Iliana’s Technology Guide in The Classroom

Throughout this semester I have learned all the fun and engaging ways to integrate technology into lessons to help facilitate students learning. Below are some of my favorite Word Press posts I’ve created this year and how I incorporated technology into them.

This was one of my first posts using Word Press. It was a Kindergarten/ First-grade science lesson on what plants need to grow. It combined letter recognition with a science lesson. In this Word Press post, I practiced using some of their features like the picture comparisons to help scaffold the students in solving for the missing words.
In this lesson, I showed the powerful tool that AI can bring to the classroom and created a lesson solely by promoting Chat GTP with questions. Although we shouldn’t rely on AI for planning an entire lesson from this post I learned ways it can help brainstorm new ideas and come up with test questions that can be used in an end-of-the-unit or lesson formal assessment.
If you are ever looking for a fun way for a student to bring their poetry or writing alive with images. Microsoft SAwy is your tool! It is easy to navigate the signs and can install transform your student’s writing into a slide show of images either using their own personal pictures or pictures provided through their database.
If you are looking for a fun way to make your one book or to showcase student writing Book Creator is the site for you. You and your students have endless opportunities how to decorate the pages of your books by adding colors, words, stickers, and fun images. As a teacher, you can create a library of all your students’ books and can easily send the link to parents to showcase the work that their students have put in to see other students’ work.
This Word Press post highlights different technology sites like google sites, My Maps, Google Slides Presentation, and Google Forms all in conjunction with a lesson on butterfly migration. It shows different ways you could easily incorporate technology to help further your student’s learning. In this post, you can find a My Maps link to different butterfly sanctuaries, a pre-assessment before the lesson, and instructions for a hands-on butterfly stop activity.

Prior to this semester, I was only aware of a handful of technology tools that can be used in the classroom but now after a semester’s worth of activities I can confidently say that I now have knowledge of so many different sites I can now use in the classroom.

Features Image:

Image by Paul from Pixabay

A Blast From The Past

April 16, 2033

Dear past me,

It seems like just yesterday I was finishing the spring semester of my third year in college after spending the semester before abroad in Europe for the first time. So much of my life has changed since college and I’m so excited for you to see everything life has waiting for you. Here’s a little sneak peek at things you can look forward to.

  1. Super Speed Traveling: You always had dreams of traveling the world, and with our new technology traveling times in planes have been cut in half thanks to super speed technology. An 11-hour flight to Germany is now only a 5-hour flight! The same goes for flights to other states. You could easily get to NY in just under 3 hours or take a day trip to LA in a 30-minute flight. There are still more adventures you have left before you retire your passport, but in the last 10 years you for sure have had your fair share of travels.

2. Female Leaders: I remember back in 2023 women’s voices were finally starting to be heard and we started to elect women into political positions of power, but now in 2033 we’ve finally had our first woman president! She has done such great work as the face and leader of this country! Our madame President has broken the status quo and has done so much to protect women’s rights across the United States.

3. Insane Block Busters: I remember how much you loved going to the movies with your friends and let me just tell you some of the Marvel and Disney movies that have been released in the last decade have been amazing! All theaters are now equipped with 4D theaters that you don’t have to pay extra for and have such fun seating options from your typical recliners to a nice comfy bean bag you can choose from. Also, they no longer made it against the rules to bring outside food, so now you can bring whatever yummy treats you want to the movies.

Wow so much has happened in the last decade! Hopefully, you enjoyed this little blast from the future and realize all the fun things you have to look forward to. Remember just keep pushing you are almost done with college and have your whole life still ahead of you.


Image by Jan from Pixabay

Image by Stephan from Pixabay

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Animal Classification Lesson

By Iliana Iniguez and Nicole Pagtakhan

Today we are continuing our lesson about animals and their features. Please use this check-in to review what we learned last class.

