Friday, May 3, 2013

Final Blog Post Part 1

My Future Classroom

I have always had a clear vision on what my future classroom would be like. After taking EDM 310, my classroom vision is still the same but I have definitely added a few adjustments here and there. My goal is to teach 8th grade history. Those years are the most vital years of a young person’s life. They are merging from childhood to adulthood. I want my class to be a safe zone for my students. 

I plan on using many different resources and tools with my students. I want to involve blogging and connecting through the internet with my students. Blended learning, if you will. That way I can post study modules and assignments over a class blog. If a student misses, they won’t have to wait until the next day to catch up or learn. They simply have to log on and there awaiting them is exercises, practice quizzes, assignments, and help. They never have to be left behind or left out in the dark.

I still want my classroom to be project based. They will learn to work together and collaborate in and out of the classroom. Over twitter, Facebook  e-mail, class blog, really any virtual way of communication that they choose. They need to learn to work together and solve a problem without the help of a teacher or adult. It’s better to be challenged and fail rather than be baby-stepped and succeed. 

I would give a different student each week an assignment to become a historical figure and introduce themselves to the class. I want to have movie days. Once a month watch a history movie in the area of study and give popcorn and drinks to the students, granted I had their participation and good behavior. School should be a fun, learning environment for students and teachers. There are so many different things and activities that are available I see no reason for a child to have, as Dr. Strange says, “a burpback education”.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Final Report on PLN

My Personal Learning Network (PLN) has grown so much over the past few months. I never knew all the resources out there that can be used and applied in everyday life for school and social purposes. I love Symbaloo! That was the best thing I could have possibly gotten on my computer. It gives me immediate access to all the websites and links that I need with just a swipe of my fingers. That includes my educational websites and social websites.

Project #16

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

C4T #4

Neil Anderson Responds to Student Privacy Concerns

Ms. Heidi Siwak is a teacher from Ontario, Canada. Her latest blog post was a response from Neil Anderson. He is a member of the Association for Media Literacy. He responded to her concerns about a students right to privacy in this age of digital learning. He addressed her questions about com-modification. He explains that different companies solicit school liaisons and use their interactions to further sales. It was quite impressive.

21st Century Classroom

In this post, Ms. Heidi Siwak talked about integrative learning and her journey in becoming a 21st century teacher and learner. She is very excited about integrative and design thinking. It takes students to the next level. She explains the essential skills of a 21st century learner.



- Empathy


-Digital Literacy





She is correct. All of these are the result of 21st century learning. I liked what she said at the beginning of her post.

"Just because students are involved in inquiry and project-based learning doesn't mean they are engaged in disciplined thinking."



Blog Post #14

Teacher Knows

CourseSmart is a tool being used by Texas A&M teachers that let the teachers know whether the students are reading their textbooks. The teachers know what pages are skipped, whether something gets highlighted, or whether it just sits on a shelf and does nothing at all. CourseSmart is being experimented by other schools as well. It allows teachers to track the work and progress of students.

As a Teacher

As a teacher, I would personally reap the benefits of CourseSmart, but only to an extent. It wouldn't be a grade but to determine whether my students are studying or not. For example, if a student failed a test and they wanted to know why or there parents wanted to know why, then I could look back to show that the book was never opened or studied enough. But then again, how would I know that the book just wasn't left open and no studying was done? I guess like everything, it has it's pro's and con's.

As a Student

As a student, I would not like CourseSmart at all. Textbooks are already ridiculously expensive, now I would have to pay for an electronic textbook? No way. Secondly, most of the time, professors don't even use the required books for the course. Many times I have purchased a textbook for $100 or more and not even had to use it. Thirdly, just because I may not use the textbook, doesn't mean I don't know the material. If I do my work and make the grades I deserve, I don't see the reason in this book determining my grade or making me change my study technique in any way.


I would ask the Mr. Guardia from the article these questions:

-Isn't the point of college to get students to be held accountable for their own grades?
-Don't you think, in a way, this sounds like another way for the textbook industry to make more profit off students?
-Do you really think this is a reliable and trustworthy way to determine the studying habits of a student?
-Would this be something you would actually use to grade a student on?


In conclusion, I think most textbooks in general are a waste of money.Now they are wanting to track your studying methods and judge you by this electronic textbook. If anything, a textbook should be a guide for a teacher to plan their lesson. It shouldn't be required that students purchase them. I believe they can be helpful and informative. But necessary? I don't think so.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog Post #13

Back to the Future

I highly enjoyed watching Mr. Crosby's video, Back To The Future, which showed several projects that his students have completed and how he incorporates technology into his classroom to bridge the language and communication gap. The reason that I enjoyed Mr. Crosby's video was because I have developed such an appreciation for the wonders of technology in the classroom over this course. Mr. Crosby's teaching second language learners through technology has shown me that technology can be used to allow students to reach the their potential.

Mr. Crosby obviously cares about his students and their success. Mr. Crosby makes sure that all of his students, (including second language learners) learn reading, writing, and communication skills, and he does so with the use of technology! By writing wikis, posting to blogs, and recording videos, Mr. Crosby's students learn not only the subject material but also communication skills that would, typically, be difficult for ESL learners.Mr. Crosby's class is a perfect example of how technology, along with a dedicated teacher, can greatly affect the outcome of a students' success rate.

The Blended Learning Cycle

Mr. Paul Anderson is a high school AP Biology teacher in Bozeman, Montana. He explains how he is using the blended learning cycle in his classroom. Blended learning is taking classroom, online, and mobile learning and blending them all together. He explains the learning cycle. The 5 E's: Engage, Explore, Explain, Expand, and Evaluate. I think that it a great way to present material and a great way for material to be learned. You take the blended model of the classroom, mobile, and online learning, stick them with the 5 E's and you have the Blended Learning Cycle.
There are 6 parts to Mr. Anderson's learning cycle. He reviews them using the word QUIVERS.
Question (the hook in learning)
Summary Quiz

I think that his QIVERS method is really good. It is something I would definitely consider using in my future classroom and teaching methods.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Progress Report on Final Project

Me and my partner, Jana Sharpe, have worked very hard and planned a lot in advance on our final project. We used Skype to connect with each other. We also communicated through e-mail, Facebook, and twitter. We met in advance to plan our final project twice before recording our movie. We each took equal and fair parts in our final project.

Project #15 SMARTboard Instruction Part 2

C4K April

Shay J

Shay told me about Nebraska. He talked about the state bird and the state fossil. He told me about the badlands and how much fun rock climbing is. He asked about where I lived. I told him that I was from Bayou La Batre, Al and I hoped that he would look it up.

Kylie M

Kylie is an 8th grade student. She wrote about her school's basketball team and her trip to their tournament. It was so hilarious. I forgot what it was like to be an 8th grade girl! Her post was supposed to be about her schools' basketball team, but was really about her problems of who to sit with on the bus, and the cute boys on the upper floor of the hotel where they were staying at. I commented and let her know how much I enjoyed reading her post and I told her to enjoy 8th grade because it goes by so fast!


Shaun is a student in Australia. He told me things about himself like how  he has 5 siblings, a dog, how he likes McDonald's, and how he likes football. At the end of his post, he asked did anybody have anything in common with him. I commented and told him that we had a lot in common! I have a big family. I have one dog named Max. I like football, and I like McDonald's. I really enjoyed reading his post.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Blog Post #12

1. If you are planning in going into the history or social sciences field look over this website, There are plenty of useful links and strategies to research.
2. Tell me what you thought about the website and click on at least 3 links that could help you as a future educator. Would they be helpful? Would you use them in the classroom?
I loved Education World! It's an educator's best friend,(or so it advertises.) It has plenty of links. Links for teachers, administrators, lesson plans, technology, worksheets, subjects, etc. Links for almost everything. I plan on using this website for future help in my teaching area. There is also a link for an ED World Community. You can connect with and talk to other professionals from your own area of study. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Blog Post #11

Ms. Cassidy

Ms. Cassidy is a first grade teacher from Moose Jaw, Canada. I watched her YouTube video, "Little Kids..Big Potential." She taught her children how to use blogs, video, Skype, the Nintendo DS, wikis, and a webpage to communicate and learn in her classroom. My main thought is, WOW. When I was in the first grade, the only interaction I had with any type of technology was with my mom's old Dell computer. And all I did was play PAC-man. These 6 and 7 year olds are are learning, communicating, collaborating, and becoming these technologically literate people. I would love to incorporate blogs into my classroom. This is the way these children are learning to read and write. I find it truly amazing. What a way to learn!

