Friday, January 30, 2009

International School Blogs

The first site I found is the Green School in Bali, Indonesia. Click Here It seems like a wonderful school to attend. There are classroom blogs from each year, year 1-2, year 3-4, etc. It does not use grades as we know them, first grade, second grade, etc. This school goes through year 8. The blogs seem to be informational for the parents to keep up with what is going on at school. According to one place on the blog, the blog is an "online forum that highlights some of the magical things that take place on our campus daily". This type of blog is a great resource for parents and for students. The parents can keep up with what is happening, and the students can look back over the year and see what they have learned. It could also help students remember things that happened last week or last month.

The next international blog I found Click Here was created by Amanda DeCardy. She works as a technology integrationist at Shanghai American School, Pudong Campus. This blog is interesting because she describes the way she uses technology in the classroom and what her students are learning from it. This blog is helpful to parents and other teachers because she does describe what she is doing in the classroom. She posts pictures and some video. As a parent, I would love seeing this. She has even created a school youtube channel, which she says is good because "Kids love to see themselves on YouTube, parents love to share the videos of their kids with family, potential students can view the videos to see what life is like at the school, and
potential teachers can view the videos to see what life is like at the school." Sounds like a good idea to me!

Classroom Blogs in the United States

This blog is about blogging in the classroom. The first blog I found is the blog of Mr. Chamberlain. This is his classroom. You can find it here,Click Here . In this blog he allows the students to be part of the blog by using videos of the students doing and discussing subjects. He puts pictures of the class and things they do. It seems like a great resource with which to keep parents informed and to encourage the students to use the technology available to them. It also teaches them in a hands-on manner that I feel is important to learning.

The other blog that I found was done by a teacher on her vacation to Greece. She created this blog, Click Here, to allow her students a look at Greece. She had pictures and history about the places she visited. This kind of blog would be helpful to students in learning history. It gives them a sense of what and where their history lesson is coming from. You could also combine this type of blog with a reading or writing lesson. This type of blog would work well in a homeschool setting. Different homeschool groups could combine on lessons without having to meet at a central location.
 title=source:Janice Friesen

Sunday, January 25, 2009


ACCESS (Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide) is another excellent resource for both teachers and students. It provides a means for students to receive instruction in subjects that are not available to them at their school. In the first tab, About Access, there are many documents that explain what Access is and how it is used. There are documents that provide information about the implementation of Access. There is also a list of people on the "Governor's Task Force on Distance Learning". The next tab, Courses, provides a course catalog of course descriptions, web based and video conferencing course offerings. For students it gives contact information and offers software for downloading. For Educators it offers an application to become a Distance Learning teacher. It also offers some other resources. For Parents there are two pdf. files. One is an informational brochure and the other is a list of course offerings.

There is a way to contact the administrator, Ms. Martha Davidson, and the coordinator, Ms Earlene Patton. It gives both phone number and email address.There is an additional Help tab that provides computer requirements, recommended requirements for labs, and a FAQ for further information. There is also a Resources tab that gives other files in pdf. or doc. format.

As a teacher, I think this would be a great resource for other teachers. This is geared toward the upper grades. As I will be teaching in the elementary school, I do not think I will use this. However, as a parent if my child had the opportunity to use this, I would be all for it. It is a great way to expose our children to things they might otherwise miss.

Did You Know?

The movie found at was very interesting. It really made you think. I know that other countries have much better language instruction than the US does, but I did not realize that the prediction for the number one English speaking country in the world would be China. Does this tell us something about our society? The fact that every college graduate in India speaks English, and could be inferred to also speak their own Indian dialect, says something about the education system that we can not claim here. The facts about the jobs for today's students did surprise me a little. I guess loyalty to a company is not taught like it used to be. One article that I read on this subject suggested that today's young workforce is looking for what the company can do for them and not what they can do for the company. According to the video, this is true.

