Educational Technology Context & Foundation

I absolutely love my Instructional Technology course I am taking this semester at ISU! Integrating technology into all aspects of the classroom to benefit both student and teacher is extremely important to me. Part of the requirement of this class will be to create a Philosophy of our own in regards to placing tecnhlogy into the classroom. In order for us to complete this, through the course we are finding professional resources and material within our textbook to expand and define our current technology ideals.

Here is my takeaways from our readings this week:

     In Chapter 1 of our textbook, Roblyer states,

For the processes, or instructional procedures for applying tools, we look to … applications of technology that help prepare students for future jobs by teaching them skills in using current tools, as well as skills in ‘learning to learn’ about tools of the future that have not yet been invented – or even imagined (p. 5).

     I find the idea of “learning to learn about tools of the future” to be an extremely important guide in today’s teaching of technology and preparing our students for the future. This changes the focus of learning technology, we need to learn enough to complete the tasks we are to complete; however, its not about having lessons on the particular technology that we know it deeply as software, hardware, etc changes so rapidly. Yet we should direct lessons on the ability of learning to learn. Being able to take the basic knowledge and apply it to any program that comes our way. I read once that computer programmers, computer design students, and the like graduate with a degree with most of the information they have learned is outdated. Similar to our students, It is important for them to know how to learn and adapt to the rapidly changing technology in our world. 

     In Chapter 1 of our textbook research completed by Devaney in 2010 teaches us, 

Schools with one-to- one computing programs had fewer discipline problems, lower dropout rates, and higher rates of college attendance (p. 22).

     I am not surprised by such research results. As a future teacher, I would love to adapt or be apart of a school in which is involved within a 1:1. Eliminating factors of students not having the technology accessible in and outside of the classroom. This research on technology in education tells us that there are many more benefits to the use than what we originally thought. My thought that the fewer discipline problems, lower dropout rates, and higher rates of college attendance is in the idea that students are engaged, lessons are adaptable to many learning styles, and they feel better prepared to go on to higher education because of their experience!

     In Chapter 2 of our textbook, Roblyer states, 

Teachers will always use some directed instruction as the most efficient means of teaching required skills; teachers will always need motivating, cooperative learning activities to ensure that students want to learn and that they can transfer what they learn to problems they encounter. Proficient technology-orientated teachers must learn to combine directed instruction and constructivist approaches and to select technology resources and integration methods that are best suited to their specific needs (p. 49).

     I tend to lean toward the constructivist methods, ideologies, and epistemologies in the modern day classroom. It is innovative, collective; it is about movement and collaboration. It is appealing to me as a teacher to make the classroom appealing to today’s student. Yet there is an importance in the ideals and methods of directed instruction. As a future teacher and as I go about creating my integrating technology philosophy is in important to develop a balance between the two.

Roblyer, M.D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson             Education, Inc. 

Protagonist editorial: Why Goldilocks should never have entered the home of the three bears.

the-three-bearsHere is something fun this evening, as I work on my UDL Lesson Plan (my final for SPED 3350). The lesson is meeting the standard CCCS.ELA.W.7.1 in writing an editorial to defend or challenge a protagonist in a fairy tale. I am responsible for completing the assignment for the student example as I have not done this with a class. So I thought I would share with you what I wrote.

Goldilocks should never have entered the home of the three bears. I can imagine that Goldilocks only went to the house of the three bears by herself is because she was left alone to her own doings. Where was her parents? Why was she not in school? She just gallivanted through the forest one day and happened to come across the three bears home. I can imagine the smell of porridge seeped out into the woods that fine morning, was Goldilocks hungry? I can imagine she just could not resist the temptation to see what it was that smelled so delicious. As she approached the home, I imagine she appeared through the open kitchen window and saw the three-steaming bowls. So, she walked right through the open door and began to eat out of the largest bowl! This would have not happened if Goldilocks parents were taking care of her, I wonder if she was even given breakfast.

Goldilocks really should never have entered the home of the three bears. She was lucky, that girl could have been eaten up. For some reason, she thought it was okay to eat the porridge that did not belong to her. She also could have not been aware that the home she entered belonged to a family of bears. But she did not stop there, she continued into the stranger’s home and sat in their personal chairs! Were there pictures of the bears on the wall or placed along their bookshelves? If there was she ignored them when she decided to take a nap from all that eating and resting she had done.

Most importantly, Goldilocks should never have entered the home of the three bears; she was breaking the law. She was a criminal, guilty on at least four separate accounts. First, she trespassed onto private property. Second, she entered the home without permission. Third, she stole their porridge that was intended for them to eat. Fourth, she broke the smallest chair in the living room. I cannot imagine why this innocent blond haired girl would be doing such things; maybe it was just a disguise to fool us all?

In conclusion, Goldilocks should never have entered the home of the three bears because she was alone and should have been supervised, she was lucky and could have been killed, and she was guilty of breaking four separate laws and could have been locked up in juvenile detention center for her crimes. So next time, Goldilocks just go to school instead!

Ha! How funny is that? I actually used this story and this book, because I am looking forward to meeting author Jan Brett when she visits Twin Falls Barnes & Noble next Friday! Maybe I should have her autograph my editorial?



Blog Review #21 : 3 Reasons Students Don’t Hate Book Projects

The first post I chose this week for my blog discussion assignment was 3 Reasons Students Don’t Hate Book Projects published on the website, Mrs. Beers: A Language Arts Classroom. Erin Beers begins this post by sharing her ability to fake read while she was in school, she just was not compelled to do so during silent reading time. Not being able to recall anytime reading as a whole group or small group; however she remembers a teacher that had them perform a readers theater of Alice in Wonderland in the fourth grade. She calls herself a reformed “book-unfinisher” and she wants her own students to have a different experience in school than she did; a chance to enjoy reading, excited about the trips to the library, wanting to share their books in literature circles, and experience joy in their book from cover to cover. (Oh, I want that for my future students too!)

Erin shares,

a way I have found success with my students is through different end of book activities and projects.  I want to give my students the opportunity to share and reflect on their reading, while giving them a purpose, if picking up a book and simply reading for pleasure is also not their forte’. While reading a book is so much more than completing a book project at the end, I have found that students truly enjoy the opportunity to showcase what they have read about and their learning.  They want to create, they want to discuss, and they want to share.

She shares two examples of her end of book projects for the students and her  3 reasons your students won’t hate book projects:
#1: Book projects give students a purpose for reading.  #2: Book projects provide a creative outlet. #3: Book projects encourage problem-solving.

I will definitely be using these ideas for future classroom use. These are terrific end of book projects to replace the book report. I love how they provide options for students to choose how they want to showcase their book. This post was full of information, I tried to capture all of the goodies; however, I invite you to head over to read it.. Because there is so much more!

Blog Review #11: The Digital Daily 5 in the ELA Classroom

51dms8b1xel-_sx396_bo1204203200_The first post I chose this week for my blog discussion assignment was The Digital Daily 5 in the ELA Classroom published on the website, Mrs. Beers: A Language Arts Classroom. This article explains how Erin Beers digitized The Daily 5 Café.

The Daily 5 is a framework for structuring literacy time so students develop lifelong habits of reading, writing, and working independently. Students select from five authentic reading and writing choices, working independently toward personalized goals, while the teacher meets individual needs through whole-group and small-group instruction, as well as one-on-one conferring. These choices include:

  1. Read to Self
  2. Work on Writing
  3. Read to Someone
  4. Listen to Reading
  5. Word Work

Daily 5 classrooms produce productive, highly engaged students who are developing a true love of literacy. For more information regarding the Daily 5 you can visit their website here.

Mrs. Beers states that she digitized the Daily 5 so that,

students to navigate and engage in the components of read to self, listen to reading, and writing with the opportunity for teachers to move in the direction of paperless (para. 2).

The remainder of the post gives specifics of how she digitizes each of the reading and writing choices into her classroom.

I have been interested in the Daily 5 Café Framework and I am definitely interested in integrating technology into my classroom, this may be a great fit for my future ELA middle school classroom. Based on time, I wonder if teachers have used the Daily 5 across the school week, having students complete one of the Daily 5 each day. Yet, the purpose of the program is making sure students are getting these five every day, so it would be nice to see how a teacher incorporates this into the curriculum with a shorter class period. Mrs. Beers is blessed with 110 minutes!


Blog Review #10: Building Relationships with Students Through Books

booksThe second post I chose this week for my blog discussion assignment was Building Relationships with Students Through Books published on the website, Cult of Pedagogy. This post is part of series completed by Shelby Denhof who is in the process of her first year of teaching and allowing us in on her journey.

First, she lets us know that she has accumulated over 500 books in classroom library since she began teaching (less than a year)! This has become necessary, as choice reading has become quite popular with her seventh graders, which she finds to be a fantastic way to building relationships with her students’. It started at a hundred books gifted by a retiring teacher – the students became interested and there it began. Students read, shared, and created wait lists to read the books! Talking and sharing books is now a part of her daily interactions with students.

My favorite part is how she explains that she completes book clubs within her classroom instead of completing the usual (not so beneficial and not differentiated planning) whole- class text reading. She has topics/ genre requirements based on the unit and then allows students to read between options given. This way the students are engaged in what they are reading and more likely to gain the knowledge required for the unit. Other classes use other methods based on the goals of the curriculum, choice reading is still the leading teaching strategy among them.

Shelby finishes by discussing how books show she cares. These book conversations prove that she is listening, invested in their learning experience, and have their backs. She says,

the conversations are a dream, they are relationship builders that after finding that right book do not even require the gentlest push on my part. They are eager to share with one another and grow closer through that.

