CEP 810 Reflection

Over the last 7 weeks as I participated in CEP 810, I have been engaging in activities which have profoundly impacted my professional practice. This course has not only exposed me to the different theories of learning, but it has allowed me to deepen my understanding of how technology can be integrated into my classrooms. For instance, the Network Learning Project allowed me to understand how tools such as help forums and YouTube can be used in my classroom. Many time students leave class not having a deep understanding of what was taught. If they need extra support setting up a structure to allow students to use the internet to assist them could be deeply profound. I also found many different organizational structures and ways to lean on people outside of my classroom to assist me in my learning as a teacher. Prior to this course I already had a twitter account, but I never saw its true potential as a resource for teachers. I have really loved using twitter to engage with other teachers and follow what they are doing (attending conferences, planning for their classroom, etc.). 


Some questions, I still struggle with is around how to use the technology meaningfully in the classroom. Prior to this course I felt like there was times I was using technology just to use technology. However it was not something that was absolutely necessary for students to gain a deeper understanding. I am still finding this to be something I struggle with even though I plan to incorporate technology in my room in many ways.


CEP 811: Reflecting on the Semester

Over the course of the last 7 weeks, I was able to engage in an amazing opportunity through CEP 811. That opportunity was to learn more about Maker Education. As many people will attest to when I got the first email advising me to buy a maker’s kit, I was not sure what I had gotten myself into. I have always been a very tech-savy member of my staff, willing to try new things in my classroom. But as my computer programer sister will tell you, the classroom tech-savy did not extend much to daily life (I have called her numerous times to figure out my iPhone or why my computer won’t turn on). However, from this course, I truly feel like a Maker now.

Not only do I feel like a Maker, but I can easily see how these can be integrated into my classroom. I am already trying to figure out how to justify to my principle that we need a couple Makey Makey kits for my classroom. I loved Alissa Arden’s idea of using Makey Makey to teach quadratic shifts. This is something that I really believe can create another pathway into the Algebra for students as well as teaching them to build, play, and make things. On top of using the Makey Makey kit, I also plan to use blogs, Remixing, MOOC, and the idea of EdCamps with my kids next year. We are going to 1:1 environment, so I see all of these options being ways I can bring these tools into my classroom in meaningful ways. I envision the kids running an EdCamp about specific mathematical topics (maybe different ways to solve quadratics). During these EdCamps the kids will be able to discuss and ask questions about different methods, but one presenter will prepare on each method. I easily envision blogging as a way for students to reflect and discuss what they are thinking.

As I mentioned above, I was always willing to integrate technology into my classroom, but it was always done in a limited format. Previously all of my technology integration has been through GeoGebra or my TiNspire calculators (both of which are fabulous tools and I plan to continue to use). However, now I have learned so many new tools and interesting ways to add technology into my math classroom. As mentioned in the MAET statement on evaluation, I did not feel I was previously integrating technology well. From CEP 811 (and 810 which I took concurrently) I feel like I have grown so much in my ability to integrate technology into my classroom. I base these feelings on how prepared I feel to enter my classroom next year and use technology in a variety of ways.

EdCamp Reflection

In CEP 811, we engaged in an “unconference” EdCamp. This was a unique experience because our attendees were from all different places. Since we were located in different places, our conference took place over the internet. As mention before I created a Glogster about the Promising Practices of 1:1 Schools and a screencast of my presentation. I really enjoyed the unconference format. It was nice to have it more of a discussion instead of a person lecturing at you about a topic you have opinions and knowledge about. One thing that made the unconference difficult was the internet format. Obviously this is something necessary due to the location of people, but having discussions over the internet is always a bit awkward because you cannot pick up on body language cues of the other participants.

That being said this could have tons of potential for future professional developments in many ways. One way it could benefit professional development of teachers is the web based format. Many schools cannot fund out of state professional developments, but attending a web based conference like this would allow teachers to learn from others even if they don’t live near by. Another way this could benefit the professional development I attend is the idea that we present and it is more a conversation. So often my school brings in outside people who talk to us and then we don’t get a chance to give our thoughts. Through this method, we would be able to take control of our own professional development and let the incredibly knowledgeable teachers at my school run what we are learning.

If I was to recreate this experience at my school, I think that it would need to be a bit more structured. This is mostly due to the number of people who would want to present. However after that I would imagine it would be very similar to the way ours was structured. There would be different classrooms (hopefully on the same floor to limit travel distances) with different workshops and discussions happening based on the presenters. The rest of the staff could attend these conferences based on their needs and interests. One difficult would be how to get my staff to adjust to the idea of the workshop as a discussion. The “leader” would have to realize they are not the only ones who talk but it is an opportunity for everyone to ask questions and share their expertise.

Cooking with TPACK

This week in CEP 810, we explored the concept of TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge). To help us deepen our understanding of TPACK and how it connects to our classroom, we had to cook something using only random utensils. My mother-in-law, selected a bowl, a tiny plate (for tea cups) and a 1/4 cup measuring cup.  She then selected me to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Below is the video I made of me creating my sandwich.

From completing this activity, I was caused to reflect on how often in education we have to use things in ways they were not originally designed (repurposing). Just like how I had to use the measuring cup in a way similar to a knife, every day I have to reimagine how things are used to help me complete what I want to do in my classroom. Seeing how easy it is for things to be modified and used in new ways encourages me to keep using this process. To complete this process I also had to utilize the TPACK model, I had to take my content knowledge (how to make a sandwich) and the technological knowledge (how to use a measuring cup) and find the intersection of the two aspects to complete this task. This is similar to what students (and teachers) have to do every time they modify a lesson to incorporate new technologies. For instance if we revisit my 21st Century lesson, students had to not only take their understandings of quadratics but they also had to use their computer knowledge to successfully engage in the activity. Being able to successfully navigate this dichotomy is what makes the environment teachers and students are currently in is very unique to this moment in time.


Koehler, M. (n.d.). What is TPACK? Retrieved August 10, 2014, from tpack.org

Makey Makey Lesson Planning Take 3

This week in CEP 811 we revisited our maker’s lesson. As a reminder, I used the Makey Makey kit to design a lesson where students use Tetris to explore if congruence is preserved under geometric transformations (translations, reflections, rotations). This is the second time we have revisited this lesson through the course of the class. Previously, we modified our lesson based on different learning theories. I modified mine based on the Constructivist perspective of learning (those modifications are in red). This week we learned about Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and made modifications to our lesson based on these principles (the modifications from this are in purple).

Please check out my lesson plan and leave comments. As with all things in teaching this is a work in progress, and I would love feedback.

As I continue to modify and build on this lesson, I took time to reflect back on things I was already doing as part of UDL and how I improved my lesson. To help me in this reflection, I made a Wordle of my lesson plan before modifying it to fit the principles of UDL.


One way my original lesson utilized the principles of design was it gave students multiple access points and reduced barriers. Through engaging in the Tetris activity, students were able to manipulate figures and make observations about what they saw. This activity is low pressure to students because when recording observations there are no wrong answers. Students did not have to have a deep understanding of the vocabulary to engage activity and could rely on their classmates to fill in the academic language without missing the content of the lesson. This is evident in my Wordle through words like “describe” and “observations” being larger than things such as the academic language “reflect”, “rotate”, and “translate”.

After learning about the principles of UDL, I modified my lesson plan (see above) and created another Wordle.


One obvious change to this Wordle is the increase in words. As simple as this sound, it does reflect the principles of UDL. The increase of words shows that the lesson has grown to provide many more opportunities for students to engage in the lesson.  Students know have not just access points to the mathematics but the lesson as a whole. Students are able to engage in a Google form, building the Makey Makey, a class discussion, a graphic organizer, and journaling. This many different activities allow all students to have a chance to do something they are good at and be successful during the lesson.  Another change in the lesson that reflects the principles of UDL is the addition of the graphic organizer and Google form. Prior the students did not have a way to record their thinking. However adding the graphic organizer allowed students to maximize their transfer by writing down their observations about each figure to refer back to. The Google Form allows me to guide the information to the correct answer while still letting all students have an input about what they discovered.

Edcamp: 1 to 1 Promising Practices

This week in CEP 811, we participated in a digital Edcamp. In preparation for for the Edcamp, I began exploring Promising Practices of 1:1 schools. Some things I saw in my research was benefits, tons of different types of activities, and a few pitfalls of 1:1 schools.

