Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blog Post 5 Part 2 PLN Summary

Over the semester I have expanded a little on my PLN. For example, I have expanded my search on twitter and have developed a list of material to read on the different subjects I'm interested in. Also, I have saved websites such as a blog,, focusing on literary theory to my bookmarks tab on my computer. I have been looking up specific authors to read and blogs to follow concerning literary theory. These tools and sources have helped me learn a little more about the topic that started my PLN. However, there are other topics I have become interested in and have used youtube and pandora to help learn a different language. For youtube, I try to watch various videos that offer exposure to French. Also, I listen to popular French singers on a pandora radio application to get used to hearing the language. Overall, my PLN started off with literary theory sources and tools and now includes learning a different language and keeping up with other topics I'm a little interested in.

A group of blind folded individuals touch a different part of an elephant that makes them come up with different things it is.

Summary Post C4T #4

I commented on Angel Maiers' blog. The two posts I focused on was "Student Geniuses Stand Up in Grand Island" and "The Sandbox Manifesto". The second one focused on a program for students that allowed them to work and change the world around them. The program did not discriminate against students with low scores and allowed whoever wanted to to participate. I commented that I liked the program and that it encouraged students to look beyond their test scores. Many students seem to feel that test scores are the only way to see if they are smart or not and thinking like this leads to many bright students giving up. The second article is a list of how some lessons learned in the sandbox can be applied to adult life. I focused on one that stated that sometimes we need to realize that we are holding ourselves back. I really think this can be applied to many college students who give up or drop out because they think they cannot do it. In reality, many of these students are more than capable to handle the course work if they would stop limiting themselves.

Students are working together.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

C4K Summary for November

1. Briann
2. Amira
3. Emma

The first blog I commented on for November was Briann who wrote a scary story about a girl basically trapped in a time loop. It started with a girl walking through the woods and coming upon a stranger who kills her. It repeats until the killer is revealed to be her. So, it involved alternated time lines and time travel and actually freaked me out for a few seconds. I commented that he had a good Halloween story and did a good job describing the woods the girl was lost in.

The second blog I commented on was Amira who gave instructions on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It was a basic step-by-step instruction guide. I told her that she wrote it very clearly and was a good example of how to write instructions on a step-by-step format.

The last blog I was able to read was by Emma who is in middle school. Emma's blog was a reflection on what she has learned so far throughout the semester and what she enjoys about middle school. Her main focus was on her improvement in reading and writing. She really expressed how proud she was that she improved in her topics. Also, she stated that she liked being able to change classes in middle school. Her blog ended with a list of goals for the next semester. I commented that I was glad she enjoyed middle school and that I also liked reading and writing. I closed the comment by wishing her luck with her goals for the nest semester.

A list of top ten books every middle schooler should read.

Blog Post 14

Teaching Can Be a Profession by Joel Klein
Problems and Solutions
1. Klein calls for a knowledge-based education beginning before age 5.
2. Make teaching a profession by better academic training, recruiting from the top third of classes, and rewarding excellence instead of seniority. Also, he suggests that giving teachers standards to meet such as entrance exams would turn it to a more professional occupation.

I agree with some of Klein's arguments,however, I'm not sure about the first on the list. I think that children should be continuously taught throughout their lives; however, I do not think that putting children younger than five in many classes or programs is a good idea. The time from birth to five years of age is very important for education, according to However, this time is important also to allow children to play and explore."Research News You Can Use: Pretend Play Is Important But Its Role in Learning is Complex" by Kyle Snow, Ph.D, at explains that children have to have a mix of instruction and play to allow healthy development. If Klein is talking about knowledge-based learning for young children balanced with play, then I agree with his stance. However, I do not think that children should have a rigid instruction program because it'll only prove harmful in the future.

Klein's next stance is to make teaching more of a limited profession than something everyone can do. In his article, "Teaching Can Be a Profession, Klein states that teaching has become something that the attitude towards teaching has been "anyone with a college degree can be a teacher" and that it needs to change. I agree that teacher programs should be more selective in students who can be teachers because teaching is a very important job that has been disregarded for a long time in our country. Teachers are not the glorified babysitters that many individuals think they are. Teachers are preparing the individuals that will one day run the country. However, by experiences in my own life I can tell that no one really sees this importance. For example, ever since I started the education program I've been told by multiple people that I was making a mistake by becoming a teacher. I was wasting my talent and settling for a future in a low-income job because of my choice. An article from education provides examples of how teacher selection in the United States is different than that of more educational successful countries. The article discusses that teachers are the key factor in improving a failing a system. So, I agree with Klein's argument that teaching needs to become more selective on who can teach. I also think that teachers should be continuously exposed to new ways of teaching and instructed in those new practices.

Klein has some really good points in his article regarding early education and how to improve teachers. I agree with many of his ideas and solutions. However, I do think that early education has to be handed with care so that young children do not start stressing over their education before they even start kindergarten.
Teachers plant seeds of knowledge that grow forever.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Blog Post 13

Driving Question: How will you keep students engaged using technology in your classroom?
1. State the subject you are planning to teach, and provide five examples of activities that you could do that relates to the subject you are teaching and keeps students engaged.

I am planning on teaching English at a high school level. The five ways I plan on keeping my students engaged using technology includes interactive smart board presentations, webquests, using interactive literature using iPads, enable students to use various programs for projects, and blogs.

1. Interactive Smart Board Presentations
As we learned in project 12b, smartboards have certain programs that allow students to move words, reveal answers, and other ways to learn using programs like that. In my classroom, I would use this especially when introducing students to different grammar concepts. For instance, if I was introducing my students to different sentence structures, I would use the smart board to have different sentences on the slide and the name of those types of structures in a word bank. To get the students engaged, I would ask for a volunteer to come up and drag the correct label to the matching sentence structure. This would allow students to be active in their learning and make it a group effort since other students would label the other sentences.
2. Web quests
A web quest is a research program that lets students explore certain topics or concepts by asking questions or requiring the students to complete tasks. The end result can lead to a one page document or multi pages. I would probably use this tool when discussing themes in a book. Allowing students to explore something will let have a deeper understanding of the topic and let them take their learning into their own hands. Basically, the students become responsible for what their own education. Another example of a web quest can be found at
3. Interactive Books on iPads
Using iPads while reading will allow students to highlight, look up words, and take notes all while using a tool they are familiar with. I think this will be useful because the students won't have to wait for the teacher to go over something they don't understand. They will be able to simply open up a window on the iPad and search it themselves. Also, they will be able to look up words they didn't know before.
4. Projects
Using projects that require technology beyond the typical research and presentation can really help engage students in the lesson. For example, students could remake a scene from a book using iMovie, but instead of a straight rehashing of the book, students can add their own elements to the story. They can do a scene from Hamlet and change the setting, time, or genders of the characters. Students would be able to explore different programs and have a clearer understanding of the characters in the story.
5. Blogs
I think blogs can be really helpful in writing instruction and reflecting on the text being read in class. Teachers can manage students' writing abilities and understanding of the text. Also, students will be able to explore, through writing, their own thoughts on the topics in class and what they learn. Giving students an outlet to express themselves can result in a clearer understanding and a deeper interest in the class.

Students in a group working with iPads.