Sunday, September 28, 2014

Book Trailer

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Blog Post #6

What I Learned From Anthony:

I watched many videos of Dr. Strange talking with Anthony who is a 3rd grade teacher at Gulf Shores Elementary. Together, they brought useful insight to resources you and I can use as teachers and helpful tips and tricks. 
One of the resources I learned about from Anthony is iCurio. This site allows students to search for things online by themselves in a safe environment with only sites that have been preapproved so it is guaranteed safe searching. Students and teachers can store things on iCurio also so teachers can upload an activity and share it for the students to complete. This is good practice for the students to practice organization skills also. iCurio has a directory feature for historical figures so children could also easily search for historical events or people by typing in key words.

icurio Learning Engagement Solution

Some other information I learned from Anthony is that project based learning is always evolving. The main goal of PBL is to have each student engaged and to make sure the kids learn something from the project rather than to do a project to assess their learning. He also stated the importance of having student interest in the project and that he got the best results when the project involved the community so the children could get real world experience. I learned that not everything will go as planned and that, as teacher, we should be flexible and creative to respond to unexpected events. I think the two most important things I learned from Anthony were to tallow the students to reflect on their own work and others to revise and see what they could do to make it better for next time and to always be a learner. Learn from your mistakes, learn from old resources, new resources, teachers you meet, students you meet because the ways of teaching are constantly evolving and knew knowledge can be learned from every person or resource you come in contact with.

doing projects versus project based learning

Blog Post #5

PLN's are an important part of growing as a teacher. PLN's, or Personal Learning Networks, are the people and tools you use for help or collaboration. While Twitter is a great tool for networking, I recently discovered Symbaloo Edu and I soon after became obsessed. Symbaloo is a website and an app for you phone where you can have all of the resources you use in one spot and with one click. You can make "Webmixes" which are basically categories for grouping websites or other resources. Thousands of teachers have already made Webmixes that they have shared and that you can add to your collection as well. This is a great way to keep track of all of you personal resources and a way to discover and share new ones. It is also easily accessible from any computer as long as you sign in with your username. I will most definitely continue to use this extremely helpful site.

sample of what a webmix on Symbaloo might look like

You can get started too!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Blog Post #4

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

- Resources
-Rule #1
-Rule #2
-Rule #3
-Rule #4

Source: Photo found here.

The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom
Asking Questions to Improve Learning
Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom
Asking Better Questions in the Classroom - YouTube
Questioning Styles and Strategies - YouTube
The Right Question Institute
Open Ended Questions - YouTube

Asking questions as a teacher can make or break a discussion. After reading and watching many valuable sources, I have concluded that there are four main rules to follow in being an effective teacher with our question asking skills. Those rules are:
1)Ask Open Ended Questions
This is important because it allows the students to form opinions and to brainstorm before answering. With a closed ended question, the student is only able to answer with a simple "Yes." or "No." and there is no thinking involved. When you ask an open ended question, it allows all of the students to think about the question and have a thought process. You can extend their thought process and allow them to hear other students thoughts on that subject by telling the class to turn to the person next to them and discuss each other's answers or by calling on multiple students so their brains stay stimulated and they keep thinking and evolving their answers.
2)Prepare Questions
It is important to prepare questions for the students in every subject because it can make the question more thorough. My history teacher always said, "You never know what you think until you write it down." I have found this to be more true as I have gotten older and it is true in this situation as well. When you are in class and do not prepare questions, you tend to ask questions as they pop in your mind. As great as that is, sometimes the question may not be as clear as you think and you have to try to make it clearer but it may just cause confusion. When you write down questions, Faculty Focus suggests to prepare questions that are thought provoking and to make sure it is asked at the right time.
3) Use Different Questioning Styles
Using different questioning styles is important to maintain the students attention. In the video Questioning Styles and Strategies, the teacher used four different questioning styles: mastery, interpersonal, understanding, and self-expressive. You will be teaching many different students with just as many different ways of learning so keeping a variety of questions on hand is a very useful tool. The mastery question could be a question to describe something. This is a way to let the students list and you can call on multiple if not all the students to add to a description. The interpersonal question is a "YOU" question. What do YOU like most about this? This is a fun question that gets the students thinking about personal preference and there are no wrong answers so it gets the reserved students involved. The understanding question style shows the comprehension level of the students and could be a group discussion before calling on specific students. The self-expression style is a way to let the student use his or her imagination. Tell them to draw a picture or use another way of self-expression. This will get the students thinking about what they like and do not like and lets them express it in a way they feel comfortable.
4) Provide Positive and Stimulating Feedback
Each student will have his or her own opinion and when teaching young students, they may still be trying to figure out what that opinion is. When they answer questions, especially interpersonal questions, provide feedback that is positive and stimulating. Let them know that you heard their answer and think that is a very interesting point of view but then you can expand on their answer by asking "In what ways?" or by probing for more details. You can also ask if anyone has a different opinion and allow a class discussion to allow the students to see all of the possibilities of that answer.

Search Engines

With so much information available on the Internet, how are you supposed to know what search engine to use? Google is obviously the most popular but have you ever thought about using something new? Check out these search engines below and what all they have to offer!
Source: Photo from here.

This search engine is more about facts, calculations, and data. You can type in any mathematical equation, chemical reaction, or calculus problem and it will compute the solution for you. It will also give you any information about any sports team but focuses on statistics and data for sports teams. I would suggest using this search engine if looking for data, statistics, or odds in a subject. For example, the homepage is very simple with only a search bar and if you typed in “Dallas Cowboys” in the search bar, it would give you the city, league, division, team logo, and the current season’s statistics including the yards gained, total first downs, third downs percentage, and total number of plays. While it does offer information on people and popular culture, its specialty is hard facts, data, and trivial questions.
Visit Wolfram|Alpha here.

Yahoo! is an international search engine that searches the web for information using the key words you type in the search box. It has more of a social base to the website and has options for you to use its resources for email, to get the latest gossip in the celebrity world, or the latest news on what is happening in other countries overseas. The homepage for Yahoo! has many options other than the search bar including a slide show of the most popular stories, a “Trending Now” column, and a side bar with different categories of stories to choose from. It also has sidebars for you to look at the weather in your area, your horoscopes, the scores to the latest games, and even a comic strip box. To use Yahoo!, you could type in key words in the search bar and it would pull up various pages from the web and sort them by their relevance to your key words or you could explore what information it has to offer by clicking on the links in the categories column or any other side bars on the homepage. I would suggest using Yahoo! if you were interesting in popular culture and entertainment.
Visit Yahoo! here.

Bing is also a search engine that searches the web for information by using the key words that you type in the search box. For example, when I typed in “Dallas Cowboys” in the search box, it brought up a link to the most recent news about a player, then a link to the team’s official website, then the scores from the most recent game and links to any other pages regarding the team that held the words “Dallas Cowboys” in them. On the side of the page however, it had a link to a Wikipedia page about the team, the current coach, owner, venue, division, and the roster. At the bottom of the page it also had a link and live feed to the teams Twitter feed. It gives a variety of information about a subject and does not offer any distractions. Something that sets Bing apart from the other search engines is that it offers Bing Rewards. If you join and sign in as a member with an email address or through Facebook and search using Bing, you can earn points and redeem them for gift cards to places such as Starbucks,, Xbox, etc. or you can even donate your earnings to certain charities. I would suggest using Bing to earn rewards while searching and to look for detailed information on a subject without the temptations of distractions.
Visit Bing here.

Ask is a general search engine that focuses on questions and answers. For example, you can type in the search box “Why is the sky blue?” and it will pull up many web pages with the title “Why is the sky blue?” to give a quick and simple answer. It also has an option on the side to look at related images and videos. Ask has a simple homepage with a search bar, a “Question of the Day” where you can answer and it will give you the correct answer and how others have answered, and a poll. They do not offer too many distractions and give straight forward answers. I would suggest using Ask for general questions that do not need much research.
Visit Ask here.

WebCrawler is a search engine that combines the top search results from Google and Yahoo!. It has a simple homepage with just a search bar and a Featured Searches column with popular webpages. To use WebCrawler, type in key words or phrases to find information on a subject and it will give you the top web pages for those key words. I would suggest using WebCrawler to find the most relevant web pages on a certain key words.
Visit WebCrawler here.

