Thursday, December 4, 2014

PROJECT #16 - iBook

iBook Project - Get Ready for a Trilling Ride Through EDM 310

Jennifer Cole, Sammi Taylor, Kyle Faxlanger, Caleb Fleming

For our last project, Group 6 (Jennifer Cole, Kyle Faxlanger, Caleb Fleming, Sammi Taylor) completed an iBook, which consists of a collection of different projects, videos, and blog posts that were done collectively and individually. Our theme was roller coasters. During EDM310, a student can have many ups and downs while working on assignments. (I personally have experienced some this semester.) There were a few twists and turns that we had to conquer. For example, the change of blog post #14 during the week it was due. Through all the assignments and deadlines, our group really learned the value of hard work and communication. We have truly enjoyed working together! We have experienced the trill and screamed our way thru the ride, (some turns enjoyable and some dips not so much enjoyable). As we get off and the safety belt is unlocked, we have to reflect on the lessons we have learned and take with us the skills we mastered to use in our future classroom. We have become lifelong learners! We hope Dr. Strange enjoys our iBook as much as we have enjoyed preparing for our last group project.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Summary of my Personal Learning Network (PLN)

     Since blog assignment #5, my PLN has grown. At the beginning, I stated that the only way I knew how to build my PLN was through Twitter. I was so wrong! Not only have I mastered Twitter, but I have established relationships with other teachers from around the world. I am following all of my C4T's that were assigned to me. Some of them are even following me back. In the process of finding articles for my blog, I am linked to different health and physical education teachers. I visit their blogs at least once a week. I already have a full list of ideas I want to incorporate into my classroom. I am using Symbaloo to keep all of my favorite websites and links together. Pinterest has given me tons of creative art projects that I want to implement into my lesson plans. My next quest is to join LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you to connect with others that are in your profession or share similar interests and it gives the option to attach a resume. This will definitely work towards my advantage when I start applying for jobs. I know my PLN will continue to grow as long as I take the time to search for other mentors and possible future colleagues. I am so excited about what the future holds!
Symbaloo front page with different apps and links

C4T #4

The Sandbox Manifesto
The Sandbox Manifesto

    In this post, Angela Maiers compares children playing in a sandbox to playing by the rules at work with others. She gives a manifesto to live by. "The Sandbox Manifesto is both a declaration and an invitation to keep the experience of the sandbox alive and to recognize and honor the wisdom we acquired through our experiences on the inside." She lists ten tenets to think about:

1. Sharing is caring
2. Messy is good
3. Imagination is your greatest asset
4. Sand is for filling buckets
5. Hugs help and smiles always matter
6. Take it to the community
7. The community means both friends and strangers
8. You have one job - be remarkable
9. You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul
10. Play is the work

  In my comment, I expressed that I really enjoyed reading her blog. I agreed with Mrs. Maiers that we as adults have lost the innocence that children have when they play with each other in the sandbox. I also expressed that my favorite part of her blog was manifesto #3, imagination is your greatest asset. She tells educators to dream big and bold and be brave. Her blog was very inspiring. Below is the comment I left:

   Hi Mrs. Maiers! My name is Sammi Taylor. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I will be summarizing my visits to your blog on my class blog on 11/30/14. This was a great post! I really enjoyed reading it. You are so right, we have strayed away from the lessons we learned playing in the sandbox. The innocence that surrounds the sandbox is something that I hope to instill into my students so they will carry it with them throughout their life. Your post challenges me to follow the rules of the Sandbox Manifesto. My favorite is the part where you said dream big and dream bold, anything is possible; be brave enough to believe it is true. So many times I have allowed fear to take over. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

Student Geniuses Stand Up in Grand Island

#Choose2Matter logo

   Mrs. Maiers, along with John Michel, a US Air Force General, spoke at a leadership assembly at Grand Island High School where she launched the program Choose2Matter. Choose2Matter is a program that encourages students to bring out the genius in themselves. So many times students define themselves by test scores and extracurricular achievements. Mrs. Maiers wants students to know they can change the world starting today. "The no. 1 rule of Choose2Matter is Be Brave." In my comment, I agreed that students should not base their self-worth off test scores and extracurricular achievement. I told her I was glad to see that she had a great turnout from the students at Grand Island. I wished her good luck on the program and a Happy Thanksgiving! Below is the comment I left:

   Hi Mrs. Maiers! Choose2Matter sounds like an excellent program for high school students. I agree, students should not be judged strictly off extracurricular achievement or test scores. So many students judge their self-worth from how many A's they get on assignments and on how many clubs they can participate in. Bringing out the genius in them will show them they can make a difference. I am glad to see you had a high turnout from the students in Grand Island. Good luck on the program. I have really enjoyed reading your blog! Happy Thanksgiving! Sammi Taylor EDM310

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Teaching Can Be A Profession by Joel Klein

Teacher from the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Joe Klein's article Teaching our children can be a profession: Column calls for changes in education. His main focus would be to professionalize teaching. He lists the problems and possible "solutions" that should be addressed.

Problems with teaching profession:
1. The academic programs
2. The recruitment process
3. The rewards teachers receive
4. The importance of seniority

Solutions to the problems:
1. Developing better academic training for prospective teachers
2. Recruit from the top one-third of new graduates
3. Rewards should be given based on performance
4. Professionalize teaching

   Mr. Klein suggests having better academic training for future potential teachers. Albert Shanker suggests that future educators be required to obtain "a supervised internship of one to three years." This would allow an in-depth evaluation of them. In my opinion, this is an excellent way to get high qualified teachers into classrooms. Academic programs should be monitored the same way medical and law schools are monitored. If the curriculum does not meet high qualifications, it should loose its accreditation. If the faculty is not training future educators to strive for schools to employ them, they too, should not be allowed to continue to teach.

   Mr. Klein states "virtually anyone with a college degree can become a teacher." Recruitment of future teachers are usually done in a four-hour block during a career fair. Although this can be effective, it is outdated. I agree that teachers should be recruited from the top-third of a graduating class. When we send our children to school, we are entrusting that their teacher is the best at what he or she does. I can remember my mother, who is a teacher herself, handpicking my teachers during elementary and junior high school. She wanted to make sure that I got the best education and a teacher that had a strict discipline mindset. Just like people want to go to the best doctors and lawyers, parents should have the peace of mind that their child is being educated by the best teacher.

   The problem with rewarding teachers based on seniority is that they are not judged based on their performance. He states the current approach is all teachers are thought of as being "interchangeable". I also agree that teachers need to be rewarded based on performance. Teachers that perform on a superior level should be awarded tenure. According to Webster's dictionary, "tenure is defined as the period or term of holding something, such as a position, and status is granted to an employee, usually after a probationary period, indicating that the position or employment is permanent." In my opinion, only high performing teachers and professors should be awarded tenure. I believe that the probationary period should be at least five years with each year being better than the last. This will allow first year teachers to set goals for themselves to achieve. If tenured teachers fall from this standard after a certain amount of years, tenure should be taken away.

   According to the article, some school districts are losing experienced teachers to middle-class communities, leaving other districts to hire non-experienced or non-effective teachers. Seniority has become a big problem for school districts. When there are layoffs or mandatory transfers, first year teachers are usually affected instead of least effective teachers. I do not believe in last hired, first fired. I think that there should be a universal standard that schools can follow in order to keep excellent first-year teachers. One solution given in the article is to professionalize teaching. How well an educator performs will be an indicator for a teacher to keep his or her job. Albert Shanker recommended developing a "knowledge base" with peer relationships, having merit-based career ladders, and requiring a national teacher examination that is very similar to the type of tests lawyers and doctors are required to take. In my opinion, having these requirements will definitely produce above average applicants.

Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions

    This is an article I recommend for all teachers and school board superintendents to read. As a future educator, I want to learn from the best so that I can teach to the best of my ability. Having the proper tools and knowledge will allow me to be on the same playing field as other applicants. A teacher should care more about shaping lives. The reward should not be whether I get tenured, but the joy and excitement of seeing one of my former students graduate and go off to college or start a career. That in itself is all the reward I need. I am here to inspire my students and get them to accomplish their dreams. In the words of Alexandra K. Trenfor, "the best teachers are those who show you where to look but don't tell you what to see."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

C4KSummary for November

Student Blogs with a picture of students sitting at a picnic table

Leigham is a 5th grade student in Mr. Akerson's class in St. Louis. She was asked to write a post about "My device is an animal". In this post, she was required to convince readers that her iPod was an animal. This was a great way to use descriptive words. I was totally convinced that her iPod could be considered an animal. Below is the comment I left on her blog:

Hi Leigham! My name is Sammi. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. This was an awesome post! I was really convinced that your iPod was an animal. You had my attention the entire time. Your words were so descriptive, by the end, I was thinking that an iPod could really be an animal. You have great writing skills. I especially loved how you incorporated a Bible verse. It really gave the iPod life. I can't wait to read the next one. Are you enjoying writing on a blog? Keep up the great work! Have a great semester!


Christian is a 5th grade student in Mrs. Mena class at Camarena Elementary School in Chula Vista, CA. He was to write a post using sequence words. He chose to use the recipe for making a PB&J sandwich. Using a recipe was a great way to introduce sequence. Using number words, like first and second, gives a clear direction to what is suppose to be done in a particular order. Below is the comment I left on his blog:

Hi Christian! My name is Sammi. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Al. I will be summarizing your blog post on my blog at the end of the month. This was a great use of sequence words! It was a good idea to use steps of a recipe to explain how things are to be done in a particular order. I especially liked how you are teaching your readers that the peanut butter goes on one side and the jelly on another. This is my favorite snack. I like to use strawberry jelly on my sandwich. Is PB&J your favorite snack too? Have a great school year Christian!


Marilyn is a 5th grade student in Mrs. Mena's class at Camarena Elementary School in Chula Vista, CA. After weeks of hard work, she was asked to write a reflection about what she has gained after taking a pre and post math test. She was very excited to see how much knowledge she gained about using division with decimals. In her class, they had intensive practice on finding length and width and how to get a 1 digit fact. I told her that it is wonderful that she has gained so much confidence in herself. I hope she continues to know that hard work does pay off. I believe she can succeed in anything she wants to accomplish. I wished her all the best for the rest of the school year. Below is the comment I left:

Hi Marilyn! My name is Sammi. I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. Great job on your post! Great job on the test! I love your enthusiasm towards learning. You are correct, hard work does pay off. I hope you continue to strive for greatness throughout your school year. I am very confident you will succeed in everything you set forth to accomplish. Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? Keep up the awesome attitude and confidence. Have a great school year Marilyn!

Sunday, November 16, 2014


What Can We Learn About Integrating Technology into Health and Physical Education?

Instructions: Watch these videos and read the article. Think about what skills you can learn to become an effective health and physical education teacher. Think about the importance of technology and how it can be incorporated in health and physical education. Summarize what you learned from these videos and article.

1. Integration Technology into Health Education (3:29) Betül Sahin

2. Physical Education and Technology (1:52) Kellen Glover

3. Using Technology to Teach Health and Wellness Mary Beth Hertz

4. Technology In Physical Education (4:00) Heather Lanclos

Answer the question in a post that adheres to the standards found in the ACCRS and in Writing A Quality Blog Post.

Health and Physical Education written on a chalkboard with a picture of an apple

"Teachers will not be replaced by technology, but teachers who don't use technology will be replaced by those who do." - Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

Integration Technology into Health Education by Betül Sahin

In Mr. Betül Sahin video, he talks about how to integrate technology in a health education classroom. Health education doesn't have to be boring with textbooks and outdated statistics. There are numerous exciting websites that keep students engaged in the lesson and offer teachers ways to teach their students to use tools to help them learn about healthy lifestyles, track their health progress, and compare their results to other students. He gives different websites that students can visit. If the internet is not available, there are software apps that can be used. For example, is an encouraging app to get kids active and running faster and further than ever before. As a future health education teacher, I learned that my class does not have to consist of me standing in front of my room, reading from Powerpoint slides, and giving outdated statistics. I want my students to get the content but also leave my class with the knowledge to keep an active lifestyle as an adult. I do not want my students to gain the infamous Freshman 15 pounds their first year in college. The tools I will show them can be used outside the class and hopefully passed to their family members.

