this for a weather balloon experiment?
Mr. Crosby uses all of these tools to engage his students in "active learning - empowering students to become learners". He believes learning should take place in a context that is both motivational and meaningful. As Mr. Crosby states, he wants to give every student the opportunity to "shine".

Mr. Andersen - The Blended Learning Cycle
Is this a picture of the Blended Learning Cycle?

Mr. Paul Andersen is a high school AP Biology teacher in Bozeman, Montana and he has made a YouTube video title Blended Learning Cycle. In this video he describes blended learning as taking the compelling parts of online, mobile, and classroom learning and blending them together to incorporate technology into the classroom. Then he talks about the Learning Cycle in which students first engage, then they explore, expand, explain, and evaluate. By putting these two types of learning together, you create a Blended Learning Cycle. Mr. Andersen created an acronym for this cycle and it is Quivers, which stands for...


Summary quiz

Mr. Andersen explains that you first need a good question because that's the hook in learning.  Students can't move to the other stages until they are first engaged in learning.  Once he has their interest in a subject, he then encourages students to investigate through assigned reading materials.  He enhances his instruction with videos.  After the first three stages, Mr. Andersen expects his students to be able to elaborate on the assigned topic.  The next part is my favorite; the review.  I was very impressed that Mr. Andersen takes the time to review with each student what they have learned before he allows them to take a quiz.  This tells me that Mr. Andersen has a personal interest in what his students are learning and he is not relying solely on testing to determine a student's success.  I think this is the ideal strategy because the focus is placed on the student and their level of learning.  He talks more about his teaching style in Reflections on the Flipped Classroom.  Mr. Andersen has set a goal of moving from a passive, teacher centered classroom to an active, student centered classroom. I believe we heard a similar message in the above TEDx video by Mr. Crosby. As teachers, we need to engage students in "active learning". Teachers like Mr. Crosby and Mr. Andersen are an inspiration because they illustrate how to take learning to a new level, to make it exciting, and to make the focus of education the student, not just the subject.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Progress Report on Final Project #16

The 310 Show with Dana Lettergrade!!!!

With Special Guest:   Teen Actress - Anita Makeasee
                                 Multi-platinum Recording Artist - Will I Repeat
                                 Award-winning Novelist - Ijuana Makeana

Dana Lettergrade's EDM310 Top Ten

Airing Tuesday, April 30th on and

Monday, April 8, 2013

Blog Post #12 - Having Fun with QR

scavenger hunt
For this assignment, you will need to install Red Laser or the i-nigma reader on your mobile device. Once you have done this, then you will be ready to begin a Scavenger Hunt for QR codes inside the College of Education building. Below are clues as to where you will find the codes. Once you locate a code, scan it with your mobile device (you do not have to open them after you scan them, it should save the list in History). Once you've scanned all of the codes, you will then have a collection of ten of the most popular tools being used on iPads in the classroom. List these ten tools in your blog and give a description of each one and how they can be used by the student and/or the teacher. This activity will also help you begin, or add to, your PLN.

QR Code Clues...Happy Hunting!
1) When you enter the building, go to the office on the left and for a code, ask the receptionist.
2) Back out into the lounge and look around, under a table the next code will be found.
3) Turn to the right and books are free and that's where your next code will be.
4) At the bulletin board, the code is near the top, this is where you should make your next stop.
5) Don't stray...don't go far, there might be a code where the vending machines are.
6) Another lounge is in the back, in a corner the code will be tacked.
7) At the water fountain you can get a drink and something more...I think.
8) In the classroom, behind the door, there will be a code for sure.
9) I spy something green and if you look behind it another code will be seen.
10)Now for the very last code, where could it be? Dr. Strange is the person to see!
(In addition to verbal clues, you could also include a map of the building layout)

The following are the codes you would print and place in the places mentioned above.
(I downloaded Red Laser to my iPhone and was able to scan all of the following codes)
barcodeToday's Meet
barcodeStudy Blue
barcodeSonic Pics
barcodeDoodle Buddy
barcodePoll Everywhere
(Sonic Pics and Doodle Buddy are apps that would be used together)
These codes were made at

This is the link for 10 Popular Tools Being Used on iPads in the Classroom. On this page, you will get a brief description of how each tool is used in the classroom.
I found this link and many other great ideas for integrating technology into the classroom at F.I.T. - Fun Integrating Technology.
A QR code scavenger hunt can be used for any lesson and any subject. As a high school math teacher, I could have 10 Algebra problems and have the students work in pairs to find the codes, which are the answers. Once they are all found, they will return to the classroom and match the answer with the correct problem. First team to finish wins. In this situation, I would probably give them a time limit and keep the hunt confined to the hall where are classroom is located. I could use math vocabulary, math history, problems to be worked for an assignment, etc. There are many ways to use QR codes and I love that kids are moving and interacting with each other. Fun and learning are two words that go great together, so let's make learning fun!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Blog Post #11 - Power Up!

I enjoyed watching the YouTube video, Little Kids...Big Potential, about Ms. Cassidy's 1st grade class. I was amazed at how well spoken many of her students are at such a young age, including the ones she had do the voice overs from her previous class.
As I was watching the Skype interview with Ms. Cassidy, I was thinking about how much I knew, or really how little I knew, about technology before I took EDM310. I never would have put myself in a category of being ten to twenty years behind with using technology, but that's exactly where I was prior to this course. I'm catching up, but there is still so much more to learn.
I like the suggestions Ms. Cassidy made for getting started. Start with the category in which you are most interested. If you like photography, she suggested trying Flicker or other photo sharing sites, if it's video, then try YouTube, and if you like to write, then Blogger would be a great site to share ideas. These are the types of tools Ms. Cassidy uses to bring technology into her classroom. A great question Ms. Cassidy asked was, "why would a child want to write with pencil and paper for me to see it, when they can write on a blog and the whole world can see it?" That's the reason blogging is such a popular tool in her classroom; the kids have an audience. They use a class blog meister and a cluster map to keep a record of how many people visit their sites and from what locations they are visiting. This makes the students very excited about writing. Blogging also provides an online portfolio that students and parents can access at their convenience. Parents are able to stay informed of what their child is learning and they can see the progress their child is making.
Skype is a tool Ms. Cassidy's class uses to communicate with other students in order to build relationships and share ideas about writing.
Power Up, Your Dreams Start HereMs. Cassidy says that kids and technology go hand in hand. It's not strange or unusual; it's just part of their world. I love the thought that kids no longer have to "power down when they come to school" instead they power up!
According to Ms. Cassidy, "It's all about education and teaching them what to do. You are handicapping yourself and your students by not using the technology that is available."

So will students come to my classroom to power up, to get connected, and to be engaged in learning? I believe they will if I can use technology to enhance my lessons. I agree with Ms. Cassidy, kids today are very comfortable with technology and they want to use it. They think it's fun and exciting and I want that fun and excitement to carry over into learning. Yes, I will use technology in my classroom.
I plan to be a high school math teacher, so the idea of the "flipped classroom" is very appealing to me. I still need to do more research, but if I understand the basic concept, then I could use YouTube, or something of that nature, to broadcast my lessons. Then, instead of lecturing every day, we would use the class time to work in groups and have more time to work on concepts with which individual students are struggling. Instead of homework, it becomes classwork, and I am there to provide assistance and observe the needs of my students. The classroom becomes a place of interaction; of thinking, collaborating and problem solving. With the lectures being accessible online, students would not fall behind when they are out for several days due to illness, field trips, or athletic events. I would also recommend a few websites that are designed to help students understand math concepts, like Khan Academy and S.O.S Math.
Teaching students to connect with other students, either through Twitter or Facebook or both, is a great way to help them establish a support system or study group. If they are struggling with a concept or a particular homework problem, they could ask for assistance from their peers. I could also use these tools to post assignments, send out project ideas, and make announcements or schedule changes.
I will continue to use Blogger. I'm not sure how much blogging my math students will do. I'm following William Chamberlain's blog and have enjoyed his posts about the lunch project they are doing in his math class. I am also following other high school math teachers on Twitter. I think it is great to share project ideas and classroom ideas with other educators through these tools. I plan to look further into how much blogging the students actually do for math class and what information they share.
I won't be sure exactly what I will use or how I will use it until I actually have a classroom and see what works best with my students, but I am sure I will use technology. I am excited about the changes taking place in education and can't wait to see what happens when we all power up!

Friday, April 5, 2013

C4K Summary for March

C4K #5
For my C4K #5, I was assigned to Caleb Z in Mr. Boylen's 8th grade Language Arts class in Iowa. His most recent post is a response to the question, "What do you think you as a student gain from blogging with students and others outside of the school? Is it worth the time? Why/why not?" Caleb wrote, "I think it is great to work with other people out side this school. It is good to get opinions from people. You also meet new people. I think it is worth the time."
I responded by telling Caleb my name and that I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I then said that I was glad to see that he thought student blogging was important. I told him that I agree because I have made contacts with people in places I never would have imagined if it wasn't for these blogging assignments we are doing in EDM310. I also shared that I find it interesting to see what other students are learning and what their interests are. Blogging provides connections to others who can help us learn and expand on the information about which we are blogging. I thanked Caleb for sharing his opinions and wished him good luck in Mr. Boylen's class.

