Sunday, April 10, 2011
Special Assignment- Mr. McClung´s World
Mr. McClung is an eighth grade teacher at Woodland Junior High in Fayetteville, AR. Mr. McClung is an exceptional teacher because he does not stick to traditional teaching style in which the students take a passive role. Mr. McClung encourages his students to engage in class with excitement. I have analyzed Mr. McClung´s class website and I have learned a lot through this process.
Mr. McClung seems to be a very positive and encouraging person. From reading his blog, I can tell that he wants his students to have the same cheerful attitude. Obviously, Mr. McClung has a lot of energy because he puts a lot of emphasis on hand gestures. He encourage his students to use hand gestures, as well. This shows me that he likes to be physically engaged in what he is saying and this helps his comprehension in some way. I think that this is a great technique that he employs because children will be encouraged to pay attention because of his high energy level.
As an educator, Mr. McClung has many positive characteristics which I would like to point out. First of all, he seems to be a nontraditional teacher because he is willing to relinquish some control in his classroom. What I mean by this is that Mr. McClung does not seem to teach in a teacher centered model in which the students must remain quiet and listen to him lecture all the time. He encourages his students to collaborate with him. The second attribute which I noticed about Mr. McClung is it seems that Mr. McClung focuses on relating to his students and motivating them. He uses a class scoreboard to show them how well they are behaving that day. I think this is a fun way to keep students focused on following rules. He even posts a band of the week on the class blog for his students. This shows that Mr. McClung is willing to show students a more personal side of himself. This makes his students see him as a normal person that is like them instead of a boring teacher that does not understand them. My third observation about Mr. McClung is that he is very effective at incorporating technology into his classroom. Mr. McClung has a class web page on which he posts information for his students, parents and other educators. He has also created a class facebook page which I think is a very uniqueClung allows his students to post blogs on the class site and he also posts videos of their class projects. All of these characteristics make Mr. McClung stand out as a very exceptional educator.
Mr. McClung has five rules that he lists which he expects his students to follow. These rules include
1) Follow directions quickly
2) Raise your hand for permission to speak
3) Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat
4) Make smart choices
5) Keep your dear teacher happy
I think that these rules are pretty standard. I find them all to be reasonable. It's important for students to stay focussed and have respect for their teacher. Mr. McClung's rule are not harsh or demanding. I think they imply an agreement of mutual respect between the teacher and the students. I will probably have a similar list of rules for my future class.
In his list of class materials, the first thing that the students are required to have is a planner. This teraches the students the importance of keeping track of their assignments. This also encourages them to make a schedule for themselves and allows them to make goals.
Mr. McClung's homework policy seems rather lenient to me. He allows students to turn in their assignments by the end of the day that they are due. If a student turns their assignment in late, then their grade is docked by ten points for every day that they are late. This is similar to Dr. Strange's late work policy. Dr. Strange makes it clear that late work is unacceptable and will result in a lower grade. Mr. McClung is dealing with children, so it makes sense that he is a bit more lenient than Dr. Strange.
Mr. McClung discusses his purpose in creating a blog at the end of his syllabus. He states that the blog will help his students keep up with their homework. His blog also allows parents and other teachers to keep up with his students progress. These seem like great goals to me. I wish to start a class blog in the future for the benefit of my students.
Mr. McClung has a list of useful links on his page which has several good websites. I explored two of these links in depth. One of the links that I explored was ant.com. This is a search engine which allows you to see a description and a picture of each website that it displays. This adds convenience because it allows you to sift through websites more easily.It also has a description of each website to show the amount of traffic that each website receives each month and it provides links and embed codes for the sites. The second website that I explored was guysread.com. This is a website which is dedicated to getting boys interested in reading. This site lists books which many men have recommended for boys. Both of these websites seem very beneficial. Ant.com offers another alternative to google and it seems to give more information so that people can be more careful about the sites that they visit. The second website that I visited has a great purpose so I can see why Mr. McClung would want to share it with others.
Mr. McClung has a great set of rules for internet safety for his students. He instructs his students that they should never use their last name or e-mail address when leaving a comment for someone. He even created a class e-mail account for his students to use for sites that require an address. He also tells his students to never reveal their location or agree to meet with someone they have met online. I think I would use a similar list of rules for my future classes. It's very important for students to remain safe while using the internet. Mr. McClung teaches his students how they can remain safe while learning from the many tools which are available online.
I reviewed and commented on one of the posts that Mr. McClung made under the Lessons Learned category. Mr. McClung discussed the t-shirt design for the fundraiser that his classes are having for teh Susan G. Komen For the Cure fund. Mr. McClung was encouraging his students to submit possible designs for t-shirts which will raise money for and support their cause. I wished Mr. McClung luck with his fundraiser and commended him for encouraging his students to use their creativity.
Mr. McClung uses edublogs for his class blog. There are many advantages to using this site because it seems to offer a lot of great features. I'm not sure if these features can be used on blogger or not. I guess I need to spend more time exploring blogger or perhaps I could start an edublog account for myself. There were two features which I did particularly like about Mr. McClung's blog. The live traffic feed on the side which shows the location of the people who visit his blog. He also has a personalized banner at the top of his page which I though looked very unique. I think it would be really cool to create one of these for my own blog.
Mr. McClung's blog is useful to parents and other educators because it shows the assignments that he gives his students and lists them by subject. This allows parents to keep track of their child's homework. This also allows other educators to get ideas from his assignments. Mr. McClung also posts things which he has learned through his experiences. Other educators can benefit from these experiences. Mr. McClung offers a list of links to useful websites which can help both educators and parents. For example, guysread.com can help parents encourage their children to learn because it offers possible reading material for boys who are generally uninterested in reading.
Mr. McClung's website differs from other 8th grade teacher's websites that I have seen because he posts all of the students assignments for both students and parents to view. Other blogs that I have seen simply list blogs that students have created themselves. Mr. McClung also posts some non educational information in the blog such as the band of the week. This makes the website more fun to view. Mr. McClung's blog also offers the opportunity for people to chat with him directly. I have not seen this feature on any other blog, and I think it is a great addition!
I have enjoyed learning from Mr. McClung's website. I hope that I will be able to create a great website like this that will benefits my future students and their parents. If you would like to visit Mr. McClung's site follow this link: