Saturday, June 7, 2014

Blog Post 6

Anthony Capps is a 3rd grade teacher at Gulf Shores Elementary in Baldwin County. He really bases his classes on project-based learning. In Dr. Strange's video interview with him, Project Based Learning Part 1, Mr. Capps says that one of the things he says he really focuses on is making sure this method teaches the kids what they need to know based on the state and federal standards he has to follow. With the new Common Core Standards being so limited on the amount of creativity a teacher can create in the classroom, I can see how this can be a challenge. He also said in this interview that the most crucial aspect in project-based learning is allowing the students to revise and reflect on their work. He called this a democracy.

In his second interview with Dr. Strange, Project Based Learning Part 2, Mr. Capps says, "Never limit your students by giving them exactly what you want them to do. Create an opportunity for them to go beyond what you want them to do, and they will." Since I became a secondary education major, I have somewhat made this my personal motto. I believe that students should not be limited on what they can do. Otherwise, they will not be able to fully learn what they need to learn. Mr. Capps goes on to say that another important aspect of project-based learning is student choice because it gives them ownership and appreciation of the project.

Mr. Capps also speaks of iCurio in another interview he does with Dr. Strange, iCurio: Conversations with Anthony. He says that iCurio is type of search engine a that allows students to safely pull many different educational content (videos, articles, images, etc.)that they are interested in. He says it also stores the students content that they find valuable.

Project Based Learning

In the video, Conversations with Anthony: Discovery Education, Mr. Capps talks about the website Discovery Education. He uses the phrase, "A picture's worth a thousand words, so a video must be worth a million words." He says Discovery Education helps fullfill this phrase. The phrase means that if you give a student an article on something, it's always beneficial to couple it with a visual aid (video, image, etc.) to help the student understand the material better. Discovery Education helps fullfill that phrase by giving both articles AND visual aides.

In The Anthony - Strange Tips for Teachers Part 1, two of my favorite tips Mr. Capps gives is that:

1. To be an effective teacher, we need to be willing to learn how to learn how to be a teacher OUTSIDE of the classroom. He says one great way to do this is through reading books that can help you gain new knowledge in this aspect.
2. To start with an end goal and aim for that when teaching. If you don't get that goal, be flexible and learn what you did wrong and right so you know how to change your methods to aim to reach that goal again.

I find these two tips to be very helpful to me personlly because I know they will help me become the best teacher I can be.

In Use Tech: Don't Teach It, Mr. Capps talks about how he teaches technology by introducing and requiring students to use one different type of technology at a time. He says we need to use technology to get students excited about what they're doing. He uses a term "scaffolding" that means that he teaches and uses more complicated pieces of technology everytime he introduces a new form of technology.

In his final interview video, Additional Thoughts About Lessons, Mr. Capps makes the statement that lessons are four layers thick. The first layer is that you have to make sure your lesson plan helps you cover ALL the required materials in that year. The second layer is that you have created each unit to be meaningful and helps show that everything within that unit is connected in some way. The third layer is that you devise your week to where you get what you need done every week. The fourth and final layer is making sure your daily lessons are delivered to the students in a way that gets them hooked each day.

Overall, I find Anthony Capps to be an incredibly insightful teacher who I know can teach me a lot about how to be an effective teacher through project based learning.

Effective Teaching


  1. Great blog post!
    "be willing to learn how to learn how"--Take one of those "to learn how"s out!

  2. Great blog post! I agree with you 100% that a teacher should never stops learning. I also like the point that you hit on by saying "a video must be worth a million words!" keep up the great work.