Destigmatizing Technology in the Classroom

This class has widened my view on the use of technology in the classroom. I feel that there is always some things that teacher usually have in their back pocket for using technology in the classroom, like Microsoft and google programs. However, there are so many other websites and programs out there that can be used to support and engage students of all ages. Technology has already grown so much within my time in school, and it probably will continue to grow throughout our lifetime. That it is only fair to help our students navigate how to use technology to help them keep up with new advances.

Technology is not only helpful in supporting the whole class, it can also be used to target specific students to help them learn the content of the class; therefore it is also a culturally responsive practice. It allows students another mode of access to the material and to demonstrate their learning of the content. We can use these apps to teach content with more visual stimulus, to make it more engaging. Also, technology can help us to assess students by having them create something online; instead of taking a traditional test or a written assignment.

I believe that part of being a teacher is being adaptable and always learning something new because there is always going to be something new to learn. At the beginning of this class, I was like other teachers that only have Microsoft and google programs in my back pocket, but throughout this semester I have learned numerous things that have created a solid base of technological knowledge. I hope to continue to grow this base in the future; to continue to be more adaptable and to grow with the times. Here are a few examples, of my growth and learning throughout this semester.

We started off this semester with breaking out those trustworthy programs, but with a twist! Instead of engaging the students through passively viewing this power point, we instead learned how to make these google programs interactive. A ton of these plans can be found all over the internet and can be easily adapted for any topic and grade level.

Then we explored different mediums with displaying information. Students can learn how to use AdobeSpark Video to illustrate their own writings or retell others. This would be a great way for students to creatively show off their knowledge and to make an afternoon of viewing everyone’s videos.

I have not only learned how to create lessons that embed technology, I have also learned how to appraise programs, to find the ones most suited to serve the students and the end goals of the lesson. Just like any new tool, apps can have positives and negatives, it just takes some time to learn how to use its strengths to enhance the learning going on in the classroom.

To wrap the semester up, I created a mini unit about Nutrition, that combined many of the apps that I enjoyed using throughout this class, like Wakelet and Adobe Spark Page. This could be a unit done within the classroom, or, in the time we are now living in with online learning, at home.

Featured image by: Surface

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

For my final project, I created a lesson for fourth grade students. This lesson is part of a larger unit on nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. My instructional goal for this lesson is for students to work collaboratively to gather information and display it in a creative way. Two ways that they will achieve this goal it to: 1. To investigate what makes a healthy lifestyle through looking at the resources on Wakelet and 2. To compose an acrostic poem, with the word nutrition or lifestyle, using relevant information from their research. For this lesson, students will be working in pairs, so they can discuss what they are learning and how to best demonstrate that through an acrostic poem. There should be computers or ipads available for each of the pairs to have one or, ideally, each student should have one device because on students will be able to share their Adobe Spark page with each other to edit at the same time.

Students will first be looking at a Wakelet that I created with resources around living a healthy lifestyle. They will be collecting information that they think is most important to know when creating their acrostic poem. This will support the students instructional goal because students will be looking at multiple resources and making decisions as to what they wish to include.


Students will show their knowledge, that they gained from looking through the Wakelet, they then will be creating an acrostic poem. An acrostic poem is a poem that a certain feature, in this case the first letter fro every line, will spell out a message or a word. Students can follow my example, by creating one based on and to spell the word nutrition, or they can create a poem using the word lifestyle. This supports my instructional goal because students will have to incorporate information from the Wakelet. Also, students will be working collaboratively in pairs to create their own Adobe Spark page, arranged in whatever way they please, as long as it gets the message across as a type of acrostic poem. If all students have access to laptops, then students can share editing their documents.

Students can share these poems as a presentation in front of the class on the projector, so they can all see what their classmates came up with. This lesson can also be implemented as an outside of school collaborative project, as most students doing distance learning currently. To share students’ poems online, I can put everyone’s work into a folder to share it with the class.

