Growth Mindset

This whole notion of having a growth mindset is very strange from the beginning.  As I read the book, Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck, I thought to myself that I fit this description perfectly since I do have a some fixed mindset tendencies.  However, as I continued to read  growth mindset I would think to myself that I think like that as well.  So is it possible for me to have a mixture of both? Some would say no, and that I would either need to be one or the other.  Well, I disagree, and I do fall into both categories.  If I know where my fixed mindset comes to light, I can then talk to myself and get on track with the growth mindset.  I can tell myself that I am not failing, and I am still learning and I will continue to learn.

Intelligence is not something you are born with.  Intelligence is a skill that you continue to work on.  To have a growth mindset is to not let failures stop you, and to overcome any fear you may have.  It is a learning journey where you are not afraid to explore.  Children are more open-minded when it comes to learn play.  It is not until they go to school where they may start to doubt themselves or  become scared of trying, or  exploring.   They start to think of themselves as either being a failure or successful.   We need to start making sure our children do not think this way, so they can continue to explore and be risk takers.  

Importance of Growth Mindset

Adults and children need to have a  growth mindset so we are not stuck in the unknown.  Usually, we do not continue our learning because we are either afraid of failure or because we think that we know it all.  If you do not continue trying you will never know if you can succeed or if there is something more out there for you to learn.  If we are afraid of failure than we are not learning.  Think back when you were a child and you wanted to climb all the way from one side of the monkey bars to the other.  Did you stop trying because you fell or did you continue to get back on until you were able to do it?  You continue to get back on the monkey bars until you did it.  How did you feel afterwards? You probably felt great.  You learned how to swing across the monkey bars and never gave up.  We need to make sure our children and us, adults, never give up.  The growth mindset is to never give up.  

Be a “Yet” Learner and Growth Mindset

In my classroom it is important for my students to learn that just because you may not understand a skill the first time, means that you did not understand it, yet.  To be able to have this mindset in the classroom, is important to incorporate it in the culture of the classroom.  The same way we teach our students the classroom procedures, how to give positive critical feedback, how to disagree with one another, is the same way we need to teach them how to be a “yet” learner.  It is important to give them opportunities where they are going to fail and have them believe in themselves to continue.  They may not get the skill the first time or second, but as they keep trying they will learn it.  Students need to be exposed to situations where they will be tested with this mindset.  The change of mindset will not be a quick change, from one day to to the next, but it will take some some time  Throughout the year students will constantly need to be reminded that they are “yet” learners.  They are able to master the skill and build upon that further.

Growth Mindset and Grading

For students grades can be a stressful aspect of their schooling.  Not only do they feel pressure to get good grades on their own, but they also get pressure from their parents.  It is important for them to know that they are not defined by a number.  Just because they may get a bad grade or not understand a skill, it does not mean that they will forever be stuck there.  Once students are used to having a growth mindset they will not be preoccupied with their grades.  They will start to value their need to continue learning over grades.

Improperly Promoted Growth Mindset? What to do?

Growth mindset is fairly new to me, so of course there will be bumps in the road.  There is no set guidelines and there is not going to be someone walking me step by step throughout this process.  There will be times when I will fall back on my fixed mindset habits.  The way I can I prevent or to fix it is to realize when it’s happening.  When I do fall back to the fixed mindset, I can talk it out. Tell myself that it is just a setback and I can learn from it and let this become my mantra.  When students do the same, have a conversation with them.  Talk it out and work through the obstacle.  Just like with growth mindset, just because I do not succeed does not mean I am a failure in promoting a growth mindset in my classroom.  With everything we try to do in life, it will take time.

Growth Mindset and Innovation Plan

The growth mindset will have a great influence/impact on my innovation plan.  Having my students go home and watch instructional videos without having me in the forefront will be a challenge for them.  It will be a challenge because when they watch the video they may not understand the skill and feel inadequate when they come to the class the next day.  Once they realize that it’s okay for them not to fully comprehend it the  first time and that no one will negatively judge them about it, they will feel more comfortable.  Their mindset will also start to change and they will put their full effort when they have online learning in the classroom.  They will care more about the learning and the journey than getting a good grade or a perfect score.  Ultimately that is what I want my students to achieve from this mentality, the growth mindset.  They are more than a number or percentage on paper.  They are a growing little humans that need our support, encouragement, and challenges.


