Monday, April 25, 2011

Special Metaphor Assignment Blog Post #14

For our last blog post, Dr. Strange decided to have us do a special assignment dealing with metaphors. Apparently, alot of our class did not realize Tom Johnsons Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home was in fact a metaphor. Since so many classmates, including myslef, did not catch on, Dr. Strange wanted us to go back and look at this article again and answer a few questions.

Here are the questionsalong with my answers....

1. Why did you miss the metaphor in Tom Johnson's post, or, if you "hit the nail on the head", why do you think you understood the metaphor and why do you think that others in the class missed the metaphor?
Well, for me, I just think I took the post to literally. I thought he really was talking about pencils. I am not one to catch on to things like 'metaphors' that easily. Now that I have went back and reread this replacing pencils with computers, it makes perfect sense!
2. What metaphors have you encountered since I asked you to create a log of them?
My list is so long now that I have actually had to think about and record them.
~all that glitters is not gold
~the apple does not fall far from the tree
~back to the bump and grind
~to touch base
~the better half
~as big as a house
~at the crack of dawn
~toot my own horn
~get my foot in the door
~the golden child
~hit the jackpot
~make a mountain out of a molehill
~nip it in the bud

These are just to name a few that I caught. I never realized how often I use or hear metaphors in every day language!

3. What other things can we do as educators to help our students to understand and to use metaphors?
Point out metaphors as you read to your children. With practice, they will begin to identify them. Encourage your children to use metaphors as they write. Point out the ones they use naturally and call them metaphors by name.

4. Why do we use metaphors?
I think people use metaphors first off out of pure habit. It is what we are used to rather we know it or not. Metaphors "dress up" our sentences and give a whole new spin to our thoughts. Good metaphors also expand our ways of thinking about things, and in so doing suggest new ideas.

Everybody Wins With Metaphors

Comments for Teachers # 4

This time around I have been assigned to a teacher named Mathew Needleman and his class blog Creating Lifelong Learners. Mathew Needleman is a teacher of grades K-5, literacy coach, Apple Distinguished Educator, and author of this blog. He is the founder of nearly twenty popular educational destinations on the internet, has been integrating digital film making in the elementary classroom for over a decade, and currently producing mobile applications for improving literacy. He holds a masters degree in Educational Leadership and Policy and a California Administrative Credential. Through this blog, He hopes to offer practical tips for elementary teachers on teaching traditional and new media literacies, valuing students and their cultures, appealing to different learning modalities, and integrating technology in the curriculum with an emphasis on video production.

The first post I looked at dealt with an article he had found where schools, such as one in Auburn, Maine, are giving Ipads to all kindergarteners. He basically just talked about his feeling on this and wanted to know how everyone else felt about it?

I think it is GREAT that a school system has enough money to be able to buy this awesome device for so many students. However, kindergarteners....really? I simply think that if a school is going to spend that much money they might as well get the most bang for their bucks! I think the this device would be better used in the hands of a moderately older child. I think this would give younger children something to look forward to when going in that grade level. Growing up in the era of green chalkboards, I feel it is somewhat a privilege that children so young are being able to use all the different tools of technology.

The second post of Mathew's that I commented on he was giving advice to surviving standardized tests. Apparently, his school will begin testing next week. His advice was short, sweet, and to the point.

1. Don’t work too fast and furious.

2. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

3. Don’t get punk’d.

It was great that he included #3. I remember taking these test when I was younger and thinking why in the world would these people want to trick me this way. HaHa! It is important to just slow down and read those questions carefully.

It has been great getting to check out different teacher's blogs this semester. I like that it gave us ideas and examples of different teaching formats as well as different ways in which teachers can use blogging to enhance their classroom experience. :)

Support Blogging

Sunday, April 24, 2011

C4K # 7,8,9,& 10

Comments for Kids # 7

Our assignment this week was a little different. Instead of commenting on a child's blog, we were assigned to comment on a particular post on Mr.McClungs blog. I was assigned to Lessons Learned Lesson 3-Saturday School. It was a very short post that talked about how because of the amount of snow days the children had, they would be attending class on Saturday to help cut out the amount of days added on at the end of the school year. I think this was a great idea! I would much rather suffer it out on a Saturday because when it's time for summer, I am ready to soak up the sun as much as possible! I liked Mr.McClungs attitude...he told the kids to "live it up because you only go to school on Saturday once a year." My take on that is he was telling the kids to suck it up and get over it, there's no use in whining because noone will be listening! I love this guy!

