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)


  1. Katie, Good luck! I hope you are able to register for an online workshop! I totally agree about the professional development opportunities - there are so many, but what criteria do we use to choose? As you mention, I have learned to depend on other educators to recommend workshops that are worthwhile. You also bring up another very interesting point - what grants are available for low income schools. Our district received a hugh, gigantic grant, in part because we are a low income region. I know they are out there, but again it's hard to sort through the information. Have you looked at Edutopia (The George Lucas Educational Foundation, 2012)? They have a very good grant information page that includes a link to webinars showing how to write grants.


    The George Lucas Educational Foundation. (2012). Grant Information: Resources to Get You Started. Retrieved from

    1. Thanks so much I will look into Edutopia! I know that in Washington State Bill Gates has grants available so maybe I should look into that as well.

  2. Katie,

    I feel your frustration of being overwhelmed. I recently learned through my own persistance that teachonoly equipment and resources you may already have are willing to train you for free. We recently had a webinar in our computer lab from a website that I have been trying to learn how to use. I was overwhelmed with all it had to offer. After one phone call explaining this, they were willing to offer support to our staff. I have also been working with district personnel who are in charge of setting up trainings. I explained to them all of the pieces of technology I have been learning throughout our master's program. He came out and talked to me and asked what I would like to see. They are now setting up a blog that can be accessed by teachers throughout the disctrict. This blog will allow us to share resources with each other. I am so excited about this. I have found that most people are willing to help if you reach out to them. Good luck to you in your journey.


  3. Hi Katie,
    While working on your Masters and working full time takes a lot of time, I do not think you need to wait to apply for a grant until your Masters is done, unless you are extremely short on time at the moment. Friends of mine who have participated in grant writing have mentioned that they can take a lot of time to put together. However, it is definitely worthwhile and I know the government gives out many grants, especially to lower-income schools.
    Maggie mentioned Edutopia, and this is a great resource for writing grants. The following site, TeachersCount, has a list of grants that teachers can apply for:
    This Education Government site also lists a variety of grants that can be applied for:
    I also know that there may be other teachers and even your librarian or computer technician (if you have one) that might be willing to help you with your grant so that you do not have to complete it by yourself. There may also be others at your school site who has written grants, and they could be an invaluable resource as you work on your own. I would email your staff and ask for any assistance. I am sure there are other staff members who would be more than willing to help.

  4. Katie,

    I also believe it is a good idea to attend the Texas workshop that Maggie shared with you. You will be able to learn new information and meet new colleagues. It is a good idea to contact your principal to see if the school can fund you to attend this convention, that will surely save you some money. I have also learned their are many professional development opportunities available, the hard part is selecting which one is the best one for what you are trying to gain. Working on your Masters and taking full time classes is time consuming but as far as applying for grants is up to you. I would definitely begin looking now and applying now to get a head start on your new school year if you did not get a chance to do anything this year.