Wednesday, February 26, 2014

C4T-Continuous-My Pick-Math Teacher Mambo-February Summary

C4T Week#1
This post was written by Shireen Dadmehr, titled "“Thank you pinterest”.  On her post she is sharing how she found a math activity on Pinterest and it inspired her to create a calculus worksheet.

I commented on 2/8 that I really liked how she used Pinterest to create the derivative worksheet.  I explained that I am a math teacher and I am following her blog this semester for an EDM 510 class at the University of South Alabama.  I let her know that I would be summarizing some of her posts (and my responses) on my EDM 510 class blog once a month. I left the link to the EDM 510 class blog EDM 510 Class Blog, my personal class blog Anastasia Martin EDM 510 Blog, and my twitter address @anastasia5360.

C4T Week#2
In the Valentines themed worksheet Ms. Dadmehr posted she has triangles labeled with love themes. For instance "triangle HRT" is supposed to read "triangle heart". It is a witty and fun idea, but she also talks about how some of the students did not get the theme and thought that HRT was short for hurt. 

I would have commented on 2/15 but there was not a link for comments. I would have responded that her valentine’s math worksheet was a cute idea that could be used for any triangle math worksheet. Such a simple idea that could be used during special holidays throughout the year. I also would have left the EDM 510 Class Blog link and my personal blog link again. 

C4T Week#3 
In this latest post titled, "Precalculus Triangle Areas," she shares another great worksheet with a Valentines theme. It also includes a fun dodecahedron net that would make a fun class activity. 

I would have commented on 2/20 if there was a link for comments that I have really been enjoying the worksheets and ideas she shares. I am impressed with the amount of activities she shares each week. If I ever teach high school math again in the future, her blog will become part of my permanent PLN. 

C4T Week#4
In this latest post titled,"Best.Husband.Ever.", she shares a picture that her husband sent her while in DC visiting the Smithsonian of a display showing how astronauts use the restroom in space.

I would have commented on 2/26 if there was a link for comments that she is going to have several students excited about visiting the Smithsonian one day after reading the post.

C4T-Continuous-Assigned by Dr. Strange-Dangerously Irrelevent-February Summary

Dangerously Irrelevant Blog

C4T Week#1
This post was written by Ira Socol, titled “No wonder nobody wants to come”.  The post is discussing breaking the cycle of traditional assignments where students sit at desks silently. Ira Socol challenges us to break out of the mold and let student collaborate.

I commented on 2/7.  My post responded that students collaborating with each other is key to students learning. By talking through class assignments and collaborating with each other, students have to answer questions and formulate answers. That process requires much more thought than sitting in class silently. I left the link to the EDM 510 class blog EDM 510 Class Blog, my personal class blog Anastasia Martin EDM 510 Blog, and my on twitter @anastasia5360.

C4T Week#2
This post was written by Scott Mcleod, titled "Visioning for desired awesomeness".  It discusses student to computer 1 to 1 ratio in schools.  He asked educators three questions relating to what the educators foresee if the initiative is successful or unsuccessful.  The blog links to the results of the questions.  

I commented on 2/15.  I explained that  I am a library media student in the southeast and that I am taking online classes and interning at a local middle school.  I explained that neighboring school districts have a 1:1 student:computer ratio, but our local school district does not.  My school and some of the other schools in my district are piloting a bring your own device campaign this semester.  I thanked him for posting the documents and resources from his results because they will be helpful as we implement the bring your own device at my school.  Since I had to comment on an older post than last week, I introduced myself again and put the links to the class blog and my personal blog and twitter again.

C4T Week#3
This post titled, "Blab schools" shares a video about a tightly scripted direct instruction school, and compares it to a video showing North Koreans talking in unison.

I commented on 2/20 that after watching the two videos I will think a little harder before describing a school as using 'direct instruction' again. My favorite part of the video is definitely the reference to Abraham Lincoln calling his childhood school a 'blab school'. I also left my contact information again.

C4T Week#4
This post titled, "Personalized learning v. targeted advertising", is discussing how schools sell students personal information to companies. It links to an article that discusses a summit that was held about student privacy and proposals to protect it.

I commented on 2/26 that it is very important for schools to protect students personal information. As a mom, graduate student, and teacher, I am in support of proposals to protect student personal information.

C4T-Rotating-February Summary

The Ever-Evolving Teacher
This post was titled "Using the Educreations App for Reading".  On her post she is sharing how she used the Educreations app with her students.  It assessed the students while they enjoyed using the technology.

I commented on 2/8 that I liked how she used such a creative app with her students.  I explained that I am a library media student at the University of South Alabama and I am always looking for simple ways incorporate technology into the classroom.  I let her know that I am following her blog for a few weeks for an EDM 510 class.  I left the link to the EDM 510 class blog EDM 510 Class Blog, my personal class blog Anastasia Martin EDM 510 Blog, and my on twitter @anastasia5360.

iLearn Technology 
This post was titled "EDpuzzle: Like Video in the Classroom 2.0" This post was a description/explanation of a site called EDpuzzle where existing video can be cropped and edited. The post summarizes how EDpuzzle can be used in the classroom by students and teachers.

I responded on 2/15 that the part of EDpuzzle that really interested me was there is a way to embed assessment questions into the video. I talked about how it would be usefully in the classroom and library media center when showing videos. I explained that I am taking a technology library media class at the University of South Alabama and I would be summarizing the post of my blog. I left my personal EDM blog and the EDM510 class blog links embedded in my comment.

For the Love of Teaching
This post was titled "Engaging Brains: How to Enhance Learning by Teaching Kids About Neuroplasticity." Her post describes how learning affects the brain and actually causes changes. She believes that by teaching kids about neuroplasticity it can improve student achievement.

I responded on 2/20 that it was a very interesting topic and that the blog contained several great ideas of how to improve student achievement. I explained that I am taking a technology library media class at the University of South Alabama and I would be summarizing the post of my blog. I left my personal EDM blog and the EDM510 class blog links embedded in my comment.

This post was titled "6 Years of Film Festivals" and it described a successful event on November 13th that 3000 children attended.

I responded on 2/26 that it was so nice to hear about the successful festival. What a wonderful event. I told her that I hope next year is even bigger. I also introduced myself and left a link to the class blog and my blog.

C4K-February Summary

Boy in Class
C4K Week#1  
Craig in Ms. Toals Class
On Craig's blog titled, "CyperBullying", he gives advice and tips about cyber bullying.

I responded on 2/15 by first introducing myself. I told him he did a great job giving advice about cyber bullying. I let him know that cyber bullying is in the news a lot in the United States and his advice would be helpful to American students who are learning about cyber bullying too. I did not leave personal information or the class blog links because in the class instructions Ms. Toal asked the students not to leave last names or links to other websites you are on.

C4K Week#2 Kid#1
Christian in Mrs. Reuters Class
On Christian's blog titled, " Evelyn’s Birthday Party", Christian talks about a birthday party he went to. Christian describes how he was able to swim and eat lots of pizza at the party.

I responded on 2/20 by first introducing myself. I told Christian what an excellent job he did describing the birthday party. I talked about how I wondered when I was first reading the blog how he could have possibly swam in February. But I told him he did a great job in the blog explaining that he swam in an indoor heated pool.

C4K Week#2 Kid#2
Alex in Mrs. Geldes Class
On Alex's blog titled, "Sochi Olympics 2014", he describes and gives facts about the winter Olympics.

I responded on 2/20 by first introducing myself. I told Alex he did an excellent job giving facts about the Olympics on his blog. I also told him my favorite part of his blog was the question at the end and I finished my comments with an answer to his question.
C4K Week#2 Kid#3
Shane in Mrs. Geldes Class
On Shane's blog titled, "2014 Sochi Winter Olympics", Shane describes and gives facts about the winter Olympics and talks about his favorite sports.

