Sunday, July 21, 2013

Blog Post #16

Part 1

Before I took EDM310, I believed the internet could only harm children. EDM310 has taught me that this is not the case. Internet allows students to connect with educators, professional records and other students from around the world.  There are still dangerous sites out there that children should not be exposed to, but teachers having class web sites help with this problem. 

My ideal classroom still uses the same ideas I used in my blog post #1, only broadened. I still want to have plenty of activities for my students to do, just more are technology based. I want all of my students to have a blog that they can write on daily to help with their grammar. There work being publicly displayed will allow them to be proud of the hard work they put into school. There are still many things about technology that I need to learn, but EDM310 has helped me put down a firm foundation for technology.

Part 2

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blog Post #15

iCurio by Haley Torries

Dr. John Strange hosted an interview with Mr. Anthony Capps in July of 2013. Mr. Capps is a third grade teacher at Gulf Shores Elementary. He previously was a lab professional at the University of South Alabama in the EDM310 program. During the interview of iCurio, Mr. Capps explains the  ways iCurio is useful in the classroom.

Student Learning Continuum

What is iCurio and how do you use it?

The iCurio program is a digital curriculum that gives teachers flexibility to develop lessons that meet their students individual needs. This program helps students K-12 improve their achievements. The curriculum aligns with state and Common CORE standards. Students can go into iCurio and search through texts, audios and videos on the internet for educational purposes. There are over 330,000 digital resources on iCurio that are safe for children. Storage space is provided for teachers and their students to store information that they find valuable in iCurio. This tool helps teach virtual organization to students. There is a directional feature setup for historical purposes. This allows the students to put keywords in the search engine and get only results dealing with that subject. The iCurio program was developed to help disabled children as well. If the child is unable to read the materials, then iCurio reads the materials to them.

Discovery Education by Haley Torries

Dr. John Strange continued an interview with Mr. Anthony Capps in July of 2013. Discussed in this interview was Discovery Education. Mr. Capps shared with Dr. Strange how he uses Discovery Education in his classroom and how Discovery Education works with Project Based Learning.
Discovery Education Logo
Discovery Education is a digital media program that brings the world into the classroom and gives students a chance to see new people, places, and events. It is aligned to state standards and custom curriculum can be used. Discovery Education links a visual with the text to help children store information more efficiently. Most knowledge that is needed for research in the science and social studies fields can be found on Discovery Education. Educational videos supply the students with a full description of each subject on Discovery Education. Students use Discovery Education for searching topics while the teacher can use it to compare with the text they are teaching.

Don't Teach Tech - Use It by Haley Torries

Mr. Anthony Capps was interviewed by Dr. John Strange in July of 2013 on the subject of Don't Teach Tech - Use It. Mr. Capps shares with Dr. Strange why it is important for teachers not to teach technology, but allow their students to use technology.

A cartoon computer with a smile.

Dr. Strange asked, “Do you teach technology or do you create a situation that technology can be used in?”

Mr. Capps stated that he allows children to use technology, which is natural for them. Children enjoy using technology to learn or improve their learning experience. Technology should be taught with your curriculum. Whenever a child is out of the classroom, they are constantly around technology. So a classroom without technology would be boring. Mr. Capps introduces technologies one at a time to allow students to become acquainted to the program. He keeps it in the curriculum to allow the students to continue to review the technology. Mr. Capps stated, "Never teach technology, just introduce it smartly." Make sure you always introduce the technology first, therefore, when your students ask you questions about the technology, you understand the questions they are asking. You might not always know the answers to the questions your students have about technology. When a question is asked that you don't know, then work with the students to find the answer. The most important concept about learning is to always ask questions.

iCurio and Discovery Ed by Paula Lu

After watching the conversations between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps, I have learned a couple things. The first thing I learned is that until you use something, you will not know everything it does. While watching the iCurio and Discovery Ed conversations, there were many features of both sites that Dr. Strange did not know about.

After actually hearing someone explain the features of both, I have a better understanding of them. When we first did our blog post on either iCurio or Discovery Ed, I only knew what the site itself said. I actually looked at both before choosing one. There are some really nice features of both.

On iCurio, the content that students are allowed to access has been filtered for educational use. It allows students to search the information they need without being able to access the bad sites. Students can search videos, audios, and images that are related to the ACCRS or other state standards. Another neat feature of iCurio is that it has online storage for students and teachers. It allows students to learn organizational skills. They can make folders and, save and delete material as needed. Another great feature is that the information that students save can be accessed at anytime. They do not have to worry about losing information.

Discovery Education is a site that offers videos and interactive textbooks. It is good for enhancing text during a lesson. It helps students understand as they read text. Students can look up anything in science or social studies.  I think both of these sites are great. I do not think that I would choose one over the other. They both provide different kind content and I think they go well together.

Tips For Teachers by Paula Lu

I also watched the conversation between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps on “Tips For Teachers.” In this video they discuss some things that you should do to be a great educator. The first one is to be a learner. Part of being a teacher is learning. You need to learn how to teach a class. In school you learn how to teach a class but you will not know how to teach one until you start teaching. I think teaching in itself is a learning process. The second tip is being flexible. You should be able to change your plans if needed. You decided your class will do research but the internet is down. How do you work around these issues? At the daycare, I also need to be flexible. The children have play time outside at a certain time everyday, but when it rains unexpectedly or is going to rain, we have to change our schedule  or find other things to keep the kids entertained. I think being flexible is something all teachers need to be able to do because anything can happen at any moment. The third tip is that teaching is hard work, but it can be rewarding. Finding books, games, or anything that you think your students will enjoy is hard work. I think you should always think about your students and being able to see your students improve is a great reward. Tip number 4 is to start with a goal. Everyone needs a goal. If you do not have one, where are you going? A goal is your destination. How are you going to get there. In school, standards are the students goals. They are also your goals to get the students to meet standards. The fifth tip is to engage your students 100%. You need to be able to keep them motivated, interested, and curious in learning. I think this is the hardest part. Finding ways to keep them interested and wanting to learn on their own can be difficult. I think that I believe it is hard because I do not have any experience in it. I do not have enough practice. The last tip was to give the students something to work for. Tell them they have to present it. Show them to have pride in their work. Let them reflect on the project they have done. These were all great tips. It gives me a lot of insight on what to expect when I begin teaching.

iCurio by Kaitlyn Parker

In the icurio video with Anthony and Dr. Strange, they discussed icurio and how Anthony uses it with his third grade students. Anthony mentioned many different reasons why icurio is helpful in the classroom. One reason that stuck out to me is how students can create folders and drop files into the folders to organize their information . After they drop the files into the folders it is automatically saved for them. This is helpful when students have to go to lunch or recess and are not finished with the assignment they are working on. Another reason that Anthony mentioned that caught my attention was the fact that icurio can read information aloud to a student. This is helpful for students learning to read or disabled students. Icurio is like an online search engine that is moderated and controlled for students. This makes the inappropriate garbage unable to be searched or seen on icurio. This is especially important in an elementary classroom.

Discover Ed by Kaitlyn Parker

In the video about Discovery Ed Anthony and Dr. Strange discuss Discovery Ed and how it can be used for project based learning. Anthony uses Discovery Ed to help students see and hear what they have been learning in class. They can search for the topic they are looking for such as plants or bears and the students can see pictures and hear audio to learn more information about that topic.

Additional Thoughts About Lessons by Kaitlyn Parker

In the video Additonal Thoughts About Lessons Anthony explains what he believes a lesson is made up of. He explains that a lesson is four layers thick. The first layer of a lesson is a year. In a year you will you cover your standards. The second layer of a lesson is a unit. A unit is how you are going to organize and teach your information to your students in a organized and well prepared way. The next layer of a lesson is the week. The week is how you are going to divide your week so that every day you can get your information taught and everything done. The fourth and final layer of a lesson is the daily. The daily lesson is just as important as the other three layers and plans. This is how you will deliver to your students. Each daily lesson needs a hook to keep your students engaged. These are the four components to make a lesson. All of these have to be done before you complete on lesson.

