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.

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