Sunday, July 21, 2013

Blog Post Assignment #16 Final Reflection

Part 1 Blog Post #16 Final Reflection

"A New Me"

I am so excited to say that I am one step closer to becoming an Elementary teacher. I have become a new me. I can truly say that EDM310 was my source of confirmation. I know now without a doubt that I want to be an educator. I admire the boost of reality I got from EDM310. While looking back at my very first blog post in EDM310 I almost started laughing. I have honestly improved as an overall student during this short Summer semester; all thanks to Dr. Strange's class. I have become a better writer, more open minded, and I love learning. Technology used to intimidate me, now I can happily say, NOT anymore. I have become very technologically literate. I am by no means at my final goal yet as far as being a successful teacher, but I am closer. 

At the beginning of the semester I wanted to teach 2nd grade. I was intimidated by the higher grades, the work load, and more intense work. Now, I really have no preference. I will be happy to teach any grade in the Elementary school. Dr. Strange has taught us to remain open minded and always be willing to LEARN. I am enthused about learning more than I am about teaching. I feel that teaching Elementary Ed I will be learning something new everyday. Especially with technology. There is always something to learn. I have learned to not be afraid of being wrong. Nothing is perfect and some things do fail at times. But it's okay. If we are never wrong and we never fail, how will we learn the right way?
I remember Dr. Strange asking us, "What do we want our students to be able to do"? I replied with a corny, general answer not giving much thought into it at all. Probably not even knowing the answer to be honest. Now I am ready to answer that question again.... I want my students to be willing to teach me just as much as I am willing to teach them. I want them to be able to enjoy a Project Based Learning classroom as I will set up for them. I want to help them successfully set up a blog so they can record their experiences, leanings, and new found resources with their peers. I want my class to be open minded and not intimidated about new things and new ways of learning. 

Another question that Dr. Strange asked is, "What will be my primary way of teaching my students what I want them to know"? Of course, my answer was foolish. I remember saying I wanted my class to use their imagination. Yes, there is nothing wrong with using your imagination. That's what I want from my class but how exactly can I teach them that? So therefore, my new method for teaching my students what I want them to know is none other than Project Based Learning. Project Based Learning leaves so many open doors for creativity. It's a learning process rather than a test at the end of a lesson. It's the answer to what so many teachers are missing in their classroom. And they wonder why grading papers is so boring!?! 

There is so much more that can not be put into words. I wish I could just take a recorder with me in the future in my classroom and let Dr. Strange see the effects that EDM310 has on future educators. But wait! I can! That's the beauty of technology in the 21st century classroom. Goodbye EDM310. It has been a blast. Good luck future students. I hope you learn as much as I did. No More Burp-Back Education!!!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blog Post Assignment #15

What Can We Learn From Anthony Capps?
 by Amber McQueen
 Anthony Capps and Dr. John Strange talk about Project Based Learning


During the iCurio discussion between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps I learned many useful things. iCurio is a organized way for helping students search things on the web. The unique thing about this is that it is monitored and all of the sites have been uploaded by responsible professionals which make iCurio perfect to use inside the classroom. With Google and other search engines you are taking a risk at children having access to inappropriate things on the web. With iCurio you are almost free from that worry. iCurio was designed for all grade levels and is useful for a number of things. There is no limit. If a teacher feels that her class can handle iCurio then it can be used in any grade for any activity. iCurio is such a great resource and tool for organization. In case of an emergency, as Anthony stated, you can easily close down iCurio and all of your searches and work will still be there. This is a great time saver. iCurio is definitely a good resource that I will use in my classroom. From Anthony Capps I learned that iCurio is safe, productive, and it helps make learning fun.

Discovery Education

I love how Anthony Capps starts the video with a friendly quote that I’ve heard many times before. “A picture is worth a thousand words but a video must be worth a million.” This is so true. Discovery Ed is a great tool that carries every subject you can think of. It is a great resource for inside the classroom and is very useful for students as well as teachers. It allows students to search anything and it results with videos and other useful resources to enhance your students search experience. Anthony brings up the fact about it being able to bring experts into the classroom. I think this is awesome. With today’s technology it seems that anything is possible. With the click of a button children can learn many things and be engaged while doing their work. Videos make things much more interesting and they are more productive because they not only give information; they give you a visual of the information to enhance your learning experience. Anthony Capps uses Discovery Ed to bring different texts to life. This is something I wish to do as well.

