Category Archives: Effective

Internship Blog 4 – Providing Feedback

6.4 Using Assessment to Provide Feedback to Students

Effectively using assessments to provide feedback benefits student learning because it gives them a direction to follow to build on their strengths or weaknesses.  Feedback should be of high quality, applicable, and understandable to the student so they know where their current learning development is at and what to focus on next.

The document attached is the result of feedback I offered a student after using previous assessment data.  I had been noticing and documenting that this student has trouble getting started on a task.  He usually sits at his desk reading a book or thinking about what he is going to do.  He also is not very confident when it comes to his handwriting abilities.  Based on a pre-assessment I administered to check current student understanding of informational writing, he didn’t have very much written down.  I sat next to him sharing some of the struggles I notice he is having and giving him strategies to work with when writing a draft table of contents for an informational topic.  He shared that he knows a lot about certain Pokemon, characters from a video game, but doesn’t know where to start.  I said, “What’s the most important subtopic you want your reader to know first?”  He said, “Types of Pokemon.”  I told him to just start writing about that and other ideas will come to him.  The strategy of writing one small thing that’s important first is helpful to get started and write more ideas down.  Eventually he was able to list 11 chapters on his topic.

This short conference I had with this student allowed me to provide useful feedback based on what I was noticing from his assessments and previous work.  I learned that its important to review the assessments we administer and think about reasons why a student could be struggling.  Getting an opportunity to have one on one conference with students will also shed light on what could be going on and create a fuller picture of what the assessments are showing.

Next steps to increase effectiveness would be to continue to work with this student on strategies to get writing started.  Continuing to have conferences and offering questions to students to provide immediate feedback will guide them toward complete their individual goals and put more meaning at their time at school.Table of Contents


EDU 6989 Session 2: Religion in School

Religion and family values will always be a controversial topic.  The range of religious and cultural backgrounds students come from is huge.  They are personal morals that affect the way families carry out their lives.  There is bound to be conflict and that can be seen in regards to religion in school.  McConnell (1995) argues that students should have the right to worship and pray in school.  The First Amendment guarantees their right to practice religion in school and their freedom of religion has transformed to freedom from religion.  Gaylor (1995) says religious actions were never banned from the schools but rather not institutionally taught.  Religion is a private affair and all students have the right to hold their own values but forcing religion on students is not the correct method.  Neutrality is key so all students feel welcome and accepted.

Both authors bring up important concepts on this controversial topic.  I would side more with Gaylor’s argument of being accepting of all religions without tying them in to educational material.  When prayer becomes involved into public education, separation and conflict . “Religion is private, and schools are public, so it is appropriate that the two should not mix.  To introduce religion in our public schools builds walls between children who may not have been aware . . . “ (Gaylor, 1995)  We want to keep kids on the same level so everyone has a right to learn.  Accepting differences is crucial in schools so all feel welcome.  We still should be careful around family values of religion so not to divide our students based on their beliefs.


Gaylor, A. L. (1995). “The Case Against School Prayer.” The Freedom from Religious Education Inc.

EDTC 6433: Digital Storytelling Project

I chose to tell a personal narrative of my experience as a chaperone for a high school national youth gathering where I learned a lot about what it means to be a servant.  Those interested in community service, youth leaders, volunteers, high school students, and anyone else who has a caring heart and passion for working in the community would be interested in viewing it.  This could be used in a formal educational setting when teaching about work in the community, how people affect one another in community, or teaching about the diversity we have in our large cities in the country.  I demonstrated competency on ISTE NETS Standard 1 for Teachers by modeling creative and innovative thinking, engaging students in exploring real world issues, and by promoting the use of a digital tool to tell an important story.

The process of digital storytelling began slowly.  I came up with the content pretty easily because this event took place just last summer.  The bulk of the work came from searching for a program that could meet the requirements of the assignment.  At first I tried Microsoft Sway, uploading photos into the order that worked for my story.  Unfortunately after doing this I could not find a way to add narration, music, or record it, so I had to move to Windows Live Movie Maker and start again.  It took me a lot longer than I anticipated mostly because I was unfamiliar with the software.  Most of the time I was experimenting around and searching for the right tools.  Having experience or training with the program definitely would have helped complete the assignment.

The most significant things I learned while completing this project was having an open ended, student choice topic allowed me to have full creativity of the assignment.  I could choose a topic that was important to my life and creatively present it in a format of my choice.  Having so many options allows a student to truly create a project that they are passionate about and that is meaningful to their lives.  Having some practice ahead of time with Windows Live Movie Maker would have been helpful, but experimenting with something new is a great learning method as well.  Creating this digital story was a great experience to look back at my trip to Detroit and a project I can come back to when reflecting about my service in the Motor City.

EDU 6526 Session 7: Role Models and Affective Education

Students learn more than academics when they enter a classroom.  They learn lifelong skills such as how to function in a group and work productively with others.  The role of the teacher is to facilitate this process and act as a role model that students learn from.  Teaching with integrity is key when working with students for them to learn by example.  One of the Six Priorities of Affective Education is “Establishing a climate of trust.” Session 7- Learner Centered In order to do this, the teacher must act honestly and thoughtfully with students so they feel emotionally safe and comfortable.  Only then will they truly open up, voice their full opinions, and feel accepted as a learner in the classroom.  Students pick up how teachers act, even when they see them outside of the classroom, so living an honest, moral life is important for students to learn.