C4K #6
For C4K #6, I was assigned Jenna in Mr. Seyfert's 6th grade class in Waukesha, WI. Jenna's most recent post was titled Want to hang out???? Apparently their blog assignment was to comment on which character they would hang out with from the book Swindle by Grodon Korman. Jenna says that she "would hang out with my main character Griffin because he is very adventuress and funny and he is really smart and he comes up with many plans that work but I don‘t think I would won’t to do some plans because most of the time they get caught by the police and I don’t want to get in trouble by the police!"
I, of course, responded by telling Jenna my name and that I am a student at the University of south Alabama. I was glad her class read Swindle. It is a great book and I remember when my children read it in the 6th grade. I told her that Griffin probably would be a lot of fun to hang around, however, I was she glad she realized that some of his ideas weren't always good and they could get her in trouble. I told her I thought she was very wise and that if she kept sticking with good plans she could have great success. I complemented her on doing a great job posting to her blog and wished her good luck with 6th grade!

C4K #7
Kayla Guczek-Nasab is in 7th grade. She is in Mrs. Lentine's Harbor 7 group at Luella Middle School in Georgia. She has written a post titled, My Dog Templeton!:) Kayla begins her blog with, "Hello! I am going to me talking about my dog Templeton." She talks about how Templeton is a really fun dog to have. She says she thinks he is mostly German Shepherd and part Black Lab. She told about an event that had happened the night before where Templeton had tackled her in the snow. She enjoyed playing with her dog and watching him do a trick where he jumps straight in the air with all four paws off the ground. She said it was crazy!
I introduced myself to Kayla and told her I enjoyed reading through several of her blogs but I chose this one because I also love dogs. I said that Templeton sounds like he is a great dog. I think it's wonderful that they get to play in the snow. I shared with her that I live too far south to get any real snow. I asked her if Templeton could do any other tricks and if he has a favorite toy? I thanked her for sharing a story about her dog.

C4K #8
For the C4K #8, I was assigned Alex M., a student in Mr. Boylen's 8th grade Language Arts class in Iowa. His most recent post is Intro to Russian students. In his post he writes, "Hi, my name is Alex. I am 14 and in 8th grade. I have lived in Iowa, USA for 14 years. I enjoy working on cars, riding my dirt bike, playing baseball, and basketball. My favorite subject in school is math. I spend most of my time riding my dirt bike around my area. I live with my grandparents, but my dad lives up the road from our place. My mom lives a little ways away from us. I also have a pet turtle. Its name is molly. I live on a farm. When I grow up I would like to be a farmer or a mechanic. I like cars. What do you people do in Russia? Is Russia a fun place to live? Text Me (:"
I responded by telling Alex that I am not from Russia but I look forward to seeing what response he receives. I introduced myself and told him I would be sharing this post with other students in my class. I thought he gave a great description of his family and where they live. I told him that I live in Fairhope, Alabama and that we have a dog named Molly. I have a child who is 14 and also in the 8th grade but her school is not using computers yet. She will have a laptop next year in high school and I hope she will have classes that will encourage her to make global connections. I wished him a great 8th grade year!

C4T#3 - If it's a penny for your thoughts...What do you get for a "Pair-a-Dimes"?

For my C4T#3, I was assigned David Truss's blog, Pair-a-dimes For Your Thoughts.

Why Blog?His most recent post was called "Why Blog?" and it is a simple yet detailed presentation about the important aspects of blogging. David Truss begins by stating four questions, "what is the value to me?, what are some of the challenges?, where do I get inspiration from? and how do I make it easier for myself?" As a student in EDM310, I think these are four great questions to consider when being introduced to blogging and trying to learn how to write a quality blog.

David Truss responds to the first question, "what is the value to me?" by saying that the time he spends blogging is the time he spends learning. He has made meaningful connections with other educators, and through this, has found opportunities to challenge himself to improve. He finds inspiration from reading other blogs, Twitter, and following trends and events, whether local, community, or worldwide. Staying connected takes time and that is one of the biggest challenges one faces when blogging. It does take time to blog, so Mr. Truss has shared some tips on how to become a more efficient blogger. Warning, the first requirement may be disturbing to some readers:
1) Spend less time watching TV
2) Write about things you normally think about(as long as it's not disturbing)
3) If you enjoy writing, then it doesn't feel like work
4) Use tools to help you be more efficient (Blogsy, notepad memos, voice recorder, Flipboard, Twitter, email)
David Truss believes blogging is well worth the time. It is his journal, a record of his conversations, it is his "idea bank". I love the bank reference because it made me think about blogging as not only a place to make a withdrawal of ideas but where one must also make idea deposits. David Truss believes we all have something worth sharing. Start making contributions and connections. He encourages everyone to "loose the fear...take the leap".

