Monday, May 6, 2013

C4K Summary for April

C4K #9

The first student for April is Jordan, a 4th grader from Nebraska. In this post, Jordan gives us a little description of Nebraska. Jordan tells us that the trees and birds in Nebraska make it like paradise except for the storms. Jordan also says that you can get many things and this is why people go to Nebraska. I told Jordan that Nebraska sounds beautiful. I also explained that I live somewhere that has a lot of storms too, and is the rainiest city in the country. I have never been to Nebraska before, and asked Jordan if they have ever travelled outside of the state before.

C4K #10 Jesse described their family trip to Apollo Bay for Easter. They described all of the activities that they took part in with their family. Jesse and their family put up their tent before they did some exploring of their campsite. When they arrived it was a beautiful, sunny day. On the second day, after a brief encounter with a European wasp, Jesse went to have some fun on the playground. On Wednesday, Jesse and family enjoyed a day at the pool and the beach, ended by dinner at a Pub with calamari and ice cream. Thursday, Jesse again enjoyed some time at the playground and the pool. Later they went shopping and to get ice cream before dinner. While Jesse's mom and dad began to pack up the next day. They went to spend some final time at the playground. Jesse completed their post by asking if others enjoyed camping and spending time at the pool. In my comment to Jesse, I explained that I really enjoyed reading about their adventures. I also told Jesse that we don't get a week off to celebrate Easter here. I informed Jesse that I have never been camping before, but I have always thought that it would be fun. I also described that while it was winter for Jesse, we were transitioning to summer in the US. In my final comments, I sadly expressed that it is still too chilly to enjoy our pools. Jesse and I have had the luxury of having a short conversation since my original comment.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blog Post #15

Final Reflection At the beginning of the semester, we were asked a series of questions that would reflect our future classroom. The drive behind my classroom ideals originally came from the experiences I have had coaching an eighth grade volleyball team. I find no greater joy than seeing a group of people excel from the skills in which I have helped them obtain. In the beginning of the semester I had just decided that I wanted to follow a suppressed dream of being an educator. This being said, I had little to no clue what kind of teacher I saw myself being.

When I think back on all of the educators that I have learned from, I have always known that I wanted to be the teacher that every student was determined to take, but didn't take "shenanigans" from their students. I want to be the fun teacher, but at the same time one my students know is serious when it is necessary. The downside of this would be that most teachers want to fit this description. Some fail, while few may succeed. I want my students to be able to enjoy being in my classroom, and walk out every day learning something new.

When I wrote my very first blog post as a student in EDM 310, I was bound and determined on teaching grades 6 through 12 with a scientific concentration. Since then I have discovered that my true interest lies in teaching elementary education. I have always been a very creative person, and the majority of the experience I have had teaching and coaching has been around children in 5th grade or below. There is something about this age that I find will bring me the most happiness as an educator. I find that this level will allow me to express my creativity best while fulfilling my teaching dreams. It seems that there is a more open possibility to be creative with younger children.

Many of the tools that I have learned to use in this course have solidified my interest in being an elementary educator. Thanks to the few teachers I have had the pleasure of discovering through EDM 310 have shown me that I can incorporate technology no matter the grade I teach. I plan to allow my students to create podcasts and blogs in the classroom. I would also like to set up an online pen pal project with other classrooms around the world. I plan to combine a project based curriculum with a curriculum that combines technological methods and standard methods. Although I have jumped on the technology in classrooms bandwagon, I still want to keep some traditional education methods firm.

Since I plan on teaching such a young age, I am still trying to discover how to remove "burp-back" education.One of the most important skills I plan to teach, or at least begin, is critical thinking. This is not a skill that I have learned from EDM 310, but I have learned from being in college. Seeing the struggle that I still have with critical thinking at my age is not something I plan to let my students slip by without. I would like to create a certain time in my lessons that will slowly challenge my students to think outside of the box. If I can begin teaching this skill to young students, I feel that it may help them in later years.

As I have learned over the course of EDM 310, students are becoming accustomed to more frequent use of technology in their classrooms. It is my duty to take this growing standard and pushing it further. I must be able to combine this methods in a way that is effective. I truly cannot wait to take on this challenge. Children are curious, and becoming more increasingly so, and I plan to accept the challenge to provide a well rounded education wholeheartedly. The age of education in which I grew up is already much different than the one I see now. The possibilities to educate students to their utmost full potential is growing. I am becoming increasingly more eager to step foot into my first classroom, and be able to draw upon the skills I have learned in EDM 310, my creativity, and the creativity and curiosity of my students .

Project #13 Teamwork and Collaboration

After a few group alterations in the middle of the semester our group upgraded to the New Kids on the Block. I had the pleasure of working together with 2 pretty amazing future educators, Ashley and Daphney, to create a few projects together. We collaborated together for Project #15: SmartBoard Instruction Part 2 and Final Project #16. During the brainstorm process through the final product, we used various tools instructed by Dr. Strange over the semester. Daphney and Ashley used Google Docs to send some ideas for our projects and create a tentative schedule and outline. With this we were able to contribute with each other privately. We used Google Presentations to create our final lesson plan for our SmartBoard lesson. One of the biggest aids in communication amongst our group was using Gmail and group messages. We used these tools to keep up with each other to make sure we were staying on track to completing our projects in a timely manner. All of these tools were extremely helpful. Everything was able to done whenever it worked with our separate schedules. This allowed us to avoid trying to find a time that worked for everyone to meet in person. Our projects were completed with very little complication and plenty of communication. I have really enjoyed getting comfortable with all of these collaborative tools, and I am certain that I will be putting them to good use in the future.