Monday, September 30, 2013

Project #2 Progress Report on PLN

people linked together in a Personal learning network

Beginning Stages:

For my Personal Learning Network I chose to use Symbaloo. I chose this site to create my PLN because it is very easy to maneuver and organize. To use Symbaloo you add tiles to a webmix and each tile contains a link. Symbaloo has helped me organize all of my EDM310 networking sites and many educational sites that I have found on my own.

As of right now, my PLN contains contains information about :

Social Media
Twitter -I use Twitter to follow many USA staff and students, as well as other educators.
YouTube -I use YouTube for my EDM310 class projects, and also to watch assigned material and related materials.
Learnist -Learnist is a site very similar to Pinterest but has categories such as Education, and Learning. I am new to Learnist but from what I have found on it I believe it will be a great site to have in my PLN.

The University of South Alabama
I have links for the South Alabama homepage, which is useful to have because they post school information to the main webpage.

I have links to the EDM310 blog and links to My Blog. These are useful to have on my PLN because after leaving this class it will make it easier to find the two if I need to view them for any reason.

Writing Tools
I have links to Purdue Owl and Grammar Girl. These sights are useful to have in my PLN because I can send my students there or use tips from the sites to help improve my writing or my students writing.

I also have contact information from former professors at USA and many personal friends who are already teachers in many different grades.

C4T #2

Blogging and the Literacy Curriculum
My second teacher blog that I read and commented on was titled Primary Tech written by Kathleen Morris. Mrs. Morris is a teacher at Leopold Primary School in Australia. Mrs. Morris's post that I commented on is titled Blogging and the Literacy Curriculum . In this post Mrs.Morris writes about her experience with introducing blogging into her curriculum. She does not just have the students blog pointlessly, she incorporates the blogging into her lessons. I really enjoyed the section of her blog labeled "Blogging is all about Literacy", Morris gives very good reasoning for using blogs in the classroom. In my comment to Mrs.Morris, I told her that I agree with that students should be able to read, write and interact across a range of platforms tools and medias. I also agree with her idea that Blogging is an excellent way to teach traditional and multi-modal 21st century skill.

Looking Back, Looking Forward
My second post by Mrs.Morris was titled Looking Back,Looking Forward.In this post Mrs. Morris explains how she is cleaning out her teaching resources and updating to the 21st century. Mrs. Morris was leaving her classroom for maternity leave, and was not sure when she would be returning. As Morris cleans her classroom out and prepares it for the new teacher, she writes about her experiences as a new teacher up to now when she is leaving after 10 years. I really liked reading this post because in my experience, most teachers who have been teaching as long as Mrs. Morris or longer do not make the switch to 21st century teaching styles. Mrs. Morris gives great examples of how she is updating her plans for teaching when she returns by throwing out her beloved work sheets and busy work and introducing a more hands on learning experience for her students.
stack of discarded worksheets

future and past collide sign

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Project #8 Book Trailer

For my book trailer I chose my favorite book from when I was younger, I find this book to be very entertaining and it even has a nice lesson to be learned. The book is called Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse written by Kevin Henkes, and is about a little girl who decides to bring her favorite purse to school one day and has to go through the consequences of having it taken away and understanding why disrupting the class was not the right thing to do. I hope you enjoy!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Blog Assignment #6

For this blog assignment, I read a few of the assigned materials and then I was still curious about techniques of questioning in the classroom. I was able to find a really interesting page titled Types of Questions which is an excerpt from the book Concept-based curriculum and instruction for the thinking classroom written by H.L. Erickson. I found this page interesting because it breaks down the types of questions we need to ask as teachers. The five question types are factual, convergent, divergent, evaluative, and combinations.

Factual Questions
Factual questions bring forward simple straight forward answers that are based on facts. These types of questions are the lowest level of cognitive or affective processes, and the answers are right or wrong based on the factual information. Asking for specific details about a problem or story would be an example of factual questions.

Convergent questions bring answers that are not as defined as factual questions but have a small range of acceptable answers. Convergent questions have different cognition levels; these include comprehension, analysis, and application. The answers to these questions could also be influenced by what the student already knows or personal opinion. Broad questions that include reflections would be an example of a convergent question.

Divergent questions have a much wider range of answers because these questions require students to analyze, synthesize and evaluate a knowledge base to come to a conclusion. The answers to this type of question are often varied and include multiple scenarios. The answers to divergent questions are also based on possibility and probability to the information given. These questions are meant to encourage creativity, imagination and investigation. An example of a divergent question would be what if questions, where you question a variable in the problem or story.

Evaluative questions are meant to test the high levels of cognition by combining logic, affective thinking and comparisons. The answers are also not specific, and are viewed by multiple perspectives. An example of this kind of question would be a compare and contrast question.

Combination questions are a mix of the four other types of questions. An example of a combination would be asking your students to give specific details while also thinking about and discussing what could have change if a certain variable was different. This example combined factual and divergent questioning.

I found this page very useful in that it broke down the types of questions, and also gave an example question for each type. This page would make a very good source for someone who was not sure what type of questions they are asking. Also this site could be used to decide what type of questions you should be asking when you are looking for a specific answer.

man writing a question

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blog Assignment #5

iCurio and Discovery Ed


iCurio is a site that offers digital curriculum that focuses on the individual needs of the students in grades k-12. iCurio is a useful tool to help enhance lectures and improve student engagement in the lecture. iCurio has many benefits; the most obvious benefit would be the personalization that it offers. iCurio allows the teacher to focus on the specific needs of the students. iCurio provides tools and flexibility to become individual learners and give the teacher a chance to work with students who need extra help. iCurio also encourages student engagement using videos, interactive activities and images. I plan to use iCurio in my future classroom to help personalize my lesson plans and enhance my lecture with videos and images.

