Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blog Post #9

stay postive written on a chalk board
For this blog assignment we were to read two of the four blog posts written by Mr. McClung which talks about his first four years of teaching. I chose to read about his first year of teaching and his most recent year of teaching. Then I would be able to see the difference on his outlook on teaching.

Volume I
Mr. McClung’s blog post for his first year titled, “What I've Learned This Year (2008-2009)”, caught my attention by the picture he put at the top of the post. It said, “An important decision I made this year is ‘stay positive”. “Stay Positive” was written in his own handwriting. This is one of my mottos. I feel as though parts of this blog post he wrote strictly for me. In one part, he commented about how teachers need to be flexible and not strive for perfection.

In this blog, Mr. McClung has great advice for teachers, teachers who are now teaching or will be teaching. I feel like his blog was a mini lesson for me. A lesson that I need to hold on to and remember on my first year of teaching to be flexible, communicate with others, be reasonable with you expectations with students, do not be afraid of technology, listen to your students, and never to stop learning. All of these are great points and that Mr. McClung learned them all after one year of teaching is wonderful.

Volume IV
In Mr. McClung’s blog post for his fourth year, “What I've Learned This Year (2011-2012)”, it was interesting to hear about his struggles with being accepted by his peers. After reading the first blog, I thought the last was going to be even better. I did enjoy the blog. I just thought he would give a pep talk the whole post. Yet Mr. McClung gives us an insight on what his struggles were with I thought was refreshing.

After that point, Mr. McClung talks about how he was a little lazy because he had all of his lesson plans already mapped out, and there was nothing more for him to do. It is funny that he says that. I shadowed some teachers a few semesters ago that said in a few years a teacher has his or her lesson plans down, and teaching gets less stressful. Makes me wonder if these teachers meant you do not have to do as much.

Project # 10 Progress Report

I chose Symbaloo as my site to start my PLN. I liked the way the student's was organized in A 7th Graders Personal Learning Environment, and Symbaloo is very similar if not the one the student used. The website is very easy to use and understand, and I was able to customize it very easily.

I began to delete all the tiles that I would not ever use such as the sports networks while adding all my EDM 310 sites to Symbaloo. Everyone knows I use those a lot throughout the week. I added other tiles such as my online class, Google Drive, and the website for University of South Alabama. I also added tiles for blogs I have been following. With this feature it is easier to check on the blogs, as well as just about everything else.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Comments 4 Teachers #3

Chad segersten
Just 5 Easy Steps!
“Stop trying to find a fix rather than a solution.” This is Chad Segersten’s first idea of how to fix education. He has five in his blog post, How to Fix Education in 5 Easy Steps! In this post he outlines five steps that he suggests including empowering great leaders out of the administration and empowering great teachers. My comment was this:

Hi. My name is Maria and I am also a student at University of South Alabama in EDM 310. I am studying to be an elementary teacher. I agree with the points you make about changing the educational system. I especially liked point 3 about empowering the administrators. I feel that administrators get painted as the bad guys especially with the standardized tests. Although I am not a teacher yet, I agree that working together with other teachers would be beneficial not only to the teachers but the students. It helps to reinforce the information.

John Spencer
Does Technology Make Us Impatient? is a blog post John Spencer wrote on the blog Education Rethink. He has been taking a break from blogging and twitter to write a book. He comments on how Twitter seems a lot faster now that he is as use to it. He mentions an idea that technology makes life faster, but because of this he finds himself becoming more impatient. My comment was this:

My name is Maria, and I am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I agree with your thought at the end of the blog. I find myself wanting things to be faster. I get impatient with my dog, the mail, and this week the voting line. Thinking about how could technology help this to make it faster. I agree that I love technology. That I feel that I am a better student and will be a better teacher with it. Yet I love those times when I pick up an old paperback library book and sit outside. Thanks for your post.
My blog

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blog Post #8

sign saying changing ahead
This is How We Dream
Dr. Miller’s video This Is How We Dream was very interesting. In his video, Dr. Miller shows a range of technologies that are available now. He discusses that, via technology, he and students do not need to go into a library for information. He has done all the research through the internet. He also shows how people can collaborate on a project over the internet. Dr. Miller talks about iTunesU, which I forgot about as a learning technology. I was able to go on and find lectures about things I am interested in. I have always been curious about taking a sign language course, and on iTunesU there is a lecture available to download about it.

This video has parts that were honestly alarming to me. As I was watching this video, I was thinking: “I do not know how to do this or that, and most elementary students that I will be teaching will.” Dr. Miller discusses the how multimedia writing can be used to our advantage. I am genuinely glad that I am in EDM 310 and will begin my journey to learn these techniques.

The technology Dr. Miller shows is daunting to me right now. At the same time, I am excited the prospect of the technology. Throughout this class, I am learning that I only knew the tip of the iceberg of what a computer can do, and this video demonstrates this well. One quote from Dr. Miller that stuck out to me in his video was “the limits and the restrictions are largely ones we put on ourselves”. This quote sums up my relationship with a computer before this class. I stuck to what I knew and did not learn anymore. Now I am learning much more.

Carly’s Blog Post Assignment
Carly Pugh’s Blog Post 12 was an inventive assignment. In her post, she suggests that future EDM 310 students do a YouTube playlist detailing their philosophy as a teacher. In this playlist, there would be 10 different videos. I think this assignment would be a challenging multimedia writing assignment, but it would make me realize who I wish to be as a teacher. One of my videos would have to be “You can’t be my teacher”. I saw it on Carly’s blog, but I found it a couple days before and was waiting for the right time to post it.

I enjoyed many of the videos she put on her own playlist, but I would have to say my favorite was “Creativity to the Rescue”. I agree with Carly that we, as not just as teachers but parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, etc. need to support the creative minds of children. If the child wants the train to sound like a dog or a bird like in the video then let them.

EDM 310 is Different
EDM 310 for Dummies is a very funny video. The video is a sales pitch for “EDM 310 for Dummies”. It starts off with two girls frustrated with the class. Leading into the question, “Does EDM 310 have you down?” Once the girls receive a copy of “EDM 310 for Dummies” their opinions on the class changes, both are enjoying the class and telling what all she is doing because of knowledge learned from EDM 310.

The Chipper series said a quote that sounded very familiar “Teach me so I don’t have to learn”. I believe Dr. Strange said this to my class the first day of class. The Chipper series outlines what happens to a student who is a product of, as Dr. Strange puts it, “Burp-Back Education”. The video follows a girl who starts off in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class. She drops out of school because she does not like the way Dr. Strange is teaching his class. She then gets several jobs that she is not able keep for one reason or another. After she is not able to keep her job of a garbage person, she decides to go back to school and really try this time.

There still seems to be classmates of mine that dislike the use of technology in the classroom. I would like to participate in a video about a student in EDM 310 who starts the semester not wanting technology in their classroom for when he or she becomes a teacher for whatever reason. May be there can be several students having different reasons why they do not want technology. By the end of the video and the semester, they realize that technology is a great resource in the classroom and only helps to further the education possibilities.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
The first 20 seconds of Learn to Change, Change to Learn makes you realize how much there needs to be a change. In that first 20 second, Keith Krueger says that Education is ranked number 55 by the US Department of Commerce in for the level of I.T. intensiveness, only 55 professions were ranked. Education was the lowest. If that is not a sign for a change, I do not know what is. The video continues to show how a change needs to happen.

This video ,in 5 minutes and 36 seconds, shows teachers with amazing ideas. Ideas from having the students taking their cell phones to collect data. Another idea is that school is where students come together to do enrichment or group projects. One teacher pointed out that a school should be a community system rather than a classroom system. I could go on about the great ideas these individuals made, but instead I wonder why it is that we have the system we still have. If there are many great teachers and professors telling us and even showing us a better way to teach, why are we stuck in the old ways? May be because it is easier? I hope that my generation of teachers can change it.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0
I chose Edmondo for my social networking site. From the initial looks it very similar to Facebook. One of the features I like is that it is free. I saw other sites that may have been nicer, but they are $24 or more a month. I also liked that the grades can be posted on this site. There also is a place for teachers to post assignments, alerts, quizzes, or a poll. Two other features I liked are the calendar and the library. The calendar can be used for students to keep up with when assignments that are due, and the library is used for posting documents or links for the students.

My comic strip from Make Beliefs Comic is here as well if you would like to see what it says.
Comic Strip about a boy who is trying to get his little sister to do a play with him

My poll from is something I have always wondered about since more than southerners seeing this post. I may be able to see what the majority of people say.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Comments 4 Teachers #2

The second teacher I have been following was Ms. Hadley Ferguson who is a Middle School teacher.
Grapefruits and Maps
The first blog post I commented on was about a lesson she did. The lesson was teaching students about how maps where made. She showed the class how difficult it was to make sure the maps were correct. The class did this by making a map on a grapefruit, and then cutting the peal off. This blog post was named Grapefruit and Maps for obvious reasons and my comment was this:
Hi my name is Maria. I am a current student at University of South Alabama. I am studying to be an elementary teacher. I think that this is an excited way to learn about how to make maps. I like anything that is hands on. I especially like this one because the students were working in pairs so they had to agree things like how to take the peel off. I also like that it got a little messy. I think that sometimes teachers worry about keeping everything clean too much, and do not let the students be kids. I have one question what would you suggest as a better writing utensil on the fruit? Would a regular pen work? Thank you for the great idea! I will use it!
Ms. Ferguson later commented back suggesting a regular ball point pen or a crayon.

Just Not the Same!
THe second blog post I commented on was titled Just Not the Same!. On this post, Ms. Hadley Ferguson was talking about how a lesson she did in two different ways, one inside and one outside, had different outcomes. My comment for this post was this:
Hi Ms. Hadley, Maria Eschbach here again; I enjoyed reading this blog post. I liked seeing your thoughts between the two years. I like you like anything that is hand on and gets the students moving. So that the students in the first year were outside running around, I thought, was great. For the second year, I love that you took over the hallway. That is something I will use in later years. So with the knowledge you have now, about either the ending of the lesson or the activity being stronger which method will go next year?
I have not received an answer to my question yet.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Blog Post #7

 shows all the connections of a networked person
Networked Student
The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler is a very interesting video. This video is about a teacher teaching through the theory of learning called Connectivism. In using Connectivism, the teacher does not lecture or have a textbook for the class. Instead, she inspires the students to go online and gather a personal learning network. She wants the students to take control of their own learning and make connections that will strengthen the learning process.
Throughout the video, you can see how one of her students uses Connectivism to his advantage. He shares what he has learned through a social sharing site like wiki spaces. By doing so, he is helping future students that take the same course make the connections that he did. This entire video reminds me of my class EDM 310. We are making connections with teacher through their blogs, twitter, and even within the classroom itself. EDM 310 does not have a textbook, and Dr. Strange does not lecture. When the students get stuck on something, Dr. Strange is there to help, but he mostly empowers his students by having them try to find the answer for themselves first.
At first, this method of teaching takes a little getting used to. Now that I am in this class and have a teacher that is pushing me towards self-learning, I wish that I had this class my freshman year of college or even in high school. I would like to teach my students to stand on their own feet and not to lean so heavily on the teachers.
Which leads one to think if a student could look up the answer to any question: why would they need a teacher? A student needs guidance when it comes to the internet. A student needs to know which sites can be trusted and which cannot. Also a student will not know how to get started with Connectivism, and a teacher will help. The teacher also is the person who gets excited when the student “finds that pearl of information.”

