My 21st Century Classroom


This I believe. . .
This is a visual essay I was asked to create for my SEDU183 class at Edinboro University. Have you ever had a super dry and boring teacher? The kind that just puts you to sleep? If so, then you know how hard it is to concentrate and excel in the class. That's why my belief statement is "I believe teachers should be enthusiastic and excited about shaping the minds of their students." To get across this point I created a visual essay using photostory (click for photostory downlaod), comparing the two very different teaching styles of teachers I had in high school, and how their teachings affected me as a student. To view my reflection on the process of creating this project click here ===> belief essay.

My Classroom

Graphic Representation of my Classroom
The design of my classroom is purposely constructed to meet the needs of my students. I provided a “lounge area” that includes the rug, plush sofa, chair, and fridge as a place for students to relax and do homework if there is extra time at the end of class. The fridge is crucial because it is a personal belief of mine that students should be supplied some sort of snack, it could be something small just to nibble on, but regardless I think the students would be able to focus better in class if their appetite was satisfied. Also, feeding my students could be beneficial to their education according to this article, which explains that poor nutrition can be damaging to their cognitive development. The lounging area also promotes communication among peers, and communication is one the three benefits of a networked classroom my design supports. By having a comfortable area to work, students could work together and ask question to do their schoolwork and gain the knowledge needed to master the material.  The next advantage of my classroom construction is that it provides the opportunity for collaboration. The storage units in my classroom would contain laptops for all of the students to use to take notes and other educational purposes. With the laptops they could create their own personal learning networks, and in doing so they could create twitter accounts and blogs to connect with professionals and other students around the world. With the connection they make they could search for and ask questions on concepts that are puzzling them. In other words, they could collaborate with others around the world and with their peers in the classroom to answer their own questions. Lastly, my classroom is very accessible. Once again, by having the laptops students could take notes on the computer and save them somewhere accessible on any computer for later use, such as google docs or by e-mailing it to themselves. Also, classwork could be posted to blogs for students to access at later use. Overall, my classroom is designed to be very student-centered and as multiple of advantages. To learn more benefits and characteristics of a networked classroom you can visit this link that contains examples and resources from Will Richardson and Rob Mancabelli’s book Personal Learning Networks.

Rituals and Routines

One ritual/routine I would use in my classroom is starting off by describing what they objectives are and what we will be doing today. To stimulate proper behavior, every time I ask a question I will tell the students to raise their hands when answering. Since some students’ backs may be toward me depending on where I am in the classroom, another routine would be to ask the students to face me/put your focus on me to make sure they are listening to what I am saying and providing me with their full attention. This will help ensure that they know what is being asked of them and know what is going on so they can ask questions. In addition, I could use “math journals” in which I would have the students pull out their journals to log questions they might have or write down problems from their text that give them trouble, so they could easily reference them when studying for a test. The journals would be a good way to promote authentic assessment. I could collect their journals to grade instead of just assessing them based on quizzes or tests. The journals could be used as a portfolio of self-documentation and way to make the student’s learning more individuals, therefore dual promoting student-centered learning. Furthermore, I would relate every lesson to real life scenarios where the skills we are learning would be useful. While it’s good to be able to learn how to do the skills, students want to know what the point is, or the importance of learning certain topics, and by connecting it to real life problems these concerns are addressed. This routine would stimulate inquiry based learning because I could then provide real-world issues or problems for students to work on so they can see why learning the material provided is essential. Lastly, I would provide timely feedback and encouragement, but not too much of either, because as stated in this article on the power of feedback, it can influence learning in both negative and positive ways.

 Instructional Glimpse
Now that you know my rituals and routines, let me give you a quick glimpse to what a typical lesson would be like in my class. I would start off the class by greeting the students and asking them standard greeting questions like, how are you? How’s your day been going? Then I would give my students an overview of what the class period was going to look like which would include informing them about the objectives that are supposed to be meet and what we are going to be learning about. Next, I would display a bell ringer question on the board to get their minds working and thinking about math. Once everyone answered I would go over the bell ringer and then ask if there were any questions they wanted me to go over from the night before. If so, I would go through the problem with them and show them how to solve it properly. After that I would get into the lecture which would include information on how the concepts work so students could logically think through the problems and then provide some examples. As the examples progressed I would add a degree of difficulty to them. For each example we would do it together, and then I would have a similar example for them to try on their own. After everyone finished the example I would go over it with them. When the lesson was completed I would give some sort of practice, like a worksheet, that would either include working together or independently. At this time I would also give the homework so if they finished everything they needed to do, they could get a head start on their homework. As an additional way to assess the students understanding of the material I would post a quick activity on the internet that they could do at home to review what we went over in class. Lastly, I would provide adequate feedback whenever necessary. The activity would look something like this:

And that is what a day in Mr. Greer’s classroom would look like!