I have learned from these conversations with Anthony Capps that there are many different ways for students to search for information. I also learned that their are several ways to keep students away from inappropriate material when searching for information and that the information can be moderated so it is safe for students eyes. I think this is very important for children; especially in a classroom setting. Students should be able to search for the information they need without seeing inappropriate sites or ads popping up on their screens. I plan to try out both icurio and Discovery Ed in my classroom and see how they work for my students.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Blog Post #14

Create a Webpage that Students can access

For this assignment, you will learn how to make a class webpage. This webpage is practice for when you need to make one for your class. Your students will be new at typing and might accidentally type in the wrong word in the URL. Having a class webpage will make it more safe for your students to visit educational sites on the internet. 

To make a Webpage you need to...

  • Go to and click "Get Started Now".
  • Then click the "Make a Free Website" link.
  • Type in your name, your email and make a password 
  • Choose a design for your website.
  • Name your webpage
  • Your webpage is now created!
Be creative to make your webpage more personal. I encourage you to have fun and make a page that is specific to you. Have fun learning! 

This is a cartoon of a child hugging a computer.

My webpage can be located using the link below.

This webpage is still a work in progress for me. I believe it is important for teachers to know how to create a class webpage. There are sites on the internet that young children should not be exposed to. Children are more likely to come across these sites by accident because they are beginners at typing and spelling. Class webpages will lower the odds of this occurring.

C4T Assignment #4

Twitter Webinar with Tom Whitford and Victoria Olsen

In Will Deyamport, lll's blog Peoplegogy, he has a Twitter Webinar with Tom Whitford and Victoria Olson. In this session, he discusses how Twitter works and the advantages to using Twitter in the classroom. This webinar is created using Google + Hangouts On Air.

Dr. Deyamport is the instructional technologist for Hattiesburg, Mississippi public schools. Victoria Olson and Tom Whitford assisted Dr. Deyamport during his Twitter webinar. Mr. Whitford started using Twitter for educational purposes a year ago. He heard other educators discussing it at a technological conference he was attending. After the conference he started following educators on Twitter and continues to find new uses for this social medium. Ms. Olson began tweeting with her colleagues. She then created a separate Twitter account to tweet with parents of her students. She soon discovered that not only her parents were on Twitter, but many other educators use Twitter as well. Dr. Deyamport has used Twitter going on four years and has discovered that Twitter is a great networking tool. He follows many other educators and receives many new educational ideas.

Twitter Wordle for tweets posted by BrianKelly

Dr. Deyamport ask his webinar guests a series of questions.

What is a Personal Learning Network (PLN)?  It is a network that you personalize to meet your criteria. You can continue to add resources expanding on different topics that relates to education. Twitter allows you to follow people from all around the world, adding to your learning experience.

How do you determine who to follow? Ms. Olson was following a couple of educators and saw that one of them had hashtagged ED Chat. She clicked on ED Chat and a huge stream of names appeared on her computer screen. She started to follow the educators that shares her teaching concepts and and now follows hundreds of educators. She follows people who challenge her thinking and give good ideas. She suggests to make sure that the person you're following has more than just one good Tweet. If you don't follow this suggestion your feed will be filled with unwanted information.

What is a hashtag? Hashtags are labels given to Tweets. There are many different hashtags you can create for education. They also allow groups of educators who are interested in the same subjects to chat at scheduled times of the day. Educators can then share their knowledge on personal and educational levels.

How does an administrator share Twitter with the teachers at their school? How can you promote Tweeting and get them involved? Mr. Whitford began by giving his teachers an assignment to use Twitter, encouraging them to log in to a Twitter account. Almost all of his teachers signed up for Twitter, some of them even participating in chats. The teachers had numerous questions about how to use Twitter, so he scheduled staff meetings and computer lab time to answer these questions. Teachers were shown the tools available on Twitter, getting more teachers involved in the process.

How can a teacher encourage other teachers to get on Twitter? Twitter can be challenging for people who are not used to technology or social networks. If this is the case, Ms. Olson usually starts them on a simpler social network. She finds Pinterest the easiest to start people on because it is very visual and user friendly. Sometimes it takes awhile for a teacher to become accustomed to Twitter. Building relationships with other educators is the most time consuming process.
How can you get the most out of Twitter? Twitter is about building relationships and having actual conversations with others in order for them to trust the information you provide. Twitter is an ongoing learning process that you learn at your own pace.
Dr. Will Deyamport, III,

My name is Haley Torries and I am a Student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I did not know how much Twitter could be used in the educational field. After Watching this video, I now understand that Twitter is a great resource for teachers to use for a PLN. Thank you for helping me have a better understanding of Twitter.

