Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Blog Post #16

Part 1: "If I Built A School"

When I first started this class, I had no idea what to expect to learn. However, now that it is at the end, I realize what I have learned in this class far exceeds what I could have ever expected. So, looking back on my first blog post titled, "If I Built A School," Some things I wrote in that post I would not change at all. While there are a few that I can say my opinion have changed a bit, or that I have just added to since being in this class.


I stated in my earlier post that I did not want the school to be lined with plain white walls, but lined with artwork done by the students instead. This is still very much a dream I have when contemplating my future school. I still want the students to be comfortable while there. How can you focus on learning, while you feel uncomfortable in your surroundings? I mentioned that I want my students to be able to work in group effectively and know how to use and Ipad or computer. Although I still believe in these two things, I not only want my students to work well in groups, but also be able to become more independent in the learning process. This would involve creating their PLN (Personal Learning Network), which they can build upon with their groups. I want the students to know how to use the SMARTboard, and how it can be useful to them in each subject. Also, after taking this class, I learned the benefits of having a class website. I plan to put that into effect , along with having the students keep a blog of their own, which will have a link provided on the class website.

Part 2: Final Reflection

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blog Post #14

Assignment: What is the purpose of the Common Core Standards and are they successful? Watch the Video, Tennessee student speaks about Common Core Standards, and state your position on the topic with evidence to defend your answer.

My Thoughts About The Standards:
Throughout the semester, we have systematically been incorporating the Common Core Standards into all of our assignments. There are procedures to follow and forms to use as a template. Along with incorporating these, we have also been watching videos of speakers who stress the importance of creativity and inspiration. This brings me to the first question asked, "What is the purpose of the Common Core Standards?" We have been constantly focused on being more creative in the classroom, and learning new methods in which to teach other than the general lecture method. Yet, when we get into a classroom of our own, the Standards will tell us what and how to teach the material. Part of what drives a person's passion about teaching is the constant learning, improving on what you know, and inspiring your students. How can we as future teachers expect to inspire our students, who will all differ in various ways, based on a set of rules for what they must learn and how they must learn it? This makes me think of myself as being more of a proctor for a class, reading off the material already laid out for me, instead of a teacher creating fun, and creative lesson plans that will catch my students' attention. I understand there must be an expectation of what a student should know in each grade. However, the Standards leave no room for "catch up," when a student falls behind. Not every student is going to be learning at the same pace or in the same way, so why we trying to teach them that way?

What is the purpose of the Common Core Standards?
What is the purpose of the Common Core Standards? According to the Common Core website, the purpose of the standards are, "to reflect the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers." However, they are assuming every student learns in the same way, at the same pace, and plan to be successful in similar careers. The standards are designed as a guide for teachers to follow for what they need to teach throughout the year. I will not discredit that it keeps a certain structure for classrooms, however for the students who are not at the same level, or have fallen behind, they simply slip through the cracks due to the fact teachers have no freedom when it comes to what they teach in their classroom. It starts a domino like effect; that student gets behind and more behind until they become frustrated with the overall routine of school.
Common Core

Are the standards successful? The question of whether or not the standards are successful, is a debate among many teachers, students, and parents. I believe the structure and guidelines for the standards were created with good intentions, but many failed to consider the level of diversity surrounding students and their personal learning styles today. The "No Child Left Behind Act," was brought about to get teachers to "bring their students up to the "expected" level on their state given tests. However, since NCLB has been been introduced, fail rates of schools have risen. However, again for students who do not learn the same as others and fall behind, this will only pass them along to the next grade without adequate knowledge of the material needed to build upon in future subjects. I think of it like this, if I am teaching the class about Algebraic Equations, but some students did not learn how to divide and multiply, because they fell behind and were still passed to the next grade, should I not stop and reteach how to divide and multiply? These are both skills needed to build upon to learn Algebraic Equations. If I follow the Standards, that topic is not something I should be covering, so I have to move forward with the lesson. This again, is a domino affect. A student gets behind, but is passed anyway and goes downhill from there. Much like the Common Core Standards, I feel NCLB had good intentions, but the plan is not perfect. I feel the Standards and the NCLB, are a good guideline, or starting point, for education today. However, I feel both need to be improved upon. After all, trial and error is the basis for every good plan. Test your hypothesis (The Standards will bring students up to expected testing level), find the flaws in the experiment (not Every student leans the same or at the same speed), and alter the original plan to accommodate for the new realizations. It is simply basic Science when you think about it, and is an important part in being a successfully functioning society.

  • As a future teacher, I am very excited to bring creativity and introduce PBL into my classroom. However, I feel restrained by the Standards. What must be brought to attention is the fact that our students are all different. They all learn differently, at different paces, and are interested in different things. So, how can we expect to have a general set of "rules" to=hat will accommodate them all? We must stop assuming what is good for one student is good for another. Students are not produced on conveyor belts and we have to stop treating them as such.

Equal Quote

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blo Post #15

Assistive Technologies Available To Teachers
by Danya Croft, Carla Young, and Nathalie McCarty

Assistive technology
Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children stresses the importance of allowing students the ability to interact with their environment. In order to do that, it suggests the use of technologies such as: Text-to-Speech devices, Speech-to-Text devices, talking calculators, iPads, sensory aids, and screen magnifiers.

The Mountbatten Braille Writer is a useful device that allows for audio and tactile feedback by sending and receiving files to and from a computer. A person with visual impairments can input information that needs to be converted to Braille for later reading. It has an audible playback feature and can translate writings into other languages so that teachers/students can read what was written. It allows for full classroom participation from all persons involved.

In Teaching Math to the Blind, Professor Art Karshmer tells of a device that the University of San Francisco has been working on to aid persons with visual impairments. It allows them the ability to see, in their mind's eye, the way a math problem should be set up in order to properly solve it. He explains that Braille is too linear to show the 2 to 3 dimensions associated with mathematics; it is the reason people with blindness find it difficult to go into the fields of mathematics, engineering, technology, and computer science. The device consists of a touchpad and wooden blocks with Braille writing on the top and a barcode on the bottom. When the wooden block is placed on the touchpad, it describes to the listener what block was inserted and where it was placed so that the problem can be properly arranged and solved. It allows for persons with visual impairments the freedom to work on math problems and perceive that information better than by linear Braille alone. Those with visual impairments can especially attest to the statement, "Mathematics: The Mother of Science & The Bane of The Blind."

The videos iPad Usage For the Blind and Teaching Mom What Her Deaf/Blind Child Is Learning On the iPad demonstrate the freedom that iPad usage can give people with visual impairments. VoiceOver is an Apple app that reads what is being presented on the screen of an Apple device such as the iPad. It can read homepages, books, and even describe images shown. VoiceOver allows the ease of moving your finger across the screen to read the names of the apps so that you know where the app is that you want to use. Kindle and other eReaders do not offer an app that can compare to this.

Some helpful blogs to help in classroom technologies can be found in 50 Must-See Blogs For Special Education. It can help teachers find ways to allow equal opportunity for everyone in their classrooms. For example, the blog Assistive Technology shares information regarding technologies such as IPEVO Interactive Whiteboard System, MimioTeach Interactive Whiteboard, and Co:Writer App for IOS. These technologies help children with impairments thrive in the classroom because it allows them a more interactive approach that is catered to their personal needs. Another blog, Teacher Sol, is from an Exceptional Needs Specialist who shares updates on what is going on in her classroom. Maria Angala fights a near constant battle so that she may have a small part in improving special education. She shares ideas that teachers could try in hopes of creating an environment where everyone can learn.

Algebra Touch is an app used on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad that can be helpful in the secondary mathematics classroom and costs only $2.99. This app can be used by students with visual or hearing impairments as well as students with learning disabilities. It allows students the ability to rearrange numbers by dragging, simplification by tapping, and elimination of terms by drawing lines. Students can switch between lessons and get additional practice through randomly-generated practice problems. They are able to create their own set of problems to work in the equation editor, and have them appear in other devices via iCloud.

iLab Central is a website that offers virtual mathematics and science labs that can be performed by students in the classroom. It can be used Mac computers as well as iPads and costs nothing. Coupled with VoiceOver, students with visual or hearing impairments can benefit from information learned while getting the hands-on experience of lab work without the added cost of materials and supplies. An example of a Physics lab is the Dynamic Signal Analyzer; this lab allows students the ability to perform frequency measurements on electric currents and control current systems. Investigating the Safety of Nuclear Energy Using Real Radioactivity Data is a Chemistry lab that, "Investigates nuclear energy, storage of nuclear waste, and the controversy surrounding using nuclear power as a source of energy for our country." Radiation and Cancer: Cure or Cause? is a Biology lab that teaches students about radiation and how it can be used as a therapy for cancer, and also a cause for cancer.

iSpeech is an app offered by Apple that turns text into audible speech. It can be used on iPads, iPods, iPhones, and Mac computers and is absolutely free of charge. The purpose of iSpeech is to help students or teachers who may have a speech impediment or impairment. The speech quality comes in a variety of voices that can convert speech in many different languages quickly.

One might say that a music teacher is limited when it comes to assistive technology, but that is actually not true. One new invention that is used is the Soundbeam. What is the Soundbeam? Well, Soundbeam can be compared to a metronome in the way that it gives off sound. It can be used for mainstream students as well as students with limitations such as autism. The cost of the Soundbeam ranges from $3,500 - $5,400. This device is a ultrasonic beam that senses movement and responds through a MIDI sound effect. Its motion sense ranges from a eyebrow movement to a wheelchair moving across a room allowing students to not only be present in the room but interactive. The true beauty of the Soundbeam is that the Obama economic stimulus funds a sizeable amount for training and use of the device.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

PLN Final Report

Symbaloo was confusing for me at first I must admit. After I got the hang of it, I see myself continuing to use it outside of this class. I love that when you find a website you want to remember for a resource for later, you can just copy the url and save it to your Symbaloo. The convenience of this tool is not something to be overlooked as well. It keeps all your resources, tools, and sites all in the same place. Kind of like an online file cabinet for teachers. I know this will only become even more helpful as my career as a teacher progresses, and I feel very lucky to have been introduced to this useful tool.

Project #12b

Delivering a Lesson Using The SMARTboard:

C4T #4

C4T Summary #1
Reflections of a High School Math Teacher

For my C4T this week, I had a teacher named David Sladkey. His blog, Reflections of a High School Math Teacher, is a record of his experiences thus far. In the post, "Have Students Teach The Class: The Student Engagement Wheel," He explains that if the students learn the material and know it well enough to teach it to their peers, they adequately understand the material. Something I found very interesting was a tool he uses to measure his students' engagement in the class. The Engagement Wheel, I believe is a very creative idea that can prove to be very beneficial to teachers when trying to decide the level of participation of a student in the classroom.

Engagement Wheel
C4T Comment #1

Hello, my name is Carla Young. I am a student in the EDM310 class ( at the University of South Alabama. I am going to be stopping by your blog over the next couple of weeks and posting a summary of what I have read on my blog I will of course give all credit to you and post the link to your blog. I really liked the engagement wheel idea you had! I think that is a good tool to measure your students' engagement. I agree with the point you made about the students knowing the material and using it. If they are able to teach the material to their peers, they have gained an understanding of the material fully.

C4T Summary #2
"Helping our Math students through Exercise"

For my last C4T summary, I read an interesting post about how exercise and PE classes can help students in the classroom and improve their scores in Math. David Sladkey posted videos by Paul Zientarski, a retired PE teacher from Naperville Central High School, who spoke about subjects such as "why do kids do better in school after exercise,"What a student should do BEFORE their standardized test," and "A program that has PE directly before Math and English classes: LRP." LRP is the Learning Readiness P.E. Program. This is a program that has students participate in a P.E. class and engage in physical activity before going to their core classes such as Math and English. I have included one of the videos by Paul Zientarski that David Sladkey posted on his blog.

C4T Comment #2

Hello my name is Carla Young. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I have commented on your blog before and have found your post very interesting. This I found particularly interesting, because I am planning on teaching Math as well. I think it is a great idea to have the students have a P.E. class before their core classes. This can allow them to let out some of the energy they have built up from the day. I know when i was in Middle School and High School we had P.E. at the very end of the day. So, we were in the classroom all day and did not get up and get to move around to let out some of the energy we had built up. I look forward to checking back in and reading more in the future.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

C4K November

C4K Summary #1
"Maths D.L.O."

My first C4K for this month was a student named Stevenson in Mr. Marks' Grade 6 class in New Zealand. For this post, Stevenson created a Google Presentation with practice Math problems. He did a very good job making the presentation and I felt that it could also serve as a useful tool such as a study guide. I love that the students are learning to use these tools early in their educational career, because they will be beneficial to them later.

C4K Comment #1

Hello! My name is Carla Young. I am a student in the EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, USA. I have also been keeping a blog for my class. My personal blog is and our class blog is I plan on being a Math teacher and I think your presentation would be very useful for homework assignments and to use for study guides! Keep up the good work!

C4K Summary #2
"Year 6 Camp"

My last C4K was for a student named Lucy. She is a year 5 student in Mr. Marks' class in Auckland, New Zealand. She wrote in her post that the Year 6 students were going on a trip to a camp. They would be participating in activities such as kayaking, and she could not wait to be in Year 6 so she can go kayaking too. Lucy included pictures in her post that I really enjoyed. Overall, the post was well written grammar wise, and I can tell Lucy is on a good track with her blogging!


C4K Comment #2

Hello Lucy! My name is Carla Young. I am a student in the EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, USA. I have started blogging this year and I really enjoyed looking at your blog. That trip sounds so fun, I can see why you are excited to get to go next year. Have you ever been kayaking before? I have been one time and I loved it! I can't wait to read future posts from you! Keep up the good blogging!

