Reflective R2P

(Start to Finish)


To start off,  this experience was something completely new to me. I never expected to start an education class where I was required to put myself out there and post all about my life experiences, as well as my professional one in a digital format for the entire community and beyond to see. I was very scared at first since I had never blogged before. Trying to figure out the formatting, and how to customize my page, was something I worked on continuously, as I kept posting.  However this experience like many others was a learning experience, and I was able to not only learn how to blog, but began to learn what elements are necessary in a blog as well to keep it entertaining.

This newly acquired information came to be known as the Rhetorical Triangle. Where you not only learn how to better engage the audience and the readers, but also how to be a fluent speaker and writer, while fully developing the topic one is discussing. This all brought me to where I am NOW.


However, with all the new insight I have gathered from this experience, it has opened my eyes up more widely to the world of blogging. I find it more interesting now to read posts from other teachers, as they discuss their experiences in the classroom. Talking about what works verses what does not work. I think I will take the knowledge I have been given and use it to my advantage when creating items such as my e-portfolio. Also later down the line, once graduated, I may even start blogging my own experiences to help others in a way they have helped me. Sharing my own personal experiences and classroom structures. This was a well balanced learning experience. Yet as teacher’s we are continual learners, so isn’t this what we signed up for?

The 3 T’s (Teaching Through Tech)

The 3 T’s

(Teaching Through Tech)


Throughout this pandemic, we are all faced with the difficulty of teaching and learning online. For some of us, online instruction is something new. With different curriculum’s, teaching styles, and student engagement, this can make teaching via through Zoom, Google Hangout or D2L, a bit more challenging. As teachers too, we may be limited on the applications we are familiar with. As well as what sources are free and available for all of us. Throughout this blog post, everyone will get a taste of ways to better our online instruction. As well as get some helpful tips on what are some of the better online applications, that we can use to better teach and engage our students.

Ways to Better Teach Via Technology:

For most teachers we crave that one on one instruction, and face-to-face lessons. But during times like this, when we are faced with a world catastrophe, we have to make due with what is available to us. Teaching with technology is not easy for everyone. Therefore times, like this give teachers like you the opportunity to try something brand new. But I know for some of you technology is a NO GO!!! During my own personal field experiences, I have seen the three kinds of teachers that teach with technology. There is the NON-TECH, the BALANCED, and the ALL-TECH. No matter what category you would classify yourself in before, all of that goes out the window, when times like this arise. Therefore I am here to share with you ways that can make teaching with technology smooth sailing. I promise it can be super easy, just follow along! 🙂 All this information was also provided by my own ideas and collaborations from others ideas, from the citations below.

Step 1.) Convey your Messages with a Warm Tone. Students everywhere receive daily messages, reminders, and activities that need to be completed. As their teacher, if you convey these messages with a warm tone, showing that you are supportive of your students, it will make all the difference in the world. Every student, as well as their families are going through a difficult time. Some may not have their jobs, others may be constantly working, and sometimes school becomes the least valuable priority. So as teachers, showing that you are assigning some work, while also being compassionate and reaching out, can create a better connection with the students and their families.

Step 2.) Organize your Course Content, in an Chronological Structure. For some students, using technology to learn is brand new. The last thing we want to do as teachers is confuse these students by posting multiple assignments in different folders, with 100 different due dates. Make it easy for your students and try to place everything that needs to be done for the week in one folder. Send out then reminders only about that week’s assignments. This can minimize the chaos, and the stress levels of your students. Also can can minimize the amount of emails you get as a teacher, from confused parents and students.

Step 3.) Add Visuals to your Instruction. No child wants to sit and hear a teacher talk on and on for hours on end. So MIX IT UP! Add some visuals, such as funny videos, pictures, inspirational messages, quotes and more. Small gestures like these can make all the difference to our students. As well as by incorporating videos, pictures and other mixed media, it can better engage our learners, and if it is connected to course materials, can serve as a reminder!

Step 4.) Provide Examples. For most students, they need to not only hear what you are talking about, but they need to see it in person or online too. So to better help with the comprehension of materials, as teachers we should be providing examples to our students, just like we would in a regular, face-to-face classroom. Students and parents then know if they are understanding the materials presented, and this can benefit the students in the long run.

Step 5.) Scaffold Students Learning. As teachers the final tip I have that can serve as a guide to better teach online instruction is to just scaffold your students learning. When we teach in person we do an extensive amount of modeling. Whether it be with a math problem, or explaining the thinking process. When using digital platforms to teach, just make the effort to ask if there is any questions. Or even just ask critical thinking questions. By you asking these questions, and by scaffolding the students you better instill the theories and examples you are trying to teach.

But What Is All Available?

Now that you have some helpful and insightful ways to better teach online, as teachers the next question you may have is, well what online applications are available for me? This question is an excellent one, and below I will show you some of my favorites, as well as some examples and videos about them!!

1.) FLIPGRID: This technological application can be used to teach an engaging lesson. These lessons can require students responses, via video, text box, through a photograph, or other mixed media. As a teacher you are to construct the main topic, and then create prompts that each student can respond to. By using an application like this, it can make it easy to not only teach standards, but to make it engaging for everyone too. Below is an example of a FlipGrid I created, to better teach an engaging lesson about Earth Day.

Earth Day Activity #FlipHunt

Flipgrid is where social and emotional learning happens! The leading video discussion platform for millions of PreK to PhD educators, students, and families.

2.) PADLET: This online application allows teachers to use it for free. Padlet is a paper for your screen, where students can map out their responses to a prompt or assignment in a more exciting way. Students can add media, videos, and regular text boxes to their Padlet, in order to respond to a teacher’s ideas. As well as they can comment on peers postings, to better enhance classroom collaboration.

Learn Padlet – NEW! Tutorial

This video tutorial will show you how to use Padlet. Think of Padlet as a wall where you can express your thoughts on a common topic. Collect your ideas thro…

3.) NEARPOD: Nearpod is an instructional platform that merges formative assessment and dynamic media for collaborative learning experiences. Teachers can design fun lessons on here to share with their students. Which also allows for student response, and engagement. This application allows you to upload and tech-enhance existing materials or customize over 7,500 pre-made, standards-aligned lessons for all K-12 subjects. With self-paced assignments too, this allows students to complete assignments independently while you gain insights into students’ understanding with post-session reports. Easily integrate with your LMS (i.e. Google Classroom, D2L, Zoom, or other applications).


I am super obsessed with Nearpod, and in this video I explain all the things I love about it! Sign up for a free account here!…

4.) ZOOM, GOOGLE CLASSROOM, D2L: The last few applications I am going to share with you are just outlets to stream your classrooms and assignments on. Depending on your school district, you may be required to use one or another. However if you have a bit of freedom, I will enlighten you on how these applications work. Zoom is basically an online video chat that you can have students log into to do online instruction via the whole class. Google Classroom then is a classroom that makes it easy for learners and instructors to connect inside and outside of school. Google Classroom, saves time and paper, and makes it easy to create classes, distribute assignments, communicate, and stay organized. Then lastly D2L, or Desire to Learn, is an application where you can launch an online class, and have submission folders, assignment drop boxes, online discussion boards, and modules. All three of these can be useful to us as teachers if we are looking for an outlet to stream lessons, or connect with our students.


To wrap things up for all of you, teaching online, remote instruction IS NOT EASY. But with some of these helpful tips, and applications at your disposal, it now can be a little bit e a s i e r. If we take the time to create engaging, meaningful lessons that connect back to our course materials we will be set! If you need anymore helpful applications, feel free to contact me, or check out more of these videos to better enhance your understanding of how to teach effectively through technology.

How To Teach Classes Online & What Tools To Use To Run An Online Class

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Flower, Darby.,

“Use of Technology in Teaching and Learning.” Use of Technology in Teaching and Learning | U.S. Department of Education,

Guido, Marcus. “25 Easy Ways to Use Technology in the Classroom: Prodigy.” Prodigy Math Blog, 24 Sept. 2019,








In times like today we are to sit here as parents, teachers and caregivers and think to ourselves, are we teaching our kids the proper way to practice self-care, and personal hygiene? In this blog post I will be discussing effective ways to teach our little ones, how to stay squeaky clean, especially during this time of havoc. As well as to give advice on how to make sure we are giving out bodies exactly what it needs to thrive.

Self Care 

Even as adults we should ask ourselves, are we doing the best job we can at taking care of ourselves? With everything that goes on within the days, the cooking, the cleaning, the homework, running to the stores, laundry and sports…do we forget to do some of the more important steps, that are necessary for our bodies to be at their full potential? SELF CARE is important and it is good to teach our kids early on how to properly take care of what is important. So to make it easy on us adults since we have a lot on our plates, I made a list of things that we need to be looking out for to monitor and teach self care.

1. Eat healthy and and mindfully

Eating healthy is extremely important for the growing bodies and minds of our youth. In our households we need to be nourishing our own bodies, as well as our kids by creating meals that have all of the food groups. By doing just a simple step like this we are ensuring that are kids are able to grow up to be big and strong. Also by getting children are healthy eating habits, it can down the line, help them in choosing better choices for things such as snack.

2. Express Gratitude

Expressing your gratitude’s towards the people you love and care about it extremely important. As kids age, they idolize us, as parents, teachers and caregivers, and mimic how we treat people. Always remember to be grateful for the time you get to spend with our loved ones, and the memories we make along the way. By modeling good behavior our kids will see how they should act. Remembering to say grace, please and thank you. As well as to always be kind!

3. Unplug

By teaching our students to unplug and take time to do physical activity and to be social, it is helping them in the long run. Children nowadays are so into technology, and video games, that they get lost in the real world. Giving students opportunities to unplug, allows for them to spend quality time with the ones surrounding them. Also it allows them to get their heart rate up, and break a sweat

4. Create Something

Creativity is the spontaneous event of combining imagination with perspective. By taking a break from the chaos, we can show our kids it is okay to unwind and make something that is messy, yet so beautiful. By taking the time to create something, we are allowing our youth to enjoy working hands on, to create a masterpiece. Just remember as parents we are the ones cleaning the kitchen!!

5. Stretch

Do you ever wake up in the morning, after a good nights sleep and feel so refreshed because you stretched your entire body? Stretching is essential to the human body because it allows for our muscles to be become un-tightened, helping with flexibility and tension. Kids are active little people who need to stretch. So lets make it fun, and do it with them. The kids may even get a laugh if they see you doing it too!

6. Sleep

One of the most important things we need to do as humans is sleep. We all constantly run ourselves down, to the thinnest degree and the only way to refuel is by taking a power-nap, or an evening slumber to get those full 8 hours. As for our kids, they may not realize how important sleep is. For them, playing that video game or watching that show is what is on their minds, but if they do not sleep enough, eventually their bodies will crash. Sleep is extremely important, and as adults we need to instill this in our children. If kids are having trouble sleeping, try reading them a bed time story, or have them take a bath before bed.

Personal Hygiene 

Just like self-care personal hygiene is important. By practicing personal hygiene, it allows us to stay happy and healthy. Our kids need to understand the importance of personal hygiene. Therefore here is a video on how to practice personal hygiene.

6 Personal Hygiene Habits for Kids | Helps increase Immunity in Kids

Maintaining good hygiene is a proactive way to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria and build immunity in kids. The earlier the better to adapt to this…


So if we follow these steps at home, we can teach our kids how to effectively practice proper hygiene and self care. These steps are easy to follow. Below are a couple more videos that could be handy, if your teaching your little ones. With all this being said, just always remember to take time and appreciate the time with your family and your loved ones. Teaching them something as little as these steps, can make the world of difference 🙂



Keeping your body neat and clean is as essential to good health as nutrition, exercise, and sleep! In this BrainPOP video, Tim and Moby go beneath the surfac…

Proper handwashing! What gets left on your hands when you don’t wash properly

Our hands are covered in thousands of germs. We may not be able to see them, but they are there. You may think that you are killing these germs when you wash…

personal hygiene for kids

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10 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care (It’s Easier Than You Think)

Refresh, renew, and reconnect with both your inner self and your practice at a Wanderlust Festival this year. More Info | Lineup | Get Tickets It’s important to show compassion for others, but how often do we treat ourselves with that same level of kindness?

10 Reasons Why Good Sleep Is Important

A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for your health. In fact, it’s just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Unfortunately, there’s a lot that can interfere with natural sleep patterns. People are now sleeping less than they did in the past, and sleep quality has decreased as well.

Why is stretching important? | Flexibility Training

Stretching is very important, especially as it helps your body respond to stressors. Stretching causes your muscle to increase in elasticity and slightly warms the tissue. These changes may lower your chances of straining or pulling a muscle and will increase your overall flexibility.


Solving Problems Using Puppets


Problem-Solving Puppet

(a technique used within an early childhood field placement)

By: Kailey Smith 

Image result for hand puppet photos of people
Here is a similar example of the puppets being used within the classroom I am placed in this semester. The puppets are used to represent people who are faced with a problem.


Hello everyone far and wide, it’s me again, were going to jazz it up and talk about something a little more interesting that guru’s. So to get you all started, who remembers some of the activities they did in preschool? Do we all remember doing centers, and having snack? Or building with blocks or playing with our friends on the playground? I ask you these questions because today I am going to be discussing some of the techniques I see used in my placement. This placement does a lot of neat things to benefit our youth, but I decided to try and narrow it down to one to discuss today. So, one of the best techniques that I saw being displayed was the inclusion of puppets into curriculum instruction. I saw this technique as being one that was effective, because not only did it engage the students and their interests, but it also replicates some of the similar issues the students experience and show them how to problem-solve themselves.

Puppet’s Entering Curriculum Territory 

For my field placement I witnessed them using something called Second Step which was the curriculum of choice being displayed here.

Second Step: Not Just Better Students, Better People

Second Step® helps children sort through complicated emotions, make sound decisions, build positive relationships and manage strong feelings. Rooted in socia…

After clicking on the link and watching the video you all probably have a better idea of what this curriculum promotes. But in case you cannot access them for whatever reason, I will also give you a brief overview. So as an overview, second step is a social-emotional learning technique that tries to give both teachers and students the proper tools to excel both inside and outside the classroom. Because of this Second Step curriculum I was able to see the introduction of puppets, being done. Before this placement, I had never witnessed puppets being brought into the classroom to serve as a learning purpose. I have always seen them as a part of dramatic play. Therefore it was utterly shocking to see the two puppets, “Will and Sally” be brought out, and to see the students faces light up when they were actually learning about a lesson on how to play fairly. Because this was so shocking and amazing to me I decided to share it with all of you, future educators and beyond!!

So How Can This Be Effective? 

I feel like many of us may think, puppets, there is no way this is effective?! But NEWSFLASH we were all wrong. Puppets, if done correctly, are seen to teach students lessons within the classroom while keeping them engaged and focused, in infuses dramatic play with areas in social-emotional learning, and is a benefit to each child as a whole. As observed in my placement, the one puppet would present a problem, for example wanting to play with the same toy during centers. The teacher would have the puppets act out the situation, then the teacher would then stop the instruction to pose open-ended questions to the students. For example, what would you do if you were Sally? How might both Will and Sally play with the same toys? Or do you think Sally was very nice to Will when she just took the toy he was playing with? After the students respond then the puppets will act in the proper fashion, showing students the correct ways to act or how to “play fairly”. I thought this was genius and it is so easy that any educational professional could do it. I feel like puppets are underutilized and we should take advantage of this simple teaching technique.

Image result for quotes about preschool play

One More Interesting Fact 

Before I go I wanted to share with you all the last interesting fact I witnessed within this placement, that goes along with the puppets and the curriculum. This interesting take-away was that the puppets replicated the actions and diversity amongst the classroom. The instructor of this class was so I N T E N T I O N A L. Making sure her lessons with these puppets, matched the curriculum as well as issues she was seeing within her classroom with her students. So the lesson on playing fairly was about 2 students a boy and a girl who wanted to play with the same materials during center time. The girl was very upset and did not know exactly how to communicate or solve the problem so she just took the toys and went on her way. This could have been prevented if she asked to simply share, or take turns but that did not take place. So the classroom friends/puppets Will and Sally, reenacted a similar scenario to teach all the kids the lesson. It was pure genius. I loved how the teacher took something that was relevant and made it even more so. She discussed with me she tries to implement this within her classroom which is awesome. Like Will and Sally their are more puppet friends who help this classroom problem solve which is fantastic. Puppets that are all different races and nationalities. Seeing puppets that resemble these students and their cultures is great because it shows me that the teacher is acknowledging their differences and wants other peers to do so also.


So to wrap things all up, this was an excellent technique in my opinion. Using puppets to problem solve was genius, who knew that would be so effective amongst a young learning community. This infusion of dramatic play and curriculum was refreshing. If you would like anymore information on how to effectively use these strategies, you can access these links, by Cara Zelas, who discussed with scholarly articles how to use puppets in the classroom, or by reviewing Sam Patterson’s post on reasons why puppets will change your classrooms forever.  

Image result for teachers using puppets
Penn State University future educators, using puppets effectively to discuss content area studies. Look how all the children are paying attention. Using puppets may be the change we all need in our classrooms.

Educational Guru, Who is Yours?

Who Are Your Guru’s?

By: Kailey Smith

Has anyone ever asked you a really difficult question?  You know a question where there always seems to be more than one right answer? For me this question seems to be the one asked above, “who are my educational gurus?” There is no right or wrong answer to this question, because as future educators we all see differences on how we would eventually like to run our classrooms. Each theorist that could be chosen, highlights different values and structures that they see fit to embody children and education itself. However, as a future educator, we all have our own developed philosophy of education. Therefore, it is difficult to answer this question with just one name so I narrowed it down to three.  Two of these theorists are well known. People such as Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. And the last one that gets over-looked quite a bit, for it is John Locke. In my post I will share with you who these wonderful theorists are, as well as my view on education, discussing pedagogies and insights that I see fit.

Jean Piaget
Lev Vygotsky
John Locke

My Philosophy of Education

Early Childhood Education is the foundational structure that shapes a child’s learning capabilities, and overall development. As educators we need to recognize that ALL CHILDREN ARE DIFFERENT. They all come from different backgrounds, have different home structures. That each child has their own interests that might deviate from the topics being enforced in the classroom. Also, that each child starts and ends at different academic standpoints. As an up and coming early childhood professional, it is my goal to embrace all the differences that each child has, and unify my classroom environment, so that we can learn together, and separate to benefit the whole child.

Jean Piaget

Jean Piaget fits into my philosophy of education because he looks at learning and how it allows children to sculpt their own intelligences. In simpler terms, it allows children to seek what avenues seem to fit their interests and explore them, making their own knowledge. Piaget is an influencer for the active learning styles, such as VAK, which I think it EXTREMELY relevant in 21 century education. VAK Stands for Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic learning. I think it is important to see that in a classroom of 25 kids that you may have 8 that can watch you do and activity and then remodel it accurately. Or you may have 7 students who have to hear you specifically go through the instructions, one by one so they better understand the tasks at hand. Lastly, or you may have 10 students who want to get their hands-on experiences in, and physically do the activity with you. It is important to know your learners and play to their strengths and Piaget has guided me to know that within my educational journey that I have to be well aware of this to better teach in the field of education. Also, his research on the developmental stages within children are very accurate and that knowledge and information produced has been very helpful.

Lev Vygotsky

For Lev Vygotsky, his theories discuss the issue of nurture over nature. Discussing the importance of having a supportive environment, and that regardless of your genes that your experiences, and who you are surrounded by can shape your mind, in more ways that one. I love this idea because the teacher is viewed as a facilitator or a guide. Which I feel is important. We as educators should be guiding our classrooms education, using tools such as scaffolding, and not just being cookie-cutter. I think by allowing children to see what they can do independently, with help, and then after help, you are bettering their education, and their foundation for the future. Maybe as a kid we all thought if our teachers gave us all the answers that, that would be the most beneficial. But as we grow older, we see that its not what can benefit us. By our teacher’s guiding our education, that seemed to be the most effective way to teach. I strongly believe that the ideals that Vygotsky implemented, are some of the most heavily used ideals amongst 21 century education today.

John Locke

John Locke once said that, “children’s experiences determine who they are, and these experiences are the basis of all learning.” This quote by John Locke has always reassured me that early childhood education is the field for me. As I walk into my placements, everyday I see that each child is not like the other. I witness what these children discuss whether it be at home or at school. And I see how their experiences have shaped them into the wonderful, bright children they are. I can agree to disagree with John Locke that children come into this world not knowing what all to expect. And that their upbringing and education can hinder their views on the world. However, I also think that children come into this world, and look at education with an open mind, and if they are guided in the right direction that each child can develop properly in the right direction.


So, when asked “who are my educational gurus” these are the three people I see best fit. Do I believe every aspect of their philosophies embody what I would like in my classroom, ABSOLUTELY NOT! But in harmony, these three philosophers and theorists come together to help me see what education should truly embody. My goal amongst education has always been to teach, no matter the diversities. To listen and adhere to all situations and find a resolution. To be a voice for each and every child, and give them the love, respect and education that they deserve. Children learn through experiences, and guidance and that is why these three are my educational gurus. Below are some helpful websites that I think others could use to help navigate you, in finding what theorist best supports your ideas in the classroom.