Wednesday, April 30, 2014


A part of my personal development plan is to incorporate project based learning projects into my class requirements. The current school year is almost over but I have a number of PBL lessons that I want to try with my students next year. In addition, I want to create a classroom blog for my students. Observing some of the classroom blogs throughout the semester was a prime example that blogs can be beneficial and engaging for students. Finally, I plan to attend technology workshops and courses that are offered through my school district to improve, learn, and stay updated about new technology.

My personal learning network has increased dramatically. I use Symbaloo to maintain my PLN. If you are not aware of Symbaloo, please check it out. Symbaloo is a great way to organize your PLN in one place. I’ve had a PLN since EDM310. My PLN includes many social networks, blogs, ALEX, and educational sites. However, since taking EDM510, I added BIE to my PLN. BIE has a wealth of knowledge on PBL and many free resources available for PBL lessons. In addition, I added the Teaching Channel, Moodle, and Reddit to my PLN. The Teaching Channel is awesome because I can actually search a lessons and see how other teachers are effectively teaching it. All in all, my PLN continues to grow.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Book Review: How It's Being Done: Urgent Lessons from Unexpected Schools

C4T Summaries

C4T Semester Long

Mr. Sladkey has not been active much in the month of April. In the one post that he posted he talked about The Engagement Wheel. The Engagement Wheel is where students teach the class. I thought this was a really interesting strategy. He made the point that having students teach the class in lessons will help them retain the information and make learning more fun. Most importantly, he made the point that when one teaches something, one can use it and will know how to use it better because he or she taught it. I replied with this comment: The Student Engagement Wheel is very interesting. I will most certainly try this activity in my classroom. For the most part, it will be a great way to get the students involved and keep them engaged. Most importantly, it will make learning fun! Mr. Sladkey, thank you so much for posting such useful information!

C4T Rotating

In the post I commented on, Mr. Spencer talked about an interview that he had with Meeno Rami. Meenoo Rami is the author of Thrive: 5 ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching Practice. He discussed how he was blown away by her braveness and humility. He made the point that the book reminds teachers of why they teach. In other words, some teachers are worn out and even burnt out but the book helps bring them back into focus. In the interview, they discussed mentorship and how mentorship is important for new teachers. Having a mentor is helpful to new teachers because teaching can be very intimidating in the first couple of months of teaching. Meenoo made the point that no one knows better what you need than someone who has been through it. In the interview, Meenoo also talked about the importance of networking with other educators around the world. In other words, to better increase one’s teaching practice, it is good to know what is working for educators not just in one’s own area but all over the world. In my comment, I commended Mr. Spenser for giving us readings a great interview with the author. I also commented that I will most likely be purchasing the book.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Blog Post Assignment 10

Glogster a great tool to use for the classroom. With Glogster, teachers can create pages, assignments, journals, and a host of other things to make learning fun and exciting.

In a technology advanced classroom, Glogster would work well in class or at home. For example, Glogster can be used to post assignments that students can access anywhere. The great thing about using Glogster for assignments is that teachers can provide everything that students need for the assignment in one place. Most importantly, it eliminate the need for paper and time at the copy machine. Glogster is free but to get the best benefits out of Glogster, teachers will need to become a premium member. Some districts already has district wide membership. Nevertheless, premium membership is $35 for 1 year for an Elementary teacher with 30 students and $95 for 1 year for Secondary teacher with 125 students.

Try Glogster out by following the directions for creating a classroom assignment. In this project, you will use Glogster to create an assignment. First, go to and sign up; sign up as an educator. If you have a Google account, you can sign up and sign in using your Google information. After you have signed in, click on create a new glog. Choose the assignment template. Once you have chosen the template, you can edit the template to create your assignment. Your assignment must include instructions and some form of media (video or audio).

Here is an example of what your final product should look like: A Poison Tree Assignment This assignment is on “A Poison Tree” by William Blake for 12th grade British Literature class. Have fun!

