It is the responsibility of any teacher to do all that they can to effectively convey and communicate content, to encourage students to engage with the material and reach their fullest potential, and to help students grow not only academically but socially and emotionally. In order to do this, I believe that teachers should work to integrate technology and all of the resources that it provides into their classrooms. I had a professor who told me that technology is something that students are already engaging with, so for school’s to resist the advances of this rapidly growing field would be limiting their methods of communicating with students (or something along those lines). While I agree with this statement, I believe that technology has the ability to not only provide an access point, but to enhance the classroom community in diverse and important ways. I have embedded some highlights from my portfolio that I feel illustrate 3 key ways that technology can help to create a classroom that is culturally responsive, encourages collaboration and connection, and allows students opportunities for experiential learning without even leaving the classroom.
Using Google Sites, I created a “Classroom Culture” Project where students have the opportunity to not only dive deeper into their own culture and what makes them unique, but learn more about their classmates’ cultures as well. In this case, technology allowed me to create a resource that makes my classroom and my teaching more culturally responsive, and will help my students to feel known and valued for who they are. To read more about this project, click below:
One of the things that this course allowed me to experience first hand was the collaboration and connection that can come from using technology. Using Google Slides, my colleague Anna Wanner and I were able to make an activity on making inferences using clues from the text. Creating technological masterpieces, as well as using technology (i.e. the finished google sites project above) can be a collaborative experience for both teachers and students. Sharing documents and work, as well as their stories and their personal experiences on a digital platform can allow students to connect with one another from physically different locations. To read more about the inference project, click below:
Using Google Tour Creator, I was able to create a science lesson all about investigating the ways in which specific environments have been impacted by environmental change and human actions. Technology like this resource from Google, and virtual reality (if you can access it) have the ability to transport students to new places. Not only does this make them global thinkers, but it gives them the chance to explore and experience a location that they may not have the chance to physically visit on their own. To read more about this project, click below:
I am looking forward to finding more technology resources and continuing to expand my knowledge on the tools that are out there to make my classroom the best it can be! Enjoy my portfolio!
An important part of teaching is creating a positive classroom environment where students can feel safe taking risks, feel that their opinions are respected, and that they are a valued member of the community. In order to do this, teachers must work to be culturally responsive in everything they do. For my final project, I created a website designed to provide a platform for students to not only learn about “culture” as a concept, but dive deeper into their own culture, as well as learn about their classmates’ cultures and what makes them all unique. The goal of this lesson is to encourage a culturally responsive classroom: one where the teachers and the students have the ability to know and understand one another on a deep level in order to best communicate and relate, and create a safe and supportive classroom environment.
This website was designed for a 4th grade class, and is comprised of a series of activities which the students will work on at home, as well as in class. It could be used at any point in the year, but my idea would be to use it at the beginning of the year (ideally some time within the first month of school) as a way to build community and form relationships that will serve the teacher and the students for the rest of the year. This website will help the teacher to better understand their students, what makes them unique and how they view the world, therefore allowing them to teach in the most effective and relevant way to each student. It allows them to individualize instruction and encourages empathy for each student. It will also allow the students to get to know one another on a deeper level, and will encourage an environment of peer-to-peer support and connection, as well as immense socio-emotional development.
I used Google Sites because I felt that it best lended itself to the variety of activities that I was planning on having the students accomplish, and it allowed me to collect various other technology resources into one organized space. Using a website also encouraged a sense of sharing that I feel is integral to this unit. I wanted students to be able to read one another’s stories and get to know each other on a deeper level, and having everyone’s culture in a shared space allows them to do this. The students can access the website from anywhere, allowing them to not only share their stories with their peers, but with their families as well. Doing this project with technology also allowed me to create a diverse set of activities that would engage all learners. For example, using Flipgrid as a way to have students communicate their feelings about the project allows those students who may struggle with communicating their ideas in writing to flourish and still share their story. This kind of diversification is what the project is hoping to encourage, and promote. By using a website, students have the chance to connect and share their stories in a way that encourages diverse communication of ideas amongst peers in an authentic and sincere way.
