Week 4 Reflection EDET 668

This week has really made an impact and changed my thinking about games. I have picked up great points from the book, articles and papers. I like the “breakup” in the middle of the class that Theresa uses to help the students be able to continue their focus when they go back to work. I do allow a break in the middle of class, but to have a quick game would really help with an adrenaline rush before going back to work.

This week papers by my peers offered games that I can try at home and be able to communicate at a different level with my students. My children, at home, play Minecraft and so I will start there and have them teach me. After I am familiar with Minecraft I would like to incorporate the Mincraftedu one in my classroom. At this point I don’t know enough to just jump into it. I watch the video that Winn shared about how it works, it seems friendly enough to use. I’m excited to try this. I have to prioritize my list of what I will do in my classroom.

My first classroom technology challenge I will do is to take what my Mentee has created in her class and use it in mine. This wouldn’t take much to do. I have Google Classroom up and running; I invited my students; my next step is to write in a problem-solving question to prompt the students to write and respond to each other. My second task is to launch Group Learning. I want to try what Sugata Mitra had done where the students can change groups, listen to other groups and through research discover what is needed to learn a concept presented to them. I can see how learning from the Internet would become easy for them. Why not? I do this all the time, so do my peers. I believe it is a great skill to have. My third task is to figure out MineCraftEdu. I want to be able to teach with this. I haven’t a clue how it works, but I’m sure I can fit it in.

This week has made me realize how I have missed playing with my children/students. I really need to get back to playing for them and learn about the challenges they are facing with the games. It will be a stretch for me to put time into games. I use to get lost in them and lose a chunk of time so I quit. I will make an effort to give time to games. I believe the more I get into and use technology the better prepared I can help my students to be in their future.


What does the way you play have to do with embracing change and how does this impact you as a professional?

Teachers need to teach students’ that make changes in their lives are part of growing. As we embrace change in our lives we are evolving with our world. Our students have a technology world running in front of them and as teachers we need to prepare our students for the world they have to live in. In order to relate to our students we should be playing some of the games in order to understand their language of their world. At this point of my life I do play “Candy Crush” and it ends there, so I do have to make a change in my life to help me to relate more with the students.

Students are constantly offered change in their lives throughout their school day. Ballas-Ruta, in The Art of Embracing Change, shared this statement in her article, “Try to see the situation from outside the box. It is okay to be mad or frustrated. You are human after all. But once the emotions have calmed down, just remember that we are all works in progress. Rome was not built in a day…neither were you.” This statement is what I emphasize in my classes. The students are under a huge amount of stress and need to understand that they are human and their emotions will calm down. We all are a work in progress; as teachers we need to know that our students live in constant change and live under the stress of it. They are at different levels of stress and different levels of change. We have to, not only, offer the change, but, we need to help them to adjust to the change that is happening to them. As teachers we have to remember the changes that we require our students to go through and embrace the changes that they have to go through. We, teachers, also need to challenge ourselves to play the games that the students’ are playing to relate to them. To play their games would help us to talk with their language and relate at a deeper level. I have turned down the opportunity to play minecraft with my children and now I see that I need to get out of my comfort zone and play minecraft with them. This would help me to see what the attraction is to my children and also help me to interact with them more on their level. This would also help me to relate more to my students at school by understanding more about their game world and how it feels for them to be pushed in my math world.

The book, A New Culture of Learning, Thomas and Brown (p.40) gave the quote, “Give a man a fish . . . “ as an out dated quote due to the assumption we will not always have fish. Living in a fishing world, yes, I see the herring market struggling, but the salmon market is alive and well with its own struggles. As a fisher-woman, I see the state of Alaska making decisions to preserve the salmon runs. I see the salmon hatcheries reproducing salmon at a high rate. We had a huge return of dogs and a continuous flow of Coho from our hatcheries.   But, the main point of this quote was missed by the book, which is the concept of, teaching the students to continuously learn throughout their lives and they will be set for life regardless of what survives or doesn’t survive in this world. The quote isn’t about fish, it is about teaching the right concepts, not necessarily the common core, but how to learn (as mentioned on September 24, 2015 #ETLEAD twitted by Lee Graham). This is a great topic of change. We need to be ready to change throughout our lives, so in turn, we need to teach our students to adjust to changes in their lives. This isn’t just about our students’ but about teachers also.

