Sunday, December 8, 2013

Blog Post #16

Would I change my school?
I want to teach in an elementary school, teaching grades one through fourth. I would prefer to use a student oriented way of teaching. The students will learn from each other as well as me. This type of learning is based on building relationships with peers and learning the material. I want my students to think for themselves but have enough direction from me to know how to do that.

There are four things that I wanted my students to know. I want them to know that they will not and cannot know everything. Technology is constantly changing. They should know how to adapt. They have the ability to teach themselves. And lastly, I am there to teach them how to be better learners and thinkers. I will never tell them they are learning or thinking wrong.
Teach, Inspire, Change
There are three things that I wanted my students to be able to do. Be able to think with an open and thoughtful mind. They should be technologically literate. And they can teach me something that maybe I didn't know how to do before them.

My primary way of teaching will be student oriented. I want my students to build good communication skills while learning the material. I will show them to an extent how to do something, but I expect that they finish it and excel in whatever they are learning at the time. It is not my job to do anything for them. It is their job to learn. I am only there to show them how. I would use a class blog to keep up with current work of students.

At the beginning of the semester, I claimed to use the tools such as the SmartBoard, iPad, and class blogging. Now, I would use podcasting in my classroom as a project based learning technique. I created lesson plans that involved students getting creative and using podcasting as a way to gain an audience for their work. I think elementary aged children, especially third grade, would love to really do that. My classroom would be set up in pods, small groups of students seated together. This will enhance student-to-student communication.
Teaching Quote
I would still use a class blog. After reading and responding to all the C4K’s this semester, I believe that students will benefit from blogging. Many students connect through technology better than through pen and paper. It is, after all, what they know best. Blogging will help students with their writing skills, their communication skills, critical thinking skills, and sometimes collaboration skills. These aren’t really changes to my original methods. I simply learned how to use my methods in a more beneficial way to me and my students.

My Final Reflection

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15

Assistive Technology in the Classroom; A Collaborative Post by Dufy
Touch Screens for Students with Autism
To know what assistive technology is available to you as a teacher, you must first know what it is. Assistive technology is any piece of technology that helps students learn with a disability. As elementary teachers, we will come into contact with students with disabilities that are just learning how to learn with that said disability. One newer form of technology is the touch screen on many computers and tablets. This is an extremely useful assistive technology for students with autism. Students with autism may struggle to grasp the concept between the mouse and the actions on the screen. When they are able to use their finger on the screen as a guide, they learn more easily. A great website with a few tips on how to use assistive technology for autism is SpecialEd. -Michelle Detar
Teacher with Autistic Student and iPad
Tools for Students with Sight and Reading Disabilities
Teaching students will always be a challenge. One of the more difficult things to do is teach students with learning disabilities. Learning disabilities can affect every aspect of learning, like writing, reading and math. There are many assistive tools that can help make these disorders a little easier to manage. Braille embossers convert text into Braille output. This tool allows teachers to convert things into Braille for better assistance with blind students. There is also software tools designed to make text-based materials more accessible to assist students with reading disabilities. Options can include scanning, reformatting, navigating, or speaking text out loud; this is a very good tool for students who have problems seeing or maneuvering print material. Prufrock Press is a word prediction program that requires a few keystrokes to generate word lists. This can help students with dyslexia or dysgraphia that has severe spelling problems, which do not benefit from spell-checkers.-Demetrius Hamner
Yale University
Microsoft Tools
Assistive Technology
Tools for English Language Learners
There are several ways to accommodate children with disabilities in your classroom. A great form of Assistive technology would be a program called “Read and Write Gold”. This program allows students to do several things to help them with their education. One feature this program allows you to do is convert speech to text. This program also allows you to translate foreign languages to English, if your student happens to be an English language learner. This can be easily downloaded to a Mac, PC, iPad, or tablet, so it can usually be easily accessed in your classroom. We would use this program for any student that could benefit from it and We believe it would be rather useful. For more information and uses of Read and Write Gold, visit TextHelp.-Miriah Grantham

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Final PLN Report

My Symbaloo

My personal learning network has grown since I started using Symbaloo. I have added the websites of the C4T teachers that have struck inspiration in me, the websites I found on my own that are useful to teachers, and applications to take notes with and make quizzes for myself. I use this to keep track of EDM310's blog and my own. It has easy access to Prezi for any time I need to make a quick presentation. After watching all of the TED talks, I added TED to my PLN to keep updated on new and interesting videos. I also have easy access to Google Docs and Google Sites, all of which come in handy when I'm trying to communicate with my group. This is just the beginning of my PLN, truthfully. I plan to add to it throughout my education and teaching career.

