Monday, April 27, 2009

Online Assignment # 3 -- Due May 12

What is a student-focused learning environment? How do you create it? How do you sustain it?

After posting your remarks, you will need to respond to 2 others.

You have 2 weeks to complete this assignment--by May 12.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Online Assignment # 2 -- Silvia Gomes

I have found some very interesting web sites that can really inspire creative curriculum and teaching units.

National Archives for Educators and Students
This website has amazing lessons and web quests that students can use to learn different concepts of history. The most amazing part of this is that it allows access to primary documents which can be written in vernacular that students have had no exposure to. Though the vocabulary can be difficult, students become so engrossed in the subject matter that even older students begin “deciphering” the meaning of these documents and which roles they play in history.

Read, Write, Think

I am sure that this website is recognized by many, if not all However, in case no one has mentioned it or you, the reader, has not heard of this website, this is a must have for any teacher. This is a place that has its roots in literacy, but due to our developing view of education, it is a website that meets most subject areas.

I also love this website as it acts like an enormous toolbox. The makers of this site understand that re-inventing the wheel is silly and a waste of precious teaching time. On this site, it puts teachers in direct contact with useful resources that they can give their own students to aide in learning concepts. It also provides links that will aide teachers in managing their own work loads. This is a great site to help with organization, assessment, and instruction development.

Two literature pieces that I am absolutely promoting to anyone who will listen are these:

Boy Writers by Ralph Fletcher
This book is one that I have been flying through that gives a much needed point of view perspective of the role of boys in the classroom and how to gear a more gender friendly writing program which has been geared to meet the strengths of girls. So often, I see boys struggle with Writing Workshop or in finding a sense of accomplishment in their writing pieces. Fletcher helps to ease the teacher into the mantra: "It is ok if..." In reading this book, It helped me realize that although some teaching practices are sound, there is a population that is being ignored (about 50% of the population to be exact).

Units of Study for Teaching Writing by Lucy Calkins
This was a series of books that was introduced to me by a fellow classmate. I have just begun to dive in, but have become engrossed in what I have read so far. This series breaks down your year into Units of Study (Memoirs, Literary Essays, Fiction, Breathing Life into Essays, etc). One of the books serves as a guide to the Writing Workshop and another one helps the teacher Launch the Writers Workshop in the classroom. Inside, it has a word-for-word script in case a teacher needs some intensive guidance, general lesson outlines for those who like a bit more independance in their teaching, and coaching notes for the points where a teacher may get "stuck." There is also a CD-ROM with resources, materials, bibliography, rubrics, charts, and much more! Lucy Calkins also has a primary grades series aimed for the K-2 writers. I was also informed that the 3-5 series can be easily adapted for middle and high school writers!

Online Assignment # 2 -- Christina Spencer

My areas of focus for my professional certificate are: using a variety instructional strategies that make the learning meaningful and increase student learning, using a variety of assessment strategies, and integrating technology in the classroom. Through my web searches I have found many sites that will be useful in the implementation phase of this process. Often times I found sites that provide more than one use, sparked a focused reflection, or created the coveted "ah-ha" moment. Hopefully you will find these resources to be useful or interesting too.

Instructional Strategies:
-Instructional strategies for math specifically designed for students with learning disabilities or low math ability but could really be used as "best practices" for many abstract concepts in math
-This site had all sorts of goodies connected to it, they included: assessment strategies (all subjects), instructional strategies with references to research to support the strategy, assignments, and much more...

Assessment Strategies:
-This site was great, it provided several examples and tools for implementation

-One of my favorite tools associated with this site as a plan for creating appropriate scoring rubrics for student work

-This site focused on individual and peer assessment, each strategy had a visual sample and a rationale for its use

-I'm sure everyone noticed that the assessment website I chose was powered by one of the world leaders in technology. Intel is very supportive of education and has lots of ideas on how to integrate technology and the use of 21st century skills in the classroom.

Online Assignment #2 -- Kathy Loftus

Natalie, you are not alone in creating an account and posting ability. But here I am, I did something right, what I did, well I 'm not too sure.

1. Classroom Management

I found a site that was on our resource list. Education World

This site had many other topics as well. I went to the Classroom Management under the Strategy of the Week section. It listed many other sites to visit. Each site pertained to a specific topic about classroom management. For example one site talks about seating arrangements. How the seating arrangement can affect classroom management, how you can rearrange students seats and how it will change the classroom management. I am very excited to look into more of these sites to help me with some ideas to better my class room management. I also found a book titled: A Personal Guide to Classroom Management, by Michael Grinder, National Director NLP in Education. This book provides you with strategies that will help make classroom management very easy. I am interested in learning more strategies that will give me some ideas of how to work with my students.

2. Integrating Technology

I also used the same site as above, Education World,

This site has a technology integration section. I went to that section and then went to the site reviews, then clicked on PE and Health. Once I got there, I had many different sites to go to. The sites were interactive with the student, some were more informational and others were primarily for the teacher only. I am excited to be able to access these sites with my health classes. This will provide other ways for my students to learn, besides working from the book and work book.

3. Informing, Involving, and collaborating

I received a book from one of my professional growth team members. It is called, Strategies for Teachers, Teaching Content and Thinking Skills, by Paul D. Eggen and Donald P. Kauchak. The book focus' on what strategies to use to teach your students better. How to get your students to have a higher level of thinking and to better communicate to your student and their family. I am looking forward to continuing to read this book and gather some ideas from it to help the learning for my students to be more meaningful.

I also found a website that will give me ideas on what will help my communication with parents and students. This site has other sites and articles that you can go to that will give you ideas and strategies to use to help improve on communication and make it more effective. This site also had information on lesson plans, technology ideas, and many other subjects that would be helpful.

Online Assignment # 2 -- Vanessa Marfin

At first, this process made me feel I have already entered initial withdrawal as described by Steffy. Reviewing research articles, I felt guilty for having drifted so far away from the scientific approach I was introduced to in my credential program. Skimming intriguing book titles, I felt skeptical about my own ability to integrate new elements into my teaching practices right away. Clicking on enticing links, I felt resentful of professionals who are not in the classroom anymore but are making plenty of money selling solutions to teachers -- solutions that are often contradictory at that. I feel like what I really need in order to become a better teacher is sufficient time to actually read and evaluate all these resources, assimilate them at a reasonable pace, plan how I will implement them, and share them with colleagues. And I need to have this sufficient time without being forced to sacrifice my family life or the time that I need to explore my own interests and meet my own non-teaching goals. However, after writing about the resources I found, I feel I am already re-energized a bit and looking forward to continuing to revamp and revise my teaching practice.

The first two resources deal with instructional strategies, specifically for teaching math. I spend the majority of my time as a high school resource teacher working with students on math and find that many are turned off to math because of their perception that it is irrelevant to their lives. Enter:

Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project by Robert Moses. In this book, Moses describes the curriculum he developed to prepare traditionally underserved students for higher mathematics instruction and explains why math is a civil rights issue.

Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers. I found this book on the Rethinking Schools website and it is exactly what I need to make math more relevant to my students and to more actively promote social justice in my teaching. Includes suggestions for using issues of social justice (including housing discrimination, living wage, environmental racism, the war in Iraq, etc.) to teach math and problem solving. I am very eager to incorporate these lessons into my math program. I predict that after solving the problems in this book, students will find answers to their perennial question: "When am I ever going to use this?"

The third resource that I found invaluable I did not discover on my own, but Margie gave it to us at our last class meeting. I used this website in school, as I am sure many of you did:
ERIC Clearinghouse, U.S. Department of Education;
This is a vast storehouse of educational research articles. I searched for "ADD/ADHD and on-task and self-monitoring" and found several articles about a technique called "S.L.A.N.T." that I would love to implement throughout my school. I also found a method called a "Question Exploration Routine" that is a visual organizer that appears promising for improving reading comprehension for students with learning disabilities. I know I can turn to this resource again and again when problem situations arise with my students. Staying knowledgeable about research-validated interventions will be especially helpful for me in collaborating with classroom teachers, I will be able to make very specific suggestions and back them up with data.

Online Assignment #2—Kate Kristian

From the book, Integrating Technology by James G. Lengel and Kathleen M. Lengel, I learned that there are actually stages in technology adoption. I find this important because just like the stages of general teacher development there are limits to what a teacher can apply into their classroom when integrating technology. The stages go as follows: Entry, Adoption, Adaptation, Appropriation, and Innovation. To give you an idea of how a teacher develops through these strategies, at the Entry phase the teacher is aware of technology, but chooses not to involve him or herself in the use of it, and is not interested in using it with students. Teachers in the entry phase actually avoid technology. In the final stage of innovation, the teacher views technology as a tool, however not the only tool to good teaching. The teacher focuses on the curriculum and ensures that students are meeting standards rather than being impressed by a student’s project that doesn’t include the content of the curriculum.
In Integrating Literacy and Technology by Susan Watts Taffe and Carolyn B. Gwinn, they emphasize the use of layers of instruction in order to scaffold, and gradually release the responsibility to students. The stages of instruction include, Teacher Explicit Instruction, Teacher Modeling, Think-Aloud (while modeling), and Interactive Demonstration.

Parent and Community Involvement
Mobilizing the Community to Help Students Succeed by Hugh B. Price was given to me by one of my Professional Certification Team members. She is a literacy coach for the Seattle School District and felt it was a great resource for involving parents and community members in the school environment. There are a lot of ideas in how to set up programs that involve parents and community member that have proven to boost student achievement.

“Assessment Through the Student’s Eyes” by Rick Stiggins is an excellent resource for getting started with more student-centered assessment. Stiggins refers to this assessment as “Assessment for Learning” and has great advice for implementation:

• Share achievement targets with students prior to the project, unit, or assignment
• Share examples of exemplary student work
• Provide time for self-assessment and provide students with specific feedback in manageable chunks
• Set time for students to set goals
• Have students develop a scoring rubric for the assignment or project
• Provide students with time to reflect on their achievement. For example, after a test is graded, have students determine what concepts they are actually struggling with, and where they may have made a computational error. Then, provide further instruction and another opportunity for students to demonstrate their skills.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Online Assignment #2 -- Natalie Bowers

Oh goodness, I finally found the button to create a new post.  I feel so silly; I've been looking for it for-- well, I won't admit to how long it took me; I'm just glad I found it!  

Like many in our group my goals are: integrating technology, informing, inviting and collaborating with families, and using a variety of assessments.  I am excited to expand my knowledge in all of these areas, but if the truth be told, I'm most excited about the tech goal.  I have an aversion to technology (see the first two lines of this post), and learning more about it and discovering how I can integrating effectively in the classroom is the goal most likely to push me out of my comfort zone and into the place where real learning takes place.  

In the last few weeks I've found many resources to assist me on the road to meeting my goals, below are a few of the ones I'm most looking forward to studying closely.

1.  Integrating Technology
I figured since my aversion to this goal was so great, I would do best to fully immerse myself in it.  I didn't want to just read an article, I wanted a book; my search brought me to this one, Ten Easy Ways to Use Technology in the English Classroom.  I was drawn to this resource for a number of reasons.  First, as I stated early it was a book, and I thought it would be more in depth and thorough than some of the other resources I found.  Second, the words "Ten Easy Ways" really appealed to me; it made me feel like I wouldn't be overwhelmed by the ideas.  Lastly, and probably most importantly, I liked that it was specifically written for the English Classroom.  In a class that is mostly about reading and writing, I find it hard to think of ways technology fits into my classroom in a natural and organic way.   My hope is this book gives me the tools I need to start on my track to having meaning technology in my LA classes.  My principal agreed to buy the book for me, so it should arrive in a few weeks!