Monday, April 1, 2013

C4T #3

Students as Change Agents
Jeff Delp was having some doubts in the beginning of his post. Until he watches his students become great difference makers. He stated, "I can not help but marvel at the learning experiences derived from truly empowering students — allowing them to recognize their potential to work as agents of change." I respect and admire him for being such a strong and loyal educator.

When Teaching Gets Tough 

"Teaching, while potentially very rewarding, is an extremely challenging profession." This is something I already accept and know to be true about teaching. Jeff Delp pointed out wonderful things for me to remember and realize through this journey on becoming an educator.
Live as if there is no tomorrow, and don't worry about things that you have no control over and cannot change.

If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and every day you have the opportunity to write a new page.  ~ Mark Houlahan (from When Teaching Gets Tough)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

C4K March

Shane's Blog Post

Shane was asked the question what did he think that he gained from blogging outside of the school. He stated that he learned that blogging outside of his own school and community helped him to learn about other people and places. I commented and let him know that I agreed completely!

Ahman's Blog Post

Ahman talked about using a tablet to complete assignments. He stated that some of his classmates weren't being responsible and left their tablets at home, which meant, they all had to write on paper. I am used to writing with pen and paper but Ahman is not. I told him that sometimes it is good to use pencil and paper, because it helps you to figure out and realize your own mistakes.

Efilona's Blog Post

Efilona's post name was Lollipop moment. He posted a video that was done by Drew Dudley. He talked about leadership and how we need all need to acknowledge that we can all be leaders. A lollipop moment is a moment where someone said or did something, that fundamentally made your life better. It's important to tell these people that they have made a difference and have helped make you a happier person. Efilona said his lollipop moment is helping people in the school and leading. I commented and let him know that helping and leading in his school is definitely a lollipop moment!

Short Movie Project #11

Monday, March 25, 2013

Blog Post #10

I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga.
I didn't understand John T. Spencer's cartoon at first. After reading through previous blogs and the comments left, I have decided that it is, of course, a metaphor. The pencils represent computers, or technology in general. I think it's trying to say that technology is a really expensive alternative compared to traditional teaching methods like pencil and paper. The question that needs to be asked though, is is it worth it? Yes! The cost is a small price to pay when you get as much use and knowledge out of it than you normally could otherwise.

Why were your kids playing games?

This displays a great example of "just because your older and wiser, doesn't mean your necessarily right." The principal is angry with the teacher for "playing a game" during class time. However, the teacher sees it as a fun and creative way to teach his kids rather than the traditional, and yet boring way that it usually done. The part I really loved was this one, "If we want students to pass the rote memorization test, we need to focus on rote memorization skills." I think this sums up how most teachers teach, by trying to get student to memorize when we should be learning and advancing through the years.

Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please?

This is a post by Scott Mcleod where it's pretty obvious he being sarcastic. What he pretty much says is do not teach your kids to grow and learn with technology. However, I will teach mine and they will have the upper hand down the road. I learned that Mr. McLeod is an Associate Professor and his blog is called Dangerously Irrelevant. I've commented on his blog before and I've always enjoyed reading his posts.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blog Post #8

This Is How We Dream

Watching "This is how we dream, Part 1 &2", made me realize many things. It's all about looking ahead! In a way, the way he explained it seems almost unreachable but it's not. We can teach using multimedia. It's our job to not just sit by and watch technology move forward, but to help create it. It's our job to try to understand the crazy world we live in. We need inspired teachers. This change could be great. This writing needs to be invented and brought forth to children and adults alike.

Dr. Miller seems to have done tons of research and really thought his plan through.  He is right about the need for developing a curriculum on how to teach the use of technology in the class. He did a great job of showing how dreams can be displayed and created for other people. The world aound us is foreve and constantly changing. It's important for us, as teachers, to be able to keep up with the process. And even for us to be the one to really change the curriculum or set, traditional way of something, is huge!

I, myself, am probably way too excited about this. I'm excited to be the one making change in the teaching world, and to be the one helping mold children's minds into thinking that way too. It's a writing with multimedia change. It would probably change so many things that are so commonly used in the classrooms.

Carly Pugh

Carly Pugh did a great job in the making up of that assignment. If you followed all the different links and watched the video's you can almost see that her personality shines through them. She expressed herself so much. She game me great ideas to inspire future students just like Dr. Miller did. It's a great world for learning!

Scavenger Hunt 2.0

It's interactive! It's accessible! It's collaborative!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

C4T #2

The Principal's Principles

This blog is written by a middle school principal named Mr. Bernia. I read his post called "Whatever it Takes", that was posted on Feb. 14, 2013. After reading the post, I would have to say that the title is more than appropriate. He wrote about a girl who had lost her phone at school. She happened to lose it at the worst possible time considering her parents were out of town, and she was supposed to be going out of town herself on a field trip. Needless to say, the girl was freaking out. She told him the last time she had it was at lunch and she thinks she threw her phone in the trash with her lunch! How awful of a situation that would have been. Mr. Bernia handled it better than anyone could have though. He grabbed some gloves and they both went "dumpster diving". They recovered the phone. I can just imagine how grateful that girl must have been. It takes a very caring principal to do something like that for one of his students. He literally did what it took to gain his students trust and respect. I'm sure it's something she will always remember. 

The second post I read and commented on was called,"The Era of One has Begun." It's about not just being the cookie cutter learner but it's about being individualistic. Being one of a kind is important. He states the comments of another man, named Seth Godin, that argues that in today's economy it is important to be different and unique, and creative, and artistic.  I like how he compared the iphone to people. How all the iphones are exactly alike but it depends on the owner how they are different. Like different cases and different apps are just a couple of examples.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blog Post #7

Randy Paush's Last Lecture

The first thing that struck me when I finished Randy Paush's Last Lecture was all the different learning techniques he offered and put out there.Critics are the ones who tell you that you have messed up but they are also the ones that still care.I will use these lessons in my classroom. Really use his words and inspire children everywhere. I like what he said when he said, "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." Everyone goes through life and makes mistakes and errors, and by those mistakes is where you find experience.

One of the things that Randy taught me was just because you didn't reach your childhood dreams, or any dreams for that matter, doesn't mean that you have failed. Maybe by not achieving those dreams you got something better in return that you never even planned on. It's important to help enable other people's dreams. How good must it feel, to know as an educator, you have helped someone take a step closer to their dreams? I want to know that feeling, and I will one day.

Key points that I loved were the more simple ones. Like make sure to have fun! And to always be loyal. To make sure to never lose the child like wonder. He made sure to mention to help others and to care abut other people. Focus on others...if you watched the whole video, you know when he said that is when he brought the cake out on stage for his wife's birthday. I was crying like a baby.

Its not about acheiving your dreams. Its about how to lead your life. That was the key to the lecture. I cried more than once throughout his lecture. What kind of man could be so strong? I will never forget this man's lessons. They will help me to get through the remainder of my school years, and then I will use them to help other students get through theirs.

" Brick walls are not there to keep us out. They are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things. Brick walls are there for the other people. The people who give up on trying to tear down that brick wall because they don't want it bad enough."-Randy Pausch

Project #9

PLN Post #1

I started my Personal Learning Network this week. I set my homepage to Symbaloo, which is amazing! At a few swipes of my fingertips against the keys of my computer, I have every major website I use ready to be clicked on. I have put up my social media, my e-mails, and a few other websites I find helpful. I will continue to search for educational and learning tools to be added to my page.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

C4K February

My first C4K is on the summary of Ashley's blog. Ashley began her post giving some background information about WWI. She then goes on to explain how it came to be that we won the war. It was because of the secret weapons they used in the final battles. Those secret weapons were created by William Lucas, the grandfather of George Lucas. If you don't know who George Lucas is, he is the creator of Star Wars. Those secret weapons were.....Light Sabers! I found her blog post completely hilarious and also completely plausible. I left her a comment letting her know she made a good argument and that I really enjoyed reading her post.

My second one was on Brian's. He wrote about how bad sugary soft drinks were and how they are a big cause of obesity. He believes they should be banned. I commented and told him that I completely agreed. He had a lot of good points and it was well written.

The third post  I read was an 11-year old's named Wyatt.  He wrote about a short story he read in a magazine about this couple who went over to Russia and were abducted by these men. They were held captive by these men and tortured for 11 days before they were found. The title is called, "11 Days in Hell." Wyatt went into detail about more of what happened. I could tell he was really excited about this story, and he wants people to read it. I commented and told him that I thought that the story was a little scary but that I thought he did a great job describing the events that happened.

My fourth C4K was a girl named Emily. She wrote about self-expression. She said whenever you see her you will see her in her blue-jeans, cowboy boots, and t-shirts because that's how she expresses herself. Through her clothes. I commented and told her that I thought that was really cool and that it's so important to be comfortable with herself. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Project #10

Finding the Right Tool

I plan on becoming a middle school history teacher so I researched a few possible resources I could use in my future classroom to enhance my student's learning experience. I found a website that actually gives you a list of the best history websites you can find on any subject! ( You can find any website on history; from mid evil history, American history, world history, military history, etc. It gives you websites for different maps and also gives you websites for games on history! I found another website that gives you plenty of primary documents, pictures, and even animations that would be fun for kids. ( I found one last website that I really thought would be useful. ( This would not just be a tool for history teachers, but for all teachers. It gives you resources and diagrams and tools that would help in the classroom on a daily basis. Like, how to asses projects, looking on the inside of computers, showing evidence and seeing reason tools. I plan on using all of these in my future teaching career, and finding more tools as I continue on this journey of learning.

Blog Post #6

Wendy Drexlers' The Networked Student

I just watched "The Networked Student", a video made by Wendy Drexler. The video was made to help students, parents, and even teachers, and professors to understand how important networked learning is now and will be in the future. I like how it said in the video, that the tools aren't as important as the connections made possible by the tools. Wendy Drexler encouraged her students to self-teach themselves and learn how to connect with other people on there own. I think this is important because it is helping to make connecting with other people around the world a popular way to learn and grow as individuals and teachers.

Creating a PLN (Personal Learning Network) is not a hard thing to do. It just takes some research. You find different websites, search engines, or any tool that can help you to enhance your learning experience. You can also connect with other people to see what websites they use, and vice versa. The video lets you know that blogs are a good tool. Not because they are all 100% fact, but because other people's opinions can help to give you better insight.

The 21st century student diagram is a great process. It helps you to get started on your PLN and lays it out for you in a simple form. It's a great start to help you understand how networking works. So why does the networked student even need a teacher? I don't know if he/she needs a teacher but he/she definitely needs an instructor. It's the job of the instructor to show how to get started communicating, offer guidance and insight, how to search for the right sources, to know the difference between a scholarly source and a not-so scholarly source. Wendy wants the students to leave her class and be able to maintain their learning network and to be able to communicate and help make a positive change through being a networked student.

I watched another video about a 7th graders personal learning network and all I have to say is, Awesome! Mine isn't that advanced yet. She has it organized and really knows what she is doing on it. I may be only 20 years old but all my science classes back in middle and high school were textbook and paper oriented. I bet learning the way she is has to be funner than when I did. She does her own research and is able to look at stuff her teacher post about assignments and lessons. I thought it was really cool.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blog Post #5

If You Built A School

I looked at Krissy Venosdale's blog and discovered that she is a special education teacher and has been teaching and loving it, for 10 years! The name of her blog is Venspired. She says that her students and classroom inspire her. She wrote a blog about what her dream school would look and be like if she could build one. I thought that it sounded incredible. I imagine mine would look more like a huge home. It would have classrooms but it would also be subjects that the kids choose. No more state curriculum or exams! It just puts pointless pressure on students and teachers. There would be a dance hall, a theater, band room, marine biology center, a green house, swimming pool, wood-workshop, mechanics class, basketball court, tennis court, science lab, technology lab(which would include computers, ipads, cellphones, video recorders, and more). The possibilities are endless. The walls would be covered with projects and photographs, and articles, and just whatever the work is done by the students. It would be a second home. Not where kids have to come to school, but where kids want to come to school.

Virtual Choir

I just got done watching Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir- 'Lux Aurumque' on you tube and I have to say, Wow! I didn't even know something like that was possible. 185 people performed Lux Aurumque. It doesn't sound all that amazing until you find out that these people didn't do it all together. They never met each other. The performance was put together over the internet and then posted to you tube. The music was beautiful and it's crazy to watch, knowing these people never rehearsed or practiced together. What a great idea he had! and what a great tool to be used in connecting with other people in the world.