PBL Lesson 2 (Late)

Students (seniors) will be broken into groups to help create a collection of movie clips for incoming freshmen on how to adjust to high school life. The 1st group will discuss study habits, group 2 will focus on academics, group 3 will focus on extra curriculum activities, group 4 will focus on teachers, and group 5 will focus on student life. Students will have to plan their movie, include text in their clip, decide how to best capture their topic, and come to together to put their clips together to make one movie. In addition, students will upload the video to Youtube. Here is the link for this project: PBL Lesson 2

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Interview with Anthony Capps, Blog Post Assignment 8 (Late)

What I learned most from the question and answer session from Anthony Capps was that Project Based Learning must become a habit. The question that was asked was can Project Based Learning be done overnight. Mr. Capps answer was yes. However, it must be practiced and the students must be involved in PBL. He stated that before one can move on to another tool, one has to master the first tool. In other words, the tool has to be practiced over and over and must become a habit. Once the tool has been successfully master, the teacher can move on to the next tool. In addition, he made a point to use the tool that has been mastered in the future projects.

Another interesting thing that I learned was that students have a great desire for an audience. Because of this, Mr. Capps stated that he frequently invite parents so students can showcase their projects. In addition, he uses stuff animals as an audience. Students tend to perform better when they know that someone is watching and that they have an audience. He stated that the stuff animals worked well for his students.

All in all, the question and answer session between Dr. Strange and Mr. Capps was very informational. Mr. Capps is an experience teacher who frequently uses PBL in his classrooms so it was interesting to hear his responses.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

C4K Summaries

I commented on Alfa’s blog from Ms . Lavakula class. Alfa is a 5 year old student enrolled at PT England School. Alfa wrote a short essay on swimming. The essay was broken into an introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Alfa wrote about the importance of learning how to learn and why someone should learn how to swim. Overall, Alfa did a great hob on his post. I commented on how well of a job head did and encouraged him to keep up the great work.

Emmanuel posted a blog post of a video that he created using picture animations about the life cycle of the butterfly. Emmanuel did a great job on video and it was well very well considering the fact that he is only 5 years old. I commented on how well his commentary was on the video and how he did a great job putting it together. Most importantly, the video was very informational and I learned about the life cycle of the butterfly.

Mrs. She’s class is working on constructing simple sentences correctly and independently. I commented on Bitner’s blog. He created his simple sentence about swimming. Apart of their assignment was to create the simple sentence and record a video stating the simple sentence. Bitner did a great job on both and commented on how well of a job he did.

Joshua is a 6 year old from in Miss. Garden class. Joshua created a powerpoint about native tress in New Zealand. Joshua did a great job and I learned something about trees that are typically found in New Zealand. I commented on how well he put together his powerpoint and how much effort he put into his work.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Teachers making learning fun

For this week’s blog post, I had to watch of number of videos of numerous teachers using great strategies to help students learn. For the most part, watching some of these teachers in action was truly fascinating. In particular, Brain Cosby. One thing that stuck out for me in Mr. Cosby’s presentation was when he said that learning must be motivational and have meaningful context. Making what students are learning relevant is extremely important to keeping students engaged. Many times, students are disengaged because they find no purpose for what they are learning. Cosby’s example in the presentation demonstrated that the students had something invested in what they are learning. Because of this, the context was meaningful and motivational. In addition, he made the point that teachers cannot keep racing kids through school. In other words, teaching to the test while ignoring real learning strategies is not effective. Teachers must invest in what they are teaching to help students develop into productive citizens of society.

Paul Anderson’s video was also interesting. Mr. Anderson created a video about blended learning. Blended learning was something new to me. Blended learning is using technology in powerful way; in other words, combining mobile, online, and classroom together. Mr. Anderson stated that teachers must first start with a question. A question to something that gets the students interested. The question acts as the hook or the attention getter. The blended learning strategy is a great way to involve technology in every lesson.

Mr. Pane’s video on building comics was awesome. I long for the days that I could have the tools for every student in my class to pull something off like that. The students were engaged and their assignment was extremely interesting for the students. I think students of any age would have enjoyed such an assignment.

All in all, what I learned from all of these teachers was that they were all involving technology in their lessons some kind of way. Because of this, students were actively engaged and they were interested in what they were doing. They were not merely reading out of a text book and disengaged from the lesson. These teachers prove that incorporating technology into lesson can be done more frequently and make the learning experience productive for the students.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

C4T Summaries

C4T Semester Long

Mr. Dave Sladkey only posted one post during March. The article was a post on titled “What is the Weight of the Snow You Shoveled this Winter”? The Article was taken from the Chicago Tribune and it included a lot of math. The reason why he thought the article was interesting was because of the fact it had a vast amount of math problems. Consequently, readings of the Chicago Tribune would have had to pull out their math skills to determine how much snow they shoveled during the winter. Mr. Sladkey worked the problem out himself and determined how much snow he shoveled during the winter. He stated that he would make his students work out the problem because it gives them ownership over their work and suggested that other teachers do the same. All in all, the post was great and very interesting.