Peoplegogy TV: Your One Sentence

Peoplegogy TV is a show dedicated to help educators become their best self, created by Dr. Deyamport. The first episode, Peoplegogy TV: Your One Sentence, is about educators finding the one sentence that states what they are seeking through education. Businesses usually have a sentence or what is known as a mission statement stating what they stand for, while educators usually do not have a mission statement. In this episode, Dr. Deyamport was joined by Jerry Blumentgarten and Jaime Vandergrift.

Ms. Vandergrift wrote a blog post about "Your One Sentence", the inspiration for this first episode. She explains her efforts in figuring out what she really wanted her true self to be. In her blog post, she shares her journey and how she discovered, through her experiences, that it is not about the apps or iPads, but about changing mindsets towards digital tools. Ms. Vandergrift’s sentence is about changing the leadership roles of educators and finding something in them to build their confidence on changing education. As you have experiences, your sentence will change adapting to the person you are becoming. Technology is an ever changing process that allows for continual learning.

Dr. Will Deyamport, III,

I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I enjoyed watching the first episode of Peoplegogy TV. I have never thought about finding a sentence that defines me before watching this episode. I am excited to start the search for my sentence and what I am suppose to do with my life. I can't wait to see what the next episode will cover. 

Project #9 - Final Report on PLN

Haley Torries Symbaloo Account

This is my final PLN update for EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. My personal learning network has helped me have easy access to all of the sites I need. I have added all four teachers that I was assigned for my c4t assignments to my Symbaloo account. I marked them as resources so I can go to the individual post that these teachers make on their blogs. The list of the individual post is located where the Google box is in the image above. I also added four education news sites in the top, right corner of the image; The Learning Network, My Web 4ED, Education News and ISME. These sites help me keep up with the latest news in education. I enjoy using my PLN to learn about education that is occurring across the United States and around the world. I plan on using the Symbaloo EDU when I become a teacher so all of my resources I need in the classroom, will all be on one site. 

Project #12 - SmartBoard Instruction Part B

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Project #15 - PBL Plan #3

Blog Post #13

Jose Antonio Abreu: The El Sistema Music Revolution

TED Talks hosted Jose Antonio Abreu in February, 2009. In Jose Antonio Abreu: The El Sistema music revolution, he discusses his founding, growing and developing the National System of Youth, Children's Orchestra's and Choir's in Venezuela.

The opportunity to become a musician was given to Mr. Abreu by the great support system he had as a child. His dream was to allow all Venezuelan children to have the same opportunity that were given to him. He made his dream come true by allowing all children in Venezuela, no matter their families’ income, to play or sing in his orchestras. All of his hard work has made Venezuela’s music programs top notch. Music is important for children in Venezuela because it helps them learn organization and coordination skills, builds self-esteem and strengthens values that they would not of been able to accomplish without music.

"El Sistema" attended to 300,000 children of the lower and middle class in 2009. This program has made cultural changes and social rescues all over Venezuela. Three fundamental circles are affected by "El Sistema": personal/social circle, family circle and community circle. Music has developed the children's emotional and intellectual side on a personal/social level. Children have increased their self esteem, therefore they do better in school. Achieving the dream of music allows children to know that any dream is possible. Music is the number one prevention against prostitution, violence, bad habits and anything else that degrades the life of a child in Venezuela.

Children playing percussion instruments in the classroom.

I can relate to the “El Sistema” music programs in Venezuela. Since the fifth grade, music has been a major part of my life. Learning how to play the marimba has taught me coordination skills. Playing with music groups has taught me how to work with other people to accomplish a common goal. My self esteem was raised when I played for an audience with a group of musicians for the first time. I plan to give my students in my class the joy of music. Children learn songs on the radio easily because they are having fun while learning all the words to a song. I believe teaching should be just that fun. Music is a great way to teach children hard subjects while having fun.