Check-in/Review Google Form:

Comparing Animals:

Go to National Geographic and search for two animals to compare and contrast based on their traits, or what their traits are for. We will be using Canva to share our findings! Students will be asked to share with the whole class or the group next to them. Please include:

  • 2 differences for each animal
  • 2 similarities
Animal Classification Venn Diagrams by Nicole Pagtakhan

Image credits:

Image by homecare119 from Pixabay

Using Google Forms in The Classroom

I used google forms to create a quiz based on a lesson about Sea Turtles. Some information about sea turtles include how deep they can swim, their diet, fun facts, and parts of the reptile. The quiz includes the check, box feature, short answer, and multiple choice questions. It also includes videos and pictures to help guide the student throughout the quiz. Using the application was fairly easy as it included different types of questions, and gave the option of multiple answers as well as responses based on a student’s answers. I could easily integrate this into the classroom by creating self-graded tests that save the teacher tie on grading and also allow the students to get instant feedback on their tests without having to wait days and sometimes weeks for test or quiz results.

My second google form is a fun interactive form where students create their dream vacation based on a series of questions. They first will decide if they want to go somewhere “sunny or cold?” and then from there will be redirected to activities pertaining to that weather. The question includes multiple activity ideas, food choices, and places they could stay.

Featured Image

Photo by Polina Zimmerman:

A Book About Shapes

I created a book to be used when introducing shapes to younger children (K-2). It features 4 basic shapes that can later be built upon. It asks students to recall what shape they see, includes a quick description of the shape, and then asks them to recall where they see the shape in real life.

I found using Book Creator fairly easy some things like text sizes and changing the colors of certain objects were slightly difficult. I assume the subscription of this website has more features but for making a basic book I found it to be pretty straightforward.

I am from Sunny California

Microsoft Sway:

Using Microsoft Sway was very easy to use I was quickly able to insert my own pictures, but also surf the picture albums on file to add to my presentation if I wanted to. It is a fun and interactive way to create a storyboard or image slide show that can be integrated into the classroom.

Tour Around Your Neighborhood

Hello 3rd graders! Have you ever used a map before? Maps are tools that we can use to help orient ourselves and figure out directions to get somewhere. Some maps show us the geography of the land area, some show us the highways and roads while other maps like thematic maps show us the weather of the specific area. For today’s assignment, you are going to be asked to create your own map of your neighborhood after taking a walking tour around. With a parent or guardian, you are going to take a walk around your neighborhood and make note of any specific landmarks like coffee shops, parks, or stores that make up your neighborhood. Then you will be asked to make Google My Map of all the places you visited on your neighborhood walk.


  • To have the student feel comfortable using an electronic map and become more aware of the own community they live in


  • Google My Maps Account
  • Electronic device
  • Paper & pencil


  • Make sure all students know how to log into their Google My Maps account and now how to create a new map
  • Show the students the different features of the application and how to add locations, edit names, add images
  • Have them go and the neighborhood walk
  • Have students create their maps using the locations they visited (Minimum 3 locations in the neighborhood)

Gallery Walk

  • After everyone has finished and submitted their maps the student will display their maps on their computer. Then the whole class will go on a gallery walk to see their classmates’ maps and the different things that some students included in their map

Example Neighborhood Walk:

This map was created using the University of Portland as its home base. The tour includes a stop at Sparrow Bakery, a trip to Fred Meyers, a nice stroll to Columbia Park, and then back to campus.

Featured Image: Image by macrovector on Freepik

Using AI to Brainstorm Lesson Plan Ideas

AI can be a fun and easy way to brainstorm lesson plan ideas when teachers find themselves with writer’s block when coming out with lesson ideas. In ChatGTP you can easily ask it for lesson plan ideas of the grade level and targets you have in mind.

I asked ChatGTP to create for me a 4th-grade lesson plan on the layers of the earth and it generated the text below.

Earth’s Layers Lesson Plan for 4th Graders

Objective: At the end of this lesson, students will be able to identify the four main layers of the Earth, describe how each layer is different, and explain the importance of studying the Earth’s layers.

Materials: pictures of Earth’s layers, computers/internet access, chalkboard/whiteboard, chalk/markers


1. Begin the lesson by discussing what Earth is made up of. Explain that Earth’s layers include the crust, mantle, outer core, and inner core.

2. Ask the students what they already know about Earth’s layers. Allow them to share any knowledge they may have.

3. Explain that the crust is the outermost layer and is made up of solid rocks and soil. Show a picture of the crust on the board.

