Reflection #9


Reflect on what you have learned this week about universal design for learning and assistive technologies

Universal Design for Learning is a proactive approach!

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Before learning more about UDL, I was unaware that it was a proactive approach. This is a very useful thing to know because now when planning my lessons I can incorporate different activities to engage my students. For example, I can allow them to learn about Independence Day using their textbook, or allow them to find information using an educational website. I can also assess them in different ways (seesaw), students could: draw a picture, write a blog post, or explain orally to exhibit what they learned. Knowing this also makes me more aware when presenting directions to my students, I will be sure to explain them and print them out for everyone to have access to. Doing all of this beforehand will serve for a more effective lesson.

Accessibility tools are built into laptops already!Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 10.36.36 AM.png

After using a laptop for so long and for so many different reasons, I had no idea that these tools were already available on it. I love how easy it is to put these tools to use. Although not every student may require them, they are still helpful for any type of learner. If some students do not want them to be used when using the computer, they can be activated on only certain computers in the classroom. This is something that I can be proactive about in the classroom. For example, if I have a student with impaired sight I can be sure to activate the larger cursor and text on a certain computer and have them use that one. These tools can even be used to explain directions to students using voiceover. The fact that they are already available on the computer gives teachers no excuse not to use them to benefit their students!

Overall, it seems that UDL and diverse learners go together pretty well. Although UDL is a broad approach to teaching and helps ALL kinds of learners, it seems to benefit diverse learnings (specifically with disabilities or impairments) even more! The great thing is that it does not just target them, it targets and benefits ALL students.


Reflection #8



Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 7.22.26 PM.pngFacebook appears to be a useful tool to use in the classroom. However, I believe that it could not effectively be utilized directly in an elementary classroom. I would most definitely use this tool in a high school or college class. I believe that the biggest merit for this tool is that it assists in communication and collaboration. However, this tool is also used for social networking by a large amount of people from all around the world. With this considered, I believe that the biggest drawback of this tool is that it may not be considered safe by all parents and teachers. Some classroom applications would be:

  • Creating a group for parents in the elementary or middle grades. Teacher could post updates, homework, photos, and parents could like and comment with questions or what not.
  • A high school teacher could create a private group for a class to post homework, notes, and updates. Students could post questions and communicate with the teacher  more easily.
  • A high school class could create a private group for a group project in order to collaborate, teacher can see their work process.

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Pinterest is a resourceful tool for teachers to use. I believe that it can be used outside of the classroom to search for ideas to implement in the classroom. Honestly, I would not use this tool actually in the classroom. I believe that other tools like Facebook would be more efficient because more people are likely to have a Facebook in the first place. The biggest merit to this tool is definitely the incredible amount and variety of resources (lessons, classroom organization, management, activities, worksheets, etc.). The biggest drawback to this tool is that it would be difficult to actually use in the classroom. There are ways for students to use it, like searching for books or project ideas but I feel that there are more efficient ways to do this. I would use this tool to:

  • Search for fun activities to do in this classroom for: recess, management systems, rewards, lesson plans.
  • Collaborate with and follow other teachers in order to find new and effective ideas.
  • Post my classwork on a board for parents to access.
  • Students could share pins with each other for a group project.

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 7.44.27 PM.pngTwitter is fun tool for teachers and students to use. It is an interesting and different way for students, teachers and even parents to stay in touch. I think using this tool in the classroom would excite students in the upper grades. The biggest merit to this tool is that it is easy to access and use. Students simply make an account and follow their peers and teacher. The biggest drawback is that it is difficult to monitor and students may have personal accounts. I would not want to use my personal twitter account to interact for educational purposes quite honestly, I think students would make a separate account which would make things confusing. Even younger teachers have personal accounts and they would have to make a second. I do not think I would use this tool, but if I would I would:

  • Posting homework and classwork for my students and parents to view.
  • Have students @ me if they have a question about homework or a project.

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 7.54.29 PM.pngWikis & Blogs are useful in the classroom. They allow students to write and produce ideas in a different and fun way. Upper grade students would like to use these tools. I believe the biggest merit is that students can customize and publish their own work online. It is fun for students to produce something different. The biggest downfall is that students may be too focused on the appearance. This may become a distraction for students. In the classroom I would use these tools:

  • For students to post weekly writing assignments, they would share their addresses with me and I could provide feedback on Monday if the assignment was due Friday. For example, students could reflect on their reading for the week with questions or comments.
  • Post assignments for the week for students and parents to check up on.
  • Use Wikis for short in-class assignments, possibly a jigsaw activity. Students could post their findings and then share with the group.

Reflection #7


After discussing various active engagement and learning tools, I most definitely would be inclined to utilize them in my classroom for many reasons:

  • They require immediate application of knowledge in most cases
  • They provide immediate feedback for both the students and the teacher
  • They save the teacher time in regards to grading
  • They result in more engagement amongst the class
  • Different form of instruction that will most likely interest students
  • Can address individual misconceptions and difficulties (ex: branched drill and practice)

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In an elementary classroom, I would be most inclined to implement educational games !

