Friday, May 2, 2014

Project #16 [Final Project]

     For our last project of the semester, me and the girls in my group (Kastala Brown, Courtney Fields, and Alexis McSwain) worked together to create an iBook. Our theme was inspired by an outer-space voyage, and the book we created documents our journey of discovering and exploring the unknown of EDM 310! We had a lot of fun putting our iBook together, and it was awesome to be able to look back on how much we have learned, and accomplished through all of the different projects that we have worked on this semester. We went into EDM 310 having never experienced a class like this before, not knowing what to expect, but learned so many new things along the way. Our iBook also gives you a glimpse into our lives & some of our other adventures beyond EDM 310!

Excel Group Picture

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Project #4 [C4T Summary #4]

     For my last C4T, I got to read some posts by David Wees, writer of Thoughts from a 21st Century Educator. Davis has had experience teaching in quite a few places around the world including New York, London, and Thailand. He has also taken part in writing a textbook for the International Baccalaureate Mathematical studies course. His website is a portfolio of the different projects he has been involved in, and I highly recommend that you check it out to read about his work! 
     For the first post I got to check out, David shared with us some videos from the Teaching Channel, another C4T I had the opportunity to check out this semester, and also introduced us to the a2i Project. The a2i Project (Accessing Algebra through Inquiry), is a project designed to implement math common core into different schools with the goal of maximizing student and teacher learning. For my first comment, I introduced myself, and let David know that I'm a student in EDM 310, and a little bit about what this class is all about. I thanked David for sharing this post with us, and let him know that the videos and information were super helpful for someone who is studying to become a math teacher someday! I let David know that I'd be featuring his blog over on my EDM 310 class blog so I could share some of his work, and some of his tips with my fellow classmates. His posts were definitely an interesting read, so any math teachers might want to pay a visit to his blog! 
     The second post I got to check out from David's blog was more of an artistic, personal post where he shared that we communicate all of our different ideas through the the medium of language. Sometimes students can learn all of the different words and terminology that goes along with an idea, but still not have a true understanding of the idea itself. David talked about how he struggled with linear functions in school because his professor explained things in a slightly different way than what he was used to. Eventually he overcame it though, and developed a true understanding of linear functions and how they worked! He talked about how he moved past a "just the words" understanding of linear functions into a more flexible and useful understanding. David's post made me think a lot, and I agree with him that we need to help our students get a clear understanding of the topics that they are learning about, and how they work together instead of just letting them slip by with only having a vague idea. For my comment, I let David know that I enjoyed reading all of his thoughts on this subject, and found it encouraging how he overcame all of the struggles in his topology class! I agree with him that teachers should do their part to help their students develop a true understanding of the different concepts that they need to know. 

C4K Summary for April

     This month's C4K assignments were all for students from Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. A lot of these students have had experience with sharing their classwork through blogging since Year 4, and it was pretty awesome to be able to see technology being used in the classroom for students of all different ages. I've linked my student's blogs below in case you'd like to check out their work, all of the awesome things that are happening at Pt. England School, and keep the C4K going!
     For my first C4K, I got to check out a post from a little girl named Doris, who is now in year 7 or 8 in Ms. Paget's classroom. She has been blogging for a while now, and shared a post about her school's recent Athletics Day! Doris described how the students got to participate in a lot of different activities during the day, and told a story about how her classmates cheered her on as she almost won the high jump competition. For my comment, I told Doris I enjoyed reading her stories about Athletics Day, and congratulated her for doing so well in the challenges. It must've been awesome having all of her classmates cheer her on! 
     For my second C4K, I checked out a post from a Year 5 student from Miss Ouano's class named DJ. This student introduced me to a new word that I am not familiar with, Fiafia, which means a celebration of different cultures' dances and other performances. DJ and his other classmates are participating in their own Fiafia at Pt. England, and DJ talked about some of his favorite dances and songs that they will be performing to. For my comment, I thanked DJ for sharing with us what Fiafia is all about, and wished him luck in his performances. I know it must be fun learning all of the different dances with his friends!
      For my last C4K, I got to comment on a younger student's blog from Mrs. She's Year 2 class. For this blogpost, Mrs. She recorded each of her students telling a story! My student, Esther, talked about how she got to go visit all of the other classes during a camping day for part of their school's outdoor education program. She talked about how she got to see all of the tents, which were so many different colors. For my comment, I told Esther I enjoyed watching her video that she shared, and that I bet she can't wait until she gets to participate in the camping activities when she's in Year 4. I told her to keep up the good work with sharing on her class blog! 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blog Assignment #13

This blogpost assignment is for all of the music education majors, and music minors out there. What are some interesting, exciting and effective ways that technology can be used in a music classroom to help students improve? Research a few, and write about them here!

     As someone who is studying to become a music teacher someday, I thought it would be interesting to research some of the different ways that technology can be taken advantage of in a music classroom setting. Not only can technology be used in some of the more obvious ways, such as having the ability to record and playback music, but after my research, I've also found a few unique ways that technology is being used that some people may not know of! Technology can be used to help music students improve more at their skills on their own time at home, supplementing what they are learning at their music lessons or in the classroom.
      The first type of music technology that I'd like to introduce you to is MacGamut, an ear training program for both Mac and Windows. By using MacGamut, students can practice working on their ear training, and also improve on their knowledge of basic music theory during their own time or convenience at home. A lot of times in a band or choir classroom, teachers don't get enough time to focus on teaching their students as much music theory as they'd like. By assigning MacGamut assignments for homework, teachers can ensure that their students are getting enough practice with music theory as their students need! MacGamut lessons can be customized by teachers so that way students will only spend time focusing on certain lessons, or certain techniques that are important. MacGamut grades your work as go, and also gives you the option to work in practice mode if you're just interested in working on developing your ear! 
     The second way that technology can be used in a music classroom is just by using simple recording capabilities. If a band or choir teacher is working with their students on a new piece of music, they can find a good quality recording of the song, and post it to a class blog so their students can reference it when practicing on their own at home. Often times, it helps for students to hear an example of how something is played so they can try to mimic the sounds. For a choir teacher, it also might be helpful as students are learning the lyrics to their different pieces. 
     The third type of technology that I've done some research on is assistive technology that can be used in music classrooms. For students who have difficulties reading the fine print on most sheet music, teachers can use the enlarge option on the photocopier or even translate the music to braille for students who are blind. I was also excited to find out that clamps, toggle-keys, joysticks, and switches can be added to instruments for students who have difficulties with holding an instrument or reaching all of the different notes. Students who have more severe disabilities don't have to feel left out because they can always participate in the percussion section without having to learn how to read music. They can be given visual cues when to strike instruments such as the bongo, the bells, or the tambourine! To keep thing interesting though, students should be given a chance to switch out the instruments so they don't get bored. These are just a few ways that I've found technology being used in music classrooms. As technology improves, I'm sure there will be more ways that this can happen everyday! What new and exciting information can you find?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Project #4 [C4T Summary #3]

      This week's C4T features Dorothy Burt, the writer of the Manaiakalani Blog, and the Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. This school has been given the opportunity to team up with Google, and their students have had some amazing learning opportunities because of it! Dorothy describes Pt. England School as a "community of learners" rather than just your typical school setting, and it's pretty evident in the videos that this school is a unique place! To get a better understanding of what the student's are doing, I highly recommend you check out Dorothy's blog, and watch some of the videos so you can see the students in action.
     For the first post I got to check-out, Dorothy wrote about the Manaiakalani Film Festival, and how their 6th year was another success. The festival expanded to two theaters, and 3,000 students got to participate in the activities during the day! The post included a video from the festival, and the children really seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage. For my comment, I congratulated Dorothy on the success of another festival, and wished them success for the years to come. I look forward to checking back on Dorothy's blog later to see more of what her students are up to, and to find out how the Manaiakalani Film Festival goes next year!
     In the second post I was able to check out, Dorothy talked about how Pt. England School was given the amazing opportunity to team up with Google, and the post featured a video filmed by Google giving you a glimpse into their learning community! The students at Pt. England were provided with Chrome-books, allowing them to bridge the gap from just learning at school to also being able to continue that learning at home. As one parent pointed out, learning becomes a lifestyle for their students, which is much different from how things were when we were in school! Not only that, but students have also been able to collaborate with their peers, and others using Google Docs and other tools. Dorothy talked about how much of a success this has been not only in engaging the students, but also at improving literacy outcomes. For my comment, I let Dorothy know that I'd be featuring her blog, and the Pt. England School over on my EDM 310 class blog so I can share some of the wonderful things that are going on at their school with my fellow classmates. I also mentioned how awesome I thought it was that this opportunity has given their students the chance to become lifelong learners, as having access to the internet and technology gives students the power to learn on their own! As one of the parents in the video said, it truly does bridge the gap between school, and home. 

Project #10 [Interview Movie]

C4K Summary for March

Te-Manea from Mrs. Jenny's 2nd Grade Class at Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand     
     For my first C4K, I got to visit a student's blog all the way from Auckland, New Zealand! If you go visit the main class blog, Little Voices, Little Scholars, you can read a little bit about the literacy cycle, and the types of projects the students are working on in the classroom. The children get the opportunity to write and record stories, draw graphics to illustrate them, and then share their work online. In this post, Te-Manea created a video, and shared her weekend story with us! She told us about how she got to go over to her Auntie's house, and play and splash in the pool all weekend. For my comment, I introduced myself, and let Te-Manea know that I'm a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I commented on how it sounded like she had such a fun time over at her Auntie's house, and that I'm ready for summertime to get here so I can enjoy going swimming at the pool, and the beach as well! Those have always been some of the funnest days! I also let Te-Manea know that I am impressed that she already knows how to create, and share videos. I told her to keep up the good work, and that I enjoyed hearing about her weekend story!
Literacy Cycle

Jordenne from Mrs. Lagitupu's Class at Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand 
     For my second C4K, my student was also from Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand, and these students have been blogging since year 4, and are now in year 7/8! In the post I got to check out, Jordenne wrote about how she and her classmates attended the Festival of Education. There were several different booths set up where the students could explore, and learn new things about education. Jordenne had to film a movie with one of her colleagues as an assignment for the day, interviewing people at the different booths she visited. Her favorite part was singing a song with a Maori lady who was playing a ukelele! For my comment, I introduced myself, and let Jordenne know that I'm a student in EDM 310 studying to become a teacher someday. I let Jordenne know that I was impressed with the work she was doing because we are students in college, and just now learning about how to film our own interview movies! I linked Jordenne to my blog in case she wanted to check out some of the videos we have created, and told her to keep up all of the good work! 

Blog Assignment #11

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Blog Assignment #10

Revolution - Transforming Education
     After watching Sir Ken Robinson's TED TALKS video on youtube, I'm feeling super inspired that I can make a positive impact on my students' lives, and help them realize that they are capable of achieving their dreams. In Robinson's lecture, he talks about the fact that we can't keep trying to improve something that just isn't working. Robinson believes we need a revolution in the way we approach education, and I fully agree with this. Right now, the education system is very "linear" or standardized, and teachers need to be customizing what they do in the classroom based on what their individual students need. Not only that, but teachers need to encourage their students to start discovering their passions, to work hard for their dreams, and let children know that it's okay to be different, and have different goals that you want to achieve! Success is not a one way street.
Earl Nightingale Quote     One thing that stood out to me in Robinson's lecture is that when you are spending time working on something that you are truly passionate about, time isn't an issue. When you put your heart into something you enjoy, you don't mind the hours you spend working at it! I've experienced this through music, and it's an amazing feeling when you find that one thing (or multiple things) that you are passionate about. I want to encourage my students to find that thing they love to do, and help them realize that if they work hard, and put the effort in, they can go out and make their dreams happen. I think the greatest thing that I can take away from Robinson's lecture is to make it a goal in my classroom to create an environment for my students in which they can be successful and flourish, and also to create a positive environment for them where they know that it's okay to be dreamers, to make mistakes, and to start new goals, as long as they are learning in the process. If I can teach my students to keep that mindset, I feel like this is something they can take with them for the rest of their lives, and they will be able to achieve so much with that!