Blog Post #13

Shane Koyczan: To This Day… for the bullied and beautiful
By: Carla Young
Shane Koyczan Quote

In To This Day…for the bullied and beautiful, Shane Koyczan gives an inspiring performance of the poem he wrote. His poem introduces a message to the audience that expresses the feelings of many students that seem to go unnoticed only too often. He lyrically expresses that many students, much like himself, feel as if they are not being taught in school to embrace what they want to be “when they grow up.” Instead, their parents, peers, and even teachers are constantly telling them that they need to be someone, or something else. This can cause children to not only act out in school, but also their motivation to decline. Students need to be inspired and constantly encouraged to follow their dream. It is our jobs as teachers to do just that while also helping guide them in the right direction towards the steps necessary for them to achieve those dreams. Koyczan’s words brought me back to Sir Ken Robinson’s points made in the video, How to Escape Education’s Death Valley. Every student is different and may not desire to be a doctor or a lawyer. We must teach our students based on their individual learning needs. Every student is unique in the way they learn and what interests them to learn about. Each student’s dreams or aspirations are unique.
Shane Koyczan has put a message out there I believe everyone should hear. Instead of teaching our students how they can “better” themselves or change what they aspire to be, we should inspire them to keep working toward their goal. Students need encouragement and inspiration to get the reassurance they need to know that what they are and aspire to be in the future is their choice. Koyczan made a valid point in his poem, how can a student have confidence and feel like they are doing right when they are constantly being told they are wrong? We must remember, we are here to guide them, educate them, and always inspire them, but never to change them.

Shukla Bose: Teaching One Child At A Time
by Danya Croft
Shukla Bose
In Teaching One Child At A Time, Shukla Bose explains the importance of focusing on one child at a time. It is important for us to stop getting bogged down in numbers when we see the many children that need our assistance. Instead, we should focus our energy on the smaller picture and know that eventually it will have an affect on the bigger one. She explains, that when she first began researching the education of the poor, she and a few friends toured the slums of India and came across 200 million children who were not currently in an education program. She couldn't believe that so many children were going uneducated and wondered how she could make a difference in their lives. She spoke of starting the school, Parikrma Humanity Foundation, so that she could focus on treating each child as an individual and give them an education that would help them better their futures. She said that the myth is, that Indian parents of children in the slums do not care about education, and that they simply want to use their children to help with work is complete hogwash. In fact, she said that these parents make up most of the support staff at the school which is more parental participation than schools of privilege experience. At first, these parents had to sign their names using their thumbprint because they were unable to sign their own name, but are now able to because their children have taught them. Shukla said, "It is more important to create an environment of learning, of inquiry, and of exploration because that is true education." She believes that the children are more confident in the things they do because they feel empowered. We need to teach one child at a time and stop worrying about the numbers.
Shukla is absolutely correct in that we can get overwhelmed when we start looking at the number of students we will come in contact with over the period of a year. We need to pay attention to the small changes that we will be partially responsible for so that it can inspire us to continue forward. The important thing to remember is that we need to provide each student with an environment that will promote free and abstract thinking, communication and collaboration with others, and a driving question that will engage and encourage them to seek action.

Alison Gopnik: What do babies think?
By: Nathalie McCarty

Alison Gopnik

In What do babies think?, Alison Gopnik catches her audience’s attention by giving an example of how a baby’s train of thought might work. As she explains the experiment, she states how the babies are persuaded and how their different ages play a factor in this experiment. This then poses the questions of “Why do children learn so much” and “How do they learn so much?” Well, like animals, babies go through learning phases which include the transitions from dependence to independence. In other words, it shows us how we as a species influence our own educational patterns. She then states that like scientists, children learn things by a series of hypothesis and investigation (testing). Babies are more willing to test out new things, because they have not yet experienced their limitations. Gopnik states that children are perhaps more conscious than adults, because as adults we tend to focus on what is important as opposed to other supporting details. In contrast, children do not focus on one thing but many things. They have a wider range of curiosity and are constantly learning. We definitely agree with Gopnik in that, we as adults should constantly try to learn more and influence each other in a more positive way. A wider range of interest can allow us as a species to advance and break old habits that we commonly use in education and everyday life. Everyone should consider themselves to be lifelong learners, but as adults, we are more capable of influencing those around us. Constantly striving to inspire your peers and those around you has the ability to set off a chain reaction. If you can inspire one person to broaden their horizons and look outside of the educational norm, then the possibilities are endless.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Project #15 PBL Lesson Plan #3

Ms. Young's Lesson Plan #3

For my third lesson plan, I created a Google Site. I uploaded the first two lesson plans onto the site, as well as this one. This one is Project #15 Lesson Plan #3.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blog Post #12

What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?

-Carla Young and Danya Croft

In Changing Education Paradigms, Sir Ken Robinson gives us insight as to why he believes our educational system is set up the way that it is. He reminds us of the Enlightenment Period and the Industrial Revolution when education was all about training children in subjects that would help them in future industrial businesses. During this time, the main foci of education was to prepare children to take over the economy and to maintain a sense of cultural identity while being a part of the cultural circle. The same might be said for education today, because there hasn't been a dramatic change in the years and years since the Industrial Revolution. In fact, the world has changed in so many ways that we should be shocked and ashamed at how slow the reformation in our educational system has been. Our children are living in a time when there is so much technological stimuli, yet we continue to force them to sit in a classroom where the teacher does the bulk of the talking while telling students to "sit down and be quiet."

Sir Robinson rightfully argues that education should be about more than a means to drill mathematics, language, and humanities into the heads of children; it should be based on the individualized learning process of the child. What is that child good at? Where do his/her talents originate? He believes that we should foster the creativity within each child rather than dismissing it because it doesn't coincide with the one-answer mindset that we have grown to accept. He once stated about education, "It should focus on awakening creativity through alternative didactic processes that put less emphasis on standardized testing and giving the responsibility for defining the course of education to individual schools and teachers." We agree that true intelligence comes from the ability to see more than one answer; he calls it divergent thinking. Does our current education system foster divergent thinking or do the standardized tests help prove that our true way of thinking is static and closed minded? We believe that Robinson is absolutely correct when he said that we need to change the way we view education. We need to understand that intelligence and academic intelligence are not mutually exclusive. Some children may have strengths in other areas such as music, art, drama, as well as street and social acuity. What does this mean for teachers? We need to get to know our students so that we may find the areas of their intelligence and allow them to blossom in ways that parallel with their talents as opposed to ways that cancel them out.


In How to Escape Education’s Death Valley, Sir Ken Robinson raised many valid points about students today and how they interact in the classroom. He explains that he believes there are three main principles that make the population flourish. The first is that humans are different by nature. Therefore, the curriculum should be designed to meet the needs of all students and include an equal mixture of all subjects. Robinson explains the importance of the students being not only exposed to main subjects, such as Math and Sciences, but also the Arts and Physical Education. Although it is important for the students to learn these core subjects, not every student is going to be as receptive to the same subject. He explains that it has been proven that the Arts not only improve Math scores, but also motivate students in other areas that are usually not triggered by normal everyday methods in the classroom. Sir Ken Robinson stated that he did not agree with the thought believed today that there is an ADHD epidemic among students, but that instead students are spending so much time sitting in a desk, listening to lectures, and taking notes that they are losing focus and having trouble putting their energy into what they are learning. One major point made by Robinson was the flaws in the No Child Left Behind Legislation. Robinson explains the irony in the title in that it actually leaves millions of children behind. In America, 80% of children drop out of high school for various reasons. Some are not interested in what they are learning in the classroom and many fall so far behind, they tend to give up. With No Child Left Behind, these children who fall behind are still moved along to the next grade and eventually fall even more behind. Robinson explains the very narrow spectrum created to grade and test students on is realistically ineffective, because again, not every students is the same or learns the same as the next. Trying to grade every student or expect every student to learn by the same standard is creating stress and puts pressure on the students, which eventually distract from the actual learning itself.

