Sunday, September 23, 2012

Evidence Report #2

TC NAME: Bree Land
RICA Domain: Domain 1: Planning, Organizing, and Managing Reading Instruction Based on Ongoing Assessmet
RICA Competency: Managing Reading Instruction
Grade Level: First Grade
Any Additional Descriptors: Main Stream Classroom


I observe planning, organizing and managing reading in room 406 on a daily basis. Students read appropriate reading materials once finished with work, and also bring a book of their choice home each night. They use the star system, 1 silver star being a begining level reading, 2 silver stars  more advance and red stars advanced. They have a classroom library with each book organized by levels.  They are challenged to pick outside of their comfort zone, yet still within their grasp. The self paced students are proviede with books they can read and grow from. The frustration level is elimated with a daily check up, in a reading log.
After lunch there is a read aloud where the students listen and participate. They then can chose to read a book in front of the class, about two a day. The read aloud by Miss. B is always engertic and enthuastic, promoting students want to read. They are also intrduced to Acelerateor Reading (AR) testing, which they can choose what book to take a test on and the teacher gets an update of how each student is doing. 

Instructional Setting:


Promoting independent reading, each night the students take home a book of their choice. They know how to chose what is good for their comfort and challenge level. Everyone has a role when teaching a child how to read. Parent and guardians are infromed with the reading system in the calss. Each night when the child brings home a book they are to read it aloud to a gaurdian. The garduian then writes the title of the book, they sign it, and write if it was just right or too hard for the student. This is all recoded in a reading long and put in the book bag for the student to bring back each morning. We then check each students book back, seeing if they read at home and if the book was right or too hard. They then go and pick a new book from the classroom library, according on how they did the night before. We also ask casual questions about the book. Room 406 has a positive attitude about reading and promotes independent growth.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Observation Evidence Report #1


Bree Land
RICA Domain: Word Analysis
RICA Competency: Phonemic Awareness
Grade Level: First Grade

                I observed room 406, Miss. B's first grade learning phonemic awareness. Miss. B. was introducing rhyming words to the students, stressing words with the same ending sound. She played a Brain Pop Jr. interactive video on the smart board. The video was interactive with songs and guessing games. It explained how words rhyme when they have the same ending sounding. It also pointed out how not all rhyming words are spelt the same.

                As a class they then discussed different words and letters that make rhymes.  They explained where rhyming words are used, ie. songs, poems and literature. Miss. B gave them a word such as "cat" and had them find as many rhyming words. To help them out she taught them to look at each letter of the alphabet to see if the ending sound works with each letter. Rime or phonogram at is a word family, she explained and models with a word family activity.

                Back at their seats the students were given an activity to do, relating to sounding out words and finding word families that rhyme. For the EL students she had me play a rhyming game with them. Helping them see visual cards with pictures on them. We went over each picture learning the word, then by sounding out each sound they had to match the pictures that rhyme and repeat it back. This game was successful capturing their information while others worked on the activity. While learning the words that rhyme together they were also going over each letters sound, and improving on sounding out. The visuals were helpful, giving them the confidence to learn it because they were familiar with the image.

            I observed around room 406 there was many letter images along with a picture representing it. Once the rhyming activity was done the class hung up each one showing the different rhyming words. She has the rhyming word games incorporated in centers for the week, to review for everyone.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Journal 9 First Graders with iPads?

Getting, S., & Swainey, K. (2012). First graders with ipads?. Learning and Leading with Technology,40(1), 24-27. Retrieved from

This article goes into attempting to use iPads in a first grade classroom. Although apprehensive to giving youngsters an expensive piece of technology, the real world benefits outweighed the negative aspect of the idea. The iPad makes life easier, why not take advantage of it. Teachers state that they were able to record higher test scores at the end of the year, compared to students who did not have an iPad. TOT means students time on task, which was also increased, thanks to the iPad. Teachers began to realize they were able to use iPads to entertain and be used as a positive behavior reward. Students love the iPad and were provided with a different ways to learn. There are many great apps that are out there to teach and help teachers. Along with this new and exciting idea of course comes come difficulties, technical issues. Nothing that can't be resolved, and it just takes time to adapt to and grow with. Teachers embracing technology will take learning about different tools out there, in the end it will most likely not only help you as a teacher, but inspire and keep your students interested in learning more.

