I get all warm and mushy

So recent movies and social issues have made me cry like a baby.  There are so many places I would like to be, including the ocean, to explore and save.

1. I would like to work with the girls in India who have been trafficked in their own country and ours as well.  I would teach them all that I could-multiple subjects as well as life lessons.

2. I would like to save our land.  The landfills fill up because it is an inconvenience to recycle.  Recycling becomes a chore and so costly that it drives many people away from doing it.  If I could, I would save our land.

3. I have read about and watched on video people getting beaten to death because of their religion.  If I could go to the Middle East and help save those people who wish they could just love their own god without being crucified.  I would help hide them and pray with them.  I would show love to ALL religions, no matter what they believe.

4.  If I could go to China and adopt all the baby girls I could, I would.  I seriously looked into adopting at least one, after seeing what they have to go through, only because they are the second born, or are not a boy. It costs tens of thousands of dollars to get one baby-a baby that no one wants.  It doesn’t make sense.  If I could, I would save at least one, and show others the advantages of adopting babies from other parts of the world.

5. If I could save the ocean, I would.  I watched a movie tonight that made me fall in love even more with the ocean.  I have snorkeled and swam with the fish, and would give anything to do it more often.  It hurts my heart to no end to see these beautiful creatures who have been here before us and will be here after us hurt and live in confusion because of the water pollution.  So many creatures will not live their expected life because of poachers and nets and pollution.  If I could save the ocean I would.

I cried today as I thought about all of the confusion and violence that goes on everyday. For now, I will continue to educate and support foundations, and pray for all of these situations.  for now, I will continue to try and make a difference in our future-the children of whom I teach everyday.  So often we complain and discuss what others should do.  We waste money and resources every second. I am going to try harder to do what I can to make sure we as creatures on this Earth continue to have life. What are you doing to make a difference?

***Movies I recommend:

-The Stoning of Sarya M.

-I am Khan

-Oceans (Disney)

-The Lost Girls of China (with Lisa Ling)

-Taken

-Avatar

Lyrics by AZ lyrics.com

“Make A Wave”
(with Joe Jonas)

They say the beat of a butterflies wings,
Can set off a storm the world away
What if they’re right and the smallest of things
Can power the strongest hurricane?
What if it all begins inside?
We hold the key that turns the tide

[Chorus:]
Just a pebble in the water (ohh)
Can set the sea in motion (ohh)
A simple act of kindness (ohh)
Can stir the widest ocean
If we show a little love
Heaven knows what we could change (oh yeah)
So throw a pebble in the water (oh yeah)
And make a wave, make a wave
Make a wave, make a wave

The single joys that you take and send
And reach out your hand to someone in need (help somebody)
Don’t fool yourself and say you can’t
You never know what can grow from just one seed (yeah)

So come with me and seize the day
This world may never be the same

[Chorus:]
Just a pebble in the water,
(Just a pebble in the water)
Can set the sea in motion,
(Can set the sea in motion)
A simple act of kindness (ohh)
Can stir the widest ocean
(Stir the widest ocean)
If we show a little love,
(If we show a little love)
Heaven knows that we could change,
(Heaven knows that we can change)
So throw a pebble in the water,
(So throw a pebble in the water)
Make a wave, make a wave
(Make a wave, make a wave)
Make a wave, make a wave (Yeah, yeah)
(Make a wave, make a wave)
Make a wave, make a wave
(Show a little love and make a wave, seize with me)
Heaven knows what we could change (Oh, oh)

So let’s show a little love
You never know we could change
So throw a pebble in the water
Make a wave, make a wave
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh…

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Mobile Storytelling On-the-Go Learning (blog post #4)

I found a blog titled “On the go- Mobile Storytelling” by Silvia Tolisano from Langwitches Blogshttp://langwitches.org/blog/2011/04/03/on-the-go-mobile-storytelling/

This blog caught my eye because I really like the idea of using mobile devices for the greater good versus taking them away and making them the subject of war with the students.  Why not take the upper-hand and allow students to use them!?  The quotes that inspired me to respond are:

“Being able to take pictures and video footage on the same device where they can be edited and then immediately be uploaded and disseminated is a game changer in my eyes.”

“Imagine the possibilities of students taking the devices on field trips or on location to interview eye witnesses or experts for research projects.”