The second principle is curiosity. Robinson believes that children are natural learners, and if you can spark a student’s curiosity, they will learn more independently. Robinson explains that teachers are the backbone for schools. It is a teacher’s job to take that natural instinct students have to want to learn and find what will keep their attention and their curiosity going. Once you get the student interested in what they are learning, they will keep wanting to learn more and can become more independent learners. Robinson explains, that teachers are not only there to relay information to students from a book, but it is also the duties of the teacher to mentor, stimulate, provoke, and engage. That is the difference between a teacher and a GREAT teacher. We really liked the statement Robinson made, “The whole point of education is to learn.” This statement really caught our attention and we believe it really hits the nail on the head. At the end of the day, all the lectures, all the notes, and all the homework assignments mean nothing if the students did not actually learn something. If the students are not learning something then it is because, “teachers are engaged in the task of teaching, but not actually fulfilling it.” He believes that testing has a role in the classroom, but should not be the default for grading the level students are at.

Creativity quote
The third, and last principle, is creativity. Creativity has a hand in almost every task humans participate in everyday. Creativity is an important thing for teachers to not only bring into the classroom, but to also bring out of their students. However, in today’s education, we do not have any systems to spark and encourage student’s creativity. Instead, we have standardized tests that tell students where they should all be on the average scale. Robinson compares American schools to schools in Finland. He explains that in Finland and other places in the world, schools do not have a high dropout rate, because when a student falls behind or needs extra help, others pull together to help catch that student up to speed. They also have individualized learning plans in place. Students are not all taught by the same system. The are customized to appeal to the students’ curiosity, individuality, and creativity, and to spark that natural instinct in them to want to learn more. This is also a contributing factor in the lower dropout rate. Sir Ken Robinson’s video was very eye opening and proposed many valid points we believe everyone should hear. Investing in our students’ future not only means doing our part as teachers to constantly strive to spark the creativity and curiosity in students to make them want to keep learning more, but also means having the support from our schools to provide us with the means to do so. Investing in the future of our students is an investment every school should make. These children are our future lawyers, doctors , Governors, and teachers. It is our job to provide them with the tools and knowledge needed to succeed beyond the four walls of the classroom.


In The Importance of Creativity, Sir Ken Robinson shares a very real depiction of how children are willing to try new things without fear of embarrassment or failure. Can you remember a time when you felt that sense of liberation? It was likely when you were a small child. However, as you got older, you had parents or teachers telling you that your dreams and imaginations are unrealistic and improbable. We are still doing this today. We are telling our children that they shouldn't color outside of the lines because that isn't the way they are supposed to do it. Well... who says? In restricting our children, we are squandering the precious creativity that will make our world a more fun and dynamic place. If it weren't for creativity, we would not have the comforts that we have grown to know and love. We wouldn't have thought of ways to travel 60 miles per hour, talk to someone 2,000 miles away, or perform astronomical equations in a matter of microseconds. We know that children have an extraordinary ability to learn and education is supposed to be the difference that makes our futures better, so perhaps we should change the way we perceive education. Perhaps we should stop educating the creativity out of our children and start encouraging their creativity to run rampant. Robinson described intelligence in three words: interactive, dynamic, and distinct. He said, "Many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they're not because the thing they were good at in school wasn't valued." He is absolutely right in that we have completely undervalued the importance of creativity and in doing so, left children with the feeling of inadequacy. So a final thought, how will you educate in your future classroom? Will you stifle the creativity out of your students or will you allow them to flourish in the ways they were meant to?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Blog Post #11

"Using Technology To Our Advantage"

Computer ABC

Kathy Cassidy's video "Little Kids...Big Potential," we get a glance at how the first graders in Kathy's classroom are using technology in their classroom. She begins by telling us a little about how her classroom has evolved to incorporate technology into their daily routine. I found it very interesting to hear about how young these students are and they are learning about, and doing, the same thing I am learning in my class. The students sounded so excited to be learning something new, and even more excited they were able to incorporate computers into their daily routine. I really enjoyed hearing the students speak about their blogs and the comments they get on them. It just reassured me that all the C4C's we leave for students do have an impact on them, whether it is just a short little message, or a long paragraph. Those comments boost their confidence just by knowing someone out there is reading what they wrote. Kathy Cassidy's students seemed to have a vast knowledge of how to use the technology in the classroom to their advantage in many other ways as well. They explained they can find things on the internet through their webpage, and look to see what other classrooms have on their blogs.

After watching Dr. Strange's interviews with Kathy Cassidy Part 1, 2, and 3, she gives a lot of advice about how to incorporate technology into our future classrooms. She starts by telling us about her journey with technology in the classroom in Part 1. In Part 2, she offers many ideas such as FLIKR, Twitter, and blogging for students who have special interest in certain subjects. These online resources can contribute to the construction of the students' networks, because all three allow the students to connect with other students and teachers all over the world, and enable them to share their knowledge and experiences. This will aid not only in their educational journey, but also in their creative journey. Kathy spoke specifically in the Part 2 video about how she built her PLN (Personal Learning Network). I was intrigued to find out that she built her PLN from being an avid Twitter user. She explains that Twitter can be used to find other teachers who you can "follow," and share ideas, links to helpful websites, and your thoughts about what is happening in your classroom right now with. I personally found it interesting when Kathy explained that new or future teachers can follow each other and help one another by sharing tips that have helped them so far. Before I watched these videos, I was not exactly sure how using Twitter fit into building my PLN, or why I needed to have one for class. However, I am aware now of the benefits having and using Twitter can have for me and my future career. It can definitely be used for more than just sharing my weekend plans.
Learn Keyboard

Although I am a Secondary Education major and will not be teaching children as young as Mrs. Cassidy, I plan to use some of the techniques she has used with her students. I love the idea of having a class website! I think that is an excellent way of keeping track of the weekly agenda, homework assignments that are due, and any resources that can be used in the studying process. When I was attending High School, the teachers gave out so many papers. You had papers for homework, papers for study guides, papers for a syllabus, papers for the class agenda. It was all papers, papers, papers! Of course, all of these were the responsibility of the student to keep up with. It never failed however, that someone always lost something. Having a class website will keep everything the students need all in one spot. This will be more organized, require the student to carry less around with them, and is way more convenient. The students will have everything they need for class, to do homework, and to study all at their disposal all the time. I also plan to have the students keep a blog on the assignments they do in my class. PBL is going to be a big center for my classroom, and I would like the students to keep a blog about their experiences with each project, what they learned from it, and their part in the projects if they were a group project. I am going to be a Math teacher and incorporating PBL can be somewhat of a challenge, so I believe it is important for all of us Math teachers to share our ideas with each other when possible (maybe on Twitter). The links to all of the students' blogs will of course be posted on the class website to aid as another resource for the students.
Student Cartoon
Mrs. Cassidy has some great ideas and a lot of experience to share when it comes to incorporating technology into your classroom. However, I know I will face a few bumps in the road when it is time for me to implement some of them. One thing, I am assuming by the time I have my own classroom, all my students will have access to their own computer or iPad. However, that may not be the case. I know most schools are working toward that now, but I have to consider the possibility that I may be teaching at a school this is not in effect as of yet. In which case, I will rework my lesson plan to include Lab Time. For this, we will go to the computer lab as a class, once or twice a week, and work on our blogging, etc. then. Although I love the convenience and accessibility of having a class website with "all you need to know" information for the students, I know not all my students will have access to internet connection when not at school. Which means, they will have to use the website at other times when they have access to internet. Another bump I may face is the students not knowing how to blog. In this case, I will have to set aside time in the lesson plan to instruct the students on setting up their blog and how to use it. I know it will not be easy at first, but I fully believe that the end result will be worth all the work and the bumps in the road. Knowing my students experienced that confidence boost and feeling of achievement, like that of Kathy Cassidy's, will be all the proof needed to show just how beneficial technology can be to an "Ever-Evolving Student and Teacher."

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Project #12 Part A

C4K October

C4K Summary #1

My first C4K for October was for a student named Jaden. Jaden is a student in Ms. Eppele's class, who teaches fourth and fifth grade in British Columbia, Canada. The name of Jaden's blog is "Jaden Pickle." There were quite a few post on the blog and I read all of them. I left my comment on the most recent post which was untitled, but was a post where the students were responding to a question asked by their teacher about a book they were reading. Jaden's post said, "about all her frusterrashtian’s." Again, there were quite a few amount of post on the blog and I was impressed with Jaden's frequent posting. There was even a few days that multiple posts were posted.

C4K Comment #1

Hello Jaden, my name is Carla Young and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I am new to blogging and I am still learning, but I see you have already gotten the hang of it! I am very impressed with how often you update your blog. I hope to check back and see what else you have posted in the future! Keep up the good work!

C4K Summary #2
"This Week"

This C4K, I had a student named Chloe.She is a 4th grade student in Mrs. Schroeder's class. Chloe had a good size post on her blog about the activities she done in class last week. She explained that she read a book called, "Tonga's Reunion," a lady named Kathy came and talked to them about eating the right foods, and they went on a nature walk. They also learned about run-on sentences, had a firefighter teach them safety precautions in case of a fire, and took a reading test. Chloe used her blog post to communicate with her teacher and mother as well. She asked her mother how work was, and asked Mrs. Schroeder how Greyson was doing? Chloe is already becoming a pro at blogging, and does a good job expressing her thoughts in her post.

C4K Comment #2

Hello, Chloe! My name is Carla Young from the University Of South Alabama, located in Mobile, Alabama. I am taking a class called EDM310 and they are teaching me to blog. I really enjoyed reading your post about what you and your classmates are doing in class. Which activity was your favorite? It seems like you are a pro already at blogging and I hope to look back and read some more of your posts in the future. Keep up the good work!

C4K Summary #3

For my C4K this week, I had a student by the name of Liku. He is a student who is ten years old, in the sixth grade in Mr. Somerville's class in Auckland, New Zealand. Liku, has been very attentive on his blog and has posted frequently. The post I reviewed in particular, was a slideshow he created with Google Presentations. The slideshow was titled, "Rousie." It was about the routine that takes place on a sheep farm. I thought it was very interesting to read, I really liked that he added pictures. I love the fact the students are using the same resources I am learning to use now also.

Sheep Heard

C4K Comment #3

Hello Liku! My name is Carla Young. I am a student in the EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama, located in Mobile, Alabama, USA. I am new to blogging, but I am getting the hang of it little by little. I can see you already are a pro! I really liked your slideshow. It was very informative, and I loved the pictures! I hope to check back in the future and see what else you have posted. Keep up the good work!

C4K Summary #4
"Together or not together? That is a question"

To Be Or Not To Be
My last C4K for October, is for a student in Mr. Gwaltney Oregon Online School for Girls High School Civics/Government class named Crystal. In this post, Crystal compared the famous statement "To Be or Not To Be," to real life experiences, such as the online class she is taking. She took this and twisted it to "Together or Not Together," and explained that it can be directly related to the studying style in the class she is in. Crystal write that in her previous schools, she worked in many groups on assignments, but since she is taking her courses online now, she is doing mostly solo assignments. I really enjoyed reading her post, and felt it was very well written.

C4K Comment #4

Hello, my name is Carla Young. I am a student in the EDM310 class ( at the University of South Alabama, located in Mobile, Alabama. I am a Secondary Education major planning to teach Math in the future, and we are learning how to blog in our class right now. I have to say, I was very impressed with your post. It was very well written and I thought the comparison you made, between the quote and your current situation was interesting and very clever. I also like how you restated your position at the end. I hope to check back and see what else is going on with you and your classes. Keep up the good work!

C4T #3

C4T Summary #1
Le Tour de Math Classroom Fall 2013
Clever Classroom

Ms. DuPriest is a Middle School Math teacher who is trying to teach Math to her students in a way different than she was taught it. In her blog, Ooh Guess What, one post in particular, she explains the set up of her classroom. She tells us that all her students have access to a Netbook, which they use for various tasks. They use their Netbooks to watch video lessons, create spreadsheets, collaborate on Google Docs, write computer programs, and make presentations. I thought this post was very interesting and helpful for the future. I am constantly wondering how I am going to incorporate PBL and technology into a Math classroom, and I think this is an excellent example. I also liked the daily objectives acronym she had posted, YSBAT, "You Should Be Able To."

C4T Comment #1
Hello, my name is Carla Young. I am a student in EDM310 ( the University of South Alabama. I am going to be writing a summary of what I read on your blog, with all credit given to you of course, and posting it to my blog at I would just like to say I found the set up of your classroom very interesting. I think it is great that your students all have access to a netbook. I love the idea of incorporating technology into the classroom and plan to do it in my own classroom one day. The acronym you have for your daily objectives is a fun word and is one I have never heard before! I look forward to checking back again and reading about what else is going on with you and your students. Take care!

C4T Summary #2
Technology In The Classroom

In this post, Ms. DuPriest, wrote about the evolving role of technology in the classroom. Particularly with that of the Math classroom. She explains that although technology is becoming a major part in the Math classroom, students still need to know how to solve the problems with a pencil and paper. She explains that she has made the decision to teach programming in her classroom that follow alongside the Common Core Standards. The platform she decided to use, was the Khan Academy's Javascript. Ms. DuPriest explains that she split the lesson into units, and the first unit had been completed. Although it was difficult, the class were getting the hang of it.

C4T Comment #2
Hello Ms. DuPriest! It is me again, Carla Young from The University of South Alabama. I found it very interesting that you decided to teach programming in your classroom. I know technology is becoming a bigger part of the classroom everyday, and I think it is very interesting and fun how you are incorporating it into your lessons. Hope to check back again soon!

Project #14

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blog Post #10

What can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch?

Pausch Quote

Much can be learned about teaching from Randy Pausch. In Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, he spoke of the importance of your students being placed in an environment that is going to prove to be challenging for them. This is to encourage the students to continue to push themselves to perform at their best ability. Another important point Pausch speaks of is making sure to present the material to the students in an interesting way. As a future teacher, I am constantly racking my brain trying to think of ideas to keep things interesting and at times fun. The students are much more likely to remember what they have been taught if they had fun while learning it. The term Pausch uses to describe this technique is called, Edutainment, which can be thought of as sort of a mixture of Education and Entertainment. Students have a higher chance of retaining information when they are directly involved in the lesson, and are able to participate hands on. Every student learns differently than the next, and to assume that every student will perform the same is absurd. The method that works for one student may be what another finds confusing. It is the job of the teacher to find the common ground, or a comfortable median that works for their class to accommodate all the the students' individual learning styles. In order to know what methods work best for them, students need to know how to self evaluate themselves. This will also allow the students to recognize the areas they have room to improve upon.

As a student, I am constantly learning new things everyday. Although one day in the near future, I will be a teacher in my own classroom, I do not forsee myself not continuing to learn everyday. Of course that may entail me sitting in a desk, taking notes for 8 hours a day. However, I do predict my students will be teaching me something new everyday. I consider myself to be a Lifetime Learner and look for inspiration in everything everyday. My future students, I know, will inspire me, but my job will be to also inspire them everyday. After watching Pausch's video, he has taught me when it comes to teaching and learning, you need to understand that not every student learns the same as the next and it is our job as future educators to find the happy median between all the techniques to successfully present the material to our students. Also, we must always encourage our students to express their creativity, and to constantly be challenging themselves to perform at their best. Most importantly, we will always be learners. Even when we become teachers, we will still be learners. No matter the situations, we will always be learning something new, whether it is from coworkers, or from our students. I can only hope to inspire my students one day, that they can hopefully in turn, use to inspire another.

Dream Quote

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Post #9

"Back To The Future"
-Carla Young, Danya Croft, and Nathalie McCarty
Creativity Quote

In the Back to the Future video, Brian Crosby demonstrates how his 4th grade class can learn through project-based learning even though most of his class speaks English as a second language. Crosby says, "It's hard to be able to imagine what could be if you don't know anything about what is. And if it's hard to imagine, where does your creativity spark from? And if you don't have a lot of imagination and creativity, where do you build passion from?" When we get into our schools to teach, we are going to have students that don't have the same understanding about the world around them as other students might have. We will need to be able to bridge the gap in a way that connects all of the students and engages them in the same quest to learn. In Crosby's class, he informs us that he has a 1 to 1 ratio of laptop computers for his students, several digital cameras, and an interactive whiteboard that allows for interactive learning in the classroom. The students in Crosby’s classroom are learning to do various things that they can incorporate into their class and use throughout their educational journey. He talks of a project where the class released a High-Altitude balloon into the air that had a camera attached that recorded what it was like to rise into the different layers of the earth's atmosphere. During the release of the balloon, the students observes what was happening and immediately went into the classroom to blog about what they observed. Crosby also had them create a Flickr presentation describing what happened to the balloon from the perspective of the balloon. It was called the High Hopes blog which centered on setting goals for themselves, their community, and the world around them. It allowed them the ability to connect with people from all over the world. Another connection Crosby allowed the students to make was to set up a Skype conference with Celeste, a girl suffering from leukemia. She was a classmate of the students, but she was unable to physically sit in class due to her vulnerability to infections. However, Celeste was able to participate in learning with her peers in a way that was safe for her and exciting for her classmates. By using modern resources like blogging, Flickr, and Skype, the students were more easily willing to stay engaged in what they were learning. Attention was better kept when they were given a project to research and blog about rather than taking notes for an entire class period. It also offered the students a sense of self assurance; let them know they were capable of doing the task at hand. Crosby shows that active learning empower students to want to learn and to seek out learning for themselves. We feel that Crosby was exactly right when he said that, "A motivational experience shouldn't be limited to those from schools with high test scores, but should be the birthright for every child." We feel every child should have the opportunity to learn in an environment that allows for them to reach the peaks of their imaginations and possibly beyond. We feel that assigning projects is one of the best ways to challenge the mind and enlighten the senses. By engaging students in a multitude of ways and on a personal level, we are ensuring that our students will see the value in the 'why' and continue to search for the answers throughout the rest of their lives. Also, Crosby incorporates PBL in his classroom to prepare his students for what they have to look forward to once they are out in the “real world.” He strives to inspire his students and constantly pushes them to express their creativity.

Blended Learning Cycle
-Carla Young, Danya Croft, Nathalie McCarty

Blended Learning Cycle

In The Blended Learning Cycle, Paul Andersen recognizes the power of the question and the power of learning in the science classroom. He explains that Blended Learning consists of the key components of mobile, online, and classroom learning. The Learning Cycle consists of the 5 E's: engage, explore/experiment, explain, expand, and evaluate. Andersen decided to combine the two learning styles to create the Blended Learning Cycle which consists of 6 parts known as Quivers:

Summary quiz

He says that the Learning Cycle starts out with an engaging question; something that the students do not understand in order to strike their curiosity on the subject. It will also bring their attention to the second part of the cycle which is investigation. Having the students investigate and research on their own is a good way for them to not only learn the material, but also retain it and hold their interest. Andersen explains that showing a video on the subject is a good way to introduce the material to the students without just giving the normal lecture. It will allow the teacher to engage with the students and interact with them one on one. Next, the students would be able to expand on the explanation with thoughts of what they have discovered. Finally, an evaluation could be done to gauge their level of understanding of the subject studied. Andersen explains that he sits down with each student to review with them and make sure that they have a good grasp on the material. If he is confident the student knows the material well enough, they will take the Summary Quiz; this is the last part of his cycle. Andersen’s philosophy in the classroom is, "Let's start with a question and figure it out." By allowing the students an active part in the learning process, Andersen is teaching the students how to learn for themselves. He is teaching the students how to go from not knowing to knowing with understanding.