Inquiry HubAs I revisit David Truss's site, a recent post, My 7th Blogiversary, catches my attention. After the assignment in which we read Mr. Joe McClung's reflections on his 4th year of teaching, What I Learned This Year-Volume 4, I was curious to see what reflections would be written by David Truss about his 7th year of blogging. What I discovered, was worth more than a pair of dimes. If you follow this one link, My 7th Blogiversary, you will have a collection of all the posts David Truss has written over the past year. By scrolling over each title, you can read a few more details about the post and then click on it if you want to know more. This is a great wealth of information for educators. It includes the five most under-watched TEDxEDU videos, points to consider about laptops vs. iPads/iPhones, a presentation about blogging, ways to transform your classroom, rethink learning, and a story about being connected. These are the posts I found most informative and thought provoking, but there are many others in the collection that may be of more interest to you. I will be storing this link in my PLN; one small withdrawal from David Truss's idea bank is one big deposit in mine. With a penny you get thoughts, but with a Pair-a-Dimes you get great insight and a wealth of information!

As I posted my comments to David Truss's blogs, I introduced myself and told him I thought his posts were a great resource to share with the rest of the EDM310 class. I felt that his presentation, "Why Blog?", provided information that helps reduce many of the fears about blogging and shows the value of the connections one can make as they properly use this tool. I thanked him for compiling all of his blogs from the past year into one spot. It's a ways to be more efficient as mentioned in the "Why Blog?" post; one stop shopping for resources. I shared that I look forward to reading his posts and welcomed any suggestions that will help enrich my journey towards becoming a future educator.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blog Post #10

Adventures in Pencil Intergration
I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga.
I guess it's okay that I looked down at the comments to his blog and saw where John T. Spencer says that "It's a mock of I'm a Mac and I'm a PC commercials". But still what is this trying to tell us? I believe Mr. Spencer is just stating his opinion that two things may look the same on the surface, but when you starting using both of them to do the same job, you will find that one is of greater quality than the other. As you see with the pencil comparison, you can use the Papermate pencil because it cost less, but you will be constantly replacing it because it breaks all the time. On the other hand there is the most expensive pencil, the Ticonderoga. When you look at it's dependability and all the features it offers, isn't it worth the investment? If you follow the link above, you will find the Mac vs. PC commercials to be supporting this same idea. I think Mr. Spencer is making us think about how we plan to use an item and then invest in the one that will provide you the greatest tools and resources to do the job. It may be "the most expensive purchase a hipster ever makes", but the key is to look at your return, it just might be worth the investment.

Few people look back on life and say, I wish I had become a better test takerWhy Were Your Kids Playing Games?
After reading this blog, one quote came to mind and it's that some people "can't see the forest for the trees". I got the impression that Mr. Spencer's supervisor is one of those people. If the principal could get past his aversion to games and his concern for test scores, he might get a view of children learning and collaborating and actually having fun at the same time. I've listed a few other links that correspond with learning and gaming; Minecraft in the Classroom, #mysteryskype, and Teachers, Students, Digital Games: What's the Right Mix?.
I strayed from over to, because I discovered two blogs that are written by Mr. Spencer that talk about teaching and test scores. I Call That Achievement  and Am I Still a Good Teacher? 

The Real Reason for My PLN is a great PLN testimony from Mr. Spencer. I enjoyed reading Do We Still Need Schools and Teachers? and all the comments that followed and thought you might enjoy them too.

Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please?
Dr. McLeod has hit the nail on the head! I live in a school district that is providing high school students with Macbooks and the comments he makes echo many of the views and concerns of parents and educators. Before taking this class, I might have been one of those parents who shared some of those same opinions. I now realize technology is a necessity for our students. It's not fluff or a time filler. It's not just for playing games. It is safe, it is monitored, and there are set controls and limitations. Parents and teachers have to work together to help our students understand how to be responsible. Yes, I know they are teenagers, but they can be responsible, otherwise, would we teach them to drive cars? It's dangerous and there are a lot of distractions and bad drivers about which we have to worry, but we train them and make sure they are ready. We don't wait until the day they turn sixteen and say here's the keys...good luck figuring it out. Instead, they have to read the rules of the road, take a test, and then they spend the next six months to a year riding with someone who will guide them and equip them with the tools they need to be a safe driver. I think we have to take the same approach with technology. We can't just give students a computer and expect them to know all of the rules. In a speech written by Franklin D. Roosevelt, he says that "great power involves great responsibility" or you can quote Uncle Ben from Spiderman and say that, "with great power, comes great responsibility". That's where we as teachers and parents have do our jobs and educate our children so they can be safe and responsible drivers on the internet. And I, like Dr. McLeod, can't wait to see how technology transforms education over the next ten to twenty years.
Scott McLeod, J.D., PH.D., is the Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8 in Iowa. In order to take this roll, Dr. McLeod had to take a leave from his position as an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He is an author, a co-creator of a popular video series, and the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). If you would like to read a more detailed biography about Dr. McLeod, you can visit

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Project #14 Smartboard

Demonstration of Smartboard Basics
Special thanks to camera operator, Catherine Warren!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Blog Post #9

