Final Reflection

This class overall was beneficial for me. Things I learned:


From Twitter –

Through these collaboration and chat sessions I come away with many new ideas about technology and lesson. From this collaboration I organized a project for my students and implemented the use of technology. The project was based off of the students asking questions that they had about things we had already studied in Social Studies. They searched online for information they gathered on an outline that focused on Topics (main idea) and supporting details. My students struggle to find these parts of text so I thought this way they can use it while they are looking up some thing they are interested in. After they fill out the outline they then create a children’s book. Topic is the Title and the different ideas in the books all have three supporting details. The students gathered pictures online for the stories that needed to match their writing. My students have taken a long time to complete this project but have been engaged the entire time. This cross-curricular activity using technology propably would not have happened if I had not been in this class. It was because of twitter conversations that I was confident and able to start this project. There are many things I will need to fix for next time but I really like d the project.


Technology use –

I used new pieces of technology in my class as a result of this course. Voki is a great resource for the listening practice of technology. Several ipad applications have been used with my student with autism, and all students in my class have now been introduced to Word beyond the standard typing. They have used many of the formatting options, they have imported pictures, and used text boxes. They have also saved to an external hard drive as well. Another piece of technology that I used was Prezi. I really liked this for a brief presentation. I was introduced to voice-thread on Barbara’s blog which I really like. I will try to use that in the future. The teacher I mentored is now able to create clicker quizzes effectively and also use Voki for listening strategies. I gained a little experience in trouble shooting technology in front of my class as well as troubleshooting a situation where we could not alter the technology in the manner we wanted so we had to change our delivery to make it user friendly for the students. I was able to model technology use with my students in ideal situations as well as less than ideal situations. What I noticed was when they searched and it didn’t work out they were not frustrated or discouraged in the least they just kept on looking. This modeling shows the reality of technology and that some times the technology goes out or is not functioning properly so you trouble shoot using what you know.


Mentor experience –

This was a great collaboration experience. We worked together to solve problems and come up with new ideas. We used journals to document which made it easy to go back and look at what was done and how that worked. This is a strategy I have carried over into my everyday class I have different notebooks for different topics and when I see something or get an idea about something I write it in the respective notebook.


Writing a paper –

Yes writing this paper solidified a few idea for me about the paper writing process. I also like the idea of being able to apply knowledge from a different class to this one. This “cross-curricular” application of a new skill was a great job of modeling.


Reading material –

             REQUIRED – 

Teach Like a Pirate  – This book was great and gave me many ideas for my own class. It is tough to implement some of them in my 3rd grade class but as I continue on in my career I will gather more and new ideas. This book is definitely 5 stars.

 A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change – This book inspired me to continue to add technology to my class as well as adapt to the ever changing world.

            RESEARCHED –

Teaching Listening and Speaking –  this was a piece of literature I gathered online for my mentor project and is one that I will keep. It has some great information about speaking and listening in education.

Preparation Tips ( for presentations) – The was another bit of information I found online when I was looking to finish and present my results from my mentor project. It helped me narrow down what I wanted to present and how to present it. This is another paper I will hang on to.


reflection week 9

Week 9 reflection: What to where and how


This week was challenging for me as I had a million thoughts about this running through my head as I was reading things. I could not keep them all straight. I believe there is a time and place for everything. I don’t think we can rely on only one form of educating our children. There is a time to know what and there is a time to know how and where.

            When I read Heathers blog she was talking about webquests. I had to create one as part of my bachelors work in 2001 so I was surprised that she didn’t know about them. I am guessing that there is just that much more out there that Universities are introducing which makes it hard to teach it all. I then shared a few links to online webquest help and how to create your own. I remember I liked to create them but have not used it since I graduated.

            As usual Tracie had an interesting blog. I did have a question about the school that was in her blog and what the student population was like. I also continue to have concerns with students knowing basic facts and being able to use them efficiently.

            When I got to Hallie’s blog I also read the previous comments. I did respond to Joe on her blog. I also left her with a few Ideas on how to balance the what that we are required to teach in the district with the how.

I have talked to others that have been in our district for about 8 years and they said the district did try the constructivist method but the students had no background knowledge to pull from so the final projects were very limited. I took that into consideration and ended up creating a type of where and how mixed with a bit of explicit instruction. I will be interesting to see what my students do with this project and what they end up taking from it.


Biggest thing I have learned is to pay attention. See what works for your students and adapt it to them even when others may not agree with certain parts of it. You are the one in the classroom and you are the one that see’s the progress.


