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Meet February's Featured Teacher: Jennifer Woody

"When students design math sentences to be shared with the class via Google Classroom, they are working at the highest level of Bloom's Taxonomy."  
Jennifer Woody
3rd Grade Teacher
Freemont Elementary School 
East Syracuse Minoa Schools

Congratulations to this month’s Featured Teacher, Jennifer Woody. Jen teaches Grade 3 at Fremont Elementary School in the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District. She is in her tenth year at ESM and has been a teacher for 11 years.

What are some of the innovative ways that Jennifer integrates technology into her curriculum?
At the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District entered the first phase of a 1:1 Chromebook initiative. The infusion of this technology, which provided Jen with a class set of Chromebooks and Google accounts for her students, is connected to the implementation of the ESM Technology Integration and Investment Plan.

With the access to this technology, Jen and her students have been able to embrace Google Apps for Education (GAFE) as an integral part of the school day to be used in all classroom subject areas. The students in this 3rd grade class use their Google accounts to access assignments through Google Classroom. These assignments include providing the students writing prompts using Google Docs for an ELA activity. During a social studies unit, students researched holidays around the world and created Google Slide presentations to share their learning. The students have used Google Sheets when working on sequencing and graphing during their math lessons. Google Forms has been utilized for text-based evidence activities and vocabulary. To round out her use of the Google suite of tools, Jen has her students use Google Drawings to create graphic organizers.

Although she has adopted GAFE as a cornerstone of her instructional technology toolbox, she doesn’t rely solely on it. She utilizesKahootBrainPop, and Raz-Kids to bring some fun into her classroom. Jen is always interested in bringing new technology into her classroom and is on the forefront of technology integration.
How have students benefited from Jennifer's technology integration initiatives?
Jen uses instructional technology to meet the needs of a 21st century learner. By using GAFE in her classroom, she can help her students enhance their collaboration and communication skills. This is achieved in her Holidays Around the World project, where students work collaboratively to research, design, and ultimately present a Google Slideshow relating other religions and cultures. When students design math sentences to be shared with the class via Google Classroom, they are working at the highest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. To be successful, the student must design a math sentence that is grade level appropriate and can be solved by their classmates. Jen's students benefit from being in a classroom that incorporates instructional technology to help each student become an outstanding 21st century learner.

Recently, Jen hosted a tour of her classroom by teachers and administrators from Jamesville DeWitt and Westhill Central Schools. She and her students modeled a typical lesson that fosters collaboration and communication among the classroom community. Mary Sylvester, Principal at Moses DeWitt Elementary School, was particularly grateful for the opportunity for her teachers to see Google Apps in action. "Thank you! I was able to meet with my teachers as soon as they arrived to the building after visiting with you this morning. They were completely impressed with Jen's classroom, the integration of GAFE, how easy Jen makes it look, but knowing she has put a ton of time into planning. Witnessing first hand the use of these instructional tools in a classroom helped to bring the concept to life for them, reduced some of their concerns, and excited them about moving forward. Our conversation included specific next steps as well as how to share their learning with others. It seems that the questions they went in with were answered, and, of course, new questions have emerged. Learning is wonderful!"

Is This You?
Are you the type of teacher who thinks about technology integration and new ways to enhance instruction, engage students, and make learning fun?  Know someone who fits the profile?  Recommend a "Featured Teacher" so we can recognize and celebrate great work in the area of instructional technology!
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