Margo's World with Leadership In Educational Technology

An adventure of leading and learning technology simultaneously

Sunday Reflection

What great mentoring projects. I learned much just reading all the different ideas. I noticed Johnathan and I both have student teachers. As a host teacher you want to mentor as much information and experience possible before they head out on their own. I have planned the three top technology programs I use on a regular basis, but there are so many more. So many classmates are working with their friends or peers which is wonderful. The research article I read stated peers sharing their knowledge in small or individual coaching was the most successful when implementing technology. Ginger is going to have her peer’s website a functional tool. She has helped me with my website for my portfolio, and I am very grateful. Andrea has a great idea of co mentoring ipad use in the classroom. I shared some of my favorite apps that I use in my classroom. I also got the website of 55 best educational free ipad apps from Amber. I am excited to check that out. Christine and I are both teaching how to use aimsweb. This is a great internet program for tracking student progress. I am glad our district is using it. I hope Ava chooses to use google docs for her mentoring project. I have been using google docs for a few years now and it made sharing information from place to place so much easier. I am looking forward to reading about the results of all the projects. 

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For the Technology Mentor Project I will work with my student teacher. There are a handful of computer programs she needs to be able to navigate as a special education teacher. We will start with the AIMS program. My district uses aimsweb to level and progress monitor students in reading and mathematics. Simultaneously, I will show her how I implement and customize an internet based tutoring program, Mobymax, to support individual student mathematics skill building. Iplan is the special education internet based program we use to input our Individual Education Plans (IEPs). We will complete three annual reviews and one three year reevaluation in order to teach her how to use the program. The student teacher will have a strong knowledge of programs to use in her classroom next year.

After reading the article Mentoring and Coaching for Effective Tech Integration by Mary Beth Hertz, I understood the difference between mentoring and coaching. I will  play both the role of mentor and coach for this study. As a mentor I will introduce and share my technology knowledge and  ideas with my student teacher. As a coach I will not only introduce, but I will also guide and teach her the implementation and use of three different programs used in our district. This will be of great use for her when she is teaching next year.

Research has shown trends that are part of a successful mentor/ mentee relationship. The pair should set goals and have a vision of the technology the person wants and needs to learn. Individualize the instruction to meet the person’s current level of knowledge and skill of the technology. Open communication without evaluation in order to promote collaboration and growth. I have incorporated these elements into my plan.



Timeline and Plan Oct. 1st – Dec. 19th

Oct. 1st.

Introduce AIMSWEB.

  • Walk through the program components.
  • Assess students using the mathematics Concept and Application (CAP) and Computation (COMP) assessment with students.
  • Evaluate and input data into the AIMSWEB data system
  • Walk through the progress graphs


  • Walk through the program components
  • Review system of implementation.
    • Students work on Mobymax and go through the program until they are not able to complete a task with the programs support.
    • Note the skill.
    • Teach the skill one to one or small group using multiple methods
    • Once students demonstrate the skill, student return to mobymax to complete the assignment.
    • Students continue until they reach another skill they need additional instruction.
    • Review program reports and graphs to note progress

Oct. 3rd.


  • Review program components
  • Student teacher observes the completion of a three year reevaluation paperwork.


  • Continue assessing students and implementing data


  • Continue to observe and instruct students. Review program data.

This procedure will be used through December when her student teaching is completed.

Data Collection

  • Journal: both the student teacher and myself will keep a basic journal.
    • Skill introduced and implemented
    • Was the information clear and helpful
    • Results of the implementation
    • Pre/Post survey of what is known at the beginning and what was learned
    • Goal setting by the student and host teacher at the beginning
    • Goal setting: were the goals met.




Eutopia, Mentoring and Coaching for Effective Tech Intergration, (Nov. 2011) Mary Beth Hertz

Pulic state education, Faculty Technology Mentoring Programs: Major Trends in the Literature, (2001) Hsueh-Hua Chuang, Ann Thompson, Denise Schmidt.

