Digital Teacher Leader

Courtney Harden

I teach 5th Grade ELAR at John Tower Elementary!

This is my portfolio to publish my journey as a Digital Teacher Leader as I work to transform my classroom into a digital learning lab.


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Board Builder

I like to use Discovery Education Board Builder as a part of my stations and whole group lessons. I have used Board Builder for research projects, book project, and for station directions.

Web 2.0 Tools

We have used many different types of tools to aid in engagement and interest!

We use Spelling City to play games and help learn spelling patterns in a fun way!

We also use Polleverywhere and Kahoot for a student assessment.

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Web 2.0 Tools

This year, I have used all of the same web 2.0 tools as last year and then added some additional ones. All of our spelling is online. I use Showbie as a way to send out weekly Word Work to my students. We use SpellingCity throughout the week for practice with out spelling words and then we use it to take our spelling test on Fridays.

I still use Kahoot, Polleverywhere, and Discovery Education for different lessons.

This year I have also added Google Forms and Class dojo. As soon as the students enter my classroom, they scan a QR code which leads them to a Google Form. On the Google Form they will answer a review question which is put in a spreadsheet. I have changed all of the positive and negative points on Class Dojo to specific TEKS. I look at the Google Forms spreadsheet and award either a positive or negative TEK points for each individual student. Because students are scored by specific TEKS on Class Dojo, I can now use it as another data point! I also love using the SOS strategies on Discovery Education. My favorite ones to use are PaperChat, Headbands, and FourSquares. Another example that we have recently done using Discovery Education is a board builder. I have my students a "Menu" of activities. The goal was that they needed to obtain 100 points doing the activity of their choice. This is how I introduced Nonfiction but still reviewed previously taught concepts.


Neapod is a tool that I utilize to make my lessons and flip charts more engaging. NearPod literally puts the lesson in the students hand, on their iPad. With NearPod, I can also add quizzes, polls, and other interactive activities to be able to quickly gauge if my class is understanding the lesson.
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All things Google.

This year I have really jumped into using Google Classroom, Docs, Drive, and Slides. Through Google, I can upload assignments, announcements, thought provoking questions and reminders. I start each and every single class period with Google and my students LOVE IT! I enjoy incorporating it into our class routine so the students automatically know to get on Google Classroom as soon as they walk into my door which helps save time and is just a great way to start our day! Students have created their own presentations using Google Slides and created their own quiz to review others on using Google Forms! I love Google; it is one of my favorite digital tools!

Hands-on Learning

We are still using all of the previous web 2.0 tools that I used in years past! In addition to all of those neat resources from years past, I have worked hard on adding hands on activities to my reading class to increase engagement even further. I have done this in a number of ways. One of the ways is by incorporating traditional childhood games into my classroom as a review of major concepts. For example, I have put together a cakewalk full of 5th grade vocab terms. We have also played musical chairs, spoons, figurative language U-Know, and memory where they match the term with the definition. I have also worked to incorporate STEM and PBL activities in my classroom. I tied in STEM activities in several times this year, especially when teaching text structure and PBL a few times, especially when teaching research! One last thing, my students have really enjoyed this year is BreakoutEDU. BreakoutEDU is a problem solving activity where students work together to solve content objectives to unlock locks and reveal a prize!