First Entry!

First Entry!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Final GAME Post

Devising my GAME plan has really been a great experience. I was able to learn a lot about my style of teaching, what I was lacking, the direction I needed to head towards, and I also learned about my technology style of teaching. In addition to the need for more quality professional development (which is something I think the entire class was looking for) I also saw a need to incorporate more and more technology into my day to day instruction. My students need to stay one step ahead of technology if at all possible. To accomplish this, I need to expose them to as much as possible and on a weekly basis.

Creating the GAME plan unit for Science in the area of matter was a great time as well. Being able to use a new lesson plan format really showed me where I needed to have just the right amount of technology and text combinations. My lessons were well mapped out, I took my time, and created a lesson that was worthwhile to my class. In addition, I now have one less unit to plan for next school yer, so a definite bonus.

My learning for this course was changed and shaped by the GAME format, something at first I admit I was not too crazy about, but it grew on me. The format allows for creation of lessons that are clear, concise, and formatted for problem-based learning, the direction I was headed for anyway, I just arrived a little less stressed and earlier than planned. I will be creating more lessons using the GAME lesson plan format.

It is my hope as we move further and further into the technological age that some of the restrictions will be lessened to allow my younger students the chance to use Wiki's and blogs. Digital storytelling is a great way to demonstrate learning, introduce a new unit, or to just have some plain old fun with. Providing my students with as many opportunities as possible will only make them more ready for the real-world. They need to know how to properly use the technology that is at their finger tips, to me that is a key factor when creating lessons. Show them all the ways, not just one.

I value the experience gained in this course as it has taught me many valuable lessons and provided wonderful ideas.

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards based approach. (Laureate ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Monitoring progress within the GAME plan

I am building quite the pile of books to read over the summer, but I would like to attend more meetings or professional development than just read. Don't get me wrong, a lot can be gained from reading, but I feel that more information can be gained from person to person contact and instruction. I have my eyes and ears open to see what others are taking this summer. My district is offering a few days over the summer and I will be attending every day that applies to me and my position next year. I am moving into technology full time next school year, so my focus will be a little different and I will be finding new lessons that incorporate more technology. I want my students to walk away knowing far more than when they walked in.

What are some of you going to be taking over the summer in the area of professional development?? Do any of you know any great websites that are offering webinars?? I will take all the information that I can acquire.

I have started to keep a note book so I can write down all my thoughts and future plans the minute they occur. It is that time of year when you are looking ahead to the future and of course you want to be prepared. In the past when I have had ideas I never wrote them down, after learning the hard way, I want to be better prepared. I also do the same with websites and programs that I come across. This way I can check them out at a later date. One of my bigger plans is to really demostrate to my students more digital text, we are going to break down the ways in which it is read and how to get the most out of it. I want them to be able to look at a site and within the first minute know if that is the site for them.

My GAME plan is heading in the right direction and I am very thankful for that. My biggest concern is locating appropriate professional development that will lead me in the right direction.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Carrying Out the GAME Plan

To carry out my GAME plan which includes the two NETS-T indicators from my last post (exposing my students to more digital ways and improving my personal professional development) I have decided to take an introductory approach starting this coming school year. It is too late to start something now as we have 27 school days left. By starting in the fall I will have a more consistent approach with all my classes and I will be able to pick up where I left.  I will be using an internet literacy book for grades 3-5 and for grades 6-8. This literacy book will help me to break down my lessons and take the steps in smaller increments, a pace more comfortable for students to learn at. My internet literacy materials will use not only paper & pencil, but pre-determined websites including which takes steps through a variety of internet and English Language Arts diagrams. I have used similar materials this school year but not on a consistent basis and only with my fourth grade class.

To help my professional development move along in the proper direction I will be taking as many classes over the summer as possible. The courses that I am looking for will include classroom management, incorporating the Common Core Standards, and of course technology. When I reach out to further my learning I will be able to take that back to the classroom and to my students. I am open to any ideas that my peers may be willing to share. The more I am exposed to the better off my students will be because of it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Developing my GAME plan

There are two National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) indicators that I feel that I could use more confidence in. They are: 1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity and 2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments. In creating my GAME plan I need to be more aware of what my goals are for my students and take the necessary steps to help them develop the potential to reach the goal.