2.  Informing, inviting and collaborating with families
For this goal, I decided to use a resource from the bibliography we were given in class,  Rallying the Whole Village:  The Comer Process for Reforming Education.  In my current position as a literacy coach and staff developer, my role with families has changed.  I'm no longer have a set of students I'm responsible for, so the contact I do have with families is on a much greater and more "global" scale. 

 We are currently undergoing major demographic changes at my school.  Due to budget cuts and school closers, we are acquiring 250 students in a special, self-contained advanced program, and right now tensions are high.  Everyone is worried about how our current demographic and our new demographic will mix; there are lots of questions and there is a lot of fear.  Since I'm in position of leadership, I'd like to learn more about how to create a positive, cohesive school that values the diversity each group brings with it, and I think this resource will help me learn more.

3.  Using a variety of assessments
I'm really excited about this resource for two reasons.  First I've been trying to read this book for two years, but I keep getting distracted, and two, I've convinced a group of other coaches to read it with me in a study group!  As we all know, many heads are better than one, and I can't wait to read Assessing Writers by Carl Anderson with them.  I've read a few chapters in this book already, and I'm so excited about his fresh approach to assessing writing and all of his ideas about sharing the process with students and parents.  I also really like that his approach isn't about grading, it is about evaluating growth over time.  I look forward to reading this book completely and with my colleagues.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Online Assignment #2 Darren Hunter

Hello everybody! I have found so many sites, books, journals, and reference materials. I have become overwhelmed at times. However, I have finally narrowed down my list to three wonderful resources. The available materials are endless and I am looking forward to reading the other responses and the information provided by my classmates.

1. Integrating Technology

I found the website listed above to be a great resource for successfully integrating technology into the classroom. This is one of the biggest areas of my Professional Growth Plan and I found no shortage of websites, books, source materials, and journals. While researching, I came across the education-world website. This website is packed with not only valuable technology resources, but links for lesson planning, school-wide issues, and professional development. I found a great link in which The Education World Tech Team shares its secrets for teaching successfully with technology and includes thirty-three tips for effectively managing technology use in your classroom!

2. Informing, Involving and Collaborating with Families

Easy and Effective Ways to Communicate with Parents: Practical Techniques and Tips for Parent Conferences, Open Houses, Notes Home, and More That Work for Every Situation by Barbara Mariconda

This must-have guide explains how to turn every interaction with parents from the first letter home through the last conference into a positive and productive interaction. This book has been a valuable resource for me. It includes many suggestions, as well as problem solving solutions, for effectively communicating, collaborating, and forming partnerships with families. The book is an easy read with real-school scenarios and plenty of ideas for forming positive communication teams. It has been very helpful so far this year and I continue to refer to it. If you would like to borrow this book please let me know!

3. Effective Classroom Management

I came across this great web resource: The Education Information for New and Future Teachers on the site. This resource explains how to successfully develop and maintain a student-centered classroom management system. In addition, this site has an abundance of information and hundreds of links for not only classroom management but for my other areas of Professional Growth. This website has links for lesson plans, educational journals, content and curriculum assistance, as well as curriculum and instruction, to simply name a few. I will definitely continue to refer to this website during my professional growth cycle and beyond.

Online Assignment #2 - Rachel Bergere

When I started this program and began my professional growth plan, I knew that I was going to have to find resources to help me best achieve my goals. I immediately began asking teachers at my school for resource ideas. I also revisited old workshop materials to see if additional resources had been suggested for us to read at a later date. I have found three that I have started reading and have even used some of the strategies and ideas in my own classroom and in my growth plans.

