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AEE 530 Assignment # 4 Workshop Reflection

This past week our class began the AEE 530 series with our group.  Our group facilitated the workshop of “Does Diversity Matter? Maximizing Multicultural Competency for Teaching Success.”   This instructional and interactive workshop gave educators and students specific strategies to deliver instruction that supports all students’ preferred learning styles. Participants gained tools that help create classroom climates where each student has a successful learning experience. This workshop was helpful for teachers in alternative schools, schools wanting to enhance delivery methods, and teachers seeking to connect with students who are not achieving the learning objectives.  Out learning objectives were to identify major components of multicultural education among instructors and educators, classifying personality styles, and identifying instructional strategies to increase student performance and support at risk learners and address needs of students.  Before conducting the workshop, our group worked together to develop a lesson plan and list of duties for each member. We met 3 times to ensure all tasks were completed and utilized skills and talents of our group members. I was able to conduct the beginning phases of the planning and my other group member served as piecing all information together in the lesson plan to create more understanding for the entire group to meet tasks. I think we had some difficulty in creating workshop presentation and tasks based on language barriers and understanding of the other group member. This issue was solved by finding a place in the presentation for the students to give their international perspective on teaching and learning and student preferred learning in Ukraine.  The group also utilized resources from the multicultural director in the college of AG and peer reviewed literature to support our topic.  Outreach and promotion of the workshop was viewed through networks of listservs of one group member and we were able to gain nearly 30 participants for the workshop.  An interesting point I think was a plus to the planning was our hands on activities, reflection2which gave participants a chance to network with others and gain there learning personality style better.  Reviewing the workshop evaluations, participants felt that the workshop was useful and they could utilize this information in there learning environments and classrooms in the future.  Some comments from participants were to make sure the group watch the timing of allowing through the interactive activities, the international perspective, the tasty dunkin donuts and coffee.  After our workshop the group got detail feedback from the class for future delivery and learning.  Some points were to offer more time for reflection for learners and offer beginning definition documents before. Students pointed out that the group did a great job and the break out sessions and the climate of the workshop as far as demographics was a great fit for the topic. I really enjoyed working with my group and topic and could see expanding or creating a novice workshop or discussion on the topic in the future.

AEE 530 Assignment # 5 TLT Symposium Reflection

teaching_with_technology1 This past weekend our AEE 530 class had the opportunity to participate in the Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium.  The symposium is an annual on-day event to showcase ways that technology can be used to enhance teaching, learning and research.  The symposium opened with a full and hearty breakfast with the opening speaker of Dr. Jones which he gave a great discussion on transforming education.  Some discussion from participants among the symposium mentioned barriers revolving in TLT and trying to incorporate focus into teaching.  The corporation with canvas and the size of classrooms would be an issue, however if educational tech could be able to leverage strategies to be able to get more technology to the students.  Another question noted was do we have more communication with all complexities of the system to get the barrier issue situated with TLT. It was also noted to implement a plan to incorporate diverse students in TLT to be more inclusive.  I attended various sessions which included sparking student interest using yammer and voice thread, promoting cultural competence through culture walks, wearable technology for self-regulated learning, and supported a colleague in their workshop on Penn State music education in technology regarding the blue band.  All workshops were great, but the sparking student interest workshop was the most beneficial to me to be able to gain more insight on other educational apps to use within course structure especially using them within me TA with my advisor course this fall. Yammer and Vice Thread could be utilized in gaining student online presentation and dialogue on content with more than just their classmates.  I felt like this experience has truly gave me a view on how to incorporate more technology effectively in courses I will teach or TA in the future.

AEE 530 Assignment # 3 Micro-Teaching Reflection

My micro teaching experience was very interesting and fun. I wish I had more peer-reviews to get a deeper feedback approach from more in the class. I also saw it was interesting homicroteaching1w I created the lesson plan and got a chance to teach a portion (10 mins) of the lesson.  I played the role of the teaching experience in terms of a morning setting but since the experience was conducted in the afternoon it made it a bit difficult to broaden my thinking in teaching the course in the morning time frame. The breakdown of my teaching experience of the lesson educated me on how plans of action do not go as planned sometimes and how reflection is instrumental going forward. I think this micro-teaching experience was helpful in it gave me a chance to re-teach a lesson from AEE 311 and really get great feed-back from my peers in the class. In addition, I loved the structure of being able to reconstruct a syllabus, create a lesson plan, and then be able to teach to other classmates. I wish we could have selected 5 students of our own to come at that moment and be able to hear from undergraduates about their reflection from our teaching since the courses are undergraduate level.  From my peers I learned a sense of additional stances on bringing technology to the class, providing humor to make classes more fun-filled and interesting, and having breakout activities to build more on the concepts presented. I think my taking my time would be beneficial going forward in my teaching to let students be able to reflect more on the concepts presented in the lesson plan.  My peers mentioned in the review that I gave great energy, positive handouts, presented questions and group discussion, and made it a fun atmosphere to engage content. They also mentioned that things I could improve on was telling more my story or experience, rushed a bit on teaching, needed to play clear instrumental music for class, and typos in my PowerPoint.  Overall, I feel that I did a great job generating discussion in the teaching experience and prompting students with guided questions. I think by me providing material for the students in the beginning helped them as well to gage more into the content. I look forward to viewing the video of my experience to grasp more of my teaching and strategies I can use going forward in future teaching.  If I did this lesson again, I would change several things.  I would add more time and better introduction/hook to the concepts.  I would have students take a beginning approach or start out question to engage there attention to the lesson. I think I would also send a question or reading in advance before the micro-teaching experience so my peers would have a heads up on the content for the lesson. This would have helped to know who would be in our groups in advance for the experience.  The sky is the limit!

