My 21st Century Classroom

1. Welcome

Welcome to My 21st Century Classroom page!  This is a project to reveal what my dream classroom would look like and the changes I would like to incorporate into the education system.  Please take a few minutes to listen to my belief essay to learn about my journey and my passion for teaching early childhood education students.

This project helped me to truly uncover why I am an early childhood education major at Edinboro University.The visual essay project also helped me to  discover how my passion originated and flourished.  Check out my reflection on this project for more insight into my personal experience!  

2. My Classroom:

Graphic Representation of my classroom. 

When designing my classroom I consider three options: ease of collaboration, transparency, and a communication basedclassroom.  My classroom features bean bags, tables, chairs, laptops, kindles, smart board, internet access, and my desk.  The bean bags are fun for kids and easy to move so that a large or small group discussion can be comfortable and trouble-free for both the students and for me as the teacher.  This classroom also features round tables with chairs. This I feel promotes unity among the student because everyone is part of a group and belongs somewhere and this makes collaboration almost effortless.  A smart board stands in the far right of the classroom.  I chose a smart board because I want the instructional time in the classroom to be interactive and engaging for the students.  The room is complete with storage for both laptops and kindles for every student.

Collaboration: My 21st Century classroom is designed with collaboration in mind.  Every work space is in a circular design so that communication between students is promoted.  The room is divided into two sides. Group discussion is the theme of the left hand side of the room because the bean bags are arranged in a oval formation so that everyone in the group can have an equal to interact.    The right side of the room takes on a whole different feel.  This is where more “traditional” educational instruction will take place.  The layout also screams collaboration; the students sit in round tables in a semi-circle arrangement facing the Smartboard so when directed to collaborate the students can each take part in group discussion around their own tables. 

Transparency:  My 21st Century classroom is a network classroom because it is transparent.  The goal of a classroom being transparent is the classroom is open to the online world.  My room is complete with laptops for every student so each student is connected and able to share their learning experiences from classroom project to the world outside the classroom and even the school.  Not only does every student have a laptop but they also are privileged to have a kindle.  This kindle is used not only for textbooks but for their own reading pleasure.  The students are no longer limited to the books in the classroom or the school library and they do not have to wait until the book is returned before checking it out.  With this access every student is able to make connections with other classrooms around the world.  Since this is a 3rd grade class, I will use this as a learning opportunity to teach safety and appropriate publishing methods online. 

Communication based: My 21st Century classroom is intended to promote both oral and written communication.  The blueprint of the classroom promotes both large and small group discussion.  Large group discussion will take place around the bean bag circle and the room is compatible for small groups because each table breeds a small group discussion among five or six students.  Technology is at my students fingertips.  With internet access in the classroom each student has the opportunity to participate in online discussions.  My students will contribute not only in classroom discussions but with other 3rd grade classrooms around the globe. 

3. Rituals and Routines:
A typical day inside my classroom will follow this format. I believe the relationships I develop with each student are extremely important.  I want them to know that I truly care about them, their education, and their experience in my classroom. Children need to know you care about them before they care to listen to you. At the start of each day I want to greet each of my students by name as they walk into my classroom.  After arriving at school the students will check in on the smartboard for attendance and then take a seat at their assigned table.  I chose to use the smartboard because throughout the day the smartboard will play an important role in the educational experience and I want to get each student familiar and comfortable with touching and operating the smartboard. This is a flipped classroom, therefore, the students wil have watched a short video lecture the previous evening and filled out a simple form voicing any questions or concerns they have.  I feel that it is very important that I create these videos so that they are personal to my students and my class; these videos are posted on the classroom blog followed by a short form to fill out.  Because I know not every student in the classroom has the same opportunities or access to these videos, the laptops are available for the students to use so that they can watch the video before I call the class to order. I want every student to succeed and part of that process is participating in classroom discussion.  By allowing students the opportunity to watch the short video they can then participate with their peers.  Each subject period starts off with an activity that would formally be “homework” and then discussion follows.  When I am confident that each student is grasping the concept we will move on.  Whenever possible I want to bring the world to my classroom as much as I want to bring the classroom to the world.  Such as when studying world cultures my classroom will connect with a similar aged classroom from that another part of the world and learn about the peoples’ lives from that country. This kind of connection is happening between a classroom in Japan and England.  This video describes the experience and the benefits it brought to each classroom. I believe reading is important to the overall success of a persons’ education so each day there will be an allotted time for individual and group reading time to take place.  The kindles in the room offer a wide selection and range of reading level prospects.  Students have an endless supply of books to read and will not have to wait for the "class library day" before they can begin reading their next book.  The classroom work will be published on moodle so that it is available not only for the students in my classroom but for the school and the world. 

Accessibility: My 21st Century Classroom is accessible to the current students inside my classroom and available to the online world.  This is a flipped classroom; the lectures are recorded and posted on the classroom blog along with a review questionnaire for the students to fill out. This content is available at any time for the students and for me as a teacher.  This content is also available to anyone following the classroom blog; in this way my classroom is accessible to the world outside the classroom.  This benefits not only my classroom but other classrooms that take part in the interaction. Instead of the traditional nightly homework, the students will watch the videos and come to class prepared with questions and concerns.  The "homework” is done in class so I can be used as a resource rather than instructor during the class time.

