Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blog #10

What Can Be Learned About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch? By Ronald Griffin

My first taste of Randy Pausch came from a lecture he did entitled "Randy Pausch's Last Lecture". It didn't take long before I realized what a great communicator he was. Randy was able to methodically weave humor and visual aids into a great learning experience in this lecture. The lecture was packed with amazing insight on teaching and learning. Although there are many great points Randy makes, I would like to highlight three elements he talked about pertaining to teaching and learning.

The first element is enabling others' dreams. Randy talks a lot about his childhood dreams in the video and puts heavy emphasis on the importance of having childhood dreams. Childhood dreams are goals one has when young, and can serve as great motivation to attain the things one wants in life. So, what can be learned about teaching and learning from childhood dreams? As it turns out, a great deal. Teachers can be facilitators of their students' dreams. Instilling qualities in students that help them succeed is enabling their childhood dreams. For example, if a student has the childhood dream of becoming a successful scientist that breaks barriers in biological research, the student can't do it alone. The process starts with his science teachers in school. They can enable him to accomplish that dream by being the best educators possible, and by giving him a solid foundation in science. Being the best educator possible to equip students with the skills they need requires constant dedication, hard work and learning from the teachers themselves. There are always going to be things that make it difficult, but perseverance pays off.

The next element I would like to write about is "The Brick Wall". Randy talked about a brick wall as something that will stand in the way of accomplishing dreams. He stressed how important the concept of a brick wall can be to one's life. He said a brick wall will show how badly someone wants something, and the ones who don't want it bad enough will give up and let the wall win.
brick wall
Conversely, those who want it bad enough will be able to fight through the wall to get what they want. Teachers must fight through these "Brick Walls" to ensure students are getting the best education / opportunities available. An example of this would be attitude. Lets say a student has a horrible attitude at the beginning of the semester, and it seems fairly obvious it is effecting his grade negatively. The teacher approaches the student about the problem and the student blows off the teacher with more attitude. This process repeats itself several times, forming a brick wall to the teacher. The stage is now set to see how bad the teacher wants to be an educator. Does the teacher give up, or does the teacher break down the brick wall? At this point the teacher has to be a learner. The teacher must learn how to correctly communicate with the student, so that the student can be successful in the classroom. Talking with former teachers or the student's family is a starting place. The success of students in the classroom doesn't solely fall on the teacher, but a large part does. Randy also talk about a great way to foster student success.

The final element I would like to highlight from the lecture is "The Head Fake". Randy talks about the head fake being an important tactic to get students to learn. Essentially, the head fake is creating a learning process for students that is fun enough to hold their attention, but also get necessary learning material accomplished. Randy used a great example of something he used in the past. He said he would have students doing projects on video game programming. Since many students are very interested in video games it held their attention very well. On the flip side, students were learning about computer programming. I think that is such a great concept that is very underused, but it can be a great learning point. If teachers can use this tactic in the classroom, more students may be reached and ultimately more dreams can be accomplished.

Ultimately, Randy Pausch was a great teacher and in being a great teacher many things about teaching and learning can be learned from him. Being a childhood dream enabler for students, fighting through any educational brick walls that appear and using head fake tactics can lead to quality education. I genuinely felt like just by watching that one lecture from Randy I have a higher upside as a future educator. Randy deposited major coin into my knowledge bank that I will take with me into my future teaching career.

Randy Pausch head shot

Project #14 PBL Plan #2

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog #9

What Can Be Learned About Teaching and Learning From These Teachers? By Eric Merryman, Ronald Griffin and Cameron Hall

Brian Crosby

In the video Back to the Future Brian Crosby is doing a TEDtalks video about twenty-four fourth graders that are around the age of nine years old. Brian Crosby starts off his talk, speaking about how his students are in poverty and do not know questions about themselves, due to the students having such a narrowed curriculum since they were born. Brian Crosby teaches us that this shouldn’t stop teachers from teaching, but it should rather motivate us to teach smarter.

Brian Crosby comes up with an idea that sparks the motivation and imagination of the children’s minds after showing them mind blowing projects such as an aluminum can crushing itself in due to air pressure after getting dunked into cold water. Brian Crosby takes project based learning to another level by getting not only all of the students involved, but also the whole world involved. This project had students write to learn content, write to clarify and share, write to tell a story, get feedback from peers, articulate their project orally, connect globally, and have an authentic audience(not just the other students in the classroom).

