Thursday, April 29, 2010

Next Year...

Okay, its nearing the end...of the year. So, of course, as the "reflective teacher" (pats self on back), I am looking at what happened this year, what to change, what to keep, what I like.

Next year I am going to be doing math AND science as part of a two man team (high five Josh!) I am glad I have had a couple of years to just get a handle on Math. This will make two subjects (technically three and a half as everyone must teach reading and a small period called advisory) easier to manage next year. I am very excited about what I have accomplished. I have incorporated blogs, my class is in the middle of creating a review wiki (which can be seen at, I have done several webquests, and other interactive lessons which may or may not include technology.

I fully anticipate using wiki's and blog's again. I really like the idea of using these things for intereactive computer lessons and review. I hope I can also use it for Science also!

Wish me LUCK!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I knew it. That was the longest two days of lessons I've ever experienced. I've never seen cabin fever at that level before. Yikes!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


It happens every year about this time. I am looking at my students report cards as they take their final PSSA test. I know tomorrow I will go back to pulling my hair out each class period at the things my students seem to forget so easily, but for right now in my quiet little classroom, I'm so proud of the things these students do accomplish with all of those extra things they have to deal with now that I didn't have to when I was little.

I see the improvements in grades on the report cards and I know they have learned. Maybe I have done something for them. I can't help but hope that when they look back when they are in that crazy big and scary middle school, they think they liked it better here in this small school where I knew everything about them and could answer their questions just by looking at the expressions on their faces. I helped these guys grow up a little this year. I'm proud of them.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I am EXTREMELY keen on hearing your thoughts on my specific issue. Please visit my voicethread:

Thanks for helping me out!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Social Learning

Social learning is innate to a classroom setting where cooperative learning is taught. It is my belief that cooperative learning, especially through technology is an incredible way to instill knowledge in a long-term, meaningful way because “students attempt to imitate real-life learning” (Palmer, Peters & Streetman, 2003). Of course, it should be understood that proper planning and monitoring is a must for social learning to actually happen within a cooperative classroom.

Using technology within the scope of social learning adapts students to the high paced, ultimately cooperative setting they will live through daily at work in their future. I have included online quizzes for students to complete as a group where students are given space to show work, collaborate, and give proper reasoning that might not happen individually as it is a cumbersome task for just one. This allows for students to experience “positive interdependence” (Pitler et. al, 2007)

I also like to have students complete summative assessments as groups because it is known that individuals retain different pieces of lecture as it pertains to them. Having students complete a glog, a poster on publisher, or an online cartoon allows students to remind each other of different aspects of the lesson, to piece the information together for each other in a meaningful way.
All of these methods are more appealing to students because of its social aspect. This is a main priority for students especially in middle school, thus social learning is also a motivational tool.

Palmer, G., Peters, R., & Streetman, R. (2003). Cooperative learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved 3/30/2010, from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD