Friday, February 28, 2014

Blog #7 Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

I wasn't sure what to expect when I first pressed play on Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, but I am so happy I had the oppourntinty to watch it. Randy Pausch's Last lecture was so moving for me to it will be hard to boil down what I learned to one blog post! Mr. Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and doctor's told him he had 6 months to live. But he didn't miss a beat! He went about his normal life doing what ever made him happy. He even said that he was not in denial by any means but he wanted his last few months on earth to be happy, fun, and not depressing. He exuded confidence throughout his entire lecture. He had the whole audience constantly laughing and they were intrigued with what he had to share. Pausch had lived a fun-filled, hard working, and interesting life. With his dedicated drive and passion he reached all of his childhood dreams.

Randy Pausch quote
Pausch worked with virtual creations with NASA and Disney World (among other amazing establishments) all thanks to achievements from his schooling at Carnegie Mellon University. He became a professor there and jumpstarted programs that involve technology and the use of virtual worlds in his classroom. As an learning teacher, just starting out in college, I held onto many tips and advice he had to say and can apply them to my future profession.

Randy mentions something called "head fakes" which I am assuming is a term he made up on his own and I love it! Head fakes are when children aren't aware that they are having fun while learning something really hard. Obviously children learn easier when they are having fun! Why is that we can sing every song we hear that plays on the radio? Because we learned the words because singing is fun. Essentially he created an exciting environment for students to learn technology through a fun, yet, effective way by allowing them to create their own videos games.

The first thing that caught my attention was his analogy of a brick wall. Several times he mentioned that brick walls are there to show us dedication in ourselves and to separate ourselves from others who don't care to reach their childhood dreams. When obstacles are thrown our way it makes us stronger and we come out of top, which puts us in a different spot than the other person trying to get on top. Perseverance always steps ahead.

Pausch presented a slide show of a list of tips to be successful and happy at the same time. A few of my favorites he mentioned, were to always apologize when you are in the wrong, show gratitude, don't complain just work harder, be earnest and trust people. These simple steps of life will guide you in the right direction and others will be willing to help you more! These tips are relatable to any age and will benefit anyone who abides by it. I WILL teach these to my future class. I think it will also be beneficial to have some of the ideas posted on the walls of my classroom to be a constant reminder.

I think my favorite thing Randy Pausch said throughout the entire lecture was "be good at something, it will make you valuable." As simple as that sounds, it just made me have a huge smile. We go through the motions of everyday life trying to find our way throughout this world, to figure out who we need to be in life, and what we can offer. All of those things just mentioned are possible in a learning environment. Being a teacher allows a world to open up to children for them to accomplish whatever they put their minds to. Once they find something they love, they will continue to grow bigger and stronger at it. This allows them to be valuable later in life and ultimately feel valuable in what they have worked so hard for.

Pausch family picture

Thursday, February 27, 2014

C4KSummary for February

After reading Matthews Blog Post about PED's it got me thinking about the Hall of Fame and the use of performance enhancing drugs. Should the athletes that used PED's be accepted into the Hall of Fame? Absolutely not! It is cheating and in no way fair. If one player exudes natural talent and performs the same amount of winning touchdowns, goals, and points as a player that uses PED's as opposed to a non-user, he/she should not be invited into the Hall of Fame.

In Mrs. Caddy's class she asked her students to blog about what would they would do if someone gave them a million dollars. Alyssa stated that she would spend it on 400 front row tickets to an OneDirection Concert. She would also buy a signed poster of Harry Styles, which is one of the singers of boy band. Alyssa said she would then donate the rest of the money left over to charity. I thought her post was adorable and of course I agree with her!

Mrs. Bayer asked Abigail what her plans were for Valentines day. Being in fifth grade doesn't entail to much so she stated that she plans on going to the mall with her friends. I commented that we shared similar activities that and that I love going shopping with my friends.

I read @thathappykid135's blog which was about their opinion on if they like the beach, which he did not. He said it was too crowded and he and his family stayed too long in the sun and so he got sun poisoning by the end of the day. Opinions of the beach vary from person to person. Some can't get enough(like me), while other people want to stay away. Usually those that don't like the beach are fearful of what's lurking in the water, or just hate sand. Sometimes one bad beach experience can be the end of it!

