Friday, November 26, 2010

Additional Assignment #5


plant made of yellow and blue pencils
                                                                                 Tom Johnson's Adventures in Pencil Integration

I must say that I don't believe I have ever seen as many metaphors in one single blog post as I have in the posts I have read by Tom Johnson. I like metaphors, they make us use our imaginations and truly think about what we are reading to understand it. I like that Tom Johnson uses metaphors even in math. Math was always a difficult subject for me but, I think if maybe I had a teacher like Tom I would have understood it better. I love that he takes the time to get to know his students and that he gains their trust by not shaming him. From reading his posts I believe that Tom is an excellent teacher and someone that I look up to and respect.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blog Assignment 13

alex - Alabama Learning Echange in white in a blue background with a square symbol with multicolored shapes inside of it

 What is ALEX? Well, when I began this blog assignment, I had no idea. ALEX stands for Alabama Learning Exchange. Alabama Learning Exchange is a communal database of lesson plans created and posted by teachers. The database is searchable by traditional subject areas as well as 21st century areas that include technology education, and information literacy.On the ALEX homepage you will find Courses of Study, Web Links, Search,  Lesson Plans, Professional Learning, Podcast Treasury, and ALEXville.

Once you click on one of the topics mentioned in the first paragraph you will find a world of valuable resources for teachers. Courses of Study, is of course, just that. The courses of study found on ALEX are: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Arts Education, Career/Technical Education, Driver and Traffic Safety Education, Health Education, Science, Social Studies, Languages Other Than English (foreign languages), Physical Education, Technology Education, and Other Courses of Study (which contains Character Education, Counseling and Guidance, and Information Literacy).  In the Web Links section you can find Teacher Links, Student Links, Administrator Links and many more. ALEX contains a large database of podcasts submitted by teachers that can be found under the Podcast Treasury section. You can explore ALEX for yourself and see all of the resources available by going to

I think that I will find ALEX useful in my future teaching career. I think it is a great site and and excellent tool for teachers. I'm sure I will use the Lesson Plans section quite a bit, especially in the early years of my career. As I mentioned earlier, before beginning this assignment I didn't know what ALEX was. Now, I am thrilled that I have this resource to help me be a better teacher.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Form results for Project # 6

 My Topic: Effects of the BP Oil Spill. I chose this topic because it is something that virtually everyone living in this area knows about and has an opinion on.

My Results: Out of eighteen responses  33%, being the highest, of people thought that the BP Oil Spill had little effect on them personally, that was surprising to me. However, 50% thought that the oil spill effected the Alabama gulf coast quite a bit. 28% of my responders gave BP a 4 out of 10 rating in how well they handled the catastrophe with then being exceptional and 1 being poor. 56% of people thought that the tourism and food industry suffered the most from the oil spill. 61% thought that BP somewhat properly responded to the needs of the workers who lost their jobs. It seems that nearly everyone, 83%, was in agreeance that the workers who lost their jobs should have the first opportunity in being hired to clean up the gulf coast. 67% of people said that oil spill did not affect the amount of trips they normally take to the gulf. That surprised me because it drastically affected the amount of trips I take. 61% of people say that they did not personally observe any oil or tar balls at the gulf. 72% of people think that BP has made sufficient effort in cleaning up the gulf coast. And last but not least, 61% of my responders think that BP could have done better with being compassionate toward the families who lost their loved ones while working on the oil rig.

 What I feel that I learned from this survey is the true opinions of local people on the gulf coast concerning how they felt about the catastrophe in the gulf caused by BP. The oil spill was a huge topic of discussion for many months. It was always on the news and the front page of the paper. Many people sent in letters to the editor with their opinions of everything that was going on. One of the reasons I chose this topic to do my survey on was because I wanted to know how some of the students here at South felt. I was furious when the oil spill happened because I grew up making frequent trips to the beach. The Alabama gulf coast is where some of my fondest memories were made, so naturally I was upset when it appeared that a huge company had irresponsibly polluted my favorite place. I did not feel that BP or the president did everything they could to clean up the gulf or to help the workers who lost their jobs because of BP's irresponsibility. I had very strong opinions about the oil spill and I found it interesting to know the opinions of some of my fellow classmates.

Progress Report on Project 16

I have met with my collaborator Christina Sobolewski and we have discussed ideas and we plan to meet again this week to continue working on this project.

Blog Assignment 12

Although we have read blogs where internet safety was mentioned, I don't think we have fully covered it. As future teachers who will be using technology in our classrooms we need to understand how to keep our students safe while benefiting from technology. In the article I have provided a link for below safety measures for students are discussed. In a two paragraph or more response explain how you feel about internet safety for students and if you plan to utilize any of the safety measures mentioned in the article.

Blog Assignment 10

An Open Letter To Educators

an open letter to educators written on a chalkboard

 I feel extremely lucky to have had such a great college experience. I have had one class where I had to try to stay awake. The remainder of my classes have been enjoyable and my professors have made their subjects interesting. It is unfortunate that so many students have had experiences like Dan Brown. However, I don't think everything needs to change.