Blog Post #14

Go to and explore the website! It offers many valuable technological tools for students and teachers. Write a blog post on how you would use edshelf in the classroom.
edshelf logo
My post on using edshelf
Edshelf is a free educational website for teachers and students. I simply clicked "Browse around and explore" on the home page to get myself started. No need to sign up, anyone can rummage through this website and find great things! Once I clicked on the browse button, I was taken to a page that listed every category that edshelf assists with. From audio creators to lesson plan creators, edshelf literally has it all. I decided to discover more about the lesson plan creators. Once I clicked on "Lesson Plan Creator", I arrived at a page that gave me a list of applications that are available to teachers to create lesson plans! As a teacher, I will definitely use the application called Blendspace. Edshelf gives you tutorials on how to use the different sites.
Blendspace Logo
Blendspace is a one stop shop for everything in your lesson plan. You can search through a whole system to find resources and then shared them in one link. You can customize the lesson plan template to match your needs, and you can even create built in quizzes to test your students' knowledge.
Edshelf also has it to where you can search by subjects to find useful apps. If I were teaching a social studies lesson and wanted some useful videos to correlate to my lesson, edshelf has pulls up many different applications for that, or it also had lesson plan websites for that subject matter. Edshelf is such a useful website. It supplies links to almost every education website or applications known.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

C4K November Summary

Life in Auckland vs. Syria
Mary is a Year 6 student at Pt England School. This post was a short poem about how life differs in Auckland and Syria.
"I wake up to a bright light beaming through the curtains. I look at the time and its 8:00am. “Shoot! I’m running late” I shout. I quickly get dressed, clean my bed, brush my teeth and dash out the door skipping breakfast.

I wake up to bullets shooting through the room. I run to my mom's room and look out the window. “Another war happening!” I cry. I get down on my knees and close my eyes. I pray and pray to the Lord to help me and my family survive another day of horror.

I arrive at school and I check the time again. “It’s 8:30am” I say, right on time. I walk into class and sit down to wait for Mrs Nua to take the daily class roll. “Today is going to be a great day” I say and walk to my literacy group.

I open my eyes and realise that the gunshots have stopped. I look around and my mother is still peacefully deep into her sleep. “What to do?” I look around the room to do something for the day. No education, lacking clean clothes and no food to eat. “What to do?”

“Ring, Ring!” bell went. “Eating time” I say with excitement, I pack my stuff and ran to class. I walked outside and waited for my friends, afterwards my friends and I went to play on the field.

Everyday I think about my future am I going to wake up to gunshots every mornings, is my family and I going to survive another day, am I going to starve to death. Every Night I pray to the lord to guide us through the darkest hours."

This is a very emotional poem to read when you think about a child writing it. Here is the comment I left her:
"Hi Mary,
My name is Michelle. I'm a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL, USA. I very much liked this post! You showed great contrast between the two worlds. Keep up with your writing and blogging! You're doing a great job so far! I keep a class blog too. Here is the link if you want to check it out: My Blog."

My Dad's Trip to London
Peter is in Mrs. Yollis's class. He wrote so incredibly well for a third grader that I had to double check his grade. He wrote about his dad's trip to London, a place we both want to visit. He had pictures from his dad's trip to illustrate his post. His writing was very well done! He very much enjoys writing on his blog. Here is the comment I left for Peter:
"Hello Peter,
My name is Michelle. I'm also a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I actually had to recheck what grade level you are because of your post! VERY good job. I've never been to London, but the United Kingdom is on the top of my list of places to visit. Seeing all of your pictures that your dad took makes me want to visit soon! I hope you are enjoying blogging. You are doing a fantastic job with your writing skills. I also keep a blog for my class! If you'd like to see it, here is the link: My Blog."

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

C4T #4 Summary

Education Rethink Comment #1
For this C4T I read and commented on Education Rethink, an educational blog written by John Spencer and Chad Segersten. Education Rethink has blogs that give teachers tips on how to survive and just inspirational posts by these guys. The first post I commented on was actually written by Justin Stortz. He wrote about how you can't control everything in a classroom. It was a great post about the woes of teaching and how letting it all go at the end of the day could be the best thing for you. You can't control the educational policies, so just focus on creating a great environment in your classroom. Here is what I left for a comment:
"I'm an Elementary Education major at the University of South Alabama. I was going through this blog and what I read here caught my eye immediately. These are some self questions I will remember in a year when I'm teaching. I'm observing now and have realized that the teacher cannot control what happens to her lesson plan or certain students in the class. I've learned long ago that you can't change people or situations. Never had I stopped to put those words hand in hand with teaching. Thanks for a very insightful post!"
The author commented back and said:
"Thanks for reading and taking the time to respond, Michelle. John has a wonderful blog here. I read it often. Keep checking back for more writing to keep you thinking.
I wish you all the best the year as you prepare your career in teaching. Keep reading, and keep thinking."
Comment #2
The second post I read and commented on was about being an introverted teacher. I connected to this because I am an introvert. The guys had great tips on how to over come the problems that come with being an introvert. It can be difficult being around so many people at once. I'm lucky that I'm more comfortable around children than I am with teenagers or adults. Here is what I said:
"I'm an Elementary Education major at the University of South Alabama. I also happen to be an introvert that struggles with being around people. These are some great tips on how to be an educator while being an introvert. I struggle with what to say to the kids in the classes I observe in all the time. I'm glad to know that there are other teachers who make it as introverts! Thanks for a great post."