Dare to Change
Mr. McClung's World
The two posts I decided to read were Mr. McClung's summary of his first year as a teacher, What I've Learned This Year and his fourth year summary, What I Learned This Year-Volume 4.
I chose Mr. McClung's summary of his first year because I felt it would be relevant since I will be a first year teacher in the near future. Mr. McClung wrote a great blog. I am going to list what he discovered in his first year of teaching because I feel it needs to be repeated. These are the insights provided by Mr. McClung:
1)read the crowd
2)be flexible
4)be reasonable
5)don't be afraid of technology
6)listen to your students
7)never stop learning
The overall message of Mr. McClung's blog is change. Know how to read your students to see if they are comprehending the material, if not, make a change. Be flexible because circumstances change and you will have to adapt your lesson plans as needed. Know how to communicate with your students, parents, and peers because lessons, activities, schedules, etc., are always changing and the best way to avoid "drama" is to keep communications open and honest. What expectations do you have of your students; is it reasonable? Mr. McClung reminds us not to forget we are teaching children and they think like children so don't expect them to be responsible adults. Evaluate your expectations and if they are too high or low, change them to meet the needs of your students so they can be successful. Technology changes constantly so get some good training wheels for the ride. Having a good support system will make riding on the path of technology a whole lot easier. Get to know your students, not just what they do in your classroom. Their interests seem to change on a weekly basis. Don't just hear what they say...listen. Kids know the difference and they relate it to whether or not the teacher cares.
So, as a teacher, what do I care about? This is the question Mr. McClung found he wrestled with during his fourth year of teaching. He found himself under the heavy weight of peer pressure. He realized he had become concerned with doing his job in a way that was pleasing to his peers instead of focusing on his students and what style of teaching met their needs. Mr. McClung reminds teachers to keep the focus on the students because they are the reason we do the job. He also says it is important for teachers to challenge themselves. Don't let your classroom become an assembly line of learning. In the system of education, sometimes teachers can become mechanical by sticking with the same patterns, the same lessons, and the same material, year after year after year. We place our students on the assembly line and we fill them with Math, English, History, Science, etc. and hope we give them enough to pass inspection so they can advance to the next graded assembly line. Establishing a lesson plan, gathering materials, determining the structure of the classroom; all these things take a lot of effort. Once teachers get things set the way they like them, it's hard to change because that's one less challenge in a system where there are so many other challenges to face. I say these things because I can see myself as one of those teachers who could very easily become comfortable with a routine and knowing exactly what I am going to teach year to year; reluctant to embrace change, too complacent to be challenged. When evaluating his fourth year as a teacher, Mr. McClung realized he had become this type of teacher and this is what he had to say, "This year I learned a valuable lesson in what can happen if you get too comfortable as a teacher; you start to get lazy and ultimately your lessons will start to suck, which then in turn means that kids are not enjoying your class." Mr. McClung needed a challenge, something to reignite his creativity and his passion for teaching and he got it. Originally, he had accepted an offer to change grade levels and teach a different subject but then he was asked to become the assistant principal at Leverett Elementary School in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I'm glad that Mr. McClung has the opportunity to face new challenges but not all of us will be presented with the opportunity to change subjects, classes, or schools. The reality is that some of us may be in the same classroom for the next thirty years. Are you up for the challenge? As Mr. McClung reminds us, keep the focus on the students and look for ways to keep your lessons fresh and exciting. I think the keys to success are to go back to Mr. McClung's reflections of his first year and focus on numbers 5, 6, and 7; Don't be afraid of technology, listen to your students, and never stop learning.

“To change and to change for the better are two different things.” – German Proverb

