Thursday, March 19, 2009


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Today is the last day of student teaching/placements!! My cognates are done too, so I am relieved. Just some papers to write =)

Chris and I are doing a webinar about a website called StocksQuest- basically it's an online stock trading simulation. Teachers can create classes and contests, and there are so many real-life options that students can experience, without having to actually invest real money. I think it's super cool. My mentor uses it, but since I'm only there 2 days a week (or i WAS), I never actually saw what he had them do with it. But from what I have seen on the website, there are so many cool options!! I'm really excited to keep playing with it. I'm definitely going to incorporate it into my class, at least next trimester, if not forever. I guess it'll depend where I'm teaching and what kind of computer/internet access students have. I don't think our students ever formally learn about stocks & bonds and other financial stuff like that, so this is a great opportunity to learn about it AND get experience doing it, before they actually go out in the real world and possibly invest. Hopefully it'll open up more options to my students, and they will be wiser about how they go about investing!

The whole webinar thing is pretty cool too- it seems pretty simple. At first I was nervous because it kind of sounded like a big deal, but once I figured out what I was going to do it about, and how to use the DimDim website, its not bad at all!

This semester went so fast.... I'm definitely not as stressed as anyone else is (which is weird considering I'm also planning a wedding). I'm super glad I stayed on top of things and got assignments done ahead of time, or at least got an early start on them!! Now everyone else is having breakdowns, and I'm watching TV =) Not to brag or anything.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Last Last week...

So this is a little late... oops! During class that day, my group presented about 1-1 laptop programs, in the form of the Colbert Report. We had fun doing that! I have mixed feelings about 1-1 programs. On the one hand, I think students need to have access to computers on a regular basis, in order to be able to learn the skills they will certainly need beyond school. There are also a lot of great resources on the internet, and computers really open up a door to another world. BUT.... I think if students had laptops in class, it could be very distracting. I suppose a teacher could make a rule about not using laptops unless she/he says to... and students then still take old-fashioned notes. But that defeats the convenience of computers and the ability to store notes and such in 1 compact place. Unless the computer crashes, that is. I think at the very least, students need access to computers both at home and at school, so maybe with the right rules set in place, these programs could be extremely valuable.

The other group presented about using wiki's in the classroom. Again, I was sort of ambivalent about this. I really don't have much experience using wiki's, so I have some difficulty imagining what I could use it for. But they presented many different options, and it really seems like you could do just about anything with them. I'll have to give it more thought, as to whether or not I'd use it in my class, but its definitely a pretty neat tool to have available!

The guest speaker was a science teacher from skyline, who does TONS of things on his website. It seemed like his class was basically centered around the content of his websites, and the students all contributed as well, by producing podcasts and such. I was extremely impressed by what he's done, and it seems like the students really enjoy it too. I sort of freaked out and thought "there's no way I could do all that!" but then he mentioned that he started out small and built his way up to this point. That was a bit of a relief, and who knows, maybe someday I will have an elaborate website for MY classes!! We'll see =)

I took the MTTC subject tests yesterday- I was frustrated by the econ one because there were more than 1 right answers for many of the questions, so it was basically a guessing game as to what they think the "best" answer is. That's so frustrating. The psych test went well too, I studied a lot for that since it is not as fresh in my mind. So I guess now I just have to wait and see what scores I get!

Fall break is this week, which is a relief. I can get some work done & work on the wedding & maybe even relax, if theres time!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Paperless Classrooms/PowerPoint/Early College

The presentations this past Friday were very interesting. The powerpoint one I already had a general idea of the pros/cons, how to make it "work", etc. The paperless classroom was hillarious, I loved their presentation. I was pretty familiar with their material as well, since our topic is 1-1 computing/laptops for every child. They touched on a few things that we've been digging up in our research. I was impressed at both groups' presentations, as they were both entertaining. (Especially the game show/candy part).

I also enjoyed learning about Early College, since I've never heard of this before. It sounds like a neat opportunity for many kids, it'll be interesting to see how that works out for them as the schools get more established. I'm not sure if teaching in a school like that would work for me- I'd have to learn more about that aspect of it. But I do really like the idea, especially if it helps students who are "underserved". When someone brought up "Why Oakland County since they're so rich", that kind of hit close to home. I went to school in Oakland County, and definitely at one of the best ones. But there are COUNTLESS students I graduated with (or maybe not graduated WITH) who have just as many problems as students in urban schools; teen pregnancy, drugs, alcohol..... so many people I used to be friends with are in jail or have dropped out/been kicked out of college, or didn't even make it through high school. And then there is Pontiac. But I think this will be a great opportunity for those students to get back on track and become a success story. It doesn't completely matter how good a school is if the student has other issues going on that their school doesn't/can't address.

Anyway, who knows, maybe some day I WILL end up at a school like that!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Someone thinks its cool to set their car on panic and it's driving me nuts!

But anyway. Yesterday in class we talked mostly about our webinars, which I had completely forgotten about. I thought the screen cast website was WAY COOL and I'm excited to do that, hah. I also think everyone things I'm crazy for asking if we can do it on our own instead of with a partner- I only asked because it said "you can work with a partner" versus "you and a partner will.." and I know how busy everyone's schedule is so I thought it might make life simpler to not have to worry about when two people can find the time to get together!! I don't necessarily WANT to work on it by myself, either. I'm thinking of some sort of stock simulation game or something as the web 2.0 tool (if that counts?) Since I know that is something interesting for students to do instead of just learning what stocks are, they can be involved in buying/trading them, etc. Still not sure yet, I know theres a lot of things like that though. I'd like to do something I could incorporate into my curriculum someday, but I'm not sure how many economics-related things there are. I did some searching and found one site that looked like it could be interesting. I'm sure there's more out there, I need to do some more digging. Oh, but my point was maybe chris and I could team up and do an econ-related thing. Or anyone else for that matter.

Then we talked about what surprising tech "things" we have found at our placements- a lot of people seemed frustrated about the lack of help available or the lack of willingness to use the resources. This is obviously a recurring trend; I think once we've been teaching for a while we'll notice a change, as old teachers who are set in their ways retire and more young, tech-savvy people like us move in =)

I recently started getting more involved in the class at my placement; my mentor had to leave before the end of the day so I ran the show during 5th period. It was interesting but overall I think it went well! I hate the way my voice sounds on the video camera. I also noticed that my voice/tone is more boring that it sounds to me in my head, so that is something I want to work on. I had a lot of fun though and so far I'm loving it!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

1st week of school & cell phone seminar

This week started my placement at Romulus. Its a very interesting group of students, and I anticipate it to be really challenging and rewarding. I'm a bit intimidated but I know I'll get over it once I get up there a couple times.... but its those first few times I'm worried about!

I went to the workshop about using cell phones with your teaching, and there were a bunch of interesting resources. I'll have to look into Romulus's policy- I know in general they don't allow phones to be seen, but I'm not sure how willing they'd be to let me incorporate them into a lesson. But we also learned about a bunch of activities that could also be an out of school assignment. I'm still not too sure how I feel about using cell phones as a learning tool- there certainly are a lot of options but as always there are a lot of potential distractions. Another thing I noticed is that alot of the resources require you to create an account & the process of using them is sometimes complex. I'm concerned that it might take longer to explain the tool & instructions & get everyone comfortable with knowing how to do the assignment/project than it would actually be worth. But who knows, I guess that's something I'll figure out from experience. Like I said before, preparation is definitely going to be critical to the success of these sorts of things.

I still have a bunch of questions about what I'm supposed to teach and when, for my student teaching, but they'll get answered in time. I'm sure I'm worrying way more than I need to but I can already tell which students are going to be the most challenging and not having any teaching experience I feel like I'm not going to be able to able to do it. Ok thats enough of that...

Nese- if you read this, I'd be interested in coming to your school to observe you! I've got to go to a couple different schools and see various teachers, which I agree will be so good, but I have no idea how or when all this is going to happen, haha.