Dec 14

Applying This Course To My Future

Good and effective teaching means so many things. After taking this course, I realized just how much teachers do and go through and I wonder how they even have time to have a personal life. Being a good and effective teacher means a lot of things, but some of the most important to me are: getting to know students and their families, caring about students, communicating well, assigning appropriate homework, accepting differences, having humor, being flexible, and being able to have fun while teaching. At the beginning of the semester I feel like my list would have been a lot shorter. I have learned a lot about what goes on “behind the scenes” and it has helped me to appreciate and understand the teaching profession more. At the beginning I would have said something like, a good and effective teacher gets to know their students and teaches relevant information. My list might have been a little longer, but most of the things I listed above I would not have thought to be important.

This course has really helped me prepare myself for preparing and using different kinds of lessons. I learned that there are many different ways to prepare a lesson plan, specifically, I learned about the Backward Design plan. Having a good lesson plan is the start of giving a great lesson. Being prepared and having multiple activities for students is important. If some of my students in speech therapy are having a day where they are restless, I could do an activity where we get up and move around instead of making them sit and practice their speech for an hour. being flexible is important.

I think the most significant thing I learned this semester that will help prepare me for my future as speech pathologist is that it is important to get to know the student as well as the family. Forming a good relationship with the student and their family can help with their therapy. Forming a relationship with the student is important because the student should know that they can trust you.

To prepare my online identity, I think I will keep up with blogging. I can write about my experiences in grad school and volunteering at my local school. This will be helpful because it will show future employers about my online skills and it will show them that I am involved in my community.

Dec 7

Gender In The Classroom

Gender plays a role in every classroom, whether we realize it or not. As future educators, we are going to be telling our students about how their gender is supposed to act. At times, we are going to know when we are doing this, but at other times we are not going to realize we are doing it. It is important for us to make sure we are aware of what we are saying and teaching students because we do not know how it will affect them. Another way that gender affects students is that it can actually help or hinder them in their success in school. Gender affects students of all ages, including those in college, not just students in primary or secondary education.

There are a lot of terms that are similar that relate to this topic, so let’s try and make sense of them. All of the following definitions I got from the textbook Educational Psychology by Anita Woolfolk (2014). Gender refers to traits and behaviors that a particular culture judges to be appropriate for men and for women. A gender identity is the sense of self as male or female as well as the beliefs one has about gender roles and attributes. Note that there is a difference between gender and sex. A person’s sex is biological and is obviously different for men and women. The last definition that is important to know is one for gender roles. Gender roles are expectations about how males and females should behave. Our society believes that males should act masculine and females should act feminine.

When we are educators or speech pathologists, how we interact and what we say to our students could hinder their learning potential. When we tell girl students who are playing rough, we may be telling them not to act like boys. If we would not tell boys who were playing a little rough like the girls to stop, why do we tell girls to stop? This is where gender roles come in to play. Our society believes that girls should be more quiet and when playing, not get their clothes dirty or messed up. As future teachers, we need to be able to identify these situations and know when we should and should not say anything. Another thing we may be doing with or without realizing it is saying that one sex is better at doing something than the other. A study done by Sara Neuburger et al. (2012) reveals that when told boys are better at a task, girls’ performance rates go down. It also works the same for boys.

There has been a lot of research done on how gender affects students in the classroom. The gender of a peer, mentor, or teacher could influence how well a student does on a task or in the class. If a first grader sees someone of the same gender successfully completing a task, they will increase their own effort on that same task (Elmore & Oyserman 2012) This  means that if a child sees a peer the opposite gender completing a task successfully, they will decrease their effort on the task (Elmore & Oyserman 2012).

Gender also has a role in the college classrooms as well. College students can be similar to the first graders in the sense that if they see a peer doing something successfully they will as well. Another way gender effects the college classrooms is what the professor identifies them self as. If you have a female professor who is very successful in her field, people who identify as women in that class are more likely to do better on tests and homework. Female professors play a big role in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) classes. There are not a large number of female students in STEM classes or getting degrees from a STEM subject. Amanda Griffith (2014) found in her study that it is important to have female professors in these fields because they serve as a role model to the female students. This could help more female students decide to go into those classes and help more females want to get degrees in those areas.