To show what I learned and share during my presentation, I made a Glogster. Feel free to check it out.

Updated 8/10/14

Here is a screen cast of my Edcamp presentation on 1:1 Promising Practices. I made the screen cast using an awesome free tool from TechSmith called Jing


Barnwell, P. (2013, October 13). Don’t Implement One-to-One Devices in the Classroom Unless…. . Retrieved August 5, 2014, from http://www.teachingquality.org/content/dont-implement-one-one-devices-classroom-unless

Cleaver, S. (n.d.). We Are Teachers. 10 Tips for A Successful One-to-One Classroom. Retrieved August 5, 2014, from http://www.weareteachers.com/hot-topics/special-reports/10-rules-for-a-successful-one-to-one-classroom-and-5-mistakes-to-avoid

Students using Computers. (n.d.). . Retrieved August 5, 2014, from http://openhatch.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/osctc-columbia.jpg

Redesigning my Classroom

Discussing redesigning learning spaces could not have come at a better time than it did this week in CEP 811. We spent the week learning about what messages classroom spaces send to students and how can we organize our space to send the message we want. After learning about these different aspects of classroom design, I used SketchUp to design my ideal classroom. For those of you not familiar with SketchUp, it is a modeling tool that allows anyone to be a designer or architect. There are other classroom uses for this tool, but so far I have only every used it in this capacity.

As I have mentioned previously, my teaching environment will be undergoing a radical shift next year. Not only will I have a classroom that is 1:1, but I also am getting a completely redesigned spaced. My school received a grant to reimagine what we believe education should look like. Our school will be utilizing a project based learning model, with 1:1 computers, and collaborative learning. Although, I did not get a say in what the furniture will look like, I am able to organize the furniture in a way that works best for me.  To help make this project more manageable, I am going to pretend I am redesigning my old classroom. Previously, I had a quite large classroom with 36 desks. There is a Promethean board at the front of the room near the door, which cannot be moved. Due to the location of the board, the computer must be near the front in order to allow things to be projected. My classroom does have nice natural light, which is something Barrett, Zhang, Moffat, and Kobbacy state is crucial to student learning (2013). That being said the way my room was previously set up doesn’t send the message of what I want in my classroom.

In my reimagined classroom, my students will be in desks but the desks will be grouped together to allow for collaboration.  I already do a large amount of group work in my classroom, so rearranging the desks to make this more functional will be very beneficial. This will allow my students to not only have small discussions with partners, but also have larger discussions with a group of four.


Another feature I want to add to my redesigned classroom is miniature white boards mounted on the walls. I already have these white boards and we use them in group settings, but I love using them as a tool for kids to brainstorm ideas on the boards. Having them hanging on the walls allows them to become a semi-permanent idea place, where kids can keep track of things they are thinking about.


These small revisions would drastically improve my classroom’s function. First it will be significantly easier to move around. It will also send the message to kids that I really value group work since we sit in groups every single day. I would also love to paint my walls and add more color—currently they are beige. However, I think that might be much for one school year, so we will start with these small changes. Another benefit of these changes is there will be zero cost to my school since many of the things I already own.


Barrett, P., Zhang, Y., Moffat, J., & Kobbacy, K. (2013). A holistic, multi-level analysis identifying the impact of classroom design on on pupils’ learning. Building and Environment, 59, 678-689. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2012.09.016


Network Learning Project: Final Check In


For those of you who have been following my exploration over the last four weeks know I have been trying to learn a new hula hooping skill, the shoulder duck out. I have been an avid hula hooper for about a year, but still sometimes struggled with how to keep the hoop moving during tricks. The shoulder duck out is a trick that not only looks cool, but once mastered is an entry trick to many other tricks.

To learn the shoulder duck out I had to turn to only YouTube and Help Forums. This was part of the network in Network Learning Project. At first I was rather nervous about how learning from YouTube and Help Forums would work. I was wondering what I got myself into since I had been taking a class for a year and couldn’t master this trick. However, I have found some wonderful videos that really help break down the body movements needed to keep the hoop going in all parts of the trick. The best videos I found were Natalie “McFancy” Wise’s Howcast Videos. Her videos did an excellent job teaching all the different parts of a trick. I really appreciated how she first showed the body movements without the hoop in order to help really see how you should be moving. From this I realized part of my biggest problem prior was I wasn’t really moving my body correctly to keep the hoop across my chest. As soon as I corrected that problem, it became smoother sailing to learning my trick.

