Sunday, October 31, 2010

Final Reflection of the GAME Plan

Step 1: Having an organized method to reflect as a teacher is always a useful tool. Using the GAME Plan naturally lent itself to that area of a teacher's regular regime. I have never been truly reflective of my technology use in the classroom, so this was a unique experience and one that has been very enlightening.

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

Incorporating the GAME plan into STUDENT life

The GAME plan process that we have been using thus far this semester is actually very similar to the problem solving steps we teach our students in our Reading classes. We ask students to use these steps when faced with a social problem. They are asked to stop, think about and label the problem, come up with several possible solutions, choose one, act on it, and then evaluate how it went. This semester we have been asked to create a technology Goal, put it into Action, Monitor how the results are going, and lastly, Evaluate the result and make any changes. It is a wonder I never thought to incorporate these strategies in an academic sense earlier in the year.

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

Great News!

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Sophia Elizabeth to the world. You are such a beautiful girl!
Sophia Elizabeth is my lovely cousin.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Evaluating the GAME plan

What have you learned so far that you can apply in your instructional practice?

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

One Step Forward: Making Progress with the GAMEPlan

How effective were your actions in helping you meet your goals?

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.