Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special Assignment - Mr. McClung's World

1. What do you know (or have you found out) about Mr. McClung that is reflected in the way he has constructed his class blog?

Mr. McClung seems like a very neat and organized teacher. His blog makes him come across like he is a dedicated, hands-on, eager to teach kind of teacher. His enthusiasm and passion really shines through in his blog and each of his posts.
2. Comment on what you would say about Mr. McClung as an educator.

It seems as though Mr. McClung has found a very effective method of teaching. He calls upon his "class" and they respond as a whole, as a team in a sense. He is sure to keep them involved and interested in his teaching, which is huge in order for students to succeed. This goes hand-in-hand with his enthusiasm and dedication; it makes for a very welcoming environment where students will want to learn and be a part of the class.

3. I asked above that you read Mr. McClung's "rules" and think about them. What do they say about Mr. McClung, his teaching, and his connection with his students? What is your reaction to these rules (and guides) as a student and as an aspiring teacher?

After reading Mr. McClung's rules, I think he is very structured and likes a disciplined classroom. He doesn't have many rules, but the ones he dies have, he enforces them. As I have learned in EPY 355 this semester, the fewer the rules, the better they are followed. His first rule is to "follow directions quickly." This is extremely important because your time in the classroom is limited so time is of the essence, and I like the fact that that is the start of his rules; it sets the tone for his whole classroom atmosphere. Overall, I really like his rules.

4. What was the first thing under Everyone needs? Why do you suppose that is the first requirement?

A day planner was the first thing under "Everyone Needs." In my opinion, everyone should have one of these even if it isn't required by the teacher. I believe it's his first requirement because staying on top of your assignments and knowing when your tests are, etc. is key to succeeding in school. Mr. McClung seems very organized himself so he probably wants to teach that to his students as well. I think that a planner is a very important tool for all students to have and to keep up-to-date.

5. Note the penalties for being late (under Homework). Compare them with my penalties for being late. Comment.

Mr. McClung's late penalty is the loss of a letter grade for each day that an assignment is late. This is where the students' day planners will really come in handy. They should write all due dates in their planner that way they are sure to never be late. This is similar to Dr. Strange's grading policy. He gives you a checklist with the assigments and their due dates and you are responsible for getting them in on time. You do not receive full credit for a late assignment, but late is better than never.

6. Read carefully his paragraph about what he hopes to accomplish with his blog. Comment and apply to your own aspirations as a teacher.

I love that Mr. McClung's blog is intended for his students as well as their parents. This really helps keep parents involved and up-to-date with what their children are doing in school. Although I'm sure it is incredibly time consuming on Mr. McClung's part, I'm sure it cuts back on confusion and students forgetting handouts and/notes. I'm sure the parents really appreciate it too; I know I would.

7. I asked you to review at least two Useful Links in depth after reviewing all of them. Which two did you review in depth? Describe each of the two. How might each be used? Why do you think each made Mr. McClung's list.

The first link I reviewed was "Steve Spangler's Science Toys;" it was a very fun site! It had endless science toys available for teachers, parents and students. It also had experiments that you could perform with them. This is a great site for science teachers, lots of great products and ideas! I loved it! The second link I reviewed was "Guys Read." This site references the study that girls are better readers than boys. However, this site goes on to state that girls just have an interest to read and that guys could be great readers if their interest was simply kept alive. Great point and I enjoyed reading this site! I really like the fact that Mr. McClung took the time to actually share these sites on his class blog.

8. Under Internet Safety I asked you to read carefully the rules Mr. McClung sets forth for safely using the internet. Comment on these rules. Are there any you would add or subtract?

I really like the fact that Mr. McClung took the time to post internet safety rules on his class blog. Now, students can never say "But you never told me" or anything of the like. This puts all students responsible for their own actions and lets them know what is expected of them. This also shows parents that he cares about the students and their safety and will be enforcing his rules. They are clear cut and easy for tthe students to remember.

9. In the C4K part of this blog I asked that you look carefully at one of the categories under which you assigned post was filed. What did you find? Select one of the posts in the category and review it for me.

For this C4K assignment, I was assigned to the "Talent Show" category. I found lots of amazing acts being performed by different students in Mr. McClung's class. I was truly amazed at the talent of these eighth grade students. I was assifnws to watch Josh as he put in some work with his yo-yo. He did awesome routine for the talent show. I've never seen someone do that many tricks with a yo-yo before! I can only imagine the many hours he put in to practicing them!

10. Mr. McClung uses Edublog as his blog host. In some ways it may seem more "advanced." But Blogger has many abilities that we have not covered in EDM310. This leads to this question: Is there anything (or things) that Mr. McClung can do with his blog that you would like to do in Blogger?

I like how easy it was to navigate around Mr. McClung's entire blog. It seems as though he can pretty much organize it and design it however he chooses whereas it seems that you are more limited with what you can do on Blogger. Blogger works for me for right now, but upon entering my own classroom, I would want to research a blogging site that offers a little more creativity.

11. In what ways does Mr. McClung make his blog useful to parents, teachers, administrators, students like you, and others?

Mr. McClung uses his blogs for almost everything. He posts assignments, requirements, sipplies, rules, etc. This is useful to anyone involved with his class - students, parents, teachers, administrators, everyone. With it being so easy to navigate and so user-friendly, parents or administrators could access his blog at any given time to see what the students are doing. I love that about his blog!

12. How does Mr. McClung's 8th grade blog differs from other blogs you have visited including other 8th grade blogs? Why the differences do you think?

Mr. McClung's blog seems to represent who he is as a teacher, exactly what  he expects from his students and how he wants his classroom to be ran. He is extremely organized, structured and to the point. He puts it all out there so no one is left in the dark. I think the main thing that stands out about his blog is his passion for teaching and helping his students to succeed.

13. Add any additional comments you think would be useful in analyzing Mr. McClung's World in depth?

Mr. McClung and his blog are really inspiring to me. It shows me that there are still teachers out there that truly care about their students' participation and success. He is really practicing educating his students, not schooling them. I really plan to look back and use his blog and teaching methods as a reference once I enter my own classroom.

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