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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blog Post #15

keyboard

My Reflection
My first post included a paragraph answering these questions: "Imagine your classroom when you start teaching. What will be the methods of teaching that you will emphasize? What tools will you use, and what tools will your students use?" At this point I can say I have a better idea of how to answer those questions. I would still like to incorporate as much art in the classroom as I can but now I have an idea of the technology I would like to use in the classroom.
I am an Elementary Education Major and I would really like to teach kindergarten or first grade, but I know I may not have my pick. Therefore, I want to be prepared to teach all ages between K-6. “What kind of technology could first graders possibly use?” would have been a question I asked prior to this course but now I ask myself what technology couldn’t they use? Children have sponge like brains; they soak up and take to everything, most of them navigate certain technology better than adults.
When I am teaching first grade or any grades above that I plan on using blogs in the classroom because I think children can gain so much from it. They are constantly working on their writing skills and they are also instantly communicating with others. It helps them develop social skills and it allows them to create a personal learning network that they can use for collaborating throughout their life.
Speaking of PLNs, I would also like to help my future students create their personal learning networks in which they can continue adding onto over the years. I learned this semester just how effective the use of a PLN can be. Blog post #11 really opened my eyes to the use of technology at an early age in the classroom. Part of this assignment was to watch Mrs. Cassidy’s video “Little Kids Big Potential”- a must view for all.

Changes
technologyIf I were to go back and rewrite my response to blog post #1 I would change a few things. Like I said, I would like to incorporate as much art in the classroom as possible-I am a strong believer in exercising human creativity. I would add the fact that I would like to incorporate the use of technology in and outside of the classroom. I would do so with the use of some project based learning; which is another technique I learned from this course.
Another thing I would change about my first blog post is my choice of age I would like to teach. For a while I have wanted to teach kindergarten or first grade because I have become comfortable with that age group, but I have realized I must prepare to be the best teacher I can be for all ages between K-6. I would really like to teach any age at this point because I have been exposed to just how much I can do with all age groups and how much fun I can make learning for them with the use of technology and project based learning. I am so eager to teach and I am so grateful for the preparation this class has given me.

Friday, May 3, 2013

April C4K Summaries

Nicholas L.
c4kFor my first C4K of my last month in EDM 310 I was assigned to look at Nicholas L.’s blo. He posted a blog titled “Intro to Russian Students” and it was a brief summary of where he was from and where he would like to visit. He also wrote about his favorite sports, hobbies and favorite class in school. Nicholas said he would like to visit Europe so in my comment to him I told him I would like to visit Greece and I asked him where he would like to visit. He commented me back saying: “I like to go to Norway, Sweden, and some parts of Germany. I seen the pictures of the mountains and the views look amazing. So what parts of Greece do you want to go to?” I commented back tonight telling him that I would like to visit Milos, and Ikaria.

Trevor
For my second C4K of the month I visited Trevor’s blog. I really enjoyed reading his posts the one I commented on was titled “Nebraska Post”. This post was many fun facts about Nebraska, and at the end Trevor asked: “What’s your state bird? Where do you live? What’s your state like? What’s you state insect? Do you like your state? I hope you like your state.” My comment to him was: “Hi Trevor! I am a student at the University of South Alabama and I am majoring in elementary education. I was very surprised by some of the information I didn’t know prior to reading your post. I enjoy both Koolaid and rubans; I am glad to know something about their origin :) As I mentioned I attend school in Alabama; Mobile, Alabama to be exact. Mobile is my hometown and our state bird is the Yellowhammer. I had to do some research on google to find out that the Monarch Butterfly is the official state insect of Alabama. I love my state! It is very warm, and so pretty when it is not raining. I live near the Mobile Bay and Dauphin Island; I really like living near the water and I don’t ever plan on moving too far from it. We have many museums but none about skating; that sounds really cool! I love traveling but I have never been to Nebraska. Do you like to travel? What state would you like to visit the most? I love my state and I’m glad you love yours too.”

kids world

Liam
As for my final C4K of the semester I visited Liam’s blog. He wrote a post about his Easter weekend and everything he was planning on doing. Liam also mentioned his favorite candy and that he was excited to participate in the Easter egg hunt. My comment to him was: “Hi Liam! I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the United States and I am majoring in elementary education. I hope you had a good holiday, did you get any of your favorite candies? How was the Leopold Easter egg hunt? My favorite Easter chocolates are Cadbury eggs and Reeses peanut butter eggs. Over my Easter weekend I dyed eggs with my mom; it is one of my favorite traditions. I look forward to reading more of your posts :)” He responded saying: “Dear Abigail Mularz, Thanks for your great comment. Yes I did I got crunchie Easter eggs and a bunny. It was great because I saw some of my friends and got lots of chocolate. From your blogging buddy, Li♣m”

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Project #13

googleDuring this course I was introduced to many different collaborating tools. Such as Skype, Twitter, and Google Docs. I personally got the most use out of Google Docs this while working on group projects with my group, Fantastic Four. It was really neat being able to work on certain projects together without having to meet up, because most of the time out schedules conflicted. Google Docs along with SMS, and gmail are some of the tools I became familiar with throughout this semester.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Final Report on: Project #9 PLN

PLNloveMy PLN has grown immensely since the beginning of this course. As I mentioned in my progress report I have many applications on my phone including: Edmodo, Symbaloo, Pinterest, Google Drive, Adobe Reader, Blogger, iTunes U, Evernote, iBooks, and myHomework. Since then I have added many new resources to my PLN; including Quizlet, WolframAlpha, and I have recently created a Facebook account. My PLN has expanded throughout the semester and I only expect it to continue growing :)

Blog Post #14

CourseSmart
CourseSmart E-Textbooks
Teacher Knows if You've Done the Reading is an article about the use of CourseSmart E-Textbooks in the classroom. Among the colleges attempting this technique this semester are Texas A&M at San Antonio, Central Carolina Technical College, Clemson, and Stony Brook University. This new approach involves an online textbook for students that can be accessed and monitored by their teachers. Students’ progress is tracked through an “engagement index” which allows teachers to see when students are not reading assigned materials, not taking notes, and when they are failing to highlight important information. Adrian Guardia of Texas A&M comments about his experience with one of his students using CourseSmart. Mr. Guardia noticed the student had only opened his textbook once but his quiz grades were solid for the most part; he knew he had to reach out to the student about his studying habits. The student received a C on his last quiz, and came to the revelation that it was because he had a low CourseSmart index. CourseSmart was created by McGraw-Hill, Pearson and other major publishers to offer a constant stream of data about how much students are or are not progressing.

