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I am always seeking to make the most of each moment. I love to read, play outside and steal a moment to enjoy my surroundings whenever I can!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Special Assignment: Mr. McClung's World

circle with talk of the town written in side in blue

      This special assignment is on Mr. McClung's class blog. Mr. McClung is an eighth grade teacher at Woodland Jr. High School in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  He teaches social studies, Arkansas history, computer applications, and cross country there.  He is still going to college to earn his masters degree.  I can see that he is a dedicated teacher by reading and exploring his blog.  He seems to have a positive attitude and an energetic personality that is reflected in his blog.  I would say he possesses the traits of a great educator combined with energy one would need to keep up with Jr. High students.

     I read his class rules which are posted on his blog as well.  His number one rule is "Follow directions quickly." Followed later by rule number four "Make smart choices."  And my favorite so far his final rule, number five, "Keep your dear teacher happy."  I chose these three out of his five (there are also some other procedures and expectations posted) because they spoke to me about what type of interaction Mr. McClung must have with his students and what he expects of them.  I like rule number one because it requires students be listening and thinking.  It is a rule that covers many things with out being overstated.  And number three is great because by expecting students to make smart choices he is saying to them that they are certainly capable of that and he expects them to do so.  And number five shows the type of relationship he must want with his class.  "Keep your dear teacher happy" tells me he wants to have a personal relationship with his class while maintaining their respect.  I like that very much.

    In the syllabus on "Mr. McClung's World" the first item under the heading "Everyone Needs" is a day planner.  This says to me that he expects each individual to manage their time wisely.  I have found as a parent and a student that this is key.  Time management is crucial for anyone who wants to succeed.  Work hard and play hard is my motto.  Also in the syllabus under the section titles "homework" the penalties for late work are listed.  Each day late results in a dropped letter grade.  This penalty relates well to time management.  Planning for assignments that may take time to complete is necessary to do quality contemplative work.

     Mr. McClung 's final paragraph on his syllabus under the heading "Classroom Technology" concerns his class blog.  Blogging is new to me since I began EDM310 and I must say I am more than pleased to see how well it fits into an educational plan like Mr. McClung's.  It is like an organism that grows and improves that everyone can contribute the best of themselves to.  What an achievement.  Not to mention how it can be utilized to keep parents informed about the goings on in the classroom.  Mr. McClung has made excellent use of the internet as a resource for teaching and connecting.

Useful Links 

   Also found on Mr. McClung's class blog are some useful links for students to use.  I checked several of them out and added many of them to my bookmarks also.

    My top favorite due to my status as a student was the one titled "Convert PDF to Word".  This is a website that does just what the title of the link says.  It is valuable to me because of the countless times I have tried to open something or complete an assignment from a location away from home and was unable to open a document.  What a frustration!  I am definitely going to make use of this one.

     Another one I looked at was called "Biology Corner".  This is of particular interest to me in light of all the money I personally have had to spend on science books and also because my oldest son goes to Clark-Shaw School of Math and Science.  We are big nerds at our house!

     I bookmarked most of his useful links with my delicious account for future use with students.

Internet Safety

     In the section on internet safety I read Mr. McClung's rules and advisement for his students regarding keeping their identity safe.  I am glad he is addressing this issue.  I know many parents that I have spoken to have apprehensions regarding their children's use of the internet.  And they certainly do need to be protected in such a public forum.  I think his safety precautions are adequate.  I am most unaware of the creative ways people may find to cause problems on the internet.  I know that our children will be using the internet their entire lives and the earlier they learn to navigate it safely the better.  Their judgement needs to be developed in this aspect as well.

Band of the Week

      The category I was assigned to post a comment on was "Band of The Week".  Really?  Wow.  What a cool assignment.  I love that this is a category at all.  It is well organized and highlights a new band each week.  I am interested in how the bands are selected.  I do know that this is a great way to tap into a Jr. High student's interest.  Music is a language that speaks to all generations.

   One of the posts titled "Say it aint so..." reviews a band called Weezer.  This is one of my favorite groups.  I  think the post does a short background on the band followed by a few titles of songs and albums the group is best known for.  Each post has a song embedded in it and this one has the song "Say it aint so.." (hence the tiltle of the post).  I love this song and this group and feel that the post is very well composed and to the point.

   After exploring Mr. McClung's blog I am more knowledgeable about the capabilities I have regarding blog use in the classroom and on a personal level.   I love it.  I have already created a blog for my family chronicling our experiences we would like to share with family and friends near and far.  We plan to use this blog to reconnect and forge closer ties with our loved ones.
     I feel Mr. McClung's world is a blog that is well organized and easy to explore.  It is great that parents can go and see what is going on.  Even better that students have access around the clock.  This can help in the event a student is sick or has to miss school for any reason.  I definitely plan to use a blog for my class when I get one!

     This blog is somewhat different from others I have visited.  It seems that Mr. McClung has a attitude that encourages him to strive for a new level of excellence.  In viewing his blog and all it's components I feel it reveals him to be organized, creative, driven, and an altogether dynamic educator who is utilizing the tools available with technology to their best potential.

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