Monthly Archives: March 2016



1. I was doing a little research on Shared Purpose and found a really awesome TEDTalk from TEDxSDSU by Larry Kesslin called, Shared Common Purpose. He talks about how humans crave connectedness and how connecting relates to Shared Purpose. He is a really awesome speaker and a lot of what he says can relate to what we are learning in this class.

2. Something else I found while exploring Shared Purpose was a silly short video that looked at Shared Purpose on a bigger scale and the purposes everyone living on earth shares. It is called, A Quick Guide to Shared Purpose, and was a fun and interesting video.

3. I really enjoyed reading ED677’s post on Shared Purpose, especially their implications. I liked that they linked Shared Purpose with creating students who are college, career, and civil ready. I think people can find Shared Purpose in really anything they do. Awesome post!

4. I loved reading/viewing Danielle’s map project. I never thought of using Prezi for something like this, but what a great idea! One thing though that I found frustrating with Prezi (and I could be wrong) is that you have to have an account to be able to view someone else’s work. Is this right?

5. So many things today are done on the internet or with some kind of technology that it is very hard to get by without having these resources. EveryoneOn is an organization that is trying to make internet and technology more accessible to those less privileged individuals. Even something as common as filling out college application is done online so how can we expect students to further their education if they don’t even have the means they need to do so. Thanks #ourkidsmatter for sharing what you found!




Shared Purpose – WEEK EIGHT

As educators I think it is extremely important for us to remember that our students are “curious and critical thinking civic agents in their own way”. We want to make sure that each student knows that they are contributing members of a society and that their opinions and voices do matter. All the members of a school (students, teacher, parents, nurses, administrators, etc.) have a shared purpose. Many times the shared purpose shows through in a school mission statement, moto, or even slogan. An example of this is the mission statement for the school I am currently doing my pre-student teaching with.

It is the Mission of Fort Washington Elementary School to inspire our students to believe that learning is a lifelong adventure and that success means doing our best, being our best, and feeling proud in our efforts.

What I think is really neat about this school is that everyone in the school community knows what their mission (shared purpose) is and they work towards it every day. Every month they even have a “Town Hall Meeting” where the whole school, even parents are invited, comes together and reflects on how they have been working as a community to live by their shared purpose of “doing our best, being our best, and feeling proud”. It is a really cool experience to witness.

One implication that I took away from this week’s topic of Shared Purpose is how important it is to share and explain the purpose for the lessons we teach. So often students asked “why are we learning this” and I think it is our job as their teachers to not only teach them those skills but to explain to them why it is important that they learn them. Once we share the purpose of our teaching with our students they can begin to see the importance of the lesson and become more motivated to learn.

I also think that when our students work together for a common purpose it gives them ownership of their work. They are able to see how their work is contributing to a greater good and how even though they may all come from different backgrounds they can still come together to work on common goals.

This week we were also asked to create a short presentation about our views on Shared Purpose using a program called Flipgrid, so I wanted to reflect on that a little bit. Flipgrid allows individuals to post 90 second videos to a group sharing space. (I didn’t really realize how short 90 seconds really is!) There is an app version of the program but I used the website to complete the assignment. Overall I though the site was very user friendly and simple to navigate. It is a very simple website and I am actually shocked that there is a cost for it. Could you just have students post short videos on a classroom YouTube page? I am not sure the cost is worth it.


Find Five Friday: (What Inspires Me to Create and Make)

  1. TimeToast – This is a free resource that I used to create my timeline for the map assignment. It is extremely user friendly and easy to maneuver. I would even say it is so simple that older elementary school students would be able to use it. Super awesome tool and did I mention it’s FREE!
  2. From the article I found a link to a webinar, What Does “Interest Driven” Look Like?. CLTV (Connective Learning TV) posted this webinar in which Paul Oh from the National Writing Project interviews a number of experts. The interviews give great examples of what interest driven teaching looks like. If anyone is having trouble understanding this idea watch this video, it is great!
  3. I am sure that many of you reading this post know what Etsy is but for the one or two of you who don’t I want to draw your attention to a site that inspires me to create/make every time I go on. Etsy is a site where individuals can go on to sell or buy handmade items. When I see that talent that is on this site it inspires me to use my creativity and try more DIY projects. Something that I just learned this week actually is that the COO of Etsy just became the CEO of Teachers Pay Teachers. Cool, right?!
  4. I also stumbled across a really awesome blog this week while exploring teachers as makers and creators. It is called Creating & Teaching. A pre-school teacher blogs about the things she creates with her students. I especially like this site because she posts a lot about working with students with special needs and how she creates with them in the classroom.
  5. Teach Teachers How to Create Magic is a TED Talk where Christopher Emdin talks about teaching in urban settings and creating magic in these settings. He says that you create magic by going to places where magic happens, barbershops, rap concerts, churches. We need to create the magic in content and standards by bringing the magic from these places into the classroom and by doing this “we could make dead classes come alive, we could reignite imaginations, and we can change education”.


Make A Map! – WEEK SEVEN

For my map I wanted to reflect on the journey I am taking to become a teacher so I created a timeline of all the steps I have taken so far. I used a website called TimeToast to create the timeline and make it public for anyone to see. With this program you are able to upload your own photos and even link websites to your posts on your timeline, it is a really awesome program. At first there were some events that I didn’t have anything to go along digitally, for example my new pre-student teaching experience. For this I have not created anything or taken any pictures, but then I thought why not at a link to the school website so readers can learn more about the school and their climate. Overall the timeline allowed me to organize my journey but still be creative!

Here is the link to my timeline…

Right now in my life I am in the middle of my path to becoming a teacher and it is one that has taken many turns and hit many road bumps. It also is one that I am very proud of and all the obstacles that I have had to face and will face are only going to make me a stronger educator. Sometimes we can forget the steps and turns that we have taken to get us to where we are, so it was nice to be able to document them in a way that I will be able to always revist. I really enjoyed not only reflecting on my journey but being a “maker” as I did it.

One aspect of this blog post assignment that I think is just as important as the actual “making” is the questions we were asked to reflect on. In chapter four of Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom, Clifford Lee says that, “simply creating an artifact and/or levering new and exciting digital tools will not surface”. There needs to be meaning and purpose in the things we create and reflecting on our process can help us find that meaning and purpose.