Making Thinking Possible
-Carla Young, Danya Croft, Nathalie McCarty

Book cover
In Making Thinking Visible, the 6th grade teacher, Mark Church, tries to teach the students how to convey their thoughts in a written form. He gives his 6th graders an assignment in which they are to watch a video explaining the beginnings of the origin of humans. Then, he has them get into groups and create a caption outlining its meaning which he will display on a bulletin board. After a couple of weeks of study, he will give them an opportunity to come back to the caption and change it based on the changes in their opinion from the beginning of the study to the end. Having the captions displayed, and allowing the students to change them after they have learned more information on the subject, provides a good visual representation of the process they followed to get to their conclusion. It allows the students to not only learn the material comprehensively, but also visually. We think that this is a good way to get students to see the importance of expressing their thoughts in a visible way.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

C4T #2

C4T Summary #1
Graphing Quadratic Functions Mini Book Freebie

My C4T was on a teacher by the name of Andrea Kerr. She is a Middle School Math teacher in Oklahoma. Her blog For The Love Of Teaching, has some very creative ways to incorporate PBL into your lesson plans. In the first post I read on Ms. Kerr's blog, she talked about how her class was learning to graph Quadratic Functions. Instead of getting out their books and looking at examples of problems, she set her class up into stations. In the stations, there were glue sticks, scissors, and papers with printed lines on them for the students to make a "minibook."


After the students had their minibooks together, they went around to each of the different stations, which all had a different problem at it. When they answered the problem they glued it in one of the pages of their minibook. This creates a good study guide for the students to use, and also gets them up and moving around. Which, has to beat sitting in a desk all day! Ms. Kerr also included pictures and a video to demonstrate how to make the minibooks and to set up the stations. She calls her video the "Back To School Foldable Freebie."

C4T Comment #1

Hello, my name is Carla Young. I am a student in the EDM310 (EDM310) class at the University of South Alabama. I am learning how to use technology in the classroom, and how to incorporate it into my lesson plans. I will be writing a summary of what I read on your blog and posting it on my blog. I will of course give full credit to you and include the link to your blog. I am also planning on teaching Middle School Math. I love all the ideas you have posted on here. You are very creative! I have been wondering how I will incorporate projects into my lesson plans in the future, and your posts have inspired me. Can't wait to see what else you come up with!

C4T Summary #2
Factoring Trinomials Whole Group Practice

In this post, Ms. Kerr is teaching her students to solve Quadratics by factoring. She says in her blog that she is taking it slow teaching this to her students and starting with one thing at a time. Instead of just having the students take notes and practice some problems from the book, she made her lesson like a riddle. This was a good way to catch the students attention, and also to help them remember what she was telling them; they will keep hearing the riddle in their head. Ms. Kerr included a link in the post for a "freebie" page of problems for teachers to pass out to their class.

C4T Summary #2

Hello, my name is Carla Young. I am a student in the EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I have been checking in and reading your posts and I love all the creative ideas you come up with for activities to incorporate into your lessons. It sounds like your class has a lot of fun with Math! I look forward to checking back in regularly and seeing what else your classroom is doing.

Blog Post #8

The Ever-Evolving Teacher
- Danya Croft, Carla Young, and Nathalie McCarty

Keep calm and continue evolving

We, as teachers, should never stop trying to find new and inventive ways to reach our students. In taking EDM310, we are learning some of those new and inventive ways at pace much more accelerated than any we will experience again. We need to take advantage of the skills that we are being taught and think of how we are going to incorporate them into the classrooms of our future. Let us not forget that we are to strive to become lifelong learners so as to better educate our students. It is extremely important to the students we will teach that we give them the best education possible. Therefore, anytime we come across a helpful website, we should save it. When we are informed of an excellent app that could be helpful in the classroom, we should write it down. When we are in the classroom observing our teachers, we should ask them what they use that is helpful; ask them what the students seem to positively respond to the most. As a habit, the Botticelli group has begun asking the students that we observe what they enjoy most about the class. We want to find out what works and what does not work. Our first few years will be a lot of trial and error until we figure out what works for us. Why not go ahead and get started so that we may cut down on some of those errors? Let us ALWAYS keep in mind why we want to be teachers. It is because of the students and the students alone. Let us make everything we do and learn about them. Let us strive to constantly better ourselves so that we may better our students in the process. There is a blog called The Ever-Evolving Teacher that is an excellent resource for creative ideas that could help you along your journey of improvement.

-Carla Young

Exploring Classroom-Aid
-Danya Croft

Smart Music
-Nathalie McCarty

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Project #2

My PLN Network

I really like using Symbaloo, and have found it very useful thus far. It is a very easy way to keep track of all my resources in one spot. I also like that I can just click on them right there and the link will take me to that site. Symbaloo is very convenient and keeps all your resources in one spot,so that you can go right to them when needed.

September C4K

C4K Summary #1
This I Believe

My first C4K was for a student's blog who goes by Punkin. In this post, Punkin wrote about making mistakes and learning from them. The post was very honest and also very personal. Punkin shared some personal experiences in the post about times that they learned a lesson from mistakes they have made. The post references a personal experience where Punkin was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center and felt they had disappointed their grandmother. Punkin writes in their blog that they learned they had been hanging out with the wrong people and needed to make better decisions when it comes to choosing friends. The post overall was very heartfelt. I believe this is a very good post demonstrating the importance of learning from mistakes you have made in the past and not letting history repeat itself.

C4K Comment #1
Hello, my name is Carla Young. I am in the EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama, and I have started blogging lately and learning new ways to use it as a tool for learning and teaching. I enjoyed reading your post, “Making Mistakes and Learning From Them.” I really like how you included your own personal examples of times you have made mistakes and learned a lesson from it. Your writing is very honest, which is a very special quality to have. I would like to offer you some advice to take into consideration for next time: watch the placement of your commas and periods, and make sure you are capitalizing those personal pronouns, such as, “I.” Again, I really enjoyed reading your post, and I look forward to checking back and reading future posts. Keep up the good work!

C4K Summary #2
Teacher's Day

Mario's posts were short and sweet. He wrote a post on Teacher's Day showing appreciation for the teachers. The post was only one sentence, but I think he is doing very well with keeping a blog sharing his thoughts. I believe it is important to get the students engaged in the relationship between technology and the classroom. Everyone has to start somewhere, and I think that Mario is doing well so far. I thought it was important to leave him a very positive, uplifting comment to let him know to keep up the good work.

C4K Comment #2
Hello Mario, My name is Carla Young I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I just started learning to blog, but I see you have already gotten the hang of it! Keep up the good work! I loom forward to checking back in and seeing what else you post!

C4K Summary #3
Event In History DLO

Jabez is a seventh grade student who from the looks of his blog, is very outgoing. He described his blog as "horrifyingly beautiful," with "finger flying typing" in the description. I loved reading his post and how descriptive they were. He is very confident in his writing, which is nice to read for someone so young. The post i commented on was a Vimeo video about an event in history. Jabez and his partner chose to do theirs on the American Nation. In the video instead of just putting pictures with their voice recordings in it, they chose to do a rap. I thought this was a very creative way to do the project. They spoke bout the President and had some very unique caricatures of President Obama, which is very creative instead of just using regular pictures off the internet. Overall, Jabez seems as if he has got the hang of blogging and I will be checking back in to see his future posts.

C4K Comment #3
Hello Jabez, My name is Carla Young. I am a student in the EDM310 class at the University Of South Alabama, located in Mobile, Alabama. I thought your video was very creative and unique! Very well done, and way to keep it original!