Dr. Strange’s Tips for Teachers

In this video Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps discuss tips for being a successful teacher. He begins with by saying, “Teachers should also be learners.” I believe in this as well. If you are not willing to learn how can you expect your students to learn? A teacher must also be flexible and creative. Dr. Strange gives the example of Anthony’s class when they could not use their computers because the servers were down. So the whole was on the floor painting. Anthony had to be creative and come up with a backup lesson for that day. As a teacher you can not be committed to one way of teaching and lesson planning. Things are constantly changing. Anthony brings up the fact about teachers being able to reflect on themselves. I believe this is true and needs to be done. Self evaluation is key as well. This is something we all can never get enough of but if we do it often it’ll make our work and the way we learn so much better. I will definitely use these tips while trying to become a successful teacher.

Use Technology Don’t Teach it- by Hannah Still

The video Use Technology Don't Teach It was great! Technology is everywhere and a big part of children's daily lives. Allowing children to use technology in the classroom just enhances their learning experience. Anthony Capps introduces technology in stages. They might not get to the core of a certain piece of technology in one day but they will definitely skim the surface. Technology is an amazing way for children to express themselves and it is also green, mostly affordable, and very shareable. Anthony also emphasized that we should not expect perfection. These children are going to make mistakes because everyone makes mistakes. The most important thing is that we learn from these mistakes. It is also a good idea to try out the technology yourself first. This will make it easier to understand the questions that your students ask. Overall I thought that this a great video that helped me better understand the use of technology in the classroom.

iCurio- by Brittnee Heathcoe

In the video that we were assigned Dr. Strange had a Skype session with Anthony Capps a former EDM310 student. Now Anthony is a teacher in Baldwin County. Dr. Strange asked Anthony if he would describe what iCurio was and how it helps teachers. Anthony responds by saying that it iCurio is an online tool that helps students with four main areas while searching the web. First, it allows students to safely search websites that have been filtered. This means that students can look at different things like texts, videos, and pictures and it is all safe for them to look at. Second, it is a storage unit for kids and adults. It allows students to begin learning how to start organizing. Students can create folders and save things that they are working on. It’s more like virtual organization. What I heard that was really neat was that the kids can make timelines by searching for different things that they are learning. He describes it as a directory feature for historical figures. Anthony also mentions that iCurio can be used for any grade level if the teacher is willing to show the children how to use it. I thought that it was interesting that it has a read aloud feature for anyone that has a disability.

Discovery Education

In the video Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps have a conversation about Discovery Education. Anthony compares Discovery Education to the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” . He says that a video must be worth a million words. Anthony goes on to tell us that whatever kind of text you give a child, you can back it up with a visual. By doing this you will get back more information from the child. You can research anything that is being taught and there will be some type of video that will bring the text to life. Dr. Strange says that he thinks that there are more listeners and watchers than readers and writers. I agree with him. Anthony also informs us that kids live Discovery Education just as much as reading.

Additional Thoughts About Lessons

In the video Dr. Strange has a Skype session with Anthony Capps and they talk about how a teacher should plan their year with the standards, projects and other things that need to be done through the year. Anthony tells us the lessons should be at least four layers thick. The first layer is the Lesson. This is how it fits in with your year. Anthony mentions that you should have a plan and make sure that you fit in all of your standards that you have to teach. Most importantly is that you make sure that you make sure that they each get covered. The second layer is the Unit. You should plan on making sure that you start with a certain aspect and by the end of the unit the students should have complete mastery of the task you have given them. Units are usually 6-8 weeks long. The third layer is the Week. Divide you week up so you make sure that everything is getting done. Make sure that you have your week planned so that you can accomplish your goal that you have set. The last layer is the Daily lesson. It is just as important as the other layers. Find something that can grab a student attention and use it while you are teaching your lesson. At the end of the lesson measure what they have learned that day so you know where to start the next day. These four components make up one lesson and all have to be done to have a successful one.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

C4T #4

John Spencer- Education Rethink

 photo Spencer-whitebackground-1.jpg     For this C4T assignment I was assigned to explore the blog of Mr. John Spencer. "Education Rethink." John is a sixth grade teacher in a urban, Title One school. He uses technology in his classroom with a blended one-to-one approach of Chromebooks, Kindle Fires and iPod Touches. His desire is to engage in an authentic dialogue about meaningful learning for all students. The first post that I read from Mr. Spencer is titled, "Facebook Without The Metrics." I thought this was an interesting title and it gave me a little insight on what the post was about. He started out by saying,"What would Facebook or any social media be like without numbers"? This made me think. I begin to think that if this were so we would really be in big trouble. We never realize how much we need numbers in social media. Such as time, dates, and when things were published. John Spencer says that," I had never realized the emotional side of knowing how many minutes ago a post was or the implied sense of urgency it was creating. I had never considered how the time elements (to the minute) were working to create a gamified experience." I totally agree. I believe that the numbers almost give our brains a sense of closure. Here's my comment:

Hi, my name is Amber McQueen. I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. Wow, I must say your post really intrigued me. I have never looked at Facebook or any social media in that way. I now realize that if we take numbers away we would truly miss them. We don't realize the importance of time and amount on a daily basis. My theory is that it gives our brain a sense of closure. For me, the worse thing to do is wonder. By having that time that something was posted it lets is know the urgency of it. Now, as far as your theory on our own Demetricator in the schools; I would love for you to elaborate more! I am willing to hear more about this. It sounds very interesting. I'm almost sure I would agree with you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

I really admired the second post by Mr. John Spencer. It's title is, "Sometimes the Best Tech is Low-Tech." He really showed his creativity and love for children in this post. It is about showing children that they do not have to use high end technology to get the best that technology has to offer. You can simply use things of a lesser value to have a great experience. It is important that children have a little balance in their life because high end technology will not always be available. They need to learn to explore their minds and be creative. This post by Mr. Spencer really got me thinking. I would love to use this technique not only in my future classroom but also in my future home just as he did. I replied:
 Wow! I think low-tech play is essential for children. I love that idea. You do not need expertise high-end technology to get the most out of technology. There are ways around that such as what you have showed here. As the person stated above, balance is good for a child. They do not always need high-end technology. To be honest it's not always available. So we have to know how to be creative and not be afraid to experiment. Interesting story! I must try this.


Blog Post Assignment #14

Create Your Own Blog Post!

For blog post #14 Dr. Strange is going to let us make our own blog post. I think that's an amazing idea. It'll really spark our creativity and give him ideas as well. I mean that's what our whole class has been about anyway; learning together. Our instructions were to make it something as if he would have and give instructions for it just as he does. So this should be interesting and fun! Here goes.....

  • Create a Google presentation slide
  • Include your likes, dislikes, and why you want to be an Elementary teacher. ( For those who want to become elementary teachers...if not make it according to what you would like to become.) I want to learn about YOU personally!
  • Include visual effects BE CREATIVE! 
  • Also include pictures and embed in your blog
  • HAVE FUN! 

Final Report on PLN Project #9

Personal Learning Network (PLN)

Since my last report I have added another great learning source to my list of helpful things. It's called Symbaloo. I can add all of my other websites to this little tool. Symbaloo is a new way to organize my most used websites. With Symbaloo you never have to type in long web addresses again. Here is a great video to show you how to use it. Symbaloo has each of your favorite web sites that you have added organized into tiles. This is a very helpful technology tool. Especially to a teacher because you can quickly pull up a site for a part of a lesson during class. Let me share with you a few of my favorite sites I have recently added.

First up, is of course my gmail. I use this daily. It is where I can check messages, stay organized, and even create documents on my drive. I can collaborate with others using the Google plus feature as well. I also added my blogger for whenever I felt the need to post on a new experience or share with others helpful resources I have found. Along with that I added the class blog for easy access to new information Dr. Strange has posted.

I have stumbled across another great website from a fellow classmate that I also added to my Symbaloo. It is called Internet 4 Classrooms. Internet 4 Classrooms or I4C is a free website designed to assist anyone who wants to find high-quality, free Internet resources to use in classroom instruction, developing project ideas, reinforcing specific subject matter areas both in the class and at home and even for online technology tutorials. I found this site very useful. I also added my YouTube to the list. Everyone knows how useful YouTube is. I can now easily pull up education videos on the spot in no time.

Lastly, I added the TED talks website to my Symbaloo. I love TED talks because they are so informative. I usually agree with everything those people have to say. Whether they are proposing a new theory or teaching us about science. They have every subject and topic you can think of. I love how Dr. Strange has incorporated TED talks in our classroom. I watch them all the time. This is of course not my last resource I will add to Symbaloo. There will be many more. But for now, if you have never seen Symbaloo, here's what it looks like:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blog Post Assignment #13

Alison Gopnik: What Do Babies Think?
by Amber McQueen
This video is all about babies! It’s my favorite thing to discuss. I love children. Alison Gopnik does a great job explaining her views on how babies think. I agree with mostly everything she says in the video. She starts by saying that 18 month old babies actually learn quicker than we do. A question that she asks is “How do babies learn so much in such a short period of time”? My theory is because they have to! Right? The way they process information is just amazing to me. If we as adults think as babies then maybe we can learn more than we know. She did some tests on children and it showed that they even know how to experiment using hypothesis. They even test them. Children learn the most during childhood through different ways. From experiences and playing they can learn many basic motor and mental skills. Babies learn through all of their senses – touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell. They explore things and want to handle objects and put them in their mouths to learn about them. Babies are constantly taking in information when they are awake, which means that they are learning all the time. I learned from Alison Gopnik’s video that a baby’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s brain. The first three years are of special importance. At this time the brain has the greatest potential for learning. An infant’s brain is like a sponge soaking up everything around them.