C4T Rotating Mrs. Manaiakalani talked about innovative teachers in March. She discussed how she had the privilege of working in a community which encourages innovation among teachers. Every year, teachers receive 12 days of paid leave to focus on teaching a project they have developed for their own classes. For the most part, I thought that was an excellent incentive for teachers. Having the time to actually create the project is essential. In addition, she discussed how they come together to share projects and discuss how the projects can be enhanced. I believe that if more districts offered this type of program for teachers, teachers would be more innovative. Teachers should be innovative anyway but having an incentive will changeling teachers to put out their best work.

Useful Educational Tools

Animoto is a great tool to use for making great videos and slideshows for presentations. This tool is fun and cool. Students would enjoy using Animoto because it has numerous features, and it is easy to use. Students can make video slideshows from over 50 different styles. In addition, they can add captions and titles to their photos and video clips. Most importantly, the program is a cloud based program so students can share their videos on social networks and access it anytime through iPhone or Androids. Here is a video on how to create your first Animoto video.

Studysync is a great site for English Teachers. Studysync is great because it has weekly writing practices, numerous critical thinking lessons, and tools for peer reviewing of online writing. The site also has a virtual library that has a vast amount of titles that has accommodating informations for Common Core.

Ning allows students and teachers to create their own personal social network. The site is great for classrooms or even the entire school. All the information is in one place; students and teachers can post and share information. Schools could use it to send out announcements and other information. For the most part, it is a great tool that teachers can use in the classroom. Here is a video about highlighting some of the features on Ning.

ALEX Project

My documents for the AlEX project can be found on my website. The website is a work in progress and is evolving. Nevertheless, here is the link where the location of the documents are found. Mr. Rease's Website

You may view or download the files by clicking the appropriate link below:

11th Grade English Course of Study

12th Grade English Course of Study

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 2

My Personal Workspace

Technology Course of Study Grades 9-12

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Alabama Virtual Library

In today’s world, students have access to countless amount of information. Most students are very knowledgeable about social networks and social media as a whole. Students are constantly posting pictures, status updates, and tweets through social networks. Because of this, the information available to people today is ever increasing.

Concerning education, students have many resources available to them to get information on any subject for any course. Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) is a great website that provide students with access to 54 databases for information. Most importantly, AVL is a great tool that students can use for research papers.

In my high school class, I taught my students how to use AVL and required them to use two AVL resources in their research paper. During this lesson, I showed them the various resources offered and their purpose. As a case in point, EBSCOhost was one of the best databases to use to locate an article on any subject of research. Students were shown how to search the topic, locate an article, and get the MLA works cited information from the article to place on their works cited page. Students found the EBSCOhost very helpful.

To introduce AVL, I created a PowerPoint to inform students about AVL and to go through some of the benefits of AVL. After the PowerPoint, students would log on to AVL and actually search information to gain some hands on experience using AVL.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture” was extremely inspirational. Pausch was very courageous to give a lecture after being diagnosed with cancer and told that he only had 3-6 months left of good health. Pausch made a point that he was not going to talk about cancer or spirituality and that he did not want pity from the audience.

What I learned about teaching and learning from Pausch was that learning should be fun for students, good results eventually come from hard work, always set the bar high to achieve students’ full potential, and to use project based learning. I am a firm believer that learning should be fun for students. Pausch made the point that it should be so fun that students could be having a great time but not realizing that they are actually learning. Once students are deeply engaged in a project, they will easily retain the information compared to lesson that is dull. In addition, he talked about setting the bar high. The worst thing a teacher can do is to not believe in his or her students. Students have to be work to their full potential and if they fail, they can learn from their mistakes. Pausch frequently talked about how learned from his regrets and he kept trying in things he was trying to achieve. Most importantly, he talked about project using project based learning. In other words, project based learning is the best type of learning to get the most out of the students.

What stuck out to me in his lecture was the concept of the “head fake”, where one learns indirectly. For example, one of his dreams was to play in the NFL. Although he did not get a chance to play in the NFL, he learned a lot of things from playing football as a child. He learned how to be disciplined, how to work with other people, and many other concepts. In essence, parents who have their children join little league football or not trying to have them learn football, but are trying to help them learn other things that being on a team teaches.

All in all, Pausch presented a very dynamic personality on stage that really captured my attention. For example, I found him completely hilarious when he stated that he was probably in greater shape than most people in the audience and dropped down to do push-ups. His funny personality had the audience completely mesmerized.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Asking Questions

Asking questions during lessons are critical for helping students to retain the information they are being taught and to stimulate critical thinking. The type of questions that I typical ask my students revolve around the higher order thinking questions. For the most part, I like to know what my students are thinking and I piggy back off of that. In addition, I try to make whatever we are learning become relevant to them. If the lesson is relevant to them, the students will have a keen interest in the lesson. The type of questions to avoid are questions that do not challenge students. For example, I never ask a student to tell me the date of birth of an author. The student does not have to think about a question like that; the student can simply find the in the text because date of birth is listed. Consequently, questions such as those do not require much effort. Every lesson that I begin starts with an essential question. The essential question helps the students to ponder and think about what they are learning. Once the essential question has been established, higher order thinking questions are asked during the lesson to stimulate discussion. As a result, I am not merely lecturing to the students but having a productive conversation with them. All in all, asking the right questions are critical to students understanding of a lesson. Most importantly, good questions challenges the students.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Summary of Comments

C4T Rotating Summary

The Teacher who I am assigned too for C4T is Beth Still. For the most part, my comments are still being waited to be approved. Mrs. Still has not updated recently so the first comment I made was on a previously dated post concerning holiday treats. Mrs. Still put together a google docs application where everyone could submit their recipes for their holiday treats. My comment commended her on using google docs effectively to share common interest. In another post, Mrs. Still discussed the budding artist project. The project was funded by Donorschoose. The organization provided Mrs. Still with the material to carry out the project. The project consisted of her students coming together and painting. Mrs. Still spoke of her the project allowed her students to bond with each other and how grateful she was to Donorschoose for donating the material.

C4K Summary

The student whom I was assigned, Courtney, have not made any posts so I commented on other students’ blog. First, I commented on Sarah’s blog from Mrs. Long class, Sarah talked about a new idea that she have in mind concerning her hair. Sarah was interested in getting some new braids. She provided a link to a site that showed a picture of the hair due and commented on how awesome the braids would look. Second, I commented on Yolo’s blog from Mrs. Frahm class. YoLo posted a story about students during spring break. The story was very entertaining and commented encouraging him to keep up the good up. Finally, I commented on Sierra’s blog from Mrs. Frahm class. Sierra created a poster about which ancient city would be the best place to live, Sparta or Athens. She chose Sparta and posted a pic of a poster she created to support her reasons. I agreed with her that Sparta would be best the place to live and I commended her on her poster.

C4T Semester Long

The teacher that I was assigned semester long for C4T is Math teacher Dave Sladkey. One of the post that he posted was “Have Students Teach Something”. The post talked about how to keep the students engaged and one way to do that is to have them teach the class something. The concept is that by teaching it will help them learn the material quicker. He provided a pie graph showing the benefits and during instructions this way. Overall, I commented on how great of an idea the method was and that I would most certainly use the strategy in my classroom.

C4T Chosen

The C4T teacher chosen by me and James Boutin. He posted a post titled “I Don’t Have Enough Time to Be a Good Teacher.” The post focused on things that good teachers do and must do in order to be a good teacher. In other words, they should become second nature. I commented on the post commending his tips and suggestions. In addition, he posted a post about what’s best for kids. The posted focused on things that teachers should be doing to help bring the most out of the students. In addition, he talked about what the schools should be doing as well.


The use of technology in classrooms has dramatically changed and enhanced the way subjects are being taught. Previously, teachers used chart boards and did not frequently involve students in the lessons. Because of this, students were frequently lost and disengaged from the lesson thus making the learning experience unproductive. For the most part, today’s teachers are required to use technology in the classrooms. Most importantly, teachers must frequently engage students in the lessons with the use of technology. Most classrooms have Smart Boards and access to a Wi-Fi connection to satisfy this requirement. The Alabama College and Career Ready Standards is built around the Common Core Curriculum. The Common Core Curriculum involves developing problem solving skills, enhancing critical thinking skills, and participating in project based learning.

First, the use of technology in the classroom helps satisfy the component of developing students’ problem solving skills. In a traditional classroom, students are frequently given worksheets or asked to answer the questions at the end of a chapter in the textbook. Consequently, assignments like those do not help develop problem solving skills. Now teachers can develop lessons for the SmartBoard that focuses on problem solving skills. In addition, there are sites like‎ which have premade lessons for teachers to use in their classrooms. For example, some of the lessons offered requires students to critically think about the problem and actually become engaged in solving the problem. Simply put, the students will not be able to get by through quickly choosing a multiple choice answer.

