Tag Archives: technology in the classroom

What Does The Data Say?

I started this blog as a discussion post on technology integration into the classroom.  The more I wrote and discussed, the more I was convinced that I needed to Flip my 3rd grade classroom and put my words to action.  That was a little over three months ago, and I will never go back!  I truly believe that the time has come for teachers across the country to begin the process too.

But what does the data say????…….

Now this is not to imply in any way, shape, or form, that I conducted some sort of formal research.  I would just like to share some of the student data produced by my systems standardized test scores. 

According the data, from the Fall of 2012 until the Winter of 2012, my students showed an average SGP (Student Growth Percentile) of +53 in reading. That is pretty average.  93% of my class met district benchmarks.

Using the same standardized test, my students showed a larger SGP in reading from Winter 2012 to Spring 2013. Their SGP was +73, and 100% of my students met district benchmarks.  That is a pretty huge jump in numbers.  The only notable change in instruction was the use of technology to support the curriculum.

I know their will always be skeptics.  And I have seen growth and motivation that test scores will never show.  So for me, this is just another incentive to keep on keeping on!

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Integrating Technology Into the Classroom

This link will take you to the Prezi written by myself and colleague Amy O’Rear to present to our faculties about technology integration into the classroom.

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April 27, 2013 · 7:30 pm

Observations of My First Week Flipped

What a week this has been! This has been the most thrilling and motivational yet frustrating weeks for myself and perhaps my students.  We really took the plunge into technology integration this week.  And I do mean we. We worked together as a class to discuss objectives, help each other, problem solve, and assess our learning.

I started out this week with a list of objectives on the board.  We had to review syllables and spelling patterns, finding and comparing character traits in stories, writing a persuasive argument using information from a text to support our case, and review figurative language. To accomplish each objective, we would integrate technology.  To assess if we were successful, we were required to take an online unit test established by our reading publisher.

First I established the students’ blogs.  This is where we would publish all of our created material.  If you can in any way, please visit and check out some of their blogs.  This was probably the greatest motivation the students had all week. They knew their work would be published “World Wide”, and they were thrilled.

http://justatechyteacher.edublogs.org/

We incorporated Wordles to review our spelling words and uploaded those into our blogs. We wrote persuasive paragraphs directly onto our blogs. And I must say the students were extra careful with spelling, punctuation, and grammar.  I also allowed them a chance to create a Voki character to talk about what they loved about third grade. My goal there was to teach some of my more “techy” students how to embed and to help others.

While all of my students had the opportunity to create a cartoon demonstrating their ability to locate information in a story and ask questions, only a few were able to complete that assignment.  They were too anxious to play with the technology and they rushed through the preparation part of the assignment. In retrospect, I should have allowed the time for students to play with the technology first, and then assigned them a topic.

Our formal assessment went well. The class average for the unit test was around 77%. I would have liked the average to be higher, but I learned a few pointers this week too.  Some of my students still need that extra support of more concrete assignments before assigning creative or abstract written work.  For example, a few of my students had trouble writing questions or turning their statements of information they read into a question.  I had to work with them on that before they could make the cartoon.

I have always believed in what some may consider a busy classroom with students working together collaboratively.  This week was even “busier” than ever. I had students at different levels of technology knowledge, hardware issues, content questions etc.  One of the most pleasing things I noticed about this week were that the students did not need to be assigned a partner or a team.  They really worked together, offered to help each other, and walked around the room asking each other questions. That was awesome!  However, I did have maybe one or two students who took advantage of this time and did not work. I am going to have to work to decrease this response.

With only a few weeks left of school, I am so eager to try all of this with my class.  I knew going into this week I was introducing more technology tools than should be started in one week.  I would not advise anyone introducing so many different technologies at one time unless you have either a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of patience, someone to help, or some serious down time when you get home.  But I have a good clue of where I am going starting next year.

I can’t stop now! Even if I wanted to stop and go backwards, my class would not let me. They are having fun. They are learning. They are helping each other. And isn’t that what school should be all about?

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Flipping My Classroom

The last couple of weeks I have really changed the way I am teaching.  I am flipping my classroom! I don’t know who is more excited or motivated, me or my students.  This week my students were to write a book review.  As we studied author’s purpose, my class wrote persuasive book reviews enthusiastically so they could submit them to Scholastic.com (see link to the right).

Next I discovered Voki Classroom.  Wow! Students can create their own avatars and record voices.  Lesson plans are included on the website.  But my class has spent time giving me suggestions on what they can do.  I have never seen a classroom so excited to learn before in all of my years of teaching.  I can’t remember being this excited.

Oh, and for those skeptics who may be wondering how this might affect test scores or student learning.  All of my student scores went up this week.   But what I am seeing these kids learn, and knowing they are excited about learning is worth way more than any test score!

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