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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Craft Supplies and College....

We are now working on our end of the month projects and we are having to do an OLD fashioned tri-board for a presentation.  I see nothing wrong with this, it keeps you grounded and makes you realize what students in elementary through high school go through.  With that being said, I am so happy at this point in the course that I have enough craft supplies to open my own store.... literally.

Having all of these wonderful supplies did not stop me from going out to buy more.  Heck no, Hobby Lobby was having a killer sale!  30% off of Cricut items.  And since I have a Cricut Expression and about 15 different cartridges, the only thing I could possibly need and find useful is Cricut Design Studio.  So I went out, spent my money, and came home with CDS so I could begin working on my Tri-fold.  I'm half tempted to do what I do in my other blogs, and that is take pictures of what I've done and post here... but I won't.. partly because I'm too tired to add to this homework assignment, and partly because I'm just too darn lazy right now!  It's Saturday and I have so much still to do.  

My main purpose for spending money on this piece of software was so that I could "weld" my words.  I am working on the titles that will be put onto the Tri-Fold and instead of cutting out each letter and placing them on the board individually I wanted to make one word that would be cut out as a single piece.  And I got it home, and I installed it, and it worked!  Hurray for my Bug!  I have used this thing for so many weird things it is worth the money I spent on it, and the crowds I fought 2 years ago at the Day After Thanksgiving sale to get it. 

At any rate, I visited the Cricut website today AFTER I bought my CDS, and it looks like the folks over at Cricut are making a program called Cricut Craft Room.  And its FREE.... and it does the SAME thing the CDS does... only a bit better.  However, since they aren't done working out the bugs, I still needed the CDS to do my project.   And the stinking video made me want an Imagine machine.


I hope everyone in my class is having an easy time with their project.   I'm honestly looking forward to and dreading the next 2 classes that start in June.  I'm exhausted and feel like I work non-stop.  But, I really feel it is going to be worth it.  I'm going to have a Master's degree when this is all said and done.  Who would have thought?!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Animoto.com

This is something we did in class today... and I loved it!  So I'm sharing :)



Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Search and Seizure in the Schools

This evening I am working on legal briefs for my Legal Issues course.  My case for this week's assignment focuses on whether searching a student's private property on school campus violates the Fourth Amendment of unreasonable search and seizure.  The long and short of this case is that the Supreme Court of the U.S. has ruled that it is not a violation of the student's Fourth Amendment rights providing that the search is reasonable and not excessively intrusive. 

For those that do not have a legal mind, the biggest thought to an educator is what is deemed reasonable and what is deemed excessively intrusive.  Knowing what the courts deem reasonable will help facilitate best practice where searching student's property is concerned.  Recently one student went all the way to the Supreme Court to help define what was reasonable and excessive in nature.  The Supreme Court ruled that this student's constitutional rights were violated when she was strip searched by her school in Arizona.  The school officials in this case suspected the student of hiding an Ibuprofen tablet in her panties.

The case was clear cut to me from the beginning, but poses and interesting question to educators.  How far is too far?  Many districts have specific personnel that are trained to handle searches in the even that they need to occur so that a teacher need not get involved.

What is your take on the subject?  How far is too far?  What do you consider acceptable?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Obviously Every Day Isn't Going To Happen

I really had a great goal of posting everyday, but it just isn't going to work.  Right now I'm sitting at a Hilton hotel in San Antonio waiting on room service to deliver me some dinner.  I have to prepare for tomorrow's training with my current company and do homework for my degree!  I have driven approximately 7 hours today and class starts at 7am tomorrow... I'm tired thinking about it. 

However....

This morning I woke up bright and early to do some homework.  This girl is NOT getting behind.  Today I worked on issues discussing internet safety and really why it is important.  I discovered that Texas is currently revising the technology TEKS which is a VERY important thing to know.  Internet safety is something I really have a heart for, and there are many reasons.  I have 5 at home with me right now, and the dangers of children not being safe hit a little too close to home this past year.  In the neighboring community a young teenage boy was killed by someone he met on the internet.  He thought he was going to meet a girl, and a grown man showed up.  That man killed him and a family's heart was shattered.  Regardless of what kids think, IT CAN HAPPEN TO THEM.