We must learn from teachers like Brian Crosby to give project based learning to students not just to have them learn about a subject but to empower the students, to motivate them, to collaborate with others, to get active in learning. Active learning is important for students, we as teachers should not teach our students that learning is listening to lecture, if they want to comment or ask a question they must raise their hand and must wait for me to call on them. We as teachers must include our students into the learning experience, have them connect with the subject at hand.

Paul Anderson

Mr. Paul Anderson is a high school science teacher in Montana. Many things about teaching and learning can be obtained from Paul. The first thing is his website Bozemanscience. This website is a wonderful educational resource for both students and teachers. The website features ten different categories of scientific instructional videos. The videos were all done by Paul in a video podcast format. The videos can be a great reference for a multitude of scientific knowledge. The resourcefulness of this website is an important thing to learn from Paul. As a teacher, one could use this to help students all year long. Students could use the website for current information and even review of topical information.

In the video Blended Learning Cycle Paul talks about the approach he takes in his science classroom. The first point Paul makes is that he takes a “everything is a remix” approach to teaching. He constantly researches educational techniques and learns from them. Paul then integrates what he likes best about these ideas and applies them to his teaching style. This a great learning point from Paul. Wanting to learn as a teacher and having a thirst to gain more knowledge shows a true commitment to the art of teaching. Paul goes on to explain what exactly the blended learning cycle is. The blended learning cycle is a combination of blended learning and the learning cycle. Blended learning consists of classroom learning, mobile learning and online learning. The learning cycle is broken down into engage, explore, explain, expand and evaluate. Paul molds both of these templates into his own six stage masterpiece of learning.

In the first stage, Paul starts off with a question. The question needs to be able to draw the student in and capture their attention. If done properly then the student will have the right amount of motivation to continue on to the second step of investigation. During investigation, students will be able to make inquiries and experiment on the subject at hand. The next stage is video. This stage goes hand in hand with investigation because it can serve as foundational knowledge to the students, enhancing their ability to experiment and quenching their inquiry thirst. The videos are podcasts made by Paul. Elaboration is the next stage. This stage includes critical thinking and reading to elaborate on the subject. This can be accomplished from the videos and also from the textbook. The fifth stage is review. During this stage, Paul meets individually with students / small student groups to ask questions about the subject. This stage is critical in making sure the students have gained sufficient mastery over the subject. Until the groups show they have learned enough, Paul doesn’t clear them to proceed to the final step. Once cleared by Paul, the students can move on to the final stage; the summary quiz. The summary quiz tests the students on the knowledge they gained from the other five stages.

Ultimately, Paul represents many great points on teaching and learning. Learning is not just for students, it is also for the pure teachers who always want to create a better educational environment. Asking the right questions can lead to student motivation, which in turn will increase the level of learning for the student. Using resources like a website and podcasts can be informative but also free the teacher up in the classroom to dedicate more individualized time to the students. Meeting with the students individually / in small groups holds each student accountable for the information, and makes sure no one student is left behind. Integrating these ideas into one’s classroom will put them one step closer the their own “everything is a remix” style of education.

Mark Church

In the Making Thinking Visible video, Mark Church talks about documenting student work and making it visible in the classroom. He teaches us that in our curriculum we need to have our students connect with ideas and focus on how their ideas and thinking were extended. Our students need to think of the challenge, puzzle or driving question of the topic in order to expand their ideas and thinking. I think this causes them to relate the topic to the real world ideas they need. I think what Mark Church was saying was that students need deeper understanding to connect real world ideas to the topic they are discussing. How I would implement this in my classroom would be for English, relate the literature to a modern, real world situation they could comprehend and understand. I would let them get into groups as he did and maybe put a story we have read into their own words or create their own story using the same plot and situation, making it more modern. I definitely think the real world relativity gives students a better understanding and comprehension of the work that they are doing.

We all have something to learn with these three teachers, but the important thing isn’t just to learn what these teachers are saying, but also putting what they say to good use. Not putting what they say to good use is not actively learning. To actively learn is the main point all three teachers share, and to not actively learn would be folly.

teachers are learners too written on a blackboard with students around it

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blog Post #8

A Collaborative Assignment: 21st Century Learning and Communication Tools

Ted Talks Education By Eric Merryman

I chose to talk about Ted Talks Education as a 21st century learning and communication tool. Ted Talks is a website filled with videos of professors and business professionals all around the world talking about different subjects that you can search from. These videos can be anywhere from being 3 minutes to 18 minutes long. Ted Talks Education can be found on their website and can be accessed on any computer all around the world and in many different languages. The website also has an app that can be downloaded on any smartphone or tablet device for an easy to use experience even when not at home, to catch up or to show off any video that may interest you. Not only Ted Talks Education videos can be found on personal computers, smartphones, and tablets, but many other devices as well thanks to all videos being uploaded onto youtube and a few even on services such as netflix. All videos give a date and location of when and where the speech took place, giving context of why the video may of been made and to see if it may be relevant to where you are today or not.

