Sunday, September 30, 2012

Monitoring My GAME Plan

I apologize for my tardiness this week. I closed on my house and was moving in and working all week. It turns out there was more to be done than we originally planned. Here is what I accomplished this week on my GAME Plan.

For the addition of current events into my curriculum, I have contacted the local newspaper and they are able to provide newspapers for my class. They should be coming once a week. My goal with those newspapers is to have my students read one article about three times a week and do a quick write on it. For their quick write they will have to give me a brief summary of the article and follow it with a reflection. What was their opinion of the article? How did it make them feel? Every time I will let two or three students share their quick write and have two people ask questions about their response. I will keep a checklist of who shares, to ensure everyone receives a chance. After a few weeks of working with the articles, I have been thinking about letting my students write their own articles and put it together in a newspaper for the class. Still kicking around the details in my head, but I am excited at the possibilities.

For the typing portion of my GAME Plan, my students are doing well in the computer lab. The one difficulty I am having is that not all students are printing their completion certificated or telling me they completed a lesson, so I have no way of recording it. Next week when we go, students will have to redo lessons they have completed so I can see they completed it with the appropriate speed and errors. It is a lesson to them to follow directions. I am up for any suggestion that could alleviate this small setback.

Hopefully we will see some more progress this week, especially with the current events goal. I have been struggling to incorporate them into the curriculum myself, however it has me searching on the Internet and I have found some cool videos I have used. They are not current events, but it is a nice twist on the typical lesson. I wonder what I will find this week!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Moving Forward on My GAME Plan

To be very frank with you this past week has been another crazy one. With that being said, I am proud to say I have started to work on my GAME plan and my intention was not to complete this assignment, but simply enhance my students’ learning. However, it was a small step forward, still many to go.

This week, I did manage to find a typing website that I really like for instruction. Our school has many websites that are games for those who have learned and done well with typing. This was not at all what I needed. I needed a website that was going to teach my students all of the basics and give me a way to evaluate how hard they were working. I left the address at school (I will post it later) but this website is just what I was looking for. It not only starts with a color-coded keyboard and goes through thirty lessons of keyboarding basics, but it also measures how quickly the students are typing while they are doing the lessons. This gives me a measurement for their effort and achievement. One step closer to achieving my goal! I just need to adjust a few things.

First, I need a way to record their achievements. I am thinking a simple grading sheet with names and places to write their words per minute for each lesson. This way I will know what lessons they are on and their average typing speed. The other pieces I still need to complete my GAME plan have to do with the incorporation of current events into my lessons.

I have yet to incorporate current events into my lessons. I am still very new to the grade level and I am learning the curriculum and standards. This week I would like to identify some news media websites to use. I am hoping to find at least three, two where I can get helpful articles and at least one with videos. I would like to get in touch with the local newspaper to see if there is a way to get their paper delivered, also. I have some work to do this week!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Strengthening Technology in my Classroom

With my recent move to fifth grade, I have noticed a much greater need for the use of technology. This need is not just my own, but for the students as well. In order to fill this need there are few goals I have to achieve. The first one is tied to the NETS-T (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008) 1 B. “Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.” The second is tied to 2 B. “Develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress.” Using the GAME method I have developed a plan to enhance technology in the classroom.

In order to properly integrate more real world issues in my classroom, I need to be better informed of them. My goal is to use three to five real life news communications (article, video, or audio clip) a week in my lessons. Right now, on average, I use zero. 

The first thing I need to teach my students, on the path of self-inquiry, is how to use some basic technology. At our school, there is no official computer teacher; therefore many students do not even learn the basics. This year we will be starting with typing. My first goal is to teach my students proper and basic typing. 

For the incorporation for current events, I need to subscribe and read more periodicals and journals. Daily, I should be spending about thirty minutes a day searching for information on real- world issues. Then, I need to take what I find and use it in my lessons. Audio/ video clips and articles can be used as methods of engagement in my classroom. 

Educating my students on the basic computer skills will start with me asking the person who runs out tech lab to post typing websites in our grade level folder. Then, each week we go in to the computer lab, have my students work on three lessons. Each week their typing ability will increase as they work through the lessons. 

I will monitor my use of current events media by keeping a tally of how many times a week I utilize different medias in my lessons. When I get started, I hope to gain one hook a week until I am at three to five. If I am not reaching my goal, I will record the time I am spending each day looking for relevant current events to see if I need to increase that as well.

I will monitor my instruction based upon how well my students are typing. I will use informal observation as well as the assessments from the typing program. If students are not performing at the expected level, other typing websites may be used as scaffolding. 

Once I have reached the number of real world connections each week, I will work on building in authentic problem solving. Using those real world issues, I will connect them back to our content. Using the information in the content, I will have students problem solve the issue I am using that day. Problem solving may include discussions, writings, mathematical expressions or data collecting. 

Once my students have worked to achieve the desired level of typing, I would move them to another program to utilize their new skills. The program I would choose is PowerPoint. It tends to be more engaging than Word, and it requires some typing, but not an excessive amount. It is not the focus of the program, like Word. This will give some comfort to those who are still working to strengthen their typing skills, which helps build confidence. This is important when implementing technology in the classroom (Laureate Education Inc., 2009) It will, also, teach a new set of technology skills.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). National education standards for teachers   (NETS-T). Retrieved on September 12, 2012 from
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Integrating technology across the content areas. Baltimore, MD: Author