Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blog Post #15: Final Reflection Video

 picture of bird saying all done

This is it! Last project of the semester. Thanks for watching.


C4T #4

Post #1

For this weeks C4T I was assigned to read, Mr. David Warlick's blog, 2¢ Worth. Mr. Warlick, teaches in, North Carolina and is a, self proclaimed vagabond-educator.

After reading Mr. Warlick's post, ARE WE WASTING OUR CHILDREN? I was a bit confused as to what his message was about. So, after taking another look at it, I was able to figure out what was going on in his post.

The following is a summary of his post:

spooky house

Mr. Warlick starts out by giving an account of a nightmare he had the previous night. It wasn't a typical nightmare involving spooky houses, but instead, started out as a news expose where 4 students were pictured on the television screen while a news reporter stated, that the boys were killed during school hours in an apparent gang related shooting. The reporter went on to say that the boys were not gang members but instead, were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The reporter then asked, Who is to blame for the deaths of the boys? The schools?
The reporter then goes on to describe how the boys had fallen through the cracks of a school whose performance was judged based on actual student enrollment, eluding to the fact, that some students were more valuable to the school if they were not on the school's roster.

Although this account was a nightmare, Mr. Warlick goes on to write that he has never found an educator of any kind that would encourage students to drop out, but he did know of some students who, out of frustration, dropped out of school due to the methodized nature of their classrooms. When the students dropped out of school, they were not encouraged to stay, rather, they were allowed to leave with nothing being said.

Mr. Warlick, also writes about a discussion with another educator, who had been taking classes about about how to analyze student data. Basically, he was learning how to identify students, who, with a little help could help improve the school's performance scores. As well as, identifying those students who would be a waste of time and valuable school resources. In the words of Mr. Warlick, " he was learning how to game the system."

Mr. Warlick asks these questions at the end of his post:

"Are we gaming the system at the expense of children? Is this really happening? Is this what public education in this country has become?"

"Are we wasting our children?"

My Response:

The account of Mr. Warlick's nightmare is, unfortunately, happening in many schools across our nation. So many times students are negatively labeled by classroom teachers for many reasons such as: associativity among peers, bad home life, ADHD, slow learner, and looking for attention. Sometimes these negative labels are applied simply because of society's stereotypical views of people.

I think it is sad that we live in a world where learning has become so structured that we inhibit the overall growth of students, all in the name of test scores. Not all students learn in the same manner and not allowing students different options in education is contributing to the ever growing drop-out rate.

Essentialism and Perennialism are traditional education theories, in which, both are teacher centered and are the basis for our current educational system. The expected outcome of learning is that all students converge together at the same point in terms of knowledge, skills,values,and attitudes. This type of teaching may be good for some students but for others it is a recipe for disaster.

From my perspective, Progressivism, an educational theory geared toward the growth of the student, would be a much better alternative for our nations schools. Although it is structured, teachers are not the only source for information and students actively learn through various concepts and strategies, and not, as what Mr. Warlick writes a standards-based education regime.

classroom of kids talking about test taking

As for the "catalyst" for his dream, I think it shocking that the educational system allows for teachers to learn how to "weed out bad students" in order to improve a schools test scores. Who are we to make those types of decisions? Maybe those students who are deemed as "not worth our time or effort" could be helped in a different learning environment. Test scores should not be the only way to measure a child's academic success. For instance; Lets say I had a student, who, after taking a test was found to be academically behind for his grade level. The student worked very hard all year long on his studies then at the end of the year took the same test again and while he did not pass with flying colors, he did if fact improve his test scores. This to me is an educational success! Not giving up on students is the only way that they will gain a sense of confidence in themselves. Students need to feel confident in their learning ability and should never be thought of as a waste of time.

The public Education System needs an overhaul! We should not "play games" with students education as all kids are worthy of our time and commitment. Educational success should not solely depend on test scores!


Post #2

poster good citizenship can change the world

In his post, "BUT WHO CHAMPIONS CITIZENSHIP?", Mr. Warlick writes about how a media relations firm contacted him in regards to blogging about a particular topic that began with,"CEOs tell governors to strength(en) math, science education standards.” The organization,Change The Equation, is an organization pushing towards improved educational standards in STEM (Science, Technology,Engineering and Mathematics). Mr. Warlick was impressed with the organization's impressive list of corporate sponsors and commended the vision and guidance of Change the Equation. However, he is more concerned with who is championing citizenship and who is pushing for students to be better civic-minded citizens.

Mr. Warlick makes a good point. There is so much emphasis placed on academic achievements in math and science and not so much for the nurturing of good moral character or the development of social skills. In the school where my children attend, good citizenship is encouraged but, not demanded. Most teachers expect students to do their academic best and push for high test scores as well as, enforce good study habits, but education should not be based solely on these kinds of standards. What I think needs to be done is to make good citizenship an essential part of the curriculum. How can we expect our students to be well rounded individuals if we do not change our views about what education is all about? So, the next question would be is; what traits or qualities should we include in the quest of educating students about citizenship?

While searching the web for an answer to this question there seemed to be 5 components that were common in most of the articles that I read. The 5 common components were; honesty, compassion, respect, responsibility and courage. Each of these proposed qualities are synonymous with what each person in society should strive to incorporate into their daily lives.

By looking at education in a different light and placing high expectations upon students to be good citizens and also to act and behave in such a way that would be conducive to creating a better society, we could change the world by turning out well rounded individuals.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Project 16: "What I want to be when I grow up" by: Mrs. Wade's 3rd grade class.

For my last project assignment I did a video with Mrs. Wade and her 3rd grade students. They are from J.E. Turner Elementary School. I asked the students to think about what they wanted to be when they grew up and then I recorded each student as they said their sentence. I completed the project using imovie and did it in the style of "This is my sentence". The students had a great time "helping" me with this project. They will get to view it at, their end of the year class party. I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Final Report on PLN

symbaloo screenshot

This is a screen shot of my Symbaloo site. I have only added a few items since my last update. I am always looking for interesting things to add to it and due to lack of time, I have saved a few sites in my bookmarks and when I get the opportunity, I will add them to my PLN on Symbaloo.

C4K #7, #8, #9, #10

bumble bee

This week I was assigned to read; "E-L-S-E-R Elser" on Mr. McClung's blog. Jacob Elser is an 8th grade student at, Woodland Jr. High School, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In his post Mr. McClung wrote about Jacob winning the, Arkansas state spelling bee. He will now go on to compete in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. on June 1-2, 2011. If it is televised, I will definitely be watching to see how far he gets. Who knows? Maybe he will be the winner.

picture of boy at spelling bee

My response:

Hi, My name is, Kelly Evans, I am a student at, The University of South Alabama. I am an elementary education major and a student in, Dr. Strange's, EDM 310 Class. I was assigned to this post as part of our comments for kids assignment.


Good job on winning the spelling bee! That is quite an accomplishment and I am sure that Mr. McClung, your classmates, and family are very proud of you.

I was very impressed with the words you spelled. They were very hard! I don't think I could have done it.

My girls participated in their school spelling bee a couple of months ago and I was so nervous just listening to the words they were spelling. They didn't win, but had a great time taking a part in the spelling bee.

If you want to read more about me you can visit my blog HERE or the EDM 310 class blog HERE


C4K #8

poster of brazil made by student

This week I was assigned to Year 6l, an Egyptian class blog.

The student talked about how he learned, math quadrants. Also, he and a partner had to look up information about, Brazil and put a poster together and present it to the class.

My response:
I introduced myself, and complimented him on his poster. I also wrote about my experience with Geography.


C4K #9

This week the entire EDM 310 class was assigned to look at Ms. Yollis' classroom blog and give a thorough report.

mrs.yollis' 3rd grade class

Mrs. Yollis is a 3rd grade teacher from, California. She is an avid traveler and life long learner. I was very impressed with Mrs. Yollis and her classroom blog. I can see she is dedicated to incorporating technology in her classroom. I did learn something new as I read her bio. I learned that she just received her Master's Degree in, Technology Integration in the classroom.. I didn't know that type of degree even existed! And as equally exciting, she went to Google in, Mountain View, California. I thought Google was a place in the sky, I never thought about them having a corporate office somewhere, you learn something new every day!

Going back to her classroom blog, It was easy to navigate, which is always a plus. I think the way she has the blog setup is much better than others I have seen this semester and what I really think is interesting is; Mrs. Yollis' students have to earn their blogging privilege. What a great way to reward students for their good behavior and hard work.

I like that she teaches in her posts. She writes about a particular subject area and then asks the students to answer questions in their comments. I am quite sure that the grammar and punctuation made by her students, was a lot better than some comments made by college students. She also encourages and includes the student's family and friends to comment on the subject matter too. I saw a few that I am going to do myself!

From what I saw on this blog in particular, is that the students are learning and having fun doing it. I also loved the student's video on Quality Commenting,
I am saving this video to use when I have my own classroom of bloggers.

April 6 blog post from Mrs. Yollis' classroom blog.

poster of school work

Mrs. Yollis and her students have declared April as, Family Blogging Month. The students were working on writing quality comments. Mrs. Yollis included several examples of great quality comments, including some from my fellow EDM 310 classmates.

On a side note:

One interesting thing that she wrote in response to a commenter was,"quality commenting is not about quantity, but about quality." That should be put on a frame and hung on a wall somewhere in the EDM 310 lab. I have seen some long and interesting blog posts this semester, but because the grammar was bad, and no punctuation in sight, the posts were almost unreadable. Proofreading is important! As future educators, we should make sure that the comments we are making on these kids blogs represent good quality work.

My response:

Dear Mrs. Yollis and your awesome, blogging 3rd graders,

My name is, Kelly Evans. I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at, The University of South Alabama.

I loved your video! It was informative and so much fun to watch. You all did a great job presenting your information.

I think it is fantastic that you have created a family blogging month. What a unique way to get your family and friends involved with your day-to-day classroom activities!

As a future teacher, I am very interested in having my own classroom blog and was wondering, how often do you all get to blog? Do you have a set time of day to do it?

I have enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to keeping up with you through an rss feed.

Kelly Evans

This week I was assigned to comment on, Grace's blog. Grace is a 3rd grade student in, Mrs. Yollis' classroom.

In her post, Grace lists the necessary steps for making quality comments and she also used visual aids to help get her point across. Her post was easy to follow and well written.

My response:

I introduced my self and told her she did a great job with her blog post. She asked a couple of questions at the end, which I answered. I also asked her a couple of questions about her blog. I am still waiting on a response from her. When she does, I will post an update.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blog Post #14: Special Assignment on Metaphors

This post is a special assignment from Dr. Strange. Apparently, I missed the whole metaphor in Tom Johnson's post Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home. I am turning this into a learning experience, because I know exactly why I missed the metaphor.

1. Why did you miss the metaphor in Tom Johnson's post, or, if you "hit the nail on the head", why do you think you understood the metaphor and why do you think that others in the class missed the metaphor?

To be quite honest with you and as embarrassed as I am to say this, I do not know exactly what a metaphor is. I remember talking about it in class when I was young ( back in the dinosaur ages) but, I do not remember how to spot them or even why we use them, hence; A learning experience.

2. What metaphors have you encountered since I asked you to create a log of them?

I do not think I have encountered any metaphors since this assignment was posted. So, I googled a list and took a couple that I thought were interesting.
1. The noise is music to his ears.
2. Your friendship is the picture to my frame
jumping for joy
3. it's raining cats and dogs. ( I say this all the time, and didn't realize it was a metaphor, who knew?)

I always say, " it is a frog strangler out there" when it is raining, is that a metaphor?

3. What other things can we do as educators to help our students to understand and to use metaphors?
Other than using worksheets, I would suggest having students making up their own and providing an explanation of what it means to the class.

4. Why do we use metaphors?

I really don't know the answer to this, but I did Google the question and everything that I read said something on the lines of: Metaphors expand our way of thinking about things. It requires us to use prior knowledge to decipher the real meaning of what is being stated.

... and my learning experience continues.....

Blog Post #13

screen shot of Alabama learning Exchange home page

"ALEX" is a program provided by, The State Department of Education. This web site was created for educators to share ideas and materials with others. There are many areas of interest displayed on the home page of ALEX. In the courses of study section, you can access information my subject area and grade. There are also web links provided for different resources for teachers and students. In addition to these, there is access to lesson plans and pod-casts.

ALEX is a great resource for educators, parents and students. There is an enormous amount of free information on this site just waiting to be accessed. My friend, Alli, showed me this web-site when I was searching for some information on a project I was doing and at first, I was a little overwhelmed, but found the web site very easy to navigate. I have the site saved in my bookmarks and will use it when I have a classroom of my own.

Project #15

For project 15, I did a book trailer. The book is called, Zoomer, by Ned Young

Progress Report On Final Project

picture of girl at computer

I made the deadline:

I am done with my final project. I did a video with a 3rd grade class at J.E. Turner Elementary School. The video is called," What I want to be when I grow up", done This Is My Sentence style. I think it came out cute and the kids did a great job. I can't wait to share it with you all.

Blog Post # 12

For this assignment we were asked to create a blog post assignment complete with instructions.

picture of kid at computer that says internet safety

I wanted to do something that I think has not been covered as much as it should have in this class, so I went with internet safety.

Watch the following video facebook internet safety for schools and think about what the students are saying and write a paragraph on what you think about it.

I am aware that face book has not been a requirement for this class, but the majority of students including lower elementary school students have face book accounts and I think that if technology is going to be a part of your classroom activities this needs to be addressed.

Now watch this video (4:47)Internet safety
and write a paragraph or two about it and how it made you feel.

Watch this video as well. Orangedale Internet Safety school Stop and write a paragraph about how this type of assembly could help students more aware of internet safety. Finally, answer this question: Should this type of assembly be a requirement for all schools in your district? why or why not?

My completed assignment:

first video:
This is a great video made by students regarding face book safety. The boys really provide some great tid-bits of information for using face book properly. The best one is; Do not be friends with anyone that you do not know, even if your friends are friends with them.
This can really get kids into trouble, because you just do not know who is on the other side of that computer just waiting on one child to accept a friendship request and develop a relationship with them, only to manipulate them into doing God knows what.

second video:

This video had my heart pumping and by the end of it I was crying. This video seemed so real, and it really does happen this way. The predator gets to know the child on a personal level and them arranges a meeting with the child by lying and before anyone knows the predator has her in his grips. As a future educator, I couldn't imagine that, using something so great like technology would endanger my students in this way. It makes me really think about what I want to teach my students and how to do it without scaring them to death. I think it is so important for students to understand the danger and what to do if a situation arises. I never want my future students to be afraid of technology because technology is not going anywhere, so we may as well prepare them as best we can.

third video:
This type of assembly would definitely help students of all ages. What happened to Julie can happen to anyone. The video offered great advice to students about what to do and what not to do. What I really liked, was the video included a personal experience from one of their peers. I think that is what drew me in to this video. Although Julie didn't give many details about what happened to her, it sparked my imagination and gave me a vivid picture in my head about the dangers of internet use and if not properly addressed, there will be other students who fall victim to dangerous individuals.

I think this assembly should be a requirement for all students at all schools. If we are going to educate our students using technology then we should educate them about how to use it properly.


I can speak from a personal experience, even if you are a "nosy" type of parent and you think you have done everything possible to protect your child against the dangers of online predators, think again. I can assure you that any child, no matter their maturity level can be manipulated into doing anything. These assemblies could save a child's life, GET INVOLVED, Let's be a generation of technologically literate teachers who are committed to teaching students about the importance of internet safety.

Special Assignment : Mr. McClung

1. What do you know (or have you found out) about Mr. McClung that is reflected in the way he has constructed his class blog?
Mr. McClung is a advocate of technology use in the classroom and his blog reflects just that. He uses it to publish a newsletter for parents. Also, he uses it as a way to keep students informed about future assignments.

2. Comment on what you would say about Mr. McClung as an educator.
I would say he is fabulous! I love his approach to teaching and would love to see him in action. His blog is amazing! The students are very lucky to have him as their instructor. I can see he is very compassionate about education.

3. I asked above that you read Mr. McClung's "rules" and think about them. What do they say about Mr. McClung, his teaching, and his connection with his students? What is your reaction to these rules (and guides) as a student and as an aspiring teacher?

