Reading to the Beat!

{July 6, 2009}   Why Blog


As a conclusion blog I wanted to go back to the beginning. For the first day of class we had to read “Why Blog?” by Diane Penrod. This reading was very insightful as to what blogs are and why people use them. The article spent a lot of time discussing why younger people find blogging so fascinating and as future educators I believe we need to be up the times. I believe that it is important to embrace the new technologies and incorporate them in lesson plans. As a future elementary educator I believe in the importance of teaching children how to use the Internet properly. I thought there was a lot when I was young but the content on the Web has grown exponentially. By incorporating the Internet into the classroom children will be fully aware of what is out there and hopefully what to stay away from.

As for blogging, it is a great way to express yourself and to explore different topics that might not be addressed everyday. Blogging is a great lesson for involving various different interests. Usually projects involve one research topic but blogs allow user discretion. It is an easy way to allow students to research and write about whatever topic interests them in a specific writing space. Blogging is easy enough for elementary students to understand and will allow them to practice writing in a practical element.


“In the 1960’s, Dr. Georgi Lozanov and Evelyna Gateva researched ways to increase memory abilities including the use of music in the classroom. Their successes caught the attention of the world. Teaching techniques developed from their creative experiments and today we have a solid format for effective multisensory and whole brain learning called Accelerated Learning. This book does not describe the full philosophy or method designed by Lozanov. It will, however, draw upon the knowledge of music in Lozanov’s method to share successful ways of using music for learning.” Music and Learning by Chris Boyd Brewer

After reading this article about Chris Brewer’s book Music and Learning I was reminded of a fourth grade teacher I studied under in my practicum. The teacher would start the day with classical music playing as the students arrived and copied down their work. When I asked the teacher why he used this method he explained that the music helped set the tone for a calm learning environment.

Towards the end of my observation the teacher used music during language arts for a writing assignment. The students had to use the music to help themselves compose a writing assignment. While the students worked the teacher pointed out different sounds and then gave several examples of how those sounds could give them ideas. For example in this particular jazz music composition the music was loud and confusing. The teacher told the students those sounds could help them write about watching moving traffic on the highway.

As I search the web about music to teach literacy, I get excited. After seeing music used in the classroom I want to learn as much as I can. I want to incorporate music in my future classroom as well.

When I was surfing on the internet I came across this simple lesson plan that incorporates music and literacy: Musical terms Language Arts Lesson Plan

A head of time the teacher writes words like noun, verb, adjective , and pronoun on a note card. For the activity the teacher has the students sit in a circle on the floor. The note cards are passed around the circle as the music plays. When the music stops which ever student has a note card must then name examples of each term.

I really think this is a fun activity for elementary aged school children. Music in this lesson plan does not play a major role other then students are all ready familiar with similiar music games like musical chairs. This literacy lesson is a simple yet effective way to incorporate music when teaching concepts.

{July 5, 2009}   Facebook/Myspace

After reading the article in New York Times by Clive Thompson called a Brave New World of Digital Intimacy and our class discussion on it, I realized how much digital technology impacts our everday lives. Thompson talks about how websites like facebook and myspace become addictive because people like to find out what everyone around them is doing. In his article I really thought the issue of privacy brought up a good point. We always want it, but we also get a big satisfaction of following what others do. Facebook and myspace are ways we can actually read someone else’s mind without having to ask them anything. People will write down exactly what they are thinking or what mood they are in and this can actually build a conversation with that person when you see them later. They also connect you with other people from a longer distance who can give you feedback or advice rather than people around you who are similar to yourself. The reason I liked this article was because it helped me realize why I have become so addicted to these sites myself. It helps bring you closer to someone and it also is a place where you can vent your feelings and someone will respond to you and even try to help you out. Like Thompson says, “perhaps the person you see most clearly is yourself.”

{July 4, 2009}   me/computer

Twitter,email,blogging,cyberspace,social ties, social circle,flickr,tag,detag,social media,post,internet,tweets,liveonline,social solution,disconnectedness,facebook,utube,digital age,social networking,twitter stream,connection,blog, WOW!!! is this our new vocabulary? If you are advancing in today’s world, you will know and use these words on a daily basis. Knowing them is simple, just google them, but to use them is another area of understanding between you, your willingness to change and your keyboard.  This technological literacy, we as humans are evolving into, can bring us to places we never dreamed of.  Who thought we could  activally learn through video games, once considered a leisurely past time? Today this multimodel text mixes words,images and interaction  to create a learning enviroment where participants must use decoding, participation and social practices , the very same criteria used to describing literacy??? But to become literate in this world of technology takes nerve, imagination, a hand reaching towards the future. Can we become literate in this ever changing technology??  Is it possible to stay current? I don’t think so. Sure we can read articles by such authers as Cynthia Selfe,Diane Penrod, and David Bolter whoare letting us knowjust how quickly technology is taking over our lives, the world, but are we really ready for the technology of tomorrow?  I think you need to watch this video, and then you can answer that question yourself!

Now just imagine life with this new sixth sense.  Take a peek into a classroom of the not so far away future and imagine the device described in the above video.  This could be a teachers dream come true. Struggling readers could recieve individual help through a device that can recognize their weakness and prompt them through the text, helping the student to sound out words, perhaps explain a words meaning or tense . History books could be prompted to give real life historical depictions, giving students not only text but visuals as well.  What about math? Can you imagine using this device to sharpen students cognitive skills in algebra, geometry or even the basics of addition or division with dimensional examples and a virtual interactive calculator. It sounds impossible, but true. visionaries see and create and produce this technology. It’s thrilling yet scary at the same time. Who’s to say that this technology won’t replace teachers in the classroom? Virtual teachers, virtual technology, virtually no need for a real teacher in the teaching field. Ouch!


“Brave New World of Digital Intimacy” by Clive Thompson provided an insight in how Facebook really works and why it so greatly affects my life. The article discusses Mark Zuckerberg and how and why he created Facebook. It was originally just a source for college students to post pictures and status updates but with the invention of the news feed it grew into something much more. The news feed provides a constant update of people’s profiles on one page instead of having to browse through 100+ different friend’s pages. After this invention he invited anyone to join Facebook.

I use Facebook on a daily basis. It surprises me from time to time how often and how much time I spend using the site. It was very interesting to learn why it is so appealing because it makes sense. The idea of “ambient awareness” makes sense and now I understand why its so addicting and why I feel such a personal connection to my friends just by reading their status updates. It is funny because who don’t text message that often or use networking sites such as Facebook, will always ask me why I don’t just call the other person. I can never explain it but in text I feel I can be much more personal and talk on a deeper level. I can be a shy person but Facebook definitely makes me seem as though I am the opposite which helps me when I actually hang out with my Facebook friends in person. With people I haven’t seen in a while, talking first online helps break the ice.

{July 3, 2009}   Words of encouragement

Obviously I really like the idea of bringing popular music like hip hop into the classroom to spark interest and enthusiasm in students so I thought of a song that came out a while ago that I really liked….its by Nas and its called I know I can…Nas uses his talent to show other kids that they can do whatever they want if they work hard at it. I think he sends a positive message and I would show this video or play this song in my own classroom to let students know they are learning for a reason. I also like it because I remember growing up and you would hear the same message from your parents, your teachers, and adults around you, but when you heard it out of a song or someone you lookede up to, it actually made sense and you listened (sometimes). Besides I think with all the work we’ve put into trying to become teachers, we need a little encouragement, too!

{July 2, 2009}   My Take:Digital Intimacy

In response to Clive Thompson’s Brave New World of Digital Intimacy I am writing this blog…07awareness-t.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt

Applications on the internet have changed the concept of privacy. People feel they have the freedom to talk about what is going on in their lives moment by moment. I personally find this annoying. I don’t care what Jimmy Johnson from middle school is doing now at 28. I sure as hell don’t wish to share personal information with just anyone who has friend requested me on facebook because at some point in their life they knew me.

I am kind of worried about the false security people have about freely sharing intimate, private, and personal information. Why is our society so crazed with sharing and spreading gossip? Why do we feel the need to live the celebrity lifestyle? Where do these ideals originate?  But more importantly, if any solution, what can be done about it?

{July 2, 2009}   Lesson plans


In Music Education Lesson Plans Espie Estrella for lists various lesson plans involving music for various different subjects. At first I thought they were music education lesson plans, but she includes ones that will teach about history, language arts, math, etc. These plans support my opinion that music should be used in various subjects and is a very helpful resource for teachers looking to experiment in using this technique.

{July 2, 2009}   using songs to remember


In “Using Songs to Help You Remember” Linda L. Kinyon discusses how “children learn by repetition and songs are a great way to incorporate learning into their young lives.” Linda is not a teacher but discusses how songs help people in everyday life. She references, without using names, the Tommy Tutone “8675309” song and how everyone remembers the phone number because it was set to music. She talks about how her children use songs to remember certain things like the alphabet and days of the week. The kids more than likely learned the songs from their teachers at school and I think that it is a great idea especially at the elementary level. I’ve discussed this idea in previous posts but Linda’s ideas support my own in saying that music should be used in teaching especially at an elementary level. Children enjoy music and will therefore enjoy learning and actually remember what is taught to them.

et cetera