 

Here was my response:

 

Dear Silvia,

I see many advantages of mobile learning!  A colleague of mine made a valid point, in which many people have mentioned before-if the students have something that they use all of the time, we should stop wasting time with trying to take the phones away, and spend more time with trying to use them in the classrooms.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the amount of misuse in class would decline when students are allowed to explore and learn with mobile devices. When an opportunity for a field trip presents itself, the planning and capturing the perfect moments seem to be some of the biggest stressors for me.  I am taking your advice and will use it in my classroom and on-the go! I am looking forward to seeing what my students can do with mobile storytelling.  Thank you for your insight!

Walls-Who Needs Walls? Reflection #2

When I last reflected, I was excited about PLNs and how to use them in my classroom.  At this point, I have learned that a classroom isn’t really a classroom.  Walls should not be an issue when teaching!  I have learned about an abundance of digital tools and websites that students can use to enhance learning.

When creating my technology rich classroom environment, I learned that a classroom must have tools that can excite and engage kids, enhance learning, and encourage exploration and experimentation. I also watched videos that showed examples of tech environments.  If possible, students should leave the classroom to explore and experiment. Students must discover and inquire in order to solve their own problems, which make them analytical learners while using awesome technological tools.

If I were in a classroom, or when I teach an Elementary Ed. student, I would use Kidspiration, Glogster, U-stream, BigHugeLabs, Wordle and anything else that will come out before then!  Allowing students to feel trusted and important enough to use technology can make a huge difference in the production of work from any student. Giving students a larger perspective on learning increases their motivation to want to find more ways to learn. I look forward to using these tools in my technology rich classroom!

 

 

Management Strategies for 1:1 BlogPost #3

Knowing that we are going to discuss 1:1 in class this week, I wanted to take the time to learn from experts about 1:1.  I honestly am still a little confused as to what my part is in 1:1 and what exactly it means, but the blog I found was informative.  Rich Kiker gave five 1:1 management strategies for teachers.

Some ideas that I found important were highlighted on http://1to1schools.net/. They are as follows:

Yup, tell them that a teacher doesn’t know every­thing, put your­self in a vul­ner­a­ble posi­tion.  At the same time you will build a cul­ture of hon­esty, a value for life-long learn­ing, and dis­play a trans­par­ent and vested inter­est in the suc­cess of your stu­dents.

No mat­ter what your sub­ject, there is an oppor­tu­nity to pro­mote proper and mean­ing­ful use.  Our roles as edu­ca­tors will not be fully real­ized unless we are able to guide stu­dents toward becom­ing skilled and capa­ble cit­i­zens with an appre­ci­a­tion for knowl­edge.

My response:

Rich,
I am new to a lot of this ed tech “stuff.” I am tak­ing an Edu­ca­tional Tech­nol­ogy course and have learned more than I can grasp at the moment. The next topic at hand is 1:1. I am very happy to see that there is advice out there for 1:1. Out of the five strate­gies for man­age­ment, I really appre­ci­ated the advice to become per­sonal and hon­est with the stu­dents. Let­ting them know that I don’t know every­thing and that I am learn­ing as well is impor­tant for my stu­dents. I also agree with the oppor­tu­ni­ties to max­i­mize cit­i­zen­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties. It is impor­tant for stu­dents to have appro­pri­ate dig­i­tal cit­i­zen­ship and 1:1 will be a lot more suc­cess­ful with great cit­i­zens. Thanks so much for your man­age­ment advice!

 

A Cool Technological Tool for Diverse Learners Blog Post #2

I came across Philly Teacher, which is written by Mary Beth Hertz.  She wrote an interesting blog in regards to a vocabulary tool in the form of a comic book, Super-Powered Word Study by James Bucky Carter & Erik A. Evensen.  I was instantly drawn in!  She is offering a free copy to a teacher that comments about how it will help his or her class.  The comment with the most thumbs up wins.  I didn’t try to win the copy, but I definitely commented about this tool.

http://philly-teacher.blogspot.com/2011/03/super-powered-word-study-teaching-with.html

Ms. Hertz states: This is not a simple ‘comics will make kids want to read’ book. The authors James Bucky Carter and Erik A Evensen have created a systematic approach to using comics to teach students how to decode words based on their Latin roots.  Their materials and methods are based on research on how the brain learns.

