Sunday, December 8, 2013

Blog Post #16!

In my first post I talked about my dream classroom and the type of teacher I want to be. My ideal classroom would be full of 3rd grade students who feel completely at home. I want to have a classroom where we learn for the sake of learning. When I say we, I mean my students and myself. I want to be a lifelong learner and that's what I want to inspire my students to be. I also believe in project based learning and using technology as often as possible in the classroom. Those are definitely two things you will see in my teaching strategies.

I want my classroom to be a safe place for my students. I want to teach them and show them that they are special and capable. I will not tolerate bullying of any kind in my room. We will be friends. All of us. I want to create a safe haven for those students who do not have it at home. I want them to know that inside those walls they can be anyone and anything they can imagine. It's true not every student is the same and they all won't succeed equally; even though not every student can be President of the United States, shouldn't we teach them all like they can? We should instill in our students a love for learning. They should read because they love it. Students should enjoy math and science. We as educators have a responsibility to give our students inspiration. Some teachers inspire their students to be teacher, some to be doctors, some to drop out! I want to inspire my students to be learners.

Why should we be lifelong learners? Well, that's easy. Being a lifelong learner means that when our society advances, we do to or when we are faced with a problem that we don't know the answer to we find it. Until this class I had never heard the term lifelong learner. Honestly, I had never even given the concept much thought but being a lifelong learner is an essential component of being successful.We have to be able to expand our knowledge at any time. We need to be able to be flexible and adapt to the world around us. I feel that another part of my job as a teacher is to create successful people not just 3rd grade students. In my ideal classroom all of my students will want to learn and will be prepared for life as lifelong learners.

involve me and I learn
Every aspect of my classroom will be interactive. The best way to learn is by doing or seeing and that's what I want in my classroom. In my dream classroom I would have access to everything I need to help my students interact with their learning. To have hands on experiences and see every concept in action. If we can't recreate it I want them to be able to watch it happen. I want SMARTboards and projectors, iPads for every student, blogs and every item needed to any type of experiment.

The concept of my dream classroom hasn't really changed from then to now. All the of the things I've learned through this have only reinforced the ideas I had. The only thing that has changed is the emphasis I will put on technology and project based learning. I didn't realize before how much can be done in an elementary school classroom with project based learning.Project Based Learning Part 1 and Project Based Learning Part 2 are two interviews with Anthony Capps. In these interviews Anthony talks about his use of project based learning in his third grade classroom. These videos really helped me realize how much I will be able to incorporate the concept into my own classrooms one day. Also, in the videos iCurio and Discovery Ed Anthony talks about the benefits of each website. These videos helped me see how much technology could help me in my classroom, even if I don't have access to a SMARTboard or iPads.

My overall thought process about technology in the elementary school classroom has changed. I realize now that anything is possible. You just have to think, dig deep and research. There are so many options out there for every teacher, every lesson and every student.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Blog Post #15!

Group Pissarro:
Jordan Neely, Kaley McDonald, and Brooklyn Rowland

Assistive Technology can help children with learning disabilities find their strengths and work around their specific learning problems. It can provide both routine and access to curriculum in the classroom. Assistive technologists use their tools to extend students' physical and social abilities. These tools help “assist” students with interactions and learning in the classroom environment. Technology in this century is changing the methods in which teachers instruct students and is changing the way the students learn. School districts are required to offer appropriate assistive technology to students with disabilities. The selection of the right device is influenced by the abilities of the student, their family’s culture and value system, the environment in which the technology is used, and previous experiences with devices and strategies. Thorough assessment needs to be done on children in order to decide what devices must be chosen. It is important to have a combination of strategies that will work for a particular student because a single solution will not meet all the needs of the student. Some things to consider would be the following:
-The abilities of a child; his/or interests and preferences
-Family culture and value system
-The environment it will be used in
-The functional tasks for participating in daily routines
-Available materials and technologies
-The barriers of his/her participation
-Ongoing intervention and evaluation

Assistive Technology should be used to help the student academically and should also assist in meeting their personal goals. The student needs to work with their parents teacher, all working together as a team, to monitor the assistive technology that has been chosen. If a device stops meeting the student’s needs, it should be abandoned and replaced with a different method.

In the video, Assistive Technology, Kathy is a special education teacher and she tells how she uses technology in her classroom. Students who can hear and understand, but don’t have the ability express what they want or not, use the “Text-Speak” tool. It is software that has different pictures of phrases they want to verbalize, and pictures of choices they would want to voice. They also use a numerous amount of sign language in their classroom and they also play videos of sign language lessons. Another device they use is “Partner Four," which has four blocks that speak out loud, and it also speaks out simple responses, such as “yes," “no," or “I’m all done." The teacher can reprogram the four squares to say whatever she desires and show students which block represents what.

The next video is Assistive Technology: Powerful Solutions for Success preview , which expresses how teachers are exploring technology in their classroom in order to reach, influence, and inspire their students. Technology can make the difference in a child’s life with disabilities. Assistive technology is the use of devices that increase the capabilities for students with disabilities. It is important for teachers to provide different options for acquiring information and different ways that allow students to express what they are learning. Some students more equipped in the practice of typing since they do not have to focus on paper and pencil. Many students have problems with spelling, so the “AlphaSmart” allows students to choose the correct spelling. “Ginger Software” is a new program that is designed to correct common spelling errors that students with dyslexia tend to make.

