Session 1- Introduction

Hello fellow classmates,

My name is Margarita Garcia and among other activities I enjoy, I am a sixth grade teacher in the Riverside Unified School District.

2015-01-14 09.27.31

Science Camp: Ethnobotany Hike, Pathfinder’s Ranch- 01.14.15

This is my eleventh year teaching in our district. I have taught a wide range of grades including Kindergarten, First, Second, Fourth and Sixth. I do not have a favorite grade, but I have found Sixth Grade to be a great fit for me at the time because I am able to integrate a lot of the technology and skills I am learning about through the Instructional Technology program.

I have decided to obtain an e-Learning Certificate along with my master’s degree. I really can’t give a good reason why, other than I knew it couldn’t hurt and I also saw it wasn’t going to add too much extra course work! However, through the courses I have taken within the e-Learning section, I have gained so much knowledge and experience with using online learning in my own traditional classroom setting. My students are only eleven years old, but most are keeping up with blogs and submitting electronic assignments that include short projects. When I reflect upon what my students are doing compared to former years, I am amazed! We are using kidblog.org on a weekly basis (somewhat!) along with writing blog summaries, we use Google Classroom as a platform for various subjects. Students receive assignments and submit them in Google Classroom. I am also in the works of beginning a publications club with the students who attend our after school program. I would like it to be an online student newspaper, but we shall see how it develops and progresses since we are beginning on Tuesday! Some of the items I hope to pick up in this class are other technology programs that would enhance my teaching, methods of distributing information to my class, and easy to use programs that I could use to record teacher lectures that I could then disseminate to my students on a learning platform.

Google Classroom Image

My Google Classroom Homepage. I have a total of 9 classes to manage.

As far as my interaction preference, I equally enjoy online and face-to-face interaction. I have enrolled in more online courses than face-to-face courses out of convenience because I work full time and live in Riverside. My professors have facilitated online discourse using Blackboard Discussion Board and blogging. I don’t mind either way of interacting, but I do appreciate that we have either one or the other and not both at the same time! I found that it can be difficult to remain organized when being a commenter to other student blogs. I can’t seem to remember whose posts I have commented on so I could check back for responses. A goal I have for this quarter is to comment on a bigger variety of students’ posts because I tended to focus on the same four or five students’. That will require much more organization on my part! Other forms of interaction I have participated in are Skype and Blackboard Collaborate. When working with interactive groups, we have used Google Docs, email, and text messaging in order to stay connected and on schedule.

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About Margarita

This is my second year as a graduate student at CSUSB. I have taught in the Riverside Unified School District for eleven years. The Instructional Technology program has been extremely beneficial to my professional development as it has helped me use innovative ways in providing instruction an support to my sixth graders.
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6 Responses to Session 1- Introduction

  1. I always enjoyed sixth grade when I was teaching in a K-8 school. I’m glad you are finding some useful tools in these classes and I have some confidence that this trend will continue in this one! I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

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    • Margarita says:

      Hi Dr. Newberry,
      Thank you for your encouragement. I have been reading up on how to use Google Sites for our Sixth Grade Newspaper. Our club is meeting for the first time tomorrow. I only have four after-school program students who are interested in participating, but I anticipate that number will grow as soon as the ball gets moving. My goal is to publish our first page next Friday (1/30) and to have new pages every Friday until the end of the school year.

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  2. Margarita, I like your goal of trying to read and comment on varying students’ posts. Last quarter, I got into the habit of just responding to the same students weekly myself. Mostly that was because I was looking for the students done the earliest in the week. I never could decide if we were supposed to reply to current week’s blogs or the previous week’s postings.

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    • Margarita says:

      Hi Christen,
      I also would get lost on which blogs to comment on. Sometimes I would go back to previous weeks and leave a brief comment or question, but I tried to mostly stick to what the current session was. I have a feeling I won’t be one of the first students to post this quarter. I am already behind in the readings that we need to have done for Session 2!

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  3. Hi Margarita,

    It is nice to see you again. I appreciate that you are trying to broaden the student blogs that you are commenting on. I am sure it will help too because we all have different tools that we like to use and are familiar with when it comes to technology.

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  4. gcaudill says:

    Hi Margarita,
    I read every post last week, but I should have commented as I was reading them! I think the introductions are the most interesting posts to read, but I’m not sure that session two will be quite as interesting to read!
    Griselda

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