Friday, September 26, 2014

ORMS Module 1 Reflection

After reviewing the readings for the first module, I have realized I should listen more to my students. I should take their actions and make them dictate some of my own. If I am teaching them, I should probably listen to what moves them.

In reading O'Byrne's, Teaching Online and the Time of Screencasts, I was surprised, yet, not surprised by the fact that most students are done watching a video after a minute. Even more are done with the video after 5 minutes. He also discusses how Prof. Reis found in a study that kids are most attentive for the first 5 minutes of class, and then again, once you mention the word, "finally!" 

While I was surprised to read these facts from the study, I was really not surprised at all once I thought about my own class. I replayed these moments in my head and they seemed pretty accurate to what occurs. 

This makes me happy that my tutorial I just made was under 5 minutes! When I thought of making screencasts, I originally liked them but thought it may be redundant if everything I do is through screencasting. However, I realize now, that not only do I not have to make a million screencasts, I can make them shorter than 5 minutes to get the most out of them!

Navigating the C's of Change" was my English class - just for the 21st century! The idea of students becoming more and more responsible for their own learning is the ultimate goal. While utilizing reciprocal teaching on the internet, students can accomplish this AND develop and utilize online collaboration skills needed in today's world. I have already started kids on this process. It takes lots of modeling and scaffolding at first, but to see the development of students is very rewarding. Watching them collaborate online and discuss with others is a process.

I was pleasantly surprised to see what students think it "digital literacies" are. In the "What are Digitial Literacies?" article, students developed a list. "Incorporating technology efficiently and wisely into a specific classroom or work environment" and "Using the superior expertise of a peer to extend my own knowledge" were two of my favorite they came up with. It gives me hope that students DO want to learn how to use the internet effectively in the classroom, and life!

Overall, this first module has reminded me that I am on a good path to helping my students succeed! That makes me feel good!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Module 1 Lesson Plan and Tutorial

I have my lesson plan and tutorial all ready for Module 1 for 7720. I used the lesson plan template our school uses as we have to submit our lesson plans for observation on this form. When I reformatted the Word document into a Google doc, it got a little off center at the top. eh! The tutorial link is the same I posted in the MOOC module in response to Carl's group's assignment.

Bristol Central IDT Lesson Planning Document

Course: English 9 Unit: Social and Familial Relationships   Lesson: 4 Date: 9/23/14
Lesson Essential Questions
  • Draw conclusions about social/familial relationships based on the resolutions to the conflicts in the story
  • RL How do I interpret and analyze a text?
Which items are incorporated into this lesson?
Common Core State Standards
  • Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.   
Literacy Strategies (CCT Domain 2)
  • Close reading
  • Using text examples to support conclusions
SBA Targets/Claims Addressed
  • ELA/Literacy Claim #1: Students can read closely and analytically to comprehend a range of increasingly complex literary and  informational texts.
  • Target:Given an inference or conclusion, use explicit details and implicit information from the text to support the inference or conclusion provided.

Lesson Development -activities and transitions (CCT Domain 1):
  • Review HW and pass out Chromebooks while explaining we will be discussing our story via online discussion.
  • Show Google mail tutorial.
  • This models how to log in, send email, and start group discussion about characters from novel.
  • I will model how to create an appropriate response.
  • Students will attempt logging in.
  • They will attempt to respond to “First Post” in the discussion group.
  • Finally, students will respond to post about characters from story using examples from the text.
Instructional Strategies (CCT Domain 2 & 3):
Guided practice
Independent practice
Modifications and Differentiation (CCT Domain 2):
  • Students who do not have their internet permission slip handed in can not use Chromebooks. Therefore, they will complete the assignment using written response. Once they hand in their permission slip, they may add their answer to the group discussion.
  • Students who are not grasping the objectives will get my assistance via Google comments. I will also walk around to direct students.
  • I will email students the tutorial so they can re-teach themselves.
Assessments-Formative and/or Summative (CCT Domain 2 & 3):
  • Student emails and responses will show me they understood the lesson.
  • Responses to the character question must meet the rubric expectation.

Tutorial on Google Group!

Tutorial on Google Group!

Here's the link to my tutorial. It a short piece showing how to access your mail and respond to the group. I teach high school freshman and this is the first time many of them have used Google email. I want to familiarize them with the ins and outs of the system. So, I'm starting slow! We will take baby steps!

The American School for Americans

7718 Week 4; American School for Americans

I chose the Pixton comic maker to express my thoughts on this week’s assignment. I thought a comic was a good way to playfully criticize visual profiling, public schooling, and how education is Americanized. I thought that including some phrases from the videos was challenging. I had to be creative in how I got that message across. It was hard to incorporate the reading and video material into the comic without quoting it. I was limited as to how many characters I could include in the comic, which made it harder for me to get my message across.

While both characters in the comic represented different aspects of visual profiling, public schooling, and Americanization of education, they also are mixed in their stereotypes of each other. (At least, that was my intention in creating the comic). I think this is a very popular aspect of American education today. The Teaching Channel video obviously proves that visual profiling exists and that many would stereotype the long-haired, earring-wearing teacher as sub-par. Yet, he was quite effective. The Learner video was different and more formal in their approach to teaching reading. Shirts, ties, and clean-cut were the most obvious differences. I noticed the gentleness of the opening tune in which the video begins. It was more inviting than the Teach Channel video. I tried to express these ideas in the comic by using the words of the characters.

You can see the comic represents these misconceptions and clearly the male would much rather a more traditional looking teacher. While the female character stands up for the stereotyped, she also judges the male character’s tie! Ironically, the male character is judging his teacher when he represents a similar stereotype (visual profiling), just in the opposite form.

I also believed that a comic was a good choice to state my opinion of this week’s issues because generally a comic is not something people take very seriously. Again, I wanted to criticize how America falls victim to visual profiling and the Americanization of public schooling. The comic represents my agreement that we are guilty of these faults and shows I think it’s wrong. The irony that comics are very “American” also struck me!

After having created the comic I have found it was more challenging than I had expected in regards to delivering my thoughts about the prompts to light. However, I did enjoy the process of learning to operate the Pixton application. I can see the value of comics in my classroom, however, I am hesitant to utilize unless I have a very applicable assignment. I would hate for my students to run into the same issue that I did. I first tried an application similar to Powtoon. It was another comic application but it wasn’t free. I only found this out after I signed up and downloaded it. SO, it was a time-consuming process. In Pixton, I spent a long time creating the appropriate quotes to represent the sources. I would probably use this with my students to represent certain personality traits of characters or deliver a theme similar to a story we’ve read.

Overall, I am better versed in how to use the application and glad I tried it. I do see myself using Pixton in my classroom!


Gee, J. (2012). Social Linguistics and Literacies (4th ed.). New York: Routledge.

Teaching Reading; 3-5 Workshop,

Rick’ Reading Workshop: Complete Workshop,

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Home vs.School; The Struggle is Real!

Week Three;

Discussion 1:

<iframe frameborder="0" style="width: 420px; height: 130px;" src=""></iframe>

Discussion 1, continued:

<iframe frameborder="0" style="width: 420px; height: 130px;" src=""></iframe>

I used Speakpipe as my medium because I wanted to experience what life was like for
Samantha. She had no voice for a very long period of her life and I was touched by her story. I thought it was good for me to try something outside my comfort zone. Like many, I do not enjoy the sound of my own voice on recordings. However, I was willing to look right before looking left when crossing the street, so to say! The voice recorder allowed me multiple opportunities to start over. This was a reward and a curse as I kept misspeaking. I also thought it was good for me to work on this because I have been told, and am very aware that I am a fast speaker. So, this allowed me time to develop this skill of slowing down my thoughts when speaking. Speakpipe was free and easy to use. However, my recording will only be available for three months.

By, Monica Hayes

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dawn of New Technologies

module one discussion blog post

Rick Allen’s article, Dawn of New Literacies, raises many good points. I would like to address what I feel is the most important quote of the entire article.

“Classroom technology benefits learning when the following conditions can be met: finding a good fit between technology and the curriculum; understanding the outcomes of technology integration; identifying and celebrating students' technology knowledge; addressing student access to technology in and out of school; and guiding students to ask critical questions about the use of technology and its impact.”

We are in an odd place in 2014. Finding a good fit between technology and the curriculum is still being researched, tried, and perfected. It is hard for students to be the beneficiaries of positive integration because teachers are learning the technologies as we go. The training and degree programs are just beginning. We are in the beginning curve of finding this “good fit.”

Finding ways to celebrate students’ tech knowledge should be easier than most things in regards to technology. If we can accomplish the first goal, I feel as if the celebration will be obvious. It will be published, viewable for all to see! is also a work in progress. I think this may be a challenge for a long time. There will always be a gap in haves and have nots, just as there always has been.

Unfortunately, addressing student access to technology in and out of school will continue to be the case of the “haves” and “have-nots.” Demographics will always play a role in this area.

The most challenging piece, in my opinion is guiding students to ask critical questions. Why? Because WE are the ones asking these questions right now! First, we have to decipher how to use the technology, then find a “good fit” in the curriculum. THEN, we can demand this from our students.

Our biggest challenge with technology, as teachers, is mastering the medium we use and staying up-to-date enough to have students use the technology tools effectively in and out of the classroom.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Week 2: Learning Hub Construction 2!

Week 2: Learning Hub Construction 2!