What can be an issue bringing this technology in the classroom?

There are many benefits to bringing iPads into the classroom, yet there are a few obstacles. Along technical issues can be fixed, but iPads may cause a distraction and competition in the classroom. Students my fight for the iPads, or may be so zoned in on one app not being able to stay with the class. Also it is important to realize economically some kids may be able to have resources at home, but some may even have trouble having books at home. Keep the field equal in your classroom.

In your opinion would you use iPads, and why?
Yes! I feel we should embrace the technology growth around us. By supplying our students with the best they will have the opportunity to expand and learn in different ways. The iPad provides visual learning, audio, touch and keeps them interacted. Who doesn't want that in their classroom? Students can stay updated thanks to you.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Journal 8: Adaptive Technology

Tools for Communication & Tools for Accessibility

Augmentative and Alternative Communication(AAC) is any method of communicating that supplements the ordinary methods of speech and handwriting, where these are impaired.(Miller & Scott, 1998)


What is AAC?
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. We all use AAC when we make facial expressions or gestures use symbols or pictures, or write.

A no tech/free way of communicating that is commonly used is sign language. Sign language is a way to communicate just by hand gestures. It is a language that helps the deaf community or speech inpediment community thrive. If you have ever seen a translator or people communicating by hand it is remarkable. Not only is it hand gestures, but it body language and facial expressions. It can be used in the classroom for all students to learn and be inspired. By teaching your students, they will relate more and be more educated on the subject of the deaf community. Sign language will enhance children's communication skills. For a deaf student you will often see an interpreter that the other students are used to.  I find sign language so amazing and I would love to learn myself.

High Tech
A communication tool for AAC that it high tech and extremely helpful is DynaVox. A diagonal color display screen, which allows for more vocabulary to be displayed on a single page. This also benefits communicators with visual and fine motor impairments. There is a 7 lb, and also a smaller 3lb version to carry around. This device has made a huge difference in many lives. It gives people a voice and allows them to be heard and understood.

Today, DynaVox is the world’s leading provider of communication and education solutions designed to help individuals living with speech, language and learning disabilities communicate and reach their potential.


What is an input device?
An input device is any device where someone can input information into a computer. Some often seen examples are a mouse and keyboard.
People with extreme disabilities can use these devices in their own way. There are many modified input devices for special needs.
Maltron bespoke keyboard
A hardware example that has been modified for special needs is the The Little Fingers keyboard. As it sounds, provides smaller keys for smaller hands, along with the BAT One-Handed keyboard which provides full keyboard access for students with the use of only one hand! Technology is such a helpful tool that can be used in the classroom to keep everyone on the same page even if they have a special quality, no problem.

Left handed key board! ^

There are also softwares out there to assist. There is a popular software, Blooming Kids Software. Their software assist children who have learning disabilities such as autism, PDD and ADD. The programs and teaching technique come directly from proven teaching methods in the field. There are about 40 different programs provided that help anywhere from memory, colors, vocabulary, telling time, reading and much more. There website has so much to offer and helpful information to help anyone in need:

Classmates Blogs with great ideas:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Journal 7 PLN

A PLN or Personal Learning Network is a way for people to communicate, share and learn from each other. There are many different networks to share and collaborate with other to expand your PLN. Through out this ED422 I have be able to build my PLN through sites such as; Twitter, TweetChat, Blogger, Diigo and Classroom 2.0. I have been able to connect and learn from different students and teachers, with resources and stories. These tools are simple and easy to use I can see them helping me through out my 'Google Blogger logo' photo (c) 2010, Martin Lafrance - license: professional career. I will benefit from my PLN as a teacher by having constant resources around me. Being able to reach out and connect with others in the Teaching field can only help me grow. Taking advantage of technology around is a positive way to grow and learn with other people by your side (via Internet).

