Part of What Brought Me into Education as a Career

Part of What Brought Me into Education as a Career
My Children

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Instructional Strategies and Practice

Based on this week’s learning resources I gained a deeper understanding about information processing and how students take information in and store it in their brains for retrieval.  Ore says that “images [are] more memorable than text”. (Ore, 2010)
Power points and virtual fieldtrips are instructional strategies that can help students to have a deeper understanding and can enhance their learning.  These ideas will help me to teach for understanding and not memorization.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Program five. Cognitive learning theory [Webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Baltimore, MD: Author

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Behaviorist Learning Theory

The focus for this week is “Behaviorist Learning Theory”.  This particular topic is always very interesting to me, especially reinforcement and punishment.  Reading Hartley’s principle, “Reinforcement” I agree and believe that “Reinforcement is the cardinal motivator. Positive reinforcers like rewards and successes are preferable to negative events like punishments and failures”. ( Hartley, 1998)  I naturally use positive reinforcement daily with my class.  I am constantly reminding myself how important it is to catch my students being good and letting them know immediately when I see the behavior that I want!  Even just simply letting them know that I appreciate when they are working quiet and then it seems to be even more silent…it’s amazing how reinforcement especially the “positive kind” works!
With the idea of homework and practice I do have some trouble.  My children come home with so much it seems a bit ridiculous, I only say this because it’s the kind of homework that is more for memorization and NOT for practice.  I believe that practice can be done throughout the day in the classroom.  Therefore I do practice throughout the day with my students.  Daily I will throw up a couple of problems that relate directly to what we are practicing in class on the board during a transition for the students to complete and share with table groups.  Just a couple minutes, practice and I am right there with their peers to help.  My practice fits perfectly with one of James Hartley’s principles, “Repetition, generalization and discrimination are important notions. Frequent practice - and practice in varied contexts - is necessary for learning to take place. Skills are not acquired without frequent practice”.  ( Hartley, 1998) We do practice with repetition daily.  I find homework of this kind hard because some parents cannot help if a child is stuck and how is that productive?
Smith, K. (1999). The behaviourist orientation to learning. In The encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved from

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Refecting on the “Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society”

The course, “Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society” has helped me to develop my own technology skills as a professional by helping me to have a better understanding about blogs, wiki’s and podcasts.  Prior to the class I hadn’t had any exposure to these ideas/tools for the classroom setting.  I have also learned how to integrate each into the classroom environment.  It’s nice to have new innovative ideas to impact student learning.
My knowledge of teaching and the learning process has grown in directions I did not know where possible.  Granted I knew that technology and changes with technology were important to our children but listening to David Thornburg and other technology based informative individuals I have gained a deeper understanding of the learning process and how to get students into the self directed learning role.  It’s very important to me to allow my students to explore the world and to have the skill to reach out and be a part of our world and have the confidence in doing so.
My perspective on being teacher-centered to learner-centered has also refined and I have come up with a professional goal for myself.  I would like to increase motivation of my students because that is the name of the game.  I can do so by allowing children time to explore technology tools that I have learned to access which I hope will help them to be more eager to learn. 
I can continue to expand my knowledge of learning, teaching, and leading with technology by being proactive with it, seeking out and bringing to my district ideas and tools to help support growth and increase student learning.
Although I did address one of my personal goals I would like to add that I plan on seeking out technology classes, courses, and ideas in my community to bring into the room.  My first course of action is to learn more about interactive whiteboard…which is brand new to me.
I want to close by telling how truly excited I am about this adventure and how I look forward to finding a way to use wiki’s in the classroom with my students.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

P21 & Partners

 Partnership for 21st Century Skills” is a wonderful site full of support to encourage 21st Century readiness.  I think the site is a very useful and user friendly resource. I love the fact that there is an informative section laid out for “life Skills”.  The life skills part is very appealing to me because it’s something that I feel we have been lacking in the recent years here in my town because of the focus on state tests.
Basically the way I see it, is this site is a way for states, communities and teachers to get children to be technology savvy so that they can access these things that we sometimes do not have time to cover in the classroom.
The only issue that I see so far on this site is that the classes offered are very far from my state.  Perhaps if they offered something closer to the states that have not joined they would have more success.

Please look and explore:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blog's in the Classroom

I work as a substitute primarily in the Selah School District. I work across the grade levels and content areas but did secure two long term positions in both first and fourth grade. 

My intension for this blog is to inform parents of my practices, encourage parental feedback and to show off student work. 

The purpose for this blog is to share with my community who I am and what I represent in the classroom and in this district.

This is not a place for students to interact about content however it is a showcase for their work!

Making flashlights last year with a fantastic group of fourth graders at JC.

Creation and Reasoning Behind this Blog

This blog will be used for marketing me in a sense. I would also like to show student work that has been created in classrooms where I have taught.  It’s a place where I would like parents to visit so that they may SEE and therefore enhance the way that they feel about student learning.  I would love and encourage any parental feedback.  I currently work with grades K-8 and across all content areas.  I love my job and feel this blog will be a tool to reach out to my community.