I have never really thought about where I would be or where technology would take my children five, ten, or even twenty years from now. Just today in church the sermon was on change and the fact that some people do not like change. Change is necessary for the good of all. The fact that we are seeing new college majors and new additions to the English language should be seen as a good thing. It means we are moving forward. The technology of the future and the children we teach to use it will benefit everyone in all countries around the world.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


ALEX is an acronym for Alabama Learning Exchange. It is a website that provides a resource for teachers to share ideas. In the first tab, Courses of Study, you will find tabs that take you to different subjects. Clicking on these will then allow you to choose a grade level or specific topics within the subject and then provide some lesson plan ideas. The next tab is Web Links. Clicking on this will allow you to choose who you are, teacher/admin/student, and provides web links accordingly. The Lesson Plan tab will allow you, with an account, to create lesson plans or search for other lesson plans. A professional Development tab gives a list of websites to help you find classes and workshops to further your professional development. The Distance Learning tab will give access to ACCESS(Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide), which is a state initiative to allow access to AP, electives, and other classes that some students might not have available at their own schools. Available with an account is the Personal Workspace. This allows you to create and save lesson plans. There are also Help and Search tabs available if you have problems.

This seems to be an excellent resource. I know I will use this, especially in the first years of teaching. It is always a good thing to have available a resource that can help the students in your room. If this means using another teacher's lesson plans because the subject matter is covered better or in a way that the current students will learn the subject matter better, I will do it. To have available a resource in such an immediate way is an advantage that we have that older teachers did not have access to when they began teaching. I hope to benefit from the experienced teachers and the lesson plans they have created and shared on this site.

As a parent I will use this as well. One of my girls has a harder time with math skills. By having access to lesson plans written by teachers, I will be able to help her more. In addition to this, I can use other lesson plans to give more on a lesson one of the girls really enjoyed. Not only will this benefit my girls, but it will give me extra practice teaching different the subjects.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

All About Mary

To begin with my name is Mary Kathryn Davis. I am married to a wonderful man, Michael. We have 3 beautiful daughters, Kathleen, Kortney, and Sydney. No we will not be trying for a boy, we are quite satisfied with our girls. I am the oldest of 6. My siblings are in order as follows, Andrea (30), Matthew (28), Palmer (21), Sam (19), and Sarah (16). I have 2 sets of parents, my mom and (step)daddy and my dad and stepmother. I am very close to my mom and my grandmother. I am unable to see my family as often as I would like because they all live in Tennessee.

I was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a beautiful place to live. The mountains are beautiful, especially in the fall when the leaves change. I went to school in a tiny little town just north of Chattanooga called Ooltewah. In trying to pronounce it just leave out the "L" and try it Oo-te-wah. In HS we thought we were lucky to have a Hardees and a Waffle House in addition to our gas station.

We came to Mobile in 2000. My husband is a computer programmer for Evonik, and his job brought us here. He goes to the University of Mobile and will be finished with his Master's degree in 2010. This fall our oldest daughter will start school at the University of South Alabama. She will be in the first marching band that USA puts on the field. We are very excited about that. To be honest, I am more excited about the band than I am about the football team!

I do not travel much, though I would love to do more. I have been to Mexico 3 times on Youth Mission trips. I went to Marl, Recklinhausen, and Koln, Germany during Christmas of 2007. If you have never seen the Koln Dom in Koln, Germany you should. It is a very impressive medieval cathedral. As big as it is, it is just a miracle that it wasn't destroyed during WWII when most of the surrounding city was. If I was able to go anywhere in the world I wanted, I would want to go to Ireland and Scotland (being Scots-Irish) and Egypt. I have a love for Egyptian history and would love to see the places that I have read about.

I am very proud that my youngest brother, Sam, is serving our country in the US Marines. He will be shipping to Afganistan later this year. Being a marine is all he has ever wanted to do, and though it is hard for our family, I am glad that he is able to fulfill his dream. Remember that even if you do not agree with this war and our presence in the middle east, we should all support those men and women who are risking and losing their lives to provide us the freedom to agree or disagree with it.

I am sure that I have more to add, but that will have to wait until my class presentation!

First day of class

This is the first day of EDM 310. We are learning how to blog. As I have never created a blog, this should be interesting. Some of my friends have blogs and I enjoy reading them, but with 3 children to raise it is hard to find the time to do something like this.

A little about me. I have 3 daughters. Kathleen is 17 and a senior in high school. Kortney is 11 and in 6th grade. Sydney is the baby at 6 and is in 1st grade. My husband is in school as well getting his master's degree. We are a very busy family. I am working on my elementary education degree. I hope to teach 1st grade.