Children and youth are socially intelligent and understand when they are being truly listened to and heard.  A teacher cannot fake these interactions and their relationships with students highly depend on their honesty and kindness.  “Students know when their teachers are committed to their psychomotor, cognitive, and affective learning, and they can tell when their teachers genuinely care about them and are trustworthy, honest, and respectful.” (Lumpkin, 2008, p. 47)  These are morals and virtues all teachers want to instill in their classrooms, creating life-long learners that contribute to a prosperous society.  The teacher-student relationship is so important in shaping attitudes towards education and observing teacher values is how students make sense of the learning world.



Lumpkin, A., (2008). Teachers as Role Models, Teaching Character and Moral Virtues. JOPERD 79: 2, 45-49.

EDU 6526: Session 4, Advance Organizers

Advance organizers are useful tools and a strategy teachers can use in their classrooms to prepare students for instruction.  The method allows teachers to figure out what students know about a particular topic and provide a preview of what the lesson will be.  “ . . . the purpose of graphic organizers is to make clear to students what they will be learning with regard to a particular topic.” (Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone, 2012, p. 62)  Students get a sense of the information which will prepare their minds to better learn the material.  Organizers are also equally important as a screening tool to gage what they already know.

There are a variety of approaches when it comes to advance organizers and certain formats are better than others depending on the type of lesson.  Dean, Hubbell, Pitler & Stone (2012) describe four formats: expository, narrative, skimming, and graphic.  Expository advance organizers explain in written or verbal form the content students are about to learn and specifically the critical pieces the teacher wants the students to remember.  Exp Organizer In this example, the teacher, Ms. Hollman uses an expository organizer to activate prior knowledge of students and get them ready for new information in the upcoming video.  Students can then see their responses before and after the film to witness their own learning.   This format works well for this activity but might not in another.   Understanding the correct use of all the formats would be beneficial to teachers to get quality data and information from their students.  The more a teacher practices the use of these organizers, the better they will become at successfully implementing them into their practice.


Dean, C.,  Hubbell, E.R., Pitler, H., & Stone, B. (2012) Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement 2nd Ed. United States of America: McREL International.

EDTC 6433: Module 2,Collaboration for the Digital Age

Triggering Question: As a third grade teacher, what tools and resources can I use to develop collaboration that supports individual learning and contributes to the learning of others?

ISTE Standard 2 involves designing and developing learning experiences in the digital age.  One way to design lessons with a digital focus is to gear them toward collaboration and working with each other.  In this way, they are learning from one another’s thoughts and extending ideas through conversation and discussion.  The focus of learning from one another and a learner’s environment is seen in Vygotsky’s social development theory.  Ciconni (2013) describes new computer programs being used in classrooms that are providing academic collaboration over media.  The kids are boosting their own learning by listening to one another’s thoughts.  “Using technology to engage students in collaborative endeavors deepens their understanding of math concepts by offering rigorous learning through relevant projects with authentic audiences.” (Ciconni, 2013, p 64) The program “Voki” allowed students to create avatars (computerized persons with attributes) and use the avatars to share ideas through typed text, computer microphone, sound file upload, or phone.  They are exciting venues for students that create engagement and a chance to make meaning out of their learning.

Students are able to have autonomy over their learning by using these programs to find their own voice and path to understanding lessons at school.  Another way digital resources can foster autonomy is through individualized accounts on eBooks.  A member of my learning circle posted a resource on the effectiveness of eBooks and though it doesn’t answer my question towards collaboration, it does assist in making students feel in control of their learning and progress.  An online reading program called ICANREAD (Ciampa, K. 2012), studied whether electronic eBooks would motivate 1st grade students, change attitudes about online reading and improve students comprehension literacy skills.  Studies found that students were more engaged and interactive with devices, able to track their own reading progress, and access to a wide variety of resources.  Although I still prefer physical books, this article suggests the benefits of online reading programs and how successful they can be when implemented properly.


Ciampa, K. (2012). ICANREAD: the effects of an online reading program on grade 1 students engagement and comprehension strategy use. Journal of Research on Technology in Education 45 (1) 27-59

Cicconi, M. (2013). Vygotsky Meets Technology: A Reinvention of Collaboration in the Early Childhood Mathematics Classroom. Early Childhood Education Journal 42: 57-65

Week 2 – Learning Inductively

Inductive learning is the process of students making sense of new information through what they already know or have experienced.  It is a basic form of teaching that allows students to construct their own learning, knowledge and information.   Inductive teaching allows students to discover concepts and topics they are interested in with the teacher following whatever route the class decides.  This style of teaching could make an educator uncomfortable when leading as it is not a predictable lesson that planned out with details.  Joyce, Weil, and Calhoun (2004) emphasize practicing and giving control over to the class when teaching inductively. “Let go and have fun.  Build a learning community around the model – designing a weekly lesson won’t accomplish that.” (Joyce et al., 2004, p. 66) Inductive teaching can be an enjoyable experience as the learning is happening spontaneously while keeping standards and requirements in mind.

An example of the inductive teaching model can be seen where a class of fourth grade students are deciding the topic of a research project.  They eventually decide to explore the topic of ancestry and researching their family history.   Students show interest in this topic because it relates to their lives and is meaningful to their identity.  They will practice research skills and discover new details about their past.  This assignment will also create a sense of pride for their ancestor’s past and how that has brought them to the present.  It will be a fun experience and since the students came up with the topic themselves, they will be more engaged and interested.



Calhoun E., Joyce B., & Weil M. (2004). Models of Teaching. (9th ed.) New Jersey: Pearson.