I’m On My Way!

Over the course of the semester I had the opportunity to learn about the various technological resources that I can use as a future educator. Prior to this class I was, admittedly,  worried and mildly fearful about utilizing technology so frequently in the classroom. I had very limited knowledge and experience with these types of tools and felt that I would be unable to create products worth sharing with the online world. Although my posts this semester may not be TPT (Teacher Pay Teacher) ready, I was pleasantly surprised with how much content I have created in such a short period of time.     

I am extremely grateful to have been exposed to the educational technology realm, and found the in-class tutorials very helpful. In fact, I have already begun to share my knowledge of these “tech tools” with family and friends who are also impressed with how many accessible (free), resources there are. 

As a future educator, I found this course to be beneficial as it has provided me the guidance and tools to help get me started with including technology into my lessons and classroom. I have learned that technology does not have to be and end all be all resource and, an incorporation of tech does not mean a replacement of other equally beneficial tools. I plan on using these tech tools to enhance lessons in order to make them more engaging and accessible to my future students. Technology also provides educators with an excellent way to meet students’ different learning access points and allows the learning to continue at home. Although I can’t proclaim to the world that I am a  tech savvy teacher quite yet, I definitely feel like I’m on my way!

Lesson Proposal- TED-Ed

Over the course of this semester I have learned about a lot of different tools and programs. This class has opened my eyes to the positive contribution technology can have to classroom lessons and how technology can be used to support rather than distract. 

One program that I was really impressed by is TED-Ed due to its ability to transform basic mini-lessons into lessons that can be accessed outside of the classroom. TED-Ed provides teachers with a slew of educational opportunities and allows parents to take part in their child’s learning. TED-Ed is a great way to extend lessons, can be used in a flipped-classroom, allows students to review classroom material and is also a way for students to view lessons when absent. I plan on providing teachers with a brief tutorial on how to use TED-Ed for their future lessons and will also go over the pros and cons of using this program. I will model how TED-Ed can be used in the classroom by creating a fifth grade science lesson.

In this lesson plan,  I will include a YouTube video of the characteristics of planets in the solar system. This description of the planets is in the form of a catchy song and will especially help the majority of students who require visuals to learn. TED-Ed also allows for the inclusion of questions that can serve as a formative assessment after watching the video. In addition, students can respond to an open-ended discussion question as well as click access an NGSS website for supplemental information. This website aligns with grade level standards and  offers additional vocabulary and lessons that will support the learning already taking place in the classroom. This TED-Ed lesson, once completed, will be accessible for teachers to use and share, and will also serve as an example of how TED-Ed can be incorporated in the classroom. 

Lesson Planning Just Got A Little More Fun

This place value lesson was created on TED-ED and was made for 1st-3rd graders. Place value can be an extremely difficult concept to master especially when students are provided with only blocks, pencils and paper to help them. This place value song is catchy and offers visuals and fun word problems to help students connect to the content. After students watch the video they are given multiple choice questions that work as a brief online formative assessment to check for understanding. Students may also visit the Khan Academy link for more assistance and practice problems to help drive home this concept. Finally students can participate in an online discussion and can work through the challenge problem as a class. This is a great way to encourage parents and their child to engage in the content material at home. I will certainly be using TED-Ed in the future!

Review on Clips

This week I tried Apple’s fairly new video App “Clips.” This video editing app is available on iPads, iPhones and iPods’ that have undergone the recent software update. This was my first disappointment with this application but certainly not the last. After going through the 30 minute update process, I then was able to download Clips and begin exploring. Upon opening the app I became extremely excited by the promo video, though I soon realized that executing these effects was not so easy.

Clips, in my opinion, is not a very intuitive app and it takes a lot of tapping and experimenting to figure out how it works. Even a Google and YouTube search on “how to use Clips” was not very helpful. Another problem I found with Clips, is that the App appears to freeze. Although I’m not sure if this is an actual problem for all users, I did experience these moments of unresponsiveness on both an iPhone and an iPad. The final downside to Clips, is that it is only available on the Apple products stated in the beginning of this review. Many schools use other types of computers and tablets and will, unfortunately, not have access to this resource.

Although there are certainly cons to Clips, there are also quite a few positives that may tip the scale in this Apps’ favor. First of all teachers can use Clips to edit quick videos, tutorials, or messages to their class and can also upload class videos to their website or classroom social media applications like Seesaw. Videos created on Clips are designed to be easily viewed on social media platforms which is a huge bonus in the convenient department. Teachers are also able to add and edit videos from their library as well as film and take picture directly on the app. There are also several effects and stickers to choose from and users can turn on “speech to text” which can make content material presented in a video lesson more accessible to all students. Finally, this application is free and the download process goes smoothly if you already have the updated software.

Overall, with all of its problems aside, Clips can still be a great tool for teachers in the classroom and I expect it will be easier to find tech advice online as this application becomes more popular. I would recommend giving Clips a try if you are looking to try a new video editing App but, suggest setting aside a good chunk of time to explore and research before committing yourself to any video editing projects. Best of luck and happy editing!