        Dweck, C., & T. (2014, October 09). Carol Dweck, “Developing a Growth Mindset”

Retrieved December 16, 2016, from

      Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random


Understanding by Design (UbD)-Backward design

Understanding by Design (UbD) backwards design according to Wiggins and McTighe (2005) “… involves thinking a great deal, first, about the specific learnings sought, and the evidence of such learnings, before thinking about what we, as the teacher, will do or provide in teaching and learning activities.” (14)

This past week I was asked to look at the UbD Design, backward design.  At first I felt comfortable using the model since I had been exposed to it previously in my school district.  In my district, this design is used to help teachers create their lesson plans for the upcoming units, which range  from a week to months at a time.  When I started to write my UbD design I had the mentality , that I was writing it for one unit, but I soon realized that was not what was being asked.  I later realized I had to design a UbD for larger units.  I had to combine two units together to make sure that my UbD design fit over  a long period of time.  So I took my Operation units (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and combined them together.  Once put together it would take about 3 months to teach.  With that in mind developing my UbD design was more difficult than i originally thought.    The following  UbD design is one that I developed for a 4th grade math unit on the four basic math operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).

Stage 1- Desired Results

Establish Goals:

Students will…

  • Analyze different digital media to create tutorial videos.
  • Add and subtract whole numbers and decimals to the hundredths place.
  • Determine products of a number using properties of operations and place value understanding.
  • Represent the product of 2 two-digit numbers.
  • Multiply up to four-digit number by a one-digit number.
  • Represent the quotient of up to four-digit whole number divided by a one-digit whole number.
  • Interpret remainders.
  • Utilize different strategies to solve real world math problems.
  • Analyze, evaluate and solve one to two step math word problems.
  • Be exposed to different strategies they can use to solve math word problems.
Students will understand that…

  • Using different strategies will help them solve math word problems.
  • Using digital media will help them grow as a learner.
  • Solving math word problems may involve more than one operation.
Essential Questions:

  • How do we analyze word problems to choose the correct math operation(s)?
  • How can we use the created videos to help further student’s learning?
  • How can using different strategies can help solve math word problems?
  • How do all four basic mathematical operations connect?
Students will know…

  • How to solve multi step math word problems using multiple operations.
  • How to analyze a word problem and choose the correct math operation(s) to solve.
Students will be able to…

  • Create tutorial videos.
  • To make connections between the four different math operations.
  • To create a plan for their own learning.

Stage 2- Assessment Evidence

Performance Tasks:

  • Flipped Classroom instructional videos
  • Student-created tutorials
  • STAAR like worksheets
Other Evidence:

  • Quizizzes
  • Small group notebook
  • Providing peer feedback
  • SeeSaw Journal
  • Peer work
  • Exit tickets

Stage 3- Learning Plan

Learning Activities:

1.     Teacher will have students activate prior knowledge of the four basic math operations. W

2.     Students will have a have a small quiz on their prior knowledge. (From this data the teacher will be able to make small groups, prepare for misconceptions for new knowledge.) W, T

3.     Students will be given the url for the instructional videos. (Students will be introduced to each operation one at a time.) W

4.     When student come in the classroom after watching the instructional videos, they will be completing a group project. (Multiday) H

5.     Students will continuously work on math word problems. E

6.     Students will be asked to make short videos using different software. W,H

7.     Students will be completing independent work, peer work and small group instruction on the various math operations. E

8.     Students will design a plan to create their tutorial videos. E, O

9.     Students will collect data based on their completed work in order to tailor their learning. (What they are not mastering? What can they do to master the skill?) E, T, O

10.  Teacher will work with students in small group to fix any misconceptions they may have. R, T

11.  Students will get with a partner to provide feedback on their tutorial videos. R, E

12.  Students will be uploading their videos to SeeSaw. O

W = Help the students know Where the unit is going and What is expected? Help the teacher know Where the students are coming from (prior knowledge, interests)?
H = Hook all students and Hold their interest?
E = Equip students, help them Experience the key ideas and Explore the issues?
R = Provide opportunities to Rethink and Revise their understandings and work?
E = Allow students to Evaluate their work and its implications?
T = Be Tailored (personalized) to the different needs, interests, and abilities of learners?
O = Be Organized to maximize initial and sustained engagement as well as effective learning?

UbD and 3 column table (BHAG)

I found both of these lesson plan models very difficult.  Of the two, the UbD was easier to work with.  Since I had been exposed to this design in the past,  I felt more comfortable using this method..  I believe that UbD design would be more beneficial for lesson plans for smaller period units.  The 3 column table is more suited for long term goals, such as semester term goals.  

I can see myself using both templates for my innovation plan even though the 3 column table is by far more challenging for me.  The way I would use the 3 column table would be to plan the year long goal for my students. This is what I would  show my administrators at the beginning of the year.  The UbD design would be more efficient for my unit lesson plans.  They would be about the skills that I need to teach, what my instruction is going to be, and what activities my students will partake on.