C4K Summary #4

My fourth C4K this month was for a student named Michael. His post was about an assignment they had to do in class where they read a story about a girl named Melany who has Cerebral Palsy. She is in a wheel chair for the rest of her life and cannot speak. The students had to do an assignment with a partner, but were not allowed to speak to their partner. Michael shared his experience with this project, and about how difficult it was to not be able to speak to his partner. Michael also shared his sympathy for Melany, but made sure to add that he feels people with her condition are underestimated, and that she is capable of doing more than people give her credit for. I believe Michael's post was very kind hearted and stated his opinion about the assignment well.

C4K Comment #4
Hello Michael! My name is Carla Young, and I am a student at the University of South Alabama, located in Mobile, Alabama. I love your post about what you were doing in class. I think it is awesome how much you like to use your imagination. I agree with you that people sometimes underestimate people in wheelchairs. I think your post was very kind and genuine! Keep up the good work!

Project #13

Project Based Lesson Plan

Blog Post #7

Learning Tools In the Classroom
- Nathalie McCarty, Carla Young, and Danya Croft

Project Based Learning

A student that is engaged, is a student that is learning. If this is true, what can we do to ensure active engagement with our students? Anthony Capps, a 3rd grade teacher at Gulf Shores Elementary, offers a few ideas in an interview produced by Dr. John Strange in Project Based Learning Part 1 and Project Based Learning Part 2. Capps discusses the benefits of Project Based Learning and how to incorporate it into ACCRS (Alabama Career and College Ready Standards). Capps explains that project-based learning is a way of teaching that can be used by teachers of all subjects. However, as Dr. Strange points out, it takes a lot of time and planning on behalf of the teacher. He also makes an excellent point that project-based learning should be about more than just showing that the students understand the material, but rather the means with which we teach the material throughout the week. Capps says, "The goal of a good project is one that has an authentic audience so that the kids are rewarded for the work that they do and that they are motivated to do good work, one that has student interest so that you can do something that is relevant to the kids’ lives, one that involves the community, and one that is driven by content." Teachers succeed with project-based learning when they find a subject that is appealing to the students and incorporates the necessary information that is important for the student to learn. Anthony gives educators a bit of advice, "With project-based learning, you're going to get more than you expect so never limit your students by giving them exactly what you want them to do. Create an opportunity for them to go beyond what you want them to do and they will." He also suggests that we can further engage the students in the learning process by allowing them to critique their own work as well as the work of their peers. Whenever they disagree with the work of one of their peers, Capps has the student write out a defense that backs up the reasoning for why he/she disagrees and what he/she would have done differently. When students are allowed to make choices in project-based learning, the students tend to have more ownership and pride about the work that they do thus making it more personal to them. Doing things like having the students peer edit, teach the students to be more independent in the learning process and gives them the confidence needed to participate effectively. It is better to give the students the chance to figure out the answer instead of just giving it to them. In iCurio Anthony 070113, Capps explains that the main feature of iCurio is that it is an educational tool that students can use to safely search filtered websites, images, and videos that are centered around information needed to adhere to the standards set by ACCRS and other states as well. Another great feature of iCurio is that it has a storage area that teachers and students can use to store content that they find valuable; it helps teach virtual organization. This tool can particularly come in handy when a student needs to go back and elaborate more on the day’s lesson, or if they happen to miss a day, they can pull up what they missed and look at it. This will allow the students to avoid getting behind in the class. For the visual learners, they will be able to have the information right in front of them. Timelines, is another feature offered by iCurio that allows students the ability to research historical figures and events. The student can simply type, “1960’s, African-American male” in the search engine and Timelines will direct him/her to websites containing information associated with African-American males in the 1960’s. Capps believes that iCurio is a useful tool for all school-aged students. Capps states in Discovery Ed Anthony 070113, that Discovery Ed is a useful tool for project-based learning in that students retain more information when a text article is coupled with a visual aid. He says that Discovery Ed is the place to go when teachers want to support their assignments with some sort of illustration or video. Discovery Ed is also useful in that it brings experts into the classroom in the way of video which enriches the research experience and brings the texts to life. Capps proves that Project Based Learning can be a fun, rewarding, and constantly evolving process with which we can teach more effectively.

Don't Teach Tech- Use It
- Carla Young

Computers in a classroom

In the video Don't Teach Tech- Use It, Anthony Capps explained the importance of technology in the classroom and the benefits that comes along with implementing the use of technology into our daily lesson plans. He makes a very good point that it is better to not teach technology to your students, but to use it instead. This idea goes hand in hand with PBL. Allowing a student to figure out something on their own is a much more rewarding lesson for the student. We, as educators and future educators, can stand up in front of a classroom and go over the instructions for creating a blog. However, the student is more likely to retain the skill and be able to use it again if they learn the skill hands on. This will be rewarding for the students as well. They will feel very accomplished and proud to have learned a new skill on their own. Capps mentions that it is important to build a “scaffold” with the technology; it is better for the students to learn and use one technology at at time and add another each week instead of all of them at once. This allows the student to learn and get comfortable with that particular type of technology and be able to incorporate it into the next one and put them all together. This way, the students are not getting overwhelmed with all of it at once. They are being able to slowly build their knowledge of technology and use them effectively together and also be able to use them in future lessons.

The Anthony Strange List Of Tips For Teachers Part 1
- Danya Croft

In the video The Anthony-Strange List of Tips for Teachers Part 1, Dr. Strange comments that teachers need to be interested in the continuation of learning. As educators, it is important that we show students what it means to be constantly searching for knowledge so that our students can be exposed to and possibly mimic that behavior. Capps suggests that work and play are not mutually exclusive when it comes to being a teacher. In other words, Capps says that educators learn the craft of teaching in their free time so that they may better themselves and become more effective teachers. Another tip that Dr. Strange gives is that teachers must be flexible, creative, and willing to change plans at a moments notice. There will be times when problems will arise and we must be able to make adjustments to continue the forward progress of learning. As Capps says, “You should keep in mind the end goal, but if things don’t go as you plan, figure out what it will take to allow the class to get to that end-goal.” Another important tip that Capps suggests is that we should aim for 100% engagement among the students which is directly in line with No Child Left Behind. He says that it is easy to engage students when you make it about content that they care about, use a process that they enjoy, and give them an audience with which they can share. Reflection is an important aspect for the students to experience because it allows them an opportunity to consider how they could improve or revise their work in order to present it to an intended audience. Capps recommends that teachers should always ask themselves, “What can I do today to ensure I gain full participation from every student?” Another question that teachers should ask themselves is, “What can I do today to ensure that every student is learning?”

Additional Thought About Lessons
- Nathalie McCarty

Lesson Planner

Anthony Capps’ Additional Thought About Lessons is that a lesson plan should be narrowed down through a series of steps. It allows you to see the overall fit of the lesson and your content standards together. The main point one learns from this video is to make sure to have a set goal. In order to successfully fulfill that goal, one must evenly distribute those task throughout the weeks and even on a smaller scale to each individual day allowing yourself to have a starting point for the following day. Basically knowing what will allow you to teach every phase of that unit in those state standards and being able to break it down.