Thursday, March 31, 2011

Comments for Teachers #3

The teacher I am following now is Teacher Tom. He is a pre-school teacher for ages 2-5 in Seattle Washington. His name is Tom Hobson. You can tell just by reading through his blog that this is his passion and that he loves children.

The first blog post I read was called "They Will Want To Try It Again". It was about Pendulum Painting.

Pendulum Painting

This is a neat way to teach young and older students about the Laws of Physics. It looks like it is very messy but I even want to try it myself. He has lots of ideas on his page and links to click on to find out how to do his ideas. imgage

Mr. Tom's second blog I read was titled "How to Paint a Black and Rainbow Spaceship". Once again, I really enjoyed this blog. Teacher Tom works with very young students and sometimes it is very hard to get everyone to agree. At the beginning of the school year however he states that the class had a discussion that the class gets to vote on decisions and sometimes you win some and sometimes you loose some. This worked well for the painting of the spaceship and the students came to quick decision of half black and half rainbow colored. Teacher Tom has pictures of this process throughout his blog.

Teacher Tom is a very creative and hands on teacher. He has lots of really neat ideas for students that I hope I can use in my classroom one day.


The latest blog I have read by Teacher Tom is "Let Them Teach Themselves". I love this blog! It is about allowing the students to mix different ingredients together own their own. They have shaving gel, flour, salt sand, water, vinegar and other ingredients. Teacher Tom lets them mix at their own will. No instructions, no measurements and little if no help from the teacher. Yes, I am sure this was a MESS but what it produced was a great outcome (even though it was not anything taste worthy I am sure).

Allowing the young students to do this opened up another world. The students found out on their own what mixing baking soda and vinegar created. They mixed other ingredients and discovered all kinds of things. Yet, they realized they could turn to each other for help and to discuss the different ingredients and what happened with each one. This opened up what Teacher Tom called "community". Maybe this generation of kids will realize that they can make the world a better place by communicating and working together. Instead of the "self" generation and trying to do it all alone and only for one's self. Could you even begin to imagine how things in this world would change if everyone came together and worked as a community. I know that is far fetched but we can all hope.

With Teachers like Teacher Tom, their is hope that children's lives can be impacted for a positive change and they (the future) can make this world a better place. Teacher Tom is so inspiring to step outside of the "Box" and teach with a style that is a "hands on" learning approach. I can't even begin to imagine how their little minds are turning as they solve problems, work together and create. This is the type of teaching that needs to be in place in every classroom, hands on and where the students are using their skills, creativity and most importantly their brains to learn.

I have really enjoyed reading Teacher Tom's blog. He is so many great ideas on his page. Yes, most of them are centered around young children but with a little imagination and creativity I believe these ideas could be applied at any age level.. I have included a link to his blog on my page. Please take the time to check it out, it is full of great ideas! I hope one day to be a creative teacher like Mr. Tom and have lots of clorox wipes on my classroom to clean up the mess later.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blog Assignment # 9

“What I’ve Learned This Year” TITLE=

Mr. McClung really gives a new teacher and future teachers great advice. I am so glad that he shared his personal experience of being a teacher for the first time. I only have two years left and I pray that I am in his shoes one day but at least will have his advice and words of encouragement with me.

Mr. McClung begins by talking about “How to Read the Crowd.” I can already just within this short time period of college see where I can turn my future career into an “All About Me as the Teacher” mindset. He talks about how that mindset takes away from the students and is not a good way to start off your teaching career. Yes, you will have others watching you and critiquing your work as a brand new teacher but your focus must stay on the students because they are the ones that are being greatly affected by your actions.

He then goes on to talk about “Be Flexible.” I am so amazed at the teachers at my son’s school. They all live by those words in their classrooms. My son’s current teacher told me that being flexible is the only way to survive, otherwise you will drive yourself crazy trying to stay on a strict schedule and do everything perfectly. They are children and things are going to happen and other events are part of the day in the classroom. So her advice to me was “Go with the flow, you will eventually get everything in that you need too.” I believe that is what Mr. McClung learned his first year too. I think his paragraph “Be Reasonable” goes with this too.

Next is “Communicate.” I cannot even begin to stress how important communication is. I worked for many years in an environment that requires constant communication with not only other employees but customers too. It makes the biggest difference to not only lean on one another for support and to pass on advice or ideas but it makes the job so much easier. Also talking to your students is very important, that is one of the most important ways to take care of your students. Communication is one of the biggest keys to success. I believe this also falls in line with Mr. Clung's paragraph about “Listen to Your Students.”