The Great Escape: Writing Prompt

This week we learned how to use iMovie and then were given the task of creating a learning resource. I have used iMovie to create a, hopefully, more engaging writing prompt to show to students before they begin their brainstorming and writing process . This was inspired by our previous post about classroom’s of the future. I envisioned more visual methods of instruction being incorporated via technology and believe that iMovie writing prompts would be a great start. Although I would also provide students with this prompt in written form, showing students an iMovie writing prompt would likely be more interesting and exciting for most students. At times it can be difficult as a student to visualize what the prompt is asking of them when there are no images that go with it. This is a way to add both text and images to a prompt in a unique way. I can definitely foresee myself creating more iMovie writing prompts for future students as a way to make free writes fun!

Greetings From the Future

March 17, 2033,

Dear Kiana,

The past 15 years have gone by so quickly. I remember when Google Classroom first took off and now every classroom has their own website for students to visit and find classroom resources. Students still go to school in person, but are now able to re-watch lessons at home for additional help. Thankfully, all students have a school provided computer with internet access built in so everyone has access to learning online!

Another part of the classroom that has changed, is the inclusion of virtual reality. Students are now able to see inside a cell, or around the entire solar system. Learning has become even more engaging and exciting thanks to these types of tools. Coding and computer science has also become an important part of classroom learning and I am doing my best to keep up!

Although a lot has changed since I sat in my EDTech Methods class in college, some things have still remained the same. Kindergarten students are still five year olds, and they still need guidance despite their seemingly innate ability to work with technology. Students use iPads and computers a lot more than they have in the past, but movement is still an integral part of the day. There are a lot of different apps and websites that encourage movement, however, there are periods when students can unplug and enjoy the world in front of them.

Overall, everything is well in the future and I’m definitely looking forward to another 15 years of progress and innovation in the classroom!


Your future self


Annotating in an Elementary Classroom

This Padlet can be used to help upper elementary students keep track of their symbols they use when annotating documents. Students would be able to add their own symbols, pictures, or color coding system that they use. The students can refer to this Padlet when collaborating with peers in order to better understand and identify each-others annotations. If another student wishes to utilize the same annotation symbol as another student, they can “like” or “react” to it.  In utilizing this “Class Annotating Key,” students are encouraged to develop annotating and note-taking skills that will assist them throughout their academic careers. This Padlet also helps teachers keep track of which annotation belongs to which student.  In creating a symbol or image that best fits their individual system students are able to make the provided readings meaningful to them, while still being able to collaborate with peers and identify their annotations.

Made with Padlet

The Constitution: A Story

This Sway presentation was created with a 5th grade Social Studies lesson in mind. This overview of the Constitution breaks down the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How that providing students with necessary background information. Also included in this Sway presentation is a School House Rock video that transforms these facts into a catchy song for students to listen to.

States and Capitals

Kiana and Jordyn’s  MyMap is intended to be used during a Social Studies unit on States and Capitals. Students will have the opportunity to participate in a virtual road trip throughout the continental United States. Each Geotag includes a picture so students can see what each capital looks like. Throughout this unit students can click on each capital and then research information about the state. As the unit progresses students will continue to add facts they learned in the description resulting in a detailed MyMap at the end of the unit.

This lesson is connected to Oregon’s fifth grade Social Studies standard “5.7 Identify, locate, and describe places and regions in the United States.” In utilizing this MyMap teachers are able to meet this standard while allowing students to explore, collaborate and learn as a class.

What should I wear?

This is an instructional resource for primary elementary grades to use during a weather unit. This is an exciting way to help students associate appropriate weather attire with the seasons. This also provides students with the unique opportunity to learn through exploration independently or as a class.

While making this Google slide show we learned how to hyperlink slides to other slides. We also learned about other ways to make lessons more entertaining and engaging for visual learners while still teaching important content. We are both looking forward to creating adventure stories, and other Google slide show lessons, in order to utilize technology effectively in our future classrooms.

Khan Academy Tutorial

Khan Academy is an online resource that provides videos, practice problems, and quizzes for students. This is a great website for parents to use in order to better support their child with homework.  Parents can watch a video to revisit  fractions, or learn with their child and go through online practice problems together. Khan Academy provides support for all grade levels in a variety of subjects, and offers parents a great opportunity to prioritize education while  spending time with their child. I have included a brief tutorial below to help parents get started!

Lesson on Emotions

My activity can be utilized in a Social Studies or Health lesson. In my public domain search, I located three images of children expressing different emotions (sad, happy, mad).

I would first show my class one of the images and would then ask the two guiding questions (included below). After posing these questions, students would “think, turn and talk,” about the emotion the child is expressing and how they came to that conclusion. I would then lead the class in a discussion about facial expressions, and body language. For example the teacher might elaborate on why the students identified “sad” as the emotion. The teacher can point to the image and discuss the details of the child’s frown, and the tears streaming down his cheeks as evidence that he may be feeling sad. My objective for this activity is for students to be able to identify the emotion displayed by using the child’s facial expression as evidence.

This activity can also be used when discussing empathy with upper elementary students and middle school students. The teacher can explain that our words and actions make others feel a particular way. For instance when we say something that is unkind it may result in someone feeling sad or angry. When showing students the images the teacher can ask similar guiding questions that are posted below, and can also ask students to write or discuss a scenario that explains why the child may be feeling that way.

Guiding Questions:

  1. What emotion is the child expressing in this picture?
  2. How do you know he/she is feeling this way?


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Image Sources: 

Crying Baby: TaniaVdB Baby 

Happy Child: Shlok Nikhil

Angry Toddler: mohamed taher