4. Explain that the mantle is the layer beneath the crust and is made up of hot, liquid rock. Show a picture of the mantle on the board. 5. Explain that the outer core is made up of a liquid layer of iron and nickel. Show a picture

When asked to provide a hands-on activity it prompted:

Hands-On Group Activity:

Materials Needed: large bowl, small bowl, sand/dirt/rocks, water, and food coloring Instructions:

1. Divide your class into groups of four.

2. Give each group a large bowl and a small bowl.

3. Ask the students to fill the large bowl with sand, dirt, and rocks to represent Earth’s crust. 4. Ask the students to fill the small bowl with water and a few drops of food coloring to represent Earth’s mantle.

5. Ask the students to carefully pour the water/food coloring mixture over the sand/dirt/rocks in the large bowl.

6. Ask the students to observe the changes that occur in the large bowl.

7. Ask the students to explain what they observe and how this activity relates to Earth’s layers.

8. Discuss the importance of studying Earth’s layers and how it helps us to better understand our planet.

It was able to generate a drop-down table with the information from the lesson and was also able to generate a multiple-choice assessment that could be used or modified for the lesson.


Layer Function
CrustThe outermost layer of the Earth, composed of solid rock and soil.
MantleThe layer beneath the crust, composed of hot, liquid rock.
Outer CoreThe layer beneath the mantle, composed of liquid iron and nickel.
Inner CoreThe innermost layer of the Earth, composed of solid iron and nickel.


1. What is the outermost layer of the Earth?

A. Crust

B. Mantle

C. Outer Core

D. Inner Core

2. What is the layer beneath the crust composed of?

A. Solid rock and soil

B. Hot, liquid rock

C. Liquid iron and nickel

D. Solid iron and nickel

3. What is the innermost layer of the Earth composed of?

A. Solid rock and soil

B. Hot, liquid rock

C. Liquid iron and nickel

D. Solid iron and nickel

4. What is the importance of studying Earth’s layers?

A. To learn about the planets in our solar system

B. To better understand our planet

C. To help us identify different types of rocks

D. To identify different types of soils

5. What is the layer beneath the mantle composed of?

A. Solid rock and soil

B. Hot, liquid rock

C. Liquid iron and nickel

D. Solid iron and nickel

6. What is the layer between the mantle and the outer core?

A. Crust

B. Core

C. Mantle

D. Inner Core

7. What is the importance of studying Earth’s layers?

A. To learn about the planets in our solar system

B. To better understand our planet

C. To help us identify different types of rocks

D. To identify different types of soils

8. What is the layer beneath the outer core composed of?

A. Solid rock and soil

B. Hot, liquid rock

C. Liquid iron and nickel

D. Solid iron and nickel

9. What is the layer beneath the inner core?

A. Crust

B. Mantle

C. Outer Core

D. None of the above

Although ChatGTP can have its faults as an academic tool for teachers it can be very beneficial in bringing more creativity to the classroom and new ideas for teachers to use.


  • Chat GTP
  • Featured Image by Lexica

What Do Plants Need to Grow?

Kindergarten/First Grade Science lesson

Plants are living and breathing things that just like humans need special things to help them grow. In this lesson, we will learn the 5 different things plants need to grow and the reasons why? At the end of the lesson, we also learn a fun trick so we never forget what plant needs to grow.

The first thing needed for a plant to grow is something that keeps it warm and starts with the letter L. Looking at the picture what it could be?

Correct Light! Just like we need to stay warm, plants need a warm temperature! Light coming from the Sun in the sky keeps plants warm and helps to make food for the plants.

The next thing plants need to grow is what helped them to breathe. Use the letter clue and image to help you solve the answer.

Good job, air! Just like we need air, plants need air to breathe. Air is used to make food for plants. Making sure a plant is getting nice fresh air is very important.

Just like we get thirsty so do plants. What do you think plants need if they are thirsty? Use the hint of the first letter of the word W and the image to figure out what the next thing plants need to grow.

Yess water! Water is important for plants because it helps to move food and nutrients to all the different parts of the plant from its leaves all the way down to its roots deep below the soil.

Nutrients are also needed for a plant to grow. because it helps to provide minerals and vitamins to plants’ roots in order to provide the plant with the strength to grow, big and strong, this is why it is very important that plants are planted in nutrient-rich soil to provide food for the plant.

Lastly in order for plants to grow they need… Space!! Just like we need a place to live, plants need a place to live. Plants need space to grow roots so they can grow big and tall. Making sure you are growing a plant in the right pot is very important to keep your plant alive.

As you can see plants are just like living humans who need special things to make sure that they thrive and grow into the beautiful green plants we all know and love. In order to make sure a plant can grow it must need light, air, water, nutrients, and space. If you take the first letters of the 5 words it creates the word LAWNS which is a fun way to remember the 5 things a plant needs to grow, L for light, A for air, W for water, N for nutrients, and S for space.


If you see a plant that is dry and looks wilted because it hasn’t rained in days and has no water. What do you think it needs?

Water 🌧

Your plant loves the sun, but is living in a shady area what can you do to help the plant grow?

Move it to a sunny place ☀️

Your plant is starting to become too big for the pot you planted it in what should you do?

Put it in a bigger pot 🪴


Image by lcallard210 from Pixabay

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Image by Freepik

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Image by Dark Nature from Pixabay

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Image by Ekaterina Ershova from Pixabay

Image by Milada Vigerova from Pixabay

A Semester Like No Other

Growing up I always dreamed about traveling the world but never did I expect to have the opportunity to live in a foreign country for 4 months and earn college credits. Last semester I studied abroad in Granada, Spain which is located in the southern region of Spain, commonly referred to as the Andalucía region.

Flag Spain GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

In Spain, I lived with a host family where I was given my own room, bathroom, and 3 daily meals and expected to speak only Spanish to the family. At first, I was a little nervous about how living in a foreign country was going to be even though I am fluent in Spanish from growing up in a Mexican-American household, I was so nervous. But as I adjusted to my daily schedule and my fluency in conversational Spanish started to flourish I became more comfortable living in Spain and using my Spanish to explore the city.

Spain Sevilla GIF by España Fascinante - Find & Share on GIPHY

While abroad I was able to take intensive Spanish Grammar classes that allowed me to learn the rules of Spanish that I had forgotten, but also learn things about the language that I was never taught. I also took a Spanish Cinema class that analyzed the Spaniard cinema throughout the decades, specifically seeing how the entertainment and movies were different during the Spanish civil war, the Franco rule, and after Franco’s passing in the late 70s. Other classes that I took consisted of Islamic culture classes that looked at the Arabic influence in Spain and lastly, I took a Spanish culture class. In the Spaniard culture class, I was able to learn more about the Spaniard culture and its customs, but I was also taught about the various cities in Spain I was traveling to before going on the trips. We learned about famous museums like the Museo the Prado which housed famous paintings like the original drafts of the Mona Lisa and paintings by Francisco Goya.

Season 2 Episode 1 Spain GIF by National Geographic Channel - Find & Share on GIPHY

We learned about the famous bullfighting arenas and the origins of the fights, but most of all one of my favorite lessons was the wine, bread, and olive oil tasting lesson. In the lesson, we compared the different qualities of bread, virgin vs extra virgin olive oil, what to look for when picking a nice cooking oil and the wine making process followed by a trip to a winery. At the winery I was able to see the full wine making process and sample some local Spaniard wine along with tapas.

After year of studying Spanish it was interesting to actually visit all the famous places I had studied so intensely in my textbooks. Along with learning so much during my time in Spain, I also had the opportunity to travel throughout my stay. On 3 day weekends or small breaks throughout the semester for Spanish holidays I was able to visit places like Barcelona and see the Sagrada Familia , London to visit Buckingham Palace, Italy to visit Vatican city and France to see the Eiffel Tower and visit Leonardo da Vinci’s, Mona Lisa. Given it was my first time being in Eurpoe I made sure to take full advantage of the promixity to other eurpoean countries and traveled whenever I had a chance.

Loop Travel GIF by Omio - Find & Share on GIPHY

Although my time in Spain had to come to a close the memories, sites I saw and friendships I made will always be something I will never forget and will cherish forever. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I recommend to any and everyone, as it was a semester that changed my life forever reminding me why bilingual education is so important. Additonally, my semester abroad enriched my knowledge of Spanish to hopefully further my education to work in a bilingual school setting in the future.

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