I have a wiki for testing: bhstesting.wikispaces.com and for bruin2011.wikispaces.com. Check it out!

One of my teenage daughters asked me the other day why she could not turn left on red. Her first day of driving she did not brake and when called to task she said she forgot about that. I am rethinking whether or not she should pursue a license.

Blog Reflection #1
I do not think this is true of all curricula. In the case of US Government, the curriculum was rewritten to infuse differentiated instruction, since this is good instruction. Upon the adoption of common core standards, the Government curriculum has undergone another revision to insure infusion of UDL. I do not see the challenge as to the curricula so much as the challenge of time, comfort zone, and technology. Some teachers are reluctant to allow student choice and see what they perceive as “chaos” in the classroom, which is really just student-centered learning. Many of the different methods rely on technology and access to multiple types of technology. Fiscal constraints limit the amount of technology available. With each new type of technology and web 2.0 tools, there is a learning curve which requires time to explore and feel confident to use in instruction.

What is UDL?
Universal Design for Learning is a framework that may be used to foster student learning and success as expert learners. It challenges us, as teachers, to reflect upon our own practices to see if we are meeting the needs of the students or if we are leaving them behind. It provides concrete examples of how to improve our practices to support student learning by recognizing that students do not learn and articulate that learning the same way. It is founded in brain-based research and tested thoroughly.

Blog Reflection #2
Many of the curricula have been revised with UDL strategies imbedded, so teachers do not need to spend as much time refining lessons and seeking out new methods, which is strength within curriculum writing. By reviewing the weaknesses of the curriculum in a particular content, the teacher will know the curriculum is serving as the barrier rather than the method of delivery. One challenge involves how to address the weaknesses in the curriculum and make them stronger, as well as meeting the needs of diverse learners. Another challenge is the ability to know the strengths and weaknesses of a curriculum, especially for new teachers. Not all teachers are masters of content and may lack the knowledge necessary to recognize where strengths/weaknesses exist.

Teaching Every Student in Digital Age: Chapter 2:

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

5 new technologies to try
www.tagxedo.com - like wordle but places words into templates, such as animals and other shapes
http://exploratree.org.uk/ - free online organizers which may be used as thinking maps
http://www.schooltube.com/videosearch?q=social+studies - accessible online videos related to social studies [many are photo story]
http://www.brainshark.com/mybrainshark - free service to upload power points and put to music to view as a video
http://dynamo.dictionary.com/ - free online flash card creator as well as having existing sets by subject and grade level [can be private or public]
http://www.writingfun.com/ - web-based templates to facilitate students writing various types of essays/responses
http://www.watchknowlearn.org/default.aspx - online videos for educators [variety of topics]
http://www.educationoasis.com/curriculum/graphic_organizers.htm - templates of graphic organizers
http://www.kerpoof.com/teach - free forms of media in which students may demonstrate understanding
http://www.toondoo.com/ - fast way to create cartoon; already has some great examples
http://answergarden.ch/create/ - online exit tickets

4 ideas to share with others
‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍UDL ideas for Math, Science, and Engineering - udl ideas for the classroom‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍
Microsoft One Note - using one note to create an electronic notebook for each class
Powerpoints on UDL - various powerpoints on examples of UDL to share with teachers who may need further explanation and to show how it may be easily implemented
http://cct2.edc.org/PMA/ - picturing Modern America [interactive site using visual to engage students]
http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/24/teaching-with-infographics-social-studies-history-economics/ - teaching with infographics
http://www.txt2pic.com/ - create downloadable custom signs/graphics to enhance powerpoints or documents

3 principles of Universal Design for Learning
Principle I. Provide Multiple Means of Representation [Tapping Recognition Network]
- the "what" of learning
- ideas are presented in more than one way
Principle II. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression [Tapping Strategic Network]
- the "how" of learning
- how knowledge is demonstrated

Principle III. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement [Tapping Affective Network]
- the "why" of learning
- student-centered/student ownership

2 changes in your teaching to reach all learners in the Digital Age
Introduce at least one web 2.0 tool, such as answer garden as an exit ticket to show me how many grasp the concept
Use surveys to access prior knowledge and change the direction of instruction