Kakenya Ntaiya: A girl who demanded school by Paula Lu

From the few TED Talks that I have watched, I have learned many things. From Sugata Mitra’s  “Build a School in the Clouds,” I learned that children are naturally curious and if you ask the right and get them interested they will learn on their own. From Brian Crosby’s “Back to the future,” I learned that learning should be fun and we should be teaching students in a way that they forget that they are even learning. From Sir Ken Robinson’s “The Importance of Creativity,” I learned that creativity is important and aids in making learning fun.

In the video “Kakenya Ntaiya: A Girl Who Demanded School,” I learned that if you are determined, you can reach your goals and dreams. Kakenya Ntaiya is from the Maasai Tribe in Kenya. When she was thirteen, she demanded and made a deal with her father to let her go to high school. She could only go to high school if she would undergo the tradition of female circumcision during a Maasai ceremony. What the people of the tribe did to her could have killed her, but she was lucky. She attended high school and wanted to attend college. She met a boy from her village who had recently returned from college in the United States. She asked him to help her get to college and he did. She applied to Randolph Macon College in Virginia and was accepted. She then had to receive the support of her village to allow her to go and attend college in the United States, which she did. She promised them that she would return and do whatever she could to help the village.

She went on to finish college and return to get her Master’s Degree. While she was in the United States she learned many things about her village that was very wrong and should not be allowed. When she returned from her studies, she remembered her promised and asked the village how she could help. The women of the village wanted to build a school for the girls and the men one for the boys. She agreed to build one for the girls and for the boys, another male college graduate would help them build one. The village was supportive and provided land to help with the construction.

After all was done, she ended up helping and protecting many girls in their village. The girls are happier and safer. She shows that she can accomplish anything as long as she is determined.

I enjoyed watching this video a lot. I grew up in the U.S. where we have toilets, air conditioning, and fast food. I have never been to another country where they did not have those things. I love learning about the environment and living in other places. One of the things I have always wanted to do was go and stay with a tribe or village who do not have the things that the United States does. I want to experience what it is like to not have a bathroom, to not have air conditioning, or fast food, or even ice. I want to make a difference. Maybe I won’t accomplish anything like Kakenya Ntaiya did, but even changing the way we teach is good enough for me.

Shane Koyczan: "To This Day" ... for the bullied and beautiful

Shane Koyczan: "To This Day" ... for the bullied and beautiful is a very dynamic and intense video. Shane Koyczan is a poet. He is so inspiring and has opened my eyes to many things. In this video he points out what it is like to be young and different. This video is a spoken-word poem about bullying. He explains his personal experience with bullying and how it has affected him. The poem shows the effects of bullying, abuse and even depression. He speaks about how children are spoken to and treated in school when it comes to bullying. This poem tackles bullying head on. He says how we are expected to define ourselves at a young age and if we do not define who we are, someone else will do it for us. He says, "They ask us what we wanted to be and told me what not to be." This happens often with young children because people will put down the child's dream and say it is impossible. We should not do this. We should let children dream and encourage them to reach and accomplish their dreams. "Standing up for yourself does not mean we have to embrace violence." I really like this statement. All too often when people think of standing up to bullying they picture fighting and violence, but it does not have to be that way. That is not the only way to stand up for yourself. For example, Shane stood up to someone who was bullying him by giving him the wrong homework answers. Shane Koyczan is an amazing poet. He makes the audience feel what he felt. He has shown the profound and lasting impact bullying can have on an individual. He shows how much of a battle it can be to overcome the emotional scars from bullying.

I think as a future teacher it is imperative to have discussions with my students about bullying. As educators we should reinforce the need to think before speaking, because once you have said something, you cannot take it back. A negative comment could possibly hurt someones feelings or ruin a possible friendship. It is essential for students to know how to do the right thing instead of the wrong thing and how speaking negatively to a peer may affect them. It is substantial that students know that bullying is bad and will not be tolerated at school. They should be educated on the matter. Bullying, whether it be physical or verbal, is not acceptable. Cyber bullying also should not be tolerated. This is something that is becoming more and more common with the increase of children having access to technology. Students should also be told that they can confine in myself as a teacher and all other teachers and adults. It is critical that students know that you are there to do whatever you can to stop bullying and for them to be comfortable coming to you about bullying. Schools should be a bully free zone. Bullying can really affect someone and the effects of bullying can last for a lifetime.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Project #14 - PBL Plan #2