         Fink, L. D. (2003). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning. Retrieved from


          Wiggins, G., & Mctighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design, expanded 2nd edition. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Aligning Outcomes, Assessments and Activities

t is very important as a teacher to develop an effective lesson plan.  During my undergrad, we were taught to look at the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) and come up with activities to help the students  master the skills.  At the end of the lesson plan, that is when we start to think about what the students should have learned.  Now we are told to look at the ‘end game,’ what is the goal of the student? What is it that they really need to master? How can we achieve this goal?  We are now coached to design our lesson plans around what the student should have learned and their  goal.  

In my graduate course we were asked to look at a new type of planning, the 3 Column Table, based on the work of L.D. Fink (2003).  In his plan, not only do I have to think about how instruction and activities, but also think about the long term.  I have to think about how this skill/standard is going to help them outside the classroom, and how they can continue their learning.  This goes beyond what I have been previously exposed to and it’s not easy.  Coming up with my Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) was so difficult, to this moment I still think I need to tweek it.  I had to step back constantly and think about what I want my students to achieve in the end.

Using the Fink’s guide I came up with a 3 column table for a 4th grade math unit on the four basic math operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) that will run over a three month period.




         Fink, L.D. (2003). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning.

San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

What Is My Learning Philosophy?

Trying to figure out what my leaning philosophy is has been real hard for me. As educators we are never really asked how we learn. We are always asked about our teaching philosophy. What can we do to help others learn?  We are asked to take ourselves out of the equation and just teach. Teach to students who already come in with many different facets.  In order for us to be a great teacher we need to know ourselves in our learning and teaching.  The way we learn reflects on our teaching.  Most teachers, including myself, refer back to the ways we learn to teach. We, as teachers, base our teaching philosophies on our learning so they are both very similar.

Learning can mean a lot of different things to people.  When people think of learning they think of being in a classroom where an instructor is teaching, but that is not where it all learning takes place.  I am a firm believer that learning starts at home and that everywhere we go we are learning.  We learn from our parents first and from our surroundings.  We learn everyday and most of the time we do not realize it. Even after we already learn something, we continue to look at it in different ways and learn something new.  For example, when I am in a new situation I like to ask a lot of questions.  When my first-born was diagnosed with having PJRT (Persistent Junctional Reciprocating Tachycardia) and she was in the NICU, the doctors would make their rounds visiting each patient.   At the end of their shifts, they would come around with the new nurses and doctors and go over the day.  I would listen and ask questions even when I already heard them and got the same answers.  But each time I would get some new information, may it be that the first time around I missed it or because it was actually new.  Every time I was learning.  Another example is when people are driving.  We learn when is a good/bad times to drive somewhere, learn shortcuts, etc.  We are always learning and there is always something new to learn.

With this reflection it seems that I am supposed to fall into one type of learning philosophy, but as I am reflecting I cannot fall into just one learning philosophy.  Here are some of the learning philosophies I feel I fall under:

  • Behaviorism
  • Constructivism


I think back to when I was younger in elementary school.  I would come home with my report to give to my father.  He would look at it and discuss each class and grade.  When I received an ‘A’ I would be rewarded, if I received a ‘B’ we would talk about how that was okay, but I could do better.  If my grades were lower, my father would say that I would lose out on something I valued if it did not improve.   That is the whole basis of behaviorism.  So I would listen to my teachers, study when the need was called for, and asked for help when I needed.  I was a young child, so of course I did not want to lose any privileges.  I did what I was told to do and made ‘A’s.’

My parents always put a lot of emphasis on my education.  To them, as well for myself, education is key to having a better life.  My parents did not have the luxury of going to school because they needed to support their families, so they had to make the hard decision of getting out of school to work.  So as I grew up I wanted to make my parents proud.  Having my parents become proud of me was a reward on it’s own. It wasn’t just for them; I too wanted to be proud of myself and worked hard.    So I would learn and get good grades for myself and that in itself became my reward.  Some might say that this is not a ‘good’ learning philosophy, but for me, it works.  I now learn for myself, to make myself proud.  To know that when my children grow up they have a good role model.  For them to know that learning is an essential part of life.


I also learn to understand what is going around me.  For example, when I have a doctor’s appointment and they have to run a test, I ask what every test is about, what they are looking for, what could be some outcomes.  I have to know what is going on.  I also refer back to my prior knowledge to understanding what is going to happen.  I need to have my own experience to learn.  Without experiences you just have information, not knowledge.



