Adobe Voice/Autobiographical Narrative-Ann Schrick


The Autobiographical Narrative assignment using Adobe Voice was one of the most fun assignments I’ve ever completed!  If I end up in a 5th or 6th grade class, I will most definitely be using that program and assignment to get to know my students.

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The Adobe voice app could be used for other projects too- for example, it could be used for a book report.  In the younger grades, before they are really reading and writing, they could use it with their parents to tell about a book they’ve read.

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Adobe Voice could also be used to record assignment instructions, or overviews to parents.  I’ve also read that Adobe Voice can be used for dyslexic students since the app is based on voice narration and images.



The Flipped Classroom- Ann Schrick


I had a hard time choosing only a couple of topics.  One that has really resonated with me, however,  is the Flipped Classroom that was written about in “The One World School House” by Salman Khan.


I am fascinated by this concept and think it is a great idea.  Instead of assigning work that kids 1) don’t want to do at home, and 2) may not get done if the concepts aren’t understood, why not just assign a lecture video-which is not more than 9-15 minutes long?  Valuable class time could then be spent working on the practice exercises.  A teacher is in class to answer questions, other students are also available to help as well.  I believe that the “homework” of watching a video would be more readily completed if the student knew it would take less than 20 minutes of their evening.  Sometimes, not knowing how long they would spend on homework is part of the procrastination of getting it done!


As with anything, there are pro’s and con’s.  This is a hands-on approach that requires a lot of front-end preparation, but involves students in their own education.


The Pros

1. Students have more control

2. It promotes student-centered learning and collaboration

3. Lessons and content are more accessible (provided there is tech access)

4. Access = easier for parents to see what’s going on

5. It can be more efficient


The Cons

1. It can create or exacerbate a digital divide

2. It relies on preparation and trust

3. There is significant work on the front-end

4. Not naturally a test-prep form of learning

5. Time in front of screens–instead of people and places–is increased

10 Pros And Cons Of A Flipped Classroom






Apps in My Backpack

By Alyssa Dees


I have really enjoyed the challenge of using new apps and tools for this class!  These are some of the most concrete things I will put in my backpack for future use. The district where I hope to one day teach has a one to one iPad initiate from Kindergarten through 12 th Grade plus a technical college, too.

iBooks – many classes in my district use iBooks instead of paper textbooks. For some classes, the teachers have written their own iBooks, like Dr. Perez did. Through this course, I’ve become familiar with iBooks, which I may use on a daily basis in my future classroom.

Canvas – I have taken line courses using Blackboard and Moodle, but Canv was also new to me.  I tried using the Canvas app rather than the web browser and found it lacked in communication and sped of downloading discussions.

Spark Video – This as one of my favorite new apps to learn!  I can already think of some awesome ways to use this for visual book reports, science projects, students explaining math concepts, autobiographical narrative, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

ThinkLink – ThingLink was easy to use and a fun way to make a graphic interactive.  By starting with a main graphic and adding touch points for more graphics, text boxes and even video links, an picture can really be worth a thousand words.  I can see this as being useful for an autobiographical narrative project, too.

Google Docs – GoogleDocs wasn’t completely new to me.  My family used Google Sheets to collaborate and organize addresses for our wedding (7 years ago).  However, this was the first time I used it to create academic papers that could be stored in “the cloud”

PicWall – I played with this one a bit after using ThingLink for the Historical project.  As you can see, I also used it for the top of this blog post.  This one is super easy as a way to make a picture collage for an extension of a story lesson, a science lesson, a project to share with the class on something that interests you (which is an idea I gleaned from my book circle book “Summerhill School”).  It would also be another tool that could be used for an autobiographical narrative.

iPad – I have used iPads before as a substitute teacher, and my two daughters have iPad Minis, but then I bought an iPad for this course and used it every day for almost 3 weeks now.  And I really love it!  I have enjoyed playing with other apps that I have on my iPhone on a bigger screen.  I’m usually a paper & pencil kind of person when it comes to sorting out my thoughts, so I was a little worried how this would work, but I have really enjoyed doing all my reading, communicating, and assignments on one device


Guess Who? (Autobiographical Narratives)

By Alyssa Dees

I am an extrovert by nature. Spending time with people fuels me. I love to get to know people. And I especially love to play the “it’s a small world after all” game. When I meet new people, I love to find our common ground. I have met people all over, and found some interesting things we have in common – they got snowed in once in Goodland, I went to college with their sister, we both grew up going to the same church camp, their little brother used to wrestle my little brother.

