Where Val comes to blog

12 iPad Mini Giveaways being Raffled by Eflashapps. Interested? I know I was! go here to find out more:http://www.eflashapps.com also find and like them on facebook to enter and maybe even win!


I have created my first ever infographic! I have never heard of them before today but am definitely a fan and will be creating more of these. Let me know what you think of this one!

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What’s the Matter?

When I learned about the tool VoiceThread, I was so excited to try it out and use it as a way to “flip” my classroom.  I decided that I would use this tool to introduce my students to the phases of matter.  I originally thought I knew exactly wanted the video should contain and where my comments should go but after discussing it with my classmates I found I was no where close to where I wanted to be.  We decided to start from the beginning, at VoiceThread itself.  We explored every possible way to comment and every little tool in order to know what options are available and what you are limited to.  Then we picked apart the original video and figured out how to achieve the objective of the lesson without confusing the students when it comes to the commenting.  From our discussion and actions of trial and error, I decided to begin with a description of what the students are going to do and then show the original video.  Instead of having the students comment at the end of this video though I decided to create separate segments of the video following questions that the students would then answer at the end of each segment.  I think this way will definitely be less confusing for my students and also help better meet the objectives of the lesson.

Please view my VoiceThread on the phases of matter and tell me what you think!


For my Instructional Design II course at Dominican College, I had to create a lesson that followed the flipped classroom model and used an Instructional Framework.  Please explore the description below of the framework chosen, a link to the video that I plan to use and how the class following the video will go.

Following the Flipped classroom model and using the Dimensions of Learning Instructional Framework, I will teach a lesson on short vowel sounds to a first grade class.  Going along with the unit on vowel sounds and following the previous day’s lesson on long vowel sounds, students will, at home, watch the Short Vowels Song on youtube.  They will then write one word for each vowel with that vowel’s short vowel sound and bring it to class the next day.  In class I will ask the students to tell me what they learned about short vowel sounds and record their words on our word wall.  Following the 10 minute discussion, the students will be broken up into groups based on the level they are at in the unit and complete various centers on short vowel sounds and identifying words with the short vowel sound.

The Dimensions of Learning framework focuses on the 5 types of thinking that are essential to student learning and academic performance: Positive Attitudes and Perceptions, Acquiring and Integrating Knowledge, Extending and Refining Knowledge, Using Knowledge meaningfully, and Productive Habits of Mind.  All 5 areas focus on the use of knowledge whether it is obtaining the knowledge or expanding on already known material and then using that knowledge in a meaningful way, such as in a sentence or oral presentation.   This framework was chosen for this specific lesson because first the students have to learn the short vowel sounds of each vowel and then they will expand on that knowledge by identifying short vowel words in pictures and ultimately using them in sentences.

The video that the students will be watching at home is an animated cartoon that makes a song about the vowels and their short vowel sounds.  This video provides the short vowel sound each vowel makes as well as an example of a word.                                 The Video– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnVhx3vk1Jg

Following the video, homework assignment, and class discussion, the next day’s class will consist of four student centers that are focused around the short vowel sound.  The students will be placed in groups based on where they are in the unit and complete the given task.  These centers have been centered around the 5 Dimensions of Learning and help the students to develop and expand on the knowledge they already have on this topic. A teacher or teaching assistant will be at each center to assist the students, make sure they are on the right page, and record observations of their progress.

Center Activities for Next Day’s Class

Short Vowel Sound Identification

(students who are having difficulty distinguishing which vowel makes which short vowel sound)

  •  Teacher will show student picture and say the name of it and ask student to identify what short vowel sound they are making.  Student will then write word under that letter column

Picture/Vowel Identification

(students who, with the help of pictures, are able to distinguish the difference in vowel sounds)

  • Students will turn over picture cards and place the card into the correct column: long vowel word or short vowel word (Picture cards will have name of picture on it)

Fishing for Short Vowel Words

(students who are able to identify sight words and distinguish the difference in vowel sounds)

  • Students will fish for words and record the ones they get that are short vowel words.  When they get 10 they will switch with their classmates to check and see if they only recorded short vowel words

Identifying short vowel words in a sentence

(students who are able to identify the short vowel words when amongst many other words)

  • Students will read sentences from different pre-made sentence strips and use wiki sticks to circle the short vowel words.  They will then record the short vowel words they have found.

My personal favorite area of Ancient Greece is the area on Architecture.  I can see from your scavenger hunt results that you enjoyed this area as well and have learned a great deal about the 3 column styles that have been the foundation for buildings today.  I would like you to reflect on your results from the scavenger hunt and list one of the buildings that you found on your search and what columns make up that building.  Don’t forget to respond to 2 or your classmates.

Wonderful class today everyone.  Who knew the city-states of Ancient Greece could be so interesting?  As you all know, your assignment from today is to write about if you were a Spartan or Athenian.  As well as posting your pieces on Black Board please write at least 3 sentences here that summarize what your wrote.  I would also like you to add 2 new things you learned about this area of Ancient Greece and why it’s interesting to you.  A reminder that you much also respond to 2 of your classmate’s and pose a question to them about what their writing piece.  You will receive extra credit if you answer the questions that your classmates ask you.

As we begin our unit on Ancient Greece, I would like to have an idea of what everyone already may know about the unit.  I would like you to read the following post and respond to it followed by a response to at least 2 of your classmates.

Have you ever heard of the country Greece?  What thoughts come to mind when you hear the term Ancient Greece?  List 3 things you know or have heard of regarding Ancient Greece.  What would you like to learn about Ancient Greece?  List 3 things you hope to learn while studying the unit of Ancient Greece.  

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