Saturday, May 10, 2014

Project #16


                 Our final project as a group with my Athens team was to make an iBook of all the wonderful projects, blog posts, pictures, and videos that we individually and collaboratively produced! It was quite an experience to me, since I've never heard of an iBook before. The iBook beautifully presented all of our learning experiences in a fun way! Our theme for our iBook was "Once Upon A Time In EDM310" in a cute Disney format. Our presentation was great too. I think everyone who watched our iBook loved it, as I and my other team members did as well.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Blog #15

Here is my final reflection video for EDM310! In a way, I'm sort of sad that this class is ending for me, but I am so fortunate and glad that I got so experience so many new things in this class. I plan to take all that I've learned from this class and apply it in every aspect of my life, and not just in my future classrooms. Fare thee well EDM310!

Monday, April 21, 2014

C4T #4 April Summary

          In this month of April, my C4T #4 was Mr. John Bernie, a middle school principal from Michigan! This is my last C4T of the year, and I want to say that the C4T experience has been very insightful to me. I appreciated every C4T assignment that we were assigned this year in EDM310.

disorganization               For my first C4T post this month, I got to comment on John Bernia's blog post! In his post, he talked about how the weather over there in Michigan where he works set back the school schedule, since they had to miss over three days of school. He talks about how frustrating it is when your schedule is set back, but when it happens, we shouldn't rush. Rushing creates sloppy work, and he does not agree with it. He said instead of rushing around getting our schedules and work back in order, we should take a step back and "be quick, but don't hurry".
              My reply to him was as follows: "Hello Mr. Bernia! I am Kaitlyn Wyman, from the University of South Alabama. I loved your post about being quick about getting back on schedule after being out of school for a while, rather than being sloppy. There's a huge difference between being quick about things and not hurrying. You, as well as I, want the students to be completely up to date on their lessons, and not letting our disorganization due to being sloppy affect them. Thanks for sharing!"  

Moral Quotes                  For my second C4T post, I got to comment on John Bernia's blog post. In his post, he talked about the importance of making your priorities in your job not just a priority, but a lifestyle decision that should reflect your personal values and principles. For example, as a principal, he shouldn't just walk around expecting to pop into a classroom at a set schedule. Here should make the experience fun and something that should reflect the way he is as a person and principal. I loved how he was so passionate about what he was talking about and explaining.
           My comment to Mr. Bernia was: "Hello Mr. Bernia! I am Kaitlyn Wyman of Mobile, Alabama, and I am in a class called EDM310 that allows me to evaluate other teachers' and administrators' blogs from around the world. This week I picked you to be my principal that I look at and comment on! I just want to point out first that I enjoyed reading your blog, and that you are completely right about everything you mentioned! Your set values that you have completely rules over your decisions you make in school, and in other aspects of life as well. Also making certain priorities the most important thing you do requires acting and presenting the part. Thank you so much for sharing!"

C4K April Summary

In this lovely month of April, I was given two children to evaluate and comment on! This is my last C4K for the year, and I really enjoyed getting to visit children's blogs from around the world.

Kowhai Tree              For my C4K #9, my child who I got to comment on was Sohel of the Pt England School in New Zealand! In his blog post, he inserted a Google Slide show about New Zealand's native tree called the Kowhai. He provided a picture description of the tree, it's binomial nomenclature, and the places where the tree grows in New Zealand. Sohel is a very intelligent kid who was very optimistic about sharing information about the tree on the Google Slides. I think it is highly impressive that children that age are using Google devices and blog posts to present their projects.

              My comment to Sohel was: "Hello Sohel, my name is Kaitlyn Wyman and I live in Mobile, Alabama! I am a student of EDM310, which is a class that allows me to comment on and read blogs from kids all around the world, like you! I also do so many other interesting things. I wanted to point out how much I really liked your blog post about the Kowhai tree from New Zealand using Google Slides. It will give people who do not know much about the tree some very useful information. Thank you for sharing!"

Healthy Foods

             For my C4K #10, my child that I got to visit was named Nahea, also from the Pt England School in New Zealand. Click here to view her blog. This week, Nahea had to make a Vimeo about healthy foods and how it is good for your body. She explained that healthy foods make you big and tall in the long run, which made me smile. Then, she created a picture from her iPad of her holding a bunch of healthy foods, most likely to enhance her blog on healthy foods.

             My comment to little Nahea was: "Hello Nahea, my name is Kaitlyn Wyman and I am in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I was completely blown away that you used a video from Vimeo to explain what healthy foods are and how it affects your body in a positive way! I also enjoyed your picture that you created from your computer. I look forward to seeing some more things that you have created Nahea! Keep up the great work."


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blog #14

Thank goodness.....

