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.


PART B: Delivering A Lesson via the SMARTboard

Group 6 demonstrated a lesson on the Math standard - Use trigonometric ratios and the Pythagorean Theorem to solve right triangles in applied problems.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher? How are they useful?

Group 6 consists of Caleb Fleming, Jennifer Cole, Kyle Faxlanger, and Sammi Taylor. We were asked to watch videos and answer the driving question, "what assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher and how are they useful?" In health education, I would issue I Pads to my students with disabilities. I pads are useful especially when I teach about different food groups and exercises that will maintain a healthy lifestyle. I Pads will improve the accuracy and speed of their work . I would make sure their learning was personal to their need. Also, I would reinforce effective classroom instruction and work using different assistive technologies.


Mrs. Lydia Shantazio, 12th grade English Teacher, Davidson High School


Kids standing in a rain puddle all wearing rubber boots

Classroom Tour 2014-15

Ms. Sandi Purdell-Lewis, a Kindergarten teacher in Canada, invites visitors to her blog to take a detailed tour of her classroom. Her goal is to make her classroom a place where both her students and their families feel welcomed. She wants her classroom to showcase what the students have learned throughout the year in Kindergarten. Her classroom is not meant to be overwhelming, but designed to spark her students' curiosity. She begins guiding visitors through the exterior door. When visitors first walk in, there is a station called the "command center". This is where parents will find the lost and found and students will find the scissor practice box. Next is the "cloakroom", what she believes is wasted space and should be used for an instructional area instead of storage for coats and shoes. Ms. Purdell-Lewis further takes visitors by the learning activity bins and toy storage where visitors can also find the line-up dots. Line-up dots are not only used for order during line-up, but for number practice. Next is the cosy corner for reading and her desk area. Following that, she introduces "the rainbow", which stores loose parts and is a station for games designed for students to explore their imagination. Next is "the house" with the tree changing seasons which is signified by colors of balloons. There is a dress-up area along with a cosy curl chair. The yearly calendar, which is the focal point of the classroom, depicts all lessons for the entire year. There is an art area with a digital projector and science area for students to explore. I especially liked how each station promoted and enhanced a skill for students to keep with them throughout their life. This was a very warm and inviting classroom and I hope each student loved it as much as I did. I am thankful for the tour! Below is the comment I left:

Hi Sandi! My name is Sammi Taylor. I am a student of Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I will be summarizing my visits to your blog with a post to my blog on 11/09. My twitter address is @PoiseRed. I really enjoyed touring your classroom! It is very inviting and full of creativity! I really liked when you stated it is for the students and their families. Incorporating families is a great way to keep them involved into their child's learning journey. I also liked how each station is designed to promote and enhance a skill that students can carry with them throughout life ie the house and scissor practice sand table. Thank you for sharing your classroom. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Have a great year!

Dancing Skeleton

For Halloween, Ms. Purdell-Lewis had her students make a dancing skeleton from paper, Q-tips, and creativity (kids brought this). She listed the instructions on how to form the skeletons. She makes the comment "anatomy is not quite right, but our skeletons have personality." She displayed a few of her students' skeletons on her blog. My favorite was the skeleton with the top hat and cane. She also gives links to more projects and to a book about skeletons that could be read to the class. Below is the comment I left:

Hi Sandi! The dancing skeletons are great! The creativity really showed in this project. I especially liked the skeleton with the top hat and cane. It is great that you encourage free-flowing imagination in your class. I can only hope I will be as encouraging as you are when it comes to my students' projects. Also, it seems that your classroom is a very warm and inviting environment to learn and grow as a student. Thanks for the glimpse into your classroom.
Dancing skeleton made from Q-tips

Sunday, November 2, 2014


What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?

The videos that were assigned to the class by Dr. Strange were all different ways to teach teachers how to use technology and project based learning in their classrooms. These videos allow future educators, like myself, to explore ways to keep students engaged and not just give information and have them memorize it for a test. Dr. Strange posed the question, "what can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?"

Brian Crosby, Agnes Risley Elementary School

Brian Crosby is a 4th grade teacher in Sparks, Nevada, that teaches 2nd language learners. His class consists of at-risk students, which are students who qualify for a program that allows them to get free lunch. His students are working on a project using a high-altitude balloon to show how hot-air balloons are created. In this video, Mr. Crosby suggests not to rush students through their academic journey. He states "we can't race kids through school. It can't be a race. We have to keep making sure to give them opportunities to build scheme for the world." Students should be empowered to learn on their own. This is called active learning. I learned that it is important to always have your students engaged in their studies. When students do a project that is based on PBL standards, students should articulate their words, review their assignment, and shine when presenting their work. I learned that I should be changing my students lives. When they leave my class, I want them to leave with knowledge that stays with them, not memorized facts they will forget later. I also learned in order to build my students' personal learning network, I must connect them to other students and teachers from across the world.

Blended Learning Cycle
Blended learning cycle model

Paul Anderson is a high school science teacher in Bozeman, Montana. In his video, he discusses how a blended learning cycle works. Blended learning could be online, mobile, and in a classroom. A learning cycle consists of engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluate. He teaches his students using this cycle. He uses the acronym QUIVERS to explain his style of teaching.

                                          Qu - Question
                                          I - Investigation/Injury
                                          V - Video
                                          E - Elaboration
                                          R - Review
                                          S - Summary Quiz

This acronym shows what Mr. Anderson implements in each assignment given to his students. I learned that there are many different ways to teach a class. Being in EDM 310, which is a blended class, has given me ideas on how to have my students engaged in learning when they are on holiday vacation. I can still introduce or fine-tune lessons through the class blog. So many times teachers have to reintroduce skills after school breaks. I want to alleviate that problem. I also learned to allow my students to participate in more peer reviews and grading of their classmates' work. This will allow me to get a different perspective on my students' work and take into consideration what the reviews are saying.

Making Thinking Visible

In Mark Church's video, he proposes a topic to his students in order for them to collaborate with each other. After watching a video, he asks the students to write a headline based off the main idea of the video. I learned working in small groups will not disrupt class. It is a good idea to allow students to share their thoughts and work together to develop a headline. As a future educator, I will promote group discussions. Students can get different views and ideas from one another.

Building Comics
I am a digital citizen kid descriptions

In Sam Pane's video, he uses a very innovative and interactive way to teach his students to be good super digital citizens online. He explains to them how to evaluate what information is being advertised on websites they may go to for research. He asks his students "what kind of power does the internet give us?" Each student built a superhero digital citizen, which is a person that uses the internet responsibly, safely, and respectfully. They were to come up with a comic strip using their character and a picture of themselves showing how to be a good digital citizen. The superhero saves the students from making a mistake while using the internet. Making comics is a great way to teach visual presentation skills and text. I loved how he had them communicate with the superhero. I must teach my students to make good decisions while using the internet to do research for school or just for fun. The internet is not something to be feared, but must be used in a responsible way. I must help them recognize safe sites and how to exit out of a page they may have journeyed to by mistake. The concept of a digital superhero is a great idea to implement in my class one day. Not only does it show how to be good digital citizens, but it promotes creativity in my students' visuals and writing.

Project Based Learning

In Dean Shareski's video, he introduces a new approach to teaching core subjects. Classrooms in Canada are combining History, English, and Information processing into a blended course. With this approach, students are able to become engaged learners and develop a deeper understanding of the material. Students are also encouraged to take ownership of their projects and strive to do better on them. The teachers can give more feedback to the students about their projects. One teacher states "students can grasp things that they wouldn't have using paper and pencil." I really like this idea of a blended classroom. I would have my students know the history behind books that they are assigned to read. I would also have them present the assigned book using some form of technology, using the internet to gather information. I would expect more from them because they have time to spend on the project since they do not have to switch classrooms.

Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program

In Roosevelt Elementary School, project based learning is a standard in each classroom. PBL is described as:
                                     - In depth learning
                                     - Integrated thematic instruction
                                     - Based on a real world problem
                                     - Research-based
                                     - Project and presentation

Each teacher is dedicated to teaching each student skills in public speaking at a young age. Each teacher also strives to teach students how to work together and communicate with each other. These are skills that students can use in everyday life like adults. This will help develop a great sense of community participation, which allows real-life experiences. This video taught me that students have a choice in their learning. It is up to me to get them to be self-motivated and help them discover what is inside of them that would allow them shine. Each student has a light, it is my job to help them keep it illuminated.


Exploring Health and PE Topics

Kids Health and Nutrition Pyramid

For our second Project Based Learning Plan, Group 6 developed a project to introduce students to an American epidemic, obesity. In order to get students engaged in the topic, we had them watch a video called Fast Food, Fast Profits, Obesity in North America. After the video, the above picture was presented to the class and the students had discussions about different health and fitness topics. Some topics discussed were obesity in America, organic foods vs non-organic, and should kids lift weights. For the project, the students were divided into groups. Each group developed a driving question from the Common Core Standards for Health and PE. After establishing a driving question, the students were given a few days to begin research and work on media presentations. They were also required to interview someone that was knowledgeable and experienced in Health and PE. Students were given three weeks to complete the project. The days were mapped out for them on the Project Calendar. Students were able to present their group project at the Exploring Health and PE Topics Seminar Showcase. The next class day, students were given a peer review/grading rubric to evaluate their classmates' presentations. In order to make sure all requirements were met according to PBL standards, we checked the Essential Checklist. As a group, we developed Rubrics for group project evaluation, individual performance evaluation, and peer review/grading evaluation. Here is the Project Overview.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


What can we learn from Mrs. Cassidy?

Computer blasting different technologies
"Absolutely! Technology is not going anywhere, it is here to stay. Teachers need to keep up with the changes in technology." This is the answer given by Mrs. Cassidy, a First grade teacher in Moose Jaw, Canada, when asked by Dr. Strange "do you think every teacher ought to be technological literate?" Technology in the classroom is essential to a student's learning environment. Technology has been in classrooms since the first radio was designed. What future educators need to know is this is not a new concept, just a concept that has been enhanced. In Mrs. Cassidy's class, she uses different techniques to incorporate technology into her students academic journey. Dr. Strange posed the question, "What can we learn from Mrs. Cassidy?"

     In the video Little Kids...Big Potential, Mrs. Cassidy's class gives a tour of the different technologies they use on a daily basis. Her first graders have created blogs. The students stated that they really enjoy writing on their blogs because it helps with writing skills and other people can see it and leave them comments. I am still amazed by the fact that I have a blog. I always wanted to start one. I get so excited when I get comments, so I know how her students feel. I truly can not wait to have my own classroom and start my class blog! Also in the class, Webpages and Wikis are being used in the classroom to aid in research on the internet. The students use Skype to connect to different people from around the world. When the students are done with their work, they are allowed to play games from Mrs. Cassidy's webpage and play Nintendo DS in the classroom. I truly love her classroom design. When I start teaching Health Education, I want to have different health wellness check stations where there is a different technology tool at each station that the students can use. Students will use webpages to research if their readings on each vital sign taken are normal based on national health standards, record their vitals on a separate page, and write a post on their individual blog about their readings. Like Mrs. Cassidy, I would not only have a webpage station, but also a video stations where students can view videos about different health topics based on the vital sign health check. The benefits of having health stations are students will have a solid foundation before entering into the healthcare profession and students will have the basics as to why they must eat healthy and exercise regularly in order to not develop lifestyle diseases. Mrs. Cassidy's use of technologies are so inspiring. I hope my classroom will be just as creative as hers.

     In the first Skype interview between Dr. Strange and Mrs. Cassidy, she expresses that a teacher does not have to know everything about technology all at once. She has gain over ten years of experience using a webpage and blogging. As a future educator, I have learned from Mrs. Cassidy that I must always stay knowledgeable about the changes in technology. I owe it to my students to always present the newest and best style of teaching using technologies. Also, I will definitely implement a class blog. This is where I will communicate with students outside of class and post projects and online quizzes. When faced with impediments, such as cheating on quizzes at home or using the internet for purposes other than class research, I would address the class as a whole. I would reinforce that online quizzes are to be done individually and internet use is for school work not personal use. If the problems continue, I would address the students that were involved and possibly take disciplinary actions.

     Mrs. Cassidy talks about how she keeps her students safe while on the internet. She teaches her students to never use their last name and never post a picture of themselves. She also informs them to not click on ads and stay on websites that she approves. I really like how she would have her students make a different Facebook page so she would not have to see posts not related to school. I am addicted to Facebook so having a page designed strictly for class is a guarantee. I would take Mrs. Cassidy's advice and have my students make a separate one as well. Students, parents, and administrators must know that using technology is a safe and wonderful tool to use and should not be looked at as something scary. To ease parents and administrators concerns, I would stress safety is so important to me and will not be taken lightly!

     In the second and third Skype interviews with Mrs. Cassidy, she talks about where to being when developing a personal network plan. "Do what interest you" is the advice she gave us. She gave the example of how Twitter is life-changing. The more often teachers use it, the more followers they will get. This is so true! Twitter has become a great benefit to me. I have gain several ideas on how to implement project based learning in my future health class by following other health teachers. When asked about how to use technology in Physical Education, Mrs. Cassidy presents the example what if practice needed to be moved and you had to reach all the players. Technology is more than just a computer, it also includes phones. She explains that the coach can text all the players instead of announcing it over the intercom. Being an athletic trainer, I already incorporate this form of technology with my student-trainer staff. When I want to inform my student-trainers of game-day attire, I text them instead of trying to track them down in their classes.

     By using Mrs. Cassidy's approach to the use of technology, I will become a better teacher as well as a better learner. The techniques she uses in incorporating technology are by far well above standards for 21st century teaching. Although I still have plenty to learn about different technologies, I hope to continue to build on the foundation she has established. A 21st century style teacher is what I strive to become!
Kids around a table using Ipads


C4KSummary for October

Kids activities blog

Matthew is a 6th grade reading student in Mrs. Rivera class in Florida. He was asked to summarize the book How to Train a Dragon. He did an excellent job! He was very descriptive with each scene. I introduced myself and told him what class and university I attended. I told him that I especially liked the part where he talked the skullions. Below is the post I left on his blog:

Hi Matthew! My name is Sammi. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. This is a great post! I really enjoyed reading it. You have given such a vivid and detailed description of the chapter, I want to read the book for myself! I especially liked the part where you described that the skullions can smell miles away. Can you imagine if we all could do that? Have you seen the movie? Have a great school year!


Thomas is a 7th grade student in Mrs. Ripp's class in Madison, WI. For his blog post, he was asked to give his thoughts on changes the school needed. First he asked why can't students wear hats? He asks the question, do teachers need to know their identity or is it for another reason? The second thing he would like to change is not being forced to read books that he doesn't want to read. He gives the example that if students read above their reading level, they will be worse off. His second point to why students should not be forced to read books they don't want to is they will get bored and become distracted. His third and finally change would be to homework. He writes homework is not necessary if it was learned in class. Below is the post I left on his blog:

Hi Thomas! I am a senior student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I will be summarizing your blog post on my blog post. This was a great post! You did an excellent job! Your ideas were very well written and thoughtful. I especially liked the idea about not having homework. I think if you learned the lesson in class, you shouldn't have to take it home and do more work. I had so much homework when I was in your grade, I couldn't play outside with my friends. Do you have the same problem as I did? I encourage you to tell your teacher about your changes. I hope your school takes your ideas into consideration. Have a great school year!

Deven is a 3rd grade student in Ms. Essenburg's class in Michigan. For his blog post, he was to post an "All About Me" summary. Deven has two sisters, Ayesha and Malina, and one brother, Tej. He says all of his siblings are nice. He has a dog named Rex. His favorite animal is a duck. In my comment, I introduced myself to Deven. I told him I was a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I stated I had siblings and my favorite animal is an elephant. I asked him why are ducks his favorite animal. Finally, I told him to have a great school year and keep up the good work! Below is the comment I left:

Hi Deven! My name is Sammi. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I really enjoyed reading your post! You did an excellent job! I can tell you really love your brother and sisters. I have one sister, Leisa and two brothers, Derrick and Landon. I don't have any pets but I am sure you enjoying playing with Rex. My favorite animal is an elephant. Why are ducks your favorite animal? Hope you have a great school year Deven! Keep up the good work!


PJ is a 6th grade student in Mr. Somerville's class in Pt. England School Auckland, New Zealand. For his blog post, PJ was asked to describe what he did over the holiday. It seems as through he had a lot of fun. He and his cousins, Kaleb, Dallin and Brigim, made plans to go to the movies to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at 6:40. While they were waiting to leave, they played Call of Duty: Black Ops. After getting to the movies, they each had $20 to spend so they brought lollies, chips, and a drink. He recommended everyone go see the movie because it was good and the theater was full. What was very unique about his post was a graded paragraph rubric that was attached. According to the rubric, he did pretty good, getting a 5 on sentences that were connected and built up the main idea. In my comment, I introduced myself. I told him that he wrote an awesome post. I told him I was into video games and asked him what gaming system he has. I told him thank you for recommending the movie. Based off his enthusiasm, I am definitely going to watch the movie. Below is the comment I left:

Hi PJ! My name is Sammi. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL United States. I will be summarizing my visit to your blog with a post on my blog on 10/26. This was an awesome post! I really enjoyed reading about how you spent your holiday. I was so inspired by your enthusiasm, I am definitely going to watch the Ninja Turtles movie. Thank you for recommending it. I really liked how you included your graded rubric. Congratulations of getting 3's and 5's. I too am into video games. I have a Wii. What gaming system do you have? Have a great school year PJ! Keep up the good work!

Sunday, October 19, 2014


What Can Teachers and Students Teach Us About Project Based Learning?

Student becomes teacher becomes student

     When a teacher becomes a student, he or she becomes a learner. Teachers must be life-long learners in order to achieve one of the reasons why they chose this profession: to help children achieve their dreams. Learning from students is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal. Dr. Strange posed the question, "What can teachers and students teach us about Project Based Learning?"

     In the video, Seven Essentials for Project Based Learning, by John Larmer and John R. Mergendoller, it gives teachers an insight into what every good project-based learning project needs. For every project to be a great success, Larmer and Mergendoller suggest students must personally behold their work as meaningful. Their second suggestion is each project must fulfill an educational purpose. They list seven essentials that will achieve success and ensure students understand the topic through project based learning.

1) A Need to Know
2) A Driving Question
3) Student Voice and choice
4) 21st Century Skills
5) Inquiry and Innovation
6) Feedback and Revision
7) A Publicly Presented Product

      From this list, I found having a great driving question is essential to getting the students involved. As future educators, we must capture their attention from the start. If the topic is of interest to the students, they will be more inclined to perform to their highest ability. Another key essential point is letting the students have a voice and choice. When the students have more of a voice and a choice in the design of the project, they will put in 100% effort into the project.

      Project based learning (PBL) is the 21st century style of teaching. In Tony Vincent's, Project Based Learning for Teachers, he gives an overview of what PBL is and what it includes for teachers. Mr. Vincent states "project based learning has students working over an extended period of time, answering a driving question, to complete an end product, to share their learning with others." Each project must have a driving question requiring students to collaborate, research, and finally present the project to an audience. Through PBL, students learn to fine-tune skills like critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and career & life. Students have the ability to control the direction of their learning process. This video gave me a true basic explanation of project based learning. I really liked how Mr. Vincent made it simple to understand for future teachers.

Physical Education, each letter represents a word pertaining to PE
      Most future educators (including myself) have not believed that PBL can be incorporated into Physical Education, until now. In Project-Based Learning and Physical Education by Andrew Miller, he states that Physical Education is a place where project based learning can be relevant and authentic. He summarizes the seven essentials for PBL by John Larmer and John R. Mergendoller and gives an example of how the essentials would apply to a PBL for PE. Having projects in PE can meet all standards set forth by the state. These projects can also reach any audience. The payoff for teachers is the engagement of the students and their deeper foundation of the topic. Andrew Miller proclaims "You must give up power in order to empower your students; empower them in their physical education."

      Organic PE is incorporating project based learning into Physical Education. In Mat Pullen's article, he states "the idea of Organic PE is once a basic skill level has been achieved by pupils, the focus goes to application, decision making, leadership and adaptability to further develop the pupil." Incorporating physical skills promotes active lifestyles in students. He describes different stages following a physical literacy model which includes "practical skills, knowledge of rules, confidence and motivation, planning, evaluating, and teamwork". During the project, students are given the chance to apply knowledge of a situation and develop a scheme on how to carry out the plan. At the end, students can generate data analysis to determine their weaknesses and strengths. Just like in the classroom, PE can change from the old way of doing things. This was a great article and it got me excited! I can't wait to try this in my gym!

     Brandon Pflug's Project Based Learning in PE article talks about searching for ideas for project-based learning projects for PE. He comes across a project that meets all the standards stated by the National Association of Sports and Physical Education. This project is great for high school students because it allows them to interact with middle school students. High schoolers are to implement a fitness program that middle schoolers are to continue for themselves. The project is designed to promote healthy living not only during school, but through everyday life. This is another great example of how PBL can be integrated into Physical Education.

     What Motivates Students by Suzanne Ball is an interactive video with kids answering what motivates them and what rewards work for them to continue to do well in class. My favorite answer to what motivates the student is when Emily states she wants to do well so she can take care of her family. This amazes me that she is already thinking about this at her age. I will definitely remember the rewards the students stated in the video. I want to implement them in my classroom, especially the classroom money concept.
Classroom cash with frog, sports, and scholar's theme

Sunday, October 12, 2014


What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?

     In the video, Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, Dr. Randy Pausch, a former professor at Carnegie Mellon, gives an inspiring final lecture about how to achieve childhood dreams. He talks about the list of childhood dreams he had and how he was given fortunate opportunities to achieve them. Dr. Strange posed the question, "What can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch?" With his lecture being so inspiring and his attitude towards life being so contagious, I can say I learned so much and was so inspired, it left me wanting more.

     In his lecture, Dr. Randy Pausch talks about how he gave his students a project-based learning assignment and they exceeded his expectations more than he could have imagined, all deserving an "A" for the rest of the year. He didn't know what other projects to give them to exceed the previous project. He seeks advice from his mentor which tells him not to set limits on his students and expect them to strive higher each time. Setting limits will be a disservice to them. This taught me not to put a cap on what my students can accomplish. I learned I must encourage them to strive beyond their comfort point. Also, I must teach them to always look at their success and evaluate it. The best gift a teacher will ever give a student is not a grade, but self-reflection. This heightens their academic success along with their personal self.
Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, The Last Lecture by Dr. Randy Pausch at Carnegie Mellon

     Dr. Pausch talks about making learning fun. As an educator, I must never lose the child-like characteristics inside of me. I learned that the younger someone is when he or she learns something, the longer it will stick with them. Dr. Pausch gives the example of playing sports when a child is younger. Parents put their kids into sports not to learn that particular sport, but to learn teamwork, perseverance, and sportsmanship. He calls this concept "head-fake" or indirect learning. He states "the best way to teach someone something is to have them think they are learning something else." As a future educator, I can put this into practice in my classroom. I can place my students into assigned groups, not just to finish the assignment, but to develop social and collaboration skills. Each time they leave my class, I want them to take something away from it that will follow them throughout their life.

     The most important thing I learned from Dr. Pausch's lecture is to never listen to critics. In his lecture, he talks about when he wanted to take a sabbatical from the university to go work at Disney's Imagineers, but his Dean set up a brick wall, making it difficult for him to leave. Dr. Pausch believes brick walls are put into place for a reason. He states "they let us prove how badly we want things." What I learned from this quote is when I want to introduce something new to my principal and she or he may not be for it at first, I must not give up. If I truly feel it will benefit not only my class, but the school as well, I must not get discouraged. This will also allow me to gain experience. Dr. Pausch quotes "experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." When I want to do something new and innovative that has never been done in a health education classroom, there will be critics saying no I can't and throwing arrows in my back. I must continue to strive for greatness and surround myself with positive people that encourage me. I will take this same approach towards my students. It is up to me as their teacher to show them what it is like to get excited, be happy, and proud about their accomplishments. Randy Pausch inspired many students and colleagues to attain this, but he didn't do it for them. He did it for his living legacies, his children. Enthusiasm is power! This is the best gift I will give to my students.


Students using smartphones in the class to finish classwork


Technology in the classroom is imperative now. There is a major shift in schools allowing students to access school materials by smartphone technology. Everything a student needs is right at their fingertips. As an habitual smartphone user, I believe that there are many great benefits to allowing students to use smartphones with a camera in the classroom. Studies from the Zogby Analytics suggest that students use their smartphone for everything, from personal use to researching things for a class. So why not implement them into classwork? I believe the hesitation of some teachers not using them is due to the fact that phones may become a distraction to the students. A distraction for a student could be a piece of lint in the person's hair in front of them. If students are monitored, they would be less likely to use it for other purposes. By using smartphones with a camera for class purposes, they can learn outside of the brick and mortar.

Schools should set in-depth rules for using smartphones with cameras if they have any reservations about students using them. Most schools are conducted by the way the principal was taught when he or she was in school. Times are changing and we as future educators must always stay ahead. Instead of schools fighting it, they must embrace it. As Dr. Strange puts it, "your students will have lived all their life in a world with smartphones containing cameras." Teachers can't teach without technology, why should students be force to learn without it?


Since cameras have been embedded into smartphones, the quality of them have change drastically. Using a smartphone camera to take pictures of something relevant to the topic in class, will allow students to put pictures with their words. When developing uses for the smartphone camera, teachers should make sure they are following the guidelines set by the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards.

There are many different way that smartphones/tablets with a camera can be incorporated in the Health Education classroom:

- Students can take a picture of their dinner for one week. After that week, the students can present their pictures along with caloric value for each meal. Then the class will vote whether of not the meal was nutritious and healthy or not?

- Using the Board Builder, students would be able to present different disability and premature diseases and show what effect each has on the body

- Students could make an anti-bullying video and play it for the school

- During a field trip, students could take pictures of different issues that are effecting the environment.