Promotes authentic assessment:  My 21st Century classroom assesses students’ performance through a variety of different methods rather than the traditional manner.  I assess my students on self reflection, class participation, and projects.  Instead of memorizing facts and figures my students learn by doing.  The projects and concepts that are introduced in my classroom are not meaningless but meaningful, they will be published on the web for a real audience and receive real feedback for their work. 

4. Instructional Glimpse

Lesson Title: Synonyms and Antonyms


Format of assessment
Objective 1: Students will analyze the difference between synonyms and antonyms as well as identify common synonyms or antonyms for vocabulary words.

R3.A.1.1.2: Identify and/or interpret a synonym or antonym of a word used in text.
Students will watch synonyms vs. antonym video posted on the classroom blog for homework prior to coming to class.
If some students have not previously viewed the video I will provide the opportunity for them to do so.
Formative Assessment
Students will answer an online worksheet to measure their comprehension.
I will provide assistance and support through the entire lesson to those seeking help.

Lesson Body

Anticipatory Set: I will grasp the students attention and interest in my lesson using the interactive power point.

Procedures: The lesson is taught using the flipped classroom approach.  Preparing for this lesson will begin the night before with the students viewing a short video on the definition and use of synonyms and antonyms.  When students come into class the following day they will put into practice the concepts they learned by actively participating in an engaging power point.  If I am confident that every student is grasping the concept then I will bring the instruction to a close. 

Closure: The assignment to check for comprehension will include giving each of the six groups a different online work sheet to complete and then share with the class what they have learned. 

Independent practice:  The students will return to the classroom blog for homework and complete an embedded form for my benefit to check individual comprehension. 

5. My Technology Integration

 My 21st Century Classroom is equipped with numerous tools to connect my classroom locally and world-wide.  Blogger is one of the many tools that connect me to my students.  The classroom blog is the place where my lecture videos are posted and where the feedback forms for the students to fill out after they watch the video are located.  The students can also leave me feedback about what they are struggling with in class and any concerns they have.  The classroom blog is also an opportunity for my classroom to share their knowledge and experiences with others not only in the school district but to the online audience.  Student work and project will be posted to a course management system called moodle.   Twitter will be used to post announcements, from upcoming events to daily happenings in the classroom so that I can connect and communicate with the parents of my students.    Twitter will also enable me to grow my PLN because I will be able to connect with educational experts from around the globe. 

6. PLN
I have big plans for growing my PLN over the next 4 years as I am preparing to become a teacher and then when I reach my goal of having my own classroom room I will continue to grow my PLN.  I want to stay connected and current with the new ideas and developments in education.  I feel it is important to be connected with current teachers to hear what changes they are making in their classrooms, their struggles and success and their insight. Not only do I want to be connected with current teachers but with future teachers as well.  Future teachers are familiar with the current developments and ideas being presented.  I feel that Twitter is an excellent way for me to grow my connections with both future and current educators as well as a great source for new tools and ideas.  I also want to grow the number of blogs I am following.  I would like to follow some education blogs by early childhood education teachers that are incorporating the new ideas concerning technology and instructional practices.  I will also use my Diijo account to further my PLN by bookmarking excellent education sites.

7. Feedback

8. Annotated Bibliography

Works Cited

"Classroom Architect." Classroom Architect. ALTEC. Web. 02 May 2012. <>. I used this site to create a graphic representation of my classroom.

"Female Teacher In Front Of Class Stock Photos / Pictures / Photography / Royalty Free Images at Inmagine." Female Teacher In Front Of Class Stock Photos / Pictures / Photography / Royalty Free Images at Inmagine. Imagine. Web. 05 May 2012. <>. I used this site for pictures.

"The Flipped Classroom Infographic." The Flipped Classroom: Turning the Traditional Classroom on Its Head. KNEWTON. Web. 03 May 2012. <>. I used this site as a resource to support the idea of a flipped classroom.

Lands, Bradley. "Google Images." Google Images. The Landscape. Web. 05 May 2012. <>. I used this blog to attain pictures.

"SlideShare Is the Best Way to Share Presentations, Documents and Professional Videos.Get a Free Account to Upload and Share. Or Go PRO to Get More. Welcome ! Update Your Profile, Check out Updates from Your Friends or Get a PRO Account for Premium Features. Welcome ! Update Your Profile, Check out Updates from Your Friends." Upload & Share PowerPoint Presentations and Documents. Web. 05 May 2012. <>.

I used this site to upload my Power Point to my blog page.

Pocketlodge. "Katie Gimbar's Flipped Classroom - Why It Has to Be Me!" YouTube. YouTube, 06 Aug. 2011. Web. 05 May 2012. <>. I used this as a resource to support my idea of creating my own lecture videos for my classroom.

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