Useful Tech Tool Vignette: Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere is a tech based polling method that educators can use in their class to increase student involvement and engagement. It can also be used to get a better feel for student understanding of the content material.

This is a great tool because it does not require special equipment, students can text anonymously from their personal devices, (computers, phones, ect), to contribute to the discussion as well as participate in quizzes.

Here is a link to my group’s presentation on Poll Everywhere.


How To Choose Culturally Sensitive Books

When looking into different children’s books to examine for bias ask yourself these questions:

  • Examine the illustrations: Does the book  avoid or perpetuate stereotypes? Are there token characters? Are the characters from diverse backgrounds?
  • Are diverse characters cast in marginalized or peripheral roles or are they integral for the progression of the story?
  • Are there positive interpersonal character relationships?
  • Does the book feature characters with different lifestyles or is it the same cookie cutter family?
  • Is the book empowering or does it send a message of pity?
  • Does the book address positive character traits and actions?
  • Who wrote the book? Was it an author who identifies with the characters of the story?
    • Example: An African American author of a book about African American people.
  • Does the book use words that imply judgement about another group of people?
    • Examples: “savages,” “backwards,” “primative”
  • Will the book be interesting to the reader? Will students who identify with the characters see the book as a source of pride? Would you?

These questions were based on the very comprehensive guide for choosing anti-biased, culturally sensitive children’s books for your library.

The above article is from Social Justice Books which is a great resource for educators and parents who are trying to navigate the multitude of children’s books there are out there. This can really help narrow down and select the most socially conscientious books.

Happy Reading!

Best Early Elementary Read Alouds!

This library site offers suggestions for great early elementary read alouds!

This page is great because it highlights the skills that these books outline.

It also provides samples of questions to ask when reading the text and even suggests activities to try with them!

What an awesome list!

Thanks Lexington Public Library for sharing your knowledge!

The SAMR Model of Assessing Tech Tools

I have recently explored the SAMR model in depth and written about its potential application in my future classrooms.

The SAMR model is a means of helping educators incorporate technology in their classrooms in meaningful ways. Tech tools and applications are grouped into four different levels of classroom reconstruction: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition.

Substitution and Augmentation are examples of education enhancement that is possible through technology while tech uses at the Modification and Redefinition levels are transformative practices that revolutionize the learner experience.

K-12 educators can use the SAMR model to inform instruction during the initial planning phase. While planning individual lessons and whole units, educators can assess technological advances through the various tools afforded to them.

To read more about the SAMR model in general follow this link to Kathy Shrock’s Guide to Everything SAMR.

Low Cost Tech Resources for Families

Everyone should have access to the internet, regardless of economic standing. Everyone On is an organization that offers low cost internet to families who need it. This is available all over the country. Please follow the link to access this resource. EveryoneOn.Org

Specifically in the Eugene area there is an option for families to have access to tech tools at affordable prices. Check out Next Step Recycling for more information about how you can get an inexpensive computer!

Nature Field Guide

I am so incredibly excited to lead the incoming UOTeach grad students on a field trip!

The resulting culmination of work will be a student created field guide based on local plants from the Mount Pisgah Arboretum in Eugene, Oregon.

A Natural Integration (Article)

The above article is a resource I used when creating my lesson plan. It discusses combining science and writing for a seamless multi-subject unit! Since science is not a part of the Common Core State Standards it is so important to integrate science instruction with standards from other subjects. Writing is a natural subject to blend with science.

Science is my favorite subject and I intend to teach it often in my class. Aligning science lessons with CCSS (Common Core) writing standards can help make your science lessons more “relevant” in the eyes of families and administration as it promotes the skills that students are expected to acquire at different developmental stages. Teaching is far more than hitting benchmarks but making sure you touch on the standards in as many lessons as possible is imperative!

It is amazing to see what students are able to create.

This field guide will be an awesome resource!

My Pinterest!

I have a pretty involved Pinterest page that I would love to share!

The main theme of my Pinterest is education. I have a plethora of posts to inspire different methods of teaching with engaging means of sharing my love of learning with my students.

Be warned, not everything is specifically education related. You will also find about 5 billion grilled cheese recipes!

Follow the link below and enjoy!

Ms. Sarah’s Pinterest