- Students can develop PSAs to show to the school on topics such as teen pregnancy, drug use, and underage drinking

- When discussing Communicable Diseases, students can use Popplet to design a web introducing facts on each disease

- During Mental Health week, students can take selfies of the different emotions they felt and explain them to the class

- While in groups, students can video tape the proper way to perform vital assessments

- Students can demonstrate proper techniques in physical activity

- Students can keep a digital journal reflecting on their personal health and why it is important to live a healthy lifestyle for their final grade


C4T #2

Title - I Read Blocked Blogs

In his post about banned reading material, Dr. Scott McLeod gives a passionate comment about how he strongly opposes censorship on books and why he supports students and educators freedom to read any book that is on the banned list.
Censorship causes blindness. READ!
He poses the question, "Does this censorship apply to the blogs and sites that schools filter based on their descriptive category?" Dr. McLeod mentions Banned Books Week was September 21-27. In my comment I stated I truly believe students and teachers should celebrate the right to read. I personally have read 75% of the books on the banned list for schools. I mention that I don't have a distorted view on life or feel uncomfortable after reading books with certain risque topics. "HAVE FREADOM!" Below is the comment I left:

Hi! My name is Sammi. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Al. I will be summarizing my visits to your blog with a post on my class blog on 10/12/14. My Twitter name is @PoiseRed. Mr McLeod, thank you for bringing this subject to light. I too, oppose censorship of reading material. I do not believe that certain books should be banned in school. I looked over the banned list of books and found that I have read over half of them. It did not give me a distorted view of how things were in the past; nor did it make me feel uncomfortable about certain topics. What some school systems (and parents) should realize is that they are hurting students by not exposing them to how things were in the past. They must not block history. Students have a right to read and I will encourage my students to do just that. Websites, categorize as social media, should not be banned. These tools can be used to gather information for a project or get great ideas to start one. If used in a positive way, these websites and others like it, can enhance a student's academic journey.

Title - Can We Really Call It Learning?

In this post, Dr. Scott McLeod mentions that most students do not remember what they have learned a few weeks after taking a test. He wonders if this is really learning? He poses the question "How much of what students "learn" in school falls into this category?" In my comment, I mention that Dr. Strange calls this type of education "burp-back education."
I study, I take the test, I pass it, I forget what I learnt
I gave the suggestion to always have teachers include a project-based learning assignment so that students will get a deeper knowledge of the class topic. When a test is given they are not memorizing notes, but answering questions based off the project. Below is the comment I left:

Hi! I believe this is not considered learning although, as a Senior student, I am guilty of this. You are right Mr. McLeod, too much of what students are learning falls into this category. My professor, Dr. Strange, of my educational media course calls this type of learning "burp-back education." In order to curb this style of learning , teachers should always include a project-based learning assignment. This will help students have a better knowledge of the class topic. When the test is given, they are not just memorizing notes to pass, but they are answering questions based off the project.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


How Do We All Become Learners?

My Strengths as a Future Health Educator
  1) Extensive knowledge of the subject
  2) Willingness to connect with my students
  3) Overly exciting joy to teach them about health
  4) Ability to bring real-world experience in the classroom
Strengths and Weaknesses keyboard buttons

My Weaknesses as a Health Educator
  1) Discipline and voice quality
  2) Getting too close to the students
  3) Not practicing healthy living, ie not practicing what I teach

As I continue to learn this semester in EDM 310, I am learning more about Project Based Learning and how important it is to utilize technology tools. What I have to accomplish over the next year and a half is to fine-tune my skills on PBL. I need to constantly perform research on potential projects I can assign in my classroom. I want to be able to introduce a project on day one. I also must conquer my weaknesses and turn them into my strengths. The videos that Dr. Strange assigned us to watch will give me more tools to incorporate in my lesson plans.

How to make an audio QR Code
In this video, Mrs. Michele Bennett from Gulf Shores Elementary, explains how to make an audio QR Code. A QR code is a code that has been embedded with information and can be scanned using an device that has camera and a downloaded app. Using the website, this is a new way of recording instead of using the hand held recorder that required a tape. Different ways to use this website include a teacher can record a book and play it back for the class or a teacher can record a lesson and allow the class to listen at home. In order to generate the code, a teacher can go to

iPad in the Reading Center
This video shows iPads being used in a Kindergarten reading center. The iPad is set-up to record the student reading a book. After the student is finished, he or she can replay it and follow along to determine if any mistakes were made. This is a great reading tool and provides the student will enjoyment while learning.

Popplet Logo
Popplet as a Center
In this video, Mrs. Tuck's Kindergarten class is learning to use Popplet in a media station. Popplet is a tool used to make webs after a student has read a book. A web is a collection of pictures with text that gives a summary of the book. Popplet also allows students to practice taking pictures and adding them to the app. After the student has created the web, it is kept on their iPad for future references. This is a great way that students can become interested in photography or writing.

Alabama Virtual Library as a Kindergarten Center
Mrs. Tuck teaches her students how to use the Alabama Virtual Library in this video. She instructs the student to type in a word in the search engine. The search will produce pictures and audio for the student to play back and be able to gather information. Based off what the student has learned and watched, the student will be able to draw a picture and add a sentence describing the picture. By using AVL, students are able to research on their own and be accounted for what they have learned.

