Saturday, March 24, 2012

Here is the link to my Universal Design for Learning Presentation:

After you follow this link click the blue "Download" button on the left side of screen to view the presentation in its' entirety.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Katie Whitemarsh
Final Blog Post Reflection
            As I have progressed through this class and made headway with my GAME plan I have found many great resources and techniques to integrate into my teaching. For following my game plan I have made progress of looking into online professional development opportunities already and with the help from my classmates have found some viable options to look into for the future. By having great discussions on my blog just with my classmates, I cannot wait to share my blog with members of my school staff as well. I hope to get my blog out there to share with people not only in Washington State, but also in other states and even countries as well. We may think we are not struggling with the same obstacles because we live thousands of miles away from each other, but the truth is that we are and we can help and support each other by sharing ideas. Now, that I have a better idea on how I will improve my professional development with technology I would like to move on to the leadership part of the standard. One of my professional goals is to create a district blog for my district. The blog would be centered around our state test. So much of our instruction is driven by this test and we all want our students to perform the best, but many of us do not have the time to communicate with other teachers as to what tips and tricks they use with their students to help them perform well on the test. My experiences with blogs in this course have helped me become more comfortable with them. As far as using the GAME plan with my students I would like to introduce it from the very beginning of the year by showing my students how I personally use it academically and personally. My fifth grade students could use it as they get older and have more projects to juggle in their own lives. It is a very simple plan and it will be easy to show the students the steps and examples of how they could use it themselves. One of the best areas for me to apply the GAME Plan is from the Cennamo, Ross and Ertmer book on identifying content standards; this will be especially helpful if I was to switch grade levels within my district or if I was to move to a different state to teach, which may happen here in the near future (2009, p. 45). With my students I would like them to become so familiar with the process of the GAME Plan that when they get assigned a project to work on they can come up with a GAME Plan on their own to execute.
One of the most important concepts I learned from this class is that in order to incorporate technology into the classroom I do not need to create brand new lessons and throw out the lessons that I already have created, I just need to add to them. This has made it so that I do not feel so overwhelmed at the task of adding technology. As with any new skill, it will be scary and frustrating at first, but the more I use it the more comfortable my students and I will become. Since my main content area focus right now is science I would like to incorporate more technology in my classroom by having students do more background knowledge on the topics we are learning about on their own. I have even learned more about the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and assistive technologies so that I may help my students that may not have as many advantages as some learners (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009). I am looking forward to incorporating technology into my lessons by using online collaboration programs where my students can interact with students in other states or countries. I would like to transform my lessons into more inquiry projects where my students take more control of the learning on their own and I am just the facilitator. I am looking forward to the digital storytelling projects the most because so much of science is a process and systems. The students will be able to clearly show their understanding of different processes like weathering by using images and voice recordings in their projects to share various weather effects.
When I incorporated the problem-based learning activity with my students that dealt with them creating a dam that would help protect their town from flooding I had amazing results. I had the students in groups with assigned jobs and they worked so well together! I was happy that they really took this project and ran with it. They had a great time researching different dam designs because they used the Internet they were able to see images of the different designs. The students really got into their roles as well; I think it helped to have the students have real titles for their jobs instead of just numbers for their roles. Next time I hope to bring in an engineer that has worked on designing a dam after the students have completed their projects so that they may ask him or her how they progressed through the design process and how they use technology to help them in their field. I also think an extension to this activity could be to have the students research the career field that they were assigned like the engineer or project manager as a career study.
This course has helped open my eyes to show me many new opportunities as to how I can integrate technology in my classroom through not only lessons, but projects, assessments and units as well. It is exciting to know that I am at the forefront of many of these new technologies and they are only getting better. I am very excited to put my new skills and knowledge to use.

Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Monitoring My GAME Plan Progress

Whitemarsh, Katie
Week 4 Blog Entry

1)      Am I finding the information and resources I need?
I believe that I am finding the information and resources I need to help achieve my goals. I know that my goals will be easier to meet when I do not have two master’s classes to juggle, but while I do have the support system of my classmates I should take advantage of the helpful tips I receive from them and feel good about asking for suggestions. One suggestion that I have taken from a comment on my blog is from Maggie. She suggests that I look into attending the TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) convention through their live streaming footage online (Comments, 2012). It is only $75 to register for this and it will be almost like I attended the conference in person. I still need to ask my principal if there is money available for me to do this however. By using my social bookmarking site Stumbleupon still I have found a great resource in the United States Geological Survey. There are not only great pictures and interesting information on this site that goes along with our land and water unit, it is also a reputable website that my students can access when doing research in science.
2)      Do I need to modify my action plan?
I think the only modification I need to make to my plan is how much time I spend looking for technology professional development opportunities online. I have been given great resources to look into, but these still require an investment in time and money; both of which are in short supply lately for my district and me. Instead I would like to focus more on doing my own online research as to what new technological advances are out there, how they are being used in the classroom and how I can possibly get them into my own classroom. I was thinking my time might be better spent looking into possible grant opportunities where I can get more technology for my classroom or even school.
3)      What have you learned so far?
So far I have learned that there are actually a lot of online professional development opportunities, but it is hard to know which ones will be quality ones for me to spend money and time on. Hopefully as more and more people attend these online professional development classes there will be more feedback and reviews on them that I can read and help me make an informed decision as to which one(s) I want to attend. I also just learned and discovered the government websites that deal with science will be great resources for my students as they go through different research projects in my class and in their future.
4)      What new questions have arisen?
·         What grant opportunities are available for low-income schools? In Washington State?
·         Should I wait until I have Master’s degree in, “Integrating Technology into the Classroom” before I start applying for grants for my school/classroom?
·         What powerful science websites have my peers found or used for 5th grade science curriculum?
·         Are there online or at least computer-based programs that can help my students get more comfortable with the science MSP (Measurement of Student Progress), the Washington State test?

Comments (2012, January 21). In katie-queenoftheclassroom. Retrieved January 25,

Texas Computer Education Association. (2012).
United States Geological Survey (2012)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Carrying Out My GAME Plan

1)      What resources will you need to carry out your plan?

I will need to make sure I keep checking my blog for comments and visiting the blogs of other professionals so I can keep up to date on what new professional development opportunities are available or what new technology tools educators are using. I will need to make sure I update my blog as to what I may be finding success with as far as technology in my classroom, but also share my struggles so that my followers may be able to offer suggestions.

2)      What additional information do you need?

I need to look into online professional development opportunities and then see if my principal would be willing to pay for the course and my time or how that works since this is a new concept to me. I will also make sure I keep adding to my social bookmarking site my favorite sources as I do research for my students each year.

3)      What steps have you been able to take this far?

One step that I have taken is creating an account on a social bookmarking site called, “StumbleUpon” that I can organize my favorite website on and share with others. This process made me even more curious of what was out there and during my research for finding quality research sources I found many other useful resources that I can use in my classroom already. For example, I am starting my unit on land and water and I found an experiment using rock salt that can teach students about how water causes weathering on rocks. My students will love this activity!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My GAME Plan for NETS-T

         As far as my GAME plan goes for increasing my confidence and proficiency in a few indicators in the NETS-T I have found that many of the indicators where I am lacking have to do with professional development. This makes sense to me for two reasons. First, I have not had a lot of time for professional development outside the normal work hours of teaching because I have been taking master’s classes since February 2011. The second reason is that I do not teach nor live near a big school district that can offer many technological professional development workshops. The nearest school districts big enough to offer valuable workshops is either two or four hours away and our district does not have the budget to send teacher’s across the state. The indicators that I find myself struggling with the most are part of the “Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership category".
"Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources". "Teachers:

participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning.
exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others. 
evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning.”
                                             International Society for Technology in Education. (2007)

         As far as my goals go for each of these indicators I want to make sure that when I have completed my master’s classes I go back to some of my favorite integrating technology in the classroom blogs and follow them so that I can stay up to date with what other teachers are doing. It seems like when I have been in these classes and have been asked to visit blogs or explore other technology programs I get very little time to discover them until I am being asked to move on to another strategy or program. It is a little overwhelming, so that is why I plan on researching various technological tools like virtual field trips, blogs and wikis to help my students this year.  When it comes to exhibiting leadership and helping the technology skills of others I want to share the results of my inquiry research project with my school staff so that they may learn new skills to use in the classroom. My third goal goes along with professional development and staying up to date with new research that is out there on technology and its’ uses in the classroom. If I am not able to travel to professional development workshops then I would like to use my own time to read articles about new technologies and how I could incorporate them into my classroom.  