The next video is Assistive Technology in Action - Meet Mason . Mason is a first grader who enjoys music and playing the Wii. He is blind in his left eye and he is partially blind in his right eye. Mason is a normal child, but he is required to adapt and be accommodated for in order to learn. In the classroom, Mason uses a device, called the Malpatton, for writing activities. When he types, it tells him what letter he is typing. He uses an iPad at school, which assists in displaying larger letters and other eye sight accommodations, and at home for educational games and activities. Mason also uses the SMARTboard at school; it is great for him because things are displayed big and the contrast on it is easier for him to use and see as well. Technology is constantly changing. Mason will be introduced to new technology throughout his lifetime, but it is evident that he will be prepared to adapt to any type of new situation.

Dell has a video that talks about technology and students with disabilities. Students that are more comfortable learning through technology can still learn social skills by interacting with the computer screen. Whether it is smart phones, iPads, or laptops, technology can make a huge difference in a child’s life. With this current population, we are required to make learning all about engagement. Moving a mouse, or moving a finger on a track pad, can be difficult for the disabled, so finding the right device for an individual is about trial and error. People with disabilities often also have problems expressing their emotions, of which technology can aid them in overcoming.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

PLN Final Summary!

I used NetVibes for my PLN. I love it. It's still a work in progress and I'm still learning but it has been very helpful. It helps me to stay organized and remember sites and things I want to do. It's something I will definitely continue to use throughout my education and career.


Liz B. Davis

C4T #1!

Resistance is Futile... Managing Resistance to Change

This post by Mrs. Davis is about changing. It is a list of tips and tricks she uses to help people to go through and cope with change. She says you should celebrate the small victories! You should empathize with the difficulties and always understand that not all change is completely effective. She finishes her post by asking what strategies we use to help people change?

My comment:
Hi Mrs. Davis. My name is Brooklyn Rowland and I am an Elementary Education major at the University of South Alabama. I am currently taking EDM 310 with Dr. John Strange. I want to start by saying thank you for the tips you have given in this blog. I have very much enjoyed reading all of your posts. I myself have a definite resistance to change even when I know it is in my best interest. It's just something I have always struggled with. I am working on being more open to different things. It's a work in progress. I'm sure that as a teacher I will face the same opposition I sometimes feel with my students. Change is just not something people are comfortable with. I do however think that your tips will help tremendously in my future classroom.

To answer your question about the strategies that I use to help people adapt and accept change, I like to use a variety of techniques on others and myself. I think positive reinforcement and repetition are the keys to change. No one wants to continue something difficult if no one has noticed or acknowledged their progression and successes. Practice makes perfect and if you work at it long enough and do it enough times it will become second nature.

Thanks again,
Brooklyn Rowland

C4T #2!
A Design Thinking Approach to Digital Citizenship

This post is about Design Thinking which is a problem solving method that is used by many people all over the world to come up with new ideas. Mrs. Davis shares her lesson plan that incorporates the method of design thinking. It's a lesson for 7th graders on cyber bullying. 

My comment:

Hi Mrs. Davis. My name is Brooklyn Rowland and I am an Elementary Education major at the University of South Alabama. I am currently taking EDM 310 with Dr. John Strange. 

Thank you for sharing your lesson plan and ideas. I think it is very important for teachers to share what they know so that we can all grow and learn. I love this process. I think it's something I will definitely do more research on and attempt to incorporate in my teaching strategies. Cyber bullying is such a great topic to use as well, since it is such an issue. Thank you again for your post! 

Brooklyn Rowland

C4K November Summary

C4K #1! 

I was assigned Ata was is a 6th grade student at Pt. England School in Auckland New Zealand. She is Mr. Marks class. Ata wrote a story about a boy named Bill who continued to hear strange noises. He was scared because someone was talking to him in the dark but it didn't know who it was. He finally laid down in front of a barn and fell asleep. When he woke up  he heard the voice again. He turned around to find his little brother Toby had been messing with him the entire time! 

My comment:

Hi Ata! My name is Brooklyn and I am from Mobile, Alabama, United States! This is a pretty scary story. I bet Bill was pretty scared. Would you be scared? I know I would. I do not like to go outside alone when it's dark. I would definitely be scared if someone said my name and I could not see them. Did you write this story? It's very good. If you did write it you should keep writing. You did a great job.
Brooklyn Rowland's EDM 310 Class Blog

Project #12B!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Post #13!

Kakenya Ntaiya: A girl who demanded school
Brooklyn Rowland

In this video Kakenya Ntaiya tells her life story. She is a member of the Maasai tribe in Africa. She has grown up in a world where women and men are not equal. Men are able to go to school and men own all property. Her father worked as a police officer and would only come home once a year. Her mother tended to the home and children, milked the cows, took car of the pigs, grew the crops, all to feed the family. When Ntaiya's father would come home he would sell all the crops, cows and pigs that her mother had worked so hard to take care of. Why? Because they belonged to him, not her. Ntaiya went to school until she was in the 8th grade, at that point she was to undergo a ceremony is which she would be officially a woman. After the ceremony she was supposed to marry the boy that she had been engaged to since she was 5 years old. This did not work for her because she had dreams of becoming a teacher. Once she was married though she would no longer be able to attend school. Ntaiya went to her father. She basically gave him an ultimatum. She would go through the ceremony and after return to high school, or she would run away and would not participate in the ceremony. Her father eagerly agreed to allow her to return to school because having a child that did not complete the ceremony was something that would shame him for the rest of his life. So, Ntaiya went through with the ceremony which was a female circumcision. After she was healed she went back to school. While in high school she met a boy who attended school in Oregon. She enlisted his help in getting into a school into the United States. She was accepted to and received a scholarship to an all women's college in Virginia. The only problem now was getting the funds to get herself to the United States. She went to the head elder in the community and begged for his help. She ended up getting the support of the entire community. She came to the US and learned that the ceremony she went through was actually mutilation and illegal. She also learned that her mother did have a right to the property her family had and that she didn't have to deal with the beatings from her husband just because she was a woman. Ntaiya went back to Africa and started a school for girls. She has changed the lives of 125 girls in her home village. They will now be able to follow their dreams and will not have to go through the mutilation or arranged marriages at 12 years old.
This is such an inspirational video. It makes you realize just how much we take our education and equality for granted in this country. We have kids who just drop out of school and in other countries they aren't even allowed to attend school. This woman has over come so much and struggled to attain what we are given freely every day here. We should strive to live our lives with the drive and determination that this woman has. We are given all the opportunities in the world and if we just simply had half of Kakenya Ntaiya's determination, drive and passion our possibilities would be beyond endless.

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

By: Jordan Neely

Kids are always told what they are: geek, fatty, slut, etc. At the same time kids are also asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, as if to say, you can’t be what you define yourself as right now. In the video Shane Koyczan: To This Day, Shane goes deep and talks about what he felt at each age. Sometimes he wanted to be alone, sometimes he wanted to die, and sometimes he wanted to kill a kid. When he was 14 he was asked to consider a career path and he said “writer” and was told to choose something realistic so he said “professional wrestler” and they told him to not be stupid. He was told to somehow become what you are not. He was being told to accept the identity that others will give you. His dreams seemed easy to dismiss. His dreams were called names too: silly, foolish, impossible, etc. Shane kept dreaming on being a professional wrestler, but his dreams became crushed. He went back to his love of poetry. He stated that standing up for yourself doesn’t mean embracing violence. Shane discusses the saying, “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” This causes kids to believe they will grow up, never be loved, and be lonely forever. Shane quotes a poem to a violin and video titled, “To This Day.” This poem tells about a little girl who grew up being bullied and made fun of. She had a birthmark covering half of her face. She
found love but still never believed she was beautiful. It also tells of a kid who is ten years old and tried to kill himself due to bullying. To this day kids are still being called names. Every school has it happening. You have to see something beautiful about yourself. These kids had to build a cast around their broken hurt and push on. Adults cheer for the underdog because sometimes they can find a piece of themselves in them. Words hurt, of course. Looking back at my elementary through high school years, I can remember words that were said to me that hurt; words about my appearance, certain actions, and just rude comments. It is easy for kids to remember the hurtful things and carry those comments with them throughout their lives. Once they have heard the same mean words over and over, those words become embedded in them and they begin to think they must be true. Shane’s poem about bullying was very powerful and I believe everyone should listen to it.

"Turning Trash Into Toys for Learning" By: Arvin Gupta

By: Kaley McDonald

Arvin Gupta is a toy maker and has been doing so (making toys) for the past thirty years. In this video, he demonstrates several ways of transforming recycled materials into toys which can be used in teaching strategies for the purpose of engaged learning. In the early 70s, he worked as an engineer making trucks for a particular company. He only stayed two years because he realized he wasn’t born to make trucks. He then declared a statement that I most certainly agree with, "Often one doesn't know what one wants to do, but it's good enough to know what you don't want to do." He began working for this great program in India, in which its purpose was to revitalize primary science in village schools. This program began based on slogans of the time, "Go to the people," "Love the people," "Start on what they know, build on what they have."

Gupta and his science toys
In the video, Gupta presented how he creates several types of flexible shapes with matchsticks and pieces of black rubber, which he cut out of a bicycle valve tube. He used this to illustrate the many different strategies of teaching geometric shapes, such as triangles, squares, cubes, pentagrams, etc., and how to integrate the strategies into teaching relative information. For one toy, he took a straw, cut it open and bent it in two places, inserted a small stick in the center, bent both legs of the straw into a triangle, wrapped some tape around the bottom, placed it into a bowl of water, and began to spin it. This was what he called a centrifuge sprinkler. He used old newspapers to create origami birds that flap their wings, and he also told a story with caps made of old newspaper. The story consisted of a captain who wore several different types of caps on his adventures each day. Gupta kept folding the newspaper into the different caps and continued, adding events and enthusiasm into the story. He finally folded the last cap into a ship, and then suddenly, in the story, he exclaimed that a storm came, tore the top and both sides of the ship, so Gupta tore off the top and both sides of the newspaper. When he did this, he then opened and unfolded the newspaper and it was now in the shape of a life jacket, which was the only possession the captain had left and it saved his life.

He displayed many more genius inventions and explained that children love to learn by creating these toys. When teachers just deliver science information textbook style, it’s dull, boring, and lacks adventure, but when kids make these inexpensive toys that relate to the science lesson there’s a gleam in their eyes that express their happiness, joy, and thrill of learning what science is all about. The fact that it generates curriculum lessons to "go green" is also a wonderful factor of these inventions. I hope to one day utilize these strategies for my students, putting into practice and proclaiming the slogan, "Start on what they know, build on what they have."

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Project #15!