Project #12

Monday, March 11, 2013

Blog Post #8

Richard Miller: This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2
the word dream In the video, This is How We Dream Part 1 and Part 2, Richard Miller challenges us to think about the way writing has changed, not only in the academy, but also in the culture. He believes that at this moment, we are experiencing the greatest human change in communication in human history. So if this is true, and I believe it is, the two questions I have to ask myself are how much do I know about this new communication and how much of it am I prepared to use?
To find the answer to the first question, Richard Miller talks about several "incremental changes" in communication. The first thing we consider is how writing has changed. People used to write on paper; letters, notes, essays, drafts, etc. Rarely, do people communicate using paper today. You can send an e-card, an e-mail or a text message. People use word processors to type, edit, and save their documents. Then, they can be shared with friends, clients, cohorts via the web. The thought of using a pencil and paper to write something has almost become obsolete. The second change is evident in the way people communicate in a professional setting. No longer are people limited in business by things like walls and schedules or even oceans. Technology gives people the ability to collaborate with others around the globe through different media options. The work environment has become mobile. Laptops and cellphones have given new meaning to the office. The office can now be at home, in the car, at the ballpark; anywhere and everywhere you want it to be. What about research? Do we still need to go to a library and go through numerous articles that are library property or check out and return stacks of books? Now, all that information, and so much more, is just a few mouse clicks away. People can search the web for articles, books, statistics, data, images and whatever else comes to mind. So, does anything get published anymore? Well, it depends on how you think about publishing. Will books continue to be published on paper or will they all become ebooks? Do people still buy newspapers or will we view our news over the internet? What limits are there to who can write and what gets "published"? Has the internet made that an open book? YouTube videos, blogs, tweets and many other media resources have given people the ability to share their thoughts, their opinions, their creativity, their writings, in a way that goes far beyond what could have ever been possible with just a pen and paper. Once something is published on the web, it becomes instantly available to all those who want to view it, even if they are half way around the world. And it's not just about the writing. An article can include music, video, and text all working together to provide a deeper understanding of the subject that is being viewed.
So, how much of this new communication am I prepared to use? Before taking EDM310, I knew very little about the communication tools that are available. I still feel like there is so much to learn. Before this class, I visited Facebook, I Skyped occasionally, and I used text messaging. I never imagined I would have a blog, post videos on YouTube and tweet. I knew nothing of a Personal Learning Network. I also had a completely different view of how I would instruct in a classroom. Now I have to think about how to compose using the web, which seems impossible to grasp. Will I be prepared to use all of this information to communicate effectively to my future students? Will I limit my teaching to just those within my classroom or will our class be expanded to the far corners of the earth? As educators, Richard Miller challenges us to be at the "front edge" of this new type of composition. The goal is to produce educational materials that add value and compel students to have an excitement for learning.

Blog Post #12 by Carly Pugh
I was very impressed by Carly's Blog Post #12. She put a lot of thought and time into writing a quality blog. I had no idea you could create a playlist on YouTube and can't wait to create my own. Without writing a lengthy text about herself, she composed a story about who she is through the playlist she created. Plus, this is a great way to keep track of videos that you want to reference for future lessons. I also agree that this would be a great assignment, especially at the beginning of a school year. I think it would provide a lot of insight into the lives of your students. It's a great way to get to know each other a little better.

The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies
These two videos are very entertaining. They both say a lot about the valuable information you will learn in EDM310. They also point out that it helps to be organized and to understand the time that is required for each assignment. They help you realize the importance of getting on track and using the available resources to keep you there throughout the course. I'm not feeling very creative at the moment so I'm having difficulty coming up with an original video idea. After much thought, here are a few of titles: The EDM310 Superstar: What does it take to get your name on the "A" list?
A Tale of Two Students: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"
Dr. Strange's Top Ten List(a spoof of David Letterman's Top Ten)

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
change ahead sign
I found the thoughts and ideas expressed in Learn to Change, Change to Learn, to be right on target. Especially the one where it stated that to get the students to understand how to use technology to make connections and expand their learning environment, we first have to get it into the hands of the teachers and have them make connections. I believe this is the biggest obstacle with making a shift toward teaching with technology. You will have some teachers that are eager to move ahead with technology while others believe that no change is needed. Change can be scary and difficult, but I believe this is an exciting change and I am glad to know that I will be an educator who is ready and willing to take teaching into the 21st Century.

Scavenger Hunt
Did you use in your blog postThe first tool I decided to try is I love the real time response feature with this tool. It is a great way to give a quiz and get instant results of how well your students know the material.

The next tool I thought would be fun to try is Make Beliefs Comix.
The EDM310 Fairygodmother

All of the video tools were fascinating, but the one I think I would use most to enhance my lessons is As an educator, you can apply for a free Animoto Plus account to be used in the classroom. I like that it simplifies the whole process of making a video. You decide what text or content on which to focus and then animoto has music, images, and video clips that will be arranged into an amazing, educational, custom video for your class. Make sure to go to the education link because it has great examples at the bottom of the page which demonstrate how animoto is currently being used by educators in the classroom. I think it's a great way to give a lecture. It's a great option for teachers who are quiet speakers, for students who need the visual stimulation, and a good sight tool for second language learners. It is easy to share and download so you can put these lectures on a website and make them accessible to students and parents, which is a great way to keep parents informed and to keep students from falling behind when they are absent. These videos could also be assigned as homework so class time could be used to delve into deeper discussions, to collaborate on projects, and to use poll anywhere to determine who watched the video and how well the information was received. I love the spotlight feature which allows you to "give specific image added prominence and screen time in your video." You can add you own personal touch to the video if you feelstudent sleeping in class it is a topic where you need to be seen and heard to add emphasis. Please, help keep students from sleeping in class; no more boring lectures! Use animoto, or one of the other video tools(gizmoz or xtranormal), and take your lectures to a level of excitement that will keep students engaged.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Blog Post #7

nuggets of wisdomRandy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

In this blog, I will summarize all of the things discussed by Dr. Pausch in the "Last Lecture" that I believe are nuggets of wisdom for a future teacher.

