Week 7 – Methods and Materials of Collection

“Both parents and teachers consider communication a key to developing positive working relationships” (Manning & Bucher, 2012). The relationship between the parent and the teacher is one of the most important relationships in the school. Parents should be given the right to know what the expectations are for their children in the classroom and how they are doing overall in the classroom. Constant communication throughout the year is the only way to accomplish those expectations and overall development of the students. Along with communication between the parents and the teachers, parents also need to understand the value of helping their children at home. “When an adult volunteers his or her time to help with homework, it can show young adolescents that school-related activities are worth the time and effort” (Manning & Bucher, 2012). For my research this week, I wanted to find a couple resources that had ver high-quality ideas and tools for teachers to help get parents involved in their child’s academic lives.

The first resource I found online was from Education World. On this site alone there are six links alone that are directly correlated with parent involvement. One of the links discusses having a day called “Literature Day” where both students and parents come to the school and participate in fun activities to help engage reading in the household. Another link on this page has parent involvement ideas that have been found by principals from different schools across the United States. What I also like about this link is that the additional resources on this page talk about reaching the entire community and all families in the community. The whole community should be a part of the academic success of their students, and it is great that this resource has links that discuss that importance.

Education World:Strategies that Work: Getting parents involved. Retrieved on April 21, 2016. http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/strategy/strategy005.shtml

The second resource I would like to discuss comes from one of the best online education sites for teachers. Reading Rockets is great for any educator that wants to make a difference in their classroom. The article I found on their website is called Getting Parents Involved in Schools. Topics in this article discuss improvement in communication, what the barriers may be between parent and teacher, how to personalize activities and ideas for each teacher, and it also has additional resource links for teachers! A great website overall, and a fantastic article on how to get families more involved in their child’s learning.

Reading Rockets. Getting parents involved. Retrieved on April 21, 2016. http://www.readingrockets.org/article/getting-parents-involved-schools


Week 6 – Methods and Materials of Collection

With more and more research coming in, it seems pretty clear that authentic assessment is needed in any classroom. One of the most important things I have learned so far in my educational studies is that all students learn and test differently. Using authentic assessment allows students to test what they know in such a way that will help them reach their full potential. When I was searching for articles to add to this collection, I ran across a fantastic resource from an educator I have studied quite a bit in college. Grant Wiggins is one of the leaders in the development of authentic assessment and in his article Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, Wiggins discusses what authentic assessment is, why we need to do it, the cost of changing curriculum, and the community’s reaction to the change. The other thing that I really like that this article has is additional resources for the audience. Wiggins believes that authentic assessments need to be implemented in every classroom and has been doing research to prove it.


One way to guide students in assess them is by using rubrics. Rubrics can be great tools for both teachers and students because, when used effectively, students know exactly what the teacher is looking for when grading an assessment. Along with knowing what the teacher is looking for, a rubric is also a fantastic way for students to self-evaluate their work after the work is done. Self-evaluation is a very underrated aspect for both teachers and students. One of the best ways to continually develop your skills as an educator is by self-evaluation of your daily work. Rubrics do a great job of self-evaluation and are a great guide for teachers as well. The resource that I want to have in this collection is from a great educational website. How to Creat and Use Rubrics for Formative Assessment and Grading, by Susan Brookhart is found on ascd.org. On this web page Brookhart explains how rubrics can be really effective and how if they aren’t corrected correctly, they will lose their purpose. Brookhart explains the importance of rubrics for students: “Rubrics are important because they clarify for students the qualities their work should have. This point is often expressed in terms of students understanding the learning target and criteria for success. For this reason, rubrics help teachers teach, they help coordinate instruction and assessment, and they help students learn” (Brookhart, 2013).


Week 5 – Methods and Materials of Collection

When designing an effective classroom, educators need to know several key elements that will help with the development. The classroom itself should be student-centered, meaning the curriculum is taught in a way that the students have choice, and it focuses on the students’ interests. Another key component for designing effective instruction is teaching for understanding. Effective instruction is not about “teaching to the test” as some educators may believe. One resource I found that does an exceptional job of helping design an effective classroom is The Thoughtful Classroom Program by the Thoughtful Educational Press. This article talks about three key elements that make up effective instruction. The first element is research-based instructional strategies. In this element, teachers help students reach mastery, understanding, self-expressive, and interpersonal levels. Level two is about applying the right strategies to specific classrooms. It is crucial to know what works in a classroom and what doesn’t work in a classroom. Exposing the students to many different strategies and activities will help the teacher know what is going to work best for his or her classroom. The final element discussed in this article is about collaborating learning and support structures. This article has created a guide called Strategic Teacher PLC. In this study, it found that less than 10% of what teachers learn makes it to their classroom. That staggering statistic is the reason why developing an effective classroom has become more and more of an issue than ever before.


The second resource that I found goes into much deeper detail about what effective instruction is and what it looks like. What I like about this resource is that it talks about what the characteristics are and why they need to be utilized, and research. There are five components of effective instruction. I talked about two of them in my introduction and how important they are to having a great classroom. The three other elements include teaching for learner differences, rigorous and relevant curriculum, and assessment for learning. No student is going to learn the same and every educator needs to know that.


