Summary of Learning

That’s a wrap! Thank you to Katia for the great learning opportunities in this course! Congratulations to those who just finished their Master’s and I wish everyone well in their future endeavors!

Check out my learning summary below.



Course Prototype Walkthrough

Creating a Course Prototype

When I first started this class, I used technology in an unthoughtful way—we used it because it was fun. Now I see technology as an extension of my pedagogical beliefs. Technology, when used thoughtfully, can help with differentiation, allow for student autonomy, and create opportunities for accessible, equitable learning spaces. This does not mean that technology shouldn’t be fun and engaging, rather that’s just part of the technological experience in the classroom.

I enjoyed learning about different forms of technology that I never used before, such as Lumi or Genially.

I also appreciated the real-world application of this assignment. When creating this assignment, I was creating it for real students in a real classroom. I was not just creating an assignment for an instructor to grade. Working through the ADDIE template when creating this course helped me to focus on what really matters—the students and their learning needs.

Peer Feedback

I enjoyed checking out my classmates’ course prototypes this week and seeing different LMS in action. The feedback I received on my course prototype was positive. My classmates appreciated the organization of my lessons and the incorporation of choice in many of my lessons.

Course Prototype Walkthrough

Check out my course prototype walkthrough video below. Some of the lessons are still works in progress, but most of the unit’s lessons are complete. I am excited to try it out with my grade fives in the upcoming school year!

Building Online Community

Setting the Stage for Online Interactions

Prior to this week’s readings, I honestly hadn’t given much thought to how I would establish community in our Google Classroom. During the pandemic when we were fully online, I definitely considered this more. We had synchronous meetings and the students chatted with each other by commenting on posts in our Google Classroom. Most of the time the comments were regarding the assignments, but other times they were more social. As social interactions were limited during this time, I encouraged their interactions as long as they were appropriate rather than viewing them as off-task. 

Since then, I have turned the commenting and posting ability off on Google Classroom. Now I question my intentions for limiting their ability to communicate and interact in our virtual classroom. It was mostly to avoid unwanted or inappropriate comments that 10-year-olds post…you know, like, bruh and sup. Instead, I should have helped them develop the necessary skills to participate in online discussions. Bates states that setting clear expectations and monitoring participation is essential in fostering stronger online communication. I do this for in-person conversations, so why wouldn’t I do this for online ones? Besides, turning off their ability to post or comment on Google Classroom didn’t stop them from posting silly comments. Now I just get “hiiiiiiiiiiiii” sent to me as a direct message on Google Classroom! Fostering a stronger sense of online community, as I would in the classroom, is something I will place an emphasis on in the future and when creating this course prototype. 

Sup Vectors by Vecteezy

Incorporating Online Interactions in My Course Prototype

In my course prototype, I will turn on the students’ ability to comment and provide them with the skills and goals needed to communicate with classmates online. Additionally, I will use resources such as Jamboard to allow students to share ideas with others. The students will also have opportunities to play Prodigy, and by answering differentiated math questions, they “battle” one another. There will also be assignments where students can co-create work together online, such as building a review game for the unit. These interactions allow students to share their ideas, ask questions, and learn alongside one another in a more engaging environment.

I will set up all of these online interactions the same way as I would in-person interactions by setting expectations and providing students with the skills needed to interact meaningfully with one another. For example, when I teach students a new math game to play with a partner, I first teach them how to the game. Next, I ensure they understand the expectations that they are to play fairly and engage with the game the entire math station. Then, as they play I monitor their success and intervene as necessary by providing reminders about the expectations. The same process goes for online interactions as well. Online, I will also provide them written feedback on any assignments that they submit.

Creating Super Simple Videos

After visiting several of my classmates’ blogs (thanks Colton , Durston, and Honey just to name a few) and checking out their Lumi videos, I definitely took notice when a video was created by the teacher versus using one from YouTube. Not to say that there is anything wrong with a YouTube video (my Lumi video was a YouTube one), but I thought that students would really like this personalization of hearing their teacher’s voice or seeing their face. I think this is another way to create stronger interactions between students and the teacher.