Sacramento State Center for Teaching and Learning, Faculty Mentoring Faculty Using Technology(2013), Diego Bonilla


Sunday’s Reflection



I shared this week how to roll with the high and lows of striving for excellence by using an analogy. I was meant to be innovated and thoughtful. My hope is for people who read it understand that trying new things is kind of scary, but fun as well. Especially when you are with friends. I think some people enjoyed the analogy. I also share a couple of websites for people to get inspired. I am not sure what I will do next week as I never know what I will write until I start. I have a outline but then it has a life of its own. 

I got excited when I read Ginger’s blog. I down loaded the book she recommended. I have been teaching for ten years now and am ready to branch out and find my own style. Which is to teach kids to be ready for the world. It looks a little different than the usual special education room, but it feels natural to me!!

I also appreciated Andrea’s comments about it is hard to say no. I have gotten better at it, but I still fall into that pleasing trap.  Having a clear vision of what I want my future to look like will help me to stay focused. 

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Blog #3


How do we maintain excellence as we innovate?

Maintaining excellence is a bit like riding a roller coaster.

The creation and planning of ideas to use in your classroom is like standing in line waiting to get on the ride. You begin by standing in a long line waiting. You talk to your friends and plan on where to sit, if you will raise your arms high or keep them firmly on the bar, what it will feel like, and share the excited and nervous feelings you have about the ride.  Sharing with friends makes the whole experience all the better. When planning your ideas, talking, and collaborating with your peers makes maintaining excellence that much easier. I like the term Mastermind Group from the Dave Burgess Pirates book. Working with a group brings more ideas and solutions to any creative idea. It also helps to keep you accountable to your creative plan. How many times have you been in line and wanted to chicken out only to stay because your friend coaxed you to stay?

Dave Burgess also advises to stay away from negative people and naysayers. Riding roller coasters is not for the faint of heart. You have to find people willing to let themselves be jostled around and like their senses shook up a bit. You need people who will pump you up and help you feel confidant about trying new ideas.  People willing to jump in and say, “Let’s do it and compare notes.”

Getting on the roller coaster and waiting for the safety check is like standing in front of the classroom ready to begin your creative new lesson. Will the ride be as exciting as you anticipated. Will the lesson be receptive to the students. Can you handle the ride or will you be sick afterward. Can you really pull this crazy idea off? Did you take on too much when you decided to ride the double loop, twist, straight up then down roller coaster. Too late to back out now you’re strapped in and the countdown has begun 3,2,1- varoom. 

Your lesson takes off  twist and turns. You can make minor adjustments as the ride runs, as you present your lesson.  You’re moving fast, no time to think, as you make minor adjustments along the way, and then you’re done. Kids gone and you pause and immediately say that was fantastic or not doing that one again. Walk down the ramp talking to your friends and share what you liked about the ride and what you didn’t. How you might do it the next time. Sit in the front, back, or middle. Hands up or down. Then off to the next one.  Where is starts all over again.

And that’s how you maintain excellence while you innovate!!   



Ideas for energizing your excellence!!

Develop a Personal Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter –

Is a great place to start to surround yourself with other educators seeking excellence and want to share ideas.

Confident Teacher-


Sunday’s Reflection

Great week for being inspired. I am eager to try out my plan of action. Reading all the blogs and my responses have given my even more ideas. Ginger had some great website. Christine will be a great resource to ask questions about Kagen strategies in my classroom. I had training this fall. I am looking forward to the week. I will post how things go.  

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Essential Question:  How do we keep our lessons engaging? Does innovation play a part in this?

As I read the second part of Teaching Like a Pirate, I am inspired to take my direct instruction program and change the presentations while still keeping the lesson format. Innovation will definitely play a big role when creating different and creative ways to make the lesson engaging. Some of my ideas are to pair students and let them teach each other, make cards and turn it into a game of some sorts, or change the environment with lighting, music, or arrangement of furniture for a novel feel. My goal is to change the direct lesson from something to get through to a shared learning experience.

Corrective Reading uses repeated patterns to teach the word attack skills. My plan is to teach students the procedures, and then let them pair up and take turns as the teacher. There might be four parts of the word work section of the lesson. One student would be the teacher and their partner the student for part one. Then they would switch roles and the other would be the teacher for part two of the word work. They would go on switching for each part until the word work was complete. Kids love being the teacher.

