Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wk4 Publishing-Presentation Project

Image taken from computer screen.
Wow! I can't believe I've come this far. Graduation is really around the corner!  I'm almost done, and I am glad I accomplished one of my resolutions for this year. Well... I did accomplish more than one, but this is the most important for me. In spite of the roadblocks and unexpected situations, I feel very proud of having finished my CBR project, and better than that is to have finished my article for the Journal for of Technology and Teacher Education (JTATE). It's the whole CBR process put together in words and I love it! I hope  the JTATE publishes my article, and include it in their Digital Library (EdITLib), but if they don't,  I have decided to share it with the school district I worked for in the last six years. They have shown interest in sharing it with all the teachers in the county through their technology resources website. For those interested in reading the article, go to:
My previous "Think Out Loud" blog links are:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wk 4 Comment #2

I love your sentence " times we have to learn not to point the finger at others but to accept what our role may have been in the situation". That's what we all learn to do since we are children: to blame someone else instead of looking into our hearts and take responsibility for our mistakes. As teachers, we are usually the guilty ones, and parents seem to support their children instead of correcting them.

Wk 4 Comment #1

In your blog you said : "A teacher's attitude can definitely play a role in the attitudes of their students", and I couldn't agree with you more. The way we deliver information is the key to a successful lesson and engaging environment. I've observed teachers that spend hours preparing their lessons, but when it comes to present it, they lack the enthusiasm they put in their preparation. I also see myself in this right now: I've been going through very tough times, but I set up my mind for success and exhibited that when I saw my middle school students for the first time this week (after I had been on a leave of absence for six weeks). They got engaged quickly and my classes ran smoothly. :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wk 4 Reading: The Art of Possibility (9-12)

This is the last part of my blogs regarding this interesting book...
9. Lighting a Spark: "Enrollment is the art and practice of generating a spark of possibility for others to share." As teachers, we may encounter  students who shut themselves to new learning, who let their weaknesses take over their strengths, so we need to let them know that we are giving ourselves to them and to their learning with a world of possibilities, and soon they' ll be ready to catch that spark.
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10. Being the Board: " I am the board on which the whole game is played,  I am  the framework for everything that happens in my life". This is a hard one. I do not agree with it a 100%, but this is what I take away from it: as citizens of the world of measurement, we all tend to put the blame on someone else  instead of embracing the situation, and reflecting on how we can make things different next time. If we see it this way, we will soon be immersed in a world of possibilities, and when a similar situation arises, we will know how to face it and how to make a difference.
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11. Creating Frameworks for Possibility: "Restructuring meanings, creating visions, and establishing environments where possibility is spoken." When trying to find a solution to a problem, it is a good idea to reconstruct the situation in  different ways, to picture it, and to create a new scenario/setting that will activate new possibilities or results.
12. Telling the WE Story: In the world of measurement where everything is divided, we see an "us" and "them", but in the world of possibilities we focus on the "WE" as a whole entity seeking to contribute to that world, to seeking to share passion, to think outside the box, to embrace the environment, to construct instead of separate, and make things fall apart...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wk 3 Think Aloud PPP 2: Definitely publishing...

Image taken from computer screen.
My exploration of different journal sites is over. It wasn't easy, though. I checked here and there, keeping in mind the content area I teach. However, after reviewing the guidelines of the publication assignment, I noticed I had some misunderstandings. I spent a long time checking journals for language learning and technology, but my CBR target group was composed by teachers in different content areas, not just Spanish, so I had to restart my exploration, this time focusing on my CBR big idea and development of my project. Again, I came up with three possible journal sites, so I went ahead and  explored those very carefully taking into account submission/ publication guidelines, their audience, and online availability, and I finally decided to go with the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, which will also allow me to submit my article to their digital library. This way, my colleagues and everybody interested will have access to my research if they have an internet connection and will not have to wait for a physical copy to be in their hards.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wk 3 Comment 2

Your comments on accepting things the way they are, reminded me of our vacation in Orlando last spring, we never expected to have so much rain that week, but we decided to go with it, and we had a good time. Walking in the rain in Downtown Disney with my family is something I'll never forget, especially now...
October 14, 2011 7:41 PM

Wk 3 Comment 1

I felt the same way when reading chapter 6. I thought of colleagues that seem to get the best out of any unexpected situation, and who always remind us at work we can't take everything so seriously. We need to find a balance, especially when it comes to our professional lives if we deal with different groups of people, and... "at the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities." (Jean Houston)