Relative Advantage:

Students are more motivated to participate because they view games as a separate category of learning. Most students rarely even pair the two things. In an elementary classroom many concepts need to explicitly taught, so games are very effective when reinforcing concepts. Games present a sense of competition, which everybody loves. They will also help students remember concepts better because the three stages of games involve (Can I try? Can I save it? Can I teach you?) by explaining or teaching somebody else, the student is most likely to remember the concepts.

Classroom Application:

After a lesson on phonemes, I could either assign a game called “The Problem With Chickens” on  Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 7.13.52 PM.png as homework or as a center activity.

This game reinforces certain phonemes and makes it fun for the students to practice them and apply their new knowledge of phonemes.



Multimedia Presentation


Access presentation

Presentation notes:

What are these? (Referring to picture of coins on board)

They are all money, but are they worth the same? (No)

Each of these coins looks different and is worth something different, similar to our math blocks. A cube is worth 1, a rod is worth 10 and a flat is worth 100.

Have students come up and try to drag 1c, 5c, 10c, 25c to the correct coin by asking how much do we think a penny, nickel, dime and quarter is worth? Have a student come up and drag, use thumbs up/down to see if rest of class agrees. (This can be used as a pre-assessment to see if class knows what each is worth)

Once values are assigned to each coin, go over the size and head/tail by asking questions for each coin:

“When we flip a coin to make a decision, what side do we see when it lands on heads? (students can point to top or bottom on screen)”

“Who do we see on each head of the coin?”

“What do we see on each tail of the coin?” (students probably won’t know this, so telling them is okay)

Show video to wrap up ideas.

Question: Would it be more effective to show the video before going over the attributes of a coin, or after? I plan to also show it at the beginning of the second lesson as a review.

Reflection #6



How would you use an interactive whiteboard in your future classroom?

I would utilize an interactive whiteboard in my classroom frequently. From what we have covered in class, it appears that they can be used in for: review, lessons, assessment, and even fun.


  1. In my last tool evaluation I discussed a problem that an interactive white boarding software could easily solve. This was that students will miss lessons when they are absent, and the interactive white boarding software solves this issue. I would use this software and post my lessons for students to access outside of class.
  2. Considering my elementary concentration, I will likely be dealing with phonics instruction. In a video we watched, a kindergarten class was using the whiteboard to spell and sound out words. I would do this in my classroom by recording myself saying a word and then having students selecting the appropriate letters. I could do this using Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 1.30.08 PM.png.
  3. I would also use it for classroom duties. It would make taking attendance and getting lunch count much more efficient. I would have students either drag a copy of their picture or icon, or check their name off when they come in. They would also select their lunch choice. Students would like this because they get a chance to use the board as they enter the room as well.

What excites you most about what you have learned in this course?

The most interesting, and I believe one of the more effective, way to use technology is for assessment. The many quiz softwares like Kahoot and PearDeck seem incredibly useful. I also think they seem much more engaging than a normal quiz or presentation. I look forward to incorporating technology into my ways of assessment.

Reflection #4

Reflections, Uncategorized

Interview with Mr. Spinelli 

Mr. Spinelli teaches 1st grade in the Bronx of New York. He has a large class size of 30 students, who mostly come from low-income households. Despite these setbacks, he still effectively incorporates technology into his classroom. This information makes me confident that no matter what, I will be able to incorporate technology into my instruction in the future. He says his students are very excited and knowledgeable about technology, he even said they are so used to touch screens, that they sometimes press the screen of a computer and confused on how to use a mouse. This made me realize that students are growing up in this age of technology and that it is important that educators keep up with it.

In his classroom he uses:

  • the smart-board
  • a chromebook cart
  • a computer

The school offers:

  • a computer lab
  • a technology course taught by a technology teacher

Students go to the computer lab and have a technology class taught by a different teacher. Mr. Spinelli says he could teach it if he wanted to, but he felt that the technology teacher was more equipped to do so. It is important to know your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher and know what you can and cannot do effectively.

Because of the large class size, he sometimes has students bring in their own iPads from home (iPads are their favorite device to use). He allows some time to play, but the rest of the time they are used for educational tasks. It seems important to let the students get their distractions out at some point because technologies can be so stimulating, they may require a break.

If students do not bring in their iPads from home, he groups students up and names one student the ‘captain’, they are the only one to actually touch the device, while everyone else still participates. This reminded me of students having certain tasks in groups (recorder, reader etc). This is effective because everyone gets a turn to be in charge of pressing the iPad. If students are misusing the device, they are to stop using it immediately. I think it is important to have a no tolerance rule, because technology is so easy to become distracted on and it should be enforced that it is being used for educational purposes.

The school itself is very technology driven. The principle of the school is young and encourages technology use in the school. The upper grades (4-8) only use Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 8.49.28 PM.pngfor their assignments, they also use to communicate to home. The younger grades (Pre-K-3) use Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 8.51.09 PM.pngto communicate with families. Parents enjoy using these tools because they are much simpler for them, reminders come in as a text and can be responded to quickly. 

Lastly, Mr. Spinelli has many students in his class that have an IEP. Because of this, he is unable to use technology to differentiate instruction from these students because there are not enough tools for all of them. Technology is definitely helpful in differentiating instruction, but he must find a different way to do so because there is not enough available to meet all of the students needs in that way.