A different way of teaching was presented to me this week on Ted-Talks which was brought up by Chris Bryner on Twitter class. Sugata Mitra broke his class into groups for Internet learning, this has changed my teaching approach. He ran his groups with a bit of liberation with some rules applied; he broke the students into groups of 4 with one computer. The students can change groups for whatever reason. The students were allowed to peer over shoulders of other groups and bring back to their groups any ideas as if it was their own. Students were given a topic to study together. He said that the top groups would be done in 15-20 minutes and the slowest group would finish in 45 minutes. Out of this I heard that even the slowest group would be done in the class hour. The students would be in depth study over a topic that would be of more their interest than if they had to hear from a lecture. The students would have a photographic memory of the experience from the research and talking amongst each other. This type of teaching I want to try in my classroom and this will be a huge change for me. I would love to see what this produces for my students. I hear from my students that they are into the games and meet as a group at homes to “play” these games. They already are talking in groups and conquering concepts to beat a game, as a teacher, I need to take this skill that they developed on their own time with games and use it in the classroom.

I am looking forward to the changes in my classroom, as a game player, “explorer” (gamer test result), I need to explore new types of teaching that will allow the skills that the students have as group effort to attack and conquer a topic. With the group effort of researching a topic to complete a challenge, the students will learn to learn from research through guidance. As a group they will learn and remember in a greater depth than if I just tell them in the front of the classroom. So, as Arthur C Clarke states to Sugata Mitra in a interview, “A teacher that can be replaced by a machine should be.” This is backed up by a need of a “Grandma” to cheer them on. This challenges me to ask the students the write questions to help them research and learn what they need to learn to prepare them for the future job that we don’t even know about. I can see that technology might be able to replace me, but, I will be the one presenting the topic in front of them to guide them and I will be there to cheer them on, so I would be the educated “Grandma” in the room. As a game player, I would have the skills to work as a group of people, relying on others to help me; we can conquer the task put before us.


Ballas-Ruta, N., Published in clarity. The Art of Embracing Change. Retrieved September 2015 from http://thinksimplenow.com/clarity/embracing-change/

Mitra, S., TedTalk. The Child Driven Education. Retrieved September 24, 2015 from www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_the_child_driven_education

Thomas, D, & Brown, J. S., (2011). A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Graham, L., Bryner, C. (2015). Twitter, #ETLEAD. September 24, 2015 class.

Duncan, C. (2015) Twitter, #ETLEAD. September 24, 2015 class.

#etlead‪ Check out “What type of gamer are you?” http://www.room6kgh.com/diff-inst-blog  #quizzes via @Qzzr_

Reflection for Week 3

How different is your current classroom . . .

This week when we were on twitter it was amazing how much we dated ourselves through the conversation of the classroom we went to school in. It was amazing to see the contrast, because I am teaching in the school I graduated from. I remember how it lacked color. I walked through the building this week and it still lacks décor. We have fresh paint, but the some high school teachers don’t even put paper on the bulletin boards. So, I went to my principal and asked if I could decorate the bulletin boards in the hallways. I also put paper on bulletin boards in two classrooms (helping the teachers). I can help but think of the students that have to attend there all year.

As for my Mentee, she changed back to google docs over the weekend and figured out how it has its own version of WordPress in it. She has posted prompts and is up and running discussions. The students jumped right in and knew what was expected of them. This week I am going to have her show me how to use google docs discussion so we can do problem solving with it in my classroom. (idea from reading other blogs this week).