Blog Post #12

Ken Robinson: How to escape education's death valley

Ken Robinson: How to Escape education's death valley is a discussion about the problems with our educational system. Ken Robinson was told that Americans do not understand irony. When he arrived in America 12 years ago, he found out that this is not the case. He knew Americans understood irony when he heard about the legislation "No Child Left Behind". He said this is irony because 60% of children drop out of high school. This does not count the children who are in school and do not enjoy or benefit from it. The United States spend enough money on education and Mr. Robinson believes we are headed in the wrong direction. He stated that we are stuck in believing that teachers must labor and students have to endure.

Mr. Robinson says that the three principles that human life flourishes under is diversity, curiosity and creativity. "No Child Left Behind" is based on conformity and not diversity. This only allows us to find out what kids can do based on a narrow spectrum. This legislation focuses mostly on the standards, which is important but not the only things children need to learn. A well rounded education deals with arts, humanities, physical education and the standards. Over 10% of children are diagnosed with ADHD. Mr. Robinson believes too many children are labeled with this diagnosis that do not suffer from ADHD. If you sit any child down for hours to do work, most will start to get antsy. Arts are important because they deal with parts of children that normally would not be touched otherwise and keep children from building up energy.

Children naturally want to learn. Curiosity allows the child to learn. If a child is interested in learning a subject, then their natural curiosity will foster learning. Curiosity is the engine of achievement. Teachers are what keeps the schools going. Teaching is a creative profession which is achieved by mentally stimulating, provoking and engaging students. Educators, parents, legislators and society should discuss learning rather than education. If learning is not taking place, then there is no education. Standardized testing is important but should not be the main goal of education. These test should support learning, not obstruct it. Instead of encouraging curiosity from our students, America is encouraging compliance with our standardized test.
Humans are naturally creative and unique. People create the lives they chose to live. When people do not like the life they have created for themselves, then they recreate it. We should encourage our students to be creative and different. America has become a culture of standardization.

Image of Death Valley
Death Valley is a very hot place in America where plants rarely grow. This is because it rarely rains. During the winter of 2004, it rained seven inches. Therefore in the Spring of 2005, there were flowers covering the floor of death valley. The flowers eventually died from lack of water. This proves that Death Valley is not dead, just dormant. This is the same with education, it is not dead but just needs some climate control.

My opinion is that students should be encouraged to stay active rather than given medicine for wanting to be active. Medication should be a last resort to a child being overly active. I agree with Ken Robinson's views on education. We should be encouraging learning rather than just education. "No Child Left Behind" focuses on keeping children all at one level. We, educators and society, should encourage children to exceed the standard level of education and focus on advanced learning.

Changing Education Paradigms by Kaitlyn Parker

Sir Ken Robinson is a creativity expert. His video "Changing education paradigms" was a very interesting and controversial video. In the video, Sir Ken Robinson talks mainly about three things; attention deficit hyperactive disorder or ADHD, rising dropout rates, and schools' dwindling stake in the arts. He begins by talking about ADHD. He believes that America is drugging children and saying children have ADHD when most do not. I think he proves a good point. He says we surround our children with computers, iPhones, TV and much more and expect them to go to school and pay attention to the boring stuff. Then, when they do not pay attention in class we assume it is ADHD and automatically put them on prescription drugs for it. According to him people start losing interest and ADHD is more common as you move east across the country. The southern states that surround Alabama are some of these. He calls it a "fictitious epidemic". One thing he says that stuck out to me is that we all have the capacity to be a "genius", but as we age it deteriorates. We have the ability to change even though society has made it this way. We have been told all our school age lives, that the answers are in the back of the book and things of this nature. So because of this we stop challenging ourselves as we age and instead of our intelligence growing, it shrinks. He talks about a study where they took a set of indigo children. Every five years they tested the same children and each time they did their scores were lower than the time before. Another thing he discusses is how most great learning happens in groups and collaboration is great.

