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: