Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Technology: The Diamond of Education

Reflection Paper #2: Reflect on creating Lesson Plan #2 - BLOG

Submitted by:
Luwaina Martinez

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the course
ED355, Language Arts Methods
Division of the School of Education
University of Guam
Mangilao, Guam

Dr. Jacqui Cyrus

November 21, 2007

I had no clue that I would discover a diamond mine at the bottom of a lake when I began this quest for a multimedia lesson plan. Initially, the idea was to find a multimedia lesson plan on the web and modify it to fit the assignment criteria, reading and writing, listening and speaking. Unfortunately, either do to my inadequate search skills or the lack of posted multimedia lessonplans, the search was fruitless.

I found a wonderful lesson on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website, under teacher’s resources “The Quest for Less” that is relevant to current issues and interesting enough to capture the imagination of an eleven-year-old. Armed with a lesson, there were key questions to address. What do I know about my students? What accommodations and modifications will I need to make? What do the students already know that will enable them to complete the lesson? What do I want them to learn? What media and materials will they need to complete the lesson? How will they utilize the media and materials? How will I get them to participate? How will the lesson be evaluated?

I based the hypothetical assumptions about my student’s SES, ethnicity, and gender on the “Tamuning Elementary School’s Annual Report Card” retrieved from the Guam Public School website linked to the Superintendent’s page. The learning styles are hypothetical. After reviewing web-posted Individual Educational Plans examples for an autistic student and a paraplegic student, I specified accommodations and made modifications to the lesson plan to meet the IEP requirements.

To determine the prior knowledge of the students regarding natural resources, environmental issues, conservation, and computer technology I reviewed the Guam Public School System’s Standards. Based on the standards I was able to make certain assumptions about what the students already know.

The overt lesson plan objectives are reflective of the assignment criteria, that is, reading and writing, speaking and listening. This presented a major challenge. While the task of compiling one paragraph of research on a specific topic given the source of the information sounds easy enough to accomplish in a single class period, it did not turn out to be a realistic expectation. In retrospect, having them print, read, rewrite, and recite would have probably been more expedient. However, the research process and collaboration are the real learning experiences, not the regurgitation of given information. . In addition, it was necessary to incorporate technology research tools, in this case, specifically related to the National Educational Technology Standard and Performance Indicators for Teachers (NETS*T) “I. Teaching, Learning, and the Curriculum: Teachers implement curriculum plans that include methods and strategies for applying technology to maximize student learning” (NETS*T. 2002). The lesson plan “facilitates technology-enhanced experiences that address content standards and student technology standards” by meeting the criteria of NETS-S “5. Technology Research Tools: students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources” and “students use technology tools to process data and report results” (NETS*S. 2002). This is accomplished through the use of the internet for research, Microsoft Word for data processing, and Microsoft PowerPoint for the class presentation.

It is easy enough to submit a lesson plan with all the supporting information, such as handouts, activity sheets, and examples in a packet. But if the teacher is absent how will the students be able to access relevant information and supporting materials online? This creates a new set of problems. What do the students need to complete the assignment?

To begin with, the assumption had to be made that the students have access to gmail and know how to use it. I began by asking myself what I would want if I were doing the assignment. In addition, I needed to know that the tools the students were given actually worked. Thus, I choose a resource and did the research. To guide them through the research I developed a version of “The Research Process” based on the guide published by Instruction Fair, modified to fit the assignment. It included a lot of “smiley” graphics and illustrations. This proved problematic when I upload to gmail. The pictures did not upload and none of the text boxes were in the right place. I tried attaching it as an email but realized that I would have to give my password to the world in order to open the document. It had to be rebuilt in gmail.

Following “The Research Process” I wanted to provide the students with examples of the index cards. Again this did not upload and I had to recreate in gmail.
All of the links on Wikipedia worked. However, the data for my resource was limited and I had to dig a little deeper to find the size of the mine. I modified the essays questions to include, “if you cannot find the answer to a question, ask a different question related to your resource.” I wanted to give them access to the lesson facts for review. The lesson was a part of a 236 page document on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website and included all the teacher’s materials. I did not want the students to have everything, just the pertinent pages. Since the document was created as a “PDF” file I was unable to remove pages. I printed them, but the blue print and background did not scan well and by the time it was save as a photo and inserted into a word document, it was illegible. So I tried the copy and paste method. This worked but it pasted in a columnar format and it took some time to realign the text. Once it was in a text format it uploaded to gmail without any problems.