Project #15 [Project Based Learning Plan #3]

     For Project #15, I created a high-school geometry project where students will take on the role of scholars, and conduct research to prove the Pythagorean Theorem. They will share their results by giving a group oral presentation, and will also have the opportunity to design their own webpages to show the proofs that they have found! To read more about this project, and access materials such as the project overview and project calendar, you can check out my google site linked here.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blog Assignment #9

     For this blogpost assignment, I had the opportunity to watch a Skype interview with Ms. Cassidy, a first grade teacher from Moose Jaw, Canada. In her interview, Ms. Cassidy talked about how she has been using technology in her classroom for about 10 years now, and she talked a little bit about how she got started! Her first grade students are using technology in the classroom by blogging, creating wiki's, and they also use her class webpage to access different games and websites where they can continue their learning even more. Ms. Cassidy's words were encouraging because she emphasized that you do not have to know how to do it all at first! She let us know that she started out with blogging, and then expanded to other things from there. Using a class blog for my students is definitely something that I would like to do someday so it was a relief to hear that I can start with that, and then build up more activities that incorporate technology as I feel comfortable, and as I learn about them.
      Another thing that I learned from Dr. Strange's interview with Ms. Cassidy is that she teaches her students important rules about internet safety so there isn't a big concern with using the internet or technology in her classroom! Not only does Ms. Cassidy teach them the basic need-to-know things about internet safety, but she also emphasizes to her students that they stay on the websites that she provides, and that they don't click any ads on the outside of the page. I agree with Ms. Cassidy that this is something that we need to teach our students, and that we need to address from the beginning! By teaching our students how to be safe, and providing them with safe places and tools to do their research, it takes away the scary factor of using the internet in school. Technology is here, and it isn't going away so it's our job as teachers to guide our students in the right direction! By addressing this issue, it opens the doors for students to take advantage of the internet as a wonderful tool for learning. 
Blogging Wordle
     When asked how her students like blogging, Ms. Cassidy said that they love it! She brought up an interesting point that using technology isn't anything special or out of the ordinary for students nowadays. These things are a part of their world now, and it's pretty awesome that they don't have to shut that part of their world out when they come to school anymore. They are able to use these tools which they already use anyways as a way to improve their learning, and the kids obviously enjoy doing that! Not only does blogging help improve her student's writing, but it also gives them the opportunity to connect with other students, and provides them with an audience so they can get feedback! Her kids love the fact that they receive page views and comments on their work, and it is something that they look forward to. The fact that blogging can provide that for students seems pretty invaluable to me!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Project #4 [C4T Summary #2]

     For my second C4T, I'll be featuring Kathleen Morris, a teacher at Leopold Primary School all the way from Victoria, Australia! Kathleen's blog has a lot of great information, some awesome tips for new teachers, and several posts that will get you inspired about how to start blogging in your own classroom! I found myself reading back through lots of older posts, and this blog will definitely be one that I am bookmarking because I know I'll want to look back on these posts after I graduate. The two posts that I'll be featuring today share some tips for recent graduate teachers, and also the difference between blogging, and effective blogging. Yes, there is a difference!
     In the first post I checked out, Kathleen talked about how she's been away from school on maternity leave, but how awesome it's been to be able to stay in the loop in the education world through her PLN, and through blogging. The first post that I got the chance to read shared some tips for teachers who have just recently graduated! I've created an outline featuring these tips below:
• Place getting to know your students above all else!
• Allow students to get involved in structuring and decorating their classroom. (You don't have to do it all.)
• Establish a way to communicate with parents from the beginning.
• Build Your Own PLN
• Set high expectations & follow through.
• Make students feel safe, and comfortable, and let them know that it is OK to make mistakes. We are learning together!
• Learn to Prioritize
• Have FUN!
     For my comment, I let Kathleen know that I'm a student in EDM 310, and a little bit about what this class is all about. I let her know that I appreciated the tips and resources that she shared in her post, and that I'd be featuring her blog, and sharing these tips with my fellow classmates! I also let her know that I'm in the process of building up my own PLN right now, and that it's been awesome to find out that there are so many great blogs with advice for new teachers. I let Kathleen know that I'd be bookmarking her blog, and adding it to my list so I can check out these tips later when I'm about to start teaching in my own classroom someday!
     The second post that I got to check out talked about the difference between just blogging in the classroom, and using blogging in an effective way! Some schools allow their students to use blogs to express themselves in any way that they want! There's no guidance in the process. Kathleen shares with us a few ways to create a program that uses a more structured approach to blogging. Kathleen suggests that you can begin with a class blog before allowing students to work on their own individual blogs. Not only does this make it easier to manage at first, but it gives students a chance to learn about the basics of blogging, gives teachers time to ask for parent's permission, and gives teachers plenty of time to get everything started, and work out all of the minor details. In order to create a blogging program that is actually effective, the teacher then needs to create blog assignments that incorporate the students' different curriculum areas, and high standards need to be set for what is expected! The blog should be regularly maintained, and students should be given feedback for the work they produce so they can actually use it to improve themselves in the future! Blogging can be started slowly so teachers shouldn't be intimidated at first. As you keep going with it, the easier it will become! 
     For my comment, I told Kathleen that I totally agreed with her that this approach to blogging should be used. Otherwise, it is pointless! I thanked her for another great post, let her know that I would be featuring another one of her posts again, and that I'd be visiting her blog again after I graduate because I found so many of her posts with advice for new teachers to be so helpful! This was another great week for C4T for me because I learned a lot about how to get started with blogging in my own classroom someday. 

Blog Assignment #8

     For this blogpost, Dr. Strange had us research to find a 21st century learning tool that we might like to use in our classroom someday. For me, this was pretty easy because luckily I've had some great math teachers who used technology as a way to take what we were learning in the classroom, and to make opportunities available for us to go further with that learning at home. One tool that would allow me to do this with my own students is the iPad! 

iPad on top of a stack of books

     One of the things that I would like to do in my classroom someday is use short videos to introduce lesson plans to my students, and I would also like to provide video materials on the class blog for students who need review or just need some extra help with a certain topic. One of my Calculus professors used her laptop to record our math lesson notes as she would present them, and would then post them online after class as pdf files so we could easily access them again at home, and so they would be available for us to look back on to study before test time. I really appreciated her doing this, and I was inspired by that to find a tool where I could do something similar with technology in my own math classroom someday.
     After my research, I found a great, free app, Educreations, which will allow you to do this with the iPad! The best way to describe what this app can do is to use the description listed in the App Store. Educreations turns your iPad into a "recordable whiteboard", where you can create videos, add voice recordings to them, and use your handwriting to take math lessons from being something that were once just available in the classroom, to bring those lessons back home for your students! I've linked a video below created by  Jason Fournier, where he gives his students a lesson about the pythagorean theorem, and this video will give you a glimpse into some of the amazing things that you can create with this app! 

     I would like to use this app to create short videos to introduce lesson plans to students BEFORE they come into the classroom, and I'd also like to provide review materials that I can organize on my own class blog that I will have for my students someday. An app like Educreations will make this process super easy, and as you can see from the video above, you can get as creative as you want! One other thing I might try with my students is to allow them to create their own videos! In my 7th grade algebra class, our teacher taught us a few funny songs to help us remember our formulas, the order of operations, etc., and I still remember them to this day. I think it would be fun to teach my students some of these songs, and allow them to split up into groups to record their own music videos with Educreations. I could post them on the class blog for them to access later, and they could listen to their classmates' music videos to study and review their formulas before tests. These are just a few ways that this app could come in handy in my math classroom, and the possibilities seem pretty endless! 

Project #14 [Project Based Learning Plan #2]

     For Project #14, Dr. Strange had us come up with our first project based lesson plan on our own! Since I am studying to become a math teacher someday, my project is for a high-school geometry class, and teaches students how to use their knowledge of geometry skills to be able to produce goal-winning soccer shots! To read more about this project, check out my google site linked here.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Blog Assignment #7

     For this blog assignment, I had the opportunity to watch an inspiring lecture by Randy Pausch, a former Carnegie Mellon professor. He talks about each of his childhood dreams, and how he was able to achieve many of them! Dr. Strange asked us to think about what we could learn about teaching and learning from Pausch's last lecture, and I can say I definitely feel inspired after watching this video. Pausch's attitude, and his outlook on life are something to admire.
     In part of his lecture, Pausch talks about how he gave his students the opportunity to create a project, and how they blew him away with their work. He said they had done enough work in this one project alone that he would've felt comfortable giving them an "A" for the entire semester. When he went to one of his colleagues for advice on what to do for the rest of the projects, since his students had exceeded his expectations nearly beyond belief, his friend told him to tell his students that he knew they could do better, and expected them to achieve more the next time around! One of the greatest things that I took away from Pausch's lecture is that you shouldn't do your students a disservice by setting the bar too low for them. If we set low expectations because we believe that's the only effort that our students are going to put in, we are limiting them. By believing that they can and will achieve great things, we are setting them up for success; and by giving them this, we are giving them the opportunity to blow us away with what they can do.
Work Hard. Dream Big.
     Along with that, Pausch talks a lot about working hard, and choosing to lead your life this way. If you put in good effort, and truly give it your all, Pausch believes that karma will do its work, and dreams and opportunities will present themselves to you! From my experience, I have to say I agree with this. During the times that I was truly passionate about something, and put my whole heart in it, opportunities did present themselves. This lecture was a good reminder for me to keep trying to live my life this way.
     The last thing that I took away from Pausch's lecture is that if you are going to do anything new or "pioneering", you are going to get arrows in your back. Anytime you take a risk and do something differently, there are going to be critics! There are going to be people who don't believe in or understand what you are doing, and some maybe never will. Pausch inspired me that if I ever face this, to keep pressing forward with what I'm doing, and what I believe in, and to not let other people's criticisms discourage me. Of course, I should always be open to feedback, especially as a teacher, but if I want to approach teaching in a new way, I shouldn't get discouraged if some people just don't understand at first. Something that I hope to share with my students someday, like Randy Pausch did with his students and the millions of people that he has inspired through his last lecture, is to never lose their childlike wonder in life! Pausch believes that this is what drives us, and I want to inspire my students to keep that perspective, and to keep dreaming and believing that amazing things can happen.

Project #13 [Project Based Learning Plan #1]

     For Project #13, Dr. Strange had us work collaboratively with our groups to come up with an idea for our first Project Based Learning Plan. You can check out my group's work over at our Google Site linked here! We chose to create a project for 2nd grade geometry, which teaches students to recognize different geometric shapes, involves technology, and really gets students thinking about why geometry is important in the real world, and our everyday lives! Our project allows students to get hands on, and creative, and we've included a project calendar, project overview, and rubric for your use over at the website that I mentioned before. If you have any ideas or suggestions on how we could make this project better or if you have an idea for a PBL Plan of your own, please feel free to share them below!

C4K Summary for February

     For Project #6, all of the EDM 310 students are participating in C4K. For those of you who don't know what C4K is, it stands for Comments 4 Kids! Every week, Dr. Strange assigns us a different student's blog to check out, and over the semester, we are able to leave positive, encouraging comments on several kid's schoolwork from different schools located all over the world! This month I got to comment on student's blogs from so many different age groups, and from so many different places! C4K is another project that shows just how powerful technology can be in the classroom, and how awesome it is to connect through class blogs. It shows kids that they have an audience, helps them feel proud of their work, and hopefully encourages them to keep achieving more! It also gives us a great opportunity to get ideas from our student's teachers for different activities that we can use to incorporate technology into the classroom. I've linked my student's blogs below in case you want to keep the C4K going, and leave them a comment as well!

Comments 4 Kids

Stephanie from Mrs. Reuter's 5th/6th Grade Classes in Wisconsin
     For my first C4K, I got to check out Stephanie's blog! Mrs. Reuter had her 5th and 6th grade students write an online review about two different comic strip websites that they used. Stephanie made her comic strip about "buddies", and in her review she was able to add multiple links and screenshots for each of the different websites! It's pretty impressive to see fifth and sixth graders being able to use HTML code so well, and it's the perfect example of how times have changed so much since the time that I was that age! For my comment, I introduced myself, and let Stephanie know that I'm a student in EDM 310, and a little bit about what this class is all about. I told her how impressed I was that she already knew how to blog so well, and that some of us are just now learning how to properly link things, and that we're in college! I also mentioned how awesome I think it is that we are able to share what we are learning with others, and that we are able to connect with others from all around the world. I sent her a link to my blog, just in case she wanted to check it out, and told her to keep up the good work!

William Epic from Mrs. Little's Grade 3 Class at Hong Kong International School
     For my second C4K, I got to check out a blog post from "William Epic". This week's assignment connected two people from two places very far away because William is a Grade 3 student all the way from Hong Kong! William didn't have very many posts up, but he did have one or two that I could check out. In the post that I commented on, William shared that he got a new dog with all of his classmates, and also included a photo of her. I told William that I remember how excited I was whenever I got my puppy, and all of the good memories and how much fun it was! I also told William how impressed I was with the fact that he already knew how to add photos to his blogposts. I let him know that I had a photo of my puppy over on my class blog, and shared the link just in case he wanted to check it out. I told him to keep up the good work with blogging, and to have fun playing with Malibu!

