Week 11

I really enjoyed looking at all the information from this week’s modules.  I do agree that most students are very computer savvy.  I have noticed that in my classroom, my students don’t really know much about computers or the programs available to them.  I’m not sure if it is that they don’t know much about it or if they are just lazy and don’t want to do anything for a class that doesn’t matter if they pass or not.

I enjoyed all of the Browser-based 3D virtual worlds that were listed in this week’s module.  The only one that I wasn’t too excited about was the NASA one.   I really enjoyed the Brainnook website.  I think it really fits for my class and students in my classroom.  For my classroom I do a lesson for about 15-20 minutes then it is remediation for classes that they need, I like having games that help students learn because most students don’t think that they are actually learning.  Another website that I enjoyed this week was the Minyanland, I think it would help some of my students but not all.  When I saw this I immediately thought out our ID program at our school. I am not sure how advance all the students are, but I know they work on simple math skills.

As for the application based websites, I liked the Edusim the best. I think the reason that I liked that one the best is because we already have smartboards in our room and it would be an easy transition to use these in the schools already.  If I was teaching next year I would probably use these in my room next year, but since I am not sure what I am doing next year I am not sure how I would integrate these application and web based websites this year since there isn’t much time left in school.

Week 10

This week we looked at ways to express different events and locations and when they happened.  I really enjoyed the tools we learned about this week.  I love google and I didn’t know there were so many things we could use on there to help teach our students.  I really like the website for the timeline.  I always did better when it came to visuals.  Teaching special education, like I do, most students do better with remember information when they are able to see it visually.  I have started the mini project and the website “capzles” seems very easy to use.  I would love for my students to create their own timeline of events.  They will be able to apply what they learned to something visually so they can study.

The other tool that I really enjoyed learning more about was the google trek.  I am going to be using it to capture the battles of the Civil War.  I tried to pick the wars that were bigger, so I didn’t have to list ALL of the battles.  This is a very good tool to use, I didn’t even know you could do this.  I think having the students follow the trek of certain events can allow them to remember the information better.

I believe that all of these tools that we looked at this week will help everyone.  I believe that everyone is a visual learn, but it works better for others.  Physically doing activities as well as visually seeing information all helps with memory in children.

Week 9-Mini Lesson

This week was fun for me.  For my two mini projects I chose to do a Voki and a wordle.  I really wanted to do the Voki, because I thought it would be really cool.  I have seen it before on other pages, but never knew how to do it.  I didn’t think it would be difficult to produce a Voki.  That part was correct, it wasn’t hard to make; but I had a lot of trouble putting it on my website.  I followed the directions, but couldn’t seem to get it to come up.  I think that having students use a Voki can show how much the students have learned about certain subjects.

Here is my Voki (hopefully it works):



The other mini project that I did was wordle.  I have used wordle before and I LOVE it.  I actually used it this year for my resource class.  We used it to discuss the difference between respect and disrespect.  For this wordle, I focused more on an actual lesson.  I figured I could use it for Human Anatomy, I know it isn’t any SOL but I don’t teach and SOL right now so this seemed fitting for me.  A sample lesson would be:

Name of lesson: Learning Human Anatomy

SOL: There isn’t an SOL for this lesson

Context: Human Anatomy, grade 9-12

Process: The body is made up of many things that make it work; ie. muscles, bones, veins, ligaments, ect.  The students will be able to make a wordle for every part of the body.  I will have the students look up the information for the certain body part to begin the class, once they have found the information I ask them and make a wordle.  We, as a class will go over their wordle and I will give them more information about the topic we are discussing that class.

Evaluation: The students will have to make a wordle for what they have learned during the whole unit.  The wordle will be points towards the final test of the unit.

Here is an example that I would expect for the students to do.  If they can find a human body that would be perfect, but I know that is hard.




Week 7-Sticky notes

This week’s assignment was very interesting.  I love this idea of having virtual sticky notes.  If you go to my classroom you will see sticky notes EVERWHERE.  I have to write things down or I will forget them.

I think that this could be a really good tool in the classroom.  Students could make up their own wall for projects.  The teacher could also use it for discussion, test review, questions.  It pretty much is endless in what it can be used for.  I would love to use this in my classroom, but once again not being an SOL class that will be pretty hard, but if I ever get an SOL classroom I will totally use it.  I think this can also work in most companies, not just schools.  If I happen to get a job doing something else then teaching, I would love to show the company this tool.

Here is my link:  I hope it works 🙂



Music Video

Here is my Video!  I had a lot of fun with this project!




I couldn’t figure out how to add my references to the video so here they are:

Reference Page:

Week 4

Let me first start off by saying that this week as been a really rough week.  I have been on edge lately.  I looked and did the assignments for this week, but the Scratch was the last of it.  I was getting excited about it when I read the information.  I love computers and I have been using them since I was very young.  I feel pretty confident when it comes to working with computers, so I was very excited to come up with a game.

Once I got onto the website, I was TOTALLY confused.  I felt so overwhelmed looking at it, that with everything going on this week it set me off the wall.  I couldn’t take it.  I am going to keep trying to learn how to use the program, but from what I saw of it this week I am not a big fan of the MIT scratch program.

Once I get the hang of it, I think it will be good to use with my students.  I don’t think I would use it that often considering the population of students that I would with.  I believe that they would get frustrated just like me, possibly even more.

I also think I will ask my husband to help me, he is really good with programming.  We will see how well that works out, but hopefully I will be able to post my scratch very soon.