I try to stay on top of what my kids are doing as far as texting and what they are doing on the internet.  I have their passwords so that I can view messages and I monitor them to make sure they are staying on track as far as not going to inappropriate websites or chatting with unknown people who claim they are kids.  My children are the most important thing on this earth to me.  Jesus of course is the most important thing EVERYWHERE.  But I truly believe that one of the duties I have to God is to ensure my children are raised correctly, and to ensure that I maintain their safety.  This type of attitude translates in the classroom.  At least I believe so.  I can remember a few select teachers when I was growing up.  I really don't remember the horrible ones, I remember the one's that I loved.  I want to be that kind of teacher for my students.  One that inspires them, one they look up to, and one they respect.
This upcoming week I have some big projects due.  One of them is a presentation in my Legal Issues class.  I'm going to do my presentation with the help of Prezi, Microsoft Movie Maker, and a microphone.  Incidentally I used Microsoft Movie Maker when I was an undergrad in a couple of courses and I really liked how easy it was.  You should check it out!  I also am responsible for the court cases my group is going to use for our group project that is due in week 4.  Since I won't be in class on Tuesday I need to brief the cases and email my partners so that they have something to work with in class.  I also have a power point presentation for the technology class, a Prezi to work on for my end of month project in the technology class, and case briefs and journal annotations to do.  Wish me luck!

God Bless You!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Portfolios, Portfolios, Portfolios.... oh.. and some juicy technology!

Today's focus was on journal articles focusing on the importance, or lack thereof, of portfolios for educators and students alike.  I learned today that the best type of portfolio in this day and age is an electronic portfolio, and that the thesis or core of a portfolio can encompass several things such as a portfolio on a particular subject, an introspective portfolio, and a professional portfolio.

As a future teacher I've learned that a professional portfolio has a very real future in my career.  And while having a professional portfolio is important, so is an introspective portfolio that focuses on professional development.  I know what a portfolio is and have read articles upon articles about their importance, but I haven't found a single format for one, nor have I seen how one is laid out.  That is my current goal.  I need some visual examples so that I can get a modeling idea and maybe gain some perspective about the kind I want to have.

The other little thing I had to do today was work on my blog post summaries as all my weekly assignments for my tech class were do tonight!  I found two "gems" in my search and you may already know about them, but I sure didn't and I was excited to discover them.

1)  There is an application in the accessories folder of Windows 7 called  "Math Input Panel"  This panel is used for writing mathematical computations and then you can import them into word.  Word will then convert your written expression into a typed format.  Yes I said WRITE.  As in use your mouse, or you finger, or stylus depending upon the type of computer you have.  VERY cool application for math teachers and students!

2)  PREZI  Do you know what this is?  It is like power point on steroids.  Prezi takes presentations to a whole new level and I don't even know if I can describe how but here goes.  Essentially your presentation is one screen but you format PREZI to move around your screen zooming in and out to give your presentation using drawings, text, and other multi-media.  Instead of the same old slides over and over again, you can touch your screen and have a blast.  Here is a little video from YouTube that explains Prezi a bit better than I can!





I want to see if I can combine PREZI with say Microsoft Movie Maker or is there even a need?  I can't wait to play around with it and I encourage you to as well.  The basic version is FREE.  So what exactly is bad about that!  Wish me luck, I have a presentation assignment coming up and I am going to try and incorporate PREZI with it so I can be different!


I hope you have a great evening!  As for me, I have 3 chapters to read before class tomorrow night and I need to work on my big project coming up for my legal courses.

God Bless!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Already too busy for words!

I took Sunday off as a day of rest!  And of course, it was Mother's day so I spent the day with my Mother.  My Dad took us out to eat and we watched a movie and had ice cream later.  Yesterday... I just completely forgot to post!  So this post will be about what I did yesterday.

Yesterday's focus was pertaining to the class I have this evening in Legal Issues.  I had a case brief that I needed to turn in for a homework assignment and NUMEROUS chapters in a law book to read.  Have you ever read a law book?  I have found that if you don't take it personal it can be rather dull reading.  By that I mean you have to really have a vested interest in what you are reading.  This really made me think about teaching and school in general.

Kids today get a pretty bum rap all around where school is concerned.  They are unfocused, bored, discipline problems, and all kinds of things... but rarely do you hear what I think is the real reason why.  Is what they are doing personal to them?  Have teacher's made the learning personal?  I remember when my daughter was learning decimals and she would come home from school complaining that she just didn't get all the junk that teacher was talking about.  So, I made it personal.  We went shopping.  We played with money talked about sales and percentages off so we could figure out how much we were really going to pay so we could stay within our budget, and it clicked for her.  All of a sudden those decimals and numbers and place values had meaning in her life.  I would never say anything derogatory about how my daughter's teacher taught, I wasn't there.  Maybe she did use great examples, they just weren't relevant to what my daughter was thinking was important.  I guess my point is here, much like that law book, it has to be personal to grab the kids' attention.