Both of these theories are going to impact my innovation plan.  My students are still in the age where behaviorism still applies because of their parents.  Parents are still rewarding students for getting good grades and giving out consequences for bad grades.  My students will also need have experience in order for them learn.  They will be putting their knowledge into creating projects and into gathering more information on what they are learning.  My students will also have me as a facilitator for their online learning.  They will be watching videos that I will create and then have projects that they will work collaboratively on with their peers. So for them, their learning philosophies will be behaviorism, constructivism, and online collaborative learning.



Annotated Bibliography

Bates, T. (2014, July 29). Learning theories and online learning. Retrieved November 29, 2016, from

-An overview on different learning theories

Jensen, R. (2014). Behaviorism. Salem Press Encyclopedia Of Health,

-An overview on behaviorism and how it got created.

Vijaya Kumari, S. N. (2014). Constructivist Approach to Teacher Education: An Integrative Model for Reflective Teaching. Journal On Educational Psychology, 7(4), 31-40.

-This article talks about how constructivism can be an effective for teacher learning.

Creating a Significant Learning Environment

New Culture of Learning

Right now a 4th grade classroom learning environment consists of:

  • The teacher giving instruction with some guided time
  • Students completing independent work
  • Students working in workstations where they review previous skills
  • Conducting small group instruction (reteaching or giving students higher level instruction for those who already mastered the skill/standard)

There is not enough time where students can interact with one another, create and explore their learning.  In the new learning environment that I want to create is where students are free to create projects, collaborate freely with their peers and where they can explore their learning.  This will be an entirely new learning environment for my students and for the school.  To create this environment, it is going to take some time to adjust.  Students are going to need a lot of reinforcement and reminding.  There is also going to be a lot of practicing on how we can move from station to station as purposed in my innovation plan.  They will need to know what are the do’s and dont’s.  It would also help if they practices are developed on how to get the  the instructional video at home or at school.



I wrote down that I myself will be a challenge because even though I am open to having a different classroom environment, it is still a very daunting task to take on.  To make sure that everyone around you is giving you support, a chance to make something better is difficult to take on.  The pressure that I will take on, will at times be too much.  This is will be the first time that a teacher will make a drastic change in their classroom.  Many administrators and parents will not be open-minded.  They are used to see the traditional style of classrooms, where students are sitting at their desk and the teacher is at the front or walking around while teaching and having workstations. I will have to take on their misconceptions about non-traditional learning and at times it will make me feel like wanting to go back to the more traditional learning environment. So I will have to challenge myself all the time to keep with the new learning environment when times get tough.

Administration, Parents, Students

I will need to keep administration and parents updated on how using technology is benefiting students learning.  I will also have to meet with administration and give parents information about the new learning environment before beginning of the school year.  To make sure students are watching the videos at home I will have an open communication with students and their parents.  I will also have a plan for those students who are not able to watch the videos at home. I will talk to the parents to see if their child can come before school or stay after school to watch the videos.  After I get all the information about those students I will create office hours before school and/or after school so my students can watch the videos.  I will also create a system where students will be held accountable for watching the videos and have communication with parents when their child does not watch the videos.

All these are going to be challenges that I will have throughout my first year of implementing this innovation.  I will need to keep administration and parents updated on how using technology is benefiting students learning.  I will also have to meet with administration and give parents information about the new learning environment before beginning of the school year.  To make sure students are watching the videos at home I will have an open communication with students and their parents.  I will also have a plan for those students who are not able to watch the videos at home. I will talk to the parents to see if their child can come before school or stay after school to watch the videos.  After I get all the information about those students I will create office hours before school and/or after school so my students can watch the videos.  I will also create a system where students will be held accountable for watching the videos and have communication with parents when their child does not watch the videos.

Impact on the school

This new learning environment will impact my school greatly.  The administrators before where very open about creating new learning environments that were more student-orientated and involved technology, but now with new pressure on getting students to perform high on the STAAR (State of Texas Assessment and Academic Readiness). They are more interested in keeping the traditional environment and making sure students will perform.  At the end of my first year, I am hoping that the administrators will realize that they old traditional ways are of the old days and it’s time for us to evolve our learning environments.  We need to change with the times and make sure students are getting a better environment that’ll allow them to create and collaborate in the classroom.  We all know the different learning styles and the most common are visual, auditory and kinesthetic.  With the new culture students will be able to do all of those.  There will not be any students left behind as there are now.  Once administrators and fellow teachers see the great change they will be lining up to do the same in their classroom.


I believe that my innovation plan will influence my learning philosophy greatly. Just like Dr. Harapnuik said, “ We say that we want to change, but do we change?”  We all talk big game, but when it comes down to it we are also afraid of change.  Every year I have to remind myself that the way I learn is not the same as others.  I need a constantly remind myself that children of this era need a different learning environment than what I had at their age.  My innovation plan is broad enough that I have the flexibility to change the environment if needed be.  Yes, my students are going to use more technology in the classroom, but there are still going to have instruction at times where I need to be ‘lecturing.’  My innovation plan will still hold elements of the traditional learning environment, but will now have elements of technology that will enhance students’ learning.

Innovation Plan Impact on Learning Environment

My innovation plan will immensely impact my classroom learning environment.  Students are going from previous years of having their teachers teach at the board while they are sitting at their desk taking notes.  Going from limited time working with peers on assignments, not having to do group projects, not being able to create their own projects using any type of presentation, and not being able to further their learning in the classroom.  Students will also go from having limited time with small group instruction and little teacher interaction on one-on-one to getting more teacher time.  Students are going to be able to come to the classroom with question already in hand about the new standard/skill that are learning.  They are going to be able to talk and learn from their peers and at times get an outsider (experts) help on their projects.  Students are going to get an opportunity to explore more of their learning.  Students are not going to be limited any longer in their learning.  This new environment will encourage them to be a life long learner.



Harapnuik, D. (2016, June). Creating Significant Learning Environments (CSLE). []. Retrieved from

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, KY: Author.

Communicating my idea

As educators, we always want what is best for our students.  We want to make sure we are giving them the right resources, instruction, and education that we possibly can.  When we go to different professional developments they always train us in the new strategies that will help our students better understand the standards.  At these training, they also explain to us how much time we need to be spending on instruction, guided instruction, independent work, and small group instruction. At the end, there is very little time for small group instruction.  During the small group instruction, this is the time where we are able to meet with students to correct any misunderstandings or to challenge students to grow their learning. So it becomes difficult to find time for small group time.

With all the strategies that we are being taught, they do not talk about how we can use technology to help students be successful.  We are in an era where technology has become an essential part of our lives and there is a disconnect of technology in the classroom.  When people think of technology and an elementary classroom, they might think that it’s only used to play games.  That is also the perspective of students as well.  When you bring out the iPads/laptops/computers they automatically think they are about to play a game.  Technology is so much more than that.  I want to be able to use technology to increase my small group time with students and to have students use technology to enhance their learning.  

Students right now get their instruction in the classroom and go home with homework to put their new knowledge into completing their homework.  Many students go home without fully understanding the standard and are unable to complete their homework.  During class time they were unable to either meet with the teacher or comprehend the standard that they are now lost.  With a flipped classroom, students will get the instruction at home via an instructional video and go into the classroom having more time to understand the standard and complete work with the teacher there.  During normal classroom time, students will also have stations that they will be rotating to get more out of their learning.  It would also give me, the teacher, more time to have small group time with students.  No more having students lost in the instruction or bored because they are not being challenged.

By showing my innovation plan, literature review, and outline to my administrators and colleagues they are going to see having a flipped classroom is the great change we need.  Having a flipped classroom with a station rotation schedule will let students be more successful, take ownership of their learning, and collaborate with one another is the best option for our students.

Here is a list of literature to help me have more understanding on a flipped classroom.

The Differentiated Flipped Classroom: A Practical Guide to Digital Learning by Eric M. (Mason) Carbaugh, Kristina J. Doubet

This book will give me more insight in creating a flipped classroom.

Thinking Through Project-Based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry by Jane Krauss, Suzanne K. Boss

This book will be a great resource on having more project-based learning in the classroom.

Using technology with Classroom Instruction That Works, 2nd Edition by Howard Pitler, Elizabeth R. Hubbell, and Matt Kuhn

This book will give more insight on having technology in the classroom and give me resources.

These are some online blog post that gives more information about implementing station rotations in the classroom.  They will give me more ideas and give me someone who I can ask questions.

Hudson, T. (2013, June 28). How to Implement a Station Rotation Blended Learning Model – DreamBox Learning. Retrieved November 5, 2016, from

Doubet, A. (n.d.). Blended Learning with Station Rotations. Retrieved November 5, 2016, from


Technology is a wonderful tool that gets a lot of bad reputation.  We are always hearing how technology has ruined children’s lives.  How it keeps children from being critical thinkers, blaming technology for children not wanting to go outside, that children are obese, etc.  People do not realize how technology could be an essential tool for their children’s education.

When you need to learn something new where do you go to find more information? You go online and search it and/or you watch a video.  You get your information from the Internet.  So why shouldn’t children do the same?

