637 Week 11 Reflections

Essential question: What are my challenges and successes in implementing my unit?

This week we talked about challenges and success for our unit project. I have had a few set backs (challenges) with health issues, but was able to thankfully recover in time. The success was that I was teaching something that I was very familiar, so I was able to rework the schedule. If I had been teaching something that was foreign to me, the schedule would have suffered.

I learned from my peers:

  • Chelsea shared how challenging it is to work outside of the classroom (her usual space)
  • Cherie shared that how she will be giving pre-assessment quizzes and her personal experience with foreign students as well
  • Kendra shared her challenges with not having enough time for her lesson plan


EDET 637 Week 11

Essential question: What are my challenges and successes in implementing my unit? 

My unit involves teaching adults how to use Excel for everyday use. I enjoy teaching tools that will enhance ones skills and can be used at one’s job. It is good to show both the personal and business side of spreadsheets. Excel has to be one of my all-time favorite go to tools.


Excel basic


10 reasons you should take time to increase your skill with formulas (Bruns, 2015):

  1. Formulas are important in many jobs. In a recent survey we conducted about formulas, over 90% of respondents said that Excel formulas were “important”, “very important”, or “vital” to their job.
  2. Formulas are a powerful way to capture and save a working solution. They let you repeat the solution again whenever you like, always with perfect accuracy. They are far better than your faulty memory.
  3. Formulas help you translate your vision into reality. Ever felt like you can explain what you want to do in plain English, but you have no idea how to do it in Excel? Formulas let you build the analysis that’s in your head.
  4. Your understanding of formulas helps you design better spreadsheets. You can organize data in a way that takes advantage of formulas, which drastically reduces errors and troubleshooting.
  5. Hardly anyone is really good with Excel formulas, so being good with formulas is a chance to differentiate yourself by providing more value and productivity. And all businesses love productivity.
  6. Being good with formulas allows you to build elegant solutions that avoid complexity. Nothing in Excel is more dangerous that unnecessary complexity — it makes it impossible to understand if a spreadsheet is really working correctly.
  7. Because the business world relies on spreadsheets to make decisions, being good with formulas keeps you close to the action.
  8. Formulas help you quickly visualize data. When you combine formulas with conditional formatting, you can instantly “see” important trends, insights, and relationships.
  9. Skill with formulas allows you to deploy a full set of razor-sharp tools when solving problems. Without formula skills, you are forced to use a dull saw on every job, no matter how large or tedious.
  10. Formulas let you get home on time. When you understand how to use formulas, you can do your work faster and spend more time with friends and family. Priceless.


Challenges: Different levels of learners can create setbacks when completing assignments. Differential Instruction might need to come into play when talking about navigation and functions. Some students might have zero exposure to spreadsheets while others will already have experience. I will need to plan a cushion in case I need to review certain features.

Success: I love hearing when my students tell me that they went home and played with spreadsheets. Hearing that they can use Excel to better plan for projects or make a budget is proof that my instruction is relevant to today’s world which is a great feeling. I always tell my students to go home and play with the templates to see what they can do with spreadsheets. I love seeing finished projects from my students.

Reasons to learn Excel according to Anwar:

  • Excel is a universal language spoken in almost most offices
  • Stop thinking of Excel as a spreadsheet (it’s a problem solving tool)
  • Create more time
  • Excel is not going anywhere
  • Small data
  • Excel is like an analytical sketchpad
  • Value networking
  • More Excel skills make you more marketable


Experience with spreadsheets is something that most business office jobs require experience. Knowing how to navigate through the menu and to create new project is a must for most jobs. I feel like these tools open the door for more advance programs like Access and SQL. The wonder of the functionalities create a curiosity to learn more simplistic programming applications.



Bruns, Dave. (2015 Nov 23). Top 10 Reasons to learn Excel Formulas. Retrieved on 4/5/2017 from: https://exceljet.net/top-10-reasons-to-learn-excel-formulas

Lee, Donn. (2013, Jan 13). Why you need to learn MS Excel. Retrieved on 4/5/2017 from: http://edonn.com/2013/01/13/why-you-need-to-learn-ms-excel-now/

Anwar, Sohail. (2015, Jan 12). 8 Reasons you must get better at Excel in 2015. Retrieved on 4/5/2017 from: http://chandoo.org/wp/2015/01/12/get-better-at-excel-this-year/



EDET 637 Wk 10 Reflections

EQ: How does my UbD unit reflect my understanding of differentiated instruction?

This week we talked about the framework for delivering DI. I like that layout of the approach in that it is very loose and we focus on some things and touch lightly on others because this is a customized approach. This is a holistic approach touches all important areas of teaching so that we can view DI from different angles.


I learned from my peers:

  • Jim also had a hard time with finishing my unit this week. He resolved it by reaching out to his peers.
  • Heather shared her Nurse Track experiences as part of a group that moves toward student-centric courses.
  • Cherie talked about using pre-assessment tests to measure her student’s growth.

EDET 637 Week 10

EQ: How does my UbD unit reflect my understanding of differentiated instruction?

My teaching unit is centered on adult learning. I have four 30 min lessons where we will learn the basics of spreadsheets via Excel. I have laid out a lesson plan, but can expand on topics that my students want to focus that might be related to their personal lives or work. For instances, someone might want to create a project estimate list or a shopping list. We will learn how to enter data in the cells and total them. We will talk about how this program is beneficial with financial uses and view the tables, graphs and chart for better visuals. The differentiated instruction will come into play when a student might need more concrete examples. I will try to provide real world scenarios to work through the understanding.

5 key differentiation elements:

  1. Environment
    1. Growth mindset
    2. Student-teacher partnership
  2. Curriculum
    1. Understanding-focused
    2. Planned for high relevance and “teaching up”
  3. Assessment
    1. Authentic
    2. Focused on feedback and differentiated assessments
  4. Instruction
    1. Readiness emphasized
    2. Consistent use of flexible grouping and respectful tasks
  5. Classroom Leadership and Management
    1. Learning-oriented
    2. Focused on leading students and managing routines


Environment is when we set the tone for a growth mindset that we can learn new things. We are learning a valuable tool (Excel spreadsheets) that is useful in real life. Student teacher partnership happens when we inspire peer learning. We welcome questions and small group study sessions.


Curriculum is instructed in a way that is easy to understand. For example, we create the cells this way because this is how you might see a layout as an accounts payable clerk. We are teaching exposure to real world tools that is helpful in everyday life.


Assessment is the pre and posttest to ensure that the student is digesting the material in a meaningful way. We want them to be able to use Excel outside of class to help them with personal and business functions.


Instruction is close to curriculum, but is centered on how we deliver the message. We want our students to see that spreadsheets are fun and useful. I am teaching the lesson in an open format, where I can welcome real world projects and questions to help the students be able to perform basic functions independently.


Classroom Leadership and Management is when I am able to talk about my experiences with the program and how it has helped me understand the program. I use Excel for my budgets, to do lists, shopping lists, Christmas/Birthday lists, etc. These examples will help inspire questions and further thinking how this powerful tool can help in their personal lives.




Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-ability Classrooms.


Tomlinson, Carol Ann and Murphy, Michael. (n.d.). Leading for Differentiation. Retrieved on 4/2 from: http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/115005/chapters/So-You-(Might)-Want-to-Lead-for-Differentiation%C2%A2.aspx


McCarthy, J. (2015, Aug 28). 3 ways to plan for diverse learners: What teachers do. Edutopia. Retrieved 4/2 from: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/differentiated-instruction-ways-to-plan-john-mccarthy


EDET 637 W9 Reflection

This has been a crazy week for me, I had surgery on Monday and I am still getting my wits about me. L This week we used the UBD template for our two-week teaching project. I have limited exposure of the template outside of class assignments. I like the formats and it does help organize my thoughts. My teacher friends tell they use templates for their learning lessons all the time. I was not sure if I should use the school provided standards or use an adult one. Therefore, I am combining some of the attributes of both.


This week I learned from my peers that most of them were challenged too. I liked the different approaches I saw.