Link to Project Based Learning Lesson Plan Website!

This is a 2 and a half week unit on Severe Weather. This will be a group project that will consist of a Prezi, weather report and video. All of which will be posted on a class blog. The groups must tell how the weather pattern assigned to them is formed and tell the characteristics of it as it is occurring. The website contains a project overview, calender and rubrics.

Blog Post #12

Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms
Brooklyn Rowland

Sir Ken Robinson starts this talk by saying that there are two reasons we should reform education. The first is economics. Robinson says that we are trying to educate our students in a way that they can take their place in our economy. The problem with that is that we have no idea what our economy will be like next week! The second is cultural. We are trying to educate and teach our students to have a sense of cultural identity. So they don't lose who they are and have a sense of belonging to their culture. At the same time we also want to be globally unified. As Robinson says, "How do you square that circle?". Our main problem is that we are trying to meet the future and prepare for it by doing what we have done in the past and that's simply not going to work. By doing this we are alienating those kids who don't understand or see a point to getting an education.

Everyone says we need to raise the standards. Robinson makes this a joke saying why would we lower them? Raising them only makes sense! Our current education system is designed for a different age, the age of the enlightenment and industrial revolution. He describes our schools as being structured on factory lines. With ringing bells, separated subjects and educating our students in batches. He poses the question, is the most important factor that students have in common their age? We group them based on their date of manufacture. In a world full of computers and video games, 100s of television shows, and iPhones, we have created one of the most boring places for children to be expected to learn. Then we punish these children for getting distracted and not being interested by saying they have ADHD and pumping them full of medication. Robinson talks about the medication we are giving children at such a young age. He says they are anesthetics, medication to shut you down. In all reality all we need to do is wake our students up! Robinson makes it very clear that he is not saying ADHD isn't real, just that it's not an epidemic. I think he wants us to realize that if we just made school more interesting maybe children would need to be so heavily medicated.

I agree with Robinson. Maybe if we made school as fun and interesting as a video game students wouldn't be so distracted and unable to sit still. Maybe they would be as enthralled in class work as they are computers and televisions! It seems that everything goes back to engaging your students. I've mentioned it many, many times before but it is so important. We MUST engage our students in order to have them learn. Burp back education is not something that will be acceptable in my classroom. I want my students to have a desire and a passion for learning! I want them to leave my classroom smarter not because of their grades, but because they actually learned.

Ken Robinson goes on in his talk to dicuss the fact that our education focuses too much on standardization. He says we need to go in the opposite direction. The direction of divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is, as Robinson defines it, the essential capacity for creativity. His example for this is the question "How many uses are there for a paper clip?". You ask this question and normal people might come up with 10-15 ways. But someone who is good at divergent thinking might come up with 200. How? They would say is it a normal paper clip? Can the paperclip be 200 feet tall and made of rubber? They would move outside the realm of the normal paper clip. He talks about a book called Break Point and Beyond this book is a test on divergent thinking that was given to 1500 people, kindergartners, to be exact. Out of these 1500 students 98% of them scored in the genius level. Five years later they tested these same kids, they scored significantly lower. Five more years go by and they test again, and again they scored even lower. This tells us that we all have the capacity to think divergently but we lose it. Why? Because of our education! We are taught that there is only one answer to every question. Only one. Whose fault is this? The teachers? Robinson says no. He says that it is a problem within our educational gene pool. We need a change. But how?

One, we must think differently about human capacity. Robinson says we have to move on from this academic versus vocational way of thinking. It's a myth that some students are academically able while others just can't do it. I think he is right. We are all completely capable of achieving the same level of intelligence. We just have to be shown the way. We are all different and we all learn differently. Our education system is just simply not created equally, because that's not possible. It's not possible for every student to receive an equal education and for them to be expected to get it the same way. We have to change the way we see the learning process.

Two, great learning is done in groups! I think it makes sense to have children learn in groups. Is it not true that students are usually more comfortable with their peers than with adults? So why wouldn't we let them learn from each other whenever possible. Students absorb more from their classmates and friends than they ever would from their teacher. We need to allow them to explore this option and teach them collaboration and teamwork! After all isn't that how things work in the real world, in teams? I don't know of a job where you do not have to work with someone at some point. We need to prepare our students for the real world and life outside our classroom.

Finally, we must change the habits of our institutions and the habitats of them. We can not change education if we do not change the schools. School needs to be stimulating and engaging, not the most boring part of your day. It needs to be a place students want to be, a place they feel comfortable and at home. Most of all it needs to be a place they love. If we can make school a place that our students love to be then we are most definitely on our way to reforming education.

Ken Robinson: How Schools Kill Creativity
Jordan Neely


Ken Robinson discusses how no one knows how the world will be when kids who start school today retire in 2065. No one knows what the world will be like even five years from now, so it is difficult to teach and prepare kids for the world ahead of us that is unknown. He says that creativity is just as important in education as literacy and teachers should treat it equally. I couldn’t agree more. Kids are willing to take a chance; if they don’t know how to do something they will take a chance and try. If you aren’t prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with something original. Kids become afraid of being wrong. Ken tells us that in education now, mistakes are seen as one of the worst things you can make. Therefore, we are educating people out of their creativity. All children are born artist. This means that we grow out of our creativity as we get older because of the education that is given to us. When Ken and his family moved from England to America, he realized how every education system puts English and mathematics at the top and creativity is at the bottom. Dance is not taught as much as mathematics, and it should be. We educate children from the waist up and focus on their heads. The whole purpose of educators nowadays is to create university professors. Typically, professors live only out of their heads. Our education system was invented before the 19-century so it focuses on subjects that would be useful for work, rather than things we enjoy doing. If what you like can’t get you a job, then you aren’t encouraged to focus on it. For instance, don’t do music if you aren’t going to be a musician. This is not true. Some people, who are very creative and great at music or dance, think they aren’t smart. This is because the thing they were good at in school wasn’t valued. Suddenly degrees aren’t worth anything. Back in time, if you had a degree you had a job. Now you have to farther that degree in order to get the job you wanted. People get degrees and move back home and continue on with their lives playing video games because JUST that degree won’t get you anywhere. Now you have to have a Master’s Degree or more to get most desired jobs. ADHD is labeled on several children now. Some children aren’t made to sit still in a desk and be educated. Some are meant to move, dance, and sing! It isn’t that they are sick and need medicine to help them calm down, it’s the fact they are made differently and have different creative interests. We have to celebrate the gift of imagination and allow creativity in the classroom. Our job is to help children make something of their creative ability.

How To Escape Education's Death Valley

By: Kaley McDonald

Ken Robinson is an English author, speaker, and international advisor on education. In this video, he begins by informing his audience that he and his family moved to America twelve years ago and he humorously jokes about, and discusses cultural stereotypes and myths of Americans and the British. He had heard that Americans don't understand irony, but he disagrees with the statement based on the fact that the individual who termed "No Child Left Behind" indeed understands irony because countless children are in fact being left behind. In some parts of the country, 60% of students are dropping out of school and the percentage of the Native American community is at 80. However, the drop rate is only part of the problem. The real issue is that students who are in school don't enjoy it, are not engaged, and are not benefiting from education. Robinson expresses that the reason for this is not because we aren't spending enough money. On the contrary, America spends more money than most countries do on educational purposes and is confronted with infinite suggestions and ideas about how to better our education system. So if the problems can't be mended with more projects, ideas, and money, how will we interest the students and inspire them to learn? Robinson declares that there are three principles on which human life flourishes...

DIVERSITY tacked on a bulletin board
The first of three is that "Humans are naturally different and diverse." Education has become based upon conformity rather than diversity. Schools are encouraged to discover what students can do across a slim range of achievement. Curriculum that focuses on only STEM education, which is an acronym for the fields of study in the categories of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, are necessary, but Robinson speaks truth when he says that a real education should provide equality with the STEM disciplines along with the arts, humanities, physical education, and more. Disengagement is blamed abundantly on the disorder titled attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD). Yes, this disorder exists, but labeling it upon every child that seems distracted from school work isn't the answer. Robinson says that the children who display the symptoms of this disorder are, for the most part, suffering from childhood, not a psychological condition. Even as adults, if we are burdened with a continuous, dull task, we tend to become bored, distracted, and fidgety. It is the same, but maybe worse for children. Students enjoy and experience success when offered a broad curriculum that emphasizes their numerous talents and abilities, not just a narrow range of them.

curiosity is the most powerful thing you own written on a chalk board
The second principle is "Curiosity." Everyone is born with a natural curiosity to learn, but sometimes the fire of curiosity can be dull and even smothered until there is not even a hint of the flame that was once present. Curiosity is the force that drives us to keep learning and as Robinson puts it, "it is the engine of achievement." Inspiring curiosity in your students could be the best gift you give to them. When students are curious, they will learn without any further assistance. Independent learners are developed by teachers who teach learning instead of educated memorization and facts, i.e. "burp-back education." Robinson refers to this in a way that teaching is a creative profession not a delivery system. Teachers need not only pass on received information, but mentor, stimulate, provoke, and engage students because in the end education is about learning. The dominant culture has transformed education from learning to testing. Tests are meant to support learning, be helpful, and are sometimes necessary, but they shouldn't control education. Stressing the fact that students need to "learn" an enormous amount of information for the purpose of only a test smothers the flame of curiosity and can develop negative results.

Albert Einstein quote
The third and final principle is that "Human life is inherently creative." What makes us human is that we can create and recreate. We have the power to change anything about ourselves and even the world. Sparking student's creativity comes with the responsibility of the teacher to assess students' interests and their focus of curiosity. Teachers must not simply wait around until creativity is integrated into a particular curriculum, we must make it happen! In order to see and experience creative results in our students we must produce and integrate creative elements into dull curriculum ourselves, such as project based learning assignments.

flower in Death Valley
Robinson ends with the purpose of the title of his video. Death Valley is a desert valley located in Eastern California that is the lowest, hottest, and driest area in North America where growth is nonexistant. He explains that nothing grows in this area because it doesn't rain, but in the winter of 2004, Death Valley received seven inches of rain. As a result of that rain, flowers sprouted and flourished in the area during the spring of 2005. This proves that the area isn't dead, it's just dormant. The potential to be great is right underneath the surface, but it needs the right conditions in order for life and growth to be inevitable. As teachers, we must be the rain to the dry soil, exciting the power of imagination, curiosity, and creativity.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

C4K October Summary

C4K #1
Jake simply posts what they did in school this week. He says they had two guest speakers, one from hyvee and the other from the fire department. He also says they had a health walk and a geometry test. he finishes up by asking what did you do?