Every day in the classroom, I see students that are lost in the instruction.  Students who do not want to ask a question because they are either too lost or shy.   There is also lack of time for me as the teacher, to meet with all my students in one day and make sure that they are on track and understanding the standard.  As a teacher, I want to make sure that all my students will be successful so they can go on to the next grade fully prepared.  Having students who come to me in different learning level and learning styles makes it difficult to meet their needs.  I am always looking for ways to help my students achieve their goals.  During my research, I came across blended learning- the flipped classroom. This gives me the freedom to have more student time in the classroom, and more collaboration among students.  It allows students to learn at their own pace and gives ownership of learning to students.  It also allows more teacher time.  I am able to give more attention to my students and help them correct any misconceptions of the standard they learning.  Having them use technology to create, to analyze, to collaborate, and to further their learning is all that technology is great for.

Technology is not a hindrance it’s a benefit for our children.  

I used iMovie to create my video.  I used pictures that I had from lessons that I did with my students and some pictures of times when I did not use technology in the classroom.  You can see a big difference between how students were with a lesson that involved technology and when they just had to do things ‘old school’ style with no technology.  The process took a lot of prep time. I actually had to go YouTube and find videos to help me create my video.

Why schools should have Blended Learning

In a regular classroom day, students receive about 120 minutes a day of math instruction.  They spend about 60 minutes on instruction, where students are taught a new standard, followed by guided and independent work.  After this hour students they spend another 60 minutes going from workstation to workstation while the teacher meets with a small group of students periodically to work on standards they have not yet mastered.  During this time the teacher only has about 15 minutes tops to be able to meet with all his/her students to work on non-mastered standards.  It becomes very difficult to meet with all students in a day.  Not all students have the same learning styles and learning pace, this is causing students to be left behind.  At the end teachers tend to focus on low performing students and this leaves the rest of the students to float around.  We lose sight of those high-level performing students and fail to realize they need attention too, along with the middle-level students.  We cannot let this go on.  Teachers need to be able to meet with all of their students. Every student needs to be challenged no matter what learning level they are at.  

Now you might be asking how are we, teachers, going to be able to do this? The answer is BLENDED LEARNING! We are in a technological era where all of our students are using technology in one form or another.  They are being introduced to technology at a very young age.  Blended learning takes teacher face time and incorporates technology, in form of online learning.  Online learning is where students are able to get their instruction by watching instructional videos.  This will allow students to work at own pace.  They are able to re-watch the videos, as many times they need.  They will also be able write down questions they have of the instruction to later ask the teacher. When they are able to get their instruction via a video and have them watch it before going into the classroom, which is called a flipped classroom, it gives the teacher more time to meet with small group of students.  Also while having the teacher meet with small groups, the other students are doing a station rotation where they are doing independent work in the form of online learning, group projects, and independent work which will further students’ learning.

If we implement blended learning by having flipped classrooms with station rotation it can only improve students’ achievement.  Students will be more engaged and will be more involved in the classroom.  When they are completing their online learning, students will learn how to work at their own pace and work collaboratively.  This will also lead to students taking ownership of their learning, which is what all teachers want from their students.  Once students take ownership they will be more eager to learn.  Students will have a more personalized learning that will benefit them. Ultimately with blended learning students will perform better in classroom, district, and state testing.  


Using a Flipped Classroom with Station Rotation to Improve Learning in the Elementary Classroom


In the past few years, schools have trying to integrate more technology into their classroom to create a digital learning environment.  Many teachers have struggled to find meaningful ways to use technology other than for games.  In recent years teachers have looked for ways to increase students’ scores due to the higher rigor of the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test.  The increase of rigor has made it difficult to reach every student within the school day.  Students come to school at different learning levels and backgrounds from each other.  In classrooms, teachers have a set time where we meet with students in a small group setting and work with students to master skills.  Within this given time there still is not enough time for teachers to fully give students time and attention to help them succeed.  What if there was a way for teachers to meet with more students and have students work independently or with peers to enhance their learning?  There is a new trend going around called Blending Learning.  Blended Learning is where students are in a classroom setting that get part of the instruction through a digital aspect.  Within Blended Learning there are different models, such as flipped classroom.  The focus of this literature review is how the implementation of a flipped classroom with a station rotation will improve learning in an elementary classroom.


Digital Learning– is any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience.

STAAR– State of Texas Assessments and Academic Readiness- is the new State student-testing program for core subject areas – reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. The number of tests taken each year will vary from two to four, depending on the grade level

Flipped Classroom– a form of blended learning which brings an interactive engagement pedagogy to classrooms by having students learn content online, usually at home, and homework is done in class with teachers and students discussing and solving questions.