Shane Koyczan: To This Day

The video that I chose was To this day by Shane Koyczan. Wow! This is really an amazing video to watch. Shane Koyczan really had a hard childhood all the way until his late teenage years. It’s never nice to pick on people, even though it gets done on a regular basis to people around the world. He was left by his parents at a young age because he was told that he was not wanted. He was raised by his grandma and still picked on in his late teenage years for being overweight. He had to basically bribe people with his knowledge to have friends. Then one day he came to the realization the he didn't need to give people the answers on homework. He gave one boy that called him names a paper that had all the wrong answers and he was happy to outsmart the boy. What can we learn from this video? We can learn that just because you are bullied or you yourself is the bully doesn't mean that you are not worth anything. Ever hear of the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”? This statement is NOT true, words do hurt people and especially children. I work with small kids and no matter what another child has said to them they run and tell on them. Even at a small age kids know when other kids are being mean. This is something I really want to watch for in my future class. I want to be the kind of teacher that the students can trust and wouldn't mind telling me that another child is bullying them. Kids never forget just like Shane has not forgotten to this day.

Arvind Gupta: Turning Trash Into Toys for Learning - Hannah

The video I chose was called Turning Trash into Toys by Arvind Gupta. I enjoyed this speaker very much. The reason that I chose this video was because I work at a Montessori school and one of our beliefs is that we should have toys, which we call work,  made from natural materials. I know many teachers that have made tons of pieces of work out of recycled materials. Arvind Gupta is an amazing toy maker. He has been making toys for the past 30 years. I could not believe some of the toys he made out of just matchsticks, straws, and some tape. He even made an interactive model of the food chain out of just paper. One of Gupta’s goals is to incorporate this toy recycling into the classrooms. Why buy these things when you can make them for a fraction of the cost? One of the things that Gupta said that really stuck with me was, “ children want to make things, children want to do things, “ and he is exactly right. This is an amazing way for teachers to get their students involved in the lessons. Overall I found this video to be informative and inspiring. It really hit close to home. I know that I will definitely be making some of these toys in the near future.

Project #12 Part B

Part B Smartboard


Draw points, lines, line segments, rays, angles (right, acute, obtuse), and perpendicular and parallel lines. Identify these in two-dimensional figures. [4-G1]

Classify two-dimensional figures based on the presence or absence of parallel or perpendicular lines or the presence or absence of angles of a specified size. Recognize right triangles as a category, and identify right triangles. [4-G2]

Recognize a line of symmetry for a two-dimensional figure as a line across the figure such that the figure can be folded along the line into matching parts. Identify line-symmetric figures and draw lines of symmetry. [4-G3]

Project #15

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Project #14

Blog Post Assignment #12

Changing Education Paradigms

by Amber McQueen In the video Changing Education Paradigms Ken Robinson speaks about how he would change the current standing of education. He takes every aspect of education and criticizes it. But in a good way! I must say I totally agree with him. For example, he asked why do we still put children in grades according to their age? Who made up the standard that all children of the same age think the same way? I don't think they do. You think if we put children in grades according to their intellectual progress that there will be no more “failing”? (Such a harsh word.) He brought up the issue about ADHD. Who's to say these children are hyperactive and have a problem? I mean what is normal anyway? Ken says, that we should be waking these children up instead of putting their minds to sleep with all the medicine they have to take. We should be waking them up letting them use what's inside of them. I think it’s a ridiculous situation. To me, changing education paradigms could mean no more standardized tests. As our class motto says, “No more burp-back education.” Our current education standard was designed for its day and age. We are past that now! Most children don't even think the same way as children did 50 years ago. But yet education has not changed. Here is a short question and answer I took from Ken's blog: Why don't we get the best out of people? Sir Ken Robinson argues that, “It's because we've been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers.” This is so true. We train ourselves and our children to be good workers and shun any creativity. Why? Because creative people aren't normal to us? "We are educating people out of their creativity." Ken Robinson.

