Monday, May 7, 2007


So I did recently a talking book using a new program called
It worked wonders. I think it's perfect for doing something like a talking book. Or even when doing something of a lecture it's also good to use.
For my project I did the book "Charlie the Caterpillar" and what I did simply was scan the pictures of the book and for each page originally I was to have my students read each page and have them do something of a collaboration of the class, however I ran into some technical difficulties so I ended up doing the talking myself.
So, you'll hear my corny voice but, the point gets put across. It's very easy to do and I loved working with it. It wasn't hard and it was quick and easy to do.
So, check out my talking book of Charlie the Caterpillar at

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Tapped In

My experience with Tapped In hasn't been a new one. I have taken this class before (last year) and I had the chance of using Tapped In as well. At first I was trying to get used to using it and what to do and what topics they were talking about. Once I got the hang of it then I was posting twice in a week to keep up with what was happening. I did like it very much - however, there was one setback. When I was taking the class then I wasn't doing my practicum so I didn't have the wonderful experiences that everyone else was contributing and sharing with their mentors. Thus, I didn't have much to ask of them but just to sit back and read all the interesting comments people had to put up. When posting or commenting I had to still look at it in a old school student's point of view.

However, this year I am taking the class yet again and have come back to Tapped In. It had been a while since I was in the room, but I got used to it pretty quick. I got back into the routine of getting used to the posts and the topics that people were talking about. One difference though -I was finally doing my praticum! So I had a lot more to talk about this time! I was able to share my experience of how it is in the classroom and what I'm learning and how the children are around me. I really did like it and especially enjoyed communicating these feelings with people in Tapped In.

I may have at first neglected Tapped In, but I've come to learn that it's a very useful tool. I may not see it right now since I'm still in college, but once out I know I'm going to rely on it a lot more. I have started asking questions about my future - for example International school teaching. I'm waiting for some help and answers to it but I know that there is so much diversity in Tapped In that I won't have a problem in getting answers to any questions I might have.

I know that I never did have any problems with getting answers, I never have had any problems now with getting answers and lovely comments from others in Tapped In, and I will never have any problems in getting answers to my minor questions for my fellow mentors in the near future!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Technology Inventory

During my practicum I had time to meet with the computer teacher to do a technology inventory that can be looked at in my wiki at
It was quite interesting to hear what she had to say. They seemed quite adept with all the technology they had. They definately had lab tops for students to each have one in class. They also had digital cameras. No doubt that doesn't sound like a big deal, but I feel that every school that has even those basic technology equipment means they're quite involved with technology. Hearing what other fellow classmates had to say in that school, the students seemed quite comfortable and aware of using technology - even in their classroom! I know for a fact that in our classroom the teacher had 3 computers, of which 2 of them had internet. I think that was a great idea so that students are able to get comfortable with even using the internet when wanting to find information for butterflies for example. I also appreciated that the teacher was explaining how they've got restrictions however on the internet for the students. That puts them at low risk if parents feel that their students aren't learning anything using technology.
I really did like how they too emphasize technology in their learning. It helps student develop with technology. We can't fight it but this is really the technology generation so instead of fighting it, one should help them develop into it and progress efficiently - and I feel that the school has been doing a good job and embedding and sprinkling technology in their daily classes.
In one of the fifth grade classes I was observing, the teacher used for just about everything that had to do with science. He also got his computer set up with the projector to play games and movie clips. Then in a fourth grade class I was observing the teacher had used the projector and a website to show the students about fractions.
So in subtle ways, teachers are using technology and students are learning how it's done!

I liked the ease of technology in this school and wouldn't be surprised if the students were able to show me a thing or two on technology!

Butterflies lesson plan

So initally thought of an idea for my lesson plan in technology and I thought of a cute idea. I was going to get the students to use kid pix to draw a picture and then I would somehow get the pictures. Then I was going to be unique and laminate it onto a mousepad for them to take home. However, I was going to do a science circus on Butterflies and before that I was going to do a lesson plan and I thought this was a perfect time to incorporate technology. Hence, my lesson plan in the class was actually the lesson plan in my science class that had technology incorporated.

My students were familiar with butterflies so doing this lesson plan was really a review of waht they had done. Initially to engage them I read a book called "The Monarch Butterfly". After reading I asked them book specific questions as well as general questions. I also answered some questions they had - no doubt their far out questions I told them I would get back to them (the type of kids who naturally want to put their two cents worth!)
Then I told them I was going to get them to use Kid pix, which they were all very familiar with, so it wasn't difficult for me to explain to them. Their task was to draw the butterfly life cycle stages on kid pix and then print it out for me. I told them I was going to have a surprise with their work, but I didn't tell them what I was going to use it for.
They had fun in creating the pictures and I had fun looking through the unique desgins some came out with! For their extension part I connected it with the butterfly science circus.
When the time came for their science circus I gave them their surprise - their pictures pasted on their very own journals to keep!
They were excited about that, which set the mood for beginning the science circus.

I had a great time with them and myself had never used kid pix so I had tremendous fun playing around with it to see what I could do!
If you want to see my lesson plan in detail please go to my wiki and click on the butterfly lesson plan at

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Time to End High School Sports?

When I read this article I simply had to write down my opinion about it. I completely disagree with what is being implicated here. In Time to End High School Sports? it talks about how the central mission to public education is to gain skills necessary to contribute to global society. High School sports very much fits in.
What people tend to forget is what they really learn in sports. Yes, to some they feel that sports are simply a way to let go of young teens energy and a way of passing time perhaps, but I beg to differ.

You learn underlying principles that you could equally learn in other classes. For example, you learn about teamwork.
Teamwork I believe is an important quality to have even when out of college and finding a job, your employers don't want to hire you if you have lousy teamwork skills or can't work well with others. You need to drill that into one of your ethics of work. Likewise you need to drill that in sports too! If you don't have that sense of teamwork and working together then how else can the team win in games?
Leadership is another point that you find in sports. As a leader you have to make decisions that affect the whole team and how they perform in order to win a game. You want to have a leader who works well with others and can make the right choices. In the real world, isn't leadership just as important? Doesn't one want to become a leader to show their worth? Doesn't that mean that as a leader one has to make the right choice and decisions that would help make the firm/company more successful or have more satisfied people?
Respect for the leader is another joining point. The team should have respect for the leader - if not then the team would be unorganized and would be constantly disagreeing and not able to win anything. In the real world respect is important if you want your company to profit.
Sportsmanship. Now, of course people think that only applies to sports, but what really is the meaning of sportsmanship? As puts it, Sportsmanship means conduct and attitude considered as befitting participants in sports, especially fair play, courtesy, striving spirit, and grace in losing.
Now tell me, do you STILL think that applies ONLY to sports? I don't think so. Shouldn't we all have that kind of an attitude in the world today? Being in a mean and fast pace world, you want to make a difference in people's lives, so wouldn't 'grace in losing' strike people's attention? As people say, 'no one likes a sore loser', so why not have grace in losing? If you lose that doesn't mean that's it. Pick yourself up, find what you lost in, see what you can fix and strive to succeed the next time. That's the positive attitude to have in work too is it not? How about a 'striving spirit'? Wouldn't employers want that striving spirit in your work too? It is only with that spirit that one can truly succeed is it not? What about 'fair play' - people don't like others having to cheat their way to the top, so fair play is important if you want to feel your worth when you reach that top.
Another point that goes along with striving spirit is the determination and dedication. Determination and dedication is very much noticed in sports too. It is only with dedication of the team to work together in winning and their determination in winning that title that they succeed. This should be a valuable work ethic everyone should have too. Everyone should have that determination to prove themselves worthy in their line of work or even able to do more, and the dedication that they are willing to put all they can to show what they can do and more.

I did read the typcial reasons that were given in the article and maybe they're right. Maybe there are money shortages and entitlements, but when you look deeper into what sports really is about, one can realize that they're not just where people play around, but ingrained values and ethics that need to be reflected in everyone's life - skills that people can contribute to global society to make better people out of us.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Virtual Music

I came across an article which I thought was very interesting, something people should think about. As we all realize, technology is very quickly taking over the younger generation where they can't live without their computers or digital technology. This article though, really hit that point that students really take part in digital music. Yes, I digital music. Jonathan Kalafer a teacher in the Harmony Frequency Institute brings his innovative idea to classes. The article Virtual Music Production Is a Reality talks about his idea of using a virtual studio where students use a computer instead of instruments but can create their own songs and music. Of course there are some controversies that students aren't actually learning how to play an instrument which defeats the whole purpose of having a music class, but Kalafer begs to differ. They may not be learning how to play an actual instrument, but they are still learning about music as they are creating their own rhythms and beats and being able to play it for family.

In my opinion, I think that's a pretty cool idea and daring to use a virtual studio in the Institute as oppose to the traditional having a set of drums, guitar, keyboard, etc. It does definitely take getting used to for teachers and the older generation since they didn't grow up with this idea. But Kalafer has a point that the younger generation does enjoy it more because they can relate to using a computer since that's the lifestyle of most children these days.
On the other hand, personally I am very much in tuned with the digital age, but I still feel when it comes to music one should learn the instrument. Call me traditional, but that's how you really appreciate the music and how people like Mozart really felt when playing the piano. You feel more connected with musicians like him when you're playing the actual instrument. No doubt creating your own music on the computer does have its own charm and uniqueness, yet I like having NOT to rely on my computer when it comes to music.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What, No Recess?!?!

I was horrified to read that 40 percent of American schools have or would be eliminating recess! I couldn't believe it! In Changing The Recess Paradigm?, it talks about how quite a few schools want to cut down on recess in order to increase more academic instruction.Now, you and I both know that young children thrive on being able to wiggle around and let their ball of energy explode during recess. This is the only way that they can concentrate better in class, as a result even do better as mentioned in that blog.Once recess is taken away from them, then how can they let out that energy? They'll just start looking worn out from all that work, lack focus and concentration in class, and end with their grades dropping and having poor academic performance.I appreciate the Parent Teacher Association, National Education Association (and various associations mentioned) in working hard to bring recess back for the children! Parents of all people know that their children are balls of energy that need to be released, so they appreciate the balance of academic studies and playtime. Even parents at some point went through recess in their childhood, so it wouldn't be fair to take away a childhood experience that young ones remember and enjoy so very much.There are many statistics and empirical evidence that support the idea that with having recess students are able to score better and do better in their general education. So, schools should take this into consideration before making their decision. Do they want to have more time for academics but have students fare badly and performance levels drop, or do schools want to keep recess as a time to release energy and have alert students performing well in their academics?It's a question worth asking that I hope schools look at, because as a student I know that recess may have been playtime but it was a good break to take from the work we got in school.