Sunday, February 17, 2013

My Sentence

This is my sentence

Blog Post #5

If I Built a School

Krissy Venosdale wrote how she would build a school if she had the opportunity. She said the library would have a tree house with lights and the cafeteria would have be like a modern day coffee house with big sofas and comfy seats. She said she would end state testing, which I believe is a great idea.
If I built a school I would build a school for special education students. We have one here in Mobile, Agusta Evans, but to get in your IQ has to be pretty low. I wouldn't have any requirements for them to have to get into the school. Special needs is special needs in my eyes. All the doors would have wheelchair ramps and automatic open buttons. The walls would be filled with the students artwork and other things they make through-out the year. The cafeteria would be a big comfortable place for everyone to come in and join. I would have wheelchair swings on the playground and each student would have their own iPad. We would have movie Fridays for the students who earned all their points for the week, but we all know no-one would be left out. The state testing wouldn't exist because, as Dr. Strange says, all that is teaching the students is burp-back education. They would be taught things that they need to survive in everyday living. They would learn their telephone numbers and where they live and their birthday and who to call in case of an emergency. The children, would have nap times, because who doesn't get tired at 12:30 after lunch? I would start school later. I would start school at 8:30 and let the students out at 3ish. I've actually thought a lot about getting a business license and owning an after school care facility for these students. I think that would be a great idea!

Virtual Choir:
Eric Whitarce's video of the choir is truly astounding. I don't know if I've ever really seen anything like that, but I'm glad I have now. It's pretty amazing what technology can do these days and it's only progressing. I wounder how long it took him to get all those videos together and match pitches and everything? I would like to know that!

Teaching in the 21st Century
Watching Dr. Strange's version of Kevin Roberts Prezi of teaching in the 21st century was quite interesting. The main quote that stuck out to me was "Teachers are no the main source of information, we are the filters". Roberts tells us that there are many different online resources that could be used but we are here to help them LEARN how to really use them to their full potential. The presentation helps me realize that technology really is changing how people are learning. I'm learning new things in this EDM310 class that I couldn't learn with paper or pencil. I think it's a good thing, but then again students have a lot easier way of finding answers the "quick and dirty" route than to actually learn what they are supposed to be learning.

Flipping the Classroom
I'm not sure if the children I personally would be teaching would find this method of classroom effective as much as a "normal" student, but I think it's worth a try. The kids could get prepared for college classes this way. How we have to prepare before the class and know our material for lecture and the teachers answer our questions when we come in prepared. I like the idea of these techniques but then again how can you be sure the child watched the videos? How can you enforce the child to watch videos if the parent does not believe or have a computer? There is always a problem somewhere I suppose, but if it could run smoothly I think it would be a great learning tool!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blog Post #4

I got the opportunity to listen to 3 podcasts from first graders. At first I was wondering what could this teach children besides how to read a script and act? BUT as I dug deeper and listened to all three podcasts, I realized that this activity would teach the students the following skills: listening, speaking, presenting, comprehension, storytelling, performance, voice acting, media and technology.

The first podcast I listened to was "Langwitches 1st Graders Create Own Read Along Book". The first graders read "Dinosaurs Before Dark" and you could hear the excitement in their little voices. They were getting so into the story and you could really tell how much they were enjoying themselves. This book was pretty long, but the kids kept up and the same energy through out the entire podcast. The script would help the other students follow along with the voices. It sure helped me.

The second podcast I viewed was "Langwitches Listening-Comprehension-Podcasting". The first thing that you notice if you listen to this podcast is that it is in a different language. A lot of the reading are in Hebrew. I personally don't know Hebrew, but it was very fun to listen too. These second graders really surprised me with their ability to speak Hebrew. I wondered if they were in a Hebrew class for Jewish beliefs or if they are learning to just learn it? Either way it was very exciting to hear this!