To me his rules are what every teacher expects their students to follow. Nothing new there,but what is very interesting to me is listed under procedures, the procedures are from a type of teaching called, "Power Teaching". I am very interested in this type of teaching. I think it ensures that every child is learning and understanding and knows what is expected of them as students. I have looked into "Power Teaching" long before I started at, The University of South Alabama. It is amazing seeing this type of teaching in action. Youtube has some great videos of this.

4. What was the first thing under Everyone needs? Why do you suppose that is the first requirement?
First on Mr. McClung list of needs was a day planner. I am a firm believer in a using a day planner. It keeps the students on track with their assignments and homework.

5. Note the penalties for being late (under Homework). Compare them with my penalties for being late. Comment.

I think that being late for homework is unacceptable, unless their are extenuating circumstances that would prevent students for competing it on time as assigned. Students need to be independent thinkers and learn that there are consequences for their actions.

I feel that the penalty for late work in Dr. Strage's EDM 310 class is reasonable. After all, we are college students. I think that if someone is consistently late with assignments, their grade should reflect that.

6. Read carefully his paragraph about what he hopes to accomplish with his blog. Comment and apply to your own aspirations as a teacher.

7. I asked you to review at least two Useful Links in depth after reviewing all of them. Which two did you review in depth? Describe each of the two. How might each be used? Why do you think each made Mr. McClung's list.

gmail- is a great resource for students. Through Google Docs, a student can make presentations or type papers. I think it made his list because it is something that can be accessed from any computer.

Guys read- a website to get boys to be life long readers. I think it made the list because; boys need some interesting books to read. The majority of boys do not read for recreational purposes, they read because they have to and this site gives guys some interesting titles of books in hopes that it will encourage boys to read more.

Toon Doo. - This was so much fun! I had not heard of this one. There are a lot of books that have been created by different people. You can create the characters and the end result is a, cartoon looking book that can be read by anyone. I think it was included as a fun activity for the kids. While it can be educational, it is a great way for kids to express their creativity while learning.

8. Under Internet Safety I asked you to read carefully the rules Mr. McClung sets forth for safely using the internet. Comment on these rules. Are there any you would add or subtract.

Here is Mr. McClung's internet safety rules:

Internet Safety


To ensure that we are practicing totally safe internet practices, I have compiled a list of things to remember when surfing my blog or any other internet website.

* Never use your last name when posting comments or creating a profile.
o Ways that you can create a name that does not involve your last name.
o Either use just your first name. Example, John Smith = John
o Aliases or nick names work as well, John Smith = Johnny S.
o Assumed (made up) names also work and are preferred, John Smith = Rowdy Roddy
* Do not use a personal e-mail address in a location that is public for anyone to see.
+ This e-mail is a generic e-mail account that only I have access to view.
+ Please do not use your personal e-mail account, use this class e-mail.
o If you are unsure whether or not a website is private or public….then don’t use your personal e-mail.
* Never reveal personal information, such as address, phone number, or school name or location. Never agree to meet anyone from a chat room in person.
* Never respond to a threatening email or message.
* Always tell a parent about any communication or conversation that was uncomfortable.

Mr. McClung

My response:

INTERNET SAFETY should be PARAMOUNT when requiring children to use the internet in classrooms. It is my biggest concern, even when my own children are at home. I can speak from personal experience, without going into details, I can tell you that danger lurks everywhere, especially on net-working sites.

Mr. McClung's rules offer a great starting point to ensure the students safety. Not using last names is good, but I think that requiring students to use an alias is the best solution.
Talking openly with parents and students on the issues of internet safety should be a required assembly during the first week of school, that way everyone is aware of how the students can be protected both during school and at home.

9. In the C4K part of this blog I asked that you look carefully at one of the categories under which you assigned post was filed. What did you find? Select one of the posts in the category and review it for me.

poster by students of mr. mcclungs blog

My C4K was filed under the "main page" category. I chose to look at a post that caught my eye:
20,000 caught my eye first, my initial thought was, Wow! that is a lot of money! but, as I read through, Mr. McClung was talking about his web page, which had 20,000 hits and the time it took to get them.

10. Mr. McClung uses Edublog as his blog host. In some ways it may seem more "advanced." But Blogger has many abilities that we have not covered in EDM310. This leads to this question: Is there anything (or things) that Mr. McClung can do with his blog that you would like to do in Blogger?

I like the category tabs at the top. I would like to see all of our assignments categorized, for example; all of the C4K, C4t, C4C, blog posts, special assignments, and projects would all have their own destination and tab.

11. In what ways does Mr. McClung make his blog useful to parents, teachers, administrators, students like you, and others?
He puts up news letters for parents and students. Also he has made navigation very easy with categorizing sections. I personally like the search box, it really helps to find specific items on his blog.

12. How does Mr. McClung's 8th grade blog differs from other blogs you have visited including other 8th grade blogs? Why the differences do you think?

I think Mr. McClung's blog goes more in-depth with school work. He keeps everything up to date and draws every person, whether a student or parent, into the daily happenings of his classroom. I think the difference is that Mr. McClung is very passionate about his job and the use of technology. Not to say that other teachers are not passionate about their job, It just seems that Mr. McClung has taken technology use to a higher level and uses every aspect of it for his students.

13. Add any additional comments you think would be useful in analyzing Mr. McClung's World in depth.

I do not have any other comments for Mr. McClung's blog. I think it speaks for itself.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Blog Post #11

boy in front of classroom door

Ms.Cassidy's Youtube video,Little Kids... Big Potential was awesome! I was amazed at how these young kids were able to use technology in their classroom. But, what really caught my attention was the students blogging. I am all about blogging and using technology in classrooms, but thought it was not really a good idea for young students. After watching this video, I can see that it can be done!

I enjoyed watching the Skype video. I learned a lot about technology use in the classroom. Technology use in classrooms is growing rapidly and Ms. Cassidy has embraced it and uses it effectively, which allows her students to grow technologically with the rest of the world. As I said in my thoughts about the video, Little Kids... Big potential, I felt like blogging was for more mature, older students. However, my view has shifted a little from that. I like that Ms. Cassidy allows her students to blog, even if it is just one sentence. I think that is what has had me hung up on young students blogging in the classroom. I now realize that young students should not be expected to blog paragraphs of information and thoughts, but can be expected type their thoughts in a sentence or two even if it takes a while and the spelling isn't correct. So, blogging is something I can see myself incorporating in my future classroom. Who knows maybe my future students will be on the EDM 310 list for Comments for kids.

One technique I will definitely use when I start teaching is, video. I love watching students share their work and talking about what they are learning. As a parent I would love to see my kids in videos learning and talking about what is going on in their classroom.

Ms. Cassidy mentioned, Ning a few times. I don't know what this is, but I am definitely going to look it up and see what it is all about.

One problem that could arise getting students to blog, is not having enough computers. At my children's school, there are not enough computers for every student, there is usually 3 or 4 per class. This would be a problem as far as blogging as a group. Computer labs may be the answer to that, but most times the students are doing another assignment. Another solution to this issue would be to let 4 students blog during their center time each day, so that by the end of the week all of the students will have been able to blog.

Ms. Cassidy had some great ideas and I am totally inspired by her enthusiasm for using technology in her classroom!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blog Post #10

This style of teaching:

teacher and classroom with computers


This style of teaching

Old lady teaching

For blog post # 10 we were asked to write a short essay on Morgan Bayda's post, An Open Letter to Educators.

In her post she describes her experience in college concerning two very different types of teaching and learning. She also references a you tube video by Dan Brown who gives a rather lively explanation on the birth of education and how it has evolved over the years and consequently how it attributed to his decision to quit college.

Miss. Bayda explained that she feels "cheated" in her education when she is in a traditional type college class. By traditional, I mean a professor stands in front of an auditorium filled with students, giving a power point presentation of facts and information on a subject area, in which the students are then required to "spit" back out the facts that have been memorized for a test. Miss Bayda goes on to say that in those types of classes she is never encouraged to collaborate with other students or give her opinion unless it is to her professor. she then compares it to a computer education class, which is the polar opposite. This class encourages collaboration with peers, welcomes opinions and requires a more active approach to learning by the students.

So, for me, the question here is: Which type of learning is better for students?

