Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Monitoring My GAME Plan

            Looking back on the previous two weeks, I actually feel like I have made some significant progress on one of my GAME plan goals while the second GAME plan goal has remained somewhat stagnant.
            My first goal of trying to incorporate more project-based learning activities and assessments in my classroom has been fairly easy to pursue.  I have found a great deal of resources concerning project and problem-based learning from websites, educational journals, and advice from colleagues.  For this particular part of my GAME plan, I feel like I am right on track when it comes to taking action.  I have already incorporated several project-based activities in the last few weeks and while monitoring the learning of the students, I have come to the conclusion that these activities are worthwhile and meaningful.  Probably the most important thing I have learned so far concerning project-based learning is the fact that it cannot and will not fit into every single subject or content area.  Rather than forcing a project-based activity on students for the sake of just doing it, I have looked for other ways to tackle some other content in my Economics classes.  The biggest question I have concerning this part of my GAME plan is how many projects or problem-based learning activities do my colleagues use for their classrooms?

            The second goal of trying to increase parent and student communication through technology has no progressed as quickly as I had hoped.  This is despite finding some good resources through research and colleagues, such as Edmodo and Class Parrot.  Because this goal has progressed slower, I think I need to modify how quickly my plan will move forward.  At first I thought transitioning into instant digital communication would be easy.   I found out that even parents who do have computers and internet available do not always know how to use all the digital technology for communication purposes.  This does not mean I will give up on digital communication but rather I will be more patient and sparing in using computer technology.  I am going to try to work on getting parent cell phones linked up to a system like Class Parrot because I know for a fact that more parents and their children have cellular devices than computers and this may be the bridge I need to carry some parents into the digital communication arena.  For sure I have learned that even though technology is all around us in society, not all people can use it effectively and that can be frustrating.  If I keep being patient and use a combination of different communication tools, then I can still reach the goal of increasing parent communication with some use of technology support.  My question for my colleagues on this goal would be “what other communicative technologies do you use to help increase your parent, student, and teacher communication?”  Overall, I think that I am making some good strides in my GAME plan and I will continue to work toward achieving my goals so that student learning and communication improve.



Some resources I have discovered for my goals for both project-based learning and communication”  Project-based learning  Project-based learning  parent/student communication  parent/student communication


  1. One way that I communicate with parents and students outside of the classroom is through a website. I post information about what we do in class every day, links to videos and simulations, and the occasional photo from a lab. Not only do my students find it helpful for working from home, their parents like being able to stay in the loop and feel like they can help their child stay organized.

    I have also felt frustrated when attempting to communicate with students and parents using technology. It seems that no matter how well I think I am organizing the information, there is always someone who cannot figure out how to access it. However, you are right that being patient is the best approach. Eventually most of them catch on and find it helpful. Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the idea and words of encouragement Holly. I am using Facebook as only one extra method to communicate with parents. Right now, most parent still prefer phone calls for communication but more are starting to use email as well. I had a website last year but with the new Canvas system we have for students we were told by the administration to place everything for students on Canvas. Parents are now just getting links and user names to check their students' Canvas pages so hopefully that will increase both parent inquiry and communication. Thanks for your post!


  3. Scott-

    It is interesting to read your posting because I am having the opposite problem! I am having trouble finding problem-based learning activities that I can utilize within my curriculum and pacing calendar. On the other hand, I am in full swing of using Edmodo. My letters for parent permission just went home the other day and so far parent responses have been positive.

    As far as you using problem-based learning activities, it sounds like you are doing a great job! To answer your question, I would not focus on a number. Like you said yourself, it is important that your projects fit within and enhance your curriculum. If you have a lot of ideas for projects that will help your students’ learn the content, then I say do them! If you need a mental-health break from these projects, then take one and get back to it! It is the quality of your projects that matter, not the quantity!


    1. Danielle-
      Thanks for your comments, I will consider focusing less on the number of projects and look at the quality learning experiences they create for students. The more authentic and real-world I can make the learning, the better. Thanks again!