Module 6 – UDL


The students I teach are grades 9-12 and are in my Algebra 2 and STEM Classes (Robotics, Coding & Gaming, AP Computer Science).  We are 1-1 Chromebooks at my high school, so I have focus on Chrome Apps and Extensions.  These students have a wide range of disabilities including autism, ADD/ADHD, reading difficulties, math skill deficits, and learning disabilities.  The tools I have chosen are to assist in their learning of mathematics, robotics, and coding along with improving their organization, communication, and collaboration skills.

App/Extension Description UDL Principle(s) Addresses my classes:

Speak It!


offered by yesforword

(Chrome Extension)

Converts text to speech by selecting the text, right clicking, and choosing “Speak it!.” Flexibility in Representation Text to speech conversion can be used for any subject matter material to assist those with comprehension and reading disabilities, and to provide all students with a different mode of receiving the information. This is also beneficial for jargon and vocabulary that is above student’s reading levels.

Code Bender


offered by

(Chrome App)

Arduino IDE for coding (sketches). Write code, debug, and search the community for already created Arduino sketches. All sketches are saved on the cloud and there are more than 500 libraries to search. Flexibility in Engagement For the coding in my stem classes, I try to provide different languages, modes of delivery and interaction, and applications. One application of coding is to control Arduino robots. This allows for students to get a “hands on” approach to programming, and Code Bender allows them to code, debug, and use their Arduino robots.

RealtimeBoard: Whiteboard for Collaboration


offered by

(Chrome App)

Online whiteboard for individual use or team collaboration in real time. Ability to add pictures, drawings, text, videos, sticky notes, etc. to an endless canvas. Collaboration is furthered through comments, text chat, video chat, screen sharing, and notifications. Able to download boards to pdf or images and upload boards to Google drive, Facebook, or embedded object. Flexibility in Expression

Flexibility in Engagement

A number of my students lack communication and collaboration skills. This tool allows brainstorming for presentations, project creation, collaboration on research, and a different platform to work on besides Google apps.



offered by

(Chrome Extension)

A video screen capture software for chrome that allows user to record, edit, annotate, store, and share their video screen (desktop or browser tab) captures. Easy save to Google Drive or post on Google Classroom. Free version allows 10 minutes per video, 50 videos per month, and limited editing tools. Flexibility in Expression Screencastify can be used with the RealtimeBoard (or other online whiteboards), websites, videos, etc. to share out to other students and communities through YouTube, blogs, and websites. It allows them to rewatch, pause, and fast forward material so that students can learn and review at their own pace.



offered by

(Chrome Extension)

Enable and disable Google Chrome extensions in list form. Can be used in any chrome browser for quickly turning on and off extensions and using apps which helps with organization and reducing processing load. Flexibility in Expression With all of the chrome apps and extensions that my students and I use, it is easy to lose track of the tools they have and to slow down their browsers. Extensity organizes all their tools into a single list that they can control by clicking to turn apps/extensions off and on.

GeoGebra Math Apps


offered by

(Chrome App)

Dynamic mathematics software that makes Geometry, Algebra, Statistics, Calculus, and graphing interactive and visual. Provides an easy to use calculator and visual tools to represent and calculate mathematical concepts. Flexibility in Expression

Flexibility in Engagement

The abstractness of mathematics makes it difficult for a lot of students to grasp, so this tool allows multiple forms of visual representations and manipulatives for students to represent and work through these concepts.



offered by

(Chrome Extension)

Computable knowledge base that answers computational and factual questions involving a wide range of subjects. Can provide factual or computational questions providing data, visual representations, and answers. Flexibility in Expression

Flexibility in Engagement

Finding charts, graphs, facts, and visuals for my classes to provide different representations and real-life story problems can be difficult sometimes. This knowledge base is a wealth of data, visuals, and facts that apply to any subject. Seeing a concept in different forms allows students to more fully understand and make connections among concepts.



offered by

ECS Accessibility Team

(Chrome Extension)