Next, Common Core involves enhancing critical thinking skills. The use of technology in helps develop this skill by offering students different ways to approach a problem or question. For example, a student will be able to create things using technology and gain hands on experience concerning that particular lesson. Students will be involved in project based learning. Anthony Capps talked about having an authentic audience, student interest, involving the community, and the projects being driven by content. By doing those things, critical thinking skills and problem solving skills can be developed through project based learning.

Project 3 Presentation

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a non-profit organization that provides free education to anyone in the world. Khan Academy is an awesome organization because anyone with access to the internet can access its website to take advantage of the services they offer. For the most part, having the ability to offer free education to anyone in the world is an awesome service. As a result, people who live in countries where education is limited will have an opportunity become educated in his or her area of need. Students are able to access the site’s extensive library content. The site also offers interactive activities, videos, and assessments for students to use. In addition, parents and teachers can monitor what their children or students are doing.

What I like most about the site is the math section. Math is an important subject that many students struggle with. Having a site that offers math with practice problems and explanation goes a long way to helping students who are struggling with math. The math section could be a great tool for math teachers. As a case in point, a teacher could direct his or her students to Khan Academy to help practice doing problems that the student may have trouble with. For the most part, some students can understand math problems if it is being explained in a very simple way. Khan Academy has videos and activities that breaks down any problem and explains in it in more understandable terms. Khan Academy works great for extra help when it comes to math.

In addition to math, the site covers science, physics, and other subjects. Khan Academy is a great site for the student who wants to learn more about a particular subject but has not taken the course yet or is unable to take the course. For example, a student could have a love for physics but may not have the opportunity to take the course during his or her grade level. With a strong desire to learn, that student could log on Khan Academy’s website and tap into all of the information concerning physics. The site opens up many doors for the result driven learner.

The site also offers stats and awards. There is not better than one receiving an award for achieving a learning milestone. Khan Academy issue points and badges for completing learning milestones. Most importantly, the site monitors progress. The site will track what the user has learned all of the users progress.

All in all, Khan Academy is a great site for students and teachers alike. The site is especially awesome for teachers to point students too because it is free. There is no sign up fee and it is not a difficult site to use. As a teacher, I will start informing my students about Khan Academy so they can take advantage of the many benefits the Academy has to offer.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Six Useful Search Engines

picture of search engines logos

The internet has numerous search engines available for users to explore. However, many people tend to simply focus on popular search engines like Google and Bing. I am the biggest fan of Google and I think it is by far the best search engine available. Nevertheless, there are search engines available for specific searches. Here are six search engines that I’ve found that are extremely useful. is a great search engine to get information from an international perspective. In particular, the search engine focuses on India. Searchers can find India’s news, entertainment, and shopping. is India’s leading search engine. is an awesome search engine to find information about laws and attorneys. This search engine came in handy when I needed information about my now current attorney. is one of the best search engines to find medical information. I frequently use the search engine to determine symptoms or find information about anything medical. is an awesome search engine to calculate any types of problems. The search engine includes calculus, geometry, elementary math, and others. All in all, it is an amazing search engine with a vast amount of knowledge. is a good search engine to find information about people. However, not all people are listed because most people have cell phones now. Nevertheless, Infospace will search the yellow pages and white pages without any problems. is a great search engine to find out about any real estate. The engine allows the users to search for properties for sale and get information on properties that have already been sold.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


plagiarism picture of a student copying another student's work
The Plagiarism Policy is a very clear on how to avoid plagiarism. As a teacher, I consistently teach my students about the importance of citing sources and the important of not plagiarizing any of their work. Nevertheless, some students simply do not care. I have observed students copy and paste an entire paper expecting to receive a grade for the paper. The biggest problem in high school is that a number of students do not believe that plagiarism can be found out. In addition, some schools do not have the funding to uses sites like to help check for plagiarizing.

However, what students fail to realize is that plagiarism usually stick out like a sore thumb. The typical student who plagiarize a paper typically do not have good writing skills. As a teacher, I quickly can determine the writing voice of my students well before their first paper. Because of this, the plagiarism can easily be found out. In addition, a search of the internet can help discover the copied material.

All in all, I believe that high schools should adopt a similar policy as most universities to make students more accountable for plagiarizing. At the college level, the consequences for plagiarizing are more severe.