Friday, April 27, 2012

Action Research

My action research proposal is going to be based on improved learning through playing games.   I would like to try and incorporate a variety of games, not just computer based in the classroom. I would use board games, file folder games, computer games, and whole class games throughout the research period. This would be conducted after whole group instruction and as centers in the classroom.


Gee, J.P.(n.d.). Why are video games good for learning?. Unpublished manuscript, University of Wisconsin-  Madison, Fairmont State Univeristy, Fairmont, WV. Retrieved from

Halverson, R. (n.d.). What can k-12 school leaders learn from video games and gaming?. Retrieved from

Jackson, L. A., Witt, E. A., Games, A. I., Fitzgerald, H. E., von Eye, A., & Zhao, Y. (2011). Information technology use and creativity: Findings from the children and technology project. Elsevier, Retrieved from

McGonical , J. (2011). Be a gamer, save the world. The Wall Street Journal, Retrieved from

Olson, C. K. (2010). Children’s motivations for video game play in the context of normal development. Review of General Psychology, 14 (3), 180-187. Retrieved from

Thursday, April 19, 2012

DEJ 11

"The rise in the popularity of computer games and developments in information and computer technologies more generally have resulted in a renewed awareness of the potentials of simulations and games among researchers interested in learning and cognition."

I agree with the author because its seems that more and more I am hearing or reading about the benefits or downfalls of video gaming. Now that there is the i-pad and other tablets with games that you can get through an app. I feel that more people who weren't playing games before now find themselves engaged in game play.

"It is the interactive and multimodal features of computer games that have been proposed as being particularly powerful in regard to learning."

My students love going to the computer lab on getting on learning websites like, StarFall, Odyssey, and Everyday Math. They are not only learning, but having fun while doing it. I have actually been doing an action research on students and game play and I feel like everything is positive and that my students are still learning even though they are playing games.

"Their solution to this problem has been to make use of interactive story telling techniques which are built into the design of various course materials."

I love this idea for students to use story telling to solve math problems. I don't know however, if it would be something that younger students would be able to use as much as older students. Younger students often have trouble trying to explain themselves and get a message across.


Why should programming be part of school curriculum?

Programming should be a part of the school curriculum because computers are everywhere with all of the technology advancements, programming is going to be a career that will need to be filled. Programming is also a great way to show an individual's creativity. While many may not be musically or artistically advanced, programming can be a way for them to shine. The article states, " Through our observations at the Computer Clubhouse, we found that youth have an interest in videogames, music videos, cartoon animations, and interactive, designbased art, which are a natural springboard into creating and programming. We also realized that we needed to address support systems, in particular mentoring interactions in the Computer Clubhouse, to make learning and creative expressions the primary purpose of programming activities
and not just the acquisition of technology skills." I liked how the author put learning and creativity before technology skills because honestly I think that kids pick up the technology part pretty fast but just knowing where to harness their creativity is something that they do need to learn.

What are the barriers to implementing programming in schools? I feel that one of the biggest barriers with implementing programming in schools is that there may not be enough qualified teachers to be able to actually teach programming their students. " Our analyses revealed that while the Undergraduate mentors sustained various mentoring interactions ranging from teaching to learning, the prevalence of mentoring interactions that placed the mentor in the role of learner, observer or co-constructor – all roles which imply a more reciprocal and equitable relationship between mentor and mentees." It's great that the mentors can learn as well, but if they are going to teach this then I feel it is necessary to be ahead of what is being taught. Another barrier is funding. Many schools do not have the money to implement something like programming. It would take thousands of dollars to buy equipment and software as well as make sure there is a qualified teacher to teach the class.

How can barriers to implementing programming in schools be overcome?

Barriers can be overcome in school by presenting workshops and offering grants to help fun these projects.

Week 12 Blog Posting

Activity #2
In a blog posing write a reflection about your project design process by answering the following questions.

1. What: What is your project? How does it work? How did you come up with the idea?

My project was a game on homophones. In the game you were to read the sentence and move the sprite to the word that was the correct homophone. I knew I wanted to use homophones for my game because so many of my students have trouble with them (the biggest I think is there, their, and they're). I wasn't exactly sure how I wanted my game to go so I started searching other games and I found one that I really liked, but thought that I could add to it a little so I used it as my template.

