Monday, October 27, 2014

Digital Badge I

On page 86 of the textbook, the section entitled New Approaches to Assessment talks about how “tests are driving the curriculum instead of the curriculum driving the tests.  While completing some observations in a math class at one of the local middle schools, the teacher was teaching to the FCAT test.  There were several occasions where she actually said these types of problems will be on the test and they will try to trick you.  There has to be a better way of teaching math to these students.  With this type of environment, the students probably will not remember what was taught after the test because it was not delivered in a memorable and engaging manner.  Because each student learns in a different way and has different levels of knowledge, it is the teacher’s responsibility to assess the students prior to preparing and delivering a lesson based on each of the students’ needs.  If students are taught based on their needs and engage students with the use of technology they will know the material that will be given on the tests. 

How can teachers evaluate and assess students’ learning?  It is very important to determine what the students know prior to developing a lesson and after a lesson has been presented.   On page 77 of the textbook there are numerous examples that a teacher can use to test for student knowledge.  I did not understand what and how a digital portfolio could be used to test for knowledge.  According to a digital portfolio can be used to store and display a student’s work and is a place for a teacher to assess and offer feedback.  eBackpack is one example of a website that allows for students and teachers to create and maintain their own digital portfolio. 

On page 76 of the textbook, a teacher’s lesson design and development refers to knowing and understand what and how to teach a particular academic subject and then assessing what the students have learned from that lesson.  According to Stiliana Milkova with the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, there are six steps to follow to create a lesson plan:  1) outline learning objectives and determine what you want the students to learn.   2)  Develop an introduction that will grab the students’ attention and if necessary find out what the students already know about the topic.  3) Plan learning activities to help the students understand what is being taught.  This may include real-life examples, visuals, some form of technology could be integrated to reinforce the lesson. 4) Check for students’ understanding with some sort of activity or by asking questions that allows you to see what the students learned from the lesson. 5)  Develop a conclusion by going over the main points of the lesson and explain what they learned will prepare them for the next lesson.  6) Create a realistic timeline by calculating how much time you think is needed to cover each point of the lesson.  Sometimes teachers have to deviate from their prepared lesson due to a students’ needs. 

The digital tool I created this week was done using Padlet. 

Hertz, Mary Beth. (2013, May 20). Using E-Portfolios in the Classroom.  Retrieved from

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Milkova, Stiliana. (2014). Strategies for Effective Lesson Planning.  Retrieved from   

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Digital Badge H

I had never heard of Multimodal learning prior to reading this chapter.  According to David Lazear, at “the more different ways you learn something the more you will really learn it, remember it and understand it.”  For the most part, schools do not teach in all the different ways students really learn making it more difficult for some students to grasp the information.  Multimodal learning is a combination of “spoken words, visuals, written text, audio and models or some other type of simulations.” (Maloy, 217).  An example of this could be a list of spelling words spoken orally by the teacher and displayed on the smart board.  They could be turned in to a poem, the poems then could be written out and posted in the classroom as well as recorded digitally and uploaded to the classroom website.   

I like the idea of using images to generate class discussion.  In my humanities class last semester, we would look at a piece of artwork and discuss orally what each thought about the piece.  It was very interesting and I enjoyed listening to what each student’s interpretation was.  From there are an endless list of questions that a teacher could ask about an image.  This promotes whole group discussion and gives opportunities for all students to participate in the discussion.  This could be a picture from a book the class is reading together or a picture related to a history assignment. 

On page 230 of the textbook, the author states that making alphabet books is a good way for all younger students to learn letter-sound association, what types of nouns should be capitalized and the correct way to use apostrophe’s.  This would also be helpful for ELL students.  According, to Jennifer Atkinson on a first grade teacher in Texas, she recommends doing this activity because it is an enjoyable learning experience for the students.  With the student’s photograph’s in the book, it becomes more meaningful and memorable; they also enjoy making the books.  The photos could also be displayed in the classroom or on a classroom website.   