An open-source toolbar that allows users to use a text to speech converter, change font and sizes, color schemes, spell check, word prediction, and even submit a proposal for an accessibility fix on a website on Fix the Web ( Flexibility in Representation Not all students have IEP’s or 504 plans, but still may have disabilities that may impair their ability to learn. This toolbar is for everyone and provides the most common accessibility tools for browsing the web in a convenient mode

Google Keep


offered by

(Chrome Extension)

Quickly and easily bookmark pages, copy images, take notes, make checklists, and organize all your saved things to Google Keep which is synced across platforms. Google Keep also runs in offline mode. Flexibility in Expression Organization is a key trait that successful students and individuals posses. All students can benefit from using this tool as it allows for quick bookmarking, notetaking, checklists, and saving of images. Google Keep also allows for sharing and collaboration among students and teacher. I know of a few special education teachers who use it with their students to make them checklists and keep them organized.

Desmos Graphing Calculator


offered by

(Chrome App)

Free graphing calculator which graphs equations, creates tables, adds sliders, animates graphs, and performs calculations. Allows for image and text insertion, saving, regression lines, highlighting key points, graphing inequalities, and working in both the Cartesian and Polar coordinate planes. Flexibility in Expression

Flexibility in Engagement

I have found that the more hands-on and visual mathematics is, the engagement and learning is increased. Additionally, students that have disabilities or impairments will find the visual representations, animations, and sliders useful to understanding mathematical functions and concepts. There is also available a Desmos Test Mode, which is a test-safe version.

TPACK Game & Lesson Plan

Ultimate TPACK Game

Round 1:  Programming, Free Play, Yammer

Students can collaborate, share, get support, and discuss their programming as they are participating in the coding activities, games, and lessons.  Students can free play in programming games such as CodeCombat, Hour of Code Games, and Tynker.  Yammer allows for file sharing, polling, and communication among students and teacher.   

Round 2:  Constitutional Law, Conduct an Interview, Video Recorder

To learn about and explore constitutional law, students can carry out an interview with a peer, teacher, or an expert in person or on the internet.  This interview can be videotaped to be edited, shared, and analyzed by the class.  Discussions about the questions and answers in the interview can be used to further examine the topic of constitutional law and transition into other issues.

Round 3:  Digital Citizenship, Minute Write, Wiki

A minute write on digital citizenship completed by students can also be posted on the class wiki to be shared.  Students preconceived notions, background, and experiences are shared through the minute write activity and then shared with others and the class through the wiki.  This provides a great launching point for discussion and research into digital citizenship.  

Round 4:  Engineering, Brainstorming, Padlet

Platforms such as Padlet, Google Keep, and Trello provide a collaborative space for class brainstorming.  For the task of engineering a product, students can brainstorm with each other in these, and other platforms.  This creates a digital record of the brainstorming process, and students can return to their notes throughout the research and product creation.

Round 5:  Self-Regulation, Team-Based Learning, iMovie

Students can create an iMovie with their team to demonstrate self-regulation in different reenacted scenarios.  Research into self-regulation will be completed by students to create a script that students can relate to.  Visual cues provide more connections for students to learn and remember self-regulation techniques.

TPACK Lesson Plan

Title: Polynomial Division

Summary: In this lesson students will use area models to reverse the process of multiplication to perform polynomial division.  They will work out area model “puzzles” to learn the process of division and then create an instructional video.

Primary Core Goals/Outcomes:

A-APR.2. Know and apply the Remainder Theorem: For a polynomial p(x) and a number a, the remainder on division by x – a is p(a), so p(a) = 0 if and only if (x – a) is a factor of p(x).

A-APR.6. Rewrite simple rational expressions in different forms; write a(x)/b(x) in the form q(x) + r(x)/b(x), where a(x), b(x), q(x), and r(x) are polynomials with the degree of r(x) less than the degree of b(x), using inspection, long division, or, for the more complicated examples, a computer algebra system.

Intended Learning Outcomes: Students will use polynomial division to find factors of polynomials.

Pedagogical Decisions:

This lesson will be more student-centered as it is a discovery activity completed in small groups that build upon their prior knowledge with the teacher as a facilitator and guide.  Students should develop similar conclusions and understandings about the process of polynomial division (convergent learning) based on of their prior experiences of working with polynomial operations (more relevant background knowledge with polynomials needed).  Since this is more of an introductory exercise, students will be building more surface-level comprehension of the concept than deeper knowledge.  

With the time spent in class (about 50 minutes) and homework assignment (about 30 minutes), this plan will take a moderate about of time (duration) and will lead into further lessons which use polynomial division to determine the real and complex roots of a polynomial in factored form. Materials needed include a recording device such as an iPad or Chromebook, calculators, and writing supplies.  Overall this less will be more structured as students use puzzles and problems to practice to learn the fixed division process but given more flexibility and creative freedom when creating the instructional video.

TPACK Activity Types:

“Consider” activity type: Discuss (collaborative group work), recognize a pattern (steps to divide polynomials), investigate a concept (polynomial division)

“Practice” activity type: Solve a puzzle (area model with blanks to demonstrate polynomial division process), do computation (division), do practice (practice dividing polynomials)

“Interpret” activity type: Interpret a representation (explain the steps of polynomial division from an area model)

“Produce” activity type: Describe a concept mathematically (polynomial division), produce a representation (division with area models)

“Apply” activity type: Take a test (summative assessment at end of unit)

“Evaluate” activity type: Test a solution (with graphing calculator)

“Create” activity type: Create a product (instructional video)

Assessment Plan: Formative assessment will be through observation, questioning, completion of puzzles, practice problems, and video creation.  Summative assessment will be through a mid unit quiz and unit test.


Used by the Teacher:  Polynomial division puzzles and practice problems, assessments, and questioning prompts.

Used by the Students: Polynomial division puzzles and practice problems, answers for checking work, and writing supplies.


Used by the Teacher:  Interactive whiteboard for discussions and support, device to view and evaluate student created videos, and an optional learning management system to give feedback (such as Edmodo or Schoology).

Used by the Students:

Video creation software (Doceri or Screencastify) and device for recording such as an iPad, Chromebook, or computer, and graphing calculator (online such as Desmos or handheld such as TI-84).

Instructional Procedures:

Warm up – Students will complete practice problems involving polynomial multiplication which requires them to use their background knowledge from Algebra 1.  This warm-up can be done with Socrative or Kahoot to give students immediate feedback and as a formative assessment.

Launch – Class discussion and review of how multiplication and division are inverses of each other, how using the factored form of a polynomial can give the roots of the graph, and how limited our graphing calculator is in giving the roots as it only gives real roots in decimal form.  Polynomial division can convert a standard form of a polynomial into factored form, giving the exact real and complex roots.  This analysis and discussion will be conducted using the interactive whiteboard and graphing calculators.  

Explore – Students will complete the polynomial division puzzles with their teams, filling in the blanks by working backward and using their background knowledge of how to multiply polynomials using area models.  As they work, the teacher will observe, question, and have students check answers to assess their progress informally.  Once they have completed the problems and understood the division process, students will use their devices to create an instructional video (similar to Khan Academy videos) to explain the process of dividing polynomials with an area model.  They have the option to be as creative as they like with the media and to work in pairs.  

Closure – Once the students are finished creating their videos, they will watch at least one of the other couple’s video and give them feedback.  This feedback can be provided through a Google app (such as Docs, Forms, or Keep) or Peergrade and should be on the clarity, detailedness, creativity, and correctness of the video.  Feedback is shared in a class discussion with any misunderstanding or extensions examined.  Summative assessments will be a pencil and paper mid unit quiz and an end of unit test.  


TPACK Got Your Back!

How many times have you rushed to the store to buy a hacksaw (that you did not need) and then returned home to stand around and think “what can I cut up with this hacksaw now that I have it?” Do you then start cutting up your kitchen table, couch, door, and any other object you can find just to make use of the hacksaw that you did not need? This erroneous line of thinking is what happens when educators choose a technology tool just for the sake of using one and then try to find the activities, standards, and lessons that fit the technology.