Comments for Kids # 8

For this weeks post, I was assgined to comment on a student named Jassy. She was a year 6/7 student attending International Baccalaureate School in Adelaide Hills, South Australia. SHe was new to the whole blogging thing but had grasped it pretty well from what I seen. Her latest blog was about the Japan Tsunami and her feelings about it. She had created three very well written poems to express her feelings and posted them on her blog. This is my favorite of all three....

J Japan
A A Nation in mourning
P People missing some even killed
A All over the news
N Nuclear plant explosion
E Earthquake then tsunami
S Struggling to keep going
E Extreme damage

T Terrible tsunami that created
S such devastation
U Unbelievable destruction
N Nothing left but the rubble
A A time of sadness
M Many sad, hurt and homeless
I Impossible to imagine

She is very talented when it comes to poetry. I hope she continues to express her feelings about different things through poetry because I feel that is self therapeutic.

Comments for Kids # 9

Once again Dr. Strange has up doing something a little different for this weeks comment for kids assignment. Instead of commenting on a specific childs blog, he had us take a look at Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog. Mrs. Yollis is really an inspiration to all future and current teachers. She has managed to integrate technology in such a positive way inside her classroom. These 3rd graders are doing the same thing that many of us college students are just learning. My favorite thing about Mrs. Yollis' blog in how she incoorporates family and friends with her students. I love that she has a "Family Blogging Month" in order to incourage more participation from the students family. How exciting it must be to be able to see a comment from a grandparent out of town.

There are way to many GREAT things to mention when talking about Mrs. Yollis blog but I feel obligated to publicly Thank her for having an HTML post. I have referred to her blog numerous times this semster for html help and that has truely been a BIG life-saver.

All in all, I think that Mrs. Yollis blog is a great way to show us, future teachers, that we must keep up and know how to properly use technology in order to maintain the same level as our students.

Comments for Kids # 10

For my last comments for kids assignment this semester I had the joy of commenting for Hannah, a third grader in Mrs. Yollis' class in California. On her most recent post, she told all about the celebration of Seezdah-Bedar. This is a holiday celebrated by Iranians. Seezdah-Bedar is celebrated on the thirteenth day after Norouz, the Persian New Year. On this day families leave their houses and head for parks, gardens, or country sides and enjoy their day together with a picnic. By having a joyous and laughter filled day outdoors, Iranians believe that they can keep bad luck away! From the pictures Hannah posted, it looked like a fun, but crowded day at the park. Her blog is really GREAT because her post are so good. Mrs. Yollis has done a fine job in teaching her students what blogging is all about. I sure hope Hannah continues to teach as well as express her thoughts through the use of her blog.

I plan to keep up the Commenting for Kids when I have my own classroom one day. I think it would be great for my students to see and compare their blogs to others of their age. I also feel blogging can be used as a GREAT learning tool because I have witnessed and learned from elementary students all around the world this semester......

Comments for Kids

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blog Post # 13

Hey guys! For this weeks blog post, we were assigned to the Alex website. This stands for Alabama Learning Exchange.

There slogan is "Quality for Every Facet of Learning". Their goal is for Alabama's students to reap the benefits of Alabama educators sharing their wealth of expertise and knowledge with colleagues. I had never heard of this before now and am really thankful that Dr. Strange had this on our agenda. This website is a GREAT teaching tool that I am sure I will use one day in my future classroom.

Alex strives to provide only the best resources to meet the unique needs of teachers, administrators, parents, and students. Alabama Learning Exchange is a communal database of lesson plans created and posted by teachers. The database is searchable by traditional subject areas as well as 21st century areas that include technology education, and information literacy. You can search these areas to fit the needs of any grade levels. Most of the lesson plans, weblinks, and interactive activities are already connected to the Alabama Courses of Study.