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Post #13

Sir Ken Robinson's Favorite TED Talks and What You Can Learn From Them
To This Day ... for the bullied and beautiful
Number Eight on Sir Ken Robinson’s list of favorite TED Talks is by a man named Shane Koyczan called “To This Day ... for the bullied and beautiful”. Shane is a poet as he delivers his speech to a full house. He talks about his childhood and how he tried to become himself. As a child he “hid his heart under the bed because his mother told if he wasn’t careful with it, someone would break it.” He claims we have to define ourselves at such an early age now. He continues telling about aspiring moments from his past. He talks about everything children have to deal with: bullies, finding yourself, and staying true to yourself. As future teachers, we need to remember what it was like for us to be the child. Shane made me remember that every child has the same problems. They want to define themselves. As a teacher, I will give my students room to grow and become the people of the future they deserve to be. Children are often put down by adults, because they think their problems trivial. Remember being that kid that got called names? Bullied? This video taught me to remember that for my future students. If you haven’t watched this, I would highly suggest it. It’s a lyrical reminder of childhood and why we as teachers need to pay attention to every child. -Michelle Detar
Shane Quote on being yourself
A Girl Who Demanded School
The video Kakenya Ntaiya: A Girl Who Demanded School was very touching. Kakenya is a woman from Kenya that wanted to make a change. She refused to keep the tradition and be married at the age of 12. Kakenya had dreams of becoming a teacher. Unfortunately, Kakeya had to undergo female circumcision as a compromise for her father to let her continue going to school at the age of 12. This was not at all an easy thing to do, but she was very determined to be a teacher. She did everything she could to get to America in order to attend college. The knowledge that Kakenya acquired when reaching America devastated her, and she decided to do something about it. After Kakenya graduated she went back to Kenya and started an all-girls school. This helped changed their lives for the better. We can learn a lot from this video. One thing we can learn is that it only takes one person to stand up for what they truly believe in to make a difference. Kakenya knew nothing about being a teacher, besides the fact that it looked easy, when she was young. The knowledge that she gained empowered her to do great things. Knowledge should make everyone want to make a difference. This video showed us that it only takes one person to create an opposite path that will help change the lives of many. You may start off with a very small dream, like becoming a teacher, and along the way help others reach dreams that you couldn't imagine. -Demetrius Hamner
Teaching Quote
Teaching One Child At a Time
On the list of Sir Ken Robinson’s favorite TED talks is a video called Teaching one child at a time by Shukla Bose. In this video, she tells how she started the Parikrma Humanity Foundation from her kitchen table. This is a program that helps the “slums” of India by focusing on teaching one student at a time. She explains that one of the schools she went to was a school that held 165 students and no roof on the building. Her dream, as she says, is for children to live to be educated and to live peacefully in the “kaotic” globalized world. She not only organized the schools that these children now had access to, but she chose a very difficult curriculum for them as well; which made her receive many crazy looks from outsiders. She explains that the students did more than adapt to this curriculum but excelled with it. Shukla Bose is a very inspiring woman. She shows us that every student has potential, they just need the right materials to succeed; and that “one student at a time” makes a difference. Like she says, “Educating the poor is more than just a numbers game.” It is people like this that should inspire educators around the world every day. -Miriah Grantham

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blog Post #12

Changing Education Paradigms
The video Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms starts off by telling us about the two reasons countries are reforming public education. One reason is economic, which poses the question: “How do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st Century?” The second reason is cultural, which poses the question: “How do we educate our children so they can have a sense of cultural identity so that we can pass on the cultural genes of our communities while being part of globalization?” Mr. Robinson also reinforces the fact that the school systems are still trying to teach students the same as the students were taught in the past. This is unacceptable, and we must change that if we truly want to educate our children. He also tells us about how students are going one way in the school system and they really should be headed in the other direction (change the paradigm). I learned from Mr. Robinson that every student has the means to be a “genius”, unfortunately that slowly fades away due to the school systems of today. We must change this quickly. In school, we are taught that we should not collaborate on the majority of our work, but in reality, the best learning is done collaboratively. This video taught me to look at school systems differently. We tell students to attend school, go to college and get a degree. In todays society, that is no longer enough to get and keep a well paying job. I learned that things must change if we truly want our upcoming students to be educated and obtain a good job. -Demetrius Hamner
Sir Ken Robinson
How to Escape Education's Death Valley
How to Escape Education's Death Valley is a hysterical but informative speech by Ken Robinson, a man who moved to America twelve years before. He tells us that whoever thought of the title "No child left behind" truly understood irony, because it's leaving millions of children behind. He says that America spends enough money and enough resources, but it is all going in the wrong direction. He believes the problem is not enough educators are focusing on Teaching and Learning but, instead, testing. He expressed that education is not a mechanical system, it's a human system; it's about people, and there are condition in which people thrive. He then clarifies why "Death Valley" is in the title by explaining that it is a place where nothing grows because it doesn't rain. Meaning that if we do not provide children with appropriate teaching climates, they will not thrive for success. He tells us that we must do these three things in the education system: We must individualize teaching and learning, we must attribute a high status to the teaching profession, and see Professional Development as an investment, not a cost, and we must make schools responsible and autonomous to get the job done. Centralized decision making is not the way. He concludes by saying that if we all were encouraged to be moved, it would start a revolution, and that is what we need. This man made some valid points about the education system.He made me believe that I can truly make a difference as a future teacher. It is a big process, teaching and learning; it relies on many aspects. If we can provide these aspects to schools, we are setting students up for success, which will lead to a “revolution”. -Miriah Grantham
Sir Ken Quote
How Schools Are Killing Creativity
In Ken Robinson’s TED Talk, How Schools Kill Creativity, he discusses how education is diminishing children’s creativity. He starts the talk with stories of how education is meant to prepare children for the future. He considers creativity to be just as important as literature in education. I am going to second him on this. Teachers spend so much time on literature and language arts but very little on evolving a child’s creativity. Creativity is one of the most extraordinary abilities we as humans have. I loved when Sir Ken said that children are born creative, but they grow out of it. They are taught out of it. The arts are no longer taught in elementary school like they are in secondary schools. Why is that? While watching this, I remembered Dr. Vitulli’s arts class. She stressed the importance of incorporating the arts in your lessons. Many teachers don’t do this. Teachers and parents tell the students to not do art or music, because they won’t be either as adults. Creativity and intelligence go hand in hand. So why not teach it? If you incorporate it into your lesson, it won’t take you any longer to teach it. It may also help students remember it easier that just a boring lecture and demonstration. -Michelle Detar

Sunday, November 3, 2013

C4T Summary #3

Mr. Will Richardson
Will Richardson is a former educator that resides in New Jersey. He has written several books and has many blogs. He is the co-founder of two websites dedicated to helping parents and teachers in the education department: Modern Learner Media and Powerful Learning Practice.
Will Richardson
The first post I commented on was about how to utilize technology properly in the classroom. He talked about an iPad hacking problem in schools that I had no idea was even going on. Here is the comment for that post:
"I'm a student at the University of South Alabama. Technology is shaping our schools, sometimes in good and bad ways. I hadn't heard of the Indiana and California iPad debacle. After reading about it, I'm sure most students have learned to do that. Schools with Project-based Learning techniques that include technology have students learning in a much better way. Technology is what is relevant to them. Thanks for this post. I learned about a couple of things had I no idea were going on.- Michelle"
The last post that I read from Will was about a book that he is currently reading. He talks about what we can do to keep learning relevant to our students. I found it very cool that the author of the book he was reading, David Price, actually commented on this post! Will posed the question to his readers on what are teachers doing to actually help kids. Here is my comment to that:
"I'm an Elementary Education student at the University of South Alabama and am taking a technology class currently. It allows us to learn how to utilize technology in our classrooms. Your post posed a great question on how are we helping kids. I recently watched a Skype interview with a first grade teacher that uses blogging in her classroom. Her students were so excited to learn that way. They created something that will ultimately last forever. I'll have to pick up the book your reading. It sounds like it is a great read for teachers and future teachers."

C4K October Summary

October Kids
This month, I commented on four student blogs: Eli, Andrea, Gabriejona, and Abdullah. Eli talked about a book that his class was reading. He discussed how he would feel if he were the main character. The character's teacher was reteaching material that she had previously learned. Here is my comment to Eli:
My name is Michelle! I’m a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, USA. I get to read student blogs and yours was picked! I agree that it would be very boring to have a teacher reteach the alphabet. I hope you’re enjoying reading and blogging! I keep a class blog as well. Here’s the link if you’d like to look at mine: My Blog."

Andrea was blogging for her science class about the structure of a cell. She had great insight on what she was learning. She wrote out every part of the cell for the reader and what it did. Here is my comment to her:
My name is Michelle. I’m a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. Thanks for the review on what all that was! You have great knowledge on what all the cell parts are. Your blog looks great. I hope you are enjoying blogging. I keep a blog for my class as well! Here is the link if you’d like to check it out: Michelle’s Blog."

Gabriejona had the assignment of looking into her family origins. Her family was originally from India but her parents moved to Canada before she was born. Here is the comment I left for her:
My name is Michelle. I'm a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL, USA. This was an interesting story about your origins. I am in a class where I had to tell about my origins. My family came to America from Canada a long time ago. I hope you are enjoying blogging. I keep one for my class too. Here is the link if you want to look at it: Michelle's Blog."

Abdullah blogged about a book that her class is reading, Out of My Mind. She used such wonderful descriptive writing. The book is about a girl with cerebral palsy and her journey. Here is the comment for Abdullah:
My name is Michelle. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL, USA. I quite enjoyed reading this post! You did a wonderful job at describing your readings. I hope you are enjoying the blogging world. I keep one for one of my classes as well. Here is the link if you’d like to take a look: Michelle’s Blog.

Blog Post #11

"Little Kids...Big Potential"
The video that sparked a Skype interview with Kathy Cassidy, Little Kids...Big Potential, shows Kathy's first grade classes using technology in their classroom. Instead of writing with pen and paper, they write using a class blog. They Skype with classes from all over and even talk to experts. You even learn how to comment on someone's blog from a first grader who knew exactly what he was doing! Dr. Strange interviewed Kathy about her use of technology in her classroom.
In Cassidy Part 1, Kathy talks about the importance of using technology. She uses a class webpage and blogging to promote learning. The strategy of using a class blog is one that I would definitely implement in my classroom. These are first graders that can blog, and that is so amazing to me. Kathy is right when she says that technology and kids go hand in hand. In today's world, technology is expanding and is apart of everyone's life. It's important to show kids how to use the technology that they are constantly surrounded by.
Students love Technology
In the second part of her interview, Dr. Strange asks Kathy where she thought someone should start when it comes to technology. Kathy's answer was to start where you are interested in. There are a ton of different sites that fits to any interest. This would be something that we would need to teach our students, how to utilize those sites to fit them.
Changes in Technology over time.
In the final part of her interview, Dr. Strange turns it over to the students to ask questions. Kathy answers the question that popped into my head at the beginning of the videos. How often does she use blogs? She explained that it all depends on the size of the class. If the students can blog from home then they blog more than those who can't. Kathy has some great approaches to how to use the blogs in the class. It's great to hear about this from an actual elementary teacher.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Project #14