Ted Talks Education has professionals talking about subjects they are familiar with such as technology, business, entertainment, design, science, global issues, and many others. The speakers tend to keep the message short and to the point with plenty of humor and visual aids to keep people entertained and have the videos easy to watch. With each video not being too long, you may find yourself looking for another short video to watch, learning something new every video you click on. These videos aren’t just to educate, but also to invoke questions and thought. Certain videos pose a question and do not give a clear answer, these are meant to give people ideas about a certain subject or to bring awareness to a particular matter.

In my classroom, I plan to teach high school mathematics such as Algebra, and Ted Talks Education has a lot of neat videos on all sorts of math, including the history of certain types of math. Terry Moore, a speaker in this Ted Talks video, speaks about the history of Algebra and specifically the history of the variable “x” and how it came about, in a humorous way. The history of anything can be entertaining with the right speaker and if I cannot come across to some of my students as such, I can direct them to these short videos they can watch at home, and give some context in what they are learning about. Context is very important in when trying to understand something, which goes for mathematics as well. With Ted Talks Education videos being so easily accessible, entertaining, educational, wide ranging, and easy to use, it would be hard to think of a reason why not to use such a valuable tool in the 21st century.

man speaking about ted talks education

The Teaching Channel by Cameron Hall

The Teaching Channel is a website filled with videos, Common Core resources and lesson plans for teachers. The videos are for each and every subject, grade and topic and have different time frames from 1 minute to around 20 minutes. The videos give an example of a teacher in his or her classroom addressing the topic at hand. The videos range from addressing different topics like assessment and behavior to teaching specific content like fractions or punctuation. The videos have a brief description of the topic, teacher and where this is located. The Teaching Channel can be accessed from different devices, such as a smartphone, laptop or computer, or ipad/tablet.

The Teaching Channel has different categories for topics, subjects and age groups you can pick from. The teachers in the videos talk about how they have made their classroom a modern more technology based classroom and give examples of how others can do so as well. The videos also address the common core standards and give ways to incorporate them into your everyday classroom activities. What I found interesting is that these examples are in all of the topics such as behavior, assessment, and class culture not just the ones relating to specific concepts like fractions, exponents or grammar.

In my classroom I plan to teach middle school Math and English. Specifically for math, I think the Teaching Channel would be a great tool to use. With Common Core standards becoming the main point in education, collaborative groups in the classroom are a must. In one of the Teaching Channel videos, Lauren Hobbs talks about how she groups her students and why it is important. She says she groups her students sometimes based on interests, grades, projects, and scores. She says that in working with different people each time gives them a better understanding of working with other people, reflect on their own learning and talk within a classroom setting. Collaborative groups can be fun and a different way to learn for all age groups but I have to know how to group the students so that it is enjoyable for them, but also efficient and effective in accomplishing work.

The Teaching Channel videos give a lot of examples and insight to things other teachers have tried in their classroom. Because it is so easily accessible and useful in our own planning, I think it would be a great tool in a 21st century classroom.

the teaching channel emblem

SAS Curriculum Pathway by Ronald Griffin

Twenty first century learning and communication tools can help foster a better educational experience in the classroom. So how does one find them? One easy and fast way would be to simply conduct a quick internet search. Another way is to acquire the help of teachers who have experience with 21st century learning and communication tools. This assignment is the perfect example of tapping into the resources of an experienced teacher. Dr. Strange gave a great list of 21st century learning and communication tools. I think this highlights the importance of PLN. The bigger one’s network is the more resources they have to use.

The 21st century learning tool I would like to talk about is SAS Curriculum Pathways. SAS Curriculum Pathways is a great online resource for both teachers and students. It provides educational material in five major areas; English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Spanish. What makes this tool even more useful is the resources are all standard based making it easy to integrate Common Core. Another amazing quality SAS Curriculum Pathways brings to the table is being free. Free is always good, and it can help alleviate any financial concerns teachers and students may have.