During the pandemic, I did try more to create videos explaining concepts or even to just say hi and give an overview of the week. I guess I never really considered its importance when creating this course as its intention was to be used in a blended format as a math station. After watching Michael Wesch’s video (see video below)  I was inspired to make my own super simple video. Click here to watch my new Lumi video, squeaky whiteboard markers and all.

What other ways could I support online student interactions when teaching math in a blended format?

Belonging in Education: Considering Technological Equity

When thinking about equity in schools, it is fraught with concerns. Our current schooling system was designed from an ableist perspective. I teach in an older school building and the physical structure of the school is not accessible. To get to any room in the school you are committed to climbing at least one long flight of stairs. The school is three stories including the basement. There is a chair lift, but it is only accessible on one side of the school and it is V-E-R-Y slow. There are no push to open switches on doorways. There are segregated classrooms throughout the division for students with exceptionalities. As educators, we have a moral responsibility to help create equitable learning spaces for all students. Students with exceptionalities have a right to belong in schools in all aspects, including when it comes to accessible technology

Bates challenges his reader to consider how their choice of technology and resources are equitable to their students. When considering implementing or incorporating technology resources in my classroom, I need to put the students’ needs first just as I would with in-person teaching. I need to consider my students’ background knowledge, skills, abilities, learning styles, access to technology, and interests when creating content.

When considering my own course, I need to ensure that I include a variety of approaches in order to more effective. I will try to incorporate a variety of textual, auditory, and visual information to make the learning more accessible. I need to also provide a wide variety of ways for students to demonstrate and practice their learning, as some students will find different methods more comfortable than others. For example, some students freeze up when it comes to a quiz (whether online or on paper). Providing students with alternate ways to show what they know is an important step. I plan on incorporating different activities that students can choose from to show their understanding of the topic. Knowing my learners is an essential step in helping to create an accessible and equitable learning space. Click to read a blog post, Technological Equity and Accessibility for Virtual and Hybrid Learning, that has some great tips to improve accessibility for students.

Moving forward, I would like to incorporate new technologies to make the physical environment more accessible. For example, I would like to use Seeing AI. This app would not only benefit learners with visual impairments but it could be helpful for learners with reading difficulties.  In addition, it made me rethink my use of any drag and drop digital activities (which unfortunately happens to be a common form of digital activities on Teachers Pay Teachers) and my use of timed activities, such as Kahoot games.

As I reflect on tonight’s class on equity, I am reminded that I need to be constantly aware of how my own positionality influences my perspectives and worldviews. Collaborating with families and students is one way to help create more equitable learning spaces where all students feel a sense of belonging.

All kids are important


Creating Content with Lumi: A Review of Basic Division Strategies

When I first read that we needed to create content using H5P via Lumi, I was a bit overwhelmed. It sounded very daunting (what does H5P even mean?!)! I quickly realized that it is a very user-friendly way to create interactive content. Just watching a quick how-to video was more than enough to get me started. I love how you can take pre-existing YouTube videos and make them interactive.

Some of the challenges I experienced while creating my interactive video were mostly related to timing. Getting the video to pause at the exact second that the speaker paused talking was tricky!

The Content

For this module, I decided to focus on the introductory topic of the unit: a review of basic division strategies. Students often need a refresher on the basic skills learned in previous grades. This module provides an overview of the various strategies they might use when solving basic division facts: skip counting, equal groups, number lines, or fact families.

The Learning Environment

The intention of this module is to be used during rotating math stations. The students will complete this activity for one of the math stations, while the other groups play games, complete practice questions or activities, or work in a small group with the teacher. Some of the activities are independent, while others are more collaborative. At the beginning of the year, students will work on building a routine to be able to rotate through the math stations independently. Students are placed in flexible groups and the daily rotation schedule for each group is posted daily.

All students will have access to various physical or digital manipulatives, such as base 10 blocks, number lines, hundreds charts, and whiteboards/markers. The students will be given choice on which manipulatives they would like to access if they choose to use any at all. Links to the various digital manipulatives will be on our Google Classroom.
Rumil, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Module Overview

As a math station, the students will first add their responses to a Jamboard for the following questions: What do you already know about division? How do you feel about division? Next, students will complete the interactive Lumi video, using any manipulatives they wish. After that, the students will complete a pretest on XtraMath . This will identify how fluent they are in recalling their basic division facts. I will use this as formative assessment to identify the pacing of this topic and for creating flexible groups.