I responded on 2/20 by first introducing myself. I told Shane what a good job he did writing his blog and I enjoyed reading about the different sports he enjoyed watching. I asked him, since the Olympics have now been on for a couple of weeks, if he had any new favorite events.

C4K Week#3 Kid#1
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLO in Ms. Millers class
On LOLOLOLOLOLO's blog titled, "SUSPENSE REDO", LOLOLOLOLOLO compares a book and movie the class was assigned to read. It also included several answers to questions that appeared to have been assigned to the student.

 I responded on 2/26 by first introducing myself. I told LOLOLOLOLO he did a great job writing his blog. I really like how he not only answered the assigned questions but also included his own questions.

C4K Week#3 Kid#2
Jeff in Ms. Long's class
On Jeff's blog titled "Sacrifice", Jeff linked his blog to an online definition of sacrifice. He also defined sacrifice himself several different ways.

I responded on 2/26 by first introducing myself. I told Jeff that he did an excellent job describing sacrifice. I was very impressed that he added a link to the web dictionary. I also told him that he did a very good job adding quotation marks around all of his direct quotes.

C4K Week#3 Kid#3
Allysa D. in Ms. Frahm's class
On Allysa's blog titled "Allysa as a 6th Grader", she discusses her accomplishments and goals for her 6th grade year. She also included several pictures in her post.

I responded on 2/26 by first introducing myself. I told Allysa that she did an excellent job describing her accomplishments and goals. I also let her know that the pictures she included in her post made it come to life. I especially liked the basketball picture.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Blog Post #3

World with country flags

Review of the Khan Academy

The Khan Academy is an online academy that is available worldwide. The website Khan Academy shares pictures of students using Khan Academy in Mongolia, Mexico, Burma, South Africa, Peru, and the United States. Their mission is to provide "A free world-class education for anyone anywhere" (Khan Academy Mission).


The Khan Academy offers a wide variety of courses including: math, science, economics, humanities, and computer programming. Common Core resources are available. Math starts at a 3rd grade level and extends to college level math content. The science, economics, and humanities courses are organized by topic, not grade level.


The Khan Academy uses instructional videos to teach students online. Some online quizzes are available. If the quiz question is missed you have the opportunity to click on hints to help you answer the questions correctly the next time.

Reported Successes and Support 

Bill Gates is a Khan Academy supporter (CNN Money Article). And why wouldn't he be? The Khan Academy reports numerous success stories on their website. Success stories include scenarios from adults going back to college that need remediation; elementary students using it to learn math; high school students struggling through the math, sciences, and preparing for college entrance exams. The majority of the successes reported were from students who were high school age or older; and the majority referenced math in their success story.  

Reported Weaknesses and Critics

To find reported weaknesses I of course had to leave the Khan Academy website. Valerie Strauss reported on the Khan Academy in 2012 in the Washington Post. The original critiques, followed by a response from Khan, followed by a response by Strauss can all be accessed by following the links in this article Washington Post Critique. Strauss includes critiques from math professors / teachers . The opinions of the critics and supporters overlap and contradict. One main weakness of the program that is discussed in the critique is that teaching is more than just presenting content. Every student is different and every student learns in a slightly different way. Another weakness is that the videos teach some concepts with important details unexplained; a few mathematical examples are given in the article. The critics agree that there are problems with the videos, but the critics do not all agree when it comes down to the technical details of how to teach specific lessons. Khan responds to the critiques defending his academy.  Khan even admits in his response, "We have never said that we are a cure-all…" (Khan’s Response ).