I will answer this question by looking back at my own college experiences. I quit school very early on due to life circumstances and decided in the Fall of 2007, I would "start" college. I enrolled at, Bishop State Community College and was there for 6 semesters, I left there with a GPA of 3.9. My classes there were all traditional in nature with the exception of Keyboarding ( which I don't think fits the more modern approach to education). I sat in a classroom with 25 other students and listened to lectures; some teachers even used power point, which to me was better than just listening to someone talk. Lecturing without any visual aids is boring and it is hard to stay awake, especially if the instructor has a monotone voice. Having had no other opportunity to learn in a different style, traditional teaching worked well for me at Bishop State.

As I came to, The University of South Alabama, in the summer of 2010 and walked into Micro-computing in Education, I knew something was different. This class was definitely not what I was used to. I was told by Dr. Strange that we were doing this course entirely by internet using a computer and would require a lot of time and energy. There was so much to take in; blogging, alt and title modifiers, and a lot more that I didn't understand, especially because I was not as technologically literate as I thought I was. Needless to say, I dropped the course real quick and went on to take something that was more in my "comfort zone". I think because I was not introduced to this type of "modern" teaching, if you will, it scared me and intimidated me and to be honest, at the time I didn't want any part of it.

I signed back up for Micro-Computing again this time with an open mind and the will to learn in a new and different way and I must say this class has made me a better student, as I have never had to do very much "independent" thinking before. Now I am an independent learner and always looking on the internet for more information and learning new things. There are so many awesome programs, websites, and blogs that offer information on all kinds of subject matter via the internet.

I will go on to say that, I like both kinds of teaching and do quite will in both settings. I don't mind lectures with power point. Sometimes, depending on the subject, I tend to retain and understand what is being taught with something that is explained in detail and being able to write information down. But, I do like having a computer to look up information and collaboration among my peers (as long as they are not slackers) can make learning something new so much more fun and interesting.

In conclusion, I don't believe that one style of teaching in more important or better than the other, I just think that people are different and learn in different ways. I do think that keeping an open mind about learning can be valuable in the education process. There are several ways in which to do something and learning is no different. Being closed minded in regards to education can be a hindrance, so accepting and taking part in different forms of instruction is the key to a successful college career.


pencil houses

Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home!

In this blog post Tom Johnson, shares with us a conversation with a colleague, in which she tells him that students should not be allowed to take pencils home because of an article that concluded that students test grades suffered because of pencils and paper being sent home with the students. Tom interjects with his own view of how taking home pencils were not a problem, it was that the students (who came from a primarily low income family) didn't know how to use them appropriately. So he came up with a solution to the problem by explaining to the students and their parents what the kids are learning to do with the pencils. He also explained that using a pencil, even if it is to play hang man, can be a learning experience.

To be honest, I am not sure what to make of this blog post. I guess what I can take from it is this; If a problem arises, don't focus so much on the problem but, be a seeker of knowledge and find a solution that all students can learn from.

C4T #3

Comment #1


This week I was assigned to Mr. Larry Ferlazzo's blog. Mr. Ferlazzo teaches English at, Luther Burbank High School, in Sacramento, California.

In Mr. Ferlazzo's post, Students really Do "Get It" He writes about a professional development effort in which teachers, are being recorded while teaching their lessons and then are critiqued and evaluated by others.

He previously wrote an article written about his view on video taping teacher's lessons in, The Washington Post. In this article Mr. Ferlazzo shares his experience about when he was recorded while teaching a lesson to his students. He involved his students in his critique along with Kelly Young, an instructional strategies consultant. Mr. Ferlazzo did this because he wanted his students to understand that he wanted to be a better teacher and instructor and to show them that being accepting of criticism can be helpful in fulfilling the goal of being a better teacher.

Mr. Ferlazzo explained that this experience proved to him that getting feedback from students each day, is a sure way to improve his teaching skills.

In this article Mr. Young gave, Mr. Ferlazzo's students some key points to keep in mind as they watched the teaching video. I thought they were great points and could be beneficial for all of us. So, I copied and pasted them and added my thoughts on each one. I wanted to share them, just in case some of you didn't get to read the article.

Mr. Kelly Young's points to keep in mind:

"•Leaning In—When we are engaged, we are learning forward, not slouching back.

I have actually experienced this myself, especially during Geography class. It really does help to keep your attention on the speaker.

•Who’s Doing the Work?—Students are working and learning, not sitting back listening to the teacher.