Please click on the picture below to check out my first attempt creating a Lumi video. Any feedback or tips is appreciated! Thanks!


Course Profile

Course Rationale

Students miss school for a variety of reasons. As educators, we can sometimes make assumptions as to the reasons why a student may be missing school regularly, placing blame on the student for not attending. Instead, we need to create welcoming learning environments where all children feel valued and respected. We have a duty to meet kids where they are at and technology just might help to alleviate some of the impacts of chronic absenteeism.

This course is designed for a grade 5 math class and will focus on the concept of division. It will hopefully provide more flexible learning opportunities for students to not miss out on learning foundational math concepts, regardless of the reason for absenteeism. Additionally, it will also hopefully build student confidence in their abilities, increase their engagement at school, and maybe (who knows?) make them want to come to school more.

The Learners

The target audience for this course is grade 5 students in a grade 5/6 split class. The students have a wide range of mathematical skills—some students need to focus on attaining a stronger understanding of their math facts while others will learn the math topic more quickly, requiring enrichment. The students are predominately Indigenous learners. Many of the students are impacted by the effects of poverty and the legacy of colonialism and residential schools. Some of the students are also chronically absent which impacts their success in the classroom. Most of the students are adept at using technology and are quick learners to using a new technology. Some of the students may require more assistance in getting comfortable using new technology sources.

Course Format

Before I discuss the format of the class, I’d like to discuss the varying levels of importance in the various math topics in the curriculum. I divide the learning outcomes in math into two categories: nice-to-know and need-to-know. I found this perspective to be essential in meeting the needs of a diverse group of learners. The nice-to-know ones are the outcomes that one can Google the answer for. For example, SS5.6 Identify and Sort Quadrilaterals. Every time I teach this unit, I need to Google what a rhombus is! The need-to-know outcomes are the foundational mathematical skills needed for future success in developing strong number sense. Understanding the process of division is one of those outcomes.

balance scale

balance scale” by winnifredxoxo is licensed under CC BY 2.0 .


This course will be a blended format with both asynchronous and synchronous components. For the students present during class time during the unit, they will use the course as a station in our math groups. These students will also receive face-to-face instruction and feedback while practicing division. Because I think this unit is essential for grade 5 students to learn (a need-to-know outcome), I want to ensure and create every opportunity for students to learn it, even those who are chronically absent. This is where the technology comes in to help bridge the gap. Students who attend seldomly could be working on this course asynchronously in more of an online format during math stations to help ensure that they do not miss out on learning division because of an absence—even when the class has moved on to a new unit, say about rhombuses and such.

The Technology Toolbox

  • LMS: Google Classroom because that is what we have access to and use in my division
  • Other educational technologies include Kahoot, Prodigy, XtraMath, Virtual Base 10 Blocks , Youtube, Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Forms, Jamboard

Learning Objectives

This course will cover Saskatchewan’s Grade 5 mathematics outcome N5.3, which covers everything from recalling the basic division facts up to a dividend of 81 to understanding division (3-digit by 1-digit) to interpreting remainders. This topic is no small feat to learn when you’re 10!


The majority of the assessment for this course will be formative—meaning it is for me to help guide the direction and pacing of their learning. Some students will need more time developing an understanding of basic division while others will need enrichment. The formative assessments will be during any practice moments, whether the practice is done on a whiteboard in a small group or virtually while playing a game or completing an online activity. I believe in creating risk-free learning opportunities where students are comfortable in making mistakes and learning from those mistakes. There will be of course summative assessments, including an assessment on Google Forms and a choice activity.

How will students demonstrate learning? What types of Assessments will you use?

How will students demonstrate learning? What types of Assessments will you use?” by giulia.forsythe is marked with CC0 1.0 .