One of the most important points in today’s world is “Don’t Be Afraid of Technology.” This is so important because students are leaving teachers behind in this aspect. The students of today will have jobs that involve technology or be all about technology by the time they enter the work force. How can educators not help these students be prepared for this life. Yes, technology is intimidating but if you just try it, the things you learn and begin to use you will love and become a huge part of your life. You will also be able to help your students and they will be better prepared for their future.

Last but not least, “Lastly....Never Stop Learning.” The title says everything to me. I am 32 years old and returning to college to finish my degree I started many years ago. I believe though that I am learning more now than I would have learned 10 plus years ago. I am so glad that I have the opportunity to return to school and finish my education but I hope that once I receive that diploma that, that is not the end of my education. I cannot wait to get in a school and learn from other teachers that have been teaching for years. I look forward to learning from my students too. I know my son who is in first grade now has come home all year long and taught me things that I did not know. So to be able to continue to learn whether it is me sitting in a classroom with an instructor or whether I am the instructor I hope to learn and grow in any way I can. I agree with Mr. McClung, “we owe it to our students”.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Comments for Kids # 2

Below are my comments on different students that I followed during the month of March. I really enjoyed reading their blogs. I could even relate to the first student who blogged about struggling in Math. These children are a pleasure to follow and I cannot wait to implement blogging in my own classroom one day.

Hi! My name is Olivia Bush. I am student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. You can check out my blog page at I would love for you to follow it if you can. I will be doing a blog about your blog and some other students that I am following at the end of this month.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on math and the upcoming test you are preparing for. I have to agree with you that math is very challenging but I am inspired by your motivation to keep trying and moving forward. I struggle in math and have three big math classes to take in college. I am currently in one now and will be taking two this summer. Math can be very stressful for some people, like me, but for others, like my husband ( who is a chemist), it comes very easy. Just like you said though, with the right attitude and if you put your mind to it you can do it!

Keep up the positive attitude and it will take you far in life and math. I wish you the best on your math test and SAT test. I am sure you will do great! Please feel free to follow me and write on my page. I look forward to reading more on your blog.

(Student from Birmingham, Al, struggling with math)

Cruz at PT England School. This is an 11 year old student in year 7 at a school in New Zealand. His blog was about “Tech At Tamaki College.” This student is learning how to cook. He wanted to cook hamburgers (his favorite food) but they cooked sticky buns instead. This is what I said on his blog.

Hi! My name is Olivia Bush. I am student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. You can check out my blog page at I would love for you to follow it if you can. I will be doing a blog about your blog and some other students that I am following at the end of this month.

I like your blog page set up with the red background and the Twilight characters. I have read all the books and I cannot wait to see next movie in November. Are you a big fan? Have you read the books or just watched the movies?

I enjoyed reading about your day and your new experience in learning how to cook. I like hamburgers more than sticky buns myself. Do you have a particular way to fix your hamburger? I prefer my the American style, lettuce, tomato, cheese, onion, pickles and ketchup with french fries on the side. In this class will you get to learn how to cook different things? How long will this class last? I hope you enjoy it and do learn a lot though it will come in handy one day. I need a class like this because I am not at all a good cook.

I wish you the best in this class and your others. Thank you for sharing you thoughts and keep up the great work on your blog. I cannot wait to read more.


My last student blog for March is from a young man named Joshua. He is in either fourth or fifth grade. His teacher Ms. Engelhard addresses both grades in her class blog. Joshua though wrote a blog entitled "Rusty Refund". He and his Father received bad service in a restaurant and he wrote a blog about how he felt. This is what I said to Joshua.

Hi! My name is Olivia Bush. I am student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. You can check out my blog page at I would love for you to follow it if you can. I will be doing a blog about your blog and some other students that I am following at the end of this month.

Thank you for your honest blog on bad service in a restaurant. I agree with you so much. I have a similar story from a dinner experience I had just not to long ago. They forgot to put my order in at the kitchen, then they brought me the wrong dish and by the time they got my order straight everyone else I had been having dinner with had finished their meal and it was time to go. So, I got my meal in a to-go-box which I ate for lunch the next day. It is aggravating when those types of things happen and can make your out to eat meal not worth it.

I hope the next time you and your Dad get to go out it turns out a whole lot better. Thank you for sharing your thoughts though. Your blog looks great and I am looking forward to reading more.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Blog Assignment # 8

This Is How We Dream by Richard Miller

Richard Miller is a Educator in the English Department at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He discuss how writing has changed and adapted to the ways of technology. He was raised in a home full of books and reading which inspired him to be an English teacher. I also was raised in a home where reading was a way life. Growing up I lived across the street from a Public Library. Every summer I joined a reading contest to see who could read the most books. I am proud to say that I did win a couple of times. We also had Encyclopedias in our home. I remember having to use those and go the library and use a card catalog to pull information to do research for a paper. Technology has changed that so much.
I now (not only for myself but my child too) reach for the laptop and do my research on the Internet. Technology has eliminated the need for pens and paper. As I write this blog, I am using my computer, where I can type words out and if I am I not happy with what is written I can delete and start over. Also, I have the joys of spell check, I do not have to pull out a dictionary.