Mychelle from Mrs. Miller's HS English Class in Baldwin County
     For my third C4K, I got to read an essay written by a high school English student in Baldwin County. Mrs. Miller had her students write an essay about one of their strongest beliefs in an essay called "This I Believe...". My student, Mychelle, chose to write about her stepdad, and his battle with cancer. She talked about how scary the situation was at first, but how much closer it has brought their family together. I've also had a few of my family members get diagnosed with cancer at different times in my life, and my grandpa actually just passed away from Stage 4 pancreatic cancer recently so this is something that is very near and dear to my heart. I know how tough it can be on a family, and I'm so glad that I was able to leave some encouraging words for Mychelle through this week's C4K. Mychelle's belief was "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me", and I let her know the fact that she has been so strong and brave has definitely been inspiring to me. I ended my comment by letting her know I'd keep her family in my thoughts, and told her to keep her head up!

Ashlie L from Mrs. Tia Frahm's 7th Grade Class at Bode Middle School in St. Joseph, MO
      For my last C4K for this month, I got to read some poetry! Mrs. Tia Frahm had her 7th grade students create a poem after picking out their favorite paint chip color, and getting inspired by the name. Not only did they have to write their own poem, but they also had to include 10 figurative languages in it along with an idiom, alliteration, a metaphor, and an example of imagery. Ashlie's poem was inspired by the name "Tropical Bloom", and her poem was about the beach, and all of the feelings that come along with summertime. In my comment, I let Ashlie know how much I enjoyed reading her poem, and that I was really impressed with how creative she got. I don't think I'd be able to write a poem this well in 7th grade, and I really liked the idea for the writing prompt because it sparks creativity! I let Ashlie know that I was a student at South in EDM 310, and how awesome it is that we are able to connect, and share our schoolwork through our class blogs. When you spend time creating something, and putting effort into it, it's nice to hear back from someone. I sent her a link to my class blog, and told her to keep up the good work with her writing!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blog Assignment #6

     For this blog assignment, Dr. Strange asked us to write a little bit about our progress in developing our own PLN (Personal Learning Network). If you've never heard of a "PLN" before, you can think of it as a group of people and tools that you can call upon for help, consultation, collaboration, ideas, inspiration, and other assistance that you might need in teaching. This is my first PLN, and so far I've found that the best way that I can start building up a network of people that I can reach out to when I need help or advice as I become a new teacher is through Twitter. So far, I've started the process of creating my own PLN by following all of my group members in EDM 310, Dr. Strange and all of the lab professionals, and other teachers and blogs that I've found to be helpful through research that I've done, and my C4T's. As I'm learning more about twitter, I'm finding that it is a great way to connect with other educators who truly have a passion for teaching, and it's also a great way to follow discussions about particular topics that you find interesting. I really hope to build up my twitter feed with lots of amazing teachers that inspire me, and who can help me as I'm on this journey of becoming a teacher someday! 

     Dr. Strange also suggested that we check out Symbaloo, which is a great website for keeping track of your favorite websites, social media sites, bookmarks, blogs, and other most used websites. It even has a feature where you can have a Google search bar on your homepage, so you really have everything you need all in one place! Symbaloo could be used for anything, but I can see how it can be especially useful for being able to quickly and easily access all of the different aspects of your PLN! So far, I've started building up my Symbaloo by adding the EDM 310 Class Blog and the Instruction Manual, my Twitter, and a few other education blogs that I've been enjoying reading. I hope to continue adding more tools and resources as I keep doing research in EDM 310 so that way I will have a collection of places to go to when I need help, advice, or information in the future!

Screenshot of Symbaloo

     So far my PLN is small, but I'm finding more teachers and blogs that I can follow everyday as I'm doing research for this class! I hope to keep finding other teachers, education blogs, and different tools and resources that I can save which will help me to build up my PLN even more. I know that this will inspire me to become a better teacher, and it will also give me a lot of resources to look back on anytime I need help, and especially when I graduate and first start out my career as a teacher! 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Project #8 [Book Trailer]

     For Project #8, Dr. Strange had us create our own book trailers! If you've never heard of a book trailer before, the best way to explain them is that they are just like movie trailers except they are made for children's books instead. Book trailers are simple videos that can be created with a program like iMovie, and they can be used to give kids a quick glimpse into what the book is about before reading! All of the book trailers made through EDM 310 are published on CD's, and then shared with schools throughout Mobile and Baldwin County. By sharing these book trailers with local school libraries, hopefully it will get kids more excited and more interested in reading. By providing them with short videos to give them a sneak peak into the twist of the story, kids can pick out books that really spark their interests, encouraging them to read more!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Blog Assignment #5

Project Based Learning
     In the first two videos that Dr. Strange provided for us to watch this week, Anthony Capps, a former EDM 310 student and lab professional, talks about his experiences with Project Based Learning in his 3rd grade classroom at Gulf Shores Elementary. Project Based Learning is all about getting away from the typical belief that projects can only be done as a way to show what students have already achieved, and starting to realize that they can also be used as a method by which we learn! It is inspiring what Anthony's 3rd grade students are doing, and how involved they are with their own learning. His students were given the opportunity to pick their top favorite letters that they wanted to send to the congressmen, and they showed great pride in their work as a whole! When students have some sort of choice, decision, or when they feel involved in the learning process, it will make them more interested in everything, and  make them care more about what they are doing! Anthony's students were really proud to share what they were working on with others, and I think that says a lot. Anthony says teachers should have the attitude that if you "create an opportunity for students to do more than what you want them to do, they will!"

     Through one of the videos that Dr. Strange assigned for us to watch this week, Anthony Capps introduced me to a website called iCurio, which allows students to safely search the internet for curated websites, audio & video resources, and even images. This is a valuable tool in itself for teachers to use with their students because it keeps students away from all of the bad stuff that is out there on the internet, and keeps them focused on internet sources that are handpicked, and that can be trusted as actual reputable resources. Not only does iCurio provide that, but it also has a feature that allows teachers and students to create accounts where they can save, and organize the resources that they find! This can be used to teach students about virtual organization, a skill that they can use later in life, and it comes in handy when students need to save the sources that they find for a research project or any other activity that they might need to access those sources later! Teachers can also handpick sources that they want their students to look at, and then share them and make them available to the class, which can then be accessed anytime, anywhere! Dr. Strange also mentioned a bookmarking website called Delicious, which allows you to save and organize links that you find to be interesting or helpful, and don't want to lose track of! iCurio definitely seems like a top pick for teachers to use with their students though because of the curated material.

Discovery Ed     
     In this video, Anthony Capps talks about Discovery Ed, something that is used in Baldwin County, which brings experts into the classroom via video! For example, when his students did a project about plants, they were able to find videos about different types of plants, and information from experts on the topic. This brings the different subjects that students have to learn about to life when they actually get to see it for themselves! When students are able to see an example of something they are learning through video or other media, they will be able to remember it better. It will stick with them! Dr. Strange talks about how in this day and age students usually listen and watch more than they read and write. If we can find a way to use this to our advantage, then our students can take all of this information that they are able to so easily access, and use it to create things, think outside of the box, learn useful skills, and to help them learn how to become "doers". We need to teach our students how to use these skills, and put them to action!

Strange Tips for Teachers
     In this video, Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps take turns sharing some of their most valuable tips for teachers, and I've created an outline below which covers some of the main points!
  • You must enjoy learning yourself! - At the end of the day, teachers must enjoy learning themselves because we are in a career where we will need to become lifelong learners to be truly successful, and we need to know how to encourage our students to become lifelong learners also.
  • Teaching is hard work! - Teaching goes far outside your 8 hour work schedule because at the end of the day, you have to come home and reflect on what worked and what didn't, and then you have to make adjustments from there.
  • Always remember to be flexible! -  This is an important one because there will times when a particular method just isn't working or you'll run into technical troubles. Teachers have to be comfortable with being flexible, and need to remember that they shouldn't get discouraged when something needs to be done differently!
  • Start with an end in mind. - Teachers should always have an end goal in mind with whatever we are doing with our students! This helps us to stay on track, and helps us make sure that what we are doing is actually effective.
  • Keep kids engaged! - Students are able to learn better when they are engaged so we need to remember to plan on how we will actually achieve this when we teach them!
  • Reflection - Not only do teachers need to reflect on how they are doing at the end of the day, but it's awesome when students have an audience for the work they are doing so that audience can reflect on how much the students have achieved, and also give any advice to the teacher about how something could work better the next time around. When students have other people judging their work, it usually makes them take more pride in it! This also might encourage students to start reflecting on their own work, which is an important thing to be able to do in life!
Technology - Don't Teach Tech, Use It!
     In this video, Anthony Capps brings up a valid point that technology is an important part of the world we live in and our everyday lives so it's a little crazy that there is still controversy about whether or not students need to be learning how to use it! Dr. Strange and Anthony take the intimidating factor away from how we are going to achieve this when they suggest that instead of taking time out of our schedules to teach technology, we should just design projects where technology can be used as a tool. Focus on using one type of technology at a time, start with something simple, and then build from there. Whenever you start the next project, you can incorporate the last thing you learned so that students will get a chance to review, and see that the skill they learned can be useful in more ways than one. It's amazing to see kids starting to build these skills so early in life because they will definitely need these skills later in life! No, the technology will not be the same, but it builds the skills that students will need to use whatever technology is available at their fingertips 20 or 30 years from now. Teachers don't have to be intimidated because this can be taken as a slow process.
It doesn't have to be perfect the first time around! Teachers
can do it first, experiment to see any problems or questions that might arise, and then they can work with their students to solve the problems together. As you gain more experience, and build up useful resources and tools, it will become faster and easier to plan ways to use technology in the classroom over and over again. You have to start from somewhere!

Additional Thoughts About Lessons
     In this video, Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps talk about the 4 layers of lesson planning, and how you need to approach this process in order for it to be effective. I've broken it down into an outline, and discussed what is involved in each process below.
  • Year - Are you going to be able to cover all of your content standards? Have you written a curriculum map that ensures that all of those standards get covered?
  • Unit - Have you devised unit projects or another method that you are going to use to be able to teach the material in a meaningful way that will be connected to the bigger picture or the end goal in sight?
  • Week - How are you breaking down it down by week so that you can get everything in the unit done?
  • Daily - What am I going to do in class everyday to be able to meet the goals for the week?
     Anthony and Dr. Strange then went on to talk about the fact that you don't necessarily have to start from the outside in, but you really need to have all of those components in mind while you are lesson planning. You need to have an end goal in sight, and then break it down into smaller achievable goals. If you don't think about the end goal, then how are you going to know what you need to do or if you are on the right track to accomplishing it?

Project #7 [My Sentence Videos]

This Is My Sentence...

This Is My Passion...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Project #4 [C4T Summary #1]

     For Project #4, I'll be featuring different teachers' blogs & blogposts right here on my EDM 310 class blog. I'll be sharing some of the awesome things that they are doing in their classrooms, and sharing our interaction through comments. This will show how easy it can be to build up a PLN (Personal Learning Network), how valuable it can be to connect with other teachers & their classrooms through class blogs, and how many great ideas you can get from exploring what's out there! I've already found some great suggestions, and this is only week 1. For my first C4T, I'll be featuring the Tcher's Voice.
     For the first post I checked out, Elizabeth Weiland shared a video playlist of 9 different strategies for effective classroom management. This is something that new teachers might struggle with, and the tips shared in these videos are so good that I think both new teachers and experienced ones can benefit from watching them! These videos are definitely something I will look back on after I graduate when I am setting the standards for what I want my classroom culture to be like.
     For my comment, I introduced myself, and let Elizabeth know that I was taking EDM 310, and a little bit about what this class is all about. I let her know that I'd be writing about the Tcher's Voice over on my blog, and that I'd be sharing some of the tips & advice I find with my fellow classmates! I also let her know how helpful, and informative I thought this video playlist was, and that it is definitely going to come in handy whenever I am working on creating a positive, effective learning environment in my own classroom someday. 
     The second post I checked out from the Tcher's Voice was about lesson planning, and Lily Jones shared a few websites with free templates that can be used to help teachers focus on how they will use the Common Core. Lily suggests that there are 5 essential components of lesson planning:
Objective/Learning Goal - What will students learn from this lesson?
Time - Estimate how long each part of the lesson will take. 
Differentiation Strategies - How will you support students who need extra help and students who need an extra challenge? 
Sequence - Describe what will happen during each part of the lesson.
Assessment - How will you know what the students have learned?
     Some of the websites she shared were really great for customizing categories such as "essential questions", "objectives", "warm-up activity", etc., and how you will introduce the Common Core in your lesson plans. A few of them to check out are English Teacher's FriendMy Book Ezzz, and Common Curriculum. I think these can be really beneficial when we first start out teaching, and start building up our lesson plans. The templates are easy to fill out, and they help keep you focused about what your goals in teaching actually are. Plus, it helps you remember to focus on how you will teach the Common Core! 
     For my second C4T, I let Lily know how much I appreciated her sharing these free templates with us! I looked over them, and it was pretty amazing how you could customize them to have your own categories to make them work for your own individual classroom or even different classes. On some of the websites you can even save your templates to make future lesson planning faster and easier, but at the same time keeping it effective! I let Lily know that I'll definitely be bookmarking these, and that I'd be sharing them on my blog for all of the other EDM 310 students to check-out. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Blog Assignment #4