When I think about using technology in my STEM classes, it is usually an afterthought. I plan my objectives, activities, and pedagogy first, then sit back and think “how can I make these better?” That’s where I dive deep into the resources of the internet, colleagues, research, and social media to find technology that meets the needs of my students and objectives. I know that if the technology is the spotlight of the lesson, which if I am using technology to try to force tech integration, then I am not meeting the needs of my students. This where the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework is a helpful guide as it addresses the deep knowledge and understanding required by teachers to determine what is good for learning.

ISTE Learning & Leading with Technology (May 2009)

With the Internet being a vast wealth of information, it can become quickly overwhelming for educators to navigate and find the resources they need. There are different One of my favorite websites for finding resources that utilize technology is PBS Learning Media. Although this is a great web page for lessons, PBS also provides individual resources such as video, audio, interactives, and self-paced lessons that I can use to supplement and enhance lessons I have already created.  I love the ability to search by content, grade level, and type!

But wait, it may be easy to pull a digital resource from the web and use it in your classroom, but how do you know that you are providing engaging and educational learning experiences (activity types that involve TPACK) for your students? Let me share with you one of my favorite YouTube channels, Common Sense Education.  This channel provides videos on digital learning tools and helpful tips, tricks, and links that I wish I would have known my first few years of teaching.

Lastly, I would like to share with you my most used technology tool.  The high school I teach at is 1-1 devices (currently a mixture of iPad and Chromebook) and we rely on and use Google apps.  My favorites are Google Classroom (for assignments, sharing, and collaborating), Keep (organizing to do lists and sharing), Cast (sharing my screen and students screen on the interactive whiteboard),  and Docs/Drawing/Sheets (with add ons such as Goobric or Doctopus).  Yet, my list of favorites changes from class to class and year to year with the changes in technology, the needs of my students, and the standards of the courses I teach.

Creating My 1st App: Gamification

Commentary:  I have a higher appreciation of all the time and effort that goes into creating an app.  I used Mobincube to create my app and had many difficulties with figuring out how things worked and why parts of my app weren’t working.  I spent a lot more time than I would have thought just creating this basic app.  However, with all of these challenges I am even more motivated to improve on this app in the future and create other apps!

Game Name:  Algebra 2 Mystic Quest (Checkpoints from CPM CCAlgebra 2 Textbook)

Link to Game:  View App on Mobile Device Only

Audience:  High School Algebra 2 Students (Grades 10-12)

Learning Goal(s) of the Game: Students will review mathematical concepts from Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 to give them a stronger understanding of the material to help them in Algebra 2.

Game Description:  

  • Why you selected this theme/game:

I currently teach Algebra 2 (honors and general levels) and would like a way to help students practice and improve their mastery of math concepts (checkpoints include Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 concepts).  My school is 1:1 iPads so ideally I want to create an app.

Directions for Playing the Game:

– They have to complete a number of problems to earn experience points (ie. 10 problems for 100 points total).

– Once they have 100 points, they can  fight in a “boss battle”

– Boss Battle:  Win = Leveled up, move on to next land/concept, Lose = lose half your points

– Leveling up rewards include: line up at door, get to choose seat for a day, get to pick music, get to use cell phone/messaging for certain amount of time, virtual pet, etc.

– Final Boss Ms. Carton: Mixture of all problems, must get them all correct to beat game

Gaming in Education: “It’s not about the games. It’s about the Gaming.”~Dr. Zeitz

For 180 hours I was required to play the game Kingdom Rush ( for the Digital and Social Media graduate course I’m taking.  This was a dream come true as I am an avid gamer when I have time and have briefly dabbled in gamification in my classroom.  Check out my video about my experience:  Gaming in Education


App Smashing! (Hulk Smash!!!!)

