Sunday, December 20, 2009


According to the website: "Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) is a research based learning environment where students are actively engaged in mastering course content and in developing essential skills by working in self-managed teams on guided inquiry activities.

In addition to learning, understanding, and applying new concepts, students also develop important process skills in the areas of information processing, critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, communication, management, and assessment. The instructor facilitates student learning by appropriately guiding and questioning the teams as they work through the specially designed activities.

As of 2007, over 700 instructors have adopted a POGIL approach in their high school, college, and university classrooms and laboratories."


I have joined the HS chemistry section and am finding useful classroom resources.
Worth checking out!

Happy holidays!



Friday, December 18, 2009

Careers Unit

The third graders at Alsup Elementary will be starting a unit about careers in January. We have built a wiki page that includes a survey for people to share with us about their careers. The survey is very short!!! It asks two main questions: Why do you work? and What skills do you use in your work?

We are trying to get as many people to fill in information for our students. Please take a moment to answer these questions on our wiki!

The wiki survey will help our students learn about the variety of careers and connect with hopefully a global community.

Here is the survey:

Thank you!

Friday, December 11, 2009

SmartBoard Classroom Activities Secondary Grades posted to Atomic Learning

Below are links to SmartBoard classroom lessons/activities created by Global Learner, Justin Davis that have been posted on Atomic Learning.  Note, you must be logged in to your Atomic Learning account to access the lessons/activities.

MS Photo Story Lessons posted to Atomic Learning

Below are links to MS Photo Story lessons created by Adams 14 Global Learners, Mary Davenport, Lisa Garcia, and Laurie Arnold that have been posted on Atomic Learning.  Note, you must be logged in to your Atomic Learning account to access the lessons.

SmartNotebook V.10 Classroom Activities Elementary Grades

Below are links to SmartNotebook V.10 classroom lessons/activities created by Adams 14 Global Learners, Jon Fisher, Sara Zaleski, Lisa Kellogg, Andrew Giles, Sarah Feaster, and Dorothy Lo that have been posted on Atomic Learning. Note, you must be logged in to your Atomic Learning account to access the lessons\activities.

2nd Grade Math lesson using PowerPoint and Voicethread posted on Atomic Learning

Below are links to a 2nd Grade Math lesson that has been created by Adams 14 Global Learner, Michelle Waheed and posted on Atomic Learning.  Note, you must be logged in to your Atomic Learning account to access the lesson.

Glogster Edu in the Classroom 3rd Grade Math lessons posted on Atomic Learnig

Science Secondary Grades - Lessons Posted to Atomic Learning

Below are links to Science Secondary Grades lessons that have been created by Adams 14 Global Learners, Doug Abshire and James Howat.  These lessons have been posted on Atomic Learning.  Note you must be logged in to your Atomic Learning account to access the lessons.

Center Global Learners - Posted Promethean Lessons on Atomic Learning

Below are links to the Promethean Activinspire lessons that have been created by Center Global Learners, Jim Hood, Jeri Trujillo, JoAnn Lopez and Melissa Garcia.  The lessons have been posted on Atomic Learning.  Note you must be logged in to your Atomic Learning account to access the lessons.  You must also have Activinspire software on your computer to view the lessons.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Love this site!

Hey primary teachers! Check out this website:! It has interactive stories, along with follow-up activities. My class has read two stories on it, "The Gingerbread Man" and "The Little Red Hen"and they're begging to read more!

On another note, my kids are using technology like it's second nature! They are more engaged when I have involved the Smart Board in my lessons, especially during our new literacy block. the students' behavior is better as well when they know they have a chance to come up to use the Smart Board! I love it!

At Rose Hill, we are working on fundraisers to raise money for more teachers to have Smart Boards in their room. The Rose Hill technology team will let you all know when events are...BINGO night is coming in the spring!

A "Wordle" is worth a thousand words.

This is post number 305 on the Global Learner Blog for 2009, nearly double the posts for 2008.  The Wordle created today shows clearly where the emphasis for 21st Century Teaching & Learning lies within the GL cohort.  As this year ends please take time to congratulate yourself, other Global Learners and colleagues for dedicating yourselves to the STUDENTS in Adams 14 and Center School Districts. 

