Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Working the GAME!

In evaluating the the progress of my GAME plan I see where there is some progress being made. There is still a lot to continue working on but at least I am moving in the right direction.

 In looking at my first goal, I am able to implement more technology into my lessons. I am also giving my students a little bit more freedom than in the past, trying to make them responsible learners. There are numerous resources I have located that correspond with classroom instruction. I have implemented a few in the class but not as many as I would like. I am still working to compile my resources into content and standard files so that students can access the areas they need to work on. The state assessment is coming up soon and I would love to have these available on my class web site for students to practice skills they are weak in. The resources I am finding will meet the needs of my diverse learners while keeping most of the students engaged in the learning process.

My second goal has not progressed as far as my first. I have looked at and Smart Exchange for activities which I have implemented in my classroom instruction. However, I really would like to look at other programs such as Google documents, podcasting as well as video programs, such as iMovie, so my students can make videos for their project based assessments. Little research in this area has taken place so far. I know that I cannot use iMovie with my school computer but I do have a personal I Pad that I can use with my students to create videos. I also have looked as some websites that correlate with some of our class readings that allow the students to expand their knowledge in areas that interests them. These resources go along with our Social Studies weekly and Super Science Magazines. I am keeping a notebook of what I am learning (and the numerous URL, username and passwords for each).  I write down my ideas for how to implement them into classroom instruction and which content areas I feel they best fit. I am hoping that by the end of the school year I have learned more so that the class I currently have will benefit from my insight. I know my future classes will!

-Judy Spears

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Implementing the GAME Plan

Creating a plan is one thing. Implementing it is something entirely different. How many times has the human race made “plans” to do something but never carried through with it? (Too many New Year’s Resolutions come to mind!) As an educator, it is imperative that I work to improve my own skills in order to keep up with the ever-changing world around me. Last week I evaluated where I needed to work to improve how I use technology in the classroom and established two goals to work on. Now that I have examined what I want to be able to do better, I must look closer at how I am going to carry these plans out in my classroom.

In looking over my GAME plan for integrating more technology into my lessons there are a few resources I will use to guide my plan implementation. Our district recently introduced two new programs for teachers to use to enhance the classroom lessons. One of them is the Teacher Toolbox ( This site allows the teacher to locate lesson plans that can be used to cover specific content standards. In looking at this site the past week, I have located several activities that I have been able to implement in my classroom this week. There have been some interactive Smart Board activities that have helped me cover some of my math content standards this week. I have not allowed my students to work as independent as I feel they should. In order to work on this part of my goal, I need to get up a plethora of interactive and useable sites in one location to allow students to choose which activity they want to complete to enhance their understanding.  

Our district has several reading sites that teachers can use to improve reading skills in the classroom. I have used these resources more often and students enjoy reading on the computer. We have a subscription to “Reading A-Z” (, BookFlix, Teaching Books (, and Follett Shelf. I use these sites to locate other stories students can read that address the reading skills for the week. Currently I tend to locate a book for the students to read to ensure that it addresses the skills I am looking for. One way to continue to use these resources effectively while allowing my students more freedom is to create a list of stories that address the weekly skills and then allow the students to choose which story they read. This will allow them to choose books that interest them to help keep them motivated. I have not implemented this yet. In order to effectively carry through with this I need to locate the books that address specific skills.

In looking at the resources available I have enough to effectively improve my teaching skills. What I need to do now is thoroughly evaluate these resources. I need to locate and organize how I can use these resources in specific content areas. By creating organized lists I can then make these resources available to my students to use in the classroom.

Reading about UDL (Universal Design for Learning) this week showed me that there are steps I need to take to make sure my students’ individual needs are being addressed. In evaluating the resources listed above, I can create lists of activities students can complete to help them work on skills they need more practice on. Using the computer will excite and motivate most of them. Others can have various activities to use to enhance classroom instruction. I am learning a lot about new technologies and part of my GAME plan is to learn how to implement them into my instruction. One skill I am currently working on learning more about is podcasting. I have made small podcasts with my students and our weekly spelling tests are podcasts using Power Point. What I want to accomplish by the end of this year is for my students to create their own podcast. I have ordered headsets with microphones so that we can begin practicing with this new technology. I believe some of my students possess the ability to create their own songs or videos. This is a skill they have not had the opportunity to work on in class thus far. Hopefully, by the end of the year, they will have the chance to create a product that includes audio and video to demonstrate what they have learned. This will help me prepare for new ways to integrate this new skill into my lessons sooner next year.

