Engaged Classroom Participant Portfolio

This portfolio has been created in connection with the Jordan School District Enhanced Classroom professional development project.

Participant Name: Megan Smith
Participant School: Bluffdale Elementary
Grade/Subject: 5th Grade

Below are links to pages that demonstrate my competence in several key areas.

Laptop Rules

These are the rules I have discussed with my class concerning the use of our laptops. We review the rules each time we pull out the laptops and have posters of the rules posted in the classroom.

Inspiration Software

My class used Inspiration 8 to create projects about the branches of the government. Click below to view a sample project.

Atomic Learning Modules

Here are links to a few modules that I have found to be particularly helpful.

Animal Life
Character Comics
Color Web Book
Hello from Hawaii
Little Books
Math in Motion
Who Do You Believe?

Comic Life, Picasa, Comic Life Project

Using the Atomic Learning Lesson Accelerator "Hello from Hawaii" as a model, my class created a postcards about a state using Comic Life. An example of a finished project can be viewed here.

Social Bookmarking

I did not create a del.icio.us account since I joined the Engaged Classroom project late in the school year.
Link to a wiki page with RSS widget showing some of my curriculum-related websites


I have actually transferred the information I had stored in the Activities Editor section of my UEN page to this wiki and plan on using my wiki as my main teacher resource. However, my teacher MyUEN page can be viewed here.

Google Docs

I created a Google Calendar for my Student Council members. On the calender, they can see the dates we will be meeting and can find information about upcoming projects and materials that will be needed for each of our meetings. Click here to view our calender.

I also created a Google Docs form for a reading comprehension assignment my class completes each week. It can be viewed here on my Language Arts page.


I created a class wiki instead of a blog.

Digital Story Telling

My class completed research on one of the fifty states. They were asked to find out information about famous landmarks and sites of interest, important historical events that took place in the state, and famous people from the state. The students then took on the voice of the state as they created an iMovie aimed at convincing people to visit their state on their next vacation.

Lesson Plans I've Created

This lesson ties into the sample Inspiration 8 project linked above. For this lesson, students learned about the different branches of the government and created a graphic organizer to share their information. The attached files include the actual lesson plan, the worksheet that accompanies the lesson, and a rubric to assess the project. The rubric was created using UEN's Rubric Tool.

My Reflections

How I used the Senteo Interactive Response System clickers

This year, I decided to use the Senteo clickers as a tool to review information for the language arts CRT tests. Using questions from the UTIPS website, I have created a few slideshows using the Senteo Notebook software to teach and review questions for our end-of-year tests. The slideshows I have created contain both content and question pages.

I ended up using the Senteo 2.0 software for my presentations, and found the tutorials on the Senteo site to be helpful as I was learning to use the program. I feel I undestand the basics of using the Notebook software, but I still have a few questions about some of the features. I also decided to set-up my classes using a number sign-in instead of student names. I'm hoping this will make it easier to use the clickers with students from all of the fifth grade classes I work with during the day.

The students have beek looking forward to using the clickers, and they had a lot of fun with them when we finally pulled them out. On our first use of the clickers, we ran through a short quiz dealing about vocabulary. I initially had the quiz set up to tell students whether they had given a correct response after each answer they entered, and we then ran through the same quiz using another reporting option so that the students could see the difference between the two settings. We also practiced using the delete key to re-enter an answer and discussed the importance of entering your answer before the teacher closed the test.

How I used the document camera during curriculum instruction

This year I have mainly used the document camera as a replacement for my overhead projector. This has very helpful in that it allows me to:
  • actually hear my students! I love that the document camera is so quiet. I often had to ask students to repeat themselves when we used the overhead projector because the fan was so loud. The document camera really helps us cover information faster in that I will rarely need to ask students to repeat themselves now.
  • demonstrate instructions and information for students on the same handouts they are using. This was often difficult to do with the overhead projector if I didn't have a transparency of the page the students were using. This has helped cut down on misunderstandings with directions and instructions.
  • show information in color to students. This may seem like a small change, but it really has helped the students on art and math projects.
  • quickly share information with the entire class. We have used the document camera to read picture books, share student work, teach classroom games and demonstrate mathematical concepts with manipulatives.
  • quickly switch between sharing information on the PC and camera mode. There have been many instances when I have needed to show information from a website and then follow-up with instructions on a worksheet.

For information on how I plan to increase my use of the document camera next year, please see the next reflection.

Engaged Classroom Reflection with Future Plans

Although I joined the Engaged Classroom project late in the school year, I still feel as though I have gained a lot of knowledge about how to better incorporate technology into my teaching. Listed below are some of my ideas for how I would like to further my use of technology in the coming year.

1. Document Camera - This year I have mainly used the document camera as a replacement for my overhead projector. Next year, I would like to expand my use of the camera by using it to record examples of classroom assignments such as:
  • Sample solutions for daily problem solving questions in math
  • Directions for completing special projects that are best shown through a visual demonstration

2. Digital Camera/Camcorder - I would like to increase students' use of both the digital camera and camcorder through classroom projects involving iMovie, iPhoto, and Comic Life.
  • iPhoto - a) Stop-motion videos (similar to the pipe cleaner video) for a science lesson on metamorphosis and b) slideshow presentation with definitions and examples of geometric shapes found within the school environment.
  • iMovie - a) Videos produced by Student Council members on character education/lifeskills that will be available for classes to view through my wikipage, b) digital stories told from the viewpoint of famous artifacts from United States history and c) Stop-motion videos based on the Atomic Learning Lesson Accelerator "Math in Motion" in which students describe how to solve a problem solving question which they have written.
  • Comic Life - a) Postcards from various states that include photos of famous landmarks/sites and a short description of important places to visit, b) Color Poems based on the Atomic Learning Lesson Accelerator "Color Web Book" and the picture book Hailstones and Halibut Bones and c) posters about animal adaptations based on the Atomic Learning Lesson Accelerator "Animal Stories".

3. Senteo Interactive Response System - I plan on incorporating the Senteo clickers into more subject areas next year. I would especially like to design short social studies presentation using both content and question pages in order to better help me informally assess students' retention of information following lessons.

4. Class Wiki and Blog - I would like to continue the use of my classroom wiki and increase its use by parents and students. I plan on accomplishing this by increasing the resources available on the wiki to include weekly homework updates, a calendar detailing upcoming events, and samples of student work. I would also like to create a class blog that would be updated by pairs of students on a monthly basis. During their assigned month, students would have the chance to write about special activities and projects our class has worked on during the month.