Sunday, December 26, 2010
In my classroom, there is larger impact each time I open the doors each morning. I have used surveys, and utilized other technology in order to give the students ownership over their education and to make information more accessible to every student. Providing options through technology makes creating this environment for my students very simple.
I have already begun to utilize simple technology like web2.0 tools and technology that is associated with our textbook to create centers for lessons. The students have freedom to move through the information at their own speed and choose their own notes and practices while coming to the same accomplishments. I have found that providing options for all usually helps the students who require certain differentiation according to their IEPs without much additional planning. Conversely, providing different types of options for assessments utilizes every students' strengths to their advantage, especially in regards to their learning styles.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). “Universal Design for Learning” [Educational video]. Baltimore: Author.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2009). Introduction: Knowing Your Students [DVD] Reaching and engaging all learners through technology. Baltimore: Author.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Step 2: I have particularly learned through this experience, the need for school cooperation and the inspiration that can come from collaborating with others. At this moment the math department is trying to put together a wiki in order to connect the entire student body in a more unified look at math. It is very exciting to have tried and experimented in this way with my colleagues.
Step 3: I believe the biggest change in instructional practice that will come of the use of the GAME Plan is to always be open to sharing experiences and set failures as valuable as successes in the learning sphere. The GAME Plan allows us as teachers and learners to do this safely and effectively.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
As we went through these past couple of weeks, working on our GAME plan, it was clear that using this simple graphic and mental organizer simplified a seemingly complicated problem: utilizing technology effectively in the classroom community. Obviously, this lends itself to problem-based learning. Having students fill out a simple graphic organizer, as we have for our standards will illuminate a new focus to their learning as they move along through a problem-based lesson, just as we have not learned more ways to use technology, but new ways to look at technology. Students will be more aware of what they are learning just as they are ever so clear about the math goals we have. However, when using the GAME plan set up, students are more in charge and motivated when using their own technology goals.
My only concern is overwhelming students with another form to fill out. Would anyone have another suggestion for guiding students through a GAME plan of their own without having them hold on to yet another piece of paper? Perhaps a class blog of some kind?
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Thus far, in trying to incorporate my GAME plan into my instructional practices I have found that teaching is a lot of getting through the administrative aspects in order to provide these lessons to my students. This is due to the allocation of money in ways that are not necessarily agreed upon by all teachers in the district. Previously I explained my districts current position on ONLY using eChalk as they have spent a lot of money on the program. This fact remains a roadblock in the use of the wikis in my classroom. eChalk is extremely glitchy at the school and although I have tried quite a few times these past few days, the program seems to be too convoluted for my students (and myself at times!)
What goals are you still working toward?
I confess, I am still trying to teach my students how to use this program and also how to maintain a student-professional atmosphere when posting discussions. This means asking students to refrain from smiley faces, extra exclamation points, as well as having the students use proper spelling and grammar.
Based on the NETS-T, what new learning goals will you set for yourself?
I will be continuing the goals I have initially set forth as progress has been quite slow.
If you are not ready to set new learning goals, how will you extend what you have learned so far?
My intention is to start my wiki with the students and expand the communication “To obtain a constant, quality communication system that reaches parents, students, and teachers.” My next extension would be towards the teachers and lastly towards the parents.
What learning approaches will you try next time to improve your learning?
In the future I will definitely try to accomplish a goal that is a more immediate notion rather than something that requires the attention of the entire school district. It is better to go from a classroom experiment to a school wide/district wide initiative than vice versus.
National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) located at
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Upon speaking with the other teachers and showing a sample WIKI to my department, I have met with some great enthusiasts, but also quite a few who are resistant to the idea. I have a great and overwhelming feeling that this WIKI idea will largely be my own, with perhaps a scant few that may chime in from time to time. In my school, we are actually being persuasively asked to use a program called eChalk to do our teacher websites, blogs, and WIKIS. This particular program is proving convoluted and glitchy. One of the main glitches is that the tech department has yet to give the students their required emails. While my students are awaiting this information, I am being asked to be patient and therefore my plans are being put on hold for the moment.
What have you learned so far that you can apply in your instructional practice?
I am currently in the process of trying to figure out a new “wiki-system.” I am trying to understand the logistics, smooth out the glitches, and see how it runs on our computers. In this way, I will be more adept at asking students to complete an assignment in class.
I am also focusing my classroom lessons to revolve around collaborative work using computers in order to get students used to the use of the computers and how they should manipulate them without harming the technology.
What do you still have to learn? What new questions have arisen?
How will you adjust your plan to fit your current needs?
My biggest question at this moment is: when will the program be ready?