Project #14 Lesson Plan
Write like you know.
Lesson Plan Overview created by Group Dufy
Above is the link to our Project Overview. This lesson plan focuses on Grade Level Standard 3: Writing narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure. It is intended for Grade 2. The project duration will be approximately six days with 45-60 minute sessions a day. After they finish this project, students should have an understanding of what an autobiography is and how to write one.
Lesson Plan Calendar by Dufy
Lesson Plan Rubric by Dufy

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blog Post #10

The Last Lecture
The Last Lecture, given by Randy Pausch, is an inspiring speech given by a man that didn't let his final fate stop him from teaching one last lesson. I have watched this speech a few times before. Every time I watch it, I am still amazed at what I can learn from this man. Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon that was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His last lecture was about his childhood dreams come true. Each dream had a story about how it had come true in some way. From being in zero gravity to being a Disney Imagineer, he had a lesson to be learned from each.
Randy Pausch
His lessons were to not give up. Since he was a child, Randy dreamed on being in zero gravity. When he finally was close to achieving it, he was told he couldn't participate because he was faculty. His response was to resign as faculty and go as a journalist since they were allowed. He found a way to achieve his dream. I learn to not let a brick wall stop me when it comes to learning or teaching. They are there not to stop you, but to teach you how badly you want it.
Randy Pausch Quote
He taught a Building Virtual Worlds course and had his students create their own worlds. Something that we can learn from this is that as teachers we are there to inspire and push our to students to do their best. His students learned to work in teams and create something that was one of a kind. As teachers, we will be responsible for young minds that need motivation to create. Something that Mr. Pausch taught us in this lecture was that nothing is impossible. We can create classroom activities that are innovating and interesting that will enable students to achieve their dreams.
Th final lesson on teaching and learning is to never give up. As teachers, we should never give up on a student. We need to show them that we are always there to help make them better. And we should never give up on ourselves. Every teacher is going to have a lesson that they spent so much time creating and it fails. Just because one lesson failed doesn't mean they all will. The Last Lecture is a video I would recommend to anyone. It is an exceptional speech that gives many lessons for the viewer.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Post #9

Back to the Future
Back to the Future is an educational video in which Brian Crosby, a fourth to sixth grade teacher at Agnes Risley Elementary School in Sparks, Nevada, discusses the ways he improves student learning in his classroom. When this video first started, it confused us a little. Why? Well, Mr. Crosby informed us on the background on his students and just how little they were exposed to. The majority of his class came from low income homes and had very little knowledge of their surroundings. Less than half of his class knew which city, state and country they lived in. This video shows the difference in the knowledge of students from middle-income and low-income schools. He has students use technology to connect with the outside world and learn from it. The students have their own blogs that they use to post their classwork on to meet state standards. Mr. Crosby reinforced the fact that every teacher should be creative, passionate and imaginative. We learned that you shouldn't judge students on where they come from, because with the right methods of teaching, every student will be able to become an A+ student. They are more than capable of learning the advantages of technology and utilizing it.
Students with iPad
The Blended Learning Cycle
Blended Learning Cycle is a video in which Paul Anderson, a high school AP Biology teacher in Bozeman, Montana, teaches us what a blended learning cycle is. A blended learning cycle is a combination of the blended cycle and the learning cycle. The blended cycle consists of three parts: mobile, online and classroom. The learning cycle consists of five parts: engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluate. An easy way to remember the steps in this cycle is the acronym QUIVERS; Question, Investigate, Video, Elaboration, Review, Summary quiz. Mr. Anderson uses this in his classroom to help his students learn. Each step of this method was to confirm the understanding of the students answer to a driving question. If the student was not able to complete one step of this method, then they were not able to move on to the next step. What can we learn from Mr. Anderson? We learned a new method of teaching. Every good teacher knows to ask a good question. Mr. Anderson’s steps make it easy to make sure students understand your questions. QUIVERS is a method we would use in our classrooms to keep our students engaged and check their understanding.
Making Thinking Visible
Making Thinking Visible is a video by Mark Church. He starts by putting his class into small groups. He wants them to think about the topic of human origins. He lets them interpret the topic on their own and create a headline, or question, that helps them start their thinking process. After further discussion of that unit, the students will go back to their headlines and see if their view on the topic has changed. This is a very good method of learning to help students become critical thinkers. What can we learn from Mr. Church? We learned to let students think for themselves. If you pose a question, the students will find a way to answer it. This is a method of learning that we all could use in our classrooms to encourage our students to think critically and learn to combine their thoughts with others as well.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Project #9

Podcast by Group Dufy

Blog Post #8

21st Century Learning and Communicating Tools
Teachers Pay Teachers
I am currently observing in a third grade classroom for three of my other classes. My mentor teacher, Ms. Williams, told me about some great sites that she uses to get worksheets and activities from. One that she told me about was Teachers Pay Teachers. I created an account with Teachers Pay Teachers so that I could access the tools that it provides. Teachers from all over can sell their original works to other teachers. You can sort your options by grade level, subject, or price. This is a great tool to use when you need extra help on certain subjects. My mentor teacher uses it in reading, because many of the students have a hard time grasping how to find the main idea of a passage. I would use this tool whenever I wanted my students to have a little extra practice on what we have already learned. The prices are cheap, and it's quality work that you are buying. Some other great tools that it provides are: bulletin board ideas, classroom decorations, PowerPoints, rubrics, and so much more! Teachers Pay Teachers is an excellent site for teachers in all aspects. -Michelle Detar
Teachers Pay Teachers Logo
Education Place and Jump Start
As I searched the internet, I came across two very good learning websites. One is called Eduplace and the other is called Jump Start. Eduplace is a basic site, specifically for second grade, that gives tools to help plan your lesson. It consists of a glossary, manipulatives, graphic organizers, and, of course, games. All of these tools are specific for second grade learning. This learning tool could be used often in my classroom, mostly for the games and manipulatives. Jump Start has educational resources for pre-K through sixth grade. Some of the resources are: games, worksheets, lesson plans, and much more. The movie Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon are some of the themes used for the different games. Each game is available not only online but on a number of sources like the iPad, Nintendo Wii, Mobile Device, and Nintendo DS. As you can see, Jump Start stays up to date on 21st century learning, and that is why it grabbed my attention. This is something that I will use in my classroom on a daily basis to reinforce what we have learned or to even introduce something new. The many worksheets, lesson plans and activities will be of great help in my classroom. Each curriculum is based on national and state standards so my students will always be learning efficiently. Jump Start is also a great way to keep my class interactive in learning. This site will help make the boring or more difficult topics fun. -Demetrius Hamner
Tech4Learning logo
Tech4Learning and The 21st Century Teacher
One of the great sites that I stumbled upon was called Tech4Learning. This is a great place that encourages what we are learning in EDM310. It can be accessed by Parents, Teachers, and Administrators. It gives you all sorts of interesting information including “How to create a 21st Century Classroom”. It offers guides of common core standards that must be followed and “award winning” programs to download and use in your classroom. There is also a “connect” tab on the homepage that allows you to connect with other teachers, see lessons, and the work of other students. Another interesting site that I found was called The 21st Century Teacher. Here you can find articles, blogs, and videos that offer tips for 21st century learning. I would use both of these websites as an educator. Not only do they offer you great advice, but they also allow you to connect with other educators from all over and share ideas, which is very helpful for creating your own “21st Century Classroom”.-Miriah Grantham

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

C4T #2 Summary Report

C4T #1
In Langwitches' post, Grow Your Network: Become a Detective, Silvia discusses what it means to be connected as a teacher. She uses Twitter as her personal learning network. She is following over 5,000 educators. That's 5,000 educators to get ideas and thoughts from. She also says to read blogs! Blogs are a great way to add to your PLN. You can find someone with your interests and follow them on Twitter. She gives thorough directions on how to utilize Twitter for your own PLN. I'm not a big Twitter fan yet, but after reading her post, I want to be.
I left Silvia this comment:
My name is Michelle. I am an elementary education major at the University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL. I really enjoyed reading this blog. I’m currently in EDM310, and it is a course on how to utilize technology in the classroom. We have started our own PLNs. We started with making a Twitter account actually. After reading this, I know how extremely useful that tool will be for me now and after I graduate. Thank you for this awesome post!"
Connected Educator Tools.
C4T #2
In Connected Educators, Leaders and Schools, Silvia once again discusses what it means to be a connected educator and how to be one. While reading this, I could see many similarities between her ideas and Dr. Strange's. They both say to spend fifteen minutes a day using your PLN. I liked this post, because she mentioned using other sites besides Twitter for your PLN. I personally like to use Pinterest as part of my PLN. (They have great education pins and boards.) Silvia is extremely connected to other educators. I would suggest these two posts for any of my classmates, if they are having trouble with their PLNs or just want a good read.
I left this comment:
"My name is Michelle Detar and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I really enjoy reading your posts about staying connected! My professor is really big about keeping PLNs and blogs. I don’t use Twitter as much as I should for staying connected, but I use Pinterest a lot! It’s so helpful in finding new activities and lessons. Also, Symbaloo is a great way to stay connected. Thanks again for an awesome post!"