Getting to know people’s stories helps me find ways we can connect. Hearing their unique stories also helps me understand our differences. And from knowing each other’s autobiographical narratives, we learn to see each other as a compilation of similarity and differences.


I think a fun way to get to know that autobiographical narratives of my students would be to play a life-sized version of Guess Who?  Students could make frames like the ones above. Then photograph students in their frames and make playing cards.  Then one student can draw one of the photos from the pile.  This student is “it.” Another student is the “guesser.” The students stand at their desks in rows. The guesser asks questions about the person that “it” is holding. If the students in their desks match the question, they stay standing. All the others sit. As they go along, the field of students standing will be fewer and fewer until only the one that “it” has drawn is standing!

Maestro of Multiple Intellenges

By Alyssa Dees


When a conductor stands before an orchestra and raises his baton to begin the performance of a piece, he doesn’t expect the whole orchestra to sound like a trumpet. Within the orchestra, there are many different instruments, and so it is in a classroom. I believe that a teacher has the unique task of discerning the “instruments” of their students and helping them “play their instrument.”


I am a huge fan of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory. The analogy of an orchestra is a way to understand that all students contribute uniquely, learn uniquely, and together they can create beautiful music. I believe that education is guiding the discovery of unique gifts and talents and helping students use their strengths.

In my future classroom, I hope to be very intentional about incororpoating Multiple Intelligence Theory into the classroom.  I plan to be very purposeful in making notes in my lessons plans about which intelligences are used in a particular party of the lesson.  Below are some examples of how each could be incorporated in a classroom:

  • Body Smart- spelling out words with our bodies
  • People Smart- interviewing students in another classroom
  • Word Smart- writing a food word for each letter of the alphabet
  • Logic Smart- figuring out how much food the cooks need to make lunch
  • Nature Smart-  explore plants growing on your school property
  • Self Smart- daily journaling
  • Picture Smart- map routes to different places in town
  • Music Smart- create a song using spelling words

Behaviorism – Hallie Kristalyn

The entire philosophy of Behaviorism does not appeal to me. Which I think is fine. To me, it would be rather disturbing for an educator to strictly abide by just one philosophy. For me, as noted in my first blog post, Social Reconstructionism is the main philosophy that I’d like to shape my classroom around. However, my experience substitute teaching has likened me to one specific element of Behaviorism…the discipline plan! I plan to implement a discipline plan into my classroom curriculum.

All of my classrooms in elementary school used “card turning” as their discipline plan method. It looked just like this:
behavior management chart

I plan on doing something that is more similar to the image provided for us in our ibook on the chapter about Behaviorism. Something that is more “fun” and maybe uses pop culture metaphors like this chart:
Whether it’s pop culture or matching the “theme” of my room decor, I hope to have a behavior chart that is clear, concise, relateable and non-threatening. I do not want my students to fear me. I don’t want to earn their respect through fear. I want them to trust me, and be comfortable with me. However, I am adopting this particular method from Behaviorism because I do think that my students deserve to know what I expect from them. There should be behavior boundaries within classrooms, without boundaries and clear rules and limits, I imagine a class of chaos.

Multiple Intelligences: By Nicole Buckner

The theory of the seven multiple intelligences was something I appreciated gaining more insight on. They are: Visual-Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Interpersonal, Linguistic, and Logical-Mathematical.

