Thursday, April 15, 2010

Week 13 PLE

    • What technologies are you going to have available to you in the classroom? In my future classroom, I will probably have 4 computers in my classroom, and access to a computer lab or a C.O.W. These computers will be equipped with the internet so I will be able to use online resources. I will also have dry erase boards, a projector and an overhead.
    • What technologies are not available that you would like to use in the classroom? Having a SmartBoard would be extremely useful in the classroom setting because it is more hands-on than the students just looking at a PowerPt slide of something.
    • What are some ways to get technologies into the classroom that are not readily available? I first think of downloading programs onto the computer before the school year starts (i.e. Google Earth, Stellarium, etc.). Also, it is important to stay organized and on top of things with scheduling a computer lab or use of a C.O.W. You have to plan ahead in order to effectively incorporate technology into your lessons.

Internet Safety Reflection Week 14 PLE

I read Provident Living Guidelines Regarding Internet Safety. This article talked about how to safeguard homes in order to reduce the risk of family members seeing pornographic materials on the Internet. Some advice it gave was to put computers in public areas of the home (i.e. kitchen, living room), and to install and know how to use filtering programs. It also said to talk about internet safety with your kids so if they come across something, they know to tell their parents, and warn them to not give out any personal info online.

In class we watched 60minutes of material on internet safety, and by these videos, my eyes were opened to the reality of the dangers that exist with internet communication. Although the internet if a blessing (I use it to talk with family members all the time), if you blindly mess around online, you can easily fall into traps. From these videos I learned that people set up websites with addresses similar to popular ones. This is so if someone makes a typo, they will be lead to a different, possibly dangerous site. It is important to note the difference between .com, .net, .gov, and .org. Also, pop-ups and spam are present everywhere, which is why filters are important. I also learned about the presence of cyber bullying, cyber predators, plagiarism, and chat rooms
. Lastly, the program, I-SAFE America, was talked about. This program is of significant value for teachers just like a fire escape plan.

I talked with my mother about what I've learned about internet safety. She is not very tech savvy, and doesn't do a whole lot besides e-mail. Thus, she did not realize a lot of dangers I shared with her, and how easy they can pop-up. I have one more sister left at home, and I think my mom will pay more attention to what she does on the computer. It surprised me when I talked with my mom about how no one is immune to these dangers. No one is invincible. These dangers could happen to anyone. We should never think "nothing will happen if I put my phone number online." It's important to safeguard our house, and be very cautious when surfing the web.

TPACK Report

This presentation is viewable at

TPACK Language Arts Lesson Plan

Name: Haley VandeMerwe

Title: What's YOUR Story?


Students will work in small groups, then individually to brainstorm and create an online blog with stories, as well as a personal narrative of their own. They will learn the aspects reflective writing by using online tools and technology.

Primary Core Objective:

Standard 2
Students will write informational and literary text to reflect on and recreate experiences, report observations, and persuade others

Objective 2
(Extended Writing): Write to identify and reflect on feelings to recreate experiences. (Emphasize short biographies, narratives, or memoirs. Students should use the entire writing process to produce at least one extended piece per term, not necessarily limited to the type of writing emphasized at individual grade levels.)

Materials Used by the Teacher:

  • Computer
  • Create PowerPoint to display an example for the online web they will create

Materials Used by the Students:

  • Computer w/ Internet (for online map and blog)
  • If less computers than students, paper and pencil to write their individual narrative

Technologies Used by the Teacher:

  • PowerPoint

Technologies Used by the Students:

  • Online Web Mapping (for brainstorming) <>
  • Computer to type narrative

Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • My students will be able to explain and write an example of a biography/narrative
  • My students will be able to write descriptively, using details as to recreate the situation

Instructional Procedures:

  • 1- introduce the lesson with a PowerPoint explaining what the students will be doing, complete with examples of what the students' final product will resemble
  • 2- split the students into groups of 3-4 (depending on how many computers are available), and have them create a brainstorming map of experiences they could write about <>. This is a good resource to use because all the group members can easily see it and this web will help them come up with ideas for their own narrative which will be created later. The teacher walks around during this time, answering questions and helping to get ideas flowing.
  • 3- students go back to their seats and write a short narrative about an event in their life
  • 4- students then get back in their groups and type their stories on a group blog so the class can share with each other. The teacher walks around the room during this time to help students with the blog.
  • 5-Now it's time for their own extended narrative. If each student has a computer, then they will write the first draft of their narrative (starting with the beginning of their life and ending with the present time). In the meantime, the teacher will put helpful hints and ideas of good descriptive words on the dry erase board, or have a slide of a PowerPoint displayed with writing tips on it.
  • 6- This lesson may take two days, and the students who finish their personal narrative early can start creating a fictional narrative (i.e. a story in first person).


For the students who finish early, they can begin to write a fictional story, a narrative of a made-up character. They can start with a brainstorming web if they can't create a story off the top of their head. They will use the same techniques and guidelines that they learned while doing their own previous work.

Assessment Plan:

I will know my students will have learned the concept I am teaching because they will turn in their final narrative and I will be able to see their work. I will grade these pieces and the students who receive 85% or higher understand the principles that were taught through this lesson.

TPACK Social Studies Plan

Name: Haley VandeMerwe

Title: Connecting with the Past


Students will connect with recent events by reading and seeing where these events are taking place in the world. In groups, students will recognize history's affect on modern day governmental decisions, and how the present is extremely connected with the past.

Primary Core Objective:

Standard 2
Students will investigate the relationship between events of different time periods. Objective 2
Analyze how contemporary concerns and events affect and are affected by history.

Materials Used by the Teacher:

  • Computer
  • Projector
  • Create worksheet with questions about the crimes and punishments of colonial times and how they relate to today

Materials Used by the Students:

  • Computer
  • Pencil and paper to write a paragraph about connections with the past

Technologies Used by the Teacher:

  • Google Earth
  • PowerPoint

Technologies Used by the Students:

  • Current Events:
  • Colonial Crimes and Punishments:

Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • My students will be able to know where to look to find current events
  • My students will be able cite examples where the present day is connected with the past

Instructional Procedures:

  1. Open up the news website on the projector for the whole class to see. Students take turns reading it outloud, then discuss the events that are read.
  2. Open Google Earth on the projector, and look at the areas where these current events take place. Talk about how the different features on the land could effect the events, or any future events that could happen.
  3. Next, divide the students into groups of 4 and have them go to a computer and read the article found at <>. Have the students fill out the worksheet that has previously been made with questions relating the information to present day cases.
4. Have the students write a paragraph about what they have learned about finding the current news and relating it to historical events. Have them turn in this piece of paper.
  • To be found: three different court cases- students will read the cases and decided on what the final say would be if they had been the judges. They will then read about the actual decision the court made in those situations, and determine why the court ruled this way


Students who finish early can use a computer to look up more news sites so they can develop more of an awareness of current events.

Assessment Plan:

I will know my students have learned the concepts I am teaching because they will be able to get 9/10 questions on a quiz about the news events we talked about in class. Also, they will get a check plus on the paragraph they write about connections with history which they will have turned in to me.

TPACK Science Planning

Name: Haley VandeMerwe

Title: "I see the Moon and the Moon Sees Me..."


This lesson consists of 6th graders learning about the moon and its phases. They will work in small groups to learn the phases together, and why the moon has the phases.

Primary Core Objective:

Standard 1
Students will understand that the appearance of the moon changes in a predictable cycle as it orbits Earth and as Earth rotates on its axis
Objective 1
Explain patterns of changes in the appearance of the moon as it orbits Earth.

Materials Used by the Teacher:

  • Computer
  • Projector

Materials Used by the Students:

  • Computer

Technologies Used by the Teacher:

  • PwrPt
  • Projector

Technologies Used by the Students:

  • For intro, they will watch:
  • Phases of the Moon as it orbits Earth:
  • Interactive activity where students decide what moon phase comes next:

Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Describe changes in the appearance of the moon during a month.
  • Identify the pattern of change in the moon's appearance.
  • Design a chart depicting the phases of the moon

Instructional Procedures:

  1. The teacher will first introduce the topic of the day with a PowerPt stating facts about the moon.
  2. Then the students will divide into groups of 2-3 students and get on a computer. They will first watch a video which explains the phases of the moon <> and fill in a corresponding worksheet that they will keep. They may need to watch the video more than once, or pause it to fill-in answers (hence why the class is not watching it all together)
  3. Then the students will go to <> to learn the phases of the Moon as is corresponds to its position while orbiting Earth.
  4. While the students are at the computers, the teacher will be putting up pictures of the moon from NASA on the class blog.
  5. Lastly, the students will go to seperate computers (each student at one) and do the activity at the following link: <> where they determine which moon phase comes next.


For the students who finish early, they will be able to use the computers and look up fun facts and pictures of the Moon to put on the class blog.

Assessment Plan:

I will know my students have learned the concept I am teaching because they will be able to fill in a chart of the moon phases with the respective names. They will turn in this sheet and not miss more than three points.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Week 12 PLE

One of the things that I learned from these videos is that the teachers use "audio/video resources to find relevant and appropriate information." Also, not only do the teachers create an activity to engage the students, but they also teach the students the basics on "how to use basic equipment for educational activities. On the "I Love Spiders" video, the students not only take part in taking the pictures of the spiders, but they also put the pictures on the class website. They use the website to communicate with other classes so they can see how the spider types differ between places. In the "Habitats" video, the teacher teaches the students to use multimedia software to create a presentation. Also, the students learn about online resources (where they can use pictures, etc.) for their slide show. With this, copyright issues are taught and the students learn about the role that computers have in society. The teachers in both these videos facilitate their own learning process. Also, they effectively use technology for literacy and content by conducting their leeson in this manner.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

TPACK Lesson Plans

Language Arts:
Here's my plan for teaching reflective writing to 8th graders.
What's YOUR Story?

Social Studies:
Here you'll find my outline for teaching students about current events and its connections with the past.
Connecting with the Past

This is my lesson plan for teaching 6th grader about the Moon phases.
I see the Moon

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Link to Science Challenge Report

Check out our project where 1st graders can have fun while learning about thermometers and temperature.

Click Here.

Week 10 PLE

  1. Prezi is a presentation tool that you can download online. You can create and present your ideas on a large canvas, like a whiteboard, instead of slides. Prezi has a zoom in and zoom out feature which allows the audience to see and remember details. It brings the presentation to life .
  2. Stellarium is like Google Earth, only for the sky. After downloading it to your computer, you can see a realistic sky in 3D. This is so useful for astronomy projects in class. The topics that are discussed in class can be brought to life using Stellarium .
  3. One technology that I explored (outside of class) is WikiSpaces. This is similar to a class blog where discussions can be lead, pictures, papers, etc. can be uploaded. It's a good tool for collborative projects, and the basic download is free .

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Virtual Tour

Week 9 PLE

    • If the technology is on topic and the students are interested, you have successfully integrated it into the classroom. As long as the subject matter applies to the lesson (as long as it relates), it is good to use and can be incorporated into the lesson.
    • In order for technology to be a legitimate addition to a lesson, the students should not only learn the subject matter through the technology, but also they should learn how to use to the technology.
    • What indicators can tell you whether or not you have chosen an appropriate technology for your lesson? First and foremost, I think it is most important to keep the attention of the students. The attention of the students is needed so they can learn. If they aren't paying attention, they can't be learning. As long as the technology does not distract the students from learning, it is appropriate to use in the classroom.

Week 8 PLE

  • I thought the article was a bit tricky, maybe because I'm not TPACK savvy. Nonetheless, this is what I got from it:
  • One problem with learning TPACK skills is the need for not only taking the time to learn them, but also learning how to incorporate the technology into the classroom. The article stresses the importance that the activity types should be organized into functional subcategories.
  • The main idea of the article is the fact that TPACK can help meet the needs of students more fully. It claims that TPACK will allow a teacher to integrate technology into the classroom with "content-based learning activities."
  • The article says, "a logical approach to helping teachers to better integrate technologies in their teaching is to directly link students’ content-related learning needs." This supports the main idea because it proves that the technology activities are based on the topics the students are already learning. Thus, this TPACK process will aid to the learning success of the students.
  • This article is important for me as a teacher because it clearly explains the importance of technology in the classroom. It provides evidence and just reasoning behind why TPACK should be integrated into my teaching.

Project Plan Table

Directions: This table is intended to help you explicitly evaluate your options for selecting the best mix of pedagogy and technology to teach content. List the activity types you want to include in the lesson and 2-3 technology options that could work. Then list the affordances and constraints of each technology/activity type combination.

