Friday, April 8, 2011

Special Assignment- Mr. McClung's World

Mr. McClung
Mr. McClung
1). Mr. McClung is an 8th grade teacher at Woodland Jr. High in Fayettville Arkansas. He teaches social studies, Arkansas History, computer application, and coaches cross country. He is an avid supporter of technology in the classroom. He does his best to implement technology into everyday instructions. His interests and hobbies reflect the construction of his blog. He incorporates his area of teaching, his students, and personal interests. I learned that he is a huge fan of music which is apparent in his blog. Mr. McClung's World is very interactive and fun reflecting his energy and classroom environment.

2). I really like that he implements group work into his classroom and realizes the needs of his students. Various teaching strategies give all students equal opportunity to explore their own learning strategies. It also allows students the opportunity to enjoy what seems like an individualized lesson plan. Mr. McClung seems to pay close attention to his students.

3). Some of Mr. McClung's rules can be found in any classroom but others create a bigger impact. Students are expected to listen, raise their hands, and follow directions as in any classroom setting. I was impressed with his Teach-OK strategy. This gives students the opportunity to teach their neighbor what was just taught by Mr. McClung. This strategy is a great way for students to share ideas and clarify in their own terms information that may have not been clear when explained by the teacher. The Scoreboard method is also a great way to give students incentive to behave and participate properly.

4). Everyone Needs a day planner! This will help students organize their assignments and prepare for class. I have always used a planner for those exact purposes. They help create good time management and organization skills that  allow for success now and later in life.

5). Mr. McClung's penalties for late work imply that tardiness and procrastination are unacceptable. We have been advised many times in EDM310 to complete and submit our work ON TIME! The threat of failing an assignment or receiving a lower grade should prompt students to do their work.

6). It seems his main goal is to keep parents, students, and other teachers informed. It is a place where ideas can be generated and exploration of new ideas is encouraged. It is sometimes hard to connect with parents. A blog is a great way to inform parents on classroom activities, assignments, and announcements. I think it is key to keep parents involved in their children s' education. As a teacher, I would love to be able to create a blog like Mr. McClung's for students, parents, and other educators.

7).One of the links I reviewed was the Discover Education Network. This network connects students and teachers to useful resources. It is dedicated to educators who are passionate about teaching with digital media, collaborating, and  networking. There are blog posts, opportunities to participate in forums, and global connection to educators who are passionate about education. The site has won numerous awards. The second site that interested me was called the The Plagiarism Checker. It is a very simple site to use. As a future English teacher, it would be a great place to direct my students, if they had questions about their use of citation and sources. You simply cut and paste your text into the box and the Plagiarism Checker does the rest.

8).There are many important rules here that all children should be taught. It seems like common sense but many children should be reminded to never reveal personal information such as last name, address, phone number, or school name when asked either in chat or on websites, The fact that he mentions to inform a parent or teacher of any conversation or email that makes the child uncomfortable is very important. I think it would be helpful to add that students should never navigate away from a safe website if prompted by a pop-up or tempting add or offer. We must remember that children are very impressionable and easily distracted.

9). I was assigned to comment on a post filed under (Band of the Week). Since I love music, I was interested to find out more about the bands under this category. Each had a brief description and music file. Some of the more well known bands included, OutKast, Weezer, Incubus, and  Franz Ferdinand. Although I know their music, it was interesting to find out more about the people behind the instruments and microphones.

10). Personally, Mr. McClung's World is a little too busy for me. I'm a fan of organization and simplicity, and I feel that his blog is lacking in these areas. Yes, each genre is filed under a specific name, but the initial page is somewhat overwhelming. In my opinion, Blogger it easier to navigate. The one positive attribute that I've seen in Mr. McClung's blog is the ability to add audio files and the DropShots photo sharing sidebar. These would both be great and lively additions to Blogger. 

11). He has everything a parent should know about classroom assignments, projects, and homework in one place. If a student is falling behind, a parent can make sure they are doing the work they are supposed to. Also his blog gives teachers and students such as myself ideas for better teaching strategies and success in the classroom. 

12). I would definitely say Mr. McClung's World is more interactive. I think some appeal lies in the fact that students are offered more instruction. It also presents more than just academics.He incorporates his interests, creating a more comfortable connection with his students. He seems to be  a very energetic and exciting teacher. 

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