English teacher reflects on her ActivClassroom journey

Get ready for a treat!  Lynne Sueoka, English teacher at Moanalua High School, shared her reflections on how the Promethean ActivClassrom has transformed teaching and learning in her classroom at the Tenth Annual Moanalua High School Professional Development Conference with the theme of “Learning and Assessment in High Definition”.  Ms. Sueoka beautifully chronicles her Promethean ActivClassroom journey, articulating feelings and perspectives experienced by many of us as we strive to meaningful integrate a new technology tool.  What I love about the reflection is where she starts – with a clear intention.  For example, she states, “I wanted to move my freshmen to the level of generalization, where they could synthesize the themes of the science fiction short stories they’d been reading and articulate some universal themes and understandings about the function of science fiction.”  She describes how she uses the ActivExpressions as a way for students to share their thoughts, their voice, and, when coupled with small group collaboration, results in deep, insightful discussion.  She describes, “The comments were misspelled; some of them were sentence fragments; they used “texting language” like “ur” for your. But the ideas were far from the insipid commentary I was used to, far from the teeth pulling I was forced to do whenever I ventured beyond the literal in our discussions. As a teacher I could sit back and let the comments emerge and then guide the students, by pointing out those that were especially insightful or those that were too broad or not based on text. And the notes that resulted from the “word seed” and subsequent “markups” in teacher-led class critique became highly valued study guides. I actually had students who took snap shots of the board with their cell phones or who’d email me reminders about sending out the Promethean flipcharts, converted to PDF documents.” 

I hope I’ve persuaded you to read her reflection.  It is honest and inspirational.  I’ll leave you with one last thought from her piece, “…what has emerged, instead, is a more lasting kind of “novelty.” The novelty of having a genuine voice in the classroom, the novelty of truly taking ownership of one’s own learning.”

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