Goal is to finish the project in class and assess student knowledge and see if it was effective.

week 10 reflection

Week 10 reflection:

             Gamer week was interesting. There are two people on staff that are gamers to some extent. I learned a lot and can appreciate what gaming has to offer more now. I can see the leadership skills that can be formed. I just wonder how you relate those to the students so they can see that they have to apply these skills not just use them in the game. Application is the biggest problem that I see in my own classroom. My students will learn a skill but have no clue how to apply it or when.

            When I read Hallie’s blog I started to think about all the ways that we group our students in class and how people that game use groups. I think it is two different ways. I think in class we group from high to low on one skill or the same ability level in other cases. I left her a message about using the science and social studies to group like you would in a gamer situation. Use the different skills in groups to solve problems. Math and reading you could potentially so it but would take more planning and training in humble opinion. I may even try it in my class when we start science next semester.

            Tracie’s blog gave me an idea for my students to create a game and have to be able to use what they have learned in the game and apply that knowledge. I let a comment but I am thinking with her technology background and experience she has already tried that. I am thinking about how I can apply it to my room for Math and also incorporate reading.

            Heather’s blog about gaming was great!! After I read that I could relate better to what a leader in a gaming scenario would have to do. It was very much like coaching a sport. You have to find the strengths of your team and learn how they work the best together. As a team player you have to execute your job to your best or the team fails which is the case in team sports too. It was vary helpful in relating.

 My Goal is to check out some Online games and get involved to be able to use this in my class.  Not sure if I will have time as I finish my Masters but after that I would like to work on it.

week 11 reflection

Reflection; week 11


This week I spent a lot of time working on my project for the research class I did not get to spend quality time on blogs as I like to. This week I talked a lot with the tech person on our staff. She and I discussed a philosophy that could be used on a resume or on a website. She has used many of the programs we are using and talking about. She also has written a philosophy and has been a great resource for collaboration. I also started a weebly home page for my classroom and hope to finish it soon so my class can begin using it. I hope to have it up and running by the new year.


I reviewed blogs later  the blogs I visited and wrote on were Hallie’s, Tracie and Heather’s blogs. Hallie quoted the part about what we teach being only relevant I found that  alarming as many did this week. I was thinking though there have been educational advances before and how were those accepted? I posted a statement or food for thought. The videos and trainings on you tube is what trade books were used for in previous years. Teaching students how to learn should not be a new thing. Teaching them how to use the latest technology is just another tool. I remember learning from text books but not learning how to use them outside of school. Not until I found an interest did I pick up a trade book. That is why searching for students interest in school is so necessary. That way we can use the tools for learning .

When I read Tracie’s blog I totally agreed with her thoughts on modeling how to adapt to technology whether it is new technology, technology failing in class, or a search that has not yielded many useful sites. Students need to see that this is just part of things and they have to adapt. If they see you do it they are more likely to adapt as well.. I also let her know that her input in class and her feedback to some of my blogs has led me to a project that I am currently using in my class.

I liked the idea of Heathers motto. I also know that not everything new is all GREAT!!! Learn and use what you can. I did ask her thoughts on how to stay open to this change as teaching ideas go in cycles and just get new names with a few new twists. I hear teachers that have been teaching for a while just sigh when a new curriculum is introduced or when new teachers discuss the methods they were trained in, they just say we did that years ago. I plan on reminding myself of the fact that you can learn something from everyone or everything. I don’t want to take the wind out of a new teachers sails they need to be built up.

Week 12 reflection

I finally posted my paper finished a screen cast and used Prezi. I also found an article about presentations. It was helpful to me. I guided me through finding a focus for my presentation. It had some very basic questions to follow but was beneficial to me. I tweeted it a few weeks ago when I found it. Not sure if it was of use to anyone but me. Writing the paper also solidified a few things form the research class which was nice to use that new skill again.

             I read Heathers blog and agreed with her needing to play with new things to become proficient with them. I related that to when I first used the SMARTBoard. I needed some basic training at first then I was able to play around with it for a bit. After that I asked for a bit more information about places to get lessons and was directed to SMARTexchange. There I have used lessons and also posted things for other teachers to use. I also offered to collaborate on hooks at any time.

            Hallies blog about her project using Glogster was good. I have used that tool with my third grade. I left her some input on using it with younger students.  When I was using it I wanted pictures that were not in their bank so I used it to create my own pictures so students will either have to be able to safely search the internet or they must know how to use multiple shapes to create the object they desire if it is not already offered.

            Tracie’s blog was great blog to put in perspective what  my project accomplished. I was thinking it was a bit lacking but after I looked at what was accomplished I felt a lot better about the project.