How to use and build a Board in DE for a Project Based Lesson
Mrs. Shirley's 1st grade class shows how to use the Discovery Education Board as a Project Based Learning lesson. Her student watched a video about the moon and was able to give written facts about it. Her student then created a board adding images and a video depicting what she learned. This is another great tool for students to do research on their own.

Mrs. Tassin's 2nd Grade Class Part 1
In the first video of Mrs. Tassin's 2nd grade class, two digital learners demonstrate a Discovery Board Builder. These students were able to take a virtual tour of a national park in Alaska. After collaborating with each other, they presented their findings using a SMARTboard. The digital learners saved the images on Safari. This also is an excellent tool to teach students to speak in front of a class.

Mrs. Tassin's 2nd Grade Class Part 2
In the second video of Mrs. Tassin's 2nd grade class, a group of digital learners shared what they learned by using Discovery Education Board for their Project Base Learning presentation. This group is collecting loose change for the Haven, an animal shelter. The resources the students used were Safari and Google for the images and HIPPO to find more extensive vocabulary.

Alabama Virtual Library logo: Connecting You to a World of Knowledge
Using iMovie and the Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarten
In this video, Dr. Strange, along with Mrs. Michele Bennett and Mrs. Elizabeth Davis, introduces that Kindergarten classes are using iMovie and are really enjoying it. iMovie teaches students how to organize and edit a book trailer. It also helps with their reading and writing skills. The students read a book and organize different pictures from the book and form it into a book trailer similar to a preview movie trailer. iMovie reiterates what students are learning. The teachers also discussed how using the free tool, Alabama Virtual Library, is a great way for teachers to teach their students how to perform basic research. Students are overly enthused to do research individually.

We All Become Learners
In the final video Dr. Strange, Mrs. Bennett, and Mrs. Davis discusses how using technology in the classroom can change the dynamics of learning. Mrs. Bennett states "its teachers teaching students, students teaching students, students teaching us." She gives the example that a student taught her how to take pictures with the iPad using Padlet. Students are eager to teach teachers how to use technology. She also discusses that we are all learners and become learners through our personal network. Teachers should never have the "frame of mind" where they can not learn from their students. Everyone is a learner and we as future educators should never want to stop learning.


Civil War 1863 South vs North

This project gave me my first insight into how to develop a Project Based Learning lesson plan. Dr. Strange wanted us to work collaboratively with our group to practice developing plans for project based learning activities based off standards from ACCRS (Alabama College and Career Ready Standards) and materials found in ALEX (Alabama Learning Exchange). Group 6 focused on 11th grade American History students. We wanted them understand the importance of the Civil War. Each group was given a driving question in order to present different aspects of the Civil War. We wanted them to explore what led to the expansion of the United States; discuss key figures and the roles they played during the battles; establish which border states were in the Union; and examine non militaristic events, for example, how the nation's division effected the economy and social reform in the South post-Civil War. Students were given three weeks to develop a media project along with a PowerPoint presentation. The students were required to use technology and be creative when organizing their project. For our lesson plan, we have included a Project Overview, a Project Calendar, an Essential Element Checklist, and a Group Rubric.


Movie for Parents

Movie for Students

Sunday, September 28, 2014

C4KSummary for September

Kid playing on the computer

Mya is a 8th grade student at the PT England School in Auckland, Nz. She wrote about the introduction to her favorite movie called La Luna. She was very descriptive about the scenes of the movie. Below is my comment I left for her:

Hi Mya! My name is Sammi. I am a Senior at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL in the United States. I will be summarizing your post on my blog, Sammi Taylor, for my EDM 310 class. I really enjoyed reading your post about the opening to the short animation La Luna. I particularly like the part about the shimmering stars reflecting on the calm ocean and the part where the strokes, caused by the rowing of the boat, left foamy bubbles behind. Your descriptions are so vivid. I can close my eyes and get visuals in my mind just by your words. I hope you will summarize the rest of the animation. I can't wait to see what happens next. Can I find this animation online? Did your class watch the animation at school? I hope you have a great school year!


Bryan is a 5th grade student in his Mrs. Schramel's class. He was given the assignment to discuss D.A.R.E. which previously stood for Drug Abuse Resistance Education but now stands for Define Assess Respond Evaluate. Below is the comment I left on his blog:

Hi Bryan! 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. Your post was very good! It was very informative. You taught me something new. I didn't realize that D.A.R.E. stands for Define Assess Respond Evaluate. I hope your classmates and other students read your post and understand that drugs and alcohol are bad for them. It was smart to state what happens to your body when someone smokes. I hope this will prevent your classmates from trying cigarettes. Keep up the good work! Have a great semester!


Cael is a student in Mrs. Freitag class. He was given the assignment to discuss changes he would like to see in his school.His main changes were to add a recess, provide better lunches, and have less homework. Below is the comment I made on his blog:

Hi Cael! My name is Sammi. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Al. I will be summarizing your blog with a post on my class blog. I love reading your blog. I think you have some great and powerful ideas! I especially liked the idea of having less homework. When I was in your grade, I never had time to play with friends outside because my teachers gave me so much homework. I agree with you, teachers should give more class time to finish work. I also liked the idea of better lunches. Having better lunches was also important to me when I was in school. What do you think the school should provide for lunch? I really hope your school takes your ideas into consideration. Have a great school year!