I had no problems uploading the Microsoft Word documents and the PowerPoint sample. Had I uploaded the PowerPoint first I could have saved myself a lot of work by putting the “research process” and the index cards on PowerPoint. Initially, the students were to record a portion of their presentation on “Audacity” and then insert it into the PowerPoint presentation. I checked the microphone and made a recording on “Audacity” before I began working on the lesson plan to determine if it could be uploaded to gmail. I found gmail does not support WAV files. So I included instructions for making the recording and inserting into the PowerPoint presentation. It was item six in the objectives and the last issue I addressed to complete the lesson plan. My microphone would not work. So I had to take it out.

At this point I had numerous working documents. The masters on my desktop, the files uploaded to gmail, and the lesson plan on my gmail blog. It seemed every time I looked at a document I would find something else wrong and it was overwhelming to keep up with the corrections. Once the lesson plan was uploaded to the blog, changes were challenging. A single change can change the entire section format. I finally got everything uploaded and linked.

I devised the lesson plan to be interactive and broke down the components of the assignment to ensure all the students had an active roll in the research and development of the project. By going though the process of the assignment I found problem areas and modified the assignment accordingly. I created assessment rubrics and posted them on gmail linked to the assignment so they would know exactly what would be evaluated. I also asked the students to evaluate me as the teacher to get their feedback on the instruction and lesson. Overall, this was an incredible, painful at times, but a great learning experience. I am sure I will utilize these resources in the future.

It seems every week we are introduced to a wonderful new way to engage students in the learning process. It is like being in a candy store and invited to sample all the wonderful flavors. During this process I discovered how a diamond field was discovered under a lake and men moved the lake to exploit the resources beneath. That is how I feel about the technology. It is a multi-faceted diamond just waiting to be discovered! It is through discovery learning becomes personal. I am looking forward to starting on the next project!

National Educational Technology Standards. NETS for Students. Retrieved November 21, 2007 from
National Educational Technology Standards. NETS for Teachers. Retrieved November 21, 2007 from

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Natural Resources: Sources of Resources
Submitted by
Luwaina Martinez
In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the course
ED355 Language Arts
Division of the School of Education
University of Guam
Mangilao, Guam

Professor: Dr. Jacqui Cyrus

Language Arts: Integration Health, Science, & Social Studies
Lesson Length (2 hrs. 40 min.) Two class periods
5th Grade

Thematic Unit: Natural Resources
Lesson: Natural Resources (The Quest for Less)

Analyze Learners
  1. The class consists of 20 students with gender division consisting of 11 female students and 9 male. Their ages range from nine to eleven-year-olds. Nine students qualify for free lunches and are considered low socio-economic status.
  2. Class ethnicity is mixed with 9 Chamorro, 6 Filipino, 2 Korean, 2 Chuckese, and one Palauan. A language other than English is the primary language spoken in 5 student’s homes. Insecure with their English these students tend to be reserved and hesitant to contribute to class discussions.
  3. The student body represents various learning styles: 17% linguistic, 15% logical/mathematical, and 19% visual/spatial, 5% musical, 23% bodily kinesthetic, 12% interpersonal and 9% intrapersonal.


  1. One student, John Doe, is considered Autistic and has a one-to-one aid. His IEP is on file and lesson plan modifications and accommodations will be made accordingly. His desk is near the door with enough space to accommodate an additional chair for his aid.
  2. As per John Doe’s IEP, a program of expected behaviors and consequences will be established. Rewards for expected behavior will be given each half hour. Negative behavior will not be acknowledged but will be identified to John and to his parents on his daily planner.
  3. One student is paraplegic and a special desk is positioned near the door to accommodate his wheelchair. He has no learning disabilities.
  4. Modifications to the class seating arrangement have been made to accommodate and additional chair for the one-to-one aid.

What They Know

  1. Students know how different types of pollution occurs in school and in the community, some ways it can controlled and some ways to reduce or eliminate pollution. They understand the meaning and difference between “environmental hazard” and “biodegradable.” They are aware of pollution prevention and recycling programs on Guam. Students are familiar with the symbiotic relationship between ecosystems and human activity the origin of natural resources, “scarcity,” production, distribution, consumption of goods and services, and conservation practices. In addition, students can navigate, locate and retrieve electronic information.
  2. The students have practiced inserting hyperlinks into PowerPoint and are capable of preparing a PowerPoint presentation.
  3. Students know how to cite references.
  4. All students can log onto the class gmail account and the computer lab has been reserved for these two class periods. They have practiced editing documents in gmail.
  5. A photo release has been signed and returned by parents.

State Objectives

After review of the lesson on “Mining Natural Resources” students will :
  1. . . . locate data from the internet and categorize information using Microsoft Word with 95% accuracy.
  2. . . . compile research and using “bullets” for key phrases, insert onto a PowerPoint presentation with 90% accuracy.
  3. . . . using a digital camera takes group and individual pictures and insert onto PowerPoint presentation page with 100% accuracy.
  4. . . . create a multiple-paragraph expository composition with 80% accuracy.
  5. . . . identify the location of a source of raw material by linking to Google Maps and inserting hyperlink into PowerPoint presentation with 100% accuracy.