Now as many people have been asking me, why did you learn to hula hoop for your class, isn’t it supposed to be about teaching? At first I too was wondering the same thing. How could learning how to hula hoop apply to my classroom? However, as my exploration comes to an end I realize that this is very applicable to what I hope my students will do. Similar to me in hula hooping class, students sometimes leave my classroom understanding how to do something, but missing some important part that makes it difficult for them to be successful on the homework or tests. From engaging in this activity, I really saw how creating a network for students to learn from away from the classroom will be very beneficial for them. Just like how I turned to YouTube to figure out how to move my body correctly, I want to find ways to help my students turn to sources on the internet to help them figure out how factor, or solve for a variable, or graph a line, or do whatever it is that they for some reason cannot understand the way I am explaining it. This exploration has allowed me to see the importance of helping students set up networks to help them learn. Going into next year, I plan to organize a portion of my class site that offers alternative resources for my students to engage in the mathematics online at home if what we did in class is something they are struggling with completing. 

21st Century Lesson Planning

This week in CEP 810, we discussed Renee Hobb’s idea of five core competencies as fundamental literacy practices and Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown’s work on students being able to know how to find information, apply information and play in order to learn. After our learning, we were asked to design a 21st century lesson plan for our students.  Hobb’s ideas really struck a chord with me, not only next year will I be making the move to a 1:1 environment, but my school—like many—are in the middle of a huge literacy initiative. Her focus on asking students open ended questions that have no right or wrong answer was something that I really gravitated towards. As I designed my lesson plan (discussed below), I tried to only ask open ended questions.

As a math teacher, I chose to design a lesson surrounding Transforming quadratic functions. One of the early portions of my quadratic equations unit is when I introduce the idea of standard form (y=ax2+bx+c) and we discuss what each coefficient’s effect on the graph is when the coefficient is changed. This lesson is one that presents a wonderful opportunity to allow for students to play with and explore on their own exactly what happens. To design this lesson, I used two forms of technology to assist my students. The first is the dynamic graphing software, GeoGebra. This software is available free online and can be put on any computer. Since I am still becoming familiar with it, I did not design my own applet, but found one already designed. This applet allows students to move a slider connected to each coefficient and the graph of the quadratic moves based on how that coefficient affects the graph. After a sufficient time of playing I plan to have students answer questions about how a, b, & c affect the graph. The students then have two more open ended questions. In these two questions, I give the students a point, and they need to decide what a, b, & c will allow the graph to go through that point and describe what that graph looks like.

Please check out my lesson plan and leave me feedback. Also, I have opened up the ability for others to play with the applet and submit their answers, so feel free to play.


Hobbs, R. (2011). Digital and media literacy: Connecting culture and classroom. Thousand, Oaks, CA: Corwin/Sage.

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace?.

MOOC: Let’s Hoop, Hula Hoop

This week in CEP 811, we began exploring MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). To help us understand how to design these courses and how they could be helpful to our colleagues and students, we explored P2PU (Peer to Peer University). To assist in this understanding, we designed our own MOOC.

In my “Let’s Hoop, Hula Hoop” course my peers will master many hula hooping tricks by creating their own hula hoop dancing video and sharing their progress on twitter with their classmates and providing support and critiques of their classmates work.

****Disclaimer: Yes I have hula hooping on the brain from CEP 810’s Network Learning Project****

Let’s Hoop, Hula Hoop


Course Topic:Hula Hooping, Utilizing Social Media, and Video Creation, Critiquing Others

Course Length: 6 weeks

Audience: This class is for anyone interested in creating videos and learning a fun new new skill of hula hooping. Students will also gain experience using social media both to inform and provide feedback to others in a public manner. There is no need to have any hula hooping ability prior to this course, however a basic knowledge of video making could be helpful.

