Monday, November 10, 2008

MultiMedia Maddness

I just finished creating my multimedia presentation that focuses on learning the eight parts of speech.  I included definitions and examples for learning about the noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, adjective, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.  It was a great refresher for me because it has been a few years since I have had a grammar class.  It definitely took a lot longer than I thought it would to create a full presentation, but I definitely think that it is worth it.  I am going to teach high school English, but that could mean any number of classes.  The ninth grade is filled with grammar lessons, diagraming, and sentence structure, so this presentation will definitely help me when teaching the class.  It is something fun and interactive that the students can engage in besides listening to lectures and taking notes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Starting Spreadsheets

We started working on spreadsheets today, and right away I feel like it is going to be a long and tedious process. I have worked with spreadsheets a little bit before, but by no means do I consider myself an expert. We started out by doing a practice exercise and then I moved on to the assignment that is due in a few days. The practice exercise was extremely useful in learning how the assignment was going to work as far as entering the formulas for adding up total points and giving the right or wrong answer. It was also helpful in helping me re familiarize myself with something that I have not used in a while. However, when it came time to add directions, the questions of the quiz, eliminating the white space, and other formatting things such as color and pictures, the exercise did not help. I felt like I was on my own in figuring out a few of the things, but I still have a few more class periods to look for an answer or ask for help.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Inspiring Inspiration

Today we began our project by using the Inspiration software. I have used Inspiration before in my special education class, but we had to do a specific assignment with a team, and there was little to no creativity involved. It was used strictly for research and presentation. This project is much better in the fact that I can tailor it to what I will be teaching in the future so I could one day use it if necessary. I chose to use Shakespeare and compare the use of one theme in two of his most famous tragedies: MacBeth and Hamlet. Both of the main characters in the plays face traps that are either set by themselves through predestined fate, or intentionally in order to catch the murderer. I wanted to use the software to show how students can easily brainstorm and connect ideas together, especially when comparing and contrasting certain ideas in two stories or plays. Inspiration allows you to choose a template that suits the needs of your project, and then simply fill in the information. I will certainly use this software when I am a teacher because brainstoring and organization so important in the writing process. I have not yet finished my project, but when I am done I will clearly be able to see ideas that I want in a final draft and similarities in the two plays.

Discovering Digital Images

The past few class periods we have been working on understanding the uses of digital images in the classroom by gathering pictures from the web, clipart, and scanners. This section of the class was not new to me. I have had to use clipart and images from websites for projects before. However, I did learn the correct resolution that my pictures should be if I am not printing them (72 dpi), and how scanning images can be helpful to special education learners. Honestly, I had never used a scanner before, and it was very helpful to take something that was not on the computer and make it digital. Even though the process could be time consuming, scanning images into the computer and then manipulating them in order to fit the needs of special learners can be very helpful to the teacher and to the learner. We also created a slideshow as a group and used the digital images to tell a story. I feel like I do this in every day life. I am always taking pictures and uploading them on the web for others to see. They tell a story about my life. Digital images can enhance a lecture, incorperate many universal design techniques, and allow the students and the teacher to showcase their creativity.

Monday, September 15, 2008


We just finished setting our wikispaces in hopes of being able to communicate with people in similar areas of concentration and others in the class. So far, it has been helpful in discovering others in secondary education and English, but I am still waiting to see how the space will contribute to learning and sharing. I am looking forward to seeing how to manage my space, and contributing to others.

We have also been doing webquests in class, which have been very helpful. It gave me great ideas for sites and projects for my future students that I had no idea even existed. I will definitely be using webquest in the future.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Blog #1

This is my first time using a blog, and my first time discovering social networking outside of facebook.  Sometimes I have a hard time finding exactly what I am looking for on the web when I have a specific topic in mind, and now with social networking I can check my delicious account and search through web pages that have already been discovered by my fellow teachers and friends.  I will also be able to post my own great finds so my students can easily access educational websites and post sites of their own.  Blogging will also come in handy.  Instead of asking students to write journals on paper, wasting ink and trees, they can now post their thoughts and ideas online.  This makes it accessible to everyone in class and cuts down on dragging papers with me to and from class.