Friday, October 4, 2013

Blog Post #7

Project-Based Learning Part 1: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher
In Project-Based Learning Part 1, Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps discuss the usage of project-based learning. Anthony Capps is a former student of EDM310 and is now a teacher in Baldwin County. Projects were once viewed as something you did at the end of a lesson to show what you had learned. Now, they are viewed as a way of teaching the material. Project-based learning is when you use actual projects to help students learn their objectives. Projects shouldn't just be used to reinforce what you have learned, but it should be a tool to learn. One example that Anthony gave us was a letter that his students wrote to Congressman Jo Bohner. He explained that each student wrote an individual letter and peer reviewed each one of their fellow classmates letters. They then picked the eight best letters and mailed them. This was a great way to show the importance of peer editing, collaboration, and project-based learning, which are very important tools to bring to the education system.
Project-Based Learning Part 2: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher
This video gave great insight on all aspects of a classroom. As a teacher not every parent or student will agree with your choice of teaching, and we have to expect that. There are no limits to learning, so we should never limit our students. Always encourage them to go above and beyond. Project-based learning is a great tool for students of all levels. Simple projects such as writing a narrative script can be useful in retaining information about certain subjects. Students have fun while they learn, and they actually want to learn the material. I think that students will be more eager to learn if the learning process presented is engaging for them. Project-based learning is just that. Students are learning to think for themselves. It’s like you’re handing them a lemon, and they make amazing lemonade out of it.
iCurio: Learning my way.
In the video,iCurio, Anthony talks about what iCurio is. iCurio is a great tool for students to use and help them stay organized. Students can use iCurio to search websites that have been filtered for educational purposes. Students look up information on the internet all the time, but most of the time we forget where we got our information from. iCurio puts a stop to this, because it is a great way to retain information about the subjects we searched for. iCurio is a great program for students, because it will give them acceptable results when they search for information, and it is safe and secure. iCurio is also a great way to find course standard related topics.
Discovery Education
In Discovery Education, we learn what Discovery Education is and why it is useful. Discovery Education is used for student searches, and teachers can use it to find fascinating videos that correlate to their lesson. Anthony says that by giving a child a video that goes along with their text, they are retaining a lot more information. Visual demonstrations help students retain the information. One of us has actually seen this program being used by one of our mentor teachers. She used interactive models, songs, and stories to help explain her lesson. The kids responded very well to this. This is definitely something we could benefit from in the classroom setting.
The Anthony-Strange Tips for Teaching
In this video, Dr. Strange talks to Anthony Capps, once again. He just finished his first year of teaching third grade at Gulf Shores Elementary School in Baldwin County.They both discuss the things that we as educators should prepare ourselves for when we become a teacher. They both give great tips such as: We must constantly learn and model that behavior, be flexible, and get your student engaged. The one that stands out to me most is, “It is hard work, but it can be fun if we let it be fun.” This is an statement I completely agree with. While observing classrooms for my other classes, I have seen all the work that goes into being a teacher. I have heard a lot of people say that teachers just sit there and do nothing when their students are not there( for example, when they are in P.E. or at lunch), and I have personally seen that is not true. They are preparing for the student to come back, grading papers, rearranging the classroom, etc. This requires a lot of creativity, which is where the fun part comes in. Both Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps gave us some good tips to bring with us to the Teaching Field. -Miriah Grantham
Learning by Technology
Don't Teach Technology-Use It
In Don't Teach Technology-Use it, Dr. Strange and Anthony talk about how to use technology in the classroom. Anthony tells us not to teach technology but to use it for assignments. Students in this century have the ability to learn how to use technology on their own. We learned this in the beginning of the course when we watched Dr. Mitra give children in third world countries computers, and they quickly taught themselves how to properly use them. Technology is something that children now are very familiar with. Most of them could probably teach adults a few tricks. As a teacher, I would much rather use technology than paper supplies. Technology is free. Students who may not be able to afford paper supplies can definitely benefit by the classroom technology. They have a vast variety of different tools to use. It’s beneficial because they are learning the course objectives and learning to use those tools. We can show them how to do it, but we should let them teach themselves with their assignments. Students will be proud of what they have accomplished, and we will be proud that they have learned a new skill! -Michelle Detar
Who am I teaching?
Additional Thoughts About Lessons In this video, Anthony tells us about the components of a lesson. Looking at a plan, we must break it down into yearly, monthly, weekly and daily. There are a few questions we should ask ourselves when constructing a project for our students. Is this project meaningful? Will it cover the material needed to be learned? Can this project get my students’ attention? Will I be able to meet all of my goals? What can I do to measure their progress? Creating projects for a lesson plan is hard work, and it is not to be rushed. As a teacher, we should take our time and do it the right way. -Demetrius Hamner

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

C4K Summary for September

This I Believe by Tyler
In This I Believe, Tyler gives the reader a short history about the Automotive Industry. He talks about Nicholas Joseph Cugnot, the man that created the very first steam powered automobile. He also talks about Henry Ford, the man that built the first automobile a middle class man could buy, according to Tyler. He seemed very enthusiastic about what he was writing on. Tyler is a 10th grader who created this blog for his English class.
I posted this comment:
"Hello Tyler,
I’m Michelle, and I’m a student at the University of South Alabama. I enjoyed reading your blog about the automotive industry. I don’t think a lot of people really stop to think what if we didn’t have that industry. I hope you are enjoying writing a blog for your class! I also have to keep one for mine. You’re doing a great job so far."

Bejeweled! by Connor
In Bejeweled!, Connor talks about the game Bejeweled. He tells the reader what the game is and how to play it. This was a short post by the student.
I left this comment:
"Hi Connor!
I’m Michelle, and I’m a student at the University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA. I’m an elementary major and hope to teach in a couple of years. I’m in a class called EDM310 and I got to read your blog! My mom was addicted to Bejeweled. Then she got hooked on Candy Crush. I actually haven’t played either. Keep blogging!"

Skypeing my penpow by Michael
For this C4K, I read Michael's blog. He is a year 5 student in Auckland, NZ. In Skypeing my penpow, Michael talks about his pen pal in Australia. He got to Skype with his buddy, Jack. They asked each other questions like what was their favorite cartoon and favorite food. The blog post had a great video of Michael video chatting with Jack. I recommend this video to everyone! It was great to see him actually interacting with Jack.
I left this comment:
"Hello Michael,
My name is Michelle! I'm a student at the University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA. I think it's really cool that you have a buddy in Australia. I never got to do that kind of stuff when I was your age. You're doing a great job at keeping a blog by the way. I also have to keep a blog for my class. Here is the link if you'd like to read it: my blog. Keep up the good work!"

How Much Does the Sky Weigh? by Cody
This blog is for a sixth grade class in Robertsdale, AL. The class was writing about the weight of the sky for their blogs. I read Cody's blog. He actually taught me something that I did not know. He said that the sky was weightless but that the atmosphere weighed five billion pounds. His blog was short and to the point.
I left this comment:
"Hello Cody,
I'm Michelle Detar. I'm a student at the University of South Alabama. You have taught me something that I did not know! I had no clue that the atmosphere weighed anything at all. I don't remember learning that when I was in middle school.... I hope you are enjoying blogging! I have to keep a blog for my class as well. Here is a link for it, if you'd like to look at it! My Blog."

Progress Report for PLN Project #2

My Personal Learning Network
Words describing PLNs
A Personal Learning Network is used to gain quick access to any tools you may use for educational purposes. For my PLN, I decided to create a Symbaloo. This is an easy to use site that organizes your tools in tiles. You can search for tiles to add, or you can add your own! On my Symbaloo, I have links to the EDM310 Blog, my blog, and my Google Site. I also have links to my social media networks; Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. In order to keep updated on teachers that I have commented on, I have added their blogs to my tiles. After learning about and using iCurio, it is also on my tiles. This site is useful when I need to go back and look at the different blogs I visit. It's quite handy to have all my personal tools all in one place!

Project #13

Writing a Fable Lesson Plan
Lesson Plan #1 created by Michelle Detar for Project #13
Above is the link to my Project Overview. This lesson plan focuses on Standard 2-Retelling stories, determining the meaning or moral behind the story, and explaining the answer by using text evidence. It is intended for Grade 3, but ,according to iCurio, it can be used in higher grade levels. The project duration will be approximately seven hours divided between five days of the reading block time. After they finish this project, students should have an understanding of what a fable is!
Link for my Project Calendar
Link for my PBL Essential Elements Checklist

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Blog Post #6

How to Ask a Question
As teachers, we need to be able to ask effective questions to our students. Many times I have been in a class where the teacher asks, "Does anyone have any questions?" My answer was always no, even if I didn't quite understand what was taught. This primarily is for math classes. And I'm not the only student that does that. So how do we avoid being that teacher? The answer is simple. Ask students open-ended questions that provoke their thoughts. Dr. Chelsey gives a great example of the difference in closed and opened-ended questions in her short video. If we ask students questions that have already been set up for a question, we have to expect a short answer. Now if we ask them a question that leaves it open for them to elaborate, they will go into detail about their thoughts on the subject.
Questions anyone?
Ben Johnson made a great point in his blog when he said that we ask students questions like we don't know the material ourselves. I can understand why we ask those questions though. We ask them to see if the students truly understand what we have just taught them. The downfall is that some students may not know that they don't know. In his blog, he mentioned question strategies researched by Mary Budd Rowe. Her theory is to ask a question, wait three seconds, and randomly choose a student to answer it. She believes this works because the students are all thinking of the answer because they do not know who will be called on!
Teacher asking questions to eager students.
This past week, I worked with a third grader on his reading assignment. A question was posed to find a word in the text (the word was preen) and tell how he knew what it meant. When I looked at his answer, he had put that preen meant to cuddle. It clearly stated in the same sentence preen was used in that it meant to clean. He was set that it meant to cuddle. I asked him why he thought it meant that, and he responded that he learned that in class. I think now that had I asked him in a different way, he may have understood that his answer was wrong. I do think that teachers sometimes ask the wrong questions to their students. We can overcome that by just changing the wording in our question. I am learning in my field experience the differences in my questioning. Next time I am tutoring, I will be sure to ask an open-ended question.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Blog Post #4

Podcasting with First Graders
This post was about a first grade teacher that started making podcasts with their students. Not many people would think to let a first grade class make podcasts. Before I continue, let me tell you what a podcast is! For those that do not know, a podcast is a digital file made and uploaded to the internet for downloading. This particular teacher let students record themselves acting out, on audio only, books from the Magic Tree House series. They were so involved in the whole process. Not only did they act it all out, they also helped edit the podcast for the final product! The students get to see just how many people have heard them when people comment on this blog with their location. I think this is a great way to help students understand technology and have fun while learning different skills.
Podcast Icon
Benefits of Podcasting
In the blog, Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom, they are giving specific reasons why podcasting is useful in school. Podcasting in the classroom can be used to record daily lectures for students who may have missed school that day, be useful for curious parents, and other teachers to use. Students can do podcast projects where they are the ones acting it out. This video makes the valid point that by using a podcast, we are making learning more relevant to this generation. This generation of students have always had technology at their fingertips. Why not make learning the same way as every day life for them? I agree that this can promote student creativity. They can use their imagination when creating a podcast. One thing I learned from this is that podcasting can help students access higher levels in Bloom's Taxonomy.
Stick Figure communicating with the world by Podcast
After reading this, I learned that podcasting is not only useful in the ways mentioned above, but it is also helpful for language learners. They created a podcast of just the sounds and words they needed and created a whole lesson on it. They incorporated different technologies along with the podcast. Podcasts can help students hear different sounds they have to learn for a language. I thought this was a great way to use this technology. After reading and watching everything about podcasting, I think this is a great way to keep students connected in class. In another class of mine, I was asked how would I keep parents involved in the students school life. I said podcasting. I definitely stick to my answer after reading/watching these. It is very helpful to have audio about what the students are learning for not only the student but also the parent and teacher.