Friday 5!!!

I really enjoyed the Train Video that was on the Phillybloggirl. Even though I teach kindergarten, I still have an interest in math. I originally went into college as a math major and after a few classes I changed my mind. I really liked how the teacher posed the question to the class and left it open ended. From the video it doesn’t look like he directed them in any certain way. The teacher was a bystander and if needed, would ask questions to help. It is also a great lesson because he took a puzzle that his daughter has and asked a question to his class. It was a real world object, something that they all can have access to and work with. The students were taking what they have learned in math class and applying it to a real world problem. The students were engaged and active. 

I really loved the video that Lacey posted as well as the article about the HPA (Harry Potter Alliance). What I liked most is what she said “an individual may be brilliant and have strong core competencies but unless you are able to work in a TEAM and harness each others core competencies, you will always perform below par because there will always be situations at which you will do poorly and someone else does well.” I work with kindergarten students and this is part of the struggle every day. Getting the students to work together to accomplish a goal. I want them to start a task, and finish it. Often they may begin working together, but not too long after they are working independently. I l loved the video, and think I will share it with my class (as long as I remember.. no kids till Monday). I want them to work together. I agree that Connected Learning is bringing people to do more. Making connections outside of the classroom, building, or even state. Social media, and other technology tools allows us to connect with people that we never could have before. 

https://youtu.be/jop2I5u2F3U

My first year of teaching kindergarten I was fortunate enough to work with Dr. Jim Knight. Our Tech Director was able to connect with Dr. Knight when he was looking for new teachers in our area to work with. Thanks to social media, she was able to contact him, and not too long after he was in my room. Dr. Knight was coaching, and working on instructional coaches through the Kansas Coaching Project. He was able to sit in my room with a camera crew (which was a trip for K students) and observe a lesson. Afterwards, I watched the lesson myself, and then we had a discussion. He was able to give me tips and point out some strengths/weaknesses. It was a great opportunity. All made possible by connected with a professor in Kansas. 

https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/classroom-management-during-centers

I really enjoyed the Dan Meyer Ted Talk that was on Tom’s blog. I have an interest in math, and my wife is an 8th grade math teacher. I am often quizzed by her and I fail terribly. I have not taught, or been around higher level math for a while. Geometry can be tough! I really like that he is using real world examples in his math class to teach his students. You can see that in his classroom he is asking questions to provoke higher order thinking. He doesn’t ask yes or no questions but questions that take some thought. I remember math being as he explains it, it was just taking formulas and plugging in some numbers. 

I wanted to share a free tool that I have been using in my kindergarten classroom. We have been using Aurasma, a free, augmented reality tool. We use this tool to learn about the continents, practice sight words, and presentations about animals. It may seem complicated but you get the hang of it quickly. You can find images online, or take pictures yourself with an iPad or phone. Those images are then your “trigger” image. You will then need another picture, or image that will “overlay” (appear over) the “trigger” image. So you would use the app on your phone, or iPad to scan the “trigger” image and then the “overlay” image or video would appear. To help practice our sight words I selected pictures as the “trigger” and then took screen shots of sight words. I hung the “trigger” images around the school, gave my students an iPad, and sent them on a scavenger hunt. The students scanned the images with the iPad, and then the sight word would appear. (I know it seems complicated but it’s not). We have also used the app to make animal projects. The children drew a picture of an animal they researched, and then I video recorded them using an iPad. The picture the students drew was the trigger image, and then their video was the overlay. When students scanned their picture, a video would appear of a student telling three facts about that animal.Click here for a blog that may explain it better than me, or watch this VIDEO to learn about the app.  

Participation Challenge

I forgot the second part of the assignment of what this means to me in terms of equity and connected learning. Connected learning takes place when people share a common interest. Exercising is something that many people can share, and can share tips with each other. When I first started to workout again I was only doing exercises that I knew from high school. After a certain point your body gets use to these exercises and you don’t see results. Of course when I was stuck I turned to the Internet and learned for new exercises, tips, nutrition, whatever tips I could find. On the Internet you can find blogs, articles, and videos to learn new exercises. People try different exercises and share there experiences on-line, this is connected learning. People have a common interest, exercising, share their stories, and learn from each other. 

Please Participate

Happy snow day!!! I am sure we have all heard of the freshman 15. Well I certainly surpassed that when I was in college. It wasn’t until I was working as a third grade teacher and the school I was working in decided to have a weight loss challenge, that I realized how I lost control. I am 6′3 and at the time I weighted over 270 lbs (that’s being kind). I never realized how overweight I was until I stepped on the scale for my official weigh in. It was eye opening. From then on I started working out more. I started out by focusing on weight lose. Over 6 months I was able to get down to 200 lbs. I always lifted weights in high school in college, so now that I was down to a reasonable weight I focused on lifting. It has been 3 years, and a few herniated discs, but I am still exercising. I realize now how much better I feel about myself, and the energy I have because I exercise. I know we are all busy with work, family, and class but I would ask everyone to participate in exercise this week. It could be running, walking, rowing, or lifting weights. I could barely run around the block when I started, or do a push up. Challenge yourself and don’t just walk on the treadmill. Try high intensity intervals. Alternate walking and running for one minute intervals. I remember reading that someone does triathlons so maybe something a little more challenging. I attached a link for a workout called The Murph. 

http://themurphchallenge.com/the-workout/

Interest as a young student

I would say that as a young child I was not like most children. Most children when they wake up on a Saturday morning they go downstairs and turn on the morning cartoons. My mom told me by the time I could work the TV remote, around age 4, I would come down and turn on ESPN. I loved sports and it didn’t matter what sport it was. Depending on the time of year I was outside with my friends playing football, baseball, basketball, or hockey. I lived in a neighborhood with dozens of boys around my age, and we would all meet on the street behind mine to play. We would drag basketball nets from houses and put them in the middle of the street so we could play full court (two nets) basketball. In the winter we would play hockey with two nets and two goalies. During the summer we would find a parking lot to play “lotball.” (This is probably why I love the movie Sandlot.) As a student my mom told me I was always in the reading room. From kindergarten until third grade. I passed all the reading test, but when I was in the classroom I wouldn’t read. I could read, I just had no interest. It wasn’t until third grade that I had a teacher that understood me. She allowed me to read the books I was interested in. She knew that I wasn’t going to read the required text because I wasn’t interested. I could read it, but there was no way I would. Instead of reading the books that everyone else had to read, she assigned me a different text. All books she provided me were sports related. She had special test for me because I was reading different books, and she finally understood me. Instead of trying to force me to read the required text I was provided with my own. I still completed the same book reports and assignments but it was with a book I enjoyed. I credit this teacher with being one of the reasons why I wanted to become a teacher. She worked with me instead of trying to transform me. Later when I graduated from college, she was still working at the school and when I returned to the district as a teacher she still remembered me. All of those years had passed and she remember the reports, what I looked like, and how I was “all boy.” She was passionate about her job, she loved her job, and you could tell. I wanted to be like her. I wanted to make that kind of impact that she did on me. This is a teacher’s blog that reminds me of my teacher. Inspiring the kids, using technology, student centered… Really cool to see what she is doing.

http://mscassidysclass.edublogs.org/

Find 5 Friday

Find 5 Friday

1. I know I read in one of the blogs about the concern for using Twitter. I forgot who it was but don’t worry you are not alone. I know Twitter has been out for quite some time and I feel that I am somewhat technology savvy, but I am lost when it comes to Twitter. I did read the directions that the professor supplied but I still don’t feel confident. I found this video and step by step directions about how to use Twitter. I read the steps, and watched the video. While the video was playing I stopped, started, and repeated to follow the directions. It was helpful for me to watch the video and put the steps into practice.

http://www.howcast.com/videos/149055-how-to-use-twitter/

2. I looked at the personal stories that the professor shared with one and viewed the one of Brianna Crowley. What stood out to me in the key takeaways is “don’t assume connectedness is automatically exciting or engaging. It can be just as scary for students to feel connected and to put their work out in the public as it does for adults who are not as open to technology.” I often think that as educators that we assume our activity/lesson that we have planned is going to go well or it is going to be engaging for the students. Brianna became a connected educator because she wanted to learn more and have conversations. She wanted to become a better educator. It was interesting to see how Brianna started out and where she has taken it. At first I never thought I could be a connected teacher, it all seemed overwhelming but maybe I will get it.

http://connectedlearning.tv/personal-stories/brianna-crowley-building-connection-and-community-through-social-media

3. While reading about Brianna Crowley and how she got started as a connected educator she mentioned where she got started. She mentioned the Center for Teaching Quality. What I took away from the site is that they really believe in the teachers as the most powerful tool for educating students. It is not the administrators or policy makers. It states “A high quality public education system for all students will not be achieved without a bold brand of leadership from their teachers.” The three strategies to achieve this are; cultivate, incubate, and scale. They want to assess the impact of teacher leadership on learning, improve school designs, and spread teacher knowledge and skills as leaders.

http://www.teachingquality.org/

4. Part of process of being a teacher is being evaluated by your administrator one or two times a year, depending on if you are tenured or not. Your observation is then put into some sort of formula that then indicates what kind of teacher you are. As a kindergarten teacher, and having my tenure, I think the idea is great. Teachers should be evaluated to make sure they are doing their job. I find too often that teachers that have been in the profession for a long time lose their passion and just fall in a rut. They aren’t worried about their observation or evaluation because they have tenure and won’t lose their job. I came across this blog about an idea a state representative had in Florida. They were going to add money as an incentive for the first seven years. A teacher could earn an additional $8500 a year depending on their students ACT/SAT scores. I obviously don’t think this would work or this is the right way to motivate teachers. Really, I don’t think you should need to be motivated. We get into the profession because we want to educate and have an impact on students’ lives. I found the blog to be interesting and found it amusing that the representative thought the answer was to throw money at teachers.

http://www.teachingquality.org/content/blogs/julie-hiltz/how-attract-and-retain-high-quality-teachers

5. I really enjoyed reading this blog. There has been many times in which I have walked out of professional development and felt like my time could have been used much more wisely. Much of last year we spent our PD learning about SMART Notebook and SMART boards. If you don’t know what a SMARTboard it is a large interactive whiteboard that is connected to the teachers computers. You can display activities, pictures, videos, etc. and the children can interact with the board. I was able to receive a board the previous year to be the “guinea pig” for the building. There was concern that the boards wouldn’t work in our building because we have kindergarten and first grade only. Once we all had our boards, all of our PD was geared to SMART technologies. I was fine, but the other 99% of the staff was lost. I really enjoyed this blog because it talks about administrators thinking like a teacher. As a teacher we have to differentiate our instruction for our students, so why doesn’t administration differentiate their PD?

http://www.teachingquality.org/content/blogs/brianna-crowley/revolutionize-pd-administrators-should-follow-simple-rule-think

Find 5 Friday

1. I know I read in one of the blogs about the concern for using Twitter. I forgot who it was but don’t worry you are not alone. I know Twitter has been out for quite some time and I feel that I am somewhat technology savvy, but I am lost when it comes to Twitter. I did read the directions that the professor supplied but I still don’t feel confident. I found this video and step by step directions about how to use Twitter. I read the steps, and watched the video. While the video was playing I stopped, started, and repeated to follow the directions. It was helpful for me to watch the video and put the steps into practice. 

http://www.howcast.com/videos/149055-how-to-use-twitter/

2. I looked at the personal stories that the professor shared with one and viewed the one of Brianna Crowley. What stood out to me in the key takeaways is “don’t assume connectedness is automatically exciting or engaging. It can be just as scary for students to feel connected and to put their work out in the public as it does for adults who are not as open to technology.” I often think that as educators that we assume our activity/lesson that we have planned is going to go well or it is going to be engaging for the students. Brianna became a connected educator because she wanted to learn more and have conversations. She wanted to become a better educator. It was interesting to see how Brianna started out and where she has taken it. At first I never thought I could be a connected teacher, it all seemed overwhelming but maybe I will get it. 

http://connectedlearning.tv/personal-stories/brianna-crowley-building-connection-and-community-through-social-media

3. While reading about Brianna Crowley and how she got started as a connected educator she mentioned where she got started. She mentioned the Center for Teaching Quality. What I took away from the site is that they really believe in the teachers as the most powerful tool for educating students. It is not the administrators or policy makers. It states “A high quality public education system for all students will not be achieved without a bold brand of leadership from their teachers.” The three strategies to achieve this are; cultivate, incubate, and scale. They want to assess the impact of teacher leadership on learning, improve school designs, and spread teacher knowledge and skills as leaders.

http://www.teachingquality.org/

4. Part of process of being a teacher is being evaluated by your administrator one or two times a year, depending on if you are tenured or not. Your observation is then put into some sort of formula that then indicates what kind of teacher you are. As a kindergarten teacher, and having my tenure, I think the idea is great. Teachers should be evaluated to make sure they are doing their job. I find too often that teachers that have been in the profession for a long time lose their passion and just fall in a rut. They aren’t worried about their observation or evaluation because they have tenure and won’t lose their job. I came across this blog about an idea a state representative had in Florida. They were going to add money as an incentive for the first seven years. A teacher could earn an additional $8500 a year depending on their students ACT/SAT scores. I obviously don’t think this would work or this is the right way to motivate teachers. Really, I don’t think you should need to be motivated. We get into the profession because we want to educate and have an impact on students’ lives. I found the blog to be interesting and found it amusing that the representative thought the answer was to throw money at teachers. 

http://www.teachingquality.org/content/blogs/julie-hiltz/how-attract-and-retain-high-quality-teachers

5. I really enjoyed reading this blog. There has been many times in which I have walked out of professional development and felt like my time could have been used much more wisely. Much of last year we spent our PD learning about SMART Notebook and SMART boards. If you don’t know what a SMARTboard it is a large interactive whiteboard that is connected to the teachers computers. You can display activities, pictures, videos, etc. and the children can interact with the board. I was able to receive a board the previous year to be the “guinea pig” for the building. There was concern that the boards wouldn’t work in our building because we have kindergarten and first grade only. Once we all had our boards, all of our PD was geared to SMART technologies. I was fine, but the other 99% of the staff was lost. I really enjoyed this blog because it talks about administrators thinking like a teacher. As a teacher we have to differentiate our instruction for our students, so why doesn’t administration differentiate their PD?

http://www.teachingquality.org/content/blogs/brianna-crowley/revolutionize-pd-administrators-should-follow-simple-rule-think

#ED677 #f5f

About Me

My name is Ryan and I currently teach kindergarten. I have taught kindergarten for the past four years and have experience teaching in third and fifth grade. I chose my title because when I tell people what I do they refer to the movie Kindergarten Cop. I am a guy and tall so most people make the connection. 

I got married just over a year ago, and my wife is also a teacher. She teaches 8th grade math, and last year we bought a house together. I am enrolled at Arcadia in the Masters program for Educational Technology. I am currently taking two classes and will be finished my masters this summer.