What I Wore Last Week: Red Edition

The color of the week was red! Monday and Tuesday I wore Red for Public Education & Friday was Wear Red for Women’s Heart Health awareness. 

I started completing a style challenge this month on Instagram. This gives me assistance with what to wear each day! A topic is given and we can put our own personal spin on it. February 1st was Black Beauty and the 3rd was Jeans & Jewlery ( I did not participate on the 2nd, I took a personal day).

Educational Website Integration Scenario: Write About

Write About is a platform for digital writing in today’s classroom. The site describes itself as, “A community where students engage in high interest writing for an authentic audience and teachers help students grow through the writing process” (par. 1). Write About is a controlled blogging site specifically for students and teachers; simple and safe digital space to become a  better writer. We want students to be able to grow as writers; I am a firm believer that more  writing practice makes a better writer. The more you write, the better you become. I read that a student should be writing more than what the teacher is grading in a English Language Arts  (ELA) classroom. Write About gives students a place to do just that. Students create the post assigned by teacher, on their own topic, or through the variety of subjects/ ideas available on the site. Students can receive feedback from teacher. Published posts can get be read and receive  comments publicly, privately, or through specific groups.  

    The opportunities for this site are endless, the teacher has complete control of how he or
she would like to use it in the classroom. One way that I would like to use Write About is in a  weekly writing experience. I will have guidelines for the writing experience based on the current unit we are in and what I would like to see the students complete; argumentative, persuasive,  reflection, personal narrative, poetry, analysis, etc. Then through the week, students will search  through the topics made available on the site based on what I have provided them. I will keep most of their posts to being published within the classroom. At student’s request, I will make them open to my other classrooms and to the public. I believe that students will be motivated to write better if it is open to their classmates (and parents). Often students are lazy in their writing experiences if it just another weekly assignment for their teacher to read. Posting to their classmates gives them an authentic audience and they become published authors. Once their post is finished, with pictures and videos if they choose to do so, they will need to respond to other students posts. This will help in the revision process for the commenter and the writer. Students will then have the opportunity to make changes before I respond. When I was little, I remember creating a short story book that was made available in the library for classmates to read. It made me become a better writer, I wanted to make sure that this short story would be a fun read for my classmates. I wanted to make them smile. I recall hearing from classmates and teachers that they read my short story and that they loved it. One stated that I should write an entire series. I can only imagine how much of a better writer I would have become during the school years if I had the opportunity to do this more than once. With this site, students have this opportunity each week!  

 Often teachers and students are left with limited ideas in their writing and/or teachers are left with piles of papers to read and grade. Write About solves both of these issues quite simply; students have a variety of topics and teachers can read their posts from anywhere without having to carry around multitudes of folders of paper. Students often are bored with writing week after week for their teacher, Write About gives them an audience. Students of all writing levels can  appreciate this platform. Students will low writing abilities receive a lot of practice in developing the writing process and gain feedback from their peers and teachers. Students with high writing abilities are able to choose from higher level topics and able to publish their material for other  classrooms, the entire Write About community, or even published to all on the internet. English Language learners will benefit from having a variety of levels of topic and frequent feedback to
assist them in learning the writing process. Those students with a various learning disabilities will benefit with the online environment; text to speech, videos, typing, read aloud instructions and topics, and more.

 This site truly is one for all students, eliminating common barriers in learning the skill of
writing. I am truly excited about this site and cannot wait to use this or one similar in my future middle school ELA classroom.

Educational Application Integration Scenario: Voxer

     The Voxer application is a means of sending voice messages and text messages to an individual or group. This application can be integrated into many different learning and teaching experiences in the middle school English Language Arts (ELA) classroom. 

     One specific way to use this application in ELA is creating a virtual literature circle, creating a place for groups of students to continually and actively discuss the books they are reading. Providing students with
the platform to share thoughts and ideas of the literature and gain further insights through the information gathered from their class-mates and teacher. Application assists with both time and differentiation for a better student focused classroom that a teacher can effectively manage.

Time is consistently an issue with middle school teachers. There is never enough of it for reading, discussing, analyzing, teaching, etc. This application allows more time for discussing and analyzing the literature we are reading in the classroom. A student reads the assigned portion of book at home, prepares his or her thoughts, and records them in his or her literature circle created on the Voxer app. Other students currently reading the same book, also completes the above steps. Later, the students return to hear the conversation that is being formed. Allowing all students to take part in the learning activity. This will be extremely beneficial to those who are learning English as a second language and those with learning disabilities in which an auditory platform can be of assistance. The teacher can join into the conversation, ask questions, and assess the knowledge that is being offered in the conversation. The teacher can also direct specific situations of the days lecture to the story in which they are reading. 

     Differentiated learning is simplified with this application, as students can be placed into groups reading different books based on reading level, interests, and more. Lecture time can be held to discuss what literary elements the students are looking for within their texts. Students are learning such literary elements through the story and group they are assigned to. No longer are the too low or too high of a reading level or the lack of interest in the book subject, barriers to learning the required skills of the ELA class.

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Website & App in the ELA Classroom

I have found a website and application to integrate into my future ELA classroom, Write About & Voxer.

Website Information

Title Write About

URL www.writeabout.com

Subject ELA – Writing

Grade Level Elementary/ Middle School +

Short Description A community of students for engagement in writing activities so teachers can assist students in the writing process from Brainstorming to a controlled Publication. Provide your own writing topic, locate one for the entire class, or allow your students to choose one based on interest. Collaborate with other students in the classroom and those around the world. Receive feedback from teacher, students, and other community members.

Educational Website Integration Scenario: Write About

Application Information

Title Voxer

URL www.voxer.com

Subject ELA – Reading (varies by teacher’s needs)

Grade Level 3rd grade +

Short Description Free application that allows students to talk, text, and picture message from any device in a controlled, safe environment. Each student has their own username and password to connect with classroom users. Ability to use google e-mail with contacts of students only and teacher. Chat rooms can be created for study groups, literature circles, and more. Allowing teacher to be in each one of the groups to monitor and help discussions. Students can stay connected to their classmates outside of the classroom for further learning. The opportunities are endless!

Educational Application Integration Scenario: Voxer

Have you used these technologies in your classroom? I would love to hear your ideas!

What I Wore Last Week

Here is my collection of outfits for last week. See details of each day on Instagram! Linking up with Pleated Poppy, What I Wore Wednesday. Let me know that you came by, I would love to connect with you. 

Mexico City Policy aka Global Gag Rule

It is more than eliminating funds for abortion. It is a ban against the use of U.S. foreign aid in any clinic, hospital, or provider that performs abortions, refers abortions, or suggests them to women. Which means these men and women do not not receive sexual education, screenings, birth control, or abortions. And for those who believe that women can receive abortions with the exception due to violence, rape, or incest … most of these women do not have a voice and are unable to claim such acts. They suffer in silence. In addition, pregnancy care is lacking in these areas causing women and children to be affected with diseases, health issues, and death. 

The United States Government should not place their beliefs on the world. Do you think this will create a stronger United States by making the world weaker? Do you think this creates bonds between the U.S and other countries? This is a humanitarian effort that provides for those who are less fortunate around the world… the people of our heritage. The people who were not lucky to be born in the United States. Imagine how fortunate you are to be birthed in this place. There was nothing that you did to gain such right, you just came into this world… and now some feel that they are better than others with this luck, so they can place their beliefs on others. 

The founder of World Vision once prayed, “may the things that break Your heart Lord, let them break mine.” While working at WV I had the privilege to work alongside some amazing men and women who provided care to those people that broke the heart of God. I too had a part in that assistance, making a difference in people’s lives without an agenda. Without something in return, just the opportunity to love. My heart is breaking tonight by the acts of our government and the people that are in support of it. My heart cries for those who support it blindly, unaware of the meanings behind “Making America Great Again” (which Trump cannot do, he is U.S. president. America includes Canada, U.S., Mexico, and all the countries in South America too)

We cannot be silent, we must be a voice for those who do not have one. Today it is women in other countries around the world, tomorrow it may be the women around our nation, our states, our, counties, our cities, our neighborhoods, and our homes. 

Do do not take my word for it, here is a credible resource for your reading pleasure .. please share this entire post when you read it. People need to know what is happening today…

What I Wore Last Week

I have been doing some fashion blogging on Instagram, sharing my outfit for the day. It has been a lot of fun, trying something new and meeting new people. Here is an overview of last week!