Select Media, Materials, and Methods
Computer with internet access
Digital Camera

Chart paper
Index cards

Utilize Media, Materials, and Methods __________________________________________________

  • Locate data from the internet and categorize information
  • John Doe will work on a specific portion of the research assisted by his aid.
  • Take a group and individual photos with the digital camera and save to “My Pictures” on the hard drive
  • A note was sent home with John Doe to allow parent the opportunity to prepare him for the photo shoot.
  • Using the index cards and pencils, students will create a multiple-paragraph expository of their research.
  • The one-to-one aid will work with John Doe to help him complete his flashcards.
  • Using chart page and markers, the students will create a “storyboard” of their research.
  • Using the “storyboard” create a PowerPoint presentation.
  • Adequate time will be allotted to John Doe to complete this portion of the assignment.

Require Learner Participation
  1. The students will work as a group to research the assigned natural resources.
    a. All or most of the information required can be found through links at the Wikipedia website:
  2. As a guide for their research the students will include the following information:
    a. A brief description of the resources and what it is used for.
    b. Describe the mining method in general, the size of the mine, and how the mining effects the environment.
    c. Determine if it is a renewable, nonrenewable resource or both.
    d. Any current events concerning this resource?
    e. Can it be recycled? How?
  3. Photos:
    a. Each group Photographer will take a picture of another group.
    i. (Gold & Copper photographs the Uranium group, Uranium photographs the Iron group, Iron photographs the Coal group, Coal photographs the Lead & Zinc group and the Lead & Photographer photographs the Gold & Copper group.)
    b. The group’s Photographer will take a photograph of each member of their group and one group member will take a photograph of the Photographer.
    c. The Group Photographer will then save the photos to “My Pictures” on the computer.
    i. Open a new folder labeled with the group name.
    ii. Save each group member’s picture by their name.
  4. By now the students should have summarized their research on index cards.
    a. Each student should type out their notes. Upload to the class gmail. (Each group should have only one document.)
  5. Each group member will provide the group Recorder the “bullets” or key points for their portion of the presentation.
    a. Using chart page and markers, in collaboration with group members, the Recorder will create a “storyboard” of their research.
  6. The group Producer will be responsible for compiling the PowerPoint presentation.
    a. Use the “storyboard” which has been laid out following the format described in #1.
    b. Each member should create their own page.
    i. The Producer will create the “Title Page” and the “Introduction.”
    ii. The Producer will compile the other member’s pages.
    iii. The Producer will ensure the presentation has a conclusion and reference page either by doing it themselves or assigning to a group member.
    The group picture will appear on the title page and the individual student’s photo in the introduction page along with the introduction of each student’s part.


  1. The presentation from each group should be 10-15 minutes in length.
  2. Each group member must present their findings.

Homework: Each student will edit the gmail document, save to their own file or flashdrive, and complete the essay including the following information. (Students who do not have access to a home computer will be given additional lab time to type their essay.)

The essay should include:

  1. What did you like best about the assignment?
  2. What did you like the least? Why?
  3. What is the most important thing you learned during this assignment?

Evaluate & Revise

Student Evaluation

  1. See “Natural Resources: Student Essay Evaluation.”
  2. Were the objectives met?
  3. Were the students able to locate data from the internet and categorize information using Microsoft Word?
  4. Did the students compile research and using “bullets” to for key phrases insert into a PowerPoint presentation?
  5. Were the students able to use a digital camera to take a group and individual pictures and insert onto PowerPoint presentation page?
  6. Were the students able to create a multiple-paragraph expository composition?
  7. Did the students identify the location of a source of raw material by linking to Google Maps and inserting a hyperlink into the PowerPoint presentation?
  8. See: Natural Resources: Research Methods

Media Effectiveness

  1. Students will complete the “Natural Resources: Technology Peer Evaluation.”
  2. See: Natural Resources: Student Presentation Evaluation.

Instructor Performance

  1. See: Natural Resources: Teacher Evaluation




Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. (2007). Retrieved November 14, 2007 from
Elementary: The Research Process. Instructional Fair. TS Denison. USA.
North Carolina State University. (2007). Student Presentations. Retrieved November 14, 2007 from
Rio Tito Diamonds. (2007). Retrieved November 14, 2007 from

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (June 2005). The Quest for Less: Activities and Resources for Teaching K-8. Retrieved November 14, 2007 from
Utah Education Network. (2007). Teacher Evaluation. Retrieved November 14, 2007 from
Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. (2007). Retrieved November 14, 2007 from