The final podcast I viewed was "Langwitches Flat Stanley Podcast". The children told a story about Flat Stanley who travels the world. The imagination behind this project was astounding. These little kids put so much enthusiasm in this story and kept their energy levels up the entire time! The student, Emily, who visited AL was absolutely adorable. She talked about Tuscaloosa and learning how to say Roll Tide. She talked about our beautiful beaches and the whole time I listened to their stories I couldn't help but to smile.

Friday, February 8, 2013


Post was written on December 14, 2012:

I read Beth Still's blog on January 25th 2013. Beth had her husband write a post about the safety of students in the classroom in case of the instance of a shooter on campus. Kris Still, Beth's husband, has talked to schools about increasing the safety and how to prepare for the worst. He told them to remember the acronym ADD which means AVOID, DENY (entry), and DEFEND. If you can avoid the situation and get out, safely with your students then take that chance and get out. If you can not get out, deny entry to your room. He told us some tools we can use for this, such as: tactical wedges or doorstops and also tactical straps. He also suggests that you take all the furniture in your room and board the door. Shooters main goal is to kill quickly and as many people as possible and if you stop them before they get in, then they would most likely go on to try a different door. Lastly, he says to defend yourself with whatever you can find that can be used as a weapon. He suggests chairs, fire extinguisher, coat rack, a trash can, etc.

My Comment

I commented on the post and said that I agreed in these tactics of preparation and that all the incoming and outgoing teachers should know how to prepare in the worst case scenario. I also said that not only would it help me as a teacher, but as a fellow student at a major university. I could react and know how to try my hardest to help with the ADD method.

Post written on December 29, 2012:

Beth wrote about her new project for the new year. She called it Photo365 Project. You are supposed to post a picture a day of the year (hence 365) but it is always hard for her to keep up with it. So she said "This year is going to be different because I have come up with a twist that is going to help me stick with this project for the entire year. I have collected a lot of things over the years and the time has come to get rid of some of it. There are lots of things that I want to part with, but I never seem to get around to it. This year I’m going to get rid of one thing each day. Some of these items will go directly to the dumpster while I will donate other things to my local Goodwill. Before I get rid of each item I will take a picture of it for the Photo365 project."

My Comment

I told Beth that it was a great idea to do a photo a day challenge. I also said that it was an interesting idea that she had come up with about doing the "trash" photo each day. Not only is it fun to go threw the memories, but it's good that she is giving things to goodwill. That way it can be new to someone else and they can make new memories with it!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Special Blog Post #1

Comparing the populations of India, China, and the US
In this special blog post we were told to read Dr. Strange's blog post "Many Students Misinterpreted the Data in Did You Know". In that post we were told to use and compare the populations of India, China, and the United States. I found out that the US is ranked the 3rd largest population in the world, compared to India and China, who are ranked the second and first. The US has 309 million people, China has 1.35 billion people, and India has 1.21 billion people. Clearly, they out rank us in the United States, so of course they are going to have higher numbers of people who speak English than us, because they have almost 5 times the people of us!


We were told to use the search ourselves and compare two sets of information. On my first search I typed in "compare the populations of Alabama and Mississippi" and found out that Alabama has almost 2 million more people than Mississippi. While Mississippi has 2.979 million people, Alabama has 4.803 million people. In my second search I typed in "compare the number of boys and girls in the state of Alabama" and found out that there are more women than men in our great state! Women win with 2.427 million and then men have 2.286 million.
I don't think my students would use this search engine as much as I would. I find it a very valuable tool and I can use it pretty much everyday. I can use the graphs and figures in slides and I can compare and contrast things very easily with this. (I even downloaded the app!)