Classroom Based Assessment by Bonnie Campbell Hill, Cynthia Ruptic, and Lisa Norwick

One of the teachers at my school who used to work in many areas outside of the classroom, including as an advisor for student teachers through Seattle University, suggested the text Classroom Based Assessment. She has been teaching for over 20 years and said this book is invaluable to her. This book is useful not only for university students who are learning about assessment for the first time, but it is also helpful for classroom teachers who need to fine-tune their own assessment practices. Throughout the book there are chapters on how to assess and observe students in writing, reading, and other content areas. There are reproducible forms and continuums to use in the classroom. There are also descriptive suggestions for professional growth at the end of each chapter.

Setting Limits in the Classroom by Robert J. MacKenzie

I am reading this book as a part of my professional goal to improve my classroom management. It offers suggestions on how to improve the structure of the classroom, guidance for how to give logical consequences for behavior, solving problems with homework, and how to motivate students in a positive way. One practice that I read in this book was to start using a Friday “Preferred Activity Time” (PAT) to improve and lessen the time it takes for transitions. During this PAT they get to choose activities that they would like to do that involve “thinking and learning”. The students earn 20 minutes of PAT each week that they get to have on Friday afternoon. They can earn additional minutes for excellent behavior, transitions, or being on-task. During transitions they can lose seconds from their Friday PAT for taking too long, excessive talking, or being off-task. I have only started using this system, but it has seemed to work so far. The 6th graders love having a free choice time and work hard to get additional time for it.

This is a free web-based learning environment for teachers to use for conferencing with their students. It looks to have been set-up for secondary and post-secondary classes, but I think it would also work for 5th-8th graders. Teachers can create their own threaded topics and even have students post their own topics. There appears to be scheduling functions, link sharing, and personal messaging options as well. I was interested in having the ability to post topics that students could read and respond to, as well as read each others’ topics, and respond to them. I decided to use it for a class meeting last week and the students loved it. I posted the question: What do you like about our class? What gifts do you offer? The students enjoyed seeing their responses posted on the thread. It was a positive experience in our classroom. I also had access to all of the students’ responses and could actively monitor the students to ensure they were being appropriate and respectful. I look forward to exploring this resource more and seeing how I can using it for instruction and perhaps even a tool for assessment.

Online Assignment #2-Megan Ackerman

After doing some research and review on literature and website searches, I couldn’t help feeling slightly overwhelmed by the vast resources that are offered for teachers and narrow the sources that would be most meaningful to implement in my professional growth plan. However, I was also excited to get my hands on some new material to help me improve on incorporating more of cultural diversity, technology, and effective assessments in my classroom.

To help with innovative reading assessments in my classroom, a colleague of mine recommended a book called, With Assessment First, written by Deborah White. Deborah White has dedicated her professional life to teaching for more than thirty years and is a reading specialist and Reading Recovery teacher. The book focuses on effective ways to move reading assessment and instruction forward. It takes on a different kind of assessment approach. The book explains ways to connect short, focused assessments, so that reading instruction is meaningful and powerful to all readers. It shows ways to determine approximate reading levels and identify strategies students may be using. White looks closely at the five key areas readers usually need support on, which are phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. I am excited about delving more into With Assessment First,, because it also provides teachers with a planning chart for each focus area and a variety of activities to facilitate reading instruction. As I read more of the book, I plan on experimenting with some of the reading activities along with using the reproducible forms for giving assessments.