Activity Type

Possible Technologies

Used for this content/With these kids

Affordances-benefits, value


Virtual Field trip- to show different environments in which people live

Google Earth

Real life videos and pictures

Only covers 2 senses (sight and sound)

Slideshow of pictures

Real footage

Video Clips


Survivor- have students choose few items to survive with

PwrPt to introduce unit

Provide instructions

Not very much interaction for the students

Show video clip examples

Clear explanation given for project (good examples)

Finding/making the videos and having it be exactly what I’m looking for

Make video, students show each other how they would live in various environments

Lots of student participation

May not have all the props needed to make it more real

World Ecosystem Jeopardy

Computer- power point

Picture Puzzle- show picture and student’s have to find out where it is

Video with questions from real-life

Scavenger Hunt

Google Earth

Tourist paparazzi: Camera- “find something that…” and take picture

Power Point

Writing assignment- features of biome, fun things you could do there

Keep ecosystem blog

Internet research- facts about ecosystem

Skype with person in another ecosystem for hw assignment

Research Portfolio

Internet Research about ecosystem

Interview someone from ecosystem via Skype

Keep info on Blog

Field Trip Lesson Plan Table


Activity Description

Google Earth content

(what layer, tool, content

within Google Earth will you use)

1. Amazon Rainforest

Matching game: match the animal with their habitat. Then, pick and draw favorite animal. Cut into puzzle pieces, and exchange with partner.

L: Weather, Places of Interest


2. Nunavut

Create an informative postcard, including fun facts about Nunavut. Write to a friend describing your trip.

L: Weather, 3-D Buildings, Places of Interest


3. Atacama Desert

Survivor- Make a list of 10 items they need to survive. Write-up about why these items would be necessary (i.e. how the items would be used, etc.)

L: Weather, Places of Interest


4. Great Barrier Reef

Vacation Time! Create an itinerary for a 2-day vacation here. Craft an advertisement for souvenirs found in nature.

L: Weather, Ocean, Places of Interest


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Week 7 PLE

  1. I think technology plays a huge role in creating dynamic experiences for my students. It is through technology that, as a class, we can broaden our horizons. We can talk to people from different continents, and view images and real videos of life on other places in the world. Also, technology makes learning more interesting. Especially with Special Ed kids, we can use technology to meet their needs (i.e. visually, talking with other teachers and gaining ideas, pictures, etc).
  2. Technology might detract the students form learning if the activities are more fun than educational. Also, the students may get distracted with the other elements of the technology, and want to explore a different topic more. Although exploring is good, if it's not what we are focusing on in class, it is a distraction, and a student can get behind.
  3. One technology that I've used in the past is Wikispaces- this was a great classroom website where we could discuss different things that we read, and communicate easily with the teacher. Teacher feedback is very important, and getting fast responses through the discussion boards, etc. were very beneficial to my learning. Another effective technology is Google Earth. This is great for learning about the geography of our planet. There are so many features on this program that aid learning (i.e. weather, terrain, etc). Lastly, I think that PowerPoint presentations are beneficial, especially when a student can refer back to them. Students, myself included, do not remember everything that a teacher says, thus PowerPoints are a very good source for short hand notes. With Special Ed kids, I think the most effective technology is the type that is hands-on. Using all 5 senses to teach a concept is the most beneficial, and students can learn more in this fashion.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Week 6 PLE

Along with using a virtual tour in my classroom, the videos and photos can account for the sense of sight. Sounds of the various locations can be played using a CD player in order for the students to experience what they would hear if they were really visiting these places (i.e. Sounds of the Amazon). For the sense of smell, air freshener can be sprayed that resembles the scent of these locations (i.e. fish and salt water for the Great Barrier Reef). Also, the students could bring in food that would be found in these locations for the sense of taste (i.e. fish for Nunavut). Finally, the sense of touch can be covered by having props that feel like the land in the various locations (i.e. sand and rocks for Atacama).

For the virtual tour examples, I first viewed the Volcanoes tour. I liked how they had questions for the students to answer after watching the videos. I think this reminds the students to pay attention to the video. Also, having questions insures that the students are learning something. I also watched the Ancient Ruins tour, and I liked how the questions are super descriptive. This helps the students actually put themselves in the locations, and catch a glimpse of what it's like there. Lastly, I went through the WWII Holocaust Tour. I really liked all the medians hat were used to give the information (article, movie, pictures, etc.). I think this is a great way to keep the students interested because variety is good!