My Reaction to New Technology
My reaction to the information given from the New York Times as a future educator is a bit undecided considering the fact that I am still a student, but putting myself in my future teaching shoes I think this new technology might be a good thing. Having access to knowledge about whether or not students are even opening their books could be helpful in terms of how teachers present daily lessons. I think that the program could grow into a huge resource for future classrooms!
My reaction as a student is still undecided just because I have not been exposed to so much use of technology in the classroom. Granted my first memory of computers in school was either in 1999 or 2000 and I've been using them in the classroom ever since; I feel I was exposed in the beginning of the technological age so I’m still a fan of using my pen and paper in the classroom. The current generation and future generations may see things differently because they seem to always be using technology; whether they are inside or outside of the classroom. The use of textbooks just doesn't cut it anymore; keeping students’ attention is becoming more difficult. After reflecting on this topic I have come to the conclusion that I believe ideas like CourseSmart could and will contribute to a lot in future classrooms around the world.

If I Were to Talk to the Teachers and Students
If I were to talk to Mr. Guardia I would have a few questions.
1.What was the feedback from your students and their opinion of CourseSmart after they completed the semester?
2.After confronting students about their low index’s did you see any changes in their efforts and/or test scores?
3.Do YOU enjoy the use of CourseSmart in the classroom?
4.What percent of students didn’t even bother opening their textbooks?
5.Do you think those students that didn’t open their textbooks didn’t open them because they had easy distractions on the computer and did not actually have the book in front of them?

If I were to talk to Mr. Guardia’s students I would have a few more questions. Such as:
1.Did you like having an E-Text book rather than an actual textbook?
2.Do you think using an E-Textbook affected your grades in any negative ways?
3.What were the positives about using CourseSmart?
4.Do you think your score directly reflects the use of your textbook or notes?
5.Was it harder or easier to study with an E-Textbook?
6.Didn’t you miss having the actual book in front of you to bookmark and highlight in?
7.Would you like for all of your classes to use CourseSmart?

My Comment
I did not leave a comment but if I were to leave a comment I would probably include some of my questions listed above. I would also mention my opinion about how I think this program could grow into something BIG. I cannot say that for sure, nor can I say I totally agree with the use of it in the classroom simply because I have no experience with the CourseSmart program. However, I am interested in learning more about it!

C4T #4

C4T
For my final C4T assignments I visited William Chamberlain’s blog At the Teacher’s Desk. The post I commented on is called “They Had to Prepare for Success”. This post was about his students failing to complete an assignment in class due to beginning the project before they fully comprehend the instructions. In his blog post he states: “I am sure that the responsibility lies with me. I intentionally keep my mitts off the students work. If they ask questions I send them to other students to have them answered. Typically this works very well. It requires the students to get over their fear of asking others for help (others who are not the adult in charge.) It didn't work this time because none of the groups really understood what to do. It wasn't that they were not capable or that I didn't show them (several times). Their problem is they excel at school so much they don't know that they can't figure it out even when they aren't really paying attention. Basically they get started before they hear the instructions and assume they can figure it out.” I think that his approach to answering his students’ questions by sending them to other students is a great idea, but it didn’t work this time. Obviously the approach did not fail because it wasn’t a good idea; it failed because many children are so eager to start and finish projects that they fail to follow the instructions correctly therefore they need to be redirected during the process. I left a comment on this post but Mr. Chamberliain’s comments are not working on this blog. His last post on “At the Teacher’s desk” is a farewell post to the blog. He is now posting on his new blog-#WmChamberlain.
The last two posts on this blog correlate with each other; they are about another interesting approach Mr. Chamberlain tries in his classroom. One of the posts titled “Mr C, What is a Real World Scenario?” Mr. Chamberlain tells about an assignment that required students to calculate a class trip; including expenses such as gas, hotel, food, and souvenirs. The original assignment ultimately proved to be entirely too expensive and some feedback showed students would have enjoyed it if the project was a little more customizable. So, Mr. Chamberlain changed up the assignment and had stellar results. He concluded his discussion stating “The reality is this has been a great way to get our minds off of test prep for a few days and get them engaged and rejuvenated for math.” After reading the posts I commented and agreed that this was a great way to get students interested in the topic at hand. You can read my comment by visiting Mr. Chamberlain’s post “It Would Have Been More Fun If It Was Figuring Out a Trip for Us: Mr. C, What Is a Real World Scenario Part 2

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blog Post #13

Blended Learning Cycle

Paul Anderson created a podcast dedicated to explaining the Blended Learning Cycle. Blended learning takes the compelling parts of online, mobile, and classroom learning and blending them together in the classroom. There are 5 E's to the learning cycle and they are: engage, explore, evaluate, expand, and explain. First you want to start with an engaging question for students to explore, and then you explain the phenomenon; expand upon that and then evaluate it. There are 6 parts to Mr. Anderson's blended learning cycle: 1- Question (hook) 2- Investigation/ Inquiry 3- Video 4- Elaboration 5- Review 6- Summary Quiz. This is just a step by step list of how Mr. Anderson uses blended learning in his classroom and I think it seems quite effective.
blended Learning
Starting off by catching his students attention with an interesting question in which they can explore/investigate opens the door for them to find the answers for themselves. Like Mr. Anderson said, the video allows you to stop and talk with students about the subject at hand. After elaborating Mr. Anderson said he does not let his students go on to the summary quiz until they finish reviewing with him so he knows they have an idea about said topic. I think this is a great approach because students must go through a review before being quizzed on the knowledge. I personally find that it helps to review before quizzing because after you refresh the knowledge you just took in it is easier to answer questions about it; rather than throwing yourself right into the test after reading new information.

Link to Mr. Anderson's Blog: Bozemanscience

Progress Report on Final Project

For our progress report of our final project, the Fantastic Four have decided to do option B. We have agreed on a time to meet with outlines we have each created on topics we want to talk about for future students in EDM 310.