This video explains more about what this post is starting to go into. One of the most important things that this video talks about is how girls are not the only ones affected by gender bias in the classroom. Often, boys are seen as more rowdy and are seen to misbehave more than girls. Which also causes an increase in the referrals for special education for male students. Some other important points it makes are that girls are often denied access to gifted and talented programs and boys on average get more attention from the teacher than female students. This attention is both positive and negative. This video also is nice because it gives visuals to help people understand just how much this affects us all.

Elmore, Kristen C. & Oyserman, Daphna. (2012). If ‘we’ can succeed, ‘I’ can too: Identity-based motivation and gender in the classroom. Contemporary Educational Psychology. vol. 37. Retrieved from

Griffith, A. L. (2014). Faculty Gender in the College Classroom: Does It Matter for Achievement and Major Choice?. Southern Economic Journal81(1), 211-231. doi:10.4284/0038-4038-2012.100

Neuburger, S., Jansen, P., Heil, M., & Quaiser-Pohl, C. (2012). A threat in the classroom: Gender stereotype activation and mental-rotation performance in elementary-school children. Zeitschrift Für Psychologie/Journal of Psychology, 220(2), 61-69. Retrieved from

Woolfolk, Anita. (2014). Educational Psychology (12th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

Dec 6

Technology In The Classroom

I think technology has a huge impact on both teaching and learning. For teachers, it allows information to be conveyed in new ways. Teachers can now show videos and pictures from the internet to supplement their lessons. With the internet, a teacher can share their lectures online with the class, allowing students who missed that day to still get the information. A teacher can also teach online. With video chatting, it allows a class to be taught online, while still getting interactions with other students. Another way students can interact online is through discussion boards. This allows students to interact in addition to the classroom.

For learning, technology has just as big of an impact. Technology lets us learn so many things whenever we please. I can look something up on the internet and get information on something almost instantly. In my high school every student was given a Chromebook to use during the whole day at school. This was great because it meant we could write papers wherever we were. It also meant that each person had access to information when we needed it. Smart Boards allow students to interact with information as a class, in small groups, or individually. For students who learn best by interaction, this is a great tool. Another way that I use technology is to study. I can create notecards online, and access them anywhere, at any time, no paper needed.


A great way for teachers to teach and students to learn is by virtual reality. This opens up so many possibilities. For an anatomy class, you could interact with the human body virtually, for a history class, you could go around the world and look at various monuments. There are a lot of possibilities for teachers to incorporate this into their instruction. As more research is being done on virtual reality, it is being made easier for people to buy. It is getting less expensive and they are improving it constantly.


With all of these benefits, there are some downfalls though. In my mind, the benefits outweigh the downfalls. At times, technology can be a distraction. By giving students their own computers, they could use them in class when they are not supposed to. Cell phones I think are the largest problem. Cell phones can allow students to cheat on assignments and tests easier, and can be a distraction in general. There are ways to help eliminate these problems. At my school, the teacher could use their computer to see what each student had on their screen, and could close out things that were not appropriate or distracting. As long as teachers are paying attention to the students while taking tests, they can eliminate the use of cell phones for cheating. Overall, I believe that technology is doing way more good than harm in terms of  both teaching and learning.

Nov 30

Motivation and Instruction

As a future speech pathologist, I intend to use all of the things we have learned in this module at some point or another in my future. If I want to be a successful speech pathologist in a school, I am going to have to have goals for my students, and give them motivation to reach those goals. I also will be able to use the Backward Design to help my students.

It is important got have goals for many reasons. Goals can help me see if a student is improving, and if not, it helps me determine how we need to change what we are doing for therapy. Goals also guide therapy, if we have a goal to have a student be able to articulate clearly, then we need to do exercises to help with that. ( This website gives many reasons, including a couple listed above, about why goals are so important to not only the speech pathologists, but the students and their families as well.

I also found a great website that describes some motivators for speech therapy sessions. Some of the examples they gave on the list were visual reward charts, challenging students to beat their own previous records, and make mistakes during your therapy session. I found this last one interesting, but it makes sense. If you can show the student that everyone makes mistakes and that it is okay to make them, they might feel more comfortable working with you.

Here is the website I got my motivational information from:

The Backward Design could be more helpful to a speech pathologist than one may think. If we are working in a school with students, we can collaborate with their general education teacher. We can find out what they are learning about in a unit or class and incorporate that into our speech therapy. For example, if a student was learning about the solar system, we could use words that have to do with the solar system in our therapy sessions. The Backward Design could help us come up with assessments and learning activities about the topic.

Below is my example of a Backward Design. With the Backward Design, you start out by establishing learning goals for the students. Then you state what you want the students to know, along with what they will be able to understand. In the next section you list your learning activities and assessments. I think that the concept of the Backward Design is helpful because instead of focusing on activities and assessments for the students, you focus them around what you want the students to learn and understand. You are able to put the content and what you want learned in the spotlight. I feel like a lot of times this does not happen.


Unit Title: The Planets


Established Goals: Students will be able to identify the plants and put them in proper order. Students will be able to identify which planets are gas and which are terrestrial, and which are small and giant. Students will also be able to identify why Earth is the only planet with life. Students should be able to know a few facts about each planet. Students will be able to understand what an orbit is.


Understandings: Students will understand that…

·   Not all planets are like Earth with people living on them.

·   Not all planets have the same orbit

·   Not all planets are the same type


Essential Questions:

·    What makes Earth livable?

·    What are the differences between gas and terrestrial planets?

·    What is a planet?

·    What is a solar system?

·    What is an orbit?


Students will know:

·    Size and type of each planet.

·    Names of planets.

·    Basic facts for each planet.

·    What an orbit is.

·    What a solar system is.



Students will be able to:

·    Order planets from closest to farthest from sun.

·    Order planets from smallest to largest and vice versa.

·    Explain why Earth is the only livable planet.

·    Give basic facts about each planet.



Performance Tasks:

Smart Board Activity– Have students take turns coming up to the board to move the planets into the correct order. The students could also match the planets to the correct descriptions given in a separate game.

Draw and label the solar system– Give the students a long piece of paper and have them draw the solar system, and label the planets. Students will also draw the orbits for each planet.

List planets and give descriptions of each in a booklet – Print out a book template with the planets already on it. Have the students cut out the book, color in the planets, and then list the features of each planet below the picture.

Answer questions orally in class– Each day, ask questions about the previous days’ learnings to help the students review.



Other Evidence:

Answer the essential questions listed above- Give this out as a review sheet along with some other questions and have the students turn it in for a grade.

Test on all the material listed above that will be graded.


Key Criteria:

Booklet- I will give the students a list of what all needs to be listed for each planet in their book. Essentially I will provide a checklist of what will be required for each planet.

Test- The test will be on what order the planets are in from the sun, what type of planet each is, and some questions on general facts.






Summary of Learning Activities:

Use K-W-L to go over what the students already know. Then go over learning goals for the unit. Start talking about the planets in class. We will look at pictures online and fill out fact sheets as we go through the unit. Then we will do our draw and label the planet homework. Next as we are going through and learning more about the planets, the students will make a booklet about the planets, drawing pictures and listing facts on each page for each planet. Each day, I will ask questions at the beginning of each lesson from the previous day’s topic(s). At the end of the lesson, there will be a test on the planets.

Nov 9

Behavioral vs. Cognitive Perspectives of Learning

The behavioral approach is different in many ways from the cognitive perspective of learning. The behavioral approach focuses more on the student learning by being told information and doing tasks over and over again to learn it. Another thing about this approach is that it does not consider the role that peers play in a person’s learning. It is more of a sit and get way of learning. On the other hand, the cognitive perspective takes more of the hands on approach. This approach recognizes that past experiences can influence how information is learned and what the students already know. It also focuses on applying what you are learning to help remember the information. Another thing that cognitive approach does is recognizes that peers can influence a child’s learning experience.

It is important to consider and apply both of these learning styles during instruction because we have no proof that one idea is correct and the other is not. There is no right or wrong, and there is nothing to say that you can’t take part of the behavioral perspective and blend it with another part of the cognitive perspective to create the best instruction for your students. There are some limitations to each view and by combining them, you could eliminate the downfalls. The downfalls for the behavioral perspective are that it does not consider that peers play a role in each other’s learning, it is a sit and get way of learning for the student, and you don’t get to apply the knowledge you are learning while learning it. A downfall for the cognitive approach is that students are doing more learning without the help of the teacher, which could lead to confusion.

For me, the view I agree with the most is the cognitive perspective. This way of thinking makes sense to me because students are learning by applying the knowledge and know that it has a purpose for being learned. I also like it better because I think students pay attention better if they have to interact while learning instead of sitting there and getting talked at for hours on end. Even for the teacher, it can not be fun to stand in front of a class and just talk at them the entire time.

I can see taking ideas from all perspectives we learned and blending them into what I need for my future as a speech pathologist. I will need to be able to alter my lessons depending on the student’s needs, and what will work best for the kind of day they are having. For example, if a student comes in and does not feel well, I might not have them do as much interacting with other students. I would not want to get everyone else sick or make the sick child feel worse. What I use will also depend on what I am teaching. If a child is having problems with articulation, I might have them practice it at home. But if a child needs to work on recognizing words and learning their meanings, I might teach them and help them along their homework. It all comes down to what is needed at the time, and who I am working with.

Oct 26

Module 3: Differences

I expect to encounter differences between teaching styles of my colleagues, learning styles of my students, gender identities, studying habits, communication skills, whether or not they have a disability, and many more. Everyone is slightly different from each other in many ways. I will try to accommodate for these differences some day when I am hopefully speech pathologist. One way I could get to know my students differences would be to talk to their teachers. They could offer insight on how the student learns best, or what their home life is like. I also really like the idea of doing what we did at the start of this class. I could have the children fill out “If she only knew…” sheets. This would allow me to accommodate for things without the other children knowing. I can change how I am teaching children and I could also alter what I am going to do that day dependingon how their day is going.

One difference I would like to focus on is whether or not the children have a disability or not. As a speech pathologist in a school setting I will have to deal with a variety of disabilities. I will have to have a variety of techniques for working with these children. I was able to job shadow a speech pathologist in my hometown school and she changed what she was doing on the day if the child was having a bad day. Instead of focusing on speech, she would work with them to calm them down and help get them  back into their general education classroom. I will have to know what their disabilities are and what that child’s abilities are. Planning for differences is important because what might work for one child might not work for another. Each child will not learn at the same pace or the same way. Not every child is going to have the same problems with their speech or language either.

The videos emphasized that not everyone is the same, and we need to remember that in the future. Not everyone is just like us. The videos also reminded us that not everyone has the same previous experiences. These are things we can all take with us for the rest of our lives, no matter where life takes us.

Oct 12

Module 2

We develop knowledge from our experiences. That is why everyone is different. We all have different experiences that we have been though. These experiences can be good or bad and can happen at any time. By experiences things multiple times, our brains form pathways that help us retain information. Our brains develop over time, which means we are able to learn more as our brains develop. Once we reach a certain age, brains developing normally are able to understand more complex and abstract thought.

Because our brains develop as we get older, we have to make sure what we are teaching is appropriate for our students’ brains. If we are trying to teach something abstract to a second grader who does not have those mental abilities, they are not going to understand and learn what you are teaching. This is why we do not learn things like abstract math until middle or high school. The zone of proximal development that Vygotsky discovered is a phase when a child can learn something new or master a task with help or support (Woolfolk, 2014, p. 67). This includes concepts that are outside of the child’s capabilities, but only by a little.

Piaget developed multiple stages that a person goes through as their brain develops. With each stage, a child should be able to do more complex things, and possibly even change the way they learn. When kids are in the sensorimotor stage, they learn by feeling, like by putting things in their mouth. For children that are able to go through all the stages, they do not all progress at the same time. Not every child moves on to the next stage at the same time, and that is perfectly normal. However, if a child is very behind on moving into the next stage, this could mean that there are some issues with their development. We can use Piaget’s stages to help identify possible learning disabilities.

Poverty can play a big role in a child’s development. If a child comes from a poor family, there are many situations that can happen. If their family is poor, the child might not have technology at home to complete homework or a parent might be working and not able to help the child with their homework. If parents are gone a lot, an older child might have to look after younger siblings, or young children might be forced to try and make food for themselves. Poverty can affect how students interact with one another. If a child is not able to develop social skills at home or before they start school, they might not know how to interact with other children. In high school, I would tutor in one of  my school’s second grade classrooms. There was one student in the class that we knew came from a poor family background. You could tell by the way he dressed. He sometimes would wear shorts in the winter because he had nothing else to wear. Other children would ask why he was wearing that clothing and you could tell it made him feel like an outcast. This boy also didn’t do well on homework or tests. He would usually come to school with his homework not done, and I would have to help him with it in the mornings. When asked he said nobody was at home to help with the homework. The teacher and I were both concerned about him and we tried to make sure that we helped him as much as we could in the classroom. Poverty was affecting many aspects in his life.

