Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life!

I love Christmas time and everything it has to offer...including being done with my last project! Hopefully you have been reading my blog and keeping up with all the strategies I have been learning for Selection and Integration of Instructional Technologies. I have now taken all those strategies and placed them into one unit. I decided to do a unit on Balance and Motion for this assignment. While completing each part in a lesson/unit was fairly easy to visual, putting them all into one unit was a lot harder to visual. Needless to say I had to listen to a lot of Christmas music to keep me in the Christmas spirit:)

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Are your lessons universal?

Every student learns in a different way. In class we have been learning about Universal Design for Learning and how teachers can create an environment supported by UDL. Before looking at CAST UDL Lesson Builder, a website designed to help create a UDL environment, I thought I was doing a fairly good job teaching in a way that was meeting the needs of my learners. Of course reviewing the site gave me some new and fresh ideas, but I do a fairly decent job teaching in a variety of ways. The part that I need to work on the most in my classroom is creating multiple practices or independent work practices that have variety and allow the students to choose which method works best for them. This is something that I will keep in mind as I continue throughout the school year. I took a lesson that I teach each year regarding time to the nearest five minutes and adjusted it to make it more universal. Even though time is not a huge project, it is still something that is important for my second graders to learn. You can see my adapted lesson here and how I made it more universal. If there are any more ideas of what I can do with time I would be happy to
hear them.

Photo taken from

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Different Kind of X-Mas Card

In years past the 2nd and 3rd grade teachers have been able to eat together! Since we were separated this year we still try to get together and we decided it would be fun to remember the good 'ol days of eating lunch together and being the "lunch bunch"! Check out our first Christmas card ever!!

Photo Card

Merry Presents Christmas
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

ITEC 2011

I had an awesome opportunity to participate in this year's ITEC conference in Des Moines, IA. There were a lot of great presenters full of resources and new ideas. Here is a quick video of some of the new things I learned at ITEC this year.

Internet: Friend or Foe

The internet can be a scary place for parents and teachers. This might be the very reason parents and teachers hesitate when it comes to letting their child or student online. While the internet can be dangerous, it also provides a lot of opportunities to learn and grow. They key is teaching kids to be smart while on the internet. Teaching cyber citizenry is something that should come from both teachers and parents. With everyone's support and effort the internet can be a safer place. Common Sense is a great place to get started with teaching internet safety for kids of all ages. I went ahead and created a mock lesson for my master's class starting with Internet safety. Check it out and see if it is a lesson that would work for you to use in your classroom or with your child.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

21st. Century Classroom

You may think that your classroom fits under the 21st century classroom but does it really? A principal in NW Iowa by the name of Shawn Holloway uses a checklist like this one as he completes his walkthroughs to assess how things are going. I completed the checklist for one of my grad classes to see how "21st century" my classroom was. At first I was thinking that I was shocked by how many boxes I didn't get to check off. Then again after thinking about it I shouldn't have been surprised. You can see how I assess my classroom's walkthough went by looked at the checklist I completed. A question I throw out to everyone is how can you make your classroom a 21st century classroom when materials and resources are limited? I know this may sound like an excuse and we have heard it many times, but I feel as though it is a valid excuse. It is a fight just to get into the computer lab or use the mobile lab at my school. How do you get past that?

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