Project #15

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blog Post #12

distraction in the classroom
My Blog Post Assignment Idea
For my blog post idea I would give my students this as an assignment: "One of the main goals in the classroom is to promote learning for students. Research the factors that affect learning abilities. There are many studies out about diets, environmental factors, teaching methods, and physichological factors that contribute to learning. What are your thoughts/findings about factors that influence learning in the classroom? Provide sources to back up your statements : )"

My Blog Post
gluten freeFor this assignment I did further research about diets and their affect on learning. Of course children will have trouble learning on an empty stomach but that is not the main focus. Nancy Guberti wrote an article called "The Sugar Connection to Learning" that discusses the fact that learning requires optimal health and brain function. One alarming statement she made is that "sugar has the potential to be a destroyer of general health and immunity as it robs the body of important vitamins and minerals. Besides, sugar can cause addiction as severe as other drug addictions" we have all been taught that sugar isn't exactly good for us but I know I wasn't notified about how harmful it can be if sugar intake isn't properly regulated. Kids snacks and "fruit" juices are anything but good for our children and we need to come to terms with it. Yes, our children may gripe and beg for their sugary snacks but if you attempt to cut back on the consumption of products high in sugar you should see an impact on their learning and behavior in the classroom.
Nutrition difficientcies also contribute to many behavioral issues. I highly recommend parents to look into healthy eating habits for children with learning disabilities. I read many forums run by moms that shared their experience with gluten free diets for their children. One mom shares her story: "Starting Gluten Free and My Son's ADHD Story" about how her son has ADHD (attention deficity hyperactivity disorder) and that his medicine makes him glittery and always has him on edge; one of her husbands friends had the same problem with his child. He visited a nutritionist and found out the child was in need of a gluten free diet, and after four days he was much calmer with little to no problems with his anger issues. This is just one of the many success stories I found about healthy diets impacting children in positive ways. I believe more parents should be concerned about their kids diets not only because it can help in the classroom but because eating right makes the body feel so much better. It's all about what is best for the kids!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

C4T #3

Week 1
My C4T assignment this time around was to visit The Principal's Principles, a blog written by a middle school principal names Mr. Bernia. The first week I visited his post titled: The Era of One has Begun. This post is lengthy and full of detail, I suggest you read it for yourself. It was mainly Mr. Bernia reflecting about a book called Linchpin by Seth Godin, a text I am currently waiting to receive in the mail :) He brought up an issue I feel strongly about and this was my response to him: "Hello Mr. Bernia, I am a student at the University of South Alabama and I am currently studying elementary education. This post presents an issue that has become more alarming to me during the past few months. Educators seem to be more concerned with high test scores and the “correct” answer than the problem itself. Is this helping to better prepare the future of our students? I do not believe that it is helping one bit. As you said; “by emphasizing factual information through questions that can be answered using a simple Google search, students do not get the opportunity to think about or try to solve a complex problem or challenge.” We are inhibiting our students from their natural desire to stimulate their brains. Instead of challenging them we are training them to memorize information which does them no good in the long run. Do you have any suggestions as to how future educators can avoid doing this and still be excellent teachers? I plan on purchasing Seth Godin’s Linchpin first thing next week, it sounds like a great book from the reviews I have read."

Week 2
Mr. BerniaThis week I was unable to find a new post by Mr. Bernia so I chose to comment on one of his past posts; I chose a post titled Whatever it Takes. This post was a personal story by Mr. Bernia about one fateful school day that left him and a student digging through the school's trash. One day at lunch a student misplaced her cellphone; it was the day before her class trip to Washington D.C. and her parents were out of town. It's safe to say this was an awful time to lose her cellphone, but instead of walking away from the situation Mr. Bernia helped the student retrace her steps. She came to the disgusting realization that she may have thrown it away, but that did not make Mr. Bernia cringe and recoil his offer to help. He and the student put on some rubber gloves and hit the dumpster! After rummaging through three or four bags Mr. Bernia came across a pink phone case and for a few split seconds he was no longer a principal, he was that young lady's hero. Maybe I am just sensitive but this post really spoke to me. I think that Mr. Bernia's dedication is the type of dedication it takes to make a difference in the world. It is the type of dedication every educator needs to have because after all, we are working for our students.

March C4K Summaries

C4K #1 Alex M.
For my first C4K this month I visited Alex M’s blog. He posted about what students can gain from blogging and whether or not it is worth the time. One of his main points he made about blogging is that it helps students learn how to type the proper way. Alex also agreed that blogging is well worth the time because it helps you learn valuable information about people. I asked him a few questions and agreed with his opinions about blogging because I too believe it helps students gain certain skills.

C4K #2 Gentry
Civil War
For the second C4K of the month I was assigned to view Gentry’s blog. The most recent post on his page at the time was about the Civil War. He listed a five major points he found important about the Civil War. Here is a link to the post if you would like to see more of his posts: Gentry’s Blog

C4K #3 Calvin
Calvin's BlogMy third and final C4K of the month was one of my favorites, Calvin. Calvin is a year 7 student at Pt. England School in New Zealand. His about me lists many of his favorite hobbies and his blog is full of great posts and fun images drawn by Calvin himself. The post I commented on is called “Surfing Dog” and it is a story about how a dog named Sampson that got bit by a shark while he was surfing. In the end made the front page of the newspaper so things evened out. My comment to Calvin was: “Hi Calvin! I am a student at the University of South Alabama and I am majoring in elementary education. First I'd like to say that I fully enjoyed reading your blog! Your about me is so well written and I love how welcoming you made it sound. This story about Sampson is awesome! Did you write it yourself? It kept me on my toes hoping Sampson would survive. I took a creative writing class in high school and the main focus was to catch and keep the attention of your audience; I'd say you did a superb job with doing both of those! Your illustrations are great too. Do you enjoy blogging in the classroom? I am new to blogging but so far it's making learning fun. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Keep up the good work Calvin!”
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Blog Post #11


children holding hands
I believe Ms. Kathy Cassidy's clips are all "must see" videos; especially for anyone with doubts, questions, or concerns about technology in the classroom. If Ms. Cassidy is able to explore the use of technology with her first graders then I believe educators everywhere should give the idea of technology in the classroom some serious thought. After reading the description of the video and realizing she was using Nintindo DS in the classroom I was hesitant, but I didn't have a choice-I had to watch her clip and I am so happy I did. I will admit I am guilty of judging books by their cover, but most of the time that only leads me to putting my foot in my mouth. Seeing Ms. Cassidy's students and listening to them talk about blogging, skyping, and collaborating I was absolutely blown away. When I think of children and technology I, like many others, fear that it is disabling certain people skills young children need, but Kathy Cassidy's video "Little Kids..Big Potential" really opened my mind to the use of technology in the classroom. Yes, the students were playing their Nintendo DS games and they were on computers when they visit centers BUT they make great use of their time. Children learn how to problem solve and they learn sharing skills while using their Nintendo DS in Ms. Cassidy's classroom, and when they go to the computers for center time they can choose from a wide range of learning activities online. Though we may be opposed to having so much technology present in the daily lives of our children; we have to remember it is not easy to convince children that learning is good AND fun. If technology can provide children with effective and fun learning then I say we need to be more open about it! Ms. Cassidy did not plan her big step into the world of technology in the classroom; she was just lucky enough to be given 5 computers for her class. Determined to make good use of them she began to learn about blogging in the classroom and now, 10 years later, she couldn't be happier with the outcome of her journey. I would love to use some of her techniques in the classroom, especially blogging and skyping because those were the two that the children seemed to enjoy the most. The best part about blogging is that children love it and it helps them develop better writing skills.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blog Post #10

http://pencilintegration.blogspot.com/2011/12/im-papermate-im-ticonderoga.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+AdventuresInPencilIntegration+(Adventures+in+Pencil+Integration)&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher


Mr. John T. Spencer
Above is a cartoon by John T. Spencer, you can find it on his blog Adventures in Pencil Integration. To fully understand the cartoon I highly suggest you look into his posts. The comparison of Papermate vs. Ticonderoga is a reference to the subject of tools used in the classroom. Pencils are the cheap and safe route as opposed to the new resources technology provides us today. I admit new technology can be intimidating but strictly using pencils and paper in the classroom is depriving students knowledge they not only enjoy learning but NEED to learn. This cartoon presents the question many of use are faced with every day, "Should I spend more money for quality product, or should I settle for the cheap, easy to break product in hopes for the best result?" Shouldn't we always go with the better, quality product (i.e. education) for our students? New technologies may seem difficult at first but with the proper guidance you would be surprised how easy and informative the use of inter-web can be.

Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?
Mr. Spencer also wrote a post titled "Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?". This post is a conversation between Mr. Spencer himself, and his school principal. As we all know our minds run on stimulation; well Mr. Spencer's approach to stimulate the kids while they were learning signaled a red flag to his principal. Mr. Spencer was seen engaging in an exercise that required students to read and draw; this was seen as fun or as a game to the principal. Why? Because, like many other principals in the US, Mr. Spencer's principal is not concerned with stimulating his students. He is more concerned with the standardized test scores. It can be easy to get lost in the importance of test scores when there is pressure from the school board and administrators, but one must take a step back and think about importance of the children. The point of the standardized tests is to make sure the child is up to par in his or her grade level-it is not a competition to see which school has the top scores in the community. We should be more concerned with trying new ways to assist our children in the classroom instead of frowning upon them and continuing the dreadful "memorize, test, brain dump" cycle that the students of this generation are in.

Scott McLeod
Who is Scott McLeod? "Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues." - Scott McLeod's bio
To learn more about Scott McCleod you can read his bio by visiting the link above. One of his posts titled Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please? might make some people raise a few eye brows, but not me. In my opinion Mr. McLeod is mocking the ignorant people in his post, and when I say ignorant I mean ignorant in the sense of refusing to progress with today's world. In our daily life there is a need for children to be technologically savvy, and in this post Mr. McLeod mocks by saying:

"no connecting, now

no social networking

or online chat

or comments

or PLNs

blogs and twitter?

how self-absorbed

what a bunch of crap

and definitely, absolutely, resolutely, no cell phones"

Those statements alone sound ignorant to me, but at the beginning of this semester I too was skeptical about social networks, online chatting etc. Now, thanks to EDM 310, I am aware that all of the things Mr. McLeod said in his post "Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please?" are good things for the 21st century student.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blog Post #9

Joe McClungMr. Joe McClung began his teaching career in 2009 in Noel, Missouri. He has moved to many schools but has kept each memory as a lesson learned by reflecting via blog posts after each school year has ended. The blog posts consist of personal revelations he had throughout each school year, and each of them seem to correlate and grow as his years go on. I decided to read What I Learned This Year 2010-2011 and What I Learned This Year – Volume 4 (2011-12). After reading both of Mr. McClung’s posts I realized he learned very similar lessons to different degrees. In his post from 2010-11 the key points made were: know who your boss is, don’t be afraid to be an outsider, and don’t touch they keyboard. His last point was one that hit close to home with me because I am constantly preaching about how many teachers spoon feed information to their students. In Mr. McClung’s discussion about not touching the keyboard he tells a story about a fellow teacher that is also known as the classroom mom. She explained to him that in her training for airline tech support one of the main points they instilled in their trainers was to never touch the computer of the trainee. She said: “the idea is that if you touch the keyboard and take over the task that they are not trying to learn than they will never learn how to do it on their own and you end up doing all the work.” Often times we hit speed bumps when teaching difficult tasks; it is very easy to take over and basically do the work for them, but is that benefiting the student? No! Another point that was made in this post that I saw laced into What I Learned This Year- Volume 4 is that our decision making process should always be student centered and not centered on pleasing adults.
In What I Learned This Year- Volume 4 Mr. McClung’s main points were about challenging yourself and remembering your place in the learning environment. Like many Mr. McClung struggled with defining himself in his profession. He knew where he stood with his students, but became concerned with his fellow peers. I found his comment “I committed a very junior high like sin and have worried myself with whether or not my peers approve of the way I handle business” to be a very relatable statement. In daily life we can get caught up on how others view us, but that should be your last concern in the classroom. Though it took time to cope with the fact that he need not worry about others- Mr. McClung said “upon further reflection I have decided that I can’t try to change who I am as a teacher based on the perception of my peers and that I need to stay true to what has gotten me this far. The truth is I have gotten to where I am in my career by following one rule, and that is are the kids having fun?” I find myself asking the same question every day when I think about what to do in the classroom when I arrive at the daycare I work at. We must always remember who we are really working for, and that is the kids!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Blog Post #8

imaginative learning
Richard Miller
Children are so much more technologically savvy these days therefore I believe that my students will be prepared to work with multimedia whether I want them to or not. I think that this is a great thing because I am a believer in moving forward and progressing with technology. Like Mr. Miller said "I believe we are living at the moment of the greatest change in human communication in human history." Not only can we search through the information on our computers, but we can search the riches of the world as they are stored on the web. All of the information we could possibly need is virtually available at our fingertips thanks to the inter-web.
Mr. Miller commented in his videos (This is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2) on a project that he worked on; stating that he was able to do the entire presentation without stepping foot in a library. Of course he would come across knowledge and information he did not yet know about, but he was able to pull up information on the subject using the web. All of the information we search for online lives on for good as web based documents and exist exclusively as text. The documents are freely available and when you take them out they are still there for others to look up; unlike the library where someone checks out a book and you have to wait for it.

EDM310 is Different
The first video I watched was called The Chipper Series. This is a video of a student, "Chipper", and Dr. Strange discussing the topic of turning in assignments. Chipper claims that she can foretell the future and see that she has done her work. Dr. Strange then made a proposal to drop all the education talk and spoke about the lottery since Chipper can tell the future. This was an entertaining video but I found the video EDM for Dummies to be even more entertaining! This video began with 2 EDM students complaining about their EDM class and talking about how difficult it was. As the video went on they showed their version of "---- for dummies". The cover of the book looked just like any other "---- for dummies" books which added to the uniqueness of the video. The students told about blogger, twitter, and other resources their "EDM for dummies" book had. I really enjoyed it and made sure to let Jamie Lynn Miller know via Twitter.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
The video Learn to Change, Change to Learn pressed some pretty strong arguments when it comes to learning. Children are having a much more stimulating and rich environment outside of school. They are very rich content developers through their social websites, portable computers, and cell phones yet all of these are banned in school. "Every turned off device is potentially a turned off child." Technology needs to be accepted in the classroom; it is not there to provide information on traditional subjects. It has emerged a completely new environment. Children are living in a new generation that includes texting, twitter, email etc. The student is at the center and school is only one of their outlets for learning. They also learn in the community, home, museums, libraries, and online. We have a classroom system when we could have a community system. This video is powerful, motivational, and ambitious. I feel like everything said in this video should be considered by educators everywhere. This is the 21st century, it's time we push forward with the resources available to our classrooms!

Scavenger Hunt 2.0
1.) Locate a tool that is similar to Twitter/Facebook and provides a social platform for teachers, parents, and students. Create an account as a Teacher and write a paragraph or two about how you could use this site in your classroom.
-In one of my previous blog posts about personal learning networks I mentioned Edmodo as a useful tool for the classroom. This is almost just like Facebook, but it is for students, teachers and parents. You can make posts about quizzes, alerts, notes, polls and assignments. There is also a place to make groups so that sending out information is easier. The homepage is connected to other teachers that post resources, comments, and suggestions. It is a really neat tool that I look forward to using in the future!

2.) Find a tool to make-your-own comic strip. Create a comic. Post a picture of it in your blog.
-I found one of the best tools to use when creating your own comic strip; it is called WriteComics.com. It is a rather easy website to navigate and it provides you with a link to your comic when you are finished making your comic. Mine can be found here!

3.) Find a tool to create a poll anywhere and at anytime. Create your first poll and post it here.
-For the final stop on my scavenger hunt I found a reliable resource for creating polls. It is called Learn Myself

Do you enjoy blogging?
Yes
No
Create your own poll

C4T #2

Week 1
My C4T assignment this week was to read Josh Stumpenhorst’s Blog. The first week I visited his page I commented on a post about personal learning networks. He provided 3 sets of slides based on PLN and resources available to create a PLN. I found these slides to be very helpful when I began working on project 9. Here is a link to the blog post: #METC13 Session Slides

Week 2
This week when I visited Mr. Stumpenhorst’s blog I read about a project he did with the Pearson Foundation.

The project was to write about “5 Things I Know”. His 5 are:
1 - Kids are humans…and therefore should be treated as such.
2 - Creativity and curiosity are crucial in learning.
3 - We are all on a journey.
4 - Change doesn’t happen when we are comfortable.
5 - Growth happens through failure.
My comment to him was: "I really enjoyed reading about the 5 things you know. "Learning happens in its truest form when students are learning through a genuine sense of curiosity rather than a forced sense of duty." This is a powerful statement that hit me really hard, it is more than inspiring it is motivational to all educators and future educators around the world to want to change the way we teach. Great post! Did you enjoy working with the Pearson Foundation?"

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Progress Report on: Project #9 PLN

PLN2
When I began creating my PLN I am not going to lie, I was very intimidated. After visiting the resources available it became obvious to me that this assignment was created to assist me, not confuse me. Symbaloo is the first website I visited when I began creating my PLN; it has now become one of the most frequently viewed pages on my computer. It is a wonderfully easy outlet to use for organizing all of the helpful links and networks I want to save for my own future reference. I have also created a folder on my iPhone dedicated to educational applications such as: Symbaloo, Pinterest, Flowr, Evernote, Google Drive, Adobe Reader, iBooks, iTunes U, Blogger, Edmodo, and myHomework. I have enjoyed learning about personal learning networks, and I am proud to say mine is growing everyday!

Project #8

Saturday, March 2, 2013

February C4K Summaries

C4K #1 Chas
C4K1My first C4K I looked at a blog created by a student named Chas. His blog post included a presentation on The Great War. The presentation was created using Google presentations which is something we learned about this semester so I was able to use this to my advantage when trying to relate to Chas. I told him he had very good grammar skills and I asked him if he had any pointers as far as using Google presentations. I was very impressed by how well he had his presentation organized.

C4K #2 Jack of Sapia’s Superstars
For my second C4K assignment I visited Jack of Sapia’s Superstars blog, he is a 4th grade student that seems to really enjoy learning. I commented on his post about why he likes homework. I told him I found his opinion on homework to be true; it gives you a little more practice for things you may be having difficulties with. He also made a statement about all homework being on the computer which I thought was a great idea.

C4K #3 Mao
C4K3I really enjoyed reading my third C4K assignment; blogger Mao is a year 6 student at Point England School. I commented on her blog about her first day of school, but I also enjoyed reading her other blog posts; especially her post reflecting the use of Netbooks in the classroom. I told her that I hope the Netbook continues to help her grow and learn throughout the school years to come. I also encouraged her to keep up the good work!

C4K #4 Tammy Jo
For my final C4K of the month I was assigned to look at Tammy Jo’s most recent blog post. Her blog post was about suicide and why people commit it. I told her I agreed with why she thought people may choose to commit suicide and I also told her it is important to always keep in mind that we should be kind because everyone is fighting a hard battle. I was sure to compliment her on her other blog posts as well :)


Blog Links:
Chas
Jack
Mao
Tammy Jo

Blog Post #7

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Last Lecture by Randy Pasch; my absolute favorite aspect about it was Randy Pasch’s enthusiasm for life. You could tell throughout the whole thing that he had a genuine love for living life and pursuing dreams. After all, he did accomplish most all of his childhood dreams if I heard correctly. What I took from the video was that we should all pursue the goals we make for ourselves. Achieve the goals you make for yourself at any cost; unless it compromises your morals of course, that would just be absurd.

enduring goalsThere were a few things that stood out to me from Randy Pasch’s discussions in which I believe will be very valuable in my future classroom. The majority of Mr. Pasch’s last lecture was about him achieving his childhood goals, and one of his goals was to become an imaginer for Disney. He ran into many brick walls along the way to achieving this goal; one bump in the road was that he had to get the permission for the project. He went into a meeting with the dean and was immediately welcomed with negative energy about the project; the dean demanded a change in the contract before he gave his permission. It turned out the permission was not the dean’s place to grant, as it was actually the place of the dean of research. When Randy went to propose his idea to this dean he was greeted with a positive open mind which brought success for Randy’s project.

