Assignment 2

If you are interested in listening to a podcast that will warm your heart and make you think about the people we share this Earth with. Ordinary people tell are interviewed by other everyday people. Truth can be stranger, and better, than fiction!
Podcast to use in the Classroom

Viewpoints in Homeland Defense and Security
This is a fascinating podcast to gain insight into the inner workings of Homeland Security. In today's day and age information is priceless.
Podcast for Professional Development

The Big D
This podcast is of interest to me because I love to visit Disney. Some of the videos are great!
Podcast to support personal interest

Articles about new and faster internet:

Assignment 4

"Teaching With Tunes: 21 Ideas for Incorporating Music Throughout the Curriculum." TechLearning 1 Apr 2008 Retrieved 2 Jul 2008

My strategy to incorporate music/technology in the classroom:
My students struggle with communicating effectively. Many of them also have a difficult time recognizing the connections between past life events and their present struggles. I have relied on having my student write their autobiographies in an effort to stimulate some thinking about those connections and to promote literacy activities in the classroom. A new strategy I would like to use is to have students write their autobiographies--mapping out life events using graphic organizers. Then I would like them to record their life stories, via Audacity software, editing out mistakes and revising their digital recordings. Finally, I would have the students select podsafe music to cut and paste within their autobiographies to enhance their work. I think that the students will find this motivating and just selecting a song that will "fit" the mood of the their personal story will make an impact.

My account:

Assignment 6

My Podcast

My Radio Show

My Web Page

Student Radio Show

Voice Thread I created

My Vodcast Show

Tracy: Remind me to tell you more about this

Final Project

My students have a difficult time demonstrating empathy or expressing compassion toward others. This is a defense mechanism for most because of the terrible injustices they have been exposed to as youngsters. When children are subjected to constant mental, physical, and sexual abuse they often retreat behind angry and cold exteriors. I spend a tremendous amount of time getting to know my students and gaining their trust so that they eventually feel comfortable revealing their true selves to me. It frustrates me as a teacher that other adults often write these kids off as worthless. So many teachers never bother to even try to reach out to my students adding to the original trauma and triggering additional negative behaviors.

Recently, my students and I took the opportunity to create digital audio recordings of children’s books, enhancing those recordings with student-selected music and sound effects. The students really enjoyed this activity and took great pleasure in putting their personal twists on classic children stories. It was heartwarming to see the pride and excitement in their faces as they presented their finished products to their peers. I also shared these digital recordings with my colleagues. Many of them were stunned to realize the kids who created them. Some of them were the kinds of teachers who have never believed in these students. They had written them off as troublemaking, no-good, shiftless criminals. They were speechless when it dawned on them that these students could not only read but they could read with true emotion behind their spoken words.

Another activity that my students and I engage in is blogging. Each student has their own blog on and is encouraged to select topics of interest to write about. This activity is particularly pleasing to them because they are able to use skills many of them have developed through their MySpace and Facebook accounts. They upload pictures and choose their page designs, select fonts and play with the other tools to customize their blogs. One student has a very difficult time with controlling her behavior throughout the school day. As an incentive, I proposed that she and I work on a blog together—creating a story about a young girl (about my student’s age). The blog is named Jade’s Mystical Journey. We work on this project together and add a chapter each school week that she is able to manage to not get into any disciplinary trouble. This has been highly motivating to her and I have to admit I sometimes feel guilty because I am enjoying my job way too much! Other students and staff have been greatly moved by this blog. They have encouraged her to stay out of trouble so that they can read more of Jade’s story. What I chose for a final project this week was to build upon the original blog using Voicethread. I read the story and created music clips in Audacity. I then selected pictures from FlickerCC and uploaded these all to Voicethread, where I continued to refine the work.

For me, this seemed as if it were a logical step building upon the skills I have already learned. I am encouraged by the progress I made in one day of work and feel that this is where I am going to take my students next. All of them may not have stories, such as Jade’s Mystical Journey—but they could have. And if they are not interested in creating their own story they could easily adapt classic children’s stories or current events to this type of activity.

I am striving to take my students to new heights this coming year by building upon the successes of last year. I dream of inspiring my students to visually express themselves, combining the techniques they learned to use last year—with musically enhanced voice recordings—to create vodcasts. I see my students capturing images noticed in the world around them. I envision my students exploring life with cameras and telling stories with pictures, words, and music. I want to teach them to express themselves through their projects and share a bit of themselves with the world. I think everyone should have the opportunity to get to know my students the way I do. The following Voicethread project is an example of a project we will be doing in the fall. After students create their own project and post it to a Wiki page we will share these with other classes, parents, and other teachers. We have quite the following with our other projects, such as the radio show and blogs. This is something we can share with the junior high classes of students who will be moving up to my class in another year so that they can see what to expect at the high school!

Links used in the creation of my final project

Great Site for Curriculum resources:
To get to curriculum units click on "curriculum units" tab on left, then click on view matrix at the top.
You will be able to browse through excellent curriculum units at your leisure.