Featured Image by ja ma

Changing Seasons

This lesson is geared towards second grade students. A book on Book Creator would be the ending formal assessment in an lesson about writing informational pieces. This book is supposed to serve as an example for how students can organize their books. Students will have already been planning and writing their pieces previous to making their book on Book Creator. After they have finished writing their final draft on paper; then students will get the opportunity to create their own book.

I believe that students will really enjoy creating their final informational piece on Book Creator because it allows them to be creative when creating the final outcome of their piece. Also, the use of Book Creator can enable students to connect their writing to their own pictures, that they took themselves or from home, and can make the learning process more meaningful to them.

Exploring Popplet and Wakelet

The two apps that I tried this week was Popplet and Wakelet. Popplet is an app, that you can access on an Ipad, and can be accessed on a website. I tried using Popplet on an Ipad and accessing it on the website. Popplet is a useful tool that creates mindmaps that can put visuals to content being taught. The app was easy to use because all you had to do was double tap on the screen to get a new box. You can also drag a line to connect a box to anything. Within a box you can add a picture of a drawing to help make it even more visual. You can also share a Popplet between collaborators, so that multiple people can work on the same Popplet and contribute ideas. However, there are two things that I did not like about Popplet. One was that it is a little difficult to insert pictures into Popplet. If you want to insert a picture, then you have to find it on the internet, download it, and then go into the Popplet app to choose it. The second thing that I didn’t like about Popplet was that you couldn’t go back and forth between the app and the website. On the website it required you to sign in, but on the app there was no way to sign in, so there was no way to access what I did on either of the devices. Overall, I think that it is something that can let students connect visual items to concepts, but it can be hard to do so.

The second app that explored was Wakelet. Wakelet is accessible through their website. It allows you to pull in media, like images, youtube videos, and websites, to make a comprehensive “board”. I enjoyed how easy this website was to use, for it allowed you to search for copyright free images on unsplash and you could search the web/youtube for anything you might want to include. You were also able to share it with collaborators, so that multiple people could add their own ideas to on Wakelet. I believe that this website is a much better tool to use that Popplet because it was much easier to add media onto my work. It was also able to search multiple types of media; which made searching for things very efficient. In terms of students use, students could collaborate with each other to make a comprehensive media list of videos/websites that other students should view on topics of their choosing. This could also help students with learning what media is the most reliable when putting together a presentation. As teacher, I think that I could use Wakelet to provide further enrichment to students who may need extra instruction in the form of videos and websites. Overall, I really enjoyed using Wakelet, due to the ease of use and the several ways that students could use it to enhance their own learning visually.

Photo by Kobu Agency

Please Please the Bees

This lesson is geared towards a first through third grade audience. This book is meant to be a priming of knowledge in a larger lesson about bees. Already in this lesson, students will know what bees do and how bees produce honey. From this video, I want students to begin thinking about what we, as humans, don’t do already or can do to help bees. I want students to see, that if we do not help or respect the bees, they probably will not go on strike, but they will stop producing honey and doing the jobs we need them to do. Therefore, after the students watch the video, they should begin to brainstorm what we can do to help the bees.

I enjoyed using EdPuzzle while creating this post, I thought that it was simple and easy to create comments onto a video. EdPuzzle would be something fun for students to watch a video and check their understanding of that video. It is also something that can be used with students in rotation and if they want to put their own comments onto videos – in order to teach their classmates. In the future, I would like to continue to use EdPuzzle and maybe next time, I can add a voice over.

Reading Workshop

Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet by Sanae Ishida

This book would be good for students of all ages. Overall, This book would not as part of one unit, but as part of a series of books throughout the year that showcases authors and characters of color. By including this book, I can expose my students to more diverse authors and characters. Also, thinking through the lens of a becoming a culturally responsive educator, I want my students to see themselves and to get an insight into the cultures of other students/people that they may know.

