What I Bought: Thrift Store Shopping Spree

Took the afternoon off for some retail therapy at Desert Industries (a local thrift shop) yesterday afternoon..


What I Wore: From Kindergarten to College

My weeks are now full of classrooms from Kindergarten to College! Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays at College of Southern Idaho for English 102. Tuesday afternoons at Morningside Elementary for some classroom volunteering and leading a small reading group.


running late




Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback

Pitler shares four recommendations for classroom practice related to setting objectives in the textbook Using Technology with Classroom Instruction That Works (pp. 17-18). Setting objectives is the process of establishing a direction to guide learning (Maranzo, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001; Pintrich & Schunk, 2002). When teachers communicate objectives for student learning, students can see more easily the connections between what they are doing in class and what they are supposed to learn (Pitler, p.17)
  1. Set learning objectives that are specific but not restrictive – By gauging their starting point in relation to the learning objectives and determining what they need to pay attention to and where they might need help from the teacher or others, students can minimize their anxiety about their ability to succeed (Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone, 2012)
  2. Communicate learning objectives to students and parents – keeping parents abreast on the objectives, classroom on goings and the expectations can cut down on parent complaints, eliminate misinformation and increase parent involvement (Pitler, p. 36)
  3. Connect learning objectives to previous and future learning – objectives create a roadmap for the student, parent and teacher allowing them to follow where they have been, where they are and where they are going.
  4. Engage students in setting personal learning objectives – research shows that allowing students to set some of their own learning goals increases their motivation to learn (Hom & Murphy, 1983)
Pitler also shares four recommendations for classroom practice with regard to providing feedback (Pitler, p.38):
  1. Provide feedback that addresses what is correct and elaborates on what students need to do next.
  2. Provide feedback appropriately in time to meet students’ needs – research shows that the more immediate the feedback is in classroom settings, the greater its impact on student behavior (Kulik & Kulik, 1988).
  3. Provide feedback that is criterion referenced
  4. Engage students in the feedback process
Providing students with feedback that is corrective, timely, and focused on criteria, along with involving students in the process, creates a classroom environment that supports learning. The goal of providing feedback is to give students information about how well they are performing relative to a particular learning objective so that they can improve their performance (Pitler, p.38).

Dean, C. Hubbell, E.R., Pitler, H., & Stone, B.J. (2012). Classroom instruction that works (2nd ed..) Alexandria, VA; ACSD.
Hom, H.L., Jr., & Murphy, M.D. (1983). Low achiever’s performance: The positive impact of a self-directed goal. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 11, 275-285.
Kulik, J.A., & Kulik, C.C. (1988). Timing of feedback and verbal learning. Review of Educational Research, 58, 79-97)
McLeod, S., & Lehmann, C. (2012). Chapter 1: Blogs. In What school leaders need to know about digital technologies and social media (pp. 5, 9-10, 17). San Francisco, CA:Jossey-Bass.
Moranzo, R.J., Pickering, D.J., & Pollock, J.E. (2001). Classroom Instruction that works:Research based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA ASCD.
Pitler, H. (2012). Chapter 1: Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback. In using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed., pp. 17-18, 35-38, 51).  Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Blogs & Wikis in the Classroom

Image: http://cockroachesladybugs.blogspot.com/
Image: http://cockroachesladybugs.blogspot.com/
A blog is a communication and collaboration tool that provides a way for teacher and student to set and communicate goals and objectives (Pitler, p.35). They can also be used to differentiate student learning (Pitler, p.37). Blogs are inexpensive and easy to maintain and manage without the need for web development skills (Pitler, p.51). In the textbook What school leaders need to know about digital technologies and social media it states, “one of the great educational benefits of the read/write web, and blogging particulary, is the opportunity for the student to become a teacher by presenting material to an audience. When we teach, we learn.” (McLeod, p.5)
Blogs can be used in the classroom (McLeod, p. 9-10):
• as an interactive showcase of the students’ work
• bring transparency to one’s teaching practice
• a way to share technology in the classroom (or any subject matter) that can enhance teaching, learning, and examine the real purpose of schools
• as a way to post homework assignments, key events, and discussion questions
• by allowing other teachers and administrators to visit the classroom to learn from as well as participate in the lessons, providing a number of transparent learning experiences
• teachers can post in depth homework instructions, videos on lessons and more helping student and parent away from the classroom for homework and extended learning
Wikis are similar to blogs however they are more versatile, providing a way for groups to collaborate by contributing and easily accessing information on a given topic. A wiki allows all users to easily add and edit content so it is well suited for collaborative writing and project based learning. The constant feedback mechanism of a wiki is what makes it a uniquely powerful learning tool. Being web-based, contributors do not need to be in the same geographical area, nor do they need to be working on it at the same time. Both blogs and wikis provide timely, interactive, and criterion based dieback to students (Pitler, p.51).

Wikis can be use in the classroom (McLeod, p.17):
• summarizing lessons learned
• archival record of course notes between students
• test notes
• embedding of video games for studying course content
• sharing videos to explain topics
• students assigned a topic, research and edit
• students work together to learn and share with classmates and receive feedback
• collection of content from coursework over a period of time
• blog or wiki hall of fame – nomination of others for recognition
• teacher website, embedding calendars for classroom organization

McLeod, S., & Lehmann, C. (2012). Chapter 1: Blogs. In What school leaders need to know about digital technologies and social media (pp. 5, 9-10, 17). San Francisco, CA:Jossey-Bass.
Pitler, H. (2012). Chapter 1: Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback. In using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed., pp. 17-18, 35-38, 51).  Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

What I Wore: Kindergarten Classroom

Black Sweater - Desert Industries
Tan Dress - Desert Industries
Black Pants - Desert Industries


What I Wore ... last week

Enjoying my last days of vacation before school begins next week!

Black Sweater from Desert Industries. Beige Turtleneck Sweater from Desert Industries. Black Tank Top from Target. Jeans from Shopko. Brown Boots from Deb. Black Boot Socks from Target.
Black Sweater from DI. Beige Turtleneck Sweater from DI. Black Tank Top from Target.
Jeans from Shopko. Brown Boots from Deb & Black Boot Socks from Target.

If you are a college student, Spring is about to begin!

Classes start January 20th, looking forward to another semester in the Elementary Education Program at the College of Southern Idaho! I will be heading to the bookstore this week and purchasing the necessary textbooks for my classes (about $500 worth) But they are a valuable asset for my future and a good investment so I am not going to complain (well at least not out loud).
The last two semesters I have taken all of my courses online. This semester, as I am not responsible for hours in the classroom (though I am volunteering with the Kindergarten class every Tuesday) and half a cup is in school all afternoon, I decided to adventure inside the classroom for English Comp 2. (have not done this since the 90’s). The remainder of my classes will be taken online and completed at all hours of the day and night as it fits to my schedule.
Courses I am taking this semester are in the picture below:
Spring Semester 2015
If you pray – can you say one for me. Thanks!

What I Wore: Reading Group Leader

With my field experience in the classroom complete, I could not stay away from the Kinders so I volunteered to work in the classroom on Tuesdays. During this time I will complete activities as needed by the classroom teacher as well as lead a reading group. This group is for those who are having difficulties with learning letter recognition and sounds (knowing less than 25).
Today, The group teacher directed me to a group of children and gave me a game to play and some flash cards to use. We had an incredible time. When it was over I asked if I could create a few of my own games and activities to use with the group and she said yes! I am so excited, I already have a few ideas.

Scarf: Gift from Mom Flower pins: Gift from Mom Sweater: Purchased at Desert Industries Thrift Store White Long/Sleeve Shirt: Purchased at Target Grey Pants: Purchased at Goodwill


Menu Planning 101

Preparing a menu for your family does not have to be a difficult task. It will take a little bit of preparation at first (will post a post on this another time); however, once that is complete menu planning can be done in the following 4 simple steps:

Menu planning can save you time (this literally took me about 17 minutes tonight) and money (no extra trips to the grocery store, have a list of what you need). Do you menu plan? How do you do it? I would love to know, please share in the comments below.