Thanks for all you do.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Where has the time gone?

As I look back on these last few months, the first thought that comes to mind is "Whew"! It has been one of many adventures and challenges! I realized on Friday as I lost the connection to the projector switching from the document camera back to the laptop and was forced to use the whiteboard, I have really integrated and become dependent on 21st Century learning tools in my classroom! It was very odd to teach a lesson which I normally use the laptop cart for and go back to the whiteboard. What a difference!

I have found big and little ways to incorporate routines of technology in the classroom. We utilize the smartboard and powerpoint on a daily basis in Literacy, and with the changes we have been making, I have been grateful for the opportunity to have a projector and laptop to plan thorough lessons that flow. A couple of my students have struggled with success in using the smart board in whole group settings, and I have found that small group or individual opportunities have offered a lot of success. For example in writing, I have our writer's process up on the smart board so that students move their name through Plan, Draft, Peer Edit, Teacher Edit, and Publish. We utilize the technology to enhance our learning, and that process has been an experience of the classroom community. As I reflect on some of our set routines, I think about the opportunities still out there to explore.

We also use live streaming to build background knowledge both is Science and Literacy, and are exploring a small community in Alaska where our class pen pals live. Last year writing to Alaska, I brought in pictures and made a poster board to help students gain background knowledge with what I thought was success. This year, I am able to easily take students to the community or similar environments via Google Earth, videos, and picasa. I notice we have taken a step further in our knowledge and understanding of the community and the area.

As we move into the 2nd half of the school year, I am looking forward to building on my successes, continuing to work on my challenges and explore new opportunities with 21 Century Learning.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I am in the process of collaborating with the Algebra teacher at Hanson through my mentor. After wondering for a while how to successfully implement a blog in my mathematics classrooom I decided that it would be beneficial to allow students to create their own word problems for solving systems of equations. My belief is that if the students are able to create a problem then it demonstrates their knowledge of the topic. Also, my students appear to be excited to be able to solve each others problems and it is a lot better than me just giving them work to do. This blog has really allowed my students to take ownership over their education and I think that this is a really powerful tool.

I know that I still have a lot to learn about how to best implement these new technological resources into my classroom, but I am glad that I am taking the chance to try them out in my class and I know that the more often I use them the easier it will become. As with anything new that you attempt there will always be some bumps in the road, but so far we have worked through them and in all honesty the students are pretty good at figuring things out as well.

As this collaborative process continues I expect it to benefit all of the students. It is really amazing how technology can bring classrooms together even though they are in seperate schools. I am extremely grateful for the knowledge that I have gained through our training that we had way back in the beginning of the year as well as by reading about what other teachers are doing in their classrooms through our Global Learner blog.

The web address of our classroom blog is Please stop by and let me know what you think is done well, what I can do better, or just to check out what my Algebra students are working on.


Book Reports Updated!

I challenged my AVID students to read a book outside of class and create an advertisement Glogster so other students may read and choose new books for themselves. I was really nervous about asking them to do this outside of class as I did not know how many of them would be able to avail themselves to computers. I was pleasently surprised! Not only did 90% of them complete the assignment on their own, but they were excited and anxious to do another. This really cemented my ideas that our students are truly ready to be 21st Century learners; all we need to do is challenge them.

Here's a sample page:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

OMG! It's December!

I can't believe that it is December! This entire semester is almost over and it's gone by so fast. I've been working with Drew and Jenny on transferring a lot of the curriculum lessons into SmartBoard notebook form. It's been fun and a great way to see how each of us has gotten better and better at making each lesson. It was just a great idea to split up the lessons, otherwise it would have simply been too overwhelming. This website has some great lessons already made up and is a great tool to add to our daily lesson! :) We are unsure about posting these lessons b/c we are using images from the materials.... I think one funny thing that happened this semester is that we had our kindergartners make a video about our PBS system at our school, it was posted on Youtube.... and WE CANT FIND IT! Whoops! One thing I'm pretty impressed with is that my student teacher took the initiative and made up her own SmartBoard lessons! It's hard to imagine teaching without all these precious technological resources. I'm aiming to make more notebook activities for my students to use in the spring (when they'll have become more independent), and updating my blog much more often! :)

21st Century

I have already reflected a little bit about one of my lessons that was focused on students creating digital 21st century products. As I mentioned before, I had my students create glogster posters for our unit on writing and solving two step equations. Each pair of students had to write their own word problem and solve it both algebraically as well as using pictures.