Social Media Count
I visited Gary Hayes Social Media Count and saw that social media (and pretty much everything else)is changing at a scary rapid pace. Its unreal how fast things are changing and how fast our social media is growing every second, let alone minute. I think this will help my future children I teach. Twitter is becoming bigger and bigger, which I love because I use Twitter a lot actually.
The only thing I think that could hurt my future career as a teacher is that its going to be harder to keep up with the changing social media. I'll use my parents as an example. They know about Facebook but they do not know a lot about Instagram and Twitter, which are the three top social media sites. As technology grows and social media grows the harder it is going to be for them to catch on to the latest trends. I'm afraid that might happen with me, BUT the great thing about working with kids, is staying in the loop!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Blog Post #3

Peer Editing:

I was told to watch two videos and a slideshow on peer editing. I learned that peer editing is a easy process but it does have some rules. All three of the sources told the viewer that you three important rules. The first rule is compliments. You need to always start with compliments and stay positive through out the whole peer edit. The second rule is your suggestions to the writer. Again, you need to stay positive. Lastly, the third rule is corrections. You need to be positive and also very specific.

When you start on the second rule, suggestions, you could give the write suggestions on word choice, using more details, their organization, and if their topic matches their writing. You also need to check their sentence structure. Do their sentences run-on? Do they need revisions? When you work on the third rule you need to check for their grammar, sentences, spelling, and punctuation. All in all you need you be specific and positive through out the whole peer edit. Also, remember if someone was peer editing your paper, how would you want them to edit?

Assistive Technologies
I'm pretty excited we got to learn about these. My junior year of high-school I got the opportunity to work with a student who had cerebral palsy. He was wheel-chair bound and had use of his fingers and his arms 50% of the time. He could speak, but it wasnt very fluent. It took a lot out of him to speak as you and I would. He got a text to speech device and it worked miracles for him. He told us he felt much more independent and he cried the day he graduated. I promise there was not a dry eye when he gave a speech to our classroom. He helped me make the decision to become a special education teacher.

I have never seen anything like this device. It offers the student immediate feedback which is very good for students with disabilities. It is a device used for the blind. It is a braille writer that as the student types in braille it writes the braille and also produces an audio of what is being typed. Its also very advanced because it saves, transfers, and receive files to and from computers for the teachers and students. I would like to have this in my classroom, being as I will be a special education teacher. I've never been in contact really with a blind person, let alone a student. I'd really enjoy it though!

Teaching Math to the Blind and iPad for the Blind

In the video Teaching Math to the Blind by Art Karshmer, he tells us the problem with braille and math is that braille is linear. For example the math problem would read 123+4567 to the blind student instead of how we read and see the math problem lined up on top of each other. He invented an easier tool for the blind to do simple to more complex problems. He took small blacks with braille on front of the blocks and also the visible number. You scan a bar code and the box is connected to a computer. It verbally tells the student what number they are on and the problem aloud in case they need verbal assistance also. I would like to have one of these in my classroom. Anything to make the child's learning more adaptable to their disability would be great to have in the classroom.
In the video iPad Uses for the Blind Wesley Majerus demonstrates how a blind student, or blind person in general, would use an iPad in the classroom. Personally, I think iPad should be in all classrooms, especially in classrooms with children who have disabilities. There is a program on the iPad called iHooks. It is a mainstream iReader. Kindles do not have this feature. It not only reads the book aloud but it describes pictures, if there are any. Also, voice over is a feature that is a screen access package that is built in the iPad. Siri, a new feature, I believe could also help.

In Vicki Davis': Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts (4:49) she tells us about how she uses technology in a classroom. She teaches a class much like EDM310 being based on the internet and no, as Dr. Strange says, "burp-back learning". She teaches the students to be self-thinkers. The students also teach each other and help each other as much as possible. Davis does not baby the children. She wants them to be technologically advanced, being as they leave in rural area. Even though she lives in a rural area, she does not let that stop her or her students.

I wasn't aware that other teachers taught this way. I have never encountered a class that was completely taught on the internet, until I got to college. I have heard of Wiki but I have never really used it. I wish I would have had a class such as Mrs. Davis' when I was in middle-school or high-school. I'm going to be teaching special education so I'm probably not going to be able to do a class based of straight technology but I plan to use as much technology as possible in the classroom.