Megan's Classroom Connection

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Personal Learning Network February 23, 2010

Filed under: Technology in the Classroom — meganmeyering @ 5:51 pm
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I am not sure how my PLN is really working. The blog seems to be the most beneficial as far as networking goes. Twitter does not seem to really be benefiting me. I like the way ideas are shared and communication is done on blogging. This can be from teacher to teacher in the classroom setting or even teacher to parent. Blogging is also a great way to keep track of all the other technologies that we are learning about. I can look back into previous blogs to see what projects I have done using certain technologies, it is a great refresher.  I am not sure if it is just me and how I am using twitter or if it is just the nature of the program. The online portfolio is also something that seems very beneficial. It is something that could be used in a professional manner to prospective employers.The online portfolio also opens up the possibility of creating a classroom website for students, parents and teachers to communicate and use as a resource.

As beneficial as technology and developing a PLN can be there are also risks associated with it since it is online.  Anything that can be viewed by the public needs to be professional and acceptable for anyone, students, parents, or employers to see.

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Slideshow with Music

Filed under: Uncategorized — meganmeyering @ 5:38 pm
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Tripp

This is the slideshow I designed using slideshare.

There is a comment on the show that explains: This is my cat. I found him on the side of a dirt road in September. He was three weeks old, under a pound and severly dehydrated and undernourished. There were no other cats or kittens anywhere near him, my guess is that his mom was somehow killed. The vet didn’t think he would have lasted more than 48 hours. He is now 5 months old and about 10 pounds 🙂

 

Really Bob Marshall?

I found this blog post on one of the blogs I follow and I cannot tell you how much it repulsed me. I’ll let you read it first before I comment any further.

This is where I found it.
from Organized Chaos by noreply@blogger.com
Legislator: Disabled kids are God’s punishment


Capital News Service

RICHMOND — State Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas says disabled children are God’s punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy.

He made that statement Thursday at a press conference to oppose state funding for Planned Parenthood.

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” said Marshall, a Republican.

“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

Marshall was among more than 20 people, mostly Christian pastors and clergy, who gathered for the press conference in the General Assembly Building.-

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So, first of all his comments are rude, offensive and ignorant. I do not know after abortion birth statistics, so maybe more children born after the mother has had an abortion are disabled, but I don’t know.

That aside I do know that disabled children are not a punishment. Some of the sweetest, interesting and most caring children I have met are disabled. I know that education and religion are supposed to be kept separate, but this blog brings them together so I feel like it is alright to dive a little deeper into it.

I am not a Bible expert, but I am not aware of any place in the Bible that says disabled children are designed as a punishment. I am personally not for abortion, I figure you have sex  be ready  for any of the consequences, that being said I don’t support the government making that decision for anyone. I also know that the God I know would not bring a disabled child into anyone’s life as a punishment.

One of the mother’s I know who has a disabled child once said to me, ” I think God gave him to our family because Alex* needed a home and God knew we could handle him and love him just as any child needs to be loved.” I also know teachers who really value the presence of a special needs child in their classroom because of how much that child teaches the other children.

Maybe Bob Marshall should reread the Bible and then actually spend time with some of the ‘punishment children’ he is so ignorantly speaking about.

*Child’s name has been changed

 

My Google Presentation February 22, 2010

Filed under: Technology in the Classroom — meganmeyering @ 9:26 pm
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Continent PowerPoint

This presentation is one that I will actually be using in my lesson plan, so if some of it doesn’t quite make sense without the lesson context that is why!

 

Dream Big

Filed under: Classroom Culture — meganmeyering @ 6:40 pm
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Recently in my TE class someone mentioned that one of her students told her he had no dreams. The conversation at the elementary went something like this:

Teacher: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Student: Nothing.

Teacher: What do you mean? What kind of job do you want to have?

Student: I don’t know,  nothing.

Teacher: Have you ever thought about that?

Student: Nope

My friend later went on and had a conversation with the studetn about how important it is to have goals and dreams in life. She knew about the lack of support in the student’s home life and realized the impornt opportunity this conversation presented. I wonder how often students like this little boy are simply overlooked? She said that she geniunely thought he had not thought of what he wanted to be becasue no one had talked to him about it. The elementary where this boy goes to shchool is very urban and my firiend has heard numerous stories from this little boy about how broken his home is. She gathered, from stories about his older brothers being in jail and how much he stilll looked up to them, that the student thought his life would really mirror his older brothers.

How can we as student teachers and teachers in general combat this? It is important to let this students know that we validate and respect their families, but yet at the same time expand their horizons.

 

Computers in College

Recently I was in a lecture where the instructor threatened to make the class “a computer free zone.”

I understand when instructors want students to pay attention and that computers tend to distract students, but threatening a group of adults who are paying to be there, a line has been crossed. I really want to reiterate that I am not saying instructors are in the wrong asking for laptops and cell phones to be put away for a time when information is being presented. My question is;  how far is the instuctor really allowed to go? I mean isn’t kind of my right to have my laptop in class? She seemed to take the use of technology very personally so I thought I would clear up a few things about college kids and their laptops.

In the same class last semester, it is a two part class, there was not an issue with laptops. This new problem can be atrributed to a few things.

1. We are seniors and it’s second semester. It’s hard to concentrate senior year, let alone second semester. This is not an excuse all together but rather a rationale for why computers are not the problem.

2. Even without computers I think that students get distraced with other things. Cell phones, papers, looking out the window and day dreaming are common distractioins.

3. Sometimes the lecture is just boring and not interesting.

4. I’m probably going to get on my computer and yes I may check my email, but if the instructor is boring then yes again I will probably surf the internet and attempt to get more homework done.

Students need to pay attention but it is also the responsibility of the teacher to make an engaging lecture or presentation.  Classroom engagement, at the college level,  is the responsibility of both the student and the teacher and depends on what each thinks is important.

 

Funds of Knowledge, Soup or Salad February 17, 2010

Filed under: Classroom Culture — meganmeyering @ 1:44 pm
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We have all heard the phrase “melting pot” or even the more new phrase “tossed salad” in reference to our country. Recently in a class I am in we began talking about funds of knowledge, this makes me consider- how does the “melting pot” or “tossed salad” phrase apply to our classrooms.

I mean our classrooms really aren’t melting pots, they are more like tossed salads. There is a lot in there mixed together, but each ingredient, or student keeps their own identity. It is important to integrate this concept into teaching.

Students come to school from all kinds of different home situations, they have has different experiences  in past classrooms and even different personalities. Some students may not come to school with breakfast and may fall asleep at their desk and they can’t focus on their homework because the student is so concerned about whether there will be anything to eat that night. On the other hand there will be students who come to school from a great, supportive home life that also struggle.

It is important to get to know our students so that as teachers we can understand the situation and understand how each situation needs to be dealt with.  In the student’s case who falls asleep it may not be too beneficial to call home, mom and dad may be working two jobs and can’t really do anything more other opportunities may need to be looked into. Maybe there is an after school opportunity for the child who can’t sleep at home that will provide food and activities. For the child that comes from a great home a phone call home may be the solution for mom or dad or a tutor to spend some time with the student in the troubling subject.

Overall every teacher needs to understand the “salad” of their classroom because our classrooms are not melting posts, where students simply assimilate into it.Student’s maintain their identity, which affects the learning that happens in the classroom.