Discovery Ed

Discovery Ed is an online media service that offers real time assessments, interactive textbooks, virtual activities, customizable and state standards materials. Discovery Ed encourages students to be more engaged in their classroom, because it transforms a traditional classroom into a digitally enhanced classroom. Discovery Ed also provides a homework help section for students to use if they are having trouble with their homework. In my classroom I plan to use Discovery Ed for morning work assignments, and to enhance my lectures even further.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Blog Assignment #4

I really enjoyed reading the posts on the Langwitches blog, in these posts they showed the process the teachers and students went through to read and record the books. I listened to the Flat Stanley podcast and the Magic Treehouse podcast. I really loved listening to the students reading the scripts they created because you could just listen and hear the excitement the children were getting out of recording the stories. The children were able to experiment with pitch, tone and volume of their voices when reading the lines of the script.

After listening to the podcasts recorded by the 1st and 2nd graders I watched the video The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom. I did not realize there were two different types of podcasts. This video taught me that podcasts are just the audio recordings and when you add visuals to the recording the term is vodcasts. I found the idea of using podcasts or vodcasts as a way for children who are absent from school to be able to still see the lecture and not miss out on school very interesting. Giving students the chance to see the lecture even if they missed school is a great way to help students catch up if they are sick, or fall behind in class.

This video also showed the students reading along with a video recording of a book, the students reacted very well to the recording. The students seemed more interested in the story when there was tone change and noises going along with the story rather than just the students reading or the teacher reading. After reading and listening to this material I hope to be able to use podcasts in my future classroom, to help enhance my students learning. logo

C4T #1

Using Diigo
For my first C4T assignment I was assigned to read Beth Still's blog. The first post I read was about using Diigo and Twitter. I found this article very useful. I had never heard of Diigo before but after reading about it, I plan to use it when wanting to share information. This program is an easy way to share and communicate articles and other resources to administrators or other teachers. It allows you to make groups, for example you could group by student grade level or classroom subject. the articles are given descriptions and filed away until they are needed. In her post Still also explains how Diigo can be linked to Twitter so you can have easy access to twitter feeds or posts that you have liked or saved.

My comment to Beth Still was that I believe this is a fantastic program. The ability to share articles and resources with administrators and teachers easily and hassle free is great for improving the learning experience for students. Diigo also gives the teachers the ability to share their ideas and discover new and creative ways to use the information that they might not have thought of themselves.

Diigo Logo

No Potty for you!
The second post I read by Beth Still was a rather comical post. Beth shared a tweet from Seth McLeod saying that at an open house he was told if a student asks to go to the bathroom more than 3 times a quarter they will received a fifteen minute after-school detention. Beth shares a story about her second year of teaching and how she tried to enforce a similar rule. She explains how this was a learning experience and how this was not a success. Beth ends her post giving advice to new teachers; her advice was that we should give our students the chance to realize on their own what is acceptable and what isn't in a classroom. She also says that as a new teacher it is smart to choose your battles wisely.

Having had a teacher in high school who only allowed us three bathroom passes a quarter, I know how difficult it is to decide when to use your passes and when you should hold on to them. In my experience with this the class spent more time arguing with the teacher than we did actually having a lesson. This caused the class as a whole to not have a very successful semester. I have enjoyed reading Beth Still's post and plan to follow her blog and continue to read and learn from her posts.

example of a bathroom pass

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blog Assignment #3

After reading and watching the assigned materials, I learned that when writing a peer review you should always stay positive. The video by Tim Bedley’s elementary class shows a very cute dramatization of the top 10 mistakes made when peer reviewing.In this video they show characters such as Defensive Dave and Mean Margaret. Defensive Dave takes his peer review to personally and has his feelings hurt.Mean Margaret is too harsh in her peer review and does not review her peers appropriately. This video would make an excellent tool when explaining to students how to properly review their peers work.

The assigned materials taught me that to give a proper peer review you should always start with complimenting what the writer did correctly or very well. Giving compliments let the writer know that you did enjoy their paper. So when you do start giving suggestions and corrections they know you are just being helpful. The next step to a proper peer review is giving suggestions. Some examples of suggestions given in the slide show were offering a different word choice, using details, or helping organize the paper. The third and final step to a peer review is the corrections. Corrections can be given to correct spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, missing punctuation, or to correct incomplete or run-on sentences.

When giving corrections you do not want to be like the character Picky Patty, meaning you do not want to point out small insignificant errors such as the thickness of an underlined word or the space between the words in the title. This would come off to the writer as rude and cause them to experience a bad peer review. Peer reviewing is a tough job, it is important to have the balance of giving corrections but doing so in a way that will not hurt the feeling of the person whose work you are reviewing.

When leaving a peer review for my group members if the review would embarrass my group member I e-mailed it to them, but with just minor mistakes or sentence structure I will leave the comments on their blog. Constructive criticism should be kept positive and not said in an ugly way, and I would hope my classmates would be okay with me trying to help improve their blog post.

 TAG Quote

Student Peer Review papers