Twitter is a popular social network site filled with different topics and people sharing their thoughts. Building my PLN I made a professional Twitter account that I can use to hear from other teachers and see educational resources. My network consist of people I can share with and learn from. I have my classmates and professor in my network, along with other educational people I have come across. I am able to follow who I want, having access to there ideas, stories and resources. Being able to share and see what others share is a helpful tool. Twitter is constantly updated and changing. I am able to participate in chats lead by other educational professionals willing to share their wisdom.
'Twitter Bird Sketch' photo (c) 2010, Shawn Campbell - license:
August 1st at 5:00 #ntchat, on Tweetchat, held an open conversation for anyone to follow along with. Ntchat stands for new teacher chat and they have scheduled chats with teachers and future teachers. The topic I participated in was based on classroom design. I was amazed with all the participation and how fast the chat was begin updated. A constant flowing feed filled with resources and ideas for the classroom! I learned helpful hints, such as the best way to set up your room, and was able to follow the ones who I felt I want to see on my feed. Everyone was friendly and helpful. It was a great experience and makes me want to attend and explore the other chat options out there to improve my PLN.

Another helpful site for your PLN is Diigo. Diigo is a social networking bookmark site. It allows you to build your own library by bookmarking what sites stand out to you. You are able to tag keywords making it easier to go back and look up. By having an account you are able to look up your library on any computer. Also you can connect and see other peoples sites and ideas of what stood out to them! You can easily find others you relate to by seeing their tagged key words. Diigo makes a toolbar on your page that allows you to highlight and comment on articles or sites as well as bookmarking them. I am able to follow my classmates and professor along with others who share common interest and valuable resources. I benefit from my Diigo account by tagging sites that have been recommended to me and other sites that can help me in my career. All my tags are educational topics and helpful hints to run a smooth classroom. I was able to see what others tagged PLN and found many good websites. One goes deep into defining PLN and what it should mean to you. It gives you tips on how to better you own via Facebook, Wikis, LinkedIn and blogs like this one. A fun site I saved on Diigo that helps me is the A-Z educational Twitter hashtags, this way I can look up common education interest popular in Twitter.
'wordle for my blog' photo (c) 2008, Technofreak - license:
I also joined The Educators PLN, the personal learning network for educators. I was able to make an account and connect with many different educators. I like the layout of the website, constant updates on posts, chats, videos, forums and blogs from others. August 4th Lynda Hall did a post on Wordle, how to make word clouds. There was a video included, along with a list of steps. The site is filled with details and other links that are helpful. You can also chat directly to other PLN educators.  It has been nominated for the best use of social network an best Twitter hashtag, along with many other awards.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Journal 6: No Homework!

Spencer, T. (2011, Sept 19).[Web log message]. Retrieved from

This is a great article, filled with good points. John T. Spencer lays out 10 reasons why homework is bad or not effective. Each point he makes I agree with. I love his points of children are busy and children need to play. There is so much pressure for children to be involved in activities, yet we still expect them to do more school work after school. They do need time for themselves, time to play and learn on their own with out even knowing it. Growing up I felt homework was usually busy work. I support study guides, and the freedom to work on what you want, but the busy work I usually would just cram in and rush through...making it a waste of time. We should be teaching enough in class for the students to understand and work on more if they feel they need too. 
I liked how John explained his points, and got to the point. 

My ideas of 5 Alternatives to Homework:
1. Instead of worksheets, ask the students to get in groups and creatively show what they learned. Act out a skit, make art, short story, as long as they can reexplain the concept. 

2. Have students grocery shop with their parents and encourage them to count money and pay where they go. Even can ask parents to ask their child about discounts that show up. 

3. Use the outside surroundings and resources for the students to explore, keep them wanting to learn!

4. Don't put so much pressure on homework, scaring them away. Make optional if they feel they need more help. 

5. GAMES! A great alternative to homework. They can play with the family, and in class, with friends, and be learning while having fun and not feeling forced. You can make a game with them in class to go play with others.

Journal 5*Extra*