Monday, November 29, 2010
Mr. Spencer seems like a great teacher because he has the unique ability to see things for how they really are and to accept students for what they are. In his first post that I read, he talked about mediums and how they can be conducive to learning. In his post, "He Just Likes the Class for the Pencils," he recalled a student-teacher-parent meeting. In the meeting, he was told that the student liked his class for certain reasons. He stressed the importance of being strict yet accepting and allowing kids to have the freedom to learn in their own ways. I particularly liked his post about 8th graders and how they are like pencils. They are going through a time in their lives where they are no longer children but also, no longer adults. We, as teachers, must be sensitive to this change. The last post that I read concerned the use of metaphors in teaching and really, all of life. Mr. Spencer makes the point the learning is a messy business, and sometimes, the use of metaphors can be helpful in clearing things up. He also makes the point that metaphors have been used for many years. Overall, Mr. Spencer has some amazing ideas, and it seems like he has really had a positive effect on all his students.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Alabama Learning Exchange
The Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX) is defined as a communal database with lesson plans posted and created by teachers. At the website, you can choose different courses of study and access web links. You can look up lesson plans, as well. It's definitely easy to search for things and upload podcasts for other teachers to access. Overall, the Alabama Learning Exchange is a great way for teachers to share their ideas and to use the ones that they find.
Some courses of study that you can access all range from English Language Arts, Science, and Mathematics, all the way to Physical Education, Technology Education, and Driver and Traffic Safety Education. From that point, you can choose at what grade level you want to see. You then have the opportunity to choose from however many lesson plans are offered. They also offer podcasts to choose from that have basically all the subjects that you can choose from in the courses of study. ALEX is a great way for teachers to share good teaching ideas with other teachers all over the world.
I think that when I become a teacher, the Alabama Learning Exchange will be a very useful tool. It is always very interesting and helpful to communicate with other people, or teachers in this case, and trade ideas. Teachers are all going through the same experiences, so that makes them that much more helpful to other teachers. I hope that one day I can post some interesting ideas that other teachers might find helpful or useful in their classes. If students find something easier and more fun to learn in a certain way, then teachers should not hesitate to share it.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I did my Google Form on Student Discounts. The first question that I asked was on a scale of 1-5 did students support student discounts. Most everyone answered with a 5, which was not a surprise. The second question I asked was if students received more student discounts at more places, would they be more likely to go to these places. Most every student put yes, but some put that it depends on the place. Thirdly, I asked the students where they would want discounts. They answered from most popular to least popular: Restaurants, Grocery Stores, Clothing Stores, and everything else. Obviously, food is the most important thing to college students. I then asked my fellow students whether they would be willing to do any fund-raising for places that they receive discounts. Most everyone said they might, but most everyone else said that the would not be willing to do this. Only a few said that they would. When asked whether they think that there are enough student discount options around town, it was a unanimous decision that there were not. I can agree with this statement. I asked the students how much they would want to get off on their purchases and most everyone said 0-20%, but a few said over that would be preferable. I was a little surprised by this because I expected everyone to go as high as they could. I asked them if they thought that they deserved discounts, as students. Most everyone said yes, but a few said no and that they might deserve it. On a scale of 1-5, the students said that more available student discounts would positively affect their budget. This is not a big surprise, but I was surprised to find that every student uses their own cars for transportation. For on-campus residents, restaurants with student discounts near the campus would be even more beneficial. Overall, I think that students would very much benefit by more available student discounts around the area.
After meeting with my group, we have decided to do a project based on the use of technology in the classroom to teach students among different cultures. We have decided to focus on some major technological tools like Skype, Wikis, and blogs. I will be focusing on Wikis and how kids can create them to learn more about different cultures. I might also be including a little bit on Youtube videos and how they can be beneficial. We will all be making a video and posting them on a Glogster page. Our videos will state how they can be used and how we, as teachers, plan on using them in the classroom.
Instructions: We have been learning so much about technology in the classroom. Go experience it! Spend some time in the classroom and record all that you see about how kids are using technology and if they find it beneficial and easy to use. Summarize.
I have spent a couple of weeks with Ms. Dixon's fourth grade class at Leinkauf Elementary and have seen several examples of technology being used in the classroom. In the classroom is a Smartboard. There is also access to four computers and a CD player. Each day the Smartboard is used in various ways. The way that I have seen that is most common is interactive reading. Students get into groups and read a book on the screen while listening to someone narrate. They can click on pictures to hear descriptions and turn the page by simply clicking in the corner. Ms. Dixon leaves the students to do this on their own, so they are very capable of working the Smartboard and are eager to work it themselves. Students listen to short stories and read from their history books with the assistance of a CD-ROM. This makes reading easier and more fun to do. Students are required to read a certain amount of books and take online tests on them. They take turns on the computers and finish the tests, which have about 10 questions each. Their scores are recorded and kept in an online grade book. This is a usual thing, and they are very capable of passing the exams. Overall, the students are very open and excited about any form of technology that they have access to. I hope that one day they will have unlimited access to more of these types of tools.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
The first child I commented on was a child named Sateki from Australia who was summarizing a story about a man named Kupe and his long and hard journey via a video. I commented that it must have been very difficult for Kupe and that Sateki had such a nice speaking voice. The fourth C4K was on a 5th graders blog. Her name was Maddy and she had just started blogging. I told her that I liked the way her blog was designed and that I hoped she would post some more information about herself soon. The next child was named Brendan from the 7th grade. His last blog post concerned how people are different and have different interests. I told him that he made a good point and that even though people might have different interests than us, we should still stay true to ourselves. The C4K #6 child wrote about how people might love or hate her, but she will always be herself. I wrote that I agreed with her statement and that the people that really matter are the ones that love us for who we are. The last child's blog that I commented on was named Alba from the 6th grade. She posted a picture that she took on a battle ship. She asked us to help her figure out a name for it. I said that she had an amazing gift and eye for photography and suggested she pursue it. I also suggested the name, "Through the Eyes of a Ship."
Saturday, November 6, 2010
For the past couple of weeks, I have been following Arvind S. Grover's blog. The first post I commented on was about a website that will give you graphics and charts if you type in the information you want charted. It's a great way to see how information looks in a diagram. I thought that it would be a great teaching tool and a helpful website for students to use for study. The second post that I commented on was a link to a Youtube video of a Sesame Street song. The video featured the puppets singing a song about a pogo stick that worked like an Iphone. They sang about the pogo stick having an app for anything and everything. It showed how different times are and how technologically savvy the children of today are. I commented that it is just a reminder that we must implement technology into their education because the use of technology is saturating everything around us.
Ms. Cassidy's Classroom
After watching the video of Ms. Cassidy's class and the Skype interview with her, I have several things to say. I was very impressed with the students in the video and how capable they have become with different forms of technology. Another thing that really pleased me was that they seemed very excited about their final products and eager to do more. Ms. Cassidy does a great job of using technology in the classroom through tools like computers, Nitendo DS's, flip cameras, blogs, Wikes, and Skype. She teaches kids how to use these tools to further their education and to have fun while doing it. I definitely want to teach my kids to be able to use a computer to navigate the internet for information. I also like the idea of creating Wikes to find out information and to learn about what people think about certain things, and I love the idea of Skyping with experts and letting the kids ask their own questions. I think it will be difficult to teach younger children because Elementary Education is what I intend to teach. Some tools can be difficult and confusing to navigate, but I think learning at a young age is the best way to start. It might also be difficult to teach children that might have learning disabilities. After learning how to use these things, I'm sure that the students will be more prepared to further their knowledge of technology. It also prepares them for a world that is constantly changing and becoming more technologically literate.