Wednesday, March 30, 2011


1. I have found that Mr. McClung is extremely organized and extremely eager to teach and have his students learn. His blog reflects hard work and time spent on it. This lets me know that he didn't just throw some instructions on a blog and tell the students to have at it. The blog is set up so that all his classes can go to the appropriate tab for the appropriate class.
2. While I have never hear Mr. McClung teach, he seems to have effective methods of teaching. For example, When he says "class" the class responds with "yes" and also how he says class. This helps with listening and making sure the students are paying attention. I have mastered the art of pretending to pay attention, but if I wasn't paying attention and a method like this was used on me, I would fail it miserably. So, yes, this method and his way of teaching seems solid. He also seems excited to teach. This also can make all the difference!
3. I like his rules. There aren't many of them. I think the less rules that you have, the more likely it is that the students will follow those and have a generally larger respect spectrum for him. His first rule is, "Follow directions quickly." This rule from an outsider would seem hard to decipher at first, but it makes all the sense in the world to me. In a classroom setting where time is limited and the students are in surplus, the teacher will not have time to work with each individual student and give him or her each individual instructions. This is why following directions quickly is key. Each student must be on the same page and this leaves little room for those who fall behind because of lack of listening etc. I think that less rules is key in any classroom. I want to incorporate the less is more strategy in my classroom too. It is effective and the students don't feel like they are under a microscope and constantly being watched.
4. The first thing under Everyone Needs was a day planner. I think that this is because due dates can get messy and confusing if you have more than a couple assignments due close to each other. In EDM 310, I  don't know what I would do without the checklist that we were given. That acts as my planner for this class. It is so important to have that. I can see where it is the most important thing for the class to have as far as materials go.
5. For each day that your homework is late, it results in loss of a letter grade. I think this is more than fair especially since you know ahead of time that it is due and when. This is similar to Dr. Strange's way of grading as well. The loss of letter grade is what he uses to grade his assignments with as well. I think it is a fair and effective strategy.
6. I love that the blog is for students and parents both. This cuts out paper in the classroom much like in EDM 310. Parents can also see what's happening in the school and forgotten notes and flyers won't be a problem. The students learn to find things for themselves as well and better equips them in this area.
7. The first link I went to was Guys Read. This site interested me because we are learning about this in Human Growth as well. Studies show that boys can be as good as readers if they truly are interested. I love that there is a site for this and that Mr. McClung posted this. The second link was Steve Spangler's Science Toys. This was a fun site! It has countless science toys available to students, teachers, parents, etc. It also has fun experiments you can do with them. This is definitely a site I want to write down to remember for my future classroom! The fact that Mr. McClung took the time to find these sites and post on his blog for his students to go to shows what kind of teacher he really is!
8. His internet safety tips are excellent. I think it would be easy to feel safe all the time on the internet especially if I was in 8th grade and was doing this for school. His rules aren't sugar coated and that is a good thing. They are also easy rules to remember and these rules probably aren't taught at home to all the students so this is extra effective
9. I was assigned The World Language Festival that had Coleman and Connor doing a ShamWow commercial in Spanish. It really was hilarious. I laughed the whole way through and was sad to see it end. They did such a great job redoing this infomercial. Huge props to them and to Mr. McClung that assigns such great projects for his students. I aspire to be as effective as he is one day! This was awesome to see. I recommend this to anyone. It shows the talent it took, their language skills, and also the time they spent on it. Great work!
10. I would love a reason to have a great blog. A classroom would be one. I feel like at this point in my life, I am too busy to have an effective blog where I could dedicate x amount of hours per week for it. However, I do spend over 15 hour a week in EDM on my blog so I could find the time if needed. Blogger has seemed to work for me. When I look at Mr. McClung's blog, it is so organized but also full of fun stuff and links and projects his students did. I don't have these resources that he does so it is hard to say what I am missing out on in Blogger. What I need for mine is available. That being said, when I have a classroom of my own, I would consider learning what else I can from Blogger. I would also look into other blogging sites available to see what else is out there!
11. As I stated in number 6, this blog is extremely easy to navigate around and so simply set up. Any parent that can get to this website can easily navigate around to see what their child is doing. The search box at the top is also a great tool if they were looking for their particular child on the blog. There is no secrets or privacy. What the students do, the parents can see. This probably eases many minds of parents and the principal.
12. This blog is completely different than other 8th grade classes that I have viewed. I think in part it has to do with the Mr. McClung. He seems so enthused about learning and he has such a fire for teaching his students the correct and safe way to use technology and the internet. If I was in his class, I don't think I would view my assignments as work in this class and that is a huge statement. I think he just has an effective teaching method that grabs the students attention and holds them there making them eager to learn and eager to blog. This makes me want to do the same with my classroom!!
13. Mr. McClung's blog is one I wish to follow throughout this class and beyond. I know I have said that for a few teachers already, but there's something different and more inspirational than the others. It is all reflected in his work and the work of his students. I think that's the difference. He has so much posted on his blog of his students work. It isn't just a post once a month on an update of the class. In March alone, they as a class had 23 posts on the blog. That is about a post a day give or take a few! That is incredible! A huge thanks to Mr. McClung and his class and to Dr. Strange for allowing us to do this assignment. I have learned so much.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blog Assignment 10