The Importance of Creativity- Brittnee Heathcoe

In the video The Importance of Creativity we listen to Ken Robinson speak about why he thinks that schools kill creativity. Sir Ken Robinson keeps the audience entertained by telling stories and saying quotes that he had heard or read on somebodies shirt. He tells us that “Education is meant to take you into a future that you can’t grasp.” I think that he is trying to say that no matter how much we learn we will never catch up to all the new advancements that are being made. He even points out that in the future jobs that would normally want a regular degree will start wanting a master degree and where jobs that want a master degree will start wanting something higher. I really like that he thinks that creativity is just as important as literacy and that we should treat them with the same status. The arts are at the bottom when it comes to school, of course the main subjects are at at the top but arts should not be thrown to the side. I enjoyed the part where he said that children that have ADHD could learn through others ways like Gillian Lynne did. When she was young she turned to dance to help her so her mom put her in dance classes after going to a doctor about why she was not doing her work and paying attention in class. In today's society kids would be diagnosed with ADHD and sent home with medicine and that would be it. I really enjoyed Ken Robinson’s video and learned that the arts are really important and shouldn't be tossed aside like they do not matter because they really do.

How to Escape Education’s Death Valley- Hannah Still

I was really excited to watch this video because my friend told me about Ted Talks just two weeks ago. She kept raving about the videos and told me that I have to get on and watch some of them. Well she was right! I have loved most of the videos we have watched in EDM 310 but this one is by far my favorite. Sir Ken Robinson is an educational genius and a brilliant speaker. Robinson said that “children prosper best with a broad curriculum that celebrates their various talents, not just a small range of them.” This statement is huge! One of the reasons that our school systems are so unsuccessful is because we are limiting our curriculum. The school systems have based their curriculum on some cookie cutter imaginary child and geared that curriculum towards every student. We are doing our students a huge injustice. I also really enjoyed Robinson’s views on standardized tests. He thinks that they have a time and a place, like in a doctors office. He said that when he goes the doctor he wants his results to be compared with with everyone else but this is not always appropriate for a school setting. Robinson thinks that we have a lot to learn from other countries that actually have successful educational systems. Those schools focuses are individual teaching and learning, recognizing that it is the students who are learning, realizing that you can't improve education if you don’t get great people to teach, and delegating responsibility to a school level so that we can get the job done. Overall I thought this was an amazing video and I am excited to get more involved in Ted Talks and to see what else Sir Ken Robinson has to offer.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Project #13

Project Based Learning Lesson Plan

Blog Post Assignment #11

Mrs. Cassidy- Technology in the Classroom watching the video about Mrs. Cassidy's use of technology in the classroom I have become very inspired by her. Her approach to technology is a "got get it" type of approach. She is not afraid of exposing her class to new things. During center time in her class she lets her students explore the web and search things to find out what they are. Her class uses Wiki to find out new information. I must say that from the video the children enjoy using Wiki. Although their favorite thing to do is write on their blog. Mrs. Cassidy requires her students to create a blog and write on it everyday. Some of the students confessed to their blog helping with them with their writing. I think this is an amazing idea. These students are so young but they are so technology savvy. I think that is so cool. While watching her video, I noticed the students were saying "the people from Alabama." This was the most adorable thing ever! They were talking about EDM310 students. Dr. Strange requires his students to participate in C4Ks during the semester. C4Ks are comments for kids. 

In my future classroom I think I will enjoy trying out the blog idea. I really think it will improve students writing. I can't imagine any problems that might occur using Mrs. Cassidy's approach to technology in the classroom. Lastly, the benefits of this approach is that students can rely on technology to easily and quickly learn all types of things. By using blogs they can connect with people and build relationships around the world. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

C4T Assignment #3

Ms. Diane Krause

For this C4T I was assigned to view Ms. Diane Krause's blog. Her blog is titled,"Daily Digital Discoveries." She is a teacher who is concerned with constantly finding new tools and objects to better her classroom. I think the name of her blog is so cool and clever. It's like her little journal of discoveries. On the first post I read by Ms. Krause, she found a list of technology tools that she thinks is useful. She put them up on her blog for everyone to explore. As a future educator I found this very exciting. I can tell by reading her blog that she is very intrigued by technology in the 21st century classroom. The list of technology tools that she gave were actually eight education technology books. Here is the link to the website to find the books. Ms. Krause inspires me to become more in-tune to technology in the classroom. Also to go out and find things that'll help improve myself. There are many opportunities and resources out there you just have to find them! Here is the comment I left on her post:

Hello, my name is Amber McQueen. I am an EDM 310 student at the University of South Alabama. My major is Elementary Education. This semester I have been enlightened on many uses of technology and have become very excited about using it in my future classroom. The last thing I want to become is a mediocre educator. I find that this list of tools you have given will be very helpful. I am grateful to have some new tools and ideas. I can’t wait to dig into these books! second post I read by Ms. Krause is titled,"The world's largest repository for free online learning tutorials." In this post Ms. Krause listed every blog post that has a video tutorial that shows how to create something related to online learning. Here is the link for that. I found this very useful. The second part of her post is titled,"How to address negative student behavior in the one to one classroom." I have never heard of this topic before but I found it interesting. I am ready to learn more about it. Here is the comment I left on this post: 

Hello again,
I must say I found this post interesting. I admire how you post all sorts of useful things for teachers and future teachers like myself. Tutorials have become so popular around the web. Especially on YouTube which are my favorites. These educational tutorials will become very useful. Secondly, I also feel that technology is going to revolutionize the classroom. To be honest it already has. I am very interested to read more about your views on the negative aspects of the one to one classroom. Thanks for sharing.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blog Post 10

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?

How to Achieve Your Dreams...
Let me start off by saying that Randy Pausch was an amazing man with outstanding characteristics. He was a professor at Carnegie-Mellon University. Dr. Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was told he only had a few months left of good health. He gave his "last lecture" at Carnegie -Mellon in 2007. He shortly died in September 2008.

Randy Pausch teaches us that there are key elements to learning. I learned that it is important to have fun. A memorable quote that Randy left is "There is nothing like watching kids have fun learning something hard." I love this quote. As a future educator I will definitely keep this in mind. Another key element to learning is to never give up, according to Randy. While learning or even teaching something difficult, you may want to give up. It is important that you don't. Treat others right. This is a sure way to ensure that you will always have people willing to help you. He tells us to tell the truth, be earnest, and apologize when you mess up. Randy Pausch's humbleness really touched my heart. He brought out a huge birthday cake for his wife even though it was his last lecture and things were "supposed" to be about him. He was upset that she hadn't had a proper birthday the day before I guess, according to him being so busy with things.
My favorite analogy that Dr. Pausch uses is that of the "brick wall." The brick wall represents a reality check in some sort. Once you start following your dreams and achieving your goals you will hit a brick wall. This will separate the real goal achievers from the fake ones. The real ones will never give up and do what it takes to achieve that goal. The brick wall will not stop them. 

So, what can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch? We can learn that teaching is all about learning. You will never stop learning. Some important advice from Pausch is to be good at'll make you valuable. Also, "Don't complain...just work harder." During his speech he gives us something called a "head fake." In my opinion a head fake is saying one thing but meaning another. You know, just to grab your attention. He goes through the whole lecture kind of avoiding what head fake really is. All we know that there is one. At the end, he tells us that this speech really isn't about how to achieve your dreams. It's about how to live your life and I can really understand what he meant by this. How to live your life in the most positive and productive way. There were two head fakes actually.  The second one was that this speech wasn't for us; it was for his children. That took the cake for me. RIP Randy Pausch.

Green Screen Movie Project 10- Star Teachers

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blog Post #8


Mr. Paul Anderson is a science teacher in Bozeman, MT.  He has created hundreds of science videos that have been viewed millions of times by students and teachers around the world. His blog is titled “Bozemanscience.” Coincidentally, I subscribed to his YouTube channel a while back before even knowing he would be apart of my next blog post! Mr. Anderson is a teacher that I admire. He is always learning and sharing new things. What can I learn about teaching and learning from him? First of all, I can learn that teaching can be fun and there is nothing wrong with learning with your students. This video, "Blended learning cycle," describes that in every way. Blended learning cycle is taking mobile, online, and the classroom and blending them together. Using them all as ways to have a more productive experience. In the learning cycle students are able to explore, explain, engage, expand and evaluate all within the classroom. Paul Anderson explains the importance of questions. He says that questions are something like the hook in learning. This means to ask questions that grab the students attention. Something that stimulates them to think deeper. He uses different types of technology to engage in the blended learning cycle. I learned from Paul Anderson an amazing skill to use in my future classroom. That is, how to use the blended learning cycle.