Wk 3 Reading: The Art of Possibility (5-8)

My reflection journey continues...
5. Leading From Any Chair: "How much greatness are we willing to grant?"
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Very thoughtful question! In my professional life as a teacher I've had to work with people that seems to forget that leading has nothing to do with imposing a concept or thought, but being open to your employees ideas and new ways to do things. A good leader knows how and when to delegate responsibilities,  to trusts others, and usually puts himself/herself in someone else's shoes to understand a situation or to come up with a solution to a problem. As teachers, it's always a good idea to survey our students to find out what works best or what can be improved in our clasroom. If our students shine, we shine too! The effectiveness of a teacher is definitely shown through our students' achievement, not data sheets...

6. Rule #6: "What would have to change for me to be completely fullfilled?" 
Finding balance is my answer to this question. It's so easy to lose your temper and get out of control if you let your "calculating self" take over your reactions to a situation that arises. However, letting your "central self" handle it, is a way to put in practice rule number 6 and come up with a more productive solution.

7. The Way Things Are: "What do we want to do from here?"
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We definitely need to change our negative way of seeing an unexpected situation,  and turn it into  a positive one, taking the best out of it. If we can't change it, we "think outside the box", and come up with a more optimistic outcome. In other words we get rid of the "downward spiral talk" and get into the world of possibilities. If we  choose to see the glass "half-full", we can even come up with a new way to fill it up!

8. Giving Way to Passion: We should not refrain ourselves, we should release that energy and passion trapped in our souls, in our hearts. This way we will connect with a world of possibilities and we'll go beyond the limits set up by those who think that "all is invented".

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wk 2 Think Aloud PPP: Weighing the Pros & Cons

After carefully analyzing the pros and cons of both ways to deliver information on my CBR project , I've decided to create an article about it. As a linguistic and intrapersonal learner, I definitely think that I can do a very good job writing a paper about my CBR project findings and personal experience. It was really hard for me to decide because I think that a visual presentation is very engaging, but I know how shy I could be if having to talk to a large group of people that are not my students or colleagues. I also know that once I feel nervous and stressed, my English speaking skills get messed up.

In order to reinstate my choice for the project, I went ahead and took a multiple intelligence test on the Birmingham Grid for Learning website and the results confirmed what elements of my intelligence are the strongest: linguistic and intrapersonal (as you can see below...)

Image taken from my computer screen...

Now my next step is to decide where to publish. Out of all the possibilities proposed in the example list I have picked three, but I still want to check some other websites that may be more related to my content. It's time to start my exploration...

Wk 2 Comment 3: I simply had to say it...

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I definitely believe that Steve Jobs is the perfect example of following what the first four chapters of The Art of Possibility talked about. Steve didn't believe that "all is invented", that's why he kept working and improving his ideas on and on...He definitely didn't have his mind set up with the usual frame that brings the dichotomies of success-failure, good-bad, expensive-cheap or comparing-contrasting. He truly "thought outside the box" and went beyond the angles of that typical frame. He stepped into the "universe of possibilities", deserves an A and always believed he could make good use of his gifts and share them with the world. He literally "contributed" to humanity...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wk 2 Comment 2

Grading is something I have always disagreed with. The reality is that you can't reduce the performance of a student to a number. If you think about how long it takes a student to show his work is average, you will come up with a  70, at least.  It's not fair that passing is only from 70 to 100 that means 30 points only, while failing goes from 0-69. I think it is better to use goals/achievements to tell someone how he/she has perfomed. Believe it or not a grade affects students and, and sometimes, it even leaves students out, and they may be that stone Michelangelo talked about...

Wk 2 Comment 1

I can't agree with you more. I really don't like it when, after all our efforts through the whole school year, our students' performance is just reduced to DATA ( a word I am beginning to dislike). That seems to be all  districts and principals worry about where I live. They want us to implement 21st century skills in our content, but they still agree to measure students with 20th century assessments. I am glad I quit working for the district and joined a charter school.