AEE _Assignment2_Instructional Decision Making_Lesson Plan_MSMITH

Creating a lesson plan can be easy and difficult at the same time. Having passion for your content and strategies of how you may want to teach can be tricky also.  During the course we were allowed to review and create a revision of a syllabus for a course we would like to teach based on our interests.  Upon creating my lesson plan for a unit out of course (AEE 311), I first took the time to plan out my lesson objectives.  I wanted to take a brainstorm of how I wanted the students to learn and be able to do at the end of the class.  I pointed out the topic of the lesson, students learning preference, and what I want them to take away after the 50 minutes of instruction.  Secondly, I focused my attention on the instructional procedures. How will I gain students attention?  How will I recall their prior relevant information?  How will I present new material?  How will I elicit performance? How will I assess performance? Lastly, how will I enhance retention?  These questions I was able to point out 2/3 explanations/themes to follow as I conduct the teaching lesson that day. Thirdly, I created the general content and time for the class by listing the content/lecture point and time period to be able to stay on pace.  I included a section for material needed, and announcements that could be talked about at the beginning or end of the lesson.  Lastly, I included and planned to develop a conclusion and talking points for the next session. Something I also created in my plan was a middle note section for added points or notes going forward.  I feel that a lesson plan may not work as we can expect it to be, but we must not get to hard on ourselves and just make adjustments as you go and this teaching guide/tool will enhance our learning and experience to make the best better in teaching. THE SKY IS THE LIMIT!images

Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Grant Program – USDA-NIFA

Upon setting up this blog, one of my visions was to push more resources through this online tool for followers and myself and in the field.  Something that I have stumbled across was an opportunity to apply for a grant to allocate funding to land-grant university extension services for community-based programs for at-risk children and their families.More information about this grant will be found on  imgres

AEE 530_ Assignment 1_ Rationale for Revision to Syllabus_MSMITH

Syllabus are a great learning contract going forward for the instructor and for students. During the course we were allowed to review a syllabus of interest based on our teaching interests. Tthhis was very exciting and great experience on some concepts already gathered from weeks 1-4. I chose to review the course syllabus from AEE 311 Section:002. Upon reviewing the course, the course content and expectations are specific but could be better written for an undergraduate audience.  The syllabus did provide detailed explanations of grading, contact information for course instructor, required course materials, academic integrity statement, disability statement, attendance, course schedule and requirements, and teaching methods and communication. However, upon continuing to review I noticed the syllabus could have better use of technological approaches or strategies to engage the student and instructor more. In addition, based on experience and practice with creating more in depth and objectives using performance, conditions, and criterion I could revise this syllabus more matching some of the teaching methods and assignments already listed.  I even revised the format, objectives, communication strategies, expectations, and assignment page to have it more readable for the students. I think that the rationale for this assignment was to engage the students in this course a hands on experience to focus on the essential elements and components of the formation and synopsis of a course syllabus. I took alot out of this assignment going forward in my career in the agricultural teaching system. Additional resources and points on what syllabus should have can be found at

Got Justice?: Observations on a Food Justice Youth Summit and Food as a Means to Youth and Community Empowerment by Sahra Sulaiman

Instead, the youth and their adult allies — the majority of whom were African-American or Latino and from more marginalized communities — were looking at food through a justice lens. To them, the lack of access to nutritious offerings in their communities wasn’t something that “just so happened.” It was a by-product of the injustices they saw as inherent in an increasingly globalized food system and exacerbated by being set within a context of deeply entrenched socio-economic inequalities. Their work in food, therefore, tends to promote individual and community empowerment through the creation of a healthier environment (physically and spiritually), inclusive economic development, the reclaiming of blighted and abandoned lands for cultivation, the celebration of culturally-affirming farming practices and foods, increased access to leadership training and education, and/or the enhancement of food security through greater self-sufficiency. More information at  IMGP9884new

Racial and Ethnic Diversity is Increasing in Rural America

According to U.S. Census Bureau county population estimates taken in 2005, “racial and ethnic minorities now make up 19 percent of nonmetro residents and are geographically dispersed throughout the Nation.” Overview, reports and data about critical demographic and economic trends and characteristics of rural minority residents.page7 Racial & Ethnic Diversity

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