Sunday, April 28, 2013

Final PLN Report

I love my PLN! It has been so helpful not only in EDM310, but in my other classes as well. If I need a resource quickly, I can just pull up my PLN on Symbaloo and go from there. It keeps my resources organized and all grouped together according to what categories I need. I've added a lot to my PLN since I first started working on it. My favorite tile is still Google Scholar because anytime I need to look up a scholarly souce for a paper, assignment or project, I can just click the title, type what I'm searching for and filters out all the junk so I can just search for what I need.
I plan to continue using my PLN during the rest of my education and when I become an educator, I want my students to use one too. I think it will really help them out like it has me.

Blog Post #14

Teacher Knows If You Have Done The E-Reading

This article was written about e-books on CourseSmart, a program owned by Pearson-McGraw, and how teachers can use it to see if students are reading their assignments, track their progress on reading assignments, see when and how long a student has read. CourseSmart also track the progress of students in the class and if they are doing their work at all.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this system. I like the idea of having e-books because it would be a lot easier to have all the books needed on one device instead of toting around five or six books at a time. However,  I don't see how this method would help students besides having the fear of knowing their teachers know if they have not read a reading assignment. I could see it used for students who are high risk or need help with reading and comprehension, to make sure they are staying on track with the rest of the class, or maybe with students involved in extracurricular activities. As for college students, I don't think it would be very helpful because most resources are provided by professors. Also, college students are grown-adults who don't (usually) need someone hovering over them making sure they are doing their work. They should be responsible enough to complete their tasks and assignments with out an instructor checking up on them.

If I had to use the program, I don't think I would do very well with it. I don't like feeling as if I have to read material out of obligation. If I want to read it, I will because I'm interested in the material and I want to learn more about it. Now, if I had problems with reading comprehension, then I would definitely use it.

If I had an opportunity to interview Mr. Guardia, I would ask: What do you like and dislike about the program? What are some ways the program an be improved? Why did you choose to be apart of the CourseSmart system?

If I could interview a student using the program, I would ask: What do you like and dislike about the program? Would you whether use Course Smart or go the traditional route and read an actual book?

If I commented on the post, I would include my thoughts on the program along with some question stated earlier. I would include how I think it would be more time consuming than helpful for college students to be involved in this program, yet helpful for younger students.

Project #15: SMART Board Demonstration

Teacher: Michelle Vajgrt
Students: Becky Stuart, Jasmine Smith, Kayla Sandifer and Mary Cortipassi
Videographer: Brittney Patrick

Sunday, April 21, 2013

C4K#4: April

Tyson F.

Tyson is a fourth grader from Nebraska and in his post, About Nebraska, he tells all about his home state, what makes it interesting and why he lose it. Somethings I learned from his post were that Nebraska has the largest planted forest in the country, the inventor of spam was from there and they have a skateboarding museum.

My comment:

Hi, Tyson! 
My name is Brittney and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I’m from Mobile, Alabama, just off the Gulf Coast. I loved learning about Nebraska! I use to think that it was all corn and wheat fields, but now that I have been enlightened otherwise, I think I’ll have to come check out the skateboard museum and the largest hand-planted forest in the United States. In Alabama, like most of the South, we are known for sweet tea. A lot of people think we’re weird for putting sugar in our tea, but it’s delicious! We’re also know for our passion for football, mainly the University of Alabama and the Crimson Tide, but I like the rival team, Auburn University. War Eagle! 
We’re also famous for being the birthplace of Mardi Gras. It’s a big celebration, mainly in Catholicism, that leads up to Lent, but you don’t have to be Catholic to celebrate it. Mobile is also called “The City Of Six Flags” because our city has been under the rule of France, Spain, Britain, the Republic of Alabama, the Confederate States and the United States. Our city is full of culture and history! 
I hope to hear back from you, Tyson!

C4T #4

Quantum Progress

John Burk is a math and physics teacher in Delaware and is the writer of the blog, Quantum Progress. In his most recent post,  A Collaboration Between Dance and Physics , he talks about how a new dance program has been introduced at the school in which he works and how he and the dance teacher collaborated and incorporated dance with science. They had many amazing ideas like,  using a fire extinguisher to propel a student in a cart across the stage or dancing around while blowing up balloons. It sounds like a lot of fun!

My comment:

Mr. Burk,
Hi! My name is Brittney and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama, studying elementary education. I would just like to say I really enjoyed reading your post about incorporating dance and physics. Your ideas with Mr. Avi were incredible and if I were a dance teacher in a high school or a physics teacher, I would definitely use some of these ideas with my students. Thank you for posting!

In a different post by Mr. Burk, he blogs about visiting his friend, Paul Salomon,  who teaches at St. Ann's School in Brooklyn, New York. He talks about how St. Ann's  has an entire 4-12 grade level school in a thirteen story building and many teachers teach in different grade levels, like third, sixth and eleventh grade math. Like the kids, the teacher change classes as well. It's tough to adjust to the different ages and maturity levels, but it takes amazing people to connect with all the different levels they are presented with. 

My comment:

Hi, Mr. Burk!

St. Ann's School sounds absolutely amazing! I can only imagine the challenge of teaching upper elementary, middle and high school at once, but I bet the rewards of facing the challenge are unbelievable. As a future educator, I would love to have an opportunity to teach in a school like St. Ann's. I bet it is a great blessing to be able to work with all grade levels instead of being restricted to one. Thank you for sharing your experience!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blog Post #13

Back to the Future

"The second day of school, I took a survey with them to find out where they stood and here's what we found out: nine out of twenty-four knew they city in which they lived...twelve out of twenty-four knew what state they lived in..." - Mr. Crosby

Mr. Crosby really got my attention at the beginning of his presentation after showing some information he had gathered from his his school where over 90% of the students lived in poverty or in low-income homes. The survey was simple. It asked questions like: "What city do you live in?",  "What state do you live in?", and to my disbelief, very few students knew what city and state they lived in and they had been going to that same school since kindergarten. He believed that the school he took this survey from was teaching a narrow curriculum and in order for these at-risk kids to succeed, they needed to be exposed to more than what they were getting by with currently.

He then goes on to tell his audience about how he was able to create a learning environment for his students. Every child had their own laptop and had a blog in which they were in encouraged to be creative and express their imagination. Using their blog, they posted videos of their experiments and projects along with written assessments for their project. People from all over the world read their blogs, which I'm sure was HUGE confidence booster for these kids.

I loved Mr. Crosby's science experiment! He and his students sent a device with a camera strapped to a balloon and parachute 80,000 feet into the atmosphere. The camera rolled all the way up and all the way down from it's trip into the sky, so the footage caught was probably breath taking. As an added bonus, Mr. Crosby incorporated a creative writing assignment with the experiment to were the students had to pretend they were the balloon and describe what they saw on the way up, what the view was like, where they were located in the atmosphere and what it was like tumbling back to Earth after they busted from the pressure. It was awesome!

My absolute favorite part of his video was when he told his audience that he was given a student with Leukemia, who really couldn't physically participate because he was either at home resting or in the hospital receiving treatment and therapy. Mr Crosby did what most teachers have never thought about doing and included the student, via web cam, so the child could participate and contribute to the class even though he could not physically be there.

 It's teachers with hearts like Mr. Crosby that change the life and direction of these students' lives because instead of shuffling them in like cattle, barking a lecture and sending them home, they nurture their talents, address and work on weak points together and encourage imagination and creativity.

Blended Learning Cycle

Paul Anderson is an AP Biology teacher in Bozeman, Montana and he is an big believer in using the Blended Learning Cycle in his classroom.

 He opens his video with some things, event and people who inspired him to try new things in his classroom. he explains what Blended Learning is and how it takes the compelling parts of mobile, online and classroom working and "blends" them together. Next, he explains the Learning Cycle and it's five parts: engage, explore, explain, explore and evaluate. So, when one combines Blended Learning with the Learning Cycle, one gets "The Blended Learning Cycle".

Mr. Anderson created an acronym for his Blended Learning Cycle, QUIVER: Question, Investigation, Video, Elaboration and Review. To begin his lesson, he asks his students a question to get their mind engaged and intrigued in what the lesson is on. Next, they investigate the question by performing experiments then recording their results and data in a Google spread sheet to share with the class. Mr. Anderson has them watch a video independently where he explains what the goal of the experiment and lastly, he sits down with students one on one or in small groups and goes over a review with them to make sure the completely comprehend what has been taught before they go on to take a summary quiz and finally, an old-fashion "pencil and paper" test.

I really like Mr. Anderson's approach to the Blended Learning Cycle. It keeps the students engaged in what lesson is being taught and it sort of allows the students to progress at their own pace. My favorite  part of his cycle is when he reviews one on one or with a small group of students to make sure that they totally understand what is going on in the classroom. That way, the other students can still be engaged and busy in the assignment while he can address issues and concepts if they are not comprehended by some students. One on one help does wonders!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Blog Post #12

For this assignment, we are suppose to create our own assignment and then do it. For the past few weeks, five of my classmates and myself have embarked on a journey together after all being assigned to a special group to help a former EDM310 student, Anthony Capps, form lesson plans involving technology to use in his class to help further the Digital Renaissance in Baldwin County. So far, in our group, we were able to come up with about three weeks worth of lessons, incorporating  technology with core classes like science and history.

My favorite lesson plan we came up with a two week weather unit starting with defining what the students thought weather was defined as and through out the week they learn about different weather types. In the middle of the week, the students were assigned a weather phenomenon, like a hurricane, tsunami, tornadoes and blizzards, and had to video themselves "interviewing" the phenomenon, in which, they would ask the phenomenon what conditions occurred to create them, what they did and what the after effects of the phenomenon were after it was over. They would present their video to the class at the end of the week. The second week, after reviewing, they would learn about how to predict the weather and at the end of the week, they would video themselves performing a mock weather forecast.

Our group is currently working on a history unit lesson plan for Mr.Anthony's class.

I believe every EDM project group should participate in a project like the one my mates and I have been working on because it will give them first hand experience working with technology in the classroom and with students. I'm very thankful that Dr. Strange gave me the option and opportunity to participate in this special project because it has helped me advance in the technological realm within classrooms and see first hand what I would be doing in my future classroom with my students. I believe every EDM student should be involved in a project like the one. It will benefit them greatly. I know, because it did for me!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

C4T #3

Post #5

In Edna Sackson's most recent blog post (3/16/13) in What Ed Said, she talks about how teachers feel like they never have enough time to get through all their lesson plans or through objectives in their lessons. She laid out different methods and solutions to help teachers find more time and encourage them to explore the options she suggested.

My comment:
Hi, Ms. Sackson!
My name is Brittney and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama majoring in Elementary Education. I really appreciate this post. As a college student, working part-time and planning a wedding, I feel like I NEVER have anytime to do anything. But, after reading you post, I realize there really is more time than I think I have. I just have to MAKE time. Thank you for posting!

Post #6

In Ms. Sackson's post on March 26th, she addresses parents about why they choose the schools that do for their children to attend. do they send them to be molded into cookie cutter, high score achieving students, or are they being allowed to cultivate their talents and abilities they excel in, learn about compassion for humanity and so on. There are somethings that are more important than high standardized test scores.

My comment:

A lot of schools are so focused on assessments, grades and scores that they forget that there are other important things to cultivate in their students. They want to try to force them into a mold when they are all unique individuals with unique and individual abilities and talents. why not allow them to express them and let them grow in their abilities? I really appreciate this post as a future teacher and (in the far future) parent. Thank you for posting!

Blog Post #11

Little Kids, BIG Potential!

Though watching the interview between Dr. Strange and Ms. Cassidy, along with her Youtube videos, I got to learn about and be introduced to her first grade class. Her students were precious! She talked about in her Skype interview with Dr. Strange that she first started incorporating technology in her classroom after she received five computers for her students to use. She teaches in Saskatchewan, Canada, so I'm not entirely sure how school funding goes there, however, here in the USA and more recently in Baldwin county, technology is being incorporated more in classes. Some schools may not be able to provide their students, but they should have computer labs at least, so there should be no excuse not to expose the kids to technology.
We live in a fast pace, technologically advanced world and we, as teachers, need to be up to date so we can keep our students up to date as well. Ms. Cassidy practices this constantly in her classroom. She made a Youtube video with her students explaining what all they do with the technology provided for them. I learned about many resources that she uses in her classroom. In her video, she had her students talk about and explain all the different things they do with technology in their classroom. They even went over basic blogging etiquette. I really like how Ms. Cassidy has really opened up the technological world to her first graders because it is really opening doors of opportunity for them.
Ms. Cassidy uses various different forms of technology with her first graders. Blogging is an excellent idea to use with younger students. They learn how to type, spell, use proper grammar and how to communicate with others all at once. Ms. Cassidy is not unaware of the dangers of using technology with kids. One major concern is attracting unwanted creepers trying to invade into their personal lives. One way she prevents this is by not allowing her students to use their last names. She also uses wikis and skype  to communicate with other students, teachers nd professionals from around the world and they even play a game on Nintendo DS's, called NintenDog, to teach responsibility.
I couldn't imagine what my life would have been like in elementary and secondary school if we were allowed to use all these different methods and variations of technology. Ms. Cassidy has inspired me to use as much technology as I possibly can in my future classroom to make sure my students are technologically literate. She is an excellent example for all future teachers!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C4K #2: March


 The first C4K I was assigned to this month was a story written by an eighth grader named Rylee G. I really enjoyed her story because it was about a young African girl who was captured and taken to America as a slave. That's close to my heart because there are still 27 million people today who are catch up in human trafficking and modern day slavery.

My comment:
Hi, Rylee! 

My name is Brittney and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. 
WOW! I loved reading your blog post. It is very detailed and I was very impressed with your thoroughness. From what it sounds like, your story is about a young girl who was brought over to America as a slave. Did you know that there are over 27 million people around the world today (even in our own country) who are still held captive as slaves? I encourage you to do some research on it. 
I saw a couple places where commas were needed, but other than that, your post was outstanding. Keep up the great work! 



My second C4K of the month was on an eight grader's blog in Atlanta Georgia. The student's blog post was on a project they were doing on saving money, learning about loans and how to find an affordable place to live. Karmel talked about how she was given $30 (assuming pretend money) to place in a savings account, then she went to different station where they helped her "get a loan", and lastly she had to do research to find an apartment to live in.

My Comment:
Hi, Kamel! 
My name is Brittney, and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. You’re first sentence got my attention. Great attention grabber! I’m glad you’re learning about saving accounts, loans and how to find a place to live at your age, I did a project in high school where we had to plan a mock budget for when we have careers. We had to find a place to live, find out the cost of various necessities like cell phones, utilities, rent and so on. It really opened my eyes as to how tough it can be in the “real world”. 
It sounds like you’re having fun with your project. Keep on blogging and learning!


The third C4K for the month of March was written by eleven-year-old Htawara. Htawara wrote a short paragraph/story about a boy named Jack and his dad spending the day together.

My comment:

Hello, Htawara!

My name is Brittney and I am a EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama.

I really enjoyed reading your story. It sounds like Jack had a great time spending the day with his dad. Make sure to use commas and conjunctions to connect parts of sentences. Other than that, your post looks great! Keep on writing!



The last C4K for the month of March was Peyton M's, an 8th grader from Iowa. His post was simply an "About Me" post. He talks about his favorite sports, TV shows, and music.

My comment:

Hey Peyton!
My name is Brittney and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I love basketball and baseball! I am a HUGE Grizzlies and Braves fan. Who are your favorite professional teams? I never played sports in middle or high school, but I was on a dance team and we competed in competitions all over the US. It was a lot of fun.
Have you thought of what you wanted to do when you grow up? If so, what are your dreams?
Hope to hear from you!