My Comment:
Hey Jake! My name is Brooklyn and I am from Mobile, Alabama and I go to school at the University of South Alabama. This week I went on a small vacation to the beach. We expected it to be kind of cold but it was actually quite warm and we were able to swim. Have you been to the beach? Do you like to swim? I love to go to the beach with my family and friends. It is a lot of fun. How do you like geometry? I liked it a lot when I was in school. It was kind of difficult for me but I enjoyed it. I hope you have a good week this week. 
Brooklyn Rowland's EDM 310 Class Blog

Nick Pickle talks about a story they read in class about a girl named Melody and her service dog. His teacher asks the questions, what other jobs do dogs do for people?, what are somethings you can do to help when you see a service dog?, and how do you think Melody will react to having siblings?

Nick says, "Butterscotch is an awsome dog. and sevice dogs can help people who are blind. I think that she will ether hate it or love it because mabye penny will take a way some attention. That melody can do tings and that shes no mentaly challanged."

My Comment:
Hi Nick! My name is Brooklyn and I am a college student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I think you had some very good answers to these questions. I think service dogs are really cool and smart. I think when we see someone using a service dog we could open doors for them. I also think we should be respectful and not distract the dog from their job. Having siblings can be difficult, but I love having younger sisters. Do you have any siblings? I also think it is very important that we remember that even though people are handicapped we shouldn't expect less of them. Most can do anything we can! We should always respect and help only when it’s needed. 
Brooklyn Rowland's EDM310 Class Blog

Deserae makes a Google presentation that is a profile for Jack the main character in the story, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. She describes the way he looks in one slide, his strengths and weaknesses in slide two, what he does and what he carries with him in slide three, and finally in slide four she tells us the lesson Jack learned in the story. 

My Comment:
Hi Deserae! My name is Brooklyn. I am from Mobile, Alabama and I go to school at the University of South Alabama. I like this story. The Boy Who Cried Wolf is one of my favorite books. I think it has a very important lesson that we can all learn from. Even grown ups can learn from Jack. Trust is one of the most important things we can have with other people. Trust is what helps us to have good relationships and to succeed in life. If you were a shepherd and had to sit in the field all day with the sheep, what you put in your bag? I would definitely do what Jack did and bring food and water and probably some medicine too. I think I would also bring a book to read, or even some pens and paper to write and draw. You did a great job with your profile of Jack. Keep up the good work!
Brooklyn Rowland's EDM310 Class Blog

Teni tells an overview and what she learned from a story titled Out of My Mind. This story is about Melody a girl with Cerebral Palsy. She talks about how she has come to the realization that she should be thankful for what she has and even though sometimes she has to do chores and watch her brother she is still more blessed than those who can not do that at all. 

My Comment:
Hi Teni! My name is Brooklyn and I am from Mobile, Alabama and I attend college at the University of South Alabama! I think I will have to read this story. It sounds as though it has definitely touched you. I have a cousin with Cerebral Palsy. It is a very difficult way to live. Like Melody she was only able to use facial expressions to communicate and over time even that diminished. I think that many people take things in their lives for granted daily. We don’t realize how truly lucky we are to be able to express ourselves. Like you, I would definitely struggle if I was in Melody’s shoes. I love to express myself and I am a very talkative and open person so, to have those aspects of me shut off would be difficult. I think we also do not realize sometimes the importance of including someone with disabilities. They may not always be able to participate but just letting them know you thought of them is important. I’m very glad you read this story and realized all this. It’s something I believe everyone should think about. Good job! I am very impressed! 

Project #12 Part A!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blog Post #10!

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture was extremely enjoyable to me. He had me right from the start. He opened with a great attitude and was very engaging. Pausch talked about keeping your childlike wonder and always having fun. He compared this to being a Tigger.
He says that by having this mindset he was able to live his life to the fullest even though he was only given three to six months to live. He kept a positive attitude and his childlike wonder, he was a Tigger. I think this is an awesome mindset to have. Whether you are given a short time to live or not. We are not promised tomorrow, or this afternoon. We should strive to keep our imaginations running full speed and to always keep that childlike wonder. That would be a fabulous thing to instill in your students. The joy of life itself. We always focus on the standards we are meant to teach, but as educators we are also supposed to prepare our children for the world and what better way than instilling a joy of life in them!

Pausch made a statement that really stuck out to me, "The best way to teach somebody, is to have them think that they are learning something else.". Genius. Simply genius. In order to teach our student's what they need to know we need to make them think they are learning something they want to know. I think the best way to do this is to make what they need to know into what they want to know. Pausch taught a class at Carnegie Mellon University that was a project based learning class. You have to make learning fun! This is even true in a class full of adults, Personally, I learn better, faster and more when it's something I am enjoying versus something I am not a fan of. Imagine how this works for children. Children are driven by curiosity, but they aren't curious about the boring things, about the things that aren't fun. You have to make it fun. I think this is definitely something Pausch strongly believed in. Later in his lecture he mentions the "head fake". The "head fake" is having the students play a fun game or activity that has a life lesson behind it. A hidden meaning. Making them think they are learning something other then the actual lesson. Teaching them life lessons such as, team work and social skills, all while they think they are simply playing a game.

Dr. Pausch also spent a lot of time talking about dreams. He used examples of his own life stories which definitely kept me engaged in what he was saying. We all dream especially as children because children have such active imaginations. Dr. Pausch says he never gave up on his dreams. He describes all the dreams he had as a child. He dreamed he had zero gravity, that he played football for the National League, that he was an author of an article in the World Book Encyclopedia. He even dreamed he was Captain Kirk! He says that it is important to have a specific dream that you are striving for. No matter how silly someone else may think your dream is, it is your dream. Never stop until you reach it in a way that satisfies you. You have to believe in yourself and your dreams. You have to believe they will come true. As teachers, we will all sorts of crazy dreams from our students. No matter how impossible they may seem we must encourage them to reach them. We must assist our students in reaching their dreams, by doing this we are teaching them how to apply classroom knowledge into the real world.

Pausch taught me a lot. He taught his students in a way that they were able to enjoy what they were learning. I think it is so so very important to engage and inspire students and the only way to do that is to make learning fun! You have to teach your students that, they have to understand that you don't have to read a textbook to learn otherwise they will stop learning when we stop teaching. We need lifelong learners if we want to succeed and if we want the world to move forward. You can never stop learning and your desire to learn can never fade.

Randy Pausch did an excellent job with this lecture. He kept me engaged for the full hour and he even made me laugh but most importantly I walked away with a desire. A desire to make learning fun and a desire to inspire. This lecture was given on September 18, 2007, unfortunately Randy Pausch lost his fight to cancer in July 2008. This lecture gives so much encouragement and is so passionate that even in his death Randy Pausch is still inspiring and making a difference in the lives of teachers and future teachers. At least he did for one.

Project #14!

Link to Project Based Learning Lesson Plan Website!

The Native American Research Project. This project covers 3 weeks and is centered around Native American tribes in North America. The students will complete a research paper and also create a model depicting the village of the tribe they have been assigned. They will be divided into groups and each assigned a Native American tribe. They will be required to write a research paper about their tribe, how they lived, how they responded when the Europeans arrived, they will also give their opinion on what could have been done to make the transition easier. This research paper will require a works cited page. The students will also create a model depicting the village of the tribe they have been assigned. They will present this project to the class and give a brief overview of their tribe. This presentation will be videoed (when permissible) and posted along with their paper to their class blog. Their model villages will also be put on display at the school for all other classes to come by ans see and ask questions to the students. The link above will take you to a website that has been created for this assignment. On the site you will find a project overview, unit calender, and rubrics that will be used by the teacher and their peers.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Post #9!

Group Pissarro
By: Kaley McDonald, Jordan Neely, and Brooklyn Rowland

Video One:
Back To The Future

Brian Crosby has been an upper elementary teacher for over thirty years. He is currently an elementary teacher at Agnes Risley Elementary School in Sparks, Nevada. He also facilitates Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education to teachers and administrators for six counties in northern Nevada. His students are known for their numerous service projects of which he is very zealous. He believes that students should actively learn through hands-on and minds-on experiences and projects while giving back to the world, community, and environment around them.

Brian's Back To The Future Video begins by explaining that his fourth grade students are poverty stricken and over 90% are second language learners, meaning they are students whose primary language is not English and they are learning English as their second language. A little background information about Brian's class: Class of one-to-one laptops, interactive white board, several digital cameras, and students have their own personal blogs. At the beginning of the school year he gave each student a survey with questions such as "What city do you live in?" and "What country do you live in?"
Survey Says
The results of the survey were astonishing. Most of his students were completely unaware of their surroundings and were trapped in their thinking because of narrowed curriculum. So, in light of the results, Brian generated the “High Hopes” High Altitude Balloon Project.

To begin the project, they started off reading and gathering information, like the layers of the atmosphere, in their Science textbooks, of which state standards requires. From the information gained by reading they then performed different activities and small experiments to show air elements like pressure change, hot air balloon effects, and more. They videoed each activity and embedded those videos into their blog along with a writing portion about what they did, how they did it, what happened as a result, and why. This type of learning goes beyond multiple choice quizzes and never ending reading curriculum.

Next, they began studying the history of balloons. Researching the world wide web discovering pictures, historical people, different types of balloons, several ways to assemble, lift, and fly them, whether to use hydrogen or helium, and so much more. Based on their research, they were required to collaborate and create a wiki webpage on specific topics about their project.

Students were then required to write a story about what the experience would be like to be the actual balloon on its journey through the atmosphere. They wrote about the whole trip from beginning to end from the perspective and point of view of the balloon. They have their own class Flickr account, which is an online photo management and sharing application. Using Flickr, the students illustrated their stories with pictures that they could take themselves or find online.

Hot air balloons in the sky
The time came to build the elements of the balloon that they were going to send into the stratosphere. With the help of college professors from University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), the students were able to send the balloon up over 100,000 feet with a camera inside in order to have the means to observe the journey with Google Maps.

Bringing the project to an end, and keeping a goal oriented mindset, the students each made trading cards that they named "strato-cards," keeping the theme of drifting into the stratosphere. Each card was designed with free online software. It contained a picture of the student, any picture of the process of sending the balloon up or returning, and a writing segment stating “high hopes” for their school, community, and the world. They laminated these, were able to scan them to place on their blogs, and they also were allowed to keep them and take them home. Their blogs were soon read by students around the world and "high hopes" began to spread like wildfire. These students inspired other students to blog about their "high hopes" and it became a social networking ripple effect. Students also began commenting on their projects saying things like, "I want to do those kinds of projects in class, but my teacher doesn't know how!" To solve that problem, Brian and his class began skyping with other classes around the globe and the students were able to share their projects and explain how to do each one. By doing this, the students were reviewing the material and articulating their work.

Common Core Standards
The “High Hopes” High Altitude Balloon Project aided in accomplishing many of the Common Core Standards. The Language Arts standards were met, such as reading and writing to learn based on the content, writing to clarify and share, writing to tell a story, creativity, feedback, articulating orally, gaining authentic audience, and connecting globally and making them aware globally. It also touched upon Science and History standards.

Brian's class with Celeste
Near the closing of the video, Brian introduced the audience to a student of his, a girl named Celeste, who has leukemia and is not able to come to school on a daily basis. Through the use of technology, his students can effectively include Celeste in their classroom every day. The students created a five minute video project on the story of Celeste, how they interact with her, and how she learns in the process of inclusion.

We have learned from Brian Crosby that teachers can’t just keep racing kids through school, doing just enough to get them to the next level. It's not about a race or helping them to progress to the next achievement on the list, rather it's about empowering students to become learners. In order to empower students to become active learners we must use 21st century tools that are inspiring and motivating to help them connect, collaborate, and communicate. Narrowed curriculum and passive learning are dull, boring, out of date, and ineffective. It’s hard to inspire imagination and generate creativity with narrowed curriculum and if students don’t have imagination and creativity, it’s difficult to build passion. Teachers going beyond the comfort zone and thinking critically outside the box will result in their students doing the same and ultimately help them become active learners who are excited and passionate about education and life.

Video Two: Mr. Paul Andersen, Blended Learning Cycle

Paul Andersen’s blog, Bozemanscience, was full of information that could be helpful to students who are taking AP or college level science courses. It is also helpful for teaching when needing an extra source to better explain a certain topic. Mr. Anderson has been teaching high school science for nineteen years and has been teaching science through YouTube the last three years. Currently, Mr. Andersen is a science teacher and technology specialist at Bozeman High School. On the homepage of his blog, he has different science classes listed, and when you click on the one of your choice, it shows each unit in that subject. You can choose which unit and topic you want to view and then there will be a video posted that is on that topic that he created. Also on his blog he has a “Journal” tab that contains videos and articles from different days.


In the video Blended Learning Cycle Paul Andersen starts his off by showing a picture, from around 1900, in France and they are predicting what a classroom will look like in the year 2000. Students are connected up to wires and books are being fed into a machine. “Blended learning” takes the concepts of mobile, online, and classroom learning and blends them together. Mr. Andersen also explains the “learning cycle” that is made up of the 5 E’s. The 5 E’s are engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluate. By combining “Blended Learning” and the “Learning Cycle” the “Blended Learning Cycle” is created. The acronym that Mr. Andersen uses is "quiver".

QU- question: Teacher should make a good question for predictions that gets student’s attention. This should intrigue the student and make them want to find out information about the activity.
I- Investigation/inquiry: Teacher would let the students experiment and investigate the activity. This is when the students explain the data. They record what they are actually doing with the activity.
V- Video: One example of a video would be giving direct instructions by using podcasts. You can also show YouTube videos that explain the topic of investigation and give more information about it.
E- Elaboration: This involves reading and diagrams on the topic. This is when you go into more depth about the topic and get a better understanding. They can use their textbooks and the teacher will tell them certain sections to look over and what points they should be grasping from it.
R- Review: The teacher will individually meet with students to check understanding. The teacher pulls certain students or groups aside and checks their understanding by asking specific questions. They will not be allowed to go on to the summary quiz until they prove they have an understanding of the unit. Mr. Andersen states that he doesn’t believe you have learned something until you can actually explain it to someone else.
S- Summary quiz: This step tests the students on the previous steps. It is a timed quiz and it gives the students a few chances to take the quiz. It allows the students to test themselves to see if they have a good understanding.

After these steps are completed, Mr. Andersen gives an old fashion paper pencil unit test to see what they really know. He stated that these steps help him to feel more involved in the classroom. He said it all goes back to starting with a really good question and then doing the research to figure it out.

Video Three:
Making Thinking Visible

Mark Church has written a book entitled Making Thinking Visible. The Amazon advertisement for this book is a short video of Mark Church in his 6th grade classroom. He is conducting an activity with his students where they are creating a headline that depicts what they have learned about the start of the human race. They will display this headline and in two weeks, when they have completed the unit they will revisit the headlines and see how the story has changed. Although we have not read the book, we think there is a lot to be learned from Mark Church simply based on this 3 minute video.

He starts the class by saying that he has had the students think. Then think about how they extended their thinking. This says a lot about his teaching style. Church not only has his students connect with an idea but he has them think about how they can extend that thought process. He then has then work in groups to figure out how to take it a step further and but that whole process into a sentence that they will display. He is literally making their thoughts and thought process visible. Which in turn helps the students think deeper. Helping our students to think deeper, helps them to open their minds to things they haven't previously considered. We want to encourage and help to develop a deeper understanding and deeper thinking process in our students so that they can have an open mind in all life's situations.

As teachers it is our responsibility to prepare students for all the situations they will face in and out of our classroom. Helping them to develop a process of deeper thinking prepares our students for any and everything life could throw at them. It helps them have an open mind towards opinions that may differ from their own, to solve problems they are not familiar with and have an overall better understanding of the world around them. This is definitely something you can learn from Mark Church, even in just that simple 3 minute Amazon advertisement.