Summer Institute 2013


Final Reflection – I have worked hard this summer creating a new iBook and updating my other iBooks. I have cross-referenced them with our Colorado Standards and added in plenty of problem solving.  I am excited to use them with my students. I know it will help student learning. I also have worked on my website which is at the core of my teaching and student learning.


Screencast #5

In this screencast I addressNETS #1 & 4 which covers Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity and Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility. In this screencast I show my class website.

Screencast #4

In this screencast, I address NETS #3 which is Model Digital Age Work & Learning, communicating digital age media. After unpacking the Colorado Standards and creating a list of skills, I have now been updating my math iBook to be sure it reflects all those skills. I also created a beginning question similar to the standard’s inquiry questions to draw students in. I also updated the links and app lists.

In this screencast,I address NETS #5 which is Engage in Professional Growth & Leadership. I have been unpacking the Colorado Standards to make sure I am covering everything I need to for my students.  What I found is that you need to look at both the standards pages and also the Framework pages

There are different skills on each of those, which is kind of frustrating.  Then, I put them on my web pages so that student can see exactly what skills they need to learn.

Screencast # 2

In this screencast, I address NETS #2 which is Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences. I am now creating another iBook for Math Problem Solving as the Common Core is focused on that. I am creating it to go along with our school adopted Math Problem Solving Strategies framework. I have put in problems that   have written over the years.

Screencast # 1

In this screencast, I am addressing NETS #2 which is Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences.  (It seems like that’s pretty much all I do anymore.) I am updating my iBooks to correlate with the Common Core Standards. Thus, I want more visuals, representations, explaining, etc. on both the iBook and for students.  Currently, I am researching web sites and apps to fill this need.

Some cool sites that either I or others have shared:

A PDF of the Math iBook I am working on:     Mr. DiFiore’s Math iBook


Day 1 Reflection – May 28
1. Determine and describe where your classroom is on the continuum below and write your goals related to where you want to be next year.

My classroom is in the middle.  Being a fifth grade teacher means that you cannot be totally student centered.  There are many students who cannot be self-directed at this age. However, I think that I can move more that way, especially with the iPads.

2. What steps do you see yourself taking to move along this scale? How will you know if you are making movement along this scale?

I see my class continuing along the self-directed path guided by their teachers.  Movement is easily discernable.

3. If you made movement along this scale in the past year, describe that movement and how the movement was achieved.

I created seven iBooks that completely replace textbooks, thus students can be self-directed or guided.

4. Reflect on learning and instruction in your classroom. In your opinion, are a majority of your lessons: personalized, individualized, differentiated, and/or whole class

I think that I move in and out of all of these.  Differentiation is something that never ends in  an elementary classroom.  I have no problems with whole class as long as it is only for the beginning mini-lesson to get the students started.  Then, after that is where the rest of these come in.

5. What defining characteristics do your lessons have that place them into the above category?

I begin most lessons from the middle of the room, surrounded by students, using either a document camera, iPad, or internet. Then once they are directed, I move around to each student or group. In this way, I can be sure  each student is directed and focused successfully.  Next, I would attend to any special needs that I observe.

6. Would your students describe their learning experiences the same way you do?

Yes, I believe so.  They would add that they do a lot of the teaching, also.


1. Describe your project work for the Summer Institute. You’ll want to define goals for your learning path this summer.

I will update and incoroporate the Common Core Standards into the seven iBooks I have created that completely replace textbooks, thus students can be self-directed or guided.

2. What module will be the focus of your study?

I will be using iBooks author.

3. What types of tools will you be incorporating into your digital backpack?

I will be using iBooks Author, apps, video, the Common Core Standards, and more.

4. How will you know you are making progress toward reaching your goals? 

I will have tangible products and curriculum.

5. How could your colleagues help support your curiosity with the data you collect in the future?

They could help by sharing!

6. Anything else you’d like other participants to know.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s