Tech. Integration & SAMR Climb

By: Vanguard CJ Snyder @ School 36 in Naperville, Illinois

Meet the Vanguard

Hi! I'm Carrie Jo Snyder and I have been the Technology Teacher at our school for the past 3 years. Before that I taught Kindergarten (at our school) along with 2nd and 3rd grade in Kentucky. Next year will be my 5th with Nobel where I find myself venturing back into 3rd grade! I am excited to continue my Vanguard role and integrate technology from a new perspective! All of the projects and resources shared throughout this past year will be most helpful when continuing my SAMR climb in this new environment.

Vanguard Classroom - Technology

Best Classes Buy Far

During their time with me each week, students were expected to follow various guidelines. To aid them in remembering my classroom expectations, I created a Best Buy parallel where only the "Best Classes Buy Far" receive recognition for a "job well done" at the end of each class. By earning a set number of star stickers, each classes' fate is sealed with "student choice" at the end of each quarter.
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iBuild - Vocabulary

An essential component in my classroom is vocabulary. Students were expected to know this vocabulary and were assessed through a variety of ways: usage during whole group and collaborative work environments; formative and summative assessments; and application during independent project construction. After the unit concluded, the words were officially added to this board. Prior, they were introduced and displayed in a pocket chart categorized by primary or intermediate grades. While vocabulary is just as important in my Jr. High classes, the focus was more on creating various products in response to essential questions.
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Traveling Knowledge

Part of my weekly schedule included visits from satellite kindergarten and preschool classes from the neighboring sister schools. Inspiration behind this board derived from them literally "traveling" to me each week. For my preschool classes, I utilized their Links to Learning curriculum and weekly themes (provided by the teachers) to create projects and lessons focused on their content. The Magic Tech Bag was a favorite and something the students looked forward to each month. (The banner of book covers across the top is because I share half the computer lab with our school's library. On both sides of the book banner are tall bookshelves.) Even though technology isn't always physically in use, the focus of each lesson and activity is geared towards technology and its use in the real-world.
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Above & Below Pictures

Above - Each prekindergarten class had a traveling technology journal that was assigned to a different student each week. This journal would travel home and then back to our class to be shared. All works were compiled in the binder above left and kept on display in each classroom.


Below - Students often created work on the computers in various programs that aligned with lessons from their class for that week. Bottom left you see a teacher holding a poster where students illustrated the various life cycle stages of butterflies. Bottom right is a teacher facilitated Tagxedo word cloud that students created using words about nests.

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Text Dependent Questions - Tech Focus

As a way to promote the literacy initiative of text dependent questions, I devised a way to encourage students to sift through the technology text of various programs and provide responses using evidence from their program and computer functions. Screenshot = text to analyze; Help Desk = teacher facilitated questions; Troubleshoot = student response.
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School-Wide Evidence of Technology Integration

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First Grade Animal Reports

First graders focused on research and writing animal reports. Once the reports were finalized, students typed and formatted the official final in a program similar to Microsoft Office Word. Afterwards, students also recorded a podcast that was e-mailed to each child's parent. (First Grade Teachers - Jennie Plass - jennie.plass@nlcinc.com; Colleen Lescher - colleen.lescher@nlcinc.com)

"What Good Looks Like"

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Same board as above - different perspective of process board with technology integration (1st grade - Jennie Plass - jennie.plass@nlcinc.com)
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Environmental Awareness Project - student groups conducted research about various cocoa components by using the Internet to conduct research. (2nd Grade - Lauren McCutcheon; lauren.mccutcheon@nlcinc.com)

Best Practice - Classroom Example

Within my classroom I often offer students an opportunity to choose which program they would like to utilize in order to create a particular product. If a program of choice isn't an option, I also give them an option of selecting the types of formatting preferences (font color, style, location, clip art, etc.)


In addition to student choice, I give students an opportunity to work in collaborative groups toward an authentic purpose. A recent example here regards my fourth graders. While working in groups, they chose a program to create a flyer that promoted a recycling week at our school. Once items were collected, they would be loaded up on a Chesterbrook bus and dropped of at Brookfield Zoo during their Recycling Day (in honor of Earth Day). A local recycling company called Vintage Tech was on site with a plethora of volunteers to take the electronics away!

Best Practice - Transfer from Trainings

During our March Staff Development, teachers worked on creating a PAGES based flyer in small groups focusing upon text-dependent questions. Before beginning this process, I modeled various steps in the app and how to manipulate the features in order to produce the desired results. I also clearly outlined the expectations of the PAGES flyer then gave ample time to explore and create!


Throughout this past year, PAGES was used by 5th graders and Jr. High students to create various works. Works produced were brochures sharing research about different countries, flyers comparing different virus software protection products, and graphic organizers as a study guide. Within PAGES, students were given template choices and applied features they wanted to include. In some cases, projects required collaboration. Teachers also modeled how to use this app and shared the expectations with the students.

Third Grade Ambitions

I am extremely excited to be in 3rd grade next year where I plan to transfer my knowledge of technology and the integration of the Apple TVs + iPads into my classroom environment. During next year, I will consistently model these tools and encourage integration within other classroom structures.

Next Year Potentials

I really enjoyed all of the resources and feedback from other Vanguards this year. As our Shutterfly Share Site continued to grow, I found it difficult to sift through some of the material. I'd like to see it organized in a way where the projects or materials are categorized into a group based off of its grade and content. I would also love to share these projects with the teachers at my school.


During my graduate studies, I had to create a PhotoStory based on the similarities and differences of my Thanksgiving holiday celebration and a similar holiday with a student in South Korea. We did this through e-mail and file sharing. I'd love to work on a similar collaborative project with other Vanguards. I enjoyed using the different collaborative websites for responses and would like to see us create something together in the future.

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