Progress! Determination is evident as I now have two Google sites! Yes, two! The first I created was using the “classroom” set up and I could not figure it out. Plus, it was in Latin! So I created another and used the “blank” template. This has proven to be much more user-friendly, yet, bland. But time will heal this. I can jazz it up! I have already added a “Syllabus” tab. However, I still have to upload the syllabus. Of course, when I tried to upload it, the drive it’s located in was not available on my computer at the moment. Sometimes this happens. So, I wait will restart and try again.


I have a good grasp on how to utilize the the site. I really want to focus on the aesthetics of the site. It needs to be pleasing to look at and at the moment it’s the most boring site on the world wide net. I like the set up of the left-hand column links available for the site. This will be user-friendly for my students and easy to decipher where to find information.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

7720; Week 2: Learning Hub Construction

Ugh, frustration has set in. I wanted to use Googlesites but it is blocked by our filter. So, I tried Wikispaces and really liked the set up. I signed up and created a class discussion. But, when I tried to set up student email, I was notified that they would then have to create a separate log in. I didn’t want that to happen. I have used wikis before in my class and am trying to avoid having students log in to multiple arenas. Reluctantly, I had to leave the wiki idea behind. I am back at Googlesites and will request the filter be removed for my students to access this site. It’s really not a big deal and I feel as if it will be worth it.

Judging from the other hubs I’ve researched this week I think Googlesites sounds pretty easy to use. I really want to use it becuase our district has Google email for all students and teachers so it is much more conducive to our system if I use Googlesites.

I checked out Tim Flanagan’s site via the ITDML email thread and his was helpful to look at. My favorite part of his site is the link to the blog. I am pushing blogging with my classes this year and want the easiest path for students to access it. The quicklinks is also helpful because I can utilize that area for links in connection with class material. I am cautious of the plain set up of the site. I am hoping I can make mine more interactive. That’s partly what I will spend the rest of my week looking for. Although, Ian said he still tweaks his sites so I am sure that is something that will come with time.

I checked out the templates Ian sent and I liked the Online Reading Comprehension site due to its tab set-up! I love tabs! The scream, “organization!” At least, to me they do. I’ll have to see how my students like them. I figure if I can set it up with tabs, it would be similar to my students’ binders, in theory! Some of them are disasters to look at!

Friday, September 5, 2014

week 1: Digital Learning Hub

What to I want to include in my online learning hub? First, I wanted to define the word, “hub.” This short, one syllable word has a large connotation.

Hub: a center around which other things revolve or from which they radiate; a focus of activity, authority, commerce, transportation, etc.

My goal is to have my hub be the central focus of my classroom. The Leu artcile repeatedly referred to communication as one of the internet’s main contribution to the 21st century. Communication is a key to all aspects of life. I wish to have my hub act as a place for students to refer to when they have questions, are confused, or want to share their thoughts.
Leu’s article also poses the idea that the internet is/is not a literacy issue and that “technology standards will become integrated/separated into subject area standards” (p. 265). I want my hub to frame the internet as a place that does integrate subject and technology standards. The 21st century is internet-dependent and I find it hard to teach my English subject matter without teaching technology; hence, my enrollment in this program!
Using the Google Sites seems like a gret option as my disctrict uses Google email for students and teachers. I have this idea that my students will blog about books we’ve read and ideas discussed in class in Google. I also envision using Google as my hub to keep communication easy. If I can have everything for my class, syllabus, lessons, questions, blogs, etc. all in one central place, or “hub,” I believe my communication and rapport with students would improve.
My hub, hopefully, would include videos and pictures to support my online brand. I am very school-oriented and full of school spirit. Besides the technical classroom business, I would include information about activities that I am part of at school. I can’t imagine I would build a hub, curate an online brand, and NOT include information about the basketball and softball teams that I coach at Bristol Central. My sense of humor and personality would be evident throughout the posts, pictures, and videos. I have already had a student tell me she saw my acoustic rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little, Star” via Twitter and read my blog post which included the outtakes of “Twinkle.” This is exactly the type of brand I would like to create.
I hope students would use this hub as a source of information, communication, and a place to feel comfortable. If I can put myself out there while trying something new, I hope that would influence my students to as well. Without the benefits of the internet, I would never have played the guitar for my students.

In reading the Coiro article which discusses online reading comprehension and integrating think-alouds into online reading comprehension, I feel as if my students would benefit greatly from having access to these lessons via my Google Sites hub. “Sub-sequent think-aloud examples are designed to highlight particular text features, thinking processes, and/or content knowledge necessary for students to complete the information challenge successfully,” (p.111).  Active participation in the modeling and guided practice elements of a lesson are so much more beneficial for comprehension, which has been greatly discussed as more challenging than traditional text-reading. If I can create a hub that will scaffold,  challenge, and advance the skills of the 21st century learner, why would I not try to continue to develop my brand and hub?