Learning Log- Final Reflection

As the week comes to a close I am both anxious and excited. I feel as though I have learned an incredible amount of information in a short amount of time. The resources and technologies we have been introduced to and discussed in this course has given me a large “to do” list for my summer “vacation!”

The best resource for me has been the introduction of blogging. When we first started module one I was absolutely terrified of starting a blog. WordPress, and this course have made getting started a lot easier than I originally thought. After the completion of this course, I plan on keeping up my WordPress blog. I plan on changing a few things, including the focus of the content, so that I can gear it toward my 6th grade students and parents. I have reflected on a lot of ways to integrate the blog into my class. I plan on linking it to the school website next year. I’ll post long-term assignment due dates, HW schedules, instruction for my word study and vocabulary assignments, the link to my Goodreads shelf where I can share my favorite titles for students, links to websites for the MSA, links to educational websites, and an announcements area to share news about what my students are learning about in LA. I hope that this will have a positive impact on my digital footprint as well.

Our reading and discussion about Copy Right will have a large impact on the way I conduct my class, and the way I will do my future job.  In the past, I have been in violation of the Fair Use policy regarding the amount of pages I have photocopied from anthologies, and in the use of images from the Internet in my PPs. I will be more cognizant of this especially since I plan on being a school media specialist/librarian. In our building the media specialists delivers the in-service at the start of the year of Copy Right, and is the “go to” person for any question regarding Copy Right. So needless to say, I have kept all of the resources from this class, as a future reference!

Module two introduced me to Screencastomatic.com. This is an incredible tool that I am looking forward to using in more depth next year. I plan on linking several screencasts to my blog. The first one will be a step-by-step tutorial on how to access grades on the on-line grade book, Pinnacle. I teach 6th grade, so this is the first time that the students have used Pinnacle, and they always have a lot of questions at the start of the year. Also- there a lot of additional features on the program that I think a lot of parents would take advantage of, if they knew about them. My plan is to introduce the students to my blog and then explore the features, including the screencasts, so that they can access the information with parents from home. We also have a back to school night-so I think that would be a great time to share the blog and all of the links available to parents.

Module two also introduced me to the multiple ways Skype can be used in the 21st century classroom. Although many family members and friends have been using Skype for years, I had yet to get on board. Now I love it! mY daughter is talking to ger grandparents in Florida and my colleagues and I are using it to share thoughts and ask questions about our current course work! Next year, I really want to try to get one of the authors my students read to do a live interview via Skype in my classroom next year. I am thinking that one of the authors we have paid to visit us in the past might be my best bet. So, I’m starting by appealing to Priscilla Cummings. Her book, The Red Kayak, is always a favorite of students. I think she would be a wonderful candidate for in interview because she is a Maryland resident, and in the same time zone as us. A draw back to conducting interviews and discussions with professionals in other parts of the world! I think an interview would be an engaging and fun way to end of book club discussion of the novel.

Module three got me excited about the possibilities of using Google Forms in my class. One of the ways we discussed integrating this technology into the classroom was through the use of teacher feedback surveys. I loved this ide. I have already created multiple end of the evaluations for students to complete in the past. This year, I am starting in the penultimate week of school having each of my students take turns responding to the end of year evaluation via my classroom laptop and Googleforms. Using this will ensure that I am not carting around 120 survey at the end of the year, and I can keep all the data compiled digitally until I am ready to address it. I’ also looking forward to using the forms for other types of feedback thought out the year. professionally I plan on creating some forms to send out to my 6th grade team after the PD we receive from the county. We have been fortunate enough to receive a lot of PD on new classroom technology but not all teachers feel as though the training is tailored to their needs. By surveying the staff at the start of the year, I hope to collaborate with our technology Coordinator to create PD sessions that are meet the needs of more of my team. In this way I can also differentiate the trainings based on their needs, so teachers won’t be spending valuable planning time in sessions that they don’t feel benefit them.

Finally, I am most interested in the resources and discussions we have had surrounding the creation of UDL lessons. This is such an important topic for me right now, as we more toward adopting the new CCS in our county. UDL seems like the perfect solution to our failing schools, but I worry about the practicality of creating daily lessons that meet the needs of every learner. I am completely on board, and will do whatever I can with what I have in order to help make this happen, but I am worried that the county simply cannot fund such an ambitious endeavor right now. According to what we know about UDL, we are going to ned a lot more technology in our building to fully implement the approach. WHen I read the papers and look at the budget cuts for next year, I really don;t see us being able to bring the full model to fruition. I know that the idea and philosophy is a good one though, and I’m looking forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on students learning. In the article, “A Whole New School for a WHole New Mind,” DeGarmo and Turckes assert that, “At a time when our national government is sharpening the focus on our country’s failing high schools and economic stimulus dollars give new promise to the rebuilding of our nation’s school buildings, a fresh blueprint is crucial.” I am looking forward to a blue print that will eventually trickle down to my school building, and help me reach each of my students. UDL makes sense, but it takes money to implement; money we don’t seem to have.

As I finish the course work and discussion for this class, I will continue to attempt the integration of the programs and technologies we have learned about. As a 21st Century Teacher, I hope to prepare my students for a global work place and economy wheer they will have learned the necessary skills to compte effectively. The NETS and the AASL standards will continue to shape the way I teach my classes.


Learning Log- Wikis


This is a wiki designed to help teachers learn about and share experiences with technology in the 21st century classroom. There are links to technology articles and free resources for teachers, along with ideas for the integration of technology into the classroom. My favorite page on this wiki is the one dedicated to the exploration of using sell phones in the classroom. The page contains ideas and software options for bringing this popular piece of technology into the classroom. It really goes along with some of the discussions we’re been having on our discussion forum. This would be a great place to head to with questions about technology integration and ways to add 2.0 tools to your lessons.



This wiki is called, Apalachee High School Media Center’s Wiki. I was drawn to this wiki because it is a media center wiki for a school in Georgia. The site was set up to share and disseminate information between the school, students, parents and the media center. There are links to the school’s website, as well as search engines for students. One of the features of the wiki I liked a lot was the “Title Shots” widget. Here the media specialist highlights a novel from the collection on a rotating basis, to elicit interest in the novels available in the library. I think that this is something I am going to do when I get my own media center. If this were my site, I think I would go a step further and allow for my students to leave comments and reviews about the novels highlighted on the wiki. This would make an interactive area for students to book talk with one another.  



This wiki, “Literacy in the Classroom 21st Century Style,” is a book review and podcast site for young adults. Here, students can review books, read other students’ reviews and the wiki even has a tool box for helping teachers develop “super creative” book reviews. I think I could use this wiki with my students. I could offer them extra credit if they go into the wiki and review a current novel, or leave comments on other students’ book reviews. In this way, my students could go to the wiki and get some current recommendations for reading. I think this would be an authentic learning opportunity, as well as the opportunity for the students to be published! This might be a good wiki to link to the wiki when I have my own media center.



This wiki, “Kids Book Club” is kept by a librarian in Texas. On this site, the students review the Texas Blue Bonnet Novels for their age group and then create digital book reviews, book trailers, and other creative projects using technology to help share their opinion on the novels. Aside from the book reviews, there are teaching activities, videos, activities and printable worksheets that can provide extended learning opportunities for young readers. I like this site because it allows the students to showcase their work to a large audience, create an authentic learning product and collaborate and share with students around the globe. I think this would be a great wiki for me to go back to and get some ideas about ways to bring technology into the modern media center. I think it would also be a great place to take my students to  get some ideas about how to create 21st century book reports. After reading and viewing the examples, I think my students will be motivated to try and out do the reviews on the site.



“Lit Source” is a wiki page where teachers of grades k-8 can share lesson plans, forms, websites and other digital sources which can help teach reading and writing. One of the things I like about this wiki is that you can take away ideas, without using the entire lessons provided. All of the materials can be downloaded and printed making this a great resource for writing ideas. Also- I was thinking that these resources would help me to differentiate writing in my room. There are resources that can be used to remediate and resources that can be used to extend and enrich. Finally, I think this would be one of the opportunities we discussed on our forum to create a more professional digital footprint by contributing to the materials on the wiki.