So I created a project to help my students with graphing an equation on a TI-83 graphing calculator.  This seems to be the most frequently asked question in my math classes no matter what the level!  I used the following apps for my project: iPad Photo/Screenshot, Doceri (interactive whiteboard/recorder), and YouTube.  Here is the link:

3D Technologies & Makerspaces

Reading Alexis Johns’s post about 3D printing in the classroom (“Printing Doesn’t Have To Leave A Paper Trail”) reminded me of all the 3D technology that I use coaching First Tech Challenge Robotics, potentially could use in my classroom, and how it ties into maker spaces.  For the robotics team, our challenge changes every year, presenting new problems with the designing, building, and programming of the robot.  Having access to a 3D printer allows my team to customize and print their own parts.  They gain experience with design, CAD, and printing robot extensions, gears, pulleys, etc.  This year my team is looking at 3D printing some sort of wheels that will allow use to climb “mountains” that have angles of 30 and 50 degrees without having our robot tip over or fall backwards!

Maker spaces both in the community and classroom have really seem to taken off lately.  With the big push for more STEM opportunities in schools and providing students with “21st century skills” that they can apply in their future careers, maker spaces aid providing these experiences.  The nice thing about maker spaces is that they are not subject specific.  Students can design, build, program, and create things that are cross-curricular.  Presenting students with a challenge or allowing them to choose their own challenge is motivating and rewarding both academically and personally.  There are no guidelines on how big or small the space has to be, what technology needs to be included, and who can join.  This allows for more flexibility in schools to meet the needs of students.  Not only in schools, but also in the community, maker spaces allow for collaborative work, networking, and charity.

I love how our maker space in my community, QC CoLab, provides a place that I can go for help, resources, or to use their machines with welcome arms.  Our high school had quite a big pile of broken TI-83 graphing calculators a few years back.  I was able to bring them to the CoLab maker space, have some of the members teach me how to solder, and we fixed most of the calculators (which are approximately $100 each!).  Turns out that the wiring from the screen to the circuit board was bad and just needed to be re-soldered.  Learning this skill I will now be able to teach my robotics students and team members how to solder.  I never thought that I would be able to solder and actually not break anything more than it was broken in the first place!  It is also another example that I can share with my students of something I accomplished, which I hope they will use to help themselves break out of stereotypes (such as women in industrial technology).

My First Blog (I’m officially a blogger now!) – Leadership and Reflection

For my first blog entry let me start off by saying that I HATE writing.  Yes it needs to be that strong of word.  I would much rather do math problems, coding, or building robots all day and all night then write a three paragraph essay.  I am hoping that through this blog I will come to minimize the intensity of my dislike for writing and possibly even enjoy it.  I know that reflection brings insight, meta-cognition, and growth and hope that this blog will provide these benefits.  My friend April had the best advice as I was “not” complaining to her about so much writing for my graduate courses.  She said to stop over analyzing my writing as I am completing it and just write like I am having a conversation with another person.  Leave the proof reading and corrections to the end.  I think I’ll take her up on this advice, so I apologize in advance if my blog is too informal.

Last night I participated in the #iaedchat with the topic being “Why Leadership Matters.”  I have participated in quite a few #iaedchat’s in the last few years, but have never truly reflected on what they mean to me for professional development.  The biggest asset they are to me is that they force me to take time and be reflective.  It is through being a reflective teacher that I can determine what my strengths and weaknesses are, setting a road map for my future.  This, in turn, will help me to become a better teacher for my students.  It also allows me to connect with teachers and administrators from other schools across the state (sometimes from other states and countries!) that I would not normally get the chance to network and communicate with.  I find that the most beneficial professional development for me is to be able to collaborate and converse with other teachers and administrators.  I am able to experience both fellow teachers’ viewpoints and administrators’.  Additionally, it is also nice to connect, relate to other teachers, and take time to stop and participate in professional dialog.

Dancing Guy

Whenever I think leadership, I think about the dancing guy.  This is a video that was shown to my school’s staff during a professional development day.  When in doubt about whether I should sit back and be a follower, or stand up and be a leader, I think of the dancing guy.  In addition, I am reminded how it is important to make the best of any situation and to have fun.  If am enthused and having fun, so will my students.  I also think about all the leaders that have supported and pushed me through my life.  Without that influence, I would not have pushed myself as far as I have nor set such high goals for myself.  Reflecting on this fact reminds me that I need to be a leader for my students, to give them both encouragement, support, and a push along the way.