I think this is best achieved by actively taking part in the learning process by listening and paying attention instead of talking with others, texting, etc.

•Everybody Has a Job—All students are working all the time, listening and taking notes/annotating; asking questions; reading, etc.

To me taking notes are very important! It can refresh your mind when you get home.

•Tools of the Scholar—Pen, pencil, highlighter… The vast majority of the time, students have a writing tool in hand.

This really should be a no brainer! Being prepared in class important.

•Multiple Touches on Text—No "light" touches—we read the same text multiple times in different ways to deepen our understanding.

I like this too. In the elementary school where I am doing my field experience, the teachers tell the students to read their material at least 3 times. That way they really have an understanding of what they read. This is true for me as well. I try to read everything a few times.

Mr. Ferlazzo also wrote about a lesson his students were working on. He included this video in which a couple of his students did a rap about his bald head. I thought it was funny!

My Response to Mr. Ferlazzo's post.

Mr. Ferlazzo,

My name is, Kelly Evans. I am a student at, The University of South Alabama. I am an Elementary Education major and was assigned to your blog by my EDM 310 professor, Dr. Strange. I will be summarizing my thoughts on your posts on my blog. You can visit my blog
HERE as well as our class blog HERE.

I like the idea of video taping teaching lessons, it gives you a chance to look over it and see what you could do different the next time. I have done a few projects for school in which I videotaped myself “teaching” a lesson and found it to be beneficial in helping me improve my skills. I read the article in, The Washington Post and loved all the points that Mr. Kelly gave to your students and posted them on my blog for my fellow EDM classmates to read. I am sure they will be helpful even to us college students. Thank you for sharing your experience it was insightful and educational.

By the way, the video that your students made was hilarious!

Kelly Evans

Comment # 2

stressed out cat

In a previous post Mr. Ferlazzo talks about ways of dealing with stress. In his previous post, he shares an excerpt from an article published in, The New Yorker Magazine, titled,The Poverty Clinic which provides information about measuring childhood stress using an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Test, which are 9 questions used to rate the severity of childhood stress and how childhood stress is a contributor to adult health problems.

In addition, the article also discussed, cognitive-behavioral therapy, which has been proven to reduce childhood stress. In his post Mr. Ferlazzo puts this into action by using, cognitive-behavioral therapy on one of his "troubled" students which has a positive affect on the student.

In collaboration with a colleague, Mr. Ferlazzo is creating a life skill lesson on stress management for students. The lesson will introduce ways of coping with stress, as well as finding ways to reduce stress, including, more sleep, eating healthy and positive self talk just to name a few.

In his post, "How we can help our students deal with stress"
Mr. Ferlazzo mentions the previous post, which I have summarized for you above. This post is a follow up of that previous post. Mr. Ferlazzo asked his vice-principle, Jim Peterson for some additional ways that teachers could help students reduce their stress levels. In addition to being a school vice-principal,Mr. Peterson, is also a behavioral therapist and Hypnotherapist (which to me, makes him highly qualified to aid Mr. Ferlazzo).

His suggestions were; Breath work and writing things down, as well as, mediation. Breath work is a series of deep breathing exercises which make the students focus and take part in their "de-stressing" ( is that a word?). Writing things down is a very effective way to reduce stress. I have been doing this myself for the past month or so and I find that it does reduce my stress level. It also provides me with a detailed list of goals in which I number them in order of priority (who knew I having a self therapy kind of moment?) and meditation, I think speaks for itself. I can't say that I have personally done this but, If it can help, I think it is worth a shot.

Mr. Ferlazzo plans on implementing some of, Mr.Peterson's ideas into his classroom. I think that they are great ideas and will probably use them myself in my future classroom.

My response:

Mr. Ferlazzo,

I have enjoyed reading your blog the past week and a half. This post especially offered some great advice for anyone dealing with stress, not just classroom students. I started writing things down in list style a month or so ago to help me prioritize my homework. I was pleased to learn that it was a suggestion given by Mr. Peterson. So, at least I am doing something to reduce the stress in my life.

I also, read your previous post that was mentioned in this follow-up and found it to be interesting as well. I was wondering why you will not use the ACE test with your students?

Thank you for all the great information and will be certainly adding you to my reading list.

Kelly Evans