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Hello, my name is Amy Ensley! This is my fourth year teaching fourth grade at Los Alamitos Elementary School in Los Alamitos Unified School District. I completed my BA, Credential, and Masters at Chapman University, and have decided to come back for more education here at the OCDE! I am lucky enough to have four fairly new Dell computers in my classroom given to the fourth/fifth grade teachers through a grant three years ago. Unfortunately, they are not being used to their potential. Students use it for word processing, games at eduplace.com, and now with the integration of MIND Institute at our school, JiJi math as well. I use the computer in my classroom for grading, as we use gradebookwizard.com at our school site. It is also used for e-mail, making worksheets for my classroom, letters home, etc. The list is endless! However, I understand I am not using my computer to its potential either. This past year my students had an opportunity to do a Mission extra credit project, and I was amazed by the movies and slideshow picture presentations they were able to create on their home computers. I look forward to integrating technology more effectively in my classroom in the near future!




What people have to say...


Welcome to the world of teaching. 20 years from now this will seem so quaint. Ray

Hi Amy, I really have hair envy right now... how did you get such a fantastic flip? ellen





Reflections


Social Bookmarking Reflection ~ 10/14/06
Last night was the first time I ever heard of "social" bookmarking. Once I set up my own site, I realized the multitude of ways it could be utilized in my classroom. For example, when students need to do research, they can visit the folder under my log-in. These will be pre-read and approved sites that students can enter. Sometimes when students research on the internet, they come across ads and other inappropriate material. Using social bookmarking, students will utilize only pre-approved sites for their research and reports. Families can also utilize the site by visiting interesting articles I may have read and want to share. Now that I have practiced linking websites onto my social bookmarking page, it doesn't seem so "scary" or hard to do. It is something I would like to spend more time setting up so it can be used ASAP! This would especially be helpful for our fourth grade Mission report by setting up a folder for each Mission, so students (who have computers at home) could work on it outside of the classroom as well.

Presentation Design Reflection ~ 10/27/06
After looking at how a slideshow presentation can be effective having only one word or symbol on the slide, I have become more aware of how "busy" slideshows are. Just this past week I have sat in two different meetings where the power point presentation has been all words on the screen, and the presenter has simply read off the screen. Everyone in the room was able to read what the presenter was reading to us, and she was not adding any additional information. It was interesting looking at the different types of presentation designs one may utilize. I especially like the mystery of having only one word or phrase or symbol on the slide, as I feel it makes the audience pay more attention and tune in to the information the speaker is presenting!



School Vision Statement


Students, teachers, staff, administrators, and the community are partners at this elementary school where one will find:
1. Engaged students using multiple intelligences and cooperative learning.

2. Enthusiastic teachers utilizing standards based instruction and research based strategies.

3. An Interactive Model Principal as an active participant coaching and sharing data.

4. A Professional Learning Community with structured collaboration, life-long learners, and promoting student achievement.

5. A Positive Environment where discipline is given with dignity, diversity is valued, individuality is honored, and risk-taking is encouraged.

School Vision Statement Reflection ~ 11/13/06
This vision has been revised countless times since the writing of a rough draft during our last class session. The first major learning that helped me write this was realizing the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement. Once I understood the goal was to paint a picture of what the school would look like in a few years, I was able to better grasp how to begin writing a vision statement. The second major learning that helped this process was reading the different articles and quotes about vision statements. Reading other peoples’ thoughts, opinions, and ideas of vision statements helped me better understand the need for one. The final major learning, and the one that really motivated me to begin writing my vision statement, was the group process of deciding the six components of an excellent school. The shaping of this vision began while I listened to other group's ideas and realizing the similarities we all shared. When we were given time to begin our rough draft, mine took the form of words with bullet points. After editing it a few times, I have settled on succinct sentences highlighted with key words the staff would be able to remember. Going back to my own school site, I realized no one knows our school vision, and learning a vision will guide the school in all decisions it makes, it was important for me to keep it short so a staff would actually be able to remember what it says and make their own decisions based on it as well.



Shared Vision of Learning ~ End of Course Reflection





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