It has been frustrating finding creative ways to implement technology into my classroom, until I discovered the website, ( It has a vast amount of resources on technology integration along with incorporating literacy, writing, social studies, and cultural diversity lessons in the classroom. The website’s mission is to help encourage literacy appreciation. It has quality products and services that educate and motivate children in understanding the world around them. The site has many activities to help students become more familiar with our history and cultural heritage. It has a variety of lessons that teach students about living in a democratic society with basic liberties and responsibilities. Most importantly, it helps students understand the value of having rights and freedom for all people. While I was searching the website, I stumbled on “Celebrate Constitution Day.” The site had several useful articles my students could use to do research, such as, “We the People: The Preamble,” “Bill of Rights,” or “Constitutional Expert: Caroline Kennedy.” Towards the end of the webpage, I discovered some fun activities. I laughed when I saw “Interview Ben Franklin.” I just had to check it out. As soon as I clicked on the site, I had a virtual interview with Franklin. I couldn’t get my eyes off his yellow teeth! After the interview, I was invited to write an actual article I could print out. It was a fun learning experience. I know my fourth graders would love this website.

Lastly, another helpful website I found was I have already used this website to start collecting efficient writing assessments and rubrics to incorporate in my writing curriculum for next year. I have had trouble finding creative writing projects and this website has an abundant list of writing ideas and projects! What I like about this site is that it also offers lesson plans, along with duplicates, to help teachers teach writing strategies.

Online Assignment #2 - Juli Rangel

Wow! I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of available resources to improve student learning. Completing Step 3 in my Professional Growth Plan no longer feels intimidating. Now, I just need to schedule the time to continue sorting through the many “finds” I have set aside and for all the additional resources you all are contributing. I hope you find the resources below helpful.


A terrific website I found is titled, “TeachersFirst is a rich collection of lessons, units, and web resources designed to save teachers time by delivering just what they need in a practical, user-friendly, and ad-free format.” It is loaded with great technology integration ideas. If you click on “units,” you’ll find some of the site’s most popular lessons and instructional units. The tab, “subjects/grade level,” gives you an A-Z menu for lessons and resources sorted for Elementary, Middle and High School classes. Among the subject areas listed here, there is a “Special Education” tab, which may be of interest to a couple of our cohort members. When I clicked on “Social Studies/Elementary,” I found TimeRime. allows you to view, create, and share interactive timelines. I look forward to exploring this site further!


The “Apple Learning Interchange” is another great resource for technology integration. Once you complete the free membership process, you have can collaborate online with others around the world as well as access tech lessons sorted by topic or specific technology. When browsing through the elementary topics of Language Arts, Math/Science and Social Studies, I was pleased to find several ideas that included lesson plans and student examples.

3) Understanding by Design – Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe

This book was mentioned at our last class meeting when the “Rubric For The Six Facets of Understanding” was referenced. I was pleased to find it on my principal’s bookshelf! The authors state, “This book is intended for educators interested in enhancing student understanding and in designing more effective curriculums and assessments to promote understanding.” Our school is currently involved in the process of using the state standards to create curriculum maps, and we recently attended a professional development day learning about teaching, “enduring understandings,” which involved the practice of “backward design.” As I browsed through Understanding by Design, it is clear that our recent workshop relied on the work of Wiggins and McTighe. Honestly, I think this is a book I will have to read more than once in order to process it deeply. It’s easy to see that the work of Wiggins and McTighe provide amazing guidance to improve student learning and to make that learning powerful and in-depth.

4) Results Now – How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements In Teaching And Learning - By Mike Schmoker

I spent quite a bit of time browsing through this book and found it to be very interesting. I look forward to reading it thoroughly this summer. It clearly argues how instruction itself has the largest influence on achievement, and sadly provides research on how much of instruction, as a whole, across the country is ineffective. His first four chapters focus on WHY our schools are not working to their potential. He’s asking us to take a good, hard look at our current school system. But there’s hope! Schmoker feels that any school can achieve, and it’s obvious that he and Wiggins and McTighe are on the same page by starting with powerful curriculum design. But what stood out as I perused the book was Schmoker’s argument for the need of swift and regular opportunities for teachers to meet, so they can collaborate and create worthwhile lessons. He believes when teachers are brought out of “isolation” and given opportunities to work and plan together, amazing results can happen.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Online Assignment # 2 -- Juliana Kirmeyer

I have always loved using the Internet as a resource - I find really interesting ideas and applets (little online modules) that I use in the classroom.

One of my favorite haunts in the Math Forum - especially for Pi Day resources. An interesting section I never explored before was the Mathematics Education section.

I found numerous articles about mathematics assessment, curriculum development, and collaborative learning. I just found it to be a wealth of information and most articles even provide a bibliography or resources! Very exciting, and I look forward to digging into this treasure chest further.

One other site that I found interesting was by Danica McKeller (of Winnie Cooper fame on the "Wonder Years"). I had picked up her book a year ago and was surprised to find a new Pre-Algebra book recently released entitled "Kiss My Math".

And she has a website:

The website provides additional content based on her books (including a link to her new "Kiss My Math" site). The books are WONDERFUL - very girly, but any male would also find her explanations about the basics of middle school math very clear and fun.

I have her books on my bibliography for strategy as she provides so many great ways to think about integers and equations as well as wonderful short cuts that are based on the ideas behind the math. She also has an online forum where students can talk about math together!

Who knew "Winnie Cooper" was a math genius? I cannot say enough good things about the books and her websites are amazing. Great math content and good strategies for empowering students.

I am constantly on the look out for resources for surface area - it is a very difficult concept for middle school. I was hoping to find videos or some sort of game where one could deconstruct a three-dimensional object.

And I found this website that would be great for meeting the diverse needs of students in science and math:

Adaptive Curriculum Website

I say 'would be' because it costs money. I was able to sign up for a free 30-day trial and it has been most interesting. While it would be really great to be able to purchase this for use, it has given me great ideas for how to adapt curriculum to provide more challenge or accommodations for students. Even if you do not sign up for the 30-day trial, you can browse the site for ideas on how to present content within a context.

There are also sites that I am familiar with but I want to explore more in depth. If you have not heard of these resources before, they are quite valuable -- especially with regard to multi-cultural education.

Teaching Tolerance - this is a great magazine that you can get for FREE and it has really great lessons and resources about, well, teaching tolerance in the classroom. It is not just for homeroom teachers - it has great lessons and instructions for teachers at all levels and subject areas.

Journeys in Film - this site has some free lesson plans, but more over, if you have ever wondered how to use a foreign film to teach across disciplines, this is your site. I did a few leadership lessons from an English lesson plan for Whale Rider and it was quite good. The students really enjoyed it. I want to pursue the few free lessons I received that pertained to math to find more ideas for putting math in a real-world context.

I look forward to looking at all the websites, books, and articles I have been accumulating over the past few weeks as well as years -- this is a wonderful learning opportunity!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Online Assignment #2 -- Rebecca Bland

I have found this assignment; to find resources to help us meet our Professional Growth Goals; to be very helpful. There is a vast amount of research and blueprints for lessons and handouts at our dispense so I am glad to find them and use them - why reinvent the wheel? I hope you will find these helpful in your individual quest to meet your goals.

1) North Central Regional Educational Labatory

This website has a vast amount of links to articiles and handouts reguarding involving families in schools. Much of the articles discuss how we as educators can structure our practicies to involve the families. For example, translating documents that are sent home. Futhermore, increasing the amount of information we share with families about their student's progress but also classroom/school activities.

2) New Ways of Classroom Assessment; Brown

From skiming the book, it seems that Brown wrote it with a focus on teaching english as a new language. However, one chapter is on new ways to assess learning when ELL students. My classroom is composed for many ELL studentsm and although they are children and not adults I am hoping some of Brown's strategies can be altered and thus applied to a primary classroom.

3) Integrating Technology into your Classroom

This website is awesome! It addresses grades K-12 and has a variety of resouces from lesson plans to management of different technologies. One specific article that stood out was How to Teach in a One Computer Classroom. I, infact, teach in a one-computer classroom and have often wondered how I can include multiple or all students with our sole computer. Check this website out!