To help me reach my goals I need to monitor student progress as well as my own (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009). I think it would be great to teach my students the proper ways of evaluating a website and walk them through what I do when I encounter a new site. This would help to foster creativity among them and create a desire to want to find more sites to use during the school day and at home. To help reach the goal of design and developing digital learning experiences I am going to sit down with my students at the beginning of each school year and ask them what they would like to learn and then match that up standards. My students would serve as a constant reminder as the list that we make would be posted in the room and most students have wonderful memories when it comes to things like that.

The one area that I need some assistance in is with evaluating and extending my learning. I am at a loss as to plan for that or what would even be a good place to start. I would appreciate any assistance in that area.

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Custom Laureate ed.), Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Website evaluation

Today I checked out the website for my Supporting Information Literacy and Online Inquiry in the Classroom. What an interesting website to say the least. I am really shocked by which what is allowed to be posted or published on the web. No wonder so many students don't believe current history lessons, they think we are wrong and everything on the web is correct.

Please check out and let me know what you think. I apologize, the clip is only 5 minutes and I probably only covered a few links, and I know I could of talked for a longer time.

I do not advocate for this website in any manner, nor for the creator and contributors. Highly disagree with the content and the manner in which history is distorted.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Final Reflection

Looking back on this course I have come to learn many things about myself, my students, and the learning style that I use. I started this class with a personal learning theory of constructionism and constuctivist. I like my students to be moving and interacting (not chit chatting about after-school items, but school related). When they are moving they are learning from each other, and that is the best style of learning. I like that they are 'building' their mental file cabinets and adding new materials. Taking this course has deepened my understanding of how my learning style impacts my teaching style. Before it was easy to say do this or do that, but now when I create a lesson, I find myself looking more at why are we going to do and how will this impact my students with a deeper understanding. We all want that higher thinking level engaged.

Technology intergration is in use almost all the time in my room. My students are exposed to desktop's, Smartboards, SmartTables, Netbooks, and projectors. If we can get them on the computer for a lesson, we do. My district is very good about that and really wants the students to be exposed as much as possible. I look forward to the day that we have access to Ipads and the students are allowed to use their cell phones in class (to text in answers). The two pieces of technology tools that I will be using more is Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. I really want to dive deeper into Microsoft Word, especially with all the resources that the course text has to offer with the program. Dr. Orey talks a lot about the PowerPoint as being a great building lesson for students. My students have created these in the past, but now I want them to step up the lessons a notch, and incorporate so much more into the lesson. Maybe I will even have them create the 6th grade graduation slides for June.

Two long term goals that I have is to branch out and begin to really explore the computers more with my younger students. For example, Kindergarten and First grade. These students are great at playing games, but I want them to be whiz kids with a word document or a spreadsheet. This will be a time builder as the attention span in this age group is not very long. My second goal is to offer an after-school program for students that would like to learn more the computers or other technology that we have here at school. To get this started I think I will send out a small survey asking about 5 questions to see what they want to learn. As students get older they don't always want to ask questions for fear of peer teasing. This would also give me a chance to work in smaller groups and be able show them more.

I am very appreciative of everything that I have learned in this course. Many loose strings have been tied together, providing me with a clearer picture of the direction that I need to head in. My classmates were great with their advice and ideas, learning from your peers, the file continues to grow.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Connectivism and Social Learning in Practice

The instructional strategies described in this weeks learning resources most definitely correlate with the principals of social learning theories. "When students work in cooperative groups, they make sense of , or construct meaning for, new knowledge by interacting with others (Johnson, Johnson & Stanne, 2000)." The text talk about having a base group or home group for the students to come back to and that this groups remains in effect for the whole school year. It is important for the students to branch out, but at the same time they need to know that they are also responsible for reporting back to a main group. This correlates with real-life as we all work with our teams, but ultimately we are responsible for reporting back to the administration.

The resources that were presented included multimedia, web resources, and communication software. These tools all help students build or construct meaning, either together or alone. The resources all incorporate technology and allow the students to work within their district or branch out into the world. Social learning allows for students to construct materials that aid in their learning ability and cooperative learning helps with that construct ability as well.

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