Week 7 Reflection

Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to create and revise a GAME plan for teaching. After reading about problem based learning, authentic learning experiences and new kinds of technology integration, I have gained new experiences about lesson and assignment planning and development.  Creating a GAME plan allows me to clearly set goals for learning, put steps into action, monitor student progress and evaluate the success of the plan and extend student learning if possible (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009).  The use of a GAME plan also allows me to easily integrate both Common Core ELA Reading and Writing Standards as well as ISTE Standards for students.
I am happy with the three different GAME plans I developed during this course.  I chose two different classes I am currently teaching and created lesson plans that meet both Common Core Reading and Writing Standards.  As my school moves towards Standards Based Assessment and Reporting, the more often I am able to connect CC ELA Standards to work I am currently doing with students, the easier it will be to meet this mandate.  The use of the GAME plan model allowed me to be organized and to create a solid foundation for implementation.  I would not revise any of the plans I created.  They were purposeful and authentic learning experiences that also afforded students the opportunity to work with Web 2.0 tools and to meet ISTE Standards as well.
One way I think the GAME plan model will benefit students is if they complete their own GAME plan for an assignment.  For example, if I present them with a long term project, setting up a GAME plan will help them to complete the assignment.  The idea of setting goals, taking action, monitoring progress and evaluating one’s success is also a good habit for self-directed learners.
As a result of this course, I will adjust my instructional practice to include more problem based learning and to include more authentic learning experiences.  These are not difficult to implement, nor do they need to be huge in scope.  “An authentic learning environment is engaging for students because the content and context of learning are accepted by the student as relevant to his or her needs and deemed by the teacher as simulating life beyond the classroom” (Callison & Lamb, 2004, p.34).  Having students take ownership of and investigate a modern and real world issue allows them to see the relevance of learning outside of the walls of the classroom.
Because of the lack of technology in my school, I will have to be judicious about the collaboration and digital storytelling tools I ask students to use in order to be fair to them.  Such tools must be web based, and students must be able to access the internet during school hours.  Once my freshmen are issued their iPads in January, I will be able to integrate more collaboration with those courses.  However, I will not be able to do the same for my upperclassmen unless we receive one laptop cart per classroom.  Right now my entire department has less than 20 to share.  Such a shortfall makes technology integration difficult, to say the least.
But the use of the GAME plan has made aligning Common Core Standards and ISTE Standards easier.  As a result of this course, I will plan my lessons differently making sure that whatever goal I have set for my students connects to the standards now adopted by nearly all fifty states.  In addition, my plans must also provide students with opportunities to use technology tools in their learning, especially since mastery of these tools are likely to be required in the workplace.

References
Callison, D., & Lamb, A. (2004). Authentic learning. School Library Media Activities   Monthly, 21(4), 34-39.
Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

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