Thursday, June 10, 2010

Internet Resources


Finding information is easy.  The trouble comes when you take a look at what is a truly useful and reliable Internet source.  There are enormous amounts of resources out there. However, many of the links are simply another source of links. Often you may find what you are looking for but you must pay in order to access the information. However, with some careful searching their is a wealth of available.

While searching I found three very valuable Internet Resources:

    1. National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)  NSTA offers an unbelievable amount of materials. Ranging from videos, lesson plans, simulations, Podcast, Books, News and more.  My favorite is the interactive resource, Galapagos Education.  When students Explore Galapagos Guide they are able to see, hear, and learn about the island landscape and wildlife. Students are even able to learn about the undersea submersible used by scientists in the film to explore the Galapagos waters. Resources contain down loadable investigations and online activities for use in or out of the classroom. The students also really enjoy watching an animated cartoon that they can easily relate to.

   2. Public Broadcast Station (PBS) This Broadcasting, website has excellent visual and investigative resources for both math and science.For science they cover topics such as liquid volume, linear measurement, problem solving and balancing equations. PBS offers a 22 minute long episode of CYBERCHASE that corresponds to the different topics while encorporating an adventure. To conclude the video they end with a real world correlation to the topic.

    3. National Education of Teachers (NEA) This website offers a special variety of classroom resources each month.  This site offers Technology Interactives, Lesson Plans, Games and Tools. The Interactives and Media that was most applicable to 7th grade science was Skin Cancer Investigation, and The Placebo Effect Sea . The site offers a description of the activity, down loadable resources, ways of using the resource, and other related resources.

Friday, June 26, 2009



When trying to decide which Internet Educational Product (IEP) to use. I chose Google Earth.  This Internet program is one of the few that allow the science standards to be addressed when trying to incorporate the use into a lesson plan.

D-1 Concepts of Earth Science

The Student demonstrates an understanding of geochemical cycles by
SD.1 Describing the rock cycle and its relationship to igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks
SD.2 Explaining the water cycle's connection to changes in the Earth's surface

The student demonstrates an understanding of the forces that shape Earth by
SD2.2 Describing how the movement of the tectonic plates results in both slow changes ( e.g. formation of mountains, ocean floors, and basins) and short term events (e.g. volcanic eruptions, seismic waves, and earthquakes) on the surface

Technology Standards: C. A student should be able to use technology to explore ideas, solve problems, and derive meaning. A student who meets the content standards should use technology to observe, analyze, interpret, and draw conclusions; create new knowledge by evaluating, combining, or extending information using multiple technologies.

This lesson for google earth was perfect for the plate tectonic unit. It took awhile for me to figure out how to navigate through Google Earth.  After the first time it was fairly easy.  Having the students actually find the different types of features created by plate tectonics allows them to discover how features were made on their own.  Giving not only an enjoyable task but a fun one as well because of the technology available through Google Earth.  Google Earth is unbelievable is some areas.  Here in Alaska the viewing cameras are a little more limited but features can still be found.

Lesson One -  Exploring Google Earth

Lesson Two - Capabilities of GPS

Lesson Three - Locating Specific Geographic Features

Lesson Four - Features Created by Plate Boundaries

Lesson Five - Land Features Scavenger Hunt

The first go round in teaching with Google Earth.  Trying to keep the children on the correct areas they were suppose to be explore was difficult.  All students found the geological features they needed.  Students also spend a fair amount of times trying to find either their house or their friends.  I think next time when incorporating a lesson I will spend more time on allowing the students to explore on their own. Then they will be more on task when asked to complete the work at hand.

Social Web


Social Networking provides a way for people all over the world to discuss something of interest.  It  provides an easy way for people to find out what's happening in events, and meet with people whom have similar interests.

The goal of this assignment was to investigate and join social webs or networks that maybe of interest. The social networking site that I chose was National Educators of America (NEA). NEA offers many ways for you to connect with the Association and  your colleagues through social media. 

Such as:
Ask the Expert on Classroom Discipline - You can't teach a class that's out of control.

Green Schools - For educators interested in green schools and environmental education.

Memorable Last Day of School - Tell us about the last day of school you will never forget!

I am not much of one for responding to posts.  However, I enjoy reading and seeing other peoples points of view.  My favorite forum was, You can't teach a class that's out of control.  No matter how much you think you know about discipline you can always learn new techniques.

Digital Story Creation

As a teacher in Alaska I have found that incorporating Native American culture is very important. To emphasize the importance of Native culture I chose a native story that I was told as a child. As with almost all stories, Tlingit stories come with a moral or lesson. This particular story incorporates the Salmon and the importance of the Salmon to Southeast Alaska.

The boy in the story shows disrespect for the food provided and must be taught a lesson. The lesson that the boy is taught teaches him that what we take must be put back. Also if we have to account for everything we take we will be much more careful about the environment. This story is a way to incorporate a simple moral of conservation and recycling into a memorable story.

Follow the links to view my digital story creation of Salmon Boy, the story board and digital story rubric.

Here's the digital creation Salmon Boy
and the Story Board 

Assistive Technologies for Reading


Hasselbring and Bausch in "Assistive Technologies for Reading" bring to light that most teachers are unaware of the potential for assistive technologies. Today 10% of students receive special education resources.  Half of these students have a learning disability. Inclusion has 44% of students with learning disabilities in the classroom 80% or more of the day. With more of the learning disabled students in the classroom specialized support should be available.  The potential of assistive technologies could possibly empower students to work independently at grade level. Most students will not work independently due to the lack of confidence. As Hasselbring and Bausch point out there are a wide range of Assistive Technologies for literacy, reading supports and much more. 

  • Students with Learning Disabilities are in the classroom 80% to 100% of the time
  • Assistive Technology could empower students with disabilities to become more independent
  • Teachers are usually not aware of the different types of Assistive Technology available
  • Assistive Technology
    • Can be anything that can be used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities (IDEA, 1990).
  • Teachers must learn to guide students use of technological applications to enhance their success.
  • Assistive Technology for Literacy has two main supports Reading Supports and Reading Intervention
    • Reading Support offers text-reader software
    • Reading Intervention offers reading intervention software for fluency and comprehension
It is truely unbelievable how many options are available to students with a learning disabled.  There are however two main problems I see with assistive technology.  One, money is not always available. Two, some students are resistant to doing something different than their peers.  I have a student in my class who has little to no capability to move his arms.  Instead of using some of the technology offered he chooses to write with his feet.  When it come to using a computer or opening his locker his feet are his hands. I feel that all students should have whatever he might need to help him or her to be successful at reading grade level.

The Overdominance of Computers


The article written by Lowell S. Monke, The Overdominance of Computers, discusses the growing disillusionment with the promise of computers to revolutionize education.  Monke clearly has a negative view on the overwhelming amount of technology available today. She makes the arguement that technology is being pushed at too young of an age. Monke points out that technology at school on top of all of the technology outside of school such as video games, television, i-pods and cell phones maybe a bit excessive.  "Our students need inner resources and real-life experiences to balance their high-tech lives", says Monke. Monke agrees that computers have great power so students need to be shown how to use them properly. Another arguement against technology is the research Economists Thomas Fuchs and Ludger Woessmann of Munich University found.  During research performed in 2004, "they found, after controlling for other possible influences, that the more access students had to computers in school and at home, the lower their overall test socers were". Monke also states that we are paying for compensating technology for individual qualities. Qualities such as 'hope, compassion, trust, respect, a sense of belonging, moral judgement, and stability'. Is technology really taking over?

  • Computers today are used in Excess
    • Percentage of Students in 2003 who used computer in the U. S. 
      • 97% of high schoolers
      • 95% of middle schoolers
      • 91% of students in grades 1-5
      • 80% of kndergarten students
      • 67% of nursery school students
  • Excessive use of computers lowers test scores
  • Influencing technology at a very young of an age should be done
  • Qualities are being forgotten due to today's technology era
I feel differently than Monke does on computer usage.  I do agree that there is possibility for excess but not if controlled.  Not all of todays technological tools are bad.  I use alot of technology that it interactive and most importantly requires a response for the question at hand.  I have found that using clickers that are similar to cell phones you will get honest responses. I can ask any type of question at any point in time. I even use the clickers when the students are on the computers. With clickers at hand you can ask questions at any point in time. For example, how many times have teachers asked the question do you understand? or get it? Of course students say yes. Ocassionally you will find the middle school student who will ask questions but not usually. When required to give a response based on wheither or not the understanding is really there I feel confident that they are truely grasping the knowledge.  It also allows me to know who's not getting to provide extra help.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Philosophy of Education


Visually creating my philosophy of education was refreshing. Re-addressing and evaluating my philosophy gave me a chance to remember my goals. It is amazing when life becomes overwhelming how we can simply loose track of overall goals.
Philosophy of Education