Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Revisiting GAME #2

Since my last posting for my 2 GAME goals, I have made some progress. My first goal being more fluent with technology both current and upcoming, I have taken several progressive steps towards this. This past week, I attended a full day of training to learn about the Promethean Board that I have. I learned so much and was so very excited to get back to my students and start playing. I also learned how to use the clickers, which I have wanted to do this for some time now, and I learned how to create my own assessments for the clickers. This is a huge step towards my goal. Additionally, the Internet has provided me with sample rubrics that I can use for assessing my students and myself, and also in finding resources to help me work on improving my electronic communications with my parents. With all the information I have found, I am right now trying to sort through while absorbing it all in order to utilize what I am able to use for my plan.

The only part of my plan, at this point, that I have to think about modifying is sending out a mass email to all of my colleagues throughout my county, which will invite them to join a collaborative yahoo group. A supervisor I contacted about last week said she thought there was something in place for special education teachers to visit, but what she is referring to is a link from an existing commercial site that has to be subscribed to.

One thing I have learned since creating my GAME plan is that it takes time to follow protocol and sometimes you are not able to advance to the next step unless you have completed all the current formalities. Also, some of these formalities are hinged upon human responses/actions, which further means, when they become able or choose to act! In addition, I have become more aware of how technology is really not integrated into the classroom or lessons when it is crunch time in preparation for state testing. Other colleagues do not want to “waste” their time on “fun” activities with our TCAP (state testing) being right around the corner.

Finally, one question that I have started pondering is how do I get my parents involved electronically? Many parents are choosing not to take advantage of the technology that is already in place such as: teacher web pages and our Power School that posts student’s grades.


  1. I have a Starboard, and I love it! Have fun learning all the new things you can do with your board. I must say, we do not have clickers and unfortunately, they will not be in the budget any time soon.
    I like the idea of doing a mass email to the teachers. I think this will create excitement with the teachers. It is nice to bounce ideas off of other teachers. Good for you! I look forward to hearing the responses you get from this as well.
    As far as your parents involvement, see if your Power School has an ability to email report cards and progress reports. I asked my parents to email me back when they receive the report cards. I print and email them as well through Harmony, similiar to Power School I think. I got their email addresses during Parent-teacher conferences and told them I would be testing it out.

  2. Kimberly,

    Power School is such a great tool to have and it works well for the parents that want to take advantage of it. I use it for my students to stay on top of things for not only my class but all of their classes. I have an older lap top that I have in my room that students can log into Power School to see what they are earning in my class as well as to see what they may be missing in all of their classes. I wish that more parents would take advantage of their log in for Power School, but its difficult to get some of them involved. The thing the I like most about Power School is that when parents who my question why their kids are not doing well in my class (or any class for that matter) I can show them everything that is going on in Power School and can put in notes about behaviors both positive and negative so that parents can check in at any time on their children. Keep up the good work and learning what new things that technology has to offer.


  3. Lesia,
    Thank you so much for your encouraging words!! First of all, I love, love, love the clickers! Talk about going "paperless". With the clickers, you can create, take, grade, and record tests and the scores!!! It's all paper-free! And the kids love it!! Maybe you could write a grant or sign up for a 'teacher wish-list' site. Even if you start with a few clickers, you could use them in small groups/centers and then rotate.
    Again, thank you for your positive remarks about my idea for mass emailing teachers. I was kinda bummed out when the persona I asked about doing this, wasn't as receptive as I wanted her to be!
    I will have to look more into PowerSchool, the problem is I'm not a regular ed teacher, so I don't have access to all of the students information! But you have sparked some ideas!
    Thanks again and have a wonderful week!!!

  4. Anthony,
    Thank you for your kind comments! I know PowerSchool is a wonderful tool, but the problem is that I don't have access to all the students information because I am not the record manager. Because I am co-teaching this year, one of the things that I gave up was being the keeper of grades/records. With this said, I really like how you let/invite your students to access their grades independently from your classroom. You teach upper grades, right? But I am thinking about how I could modify this for 4th graders. I will talk with my co-teachers to see if we could do something of that nature. This would also help with students saying "You GAVE me this grade, why?" We counter with "NO, you EARNED..", but if students were made aware of where they stand on a weekly basis, this might help motivate!!!
    Thanks Anthony, and keep up the good work yourself!

    PS- we were told not to put annotations beside assignments in our school.

  5. Your Power School online software sounds like our Gradelink software.

    Unfortunately, at our school, Gradelink is only used from 5th - 8th grade. The teachers in the lower grade -- and administration -- believe that for the younger students, seeing their grade progress will stress them out. It's also believed that parents will place unnecessary pressure on their children to do better in class. I'm not entirely convinced that a little pressure from parents is a bad thing.

    Thanks for your post.