I responded:

Ms. Mary Beth Hertz,

I enjoyed reading about this new-age technology for kids!  I occasionally scan different articles and blogs, but when I came across this blog, I stopped looking!  As a teacher for ten years, I could have definitely used this! The great addition to this is the CD. I read that Super-Power Word Study is a systematic approach to using comics to teach students how to decode words based on their Latin roots.  Their materials and methods are based on research on how the brain learns.” I truly appreciate multiliteracies that assist with diverse learners, because they create a different approach to learning. I also loved the mention of students wanting to read it for fun in addition to their lessons.  When students find something they enjoy, we need to take advantage of that.  This comic book for learning vocabulary is a great technological tool!

I love living in my bubble (My Feelings Toward Sexual Orientation Discrimination)

I love waking up everyday with my partner, 17 year-old kid (I have guardianship of my partner’s sister) and my newest addition Kato (my dog).  I live in this little bubble of going to work everyday, cooking and cleaning with my family, and enjoying time with friends and family.  But, today, a conversation was brought up that really hit home for me.  I forget sometimes that people don’t like who I am, and who I have become.  I forget many times that Me and Ana are different.  Everyday, I teach my kids, pretending that I am someone I am not.  When they ask me about my husband, I just kind of brush it off, or say that I am single.  When I apply for jobs, I ensure not to mention it, because I am pretty positive that I did not receive a job offering after my interview because I mentioned my partner.  It’s hard enough to deal with my own life and proving who I am to my immediate family, but to get it everywhere I go definitely doesn’t help.Why are we as a society still so judgmental?

My stomach hurts in agony for all of the people that have to live like me.  To be shunned upon and judged or better yet, frowned upon for not going to the classes that save us and help us be the way we are supposed to be.  I have seen kids get hurt, had friends who have died, and deal with many who cry everyday.

A message to all of the people who continue to live in a bigger bubble than mine.  WE ARE OUT THERE!  WE HAVE BEEN HERE JUST AS LONG AS JESUS AND EVEN BEFORE HIM! THERE ARE POLICY-MAKERS, LAWYERS, EDUCATORS, SOCIALISTS, ECONOMISTS (AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON) THAT ARE JUST LIKE ME.  WE ARE HERE TO MAKE CHANGES IN THE WORLD. WE ARE BRAVER AND STRONGER THAN MANY PEOPLE  IN THIS WORLD THAT ARE YOUR KIND WHO DON’T HAVE THE GUTS TO BE THEMSELVES AND FIGHT EVERYDAY OF THEIR LIVES AND FOR THEIR LIVES.  WE ARE THE ONES WHO ADOPT THE KIDS THAT ARE THROWN AWAY BY YOUR KIND.  WE ARE THE ONES WHO LOVE THOSE AROUND US HARDER THAN YOU CAN OR EVER WILL. WE ARE THE ONES WHO SOMETIMES FORGET TO CONTINUE TO FEAR FOR OUR LIVES OR FUTURE WELL-BEING.

We are the ones who still continue to live in our bubble, because your bubble is a little bit bigger.  But, we are out there, and just like you, we have feelings.  We have fears.  We have aspirations.  We have hope.

I love living in my bubble…

Reflection 1-OMG! I have a wiki!

I am becoming a tech guru!  I am becoming very confident with educational technology.  As far as the big picture goes, so many walls have been taken down for me.  I have been exposed to and have experienced different technology tools that I had never heard of.

I have learned how to create a wiki page.  This is exciting for me because years ago (not that long), I remember making web pages through a site that I can’t even find today.  I can’t recall the name of it, which shows how often I used it, but that was in the early 2000’s.  Now I have a weebly and wiki page, and I am creating blogs on my own.  I do not know how to use all of the pieces yet and I know there is a lot more to learn, but I will continue to experiment and find solutions to my technology problems.

Although I am not currently in a classroom, I have already used some of what I have learned at the day care where I work.  I have supported my Assistant Director with applying Google docs and Google forms to make communication easier at the site.  I have created and used a survey for my peers that I used in a critique article for one of my classes.  When I plan for essays and papers, I am using Webspiration, and my future teachers will too!  It is a great tool for planning and for graphic organizers.