These relationships are just not student- teacher, they are student-student too!


Blog Review #9: Banned Books Week: Slaying Censorship


bookriot banned books bundle

The first post I chose this week for my blog discussion assignment was Banned Books Week: Slaying Censorship published on the website, Edutopia. In honor of banned books week, I thought this would be a great post, I too love to read banned books. The post author states, “It becomes a way to make reading sexy – the exact opposite of what those who challenge or ban books have intended. Cue evil laughter” (para. 1). Maybe it is the rebel in me that enjoys such books, or maybe the books that are banned for reasons I will never understand. Celebrating banned books week is a way of celebrating students’ ability to think for themselves. I read a quote this week; Pete Hautman says, “Yes, books are dangerous. They should be dangerous – they contain ideas.”


The post continues with why different books have been challenged and why books may or not be read in your classroom for reasons such as maturity level, language, and sexual content; the article ends with things to do to celebrate banned books week in your own classroom (I would like to try a few of them).

My takeaway from this post was what author, Heather Wolpert- Gawron shares about keeping her thoughts about individual books separate from her students:

Don’t censor, be a part of the conversations by reading what your kids are reading. Be one of the voices in their head when they are making their own decisions.


Blog Review #7: The Power and Purpose of Bell-Ringers

pin-copyThe first post I chose this week for my blog discussion assignment was, The Power and Purpose of Bell Ringers published on the website, Musings from the Middle School.

In this post Jenna Smith discusses bell ringers. In her class this consists of the students coming into class; write for ten minutes about whatever they want, a prompt written on the board, or a picture. She states, “It’s a quiet and peaceful way to begin class, and, as our research shows, the perfect way to get our hands and head ready for all the writing ahead!”

I plan on using bell-ringers in my classroom to focus the student’s attention on English & Language Arts. There are many things that could be going on in your student’s brain when they arrive to the classroom, I want them to come in and say okay… it’s time for reading and writing.

Do you use bell-ringers? What type of activities does this incur?




The second post I chose this week for my blog discussion assignment was, FAKE READERS: THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! published on the website, Mrs. Beers A Language Arts Classroom.

I was immediately drawn to the post by the title and picture. As a mom, I have seen this before (maybe not with all the pens and pencils), but the same, no care, I am not reading a book… look.

As a lover of reading, especially as a kid, I do not understand this child. I wanted to read, I wanted a story to take me to a different place or time. Mrs. Beers shares that she was not a lover of reading and she understands this kid, so I expected this to be a good source of information that will be viable for my time in the classroom.

Here is a simplified list of her 5-tried and true Tips to help FAKE READERS…

TIP #1: Own your personal experiences and share them.

TIP #2: Turn reading into a competition with daily fluency practice.

TIP #3: Kids can’t read what they can’t read.

TIP #4: Find out what your students LOVE and find it in a reading format.

TIP #5:  Even at the 6th-grade level, I start from the first day of school building reading stamina with my students.

She is right! I love these suggestions. As a reader, I understand the value of the words and the importance of books. As a parent, I know those kids would rather do anything except read. As a future teacher, I know that I will never give up because I saw that child of mine go from hating it to loving it when his 3rd-grade teacher and me, found his love for comics! It is an amazing moment when you see them light up. The moment when he decided that learning to read was worth it after all!

Do you have any tips to assist those students who are not (yet) interested in reading? Please share!


Where Did Shakespeare Find His Stories?

Shakespeare’s Storybook Retold by Patrick Ryan Illustrated by James Mayhew

A Barefoot Books Literacy Lesson for ages 7-11. 

Shakespeare’s birthday is on April 23rd, and he was one of the best storytellers in the world. But did you know that he was often inspired by others?

“He did not usually make up the stories that he told. He took popular stories and made them into poems and plays. He knew which stories his audiences would enjoy, so he wrote plays to please his listeners. He also used playwriting to express his own views about the world” — Patrick Ryan, Shakespeare’s Storybook

He wrote and acted in his theatre company and they performed their plays for everybody. One week, they might perform their play for anyone who could afford a penny, and the next, for Queen Elizabeth or King James and their court. Shakespeare really understood how to make a story interesting and new — even a story that everyone had heard plenty of times before.

What To Do:

Tell the story of King Lear from Shakespeare’s Storybook. Do the students recognise any parts of it? (for example, the two bad sisters and the one sister who is kind and good; the princess who tells the truth; the question about how much someone loves you; the king who doesn’t know who to pass his kingdom on to).

Ask if your students think the story will have a happy ending. What sort of ending do the students prefer?