1. An Open Letter to Educators
In this post by Morgan Bayda, I felt relieved that there are others that feel cheated through school. I have rarely felt like I am not wasting my time throughout my college years. Besides my class Arts in the Elementary School (EDU 301), EDM 310 is the only class that I have actually learned anything worthwhile or useful. It is the sole class other than EDU 301 that I will continue to apply what I have learned here throughout my life and classroom. Too many schools have lowered their standards of education. I don't feel like classrooms actually teach you anything. To me, learning is doing. I absolutely have to apply what I learn or else it goes in one ear and out the other as soon as I take that class's exam. This has got to change. We are wasting time and money on school if things don't change soon. It is comforting to know that this problem is realized. Now, we have to do something about it. I think that Morgan and I have had a similar experience. In Dan Brown's video, it hit the nail on the head. Thank you to both!

2. Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home
This post by Tom Johnson rocked. I loved the casual banter between the characters that had a deeper message embedded. We do not need to smother the students' creativity anymore than standardized testing and the schools already do. There is too much riding on standardized test scores. What's wrong with a game of hangman? I love hangman. If the students still are applying skills through that then I see no harm in that! We need to definitely let students know how to be creative. "Taking their pencils away" is no solution to this problem. We need to let them "take their pencils home". We never know what sort of creative things kids are capable of coming up with! I love posts like this. I get so much out of them. Creativity is a must in classrooms!


C4T #3

For this Comments 4 Teachers I was assigned to Eric Langhorst who is an eighth grade teacher in Liberty, Missouri. His blog is Speaking of History. In his blog, he focuses on familiarizing people of all ages of the advantages of technology. He explains much in great detail with few words. He has a gift of explanation. Mr. Langhorst focuses on twitter and skype and other social networking programs. The benefits of these are huge. Another thing that he focused on that personally interested me was the facebook vs. twitter slide that he did. It helped me understand twitter a little more. I have been on twitter for a few years now, but through posts like Mr. Langhorsts and other teachers' blogs I have really honed in on my "twitter-using" skills. I am thankful for all this free advice I get from teachers like Mr. Langhorst. He also has a slideshow he created for building a PLN. We are doing that now in this class, so that was kind of like an added bonus for me to get assigned to him. He really is a wise teacher to be teaching his class the importance of technology. I am extremely glad that this class is required to help turn the non-believers of technology in the classroom into hard-core technology gurus. I am not sure that I am there quite yet, simply because of my lack of knowledge. However, each and every day that I look at teachers' posts such as Mr. Langhorst's and discover something new that I can do with my computer, I am overjoyed and I feel my success rate going up just a little more each time. I have three semesters before I have a classroom of my own, I am already wondering how far I will have come by the time I reach that point. The word "eager" doesn't even touch what I am feeling towards reaching that point!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Skype Interview Project

