October 2013 Archives

Paige Thompson

By Gabrielle Cordero on October 30, 2013 4:05 PM

Paige Thompson is a graduate of the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Program at Sonoma State University.

Her favorite part about teaching is seeing the excitement on her students' faces when they first begin to understand a new concept.

Brooke Mosman

By Gabrielle Cordero on October 30, 2013 4:04 PM

Brooke Mosman, a past undergraduate student of Sonoma State University, decided to continue her education at Sonoma State by choosing the university's Teaching Credential Program at the School of Education.

Brooke is a graduate of the Spring of 2013 Multiple Subjects Credential Program. She appreciated the individualized teaching approach she received from Sonoma State.

Christin Napoleon

By Gabrielle Cordero on October 30, 2013 4:02 PM

Christin Napoleon is a Spring 2013 graduate of Sonoma State University's Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Program.

Christin is currently working as a Kindergarten teacher in her hometown stating, "I have learned so much thus far and I still get butterflies before my students come to work in the morning. I am so excited to have this amazing job and work with such inspiring people. My students are constantly teaching me new things and I'm proud to have a job that I will love going to every morning."

Emily Phillips

By Gabrielle Cordero on October 30, 2013 4:00 PM

Emily Phillips is a Spring 2013 graduate of the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Program at Sonoma State University.

She realized she was born to be a teacher when she starting making lesson plans in the 6th grade.

Brianne Nelson

By Lina Raffaelli on October 30, 2013 1:11 PM

Brianne NelsonBrianne Nelson is originally from Mendocino County, and earned a B.A in English from Sonoma State in the early 2000's. During this time, she was taking linguistics courses and became very interested in language.

In 2004 Brianne was hired as a 911 dispatcher for the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office. She had traveled extensively around Central and South America, so she knew some Spanish, but not enough to feel comfortable answering non-English emergency calls. She returned to SSU in 2008 for a B.A in Spanish. During this time, she studied abroad in Mexico for a year at Tecnológico de Monterrey. After returning to the states she resumed her job as a dispatcher.

Several years later she returned to school once again for a Master's. She'd originally planned to earn a Master's in Spanish, but found that the classes weren't what she was looking for. By a happy accident she ended up in an Education class with MaryAnn Nickel (Second Language Acquisition), and quickly realized the TESOL program fit her needs.

She likes the TESOL program because it's hands-on and the coursework is applicable. She was initially worried about how she'd be perceived, as a "non-typical" student (not a teacher), but she received immense support and encouragement from her professors and fellow classmates. Her motive is to educate other dispatchers and collectively pick apart how the emergency response system functions, and how it can be improved. She hopes to collaborate to create courses and curriculum that will target how emergency responders can better serve non-English speakers in the community and beyond.

Dalila Hernandez-Ramirez

By Gabrielle Cordero on October 29, 2013 4:22 PM

Dalila Hernandez-Ramirez is a Single Subject Teaching Credential Graduate of Spring 2013 from Sonoma State University.
Having completed the yearlong program, Dalila credits her instructor's support as an important contributor to her overall experience in Sonoma State's Single Subject Teaching Credential Program.
Dalila is currently employed as a teacher at New Technology High School in Napa.

Marisol Visalli

By Gabrielle Cordero on October 29, 2013 4:18 PM

Graduating in Spring 2013, Marisol Visalli is a graduate of Sonoma State University's Single Subject Teaching Credential program in Physical Education, Health and Spanish.

Marisol describes both semesters in the Single Subject program at Sonoma State and her experience throughout the process.

Katelyn O'Neil

By Gabrielle Cordero on October 29, 2013 4:15 PM

Katelyn O'Neil is a Spring 2013 graduate of Sonoma State University's Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Program.

She says some of the tools learned during her coursework has helped her in her student teaching, especially with implementing Common Core math standards.

Ryan Sin

By Gabrielle Cordero on October 29, 2013 3:50 PM

Ryan Sin graduated in Spring of 2013 from Sonoma State University's Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Program.

During his time in the program, Ryan became a student teacher at Encompass Academy in Oakland, Ca.

Shane Karres

By Gabrielle Cordero on October 29, 2013 3:36 PM

Shane Karres, a recent graduate of the Multiple Subject Credential Program, went into the program to learn a new type of teaching. The program helped his transition from Special Education to General Education.

Shane graduated from the program in Spring of 2013.

Beverly Holiday

By Lina Raffaelli on October 29, 2013 3:05 PM

Beverly Holiday is a graduate of the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Program at Sonoma State University.

