I searched in the Creative Commons area of Flickr and softball pictures caught my eye!!   My daughter is extremely busy this time of year playing for her school on the varsity softball team and for a travel team in Western PA.  We love how busy the summer is with her involved in this sport.  I incorporated softball and baseball into a bulletin board and a class competition for the last grading period.  For each book read and the book test passed, the student will earn a run for their team.  I could incorporate this picture on my blog as an additional writing assignment for the students.  They could either write about what they like about baseball or softball; what the favorite part of the last book they completed; or, what position they would play if they participated in baseball or softball.  This picture on my blog could lead to much needed additional writing actions without the students really realizing it.

Image citation:

SV. (2012, April 7). MDI vs Calais Baseball & Softball. Stealthvader Photostream. Retrieved April 5, 2014, from


Motivating Students – Can It Be Done?

The topic I chose for my discussion is:  can motivating students actually be done?  I find that my greatest challenge is my Learning Support students and their lack of motivation.  I work in a district where Special Education is highly supported.  I have struggled in finding what motivates students who are primarily struggling with school and who might not see much success.  I work hard at finding lessons that pull students in and entice them to want to learn.   It is difficult for me to hook all of my students. 

I feel that doing well in school has a direct correlation to success in life.  I attended an in-service at my school this past January 2014 that was conducted by my peers who attended the Penn Literacy Network classes through the University of Pennsylvania (  Their excitement for working with students in order to entice them to write more was contagious. The reason I bring this up is because of what they shared with us. They stated that the number one factor in a student’s success was the education level of the student’s mother.  This bit of information to me was both enlightening and depressing.    I was excited for my own two children since I was presently pursuing a masters degree and love the art of learning, but depressed for my students knowing that many of their mothers did not have an education that lead to a desire for continued learning or higher education of any level. 

Do any of you have any suggestions for motivating students whose parents do not stress education?  I sure could use some suggestions!

I found this blog  addressing the topic of What Keeps Students Motivated to Learn.  It is very interesting in that many students are motivated by knowing that the teacher cares about them individually.  Do you agree with what the students state are the most important aspects of motivation? 

Wiki’s in My Classroom

In response to my 4-D-1 assignment:

Is there a particular example of a classroom wiki which inspired you? I know that there has not been just one that has inspired me. I have looked at a lot of them and like many different parts of a variety of them. I generally gravitate to the elementary only sites which lend themselves to the general likes and abilities of a 6th grader.   

 What was most challenging about creating a wiki together as a group in 
Activity 4-C-1
?  I think that the most challenging item came from deciding what each person was going to do. Once we collaborated and agreed on subtopics, we were all good with the development of our wiki. 

What did you learn from the group wiki project?  I learned that when everyone works together, you get a great end product. I liked the fact that each person provided part of our complete project and learning from them is a bonus.

Has your opinion of Wikipedia changed at all this week? Yes it has! I feel that Wikipedia has much information that should be considered truthful. I see now where many people/man hours are put into the development of each and every topic. I know that there is no way to ensure that everything is 100% correct and that there is always a % of human error that can be expected. I think that I can now have students use this site also as one form of research. I want the students to become more technologically savy and having them use this tool would enable them to be better-rounded with technology.

Are you encountering resistance to using wikis in your class, either from others or from yourself? If so, how do you plan to respond?  I can’t say I am encountering resistance in my classroom because we have not even broached the subject of using a wiki in Language Arts. I will be introducing this topic to my class during the last couple of weeks of school in an effort to try this topic in my room!! I want to see how the students respond to this and how it motivates them to possibly write more.

Bookmarking plan

Outline a plan for using social bookmarking as a professional tool yourself, either for your own continuing professional development or to collaborate with colleagues.


I plan on using social bookmarking as a professional tool to continue my own professional development.  I have come so far in my use of Web 2.0 tools.  Through the variety of Masters classes I have developed a love for these tools and want to incorporate them into my classes at school.  I want to instruct my students how to develop and use blogs by establishing a classroom blog spot for all of my students to be able to use.  I would hope that this spurs a desire to write more for each of them.  I will use the social bookmarking tool as a way to do research on specifics to achieve that goal.  I will also be able to share with my teaching team these items.

RSS Feeds

I am not completely comfortable using RSS feeds yet.  I have looked at many but am still struggling with the linking and viewing of it all.  I feel that once I get the hang of it this will make my life of searching easier and faster.  I linked to topics that are close to my heart such as as autism, aspergers and NCLB.  I can’t wait to see more information at my fingertip daily. I do also like the fact that I can subscribe and unsubscribe to any link at any time.