We have a break from writing up a blog this week! On our break from blogs, though, we must focus on getting our Project #16 done, and other things we absolutely have to do. Project #16 is a whole lot of work, but will be beautiful and so worth it. So thank goodness for Dr. Strange letting us have some elbow room needed for our project. In closing, I guess you can say this is my blog about not having a blog! Go figure ladies and gentleman. Happy Project #16 and getting ready for finals! Here are some quotes to help get you through the thicket of things.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blog #13

This week, Dr. Strange suggested that we post a blog about what we think should have been assigned to us in the beginning. In this ever wandering mind of mine, I could think of so many things I could blog about, from fun art projects, to the various ways we as teachers could serve as leaders, to exciting field trips I could take my kids on! Being an elementary education major though, there is one assignment that stands out in my mind that I think should have brought up to us long ago.
Here is the assignment:
                       Explain and/or list some ways that you could create a positive environment in your future classroom, using examples and depictions of things you might use to make the children better understand. Site any videos, pictures, or websites you used so that whoever reads your blog post can research on their own at their own pace.
Here is my reply:
                       Every day as millions of children go to school, their parents and caretakers hope these young people will be treated with care, values, respected, inspired, and educated, something that every school should maintain. Students in turn hope that they are treated well so that they can get through school knowing they are valued and respected. Unfortunately for some students in the world, going to school and dodging bullies and other negative situations is a difficult obstacle that seems nearly impossible to overcome. Oftentimes, sadly, teachers are so focused on making sure that their students work diligently and pass achievement tests that they can become blind to what the kids might actually need, emotionally and socially. So here are some ways to ensure a positive learning and social environment for our precious children in our future classrooms.
Making Learning Relevant:  
Students tend to be more engaged in what they are learning about and retain the knowledge better when they understand and see that the material being learned at hand is going to benefit them positively in the real world. Teachers can pay attention to what the kids' talents are, how they learn, and what their interests are so that they can adjust their teaching methods and strategies. By giving the students a say-so in how the material should be taught can increase the students' sense of ownership in their educational journey.
Create a Classroom Code of Conduct:
In order for a classroom to run smoothly, a set of ground rules on how to act and what is acceptable and unacceptable should be addressed. I could do this by asking the class one by one how they liked to be treated. This discussion can elicit lists of behaviors that are respectful, kind, and fair. That way, teacher and students can conclude that treating others how they liked to be treated is the best code of conduct there is, and they can agree that the behaviors are appropriate for their classroom.
Teach Positive Actions:
We as teachers need to address positive behaviors in a completely thorough, consistent manner. We cannot just assume that kids know them. From the Postive Action Curriculum, here are some concepts taught:
-The importance of doing positive actions to feel good about yourself.
-Positive actions for a healthy body (nutrition, exercise, and sleep)
-Positive actions for the intellect (thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving skills)
-Positive actions for self-management (managing time, energy, emotions, and other personal resources)
-Positive actions for getting along with others (treating others fairly, kindly, and respectfully)
-Positive actions for being honest with yourself and others (taking responsibility, admitting mistakes, and not blaming others)
-Positive actions for improving yourself continually (setting and achieving goals)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blog #12

Assistive Technology

I am so glad that we get to write about different assistive technologies that we can use in our classrooms. Assistive technology is characterized as technology that can help kids with learning disabilities leverage their strengths and work around or compensate different learning problems. In my future classroom, I wish to appeal to every learning strength and weakness there exists, and knowing that there are various and incredible things that can help kids get around those difficulties is astounding and reassuring to me! In my days in school, there were a number of great computer programs, devices, and even apps on a smartphone or tablet that I noticed that help people with special needs get the full educational experience they most greatly deserve.

AbilipadIn my 7th grade class when I was in middle school, there was a boy named Dylan who could not communicate verbally because the part of his brain that was supposed to allow him to speak was paralyzed, as well as the rest of his lower body. However, Dylan could definitely understand what you were saying when you spoke to him and knew the exact words to say, but could not express them. So he used a program called Abilipad, which allowed him to type whatever he wanted to say and it would speak the words for him! It was a huge peace of mind for our teacher who was very worried that he wouldn't understand or keep up with the lessons she taught. Dylan turned out to be an extremely intelligent young man. If it weren't for the Abilipad, our teacher would have never known if he was grasping the material or not, and Dylan would never be able to express in words what his opinions were or if he even got the material at hand.

iMouf appAnother program that is of my reach as a teacher is the app called iMouf. It's an app for the iPhone or iPad. It is a new, refreshing, and dynamic way of learning sounds of everyday language to children.  It brings funny moments and sometimes even complete joy and happiness to the kids while teaching the different characteristics sounds make. iMouf is a practical and creative app designed for parents, teachers, and professionals. It’s a fun way to teach children while learning the basic fundamentals of sounds and the way they should be pronounced.

Talking CalculatorOne more thing that I think would be very helpful is the idea of a Talking Calculator! It can help with children who have ADD or ADHD to focus on what they are doing so the don't get off track. It will keep the child interested and make them want to learn and focus for that time being. It may even improve their focusing abilities in the long run as well! It can also be great for kids with speaking disabilities so that they can learn how to say certain numbers and how to explain specific math facts. It will be especially be important for blind people, so they can hear what they are typing and calculating.

Technology has really come a long way from just being something that was recreational or other things. If anything it has become a great equalizer for children and grownups with special needs that might prevent them from participating in class and other important assignments. Now, kids with the inability to speak can communicate with spoken language. Children with hearing problems can now generalize what sounds mean and what they sound like. The list literally goes on and on, and I am so proud that technology has stepped up to the plate to provide these wonderful programs to these wonderful children with lots of potential.