Beverly acknowledges Sonoma State's program for helping prepare students for the classroom and being in the classroom full time.

Ed Tech Tips: Padlet, Vialogues & Todaysmeet

By Lina Raffaelli on October 24, 2013 4:29 PM

Padlet wall example Welcome back to Tech Tips and Tools, brought to you by Jessica Parker. This second installment is focused on tools which allow users to post and share ideas and inspirations in unique, easy, and meaningful ways online--no need to install a thing. 

  1. Padlet: http://padlet.com/  Padlet allows you to create your own online wall, and all your students or colleagues need access to is the link that is created just for you. Pose a question or a ask folks to respond to a prompt, and then your students can respond on the wall using a combination of text, images or videos. It's basically a digital piece of paper for brainstorming, sharing, notetaking, discussing or listing ideas and comments. Padlet is already being used by School of Education faculty in their classrooms as either a brainstorming or pre-reading activity and even as a formative assessment tool like an exit ticket.

  Vialogues = video + dialogue 2. Vialogues: https://vialogues.com/ Wondering how to make a digital video more interactive? Vialogues is your answer. This site gives you the ability to annotate a video--it allows you to add comments throughout the video and it then time-codes those comments and hyperlinks it. Teachers (or students) can post comments, polls, or surveys to scaffold the video content and create a collaborative viewing.

  3. Todaysmeet.com: http://todaysmeet.com/ Want to capture questions, ideas, and inspirations while engaged in a long activity like a (boring) meeting, student presentation, a long film clip, or a guest lecture? Create a backchannel then using Todaysmeet.com. A backchannel is a real-time form of online communication that complements live communication. An example of the backchannel includes a person presenting at a conference; this "front" person is the main speaker, and she employs a "back"channel to allow the audience to post their questions, comments, and/or epiphanies during her presentation. Todaysmeet.com does not require a log-in. Just create your own "room" and then share the hyperlink and students can post their comments in real time as the activity (in the front) continues. It's also great for collective notetaking, sharing resources, or as a brainstorming tool.  

Molly Nagel

By Lina Raffaelli on October 23, 2013 3:15 PM

Molly Nagel with posterMolly Nagel was born in San Francisco and raised in Marin County. She attended College of Marin and then Sonoma State in the 1970's where she earned a B.S in Psychology.

Early on Molly had an interest in teaching special education. Her mother was a SPED student who was very well-supported by her teachers growing up; Molly felt passionately about doing for others what they did for her mother, in catering to her special needs.

She worked for a family business for a long time, until the business closed and she was given the opportunity to pursue a new career path. She worked as a resource teacher and later became a full-inclusive SPED teacher at the high school level. She decided to further her education, and completed the SPED and Educational Leadership Master's program in May of this year.

Molly believes that great teachers can make a difference in the lives of children with significant learning disabilities. She wants to better understand how they learn, and believes every student can. She hopes to be able to teach fellow educators about inclusion and supporting students with disabilities. She also hopes to create professional development opportunities to help fellow Special Ed teachers.

She wants to convey that her experience at SSU has been wonderful. She has enjoyed her professors and teachers and feels very well prepared for the job. Specifically the program has bettered her understand of how people learn and how to modify curriculum to fit individual needs.

Its the Great Pumpkin...at University Elementary School!

By Pamela Van Halsema on October 23, 2013 1:57 PM

Dean Carlos Ayala with pumpkin

October is pumpkin season, and Sonoma County has many fun field trip options for school groups to visit pumpkin patches to celebrate the harvest season. But this week, the pumpkin came to school. Carlos Ayala, Dean of the School of Education at Sonoma State grew this one in his garden, and decided to give it to the kids at University Elementary School at La Fiesta. And this is no ordinary gourd: it is huge!

Pumpkins can spark the imagination of children. When he brought this one to the school, the kids wanted to climb on top of it and ride it like a pony! Teachers can use pumpkins to start a line of inquiry with kids, driven by their own natural curiosity: What do you do to get your pumpkins to grow that large? How many seeds are inside of it? How did you weigh it? How do you move it? How many days does it take to grow?

team moving the pumpkin

Without a scale, how can you weigh such a big vegetable? Thankfully there are some clever online tools to help calculate the weight of a giant pumpkin based on specific measurements. One such web based weight calculator can be found at Overthetop.com. Based on the measurements, this grand gourd weighs in at 200 lbs.

How can you move a big pumpkin like that? Carlos used teamwork, employing a traditional Amish method for moving heavy objects by rolling it onto a sturdy canvas fabric, with many people working together to grasp the fabric's edge and lift it up, distributing the weight. As a team, the adults were able to bring the pumpkin into the classroom.

The school might raffle off the pumpkin before Halloween as a fundraiser. No doubt the winner of the raffle will need to get a cloth and practice that Amish method to get the pumpkin moved all the way home.

Erin Hartelt

By Lina Raffaelli on October 22, 2013 2:16 PM

Erin HarteltErin Hartelt grew up not far from here in the East Bay. She attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as an undergrad, where she studied pre-med before eventually switching to psychology. After college she started working as a low level social worker. She left that position to become a full-inclusion aid, which fueled her interest in pursuing Special Education.

Erin chose SSU because her family is from around the area. She earned a Special Ed credential for mild-moderate disabilities in 2009. She became an intern for Bellevue Union School District. After some time, she decided she wanted to know more and returned to SSU to get her Master's in Special Education.

She enjoys the challenge of working with students that have a wide range of different needs. She finds it rewarding to help them meet their goals and grow. Erin is able to bond with the kids, which can be difficult for some adults. She loves children and working with them in the small classroom sizes. The small group sizes allow her to focus on the whole child and ensure that all of their individual needs are being met.

She wants to continue learning how to become a better teacher, leader, and role model for her students. She feels that continuing her education will help her attain these goals.

The tough balancing act of attending classes, working, and raising a family can be challenging, but Hartelt says it's worth it. She's had great professors and a very positive experience at SSU. She enjoys the ability to think about what she wants to learn and guide her own education.

Jennifer Poovey

By Lina Raffaelli on October 17, 2013 1:50 PM

Jennifer PooveyJennifer Poovey was born and raised locally in Sonoma County. While in school she always wanted to become a teacher. Her father was a retired schoolteacher as well as various relatives. She started college in the early 1970's at Santa Rosa Junior College in the Dental Hygiene program. She trained for years in this field and was offered a teaching position just before her graduation from the dental program. In 1974, Jennifer graduated from SRJC with her Associate's Degree and dental assistant certificate. She later went on to get her Associate's in Dental Hygiene in 2004.

Jennifer wanted to continue her schooling in either education or dental hygiene so she could teach full-time at the JC. After looking into SSU's master's programs and speaking to Dr. Karen Grady, she found that the CTL program fit her needs perfectly. Her motive is to further her own knowledge and simultaneously improve her teaching abilities. She believes that this can only be done by furthering her own education. She is in the Curriculum Teaching and Learning program and is also taking some Educational Technology classes.

She is now in her third semester of the program and is loving her experience and all of her professors. She hopes to be able to use technology to engage her students further and get them more involved in their own learning. She strives to be proficient in her subject and make sure her students get the most out of their education.

Dana Shay

By Lina Raffaelli on October 16, 2013 1:42 PM

Dana ShayDana Shay spent twelve years working in International Business. While she was grateful for the opportunity to travel around the world, she wasn't very passionate about the work she was doing. She got the chance to take sabbatical from her job and travel to Africa, South America, and Asia to teach English. This experience opened her eyes to a love of teaching, and one year ago Dana decided to enroll in the TESOL Master's program here at SSU.

Dana grew up in New Jersey and attended college in Atlanta. She decided on the Master's program at SSU because she liked the flexibility of the program and that it allowed her to explore different interests and ways of thinking. She also liked the small community setting of Sonoma State.

In the future she wants to become a full-time teacher. She hopes to be able to move to another country for a year or two and teach English as a second language. Long term, she would like to teach adults English as well as life skills. Dana loves to teach and work with people. She enjoys watching her students grow and learn. She is grateful for the program at SSU because it will open up a lot of different opportunities for her career.

Reading Program Alumna Diane Dalenberg excites students through technology

By Lina Raffaelli on October 10, 2013 1:20 PM

dalenberg.jpgIn a technological age with countless distractions, where paper books are quickly being replaced by eReaders, iPads and tablets, educators are faced with one important question: how can they reignite students' excitement about reading?

School of Education alumna Diane Dalenberg has made it her purpose to find a solution to this question, attempting to spark interest while also improving literacy for students at all levels of skill and ability.  Her approach focuses on working with technology, instead of against it, to foster more positive attitudes in young readers. As an avid reader herself, Dalenberg encourages frequent and strategic reading for the purpose of practice and enjoyment.

In 2011 Dalenberg completed SSU's Educational Leadership program, earning an Administrative Credential. She continued on to obtain a master's in Educational Leadership, with a concentration in Reading and Language in 2012.

