Sunday, October 27, 2013

Project # 14 PBL Lesson Plan # 2

Title: Making Healthy Choices

Duration: 250 minutes, divided amongst several days

Subject: Health

Teacher: Ms. Shanda Thornton

Grade Level: Kindergarten

Project Idea Summary: Students will determine what foods are healthy choices and why they should make better choices when it comes to the types of foods that they eat. We will have a different activity everyday to explain and teach them about the food choices they make. My students will have a power point, song video about vegetables, and you tube clip to start the project for our entrance to the subject. After we listen to the lesson, we would pull out the magazines and they would cut out five healthy foods and five unhealthy foods and glue it to their paper. We will participate in healthy food bingo for an extra activity. They will list everything they eat on a journal from Monday through Thursday. On Friday, I would have a table set up that has healthy and unhealthy snacks on it and they would have to fill their plate according to the myplate categories of healthy foods. For homework, they would make a poster on why they should choose healthy foods.

Standards: Nutrition Standard # 12 Students will be able to identify healthy foods, including snacks Recognizing the six food groups shown on myplate Identifying characteristics of various foods Examples: taste, smell, color, texture locating the nutrition facts labels on food products

materials: paper scissors glue old magazines bingo cards bingo dots computer smart board paper plates table healthy foods unhealthy foods

21st century competencies: collaboration creativity communication

Entry Events: Power Point a youtube video a music video

Formative assessment worksheets journals checklists

Summative Assessment: multiple choice test self evaluation short presentation

Reflections: Review presentations discussion Healthy Kids

Blog Post # 10

In the video Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, He tells us that motivation is key to teaching. Randy tells us his life story about how he was given only 3-6 months to live due to tumors in his liver. Randy wanted to spend his last days working to inspire and motivate others with his last lecture. In his video he discusses three main ideas.  The first thing he spoke about is how important it is to always hold on to your childhood dreams. He says, "We should never lose your childhood dreams, always take them with you when you grow older. He explains this and shows how he achieved each of his dreams and what he took from the experiences. "Experience  is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." He tells us one of his dreams that he did achieve was to be a Disney Imagineer. When he was offered the position he was a professor  so he approached two of the Deans at the college, both of the deans told him I don't know for an answer, although one of the dean's said I don't know but tell me more. Randy goes on to explain that there is a right and wrong way to use I don't know as an answer. He also added that the walls holding us back while trying to achieve our dreams are there for us to prove how badly we want what we want. He then discusses how to enable childhood dreams of others. He created a program used to create virtual words where he had fifty students and divided into groups and given two weeks to compare complete an assignment. After the two weeks were up they were given a new group to do the same project he was blown away by the outcome. He was told by his mentors that what they did was pretty good but they could do better. He said that the advice was great because it wasn't good for the students if he sat the bar for them. He explained that he saw the achievements of his students were endless by not setting the bar. The success of that class grew and turned into a school wide experiment once a year. He has now passed his program off to someone else to control and it has grown tremendously. This achievement will be his legacy. He says he describes himself as Moses that he can see the promised land but will never get to go. He then discusses the lessons learned through all of these experiences. He says that along the road to achieving your dreams you have to be thankful for and realize what and who helped you along the way. Even if you don't realize it at the time, anyone along the way could help you. My favorite part of his lecture was when he said always remember the importance of having fun and never lose the child in you! He goes on to say that loyalty is a two way street, be honest, be earnest, never give up, always apologize when your wrong, and always remember to follow your dreams. Randy said so much with all of those words in the last two sentences. He says his lecture is not about how you achieve your dreams, its about how to lead your life and that the talk was bout for his audience but for his kids.

I think everything he said in his speech was words to live by not only for future teachers but for every one! As future educators we could take all of his advice on the road we are traveling. I think we should all follow his advice especially about always having fun and to always keep a child like passion. Another lesson would be to always be a motivator and never let students give up on their dreams!

