Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The most useful topic for me this semester...

     There are many things that I have learned this semester (and this year) that will be useful to me in my classroom. The one I will blog about is the use of technology. This was the area that I was weakest in when I was hired September 30, 2011. I knew this going in and I discussed it with my Assistant Principal during the interview for the position. He assured me that there would be "some training" and that I would be okay. I can honestly say that he was correct. There was some training, however, it was probably more geared toward prior knowledge of technology and veteran teachers. As a Registered  Nurse for fifteen years my expertise is in the knowlege of keen assessment, care planning, and education of clients and their families regarding their care. This required little or no use of technology most of the time. The equipment ( i.e IV pumps, blood pressure monitors, CT and MRI machines) used in the clinical setting was what I viewed as "use of technology. The only thing we used the computer for was to print out lab results and print out educational instructions for patients when discharged home. Now that I have learned multiple ways to engage students in the classroom, I am adding that knowledge to what I had previously learned from my school system and I am confident that I will be a more effective teacher in the years to come. I am EXTREMELY greatful for all the knowledge I have acquired from NTI, and the use of technology is like the icing on the cake for me!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Project Based Learning benefit

The one area I believe benefitted me the most this semester was the final project we did, Project Based Learning. In my area, Marketing/Business, I have a lot of group projects. Many of these projects are monsters and can span several weeks. Managing these projects can be truly challenging with 7 to 9 different groups of up to 4 students each.

The most beneficial point delivered by this project was the breaking it down part. Giving the students 2 or 3 benchmarks to assess their progress and give them additional direction has already proven very useful in my classes. Managing the project process is not nearly as daunting when done this way. It has also proven to make the grading of these large projects easier. I guess the saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” really rings true here.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Most Useful Topic.....

I would have to say that the most useful topic that I learned during this semester had to be the technology lesson. By my own admission, technology is NOT my forte!!! I always seem to be light years behind everyone else, when it comes to technology. I found the information that each group shared to be quite informative. A few of the sites were familiar to me, meaning, I had heard of them, but not used them. Most were new to me.  The other day, about 15 minutes before class began, I was playing around with wisc-online and found a cool interactive power point on the chain of infection. It was exactly what I have been teaching my students for the past week. I was planning on using the lesson plan that I had worked on the night before to review the topic with my class. I figured that the interactive powerpoint would be neat to use at a later time, after I had more to play with it. As it turned out, my class flew through the lesson review that I had planned for them. Just as I realized they were going to finish up before I needed them to, my administrator walked in to evaluate me!! "Great news class", I said, "I have a special surprise that I planned just for you today!". I proceeded to go to wisc-online. The kids really enjoyed the powerpoint, and I watched as my administrator nodded approvingly. Thanks Trent, for introducing me to this site!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lessons Learned

The most valuable lesson we covered in class was the different ways to group students. I really thought this was a strong point in my teaching, but after analyzing the way students work together, I realized I had a few weak areas I needed to focus more on when it comes to grouping. I found it eye opening to see that when I thought I was pairing like-minded students together, I was really creating a “power house group” that gave those students somewhat of an advantage with the assignment. I have since changed the way I create groups, and I have gotten better about not always letting the students pair up themselves. The biggest thing I learned about myself during this class, is that I am a lot more motivated and tend to stay on task when I am in a classroom or small group setting. I often times found myself shifting my focus to other things during online class and I found it extremely difficult to make myself sit down and do the assignments alone. I am fortunate enough to live near some of my classmates, and I found that I am a lot more motivated and focused when we meet up and complete work together.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Planning for all students

One thing that I learned via web discussions is that all students learn differently. One thing that I really didn't master until this year is planning for all of my students. I know one thing is for sure, all of my students seem to grasp my lessons better because I put a lot of auditory and visual activities into every lesson. Right away I saw that all of my students were also more interactive with one another as well. What I found out was that some of my students didn't interact with each, not because they didn't like each other, but because they were afraid to show that they didn't understand the content of the lesson. One thing that I had to keep in mind was that students' egos had to come into play, especially males. Males generally don't like to admit that they don't understand something and I had to really evaluate my students often because again, many students don't like to show to their inability to answer a question. Something that was unexpected for me was that it's actually a lot of fun planning for everyone. When you literally plan for everyone, you have more options in terms of the classes' activities. For example, if I planned for strictly for visual learners I could only have five options for my classes. If I planned for both audio and visual learners, I know I could possibly have 10 options in terms of lessons. That for me that would mean the possibilities are endless in terms of lessons. Overall, my lessons are much more complete and have more options when I started to plan for all types of learners, but I had to find out that practice means perfect!!!

Valuable Lessons Learned

Over the course of this semester, I have learned a lot that I did not previously know. Much of what I have learned has proved to be invaluable in my classroom. For example, I will start with the grouping strategies. This is probably information that I should have known, but I had never really taken the time to think about it in that much detail. After we worked on it in class, it made sense and it made several of my assignments go much smoother than they had previously. Secondly, the Bloom's Taxonomy lessons were very beneficial to me as I was not familiar with Bloom or his work prior to this class. It has also helped me in planning and lessons. Lastly, the task assignments that we had to create have really helped me in my classes. Last year, I would just assign projects and then have to prod students along to do their work. Creating the task lists has helped me in keeping students on track with their assignments that last longer than one class period. All of these lessons have helped me tremendously. I learn a little more each week that makes my life a lot easier in the classroom and I really appreciate it.