My legal brief was more about constitutional law and there just happened to be schools involved, so really no major lesson there.  The constitutional law that was broken was about checks and balances between the different branches of a specific state's government.  I wrote my brief, turned it in, and we will see what the professor thinks.  I'm hoping she likes it.  My undergraduate degree is in law and I've had A LOT of practice writing case briefs, complaints, contracts, and discovery documents.

Today I have class and still so much homework in my technology class.  I will be working long into the night.  But for now I hope everyone had a blessed Mother's day!

God Bless You!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Technological Integration

Today I did do a lot of the work that I needed to but did not get it all finished.  However, I did till up my mother's garden today so all was not lost.  What I did accomplish today though was working on my blog post summaries and finishing the discussion questions I was assigned to do with 21st century learning.

I spent the majority of my morning reviewing videos about how our schools have fallen behind in updating their methods of instruction due in part mostly to the lack of practical application.  Outside of the classroom students have cell phones, computer access, MP3 players, Ipods, Iphones, television, etc.  All manner of digital media is at their fingertips until they walk into their classrooms.  They are expected (for the most part at least where I am from) to put away the cell phones, sit in nice neat rows, and listen to lectures given with illustrations on the wall.  There is no stimulus and no technological exchange going on in the room.  This leads me to believe that we are essentially teaching only part of what children need to know.

This is a short little video that my brother-n-law sent me to that really illustrates what I'm mentioning above:



It's worth a watch!  Even if you aren't an educator, but just a regular parent or someone thinking about being a parent, this will make you wonder about the quality of education your child or future child is/may receive.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and today was a special day for my Mother, it was her Birthday.  Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there!

Until tomorrow... may God Bless You!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Day After....

I will have to admit that my first night of Technology in The Classroom was quite daunting.  It was a million pounds worth of information crammed into 3 hours of time after I'd been working ALL day.  My strategy was simple:

1 - Take lots of notes.

I have had the priviledge of having Dr. Thompson-Price in an undergraduate course and I will be the first to say I love the way she teaches.  She is interesting, VERY passionate about what she's teaching, and funny.  I can definitely think of worse ways to spend 3 hours of my time!

Other than information overload I think I survived pretty well.  I created this blog while I was in class, set up my electronic portfolio, and learned about some really cool tools!  Here are a few sites I learned about:

Weebly - You can set up a web page REALLY easily and do so in different formats.  Best part of this was obviously it was FREE.

You can monitor how my portfolio is coming and even access my blog from there by going HERE.

Titan Pad - A really cool word proccessor/collaborator.  You can actually invite your friends and you can work via a type pad editing and working on work.  I have to say this is probably going to be a God send especially when group assignments are given.

Course Sites - This is where we are all interacting and where Dr. Thompson-Price is putting our class assignments and easy resources.  It is laid out really well, is user friendly, and allows me to email other students within our group.  I know it was free for me to join, I'm not sure if it is free or not to create your own page, I haven't investigated it that much yet. 

Spelling City - Now this really has nothing to do with what I learned in class, but was a link Dr. T-P had posted on the board.  And when I visited the link I loved the site and thought what a great resource for my kids!  They love to play games and this site focuses on spelling and vocabulary.

How Stuff Works - Great website maintained by the Discovery Channel.  This website was mentioned in my text book and I paid it a visit and did a little reading on weird science!  I learned about spontaneous human combustion.  There are all types of things to learn and because I like to be in the "know" I think I'll become a frequent visitor

Today is the first day of many homework days to come.  I've printed out my articles for my annotations assignments, picked a blog for my blog posting assignment, and I still have more work to go.  My goal for today is to complete my legal brief assignment in my Legal Issues course, and read a chapter of the assigned reading and complete 1 annotation and my blog post summaries plus a chapter for my technology course.  It is a lot of work, but with still much more work to go before class next week I have to get moving now.

Tomorrow I'll share with you if I actually made those goals and hopefully will be able to share with you what I learned by completeing those goals.

Until then!  May God Bless You and have a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What it's about!

I am currently attending East Texas Baptist University to attain my Master's degree in Education with Elementary Certification.  This is my first term for the program and by this time next year I will be close to graduating. 

1st - I have to do this blog as a classroom assignment.

2nd - My goal is to continue this blog throughout my master's program.

3rd - I am going to chronicle what I am learning, what I am messing up, experiencing, wish I wasn't experiencing... an expose' if you will.

4th - This is a Christian university.  I WILL be posting about Jesus Christ.  My faith is a part of who I am and what I'm doing.

I think that is about all.  I've already attended my first class.  It is a Law course about legal issues within the public school system.  My second class for the week is Teaching with technology.  Which is why I am here.

So... my blog will be about as the title suggests "Teaching Mrs. Ryan"... about how to be a teacher :)

God Bless You!