Thursday, September 27, 2012

EDLD 5364 Week 5


“The instructional strategy of reinforcing effort enhances students’ understanding of the relationship between effort and achievement by addressing their attitudes and beliefs about learning” (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007).

In my opinion, one of the most important roles as a teacher is to provide students with a sense of responsibility. Students need to be responsible for their own learning and understand that with this responsibility comes keeping track of effort and achievement. Technology is making it even easier to provide these services to students. Using tools such as Excel, data collection technology such as Survey Monkey, and online rubrics, students begin to see the correlation between effort and achievement. In turn, these programs provide students with the feedback necessary to create goals and set objectives for future learning. They practice self-reflection and recognize the importance of self-efficacy. The most significant thing to remember is that providing students with tangible rewards may not have the impact that occurs when we truly instill a sense of intrinsic motivation guaranteed to foster determination and satisfaction.

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

EDLD 5364 Week Four

Providing students with opportunities for cooperative learning can really enhance their experience in the classroom. They are able to understand their unique learning needs and similar or diverse needs of their peers. Not only is it an academic practice, but provides social experiences at the same time.  Displaying concern for every student’s learning and building a community of support within the classroom walls can do so much for their overall learning and even instill pride in their work and the successes of others. Students learn to trust one another and develop interdependence and an understanding that everyone has a stake in achieving these short or long term goals.  Recommendations for cooperative learning experiences in the classroom include using a variety of criteria to group students, use informal, formal, and base groups, keep groups to a manageable size, and combine cooperative learning with other classroom structures (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007). The lessons should also include motivational context, learner activities, appropriate rules for interaction with others, and a well-structured knowledge base (Millis, 2006).

Millis, B. (2006, April). Using new technologies to support cooperative learning, collaborative services, and unique resources. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

UDL Lesson Plan- Language Arts

Setting clear goals and designing plans to achieve those goals is important to every classroom and each student’s success. Creating and customizing lesson plans using the Universal Design for Learning, or UDL, builder is a great way to include every learner and every learning style.

It is important to realize that a UDL lesson plan is not meant for use as an everyday lesson plan because it addresses the activities, assessments, and accommodations you will need in order to meet specific objectives. A UDL lesson plan may take 4-5 days to complete depending on the complexity of the activities. The plan includes areas such as unit and lesson goals, guided and independent practice, formative and summative assessment, as well as materials used and accommodations needed. The anticipatory set allows the opportunity for students to make connections between prior knowledge and new information. UDL lesson planning is a wonderful way to provide teachers with the framework to meet every student’s diverse learning needs.
You can find my UDL plan on my wiki by following this link:
Creating Short Stories and Video Trailers

UDL Cast Book Builder

During EDLD 5364 this week, I had the opportunity to try out a website called Cast UDL Book Builder. This website allows users to sign up for an account and create simple e-books. Not only can you build and publish these books, the program also allows you to share your finished product with others via email. The builder itself was fairly easy to use. You could simply add images, modify text, and upload sound into your book. However, I thought it would be easier to click directly into the text box to add text instead of having to click an extra link out to the side of the box. This was the only miniscule problem I had while using the program.  Using these e-books is a great way to entice readers and aide students with special needs. The website also provides a list of UDL guidelines that any user can refer to as they create books that will fit every learner and every learning style.
Check out my book!
Literary Elements in Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Friday, September 14, 2012

EDLD 5364 Week Three

Multiple studies of the effects of immediate feedback have been conducted by everyone from E.L. Thorndike in 1911, Sidney Pressey in the early 1920’s, and Skinner’s “teaching machine” approach in the 1960’s; but despite the efforts of these men, their studies proved inconsistent. According to Skinner, reinforcement can be considered to be a type of feedback that informs the learner about the adequacy of their responses and also increased the probability that the behavior will occur in the future (Samuels & Wu, 2006).

In my opinion, providing students with immediate feedback on their work is crucial to their success in and out of the classroom. Immediate feedback goes hand-in-hand with providing students with the opportunity to take an active role in their own learning. Three recommendations for general classroom practices for providing feedback are to use criterion-referenced feedback, focus on specific types of knowledge, and use student-led feedback (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007).

The use of technology in the classroom has made giving feedback even more accessible. Incorporating polls, student response systems such as SMART Response, grading software, and electronic rubrics can not only provide timely disaggregated data to the teacher, but can be a great motivator for students.


 Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

Samuels, S., & Wu, Y. (2006). Effects of immediate feedback. Informally published manuscript, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota, Retrieved from

Saturday, September 8, 2012

EDLD 5364 Week Two

Beginning with the end in mind is a concept that is definitely not foreign to me. I have always operated in a backward sort of way and it seemed to work for me and for my students. Only recently have I discovered that it is actually a system, an idea that author Stephen R. Covey has turned into a profiting business venture.   “Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen” (Covey, 2004). Planning is a never-ending task that we do as teachers. It seems that so much time goes in to each lesson and then in a blink of an eye (or the duration of one period), it is over. Sometimes it reminds me of anticipating the arrival of Christmas morning. All of that work, and then it’s over in an instant. However, it’s the planning that makes it go off without a hitch.

Establishing a direction for learning is perhaps the most important decision within the planning process. This should also include a way for students to become responsible for their own learning and instill some sort of way to realize short and long term goals. This helps motivate students and creates a sense of accomplishment when those goals are reached. Technology can also play a role in setting these goals. “Technology enhances the goal-setting process by providing organizational and communication tools that make it easier to clarify the learning objectives” (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn & Malenoski, 2007).  Teachers can use word processing applications, brainstorming software such as Kidspiration, data collection tools such as Poll Everywhere, and other web resources. Providing students with these tools that encourage responsible learning and self-reflection extend far beyond the classroom walls.  


Covey, S. (2004). The 7 habits of highly effective people. New York, NY: Free Press. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

EDLD 5364 Week One


“Rather than debating issues of divides and gaps with regard to access and training in new technologies, the new paradigm would allow education to focus on preparing a generation to adapt to the unavoidable rapidity of changes they will face” (McPheeters, 2009).


It is a constant struggle in my position to introduce teachers to something new. Students are always willing to jump right in and learn anything technology related, but I have many reluctant teachers. This is where I notice this gap widening. Preparing students for this ever-changing world consists of more than providing them with technology; it comes from being a role model for embracing these changes rather than shying away from anything new. In this sense, attitude is everything. We need to teach our students that change is not always a bad thing, and is something that no matter the circumstances, will be inevitable. I agree with this quote I came across concerning this very topic: “We ask our students to be good observers, consider the world carefully and to analyze the implications of what they see. As educators, it’s time we do the same” (Romano, 2011). Jump on the wagon, or get left in the dust.


McPheeters, D. (2009, March 08). Social networking technologies. Tech&learning, Retrieved from

Romano, R. (2011, November 09). Teachers: Embrace technology or students will leave you behind. MashableTech, Retrieved from