I am excited for what will come next.  At times it may be overwhelming, but I will continue to catch on.  I know that technology continues to change, so I promised myself not to get too frustrated if I do not know how to perfect each digital tool.  I will take in what I can and continue to experiment and learn to improve my technology skills.

We Learn From Our Mistakes-Kudos to Vicki Davis

So in the past few months I have really experienced some trying situations.  I have relocated for the third time in 10 years (not counting the move from MD to VA), took on a new kid (age 16, going on 25), and officially began the Doctoral program at ISU.  Was any of this in the plans?  Well, kind of, but not really.

My hopes for moving back to Illinois was to go back to ISU and work on having children with my partner while living with Mom.  But, that didn’t work out. I am living in an apartment I cannot afford, working a minimum wage job, taking care of a kid, and going to school.

I’m tired today.  I don’t want to read.  I am trying to press on and just find some motivation to read.  I am overwhelmed.

On a positive note-I have a job.  I have a wonderful family.  I have a nice place to live.  And-I have student loans and welfare!!!! 😉   I am loving the study times I have with my kid and my partner.  We all go to school.  We all study.  The TV is hardly on.  In fact, my sister and her friend spent the night last weekend so we can play Wii, and I told them tro bring their back packs.  They ended up studying too!

I say all of this to say-I have made many mistakes on my road to success.  I have said things I shouldn’t have to friends or family, spent too much money, drank too much, gained lots of weight, and gave up on things I probably shouldn’t have.

But I reflect on what was done, and I know that I will be wiser, more patient, and a lot more frugal.

I will continue on with my chapter of my life, and I must go and read!  Really, I have to read.  Ugggg… I don’t want to read!  😉

Teacher Bullying-Make Your Classroom a Welcoming Place!

While surfing the net and reading through blogs, I found many interesting topics.  This one in particular stuck out to me, because I have witnessed Teacher bullying and I have helped kids who have been bullied.  In Vicki’s blog, she writes:

“I think the toughest thing for me is that I’ve seen teachers who are bullies. It makes me angry. We must all know that any power we may have can be used for good or be used for bad. Often, the teachers we remember are the “bad ones” and the bad ones almost always wielded their power to intimidate, humiliate, and embarrass. Often teachers don’t know it.”

“Yes, I said love! Good teachers love their students. This is not sexual or any kind of inappropriate love. But tender love for those who need it most. They need it.”

http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2011/01/make-your-classroom-welcoming-place.html

My response to her:

Thanks Vicki for your insight on this touchy subject.  There are so many instances where I have seen or heard about teachers hurting children’s feelings.  I know this because I was one of the teachers that loved.  I loved unconditionally and still do today, and that has positive and negative consequences.  A positive consequence for loving all of my students is that they are attached to you.  I still keep in contact with many of them today.  In fact, I have a student that has asked me to be her Godmother.  What an honor!  The negative consequence is that they are attached to you.  I hear way too much about their personal lives, and they don’t ever want to leave!  That’s how I am aware of teacher bullying.  My students trust me and tell me these horrific stories of teachers putting them down so much.  I understand that teachers get frustrated.  I understand that there are instances where a child can say or do something that is so disrespectful at that moment, that our emotions can get the best of us.  But, we have to remember that it is just a moment.  Children are developing each day, and they don’t mean most of what they say.  We have to understand that their lack of participation or negative attitudes come from somewhere.  It is our job to LOVE them and expect nothing in return.  Because one day, they will realize that there are teachers that really care and it will make a difference in their lives.  Thanks Vicki!

The Next Phase In My Life

So today was the first day of my Educational Technology (579) class.  I was quickly exposed to many different ways to share and communicate with websites.  Before Dr. Toledo required the class to become members and join these sites, I had no idea what a “Wiki” was!  Is that where Wikipedia came from?  As a I laugh to myself, I see that although I thought I knew a thing or two about technology, I really have A LOT to learn! 

Today ended my first week of school as a Doctoral student.  I am excited and not yet overwhelmed.  I learned today that being patient and understanding that events will come my way which I cannot change nor avoid.  But, I am ready.  “Life is the art of drawing without an eraser” (John W. Gardner), and I am embarking on the next phase of my life with positivity, confidence, and perseverance.

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