Personal Learning Environment
A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is very interesting. I commented on Wendy Drexler’s video that I would have loved to learn this in high school, but middle school would have been even better. Throughout this video, a student walks us through her PLE. She tells us her PLE does not just have websites to do with her schoolwork, but also contains Facebook, YouTube, and other social networks. I really liked the PLE that she created. I think it is organized and easy to work. It reminds me of my PLN that I am making for my EDM 310 class. I think that the main difference from what I can see from the video is that my PLN can be seen by anyone at any time, and a PLE is a personal thing.
The student says in her video that she likes to learn this way because of the freedom. “You can choose how to do it, and when to do it.” I recently read some of Teach like your Hair’s on Fire by Rafe Esquith. In that book, he pointed out that many teachers are teaching how to get into college and not how to finish college. I believe that with this skill of being able to do school work at without a teacher telling you to do this section on Monday and this section on Tuesday will help any student will excel in college.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Comments 4 Kids for September

title comments 4 kids with a computer
C4K #1
My first C4K was for a student named Deserae. She is a year 5 student at Pt England School in Auckland, NZ. The blog post I commented on was titled improper fractions. Deserae gave a great picture demonstrating how to change an improper fraction to a mixed fraction. My comment was:

Hello Deserae, My name is Maria. I am a current student at the University of South Alabama in the United States. I am studying to be an elementary teacher. I really enjoy your picture of how to covert an improper fraction into a mixed number. This picture makes the conversion very easy to understand, and I am sure is helpful to anyone who is having problems with converting improper fractions to mixed numbers. I hope to use pictures very similar to this one when I become a teacher. I hope you continue to enjoy Math!

My second C4K was for a student named Henry. He is also a studnet at Pt England Schools. He had written a great story called Frozen Beach. This story was about two boys from a hostel, and what happened when they ran away. He complemented his story with pictures. My comment was:

Hello Henry! I am a college student from University of South Alabama which is in Alabama, United States. I am studying to be an elementary teacher. I enjoyed reading your story. I liked the twists you incorporated into your story like that the water at the beach was frozen. It would be interesting to see that. I also enjoyed seeing your artwork. With the artwork, it brought your story to life. I hope you continue to write stories.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Blog Post #6

the book of the last lecture next to a quote from Randy Pausch be good at something it makes you valuable
Last Lecture
I have wanted to watch Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture since he recorded. It is sad that it took me till now when I had an assignment to watch it. I have over a page worth of quotes from the lecture that I find myself already using. My favorite quote is “brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things,” or as he later said “they let us show our dedication.” This is a great thing to teach your students. I would teach my students that just because something stops you from achieving you goal does not mean you give up on that goal. It means you fight harder. You look for new ways to achieve that goal, and when you attain it will be all the sweeter. Although like Dr. Pausch pointed out, you may not accomplish your goal but instead gain experience. The experience we receive from not achieving our goals may not be known to us for years down the road. Experiences alone do not change us, but moments as well.

Another quote I like is “when you’re screwing up and nobody is saying anything anymore, that means they gave up.” This is something I would like to teach my students. I want them to realize that when they are getting corrected that it means that someone cares for them and wants them to succeed. When someone is giving you a hard time about something you did wrong do not complain; you just work harder. I wish I could tell this to myself as a child, but I will settle for teaching my students it.

An additional quote I like is “find the best in everybody; no matter how long you have to wait.” Everyone has that one annoying person in the office or classroom. I often times will go and try to befriend that person. I think this is a great lesson to teach students because with 25 or more students in a classroom there will be differing personalities. As well as when they get to college or out in the work place there will be many more people these students will have to get along with. To find the best in others is a great tool to have to get along with other people.

“Apologize when you screw up,” may be the hardest of lessons Randy Pausch taught. This point actually has two parts, both of which can be hard for student as well as some adults. Apologizing would be the first part, and the second part would be the admitting that you messed up. Often times we want to blame others for our mistake and never take ownership of our mistake. I think this is a great point to teach students. This also is about doing the right thing, and as Randy Pausch says “when you do the right thing good stuff has a way of happening.”

Project #9a