        I plan on monitoring my progress by keeping a checklist on my computer screen that reminds me constantly while I am on the computer to search for new technologies and strategies to help me in my classroom. It will also remind me to check my blog and add to my blog so that I do not lose followers. The checklist will also include topics I am interested in learning more about and possible dates of professional development opportunities nearer to my area.
         One of the best ways for me to learn and really retain information is to repeat it. I plan on evaluating and extending my learning by posting the new information I gather on technology and other sources that help my teaching on my personal blog. I will encourage friends of mine in my district, along with the teachers in my building to follow my blog so that they may learn a quick tip or two. By posting it on my blog I have repeated the information and made it even clearer in my own head. It is also a great way for me to keep track of my learning by always having a copy of it on the Internet. Sometimes it is impossible to meet up and discuss issues we are having in our classrooms and ask for help from our peers, but by having my information, both successes and struggles, I can not only help my peers, but hopefully also help them with some of their issues.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2007). National Educational Technology
Standards for Students. Retrieved on January 10, 2012 from the International Society for Technology in Education website:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Final Reflection

As far as my personal theory or model of how students learn I said at the beginning of the class I firmly believe in repetition, collaboration and adapting lessons to meet the different learning styles. I feel this class helped strengthen the methods and strategies that I use to meet the needs of all my students. It also helped me discover new methods, and definitely new technologies that will help me meet all students’ needs.  Reading and reflecting on the new strategies and how to integrate them with technology really helped me see how the learning theories, strategies and technology all work together so that I could start producing lessons with all three of these components included (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn & Malenoski, 2007). Before, I would think of these three components as separate and producing different results, but now I can see how they all work hand in hand with each other. I also was able to see what a big part the social learning theory has to do with my personal learning theory because I believe collaboration is such a strong influence on how a student learns (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011). 

One of the biggest immediate adjustments I will make to my instructional practice regarding technology integration after completing this course is I will be online looking for more resources to use in my classroom or to help my teaching partners. I am very excited to get more resources for the interactive whiteboard as well.  One of the technology tools that I would like to use with my students is the virtual field trip. My students come from low socioeconomic families and their ability to get out and travel to places very far away is very limited. This makes my job of bringing the outside world in to the classroom that much more important. With a virtual field trip I do not have to worry about permission slips, kids being absent or even finding the money for the field trip. With technology improving more and more each day the field trips that are available online will only get better as well. The other technology tool that I am excited to use is the concept map. The concept map not only goes hand in hand with the virtual field trip, but it also helps get the students exposed to organizing their thinking and learning on the computer. There are so many complex concepts in science and social studies that can easily understood when they are laid out in an organized fashion. For my three major science units of ecosystems, land and water and motion and design I plan on finding virtual field trips that accompany them and concept maps to help the students follow their learning. My repertoire of instructional skills as a result of this course has expanded quite a bit now. More importantly I now know that the instructional strategies that I already feel comfortable with can be integrated with technology easily and efficiently.  I think using the basic instructional strategies that all teachers should know and master is very important, but with today’s changing technological advances it is also very important for teachers to prepare their students for the technology filled world.

            One of my long term goals is I would like to make sure that I use my interactive whiteboard at least once a week to show something to my students or to work with my students. The second part of this goal is to make sure that once a week I allow the students to use the whiteboard on their own. As the months go on in the school year I would like to increase the time I use and the time my students use the whiteboard each week. I plan on taking more time looking up resources that I can use the whiteboard with and fitting them into my lessons. I will add a spot in my lesson plans to fill in an activity each day for using the whiteboard to help achieve my goal.

My other long term goal is finding or even creating my own virtual field trips. I would like to link them all to my science units because I know that I have a big responsibility to bring the outside world in to my classroom for my students. I know that virtual field trips are still pretty new so I am thinking that it would be helpful and even fun if I was to make my own virtual field trips.


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program eight: Social learning theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom
instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.