Wk 2 Reading: The Art of Possibility (1-4)

Reading the first four chapters of "The Art of Possibility" made me reflect a lot and relate to my personal and professional experience. These are some of my thoughts:
1. It's all invented: This chapter talks about people's perceptions of things and frames or structures most of us use to face situations in life. The authors advice is essentially:  "to think outside the box" or "to reinvent the wheel". As teachers sometimes is hard to accept there are other ways to do things. I've seen some colleagues relunctant to make changes in their teaching style just because they feel the way the have been delivering their content is the only one possible. In other words they are afraid of new changes, and they get just comfortable with their old repertoire...
2. Stepping into a universe of possibility: We live in a world ruled my measures. In order to get to know others or understand things and situations better we are led to comparing or contrasting everything. We believe that all in this world is arranged in hierachies, and unfortunately the roles of success or failure also fall into this categories. Fortunately, we are the one in control, the ones that can set up our minds for high achievements. There is a better world, one that stretches beyond the world of measurement: the world of possibilities where we can create a new life, one where we are open to changes and willing to take risks in order to reach our own joy and excitement. A world that provides an array of possibilities that will provide the tools to find the joyous life you deserve and not one where you simply learn to survive.
3. Giving an A: This was my favorite chapter. Grading has always been an issue for me. I hate having to use a number or letter to measure my students' performance, especially becasue I teach another language, and it is so easy to discourage students interested in other cultures by having to give them a grade. If I want to leave the world of measurement, and join the world of possibilities,  I need to find other ways or "possibilities" to assess my students' performance througout the school year. The authors suggestions regarding this matter and giving an A sounded very interesting. Now I need to fit them into my content...
4. Being a contribution: Thinking that we are a contribution to this world is a very smart way to help our students with their self-esteem. I have taught kids that seem to be so discouraged  or neglected at home that their progress in school is greatly affected. Each individual in this world was provided with a treasure to enlighten their own life as well as someone's else's. We need to trust in our gifts, we need to learn to know when to take out that treasure and share it when it's needed...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wk 1 Free Choice Entry: Getting Into The e-Book World...

Image taken from
Early in August  I was given an iPad  at school since e-textbooks were adopted, and every middle school student was getting one. At first, I didn't find it as useful as I expected, and I even felt like it was just another device I had to carry in my bag and to take care of besides the other devices I had been provided during the new staff training. However, due to certain situation I unexpectedly faced a couple of weeks ago, now I find myself loving my iPad and loving the fact that I always get to carry my favorite books with me. Yes, I entered the world of e-books, for real.

Even though my first steps into the e-book world started  when  I became a student at Full Sail,   I remember how upset I was when I found out I was mostly getting  e-books instead of hard copies. I even remember calling FSO and complaining. I was so used to reading with a highlighter and pen in hand...I really loved underlining new words, and taking notes wherever I found room on a page that I just couldn't imagine having to read off my laptop and having to have a separate notebook with me. But this is all in the past now.

For the last couple of weeks I have been trapped in a world where nothing seems to excite me or make me smile, so some of my closest friends, in their effort to cheer me up, suggested that I started reading the Bible and some other books about how to cope with my situation: the loss of a child. Since I didn't feel like going anywhere, I decided to make good use of my iPad, and started exploring different sites such as Kindle, Apple iBooks, Nook, and so on. Soon I found myself downloading free apps and downloading e-books that I have enjoyed reading,  and that have helped me found some peace. I was even able to get a free Bible app that offers several daily or topical plans I have signed up for.

Finally, I'd say now I can't go anywhere without my iPad. I read everywhere,  even while waiting for my son in the car riders line, and the most important of all, my son, who has been going through a lot lately too, seems to be enjoying reading his favorite books on my iPad. Maybe I need to cheer him up by getting him his own e-book reader soon...

Wk 1 Comment 2

Thanks so much for the heads-up on media regarding the copyright topic. I appreciate your taking the time to let us know about your expetise. I’ll definitely take into account your tips/suggestions from now on. Honestly, I was so mistaken in regards to copying images from the internet. I’m glad you mentioned the licenses on Creative Commons, I admit this is something I overlooked before. Thanks for the resources you provided…

Wk 1 Comment 1

Rosalyn, I had so many misconceptions regarding the copyright topic too. In fact, just like you described, since I teach a lot of vocab in Spanish, I thought that I could just go to a search engine and copy pics without a watermark. When I started at Full Sail in month 1 with Mr. Bustillos, was when I realized the importance of copyright and fair use, but I feel that it's now when I have gotten a better understanding on this matter. Just like you, I still feel there is still a lot to be done about it, and I also have questions or have thought about certain situations where I wouldn't know how the fair use and copyright laws apply. BTW, I love your blog font, it makes it so personal, so you! Loved it!!!