Sunday, February 28, 2010


 PLN-1 by cobannon. / CC BY-NC 2.0
    I feel that as a future teacher a person learning network or PLN, is extremely important. Before engaging in my technology class, I was very reluctant to use any unfamiliar technology.  This class has allowed me to broaden my PLN, I now plan to incorporate the use of technology into my lesson plans.  I find blogs to be very useful in exchanging ideas, gaining knowledge and a wonderful way to be able to express how you feel.  Before this class, I would have never even thought twice of having a blog and using it, now I believe much can be gained by using a blog.  I also think it is important for my students to be able to express themselves in any way possible, and I feel as though technology is the new way to do this.  I never would have thought in a million years, a girl who grew up without a computer until I was in 7th grade and never having the interent, that technology would become such  a big part of my PLN.  I feel as though Flicker, google docs, and many of the other forms of technology I have been introduced have made my life so much easier already.  I use Flickr and google docs all of the time now in my school work.  I love google docs, because it is a way to ensure my papers and presentations get saved, and can not be lost by a computer crash.  Technology is such a huge part of our society now, I feel by implementing it into my PLN I am able to provide my future students with the very best education possible.  If I am able to keep up with new technologies and techniques I will be able to continue to enhance my students learning!  

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Voice over with my Powerpoint

        This assignment was really frustrating to me! I was having trouble saving my voice over as an mp3.  I went online to, but was still not able to figure out how to do this for a while. Over all I think I spent about thirty minutes trying to figure out how to save my voice over as an mp3 file, so I could then upload it to put it with my slides.  I think that I was just overwhelmed with the information they had on the site.  They had a wide arrangement of things, which made it hard for me to navigate the site.  I think that I am going to have explore this website a little more so this is a less stressful task next time.  I think that it was just to new for me to understand how to navigate well on it.  I feel that by putting my voice in the background of a powerpoint, my students might stay interested for a longer period of time. I think this could  be very useful if I needed a substitute teacher to come in my classroom for the day. This is because I know the lesson would be presented how I intended it to be, even though I was not able to be there.  However, I did like slideshare it was a very easy website to navigate.  I was able to upload my powerpoint and add the voice over with much ease. I can not wait to learn how to navigate so I will be able to produce the type of powerpoints I expect.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Proper Nouns

     This is a sample of a mini lesson plan I formed after reading about how to create an efficient powerpoint.  My mock powerpoint discuss why we capitalize proper nouns.  This is a language arts lesson plan for possible second graders.  For one of our assignments in my CEP class, we were to read about how to create a strong powerpoint presentation. We read a chapter on how powerpoints should be formed in order for your students to get the most out of them. Some of the things I learned was that each slide should only contain one important point, this way our students have time to read and comprehend each element without becoming to overwhelmed. I also learned how to use the speaker notes section on powerpoint. As a future teacher this application will be very beneficial to me! I do not have to fit every little detail I want to discuss on the slide which my students see. I can just put what I want to discuss in the speaker notes section so I still have something I can follow while I am presenting the lesson. This way I will be less apt to forget to mention something and my students will recieve the best instruction I can offer them.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Writing in a Classroom

2 & 1/2 and already a computer junky! by Wilson (Army Gal)
                           / CC BY-NC 2.0
   The other day I was having a discussion with some of my classmates in my TE 348 class.  We were talking about how most schools are taking cursive out of their curriculum.  This is a crazy concept for me because from about 3rd grade to 7th grade I was required to write in cursive.  However now a days educators feel that the future students will not need to know how to write and read cursive.  Computers have taken over the world of text, students are now expected to type up a lot of their homework and other various assignments.  We were debating on if students should still learn cursive.  We feel as though yes technology is a huge part of our society, however you need signatures, which are usually in cursive.  But if you never learn how to read or write in cursive, everyones signature will be printed. This will be much easier for others to copy and forge.  This could lead to a future problem in our society.
    What do you think?  Do you think technology is prominent enough to end the teaching of cursive?  If so where do we stop? I mean one day will we not teach out students how to even write print?  Will our future students just learn how to type everything?  Instead of notebooks to take notes will all students bring in a laptop?  Will they soon take tests on the laptops as well?  I know some of this is far out there, but what do you think?  Cursive was a big part of our education while I was in school and to just stop teaching it seems a little dramatic to me.  How do you feel?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Google Docs What a Lifesaver!

