Thursday, March 1, 2012

Reflection on Redesigned Student Lesson Plans

Over the course of these eight weeks, I've taken a few of my old lesson plans and redesigned them to integrate technology. Below are some of the lesson plans:

EcoPeanut Puzzle
Journey through the Digestive System
Respiratory & Excretory System Review
Frog Dissection
Disease Project
Circulatory System

Writing innovative lesson plans can be a challenge; however, I think that I achieved my goal to do such a thing. All these lessons not only integrate technology, but also 21st Century Skills. Being that I'm an educator of Generation Z  and 21st Century Learners, it is my duty to take the time to create lessons that will be worthwhile and purposeful for my students education. Each lesson uses a variety of technological resources such as QR codes, iPads, Web quests, online subscription software and databases, and many more. Personally, I found it fairly easy to integrate technology into these lessons. The challenged I faced was making sure the technology was appropriate and didn't take away from me as the teacher. I like to always preach that technology is a tool, not a teacher, so I wanted to make sure that my lessons were true to this statement.

Many of my lessons did not address as much of my classroom management, so I would like to take the opportunity to explain how I run my class. At the beginning of the year, each of the teachers in our building take the time to go over classroom expectations using our acronym "SOAR." This stands for safety, ownership, active engagement, and respect. As a science teacher, I spend a great deal of time discussing safety due to lab rules. I also like to reiterate the ONE rule in my class "Don't talk when someone else is talking." Being that I teach middle school, I like to keep things as simple as possible. This one rule has worked really well for me. My students know that if I'm talking, no one else is allowed. Along with my one rule, there is a three word phrase that my students have come to know quite well: "STOP and LISTEN." The students know if they here these three words, they are to stop everything and look at me. I like to describe my classroom as "organized chaos." When you first look in the room, it may look like the students are acting up, but I can ensure you that I know everything that is going on, and my students are actively engaged. Overall, my students seem to really enjoy my class and I deal with very little classroom management problems. Now, by integrating more and more technology, I expect to see my student even more interested and engaged.

Due to my new found knowledge on technology integration, I believe, I've developed some skills that will be beneficial for my students. The beauty of this program is the amount of resources that have become available to me. Without this class, I would have never taken as much time to look at so many different websites or organizing them into a page like my protopage:EGaunce's Protopage . I've also had the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers and step out of my comfort zone. The lessons that I created (located in the above links) are great examples of my new found knowledge and skills. Hopefully, they prove to be worthwhile for others as well.

As I embark on my next journey, I hope to only expand my knowledge of technology and how I can create even more innovative lessons!

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