I think the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to implementing a virtual tour into my classroom. An upside to using the tour is that they students would stay interested. However, it is necessary to make sure the videos, etc. are educational. The downside is taking the time to teach Google Earth to the kids before they use the tour. Also, not all of the footage from Google Earth is a street view, thus it's hard to catch a glimpse of what the buildings, etc. look like in real life.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Finished Digital Storytelling Challenge

Week 5 PLE

Pros and Cons of Digital Storytelling Technology
Overall, I think the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to making and using digital storytelling in the classroom. A con of digital storytelling is the amount of time needed to make a project. Figuring out how to match up the music and voice with the pictures can be a bit tricky. Our group was lucky to have Brett in our group who already knew how to make our video. A big pro in this technology is the fact that it spices up the classroom. It's an educational medium that is interesting and fun. Plus, you can make it your own, unique video, including anything you want. For example, we used our own pictures that we drew. It was pretty simple to take a picture of our drawings and upload to the computer. This made it different from any other rhyming princess story that may exist.

Google Earth
Google Earth is so cool! I can pick any place in the world and go there! I love how I can see actual streets, building, and monuments! I feel like Google Earth is a great way to stay connected to the world, and not miss out! If the news mentions a place, I can go on Google Earth and see it! This technology is great for usage in the classroom because, like the project we will be doing in class, you can set up a tour and watch videos about the place you're virtually visiting. This will be perfect when my students read a book that is set somewhere else in the world because we can go tour around that place using Google Earth. Therefore, as a class we can connect more with the book which will make it more interesting to read :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Week 4 PLE

Storyboard Reviews I looked at the storyboards of Andrea, Katelyn, Anne, Sheila, and Kristen. I thought they all had great ideas, and I can't wait to see their final presentations! I think the hardest part of implementing digital stories into the classroom will be making sure their purpose is clearly shown through the video (that the right message is portrayed in the stories). Using this technology will be very useful because I think it will interest the kids more, and it will help explain the topic at hand thoroughly through examples.

Sharing What I've learned I have shared what I've learned with my family and roommates. It has mostly been to explain where I go for two hours on Tuesday nights. I tell them how the class is important so I can relate to the students I teach, and so I can be a more effective teacher in their learning. Plus, taking this class will make the classes I teach more interesting for students as I put what I've learned to use. As I've shared the new technologies I've learned with my friends and family, they get excited! Also, I've found that as I explain these programs, I learn more about them as well. My explanation skills are getting better as I teach things to others, and I'm becoming more solid in knowing exactly what these technologies are. It's great!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Week 3 Storyboard

Week 3 PLE Post

Copyright laws are important for teachers to understand so they know their boundaries and guidelines when it comes to obeying the law. The media used in the classroom has to be legitimately acquired. Also, the media has to be properly cited so the images, music, etc. can be easily found again. The factors for fair use include: character use (what the copyrighted material will be used for/educational purpose?), nature of the work (what the product was intended for), the amount and substance of the work used, and the effect on the market (are you diminishing the commercial value of that work you are using?). Common sense, as well as the official guidelines, are the biggest help when it comes to using copyrighted material correctly. If a teacher is helping kids learn, not compromising the value of the work, and not hurting the copyright holder, then using the material is fair :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Week 2 PLE Post

As a teacher, I could use TokBox as a way for discussion. Especially over weekends, if the students have questions on homework assignments, they can send me a video message, showing me exactly what they need help on. We could also chat and I could provide extra help if they are having trouble. If I ever have a substitute teacher come in, I can make a video to show the students, explaining exactly what the plan is for the day so the day would not be wasted. I think students would enjoy using TokBox with group projects, as a way to communicate, and also as part of lesson plans (i.e. if I created a video interviewing someone who works in the field we were studying and showed it during class). I think it's sweet that through TokBox, we can communicate with several people who are far away! One thing that I realized in class last week was that technology is all around us! We talked about how we would explain the concept of gravity to students, and then came up with ten different technologies that we could use. From a trampoline, to using projectors, computers and animation, there are so many educational technologies to choose from when it comes to teaching. I think these advances will make learning more interactive, and fun!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Week 1 PLE Post

Well, I believe my family first got a computer in the early 90's. I remember playing games on it and waiting anxiously for the dial up connection to be made for the internet. I'd say I know the basics about computers, and I own a laptop myself, dealing with all the programs and downloads that come along with it. I help my mother a lot with her confusion when it comes to computers. However, when it comes to IPods, and the latest cell phones, I do not know very much. My younger sister got an IPod before I did, and I only use my cell phone to call and text people. But, when it comes to insulin pump technology, I know my stuff. I've had one for 3 years, thus I know how to use it and I think it is the best part of technology these days!

Class Website!