Physical Education and Technology by Kellen Glover

Kellen Glover's video explains the importance of integrating technology into physical education classes. Technology is prevalent in today's students' lives that teachers have to be fully prepared to equipped their students with forms of technology. With a rise in obesity in younger kids, teachers must find all available resources to help fight this epidemic. Although technology in physical education is a relative new concept, it is important to incorporate and advance it to ensure success of both the teacher and student. He states "the traditional physical education classroom, which is a gym or outside with a bunch of sporting equipment is no longer accepted." He gives examples like treadmills and heart rate monitors, which are being used in classrooms K-12. I think all physical education teachers should be required to use some form of technology in their lesson. I can remember my gym teacher rolling out the ball and saying "go play and don't kill each other". This was not very affected because most students, especially the girls, would not participate. Most of them would sit on the wall and talk. If I am given the opportunity to do both health and PE, I would make sure that each student exercises at least 30 minutes a day. If they did not want to participate, I would try to engage them in other ways like letting them do what interest them as long as they were moving and staying active.

Using Technology to Teach Health and Wellness Mary Beth Hertz

Mary Beth Hertz, a K-8 Technology Teacher in Philadelphia, PA, gives different applications that can be used in health education. She states "there are so many apps in other core subjects like english and math, what digital technologies can be used in health?"

Sugar Stacks - shows images of everyday food with the grams of sugar it contains in stacks of cubes
BAM (Body and Mind) - ran by the CDC, covers nutrition to mental well being. Very kid-friendly
Running Map - students are able to plan a route to run. Great for track teams and PE classes

FatWorld - teaches the politics of nutrition
AdDecoder - teaches students to be more savvy about marketing tricks in the media

Pedometer - tracks how many steps the students take throughout the day or a workout
Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker - keeps track of daily calories and physical activity.

My fitness pal app
I personally use daily. I love this app. I can program how many calories I want to intake and it lets me know if I am on track to my target weight loss goal. Also, I plan to use the Sugar Stacks website for my personal use. In my classroom, I will definitely be using the BAM website. It covers all health topics and is kid-friendly. I want to share websites that my students will be allowed to use at home. The AdDecoder is a very good game to use for my middle and high school students. They are bombarded with so many different images of what society wants them to look like. I want them to know the difference between healthy and fit. Be skinny doesn't mean you are healthy or fit.

Technology In Physical Education by Heather Lanclos

There are different types of technologies that can be used in a PE class. Heather Lanclos describes different websites and games that can be incorporated into any grade class.

C-motion - is a music driven X-game style experience where the mind and body are constantly moving.

MP3 players and iPods can be used to get students moving and dancing. Also, a teacher can develop a game by using the iPod. is a program that can track student's food intake and physical activity. It will also manage their weight loss or weight gain goals.

Physical Educator's clipboard is a great tool for teachers to input lesson plans, assign students lockers, keep up with video and equipment inventory, and manage their classes.

Diagram of a heart rate monitor
Heart rate monitors use a chest strap and digital watch to analyze a heart rate. The strap transmits data to the watch. Monitors allow students to keep track of their heart rate and show them if they are exercising in their target heart rate zone. Students can use the monitors throughout the day. Some models will record how many calories the students burned in a day.

Teachers can incorporate video hardware machines into their daily lesson. WiiFit allows students to work on balance, yoga poses, strength, and high -intensity exercises. Dance Dance Revolution is a type of game that students can look forward to everyday. It allows them to move and dance. The students replicate the moves of the kids on the game. At the end, students are judged by the amount of correct dance patterns presented to them. Another prize for winning is being able to choose the next song. This is a great way to keep them active and show their creative dance moves.

I want to be able to use all of the technologies from this video. I want to make my class enjoyable and educational. Using technology in a health and physical education class will allow my room to become a 21st century state-of-the-art classroom. The skills and knowledge my students learn will allow them to become very active adults with few health problems.