Teaching in the 21st Century

What does it mean to be a teacher in the 21st century? I watched Teaching in the 21st Century by Kevin Roberts and I agree with many of his view points. What does it mean to be a teacher when most people know how to use a computer. And if most people know how to use a computer this more than likely means that they know how to use the internet. You can find out anything you want to know anywhere and at anytime. My favorite search engine is Google. There are countless ways. Google, YouTube, Facebook, twitter, Bing, Pinterest, cellphones, ipods, ipads, etc. The ways are endless. I like the statement in the video: Teachers are no longer the knowledge of information, they are the filter. Anybody can type a few words in a search engine, but who will be the ones to teach students how to communicate information. Should the basis of school be learning facts or taking quizzes? I think not. It should be based on skills. We need to try harder and do our best to come up with ways to teach students the skills they need to know.

"Flipping" the Classroom

I love this idea. I had already wanted to do something similar to this going in to teaching. I believe that studying outside of the classroom off of the computer is a great way to do homework and really comprehend material. The kids who are terrible at math (like myself) can re-watch the videos and gain more understanding from that. It's a great replacement for the boring homework and you can do more actual math and practice in class with the students.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blog Post #4

1st Graders Create Their Own Read Along Book

I think this is a great idea. The teacher took some students out of the classroom to record their voices, while another teacher kept reading to the students in the classroom. They were recording the book they were reading.It's great that these students are making their own read along books. Especially in this day in age where so many students have trouble reading. This is a great process and I respect these teachers who put so much effort into it. I'm sure the children enjoy playing the voices of the characters in the book. I bet it makes it funner for them to learn how to read!

Judy Scharf Podcast Collection

I really enjoyed reading the material by Judy Scharf. She explains to you exactly what a podcast is, the benefits of a podcast, different tips on how to make your podcast successful, and even a time line for creating a podcast.

Flat Stanley

Yet again this was another really cool idea. I really, really like Langwitches blog. This time she had her students read "Flat Stanley." Then she had them make their own Flat Stanleys that would be "sent" around the world to wherever they chose, and they would tell about their adventure in the podcast. Those made the children look and research their place to really see what it is like. I think this is a great way to incorporate all types of learning, and this shows there are no limits to the ideas you can come up with.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Special Blog Post #1

In my search on WolframAlpha I discovered that according to the 2010 estimates there are about 2.88 billion people in India, China, and the United States. I also searched these countries individually. India's population is 1.21 billion. China's is 1.35 billion. The United State's is 309 million. Look at those population differences!

I think WolframAlpha is a great tool. You can search and compare almost anything on this simple to work tool bar. It gives you the luxury of having an extensive amount of topics already ready to click on. Search people and history, the weather, statistics and data analysis, chemistry, mathematics, and many more!You can also upload stuff. You can put in data input and file input. The possibilities are countless. There motto is, "Bringing broad, deep, expert-level knowledge to everyone..anytime, anywhere."

The social media count is amazing. I knew how quick and easy it is to do stuff on Facebook and twitter. But to see that much interaction going on at one time is eye-opening.

C4T #1

I read first Jeff Delp's post, "It's About the Experience." Jeff is a principal and his students and campus took the opportunity to be involved in a Verizon commercial. He talked about the children and how excited they were. Not about what the finished product would look like, but about the experience of it all. I commented on his post and let him know how great I thought it was that the kids wanted to be involved and were excited. I also thanked him for reminding me that the journey is just as important as the destination.

I read another one of his posts, "Today I Will." His post was just a simple reminder that with the new year ahead of us, it is important not to rush life, and to not worry about the future too much. I commented on his post and let him know that he reminded me to live in today. To make my day worthwhile instead of constantly worrying about tomorrow, or next week, or next year. Live in the Today!

Project #5 Presentation

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blog Post #3

Peer Editing

The video, "What is Peer Editing", explained what peer editing is and informed on the three major steps to peer editing.

1.) Compliments: Stay Positive! 2.) Give Suggestions. 3.) Corrections: spelling, punctuation, etc.

 It is important to remember these steps. The whole point to peer editing is for you and your peers to improve your work together. No need to be negative! In the video, "Top 10 Peer Review Mistakes", it gave you the classic mistakes people make while peer editing. The kids in the video did a wonderful job at portraying their roles. I have known a few "Whatever Williams" and "Mean Margerets" in my school days. If you're not careful you can really offend or hurt someones feelings.