Randy Pausch Quote

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Post #9

By Group: Gainesborough
Members: Shanda Thornton, Chastity Westry, and Victoria P. Williams

We can learn a lot of new techniques and different concepts of teaching through these videos. These teachers teach us new and different ways to run our classroom using some 21st Century competencies. There is a lot to be learned through these videos.


Brian talks about the different activities that are done throughout his classroom and how he does them. He knows that students disconnect easily and for many different reasons. We were really impressed that Brian does not stereotype his classroom. He has a classroom full of lower class children and he brings his best to the classroom. He wants them to have the best learning experience and he tries his best to provide that. He introduces these children to blogging along with other class projects. Brian offers his students real life problems through these projects and that is what will prepare the students for the real world. Also, he had speakers that tied into what they were learning to come in and speak with his class. This resource could provide the students with information that won’t be found on the internet. We learned that if we involve, connect, engage, empower, and motivate students they will be more interested in learning. The projects Brian produced for his students will make them lifelong learners and thinkers. Active learning is a great way to create a learning atmosphere. He teaches his students to think outside of the box. An example was when he told the students to tell the story as if they were the balloon, this gets the students involved in a thinking process. The blogging helps the students to interact with students all over the world and show their reflections. The comments allows students to converse back and forth, this tool teaches them a lot about connecting and collaborating with other people. The comments left on the students posts from readers encourages them to keep learning and improve their work. Brian also established goals implemented in the classroom, the students created goals for themselves, school, community, and the whole world. They also received feedback from other students from all over the world which made the students more globally aware. Second, we learned about a method called blended learning.

Paul uses the blended learning system for his classroom. Blended learning is when you take classroom learning and mix it with online and module work. Paul basically described it with these three resources: online, mobile, and classroom. There are five “E’s” that tie into the process of blended learning, which can be helpful to learn science.The learning cycles are: engage, exploring, explaining, expanding, and evaluating. So when you mix blended learning with the learning systems, you then will have a blended learning system. Brian wants his class to ask questions and predict what will happen next. Next, the class should then be evaluated. He also talked about the power of the questioning and the power of learning. He always starts with a question that hooks the students, once you have the students hooked, they are ready and excited to learn and answer the questions. Learning cycles are very useful to get students involved in the thinking process. Also, if the students follow all of the steps to this process on their own they are more likely to take more knowledge with them to the next level. To remember the steps of the cycles, he develops acronyms. Paul’s blended learning cycle consisted of six parts, “QUIVERS” : Questions- start with a good driving question, Investigate/Inquiry- inquire about the driving question and investigate the answer or the reasons, Video- watch a video about the driving topic, Elaborate- elaborate on the topic, Review- review all of the information collected, and Summary- take a summary quiz to make sure the students understand the topic.

In the last video, Making Thinking Visible, Mark Church gets his students to talk about the puzzles in small groups in order to capture the heart of the unit. In their groups the students connect with the ideas and decide what they think it is all about. The challenge on the whole topic in general is to figure out a phrase that headlines and captures the heart of what the unit is about, The students conversed and one girl stated, “how can we sum up everything with one phrase?”. There phrase would be based on how the students interpreted the unit and connected it with what they already know to the puzzles and challenging of the stories. Later on they headline it again and see how much the headline and their interpretations of the unit have changed since the first time they discussed it.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

C4T # 2

C4T # 2 Post # 1 For my second C4T, I was assigned to Mrs. Dianne P Krause, I read her most recent blog that was posted on September 19th. The title of the post was “What is your digital footprint? She goes on to explain what a digital footprint is. Which is the trail or traces people leave online. At the bottom of her post she adds tags and her favorite links. It was a very short post but it said so much. Comment # 1 When I commented to Mrs. Krause, I explained to her who I was and why I was here. I then admired her for her ability to say so much in such a small post. I told her when I asked myself the question in her title that I then ask myself would I want someone to see my digital footprints? These footprints can tend to trace back to years and years before. I think that most people don’t think twice about what they do online. In this day in time, I have heard that you can lose your job over a simple opinionated face book post. I told her also that I liked that she added tags and links at the bottom. C4T Post # 2 For my second C4T post to Mrs. Krause, I read “Daily Digital Discoveries”. In this Blog Post, Mrs. Krause told her blog readers about three free sites that gave teachers ideas, and games for their students. Comment # 2 I told Mrs. Krause that I was so excited that I got assigned to her blog this time! She put many helpful free sites on her blog post that I probably would not have heard about if it weren't for being assigned to her blog for my C4T. I made sure to tell her thanks for sharing her information! I also liked that they were all free sites! With funding cuts, teachers are not always lucky to receive money to spend on their classroom and students. Teachers are normally spending their own money to maintain their classrooms so these free and effective sites would be very helpful! Finally I read about all of the sites she posted and I saved all of them for later use! They all seemed so useful in helping teachers use technology to their benefit in the classroom. This is her blog spot, everyone interested should check this out!

Project # 9 Podcast

Project # 9 Podcast

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Blog Post # 8

by: Shanda Thornton

I looked over a few different learning sites, and found a few different ones, but Flocabulary just kept jumping out at me. Flocabulary is partnered with and Pearson and currently working on new content for common core ELA. It is $63/year, but I believe would be well worth that price! I just signed up for the free trial, so that I could explore more of the products this site has to offer.
Flocabulary has an online library of songs, videos, and activities for grades k-12. Teachers use Flocabulary to supplement their instruction and engage their students.
The word up projects teaches interdisciplinary tier 2 words to boost reading skills across the curriculum. It engages, standard aligned content for students of all ages.
It offers videos, exercises, games, and quizzes that provide a comprehensive resource for direct vocabulary instruction. it has hip hop songs, videos, and lessons for every subject!

It offers products for Language Arts, Math, The Week in Rap, Social Studies, Science.
It also has an award-winning vocabulary program and features a weekly current events video.
Flocabulary presents academic content in a highly-engaging, contemporary format. It says that the site lets the topic speak for itself, providing students with both visual and aural exposure. And videos aren’t only for introducing new topics; use them to review and provide ongoing enrichment as well. You can play and pause the video while discussing the lyrics, which are visible below the video and also available as a printable PDF. Click on key lyrics to bring up an information box, which takes the topic further and provides opportunity for a more in-depth discussion. As a class, in groups, or individually, students can hone in on specific details and review key points from the song in a flashcard format.
The founders have diverse backgrounds but with a common goal of increasing student motivation and achievement.
I would absolutely use this site in my classroom! I love music and I always could learn stuff better if I could turn it into a song! I think most kids are like that, and with this site they get songs and interactive games to help them learn and remember about lessons of any subject!
Check it out! It’s this generations version of schoolhouse rock!

By. Chastity Westry
A 21st Century learning and communicating tool I will use with my students is the iClicker. The iClicker is an audience response system that enables participants and presenters to interact dynamically through question and answer polling in various group settings. It reduces the burden of technical difficulties and maximizes the benefit of learning with the technology. The iClicker remote has basic features that can be easily operated by any grade level. The remote has a simple six button design, easy for students to power up and make their decisions. Next, they are small, lightweight, and portable with a durable design built to last.  This tool allows teachers and students to make real-time decisions about academic progress. I will use this tool along with power point or other presentation programs with my students. Since I will be working with Kindergartners, we will be using this to play matching games on a LCD screen for learning the alphabet and numbers. This learning and communicating tool can be accessed through an iPad, iClicker remote, computers, or any device with internet access. Two benefits that I expect from this tool is making learning more informative and enjoyable. I chose this particular tool because I think it will be very effective in the learning process in the classroom. The iClicker tool will develop better collaboration and communication skills upon my students. Also, when using this tool and pairing students into groups, it can create competition and encourage the students to want to do better in their work. I believe that the iClicker will keep the students engaged and encourage them to learn more. The iClicker is an essential presentation tool that increases engagement and understanding. This tool will keep your students learning experience front and center. Today, as a Junior at the University of South Alabama, I am currently using the iClicker in my lecture classes and I am sure it will be a great effective learning tool for my future classroom.

After reading my assignment for post eight, I knew exactly where I could find learning and communicating tools. I referred back to my PLN, Symbaloo. This site has tons of useful tools that I am in the process of locating and preparing. I will use these tools in my future classroom.

I found this tool on Symbaloo and it is called Scholastic. The Scholastic site has tons of great learning resources that I will need for my second grade classroom. To use this site you  need to create an account as either a teacher, parent, first administrator, or librarian. Some of the resources listed on the homepage are as follows: Resource and Tools, Strategies & Idea , Student Activities, Book & Authors, and a shop for teachers to buy products. I chose to use this site because of all the resources that it has to offer me.

The Resource and Tools tab contains lots of useful tools that I will use in my future classroom. The most useful thing for me was the hands on lesson plans. The lesson plans are designed for certain grade levels and contain a project overview, objective, lesson plan for the unit, culminating activities, duraliation for the project, and the subjects being covered. I would use this site mostly to gather creative lesson plan ideas but there are also other useful resources offered through this site. There are Common Core instructional material and programs. The Everything you Need link is perfect for looking up activities for the whole month. The Tools tab has a variety of technology tools to make things for the classroom such as: graphic organizers, rubric makers, flash card maker and a spelling wizard.  This site also offers printables, planning calendar, and daily starters. I would recommend this site to any teacher.

By: Victoria Williams


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Progress Report # 1 for Project # 2

I started using symbaloo to create my PLN. I have a few things added to my PLN. I added Pinterest first because I love all the creative ideas that teachers and other people post on there for classrooms. I also have twitter. CNN news, iCurio, discovery ed, and blogger. I also added my group members and some other people, that are working for the same goal, that I am that I have gotten close to. I also added you tube. I have a long ways to go, but each time I learn about something new that would be a great tool for an educator I add it to my PLN.


Blog Post # 7

Project Based Learning Part 1 and 2

Anthony Capp's ideas about project based learning are constantly evolving. Projects are what you do at the end of a lesson to show what you have learned. The goal and the shift is that it is not only a way to show the student has achieved a goal but also a way to get the students to learn something. Mr. Capps says that the goals of a good project are: one that has an authentic audience, one with student interest, one that involves the community to show real world relations, and also one that is content driven. Students have to know the content that the state requires them to know in order to complete the projects. One  project that Mr. Capps has utilized in his classroom was for his students to write a letter to Congressman Jo Bonner. This project covers writing, reading, and social studies with the state standards.  They used iCurio to find female or minority historic figures that demonstrates success when it was uncommon. They found someone that served in the military and wrote Congress about why or why not they thought that this was a good idea. The students selected eight of the best letters and sent them in to Jo Bonner's office. He also talked about a second time 3rd grade student that raised her hand and explained why an answer was correct using a t chart and pointing to the part of the book that described the answer to the question.
Capps said not everything will go well, and explained to us about a  project that one of his student's parent was not happy about the child having to write a story about being a child in Afghanistan. He had to give that child an alternate project to do. He gives the tip to never limit your students, create an opportunity for them to go beyond what you want them to do and they will.
Your going to get more than you expect with project based learning. When Dr. Strange asked Mr. Capps to analyze the projects of his class against the college EDM310 class, he said that his best were similar to Dr. Stranges' best and his worst were similar also. The difference was his projects were done by 3rd graders and Dr. Stranges were done by college students.
Project Based learning involves a method to evaluate students and a method that helps students learn. It takes a lot of work to make the project successful. The parents and students both have positive feedback on the use of Project Based Learning in the classroom. He also said that all of his "bosses" have high approval ratings because they think that as long as the students are engaged they are learning. They allow him to take the reigns. Mr. Capps then tells us about a Project where his Principal invited people into her teachers classrooms. Mr. Capps students had been working on writing a sequence chart from a story. The students then had to pick the three most important scenes that the story couldn't make it without. Finally, they had to choose the one scene that played the biggest effect on the outcome of the story. Their reward was they got to make a comic strip online of that scene. A lot of things were going wrong that day and Mr. Capps had to improvise. So he had to figure out a back up plan in a hurry, he decided that he would allow them to sit down and paint their scene. Before they were allowed to paint they had to write a defense on why they chose this scene. This all was happening while his principal Mrs. Julie sent around a large group of people to ask and learn about project based learning. As a result of his students all loving project base learning, Mr. Capps got invited to Montgomery to represent teachers around Alabama to talk about PBL along with other state departments. In the end, Dr. Strange summarizes project base learning as students being learners and engaging in the process of learning, they don't just memorize the information and burp it back. Project based learning is a very effective and exciting way to engage students in learning! Thanks for sharing a few of your projects with us!

Discovery Education
Anthony said Discovery Ed is a great tool for Project Based Learning. In this video interview with Anthony Capps, he stated "A picture is worth a thousand words, so a video must be worth a million."
Discovery Ed uses visual aids to help students take learning to the next level. If you watch a video about a subject you are more likely to remember it, rather than just reading about it.
If a child has a visual text, they will take in and remember a lot more. It is great for certain subjects like social studies and science. If the student uses Discovery Ed as a search engine, whatever they search will return a video to watch instead of a picture or just words. Through the digital world, Discovery Ed brings more to each lesson with the ability to research any topic and find a video about that topic. You even can compare and contrast things you have watched on Discovery Ed.
Capps said, "Discovery Ed really brings texts to life!" Discovery Ed engages students better than just books, and it is a tool that can easily be used in the classroom. Through using Discovery Ed, students can watch videos of other people stating facts and opinions about a topic, which as I stated would be more beneficial than just reading! Capp said his students had positive reactions to Discovery Ed. Every since we did the slide show on iCurio and Discovery Ed, I have been interested in learning much more about them. It was really cool to hear a teacher that actually uses Discovery Ed in the classroom talk about how it works, and also how it involves and engages the students.


In the video chat about iCurio, Anthony Capps gives the EDM310 class a few examples on how he uses iCurio in his 3rd grade classroom. ICurio is a search engine that filters searches and allows students to pull up information that fits the ACCRS. You can search websites, images, video, etc. It has a place to store files in folders to help with student and teacher organization and also easy access. ICurio can be used as a read-aloud tool for students who have trouble reading, or students who are impaired in other ways. You can bookmark your place using iCurio, in case you are interrupted and need to go back later.  When using iCurio, you can search using specific criteria. Two other features are the Time lines and Historical Features, Anthony said he plans on using the Time lines feature more next year. They already use the Historical features in which students type in a keyword without knowing anything more about the subject, with the keyword only there would be a list of Historical Features of whatever they were researching. Example: If they wanted to know who built airplanes, they could type in "first airplanes built" and it would pull up the first airplane engineers.

Anthony-Strange Tips for Teachers Part 1
By. Shanda Thornton


On the video The Anthony-Strange tips for Teachers Part 1, Dr. Strange's first question was, "What are some of the most important things to do to prepare yourself as a teacher?" The six tips they talk about are key factors that any new teacher should take into consideration before they begin their journey as an educator. The first tip was to Always be a learner, you won't be a successful teacher if you are not willing to always learn new things. We are constantly learning and we have to model that behavior for our students.Teaching is hard. When teaching, work is not separate than play. You learn the craft of teaching in your free time. You also put in more than eight hours a day. Teaching is never ending. Teaching is always rewarding. Teaching should be fun, so let it be fun! Be flexible. Start with a goal. You should never be so dead set on a lesson plan just in case the unexpected will happen. You should always have a plan “B”. Never be so committed to a lesson plan that you can’t be able to respond to the unexpected. Always start with the end in mind, it may not look like it is going to end up right like you planned but that will teach you what you need to change the next time you teach the lesson. Flexibility is key. Keep your students as engaged as possible! The goal is 100% engaged. It is critical to engage students. A good question is, “How can I get everyone of my students involved in this process?” Students should also be able to share what they have done and use audience critiques to help correct their work. Self evaluation is really important in the process of educating. All of these tips are sure to help all new teachers begin to find their way on their journey.
Use Technology-Don't teach it!
By. Chastity Westry


 Anthony Capps stated that technology comes natural to every child, regardless if they are in a low or high income area. He gave off the impression that he strongly encourages the use of technology in the classroom. During the video, Anthony explains that technology should be a part of a teacher’s curriculum. Basically, do not teach technology, use it in the classroom. When designing assignments switch up the technology you’re using. For example, Anthony chose one technology to focus on at a time. In doing so, this gave every student the opportunity to review and continue using this technology in their learning. Some positive aspects of this method are students being able to express themselves and it is inexpensive. To conclude, Anthony encouraged his readers to use technology in the classroom. He stated to let technology get your students excited about learning. When incorporating technology in your lessons, don’t ever expect perfection. The main concern is to focus on one technology at a time and let your students share their work.
Additional Thoughts about Lessons
By. Chastity Westry

In the video, “Additional Thoughts about Lessons”, Anthony stated that a lesson is at least four layers thick. First, a teacher has to think about how the lesson will tie in with the year. For example, you have to produce a curriculum map that includes the standards that are to be covered during the year. The next layer of a lesson is unit size. A teacher has to make sure that they have advised unit projects or assignments in a way that is meaningful and stair-stepped properly. This is very important and helpful because it will be a planned out map of what students will learn at the beginning of the year and will be able to master by the end of the year. After producing your unit, the next step is to advise weekly goals. These weekly goals will demonstrate what will be covered daily and mastered by the end of that week. The last step of the four layers of a lesson by Anthony Capps is creating the daily plan. The daily plan will consist of instructions on how the material will be delivered to the students. It will also include how the teacher will get the students engaged in lesson and the method of assessing them on what is being delivered.

photo credits to: Project Based Learning -Discovery Ed - icurio Tips for Teachers use technology Additional thoughts picture

Friday, October 4, 2013

Project # 13 Project Base Learning Lesson Plan # 1 (Collaborative)

PBL Lesson Plan #1

Title:  Let’s Go Green!

Duration:  200-250 minutes, divided amongst several days

Subject: Science

Teachers:   Mrs. Westry & Mrs. Thornton

Grade Level:   k-3

Project Idea Summary:  Students are to be divided into groups of five. Each group with the guidance of the teacher will research through the internet on different recycling items(paper,plastic bottles,cans, and plastic bags). Once each group is assigned to a recycled item, they will create bins to sort the items in. After the recycling bins are created the groups will be split up into a scavenger hunt for these items around campus. After collecting the recycled items, each group will tally the number of items they collected and sort them into the appropriate bin. The group with the most tallied items will have their picture taken and presented in the school paper under the section, “How to keep your school clean!”. 3rd grade Students will also keep a journal/learning log on all of the different ways they could “Go Green” and keep the school clean. They will also give a presentation to their fellow students of why it is important to clean up the environment and ways that everyone can pitch in and help.

Content Standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.10 Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners aboutkindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.2.1b Build on others’ talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.2.3 Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.C.6 Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.1

21st Century Competencies to be taught and assessed:
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking

Entry Events:
  • Share YouTube video on how these items can be harmful to the environment and how they can be reused for many different things.
  • Picture books and posters of how to recycle.  

Formative Assessments (During project):  
  • Scavenger hunt checklist on iPad
  • journal/learning log
  • presentations

Summative Assessments (End of project):
  • Tally marks
  • Match recycled item images on paper to appropriate Recycling Symbol
  • preliminary plans
  • make a concept map(for their presentation)

Resources needed:
  • iPad
  • Plastic bins
  • access to internet
  • Latex gloves
  • Computer
  • Crayons/Markers

Reflection Methods:
  • Group Discussion
  • Class Discussion
  • School Article entry on how to keep your school clean
  • School Presentation

Picture by: Thearchangel.wordpress