   “Back to the Future”- Brittnee

Mr. Brian Crosby an Elementary teacher at Agnes Risley Elementary School in Sparks Nevada, has came up with some great ways enhance his classroom. Every student in his classroom has access to a computer at their desk. He has each student create a blog, thus making them think “outside the box”. He gives a lesson and either makes them take pictures or video of what they learned and then embed it in their blog. Crosby teaches them active learning and in the video Back to the Future he shows us that learning doesn't have to be boring. We can learn from him that keeping a blog and sharing it to teachers and students around the world can help engage students and keep them wanting to learn. This video has taught me that even though it is just an elementary class doesn't make them any less important to the way we are teaching and learning. All these projects that he does in his classroom helps to empower, connect, collaborate, motivate, and include children. Something else in his video that I can learn from is when he talked about the student with Leukemia and how he connects with her every morning  by using Skype to let her be a part of the class. It has never crossed my mind of what I should do if I were in that position. He mentioned two different sites that can help him one site is and the other is I have learned some very valuable things from Mr. Crosby and I would use his example in my future classroom.

Mr. Mark Church is a teacher that promotes visible thinking. Visible thinking is a research- based approach to learning and something that we as future teachers should know about. One of its main goals is to deepen content learning. Getting children to think out loud and in a group is one of the ways that Mark Church shows visible thinking in this video. He wants to get children involved in the subject matter and wants them to care about what they are learning. Visible thinking is about creativity and the strive for knowledge. This is a way to encourage your students to be the best learners that they can be. Visible thinking is something that I had honestly never heard of. I think that Mark Church's book, Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners, would be a very good purchase for those trying to better the overall learning and thinking atmosphere in their classroom. I cannot wait to learn more about it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

C4T Assignment #2

C4T #2 Mrs. G

For my C4T #2 I was assigned to view the blog of Mrs. Goerend; better known as Mrs. G. She is a fifth grade teacher at an Elementary school. Her first post titled "Struggles," explains the difficulty of having her class focus on learning rather than being so social.She writes this post during spring. The school is nearing spring break. Her class is about to move on to middle school and she explains the struggle she is having.Although her class is excited to be moving on to middle school and being on summer break, it is also important for them to continue learning! I can truly relate to what she is saying. Mrs. G is considering coming up with a strategy to help her class. The key element is to not yell at the class or sound like a broken record at the end of the day. This is the comment I left her:

"Mrs. Goerend,
This post really hits home for me. While reading it I remember going through some of the same things while in elementary school. You wouldn't believe some of the ridiculous things teachers come up with to make their class "act better," or listen to them. I remember one teacher who turned the lights off and on over and over just to attempt to make us listen to her. Yes, you are right. At the end of the day most teachers do sound like broken records and the class really won't listen then. I am so interested to know how this turned out. I'm sure you came up with something great. It may even be something I can use in my future classroom."
Amber McQueen, EDM310 at the University of South Alabama.

The interesting thing about Mrs. G's blog is that she follows up with the strategy she came up with. This is her second post. In this post she answers her own questions and has found a strategy that'll help her class focus on curriculum rather than being social. First of all she identified as a class the three main behavior areas they struggle in: on task, voice level, and caring/respect toward others. Here's the strategy she came up with: 

  • I divided the class into three groups and they each started with what a secure classroom might look like, then went up from there for exceeding and down for beginning and developing.
  • Then we came back together as a class to share out and make sure the language and numbers matched up for the whole rubric. We identified the 3 key times in the day that students struggle most: math, Words Their Way, and independent reading.

4) I chose two students per day to assess the class during those times. Those two students had a quick discussion after each of those subject areas, came to an agreement on how to score the class, and reported their assessment to the class. We did this for four days and then looked at the data and set a goal.

5) I compiled the data by assigning one point to a beginning score, up to 4 points for an exceeding score. The first four days, students scored 65/144. Many were able to see that it was below 50%, and that an average of 50% would be all developing scores. Then we set a goal for the next four days. The class agreed that we should shoot for 50%, so 72/144. Different students continued to assess and report to the class each day.

6) At the end of the four days (yesterday), I compiled the rubrics again. Good news! They exceeded their goal! They got 78/144 - 54%! We set a new goal for next 5 days. Students decided on this goal and are aiming for a little above 50%. We'll see how it continues.

I really admired Mrs. G's compassion and care for her class. I knew this strategy would work just fine for her and the class. Here's my comment I left on her post:


My name is Amber McQueen and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed your post and I found that the three main areas of struggle were right on point. This project seemed very helpful to your class. It taught them many things. I enjoy picking up skills for my future classroom. Great post.

