Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blog Post #5 Part 2

For the first part of this blog post we were assigned to give a summary of our progress in developing our personal learning network. This week I am to give a final summary of my PLN. I don't really want to call it a final summary because it is still growing and I hope it continues to do so. Building my PLN has been a great learning experience. I would have to say that I use Pinterest and Facebook the most in my PLN. I have also discovered a neat website called Bloglovin. Through this website you can search for blogs by different criteria. You can save the ones you like that show up in your "news feed" when you log on to your account. I have begun to follow several teachers here. Twitter is a social site I know is highly beneficial in building your PLN. I am following a few teachers and professionals there as well. At this point, Pinterest is my most favorite. I have found many great ideas and tips related to teaching that I have posted to my "future teaching" board. Staring my PLN has been a great experience and I am looking forward to the connections I am making now and hope to make in the future.

PLN twitter Facebook Skype youtube

C4T #4

Teaching with love and laughter

For this C4T assignment I chose to comment on a teacher's blog that I randomly came across this semester. Her name is Lori and she has been teaching at the elementary level for over 20 years. The name and colorful design of her blog initially caught my attention. Then I began reading through her blog and really became interested in the things she had to say.

I left my first comment on her blog post that talked about using Google Docs to schedule conferences. I thought this was neat since we have used them several times in EDM310 this semester.  She had the idea to use Google Docs to help schedule parent/teacher conferences instead of making a ton of phone calls. A document would be created and shared with the parents. All they had to do was sign their name next to a time that was available. I though this was a great idea and would save a lot of time rather than trying to reach out to the parents through phone calls.

The second blog post of Lori's that I chose was similar to one we were assigned this semester. It was a post about her classroom. She had several pictures and descriptions of everything in her room from the different learning stations to some of the students work. She also had a little classroom library where the children could sit and read books. Her room was very colorful and organized. I love looking at pictures of teacher's rooms and seeing the different ways they design and arrange their stations.

teaching with love and laughter

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blog Post #14

"Teaching Can Be A Profession"
By: Joel Klein


  1. There is a lack of proper math preparation for future teachers.
  2. There is a lack of good programs available to prepare teachers for teaching reading.
  3. Seniority makes it difficult to remove bad teachers.
  4. Salary for teachers is not competitive so better teachers end up in middle class schools while less qualified teachers end up in schools in lower class communities.

  1. Develop better coursework for students to create a better knowledge base.
  2. Creation of a nationwide teacher exam somewhat like doctors and lawyers take.
  3. A 1-3 year internship.
  4. Better standards and procedures in place to help remove ineffective teachers.
  5. Promotions can be based on exams.

In this article by Joel Klein, Joel talks about some of the things he could change about teaching and education. He said if he had to choose it would be to "professionalize teaching" in hopes to make it as respected as profession like law and medicine. He listed several issues that would need to be addressed in order to accomplish this. First, there is a lack of proper math preparation for future teachers as well as good reading programs in place to help them with reading instruction basics. He mention that better coursework could be developed for students to help build a greater knowledge base. I agree with this, especially when it comes to math. I think putting a better program in place to help teachers gain a higher level of skill in teaching math would be great. Klein also mentioned that seniority and job security makes it hard to remove bad teachers from schools. I can say that I had several teachers, especially in middle and high school, that were great people however not the greatest teachers. Teachers that lack or have lost the skills needed to teach are protected by seniority or tenure. There could be several solutions to this issue. There could be a nationwide teacher exam like doctors and lawyers have to take. A good score on the test could help secure job placement and better ensure the capabilities of the teacher. Also, there could be better policies and/or procedures in place to help remove ineffective teachers. Another issue faced in the teaching profession is salary. The salary for teachers isn't really competitive. Most teachers are all payed the same no matter how good or bad their performance. To help improve this, a teachers promotion could be based on performance or some type of exam. I agree with this to some extent. A teacher can be great at what he or she does and still have students that don't perform well due to issues of their own. Perhaps a performance review combined with some sort of examination would be a more well-rounded approach to evaluating a teacher. I agree with Klein in that teaching should be more professionalized. I think it is such an important profession because teachers help guide and dinstill the skills and knowledge students need for the future.