In my C4C #2 it was my job to critique a girls blog. She had very good thoughts and I agreed with a lot of her personal opinions about technology. I remembered to look back at the three steps that was taught to me in the videos. I followed all three! I suggested to her that she could use a little bit more organization in her sentences, because some of them were a little confusing.

Assistive Technologies

Assistive technologies are important and do impact children and their learning experience. Especially if the children are vision or hearing impaired. In the first video it states that assistive technologies enhances learning, removes barriers, pushes boundaries, gives hope, and challenges the way we think. It is important the we are prepared to not just teach children without problems but with problems also. Every child should have the same opportunity to learn, discover, and explore. Some examples of assistive technologies are ipads, text telephones, and sensory aids.

The Mountbatten Brail writer is an amazing tool for the blind. It lets the learner give audio and textile feedback. It's so advanced that it can receive, send, and transfer files from a computer. If I could learn to use this machine myself, it would definitely be something I would try to incorporate into my classroom. I believe it's important for every child to have the right to learn and grow in the same way.

Watching the video on teaching mathematics to the blind blew my mind. I can't even learn to do math with great eye sight. Learning with no sight must be the most challenging thing. I loved the video for ipad usage for the blind. I can believe that it is a wonderful resource for the blind. There are so many different Apps and ways to learn. It's simply amazing. Gotta love Apple!

Harness Your Students Digital Smarts

I think that Vicki Davis must be an incredible teacher. She wants so much for her students to learn and teach themselves and even teach her! In her video, "Harness Your Students Digital Smarts", it's clear how much the children are learning, and how much they are enjoying learning. I, myself, have never had a teacher like that! Maybe besides Dr.Strange! But I mean growing up. It was always a pencil and paper world. Never cellphones, computers, or other forms of technology. Which I feel is very important.

I believe children really want to learn, but can't because when they walk in a classroom and it's just completely boring, it's also completely useless. I love that not just the children are learning, but the teacher is too. Technology is growing more and more everyday and all we can do is to try to keep up.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Blog Post #2

Did You Know?

Well I must say that I didn't know. The video, Did You Know? 3.0 - A John Strange 2012 Version, clued me in on some information that I wasn't aware of. Like how the Chinese will have more English speakers than the rest of the world combined. Or the number of people that are on YouTube at the exact same time. Or the number of Google searches in a minute,(1,398,498). Now that's just hard to believe! The cellphone and computer facts don't surprise me as much. It's not hard to believe that most people have computers in their homes these days. I think it is more uncommon if you don't.

But the question still remains. Am I ready to be an educator? The answer is YES, I AM. I believe I can keep up with the technologically advancing world. In fact I think it is my duty too. I know I will do my best and try my hardest to prepare my students.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

I thought Mr. Winkle Wakes was hilarious. This video was made so you could see just how many things have changed, and also how some things haven't. So many things have changed in one-hundred years you couldn't possibly even begin to list them. Yet, the traditional school setting really hasn't. The methods are all generally the same. Are the students still learning? Maybe to an extent. I believe we should use different tools and technologies to not just teach them, but to really make them learn. This can only happen, if we as educators, make it happen.

The Importance of Creativity

Does school kill creativity? In Ken Robinsons' video on TED website he gives many different insights on education and its importance. The quote that stuck with me the most from him is that we don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it. I find that very true. Why is math so much more important than dance? Or science more important than art? We limit children from doing these things that society frowns upon, when we should really be encouraging it. We should create a system that helps creativity grow instead of pushing it to the side because "it doesn't pay enough", or "you will never get a job".

Thinking back that may have been what happened to me. My mama told me all of my life,"You will be a teacher. You will go to college." It was always engrained and pushed into my head. And yet it is still something I feel passionate about. I feel as human beings, we all have a creative side. It is a matter of what we choose to do with it that counts. As Mr. Robinson said,"The gift of Imagination should be used wisely."


I just have to say first that I absolutely love Pinterest. It's a wonderful website that inspires creativity and let's just say it, keeps you very occupied. I have found myself staying on there for hours at a time. Before reading the article, "Four Ways to Use Pinterest in Education", I had already planned to use this website in my teaching strategies. There are just so many different things on this website that are offered. I have had my account created since last year, and I have to warn you, if you don't have one now, prepare to get addicted.