2. So What: What was your process for developing the project? What was interesting, surprising, or challenging? Why? What did you learn?

I started out trying to do the whole thing by myself, but I could not get my sprites to do what I wanted them and my backgrounds or screens to change the way that I wanted them to. I found a template that I liked and it helped me to be able to add to the game and add more screens. I was able to use the commands to help me develop more to the game. I learned that one sprite might need many simple commands to have it do what you wanted to do.

3. Now What: What are you the most proud of about your project? What would your change? What do you want to create next? Why?
I loved that my daughter was able to "help" me. I used her voice for a few of the recordings. She thought it was fun to have her voice in the game. I wanted to try and put her in as a sprite, but I couldn't get it to work the way I wanted. I would like to create an easier game that includes her and that she could play. I would also love to be able to teach my own students how to make their own games one day. I think that it something that would not only teach them a lot but be something that they would enjoy.
Due Sunday April 15 (20 points)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I have been working like a crazy lady all day to try and get as much finished as possible. I completed my rough draft of my game and then wanted to continue to try and finish everything. I did complete my final of my game and think that it turned out well. I added to more levels to the game as well as some sound effects. I did have a little trouble figuring out how to get my sprites to move around on the 4th and 5th level. They weren't really seeming to cooperate with the cursor arrows.

Week 9/10.

I have only been substitute teaching this year along with working in the proof department at Huntington Bank in the evenings. This, along with school , was a pretty easy balance, but last month I started working out a maternity leave in second grade so that combined with my bank job, home, school, and still trying to adjust to two teenagers in my home has left my time and sanity with little to spare. Thank goodness this week is spring break. I am frantically trying to play catch up with my school work and to spend time with my daughter. Whew. Come on summer!!!

Anyway. I have been working on my scratch project and know what I want to do. It is just trying to get my sprites to cooperate with me and for everything to flow correctly.
My game is going to be played using homophones. I looked up some games that others have created and found a few ideas that I would like to try and incorporate, but I also discovered what I do not want to do when I create my game. I hope that it will be easy enough for students in second grade to play and going to try and have my class play it when it is complete. I'll let you know when it is finished what they think.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Scratch/DEJ 6

What ideas do you have for the game or animation you are going to design with SCRATCH to support content area learning?

I would like to try and create a game that will improve multiplication skills for third and fourth graders.

Double Entry Journal Six

Quote One:
"Researchers interested in computer-supported collaborative learning have paid little attention to the field of arts and design education as the more prominent focus has been on science, mathematics and to a lesser degree, social studies and language arts. Among a number of reasons that can explain this absence of interest is the lack of new technologies in the arts education curriculum."

As a teacher, I never really thought about arts and design as a part of a curriculum. I think that it would be something great that would definitely be beneficial to students entering middle school because by that age I feel that they are beginning to find their niche with what they may want to do in the future. Although, the core classes are important it is often hard to engage students in a subject if it is something that they are not interested in learning. It would be terrific if schools had the funding necessary to buy the new and best technology to accommodate these students.

Quote Two:
By introducing media arts practices, we are trying to broaden our view of literacy practices to describe the ways in which individuals use literacy and learn to be literate within the specific context of new media.

I can see where many schools are trying to integrate more of the media arts into their schools. I think every school that I have subbed in has computers and white boards, although they may not be the newest and best. Many have i-pods and i-pad labs that are passed around to the different classes throughout the week. I think that it is a great opportunity for students and teachers to learn.

Quote Three:

"Despite Brandy’s ability to do sophisticated work on the computer (and was now in many ways technologically fluent), Brandy was still unable to read at grade level and had very much stayed at the same level in both reading and writing.

I felt happy that Brandy found something that she was able to succeed in,but at the same time I was sad because I wondered what was going on that she did not increase her reading and writing levels. A whole year and a half passed and she did not show any improvements in reading and writing. It is great that she found a way to share her ideas, but reading and writing are both very important parts of her future.