Monday, February 2, 2009

Joke (you know, Steph)

So far my blog has been slightly unexciting with all the stuff I had to with it for school, but now that class is over and I have decided to take back my blog. Now I probably won't write very often, but if something good comes up, I'm sure I'll get it on here. Right now, I'm on the hugest cheesy joke kick. I don't know what it is, but I'm just eating them up right now. Of course, I tend to laugh at practically everything, so maybe it's not that hard to believe.

Top three jokes of this past month are as follows:
3. What did the ocean say to the shore? Nothing. It just waved.
2. What are Mario's favorite type of pants? Denim, denim, denim (you kinda have to hear this one for it to make sense.)
And the joke that takes the cake ( I was seriously dying of laughter on this one):

drumroll please . . . .

1. What did the green grape say to the purple grape?


Woo. Gets me everytime. If you know any good jokes or need a quick boost in self-esteem, send some jokes my way and laughter is pretty much guaranteed.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Internet Watching

This was a great activity. One thing that I thought was really interesting was in a video I watched from the NetSmartz kids website where a girl had been missing for three weeks before she was found with the man she had met online. After they were caught and he was put in prison, she felt an emptiness, despite the fact that his intentions were not good. She still wanted to have that relationship now that it had been taken away. This reminded me that when these types of situations occur, it is usually because there is a deeper issue, not just "I was bored so I started chatting with someone." Teenagers especially feel that they need these relationships as they are learning more about themselves and going through hard times learning to grow up. But even as an elementary school teacher, I think it's important to be aware of these issues and make sure my kids know about them, too, so that when they are tempted to abuse the internet, then they can remember what they have been taught.
I definitely think these videos were great resources for my classroom. I loved how many kid-friendly videos there were out there. Many of the videos were also told from the youth's point of view and not an adult, which I think is a lot more meaningful to kids. I also thought the animation from BYU was a great idea and of course I'm always going to support my school. But really, making a cartoon to teach a serious concept is a good way to get to kids especially in elementary school classrooms.

PLE Reflection

Creating a PLE was a wonderful idea for the class. The thing that I liked most about it was how practical it was. Not only can we use the blogs or wikispaces in our classroom, but we can also use them in our personal life to keep the fam up to date and all that jazz. I will definitely be using these in the future. I didn't try out a wikispace, but it seemed like there were a few more problems with that, so I'm glad I chose to do a blog. It was also so easy to access other people's ideas that they had posted on their PLE. I kind of wished we would have had a list of everyone's blog, just so we could check them out, but overall I really liked it and thought it was a perfect way to start the class and use it throughout the semester.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Internet Readings

At first I was pretty skeptical of this assignment, just more busy work. But when I saw that most if not all of our reading was either by a general authority or put out by the church (I LOVE BYU!), I knew it would be good. Elder Ballard's talk was so powerful. He was straight to the point and concise, completely right on. So many people outside the church say that these men that are our leaders are so out of touch, but just by reading that talk I knew that these men are the most on top of things out of anyone in the entire world. And let's think about the Proclamation on the Family that was put out 13 years ago and how much we refer to it now and how much insight it had into the evils we would face today. Amazing.
Anywho, Elder Ballard stressed so many times the effect that the media and pornography had on our families. He felt it was Satan's direct assault on the family, calling it a "pernicious evil" that is coming directly into our homes. I thought this quote was powerful:

"When he [Satan] wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he doesn’t poison the world’s peanut butter supply, thus bringing the Church’s missionary system to its collective knees. He doesn’t send a plague of laryngitis to afflict the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He doesn’t legislate against green Jell-O and casseroles. When evil wants to strike out and disrupt the essence of God’s work, it attacks the family."

Elder Ballard also said that the choices we make in regards to media are reflective of the choices we make in life. If we decide to indulge in filthy material, it is most likely that our actions will begin to show that. This talk was given five years ago and I'm sure it has gotten even worse since then. (Let Our Voices Be Heard)

After reading Dr. Graham's article, Lisa and I talked about taking the time as parents and teachers to know what's out there. Keep up to date with the technology your kids are using. You won't know how to help your students make good choices if you are completely ignorant to the choices that are available. Of course, that doesn't mean to go out there and immerse yourself in the evils of the media and the internet, but being able to guide your kids in what and how much they do on the internet is beneficial to all. I also loved how Dr. Graham said that as parents and teachers we can show our kids what good things you can do with technology like creating a family blog or recording a family video and posting it on the internet. My favorite part of the article was when he talked about creating a nurturing environment where TV and the internet are not the only sources of entertainment or family time. (Technology and a House of Learning)

For our fourth article we read "Rated A" by Marvin J. Ashton. The thing that intrigued us most about this article was the fact that it was written in 1977. Again, he was dead on. I love having leaders who are so in tune with the Spirit. Elder Ashton said this:

"A person who becomes involved in obscenity soon acquires distorted views of personal conduct. He becomes unable to relate to others in a normal, healthy way. Like most other habits, an addictive effect begins to take hold of him. A diet of violence or pornography dulls the senses, and future exposures need to be rougher and more extreme. Soon the person is desensitized and is unable to react in a sensitive, caring, responsible manner, especially to those in his own home and family. "

1977. How much more prevalent is this today? The principles that were discussed in these articles I have been taught before, but what a reminder! Especially going into a profession where I'm dealing with children and trying to guide their decision making. And not only that, as a parent in an age of growing media and technology, it is imperative for me to understand the dangers and evils that persist. But now I also know how to use technology for good, uplifting activities. The use of technology in spreading the gospel is the best example of the benefits of technology.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Internet Safety Tips

Notes from i-safe America video
1.  Have positive resources
2. Beware of pop-up ads; kids are more likely to look.
3. Typo squatting -- when popular names are spelled wrong they come up to inappropriate sites. This is done purposefully.
4. High tech teasing and cyber bullying--now teasing goes beyond the playground, affects the student at school
5. Cyber bullying leads to depression, suicide, and murder.
6. People online may not be who they say they are.
7. Predators will pretend to be someone they are not to become friends with children. Don't chat with people you don't know.
8. i-Safe America, how to have a positive experience on the internet
9. Don't give your agency to someone else

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Technology Report

Mrs. Adams has introduced our second graders to different kinds of polygons for her math lessons. The coolest thing I saw her do was scan a picture book into her computer and create a powerpoint with it. First off reading a book in math is great because it gets the kids interested in what you are doing. And because she used the technology she wasn't glued to one spot in the room which made it easier for her to keep tabs on her students and move around. She also used the smart board to flip the pages and point to certain things she wanted the students to notice. She also used the audio enhancer which makes it easier on her and the students. I think I will be using this device for my next lesson in shared reading because I've got a lot of interactive practice so it will be nice to have the louder voice.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Go Mrs. Adams!

I was really impressed with our teacher, Mrs. Adams, this week. She used a smart board a couple times to teach math. When you first look in her room your first thought would not be "Oh, wow, she's got a lot of technological resources." But she totally just whipped it out the other day and I was like "Dude, where did this come from?" Anywho, the best quality of the smart board is that she can stand anywhere in the classroom and still use the computer, switching slides, drawing on the screen and pointing out to the students what she wants them to focus on. Then on Election Day, she pulled up this kid-friendly website all about the election. The kids loved it and where really able to learn about the country without the teacher having to put together this huge presentation.

Hallie and I also taught this week. Hallie put together this freaking amazing powerpoint (everyone was asking for it later, you should totally ask her about it), that showed the kids the part-whole concept of fact families and adding and subtracting. Then we played a jeopardy game at the end of the lesson using a template Hallie found online. It worked out really well. The only thing that would have been better is if we would have had the remote to the computer for the powerpoint. It confined Hallie to the side of her computer and I couldn't really help out because I would have just been in the way of the kids. That's also the benefit of the smart board, but we didn't have the technology installed on her computer. Plus we would have had no idea how to use it and would have looked insanely ridiculous. Well at least the kids would have laughed. . . wouldn't have gone over too well with our observers though.