My goal is to continue using technology, and I hope to implement more in my classroom. I want to finish my classroom website and get that up and running for next semester.

week 12

Etlead paper

What am I learning as I finish and assess my data from the mentoring project?


This mentor project was focused on mentoring another teacher in my cohort on using technology to enhance listening comprehension skills.  I chose this topic based on the students need to perform listening comprehension skills based on the new Alaska State Standards. Our district has already begun the transition process in our curriculum, which I was able to be a part of. We have aligned our curriculums to the new state standards. As we worked, there were a few areas that needed to be addressed. Listening comprehension was one. We expect our students to be able to listen and comprehend but there has not been any formal training in the schools. In Savoonga one thing affecting this is the difference in expectations in the school and home. The other factor is vocabulary acquisition. The vocabulary factor is already being addressed in our district and as far as the expectations go I have not control over what is expected at home so I chose to address the listening comprehension.


In this project on strategies for teaching listening comprehension, I take a mentoring approach to spread awareness about the strategies available to increase listening comprehension and how they can be used in the classroom.  I will be mentoring a 5th grade teacher on implementing bottom-up listening strategies in lessons as well as Voki activites to enhance student listening skills. 

Collaboration will occur on Sundays to discuss how the strategies are going and what the cooperating teacher may need help with.  Notes will be taken by me during this collaboration to track the areas of need and record feedback on the practices used .

A teacher journal on the mentoring project will be kept by the cooperating teacher.  This journal will be reviewed to identify issues that needed to be addressed. They will also be reviewed for student behavior trends or how students are responding to the strategies.

This projects validity will be check through triangulation of the analysis of multiple sources of data including, collaboration notes and the cooperating teacher journal review.  While analyzing this data I will be looking for things that I can do next and how I can improve upon my skills.


One results of collaboration has been the implementation of bottom up listening strategies embedded into lesson plans and their delivery.  When we collaborated the next week the cooperating teacher expressed ideas for different responses by then students when they hear the key words.  As a result students are using different hand signals or taps when they hear the key words.  I also found out that the cooperating teacher had never used a clicker quiz. This led us to a quick lesson on the SMART Response system.  The next item of concern we collaborated about was how to get the students to use the strategies on their own.  I introduced Voki to the cooperating teacher showed her how to set that up and what it is capable of doing.  We prepared them for the class. The following collaboration we discussed that the Voki’s spoke faster than our students could process. This was requiring them to listen to the Voki’s several times.  We then discussed lowering the grade level comprehension on Voki and finding topics that they had some experience with.  Then we want to move them up through the grade levels slowly.  Another concern we addressed in collaboration was implementing different strategies.  As a result I am researching another strategy from Top-down to implement with the bottom up.  The cooperating teacher also expressed that she was running out of ideas for “hooks”.  As a result we discussed some of her up coming topics and listed things she could use.  I also let her know that my door is always open when she needs it.

When analyzing her teacher journal I found that she was comfortable using the bottom up strategy but does need to collaborate on occasion when planning the “hooks”. The Cooperating teacher also noted that her students really liked the clicker quizzes. Although she is not sure they performed any better when using them she stated that they paid more attention during the quiz and were not as distracted.  She also feels confident to create her own quizzes.  She likes the idea of Voki but as stated earlier in collaboration she has concern with how fast the characters speak.  She also wrote about the concern that the students need to know how to list key words on their own.  As a result we began the discussion mentioned above.  We discussed lowering the grade level comprehension on Voki and finding topics that they had some experience with.  Then we want to move them up through the grade levels slowly.


This mentoring project has been a learning experience.  The one concern that was expressed dealing with new strategies is totally valid and one.  We need to have more than the one strategy or things will get old and lose their effectiveness.  It is not only technology that needs to change and evolve but our delivery as well.  One of my favorite days was actually problem solving the issue with Voki speaking too fast for our students. This was a day that collaborations are made for.  We had an issue that could have turned a fun computer activity into a stressful thing that made students feel defeated. Then you lose engagement and effort, thus making the exercise ineffective.

The next step I am considering is addressing speaking also.  The use of a podcast would require the speaking portion and could be a fun or the students.  This strategy was researched in another class this semester.  I have been interested in it but not sure what that will look like in my class.  I will have to do it after school with a small group to begin with. I would like them to learn it and be able to teach the others that join later how to use it. In doing this, the students could also be responsible for learning how to do the podcasts by searching “how to” videos then following directions.  They may reinforce students being able to “learn how to learn”.


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