I have a class this semester where my professor doesn't allow cell phones or laptops. I'm sure you probably are thinking that I hate this class, but, it is actually my favorite class, not only this semester but out of all the classes I have taken at the University of South Alabama. Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that he has banned cell phones and laptops, I was just making a point. He uses power point presentations occasionally, but, for the most part he passes out hand-outs for his lesson and lectures. I understand that more thank likely sounds like a drag for most students but he is an excellent teacher and never once have I drifted off or came close to falling asleep. He knows how to get, and keep the attention of his students. 

I am the kind of person who learns best bin a classroom setting. Like I mentioned before, I have been lucky in my college experience. My professors have encouraged class involvement, they welcome questions and discussions. I had one class where my instructor handed out her notes, then stood in front of the classroom and basically read the notes we had in our hands. I hated going to that class because it was so boring. In my opinion, these are the kind of teachers who need to change. 

I have been fortunate to have fairly small classes here at South. Dan Brown speaks of large classes where the professors do not make an effort to even know your name, in those types of situations I feel that change does need to take place. I think that larger classes could definitely benefit from a web enhanced program, like the one we use in this class. Where students meet a few times in the semester but the communication and assignments are given via class blog. I do not, however, think that this is how every class should be. For people like me, and fellow classmates I have spoken about this with, this would be tragic. As I mentioned above, I learn best in a classroom setting. Whereas online classes are great for a lot of people, they do not benefit everyone.

a hand holding a jar full of pencils

Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home 

I thought this was an interesting article and I can see why it is a must read for all teachers. I like his argument for taking the "pencils" home as well as his strive to change the way students think about computers. They are not toys, nor are they merely for entertainment, I like that he addressed that with parents and that he is giving his students interesting assignments so that they will use the computers as a learning device and not just for fun.

Two Questions That Can Change Your Life

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.
Two Questions That Can Change Your Life
Wow, this video is thought provoking. How great would it be if everyone went to bed at night and ask themselves, was I better today than I was yesterday? Our world would be a much, much better place. Also, I love the idea of having a sentence. It gives us something to live up to, it is definitely a great motivitional tool.
My sentence: I will make the world a little brighter every day by encouraging my students to shine to their fullest potential.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Blog Assignment 11

woman with headphones on with huge smile on her face

Before taking EDM310 I would have thought that Ms. Cassidy's approach to technology was over the top and way too much for a six year old. But now, half-way through this semester I am understand more and more why technology is so important in the classroom. As Ms. Cassidy said "technology isn't going away", so why not start our students young? One of my concerns about having a class blog was the safety of the students but, Ms. Cassidy proves that having a class blog can be safe. I am an elementary education major and I want to teach between kindergarten and second grade and I have thought that my students probably wouldn't be that interested in a class blog but Ms. Cassidy's class proved me wrong. I am excited about all the things I am learning in this class that I will be able to use to make my classroom more exciting.

Additional Assignment #3

The most important thing that Sir Ken Robinson said in Changing Educational Paradigms was that we shouldn't be putting children to sleep we should be waking up what is inside of them. I guess the reason that really stood out to me is because in my K4 class I have a little boy who was recently put on ritalin. He always seems zoned out and it takes him a very long time to complete his work. The reason it takes him so long has nothing to do with his intelligence, he is very bright, it is because the medication slows his brain down too much. There wasn't anything in this video that I did not agree with. I thought video was neat, the artist did a great job. EDM310 is my first class in my professional studies so I haven't really been tuaght much about ADHD. If I did a video like this I would defnitely want to be the narrator.

Summary for C4K #5, #6, and #7

For my C4K #5 I was assigned to Kayla's blog in Mrs. Byrne's class. The post that I read was titled Miners in Chile. Kayla provided plenty of facts regarding the terrible accident that occured in Chile. She also posted some pictures of the rescue as well as where Chile is located on a map. In my comment to Kayla I told her that she did a great job providing facts and that I also learned a few things about the incident that I didn't previously know. I also told her that she did a good job with the pictures and that pictures always add a little something extra to a post.

For C4K #6 I was assigned to Pipita's blog in GSandler's class. His post was titled The Blog. Pipita talked about how much he enjoyed the class blog and contributing to it. In my comment to Pipita I said that his post encouraged me to have a class blog in my future class and that I am glad he enjoys his blog.

For C4K #7 I was assigned to Quossay's blog in Ms. Naugle's fourth grade math class. Quossay did not have any posts so I chose another student in that class, Kylie. Her post was on her trip to the fair. She described the experience very well. She talked about everything from listening to her friend's ipod on the bus ride to the animals she saw at the petting zoo. In my comment to Kylie I encouraged her to keep blogging and told her she did a great job describing her experience.

Summary for C4T #3

I was assigned to Jen Deyenberg's blog Trails Optional. In the first post I read, she discussed her experience at the Growing Greener Future Conference where she had the opportunity to present how to use GPS and Geocaching in the Classroom. I had no idea what Geocaching was so I did some research and found out that Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers. In my comment to Jen I stated that I didn't know what Geocaching was before reading her post and that after finding out what it is it is interesting and seems like a lot of fun.

In the second post she posted a video showing children using Geocaching in mathematics. The video stated that children performed better on their tests after Geocaching. In my comment to Jen I said that through watching her videos I can see what a great attribute to teaching Geocaching can be.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

October in Miss Jessica's Room

I just wanted to share with y'all a few pictures from my K-4 class during the month of October. We had so much fun decorating the classroom and dressing up in our costumes for our Pumpkin Party.

Project 13