I am also looking into what kinds of conferences I might be able to get into this year for further technological projects, especially regarding project based learning, as I find myself hopelessly under equipped.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
While participating in our discussion last week, I had the opportunity to learn about google aps and the ability to give each of my students email accounts. This was the first of my hurdles in the logistics aspect of creating and implementing a wiki in the school and classroom. My students were unable to log in without an email, and the district was having difficulty maintaining them as our transient issues have become large in scale. With this new information I have begun working closer to fulfilling my game plan.
As a school-wide tool, I have begun bringing up the idea in our monthly school meetings and during our technology committee meetings. I have created a basic wiki for the students and have begun showing it to the rest of the teachers in order to inform them of the availability and the options that we can use to bind our school through the web.
I would like to research more on the different ways other teachers have used wikis, as often there are ideas that have been proven effective that can help more with the “how” aspect of this project. Rather than reinvent the wheel I will be asking other teachers in the district, as well as researching school district and college websites to find more information.
In following up with further research, I must be mindful to ask more and more, “how?”
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
The information required incorporating the wiki into my classroom and school would require training from a conference to discover the intricacies and teachable tools that are available through wikis. In order to use a wiki as a citizenship tool, I would be required to advocate the website throughout the school and share the knowledge and tools I have knowledge of not only with students, but with other teachers and staff. These things would have to be the first steps to the ACTION aspect of my game plan.
Gaining information that is needed beforehand will require experts in the field, computer training, and colleague cooperation. While incorporating wikis into the classroom, I will need student emails, laptops for students, video/voice recording and transferring equipment in order to allow students to use the wiki to its’ potential. I would like to show students how to share videos, discuss math topics, and participate fully in the wiki using this equipment. Students will be shown one feature at a time in order to master the knowledge required. Discussion posts will be discussed and used first as a means to communicate important information.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I'm writing to you to ask for your support in a very special cause.This year, I'll be taking part in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk to Cure Diabetes along with a half-million other walkers across the country. Our goal: To raise $90 million to help fund research for a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes, is a devastating, often deadly disease that affects millions of people--a large and growing percentage of them children.
Many people think type 1 diabetes can be controlled by insulin. While insulin does keep people with type 1 diabetes alive, it is NOT a cure. Aside from the daily challenges of living with type 1 diabetes, there are many severe, often fatal, complications caused by the disease.That's the bad news... and yes, it's pretty bad.The good news, though, is that JDRF is making steady progress toward a cure. In fact, JDRF funding and leadership is associated with most major scientific breakthroughs in type 1 diabetes research to date. And JDRF funds more type 1 research than any other charity worldwide.I'm writing to ask for your support because now more than ever, EACH of us can be a part of bringing about a cure. Each of us can make a real difference
Won't you please give to JDRF as generously as you're able?
Together, we can make the cure a reality.
Please visit my Walk Web page if you would like to donate online or see how close I am to reaching my personal goal:http://walk.jdrf.org/walker.cfm?id=87733422
Thursday, September 16, 2010
3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society.
c. communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats
To obtain a constant, quality communication system that reaches parents, students, and teachers. Communication will be frequent, relevant, and varied in substance. Communication will also cross several formats for those individuals with different abilities and resources.
It is important to inject ourselves into our student’s lives in as many ways as possible, as our students are learning information (whether it be quality information or not) at every turn, due to the internet Prensky states, “It’s their after-school education, not their school education, that’s preparing our kids for their 21st-century lives,” (Prensky, 2008) With this idea in mind, I will develop and regularly update a classroom weblog and wiki that includes news updates about the classroom as well as showcases of student’s work that will be available for parental viewing. Because blogs and wikis can include picture, video and links, it may also be used as a study source and homework helper as it is also a discussion area. These resources can be utilized by other teachers in the school, as well as students during study halls. If there are ever any questions regarding what should be done in my class by other adults, the information will be available even when I am not.
The very idea of wikis and blogs is to digitally express ongoing projects. Thusly, teachers and students will make ongoing modifications to both as they modify their learning strategies. (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009) In this way, monitoring will occur as a community, while I mediate the progress and keep discussions on track.
At the end of each chapter or unit, students will be asked to utilize the digital resources in class as a review session. At this time, I will be able to see if my goal has been met as far as the students are concerned. Are they able to understand and use the resources independently?
I will also monitor the resources availability to parents and it’s effectiveness as conferences are formed with parents. Did they see the website? Were they able to understand it and how helpful was it? These comments will help form any final modifications.
4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices.
c. promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information
To teach and model responsibility and etiquette within the confines of a digital community, specifically within a wikispace and blogging atmosphere. To enable students to interact with one another without resorting to digital bullying, or other inappropriate social behaviors.
I will introduce the classroom wiki and blog slowly with “getting to know you” activities in order to practice communication skills without the stress of also having to accomplish an academic goal. In doing this, “they develop a deeper understanding of the perspectives of others.” (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009) The students will also begin to understand the necessity of communicating effectively as they are asked to collaborate on a digital scale when more and more academic collaborations are added throughout the year in the form of group discussions as well as individual posts and responses.
Each blog or wiki discussion post will be graded for participation (and then later on for content. A rubric will be used that includes an etiquette and appropriate participation section. This rubric will be discussed before the students are graded on it. If needed, students will have a conference, or teacher will discuss any inappropriate responses class-wide depending on the situation.
At the end of each marking period, students will receive a final grade on their participation on the wikis and blogs. As students have had opportunities to conference with the teacher as well as whole-class discussions on appropriate participation, the final grade will assess how well the student understands the impact of digital and global etiquette.
National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) located at http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_T_Standards_Final.pdf
Prensky, M. (2008, March). Turning on the lights. Educational Leadership, 65(6), 40-45.
Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology Integration for Meaningful Classroom Use: A Standards-Based Approach.(Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
This was a bunch of yarn I had no idea what I should use for. Solution: 2Knit rows 2Purl rows (which give the ramen noodle effect apparently) until it looks like a little bean can be wrapped up in it and look super cute. Good luck Jen!
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Those darn snaps are tricky, I had help from mom gettin them all lined up so we could hammer them together...
Eventually I tied them all down so they wouldn't get caught on everything.
Friday, August 20, 2010
My house is spotless and there are 12 other items on the list for me to do...all crafts. I need to stop going to A.C. Moore and visiting etsy.com. I ALWAYS get cool new ideas when I go to these places. I am in the middle of testing a bunch of ideas, and I have finished one. I fun little bracelet I decided to whip up quick on cleaning day.
Take a looksy!
I loved these old buttons...and you can't see it, but the bigger one has a heart scribbled on it. It's just so cute!
More pictures to come...I finished the blanket and I can finally post about it because I gave it as a gift to my cousin Jen.
And I am on my way to making all of those hats for Heather Ryan Photography. Here we go!
Monday, August 16, 2010
I continually try to build a technology foundation for my students, however, I also would like to give ownership to my students. Thusly, I must prepare my students with knowledge of quality technology and information as well as proper usage. I will take extra care to incorporate this aspect of technology in my lessons.
I plan to utilize website recording tools to show students how to think critically regarding websites. I will also use more technology based projects to assess as well as the more traditional tests used in math classes.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I'm writing to you to ask for your support in a very special cause.
This year, I'll be taking part in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk to Cure Diabetes along with a half-million other walkers across the country. Our goal: To raise $90 million to help fund research for a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.
Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes, is a devastating, often deadly disease that affects millions of people--a large and growing percentage of them children.
Many people think type 1 diabetes can be controlled by insulin. While insulin does keep people with type 1 diabetes alive, it is NOT a cure. Aside from the daily challenges of living with type 1 diabetes, there are many severe, often fatal, complications caused by the disease.
That's the bad news... and yes, it's pretty bad.
The good news, though, is that JDRF is making steady progress toward a cure. In fact, JDRF funding and leadership is associated with most major scientific breakthroughs in type 1 diabetes research to date. And JDRF funds more type 1 research than any other charity worldwide.
I'm writing to ask for your support because now more than ever, EACH of us can be a part of bringing about a cure. Each of us can make a real difference
Won't you please give to JDRF as generously as you're able?
Together, we can make the cure a reality.
Please visit my Walk Web page if you would like to donate online or see how close I am to reaching my personal goal:
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Which is actually this much...
And this is how much yarn I still have to use...
So, in conclusion, I am catching up on my discovery channel documentaries when I am not reading my book and trying desperately to knit away the summer. Thusly, my house has not been cleaned since medieval times, my living room resembles a chinese sweatshop,and Bert keeps staring at me like a Discovery Channel camera man poised to capture some amazing natural phenomenon with no hope of actualization. Sorry Bert.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
When they opened the door to the teeny tiny plane this is what we saw! No worries : )
It was SUCH a rush for the FreeFall...
Yet so peaceful floating to the ground like a leaf on a calm fall day...
Happy Summer Everyone! Hope you are enjoying yours as much as I am enjoying mine!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
So I thought I'd give it a try. Very small scale at first, of course, but I am planning to eventually make some little bistro tables for my back porch and front porch. Maybe even something for my living room. This is something I created for my front door:
I like to think it's not a bad start.