Friday, August 7, 2015

Final Ethnography and Reflection

Here's my video:

The final assignment of make this ethnography has been fun! First, I chose Replay from a suggestion from Christel Russman and it was an awesome one! It was so simple to use and I can’t wait to share with my students. 

The autobiographical piece as a challenge at first but once I decided to create my lesson on characteristics, it seemed simple. I envision the students being able to complete the lesson without an issues besides finding pictures from their childhood. An extension of this lesson will continue with a comparison of ourselves to characters we’ve read about during the school year. It will be cool to see to whom the students choose to compares themselves. 

I found the process of explaining myself, through pictures, in a short minute-plus, and trying to get my personality through to the reader challenging. The aspects of Replay made it easier as I had access to not only pictures, but music and text. Without text, some of my personality would have have been obvious, however, I was able to put some jokes in there that I was pleased with. 

It was hard to express myself in such a short piece but I am happy that I did and I hope the students will appreciate it and use it to tell their stories as well.

There is my lesson plan and ethnography.

Monday, July 13, 2015

My Teaching Philosophy

My Teaching Philosophy

My philosophy of teaching is developed around the idea that all students can be successful and gain knowledge. The level of success and knowledge gained is different for everyone. I feel it is my responsibility to develop the skills of each student to bring out the best success possible.

Student success can be achieved by creating clear objectives. If students are aware of what they are trying to accomplish then their path to success will be easier to accomplish.

Assessments need to be varied and happen often. A mixture of summative and formative assessments is crucial for student success. When teachers create appropriate assessments, the level of success can be maximized. It is also helpful to students when teachers have options in terms of assessments. Using different types of technology and traditional assessments will help assist students on their path to success. It allows for students to find their strengths as well.

Creating a welcoming atmosphere where students feel comfortable and accepted is crucial to student achievement. This is greatly dependent on the teacher and how they interact with students. Creating specific and clear rules of behavior is important to achieving a welcoming classroom.

Differentiating instruction is another component student achievement and something that I feel is one of the most important factors for success. It is not a surprise that students learn at many different levels and paces. Using differentiation strategies to enable student understanding can be the difference. Using different types of instruction is also important when considering student understanding and achievement.

Incorporating this philosophy into action takes time and patience. It requires knowledge of the curriculum and development of teaching skills and strategies that are developed over time. I feel that with this solid foundation, I can help my students succeed!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Week 10 Defining and Assessing 21st Century Skills

21st Century skills are getting broader and more ambiguous as we continue into this century. One of the reasons is because technology is changing and developing at such a great speed that it is hard to specifically define acute skills because they will change to adapt to the technology.

The slide show brought up many important skills. Wagner supported many that I feel are the most important skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. In order for students to be productive citizens in today's world, these are essential skills, according to Wagner. I also believe that these are the most important because these are the ways in which the world, and education, are changing the most. The manner in which we communicate and collaborate has drastically been morphed into the world of technology so these skills are essential. Critical thinking is important because in the video by _________, he stated that knowledge now is "not what you know it's what you can do with your knowledge." This spoke to me as I find it very applicable to today's world. There is so much knowledge at our fingertips and accessing it is not an issue, it's being able to use it in a meaningful way to benefit society.

The grid showing learning and easiness was appropriate for our society. I think that it was true that the more you learn, the easier it gets. I don't think this is new information. When I learned to read, the more I did it, the easier it became. Learning can be viewed as a skill. You can always develop skills to make them easier.

One idea that came up in one of the clip was the idea of asking good questions. I find that with the CCSS's focus on research, nonfiction, and depth of knowledge, this idea is imperative to being an effective learning in the 21st century. This is also a skill that needs to be developed with the use of inquiry and utilizing depth of knowledge lessons to increase students' awareness of effective questions.

Project-based assignments fit well into the 21st century landscape as they provide authentic learning opportunities for students, while having students employ important 21st century skills. I would like to incorporate these types of assignments into my teaching, hence the reason I am enrolled in this program.