I followed a lot of the boards that were suggested in the, "Top 20 Pinterest Boards for Education." I really liked Jenny Hoffmans. A lot of her pins connected me to very useful websites. Pinterest will definitely be a resource I use when I become a teacher. It's helpful and inspiring. It's different and creative. It will help the students and myself with technology, projects, and fun activities. I look forward to using this resource in my everyday lesson plans and organization skills.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Blog Post #1

About Me 

My name is Rachel Lee McGuff. I am 20 years old. I have lived in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, my whole life and I love it. It’s a small fishing community in south Mobile. I graduated from Bryant High School in 2010.  I have a big family. I am the 7th of 8 children, and I have the best parents. I love my big family! I wouldn’t have it any other way. My boyfriend’s name is Cory. We have been together for over 3 years now. We have been through so much with each other and I look forward to our future together. I’m an Auburn football fan. War Eagle! I attend a small church in our town and am a Christian. I believe in Jesus wholeheartedly and thank God every day for all of my blessings.  I only really have one talent and that is archery. I started shooting my freshman year of high school and, in my junior year, won the top female shooter in the whole state of Alabama! My other hobbies don’t consist of much. I like to read and write, and hang out with my friends and family.

A bigger part of who I am right now involves my sister, Sarah. She attended the University of South Alabama, also majoring in education. She had blonde hair and blue eyes, and was the absolute sweetest and caring person I have ever known. In my senior year of high school my whole world changed. She was involved in an awful car wreck that claimed her life. Since then, I have grown and matured, and learned to be the person she would want me to be. I do my best to love life and to never take it for granted. I work hard at my job and at school, and to do the best I can. I believe she would be proud of me.

This is my 2nd semester at the University of South Alabama. I completed my first 2 years of school at Faulkner State Community College.  I am majoring in Secondary Education: Social Science. I guess you could say teaching runs in my family. This year is my mother’s 25th year in the Mobile County Public School System. She taught English for 20 years, and has spent the last 5 as a media specialist. My brother is a history teacher, my sister-in-law is an English teacher, and my cousin is an elementary school teacher. It’s something I’m very passionate about. I want to touch lives and be the kind of teacher kids can really learn from and connect with. I want to be the teacher that students look forward to seeing every day.  

Me in the Classroom  

 I plan on using many methods in my teaching, and that way it’s always something different. I remember being in high school and watching power point presentation after power point presentation and wondering if there were people who actually died of boredom. I plan on mixing it up a bit. I plan on using many different resources and tools. My goal is to teach 8th grade history. I think 8th grade would just be the best : not too young, but not too old either. They are in their “in-betweens”. I think it’s important for them to not have to just go in another boring class where they stare at the wall for an hour. I want them to learn. I want to see interest and amazement. I want to be the one to prepare them for high school.
 I want to make my classroom lively. I want posters to cover the walls and I want to fill it with the students work. To make it something that, not just I, but they can be proud of as well. Projects are important to me! They were the basis of my learning in middle school. It taught me to remember the people of the past and what they did and accomplished. It taught me about myself, and how perseverance and determination can pay off. I want to give weekly small projects on the area of interest, and let the students find out how much they can do with their brains.

 I would give a different student each week an assignment to become a historical figure and introduce themselves to the class. I want to have movie days. Once a month watch a history movie in the area of study and give popcorn and drinks to the students, granted I had their participation and good behavior. School should be a fun, learning environment for students and teachers. There are so many different things and activities that are available I see no reason for a child to have, as Dr. Strange says, “a burpback education”. 

Randy Pausch on Time Management  

It’s amazing what you can learn in a short 4 minutes. Robert Pausch said some very enlightening things about time management. My favorite quote and the one that will probably help me the most is, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” It makes complete sense, and is something I take to heart. Another thing I liked that he said is, "Do the ugliest thing first." If you did the worst thing on your list first, seems to me you would be more likely to get the most stuff done and have a better time doing it. After I watched his video on time management, I "googled" him and found out that he was an astounding professor at the University of Virginia, and he was involved with many different projects involving Adobe and Walt Disney engineering. He was also known to be a very loving husband and father. He sadly lost his fight with pancreatic cancer in July of 2008.