I can see how I really need to start catching up with my students in technology and help them to explore new territory in technology since we don’t know of the jobs we are preparing them for. I want to find the SCRATCH program. I found them, but I can’t get them up and running. My son read “Sam’s Story” and really wants to learn the programing; This made it a fantastic week, new technology for my classroom and new program for my son and I to play with.

How different is your current classroom from the one in which you learned when you were a student?

When I was in my high school math class I remember how empty and bare the room was. We had tables and chairs; Nothing, but the teacher at the front of the room, with an overhead projector trying to stimulate a thought; there wasn’t any windows either. The funny thing was this was my favorite teacher. I can feel the warehouse affect still today when I walk into a n undecorated classroom and I feel bad for students that have to attend that room everyday. I think the environment speaks volumes and the students are listening. (This is such a strong reaction that I have that I offered to do bulletin boards for the teachers that haven’t done it yet. I have also put paper on all the bulletin boards in the hallway with plans to finish with a positive message.) Our classes were typical give and assignment, grade and return with a test at the end of the chapter. The red writing on the returned assignments were so depressing, I could only see what was wrong and that I wasn’t perfect. I never gave the math a second thought after I completed the assignment.  Purdue University states in their article, The Evolution of Technology in the Classroom, “The first portable computer, in 1981, weighed 24 pounds and cost $1,795.” It is amazing how far technology has come since the first portable computer.

Technology was limited in the ‘70s. We were just coming out of the 8 tracks and enjoying recording on cassettes and we still purchased Lps. We had radio or music over the loudspeaker on occasions. We had one computer my senior year. It was pointed out to me from the hallway. I watched, from 20 feet out, another student stare at the screen. I didn’t experience a computer until my third job out of high school.

My classroom, like I had in high school, has tables and chairs too. I work at hanging posters relevant to the content of the chapter we are covering. I try to color code my work so the students can relate the concepts together. I use a Mimio view projector for teaching with videos that myself or another teacher created. My classroom also has surround sound for the videos or music (Pandora). I can use a microphone if I need to.

My students have laptops to do some of their assignments, quizzes and tests. I still do worksheets though. I reserve it for purpose of help the students feel confident in what they know. If I feed them a handful at a time they don’t get over whelmed. I also have them grade their own papers. I learned a lot about what my students needed to learn when I graded their paper, so, I gave that learning experience to them. They have another chance to learn if they miss understood the concept or instructions. Some of the students assume that I am wrong and argue their point. I love it. I quickly make the grade sheet for the purpose of making an error that they can catch. It is amazing how thought provoking this is. It creates great dialogue.

Technology has changed my classroom and has freed my time for more analysis of the students work. My assignments on computer have immediate feedback to the students. We took a quiz today and the students didn’t like not being able to fix the error they made. So, the students’ “perfect assignments” on the computer is great feedback, but their quizzes tell what they know and what I have to teach. It is amazing to already have the quiz grades and move right into the data. These quiz result will control what bell ringers we will have to do in class next week.   In the book A New Culture of Learning, they mention how to explore like watching a petri dish.  I have a “controlled conditions, with very limited foreknowledge of what will result.”  I’m not quite sure how the students will do this year with a computer on their desks.  I’m trying to balance it with the textbook, but the quick feedback to the students is great.   I need to improve the quantity and quality of the problems in the computer so the students can have more practice.  Technology has changed dramatically in the last 34 years.


Thomas, D. & Brown, J.S. (2011). A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change [Kindle book]. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Purdue University. The Evolution of Technology in the Classroom. online.purdue.edu


What role does professional satisfaction play in the effectiveness of a classroom?

I think about professional satisfaction quite often. I have been teaching over 20 years and I have to add spice to my life or it will go old and stale fast. I decided a few years back to be a great teacher. I have tried to stay open to learning so I can bring my students along with me. Dave Burgess, author of Teach like a Pirate, has brought what I had experienced in college, in my Language Arts class, to life with words that I can understand and follow. I wasn’t confident in myself when I began teaching and have gradually stretch beyond my comfort zone (I still have a lot of room for stretching). It was ingrained in me to stand in front of my class and teach “old school” ways. I never believed in the “don’t smile until Christmas” tactic; I cherish the students and the relationships that develop. I like to remember that they are someone’s baby, it keeps them real to me and makes me think about how to teach or help them. Which, in turn, makes me reflect on how their lives are going. If I don’t know them or their family I ask them questions to help understand them more. It amazes me what comes out of them, it shows what is in the front of their minds. I also share this with my colleagues at our meeting or at least with the principal. Our staff tries to stay abreast of what is happening in the community and how/who it affects. I have learned that I need to always be learning and it keeps my fire fueled; whether it is online classes, reading articles, or Edivate. We have to pursue the next great idea.

I really appreciated the video that Chris Bryner shared in his blog, “The surprising truth of what motivates us” (https://youtu.be/u6XAPnuFjJc). We always talk about the carrot out in front of our students. I need to rethink this for my students. I do have a couple short assignments in one of my classes so the students that need to get up and move can productively go grade the short assignment and turn it in, I can see the confidence and pride of completion. I have shared this with my peers as a personality of this class of freshman. I see now that they are exhibiting a behavior that emulates any group of people. I sure appreciate what this class makes me think about and how my classmates interpret the same question. I appreciate all the resources that they bring. I would like to bring this to my classes that I teach, but I’ll have to think out side the box to come up with a way students can bring ideas and thoughts into the classroom that relate to the math concepts we are covering.

My group of colleagues, teachers and principals, I speak with is spread out throughout the district. I share with them what I am doing in my class or learning online. I also talk about difficulties in the classroom with them. I share how I handled a situation and ask if that was okay or if I needed to handle it differently. Our middle school math teacher is one of them that introduced me to the grant to help me work on my masters. She has helped me with the technology that comes with our textbooks. The colleagues are a large variety of teachers in our district. I hadn’t had the pleasure of staying connected to a veteran teacher that retired, I have moved twice and don’t have easy access to them. The veteran teachers helped me find stability in teaching while the newer teacher bring a fresh breath of life to teaching; It is a great mix of teachers. I have learned to pick carefully whom I will listen to, as in I do avoid the negative sided people who have a hard time or don’t want to see the positive. I believe in my students and want the best for them. I don’t want negativity to come into play in the midst of my students’ day if I can help it. I believe in having cohorts to talk with they help sort out and plan for a better day tomorrow.

I met with my mentee, Alex, this week and she is so excited about using wordpress for her bell-ringers. I shared with her the “Engage Me” video (https://youtu.be/ZokqjjIy77Y) and she was thrilled to see how writing an essay about her topic by the students in WordPress.com would open the door for the students to have more than one person reading their work. She immediately signed up, created and deleted a dummy document to get a feel for the program. We worked on an outline of having the students open an account and connect to her account where the original article would be launched each week. The students’ will follow her and each other. On Wednesdays the students will read the article she is presenting and write their blog. On Thursday, the students will have to read one (eventually three) of their classmates’ papers and comment on it. The students have to respond to all comments. This is how far our planning has taken us. Alex is going to play with WordPress.com this weekend and try to launch on Wednesday. She is excited to implement right away due to the poor spreadsheet system that Google docs is offering with its limitation of her being the only reader and she has small print in a spreadsheet to read. Over all we are excited to watch the students respond to this format. We both have the understanding that this is just beginning of our project that will evolve. We are excited to see what kind of life this project is going to take.

It has been a great week of learning. I enjoyed the thought provoking questions that Tyler Bishop had on Twitter it had made you think of our history that made the essential question come alive. The different blogs made you see the different interpretations or emphasizes that the question brought. It has been a great production week.

What role does professional satisfaction play in the effectiveness of a classroom?