Music Video

This week’s assignment was all about social media, getting use to Twitter, Linkedin, facebook, google reader and animoto (video making site).  I really enjoyed this week’s assignments.  I feel pretty confident about the social media scene, but once I got to this assignment I didn’t know there were so many different options out there.

All of my students ask me, “Mrs. Cruz, do you have a twitter account?”  I have never really got into to twitter.  I have made an account and it seems pretty cool, but I feel like it is another thing I will get addicted to.  The Twitterdeck is a cool feature on twitter that lets you look at everything or anybody that you follow.

I actually already have a linkedin account, I think of it as more of a professional facebook (more adult related).  I got started in linkedin by my husband.  He signed up because he knew there were a lot of connections when it comes to jobs.  He told me that I should sign up and see what other options are out there.  I honestly didn’t know there were that many people on linkedin, but there are tons of people I know on there.

When it came to google reader, I had no idea what that was.  I knew that google had a lot of things we could do on there, but this is pretty sweet.  One I first started looking at google reader, I was a little confused.  A lot of the searches I wanted to search for didn’t come up.  Finally, I found the area I needed to enter the search.  I think this is a great thing and could be used all the time once I get more comfortable with it.  I am still trying to figure out how to make my folders public so everyone can see them.  I like how you can focus on topics that you want to keep up with and learn more about!

The biggest challenge that I had with this week’s assignment was the Animoto video.  I think it is going to be pretty easy and it looks like a lot of fun.  The problem that I am coming up with is that I don’t teach a class that has SOLs.  I want to make a video that is useful for my class, but I know it is suppose to be SOL based.  One topic that I am very interested in is Therapeutic Recreation, but once again there aren’t any SOL’s that go with that topic.  I just need to buckle down and pick a topic that I would like to teach that has SOLs.  I will have the video done later this week and will post it.


(2012). Social media . (2012). [Print Photo]. Retrieved from http://davemosher.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/social-media-gary-hayes.jpg

Flip or Not to Flip

Going into this week’s assignment, I wasn’t really sure what it meant by “flipped classroom.”  After going through all of the links and videos, I LOVE the idea.  I think that having the students take more responsibility for their learning is a huge thing that students need to learn.  I like the concept of having the students listening to the lectures, videos, podcasts outside of class and allowing more time for in-class discussion and learning.  The “homework” from the traditional classroom is now what the students actually do at school.  There are so many times when you are teaching there are those students that don’t understand the concepts being taught.  I think that this way of teaching will help those students tremendously.

I don’t think that a flipped classroom is the answer to everything, but I do believe that from what I have read and listened to it is a way to start having the students think more outside of the box and use more critical thinking.  I also believe that it isn’t something that you can just do in one day, teachers will have to play around with it and not every lesson will be able to work with the flipped classroom approach.

Currently in my classroom, I don’t think I would be able to use it.  I think that if I taught a different class I would totally try it, I was getting very excited reading about all of the information on the flipped classroom.  I wish I taught a different class so that I could try it out before the end of the year, but I don’t see that happening this year.  The only concern that I see from this approach is, what happens if your students aren’t motivated enough to watch and take responsibility outside of class?  My students right now, don’t have the motivation to do anything in class or out of class. Doing a little more research, I came across this youtube video that explained how a teacher deals with students who don’t watch the videos. I think it is a good, short explanation about what ways you can ensure students are doing what they need to be doing to be prepared for class.



Westerberg, C. J. (2011, June 23). The flipped class revealed. Retrieved from http://www.thedailyriff.com/articles/the-flipped-class-what-does-a-good-one-look-like-692.php


I was glad that copyright was our assignment for this week.  Early this year I had an issue with a copyright situation.  At my old school I used to work at we watched movies every Friday, so going to my new school I thought we would watch a movie before going on thanksgiving break.  Well I didn’t know that I had to have a lesson to go along with it.  I wish I would have known ways to search for things that I could use and not get in trouble for.

The steps that I took to search for something from ancient Egypt:


This picture is under the creative commons copyright, meaning that you can use it to copy, distribute and transmit the work.   Teaching my students the importance of copyright will help them when they go to college or have to do projects for work.  I will be teaching them the importance and the right steps to take when finding images.


ЯAFIK ♋ BERLIN. (Photographer). (2008). Egyptian guy with nice jug ears. [Print Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/abuaiman/2270728115/

Week 2

Starting this week’s assignments I wasn’t really sure what information I would learn.  From pervious education classes I have taken I knew a little about the 21st century skills, which is more critical thinking and problem solving.  Core knowledge to me means learning facts about core subjects, but not making the students really thinking about the subjects or bringing in technologies to help the students learn and retain the information (more hands on).


From teaching this year, which has been very hard for me, I have seen that many students aren’t motivated.  When I would just lecture I didn’t have anyone’s attention.  Since I teach special education I need to make sure that the students are motivated and wanting to listen and get involved.  I have been trying to bring in aspects of the 21st century skills through partner work and more technologies.  Even with this, I still have unmotivated students.

I found this video that really explains the 21st century skills in school.

After reading the article, what to learn: ‘Core knowledge’ or ‘21st century skills’, it explains that “core knowledge is necessary” to become a good student.” The article also stated that content “is no longer enough.” This is where the 21st century skills come in.  After reading all of the articles from this week I believe that core knowledge and 21st century skills should be used together to get the best results from students.


Toppo, G. (2009, March 05). What to learn: ‘core knowledge’ or ’21st-century skills’?. Retrieved from