Best Practices In Teaching, Learning, and Technology Integration

Welcome to my Blog! I hope to share innovative information that I learn about technology integration and best practices in teaching and learning. Combined with good instructional strategies,technology integration is the key for creating an engaging and rigorous environment for students. Feel free to join the site and follow my blog posts. I look forward to interacting with you and adding you to my Professional Learning Network. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Integrating Technology with Best Practice Instructional Strategies

Integrating Tech with Best Practice Instructional Strategies

This is a link to our professional development workshop for middle and high school math teachers. It contains a plethora of ideas for using technology to support Marzano's nine essential instructional strategies. Please feel free to comment and recommend additional resources for this binder. Thank you.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Try STORYBIRD for Interactive, Collaborative Writing!

Storybird is a fun collaborative storytelling website for all grade levels. Storybird makes it easy to create and tell stories digitally. Students and teachers can create stories together by combining imaginative artwork and text. The final product can be printed, watched on screen, or shared in an online library with the world. Storybird “promotes imagination, literacy, and self-confidence.” Creating a Storybird is free. The imaginative artwork will have your students' imaginations soaring and lead to enthusiastic writing. Students can work together in teams to create stories. Students will feed off of each others ideas, creating more creative stories and learning together.

Storybird is also a fantastic place to create a classroom story, each student can contribute pages to the story. The final product can be easily shared with family and friends in the online library. Storybird can be used by teachers to make “special” stories for students. They can include students as characters, emphasize classroom themes or curriculum, and be created for specific reading
levels. Encourage your students to create and share their stories on Storybird. Storybird has free class accounts that allow students to use Storybird without providing an email address.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Glogster: A great digital tool for student engagement!

If you are looking to increase vocabulary, consider using It can be used as a photo book to foster grammar and narrative skills. Students enjoy creating relative, digital content that they can share with friends and family. Below is one example of how I used to deliver a mathematics lesson. Students were engaged with the interface, and they could revisit the information as needed. Notice the paperclip that denotes an attachment. Never lose worksheets or exit slips after an online presentation again! Contact me to gain access for a free premium trial version. I am also available for training and lesson integration ideas.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Great uses for QR (Quick Response) Codes in the Classroom

A QR (Quick Response) code is an image that can be read by a mobile smart phone, i-Pad 2, or webcam, through its camera. By simply scanning the code using your mobile phone’s camera, you are provided with information contained in that code. QR codes can link to a website, download files, send an e-mail or text, and even make phone calls! There are several grants that would supply a few i-Pod touches to use for this purpose.

5 Ways to Begin with QR Codes in your Classroom

1. Links to Resources on Class Handouts: Begin by generating your own code, using any of the free sites below. Check around to see which sites offer what features. Generate links to instructional videos or printable documents.

2. Self-Assessment: Create flash cards with QR codes on the back, that display the correct answer when scanned. In addition, you may provide the link to a website that contains more info. on the word.

3. Code Quest: Create a cooperative learning “Code Quest” by posting QR codes at several locations. Each code will ask a question that will require students to locate an object. Once the object is found, another QR code will send students to another location, to locate yet another object. This Code Quest involves teamwork, cooperation, thinking, and moving around!

4. Surveys or Quizzes: You can use a Google Docs Form to create a quiz or survey that students or parents can easily access through their mobile phones.

5. Interactive Curriculum Night: Post QR codes around the classroom with titles about student work. QR codes could be used to access students' videos, projects, or blogs.

If you have other ideas for QR codes in the classroom, please leave a comment! Thank you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blogging with Streamline Videos and Images in Edmodo

This is a copy of the presentation that I used for the ETV summer workshop. Feel free to comment on the workshop or ask any questions that you may not have gotten the chance to ask. Thanks to all of the wonderful participants and interested teachers! A great time was had by all, and students will love us more for integrating this "FACEBOOK" type technology into our content! If you scroll down some, you will see the EDMODO guide, created by a fellow middle school teacher. He did a great job compiling everything we need to know to use EDMODO successfully with our students. Feel free to connect with my blog by clicking on the "Follow with Google" connect icon on the right sidebar. You may also connect with yahoo.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Interactive Notebooks: It sounded like a good idea!

Last school term, I searched for a way to engage my students in the math classroom as they took notes on important concepts. The idea was to provide them with something they would always have to refer to or look back on, as a study aide. Also, it is important to me that my students create good communication skills in math, building their mathematical discourse. So, when I ran across information on Interactive Notebooks, I thought this would be the "cure all" for my middle school students.

The Interactive Notebook is a good strategy for students to keep track of their learning. This concept is originated from History Alive's "Interactive Student Notebook." It was beneficial to my students, as it provided a medium for them to be creative, sort, and categorize new information as they learned it. Basically, information is recorded on the right side (from the student's reflection) and learned information is generated on the left (from the teacher's direct instruction). Below is what I used to explain the process to my students and model the reflection side for them.

Pros: Students will have the same notes; helpful when reviewing for quizzes/tests; Students can demonstrate creativity and ownership.
Cons: A lot of time, work and mistakes for the teachers when setting up; Lost notebooks; New students entering mid-year.

Reflection: As I look back on my reaction to facing the cons (aborting the strategy almost mid-year), I do so with regret. To my surprise, quite a few students pulled out their notebooks toward the end of the year to help with completing exam study guides or end of year projects. Then it hit: I should have stayed the course! What lead me to abandon the notebooks? What can I do differently to maintain them throughout the year? Well, one thing that discouraged me was when students lost their notebook or did not come to class with it. Another pitfall was when students took an extra long time to copy notes into their notebooks. Now I know that I can provide students with pre-written notes to glue inside the notebook. Also, if a notebook is lost or not brought to class, I can have students begin with a 3-ring binder type notebook, and copy a little at a time from another student. Having the pre-written notes will be a plus, because students can place those in the binder and rewrite their reflections on the back. I am ready to try it again this fall! I also have found several sites to help with ideas such as table of contents, grading rubrics, and other ideas. The following sites should be helpful with math and other subjects:

Please comment and share your thoughts if you have tried interactive notebooks, or if you will try them in the future.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The guide below was created by a fellow middle school teacher and it has everything that you need to know to get started with EDMODO!

edmodo user guide.pdf by Angela on Scribd

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sweeney Math: Working With Students With Dyscalculia

Sweeney Math: Working With Students With Dyscalculia

This is a disability that I am ashamed to say I had never heard of. As a teacher of mathematics, this is definitely note worthy.