As I look at what I need to do to implement my GAME plan this year, it essential for me to broaden my resources and organize the resources I currently have to know where they fit into instruction. I believe my goals are attainable and student knowledge will be enhanced through the implementation of this plan. Learning how to use technology to meet the diverse needs of my students will help me create a more flexible class. This is going to take time and patience as I am not familiar with “letting go” of my third graders. However, it is a step I need to take and one I am sure they are ready to handle.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Developing Goals in ISTE NETS-T

Technology is the key to the future. This is something I have realized for some time now. Prior to pursuing my Masters degree in technology integration I felt comfortable in my level of technological knowledge. Now I see that I was merely scraping the ice burg developing underneath us. As an educator it is important that I educate myself in order to ensure that my students are getting the best education possible while in my classroom. Once I saw how much information and various tools were available, I have pity on my previous classes.
Even though my skills and knowledge have multiplied over the past year, there are still areas I need to work on. In looking at the ISTE standards for teachers, I have chosen two to work on now to help enhance my instruction of technology to give my students a better chance of success in their future.

#1   ISTE NETS-T Standard 2: Indicator b: Develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress.

G    -      Goal:

Currently I feel I need to keep my third graders close on task. I am afraid that if I allow them too much freedom to explore their curiosities then they will get off task and they will not learn the required content before the state test. I am afraid I will be spending too much instructional time redirecting.

A    -      Action:

* Letting go of the classroom; Plan lessons around content specific indicators and then allow students to explore feely the information available.

* Numerous resources; research reliable resources that are content based and have the list available for students. Our district recently adopted several new resources sites which can be used to generate resources lists for students.

M   -      Monitor: In order to ensure students are getting what they need to meet state standards I will:

* Consistently monitor students while on task using checklists. Students will have a checklist to help guide them as they explore independently.

* Administer weekly assessments to ensure they understand content standards.

E    -      Evaluate and Extend

* Administer weekly assessments to ensure they understand content standards.

* Work with colleagues to evaluate success and locate resources and procedures to build the students confidence as well as my own.

#2     ISTE NETS-T: Standard 3: Indicator a: Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations.

 G    -      Goal:

I am acquainted with numerous new technologies which I integrate into my instruction when possible. I believe I need to become familiar with these systems in order to effectively implement them in the classroom.

A    -      Action:

* Practice and learn how to manipulate new programs to understand how they can be used in content instruction.

* Research programs, such as and Smart Exchange, to locate technology integrated lessons that can be used “as is” or modified to fit instruction.

* Collaborate with our media specialist and district technology specialist to help extend knowledge of new programs and how to implement them in the classroom.

M   -      Monitor:

* Journal experiences with various programs. Take notes about new information learned and brainstorm ways to integrate with lessons.

* Implement programs with small group of students to see what they know and what they can teach me!

* Make notes directly on lesson plans to remember the experience and what was successful and what did not work (Laureate Education Inc., 2009).

E    -      Evaluate and Extend:

* Implement lessons and observe student motivation and engagement.

* Survey students after lessons with specific programs to evaluate student views about them.

* Once familiar with programs, implement in classroom instruction and evaluate student success in understanding content.

As an educator it is important to develop self-directed learning skills. As our society becomes more and more dependent on technology, it is imperative that we, educators, prepare our students to be successful adults. Technology integration helps lessons become engaging for the student helping to motivate and stimulate the learning process (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009).

Developing goals for ourselves requires us to reflect on our practice and observe areas that need improvement. Then we must develop goals that will help in this area and identify what we must do in order to achieve success. Teachers that consistently improve their personal knowledge and level of productivity will produce students willing to work to expand their knowledge as well. This is a twenty-first century skill necessary for success in today’s world.


Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Engage Learning.

Laureate Education Inc., (Executive Producer). (2009).Promoting Self-Directed Learning. Integrating technology across the content areas. Baltimore, MD: Dr. Katherine Cennamo.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

New CLass

I am so excited to beginning my eighth class working toward my Master's degree in integrating technology. The next few blogs will go along with my current class Integrating Technology Across the Content Areas. I have learned so much these past fourteen months but it has been an enjoyable experience. My current class has had so much more experience with real life, technology and project based assignments that I feel bad for the students I taught in the past. As I continue to grow as an individual and as a teacher as well. I hope to make a bigger impact on not only my students, but the school and district for which I work. I cannot wait to see what this new class involves!