Sunday, March 1, 2015

Project #13

                                                                                          University of South Alabama

Department of Leadership and Teacher Education

Project #13 - Lesson Plan

Name: Johanna Logan, Hannah Tolbert, Kristen Evans, & Nicole Cumbo                            Date: 2/27/14

School: University of South Alabama                                                                                            Grade Level: 2nd

Teaching Strategy: Whole group, small group                                                                               Time Required: 1 hour (each day)

I.             Subject/Content Area

·         Science/ Earth and Space

·         Technology Education

·         Arts Education


II.            Behavioral Objectives

      ALCOS -

·         Science: 11. Identify basic components of our solar system, including the sun, planets, and Earth’s moon.

·         Technology Education: 2. Identify applications and operations of various technology systems.

·         Technology Education: 7. Use digital tools to access and retrieve information.

·         Arts Education: 1. Apply a variety of procedures, methods, and subject matter in the production of two-dimensional works of art, including landscapes, still lifes, and relief prints. Producing three-dimensional works of art.


·         Students will learn to classify planets in the order they appear in the solar system.

·         Students will learn to distinguish planet by name, color, and features


III.          Lesson Concepts

·         Solar System

·         Moon

·         Sun

·         Planet

IV.          Materials

·         SMART Board

·         Computer/ Internet

·         Foam ball

·         Paint

·         Paint brushes

·         Library/ books

·         Pencil

·         Paper

V.            Teaching/Learning Procedures

A.      Motivation

·         Say to the class, “ Class are you ready to get out of this world? We’re about to experience the magic of our Solar System.”

·         Show class The Planet Song Video (


B.      Instructional Procedures

o    Explain lesson and what is expected in the assessment.
o    Separate students in to groups of four and assign each group a planet.
o    Instruct students that they are to find 3 books on the planet they were assigned.
o    Students will use classroom computer to visit Alabama Virtual Library to find an online source that relates to their assigned planet.
o    Each group is to come up with three significant facts that they have learned about the planet they were assigned.
o    Students will be given a Styrofoam ball to decorate using paint/ paintbrushes. The ball must resemble their planet.
o    On a separate sheet of paper students are to list three interesting facts and which source they obtained these facts from.
o    Students will present their decorated planet by groups in the order they are arranged in the Solar System.

A.     Closure

·         Students should now be able to identify the order and characteristics of the nine planets.

·         At the end of the lesson/ activity on Friday review with the class what they have now learned about not only their own planet but the planets their fellow classmates had as well.

·         Ask students to sing The Planet Song.

VI.          Assessment/Evaluation

·         Teacher observation: Observe while students are presenting and reviewing that each child has participated and is familiar with the nine planets, facts about the planets and the order in which they are arranged.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Blog Post #6

Anthony Capps is a third grade teacher at Gulf Shores elementary. He uses project based learning in his classroom. We are given seven different videos to watch between Mr. Capps and Dr. Strange. In these videos they discuss the benefits of project based learning. Project based learning is a way for students to work together to gain knowledge and skill from each other.

In The first video Project based learning part 1: Experiences of a 3rd grade teacher Capps said "the most crucial part of project based learning is the opportunity to be able to critique and revise each other’s work."  He goes on to give examples of some of his projects he uses in his classroom. The response he gets from his students is inspiring to me. I love that his students are so engaged in their work. Capps says "create an opportunity for them to go beyond, and they will."  I believe that if you limit your students it will limit their learning experience. If like Capps, you give them endless opportunities, then you will in the end have better responses. In the second part of the video, Project based learning part 2: Experiences of a 3rd grade teacher, Capps makes a great point by saying not all projects will turn out great. For one of his projects he had his students research the culture of Afghanistan. A parent of one of his students did not like the project he had assigned. Instead of dropping the whole project he gives that student another assignment. Things are not always going to go as planned but it is important to work around obstacles and not get disappointed. Capps goes on the explain the extraordinary response he got from the parents with this project.
The third video, iCurio, explains how iCurio works. It is a search engine that allows students to safely search the internet for information. It provides images, videos, audio and text just like Google would. Cap explains another feature that iCurio offers and that is a storage feature. It allows students work to be saved when they leave the computer and easily picked back up when they return. It allows offers an easy way to search specific topics Discovery Education is another resource students can use. It illustrates anything science and social studies related. It offers a detailed image of the topic being searched. Cap uses the example that his students used this tool when they were studying plants. He says it gave them a very detailed image of the plant. This can be a very helpful took because students learn better when they have a visual to look at.

In the fifth video The Anthony - Strange list of tips for teachers part 1 we are given tips that every new teacher should know. The first point that is brought up is that teachers should be learners. I agree completely with this statement. It is important for teachers to be learners because there is always going to be a new way for everything, inside and outside of the classroom. For example, technology is constantly changing, new programs and more advanced ways of doing things is always going to be brought up. Another interesting point that is brought up is that teachers should be flexible. Not everything you do is going to go the way it was intended.

The sixth video Don't teach tech - use it Mr. Capps ad Dr. Strange explain why it is important to not teach technology. From their experiences student learn more when they have to figure it out on their own. For me, being a student myself, I agree with both of them. As frustrating as it is to have to figure something out that you have never even seen before, it is still more beneficial when doing it on your own. At times it is very difficult but it is more rewarding when you end up figuring it out on your own. You learn so much more when someone does not just hand you the information.

The last video Additional thought about lessons, gives us Anthony's thought about planning his lessons. He explains this as a four step process. He expresses how you need all for of these components to plan one lesson.

 1) The year plan

2) The unit plan

     3) The weekly plan

 4) The daily plan




Sunday, February 15, 2015

Blog post #5

What is a PLN? PLN stands for personal learning network. PLN is a way for teachers and students to connect with one another through the internet. It is a tool that allows you to share new ideas and resources. These personal learning networks are available at any time. There are sources such as Symbaloo and Netvibes to help use and keep track of your PLN. Since there are so many different sites to use Symbaloo and Netvibes provide a way to organize these different sites. I personally like Symbaloo better but they are both very helpful. Richard Byrne says it perfectly by describing a PLN as a "network of professionals with whom you share knowledge and from whom you gain knowledge.'

Why use a PLN?
It is important for teachers to stay connected with new ways of learning. Personal learning networks allow teachers to interact with other educators around the globe. With a PLN teachers are open to different cultures and new ways of teaching. It is a great opportunity to learn from other professionals. As a future educator I look forward to using my own personal learning network. I think it is a great tool to stay connected to other teachers and other ways of learning.

Project #15

1. is "one of the most popular search engines on the Web. offers the standard Web search in addition to images, news, maps, local search, weather, encyclopedia listings, blogs, and more." is a search engine that can be used by anyone. It searches the wed for an answer to your question. You simply go to type in any question, and multiple responses to your question will come up.

2. Bing is "a search engine that brings together the best of search and people in your social networks to help you spend less time searching and more time doing."
Bing is a search engine like Google. It uses the web to find answers to your question.
3. Kayak is "a travel search engine operated by the KAYAK Software Corporation. It searches 140 travel sites all at once for the best deals and buy tickets and make reservations direct."

Kayak can be used for booking trips and reservations. It searched the internet to find the cheapest prices on hotels, flights and cars.

4. Hotbot is one of the older search engines. It offers the choice of three main search engine databases including Google. It is used in advanced search help.
5. MapQuest "offers online, mobile, business and developer solutions that help people discover and explore where they would like to go, how to get there and what to do along the way and at your destination."
Mapquest is a search engine that gives directions to where someone wants to go. It makes a route from your current location to the final destination you enter.
6. Indeed is "A job 'meta-search' that scours job boards, newspapers and multiple sources with one search interface." searches the web for available jobs in the area that you live.

7. ChaCha is "a human-guided search engine. It provides free, real-time answers to any question, through its website, via text messaging, or by using one of the company's mobile apps."
ChaCha uses people to search the internet to find the answer to your question. This is known as social searching.
8. Wolfram Alpha   is "an engine for computing answers and providing knowledge. It works by using its vast store of expert-level knowledge and algorithms to automatically answer questions, do analysis, and generate reports."

Wolfram Alpha is a new way to get knowledge and answers. It does not search the web like Google does. It gets information from a collection of built in data.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Blog Post #4

Asking Questions: What questions do we ask? How do we ask ?

The purpose of asking questions
In the article The right way to ask questions in the classroom Johnson says, "sometimes the students do not understand that they do not understand, and if they do not know what they do not know, there is no way that they can ask a question about it." This statement explains that the student may not always realize they do not understand. How are students suppose to ask questions if they do not understand what they are learning? Our job as a teacher is to find a way to help them better understand what they are learning. Asking questions is a way to engage our students in the learning process. Students will not always speak up if they do not know something. Asking questions is not only a way to ensure they know the material, but can also be an affective way to help them fully understand the information.

Strategies on asking better questions
The article, Asking questions to improve learning, lists some helpful strategies to keep in mind when asking questions. 1) Ask direct and specific questions. It is important to stay on topic when asking a question. Try to ask specific questions only about the material you are discussing. 2) Ask a mix of different types of questions. Asking a variety of questions will assure you in getting more than one response. Try asking "open" and "close" ended questions. 3) Do not ask more than one question. Make sure to ask give students one question at a time. Ask one question and receive a response then ask another. 4) Wait for students to come up with a response. Allow students a few minutes to come up with an answer. Giving them time will allow them to fully think of a response. 5) Show that you are interested in the students. Even if the answer is not what you were looking for, make sure to praise them for attempting to question. Instead of saying they are wrong, explain to them another possible response. For instance, ask them to explain what they meant or to elaborate on their point. You could also ask them to rethink about the question and see if they can come up with anything else. 6) Ask open ended questions. Asking open ended questions can assure you in getting a good response back. It makes it easier for the student to give a more detailed answer.

Why ask questions?
Asking questions in the classroom is an essential part of learning. It engages students to not only think about what they do not understand but also what they already know. As said in the article The right question institute, "Just when you think you know all that you need to know, you ask another question and discover how much more there is to learn."

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Blog post #3

In the video  What is Peer editing?, we learn that peer editing is positively editing someone else's work, within the same age group. The whole point of peer editing is to give students feedback that will help them in future writing. Feedback is important in giving the student a different point of view of their work. Staying positive while peer editing a students work is a major point to remember. Students learn more effectively if they are given positive feedback rather than negative feeedback. They are more likely to take the suggestions from someone who keeps a positive mind.

In the slideshow Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial ,we are told there are several steps to consider when editing someone's work. Always leave the student with compliments, suggestions and corrections. Start off by giving the writer compliments. This will make the writer feel good about what they wrote and more open to accepting the suggestions and corrections. Suggestions should give the writer ideas about what you think they could add or change to their work to make it better. Make sure to only suggest the ideas, never make the writer feel like what you have to say is better than what they wrote. The last step is giving corrections. When giving corrections you are checking for spelling errors, grammar mistakes, incomplete sentences and missing punctuation. The video Writting Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes, shows how easy it is to become a "mean Maggie" or a "picky Patty". The main point of the video is to show how important it is to stay positive when peer editing, students will learn more effectively with a positive attitude.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Blog post # 2

Mr. Dancelot

In the video Mr. Dancealot, it shows what it is like when a teacher does not engage with the students. In the classroom it is important to make learning as interesting as possible. This video gives a good perspective on how easy it is for a lecture class to become boring for the students. I believe the central message of this video is to show educators how important it is to interact with the classroom. The conclusion of this video shows the confusion among the students. It proves that lack of communication can lead to many problems.

Teaching in the 21st Century

- What does it mean to teach in the 21st century
-  How technology affects teaching
- What should the student be focused on
- How the teacher should engage with the student

1. In the video Teaching in the 21st Century, Roberts reveals how education is relying more and more around technology. He explains how easy it is to receive all information. Roberts states "Teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge, we are their filter". The simplicity of the internet allows everything to be easily accessed online. With the advancement of technology students now have the ability to learn on their own. Teachers are now expected to filter out what students may already know with what they need to learn. With the information he gives I feel that he thinks teaching in the 21st century means all teachers should be closely connected with technology.

2. Roberts states "Students can find information on anything, anytime, anywhere". This statement is an example of how simple it is for students to access all types of information. He also brings up the point that students may know how to use Google but do they really know how to go beyond that.

3. I agree with how Roberts looks at the changing of teaching. He brings up the point that students need to be engaged and not entertained. I completely agree with his way of looking at teaching.

4. If the arguments Roberts states are true I believe it will have a huge impact on me as a future educator. With students becoming more dependent on technology it makes it that much more important for teachers to be just as dependent on it as well.

The Networked Student

In the video The networked student, the viewer is asked "Why does the networked student even need a teacher?". The student is given plenty of resources to complete the work on his own. He even has access to reach out to other teachers as needed. After hearing what he was given I found myself beginning to ask the same question, does he really even need a teacher? As I thought about this I then realized, of course he does. Myself, as a student going into the education field, I understand how important having a teacher really is. A teacher is there for not only keeping the student on track but for guidance and support. They are there to help the student through the whole learning process.

Harness your Students Digital Smarts

In the video Harness your students digital smarts, Davis explains how important it is for students to connect with each other. I was very interested in the points she made. As a future educator I am open to different teaching techniques. I enjoyed seeing the way she uses technology when teaching her class. She expresses how much it helps her students get interested in their work. For me student interaction is an important key to have in any learning environment. I look forward to possibly using some of these techniques in my classroom one day.
Who's ahead in the learning race?

I found the video Who's ahead in the learning race? very interesting. I think the first graders are by far ahead in "the learning race." Children today are exposed to advanced technology before they even reach kindergarten. Our world today strictly revolves around technology and the ability to use it. We are becoming more and more reliable on it. When I was in first grade we didn't even have a computer in our classroom, now each student has their own personal computers. Students today are more use to the advanced technology because they are so exposed to it at such a young age.

 Flipping the Classroom

Before watching the video flipping the classroom I did not know what this was. I personally do not like this new way of learning. I believe students should learn the main part of the course in the classroom. If the student is told to watch a video of the new lesson at home they may not fully understand what is going on. Every student learns differently and some may need more one-on-one attention, or a slower walk through of the information. If the student is at home watching the video they may not learn everything to their full potential. I do not think it is fair to the student to have to learn anything this way. They should be taught by their teacher in a classroom setting.