PD Sessions, Flipped Classrooms, and House Olympics

PD Sessions: For graduate school this week, I developed two professional development sessions centered on technology integration. Each session is three hours.

The objectives for the first session include:

  • teachers will reflect on current ways that they integrate technology in their classrooms
  • teachers will discuss and reflect on an article that introduces eight keys to successful technology integration in the classroom
  • teachers will learn about the SAMR model and apply the SAMR model
  • teachers will collaborate with a colleague to develop a lesson plan that integrates technology

The objectives for the second session include:

  • teachers will reflect on technology integration lesson plans implemented
  • teachers will apply the SAMR model
  • teacher will create a list of applications and technological programs that teachers are interested in utilizing in Google Docs
  • teachers will collaborate with a colleague to develop a lesson plan that integrates technology

While completing the project I came across several great resources. The first is an article entitled: Integrating Technology into the Classroom: Eight Keys to Success by Noel Bitner and Joe Bitner. In the article, they discuss eight areas of consideration that has been shown to be important to allow teachers to successfully integrate technology into the curriculum. They include: fear of change, training of basics, personal use, teaching models, learning based, climate, motivation, and support.

After reading the article, I came across this Prezi Presentation, which helps synthesize the information presented.

I decided that it is important for teachers to understand the SAMR model. To expose teachers to this I used a graphic and a video. I also had teachers sort scenarios to better acquaint them with differences in levels.

By incorporating various modes of technology into the technology integration professional development, I feel like I am demonstrating my opinion of its importance.

Flipped Classrooms: One concept I came across while researching for my project is the idea of flipped classrooms. What an interesting concept! If you aren’t aware of what a flipped classroom is, watch this short video for a brief explanation. I love the idea of students have constant access to examples and demonstrations. I love that student class time is spent applying knowledge and that teacher class time is spent answering questions and ensuring that everyone understands the content. I’m not sure how I would implement this in my own classroom…

House Olympics: Our middle school is split into five houses: Gabriel, Jude, Marcellus, Norbert, and Sebastian. Each month, one house plans a house activity where we compete for an old, broken trophy bragging rights. My house partner and I selected ten events and modified them to work in our gym. Here they are:

  • Golf: Students try to toss a ball into a hula hoop that is taped to the floor from 10 feet away. If the ball stays in the hula hoop, they move onto the next round (15 feet, 20 feet, etc.)
  • Volleyball: Students try to keep the volleyball going as long as possible; they may not catch the ball.
  • Equestrian: Students compete in race the length of the basketball court on a hopper ball.
  • Shot Put: Students throw a 2 pound medicine ball like a shot put.
  • Basketball: Students shoot 5 free throws.
  • 100 Meter Dash: Students go the length of the basketball court on a scooter.
  • Javelin: Students throw a pool noodle.
  • Softball: Students must spin around a bat three times then toss and hit a ball.
  • Archery: Students try to throw a ball through a circle hanging from the basketball hoop.
  • Sumo Wrestling: Students must blow up six balloons and pop them using body parts other than their hands and feet.

Each student participated in a minimum of two events. Here are two pictures of the sumo wrestling… 🙂








4 thoughts on “PD Sessions, Flipped Classrooms, and House Olympics

  1. Kristel,
    Reading your blog, I’m reflecting on what would make integrating tech attractive for teachers.
    What if you were to ask teachers, “What would you do in your classroom is money way not an issue?” They can use their wildest imaginations and be very creative, thinking of best-case scenario learning. Then, you could ask them, “How could technology be a substitute for some of those experiences?”
    For example, I wish students could just mix dangerous chemicals together all day and see what crazy stuff results. Money and safety are the biggest roadblocks. With tech, however, I can do this! A foreign language teacher may want to take her students to a foreign country. With Google Maps, skype, and virtual field trips, this becomes a reality.
    Maybe posing this question is a good way to fire up teachers about technology integration.


    1. Jeremy,
      Great idea! I’m not sure what my responses to your questions would be… Perhaps clone myself so that I could work with each student independently every single day or have block scheduling (which we have tried to work out numerous times in the past couple years). EduCreations would be one potential substitute: students could check their work at home to eliminate the five/ten minutes of checking assignments in class, I could upload videos of lessons ahead of time and require students to post videos of themselves completing problems. I guess this is why I am interested in researching more about the flipped classroom; I need more time with students. 🙂


  2. Oh, what a great post!! You have some amazing ideas here. I also read the article about the eight keys to successful technology integration in the classroom. It was a very helpful read.
    The “flipped classroom” idea sounds very interesting. I absolutely love the idea of students having access to the video as many times as they need…..this would take a little extra time for the teacher, but once they got used to it (like anything else) it would be a piece of cake.


  3. Kristel,
    I think your PDs sound great! My favorite part is the planning a lesson with another colleague. I find myself wanting to plan cross-curricular lessons with another teacher, but never seem to be able to get around to it. Doing it in a PD would force me to do it, which is a good thing in this case. Flipped classrooms can be really great. You have to really prepare, pre-teach students, and pick the right topics. Some topics in math for me lend themselves to a flipped classrooms. But I probably wouldn’t have the students learn how to write a proof without me there (but maybe I should…).


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