As the students were working there were quite a few different issues that arose. Whether it was students having trouble signing in, using new software, or just having trouble getting the laptops to work. Anyways, throughout these difficulties I was a little stressed because it seemed like every one was having some kind of problem and I couldn't help all of them at once. Also in the back of my mind was I wonder what an administrator would think right now if they walked in...

With that being said, it did end up taking some students longer than others to finish, but they were all excited to finish and they even wanted to come in during their lunch to work. I will be honest there were some finished products that came out better than others, but all of my students worked their way through the project and I believe that the more opportunities I give my students to get familiar with glogster the better all of them will get!

I have attached some amazing work that my students were able to create. Please take a moment to check it out.



Well, one of my goals this year was to learn how to use Voicethread. Thanks to Jon Fisher, I now know how. Jon and I recently did a project using Voicethread. We read a story in Story Town called Jamaica Louise James, and it is about a girl who "beautifies" the subway station with her art work. We both had our classes work in groups to create a picture that could be hung in a place to make it more cheerful. We then uploaded those pictures on Voicethread and had students read a sentence that they created about the picture using at least two Robust vocabulary words that we have learned this year. We have not yet, but will have each others class comment on the pictures and sentences.
Overall, I find Voicethread fairly easy to use. One problem that I had with it, and found VERY frustrating, was that when it came time to upload it on my blog, it would not let me do it. And yes, I was doing this correctly. I tried numerous times and eventually gave up and just cut and pasted the link in my blog. Oh well, I guess nothing is perfect!

technical difficulties

As I reflect over the year I realized i haven't reflected on my technology projects. It's been a difficult start for me because I didn't have access to my laptop for about 2 months. Now that i have it back I have been taking advantage of every chance i can ge to have student interact with the smart board.Stay tuned for some of the activities I've been working on.

Where is this year flying off to????

1/2 year almost gone. My room and my promethean board... What would I do without them? I love them. My kids love them. They can almost work it better than I do. During the past 2 weeks during transistion time, my students sneak up to the board and leave messages to me on it, draw on it, create using tools. When for some reason or another it stops working for a minute, a few of my students run to the computer and fix the problem. They love it as much as I do.

I have created rule flip charts for each of my blocks of independent work time. At the beginning of the block - I go through instruction and directions, ask for questions and then place the rule page up. The read and reread and go to work. It is wonderful. The students wrote the rules and monitor their and other behaviors. The rules list the consequences and the positive rewards for following the rules, thus when someone breaks a rule, there is no complaining or excuses.

I have started flip charts as an introduction and teaching tool for most of my subjects in science and social studies - I have begun to embed videos and activote exercises. These also become a study guide to review for a test.

I use it to make notes as I teach and save and then students can review by asking for my notes. It helps for students that are absent as I can print them off for the absent ones and it helps catch them up.

I have heard others say that they will not ever teach without one and would buy one if they did not have one.... I now fully agree! Have a good December!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Busy November

November is always crazy as I'm preparing for three winter programs! Technology is so great. I make short videos with pictures and words to accompany the songs and it really gets the kids engaged.
I have also done a little collaborative project with Jenny. I have engineered some of her math songs, removing vocals in parts so that the kids have to fill in without the singer on the cd. We'll let you know how the kids like it.
I have just finished a fall project with Mr. Fisher's class. We took fall pictures here in Center, my students collected leaves and made some leaf rubbings. My class also wrote fall poems which we posted on our wiki site along with Mr. Fisher's class. Mr. Fisher was very supportive in helping me out with this project. I felt like a took a big risk because technology and I do not get along. My class had a good time doing this project. It was very time consuming because of all the other things we have to do as teachers, but at the same time it was a learning experience for both my students and I.
Tita Martinez
Haskin Elementary