Access to Technology

Currently, we share access to one cart of Chromebooks shared between 2-3 classrooms. Sometimes if a teacher books out the entire cart for a period, then the other classrooms will not have access to the computers during that time. However, the teachers understand that the cart is shared and are considerate of other classroom needs as well. Additionally, the intention of this course is to be used at school as many of the students lack the technology necessary to participate at home (although students with home access may complete missed work from home if they are able).


There is one EAL student in the classroom. This student is a beginning English language learner so I will need to be considerate of that. There are several strategies I can employ to help this student. First, I need to ensure that I use clear, simple language. Second, this student can use various supports such as teacher, EA, peer, or speech-to-text programs.

Adjusted Grading

There are several students in the class who are on adjusted grading. These students participate in our math groups and are included in the classroom. This will require me to create another course that is appropriate for their learning needs and addresses the outcomes they are required to learn.

Thanks all! (link to ADDIE template)

Addressing Student Needs Through Technology

For my course development assignment, I have chosen the topic of math for grade 5 students, focusing on a division unit. In grade 5, the major learning outcomes are being able to recall division facts up to a dividend of 81 and demonstrating an understanding of division (3-digit by 1-digit) with and without remainders.

I have chosen this topic because there is a high level of absenteeism in my school. When students miss school regularly, they miss out on foundational mathematical skills needed for success in life and school, such as place value, multiplication, and division. I think this content will work well in a blended (or online) format as it will help to reduce the learning gaps created by absenteeism. Instead of students attending school sporadically, feeling lost and disconnected from the math content being taught on that particular day, students who are chronically absent can experience some form of continuity of learning, thus hopefully increasing their success, confidence, and engagement in learning. Depending on the students’ level of absenteeism, it could be used as a math station to catch-up on missed lessons, it could be used as catch-up practice at home for those with access to technology, or it could be used as a stand-alone program for the one or two students who attend seldomly (attending once every couple of weeks). It could also be used in a blended format during regular math class time. Overall, by creating the content in an online format that is continually accessible to all students will help to create a more responsive learning environment and help to address the impacts of absenteeism.

laptop kid” by ralphhogaboom is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 .


Experiences with Blended & Online Learning

Hello digital world! My name is Sarah Ficko (pronounced Fee-ko) and I am a middle years teacher in a community school in Regina, SK.  My experiences with blended and online learning has ebbed and flowed over my 15-year career. In the beginning of my career, I was a middle years teacher and a high school arts teacher in a school in rural Saskatchewan. In the area of the arts, I used to incorporate a lot of technology. I remember having the students create short stories and represent them using stop motion animation. The students also collaborated to write, act, film, and edit a short “movie.” Students were highly engaged in these activities and proud of their creations. During this time, I also remember the division was also highly into pushing the use of innovative technology in the classroom. They used the SAMR model to help teachers think more critically about their integration of technology.

The SAMR Model
Lefflerd, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fast forward a few years to my next school, we used an LMS system called Seesaw both to post online activities for the students to complete and as a means of sharing and documenting learning for families and caregivers. Currently, my school division uses Google Classroom as an LMS option. I try to incorporate technology meaningfully in the classroom but sharing of resources and lack of teacher training hinders that. Additionally, it can be difficult to create or find appropriate digital resources to support the learning of a wide range of abilities without support.

The pandemic also highlighted some challenges in using technology. When our school moved to online learning, it magnified the inequities experienced by many of my students and their families. Out of approximately 20 students, three were able to attend and participate in our online learning. Many were unable to access appropriate technology or even Wi-Fi to participate. Instead, we had to make photocopied “learning” packages and deliver them door-to-door for most of our students. Education during the pandemic amplified the line between the haves and the have-nots.

I hope to use the knowledge I gain from EC&I 834 to remind me how technology can be used to differentiate for a wide range of learners. I hope to learn how to more meaningfully integrate blended learning into the classroom beyond a one-off lesson. Bates’ ideas helped me to understand that a lot of considerations must go into making choices on which mode of delivery to incorporate. Also, Bates stresses  that “unless the design changes significantly to take full advantage of the potential of the technology, the outcome is likely to be inferior to that of the physical classroom model which it is trying to imitate.”