Target Skills: Students will be able to keep perform the following hula hooping tricks:

    • The Bump
    • Floating
    • Shoulder Duck Out
    • Breaks
    • Isolations

Course Projects: Students will be required to create

  • Create a Twitter account to share and promote their work
  • Create a video 1 minute video displaying their hula hooping tricks
  • Create a WordPress blog to document progress and reflections.


Students will be expect to read each others tweets and blogs each week of the course. They will need to provide both constructive criticism, helpful hints, and support to their classmates. Often students will have different strengths in video editing and hula hooping, so they can support each other in their own learning.


Course Outline

Pre-Course Set Up

  • Sign up for a Twitter and WordPress account
  • Purchase a hula hoop
    • I recommend that you spend some time researching what will work best for you. A hoop that is too heavy is difficult to lift off your body.

Week 1: Basics of Hooping

  • Learn: Watch a video about the basics of hooping
  • Explore: Practice the skill demonstrated in the video
  • Create: Turn to your blog to share: a video of your skill, what about this skill was easy for you, what about this skill was difficult for you, and are there any tricks you learned to make this skill easier.
  • Share: Tweet a link to your blog and give feedback to two other classmates.

Week 2: The Bump and Breaks

  • Learn: Watch a video about the bump and breaks. You don’t need to watch the videos in order.
  • Explore: Practice the skill demonstrated in the video
  • Create: Turn to your blog to share: a video of your skill, what about this skill was easy for you, what about this skill was difficult for you, and are there any tricks you learned to make this skill easier
  • Share: Tweet a link to your blog and give feedback to two other classmates.

Week 3: Floating

  • Learn: Watch a video about floating
  • Explore: Practice the skill demonstrated in the video
  • Create: Turn to your blog to share: a video of your skill, what about this skill was easy for you, what about this skill was difficult for you, and are there any tricks you learned to make this skill easier.
  • Share: Tweet a link to your blog and give feedback to two other classmates.

Week 4: Isolations

  • Learn: Watch a video about isolations
  • Explore: Practice the skill demonstrated in the video
  • Create: Turn to your blog to share: a video of your skill, what about this skill was easy for you, what about this skill was difficult for you, and are there any tricks you learned to make this skill easier.
  • Share: Tweet a link to your blog and give feedback to two other classmates.

Week 5: Shoulder Duck Out

  • Learn: Watch a video about the basics of hooping. This trick is quite involved so there are a couple videos for this week. Unlike previous weeks, it is recommended that you watch these in order this week.
  • Explore: Practice the skill demonstrated in the video
  • Create: Turn to your blog to share: a video of your skill, what about this skill was easy for you, what about this skill was difficult for you, and are there any tricks you learned to make this skill easier.
  • Share: Tweet a link to your blog and give feedback to two other classmates.

Week 6: Video Making

This week is all about editing together your videos together to make a hooping video.

  • Explore: You will explore how to use Mozilla Popcorn, a free online multimodal mix tool. This tool can be used to edit your videos together and put it to music. Make sure that you give credit to the artist whose song you use.
  • Create: Create a mix of your last 5 videos to design your own hooping dance video
  • Share: Tweet a link to you video and respond to two other classmates videos



Elena Ringo with Hoops . (n.d.). . Retrieved July 28, 2014, from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Elena_Ringo_performing_with_six_hula_hoops.jpg

How to Do Hula Hoop Breaks & Reversals | Hula Hooping. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SSPjfQ_V4c

How to Do a Hula Hoop Isolations | Hula Hooping. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bub5PKBTf4Q

How to Hula Hoop around Your Chest | Hula Hooping. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rl1OHPlxBWA

How to Hula Hoop around Your Shoulders | Hula Hooping. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14ap1zdDi6Y

Hula Hooping Basics | Hula Hooping. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE5G0cmHNj4&list=PLLALQuK1NDrirHEgqruqjGoNrtvqKc-dW

Hula Hoop Basics: Vol 2 : How to do the Lift Up Hula Hoop Trick. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKoUKjahPHE

Hula Hoop Basics: Vol 3 : How to do the Booty Bump Hula Hoop Trick. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TfNzdFYPX4

Shoulder Hooping : How to do a Shoulder Duck Out with Your Hoop with Variations. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57u0vesaOqc