Saturday, February 8, 2014

5366 Reflection

I truly gained knowledge in every assignment in 5366. I knew nothing about C.R.A.P, yet after learning what it was, I began to look for it everywhere. I found it interesting that the sites who had C.R.A.P. were more visually appealing and easier to navigate. I never would have thought to create a logo for myself, but had so much fun in week two doing just that. I created multiple logos and added them to my website and blog. Even though Lea Alcantara (2009) said that when you are working on branding, you aren’t your logo; creating the logo was my favorite part. I also have never experienced creating animations and was definitely a little intimidated. But, I found the software fun to use and will recommend it to my teacher to use in their classrooms. While I felt very confident in my overall technical abilities ( I have created websites and blogs before), this class pushed me to learn and apply new things and took us to the creation level of Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy (2007) where we went above and beyond choosing a template and filling in information. I thought about C.R.A.P in every assignment. When we created our site, we chose to go with a red theme to correlate with Lamar.  We wanted repetition and uniformity with similar logos, fonts, and colors. I have high standards and always want to put  forth my best effort. Luckily, I was able to work with a group of ladies who share the same work ethic. Even though I always do my best, knowing they were counting on me heightened my awareness of my work and the time frame in which I completed it. Our group has been together since the first class of this program. We have grown to know one another and have bounced ideas off each other before. It was a challenge in this class to remember to use the collaboration document and not Facebook, which has been our sole form of communication throughout the program. I was already a fan of collaboration before starting this program, but as we have progressed, my support for collaboration has grown stronger. We have been stronger students because of each other. Reflection is another skill we have developed throughout the program. I like what Gerstein (2011) said about reflection; “Critical reflection is an important part of any learning process. Without reflection, learning becomes only an activity - like viewing a reality TV show - which was never meant to have meaning, but was only meant to occupy time." We don't want our kids to just watch and regurgitate, we want them to truly understand and be able to apply throughout their lives. Reflection helps students do just that. Being an advocate for collaboration, one thing I would like to research in the future is the use of rounds in education. I actually just purchased a book and the administrators guide to go with it. We have so much talent and knowledge in our building, yet we never have the time or the opportunity to learn from others. I am hoping, after learning about rounds that we will have those opportunities and improve our teachers in the process.

Alcantara, L. (2009). The art of self-branding. Retrieved from

Churches, A. (2007, April). Bloom's digital taxonomy. Retrieved from

Gerstein, J. (2011, August). Where is reflection in the learning process. Retrieved from

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ancient Manuscript Analysis

I reviewed the Bible from Ethiopia. It was very interesting since I have never studied an ancient work. One thing I noticed regarding contrast was the use of red and black ink. I don't know what the words actually said but it could be that the red font represents the words God spoke like in our Bible. The colors used were very repetitious as were the images used in the margins on the text pages. I felt the alignment was consistent and contributed to the organization of the text. The text was either in single paragraph format or two columns. I also felt balanced when I looked at the pages. If they used a picture of a column on one side of the text, it was on the other side also. A lot of rainbow-type images were used across the top and that also provided balance and contributed to proximity as well.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Learner-Centered Professional Development Session

Session Purpose: Identify weak areas in math through disaggregation of data and discuss approaches to improve in those areas.

Learning Objective to Be Addressed: Improve Weak Math Areas
Approving Principal: M Reynolds
Presentation Date: Jan 6, 2014
Grade Level:
2nd & 3rd
K Grimsley
Start Time:

Learner-Centered Activity
Estimated Time
Review most recent benchmark data (broken down by teacher) and list the 3 lowest and the 3 highest areas.
Teachers are looking at their own data and finding their strong and weak areas.
Each teacher will bring his or her print out from Aware (our data tool). They will look at individual TEKs and list their 3 strongest and their 3 weakest TEKs.
Print benchmark data

List 3 strongest and 3 weakest areas
10-15 minutes
As a grade level, compare and compile your strongest and weakest TEKs.
Teachers can see where they are similar and different regarding their strengths and weaknesses.
As a group, the teachers will take turns sharing their findings. They will compile a list to share with the other grade level.
Come together

Take turns sharing findings

Compile a list
15 minutes
The whole group, lead by the facilitator, will review findings and share strategies for improving these areas.
Teachers will gain knowledge from each other regarding new techniques or strategies to use when teaching specific TEKs.
As a group, we will look at weak areas, chances are, someone was strong in that area. We will share out strategies and techniques to try.
Look at the first weak area.

Ask if anyone had this as a strength.

Share out strategies and techniques.

Teachers take notes.

Repeat for each weak area.
30 minutes

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Internship for Supervision Web Conference

This week Dr. Borel had a few technical difficulties, but it was still a very productive conference and she was able to remedy the situation very quickly. I was very worried about the paper we have to write, but Dr. Borel explained everything we are required to do and put many of us at ease. Dr. Borel was also very helpful with questions regarding APA. I used my book and tried to look up every answer, but still didn’t feel comfortable with my citations. She also mentioned some things I had forgotten (double-spacing and hanging indentions). My logs are up to date and my paper is started, but I still am not comfortable. I will be glad when the paper is turned in!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Action Research Update

Wow!! I was so fortunate to spend the day with my two administrators working on next year's schedule and teaching assignments. We spent the entire day locked in a room. First, we mapped out the current times we use for our PE rotation, lunch, and recess. Then we looked at surveys and what teachers reported.

Third grade expressed concerns across the board regarding having so many transition times. The kids were hard to get focused. Since our third graders take STAAR, our principals thought it would be a good idea to start with their schedule and work our way backwards. We put 3rd grade's PE rotation, lunch, and recess as late in the day as we could so that they would be able to teach math and reading in the morning with no interruptions. They were ecstatic!! They said it took a load off their backs when looking at next year. We were happy that they were happy!

Second grade didn't care for having PE rotation first (9:20). Since we were working backwards, we went to them next. We tried to align everyone's PE, lunch, and recess back to back to decrease transition time. Second grade ended up with a big block in the morning and a big block in the afternoon. They were not crazy about having so much teaching time in the afternoon, but were grateful for the big blocks since they team teach and grateful for a later PE.

First grade was next. We were rocking and rolling and doing so well. We planned first grade, with all specials in a row. Then we realized that 1st and 3rd would be on the playground at the same time, not good. We had to tweak 1st grade a little. They have some time before they go out to recess, but they were grateful to have a lot of time in the morning since their kids are smaller and don't work well at the end of the day.

Kindergarden and Pre-K were fairly easy. They took what was left. We gave them a bit more transition, instead of lumping all their specials in a row, because they are smaller and need to move a bit.

A huge challenge for us has always been our PE times. Our PE teacher also coaches tennis at the high school at the end of the day, so we have always had that to work around when we have been setting our schedule. Our principal called high school to see exactly what time she needed to be there, then we set our PE times accordingly. She was not so excited about her schedule, but our vice-principal told her we were working with the best interest of the children in mind and that was the end of that.

I love scheduling, so I was in Heaven all day. We accomplished so much through teamwork. Then the principals met with each team and presented the schedules. Everyone was positive and said it looked good. We'll see if they still feel that way after school starts and they've had a chance to experience it :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Action Research Update

My action research project goal is to determine if the campus climate can be improved by allowing the teachers to voice their concerns and opinions regarding the schedule. When I sent my initial blind survey to assess the campus climate, I was surprised to see that the overall climate average was higher than what I thought it would be (which would lead me into a new project if I was actually an administrator- why is the climate rated so high when we have so many grouchy people?). I then sent my second survey which gave the teachers and staff opportunities to comment on different areas. I was so excited to see that people really opened up and were honest. My administrator gave me the go ahead to send the survey and collect all the data. So, the survey came from me, not administration, and I think that really helped people open up. I have compiled the surveys and handed them over to my administrator. We have planned a day to sit down and dig in to the schedule for next year. I still need to sit down with each grade level, between now and the meeting with my administrator, and get their input. Our biggest challenge is the PE rotation schedule. I plan to ask each grade level their two preferred times, then try to work around everyone. We also have to consider our RtI pullout. The RtI teacher will be meeting with us to discuss the schedule. We are hoping to have more time slots for her to pull kids. Right now, she is limited in the amout of kids she can get to. The purpose of our meeting is not only to create the new schedule, but also to look at our teachers and possibly move some around.