Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer :-)

I can't believe I am already through my first full year of teaching. I don't think it has really hit me yet that I am FREE this summer! Just like with my students, I would like to set a few goals for myself this summer:
1. Get a great tan
2. Spend at least 3 days a week at the pool with my son
3. Completely unwind and relax...NO WORRYING
4. Take a trip, not sure where yet

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Adaptive Technologies

As a teacher of the talented and gifted, I have not had to use adaptive or assisted technology with my students. Prior to my research I was not aware of the many opportunities available should I need to use it. I reviewed the CAST website. CAST focuses on Universal Design for Learning (or UDL). These types of lessons reach out to all students, but specifically those in need of assistive technologies. There is even a strategy tutor that helps students in need of assistance. One of the most exciting things is that most resources on this website are free!

A few other assistive technology websites I have found are:

Kids Together Inc.
This website is especially helpful for people like me who are unfamiliar with assistive technologies. The Kids Together website includes descriptions and resources.

LD Resources
What I really like about this website is that it is very personal yet professional. There is an updated blog, success stories, resources, and even games!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Three Dimensional Reading and Writing

I absolutely love the idea of having three dimensional reading and writing products for students to create and work with. Although these are fantastic resources that I support, I do not think it will affect the future of the written word. As many people learn best with technology, others require simple writing on paper (people such as myself!). The written word will continue to be manipulated and used in different ways, but it will still also remain in it's traditional form.


I have never used Wikipedia for the purpose of discussion and debate, so I am a little leery of allowing my students to do so. Although the website shuts down specific sites when they become to biased, it is not always an instant fix. There is always the possibility that students will be exposed to inappropriate content or language on the discussion site before it is removed.

One purpose I DO use Wikipedia for is to find various sited resources. I encourage my students to use Wikipedia to search their topic, and to check out the resources sited at the bottom of the page.

Monday, May 23, 2011

SIRS Issues Researcher

One of the AEA resources that will become available in August of 2011 is SIRS Issues Researcher. What caused me to look further into this article is it's emphasis on critical thinking and debate. My students really enjoy healthy debates on current issues. I can really appreciate that this resource gives ALL sides of an is so students can form their own educated opinion. I am really excited for this resource to become available, especially since we do a persuasive unit each year.

SIRS Issues Researcher

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Project Based Learning

A noisy classroom can mean one of two things: the students are so engaged in their activity that they can hardly contain their excitement, or the teacher has lost control and is lacking classroom management. When students are engaged in collaborative work there will be a lot of noise, especially since our classrooms are stuffed to the maximum with students. However, the teacher can be in control of a loud classroom by creating a very structured environment where students know what they are learning, why they are learning it, and what they need to get there. They need to know the tasks they must achieve so they become responsible for their own learning.

In relation to experiences within my own classroom, I immediately think of project based learning when I think of a vibrant and interactive classroom. For those of you not familiar with project based learning, I encourage you to check out the following blog post:

Project Based Learning

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Just read an article for my Integrating Technology course, and am baffled by the truth in the quote that, "People, not technology, will limit the speed with which new literacies appear" (Leu, 2004). So true...

Toward a Theory of New Literacies Emerging From the Internet and Other Information and Communication Technologies