  • Give the children some props (a crown, a cloak, something gold and silver, some ‘jewels’). Arrange the children into small groups of four. Ask them to make a freeze frame of the scene when the king asks each daughter how much they love him. Photograph the tableaux they make.
  • Ask the children to talk about how it feels to be jealous and how it feels to be disappointed by what someone tells you. Have they ever asked anyone how much they love them, like a friend or someone in their family? What have they said?
  • What is precious? Talk about what is the children’s most precious thing. Could they draw it and talk about what they have chosen and why?

Download Lesson Plan Sheet

Lesson idea is based on Shakespeare’s Storybook, retold by Patrick Ryan and illustrated by James Mayhew. Where did William Shakespeare get ideas for his world-famous plays? Find out with Shakespeare’s Storybook! In this illustrated story collection, you’ll meet the folktale heroes and experience the battles and betrayals that inspired Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, As You Like It and more. Filled with helpful facts about the traditions and events that shaped the Bard’s world, Shakespeare’s Storybook is a fun way to dig into some of the greatest plays of all time. Winner of the American Folklore Society Aesop Prize & Storytelling World Award Winner

paperBaCK Chapter BooK 9781846865411 $12.99

Email me at readingwritingandcoffee at gmail to purchase your barefoot book today! 

☕️ Chapter 2: Inside the Mindsets

I have completed a lot of projects around the house this week, it is amazing at all the things you can complete when you are not bound to studying, reading, listening to lectures, writing papers, attending class, and completing homework assignments! Ahhh the joys and freedom of summer. In all the productivity, I forgot to read Chapter 2 by Wednesday (June 15th). Oops.

Well, I finally took the opportunity this afternoon to catch up and I am so very glad I did. This book is fantastic and is a perfect read for this summer as I prepare for my new adventure at Idaho State University.

Here are a few things that caught my attention in this chapter:

  • The mindsets were born on the idea that there are two meanings to having an ability. A fixed ability and a changeable ability. A fixed ability is one that needs to be proven; where as, a changeable ability can be developed through learning (p. 15).
  • These abilities place a person in one of two worlds. In one world, fixed traits (abilities), success is proving you are smart or talented, it is about validating yourself. In the other world, changing qualities (abilities), it is about stretching yourself to learn something new, it is about developing yourself (p. 15)
  • Mindsets are beliefs, extremely powerful beliefs. You have a choice. You have to thnk about where you would like to go (what are your dreams, goals, aspirations) and choose which of the mindsets will take you there (p.16).

“Becoming is better than being”

  • Failure is a painful experience for those in either mindset. The failure in a growth mindset does not define you, but it is a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from (p. 33).

                            “You have to work hardest for the things you love the most.”

  • The top is where the fixed-mindset people hunger to be, but it is where many growth-minded people arrive as a by-product of their enthusiasm for what they do….

  • (Cont…) This point is crucial!!! in the fixed mindset everything is about the outcome. If you fail – it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they are doing regardless of the outcome… They are tackling problems, charting new courses, working on important issues (p.48).

I took the Praxis I this last winter, a requirement to enter the ISU College of Education. I received recommended scores for two out of the three tests required. I missed the required score by two points! I was humiliated, upset, and defeated….. For about three hours. And then I brushed off my ego, deciding it was time to get to work. I found out what I needed to do, researched the test more clearly, and created a plan. I re-tested on that portion on the 10th of June, and I am waiting for the results. It’s a difficult journey for me, I want this really bad.

Over the last few months in preparation, I have learned a lot. A lot about the subject and a lot about me. I struggle with having to put so much effort towards this test to prove my worthiness to be allowed to earn my Bachelors degree at this institution. I struggle with test anxiety, and I know it is part of the setback that I endured in this requirement. But this is not an excuse, it is a reason for me to keep on keepin on. Growing stronger in my abilities… Not to prove to those that I can do it, but to fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher. This is my journey. I accept it as it is. I will do whatever it takes (lacking confidence and being nervous about the outcome causes me to think that this means taking the test again) and I will do so if that’s what it takes :/ If I can achieve a 4.0 during one of my hardest semesters and if I can earn my associates degree/ graduating with honors… I can meet the requirements necessary for the test!

What an amazing story I will have one day. I can imagine the inspiration I can instill in a student who is struggling to read a new level or trying to master a new concept? Our students need to know that their abilities are endless. That they can achieve whatever they put their minds to!

Have you had any moments that you allowed to define you? Do you have any moments that allowed you to feel defeated? Did you give up or did you push on? I would love to hear your story, please share in the comments!

Head on over to the host of this summer’s book study, The Kindergarten SmorgasboardKindergarten Chaos and Chapter 2 Guest bloggers Lisa from All Ya’ll Need and Dana from Common to the Core! Keep an eye out for my upcoming post Chapter 3: The Truth about Ability and Accomplishment.

Update: Friday June 24th I received my Praxis Test score and met the requirement for entrance into ISU College of Education. I am still waiting on results of my Teacher Education Admissions interview.