I interviewed my sister that lives in Chattanooga who is a new mother and has just begun working from home. She describes the advantages and disadvantages of the job.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

C4K #4,5,& 6

C4K #4
I was assigned Mr. Harris's 7/8 year old class at PT England School. They are a talented bunch of kids! They just got netbooks to replace their textbooks. They were extremely excited about them! To me, this was a huge display of how technology really is changing in the classroom. It was encouraging and it made me excited to see what will be available in a few weeks, a few months, or a few years! I have enjoyed following Mr. Harris's class. They seem like such an intellectual group of 7 and 8 year olds that are eager to learn! I am glad they got netbooks for their usage! They deserve them and I can't wait to hear about an update on the netbooks!
Mr. Harris' Class

C4K #5
I was assigned Jenny She's five and six year old class from PT England School as well. They are so cute! Their blog is called Little Voices Little Scholars. They are a creative bunch of five and six year olds. They make many movies and clips about everything from their weekend to a story that they wrote. This class is an example of using technology in many different ways. They don't take it for  granted like I so often do. They know how valuable technology is and they use it in so many ways. It blows my mind that these kids are six years old! When I was six, we got our first computer at home. We never had the technology in the classroom available today. I am glad they realize the importance of what they are doing!
Ms. She's Class

C4K #6
I was assigned Room 14, a group of five and six year olds from Tauranga, New Zealand. These kids rock. The thing that hits home the most for me is that these kids are the age that I want to teach. They are five and six and are making videos. I need to step up my game if my class is going to do things such as this! I hope that they do! I need to further inform myself of the technology available so I can make things happen in my classroom! These kids are so awesome. My favorite thing that they did was an integrity slideshow! They made a slideshow of what integrity means to them. Each student held up a sign of what integrity is to them. It was much like the "This is My Sentence" video that we did earlier in the semester. I am so glad that I am able to follow these inspiring kids. It gives me more hope for my classroom! Below is the integrity slideshow link.
Integrity slideshow
Room 14

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Puppet Project

This is our Puppet Project for EDU 301! I am posting it just for fun!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Blog Assignment 9

What I've Learned This Year
By: Mr. McClung

In this post by Mr. McClung I received some amazing insight and practical advice through his blog. I am not even sure if he meant for this to be more than a reflection, but I know that I for one received much more than was probably intended from the beginning. One thing that I especially liked that he reflected on was to be flexible. Of course your lessons aren't going to be taught word for word that you originally had written up and thats fine! It is also a great way to work on your improv as a teacher. It will only cause more stress if you freak out over not being in total and perfect control. I also like how Mr. McClung touched on technology and how it is our friend not our enemy. Of course many teachers are skeptical of technology! I was extremely skeptical of technology before this class. It isn't really that it's scary, it just is intimidating because to many of us this is some new material that we are unfamiliar with and that in itself can be scary before we even give it a second chance. This point of technology leads me to my final and favorite point that he made. It was the one that said never stop learning. I cannot agree with this more! We are constantly going to be learning new things as teachers and that's an awesome thing. I love to learn and it is comforting to know that our learning isn't going to end even when we are the one teaching. This is so refreshing! This post by Mr. McClung easily ranks in the top ten favorites of mine that I have read thus far over the course of this semester. I look forward to follow him throughout the semester and beyond! What a solid foundation schools could have if all teachers thought like this!

Stay Positive

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blog Assignment 8

This is How We Dream Part 1 and 2 
By: Dr. Richard E. Miller

In this two part video by Dr. Miller, there was further confirmation in my faith with technology taking over "old school" paper books. There is so much that is possible to do online now or at your computer without ever opening a textbook or newspaper. It is "going green" at its finest. Dr. Miller wrote an article on the one year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting and he didn't have to even touch a book or newspaper for information. The power of this is in our fingertips. We just have to figure out how to use it to its full potential.
I think this needs to be taught. Teachers nowadays are trying to keep up with this ever-changing technology and that's not an easy thing to do. I think it is important for the teachers of today and the future teachers to learn this. I want to be educated further on this so that I can teach my classroom this. Realistically, in 5 years or so technology will be completely different than it is now. I don't want to be left behind without this knowledge
Teaching this would require someone who is up to date on all of this to come in and maybe teach a workshop or two to a few different schools at a time to just get a general knowledge of the available technology and media out there. This wouldn't be difficult to do at all. Then from there, the workshops could become more specific to subject matter and schools. I just have this desire to learn all about the technology that is constantly advancing and changing around me!
Before I took EDM 310 I absolutely was dreading it. Even the first day of class I thought I was going to hate it. Is it a lot of work? Heck yeah. Do I sometimes want to hurl my computer across the room? Absolutely. Have I learned some of the most valuable information from all of my college years combined within a few months that makes this all worth it? Without a doubt. I want to take this yearning that I have for learning more and transfer it to my future classroom and students.

In The Chipper Series and EDM 310 For Dummies, it definitely got my wheels cranking for some ideas that I could use. The videos were great and informative even though they were silly. I think that I would like to keep along the lines of this. As silly as they were, they kept my attention and the messages in each were very clear. I think that is one of the most effective ways of teaching. I am not sure of what the video would be about yet if I were to make one, but the formatting would be along the silly lines for sure.

In the video Learn to Change, Change to Learn, it was sad to see how many people don't value education and technology. We need to know that technology is always changing and advancing and we can't be stuck in the past in classrooms. I think the classroom needs to mold with the new advanced technology. It can only benefit the classroom! Why be left behind if you are given the chance to advance? We need to apply standards if we are to have standardized testing in the classroom like they stated in this video. Students don't need to just memorize facts, they need to know what to do with it, how to apply it, etc. I'm glad we were shown this video. I am definitely more aware of the problem now, and I as a future teacher will do everything in my power to make my future classroom a true learning environment.

In this video, The Secret Powers of Time by Philip Zambardo, it shed light on the situation of how hurried we must do things nowadays. Everything is down by the second and not the minute. One that I am guilty of is getting mad over my computer rebooting or downloading something. I bet I could clear up some serious acne if I would just chill out for two seconds and be patient. This whole video was great. That part was one part that particularly jumped out at me because I am guilty of doing that very thing all the time. We should absolutely take technology as far as we possibly can, but I do think that there is a point that it eventually comes to that we need to take a step back and just take a deep breath and remember that the world isn't going to end if my computer doesn't reboot in two minutes on the dot.

In this video, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, goes to show how we will do anything if we have an incentive. We are driven by rewards. Money is a huge motivator. If we take money out of the equation so that the workers can focus on the work. It leads to autonomy, mastery, and purpose. It's kind of sad that we have to have money to make us do things. We are extremely purpose-driven. This can be a good thing, but it is almost too overpowering. Money is the center of most things for most people. This can get dangerous in my opinion. No wonder the economy is so down. We can make the change! We can stop doing a good job for money and we can start doing a good job just because that's the right thing to do! We are so purpose-driven. I'd like to see this change in many of us!

Smart Board Presentation

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011


 For my PLN I used Symbaloo. It seemed to be the less complicated and more efficient one of the two choices. I have only 18 tiles as of now, but it has been fun organizing and sorting through them! This is such a neat thing to have. Everything is right at your fingertips to search. This seems to help me eliminate the use of tabs! I am glad this was an assignment for us to do. This helps expand learning and networking to a whole new level. I am constantly learning new things about this! This is the coolest thing. I am constantly amazed at the tools such as Symbaloo that are available! This rocks. To view my PLN you may click on the link below!