Woolfolk, A. (2014). Educational Psychology (12th edition). New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

Sep 28

Module 1

Research and teaching go hand in hand. Both influence each other. New research being conducted can be tested in classrooms by teachers, or the researcher can work with the teacher to gather observations. They can feed off of each other, and ultimately in the end, help each other succeed. Research can also change the way teachers teach. The more we know about teaching and learning, the more we can help students learn better, and teachers can teacher better.

Either way, the students benefit in some way or another from the research or the practice. While conducting research, you have to be sure the students are not losing out. Students are not necessarily being harmed, but at the same time, they should not have to loose out on a good education because a researcher wanted to try a new technique.

As for the homework debate, I think that a little homework is not necessarily a bad thing. I think for some students, it helps them improve in school. But, I also believe that there is a point where students have too much homework. I think homework teaches responsibility, and when children grow up and go to college (if they choose to), they are going to have homework a lot. If they are not used to having homework, then this could be hard for them to get used to.  There are many purposes to homework, and they are not all about academics. Sometimes homework is used to communicate between home and school, other times it is used to communicate between child and parent (Cooper, 2006, p.2) Another thing that homework helps with according to Kackar, Shumow, Schmidt, and Grzetich, is time management. Students who did more homework, showed that they had better time management skills later on in life. Home work is more about just going over the materials you learn at school again, it is about preparing you for later on in life.

Cooper, H. (2006). Does homework improve academic achievement? a synthesis of research 1987-2003. Review of Educational  Research, vol. 76, pg. 1-62.

Kackar, H. Z., Shumow, L., Schmidt, J. A., Grzetich, J. (18 February, 2011). Age and gender differences in adolescents’ homework experiences. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, vol. 32, pg. 70-77.

Sep 15

A Glimpse Into My Life

Hi everyone!

To get started, I call the tiny town of Fall River, WI my home. I graduated with 42 kids in my class, and that was one of the largest in my school’s history. I grew up with the same people from kindergarten all the way through senior year. College was a big change for me because I had the opportunity to meet so many new people, unlike high school.

I love to spend time with my friends and family, which is part of the reason why I chose to commute to school. Also important to me are my plethora of pets. My horses: Sargent, Red, and Shooter; and dogs: Sparky, Molly, Sammie, and Harley. I love spending time outside. Four wheeling, going on walks, and horseback riding are some of my favorites things to do when the weather permits it.

My goal one day is to become a successful speech pathologist. I would love to be able to work in a small school like the one I went to and really get to see my students succeed throughout their educational careers. I want to be be able to have great student to teacher relationships with my students so I can help them succeed even more.

I believe that having good relationships with your students is one of the things that make a teacher a good one. My favorite teachers were always the ones that took the time to get to know you, and showed that they cared, not just about your grades, but about you as a person. I also think a good teacher is one that is helping you prepare for college or a career by making what you are learning relevant. As our book states, I believe a good teacher has high expectations for their students as well (p. 6). It helps not only the teacher be their best, but the students as well. Another thing I believe makes a good teacher, and something that I want to practice is differentiated instruction (p.10). I love the idea of thinking about the big picture and not looking at everyone the same. I believe that way of thinking is one of the most important things a teacher should do.

Some of the people that have influenced me the most are my mom and aunt. They are always pushing me to do my best and have shown me what real strength is. An experience that really influenced me was my parents getting divorced when I was in the fourth grade. I had to grow up pretty quickly after it happened and learned how to think ahead and be prepared. It also taught me to be very organized because if I wasn’t, then I would be without a book I needed for school, or a top I wanted to wear later that week.

The things I will take from these experiences and people into my future are definitely my organizational skills and perseverance. As a speech pathologist, it would be great to have an organized classroom where I can help children with their speech. I would also love to have perseverance in my classroom because the students I will be helping will need to know that they need to persevere and work towards their goals.

Sammie and Molly

Above: Sammie(left) and Molly(right)

Below: My family

My family


Below: My horse Sargent