     For this blogpost assignment, Dr. Strange asked us to really think about questions, their role in the classroom, and how we plan to use them to be an effective teacher. After reading Edutopia's post about "The Goal of a Question", it really had me thinking. Ben Johnson brings up an important point that teachers need to "come to grips with the fact that we really do not know everything, and there is no reason to assume that the students know nothing." We need to make students feel involved from the beginning, and show them that we believe in them, and have faith in them to be able to figure out answers to questions on their own (after all, they do have the technology to do that nowadays)! A teacher's role is definitely shifting, and we need to guide our students to become lifelong learners instead of using the same old fashioned teaching routines. This involves asking a lot of questions!
     A lot of teachers use questions as a way to check their students' understanding of the material. After teaching, they will typically ask if anyone has any questions or go over some review questions, and then decide if it's time to move on to the next lesson or not. The problem with this is that it's so easy for students to figure out that if they just say yes, the teacher will move on without ever challenging them or making them think outside of the box! Much less, students may not realize that they don't actually have a good enough understanding of the material yet. Edutopia suggests that we can avoid this by asking specific questions, and probing students to push them further so the teacher can actually distinguish whether or not the students understand the material or not. Asking simple, closed questions definitely won't cut it for this! 
     Another point that really stood out to me is that students can pick up on how they are perceived by both their teachers and their peers, and they will identify with that, which in turn has a major effect on how engaged they might be in the classroom. For example, when a teacher asks a challenging question, the students who believe that they aren't the "smart ones" or who don't feel motivated will automatically check out, and let the "smarter" students take a stab at answering the question. As future educators, we can't allow this! We need to keep all of our students engaged for the longest amount of time possible to the best of our ability, and we need to make sure every student feels involved in the classroom!
     Of course, there will always be problems with students daydreaming, and not participating, but we can use questions to help break this cycle! If we show our students that we believe in them to be able to figure out the answer to any question, it will help them build up confidence in themselves, and students who typically feel like they can just slide by because they are the "trouble makers" or aren't one of the "smart ones" will soon realize that they have potential too! Edutopia had a great tip for keeping students fully engaged during questioning for the whole class time. They suggest asking a question, pausing for a few seconds, and THEN calling out a student's name so that way the students attempt to figure out the answer until they realize who is actually going to be called on. If a teacher just calls on a student in the first place, the rest of the students will relax, breathe a sigh of relief, and check out because they don't have to worry about being called on anymore! Another way to make questioning more effective is to come up with a random system for calling on students. You don't want students to think "one and done", meaning that they check out and stop paying attention after they've answered their one question for the day! 
   The Teaching Center recommends using Bloom's Taxonomy for the perfect combination of asking effective questions. According to their website, this means "combining questions that require lower-order thinking to assess students' knowledge and comprehension with questions that require higher-order thinking to assess students' abilities to apply, anaylze, synthesize, and evaluate". A good way to do this is to ask a combination of closed questions, which have simple, short answers, and open ended questions, which require students to think outside of the box.
Bloom's Taxonomy
     At this point, you might be wondering how to go about implementing these tips for your own classroom! Faculty Focus recommends three tips for using questions in the classroom: 1. Prepare Questions
2. Play With Questions
3. Preserve Questions
     By taking the the time to think about which questions to ask before hand, teachers can be better prepared, and come up with questions that will challenge students and eventually help them to better understand & retain the material. Teachers should also stay open to playing around with the questions. Sometimes we might find that our questions are confusing, or not challenging enough, and we have to be open to change! The last tip is to preserve questions for future use. We can do this by saving questions that really make our students think or encourage discussion, and build off of them. We can also take recommendations from our students! Once a teacher turns their classroom into an environment where questions are constantly being asked, and they aren't so intimidating anymore, students will be more likely to participate and bring their own questions up to the plate! 
     One of the mottoes in EDM 310 is "questions are more important than answers." I definitely agree with this because questions lose their magic after students figure out the correct answer. The part of questioning that is important is the thought process because that is what students are going to remember, and that is what sticks with them! It is our job as teachers to figure out the right types of questions to ask so we can create the right type of learning environment for our students! 

Project #3 [Presentation]

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Blog Assignment #3

      After reading Paige Ellis' blog post assignment about peer editing, I realize that peer editing is not something I should get cold feet about. I'm always afraid that I might come across in a negative light without realizing it, or that someone might interpret what I have to say in the wrong way, which is never what I intend at all! By using some of the steps mentioned in the "What is Peer Editing" video and "Peer Edit with Perfection" tutorial, you can easily avoid these issues. I've listed below the three steps mentioned in these articles which can make this process as pain free as possible.
Keep Calm and Stay PositiveThree Steps to Remember:
1. Stay Positive (Make Compliments)
2. Make Suggestions (Be Specific!)
3. Corrections
     One of the easiest ways to go about critiquing your peer's work is to first start out with all of the positives! Find a few elements in their writing that you really enjoyed reading or hit home with. Let them know which particular content stands out to you in a positive way. By starting out your critique with a good attitude, your peers will be more accepting of what you have to say, and this will help them realize that you are not coming from a negative place with your suggestions.
     Next, make suggestions and corrections that could help improve their writing. A few of the things you can focus on are spelling and grammar, word choice and details, organization and structure, and whether or not the content applies to the topic at hand. The important thing to remember is to be specific about what needs to be corrected. However, when doing this, it's also important to keep in mind which things you should suggest publicly or privately. Paige was kind enough to share her email interaction with Dr. Strange about this particular issue when she was confused about how to approach the situation with one of her own classmates. Whether or not to correct someone publicly or privately is a decision we will all have to face as teachers someday, and it's important for us to have experience in deciding which way is the most appropriate for the given situation. The last thing you want to do when trying to help a fellow student or a student of your own is to make them feel embarrassed! This could lead to them feeling closed off, and not wanting to approach you for help in the future. One of the last things to remember from the videos discussed this week is not to be a "Mean Margaret", a "Picky Patty" or even worse a "Whatever William". You can see what I mean by watching Tim Bedley's video below!

   It is our job as future educators to be able to critique our students' work, and give them guidance about how to better their writing capabilities without embarrassing them or hurting their feelings. We have to know how to approach these situations, and what better way to practice than to work with our own peers to help each other improve the quality of our own writing! The more practice you have with giving good peer reviews, the easier and more natural it becomes. The last thing to remember is giving good peer reviews not only involves critiquing other people's work, but also includes becoming a good listener to be able to use other people's suggestions as a way to improve your own writing. It's not a one way street! By being open to what others have to say, it will only help you improve yourself. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blog Assignment #2

Mr. Dancealot:
     Professor Dancealot is a humorous video posted on youtube by Kari Johnson that shows how much can go wrong when a course's goals, assessments, and learning activities aren't aligned. Professor Dancealot, who is in charge of teaching a social dancing class, uses PowerPoints to teach his students how to dance. The students are expected to sit there quietly and take notes without participating. As you can imagine, it'd be pretty hard to learn a dance without any hands on practice or experience! When it's time to take the final exam, everyone is confused and doesn't even know where to begin, even though they tried to prepare with the notes they were given. This style of learning is incredibly similar to most classes I've taken in my lifetime!
     While note taking definitely has its time and place, some subjects are best learned when the material is presented in a way that actually engages students. Not all information needs to be taught in the typical lecture based style, especially dancing! Most of the times students are able to take more away from a class when they actually get involved, and have hands on experience in learning a subject! I think Professor Dancealot was created to encourage teachers to break away from this old way of teaching, and to inspire them not to turn into one of those kinds of teachers. In this day and age, we have so many more options to turn to that can inspire us to be able to present material in a new & fresh way to our students! 

Teaching in the 21st Century:
     Teaching in the 21st Century is a Prezi created by Kevin Roberts. This presentation breaks down how the world has changed, and why the way teachers need to approach education needs to change too! Roberts explains that since students have so much technology available at their fingertips to access any information they could ever want or need, the typical role of teachers is now no longer needed. We need to switch the focus from teaching facts and random bits of information to teaching skills that our students will be able to take with them, and use forever! I've created an outline that lays out some of the main points of Robert's argument. This video is powerful, and really makes you think about teaching from a whole new perspective! I highly recommend that any future educator watch it so they can understand Robert's point of view! 

- What does it mean to teach in the 21st century?
     - Teachers only provide facts, dates, theories, etc.
     - This means the role of teachers is now obsolete...
- Students can find information anywhere.
     - Blogs, Youtube, Google, Wikipedia, Cellphones, iPads, etc.
- Teachers are there to be the filter to teach students how to handle this information! 
     - Students need to learn how to:
          - validate, synthesize, leverage, communicate,                     collaborate & problem solve.
- Should we be teaching facts and content vs. skills?
     - Students need to learn how to:
          - remember, understand, apply, anaylze, evaluate,                   create!
- What does this mean for the classroom?
Entertainment vs. Engagement
- It starts with YOU! 
     - See what's out there, start small, collaborate, take a            risk. 
The Networked Student Processes and Tools
 The Networked Student:
     The Networked Student, a youtube video posted by Wendy Drexler, shows just what might be expected of the 21st century student someday! In the video, an important question is posed: "Why does the networked student even need a teacher?" The video goes on to explain that a teacher is there to help their students learn how to build up their own PLN (personal learning network), to help them when they get stuck during their research, and to encourage them to keep striving to put their best effort forward. Not only is the teacher there to do that, but also to encourage students to become lifelong learners! That means taking advantage of their PLN, and everything that they have learned long after they have finished school! So yes, I agree that even though students are becoming more and more independent learners, and even though technology is available to allow them to do this on their own, teachers still need to be there to help guide them along the way as they go through this process.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts:
     Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts is a video post from Edutopia about all of the cool things that Vicki Davis is doing in her classroom. She brings up the point that she thinks every child is capable of learning, but when you only use paper and pencils in the classroom only certain types of learners are going to succeed. Mrs. Davis is able to teach the same curriculum in all of her classes, but customizes the specifics based on her students’ individual interests. Using this method, Mrs. Davis teaches her students how to use new software, how to blog, and how to collaborate with their own classmates as well as other students from around the world. 
     Mrs. Davis allows her students to share their projects and assignments through a website called DigiTeen, which encourages them to communicate and start discussions with other students about the material. One unique thing about Mrs. Davis is that when she introduces a term that her students are unfamiliar with, she expects them to google it and find out! It's important for students to be able to figure out some things for themselves in this day and age, especially when so much technology is right at our fingertips. Not only does she expect this from her students, but they are also responsible for teaching some of the lessons! When a student really understands and grasps a concept, they are allowed to get up in front of the class and teach their fellow classmates what they know. Mrs. Davis believes that this gives them the empowerment that they need to be confident in their skills, and to keep striving to be self learners.

Flipping the Classroom:
     Before I watched Ms. Munafo's video about Flipping the Classroom, I had heard about this idea before, but forgot what it was all about! I think this idea is pretty brilliant, especially when it comes to teaching math. To be able to use technology to introduce new lessons at home, this gives students more time in class to actually work at mastering those skills instead of spending so much valuable class time taking notes. Students can arrive to class already prepared with their questions, and with an idea of what they will be learning next so that way their teacher can begin to help them figure things out instead of wasting that time introducing the material. This idea also comes in handy because it gives students who need extra help some videos to look back on for review! Since I have my own Macbook, and I'm able to record videos pretty easily, I'd love to do this with my own math class someday!