In Part Two of Richard Miller's YouTube video, he discuss how do we incorporate technology in to today's classroom. Students no longer want to just read a piece of paper but have visual aids and audio to go along with what they are reading. This is an age where even babies are introduced to television whether it be a learning video or meaningless cartons. Then as they grow they are taught how to use computers, iPods and eReaders. Using these devices comes naturally to children. I have mentioned in previous blogs that my children use some sort of technology daily, whether it is a iPod Touch or a gaming device and they are only 3 and 7 years old. So how is a teacher going to keep their attention with just a book and paper? This a technological age. I even find myself more engaged in a subject if there is more than just words to read but visuals to go along that are engaging not just a picture. The way of teaching has changed and will not return to what it was. Educators today have no choice but to keep up with technology in order to engage their students and teach. Now to find a way to incorporate this type of learning in every classroom.

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The Chipper Series and EDM 310 for Dummies

The Chipper Series is about a student that deserves an "A" for procrastination and for finding all ways possible to not do the work in EDM 310. You can not procrastinate in EDM 310 because you will fall behind quickly and even to a point that you may not recover. This is a class you have to have to graduate so go ahead and jump in with both feet and get busy.
EDM 310 for Dummies would be a great book to publish for this class but it would not stay in print to long because of the technological changes that occur in this class. At first this class does seem very overwhelming but with patience and help from Dr. Strange and the EDM staff in the lab you will get through it. You will learn more about technology than you ever thought. This class will not only help you but your future students too from the knowledge that you gained in EDM 310.
I would love to do a video on the Smart Board and the frustration I felt with that project. I still have a lot to learn about putting lessons together for the Smart Board and need to spend more time on it. I think of all the things I have learned in this class that frustrated me the most. With help from Anthony Capps though my group and I made it through. My advice in EDM 310 is to get excited about all you are going to learn and never be afraid to ask for help. Future students and other readers, I encourage you to check out our class blog and see what we are doing and what is to come in the future.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

"Death of education, dawn of learning", this is what the last speaker on the above video says. I love that statement. I agree with this video. Students of this generation, even myself, will get more out of their education by using their minds, collaborating with other students all over the world and using the internet. Using the Internet to find out more about the subject they are studying than just using the book in front of them. Books are such a limited resource when there is so much more out there for students to learn. The students of today are more technologically advanced than the teacher standing in front of them.
As I write this blog right now, I am watching Breaking News about the earthquake in Japan and watching live videos of what is happening to that country. That is because of modern technology and the ability to know what is happening across the world. This is what needs to be used in the classroom. Students need to know what is happening now. They can leave the classroom and go home and be better informed of today's events before these events are written in books and become history that they will study years down the road. So why not go ahead and incorporate technology in the classroom and grow these students and better prepare them for their future.
In order to do this though, teachers need to become learners and be prepared to teach the students of today's technological world.

The Secret Powers of Time

This link here relates to this YouTube video too. Yes technology is great and we need it for our students and it does improve life. Yet, there should be times when we do put technology down and get back to the basics of life. Like being with your family, friends and even making time for yourself. Even though technology is there to help us there still needs to be human interaction. Technology cannot teach manners or show you how to love, respect and have morals. Those life lesson come from others, whether it be parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, co-workers or employers. People are a part of this world and they are what makes technology run. So there are are times in life, when the phone, computer and gaming systems need to be put down and quality time needs to be spent with family and friends. Technology will still be there when you come back, so take a break, the world will not come to an end, in fact it may even get better because you did take a break.

The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

I can relate to this video. I have worked for a company that dangled an unachievable carrot in your face but not for your betterment but for their bottom dollar. I have had monetary goals set out before me but at the destruction of someone's finances for a company's bottom line. If companies and teachers would look at what will improve the employee or the student then you will go further. A student or employee will be more willing to work towards a goal if it is something that grabs their attention and interests. Monetary goals are not always a good driving force as shown in the video and have been proven. If a person feels they are making a difference and improving something for the betterment of others it will go further than any monetary goal set out before them. To be a teacher that helps students achieve that "A" because they want it not because it is something that someone else expects out of that student would be great achievement.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

1st Progress Report of PLN Project # 10

I started my own Personal Learning Network (PLN). I am using Symbaloo. I have my Google e-mail, EDM 310 class blog, Blogger, CNN, FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube accounts for starters. It is a very useful Internet tool. I do like having all of the website I check on a daily basis right in front of me on one page. I can see using this site in my future Education classes to keep up with different sites that I will use in class for different projects or research papers.

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Blog Assignment # 7

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This blog is about Randy Pausch. Please take the the time to watch this You Tube Video and then follow his website HERE. His website will take you to several personal sites and give you more insight into his life.

First of all I have to say this man was truly remarkable. He had such a passion and a vision for teaching that was amazing. Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture" is very inspiring for teachers and everyone in general. This man believed in empowering students with knowledge that was applied and used not only in the classroom but in life. He took a hold of his dreams and creativity and used it to help others not only his self.

I have to paraphrase what he said an assistant football coach said to him. "When you are screwing up and nobody is saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up." That saying can be applied in education. I believe he used this in his teaching career in assisting his students. When did that teacher give up on the child that was always screwing up? When did that parent, the Sunday school teacher, the boss do that? I have been so blessed to be surrounded by family, friends, teachers, co-workers and employers that cared enough about me to tell me when I did something wrong and helped me correct the problem. That is the kind of wife, mother, friend and teacher I want to be. I want to strive in my life and classroom to never give up on someone but be there to encourage and help guide them in the correct way. The kind of teacher that does not look for the easy way out for a child but finds a way to help that child succeed and grow. If my family, friends, teachers and even past employers had given up on me, I would not be here right now fulfilling my dream of being a teacher. I hope to pass on that same drive and desire.

Randy Pausch was a leader! He showed leadership in the classroom by stepping up and bringing ideas to the classroom that had never been done before. To teach is to experiment and find things that make the classroom a better learning environment. I believe if you want something bad enough you will step up and be the leader and get things done. In being a leader you show what he brought up about a brick wall. That brick wall is there for a reason. The brick wall will either stop you or show your dedication to achieve your dream or desire. Along the way you will become a stronger leader because of the experiences you will go through while getting past the brick wall. You might also be the one that opens a door for another. You might even bring a new idea to the table that will benefit many. So don't be afraid to be a leader and open up doors and knock down brick walls for yourself, another person or a student.

Also I believe Randy Pausch knew the meaning of FUN. To be a great, teacher, leader or visionary, I believe you have to see the positive in all you do and make it an enjoyment rather than a burden. This is what he did with not only his life but his classroom. I have always said "if you have to be there you might as well make the best of it and your time". So why not make getting an education fun. You will grab a child's attention that way and open up their world of creativity. Then education will be a blessing rather than a burden. So are you "Tigger or Eeyore?" in Randy's words.  Open the doors of fun and creativity in the classroom and watch a student grow.

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And last but not least, he touched on loyalty. Being loyal, telling the truth, being earnest, being willing to admit when you are wrong, and always putting your best foot forward will take you far. This is how I was raised and I believe in these principals. They have taken me far and opened up many doors for me. Just like Randy Pausch believed, hard work, leadership and having fun in the process will take you far in life and bring many joys. These things combined will make a great teacher and a student will be beyond blessed to have that teacher. Teachers like Randy Pausch can change the ways of education for the better and bring the classroom to life.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Comments for Teachers #2

The teacher I am following is Larry Ferlazzo. Mr. Ferlazzo’s blog is about different websites that he benefits from and feels he should share with others. I had to do a little research on Mr. Ferlazzo to find out more about him. Mr. Ferlazzo teaches Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced English Language to high school students. He teaches at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, California. He has been doing this for the past 5 years. Before teaching he worked as a community organizer. He is originally from New York. Mr. Ferlazzo has a personal drive to help people in impoverished communities and to work with young students.

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Mr. Ferlazzo’s blog I read today is about a website called “Little Bird Tales” ( It is a website he discovered through Richard Byrne. This website is currently free but Mr. Ferlazzo was not sure if this site would remain free. This site allows you to make slide shows by drawing pictures, uploading pictures and adding text. The site grabbed his attention because you can use audio narration for English Language Learners. It is a neat site, something that might interest all teachers and benefit students. As well as students with disabilities that require audio. Teachers and future teachers need to check this website out (click HERE).

Mr. Ferlazzo's blog post that I just read this week was an informative blog. In his blog he list the "Most Popular Post of the Month." These are the blog post in which his readers have clicked on the most. Click HERE to view his blog. Mr. Ferlazzo's blog is very informative and I have enjoyed reading his post. He has many sites to go to and get information that is very useful for the classroom. Also, he is very up to date on the teacher debate going on in Wisconsin at this very moment. Please take the time to view Mr. Ferlazzo's blog, you will enjoy it.