Finally the Final Project

As I am posting this final project, I am watching a CNN special on Malala. Wow!  What an inspirational young women. Everyone should know about her strength.  I can’t wait to see what else she does in her life.  I hope she   What an inspiration.

Anyways, on to the main attraction… course one final project.  Being an integrator on maternity leave, I wanted to develop a lesson that would help one of the grade levels I service.  I browsed through Atlas Rubicon, the program we use to document our curriculum, and found a 7th grade unit about Historical Fiction that was in need of some love.  Click here to check out the un-techy version.

Historical fiction is my favorite fiction reading genre.  I love reading a story that teaches me about history and I love the idea of introducing this genre to students.  I added a blog and timeline project to the unit as well as a Quizlet vocabulary component.  I hope the 7th grade teachers are open to integrating this technology when the teach this unit at the end of the year.


Click here to view the lesson.



Setting the Mood

As I have said before, I have an angel baby.  He is such a good baby and barely cries.  We have however, been using a few tricks of the trade such as swaddling, a pacifier and white noise.  I’ve been reading this awesome blog “The Troublesome Tot.” and feel much more educated as a new parent.  Thank god for the bloggers who post all this new parent info, or I would be totally lost.  So lately, I have downloaded quite a few ambient/ white noise apps to my iPhone and they work like magic with the baby.  I think even I have been sleeping better.

Today my husband enlightened me with a strategy he has used in recent  business meetings and I thought it was pretty genius.  He puts on the white noise app we use for the baby at a low volume during meetings and he swears it sets the tone of the meeting and creates a more relaxed environment.  If these ambient/ white noise apps can soothe babies and make high pressure business meeting more relaxed, why aren’t we using them in the classroom.

Though the studies I have found on the Internet have had inconclusive results when measuring the benefits of listening to ambient noise during work or creative tasks, I point to the fact that listening to this type of noise has an undeniable relaxing effect.  And in a noisy raucous classroom when you want your students to concentrate on a task, I think adding relaxing sounds can’t hurt.

Here are some links to studies:

Here are some apps I have been using for the baby.  Why not try these out in your classroom and see how they work?

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OmVana (the best one in my opinion, but it’s not free).  This is actually a music player.  You can download different tracks and mix them.  There is a huge variety of music and sounds to choose from.

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 8.55.27 PM Relaxing Melodies We have been falling asleep to the cricket sounds on this app.  It works wonders with the baby.

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Sleep Pillow – I have the free version of this that is a bit limited; however, it does have some nice whale sounds.

Hope and Goals for COETAIL

Ten years ago after finishing my undergrad in Elementary Education, I started the Educational Technology graduate program at the University of Central Florida.  Unfortunately, I only finished half the program before moving to Hawaii.  That year of graduate work; however, significantly shaped my career in education and for the last 8 years I have held a technology support position in the schools I have worked in.

I’ve really wanted to finish up my graduate degree and I am excited to do this with the COETAIL cohort at AISC.  I hope that COETAIL will give me opportunities to connect with other educational technology professionals and help me become a better Middle School Tech Coordinator.  I also see it as a way to develop my digital presence and share what I learn with a much wider audience.