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Participant Reviews

Building Capacity for Effective Reading Instruction through Collaborative Inquiry

Amy B

IL

I really liked the online format. The feedback from the moderators was also very helpful.

Bullying and Beyond: Tools for Understanding and Engaging 21st Century Students as Dual Citizens

Kristi H

CO

This course was very informative and allowed me to study more using the added links.

Choice Theory in the Classroom: Where Every Student Can Succeed

Anne T

CO

There were three lessons that were particularly meaningful to me. The first one for me was the lessons on Internal Motivation and External Control and the way that the 7 deadly and 7 caring relationship habits effect this. Since many of my students are extremely oppositional and defiant these concepts can be used in dealing with their behaviors while giving them the message that they are in control of their own behavior and things out of their control cannot make them have bad behavior. The second lesson is one that I plan on using with all my kids is the four components of total behavior: actions, thoughts, feelings, physiology. The third lesson that resonated with me was the one about not having failure in a classroom. In the world of autism they call this errorless teaching. The idea is that the student should practice the skill correctly if they happen to get it wrong. The memory of doing the skill correctly is the goal of this. When I move this to the more general education classroom, I see that the anxiety could be decreased immensely and kids would not have the fear of failing and especially failing in front of their peers. Since anxiety is so prevalent in students in my school, I appreciate that this would have significant effect in reducing anxiety in the students. These were the three lessons that were most relevant and timely to me, however, many of the concepts of this class can be including in my work.

Coaching to Improve Teaching and Learning

Amanda S

IL

This course was highly applicable to my everyday work, and the information was well-organized and easy to understand.

Content-based Instructional Strategies for ELL

John L

CO

Good class with content that I will use in the classroom. I took value from the Six T's approach to help design content-based lessons. I like this approach because it lays out a design for planning units that benefits learners. Another take away was lesson 8. I will use these lessons to alter my activities and planning. These include using the seven principles for task-based language teaching, creating visuals and project based learning.

Creating a Culture for Learning: Classroom and Behavior Management Plans that Work

Karen T.

WY

This course was enjoyable and well worth my time.

Creating Compassionate Schools

Roxanna J

WA

Very helpful in learning about Compassionate Schools. In the light of the Current school where I work, the suggestions and research-based steps to improve schools were exactly what our school need.

Developing Listening Comprehension in English Language Learners

Agustin A

CA

I feel this course, along with another CE Credits Online ELL course, has given me a strong understanding of different approaches and methodologies to use with my ELL students.

Differentiating Instruction in Your Classroom

Roxanna J

WA

Reading other people’s posts was helpful to me to give me ideas on how The differentiating instruction was going in other classrooms.

ELL Reading: Teaching Strategies for K-12

John L

CO

I used the “3-2-1” format with my class this past Friday. I liked how quick it took and how much feedback I got. It also gave me a direction to go with my plans this coming week. I enjoyed the intensive and extensive reading lessons. Since these lessons, I have spoken with my students about how I will be giving even more time and lessons to extensive reading and how this is a critical part of reading and reading instruction. Finally, since vocabulary is so important in my classroom, I took away more strategies to instill vocabulary in my classroom as demonstrated in lesson 6. Finally, ever since I took lesson 7.c I have had my students using the “Questioning the Author” strategy with success. Overall, I am using many of the strategies in this course in my classroom. Thanks.

English Language Learners in Your Classroom

Deena J

WA

I really enjoyed the format and content. I will definitely use this course’s Information.

Every Educator an Advocate

Tonya C

CO

I learned many things about special education that were very helpful to me as a general education teacher. The first take away were the three components that a child must have to qualify for special education. The next area that I found helpful was in the parts of an IEP. There has been a lot of training around writing SMART goals but the understanding that PLOP (present levels of functional achievement and performance) be the foundation for the IEP and that every area of concern should have a corresponding goal was new for me. I have never checked to make sure the areas addressed in that section have a SMART goal written. I will definitely look at the IEP much differently than I have in the past. As a general educator, I found the timeline and requirement of meetings was important to understand. Another area of relevance was the differences in the types of meetings. I see myself utilizing all of these concepts as a teacher. I think this will only help when working with others and advocating for my students. It also puts into perspective what parents must need to know to help their child. It is a lot for them and then when dealing with a new diagnosis it must be very difficult. Having more knowledge will only make me a more compassionate and better advocate for all students who have disabilities.