1 BIG idea to implement “on Monday”
Practice using prezi and utilize this platform instead of just powerpoints.

Inclusive Technologies
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives - multiple languages and varying grade levels of math
Math Manipulatives
Early Childhood Literacy - allows child to click on symbol/color and voice identifies symbol/color; offers different languages
could be used in world and classical language classes: http://www.literacycenter.net/lessonview_en.php
Psychology Classes can review: http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/index_i.html
Interactive Activities related to Science [The Carbon Cycle]: http://www.windows2universe.org/games/games.html

Student interactives related to history: http://www.thinkfinity.org/student-interactives

Traditional v. Menu Assessments
Barriers to traditional assessments are that not all students are able to demonstrate knowledge by circling letters or answering questions in the traditional matter. Teachers use a variety of strategies within the classroom to demonstrate proficiency yet the county and state require students to demonstrate proficiency in only one way: selected responses [multiple choice questions]. These assessments "assume" that all students walk into the testing environment with the same set of skills. In reality, students may have disabilities, are still learning English, and may not read on the same level on which the test is written.
Challenges exist in offering varying options in assessments. Time is a relevant challenge ranging from the development of equitable options so students may demonstrate proficiency to the scoring of these assignments. One size does not fit all but one cannot create all to fit each need of the student. The government still wants the most cost effective method to assessment, so funding the development of these menu assessments will be expensive. Students will need to have access to the technology within the school in order to practice any new wave of assessments, such as the simulations discussed in the article. This will place an additional burden on local jurisdictions concerning funding.

Anticipatory: http://www.schooltube.com/video/4f1391c53f3293235d07/School-House-Rock-Three-Ring-Government-Branches-of-the-US-Govt



Song: http://www.songsforteaching.com/socialstudies/unitedstates/3branchesofgovernment.htm

Websites: 10/09
http://www.worksheetworks.com/ - resources including maps and graphic organizers

http://web.mac.com/tammy.w/TipOfWeek/TammyWTechTipOfWeek/Tech_Tip_of_Week_Tammy_Worcester.html - links to recommended websites [not all are county acceptable]

http://www.wolframalpha.com/ - provides information regarding math equations and geographical locations

http://classtools.net/ - links to classroom resources to include a technology piece

Flashcard Machine

Grown Up Digital: From Instruction to Discovery: Summary of Chapter 5 part 2

Common Craft Videos

500 Free Educational Games - http://www.miamiopia.com/

My goal is to share many of these sites with teachers so they may explore and inform their instruction.

October 9, 2011
Dear Dr. Smith
In order to reach today’s generation of learners, we need to adjust our classroom instruction. According to Don Tapscott, in Grown Up Digital, the Netgeners need educational programs that are fun, have speed, and innovation [p. 148]. We can no longer use the same factory-style mentality of education. Students need to be engaged in their learning and see meaning and relevance in what they do.
One way of promoting learning is to use available technology. One such piece of technology is the cell phone, which most students have on their person. Today’s students see the cell phone as an additional appendage and do not leave home without it. Unfortunately, we have policy which clearly identifies that cell phones are not allowed.
I would like permission to use cell phones as part of regular instruction. Cell phones provide a valuable tool in instruction and can be used to engage students with learning. These devices could be used in various ways. They can be used to gather real-life data to make learning relevant and meaningful to students through communicating with others via controlled texting. Further, studies have shown that students need immediate feedback in order to learn and reflect on knowledge. One way of providing feedback is to use the texting feature of a cell phone to communicate answers to a free web-based site that allows the teacher to create polls or quizzes. This real time data can be used as formative assessments to change the direction of instruction rather than having to wait one or two class periods using conventional quizzes. Students will receive immediate feedback as to whether the answers were correct or incorrect. In addition, this is a low cost alternative to purchasing student response systems. The website if free for up to thirty students and the number of classes by a teacher is unlimited.
I welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss how the benefits outweigh the barriers to access this technology. I have included the link, http://www.polleverywhere.com/, so that you may see the many possibilities in using this technology in the classroom.

Louisa Troutner