1st Progress Report PLN

1st Progress Report

So far, this semester in EDM310 I have learned many useful things. From using Mac book computers, writing and creating my own blog (which I am proud of), and becoming more in tuned with why I want to be a teacher. This semester Dr. Strange has given numerous useful sites to help us with our assignments. One that stands out to me is the Wolfram Alpha site. Wolfram Alpha allows you to search anything you want and it will provide you with definitions, related things, and even pictures and examples. I use this site regularly. It's a little more concentrated than the broad use of Google.  Also, I have learned to love everything that Google has to offer. Including gmail, drive, and Hangout. Hangout allows you to connect with not only classmates but everyone around the world. It's a sure way to discuss educational topics, learn more, and build relationships. We are almost complete with this class and I am continuously learning. 

Blog Post #9

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blog Post #7

Amber McQueen-
BAT Keyboard by Infogrip

Infogrip's BAT Keyboard is a one-handed, compact input device that replicates all the functions of a full-size keyboard, but with greater efficiency and convenience. The BAT is easy to learn and use. Letters, numbers, commands and macros are simple key combinations, "chords," that you can master in no time. Best of all the BAT's unique ergonomic design reduces hand strain and fatigue for greater comfort and productivity. The BAT is the ultimate typing solution for persons with physical or visual impairments and is proven to increase productivity when used with graphic or desktop publishing software.

What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher? (Select a few and discuss how they may be useful to you.) -Hannah

Many children in the United States suffer from some form of communication impairment. It is my job, as a teacher, to provide them with some sort of way to better communicate. I have done the research and there are many devices that would aid in the this. My favorite one that I came across was the Nova Chat. The Nova Chat is used by people who have ALS, Autism, Down-Syndrome, and Parkinson's disease. From the outside it looks somewhat like a heavy- duty ipad. It is actually a device made specifically for children and adults with hearing or communication impairments. All you have to do is find the button that best represents what you are trying to say and push it. Nova Chat gives you the option to communicate using simple words, phrases, or even pictures. One thing that I thought was really neat is that on the Nova Chat you can use different voices to communicate. A few of the options would be a child's voice or even a British voice. The Nova Chat is also now available to communicate in Spanish. I was not completely sold on this device until I saw the video Julia Using Her ALT- Chat device. Nova Chat is a device that I would definitely want to use in my classroom.

FM Systems- Brittnee

Students with hearing problems in a quiet environment can hear really well, but putting them in an environment that is really loud changes everything. Students that are hard of hearing use many different devices, but the one that I found that could help students would be the FM Systems . Kids of all ages can use these devices, because when they enter a classroom with all sorts of different noises their hearing becomes muffled and they have a hard time making out what is being said by the teacher. FM Systems are devices that uses  radio transmission to send auditory signals. This device is wireless, portable and battery operated. While the teacher is giving a lesson or talking they will have a microphone attached to a transmitter that is hooked to their body and as they talk the student will have a receiver connected to their clothing or an input cable or by connecting it to the actual hearing aid itself. I found that students will be able to hear a speaker from either 30 ft-200 ft depending on the power of the antenna. According to the  American Speech- Language hearing association they describe they FM Systems as being like miniature radio stations operating on special frequencies. These devices can be used anywhere that has too many loud noises. Ex. movie theatre, restaurants, or even in church.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Project #8

My book Trailer for "Sue likes Blue" by Barbara Gregorich Directed by Amber McQueen

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blog Post #6

What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?

    "Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom," by Maryellen Weimer, Phd. While reading this blog post I discovered three intriguing tactics to follow while trying to improve your question asking skills. Most teachers do not realize that the way they ask questions to their students can really confuse them. Especially if the subject at hand was already confusing.   Do you want your teaching to be in vein? Well, if not follow these three ways to improve your question asking skills.

  1. Prepare your questions. Most teachers never prepare the questions that they are going to ask their class. They usually go off of impulse. Well there is a better way to do this. By preparing your questions before hand you have plenty of time to think them out. You will realize they will make more sense also. You should want your questions to help improve your students thinking, not quiz them with hard questions about what you just taught. A sure way to tell if you are not asking the right type of questions to your class is if no one answers it! 

2. Play with questions. Questions are most powerful in that space between the question and the answer. Playing with questions means to leave it unanswered for a while, then giving your students stimulating things to think about before answering it. This will help keep them thinking. This may also give them extra time to write down ideas and possibly their response to talk it over with other students. A good way to get the best answer is to ask the question at the beginning of the period and return to it close to the end of the period. 

3. Preserve the good questions. Your best questions may be kept. A lot of times they can be revised and saved to ensure it's a quality question. Whenever a student asks a good question you should always save it. Bringing up in class good questions that students have asked previously gives them a sense of value and that their question was important. The goal is to have students possibly start asking better questions; even ones teachers can't answer. Always remember, the only bad question is the one not asked!