One of my favorite lessons from my own second grade experience was writing my own fairy tale in a unit on genres of literature. I designed my Book Creator lesson with this unit, or a future unit that I could teach on fairy tales, in mind! This lesson is designed for second graders, and would serve as a chance for students to apply their knowledge of the beginning, middle, and end of a story (background/ rising action, climax, falling action/resolution). The students would be broken up into 3 groups – one group to write the beginning, one group to write the middle, and one group to write the end. Each student in each group would have a chance to write their own sentence that appropriately sets up the next sentence, showing them the importance of sequencing in a story and how every idea needs to work to further the next. Alternatively, since the students are in groups, it could also be that each group generates a certain number of sentences together, as opposed to each student writing one sentence. The students would then get to create their own pages in the book, on Book Creator, and at the end, there would be a class fairy tale. The book linked below should serve as a model – where I did everything in this case, students would get to create the entire thing themselves!
I enjoyed using book creator and thought it was very user friendly! I think second graders could be comfortable using it as a tool, perhaps with some of the more foundational elements like the background of the page or text boxes already set up for them to fill in. I can see this serving so many different purposes in the classroom and think it is an extremely valuable tool.
We compared Padlet and Bubbl.us as tools for mind-mapping. In general, Padlet is very user friendly. Padlet has a variety of templates to start your mind map from, in addition to a blank page, so you can organize your thoughts in your own creative way. Padlet has a collaborative feature where you can add people and they can leave comments and their own post it notes on the Padlet. This could be beneficial for distance learning. Bubbl.us is also user friendly and provides a collaborative feature (however, you have to pay for this feature). It is easy to create and add to your mind map and has keyboard shortcuts and the option to undo/redo.
We prefer Bubbl.us because we feel that it is easier to stay organized in a less cluttered fashion. The free version of Bubbl.us allows you to sort your mind maps into different folders after they have been created. Padlet also has this feature but you have to pay for it. As you add more content, Padlet grows in length; whereas with Bubbl.us, you can add content in multiple directions. This is a personal preference because both us like to organize our thoughts in a non-vertical way. Bubbl.us could be provided to students as a note-taking tool, specifically in history classes where it can often be hard to see how all the events connect. Bubbl.us allows you to connect any two bubbles together which would be helpful in seeing the complex connections of historical events.
Whales are some of the most majestic creatures on this planet, and something that I would have loved to learn about when I was a kid in school. I found a video made by National Geographic which has some “fast facts” on Blue Whales, that I thought could benefit from the tools that Edpuzzle provides to make it more engaging. I generated questions that would support students’ math and literacy growth to make what would be incorporated into a science lesson a more wholistic learning experience for the students. This video could be used as an introduction to a unit on Whales to familiarize students with material we would cover more in depth later on, but could also be used half-way through a unit to help cement information that the students had already learned.
I really loved using Edpuzzle, and think it is a great resource. Too often when videos are assigned as homework, kids can easily check-out while the video is playing and not actually engage with the information. Having little “checkpoints” throughout the video where kids can show their knowledge and mastery of the content helps them to be actively engaged with their learning, as opposed to passively receiving information.
For my screencast video, I decided to do a lesson on internet literacy and how to find reputable resources online. In our digital society, kids are being inundated with information they find online and it is important for them to know, especially when doing work for school, what information they can trust. I remember doing lessons on this when I was in high school, but I can see a need for these lessons at younger ages now, so I designed this lesson that would probably best suit 3rd – 6th graders.
I think screencasting is a really useful tool, especially considering the situation we are in currently where students cannot physically be in the classroom. This would be a great way for teachers to continue to present material, and students can work through it at their own pace on their time.
I used Adobe Spark to create a welcome video for the students who would be entering my class the next year. This video provides them with not only an introduction to who I am as their teacher, but also provides the students and the parents with important information that they will want to know before the first day of school (such as where the classroom is, and what they will be learning over the course of the year). I enjoyed this app and think it is extremely user friendly. I appreciated how the site pre-generates the credits at the end, so you don’t have to worry about citations. The templates can be a little restrictive, but I think they also helped to create a nice “look” for the video. I think teachers could use it as a resource for a lot of different activities, and could even encourage students to make one on a certain topic to demonstrate their learning.
I'm from Federal Way, Washington. From Sunday night church and family dinners at Chipotle after From fall bike rides in the valley and summer bike rides at sunset From reality tv every night before bed From a 45-minute commute to high school filled with Frank Sinatra sing-alongs.
I'm from Portland, Oregon. From Sunday morning Mass with a freshman year friend From stolen bikes and sunny afternoons in the quad From late night conversations and Christmas card photos with friends who feel like family From Mt. Rainier to Mt. Hood...still a nice view, but definitely not the same.
I really enjoyed using Adobe Spark as a way to illustrate my I’m From poem. I think it was user-friendly while still being equipped with tools that can make your product look like it took forever to create – with the intricate windows feature, and the “glideshow” capability. I also really appreciate that you can search within the application for free images, and that the creator will automatically give credit to the owner of the images if need be. I think this is a great and easy to use tool that could serve unique purposes in the classroom!
Interactive Writer’s Workshop by Claire Nelson and Anna Wanner
This website was designed to aid 4th grade students along every step of the writing process – from brainstorming to creating their final draft. By the end of this workshop students will be able to confidently approach the writing process, by engaging in self-reflection both at the beginning and the end of the workshop, as well as participating in a variety of activities along the way. In addition, the post assessment provides a space for students to provide feedback on how helpful this workshop was so that the teacher can collect data on the effectiveness of their instruction. Furthermore, the teacher asks for any ideas for improvement to better this workshop experience.
Our hope for this tool is that students will have a resource that they can reference back to it whenever they get a new writing assignment and need support in any or all areas of the writing process!
This form was designed with my current fifth grade placement class in mind. They are in the middle of a literature circles unit and are reading a variety of books in small groups. Since reading groups provide an opportunity for diversification of instruction they are something that I hope to include in my own class one day, and something I could create using this Google form.
The goal of this form is to help me understand what kind of readers my students are in order to help better place them with readers that are at a similar level and have similar interests. The students would fill out this form as an introduction to the unit, and I could then use their responses to create appropriate reading groups for the students that best address the needs expressed in the survey. Having all of this information in a digital format makes it easy for the teacher to keep track of, and even refer back to at the end of the unit, seeing areas where the students may have shown improvement by the end of their reading circle. The students could fill out this form in a variety of ways: it could be assigned as homework, thus allowing the students to respond on their own devices at home, or it could be done in class in either a one-to-one environment, or on a classroom computer which the students could take turn using.
This digital tour is designed to take children to a variety of different places that illustrate the ways in which changing climates and human driven pushes for development have changed different physical landmarks and environmental systems. The map includes 360 photos of different areas for the students to explore, as well as links with images to what the region used to look like, or images to help build understanding. The description of each image also comes with the web address of the information included, to encourage the students to dive deeper into learning about these specific areas.
This activity is designed for upper-elementary students, and could serve a variety of purposes in the classroom. It could serve as a way to help students practice their researching skills and evaluating information. Teachers could break students into four groups (one for each location) and have the groups practice researching in print and online sources to find more information about these locations, and why the region is shifting in the specific ways that it is. Science teachers could also use this as a great way to begin discussing the ways in which human actions impact the environment, and help students to fully immerse themselves in a shift that has been slowly occurring over time.
This lesson is designed for students in grades 3-5 to help them practice making inferences. The lesson puts the students in the role of a detective on the hunt for clues to solve a mystery. The students are able to go with their initial inference and explore further, while also giving them the option to change their mind when they gather more information. These slides are designed to encourage the students to infer and alter those inferences as they gather new information. This could be done as a whole group lesson, as a station in learning centers, or even individually if every student had access to a personal device.