I had students use communication, collaboration, and critical thinking in an assignment on Google where students had to investigate "dark literature." They had to discuss what dark literature was and investigate novels to support. They also had to share their material with one other student for review. When they were working together, online, they had to communicate using the discussion feature and not in person.

I also had students use Twitter to discuss certain chapters in Lord of the Flies. Students had to describe characters, come up with quotes, and respond to others with a question that furthered the conversation. While it was taxing and students were unfocused at times because it was "Twitter," they did an effective job at communicating and questioning each other.

Wagner, T. (2014, February 25). Tony Wagner Ted Talk - 4 Min. Video. Retrieved June 11, 2015, from

Friday, May 29, 2015

Formative Assessment Using Technology

I found this week's focus very helpful in regards to my future of teaching. I gained knowledge of tools that will assist me in assessing students and focusing my instruction while using technology. The Digital Technology Tools for Implementing Formative Assessment article by Kathy Dyer was useful. It's already saved in my "Favorites"!

From her list of tools I decided to investigate Google Forms as assessment. I enjoy anticipation guides as they are a precursor to the issues involved in the novel. However, it seems much easier, quicker, and environmentally-friendly to use the GF! In my Google presentation, I gave some tips on its effectiveness. I found that a google form is simple to create and can be manipulated to fit your needs. For example, if you wanted to have a short answer response or elaboration for one of the anticipation guide questions, that is possible. It would be even more useful in my classroom as I can show the results of the questions. This is much more effective than me hang kids raise their hand for every statement and asking, "Who said 'true' for number one?" Students would be able to discuss the ones where there was the most debate!

The idea of using Padlet and iBrainstorm were also discussed in Dyer's second article on The Digital Technology Tools for Implementing Formative Assessment. I found the activating Self and Peers section interesting and want to try Padlet! It reminded me that I had used and discussed Bubble US earlier this year and thought that Bubble US would be perfect for generating ideas. This is also very effective in helping students organize thoughts. I am always intrigued by how kids think because it is so different than adults! When it comes to organizing thoughts for an essay, many struggle with main ideas and which information supports what topic. If kids could utilize this tech tool, I could help them organize their thoughts, in real time, and save so much class and instructional time. This allows for less frustration and more productivity!

Over the years, one for the most consistent forms of comprehension, easily modified, useful tool I have ever used in a graphic organizer. In this ever-growing technological world, there is no need to desert this tool! I am sure you all know by now that I love Google! I thought I could make an interactive graphic organizer. If kids could all edit the same one, it could be very useful in checking for understanding, while also combining efforts of the entire class. Great modification tool as well!

I found I had similar thoughts as Paula Dillon on collecting and sorting data based on formative assessment. He stressed it was hard to organize it to impact instruction. until he began "experimenting with digital formative assessment." I am glad the year is ending but a little upset I don't have time to implement many of the tools I found this week. I feel as if this week's material will benefit not only my students next year, but also me as I found digital FA is just as effective and more engaging than what I have been doing!


Dillon, Paula. (2013, January, 1). Reflections on the Digital Formative Assessment Options. Retrieved May 29, 2015, from

Dyer, K. (2013, July 15). Digital Technology Tools for Implementing Formative Assessment – Post One. Retrieved May 29, 2015, from

Dyer, K. (2013, July 22). Digital Technology Tools for Implementing Formative Assessment – Post Two. Retrieved May 29, 2015, from

Friday, May 22, 2015

EDUC 7726 Blog Response in Regards to Digital Assessment

I think teachers need to be aware of using technology as an assessment tool to enhance skills and using technology to prepare for the workforce. It was very clear while reading the comprehensive entries of others that this is a focus of assessing using digital tools.