  • Kendra talked about her opinion about not including assessment grade as part of the grade book (I agree)
  • Shauna introduced us to the NWEA Skills Navigator which has a great reporting tool
  • Chelsea talked about Classroom Poll App, which is another great assessment tool


EDET 637 Week 9


Essential question: What assessments will I use in my UBD Unit, and what is the purpose of these assessments?

My degree focus is Adult Education, therefore I choose a quick two-week lesson on how to use Excel. I have another project where I am mentoring my uncle on his new Macbook and Microsoft office suite is one of the programs he wishes to learn. In addition, my husband was asking me about creating a project form where a price list could be used to create an estimate. He is familiar with the program but needs more help. I thought that this was a great opportunity for the Unit teach this week.

My thought is that there would be a few sessions that would go over:

  1. Navigation of Excel
  2. Review some of the basic shortcuts
  3. Introduce of the of formulas
  4. Create additional spreadsheets with formulas calling other cells

Because I know the subjects that I am teaching, my assessments can be tailored. However, I will create the assessment after I build the lesson plans and goal for this project to ensure that my assessment is aligned with what I am trying to teach. I will have the subjects watch a few videos to ensure that have some exposure to the program:




Some of the assessment questions will be (on a scale of 1 (no experience) – 3 (proficient):

  1. How familiar are you with the navigation of Excel?
  2. Do you know any of the basic shortcuts?
  3. Have you seen the formulas that can be programmed?

I will use the National Education Technology Standards for Students (NETS) and ESL/EFL Teachers of Adults Framework Domains.



ESL/EFL Teachers of Adults Framework Domains:

  1. Planning
  2. Instructing
  3. Assessing
  4. Identity and Context
  5. Language Proficiency
  6. Learning
  7. Content
  8. Commitment and Professionalism




Shores, C., & Chester, K. (2009). Using RTI for School Improvement : Raising Every Student’s Achievement Scores.Chapter Two: Selecting and Implementing Ongoing Assessment. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin. Retrieved from: http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=473693&site=ehost-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_34

James Popham, W. p. (2014). Criterion-Referenced Measurement: Half a Century Wasted?. Educational Leadership, 71(6), 62-68. Retrieved from: Egan Library http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eft&AN=94925708&login.asp&site=ehost-live

Tesol International Association. (2008). Standards for ESL/EFL Teachers of Adults (2008). Retrieved on March 24, 2017 from: https://www.tesol.org/advance-the-field/standards/standards-for-adult-education/standards-for-esl-efl-teachers-of-adults-(2008)

Tesol. (2008). Standards for ESL/EFL Teachers of Adults Framework. Retrieved on March 24, 2017 from: https://www.tesol.org/docs/books/standards-for-esl-efl-teachers-of-adults-framework.pdf?sfvrsn=0


EDET Week 8 – Reflection

This week we talked about brain-based learning. I love that we are now looking at how different we all are and that one lesson does not work for everybody all the time. The movement toward DI is a much needed one. I love that educators are more mindful that students need more physical learning and breaks (as Fullan explains) in between lessons to promote maximum learning.


This week I learned from my peers:

  • Mariah – talked about how she gets her students to emotional states ready for learning
  • Gerald – talked about how the uniqueness of the physical brain and DI
  • Shauna – talked about the need to continue to try different approaches until she finds one that fits her class


EDET 637 – Week 8

Essential question: What is brain-based learning and how can it inform differentiation? 

Brain-based learning refers to teaching methods, lesson designs, and school programs that are based on the latest scientific research about how the brain learns, including such factors as cognitive development—how students learn differently as they age, grow, and mature socially, emotionally, and cognitively” (EdGlossary, 2013).

 Brain based learning

Brain-based learning is centered on the science of learning versus the notions of how we historically thought the learning process was. When educators fully understand the learning process, they can then streamline the process. According to Portland.edu, below are tips that can help teachers encourage brain-based learning by:

  • Keeping diverse learners engaged (DI)
  • Creating a richer learning environment
  • Offer valuable feedback that can lead to deeper understanding


Educators must keep all levels of students engaged, meaning allowing for Differentiated Instruction. They must stride to create lesson plans with real world material. Also include a feedback session where further discussion can happen to allow for a deeper understanding of the classroom topics.