 Atkinson, Jennifer. (2014). Creating Class Made ABC Books. Retrieved from

Case, Alex. (1998-2014). Discussion questions using images. Retrieved from

Lazear, David. (2003-2008). A Different Kind of Smart! A Different Kind of Learning. Retrieved from

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Digital Badge G

According to the School District of LeeCounty website, Lee County schools has students in regular attendance from 159 different countries and speak approximately 124 different languages. Because of this vast amount of students from different countries it is important for teachers to understand and about the different cultures that may be present in her classroom.  Students also need to know that the teacher has respect for their differences.  On page 246 of the textbook it explains how students benefit when their school assignments somehow connect with issues and concerns that they may be experiencing in their own lives.  Teachers need to understand each of their students’ background and culture so she can better reach them when teaching lessons.  Lessons can be taught that are inclusive of the different cultures so learning becomes more meaningful to these students.

With the use of an interactive whiteboard teachers have many more opportunities to transform lessons to meet the different needs of students.  On page 251 of the textbook, it explains how even students who have difficulty learning respond to the whiteboard as it provides visual, auditory and hands-on learning activities.  According to, research shows that students learn better with hands-on activities.  Interactive whiteboards offer so many possibilities because it is combing two types of technologies into one.  After teaching a geography lesson a teacher can open GoogleEarth on her computer and display the appropriate map on the interactive whiteboard to reinforce a geography lesson.   Or students can solve math problems on the whiteboard using dry erase markers and get feedback from other students as well as the teacher.  With the use of clickers, students can respond to questions raised by the teacher and instantly see how the class did as a whole. 

With the use of word clouds, there are some different possibilities to help students and teachers in the classroom.  Word clouds can be used to find the main idea in a particular reading assignment; this may be helpful for those students who have difficulty with reading comprehension.  With the use of these online tools, students can also get creative by playing with different fonts, colors and arrangement of the words.  Teachers can use word clouds to display a learning objective or goal, classroom rules or student’s names in the class.  It can also be used to display the week’s spelling or vocabulary words.   I used to create the word cloud below from this paragraph.

For my digital tool this week I used Flip Quiz.  Here is the link to a Flip Quiz that I created.

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Nea Member Benefits. (2014). Interactive Whiteboards Enhance Classroom Instruction and Learning. Retrieved from

The School District of Lee County. (2013 November). Interesting District Factoids. Retrieved from

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Digital Badge F

As a teacher, I can see myself using emails and maintaining a classroom website.  Emails can be an effective and easy tool to use to communicate with parents and students.  It can inform parents of upcoming conferences or important assignments which they might have not been aware.  As my kids were going to school, notes that were supposed to have been brought home sometimes seemed to have disappeared.  A classroom website is important to continue the learning process when the kids are at home.  But how do you make a classroom website interesting so it will engage the kids and inform the parents?  According to, the website Weebly for education is simple and easy to use, and allows teachers to create an impressive classroom website.   There is so much useful information that could be included for both students and parents.  The website could include spelling words, information on where to find research material for an upcoming history project as well as supplies that are needed or a place for students to show off their hard work to their parents and other students.  The possibilities are endless.  I believe the main reasons for having and maintaining a website is to reemphasize what was taught in class each day, to keep the learning process going even after the school day has ended and to keep the parents up to date and involved in their children’s education.  

On page 191, the textbook explains how important it is to keep the students engaged academically.  But many students often times get bored or just do not understand because they learn differently than how the lesson is being taught.  As I am working my way through college, I have found that after listening to a lecture, it is helpful to review the power points that have been posted on Canvas along with my notes to recall important information or to rethink a particular idea.  In this article, Big Thinkers: Howard Gardner on Multiple Intelligences, Howard Gardner explains how technology allows students the opportunity to learn in his or her own way and “if the technology is interactive, the child will actually be able to show his or her understanding of the material.”  This can be done with questions that require the student to give an in-depth response about a particular topic.      

From page 212 in the textbook, book reports can be a boring and dreaded activity for students.  But with the use of technology, there are ways teachers can bring book reports back to life.  Each student could have their own blog, which is a good opportunity to allow students to be creative with choosing background color and design.  Their blogs become the place for writing out their book reports with each new post.  The students could also draw a picture to illustrate a favorite part of the book and add it to their blog.  Written feedback from other students would also be encouraging as this makes writing more important and meaningful.      

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.