“Professional Satisfaction” has a large realm of a variety of things that can be counted as what causes one to feel satisfied as a professional. This satisfaction is powerful and will impact the classroom more than we can measure. Teachers need to find their “Professional Satisfaction” so they can make an impact in their classroom of students on a daily basis. Teachers have a myriad of reasons of why they fall out of the profession and need to focus on captivating their audience.

As a teacher in the classroom, the satisfaction can range from relationships with children to guiding the child to adulthood. It can range from challenging ones self with teaching through trying new ideas to participating in decision making in educational matters.   Teachers have a myriad of reasons why they are a teacher and the 20 year experienced teachers know that income is not the motivational factor.

It is agreed upon by many surveys that “Teachers satisfaction continues to decline”, according Strauss in The Washington Post. Many surveys ask if income is the problem and the majority of teachers say yes it is. In Bishay’s article in Teachers Job Satisfaction: A Study, most of the younger teachers aren’t satisfied with the pay. Yet, most teachers over 45 years of age are satisfied with the pay. The older teachers don’t focus on the pay and focus on other positive benefits to satisfy them. If the teacher is satisfied it will show up in the classroom, like Burgess, Teach like a PIRATE, states in one of his titles “Mediocrity doesn’t Motivate”. As teachers we must be motivators.

The art of motivating must come from deep within a teacher in order to engage students’ into learning when they don’t want to. Teachers need to keep abreast of their field to engage the students on a daily basis. Burgess makes a great point about people “. . . love their job because they are committed to be great”. This challenge, to be great, brings a satisfaction to the professional. Teachers need to keep themselves challenged, which in turn will satisfy them, in turn would motivate the students to want to be apart of the excitement. Teachers need to raise the bar so their peers will step up to the challenge and revolutionize their schools for their students. “Professional satisfaction” plays a huge role in the classroom and the teachers is the leader who models a commitment to be “great” so the students in turn will want to be great.

So, Professional Satisfaction does play in the effectiveness of all classrooms. As Teachers, we need to challenge ourselves to be great in our field, great in our presentations and take that risk of failing. Students need this model so they will learn to fail and try again to perfect their tasks. As Burgess put it, “We have to find our own personal drum and play it.” We need to model risk taking with our students so they will find their drum and play, in other words, be willing to fail their way to success.


Burgess, D. (2012). Teach like a Pirate: Increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting.

Strauss, V (2013) U.S. teachers’ job satisfaction craters report. The Washington Post. Retrieved September 11, 2015, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/02/21/u-s-teachers-job-satisfaction-craters-report/

Richmond, E (2015) Teacher Job Satisfaction Hits 25-Year Low. The Atlantic. Retrieved September 11, 2015 from http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/02/teacher-job-satisfaction-hits-25-year-low/273383/

Bishay, A (1996) Teachers Job Satisfaction. A Study. Retrieved September 11, 2015 from



I loved reading the book “Teach like a PIRATE”. It reminded me of my college days. I had taken Language Arts in the summer because I didn’t think I could do anything else at the same time. I read 3 stories per class; I didn’t understand anything about the stories while I was reading them. I forced myself to read them 3 times each, I never understood what I was reading.   In class the professor would bring the stories alive through acting. It was amazing. He would pull the stories out of me, stuff that I didn’t know was even there. Now that is the art of teaching.

I shared with fellow teachers the title of the book and tips of what I thought they could add to their teaching. As for the class I liked reading their views and hearing what jumped out of the book at them. It help bring back different GREAT points that Burgess had made in the book.

This week has inspired me to step out and I’m going to bring in fish tickets, from the Silverbay Packing Company and have the students calculate how much money was made. I haven’t quite thought this through yet, but I’m thinking I will have a drawing and have the students pick a ticket and calculate out how much money they made for one day of fishing. So, I am really inspired to step out of my routine and try something that the students can relate to. Since, we are a fishing community.

As for my mentee, Alex, I told her about our twitter class and how Dave Burgess had said Hi through the posts of our class. We thought that was really cool. Alex had also mentioned that she hadn’t done twitter before, so I think she realized that this class can really help her too.

So my hope is that not just the students see an impact from the book and this class, but my peers will want to follow and change/add to their teaching style. My hope is to have teachers take the class themselves.

Renovating Our Lessons To Engage Students

Sally Byrd

EDET668 Essential Question:

How do we keep our Lessons engaging? Does innovation play a part in this?

Lessons that reach the students must have interaction where the students’ are drawn in to participate in learning. Teachers need to change their focus of standards to students as their audience. Innovation must take place continually throughout a teachers’ career to keep students engaged in learning.

Lessons need to be engaging to students with active learning that requires high level thinking, so the focus should be on the students oppose to focusing on the standards that they will be tested on; this can be done in a variety of ways. In Washington.edu’s article “Center for Teaching and Learning” they say we can engage our students with their peers, with us or with props through problem solving. Teachers need to intentionally plan on interaction during their lesson. They need to ask themselves this question while creating each lesson “How are my students going to interact?” Ellen Ullman, in her article “How To Plan Effective Lessons”, says we need to know our students enough to use their interests to teach the concepts.   In order to engage our students we have to imagine we are in their shoes during the lesson and picture how they are feeling. Are they being drawn into the lesson? Or are they falling asleep to the routine that had been created? As teachers with audience that is forced to be there we need to raise our standards of teaching to creating an environment that the students want to be there; they want to be engage; as Dave Burgess said in his book, “Teach Like a PIRATE”, if we taught this lesson on Saturday would the students come to hear it?

This requires a good amount of creativity that requires teachers to step out of their comfort zone and be ready to fail as finding pathways to success. Another important step according to Ellen Ullman, is we need to share our experiences with our peers. Our peers can share, use or modify our lesson/technique to their subject/class.   By sharing we can grow and become better teachers together, with the focus on engaging students in learning.

As teachers we need to listen more to our students. We need to learn more about them so we can use their interests to draw them into lessons. With those lessons we can have “dynamic Discussions” and this can happen with proper planning suggests Washington.edu article. These two points of listening to students and dynamic discussions will cycle growth in teaching relevantly to the students by continually having the students discussion will reveal more about the students as well and be incorporated into future lessons.

In our lessons we need to always have the end in mind according to Ellen Ullman. We need to keep our focus on the concepts the students’ are suppose to walk away with. As we build the lesson we have to look at the lesson from the receiving end and make sure the students’ will see themselves in the lessons. They need to be able to relate to it. In theguardian article, “A teacher’s guide to immersive lessons”, suggests that teachers use music to draw in the emotions of the audience. They also suggest that we use visuals to “immerse the students into a topic quickly”. The students need help with props to bring reality to the lesson. The more immersion the students experience, the greater the memory of the lesson. As Burgess points out in his book, students should be talking about the lesson long after the lesson is over. The lesson should trigger thinking in the students, which brings the students back for more.

We must challenge our students so they will grow in knowledge and experiences.   This will happen with teachers listening and planning to engage students into their lessons through their interests, interaction with peers, instructor and props. With this we can have dynamic discussions and challenge the students to think on higher levels. So, the lessons need to innovate through music, planning to engage students through relevant lessons. Our greatest challenge I’d like to bring to an end with is in the Ellen Ullman’s she quotes Kelly Cedo, “Remember, we are preparing our students for jobs we don’t even know about yet.”

Reference List:

Ullman, E (2011). How To Plan Effective Lessons. Education UpDate. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/edcation-update/oct11/vol53/num10/How-To-Plan-Effective-Lessons.aspx

Findlater, S (2013), A teacher’s guide to immersive lessons. theguardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/aug/07/teaching-immersive-engaging-lessons

Burgess, D (2012) Teach Like a PIRATE. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. (San Diego, CA)

Findlater, S (2013), A teacher’s guide to immersive lessons. theguardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/aug/07/teaching-immersive-engaging-lessons

Burgess, D (2012) Teach Like a PIRATE. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. (San Diego