Social and Collaborative Media

Here is a link to my voice thread on using social and collaborative media tools in the classroom.

I chose to look at how teachers and librarians have integrated the new social networking tools, Twitter and Skype, into the classroom. Twitter can be used to share information between teachers, students, libraries and community members in concise “tweets” of 140 characters or less. Skype, an internet video chat site, can help teachers and their students connect to real human resources, around the world, for free. By integrating these 2.0 tools into the classroom teachers are helping their students to become prepared to compete in a global community.


Learning Log- iGoogle

Here is a link to my iGoogle page.

iGoogle has many applications for my current LA classroom. First, iGoogle allows for its users to organize all of our important internet sources, blog sites, and additional information in one place for easy retrieval. By opening up this one page I can navigate to all of the technology I use in my classroom on a daily basis. I can share links to tweets, connect to my blog, even get to Flikr. Cool! I can see using this as my homepage at home, not at school as we are not allowed to have a homepage. (FCPS website is our homepage) This would limit the benefit of the site to teachers in our county, but not completely.

iGoogle page


Learning Log- Goodreads

Here is the link to my Goodreads bookshelf.

I collected some of my most recommended fiction titles for on grade level sixth grade readers. I chose some of my favorite series because if a student really likes the first one in a series, sometimes I can get them reading the whole series! The majority of the titles I chose are fantasy, for some reason this genre really seems to draw my students in.

This is the first time I have used Goodreads. I was impressed how easy the site was to navigate. All the titles I entered popped up immediately, making building my shelf fast and easy. I would love to share the link to me bookshelf with my students and their parents. So often my students follow me around the media center asking for recommendations, telling me there is nothing good to read in our media center. It would be great to have this as a resource they could access anytime, not just from me in the media center twice a week.

Also- I get a lot of phone calls and emails from parents asking me for recommendations for titles appropriate for their students. I would love to have this shelf as a starting point for them. Taking it a step further, I could set up my shelf so that students, parents, and other teachers could share their reviews of my picks. STudents are always more willing to write when there is an authentic audience, so asking them to review books on-line would probably be a big draw for some of them. I think they would really buy into the notion of building my shelf as well.

Finally- I read and share my thoughts on all ten of the Black Eyed Susan novels chosen by the state of Maryland each year. I would love to have my students get onto Goodreads and review the BES novels they read. It would be a cool activity for them to complete during our enrichment period book club time.

Learning Log- Flikr Slideshows

Culture 018Culture 017Culture 016Culture 015Culture 014Culture 011
Culture 010Culture 009Culture 008Culture 007Culture 006

angella0405’s photostream on Flickr.

In Frederick County, we teach the indicator, “LA.600.10.05 Evaluate the influence of culture, ethnicity, and historical era on the themes and issues of literary texts,” in sixth grade Language Arts.  Before my students are able to determine the influence of culture on a text, they have to first understand what “culture” means.

To introduce the concept or culture to my students I have always packed a backpack with tangible items that represent some of the cultures I am a part of . For example, my passport, to represent my love of travel. I “unpack” the backback and describe each of the cultures represented by the chosen objects. At the end of the demonstration, the students choose five cultures that they are a part of and visually depict them on a piece of construction paper. When they are finished, we tie them all together to create a “Culture Web” that shows the students how many cultures we all have in common.

The Flikr gallery I created is an alternative to actually bringing in the items that represent my cultures. I was thinking that if I shared this gallery with my students, perhaps they could all send pictures that respresent their cultures and we could create a new set to share with our class , as a slide show, instead of the web.

Kerpoof- Digital Animation Site

In sixth grade Language Arts, in Frederick County, students study figurative language.

LA.600.10.07f     figurative language and sensory language

As an introduction to simile and metaphor, I have the students complete “Visual Similes or Metaphors.” Each student comes up with a metaphor or simile they like, and then they are asked to visually represent the metaphor or simile. Upon completion, the students share their piece, and the class attempts to figure out the simile or metaphor being represented. Up until this point, the students have always created their learning products on paper. With the ease of Kerpoof, I think that my students will now be completing the project digitally.

I used Kerpoof to create the exemplar below.

Can you figure out the Metaphor I am visually representing?

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