Games are a great way to make a lesson interactive. One word work skill Corrective Reading uses is to say the sound and then the word. I can make sound cards and have the students match the sound cards with the word as we are going through the lesson. So instead of the student book with all the words laid out for them they would have to use the mixed up word cards to lay out the words in the lesson as we go through the lesson. It would be a puzzle of sorts. They could be in pairs in order to support each other and build class community. Then they could see how well they did on the challenge when they compare their book’s layout to their own.  

Another Pirate inspiration idea is to change the environment of the lesson.  We will turn off all the lights and use little flash lights to see our books during the lesson. I am going to buy those echo microphones and do the lesson speaking into them. Once in a while the class will go down to the library or some other place and have the lesson there. We will have an important experiment about using different kinds of background music best to determine the best kind of music to enhance the ability to stay focused on the lesson. I will have a form they can fill out.  I have started a list using my iPhone app to keep track of ideas that pop into my head of the different ideas.



How do we maintain our passion for teaching in the face of so much change?


Passion for teaching has never been a problem for me. I enjoy teaching and connecting with children. I became a teacher because a friend told me I would never be bored. I have been teaching for over ten years now and boredom has never been a problem. The changes have been many from when I began teaching, but they have only made it easier for me to teach my students. Through the years technology has improved my ability to teach to children’s learning styles. I have gone from teaching a group of children, to differentiating, to now individualizing learning for each student. I would not have been able to travel on this journey without technology and an open mind for creativity. 

Dave Burgess has tapped into the wonderful world of creativity and I look forward to reading more about how he makes his room a safe and fun environment for learning. It is very important to me to have a classroom that is safe to have the wrong answer, make mistakes, and share ideas. I have been successful creating this environment most years. I know I am successful when a student reminds a peer that we don’t do that in here.  I love how Dave creates this environment by acting crazy with direction to let kids know they can let their hair down and relax and enjoy learning. It is okay to take risk and be yourself in his class.

Flip Flippen spoke to our Mat–Su district wide opening year professional development day. Flip is the creator of Capturing Kids Hearts. It is a way of structuring your school and classroom that make kids feel like they belong and are supported. He emphasized the importance of connecting with kids if you want them to be motivated to learn. He shared with everyone his personal and professional experiences of connecting with kids, making them feel cared about, and keeping them accountable will resulted in kids working hard to better themselves.  Providing and safe and rich environment is key to kid’s progress through school and life. We cannot control what goes on at home so much, but we can control their time in school.

I just read a blog last week from Mind/Shift titled Struggle Means Learning: Difference in Eastern and Western Cultures. In this article it shared how in eastern culture kids are taught at an early age that struggle means learning. When you are learning something new you struggle to learn it. Kids from eastern cultures will work on a problem much longer than kids in the western cultures. In western cultures, if a student is not successful at first they often get frustrated and stop working on the problem or skill. What I found most interesting about this article was that we in the western culture worry about our kids keeping up with the eastern culture in math and science. The article states that eastern culture parents say that their kids are like robots and lack creativity like the kids in the western cultures. My thoughts that I took away from this article is how do we continue to create creativity in our kids while building better work ethic when something gets hard? That is what I would like to master as a teacher.



BurgessFlippen, F. (2013) Capturing Kids’ Hearts.

The Flippen Group., D. (2012). Teach like a pirate. San Deigo, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.

 Mind/Shift Blog., Struggle Means Learning: Difference in Eastern and Western Cultures, (2012)

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Sunday Reflection

It was interesting reading people’s thoughts of how to stay motivated through the many different changes of education. I love reading about how people enjoyed teaching and work hard to keep it engaging. Several people stated that acting theatrical may not be the way for them, but they thought of other ways to bring excitement into the classroom while making the environment safe to risk take while learning.

I shared my ideas and experiences with some of the classmates. I do not know if my thoughts helped but if is helpful to read other peoples ideas. I like the one about how technology keeps changing so you have to reorganize how you have things set up.

I have not used twitter for years. the tweet deck if very helpful with organizing the groups or people I follow. At least until it is updated or reorganized. 🙂

I look forward to the future readings and blogging.

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