This stood out to me because I don’t know how many times I have witnessed great things come to an end due to a closed mind and negative energy. When I have my own classroom I plan on being open to all of the thoughts and ideas that my students and their parents have. I know I will not be able to pursue all the requests I’m bound to receive throughout the years, but it will be my job as an educator to be there to make my students goals possible for them.

Another aspect of this video that particularly stood out to me was that all of Randy’s goals were achieved by many connections he carried with him, connections that he might have called his very own PLN. We have been learning a lot about personal learning networks in the past few weeks, and with each assignment it is becoming more and more evident that the personal learning networks we build will be extremely useful throughout life. Mr. Pasch also discussed a time in his life in which he created his own course “Building Virtual Worlds”. After he assigned his first project he was blown away by the effort and success of his students. He then called up his mentor for advice as to what to do next? He already set the bar and they flew beyond it, and that is where his mentor told him he went wrong. When you set the bar for your students you are not doing them any good. As future educators we have to remember this, in order to progress we have to be willing to aim beyond the visual limits because what we see as limits others see as opportunities.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Project #10

PLN2
I will be teaching elementary aged students and along with educating them I plan on providing them with the basic skills they need to build their PLN. One application that I have found to be helpful when building a PLN is Flowr. This is an app designed to help your PLN grow through collaboration and sharing in real-time. It allows educators (and many other professions) the ability to share polls, links, ideas, questions and concerns through the use of a timeline; this way posts are organized by relevance. The application is also a great tool to organize your personal learning network contacts and all of their information so you will have it all in one location.

Another resource I discovered while using Symbaloo is Edmodo. I'm not sure if Dr. Strange covered Edmodo in his previous assignments, but is an online application created to better the communication between teacher and student. It has the appearance of a social networking site so it is appealing to students. There is also an application for their smart phones so that they can have access to information and assignments at all times. This is a great source I plan to use in my future classroom because it has been proven to get students more involved which is one of the most important things in the classroom today.


Blog Post #6

Wendy Drexler

PLN
The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler poses an interesting question; “Why does the networked student even need a teacher?” The video’s main concern is students using technology to take control of their learning in order to make new connections for future their learning. The concept of students having a personal learning network (PLN) is also discussed in this clip. Personal learning networks are very important for the 21st century student; it is a list or group of contacts and sources one can use for assistance and collaboration as needed.
So, why does the networked student even need a teacher? Students still need teachers because educators provide their students with the skills needed when building their personal learning network. Teachers are there to offer guidance, communication skills, help students differentiate between facts they find online and propaganda, and teachers help students organize all of their information. After all, these are the skills the students of the 21st century will need.
This video, along with many others I have viewed this semester including A 7th Grader’s Personal Learning Environment (or PLN), has helped me realize just how important all of the information I am learning in EDM is. Success is achieved with knowledge and connections, and I believe our job is to provide our students with the ability to make an adequate PLN that they can use throughout their years of learning and beyond. Networking students at an early age is a very good idea in my opinion; you can never have too many connections and resources available during the learning process! One connection could make a huge impact in a student’s life.

Check out Wendy Drexler’s Blog

Sunday, February 17, 2013

My Sentence Video

Blog Post #5



If I Built a School

Krissy Venosdale is an avid blogger and a truly inspiring person. Her blog Venspired was created to reflect on her teaching. Her definition of venspired is: inspired by our students, powered through tools of technology, always motivated by creativity. Continually fueled by collaboration and constantly dreaming of better learning for us all, every single day.
Krissy Venosdale wrote a very interesting blog post called “If I Built a School”. She wrote about her dream school; a school created from her imagination with all sorts of amenities. I really liked her idea about having labs stocked with tools necessary for students to experiment all school year instead of once a year due to lack of money in the budget for the laboratory. If I were to build my own school I too would include a fully stocked lab along with a completely stocked art/music room. I believe hands on activities help provide a creative and open atmosphere
I would also make sure that the cafeteria is properly stocked with good wholesome food for the children. I have done a little research about diets having effect on our ability to learn, in fact I began my research because I was given an example today of a student that was having trouble in the classroom. His mother changed up his diet and now his teacher says “you would think he was a different child.” Getting the right amount of nutrients and protein during the school day really makes a difference so I would make sure, in my dream school, the cafeteria has nothing but natural, healthy food.


Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir – ‘Lux Aurumque’

After learning that this performance (“Lux Aurumque”) was orchestrated through nothing but the internet I think it’s safe to say the internet is a very powerful tool. I already knew that the internet was a useful thing, but every day I learn that it is even more useful than I thought. You can virtually do anything with the internet, such as: collaborate with teachers around the world via blogging, do comparative searches along with any other search using Bing and Google (plus many other search engines). The internet is also a great tool for homework, as far as turning it in, doing it, and assigning it. If it is posted online there is no excuse to not know about it or not be able to physically turn it in. The internet is available most everywhere, so it can be used at all times; it is a very reliable resource for us.
Technology


Teaching in the 21st Century

I think that in the video Teaching 21st Century Students Roberts is trying to teach us that as educators we must provide our students with more than facts, dates, formulas, theories, stories and information. Students today have access to all of that in any place at anytime with the internet, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. We must teach them the skill of how to use the information they receive from all of the resources outside of the classroom. I feel like the technological changes are good for our classrooms, and in order to be successful with the generations ahead we must accept this. There are so many different ways to approach the use of technology in the classroom and I think that the trial and error phase of perfecting my own strategies will definitely affect me as an educator, but only in the best way possible :)


Flipping the Classroom

Oh goodness YES I would totally consider flipping my classroom. It seems to be a very efficient way to help students move at their own pace. Lecturing is not engaging for the students, and many of them are on different learning levels so when they leave the classroom to apply their learning some may have more difficulties than others. I definitely would use this technique in my classroom because it has been shown to be highly effective in the videos listed below.