Technology Integration
Although I, personally, am not the biggest fan of using technology in the classroom, I can’t ignore the tremendous impact technology can have on education. With that said, I plan on using various technological tools in my classroom to help ensure that my students are receiving the best education they can get. The first tool I would use is twitter. I would have my students create a twitter account so I could then use it as a way to tweet out reminders of what the homework is and when it is due. I think this would be extremely beneficial because sometimes students have the intention of doing their homework, but they simply forget to do. By tweeting it out they will have a way of reminding themselves what it is they have to do. Twitter also has another benefit; following fellow educators or role models. Say a student is struggling in science. They could follow a science teacher and see some resources and tools they tweet out to help them. Furthermore, students could follow people who have the same occupation they wish to someday obtain to learn what they need to do to be successful in that field.
Another handy tool I would use is PowerPoint. I would use PowerPoint to create my lesson plans for the day to go through with my students. I like PowerPoint because you can link items to go to other slides so it can be very interactive rather than just passive learning. Skype is an additional tool I could see myself using in the classroom. With Skype I could video chat with other professionals and classrooms around the world to have discussions and connect my students with people outside the classroom.  One key technological tool I would integrate into my classroom is the use of blogs, specifically using blogger. With the use of blogs, my students could publish their work for everyone that has access to the World Wide Web to see. Blogs are helpful because they allow opportunities for feedback, and when students have someone like their work it makes them that much more enthusiastic about learning. To extend the degree of my technology integration, I would use Google Docs. Google Docs would allow my students to work together and collaborate on assignments both in and outside of the classroom. Lastly, I could see myself using GarageBand to create podcasts of my lectures. With the podcasts created, I could upload them to my blog so that parents could see/hear what their kids are learning. Students could also access the podcasts to review what we did in class. There you have it, my thorough and diverse technological integration!


I will continue using my personal learning network as a learner to gather new ideas and information from other educators around the world. I can see what they are doing in their classrooms to see if it is something I would like to integrate into my own classroom. I will continue to blog and follow people who have similar interests as me and expanded my personal learning network. As a teacher I could use my blog to post the podcasts I referenced earlier in my Technology Integration section. I could also follow my students’ blogs and help guide them to properly implement a personal learning network. By continuing to blog I could provide feedback on projects and other ideas my students blog about.

Annotated Bibliography

Works Cited
"Apple - GarageBand - Learn about Flex Time and Other New Features." Apple. Apple, 2012. Web. 03 May 2012. <>.
GarageBand is a nifty tool to create your own music and you can also make podcasts.
"Blogger." Google. Web. 3 May 2012. <<mpl=start#s01>.
You can create an account with blogger to start your blogging experience.
"Download: Photo Story 3 for Windows - Microsoft Download Center - Download Details." Object Moved. Microsoft, 06 Apr. 2005. Web. 03 May 2012. <>.
This is a cool tool to create a video from a collage of pictures. You can add music, and edit transitions!
"Free Presentation Software." 2011. Web. 3 May 2012. <>.
Free download for PowerPoint.
"Free Skype Internet Calls and Cheap Calls to Phones Online - Skype." Skype. 2012. Web. 03 May 2012. <>.
Download for Skype.
"Google Docs." Google. Google. Web. 3 May 2012. <>.
Google Docs is a way to store information in a safe place and to collaborate with others.
Hattie, John, and Helen Timperley. "The Power of Feedback." Review of Educational Research. Sage Journals. Web. 03 May 2012. <>.
This article contains valid information on the positive and negative effects of feedback in the classroom.
Joy Miller Del Rosso. The Partnership for Child Development. School Feeding Programs. Web. 3 May 2012. <>.
This article contains a lot of good information pertaining to the benefits of feeding students.
Richardson, Will, and Rob Mancabelli. "Free Offers from Solution Tree!" Object Moved. Web. 03 May 2012. <>.
Provides examples on how to implement a personal learning network.
"Welcome to Twitter." Twitter. Web. 03 May 2012. <>.
Twitter is a social networking cite that can be used to stimulate learning in the classroom.

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