Examination of Their Courses

I concentrated on high school geometry when examining the program because that is my area of expertise as a teacher. I was a high school geometry teacher for four years at Theodore High School and I am currently tutoring a geometry student. Geometry is a one year course taken sometime between the 8th and 12th grade year. The geometry course at Khan Academy starts with a history of Euclid. I have to admit, the video gave a better history lesson of Geometry than I ever did as a Geometry teacher. He moves on to a video about the difference between lines, rays, and segments that was very similar to my classroom lecture on the topic. I viewed the videos of how to calculate perimeter and area, trigonometry, and congruence of triangles. They were all good and very similar to what I would have included in my lectures. By watching these videos it is possible for students to learn, but would all students learn from them? Teaching is not just a lecture. Yes a few students in my class would listen to the lecture and learn how to work the problems on their own but most of them had to learn by listening, practicing, applying concept, and asking questions. I can remember teaching...answering questions...teaching the topic again in a slightly different way...answering questions again...quizzing the students...answering more questions...and still have one or two students in the class that I was working one on one with trying to figure out what they did not understand. The website does advertise a coach, but when I researched the coaching a little more I found out that the Khan Academy does not supply/offer coaches, you have to find your own coach. Khan Academy recommended finding one in your community. Overall the videos are comprehensive and clearly explain the topics. 

My Personal Conclusions  

My personal conclusion is that the Khan Academy videos are successful as a supplemental resource and they will be successful in the future. What a wonderful solution to parents of students who are taking calculus, physics, or computer programming and are not able to help them. I will show my Geometry tutoring student the Khan Academy because she will be able to use it through college. And in the future I may even use a video as a lecture substitute to add variety to my Geometry class. But in my opinion the videos are a lecture substitute, not a teacher substitute.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Blog Post #2

Child looking at the internet
Search Engines

It is very important to have safe, reliable search engines for students to use.  When researching search engines I look for relevant search engines that I can use with my math students, my elementary age children, and my library media internship.

1.  WolfmanAlpha Search Engine WolframAlpha is a search engine that focuses on math topics, definitions, equations, and examples. It is a great website for secondary and higher education students who need help with complex math concepts. For younger students learning basic concepts, I think parent help would be a better alternative to this search engine.

 2.  Infotopia Search Engine infotopia is a search engine alternative for students. The websites part of this custom search are approved by teachers. I like how results can be narrowed by subject (science, history, literature, etc.) because even though it is a custom search, results can still be overwhelming.

3.  L!braryTopia Search Engine L!braryTopia is a custom search for librarians. The site also contains several direct links to library lesson plans and activities.

4.  Bing Search Engine bing is a search engine that is very similar to google. I prefer the aesthetics (pictures, graphics) of bing over other similar search engines.

5.  Socialmention Socialmention is a search engine that searches real time social media. Included in the search are social media comments from twitter, videos, questions, etc. The search engine is slowest of all the search engines mentioned in this blog, but the uniqueness of the results made it worth mentioning.

6.  Wikipedia for Kids Search Engine Wiki for Kids is a wiki search engine for students with content and images appropriate for students. The site also contains direct links to “Safe Image Search” and “Google SafeSearch”.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Blog Post #1


I read the plagiarism assignments and watched the plagiarism video this week from the perspective of both a student and teacher. 

From the perspective of a student, I thought back to all of the assignments I have turned in the past year to remember if I have properly cited and put quotation marks around all references.  Typically I follow the general rule of always putting quotation marks if I use four or more words when citing a source, and I would never intentionally plagiarize.  But the articles and video definitely made me think deeply about what defines plagiarism so I can make sure I never plagiarize.  

From the teachers perspective I reflected about why students would intentionally plagiarize and what I can do as a teacher/librarian to educate students about plagiarism.  Jason Stephens, the guest speaker in the "Why Students Plagiarize" video, discussed reasons for intentional plagiarism like being under pressure.  Several of Dr. Strange's past students have probably plagiarized unintentionally because when he gave them scenarios, discussed in the article "Is It Plagiarism Yet?", many students surveyed did not know when plagiarism had occurred. So as a teacher it is very important to not only "promote integrity" like Jason Stephen suggested, but also teach students what defines plagiarism.   

Now that we have switched to posting our assignments to our blog, I am sharing my digital story assignment that I created using my daughters building blocks.