teaching is a profession that creates all other professions

C4K Summary for November


Soha is a 5th grade student in Oakville, Ontario Canada. In his blog post he talked about whether or not he was a good citizen. He thought he was a good global citizen because he and his family send money to people in need. I told him he had a great blog and that it was so nice of he and his family to help those who don't have much.

helping hands


Dillon is an 8th grade student at Waverly-Shell Rock Middle School in Iowa. His blog was about using a potter's wheel. Dillon talked about how he learned how to get air bubbles out of clay and get the clay centered on the pottery wheel. There was a great video posted on the class blog that allowed you to get to see the students watching the pottery being made. It was really neat to watch. I told Dillon that learning how to use a potter's wheel was something I had always wanted to learn how to do myself.

a potter making a vase


Cole is an 8th grade student in Kingsland, MN. The title of his blog post was called "Tree Boy." It was a story he wrote about a pine tree living in Yellowstone National Park named Shebop. In this story Cole is actually the tree and he describes in great detail his surroundings. He talks about how his pine needles are beginning to fall off and how he can see the park rangers keeping the park clean. He also mentions a family of birds that visits his branches. His mom then comes into his room to wake him for school and he realizes he was actually dreaming about being a tree. I told Cole his story was great and that I really enjoyed reading it!

a tall pine tree

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blog Post # 13

What Did I Leaved Out?

For this blog post we are to create an assignment for a blog post that should have been created in our area of specialty, write the instructions and then create the post. 
Below is my 13th blog post assignment.

Using Technology, what are some tools you can 
use as a teacher to help students develop their  
reading and writing skills? 

Instructions: Use whatever resources you like. Below are a few examples that can be used.


According to Kid's Health, children develop both physically and mentally at different rates and as a result may spend various amounts of time at different literacy milestones. I am majoring in elementary education and would be excited to teach any grade from kindergarten to 4th grade. Reading and writing are just a few of the many things I would be teaching in these grades. Learning to read and write and putting those skills to work is very important. I would like to make reading and writing as fun as possible for my students. There are several great apps available to help children have fun while learning to read and write. At ages 4-5 children can begin to identify some letters as well as make certain letter-sound matches. They also begin to match spoken words with written words and begin making attempts to write letters and some small words. The Alphabet Zoo app is an app that helps children recognize letters and their sounds. It shows a series pictures that can be matched with the letter that it begins with. It will keep score of how letters were answered correct and how many were answered wrong.

a picture of a lion and letters

By the age of 6 a child's reading and writing skills really start to grow. They can begin to read some things aloud easily,  identify new words by using letter-sound matches, identify new words by breaking down the word, identify a large number of sight words and sound out words as they try to spell them. Children at this age also begin to  use some punctuation and capitalization. I Can Write is a colorful and fun letter tracing app available for the iPhone and iPad. On this app letters are shown one  at a time and once the letter is traced correctly another letter will appear. At the end of the sequence the app will show the students achievement.

i can write app

At the age of 7 or 8 children can read longer books by themselves, read aloud with proper pronunciation, correctly spell a large number of words and correctly use punctuation. Children also begin to learning how to write cursive. ABC Cursive is a great app for an iPad and/or iPhone. This app is used for practicing cursive. It allows students to practice in cursive upper and lower case letters, whole words, and sentences. A stylus can also be used for better application.

writing a capital D in cursive

These three apps are just a few of many other apps available to help students practice and develop their literacy skills. By using these apps on a iPad, students can have fun while learning to read and write. They would be great to use for practice at home or would make a great reading/writing center for children at school. I look forward to learning about more of these apps and using them in my future classroom.

Thursday, November 13, 2014