While finishing her master's, Dalenberg coordinated the Summer Reading Academy for 3rd graders of Sonoma Valley Unified School District as her cognate project. Working alongside Professor MaryAnn Nickel, she designed the program at El Verano Elementary School to mirror Sonoma State's summer academy, repurposing it to shift the focus on student engagement.

Dalenberg worked with another seasoned School of Education Alumna, El Verano School principal Maite Iturri. Iturri received multiple teaching credentials, an Administrative Services credential and a Master's in Educational Administration from Sonoma State.

Together, the two created a hands-on summer program designed to foster excitement for reading and imaginative engagement. "First and foremost the goal is gained confidence and a growing love of reading...that's number one," said Dalenberg. 

The structure of the program is built upon self-selection of reading material. Teachers aid students in choosing a "homerun" or "just right" book, one that they just can't put down. Not only does this allow them to select content based on their interests, but also allows an opportunity to self-assess their reading abilities by determining material that is too challenging. Dalenberg said it was challenging to find the "homerun" match for some students.

To provide greater resources, Dalenberg incorporated the use of technology through the introduction of websites and online libraries. "Our school and class libraries are wonderful," she said "but they can be limited, and don't always have the material [students] are looking for." By allowing the children access to several online libraries, they had a much broader range of material.

8232915327_e5828c4569_o.jpg The selected sites also offer additional tools (such as audio support and highlighted tracking on screen) that can be very helpful for young readers. These tools create an interactive experience and help students catch their own mistakes. "They can be the judge of their own fluency, and react to their own reading, which is huge," said Dalenberg. 

"I think using technology to get the kids engaged is her greatest strength," said Nickel. "Depending on the child, they may be much more motivated to read from a computer than from a book." 

Dalenberg cites on her website that the greatest challenge with teaching reading is the "frenzy" to cover standards. In large classrooms, students are given less individualized instruction, so they're generally taught reading and writing methods solely in preparation for standardized testing. The benefit of the Summer Reading environment is the freedom of creative and individual growth.

The overall success was measured by student and teacher evaluations at the conclusion of the three-week program. Based on the comparison of before-and-after attitudes of self-rating and enjoyment, the results reflected an overall improvement in all categories.

The academy returned for Summer 2013, this time growing to incorporate a class of 2nd-4th graders and more teachers. In the future she hopes to include more parent outreach and instruction on how parents can keep their kids engaged at home.

"When I started my master's I had no idea what I would do for my project. It's much easier when it's like 'this is my path and these are the steps to take." She added happily, "I couldn't have imagined when I started that this is what would blossom from it." 

Gary Brunet

By Barbara Moore on October 1, 2013 10:42 AM

Educational Technology Certificate: Merging Instructional Technology and Emerging Technologies

With an ever-increasing adult student population seeking to update and improve knowledge, skills, and abilities it is vital those in the instructional technology field integrate emerging technologies more thoughtfully into instructional technology settings. Understanding the conflict or disconnect between emerging technologies and adult education and training environments will lessen or mitigate the divorce between instructional technology and participatory culture and learning. The venue to link those in the instructional technology field with the emerging technologies of our digital technology age is an Educational Technology Certificate through an educational lens. My cognate project "Educational Technology Certificate: Merging Instructional Technology and Emerging Technologies" is an opportunity for those in the instructional technology field to nourish a vision and ideological sense to learning, knowledge, and literacy in our emerging technologies digital technology age.

Johnathan Wright

By Barbara Moore on October 1, 2013 10:21 AM

The Media Literacy Classroom

Johnathan's thesis, The Media Literacy Classroom, is a curriculum plan incorporating media literacy and social media into a Language Arts classroom. The 21st Century Student has an expectation of a certain level of technology in his or her life, and teachers miss an opportunity to engage them in compelling and accessible learning activities by ignoring this. Even the most basic internet-capable computer lab can give young learners access to a powerful set of student-centered tools. This curriculum uses progressive education techniques, emphasizing critical thinking on the part of students to create a media-literacy classroom, which maps the tools of analyzing and understanding the student's own media landscape onto more traditional forms of literacy. Just as a traditionally literate student produces written work to demonstrate content mastery, so to will a media literate student produce audio and video productions to demonstrate their understanding. Many traditional language arts texts, such as the works of William Shakespeare, lend themselves to this form of analysis. The goal of the media literature classroom is to empower students to turn their analytical minds from the classroom into the media landscape itself, and to demonstrate how they can have a voice in the world.