Alabama State Department of Education

This website is many things all rolled into one. Here, you can locate the Alabama Courses of Study for every grade and subject and find lesson plans and web links that relate to them. They also offer you a search tab just in case you can not find something you are looking for. They have a tab called the Gallery360. This is more or less your technology tab. Here you can see some of the top downloads as well as directions for podcasting, and featured content. ALEX is also linked with Thinkfinity. By going here, you can check out what happened today in history, different discussions, educational news, and blogs by various people. Last but not least, they have included something called ALEXville. How cute is this? This allows you to visit different areas to communicate with your colleagues, keep up with the latest ALEX news,and follow various ALEX Professional Learning Communities.

Overall, I can't see how anyone would not find ALEX a useful tool in their career. It's good to know that the state if Alabama has created something like this as a helpful guidance for their teachers.


We were also instructed to check out ACCESS, or Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, & Students Statewide. After reviewing this website, I feel like it is basically a course that is very similar to what we are doing in EDM310. It provides distant learning to high school students. Most all subjects are offered through rigorous Web-based and Interactive Videoconferencing (IVC) courses taught by Alabama certified and highly qualified teachers.

Where was this at when I was in high school? This is an AWESOME way to prepare high school students with what an online college course will be like for them.

Distance Learning around the globe

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Project # 15 First Gift USA Video

For this project, my group which included Kevin, ALicia, and myself, decided to create a First Gift USA video. I will post the video after I receive permission from the judges.......

Coming Soon

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Progress Report on Final Project

Making Progress

I can't believe that I have almost survived this semester! We only have a couple of weeks left and I will be through until fall. With that being said, there is still a FINAL PROJECT that must be turned in. I have my group and we are meeting during classtime to go over our ideas and decide on just what it is we want to do. It's so wierd. For the first project ever, Dr. Strange has not given us any direct instruction but instead left it completely up to us and our creativity and I am having a hard time. I almost think that if he had just told us what he was looking for or gave us a few different things to choose from it would have been much easier. There is sooooo much out there and so many things that we have learned this semester it will be hard to narrow it down to just one thing. That being said, I am sure once Kevin, Alicia, and myself get together there is no telling what we will come up with. Stay tuned.......

Blog Post # 12

This just might be my favorite blog post yet. Instead of the usual, this time we are getting the chance to come up with a blog post that Dr. Strange could have used instead of some that he did. It's always nice to have a break in the every week cycle. It gives us a chance to show our creativity while giving us a break from what I'll call the reality of EDM310.

So.....If I was to assign a blog post what would I choose?

Well, I think it would be cool to pick out one picture from the internet that best describes yourself and your view on teaching and technology and tell why that picture is a good representation of yourself. You could even make things slightly more difficult and have students pick 3 pictures, one desribing themselves at the beginning of this class, on that would describe them now, and one that represents what their hopes are for the future.

I know that blog post are supposed to be an educational tool that we are using to get insight from several different people. However, if we do not truely know ourselves, then how can we grow as a teacher?

With that I leave you this quote...

Quality begins on the inside... and then works its way out. ~Bob Moawad

This would be my picture....

The World Is At My Fingertips

I chose this picture because I feel like the world really is at my fingertips when using modern forms of technology!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Project # 14

Teach Someone Something

It took me a while to figure out just what I wanted to do for this project. Our choices were endless so that always makes things more difficult for me to decide. I thought about all the things that I have learned in this class this semester. Because I was using screenjelly, and that only lets me record for 3 minutes, I decided to go with teaching you guys how to make a Wordle. To me, a Wordle is a fun and colorful way to spruce up any blog post. I had never done a Wordle before EDM310 and I'm sure several people are like me when it came to our Wordle project so why not? I know that this can be a useful tool to use now throughout our college journey as well as later in our future classrooms. So sit back and enjoy as I teach you the instructions to creating your very own Wordle!

Wordle: Project # 14

Blog Post #11

Mrs. Cassidy's 1st Grade Class & Technology

Mrs. Cssidy is surely a teacher that we can look up too. I love how she started her journey with technology when she was given 5 computers on her classroom. Instead of letting them sit there and collect dust, she self taught herself how to utilize this and make it something great for her students. Out of all the technology tools I saw her children using, I likes the flip camera recording and the Nintendo DS the best, ...well not really the best but maybe something I had not thought of before. Every child I know likes to take pictures and record movies, so what better way to help the students learn? I also would have never thought to put a Nintendo type item inside my classroom, but when I think Nintendo, I don't think about 'Learning games' but rather fun games. The game she had them playing was not only fun for them but taught them different tools such as spelling and problem solving. This is something that most children get to use at home and are already familiar with. The students that do not have these types of toys, will feel privledged when getting to use them and the students who have them at home will be able to help guide the others on how to use them. We have said it time and time again in this classroom......A teacher must keep up with the latest technology and be able to relate to a child with what they are familiar with. We, as teachers, must never stop learning because when we stop learning our students in a way, quit learning too. I think the biggest mountain to climb when coming to the use of technology inside the classroom, is convincing administrators and parents that this is a great way to teach and that the kids are really learning. I believe the best way to show this is through a class blog. This way the parents and administrators have access anytime to view what exactly is going on inside the classroom and some of the students work. I feel that when teaching through the use of technology you will not only be able to physically see this, but you will see a difference with the attitude of the students. I sit here and think how different a class would have been for me if I had been able to learn through this hands on technology.