In the time we are living in now, where most schools are going to online classes, video read alouds can be helpful to parents who may not have access to books. Additionally, teachers/students can still have some kind of interaction or normalcy through their routine read alouds. It also, provides access to younger students, who may not have the fluency,

The Legend of Naupaka

This video is about the Hawaiian legend of the naupaka flower. There are two kinds of this flower, naupaka kahakai (which grows by the ocean) and naupaka kauhiwi (which grows in the mountains). Each plant’s flower blooms only in half, watch the video to learn about the legend.

I designed this video with all grades in mind. Sometimes it is hard to find books designed for children that focus on Hawaiian legends, but by using AdobeSpark video it can make these legends easier to access. I think this could be a cool introduction to Hawaiian myths and legends to an upper elementary class. The unit would be a intersection between language arts and social studies. With the students later on researching their own myth/legend and then creating their own video rewriting the myth/legend that they had researched. This idea could even be used with myths/legends of different cultures, but have the same central theme; which could be used to illustrate how some stories told in cultures are similar.

I’m From Paradise

I am from blue skies and blue water

From Lychee and Crowned Flower trees 

Im from pets

Brownie and Lady

I’m from spam musubis 

And steamed fish and shaved ice

I’m from late night soccer practices

And early morning soccer games 

From the wins to the loses

Family and Friends come together

I'm from Paradise

I really enjoyed making an AdobeSpark page. The interface is very easy to use, and gives the user more leeway with creating different picture layouts as compared to GoogleSites. AdobeSpark puts more stock into pictures, rather than words. This could be helpful to use with students who aren’t strong readers and to make presentations more engaging in general because the focus is on the pictures. AdobeSpark could be useful to use in younger grades, when students are just beginning to learn how to use computers, for they can let the pictures do most of the talking and supplement with words.

Explore the Solar System

By Allie Haakenson and Chloe Mar

Click to view the Site.

This lesson is meant to be taught to second graders. It is to be used as an introductory activity to a science unit about the solar system. The students will be taking a pre-assessment to demonstrate how much they know about the solar system, and so that can see how much they learn at the end of the unit. They will then go through pages on each of the planets, including the Sun. Each page has a quick introduction video and a small activity to complete; that highlights the planet. From all the data collected based on the google forms, docs, and slides we can then adjust and plan for what the students seem most interested in and still struggle with.

Whale Hello There!

This google form would be used in the classroom as a pre-assessment for a fourth grade unit on whales. This form will be given to the students at the beginning of the unit, so that I can gauge what the students know about whales and their interest level on specific whales. Since the students will have to collaborate on a cumulative project at the end of the lesson. I can see starting the students off, at the beginning of the unit, in a rotation; where they would learn more about the Ocean. To start learning about where whales live!

While one of the reasons of this google form is for me to gauge what students know. I also want the students to see what they know collectively as a class. If they were nervous because they did not know some things in the form; then they can see that others are also in the same boat as them. Another thing I want them to see is what whales they are most interested in. Therefore, we can start planning group activities within their whale groups. I hope that by grouping students by their specific whale interests, the groups will be more diverse in terms of academic levels and social groups. I want all students in the classroom how to collaborate with each other.

Featured Image by Todd Cravens

Washington D.C Historical Tour

This is a tour of the National Mall in Washington D.C. The Mall is composed of museums, monuments, memorials, and government buildings. With this map, I want students to be able to explore all of the different aspects of the Mall. If students are not able to physically go there, then they can still see what is around. Or if we are able to plan a trip to the Mall, then we as a class can plan where we want to go and how we will get around.

I believe that this would be a great resource for students when they are learning about American History. Broken up by layers on the map, students can be broken up into groups and they can research different aspects of the mall: the government buildings, monuments and memorials, and museums. Through this research students can deep dive into why these aspects or specific parts are included and why they are important to American History. Each students will become their own expert in the specific part that they research, and can share their findings with the rest of the class.

Flags and Fractions

Authors: Chloe Mar and Braelyn Higdon

This lesson is for second grade students. This could be used as an activity with students in partners, as a warm up activity, or informal assessment to see where the students are at. The goal of this lesson is to show that the students can identify simple fractions in real life. Students will use flags to investigate the prompts on each slide.

Picture Source: Jason Leung