Find 5 Friday

1- I enjoyed reading the personal story of Kim Jaxon, "Empowering Students through Co-learning", and completely agree with her that students should talk more than the teacher in the classroom. The classroom should be a student-centered environment, not teacher-centered.
2- One of Kim Jaxon's ideas particularly caught my attention. Kim says, "Do the thing. Most of the work students would do outside of class--reading, writing, talking, playing, making--we do in class too. I like to think of my classroom as a big activity space where we are always taking curated material and making something with the ideas and materials of our discipline."
3- it is very true that the teacher learns from the students' experiences and feedback about how to make the course more effective. A personal experience, for instance, I never heard of GroupMe until one of my students sent me an email asking to add me to a class group he created. This group is for chatting and practicing the Arabic language, asking questions, and having fun too which makes the class more exciting and enjoyable for students.
4- Reading the personal story of Dr. Jaxon motivated me to read "Situated Learning". I mostly enjoyed exploring the elements of situated learning, which are; content (facts and processes of a task), context (situations, values, environment cues), community (the group where the learner will create and negotiate) and participation (where a learner works together with others in order to solve the problem).
5- My eleven year old daughter is a Snapchat user. My husband and I don't feel comfortable about her using this service as it leaves room for issues you would not normally encounter using a more antiquated mode of communication. After reading how Dr. Jaxon let her students use in her class and her stance on the technology, I feel more relaxed about my daughter using it, and am currently brainstorming ideas to find a way to let my students use it in a productive manner in class.http://connectedlearning.tv/personal-stories/kim-jaxon-empowering-students-through-co-learning
 
 

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/

About Me…

About Me…

My name is Khaliah Sproul, this is my last semester of coursework in the Educational Leadership Doctoral program :).  This is my first online course here at Arcadia, I am looking forward to gaining new knowledge and connecting with everyone this semester.

On a personal note, I have worked in higher education in Financial Aid over the last ten years. As long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for helping others and I believe everyone should have equal access to college. My goal is to one day help at-risk children achieve the dream by helping them obtain a college degree. I have two handsome boys who I love and cherish, and they are my motivation. I enjoy reading, teaching ballet, and spending time with my family.

Honoring Our Interests

Describe an interest that you had as a young person, whether or not that interest was recognized as learning in school. Write or make something about it that you can share with others … Tell us about what might have piqued this interest. How did you pursue that interest or what did it make you think about? What and who supported you as you dove deeper? In what ways were your interests connected to school, or not? What were the implications?

When I was in seventh grade, my parents bought me my first horse.  In the moment, it was the end of a long and tortuous wait, but looking back, it was the first day of a lot of learning.

  • As a young girl, I learned to enjoy hard work.  Sometimes there were three inches of ice on top of water buckets that needed to be broken, other times there were ten or twelve horse stalls to be mucked.  My parents were adamant that this hobby was my sole responsibility, and I found pleasure in proving to myself, and to everybody else, that I COULD do it.
  • I learned how to fall (in the field, on a jump, in the ring, at a show) and get back on. There was times when I was bruised, afraid, utterly frustrated, or all of the above, but I swallowed those anxieties and got back into the saddle.
  • I learned how to make judgement calls.  Owning a horse is an experience in decision-making that is not evident from an outsider’s view.  Where some might just see a horse in a pasture;  I see an owner who decided that the 30% chance of snow showers was not great enough to warrant keeping a hot-headed Thoroughbred shut inside for the night, so long as his thickest blanket was kept on and he was brought in by seven am.
  • I learned what an iron is (no, you don’t press clothes with it), how to pull a mane (yes, that’s a thing), and how to tie a slip-knot (not the band).
  • I learned how to cope.  Owning horses is an emotional rollercoaster; any equine enthusiast would tell you the same.  That world brought me down into valleys I had never been before, and I learned how to deal with being there.
  • Most importantly, I learned how to learn.  Bringing home a horse exposed to me how little I knew about what I was doing.  To remedy, I joined the local Horsepark, I became President of the 4-H Horse and Pony Club, I started working for a local barn, and I became a stall-girl for the farm down the road.  In retrospect, I joined learning communities that connected me to the people who I wanted to learn from.

My interest, and these lessons that came along with it, were never recognized in school.  However, all of these lessons that I learned shaped my character that I brought to school.  My parents, who brought this entire fortunate experience to my backyard, certainly saw this connection.  They recognized that the barn was where I might grapple with life’s biggest challenges and learn to work through them.  And I thank them for taking that chance for me.

 


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

Dark Ages Meets the Wider World

I refer to my youth, in a very sheltered family environment, as the “Dark Ages.”  I was a very average 11th grade student of the German language at my high school.  Still, I was proud of learning the language of my ancestors.  My great-grandparents came from Germany and I was fascinated thinking about the fact that I could have been growing up in another, far-off country.  I was somewhat interested in history, both my family’s and the world’s.  Up until this point in school, I earned an “A” in giving half-effort.  As a result, most of my other grades were lower.  For the most part, I felt like a drifter with no serious interests and it stunned me whenever I heard a friend or acquaintance profess a strong desire to pursue a specific profession or vocation.

My family history is one of apathy, lethargy, and little money.  When the opportunity to be part of an exchange program with a German high school came up, the answer from my parents was a bewildered, “No.”  When the exchange students arrived at our school, I was fascinated.  I’m not sure I had even left Pennsylvania at that point and the thought that these kids my own age, sitting in front of me, were from Germany, 4,000 miles away was amazing to me.  Over the three weeks they were around, I developed an ache in my body that told me I was missing something.  Up until then, I had never seriously considered that anything mattered outside America, or even outside of myself!  Watching and occasionally interacting with these kids made me yearn to be part of the world community.  I felt the weight of my “Dark Age” youth and I knew that the world offered unlimited possibility, if I was only brave enough to make a move.

One of the exchange students rode my school bus home to a neighboring housing development.  She was an incredibly nice person who always had a smile on her face.  As a sixteen year old boy, I was not in the habit of approaching foreign girls I barely knew.  As the ache inside me rose again, I knew I had to act.  Before it was too late, I asked Angelika if we could be “pen pals.”  She immediately agreed and we have been corresponding for over 30 years.  My wife and I have visited her in Germany twice and she has also visited.  This was one of the first experiences when I felt connected to the wider world.  Knowing and communicating with someone from Europe gave me a different perspective on both the small and larger things in life.  This small event has impacted my life in so many ways that changed me from the person I was.   Finding the courage to talk to Angie that day had a profound impact on my life and who I am.

I don’t think, to this day, she realizes what an important thing our relationship has been for me.  I am quite sure I got the better of the deal.  She was already more worldly, educated, empathetic, and compassionate than I.  As I reflect on what it means to be “connected,” my mind drifts back to my feelings about striking up this relationship.  When I made the connection with Angie, I instantly felt part of something larger than myself.  I felt as though I had access to things I never would have had otherwise.  I felt part of the world community in a way I never thought possible and it was magic.

As a professional, as the years tick by, it can sometimes seem as though I’m entering a new dark age.  But something always happens to snap me out of it.  Attending a conference, working with younger, more energetic teachers, or taking a course jolts my senses and the excitement returns.  I want to be a part of this current teaching profession.  The one that’s happening right now.  What are energetic, excited, engaging teachers doing right now?  I really want to know.  I want to be part of it.

A BIT ABOUT ME!

Hello, ED677!

My name is Lacey Schmidt, and I teach fourth grade in Lower Merion School District.  I love what I do, and am always looking for ways to enrich my students and enhance the way in which they learn.  I can honestly say that I don’t know much about technology, and already (creating a Twitter handle, and a Blog) has pushed my limits.  My husband is a computer engineer, so one would think that I would have more knowledge when it comes to technology, but I don’t.  I am looking forward to learning more through this course.

A bit about myself-

I am currently enrolled working toward my STEM certification through Arcadia University. For the next year and a half I’ll be working towards STEM and Connected Learning to get my Master’s Degree.

I just got married in August.  My husband and I got married underneath a willow tree in his parent’s backyard- it was the most perfect evening.  We exchanged our vows with the birds chirping and a gentle breeze blowing the willow.  We both love the outdoors, and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!

I am a triathlete, and will soon be training to compete in my sixth Ironman Triathlon.  I love triathlons in general, and have a true passion for long-distance courses, such as the Ironman.  Running is my strongest leg of the race, as I’ve always been a distance runner. My husband and I met on a bike team at the college we both went to, so we do a lot of the riding together.  I don’t love to swim, but luckily that’s the “shortest” part of the very, very long day.

I am about to begin my Yoga certification to become a yoga teacher, as that is another one of my passions.  I am excited for the journey to becoming a teacher since it will be the first time I’m combining the two things that I love- fitness AND teaching.

Thank you for reading a bit about me, and I look forward to knowing about each one of you as this semester continues!

 

 

 


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.