I think we can learn from Sir Ken Robinson. We can learn from him to keep our students engaged and be creative in the ways we do this. Creativity and art are great ways to keep children entertained in the classroom. We should discourage the use of ADHD medication and students dropping out of school. We need to encourage our students to grow and want to become better learners. We can learn a lot from him because he shows a different views on problems that our students may face. My eyes are now open to how often ADHD is diagnosed in my area, as well as surrounding states. Sir Ken Robinson pointed out great facts on how it may not always be the correct diagnosis. He showed me that medication is not always the right prescription for someone with ADHD. Maybe that child could benefit from less time spent in front of games and television and more time spent in a classroom where a teacher engages his or her students with creative project based learning.

The Importance of Creativity by Paula Lu

Sir Ken Robinson is a creativity expert. He challenges the way we are educating our children. In his TED Talks lecture “The Importance of Creativity,” he discusses how education is killing creativity. He believes creativity is as important as literacy. He says that in this generation, children are frightened of being wrong and we are the cause of that. It is also the reason that school kills creativity. He says, “If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.”

I completely agree. Kids are scared of being wrong. I am scared of being wrong. All through middle school and high school, I never spoke a word or answered a question because I was always afraid of being wrong. Though that did not stop my creativity, I understand how important creativity can be. For me, art was an outlet. I could not be “wrong” in creativity. Everything that I created or drew was made for me, myself, and I. No one could tell me that I did something wrong. Since creativity is such a big part of me, I want it to be a big part of my future classroom.

Sir Ken Robinson says that we grow out of creativity. In his lecture he quoted Picasso, “All children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.,” and its true. School really does kill creativity and what is worse is the further you get in education, the creativity dies more and more. There is a big difference on how elementary kids are taught compared to college students. Bette Fetter says “Schools are producing test takers, while businesses need thinkers and innovators.”

Sir Ken Robinson says that everywhere you go, art is on the bottom of what I would call the “education food chain.” Which is completely true. When a school is low on funds, what is the subject that gets thrown out first? The arts. Why is that? I understand the importance of Math and Language, but I think art is important too. Why is it that education can not be fun? Why is it so serious. I do not learn that way. Kids do not learn that way. Who really benefits from school?

Sir Ken Robinson has many interesting points and I agree with him completely. I did not realize until now, but this is the reason I wanted to become an educator; to make learning fun.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

C4T Assignment #3


In Mrs. Becky Goerend's blog, Live the Conversation, she shares experiences that she had in her fifth grade classroom near the end of the school year. They were moving on to middle school and were having difficulty staying focused. Her students were more interested in socializing rather than learning. In her blog post, Struggles, she explains how each teacher has different ways with dealing with this problem. She is searching for a way to have her students monitor themselves instead of her being a broken record. She started an experiment with her students in an attempt to turn the responsibility over to them. She states that students at this age are aware of what appropriate behaviors are expected in a classroom and should be able to self monitor themselves.

Mrs. Goerend,
I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I like how you plan to make your students responsible for their actions. Fifth graders are old enough to understand what is expected of them in the classroom. It was hard for me to focus when I was a younger student when everyone around me was socializing. I enjoyed reading your success in your "Turning it over to them - Success in the making!" post. I hope that you continue to find new ways to make learning more successful in your classroom.

Sometimes the struggle is what makes success even sweeter.

Turning it over to them - Success in the making!

In her post, Turning it over to them - Success in the making!, Mrs. Goerend discusses the steps she has taken to try to fix the problems she is having in her classroom. After 2 weeks of hard work, her class is already on the road to improvement. Finding the main problems in her classroom helped her create a plan. Her students were having trouble with staying on task, voice level and treating each other with care and respect. After she identified the problems, she made a rubric, located below, for her class to follow.

Rubric for behavior

Then she identified the times of the day when these problems were the worst. Two students were chosen each day to monitor the class during those times. After the class, the students would decide on a score they would give the class. For the first four days, she averaged the data and showed the class how their behavior was below fifty percent. Their level after the next four days had increased by four percent. Success was starting to show for Mrs. Goerend's fifth grade class.

Hey Ms. Becky Goerend,

My name is Haley Torries and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. All of the struggles that occurred in your classroom happens in most classrooms. The initiative you took to fix the problems in your classroom is amazing. This project turned out to be very effective for your class. I enjoyed learning from your progress in this post.