a. Katie Gimbar - Why I Flipped My Classroom
b. Dr. Lodge McCammon's - FIZZ
c. Ms. Munafo - Flipping the Classroom

Saturday, February 9, 2013

C4T #1

understanding
Week 1
I was assigned to read Teaching as a Dynamic Activity blog post by Jerrid Kruse on January 16, 2013. In the first post I read Mr. Kruse explained his latest technology project for his students. This assignment was similar to one in the past, but it this time gave students the opportunity to explore deeper into the assignment instead of giving them the opportunity to “throw some ideas together, rinse, and repeat.” This theory made the light turn on in my head; I have come to realize many teachers I had were not approaching education in the most effective way.
Here, Mr. Kruse is giving the students enough instruction to lead them to success, but he is also leaving more room for them to succeed on their own. In case I didn’t state my thought clearly, I was pointing out the fact that he is not spoon feeding the assignment to his students. I commented on this post letting Mr. Kruse know that I agreed with him about his new approach to his assignment. I also told him about my thoughts on the importance of future teachers growing with technology.

understanding and acceptance
Week 2
There was not a new blog post on Mr. Kruse’s page for me to comment on so I decided to explore his blog. I chose to comment on his post about students’ views on learning posted on January 6,2013. I found this post to be interesting because it’s almost as if he tapped into my mind. In this blog post Mr. Kruse spoke about how students’ view of learning affects their learning. He mentioned that there were two kinds of views; static and dynamic. Static view being the one that believes memorizing information will help do well on tests, and dynamic being the thought that actually knowing the knowledge through integrated understanding will show better results.
I believe the static view is a huge problem in society today. Only recently have I been given a study guide that does not have every question word for word on it that has been on my test. Teachers and professors everywhere need to stop doing this! Students memorize the information and do brain dumps as soon as the tests are over. In order for our future students to retain information we need to emphasize understanding not memorization. Memorization is not the key!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blog Post #4

Podcasting

podcast
As I have said in my earlier posts technology is a very important part of the classroom. After listening to many of the podcasts provided I believe there are many benefits of podcasting in the classroom. Not only is it a good way to communicate outside of the classroom, but it exercises many skills in classroom as well. Located on the Langwitches page are podcasts of Ms. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano ‘s first grade class; they are practicing many skills including listening, speaking, comprehension, oral fluency and technology. I now believe podcasts are a good way to help children develop social skills. This is great because it gets everyone involved and working together on assigned tasks; something certain children will need to be comfortable with throughout life depending on whether or not they work in groups or are on a team.
I’d have to say there were many things I will suggest to my group when working on our podcast. I read that reading from a script did not sound as good as being able to just flow with your podcast, so first I would suggest we don’t have a script. We most certainly can write down key points to mention, but we should practice saying them so the podcast sounds more natural. Annunciation is also a big thing when it comes to recording, mumbling will not cut it! I also read that changing tones to go along with what you’re saying is a good idea too. It’s almost as if you are performing on stage; because you are performing, just behind a microphone and a computer screen.


Helpful Podcast Links:

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom by Joe Dale
The Practical Principals with Melinda Miller and Scott Elias
Judy Scharf Podcast Collection

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Special Blog Post

WolframAlpha
When I used the WolframAlpha search engine to compare the populations of India, China, and the United States I found that the United States population was significantly smaller than that of China and India. China and India have populations over 1 billion people where as the United States only has a population estimated at 309 million people. So, I admit that I am probably one of the students Dr. Strange was talking about when he said many students misinterpreted the data from the video Did You Know?, but I honestly had no idea the size difference between these countries was so different. I looked at my world map and decided to use WolframAlpha to compare the sizes of Ireland, Canada, and Australia. The results were not as mind blowing as they were for China and India compared to the U.S. but the results were still interesting. Ireland’s population averaged at about 4.59 million people, Australia’s average is 21.5 million, and Canada had the highest population which is 33.9 people.

Gary Hayes – Social Media Count Change
I was fascinated to see Gary Hayes Media Count Change for social media and mobile media. After navigating through the different social medias, I decided to start a stop watch to see just how much goes on during 1 minute; the numbers were astonishing. Below I have included a picture of just how much social media we Americans use in 60 seconds:
media counter
It was interesting to see how fast we move through new technology in a minute. Instagram has only been open to the public for a few months and already has more upload action than YouTube. I think it was Niccolo Machiavelli, an early enlightenment thinker that believed resisting progress will only leave you in the dust. So, in my opinion it’s a great thing for my career as an educator because technology is constantly growing with our children therefore we should embrace it. Technology is good thing for our children because it enables them to use their brains at a much faster pace which allows them to get more done.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blog Post #3

Peer Review

take a lookThe first video I watched was about peer editing. Prior to watching this video there were many things I realized I was not paying attention to throughout all of my years of peer editing, such as not paying attention to the details, word choice and organization. Also in both the video and slide show provided I learned that there are 3 very important steps to peer editing: compliments, suggestions, and corrections. Obviously, no one should approach peer editing with a rude attitude, but giving compliments is positive reinforcement that encourages the author rather than putting them down about the mistakes they made.
After going through all of the links given to us, I felt I was able to critique my fellow classmate’s blog post in a more sufficient way. I paid close attention to the organization and punctuation of her post; along with the grammar. Usually when I write reviews for my peers I get nervous because I feel like I may not be critiquing the right things, but this time I felt confident in my editing. I really enjoyed this “humorous” video Dr. Strange suggested :) - Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes


Assistive Technologies

Wow! Before now, I have not given any thought as to how I would accommodate one of my students if they had a disability such as being blind or deaf. I felt like the students with disabilities like this would need someone who is qualified to teach them, but I now I feel like we as educators should be trained to be qualified to work with ALL students. The use of technology has been proven to be effective when it comes to helping students with disabilities.
I plan on having every resource possible available to my students. I understand that we are not given a big amount of money to dedicate to such resources, but I am a very passionate person when it comes to helping kids; if there’s a will, there’s a way! Braille is the only area that may challenge us but we all love a good challenge, don’t we future teachers? The answer is: yes we do!