InfoSpace is a search engine that gets its results from Google, Yahoo! search, and Yandex. To use InfoSpace, type in key words into the search engine and it will find the top searches from Google, Yahoo!, and Yandex then filter the searches to give you the most relevant pages based on your key words. The homepage is very minimal and other than a search bar, it only has links to inform you about the history of the website and how it gets information. I would suggest using InfoSpace to get a variety of top results without the distractions of popular culture.
Visit InfoSpace here.

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that also pulls webpages from the Internet according to what you type in the search bar. The homepage is minimal and only has the search bar, an option to make it your homepage, and a link to learn more about the website. This search engine is unique because it does not track your searches. Most search engines keep what you search in a data base but DuckDuckGo does not. That is why it will not have suggested searches for you and has a strict privacy policy which you can view on their website. They got very popular when the NSA scares about them spying on people came out and people wanted to protect their privacy by using private search engines. They focus less on keeping up with your data and more on finding you quick answers or information on whatever it is you are searching for. Since they are a private search engine, they also have fewer ads which means less distractions so you can focus on your results. I would suggest using DuckDuckGo when wanting quick results with no distractions and wanting the comfort of having privacy.
Visit DuckDuckGo here.

Blekko is a search engine that uses the key words you type in the search bar and uses its own system to filter through webpages on the Internet to bring you the best results with spam-free webpages. Blekko uses its technology to filter and specify the most relevant webpages based on your searches. For example, when I typed in “Dallas Cowboys” in the search bar, the site had a Wikipedia paragraph about the team, then a “Top Results” category with multiple web page options, a “Shopping” category with many pages where you can purchase team items, a “Latest” category to give you the top stories on players and what has been in the news recently, and many more categories to narrow down exactly what you are searching for. Since Blekko uses their technology to filter through the webpages to find secure sites, you can easily find the IP addresses to find where the site is run from to assure you of the sites safety. I would suggest using Blekko when searching for an unknown, general subject because it sorts the sites in categories for you so you can determine exactly what you want to learn about the subject. I would also use Blekko when searching on an unprotected computer since it does not allow spam pages on the search results.
Visit Blekko here. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Blog Post #3

How Can You Provide Meaningful Feedback To Your Peers?

- What is peer editing?
- Why providing meaningful feedback is important
- Why it can help me and the person whose work I am critiquing
- What I learned most from the slideshow and my interpretation
- What I learned from the Top 10 Mistakes video

Source: Photo found on This site on how to edit a sermon

From the What is Peer Editing? video, I learned that peer editing means "working with someone your own age to help improve, revise, and edit his or her writing." I think the most important thing to keep in mind while editing a peer's work is that you are doing this to improve their work. The criticism given should only serve to improve their work now and in the future.
Providing meaningful feedback to your peers is important because it is making their work better and it teaches you what mistakes to look for in your own work. I learn better if I am teaching someone. For example, if I had to learn about the muscles of the human body, I would retain much more information by telling someone else and explaining it to them than just by reading it on a note card. The same goes with critiquing someone else's blog post or project. By critiquing their work in a meaningful way, I am simultaneously making notes of what to look for in my own projects and making sure I do not make the same mistakes.
In the slideshow, Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial, I loved the three simple steps they gave to effectively peer edit. Their steps were to:
1. Compliment
2. Suggestions
3. Corrections
Complimenting someones work is a great way to start off peer editing because people are more likely to listen to what you have to say if you start off by praising what you like about their work. Step 2 is to offer any suggestions. This could be anything that you think could be done to the blog post or project that could improve it such as making sure that everything is organized so everything flows or making sure there are plenty of details and that they stay on topic.  The final step is to help show them any corrections that need to be made. These are minor mistakes like spelling, grammar, punctuation, or sentence structure. All of these steps should be completed in the most positive and helpful way. The main point is to help them improve and not to make them feel bad about their work.

In this short video, Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes, the scene that had the biggest impact on me was where one of the children acted like Defensive Dave. This scene shows how NOT to act when your own work is being critiqued. The important thing to learn from this video is that peer reviewing can be difficult but to know that the peer edits are meant to help and hurt you. You should not take the critiques personally and to keep in mind that someone you are critiquing may think that way and to adjust you approach to make sure they feel comfortable and not feel like you are putting them or their work down.