Each day I share a quote and details of the outfit/ accessories that I wore. You can find me on instagram here, go head over there and follow me! Linking up with appeared Poppy on What I Wore Wednesday, head on over there to see what everybody is wearing...

Educational Technology Context & Foundation

I absolutely love my Instructional Technology course I am taking this semester at ISU! Integrating technology into all aspects of the classroom to benefit both student and teacher is extremely important to me. Part of the requirement of this class will be to create a Philosophy of our own in regards to placing tecnhlogy into the classroom. In order for us to complete this, through the course we are finding professional resources and material within our textbook to expand and define our current technology ideals.

Here is my takeaways from our readings this week:

     In Chapter 1 of our textbook, Roblyer states,

For the processes, or instructional procedures for applying tools, we look to … applications of technology that help prepare students for future jobs by teaching them skills in using current tools, as well as skills in ‘learning to learn’ about tools of the future that have not yet been invented – or even imagined (p. 5).

     I find the idea of “learning to learn about tools of the future” to be an extremely important guide in today’s teaching of technology and preparing our students for the future. This changes the focus of learning technology, we need to learn enough to complete the tasks we are to complete; however, its not about having lessons on the particular technology that we know it deeply as software, hardware, etc changes so rapidly. Yet we should direct lessons on the ability of learning to learn. Being able to take the basic knowledge and apply it to any program that comes our way. I read once that computer programmers, computer design students, and the like graduate with a degree with most of the information they have learned is outdated. Similar to our students, It is important for them to know how to learn and adapt to the rapidly changing technology in our world. 

     In Chapter 1 of our textbook research completed by Devaney in 2010 teaches us, 

Schools with one-to- one computing programs had fewer discipline problems, lower dropout rates, and higher rates of college attendance (p. 22).

     I am not surprised by such research results. As a future teacher, I would love to adapt or be apart of a school in which is involved within a 1:1. Eliminating factors of students not having the technology accessible in and outside of the classroom. This research on technology in education tells us that there are many more benefits to the use than what we originally thought. My thought that the fewer discipline problems, lower dropout rates, and higher rates of college attendance is in the idea that students are engaged, lessons are adaptable to many learning styles, and they feel better prepared to go on to higher education because of their experience!

     In Chapter 2 of our textbook, Roblyer states, 

Teachers will always use some directed instruction as the most efficient means of teaching required skills; teachers will always need motivating, cooperative learning activities to ensure that students want to learn and that they can transfer what they learn to problems they encounter. Proficient technology-orientated teachers must learn to combine directed instruction and constructivist approaches and to select technology resources and integration methods that are best suited to their specific needs (p. 49).

     I tend to lean toward the constructivist methods, ideologies, and epistemologies in the modern day classroom. It is innovative, collective; it is about movement and collaboration. It is appealing to me as a teacher to make the classroom appealing to today’s student. Yet there is an importance in the ideals and methods of directed instruction. As a future teacher and as I go about creating my integrating technology philosophy is in important to develop a balance between the two.

Roblyer, M.D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson             Education, Inc. 

He called me mom

Laying in my unmade bed covered in last weeks laundry, my eyes became extremely heavy as though there were weights hanging from my eyelids. I had not been sleeping well since my first child Malachi was born 11 months prior. Realizing that I had not yet prepared dinner, given him a bath nor created a shopping list for tomorrow’s early morning shopping trip I just wanted to crawl underneath my covers and hibernate until his 18th birthday.I began to hear noises coming from Malachi’s room. “Well so much for hibernation,” I thought as I forced myself out of bed to return to my never ending mommy duties. “Okay a few more hours then I will get some sleep,” I declared as an attempt to motivate myself as I slowly dragged my feet down the hall. When I arrived at his room I saw him playing with his stuffed Winnie the Pooh Bear, that he stopped as soon as he heard me. When he looked up at me he was grinning from ear to ear and much to my surprise he opened his mouth and exclaimed, “MOM” 

My heart fluttered, a tear of joy ran down my cheek as I scooped him up not wanting to never let him go. I remember the smell of apple juice and baby powder as I lingered in his room lavishing him with hugs, kisses and telling him over and over again how happy I was to have him call me mom for the first time. As I carried him from the room there was a bounce in my step. “He called me Mom!” I shouted.

Motherhood is completely and utterly exhausting, it has been 17 years since that day and I am still tired and I am still happy to have him call me Mom!