With the combination of both of these resources, I believe any teacher could create a solid classroom that will benefit the student’s learning.


Week 4 – Methods and Materials of Collection

Math can be a great discipline to integrate other curriculum ideas. One example of the many classes math can coincide with is environmental science. The material that I found was students are to research flowers, trees, and bushes for a garden. After they do the research on what plants they want, they will create a scale of their plants on a map of their garden. This is a great tool for students to do some research on plants that would grow in a garden, along with configuring a grid that works with the amount of plants that they have found.


Another very valuable lesson that doesn’t get taught nearly enough is health. Health is such a great and easy discipline that can be implemented into nearly every unit. Similar to the lesson above, this math lesson has students discovering research about plants that will benefit the goldfish in the pond. This lesson will be a great tool for students to find what will help their environments, along with integrating the math component as well.

What I like about this lesson is that they are implementing two disciplines that don’t get enough time in the classroom, with a class that most students have a difficult time comprehending concepts. These are lessons where students have to develop their own research, which gives them a sense of their own purpose and they are able to search for plants that interest them.


Week 3 – Methods and Materials Collection

Teachers across the country and even across the world are always looking for ways to help make their classroom more efficient. Countless studies have shown, that one-way teachers can improve their classroom’s overall performance is by implementing active learning into their everyday curriculum. According to Dr. Jim Eison in his research paper, Using Active Learning Instructional Strategies to Create Excitement and Enhance Learning, he says that active learning should include “a wide range of activities that share the common element of  involving students in doing things and thinking about the things they are doing” (Eison, 2010). Active learning can create an impactful environment for the students as they become more engaged in their learning rather than simply taking notes off of a PowerPoint. In his article, Dr. Eison has many strategies to help incorporate active learning into an everyday classroom.

The first way to incorporate active learning in the classroom is by having a guest speaker come in and speak to the class. By bringing in a guest speaker that is both knowledgeable about their job and an effective speaker, students could possibly be more inspired by someone who is actually in that profession. If the guest speaker can implement an impactful lesson, students will be able to get an in-depth look at this type of profession and give them a deeper understanding of a lesson. A second way that teachers can create a better learning environment using active learning would be connecting course content to current events. This would be especially useful in any history

A second way that teachers can create a better learning environment using active learning would be connecting course content to current events. This would be especially useful in any social studies class or science class. Having current events news articles available in the classroom along with any current science magazines would be great to have in a classroom. Ways to use these magazines would be that students could give brief presentations about an article that they read or write a response paper to. By having current events articles in your classroom students will have a chance that they may not have anywhere else to stay up-to-date with the world outside of their community. Another active learning tool Dr. Eison discusses in his research paper is by transforming study materials into fun and interactive games. Examples of this would be having a class period studying for an upcoming test by

Another active learning tool Dr. Eison discusses in his research paper is by transforming study materials into fun and interactive games. Examples of this would be having a class period studying for an upcoming test by playing Jeopardy. The entire class would be divided into teams and work together to solve the questions given. Another way is to create study guides that are more intriguing and will help engaged the students in filling the study guide out. Examples of interactive study guides like this would be crosswords.

The last tool to help integrate active learning in the classroom would be by having a class debate. By having a debate students need to locate information on their side of the topic, formulate a persuasive argument as a team, and be able to listen to opposite sides of an argument. All three attributes of a debate will help students in everyday life skills and give them a chance to really grasp a concept from both perspectives.



Eison, J. (2010). Using active learning instructional strategies to create excitement and enhance learning. Department of Adult, Career & Higher Education.


Week 2 – Methods and Materials Collection

Two tools for team and relationship building with your students

  • Giving assignments that allows students to express themselves.
    1. If we give students the opportunity to express themselves, they will feel that they are able to be more comfortable around you. In any subject that is taught, there is a way to implement real-world problems into the curriculum.
  • Attend extracurricular activities featuring your students
    1. For some students, this may be the only support system they see outside of the classroom. To be able to see a teacher that is going out of their way and taking time out of their schedule to see them means a lot to those kids.

Milner, R. (2011). Five easy ways to connect with your students. Harvard Edition Letter.


Two tools for making connections with your students and among peers.

One-Minute Talk: Ideal Grade Levels: 5-20

Students are chosen to give 60-second talks on anything, from self-selected topics they are passionate about, have specific expertise in, etc., to topics given from teacher

 Inside-Outside Circle: Ideal Grade Levels: 3-20

Students form a circle within a circle with (ideally) an equal number of students in both circles. Inside circle members pair with outside circle members. Activity leader (usually a teacher, but can be a student) presents a topic, prompt, or question. Partners share for 10 seconds (or less), then the leader asks the inside circle to move clockwise a certain number of spaces to collaborate with new partners directly across from them. This is usually content that focuses and helps spur quick discussion on content related topics, or even current events.

(2012). 10 team-building games for the first day of class. Teacher Thought.

10 Team-Building Games For The First Day Of Class