Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blog Post #10

First Graders in Mrs. Cassidy's Class
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 1
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 2
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 3

In the videos with Mrs. Cassidy, she talks about her use of technology in her classroom. I found it very interesting and I am truly amazed that first graders are blogging, using Skype, and searching the internet for information. Mrs. Cassidy has a very excellent approach to using technology to help her students learn. One thing that I found most interesting is that she collaborates with one of the colleges near by and has the college students comment on the kids blogs throughout the year. The college students leave comments that will help the first graders with their writing skills and the college students get to see the first graders improvements in their writing. The college students even Skype with the first graders at the beginning of the  year so that they can get to know each other a little better. I really thought that was a great way for the students to get outside opinions and encouragement from older students that they may look up to. I will most definitely be using that in my classroom if I can! Another thing that I really liked is that Mrs. Cassidy Skyped with other classrooms to read stories or talk with other students. However, with anything new there comes problems. I think the problems I could encounter would be getting the administration or parents on board with implementing all this new technology into the classroom. A lot of people are scared that the children will be going to sites that they are not supposed to and be exposed to harmful things. I know that those things can be monitored and taught so the kids do not want or think to do those things. The benefits of using technology for learning are endless. Mrs. Cassidy stated that, "kids and technology go hand-in-hand" and they really do. Children are so accustomed to using technology in their everyday lives. I know that I was in the 8th grade when I got a phone and texting and my little sister was in 5th when she first got a phone and texting and it was a smart phone. The world is changing and the way we teach students needs to change as well. I love that Mrs. Cassidy commented on the fact that the techniques teachers used 20 years ago are not going to work on this new breed of tech savvy students.
Three students around a computer smiling

C4K for March

First Comment


Hi Tom,My name is Jesse and I am student at the University of South Alabama majoring in elementary education. I enjoyed reading your post about Samuel Jackson. You mentioned a lot of things that I did not know about him! I think he is very talented actor and he is one of my favorites. I will leave you a link to my blog if you ever want to check it out! Great post!Thanks,Jesse Reed

First Summary 

In this post, Tom chose to write about Samuel Jackson for Black History Month. He chose Samuel Jackson because of his positive influence in the acting community. I thought that Tom did a great job writing about Samuel Jackson. He wrote about some of his accomplishments. I did notice that Tom had a good bit of grammatical errors. His sentence structure was not correct and he overall just did not have the correct grammar. However, I did think that he tried hard and I thought he gave it a  good effort!

Second Comment

Hi Ulises,
My name is Jesse Reed and I am student at the University of South Alabama. I enjoyed reading through your blog posts! I took something similar to the Plan test when I was your age. It is very important to strive to do well on these tests so you can get into a good college like South Alabama. I always tried to keep up my grades and do well on my tests. Good luck on any other test you may have!

Jesse Reed

Second Summary

In this post, Ulises wrote about his experience with PLAN testing. While I am not familiar with PLAN testing, the SATs that I took in grade school are similar. I thought Ulises did a good job writing about his experience. However, he did have a few grammatical errors throughout his post. Some of sentences were not capitalized and he used the wrong form of you. Other than that, it was a good post!

Third Comment

Hi again Sandra,
I commented on one of your posts back in February. As I said before, I am a student at the University of South Alabama studying elementary education. I enjoyed reading your post! I probably would have thought the play was going to be boring too if there were no props or costumes. I agree that it would be difficult to understand who is who when all the costumes are the same! I am glad you enjoyed the play despite all those things.

Third Summary

I have visited Sandra's blog before and I have enjoyed reading both of her posts! For this post, Sandra wrote about her opinion of the play that she watched called, "Maleficent". She said that there were no props and everyone was wearing the same costume which made it hard for her to follow the play and know who was who. I agree with her and told her that I would have the same problems. I thought she did a really great job and her writing skills were good!