Vicki Davis

One statement Vicki Davis made in the beginning of her video Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts was that students have trouble when there is only a pen and piece of paper. This statement stuck to me because I know we can all remember a time when we were faced with a blank piece of paper and a pen for an assignment, it can be intimidating! In Ms. Davis’ classroom the students all use computers and they all take turns teaching the class. She mentioned that she is teaching her students’ new software, learning how to learn, collaborating and blogging effectively and pretty much teaching them how to be comfortable using a new technology.
I also fully agreed with the point she made about students looking things up, we don’t have to define everything and we shouldn’t. Students have the ability to look up answers for themselves, let them! Her students that were in the video were noticeably confident about working with technology which was incredible to see.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Project #2 Wordle

wordle

Blog Post #2

Did You Know? 3.0 – A John Strange 2012 Version

After watching this video, along with the others, I was left in a state of shock. During the entire thing I was just cocking my head side to side in disbelief. Within the first minute I learned that the United States is not ranked as high as I thought on the intelligence scale, nor are we nearly as large as I thought. India has more honors students in K-12 than all of the K-12 students in the United States. Does that fact alone not blow your mind? What about this, “By 2025 the number of English speaking Chinese is likely to exceed the number of native English speakers in the rest of the world.” In the rest of the world! I also found the facts about technology to be just as mind blowing.
I think it was a fact given in the version by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod that said “have you ever thought about how we answered questions before Google?” I had not given it much thought until now, but before I used Google for everything I would have to go to the library or ask my parents or teachers questions. Now I feel obligated to research questions via search engines just because it’s so much easier. In 2012 it was recorded that 1,398,148 searches are made on Google every minute. That is up from 1,393,529 in August of 2011. I think that an even more astonishing video would be one about the statistics of how many people that do their research without a computer.


Mr. Winkle Wakes

This video is about a man that woke from a 100 year slumber to only find that the world had changed. Mr. Winkle looks like he is out of date in the world businesses full of machines. It was just too much for Mr. Winkle, so he went to a hospital. He soon realized the hospital was full of machines as well. He saw all types of machines that were created to keep humans alive and decided this was no place for him. He made his way out of the hospital and began his journey down the road. After walking for a while he came upon a school and he decided to stop there. All he found were classrooms of children sitting in uniform rows listening to their teachers lecture. He noticed that there was no intrusion from the outside world, and this he liked very much.
He did see a strange machine in the back of the room, similar to the ones in the hospital and businesses he visited, but it was dusty. This was school just as Mr. Winkle had remembered it; that comforted him. If Mr. Winkle woke up in our century he would not like what he saw. Many classrooms now function with all students on their laptops following along with instruction from their teacher. If they are not on computers the teacher is more than likely using his or her computer to help give their lecture. I think that technology has taken over a bit, but if you are not comfortable with technological changes then you will get left behind!


The Importance of Creativity by Sir Ken Robinson

This presentation given by Sir Ken Robinson is about how much we underestimate the importance of creativity in the classroom. Sir Ken Robinson began with a discussion about the extraordinary capacity for innovation that children have. I completely agreed with his statement about Creativity being just as important as literacy, and that as educators we should treat them the same. He also made a comment that all kids have talent, but we squander them without any thought. I could not agree more, it is almost as if being creative and interesting is frowned upon in our society today. By the time we have reached adulthood we are frightened about being wrong.
We have been teaching children that mistakes are the worst things you could ever possibly make. Children these days are striving for perfection rather than individuality. There is pretty much a hierarchy of subjects, and art is always at the bottom. Pretty much every system also has a hierarchy within the arts ranking music and art higher than drama and dance. Along with Sir Ken Robinson I think that dance is very important because it requires tapping into your mind and body’s creativity as a whole. Academic ability has dominated our view of intelligence. One statement that really stuck with me was that “many highly talented, brilliant people in the world think they’re not because what they were good at in school was not valued.” Like Sir Robinson said, I don’t think we can afford to go on like this.


Pinterest in the Classroom

I totally believe that Pinterest could be useful in the classroom, I use it every day! I am pleased to have these new resources about pinning for classroom purposes. Not only is it a great portal for information but it is also a good way for students to organize and regroup for presentations and assignments. One interesting thing I learned about Pinterest is that there is a way to create a board to share with a specific group of people; this could really be helpful for students connecting with others in group projects.
One of the links provided to us said that Pinterest is almost like a visual journal, which is so true. I think using Pinterest would be more appealing to this generation of students rather than keeping an actual folder of papers that they can easily lose. As I mentioned before it is a great tool for organization. All links are organized by pictures, and when you click on the picture it brings you to the original source. This is great for organizing lesson plans by subject using pictures. Instead of worrying about losing your portable USB drive; or having a long list of “bookmarks” and “favorites” saved in your browser, you can use Pinterest to save your lesson plans.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blog Post #1

About Me

Hi everyone!
My name is Abigail Mularz and I am majoring in Elementary Education. I grew up living here in Mobile, but I moved to Baldwin County during high school with my father. My dad works in the oil industry so my sisters had a lot to do with raising me. The older I get the more I realize how much they have to do with most of my success. I graduated from Spanish Fort High School in 2010 and moved to Fairhope to attend Faulkner Community College the following school year. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Mobile Bay area the cities I am talking about are only about 30-45 minutes from Mobile. I loved living in Baldwin County and hope to return there after college.
All of my life I have been working with kids; my first job was actually at St. Paul’s extended care in Mobile off of Old Shell Road. Though it was my place of employment it was also an escape for me. The kids could light up my day no matter what, and that is why I loved it so much. I am currently working at Becks Daycare in Mobile off of Anchor Drive near St. Dominic’s. The daycare is where you can find me before, between, and after class. This isn’t because I have to be working all the time to support myself, this is because I love working with my kids that much! They aren’t the only ones learning; I too learn new things about kids every day from the teachers, and also from the kids themselves.


My Future Classroom

Thinking about my future classroom is something I do almost every day. Though, I don’t think I have learned enough about being a teacher to write a full grade “A” analysis of what my expectations are. I do know that I would love to incorporate art in the classroom as much as I can; I am a strong believer in exercising the imagination. Throughout my years of working with children outside of the classroom I have learned that the ages I enjoy working with the most range from five to nine. If I had my choice I’d either choose to teach kindergarten or first grade when I begin my career.


Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch’s video on time management can be a useful resource for anyone with time management problems. I however have very few problems with time management. Earlier I mentioned owing my success to my sisters; well, one of my many perks is that I love making to-do lists. I make a one every single day, and I make sure everything is crossed off by the time I end my day. If I was unable to do something on my list for the day I put it at the top of my list to do for the next day. I really liked what Randy Pausch had to say about planning, “failing to plan is planning to fail”. It’s so true. With a to-do list you can never blame yourself for forgetting to do something, without a plan or to-do list there’s a 50% chance you may not reach your goals.