Google docs notification by AJC1
                             / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
     So how many of you have worked on group projects or even projects in class and have emailed them, or saved them on a jump drive, because you where afraid you might lose them if you just keep them on the desktop?  As I talked about in my last blog, I was introduced to Google Docs, it was perfect timing too!  I had a group project which was due in another one of my classes this week.  We had to write a paper and it was really difficult to keep emailing the paper with corrections back and forth.  At one point in the process I sent the wrong paper back all together.  By using Google Docs I am able to proof read and add to the paper and send it right back to her.  It is so nice, not to mention we do not have to fill our msu email inbox with tons of emails.  Another great thing was that the paper will open on pretty much any computer, especially if you make it into a pdf file.  This is great because sometimes it is difficult for me to open some word documents.
    I will definitely use Google Docs in my classroom, my students can even put powerpoints up on it.  I think it is wonderful! They are learning how to use technology, which I feel is a wonderful skill to acquire, and they are able to allow people to edit their work, or just view their work.  The thing I love most is that my students will have time to proof read more than one students work, because you can work on the same paper if need be.  This is a great way to get my students involved, not to mention they can submit works to me and not have to worry about printing anything off or bringing a paper with them to turn in.  All they have to do is share the document with me! What a way to be green!

Google Docs

Google Docs & Spreadsheets Logo by dannysullivan
                           / CC BY 2.0
  Today I started to work with Google Docs, I added my resume to my account and played around with it a little bit.  The really neat thing about Google Docs is that I was able to send my resume to my group members for them to look it over and make suggestions and corrections.  They are able to make corrections on my resume and send it back to me.  I am then able to change my corrections, while still having the history of all the corrections which are sent to me. This will be really useful for my students, it saves paper, by not having to print rough drafts out, and it will allow my students to receive more feedback, because more than one person can be correcting the same paper at one time. This will also be useful because you are able to create pdf files with Google Docs.  This will be extremely useful because I will be able to use different worksheets and lesson plans while saving them  as a pdf files so everyone, parents and other teachers are able to access them. I would be able to put them up on a website so if my students were absent or just did not bring home their homework, they would be able to access it at home.  That way they are not as apt to fall behind in their studies.  I can not wait to keep playing around with this application to find more interesting things I can do with it.    

The Olymipics

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Torch by s.yume.

      I was reading my blogs that I am following on my google reader and I came across my ESL Lesson plan blog here is the link so you can check it out.  It gave a description of the history of the Olympics and talked about how they bring all the countries together.  Then they gave the assignment to watch the Olympics and embrace their new language as their own.  I thought this was really neat to use such an integrated cultural experience into an ESL classroom.  The Olympics exposes many different cultural backgrounds all at one time, this is a great way to introduce your students to both a history lesson and a cultural lesson.  I like how he wants them to speak in their new language about the Olympics, it brings everyday life into rich conversation.  I also think it is great that he tells them to come with questions about words, or culture traditions they have.
    I definitely like how this lesson plan incorporates culture and language.  Knowing the culture helps you learn and understand the language of a country. I feel like this assignment will help them grow in their language learning. What do you feel about it?

Polls in a Classroom

ClikaPad by AV-1.
      I was researching different classroom response systems.  I feel that these systems can help students to stay engaged, encourages students to participate, and visually learn.  I found various different systems which can be installed and where students have to buy an applicator.  I however liked a link I found, which talked about using cellphones, or computers to send in your response. The results show up in a powerpoint, and there is no extra cost to install this system into your classroom.  I think these systems offer a wonderful opportunity for many shy or reluctant students to learn, but cost can sometimes be a huge issue.  Most students have cellphones they carry around with them, so why not put them to good use! I think it is important to allow all students, wealthy and not so wealthy, with equal opportunity to learn.  These systems allow students to learn from experience, because they are not afraid to give the answer they feel is right.  Nobody knows who gives what answer so students are not reluctant giving there answers.  So why not use this system when it is free or low cost for you and for your students! What a great opportunity, the students watch the results as they come in on a slide in a powerpoint presentation!