Picture of the word "Blog"

Project #12

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Blog Post #9

Seven Essentials For Project Based Learning
   In this article, it lists out seven essentials for any good PBL project. A good project needs a good launch. This means that when the project is introduced it should engage and spike the student's interest. It also needs a driving question. The driving question outlines what the students are expected to do when completing the project. It needs to be complex and linked to the core theme of the project so the students can clearly see and understand what the project is on. When creating your PBL project, technology should factor into the students inquiry. Students find projects more meaningful if they conduct inquiry that follows a trail of questions to find the right answer(s). The inquiry should lead to research and discovery. Another important aspect of any PBL project is the feedback and peer reviews. It is important to do feedback and peer reviews so the students can see if they are on the right track and where they may have gone wrong. Using rubrics can also help facilitate the peer reviews in the right direction. Lastly, the students need to orally present their findings to the classroom. By doing this, the students take more pride in their work and care about the quality of work they are presenting.

Project-Based Learning for Teachers
    This video outlines Project-Based Learning (PBL). PBL makes learning more meaningful and student-centered. It is NOT busy work. When conducting PBL you want to stay away from bust work because it is not meaningful nor it is engaging. PBL is conducted over an extended period of time to answer a driving question. The driving question should be complex and require deep thought to create the end product which will be shared with the class.Through PBL the common core standards are met in a way that maximizes the students individual abilities. Students are able to take learning into their own hands and personalize their learning experience.

10 Sites Supporting Digital Classroom Collaboration In Project-Based Learning
Titan Pad - Titan Pad allows multiple people to work simultaneously on one document.
Wall Wisher - or Padlet, is a great collaboration tool. You can post, view, and edit peer's work.
Corkboardme - or Noteapp, is a lot like Padlet. However, with the premium version some documents can be set to private.
Google Docs - Sound familiar? Google Docs is the leader in collaboration tools. I know I have used it immensely in this class.
Microsoft Live - This site is offered through Microsoft Office in Education.
Today's Meet - allows students to join in from home or another school. It helps harness the "backchannel", or the conversation that goes alongside the primary activity, and turn it into something meaningful and engaging instead of distracting.
Will You Type With Me - is the same concept of Titan Pad but with a little bit more features. It allows users to upload word documents, PDFs, and HTMLs.
Linoit - gives classroom collaboration a new face. It allows users to post ideas or work in the form of a sticky note on a display board.
Skype in Education - Much like the regular Skype, Skype in Education gives teachers and students access to classrooms across the nation.
Quick Screen Share - allows for quick and easy screen sharing. It works on most computers and there is nothing extra to install or download.

Two Students Solve the Case of the Watery Ketchup by Designing a New Cap
     You know that nasty ketchup water that comes out when you first squirt a bottle of ketchup? Two male seniors at Liberty North High School designed a ketchup bottle top that catches that watery substance and does not let it come out. They were able to build and test a prototype thanks to a program called, hProject Lead the Way. The program allows students to work freely on a design or project of their choice for a year. Brett Kisker, the instructor of the program,  started off with the prompt "It really bugs me when..." and he said the two boys instantly ran with it. They looked through existing patents to see if their idea had already been tried out. It had not. They brainstormed and built the cap with a 3-D printer. They even estimated what the cost would be to make it and how much it would sell for.

What Motivates Students?
   In an interview with 5 students, they shared with the audience what motivated them:
  • The teacher acknowledging that they did a good job or behaved good in class that day
  • Knowing that the end result of their hard work to make good grades will land them a good career
  • Knowing that the end result of their hard work will also allow them to have a flexible but rewarding career
  • Becoming a veterinarian
  • Being able to continue to do their extra curricular activities if they have good grades
They also shared the types of rewards that work in their classes:
  • Giving the students "money" to redeem prizes or have pizza parties
  • Candy
  • Playtime outside
  • Colorful pencils or school supplies
  • Food
  • Stickers
  • If they continue to do good on tests they win brownie points with the teacher and that teacher is more likely to give them a good grade or bump up their grade on the next test
  • Different themes for each day like "Dance Marathon Monday"

Image of Project Based Learning

    Project #9

    Sunday, March 15, 2015

    Blog Post #8

        It is truly amazing to listen to Randy Pausch speak about achieving his childhood dreams knowing his situation. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given a very short amount of time to live when he decided to deliver this "last lecture". In Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, he talks a lot about overcoming obstacles and pushing through them to achieve his "childhood dreams". This got me thinking. Did I ever really have a childhood dream? Of course I wanted to be the girl in every Disney romantic comedy but, what was my dream? I guess I had some but honestly, I could not remember ever being really adamant on one thing. Then, I heard Randy talk about "head fakes". Head fakes are indirect learning. This made me think of my cheerleading career. I never wanted to cheer in college but I wanted so badly to cheer all through grade school. I did. Cheerleading head faked me because I learned teamwork and social skills through being on a team with 15 plus girls. While I was not on that team to really learn about those things, I did. That is called a "head fake".
       Later on in life I realized that I wanted to be a teacher. However, when I went to Auburn I wanted to major in pharmacy because they made all the money. I was not happy in pharmacy and my grades suffered because of it. I hit the "brick wall" that Randy spoke about and I was not able to overcome it.  It showed me that I was not ready or willing to be a pharmacist and that I really wanted to be a teacher like my mom. I hit another brick wall when I came to South because my grades from Auburn were not good at all and in order for me to get into the College of Education at South I needed to make all As that semester. I did it. I overcame that brick wall and now I am on the road to achieving my dream. That brick wall also separated me from the detrimental people in my life. I plan to make all As again this semester and every one after that to prove to my parents and myself that I can do it!
    One humerous quote from Randy that I really drew inspiration from was this: "Don't bail; the best gold is at the bottom of the barrels of crap". Being the laid-back person that I am, I often get discouraged easily and I have to remember that end goal of becoming a teacher if I continue to push through it. After watching this lecture, I am truly inspired by Randy Pausch and I plan to continue to push through those brick walls and achieve my dreams!
    "Dont't bail; the best gold is at the bottom of the barrels of crap

    C4T Summaries #2

    First Comment
    Thinking Through a Lesson

    Hi David,

    I am a student at the University of South Alabama taking a course in EDM 310, which teaches us how to use and incorporate technology into the classroom. I will be summarizing my visits to your blog through a post in my blog,, on March 15th.  Your post and my class's learning goals are similar. For instance, in my class we are learning to use and successfully implement technology into our future classrooms. TTAL sounds like something that could be useful for me as a future educator. Planning lessons is one of the things that I am scared and nervous about when I do get a job. I am just scared that I won't be creative enough when planning lessons and TTAL would be great in helping me when I plan lessons. Also, TTAL would aid me in making sure I meeting my learning goals for the kids. Thank you for sharing this information!


    Jesse Reed

    First Summary 

    In this post David spoke about the TTAL protocol which stands for Thinking Through a Lesson. TTAL helps teachers plan lessons that involve technology. David says that it puts the goal or focus first then helps plan that lesson based on that main focus or goal. Also, he said that before using TTAL his planning was more sporadic. After using TTAL, he says that his lessons are more organized and goal focused. He explains in brief detail the elements of the protocol. I plan to research it in more detail!

    Amusing image of a man sitting a computer

    Second Comment

    Hi David,
    I found this post to be very interesting! I like to hear how others conduct their classroom instruction because it gives me ideas for my future classes! I worry sometimes that I will not be able to hold the student's attention or that my lesson plans will be too easy for them. While I was reading this I thought back to my childhood and remember one of my teachers doing something similar to this to help us learn numbers. This seems like an interesting approach but I found it a little complicated. I had to read it a few times before fully understanding the concept. However, I do think that this approach is very useful because it seems challenging and really engages every student! I mentioned this in my last post but I will be summarizing my visits to your blog tonight! I also appreciate that you checked out my blog!

    Jesse Reed

    Second Summary

    In this post, David is talking about his experience with Choral Counting to teach numbers and counting. The Choral Counting method is done by having the students say numbers out loud. For instance, David had his class start counting by 5s aloud. Some of the students, he said, would get caught up on certain numbers and at that point he would stop and ask why they were stuck on that particular number. When I first read this post I was a little lost so I had to read it a couple of times to fully understand the concept of Choral Counting. From my perspective and David's experience, it is a very effective method in teaching numbers and counting. It is defiantly something I will be using in my classroom in the near future!

    Some of David's results using the Choral Counting method