Cari McKee read Sarah Davis's "Effective Assessment in the Digital Age," and found that feedback was a major component of effect assessment. I think this sounds very familiar to assessing without technology! I feel as if the reason why we are stressing using technology in assessment is because it is the major change in this century. Without using technology in the classroom, we are not giving out students the best education. Using feedback is important to a child's education, using it specifically in regards to technology would help focus the students on the proper use of the tech, not just feedback on the content.

Christel Russman commented on the TRAILS technology assessments. I think this is a good tool for pre and post learning of technology tools. There is much concentration in the common core on research and source citation, etc. This is mostly because with the increase of technology, there has to be more focus on citing sources, so as not to plagiarize. The trails assessment is effective because it strictly focuses on the skills needed to achieve proper research and citation. However, the text can be quite comprehensive and overwhelming to students. I would suggest using it as a pre and post test to focus instruction for the following school year. This may help develop those essential skills.

Carl Pastor read Robin Flanigan's, "Movement Grows to Assess Students' Digital Literacy."  This also supports my idea that assessing using technology should enhance skills and prepare for workforce.  The article supports digital citizenship which is an issue with today's learners and is assessed in the common core. I enjoyed the comment about students becoming technology "producers" as opposed to simply "consumers"!

I believe with the growing focus of using technology to assess within the classroom, more and more students are realizing that technology is a useful tool for success and not just something to pass time!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Infographic Reflection

Infographic Reflection

The infographic process was challenging, yet rewarding. I found it helpful that I had two weeks to complete and plan it out. Getting feedback also advanced my ideas and thought process. I found the piktochart site easy to manipulate material and it was user-friendly. This is something I could certainly have some students use for projects in my English class. Student choice is very popular these days and many students can apply their knowledge using this type of project.

I found the sources challenging as I used an APA format. It took my almost the same amount of time to generate the sources as it did to complete the infographic which cause some frustration.


Using the material I found in my research, I gather that online learning is increasing in popularity. I also found there are many benefits to using online learning as a tool or way of teaching in this century. However, I was discouraged to find that minimal progress has been made in the lower levels of school. The data showed (on the infographic) that there are increases, in millions, when it comes to post-high school online learning. My goal using the infographic was to show how beneficial it is and hopefully be able to start an online class in the high school level. I believe the infographic to be a snapshot of how successful online learning can be in the high school level.

The many benefits when it comes to personalizing education and having students work at their own pace are two most beneficial parts of using online education. If students could be more engaged and productive, why wouldn't we try online classes? This research also made me wonder why more high schools are not employing online classes in AP fashion? If AP students are projected to be the most "college ready" then why are they not exposed to college-like classes by structure? The challenging pieces of AP classes are the rigor; reading and coursework. However, the format is still face to face. These would be areas of research I would enjoy continuing.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Overview using SAMR:
I chose the lesson having to do with Lord of the Flies because I teach that novel. I liked the idea that the lesson focused on theme as students struggle with themes all the time. Hence, my objective. I thought that if I were to teach this lesson, I would separate the leadership and theme aspects into two separate lessons. My trusted confidants, Jody and Christel, encouraged me to include quotes and theme topics as a source of support in the modification and I obliged as it was a great suggestion. I had to read the original lesson multiple times to get an idea of what the teacher was truly looking to get out of students. It was overwhelming, the amount of objectives which was one reason I chose to narrow my objective to focus on the theme.

(S): I also chose to use the Google Group because that is something that I would have done anyway, have a conversation, but decided to embed technology (Google Group) in the lesson to expose and develop these skills for students. 

(A): However, it also allowed them to be more thorough as they had to respond to two other students in the discussion forum/group. I think this gives students who do not communicate verbally, a voice, a chance to display their thoughts that they would not otherwise have done. 
(M): Also, many times students give answers in verbal discussion but lack the ability to actually respond TO what the person said. 

(R): Requiring the responses and quotes forces students to keep the discussion alive as opposed to just stating their thoughts.


YOUR NAME: Monica Hayes
Lesson Title: Discussing Themes in Lord of the Flies Grade/Level: 10
Lesson is part of this unit/topic:Power and Justice Length of this lesson: 84 minutes (one period)
STANDARDS from these sources:
Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
Content Area: Identify and analyze the theme of a story.
ISTE:. Communication and collaboration:
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
Lesson Objectives/Learning Targets  (You may use UBD Essential Questions)
These should be more specific than the standards from the sources listed above, and focus on important learning outcomes. Include at least 3 levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy with at least one aligning with Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.

In the group, students will summarize chapters and create theme statements. (Bloom’s Knowledge, understanding, and evaluating)
Students will compare themes to events and themes in real world. (Bloom’s Evaluating)
Students will access Google Group (Bloom’s Application)

Instructional Plan/Lesson Design: From initiation to closure
How will you set up your environment, introduce, and begin your lesson?
  • Students will summarize chapter 5 in groups 3-4.
  • I will have students log into Google using a Chromebook and access the Google Group for our class. I will model this process first.
  • I will have students respond in the group to the following prompt: “After reading chapter 5, discuss a theme topic or two that you think was evident in the chapter. Provide evidence to support your thinking.”
  • Students will then respond to at least 2 other classmates posts. They must provide additional support to their classmate or suggest a different theme topic that fits their answer. Using a quote to support two other posts will be acceptable answers.
  • After this is completed in the Google Group we will convene whole group in the classroom and brainstorm on the board theme statements that fit this novel based on the conversations and answers provided in the Google Group.
  • Students will then respond to the following prompt in a Google Doc: “Create a theme statement for Lord of the Flies. Support with evidence from the novel. Compare your theme statement to something in today’s world.
  • Students will share their document with me.
How will you present to students the specific knowledge and skills they need to develop?
We will have been discussing other chapters throughout the reading of the novel and have been highlighting certain events and qualities that reflect certain theme topics (leadership, power, good vs. evil, for example). Students are also well-versed in Google as we use it often.
After the students complete their learning activities, how will you close/summarize the lesson?
I will have some students share their connection to today’s world that they discussed in their final document and close with the idea that there is always a struggle for power, leadership, etc.
Student Activities
What are their roles, responsibilities, and actions? Will they collaborate or work individually? How will they be engaged in meaningful activities?
Students will read, communicate, collaborate, work collectively as well as individually. They will use technology to engage. See above lesson plan activities.
Technology and Other Resources
What technology or other resources will you recommend/choose? Explain your rationale, and how it aligns with your objectives.
Students will use Chromebooks, Google Group, Google Docs to collaborate and communicate.

This aligns with the objectives as they are supposed to be discussing and creating themes for the novel. They will simply be using technology as their main medium of discussion, as opposed to verbal discussion.
How will you differentiate to accommodate learning styles and abilities?
  • Theme topic lists will be provided for struggling students as will quotes from the novel so they can comment on others’ posts.
  • I will circulate during summarizing discussion to clarify events. Students who did not read will be able to get a summary from others.
  • I will be involved in the Google Group Convo so I can monitor all student comments and discussions.
  • Any student who is challenged by the reading can listen online to the audio version and join the conversation when they are done listening.
Formative and Summative Assessments. How will students show their learning?
You DO NOT need to include the actual assessment, but DO need to explain your strategies and rationale.
How will you use which formative assessment to check on progress during learning?
The formative assessments are the summary discussion and Google Group conversation. I can monitor that as I will be involved just as students are; commenting on the discussion.
What will you do in response to the formative assessment data?
I will post the theme statements in the brainstorming portion of the lesson. This allows all students to have a “word bank” to choose from for their summative assessment.
What type of summative assessment will you give the students? How will you measure and report their learning?
Students will write a response in Google Docs and share with me. Their response will be graded based on accuracy and depth of elaboration.
Additional References and Resources