Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Online Assignment #2 ~ Katy Lungren

I have been discovering some helpful websites over the past few weeks of searching and exploring. The most challenging aspect has been finding the time (between teaching, planning, extra school responsibilities, and such!) to thoroughly review and sort through the extensive amount of information and research I have come across. I still have a lot of sifting to do, but here are three sites that I found especially valuable in putting together my Professional Growth Plans.


SEDL (Southwest Educational Development Laboratory) National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools – This site provides “people with research-based information and resources that they can use to effectively connect schools, families, and communities.” I found the information in the Briefs and Handouts section to be especially helpful in planning how to increase family participation. The Connection Collection area is a fantastic source for doing further research. It is an annotated bibliography database that is searchable. I have already found a number of articles and research papers that I am planning to read in depth at a later time that are centered on how to better include ELL parents in the larger school community and also how to assist low-income families in helping and supporting their own children academically.


International Society for Technology in Education – This site has an abundant amount of information and research centered on classroom technology integration. The link above is specifically for the Educator Resources page. This page contains links to other sites with general technology integration ideas, examples, lesson plans, classroom supports, and so much more. Thus far, my exploring has taken me to Glossopedia, an online science encyclopedia for students that includes kid-friendly definitions and descriptions, videos, maps, and photos, Imbee, a safe and secure site that allows teachers and students to learn about blogging which I hope to use next year to set up homework help for students and parents and also use for students to discuss Literature Circle books with one another, and a number of subject-specific learning sites where students can practice and build skills in reading, math, and science.


Concept to Classroom – This site offers a series of online “workshops” on a variety of topics. While the workshops seem to be of good quality, I found the resource pages for each workshop topic more useful for my current purposes. There are lists of books, articles, websites, videos, and materials for each of the eleven workshops. There is a workshop or two based around each of my three professional development goals. For my assessment goal, I used the Assessment, Evaluation, and Curriculum Redesign resources to locate some books and articles that I will be reading this summer. For my goal centered on building family partnerships, I used this site’s Making Family and Community Connections resources to better inform how I communicate with my students’ families and also found some great educational information to pass along to parents. To help find more information about technology integration, I found both the WebQuests and Why the Net? An Interactive Tool for the Classroom resource pages helpful.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Online Assignment #2 -- Due April 8th

After completing your literature review and website searches for your Professional Growth Plans, please share some of the most interesting and exciting new resources you have found. You will also need to respond to 2 other class members. Once you have read everyone’s responses, you will be ready to complete your literature review for your 3 goals and attach your Bibliography to your Professional Growth Plans. You will have 2 weeks to complete this assignment.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Online Assignment #1 - Kate Kristian

My 3 professional growth goals relate directly to my current stage of professional development, which I believe is the professional teacher phase. As I reflect on my 6th year of teaching, I feel that I have made that shift from personal concerns such as being accepted by colleagues, juggling all teacher responsibilities, and being able to handle adverse situations to concerns of my students specifically. My energy is more focused on how to best deliver my instruction to ensure that my students are making adequate progress, and all of my students are performing to the best of their abilities. Within the Seattle School District, I’m provided with numerous opportunities to further my professional growth in most subject areas, and while I may have looked at this information and new learning as overwhelming in the novice phase, I know have the experience and confidence that allows me to determine how it will work in my classroom, with my students.

My professional growth goals reflect my focus on students behavior and learning and include:
1. To use a variety of assessment strategies and data to monitor and improve instruction.
2. To integrate technology into instruction and assessment.
3. To inform, involve, and collaborate with families and community members as partners in each student’s educational process, including using information about student achievement and performance.

At this time, I am using a variety of effective assessment tools with my students. My students are assessed formally and informally, and in different formats. I also use summative and formative types of assessment. However, my students are not regularly using their work to examine and reflect on their achievement of learning targets. I am not providing students with many opportunities to reflect on their learning deeply. As a teacher in the professional phase, I am focused on using student assessment to drive my instruction. My hope is that my students will have a better understanding of the assessment process in general, and that they will have gained skills in self-monitoring, evaluation, and regulation.

Due to the limited opportunities that my students currently have to learn using the available technology in my school, I have chosen this goal. Given the proper training and guidance, I hope my students will be able to view technology as a tool that can aid their learning in a particular content area. Specifically, I want my students to be fluent in logging on and off our classroom computers, accessing appropriate websites to further their knowledge and/or experience on a particular subject, and to understand how to use these tools responsibly.

Parent and Community Involvement
At the end of my professional growth, my hope is that parents will have better understanding of how their child is performing in all areas including academics and social and emotional development through regular communication and feedback. As students are becoming more aware of their progress through self-monitoring, evaluation, and regulation, I want to include them in this process. I currently use a wide range of assessment methods in order to gather information on my each of my students’ progress. However, I have yet to determine an effective way of passing along the information to parents and community members.

Because my teaching and learning plan is focused on Literacy, it will only help in making assessment, technology, and parent and community involvement stronger in reading and writing.

Online Assignment #1 - Juliana Kirmeyer

My Professional Growth Goals:

1(a) using instructional strategies that make the learning meaningful and show positive impact on student learning

1(b) using a variety of assessment strategies and data to monitor and improve instruction

1(d) designing and/or adapting challenging curriculum that is based on the diverse needs of each student

I became a teacher to share my love of science and mathematics. Looking back at my first years as a teacher, I find myself feeling terribly sorry for the students I initially had. I was self-centered as a teacher - I only chose to teach those things (with the standards in mind) that I felt I enjoyed. After reading "Life Cycle of the Career Teacher" I see how my behavior was very typical of a teacher at the novice and apprentice stages. However, I don't see myself quite at the professional stage.

I am the sort of person who always seeks something new, something different, and something better than what I am doing. I have kept my head above the waves of “withdrawal” with this sort of attitude. I cannot stand teaching the same lesson twice; there is nothing I do that is untouched and unrevised, no activity where I do not first think, “will the students enjoy this?” and get their feedback and suggestions after completion. So, I have a type of reflection process embedded within me. But what reading the first four chapters (plus Appendix) has given me is a direction to my constant need to revise and regenerate.

I have chosen to look at how I assess because it is always the question for me “ are my students learning?” But, I also want to find ways to have the students tell whether they are learning and growing. I have students identify their learning goals twice a trimester, but it is never tied to standards for the state or school. Providing students with a road map of what they need to master by the end of the year might be a good way to introduce goals for learning to them and provide them a way to reflect.

Because I teach math, it is essential that students gain ways to “cope” with learning new information. I can see how my explanation do not always help my students learn best, and I want to learn how to better teach them strategies to learn new information and content.

Reading the first four chapters of the "Life Cycle of the Career Teacher" has further cemented my professional growth goals. I can see where I need to grow as well as where I am growing.

Source: Steffy, B. E., Wolfe, M. P., Pasch, S. H., & Enz, B., J. (2000). Life cycle of the career teacher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.