What do learn from these conversations with Anthony Capps?

Project Based Learning Part 1: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher
In the first part of a two-part video series, Dr. Strange introduces us to Anthony Capps, a former EDM 310 student and lab professional, now a 3rd grade teacher at Gulf Shores Elementary. He discusses his experiences as a teacher using project-based learning. From this video, I learn that project-based learning is a way students can learn to achieve a goal that the teacher wants them to achieve. Mr. Capps expresses that "students should own their own knowledge." In order for a project to have good standards, it must get the students attention and it must be of some interest to them. It should be tailored to involve the community and have a original audience. Most importantly, the project must be subject-directed. He gives an example of a project he had the students do in class. The students had to write a letter to the Congressman and the best five letters were chosen to send to him. The students took much pride in their letters, confirming that when students are engaged, they will learn and take self-gratification.

Project Based Learning Part 2: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher
In the second part of video series, Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps go more in-depth about project-based learning. Dr. Strange states "project-based learning is not just a method for you to evaluate students but also a very powerful method by which students learn; but, it takes a lot of planning and a lot of work to make it successful." In project-based learning not everything is going to go well. A teacher has to not expect perfection. From Mr. Capps, I have learned not to be put limits on my students. I should not give them a direct, non-changeable task and expect them to do what I want them to do. Students will not be engaged this way. Mr. Capps advice is "to create an opportunity for them to go beyond what you wanted them to do." Lastly, I learned that I am a learner as well as a teacher. The rewards I will get from seeing my students understand and take control of their learning, far outweighs anything I can imagine.

iCurio Logo: Learning Engagement
In this video, Anthony introduces iCurio to the class. iCurio is a online search engine tool that allows students to search the web safely for videos, texts, and images that can be helpful during their educational studies. This is a great tool for both teachers and students because it allows teachers to monitor what the student are working on and able to share with them more resources. The students can choose from handpicked sources that are directly related to their project. Mr. Capps gives the example if a student wanted to look up a male civil rights leader, the search engine will give him only the criteria that he or she wants. Another great feature that iCurio offers is the organizational method. This allows students to learn how to virtually organize their searches and work. Students can place items in storage and have the chance to refer back to them when needed. iCurio seems like a very good tool to use when I have my own classroom.

Discovery Education
In this video, Anthony Capps describes what Discovery Education is and how it is used in the classroom. Discovery Education is a online search tool that has a unlimited portfolio of videos about science and social studies. It brings the experts of these two subjects to the classroom! He gives the example of a student researching about plants. She was able to pull from so many different videos and was able to watch an expert talk about the plants. This gives students an enhanced experience in research. It brings the text to life for them. Dr. Strange explains that this is the century of learning where students are more inclined to learn by watching not reading. We as future educators should take this tool and use it to our advantage. If this is what gets students to learn, I am all for it!

The Anthony - Strange List of Tips for Teachers Part 1
In this video, Dr. Strange and Anthony share tips on how to be a better teacher:

1) Teachers should be learners - Don't be afraid to read new materials or learn new techniques on how to teach a subject. We are lifelong learners!

2) Teachers must be flexible - Everything is not going to go smoothly. We as future educators must understand that some methods work differently than others and we must adapt to change.

3) Teaching is HARD! - Teaching is not an eight hr shift where you just clock in and out. As future educators, we must go home and reflect on things that work in class and make adjustments to those things that didn't work. Educators should let their work become an exciting experience. The rewards are astronomical!

4) Start with an end goal - Teachers must have an ending in mind. It will help them stay on track and make sure that the lessons are effective.

5) Strive for 100% engagement with students - We must strive to have every student actively in engage in the learning process. This is a high standard to achieve but all students must not be "left behind."

6) Reflection is the goal - Teachers should present the students with an active audience so that they will have feedback on their achievement. This also gives the teacher a chance to gain feedback as well. They must reflect on how much the students have accomplished and what things to change in the future. Students should be given the opportunity to reflect on their work themselves as well. This will encourage them to perform better and ask questions.

Don't Teach Tech - Use It
Using Technology in the Classroom
In this video, Anthony Capps talks about technology and its importance in the classroom. He states educators shouldn't teach technology. Teachers should allow their students to use it and get acquainted with using it on a daily basis. Students should get excited about using technology. Teachers should let their students show them what they know and how they are using it in class. Two 21st century tools that should be used are asking questions and problem solving. Dr. Strange mentions the class motto "questions are more important than answers." As teachers gain the knowledge of other technology tools, they will not be intimidated by them. This will make the class more active and productive.

Additional Thought About Lessons
In this video, Anthony talks about developing a lesson plan. He mentions that a lesson plan should be at least four layers thick. In order for the lesson plan to be effective, it must follow these steps:
Year - He states that teachers should think of a lesson in the form of a year. Ask the questions are you sure that you are meeting all the standards and will you be able to cover them in the allotted time frame?

Unit - This should have a time frame of 6-8 weeks. The question that should be asked here is will this be presented in a meaningful way that will connect to the end goal?

Week - Are you breaking it down enough to be able to stretch it for the entire week?

Daily - What have you, as the teacher, devised for the day in order to meet the goal for the week?

Anthony furthers talks about the importance of an end goal. The question asked is "If you don't think about the end goal, how are you going to know what you need to do or if you are on the right track to accomplishing it?