Station Rotation– a form of blended learning which brings an interactive engagement pedagogy to classrooms by having students rotate at a fixed points in time between stations where at least one station is an online learning station.

Integrating Technology

Technology is starting to be an integral part of teaching that many schools are requiring teachers to use technology in their daily lessons.  Edwards and Bone (2012) created a case study where they took Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) and new Web 2.0 eLearning and compared them to ‘traditional’ teachings.  They were determining which type of teaching method was more beneficial to students.  They found that students are more engaged and put forth a stronger effort with PAL and eLearning, but scores did not increase.  In another literature, Mariano (2014) writes about the relationship of watching a multimedia learning environment (i.e. tutorials) and knowledge transfers.  She goes on to state that the time frame when a student watched the tutorial to the time they need to transfer or recall is too long.  When there is a big gap between them, the transfer of knowledge and recall declines. In her research she conducts two sets of experiments.  One where there is a delayed transfer and the other is immediate transfers. She was not able to conclude which is better; instead she decided to do more research needs to be done.

Blended Learning

In the past years with the technology integration came the question on how teachers can use technology in the classroom and to teach students.  Many teachers want to have technology be meaningful in the classroom, not to be something to fill in when there is nothing else.  The answer to the question was blended learning.  Blended learning is where the teacher is still teaching, but now has a digital aspect to the learning.  DeNisco, A. (2014), said the most common form is the flipped classroom.  Another form is the station rotation model.

Flipped Classroom

With the new research in trying to find other ways teachers can improve student learning and trying to create a more enriched learning environment, several have turned to creating ‘flipped classrooms’.  Bishop, J. L., & Verleger, M. A. (2013), in a flipped classroom students are learning the skills at home so when they get in the classroom they can practice problems in a groups.  Instead of having students work on ‘hard’ problems at home where the teacher is not there, they get to do that in the classroom.  They have a better opportunity to achieve success with more resources at hand. Teachers have a hard time getting their low performance students to succeed.  Some students do not do the traditional homework because they did not understand it in the classroom, so they do not complete the homework.  So when they go to class the next day they already feel discouraged to continue because they are afraid to fail.  In the case study of Bhagat, K. K., Cheng-Nan, C., & Chun-Yen, C. (2016) their study proved that with the flipped classroom environment low achieving students were more successful.  With the flipped classroom environment the teacher is able to give students more individualized attention.  It frees up more time for students to participate in more real-world activities Rotellar, C., & Cain, J. (2016) that gets them prepared for the rest of their school career and able to go out and apply what they learned.

Station Rotation Model

In the case study of Bhagat, K. K., Cheng-Nan, C., & Chun-Yen, C. (2016) they had success with the flipped classroom.  Teachers were able to reach those low achieving students, but the high-, middle-achieving students were left to have the same success rate.  Having the flipped classroom was not enough, that is why is teachers should also implement the station rotation model.  Students will be able to work closely with the teacher, but those higher achieving students will have an opportunity to further their learning independently and cooperative. The same goes for the middle-achieving students.  There still needs to be further studies done on the station rotation model.


As the classroom changes to integrate meaningful technology, it is important for teachers and administrators to pay close attention to these trends.  It has been proven that flipped classroom has a positive impact in the student’s achievement.  Not only are students able to re-watch instructional videos on their own time and pace, they are also practicing meaningful activities in the classroom.  Students are learning far more than just sitting at their desk listening to the teacher teach.  With flipped classroom and station rotation they are now having instruction be more at their pace, individualized to their needs, they also get to work with others.



“Four Different Blended Learning Models.” Khan Academy. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.

Becker, S. A., Krueger, K., & Cummins, M. (2016). NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2016 K-12 Edition, 38-39. Retrieved October 15, 2016, from

Bhagat, K. K., Cheng-Nan, C., & Chun-Yen, C. (2016). The Impact of the Flipped Classroom on Mathematics Concept Learning in High School. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society, 19(3), 134-142.

Bishop, J. L., & Verleger, M. A. (2013, June). The flipped classroom: A survey of the research. In ASEE National Conference Proceedings, Atlanta, GA (Vol. 30, No. 9).

DeNisco, A. (2014). The Different Faces of Blended Learning. District Administration, 50(1), 32-37.

Edwards, S., & Bone, J. (2012). Integrating Peer Assisted Learning and eLearning: Using Innovative Pedagogies to Support Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Settings. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(5). doi:10.14221/ajte.2012v37n5.4

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., & Freeman, A. (2014). NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition. Retrieved October 15, 2016, from

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., & Freeman, A. (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition. Retrieved October 15, 2016, from

Kuan-Chou, C., & Keh-Wen “Carin”, C. (2016). BUILDING A COOPERATIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN A FLIPPED CLASSROOM. Academy Of Educational Leadership Journal,20(2), 8-15.

