Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Objective Assessment and Student Learning

Testing is a good indicator of how well your students are performing. They provide you information on the strengths and weaknesses of your students. The data from the assessments can help drive your instruction to meet the diverse needs of all students. Although test give valuable information, they should not be the only objective assessments of student learning.

Objective Assessments consists of factual answers. The answers are either right or wrong. These type of tests usually consist of multiple choice and true/false questions.  In this type of learning, students are often taught by rote learning. They learn surface strategies and deep understanding does not take place (Murayama 2009).

Teachers who develop useful assessments, provide corrective instruction, and give students second chances to demonstrate success can improve their instruction and help students learn (Guskey 2013). Teachers must use a variety of assessments. These include tests, quizzes, and writing assignments. This way, student achievement is not based solely on one assessment.

Teachers must understand that assessments need to test more than specific factual knowledge. Higher order questions, must be used to assess how students process information. We must measure students’ critical thinking skills. Objective assessment give valuable information, but they should not be used alone. Formal and informal assessments, can be used to measures student achievement. Teachers should create test that assess what is being taught in the classroom.

Guskey, T. (2003). Retrieved June 10, 2015, from

Murayama, K. (2009, December 23). Objective Test Items. Retrieved June 10, 2015, from

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Creating a Technology Infused Classroom

Teachers in the 21st Century need to make a shift from traditional ways of teaching, to classrooms that our 21st Century students are demanding. An educator’s responsibility is to prepare students for the future. Teachers must be knowledgeable about the digital age, to be able to teach effectively and ensure that students learn skills that will prepare them for college and beyond. 21st Century classrooms, must become classes that promote critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making (ISTE 2007).

Technology integration is the use of technology resources in daily classroom practices (Edutopia 2007). These resources can include computers, tablets, digital cameras, and social media networks. Technology should be used as a tool and a resource to support learning. Students have access to a variety of tools that match the task at hand and provide them the opportunity to build a deeper understanding of content (Edutopia 2007).

In a technology infused or integrated classroom, a shift takes place, where the teacher acts a learning catalyst. They become a facilitator of the activities going on in the classroom. The students. The students have become independent technology users. The teacher allows the students to use their creativity and be responsible for their learning (NAESP 2012). This shift is very difficult for traditional teachers who are used to being the focal point in the classroom.

A technology infused classroom, should promote discovery and exploration using technology on a daily basis. Every student has access to technology and it is readily available. Using technology should be second nature. It enhances learning, and is not a separate entity. Teachers are knowledgeable about the technology that is used in the classroom. Students are encouraged to collaborate with other students. All work should be meaningful and apply to real world situations.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Visual Literacy in the Classroom

Visual literacy and the use of Internet in the classroom can play a major role in the teaching and learning process in the classroom.  Visual Literacy is defined as the ability "to discriminate and interpret the visible actions, objects, symbols, natural or man-made, that he encounters in his environment."(Debes, 1960). Students must be able to make connections with what they already know to new information. They must be able to understand and translate their understanding to others.
Teachers should use visual literacy in the classroom, to help students comprehend and interact with various types of text. Students are able to think critically to determine the meaning of visual images. In my first grade reading class, I would like to present a series of pictures to the students before reading text. I want engage students in visual images to help them think about the story they will be reading.
The students I work with, are beginning readers. Using images activates the brain and gets them ready to learn new information. Students learn in a variety of ways. It is the teacher’s responsibility to learn his or her students. Lessons should be planned to incorporate visual images and the Internet. Another strategy I want to use with my 5th grade reading class is to have them find images and determine the meaning. I would then have them use the Internet to present their image to the class to get their peers to determine the meaning.
The 21st Century student is surrounded by visual images all the time. Students are learning things through using the Internet. Visual Literacy helps the student to become critical thinkers and problem solvers. The Internet can be a very powerful learning tool, when teachers facilitate students learning. Thinking about the ISTE Standards, can help me design lessons that meet the standards. It will also help me to carefully plan lessons that meet each learning style of the students. I will be more aware of what the students need to be prepared for the future.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Blog 1 - Instructional Strategies

As a reading teacher, I teach students different ways to figure out how to read unfamiliar words. For example, say the beginning sound, and slowly read through the word using sounds you know. Another example would be to skip the word and read the rest of the sentence, and think about what would make sense. There are other strategies I teach my students to help them be successful. I always use the phrase “good readers use….to figure out words.” Just as I instruct my students to use different strategies, it is very important that teachers use a variety of instructional strategies or methods when teaching.
Teaching a variety of instructional strategies, helps the teacher identify or discover which ones work best for the diverse learners in the classroom. Once the teacher identifies the strategies, lessons and activities can be planned to meet the individual needs of all students and help them be successful at learning the information being taught.  The ultimate goal for the targeted instruction is to help students achieve learning goal that will prepare them for the future.

Technology plays a huge role in our society. Our students use technology on a daily basis, whether it’s at home or school. Technology can be a major factor in engaging and motivating our students to learn. Most students use it for gaming and connecting with friends on social media. It is the teacher’s responsibility to design lessons to integrate technology into all subject areas, to prepare them for college and career readiness. Examples of integration would be virtual field trips and communicating with other classrooms around the world through Skype.

As a teacher in the 21st century classroom, I have a responsibility to educate myself with technology tools and resources, to be able to integrate it into my classroom. I need to create an environment that embraces technology, and not shun it because of my deficiency. I owe my students the very best education that I can give them. I want them to be good digital citizens, create things, and help solve real world problems. Through the use of technology, I can bring exciting experiences into the classroom, without leaving the room.