Sunday, September 28, 2014


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?


  1. Hi Sammi! You have a very good blog post! You did a great job with listing and explaining all the details of everything that you watched and read. I believe that the student’s mind should not be limited as well. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the learning and expanding of their minds. Likewise, I also believe that great teachers, that are willing to learn themselves, will help the students reach their fullest potentials. I found a great video that gives some tips on not limiting the students that I thought was really helpful that is called teaching skills. Also, make sure to check for errors. The title of the blog should be What Did I Learn from...
    In the first paragraph "I learn" should be I learned.
    In the second paragraph "not to be put" should be not to put. Other than that, keep up the great work!