Jensen further supports these tips in the following statement: “Brain-based education is best understood in three words: engagement, strategies and principles. You must engage your learners and do it with strategies that are based on real science.”


Principle to Strategies for Brain-Based Learning (Jensen, 2013):

  1. Physical education, recess and movement are critical to learning
  2. Social conditions influence our brain in multiple ways we never knew before.
  3. All educators should know the brain can and does change every day.
  4. Chronic stress is a very real issue at schools for both staff and students
  5. Schools are pushing differentiation as a strategy to deal with the differences in learners.
  6. New evidence suggests the value of teaching content in even smaller chunk sizes.
  7. The role of the arts in schools continues to be under great scrutiny.
  8. Humans have the remarkable capacity to display many emotions, but only six of them are “hard wired,” or built in at birth.
  9. There have been stunning strides in rehabilitation of brain-based disorders, including Asperger’s, learning delays, dyslexia and autism.
  10. The recent brain/mind discovery that even memories are not fixed but, instead, are quite malleable is powerful.


The above strategies from Jensen inspire brain-based learning. Breaks like recess are necessary for any students. Younger students are able to get out some unused energy during their breaks which can help with refocus again later in the classroom. I have always thought that the social aspect is so important for students. The social side is like the undocumented lesson plan on how well we are able to develop relationship unscripted. When we are able to self cope and find a place in class where we feel we belong, that environment encourages brain-based learning and other life lessons. Teachers should know that students brains change daily and stress is a factor for everyone. Small group sizes allow for more social interaction and have positive impacts. I love that we have more developments from research of a variety of learning disabilities and the strategies to cope with them.


Below is a link to Edutopia videos on brain-based learning:




Jensen, Eric. Teaching with Poverty in Mind : What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 5 April 2015. Retrieved from: http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=301969&site=ehost-live

Jensen, Eric. (N.d). 6 Quick Brain-Based Teaching Strategies. Retrieved on March 8, 2017 from: http://www.jensenlearning.com/news/6-quick-brain-based-teaching-strategies/brain-based-teaching

Great Schools Partnership. (2013, Aug 29). Brain-based Learning. Retrieved on March 8, 2017 from: http://edglossary.org/brain-based-learning/

Jensen, Eric. (N.d). What is Brain-Based Learning? Retrieved on March 8, 2017 from: https://feaweb.org/brain-based-learning-strategies

Staff. (2012, Oct 24). Explanation of Brain Based Learning. Retrieved on March 8, 2017 from: http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/curriculum-instruction/brain-based-learning-explained/




637 Week 7 Reflections

637 Week 7 Reflections

This week we were tasked with evaluating software and I lead the Twitter session. I could tell that some of my classmates were not as experienced with evaluating software as I am. I looked at Nearpod which I loved. I use Powerpoint often for over 10 years now. It does what I need for presentations. I just started using Perzi for school assignments and love the 3D appeal. I can see how Nearpod can do what Perzi can do and more. I even saw a quick video on Virtual Reality VR field trips which I think is incredible. Great week of learning for me.

  • From my peers:
  • Gerald talked about SAS for statistical math class
  • Rachelle educated me on the Google assessment tool. I had never used it before but will in the future.
  • Chelsea talked about Doulingo. I know of a few people that are using the app and love it.

EDET 637 – Week 7

Essential Question: What is the appropriateness of (the software you choose) to your students, your classroom and your unit?

I choose to evaluate Nearpod after hear some chatter about it from our Twitter session 🙂


This was my first experience with Nearpod. I thought that was a great classroom tool. Tablets are so appealing to students. I loved seeing videos where teachers could put their quizzes on the devices (mostly shown were tablets, but laptops like Chromebooks will work with Nearpod) and the test were instantly graded. Only the student and teacher could see how the student did. I also liked the polling features. I even saw a few virtual reality field trip presentations that were loaded on to the Nearpod program with 360 Cities.

Video is located here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VliWohdvAg


I thought what a great feature! The possibilities are endless. I think that this a great classroom tool