Mariano, G. (2014). Breaking It Down: Knowledge Transfer in a Multimedia Learning Environment. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 26(1), 1-11. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
Rotellar, C., & Cain, J. (2016). Research, Perspectives, and Recommendations on Implementing the Flipped Classroom. American Journal Of Pharmaceutical Education, 80(2), 1-9.


Digital Learning and Leading Self-Assessment

Digital Learning and Leading Self-Assessment Reflection

The education profession is always evolving. There are always new strategies, methods, theories, pedagogy, etc. coming out. As we move into this new era that is obsessed with technology, we also see the students themselves changing. Students are coming to us with new mindsets and the ‘’real world’ is also becoming a new place. We as a society rely on technology and use it daily. For example architects are now using a ipad/tablet to draw up new ideas for buildings instead of using paper and pencil. Many careers are technology based. Since this is becoming our world we need to teach students how to properly use these new technologies. Just as, they learn about inferencing, history, mathematics, etc. they need to be taught how to use technology. I have been blessed to have had technology in my classroom, but I have not always known how to utilize technology to its full potential or how to show my students it’s potential. Like all teachers, I have always reflected on how I use technology and always challenged myself to get better use and show that to my students.

In the past when I thought about technology in the classroom, I only thought about having students use a word processor to write their stories/essays or to listen to an audio book. I only thought of using technology in its basic form. I hardly used technology in the classroom. My smartboard was just a very expensive whiteboard where students were able to go up and move icons and write on. I used the response devices for assessments but that did not give feedback to students about their answers. There was not anyone that I could go to for help in integrating technology.  During this time, I wished there was someone I could have gone to for help.

The usage of technology in my classroom has increased tremendously in the past few years. I have gone from basic usage to having students collaborate with other students outside our classroom. I have grown in the past three years. The students have been exposed to Google Forms, Docs, Hangouts, and Slides. They have collaborated with another classroom from another school in my district using Google Slides.  They had to share information with each other and add them to the Slides. Later they discussed their learning and information via Hangouts.  They got to ask each other questions and answer. Using Hangouts they also were able to play a Math Relay game, where they had to solve a math question correctly to earn points.  They used Google Forms to answer homework questions on a video that I created about a new concept in math class, and submit to me. With the video my students’ parents are also able to view them and see what their children are learning in the classroom. I have also used Remind, ClassDojo, and Smore to communicate with receive. I loved being able to get in touch via text messaging because of the fast response I would receive from them. After I showed my students a new application they were able to then use the application on their own.  For example I had created a quiz on Quizizz and used it in whole group, my students later on were able to use it independently at home and during their workstations. The same goes for SeeSaw, ThingLink, PicCollage, etc. As I reflected on my integration of technology, I felt comfortable in saying that I grew in knowing how to incorporate it the right way. As the year went by began to think about how I could grow more and reflected that I should show my colleagues some of the applications that I was using.  During our conference times I showed my colleagues how to use Remind, ClassDojo, Plickers, Google Flubaroo Add-On, ThingLink, and district. I also gave a presentation to parents about Remind and SeeSaw during one of our Family Nights.








I am hoping that with this master’s degree I will be able to become a digital learning coach at a school. I hope that my experience in integrating technology in my classroom and using it to collaborate with others will allow me to help other teachers use technology. I also hope that I will be able to ease those reluctant teachers into integrating technology.  I want to be able to show them that technology is not something to be afraid of, it is not going to be extra work for them, and that it will not hinder them. It will actually be able to help them, and reduce their workload overtime. When they use SeeSaw in the classroom they will be able to view their work anywhere, will be able to evaluate their students work on the spot, give them direct feedback every single time. When they use Quizizz they will be able to see their students answers and will be graded already for them.  When they use Plickers they do not need to have a bunch of tablets out, they only need one device, and it gives the teacher instant knowledge of who understands the concept/question and can address any misconceptions right on the other. We also know that students love to share what they know with each other. With using Google Hangouts/Skype/FaceTime with other classrooms or professionals they are able to learn from other students. As I am getting more comfortable using technology in the classroom, I am hoping that I will train my colleagues and/or parents on technology integration.  Technology is not something we should be terrified to use, we should embrace this new era and get students to fully comprehend how technology enhances their learning.” Technology Pear Tree Education Inc. (2013), “Technology is simply a tool to aide education and learning.”  Technology in the classroom is going to be the norm and we, as teachers, need to learn on how to integrate it to best serve our students.