Giving Directives That Students Will Follow

Monica G

CO

Excellent information. Great course!

How to “Read and Write” in Math: Improving Problem Solving and Communication in Mathematics

Carrie P

IL

I was able to use a lot of this information in my classroom to help improve my teaching. This course has come at a perfect time before our PARCC state test. There have been many strategies that have helped improve my math instruction. I will continue to practice these steps and strategies with my students and try to motivate them with problems that interest them. I hope to see them be comfortable and successful in journal math writing and problem solving.

Improving English Language Learner Instruction through the Use of Technology

Alan F

MO

The most informative and useful part of this course was definitely the wide variety of resources listed throughout many of the segments. As I was taking notes throughout the past weeks, I've frequently clicked on a link, found it potentially useful, and saved it in my course notes. I now feel prepared were I to be asked to take on a more in-depth role within the ELL department. One thing that I have already implemented in one of my courses was the link for English language newspapers from around the world. I have a Japanese student in my 9th grade class who is still in my school's ELL program and very much developing her English proficiency. The course I'm teaching is a survey of humanities courses for students to be exposed to topics other than history, and we are currently completing a unit on microeconomics by writing an article commentary about market failure. I used this resource to direct her to English language newspapers from Japan that also have their articles in Japanese, which I hope make this process easier for this student.

Maximizing Engagement of All Learners

Terrence W

CA

This course is one of the most important courses I have taken. Learning More about the human brain and new findings about how we learn is Something that will change my approach to teaching for the better.

Nimble Transitioning: Integrating Response to Intervention, Professional Learning Communities and Differentiating Instruction to Improve Teacher Effectiveness and Student Outcomes

Johanna D

CA

One of the enduring lessons I will take away from this course is that a PLC is possible although not supported and structured as it should be by the school where I work. I used to think that PLCs were not important because my school and district do not make it a priority but after this course, I realize PLCs are important for teacher growth and consequently, student learning. I also realize I can reach out to my colleagues and create a PLC of my own. Even if it starts small, other teachers might begin to tag along and create a larger PLC. Another big take away from this course, is the implementation and value of formative assessment. I always heard the term "formative assessment" be thrown around by many educators but I never took the time to look up the official definition or look into it in detail. I understood the meaning of FA by the context in which it was used. Now, I understand on a much deeper level. I also understand the value of FA. The whole idea of assess-plan-teach go hand in hand with the effective use of FA. As teachers, it is highly important to assess to see how our students are doing, what they already know, and use this data to better plan and deliver our lessons. It is also our responsibility to use FA along the way to make changes on the spot in order to increase student learning.

Rights ' Responsibilities in the Disciplinary Process

Dorothy D

CO

The demonstrations were great and helpful as I am a visual learner myself. They really helped clarify the points. I got a lot out of this course. It was very helpful for me to know what my district and state policies are. I had never really thought about the use of force in the classroom and how it might affect me. Very valuable information that will certainly direct my use of force in the future. I will be taking this information learned and some of the forms suggested, to our discipline policy committee to help them in the drafting a policy for our school.

Stopping Disruptive Behavior

Sandra L

CO

So, what I found to be the most valuable was in lesson 2 where it talked about rules. It took me a bit, but I was finally able to have an A-HA moment when the rules listed were changed and fit into the Safety, Order and Rights value set. So, the statement, simply referring to the Safety, Order and Rights ® value set provides you with all the "rules" you need, is absolutely true. I will be using the following as my only rules: Protect your safety and the safety of others, Maintain an orderly classroom, Respect everyone's rights. I also appreciate the 5-step verbal process. This is something I had already been doing (somewhat) as I truly believe that ideas need to be presented to our students as choices. Given choices, we all respond more favorably.

Supporting UDL and the Common Core Standards with Interactive Whiteboard Systems

John L

CO

Good course. The videos really showed how to use the products and tools. I learned how you can use the magic pen tool to magnify an area. This is an easy way to highlight a selected area for focus. I also learned how to use the freehand tool to outline what I want to focus on. I use visual all the time with my students and will show them this tool this coming week. Furthermore, I love how the lesson gave many ideas on how to take an image and set it in another area. 

Teaching English Language Learners (ELL): An Introduction

Shari B

CO

Loved this course! VERY helpful and informative, one of the most practical I have taken!

Transforming Instruction with Interactive Whiteboard Systems-An Overview

Caren K

TX

I learned how to use the smart tools, document camera, video conferencing, magnifier, keyboard, write on the whiteboard using the smart pen, spotlight tools, how to draw shapes using notebook and the smart pen, graphic organizers, use the recorder and colors/shapes. 2.) I am a floating teacher currently, but it will definitely change next year when I teach in one classroom. My understanding of the Whiteboards has gotten much better. 3.) I feel the instructor is rated a 5 because he was very clear in his training of the learning tool.

Transforming Language Arts Instruction with Interactive Whiteboard Systems

Cable S

WA

Very informative! Learn a lot of useful knowledge and skills! Excited to continue to explore these opportunities in the classroom! I have learned a wealth of knowledge from this course. I now have a way better understanding of how to use my Activeboard effectively and efficiently. I have not had a lot of formal training on my board, so the videos were a great component to help me learn better ways of using this tool. I really liked learning the different ways of working WITH students to create flipcharts, as opposed to just creating them on my own for instructional purposes only. Throughout this course, I discovered many ways to keep my students actively engaged when using the Activeboard as a teaching tool. I realize that I don't need to spend so much time making "fancy" flipcharts, as the students are more engaged when they are actually involved in the process. I will continue to revisit the lessons from this course, as they were SO many resources provided to assist in my development as a teacher. 2) My teaching practice has changed because I now involve the students in a lot more of the teaching and learning. Instead of spending so much time making very detailed flipcharts, I now focus on making clean and efficient pages WITH my students. I have found that I now have more time in my day to assist my students and I can more effectively use my plan time. I have had a complete shift about the purpose of flipchart lessons and probably will never create one without some student created component. I have already seen more engagement out of students who I typically have a hard time reaching. I also use my extra time (since I'm not making BIG flipcharts) to really differentiate my instruction and to create pages and flipcharts that correspond to the level of the students or group I am working with.

Transforming Math Instruction with Interactive Whiteboard Systems

David M.

IL

I learned a lot. I have learned how to attach links. I have learned that smart boards can do a lot of things that active boards cannot. Even though I have used white boards for 2 years, this course has set me up to get more out of my system. By setting up lessons right I can teach and motivate more of my 6th grade students. I have used the Excel program for many years, but this course helped me use more of it and use it in the classroom. Many of the tools this class taught me I was using, but now I can find better use for them. I now put more details and internet use into my lessons and use the whiteboard more as an interactive tool instead of a display. I now use the whiteboard to save time and show more examples and the Activeboard to motivate some of the students I was not successful in the past. The course has given me more confidence to use the technology I have. The videos on the Activeboard where too fast and not as detailed as the ones in this course. I would recommend math teachers as well as others to take the course to learn what the whiteboard can do. Many districts give the teachers the technology without training some or all.

Transforming Social Studies Instruction with Interactive Whiteboard Systems

Benjamin C

VT

I loved the content. I've already put in for a 3D mouse for Google Earth. I have learned that the SMART board is much more than a simple white board. When this tool is effectively combined with good teaching practices, student test scores may raise as a result of its use. I was impressed of the interactive quality of the presentation to my class increased as a result of its implementation- particularly in Geography where Google Earth is used.

Transforming Science Instruction with Interactive Whiteboard Systems

Alison C.

WA

I learned how to do many things in this class. I loved seeing how to use Google Earth, the microscope and weather reports to build a stronger lesson. I have already started creating another flip chart on weather to include links for google earth, using accuweather.com and the videos of the meteorologist from out local weather station. I have found that my teaching is more intentional and directed with the use of flip charts. Students are engaged and excited about science. They want to know when we can view more items under our "microscope." I am sure once I have taught the weather lessons, students will enjoy coming up to present the weather as our class meteorologist.