I think first and foremost, Dr. Pausch reminds us that teaching is "an honor and a priviledge". We should believe that teaching is the most important profession we could choose with an unbelievable amount of responsibility. We should want to be pioneers in our field; always wanting to try new things or new ways of doing things. This will not be the easy road, but he encourages us to never give up. As a teacher, I don't need to make the journey alone. It is important that I find a network of supporters, as I have discovered through several of our previous assignments. I also need to work as a team with the other teachers in my field. In order to be a good teammate, I must be honest, sincere, grateful, and forgiving. I also must be able to offer a sincere apology when I mess up and focus on helping others. A great suggestion, is to ask other teachers for their feedback. In doing so, I should take their feedback and use it to improve myself and the course I am teaching. I must be prepared. I want to be the type of teacher that brings her best to the classroom everyday.

As I was watching Dr. Pausch's lecture, the one question that kept jumping out at me was, "will my teaching help kids reach their childhood dreams?" In order to be able to answer yes to this question, there are many nuggets of wisdom I must instill in my students. One is to teach students that learning can be fun. I need to make it exciting and provide opportunities for them to share this excitement with others. This can be achieved by taking education beyond the classroom, either through hands on field trips or through global technology. Getting students involved is very important. They need to bond with and encourage one another. They need to learn to work in groups and share what they do. I also want my students to know that they have value. Everyone is good at something; it just takes some longer to discover it than others. I need to instill in my students the importance of hard work and determination. It's important that I challenge them to always strive to do better. I shouldn't set limits, instead I should give students the opportunity to amaze me.

Eyeore and TiggerSince I am a person who appreciates visual illustrations, I love the example Dr. Pausch uses to explain the attitudes we can have when faced with a difficult situation; we can either choose to be a "Tigger" or an "Eyeore". Dr. Pausch had every right to be an "Eyeore". At the time he was giving his lecture, he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was given at the most, six months to live. During this time, when he had very little about which to be encouraged, he was still being an encouragement to others. When he had very little future left to envision, he was still giving others a vision for the future.

In his lecture, Dr. Pausch states that "brick walls are there for a reason; they let us prove how badly we want things." This saying makes me look at challenges from a whole new perspective. I've always made the assumption that when one door closes, another one will open, but do we really have time to wait for another opportunity? This makes me think that sometimes we need to bust the door down if it's something we desperately want to achieve. After watching this video, I asked myself how badly do I want to be a teacher? What brick walls will I face and how will I face them? Do I want to teach because I want to help children achieve their dreams? Will I live every day like "Tigger"? "The Last Lecture" is one of the most inspiring videos I've ever watched and I wish I was able to tell him that today.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Project #9 - Personal Learning Network

image of a PLN example
I have created a PLN at Symbaloo. I believe I have made numerous contacts that will be valuable to me as a future math teacher.
First, I love the tiles the website already has established for many math subjects. For example, I can click on Geometry and look at lesson plans, videos provided by other teachers, and numerous other resources. I have started my own webmix and created tiles for TeacherTube, WolframAlpha, Dan Meyer,, and the CoolCatTeacher, Vicki Davis, just to name a few.
I have followed several people on Twitter that have amazing ideas and provide additional contacts and resources. Some of those contacts are, Dan Meyer, Curriki, Kristen Goggin, edutopia, and Silvia Tolisano
I was given an amazing opportunity to experience first hand how these contacts are used to connect educators and classrooms through technology. I was contacted through Twitter by Silvia Tolisano to see if I would like to read my personal version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to a Kindergarten class at her school in Florida. I quickly responded and grabbed the chance to participate in a teaching opportunity using technology. Geographically, I was a rather close contact, but Silvia told me she had lined up educators from Australia and New Zealand who were also going to read the story. I couldn't help but think how fortunate that school is to have Silvia Tolisano connecting them with the rest of the world and that I was able to be a small part of that connection.

C4K Summary for February

C4K #1
logo for Baldwin County High School FootballThe first student blog I was assigned belongs to Keith, He is in the 10th grade at Baldwin County High School. He enjoys sports but soccer is his favorite. He loves to be outdoors either hunting or fishing. He was born in Mobile but now lives in Bay Minette. I introduced myself and told him that I was posting on his blog as part of an assignment for EDM310. I also stated that I look forward to following his blog and seeing all of the things he will be learning in his English class. I wished him the best of luck with soccer.

C4K #2
The next student I was assigned was Taswaila, a 4th grader in Ms. Muhammad's class at Robbins Elementary School in Prichard, Alabama. Ms. Muhammad has established a blog for her class and Taswaila posted a summary of an A.R. book she is reading called The Sly Spy. Taswaila said the book is about a girl who helps poor people. The following is a link to the blog if you are interested in reading her post I Have a Great A.R. Book. In my post, I introduced myself and explained the assignment. I told Taswaila that I enjoyed reading her blog and was glad to see that she is reading A.R. books. I also said that The Sly Spy sounds like a great book and that I would have to read it with my 3rd grader. I thanked her for telling us about this book and encouraged her to never stop reading because it's a great way for your mind to have an adventure!

C4K #3
My third student is James, a Year 5 Student at Pt England School. He introduces himself by saying, "Kia Ora and my name is James I hope you enjoy my blog, I am James." Kia Ora is a Maori language greeting which means "be well/healthy". James is in Room14: Dream Catchers. It is a class of Year 5 students at Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. In this class, they learn that they can reach their goals and dreams if they are committed. His teacher is Miss Ouano. He also tells that his favorite thing to do is play video games.
I introduced myself to James and told him I'm a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I told him to look at the red dot on his world map and that I was the dot at the bottom of the United States near the Gulf of Mexico. I shared with him that I have a son around his age and he likes to play video games also. His favorite games are NCAA football and NCAA basketball. I also told him that I like to play Mario Party and Mario Kart on the Wii with my son. I asked him what types of video games did he like to play and what system did he you use to play games? I wished him good luck with Year 5 and encouraged him to stay competitive not only with his gaming but also with his school work.

C4K #4
Meesha is a student in Ms. Vannoy's class at Davis Elementary school. In her blog, I Love My Family, Meesha posted that she loves her mom. She says her mom is sweet and her dad is sweet and that she loves them very much.
Once again, I introduced myself and described my assignment. Then, I complemented her on her blog design and told her that she used one of my favorite colors. I told her she also wrote about one of my favorite subjects, family. I shared about my family and told her that the one thing I want my children to always know is that I love them no matter what and I was sure her parents felt the same way. I said it sounds like she has a wonderful family and I thanked her for sharing that with me.

Group ON Project 1

Group ON Project 2

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Project #10 - Finding The Right Tools

math toolsFinding The Right Tools
In my search for tools that will help me as I prepare to teach high school math, I came across several valuable resources.

Math Curriculum Makeover
First I came across a video by Dan Meyer, called My TEDxNYED Session — Math Curriculum Makeover. Dan Meyer proposes that math teachers rethink how math problems are presented. He gives examples of how the information in textbooks is provided in a way that takes the creative thinking away from the students. On his blog, he has a great archive of information and connections. I feel Mr. Meyer is a great addition to my PLN because his main interests are "curriculum design (answering the question, "how we design the ideal learning experience for students?") and teacher education (answering the questions, "how do teachers learn?" and "how do we retain more teachers?" and "how do we teach teachers to teach?")." Mr. Meyer is someone I will follow because his post will constantly challenge me to analyze the curriculum from which I am teaching and to discover knew and innovative ways to teach math.

Teaching Math with Technology
Another sight I discovered is Sue Glascoe has created this sight because she believes in "taking math education into the 21st century, and bringing my students and visionary teachers along for the ride!" I think I found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Ms. Glascoe is constantly trying out and posting about the newest technologies that are available for math education. One post contains information on using iPads in a flipped math classroom. This website also introduced me to tools such as the new wi-fi Livescribe smartpen called SKY, the Doceri 2.0 with Mobi 360 w/clickers, and TI-Nspire CX. I was fascinated by these devices and how they are being used to combine math and technology. This site contains great step by step instructions and visual illustrations of how students and teachers can use these tools. The tool I was most impressed with that I think I would enjoy using in my classroom is the TI calculator with the navigation system(TI-Nspire CX). There are 2 main features for which Ms. Glascoe uses this system and that is to grab screen shots of the student's calculators and to be able to poll the students using their calculators. With this information she can check to see who is doing their work, how well they are performing, and whether or not they are paying attention. Ms. Glascoe likes that she can set up questions where students can show steps, and she can show multiple pieces of information in the question, like the question and a graph. It will be a few years before I have my own classroom, but until then, I will be following Sue Glascoe, because she is always trying the latest innovations and giving the pros and cons of their performance within a classroom.

The Math Forum @ Drexel
The Math Forum @ Drexel: High School Teachers' Place is a great resource for classroom and career development. For the classroom, you will find answers from other teachers addressing common questions about solving math problems, lesson plans, project ideas, and suggested math software. Then there is a section giving tips for improving your career. It suggests professional development options, recommends online certification programs, and provides information on professional math organizations. This is a great tool as I embark upon my career because I will have examples of how to develop my own lesson plans and I will have a list of contacts that will be able to answer questions I may have about teaching math. It provides these resources for every grade level, from Pre-Kindergarten through High School. I recommend this website for new and future math teachers.