Classroom Management

        I was in my education placement this week and there is a student teacher who is in the classroom I am in.  He has trouble controlling the class when their actual teacher leaves.  When the students throw pencils at each other and get up and chase each other around the room, he just yells at them.  This method is obviously not working for him.  But when he tries to implement different rules, the main teacher fights all his new strategies so he is back to square one.  I feel like this is a common situation for most student teachers.  Maybe he could talk to his teacher and see if she will allow him to do a community behavioral system.  He could possibly bring in a fish bowl, and when the class is good add stones to it, but if bad behavior occurs then the stones get taken out of it.  Once the bowl is filled to the top you can reward the class with a few extra minutes at recess, or bring in a small treat for everyone.  This way you are helping the students to encourage each other to behave, also the students learn that their actions affect others.  This allows your students to become more responsible for their actions.  I feel awful for this student teacher situation. What do you think about this situation?  Should he just carry out with chaos in the room? Or should he try and sit down with the teacher to make a plan they both agree on?

Sunday, February 7, 2010


                         / CC BY 2.0

Twitter is a form of technology that is hard for me to get use to using.  I find it hard to tweet about things, because I feel like it is strange that anyone can read what you tweet.  However I do think it is helpful to  send useful links back and forth to your followers.  In that way twitter is really nice.  Maybe I am just over  thinking twitter, if I could just relax a little more with it, I might be able to benefit from all of the perks it offers.  I feel other things holding me back are the stereotypes twitter brings with it.  Such as using twitter because you are bored and have nothing else  to do with your time, or using it to stalk famous people. However I have learned that yes some people do use twitter for these reasons, but not all people.  Twitter can be used for teachers to learn from each other.  Twitter allows insightful information to be shared with everyone!  It is great, and I am going to try my hardest to get into the habit of using my twitter account.  I think twitter can help me to become a better teacher!  I am going to start to schedule in times to use my twitter account as a valuable resource and I believe I will learn to love twitter and find it very helpful!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Creative Commons and Photo editing

One of our assignments this week was to take one of our personal pictures and licence it through Flickr with Creative Commons.  This is my photo I licensed with Creative Commons.

                           / CC BY-NC 2.0
I choose to do this photo, because I ran across an interesting website, , which gave an interesting idea of taking photos of each step involved in carving a pumpkin.  This way you are teaching your students how form do step by step directions and at the same time you are teaching them what you need to do to carve a pumpkin.  By using a topic such as carving a pumpkin the students will get involved in the lesson, because they are able  to relate this information to real life situations. This makes learning much more interesting for the students and allows them to connect with the lesson on a much deeper level.  I think this website offers some wonderful suggestions on how you can implement photos into your lesson plans.  It is a great website to get some ideas, you should check it out!

I also had to edit the photo, by resizing it and stripping it of its color.  Then I had to use my snipping tool to take a screen shot of my editing process.  Last but not least I produced a slide show of all of my work, check it out above. It is actually pretty neat! Who knew I would ever be able to do anything like this? 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How Can We Use Flickr in Our Classrooms?

                                  / CC BY 2.0
      Today I was introduced to a program called Flickr.  It is a program where you can get pictures and videos to use in your classroom.  I like it because they are protected by the copyright law, so as a teacher I can integrate media from everyday life, and legally present it to my students.  Power points are so boring for students to look at when there is just text or even clip art.  Clip art is limited, when it comes to current pictures.   Flickr has just about any picture you can think of! I will definitely use this website to spice up my lesson plans.  I can use it to show a video on "how to do things" or a video to watch and then discuss as a class.  Flickr is nice because I am able to borrow pictures from other people and I can even up load my own pictures and put copyright protection on them.  I feel that my students will be more attentive when I present new material to them if I can use current, up to data media to go along with it! I wish my teachers knew about this website, class would have definitely been more interesting.
      I feel as if the copyright laws scare teachers off from implementing pictures and videos into their lesson plans.  So many things are on the fence and a lot of these materials are hard to find the rights for so you can not credit the owner properly.  This is why teachers opt out of using media in their lesson plans.  They are busy as it is, they do not need to worry about hunting someone down to ask if it is okay to use their picture.  But Flickr makes this so easy and so convenient! This will surely be a website I will treasure.  Try it out and see what you think about it!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Technology in a classroom

This semester I am in a 5th grade classroom. I went on a tour of the school with my CT and she showed me their computer lab. They had brand new flat screen macs and then they plugged keyboards into them for the children to do a music lesson. I grew up in a private school, so we where never very up on technology. To see them play on these keyboards I thought was really neat. They are learning to use technology while learning how to play an instrument too. I thought this was a great way to implement technology in the classroom.