children in a classroom

Special Assignment......Mr. McClung's World

Mr. McClung's World
For the purpose of this assignment, Dr. Strange wanted us to take a closer look into a blog created by an 8th Grade History Teacher, Mr McClungs World .
1. What do you know (or have you found out) about Mr. McClung that is reflected in the way he has constructed his class blog?
After reading many of the tabs on his blog, I can tell that he is a very organized person. His classroom is managed in a very structured way. I am sure because of these two things, he is allowed more time to actually "teach" the students and this also allows him more freedom on how he teaches.
2. Comment on what you would say about Mr. McClung as an educator.
I wish I could observe in Mr. McClung's room. His class sounds fun and entertaining but yet still focuses on the main goal, getting the kids to not only learn the material, but be excited about learning it!
3. I asked above that you read Mr. McClung's "rules" and think about them. What do they say about Mr. McClung, his teaching, and his connection with his students? What is your reaction to these rules (and guides) as a student and as an aspiring teacher?
As a teacher, I think that his rules could be greatly used in my own classroom. Seems to me like he has his class under control and that he does not expect to much. He is simply teaching them how to communicate respectfully which is a great asset to have but many people lack. I can't quite imagine how it would be to be a student in his classroom because I never remember having a class that sounded like this much fun in school.
4. What was the first thing under Everyone needs? Why do you suppose that is the first requirement?
The first thing that they ask every 8th grade student to have is a daily planner. I think this is also a great idea. I remember having these in elementary so that we were able to keep up with homework assignments. I assume if every child has a planner, and use it properly, then they have no excuse about not knowing when something is going to happen and can always be prepared for it. Not only is this a great idea because it teaches the student responsibility and organization skills, but is also great for the parents.
5. Note the penalties for being late (under Homework). Compare them with my penalties for being late. Comment.
I think his rules for being late are appropiate. This is a life lesson that he is teaching. You have to learn to be responsible and take account for your actions or suffer the consequences. This is something you are faced with throughout your lifetime. A teacher gives an assignment and expects it to be done when asked. If you choose to be late, then you must face consequences otherwise noone would ever turn anything in on time.
6. Read carefully his paragraph about what he hopes to accomplish with his blog. Comment and apply to your own aspirations as a teacher.
Mr. McClung states that his classroom blog will be the vehicle that drives majority of the technology in his classroom. It will serve as a daily newsletter that will keep parents, students, and teachers informed about the current happenings in class including: experiments, projects, deadlines, assignments, and of course school news. Lastly, the class blog will host a variety of resources that are available to parents, teachers, and students that will be further explained throughout the school year.
I LOVE IT! I mean a vehicle that drives the technology? What a GREAT metaphor. A blog allows everyone from students to parents to keep up to date on what is happening in his classroom. It is a great tool that when utilized correctly can become an asset to his classroom environment. before this class, I have never thought anything about a child being able to "blog" but now I totally love the idea and plan on using this is my future classroom.
7. I asked you to review at least two Useful Links in depth after reviewing all of them. Which two did you review in depth? Describe each of the two. How might each be used? Why do you think each made Mr. McClung's list.
A~ KNowledge Mastery - This linked me to a website called Gateway Mastery. It is a program that offers seminars and tool kits to help teachers effectively run their classrooms. After reading through their webpage, I am assuming this is the same type of teaching the Mr. McClung uses in his classroom.
B~ The second web page that I chose to click on was VoiceThread. I have heard of this, but never actually used it before or really even knew exactly what it was. What a cool thing! Automatically I was thinking of way to use this one day in my classroom.
8. Under Internet Safety I asked you to read carefully the rules Mr. McClung sets forth for safely using the internet. Comment on these rules. Are there any you would add or subtract.
I think his set of rules is a good, standard set to follow. I like how he created an email to use on sites that require you to add an email address. I have noticed that alot of blogs that we have been assigned to comment on you have to leave an email address and I wish this was something that I had though about doing. I would probably change the rule that said to tell a parent to tell the nearest adult around you at the time of the incident. As a teacher, it is our job to look after these children at school and if something like this happens, I want to know so that I can correct the problem.
9. In the C4K part of this blog I asked that you look carefully at one of the categories under which you assigned post was filed. What did you find? Select one of the posts in the category and review it for me.
My assigned category was lessons learned. When reviewing other weekd from this category I learned that this past week, Mr. McClung addressed Dr. Stange EDM310 class because of the amount of traffic they had received from all of us. It's great to know that as we are out there commenting, at least one teacher and class is reading these comments and ackowledging us!
10. Mr. McClung uses Edublog as his blog host. In some ways it may seem more "advanced." But Blogger has many abilities that we have not covered in EDM310. This leads to this question: Is there anything (or things) that Mr. McClung can do with his blog that you would like to do in Blogger?
I like the map that states where everyone is from that visits my blog. I am sure you can do this, but not really sure how. I also like how he has categories so that you can check specific things out without having to scroll all the way through his blog. I like the tabs at the top. I am sure these are all easy things to accomplish and I plan on doing so when I am blogging enough to use them!
11. In what ways does Mr. McClung make his blog useful to parents, teachers, administrators, students like you, and others?
Well, his blog is mainly for his students. This blog creates an easy, up-to-date way of keeping up with what is going on in the classroom. It allows you to easily access what happened if you are absent. It is also great for parents because it allows them to know what is going on with their children while they are in this class. It't great that administrators at his school and around the world can see how much of a difference technology can make in hopes of adapting more technology inside the classrooms. For me, as a future teacher, it is an example and gives me guidance on some of the things I would like seen done inside my very own classroom.
12. How does Mr. McClung's 8th grade blog differs from other blogs you have visited including other 8th grade blogs? Why the differences do you think?
Mr. McClungs blog is updated daily. That is a BIG DEAL when you are using it for the types of things he does. It is also very well layed out and organized. This allows people that are not very computer efficient to be able to figure their way thoughtout his blog too(a must for some parents!)
I think when comparing Mr. McClungs comes out on top because he is an advid technology user andd he strives to get more technology inside more classrooms.
13. Add any additional comments you think would be useful in analyzing Mr. McClung's World in depth.
Although it wasn't asked of us, I think everyone should have checked out the student work tab. It was nice just to see some of the things his students are doing and what they think about different things going on inside the classroom. It would have been great to have been able to pick one and comment on because I am sure it would have made that students day to know someone else seen it and cared and that all their hard work paid off!

I Think Therefor I Blog

Blogging Unites Everyone