Baby speaking about blogs

Project #13 Lesson Plans

Ireland Myths and Legends Lesson Plan

Grettings From Ireland

Ireland Myths and Legends Calendar

Mobile Group Site

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Blog #6 Personal Learning Network

Having Personal Learning Networks creates a system for yourself in which global interactions take place via technology. It allows educators to make connections with other educators. PLN's help establish communication networks where ideas, research, teaching methods, and learning tools can all come together in an organized way. It is very beneficial to have a go to place to gather your items in one location. In order to form you own PLN you must establish a platform of connections with other educators. They can help guide you in the direction of what needs to be done. All educators have been in the teaching world many years before the new incoming teachers, therefor, they have several tricks up their sleeves and can share their secrets. Establishing a PLN takes some time to get started and is a never ending process. You can NEVER stop learning,which in theory means, you can never stop making connections with others. There are people all over the world that have their platforms set up and growing and are there to help whomever they can.

As a learning educator, I am just now getting my feet on the floor and ready to step inside the learning door. I haven't technically started on establishing my PLN, but I am learning through this class how to do it. Thanks to @drjohnhadley and Anthony Capps, I can add them to my list of PLN people. Also, the two teachers that I am observing for my EPY315 class are amazing at what they do and will I definitely use them as my PLN teammates. Twitter has become a new tool for me. Before this class I didn't use my twitter account! Also, Pinterest will become a lifesaver in my near future as an educator. I can set up my own classroom board and gather ideas, share ideas, and create my own to add to the education boards. I love the idea of using Symbaloo, it is an organized dashboard for your personal computer and can be created with links and buttons in the order in which you want to see your links categorized. Rather than having several "tabs" across your computer search engine box, everything you could possibly need is on one virtual page. It resembles the way an iPhone is set up. Where you can gather several buttons and place them in the sections you desire. Personal learning network's create a positive community of teachers that want to help each other become better educators.

PLN connection images

Project #8 Book Trailer

IF... By Sarah Perry

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Project #7 My Sentence Videos

My Sentence Is...

My Passion Is...

Blog Post #5 Anthony Capps Interviews

Anothony Capp's is a project based learning, tech savy, third grade teacher in Baldwin County. He was once a student in EDM 310 so he has seen first hand the importance of this class in preparation for teaching in Baldwin County(a highly tech savy school for sure!) He went over several important points discussing project based learning and a couple of computer programs that have been beneficial for the setting of his class room.

Mr. Capp's stated in Project Based Learning that throughout PBL a positive outcome is that students "own their own learning." If a project has the student's interests form the get-go with a great hook, then the students will be driven to complete the task and the performance will be outstanding. Capp's feels that as a teacher you should NEVER underestimate your students. They will surprise you with their work performances in more ways than one. He gives the guidelines to what needs to be done and without hesitation his students outdo his expectations. He gets his students involved with collaborative work, which isn't always the easiest thing to get done, but it needs to be done in order for students to grow in working with peers. Capp's also felt that it is extremely crucial for reflection time in which you get your students to go back and revise their projects and peer edit their classmate's work. They see the positives and the negatives and can change what needs to be altered. I shall call this "reflection inspection." This method works out in favor for both the student and the teacher! It provides the students with immediate outcomes of what is wrong before they turn it in.

There are two computer programs discussed by Mr. Capp's that I had wished were around during my time as a student growing up. One is iCurio, this program is a type of search engine for students to safely browse the web for text, images, videos, graphs, etc. All of which is selected by a network of teachers. iCurio is designed for students to do research on whatever topic they are discussing in class and set up all of their findings in a virtual folder to go back and grab whenever they need it. Teachers, like Mr. Capps, adore this program because it takes off the stress of worrying what inappropriate website the kids will accidentally stumble upon. Plus, the teachers can add what ever articles they find to the virtual pool of information and then the students can all see what the teacher feels is important at that time for discussion. Discovery Education is a big part in Mr. Capp's classroom because this program offers more than just images. It offers visual explanation of topics via videos to clearly explain things rather (if not better) than a picture does.

Anthoney Capp's explained that technology doen't need to be taught all at once. Gradually incorporating different types of systems, gadgets, and programs needs to be done overtime! Througout the year you are to have accomplish a LONG list of standards that need to have been met throughout your time with your class. Each unit is to be asseblmed throughout a 6-8 week time frame. Each week you cover something that embellished the list of things taught the week before and so on. By the end of everyday you will see what was accomplished and continue on your weekly plan following what was done the day before. To be clear Mr. Capp's broke it down into those four layers: year, unit, week, and day.

Teaching creates all other professions
What I gathered most from the series of interviews, was that teacher's are also learners. Mistake will be made, things won't run smoothly, and schedules will won't follow accordingly. But at the end of the day its obvious that Anthony Capp's loves want he is doing and passionately shaping the minds of today's youth one class at a time. I hope to do the same.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Project Presentation #3

Blog Post # 4 Asking Questions.

good teachers ask questions

There are several methods to asking questions in the teaching world. I imagine it like Goldie Locks and the Three Bears. Some questions are too strong and overwhelm students, some questions are too weak and don't challenge the students minds and some question are just right for growth among your class. The problem with upper level students is that overtime they become accustom to just a nod of the head to the teacher's rhetorical questions. Rhetorical questions are great in a sense that it gets the child thinking(that is if they are even paying attention) but RQ's don't dig deep enough. When a child answers verbally then it provides reassurance that the material is being explained, absorbed, and applied.

Asking Questions to Improve Learning gives bullet by bullet techniques for proper question asking. A tip I learned was to pace your self throughout your lecture. If you load to many questions at one time then the children don't know which one to answer first and get caught up in the overload. Give them 5-10 seconds to respond and gather their thoughts, and then you can look for hands to call on. If a student answers incorrectly then correct the mistake. After correction, ask a follow-up question that enable the student to continue thinking on the subject. I think its obvious to say that most importantly, show interest in their answers, no interruptions! Who wants to answer questions when no one is paying attention?

Joanne Chesley compares open ended vs. closed ended questions in her video Asking better questions in the classroom. Closed ended questions are answered with a "yes" or "no".Nothing more nothing less.One that requires more thought and needs to be explained in more detail, would be an open ended question. This way the student challenges him/herself to think outside of the box. Open ended questions are intend for critical thinking.

I did some research on other strategies for ways to ask questions and stubbled upon Wait Time-Teachers Perspective which goes into more detail on the patience of lecture time. The idea of "wait time"(a.k.a thinking time) was a way for students to gather their thoughts after a teacher asked a more challenging, or open ended question. The teacher asks the questions then says "wait time" that way the students know to wait before raising hands. This period of quiet reflection benefits the children who usually are quiet/reserved to answer questions. It helps the students that are always first to raise hands to becoming a patient peer. At the end of wait time, the teacher then has the entire class's attention and can call on anyone for the answer because they have all had equal time to process it.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

C4T # 1

As assigned, I was to read #WilliamChamberlain. William Chamberlain posted tips for note taking in a classroom setting. In How to Take Great Notes the narrator explains students need to spend majority of class time listening and absorbing information. Once the information is somewhat absorbed, start the note taking steps. Which are in question, answer, evidence order. Notetakers should take note(pun intended)that the main the purpose of taking lecture notes is not to write every single thing the teacher says. You spend all of your time and effort trying to cram all of the information and little to nothing is being absorbed. Then you go back and look at your notes and handwriting is sloppy, there isn't clear transition within notes, and there is too much writing on a page that its becomes a struggle to learn it!

After reading Mr. Chamberlain's most recent post I realized he is a great samaritan. He has provided a way for his students to become involved in a loaning program where they can choose a group or person that they feel is deserving of a it. The program is called Kiva. Mr. Chamberlain refers to the students group as TigerCorp. The class voted on three recipients. They chose a group from Peru, a man from Uganda, as well as a man from Armenia. The micro loans will set up a market stall, a poultry house and will go towards purchasing more pigs and cows. That's pretty amazing if you ask me.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Blog Post #3 Peer Editing

When it comes to peer editing the main purpose is to fix and adjust someone's written work to be at its potential. There are right and wrong ways of successful peer editing. According to Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial as the editor, I should complete the task by complimenting,suggesting, and correcting. As a peer editor, I would not necessarily comment on their blog pointing out every single flaw, instead I would complement/suggest different ways to improve what they have so far. I would generalize that perhaps the blogger should re-read what they have written for grammatical errors in my comment. Also, if they need me to re-read it for corrections I would be glad to do so. If there are more than several cosmetic flaws such as grammar, spelling, and typos I would most likely let them know through a private message or even tell them in class that a blog entry had typo mistakes.

There are several tips to properly peer edit. What is Peer Editing explained the cardinal rule for peer editing staying positive.Put yourselves in their shoes and think about the ways your peer editor helps you and mimic it for them in return. Avoid broad criticism, if you criticize too vaguely then the other person does not understand the direct message of what you are trying to infer. Therefor, they won't be able to change anything and they will have a confused outlook on your comment. A nice way to correct is through suggestions. If there is a giant issue with their work or it needs a little tweaking then offer an idea to fix it. As in the short video Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes no ones needs a "mean Margaret" or a "picky Paula", positive criticism goes a lot farther than negative criticism.

Peer editing tips