So now that we have the ground work covered on SAS Curriculum Pathways, lets see how one might use it. I am going into science, so I will use that subject area as an example. Lets say I wanted to get lab ideas for the way planets moved in our solar system. I would go onto the SAS Curriculum Pathways website (link above) and click on the Classroom Use link on the left side. This would direct me to a page with the many resources including a search engine, a standards link, plan books and even “Tips and Tricks” on content. Next, I would click on the science link and do a search of “planets moving”. Within the results an interactive lab is displayed about planetary motion. Using this resource made finding information on my science lab extremely easy. Ultimately, SAS Curriculum Pathways is a great 21st century tool that offers standard and subject specific resources designed to deepen critical thinking in students and strengthen the educational arsenal of teachers.

sas emblem

C4T#2 Summaries

Bring your own ideas post by Ben Jones

In this post Ben talks about BYOD (bring your own device) programs in education. He indicates that many of the BYOD programs will fail because they don't have a solid foundation of people doing it for the right reasons. Ben said that many of the forces behind BYOD have their own agendas and that bothers him. He concludes that all it takes is simple communication with students in the classroom to make BYOD work. He stressed that "uniting" with students is the key. He said all he did was ask his students what devices they had access to and what they could bring to class. From there he conducted the class in the best way possible.

My comment to Ben

I first commented on the video that he uploaded to his blog. The video was a song that tied in his main argument of the post and was very interesting. I discussed how technology has become more prevalent in education and that BYOD programs have both their ups and downs. Overall, I really liked and agreed with his main point of uniting with students. Many plans, including BYOD, are great in theory but just talking about them or writing policies about them aren't getting anything done. One has to act and put plans in motion to see any results. As Ben eluded to, simple communication with students can get the ball rolling. I plan to use communication with my students religiously, as I believe it is a key component in education.

Weathering the storm of education by Ben Jones

In this post Ben talks about the affects of teaching on teachers. He references some of his thoughts to another blog titled "A View From The Middle". Ben tactfully points out teachers that have "physiological reactions" to teaching are the ones who truly care about their job. Ben said he would like to be surrounded by the kind of teachers who have physiological reactions, because going through the tough times only makes a teacher stronger. Ben concludes by questioning how teachers should be supported when going through tough times, because ultimately the students' quality of education depends on it.

My comment to Ben

I told Ben I also want to be surrounded by teachers who are passionate about teaching, and are emotionally vested enough to be affected by outcomes. I have personally worked with "robots" who show no passion and in turn provide no support to their coworkers. I also shared my opinion on supporting coworkers experiencing physiological reactions. I said listening and being an encouragement can make a big difference to someone in these situations.

mechanical brain

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Project #2 PLN First Progress Report

multiple networking resources around the word symbaloo

I chose Symbaloo for my PLN. From the second I saw the resources it provides I liked it. I immediately started creating and organizing titles on it. Many times while doing work for this class I have found myself having ten different windows minimized because my top tool bar is already jammed with bookmarks. Since I have started using Symbaloo I have been able to organize all the things I need for this class, and it has made my life a lot easier. I can also tell that when I finish creating my PLN this can be a real asset for me in the future.

Project #13 PBL Plan #1

Blog Post #7

Collaborative Cameron Hall, Eric Merryman, and Ronald Griffin

In the Discovery Ed video Anthony Capp tells us about the tools it provides for both teachers and students. The most important tool he talks about is the many visual aides discovery ed has. Anthony and Dr. Strange both agree that visual aides help students retain information better because people remember far more of what they hear and even more of what they see. Anthony and Strange agree that students are watchers and will watch more than they read or write.

Dr. Strange and Anthony continue to discuss PBL, and reflect on some experiences Anthony has had with PBL. Anthony starts off by talking about how PBL doesn't always go as planned. He gave an example of a project were his students did a video of Afghan culture. A student in his class had a father who served in Afghanistan and didn't want his child to learn about that specific culture. Anthony had to then exhibit flexibility and assign another project for that student. He said the alternative project turned out great for the student. Anthony went on to say for the other students who did do the Afghan culture project, it turned out wonderfully. He said the students presented the videos to about fifty parents and most of the parents were blown away with how great they were. Anthony said one of the important features of the project was letting the students decide some of the intricate details of the project. He said some chose Afghan food, some chose Afghan fashion, and some warfare. This made the project extremely well rounded and was a big reason why the parents were so impressed. Anthony stressed that by not controlling every aspect of the project it allowed the student to make decisions, and that helped keep the students motivated about the project. He said it also created student satisfaction with their own work. There are two major things that can be learned from this video. The first is the ability of Anthony to be flexible with the project when the student's parents didn't want him to participate. Being prepared and being able to successfully delegate an alternative assignment for the student is important. Everything is not always going to go as planned. The second thing is being able to create opportunities for students in projects and then letting them take over from there. Doing this can lead to inspired work and eventually student satisfaction with their work.

It is important to give students a hook and to be content driven, so that they feel motivated and interested to get the work done and done well, while having met common core standards. Also, it is good for us to understand we must have constantly evolving ideas about project based learning lessons, and understand that project based learning is not a project we come up with to show what we learn, but something we do to help us learn. Never limit your students by telling them exactly what you want them to do and how to do their project based lesson, give them room to explore and grow, let them fiddle around and learn their potential, as a teacher, you may just be surprised on how creative students can be.

Discovery Ed provides text articles, pictures, videos and research tools for all subjects. Students can research things about upcoming content in classes using pictures and videos and this enriches their research experience. In Anthony's classroom he has his students create their own visual aides using audio and videos. He says their reaction is not choosing either or (reading/writing or audio/video), but that they associate reading and writing with the visual aides.

iCurio is also a technological tool that can be used in the classroom. It is an online tool that provides students with a search engine for educational use, including audio and video finds. Anthony tells us that iCurio has many advantages. It has a storage area which helps students draft virtually organized material using folders. It is safe for students leaving and picking up where they left off and helps filter out inappropriate material.

Don't Teach Tech-Use It Response By Cameron Hall

Anthony also stress using technology in the classroom not teaching it. He says that technology is natural for kids and they enjoy every opportunity to use it. There should not be lists to teach technology. Instead teachers should design assignments using technology (discovery ed, imovie, etc) and they should scaffold or break up skills each week. Through scaffolding students can learn and use one tool at a time then combine that tool with the upcoming weeks tool. Teachers should not expect perfection when their students are using technology. Technology can be somewhat of a guess and check system; one where students can learn from their mistakes. Teachers should allow students to reflect on their mistakes so that they can understand why and how they can correct their mistake. Anthony also says that technology is also about sharing. Students should share how technology helped them, if they are confused, and what they learned. He says one way he lets them show mastery is through the skills for the next week. He incorporates scaffolding in this as well. Technology also helps teachers introduce technology smartly. Anthony says teachers need to do the technology assignments themselves first to ensure the assignment is understandable for students so they can do it. Technology teaches students to ask valuable questions which helps the teacher understand why the questions were asked. Summarily, technology can promote any questions and problem solving and gives a platform for figuring out steps toward an answer.

Additional Thought About Lessons Response By Eric Merryman

Anthony basically breaks down lesson planning into four parts: yearly lessons, unit based lessons, weekly lessons, and daily lessons. Each breaking down into a smaller and smaller planning method. Yearly lessons are lessons you want the students to have learned by the end of the school year. Unit based lessons are checkpoints for yearly lessons and are lessons based off categories or chapters you want to cover. Weekly based lessons are what you want to cover within a week to reach your unit based lesson, and daily based lessons are planned lessons every day that you want to cover to reach your weekly based lesson. As an aspiring mathematics teacher, the math book breaks up lesson plans quite well for me, weekly lessons can be by chapter and daily lessons can be segments within the chapter, such as 2.1 or 2.2, and weekly lessons would be 2.1 through 2.5 otherwise known as all of chapter 2. Unit based lessons would be planned as multiple chapters of the book such as chapters 1 through 3 can be a unit, and yearly lessons would be all the chapters of the book put together. It is also important to be flexible in lesson plans, if something may seem very difficult to plan accordingly and if something may seem very easy to plan accordingly. Lessons are easy to plan when broken down from yearly to unit, from unit to weekly, and from weekly to daily, which is why Anthony gave his additional thoughts about lesson plans and I agree wholeheartedly.

The Anthony-Strange list of Tips for Teachers Part 1 Response by Ronald Griffin

In this segment Dr. Strange and Anthony talk about things all teachers should be prepared to do in the classroom. The first topic was teachers being learners themselves. Dr. Strange made the point that good teachers will lead by example for their students and continue to learn throughout their career. I believe this is a very valid point. As a teacher, one of the best ways to become better in your teaching subject is to show mastery over that subject. It seems the best way to gain mastery in a subject is to constantly learn more about that certain subject.

Anthony continued the list by saying teaching is hard work. He said good teachers will continue to work on their craft after they put in their eight hours in the classroom. He likened teaching to a hobby, because if one truly cares about their craft they will work on it in their free time. I think this is a great point. If one is truly passionate about something and they want to be the best at it, it takes hard work. Think about professional golfers as an example. Tiger Woods not only pounds balls on the range and works on his short game all day at the golf course, he also has a personal putting green in his own back yard. In his free time he still works on his game. This concept is the same with teachers. If as a teacher, one wants to be the best they are going to have to put the extra work in to achieve that goal.

metal gears integrated together
The next point made was being flexible. Dr. Strange talked about how having a plan is a necessity, but being flexible with that plan is a must. Things don’t always go as planned and as a teacher it is an important responsibility to have a viable backup plan in place. An example in Anthony’s classroom was used for this point. A lesson plan which required the use of technology was quickly thwarted by the loss of power. Anthony had a backup plan that didn’t require the use of electricity and the class was able to proceed and make good use of time in the classroom. I think this is a very resourceful point. It is definitely the responsibility of the teacher to make the best use of the time he or she has with students in the classroom. Having a backup plan can be a great counter to unexpected happenings in the classroom.

The next two points were start with a goal and engage one hundred percent of the students in the classroom. These two points go hand in hand. Anthony pointed out starting with a goal serves as motivation and motivation is absolutely needed if one wants to have one hundred percent participation from students. The real challenge lies in being able to motivate every single student. I believe this point goes back to bettering oneself as a teacher. If one strives to be a better teacher each year than setting goals of having one hundred percent participation is a good thing.

The last point made was using projects and sharing those projects with an audience for better learning. Dr. Strange and Anthony discussed the importance of getting feedback from an audience. Getting constructive outside feedback, enables students to reflect on their work and ultimately revise it to a better end product. The idea of outside feedback is a wonderful thought. Sometimes receiving feedback from the same source over and over again can be taxing on a student, but introducing a fresh face into the equation can ignite heightened attention from students.

Overall, hard working flexible teachers who want to be learners and have a passion to engage all students can be an invaluable asset to any school. The ability to incorporate project learning and then use feedback from outside sources to shape that learning adds to the quality of education. It may be easier to stand in front of a class and read from the textbook, but applying the ideas from this conversation will elevate learning and produce a more well rounded student.

C4K September Summary

Punkin's "This I Believe" Post

Punkin is a student in Jamie Lynn Martin's 1st block class. Punkin's post was about making mistakes and learning from them. Punkin told a personal story of how she was caught smoking by the police. She was arrested and taken to juvenile detention. She felt horribly about smoking behind her Grandmother's back, especially since her Grandmother had been taking care of her while her mother was in jail. After it was all said and done, Punkin knew she made a mistake and said she learned from it and will try and do better.

My comment to Punkin

I started off by telling her how important learning from mistakes are in life. I then shared a story with her about how I stole a GameBoy when I was young and the harsh consequences that followed. I told her how much I learned from that incident and that I have never stolen since that day.

Natalie's "Dear Diary!" Post

Natalie is a fifth year student in Mrs. Lieschke's class. In this post Natalie shared some short stories she wrote through a website named storybird. Natalie showed great imagination in her stories, mostly focusing on everyday life scenarios.

My comment to Natalie

In my comment to Natalie I complemented her on having a great imagination. I told her that with a good imagination she has the potential to be a great writer. I went on to emphasize other ways a good imagination can lead to success, including future education and a future career.

Henry's "The five little pigs" Post

Henry is a fifth year student in Ms. Ouano's class. Henry's post was a story about five little pigs. In the story the little pig's mother went to work and the little pigs were supposed to go to school. After the mother returned home from work she wanted to make sure her little pigs went to school so she asked them, and then tried to confirm their answer with the house mouse. The story contained several quotations and a picture.

My comment to Henry

In my comment to Henry I complimented him on his use of quotations. I also told him I liked the picture he included in his story and how a good picture can paint vivid images in a readers mind.

Savannah's "Does The Sky Have Weight?" Post

Savannah is a sixth grade student in Mr. Rhodus's class. In her post she explains that the sky weights over 5 billion tons. She said that because the weight is evenly distributed around one's body it isn't harmful. She also pointed out that when flying in a plane, one feels less of the weight due to being above it.

My comment to Savannah

I started off by telling her I was glad she was learning about science, especially since I am going to be a science teacher. I told her that science is heavily reliant on questions, and questions lead to knowledge. I also asked her if she knew the atmosphere was mostly made up of Nitrogen and Oxygen.

artful writing of student blogs