As a teacher, I think at first it might be overwhelming to try to identify all of our student’s learning styles. However, I think it is important to genuinely attempt to understand such a critical aspect of the kids and work to develop curriculum and educational activities that can incorporate all seven multiple intelligences. I believe this will also help students improve on their weaker areas of learning. Additionally, whereas the majority of learning places emphasis on linguistic and logical learning,

I think it is critical to encourage students to explore other intelligences, such as musical (the arts). We will better serve our students if we present a well-rounded curriculum that includes aspects from all learning styles!


Deculturalization: By Nicole Buckner

Deculturalization was one of the concepts we discussed in this class that absolutely struck a nerve with me. To summarize, deculturalization – or cultural genocide – is the stripping of a culture’s beliefs, language, traditions, arts, and overall identity. It is done by a dominant culture to suppress and conform the dominated culture. In our history, African Americans, Native Americans and Latin Americans have all been subjected to cruel and demoralizing deculturalization.

I included my philosophy on deculturalization in my Enhanced Philosophy of Education, and I’d like to share it here, as well. I wrote:


I will seek to eliminate any deculturalization within my power and classroom, and set the expectation and standard that all children, regardless of race, gender and ethnicity, have equal opportunities in life and learning under my guidance. That students will respect and celebrate one another’s differences.

It is important to me that my students understand we live in a culturally diverse world and country. I want my class to explore a multitude of languages, arts, food and customs from around the world, and I will encourage my students to share meaningful aspects from their own cultures and backgrounds.


Part 2: Teachers Connect! Carolyn Miller

Superhero-teacherRita Pierson, a teacher of 40 plus years, heard her colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” To that Pierson replied, “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” In her TED talk, Pierson quoted James Comer saying, “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.” Pierson spent her time telling educators that every child needs a teacher who takes the time to respect and believe in them. I know, it sounds corny, like those little motivational sayings you find on Pintrest saying, “Believe in Yourself”, but this is way more than about believing in yourself. Pierson’s point was to believe in your students, to create meaningful relationships with them so that they can learn. Meagan Olivier Hall, is a science teacher in Minnesota, who also gave a TED talk (I know another TED talk, call me crazy). Hall spoke about building relationships between the parent and teacher so that the child can learn. I’m sure Hall would most definitely agree with Pierson, that children need a relationship to learn, but she went one step further and said that children would learn even better if parents had a relationship with the teacher. Hall’s revolution came when she had her son. After giving birth to her own child, she realized that every single parent cares significantly about their child. From here she realized that if teachers and parents care so much about one child, a connection should be made, the two should work together and be in communication for the success of the student. Hall gave some pro tips at the end of her speech. One in particular stood out to me: to send a small message to one parent each day, a good or bad comment, just one thing to make a connection and let parents know that teachers care.

So you see we as educators have a job to connect, to create meaningful relationships with our students.I am excited to create meaningful relationships on the very first day of school using autobiographical narratives. I will pay close attention to what students enjoy and what they don’t particularly like. I think meaningful relationships can happen when people challenge one another, either they push them in an area they excel in, or they challenge them with assignments that they’re not so good at. Either or, I as a teacher will create meaningful relationships by challenging my students because I believe they can do it. I will also choose to get to know parents by sending a short email to one parent a day, letting them know how their child is doing in school.As a teacher, I am excited to see significant learning occur because of the significant relationships that are built in the classroom.

World of Intelligence By: Ashley Conde

Dr. Lori Levin had a coffee talk discussing Multiple Intelligence and how it effects the classroom. Some key points that I took from her discussion were the importance for teachers to identify what intelligence students in their classroom learn by and how to incorporate it into daily classroom learning activities.

Listening the the teacher talk all day long is no longer an effective way of teaching.

If you as a teacher need help jump starting your brain to provide different ways of instruction here are a few ideas…

  • Incorporate technology
  • Let students use there body, such as a skit or dance, to physically stimulate their minds
  • Create Visuals (anchor charts/diagrams)
  • Create Art Pieces
  • Encourage group work
  • Use manipulatives when doing math
  • Go on field trips

These are just a few ideas. Lets reach all of our students!