We are excited to present our April Teacher of the Month, Brenda Blee! Brenda is an exceptional elementary teacher in Nevada, a leader in her school, and a long-time Edcite user. Read on to learn more about Brenda and how she uses Edcite.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
For the past 16 years, I have been a fourth-grade teacher at Harley Harmon Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada. I have had the opportunity to be both a general classroom teacher and an instructor of math, science, technology, and social studies as part of a departmentalized program. Learning, teaching, and enjoying technology are definitely joys in my life.
What do you teach?
I am currently a fourth-grade instructor of math, science, social studies, and technology.
Why did you become a teacher?
Originally, my educational aspirations were to become a doctor or physical therapist. However, during a volunteer experience, I observed a teacher working with a special needs student. After noticing the change in the student’s countenance from a look of confusion to that of understanding, I knew that being a teacher was the proper path for my life.
How did you hear about Edcite?
I stumbled upon Edcite while searching the internet for an application that would prepare my students for the rigorous demands and necessary skills required for online testing.
How do you use Edcite in the classroom?
I use Edcite in multiple ways. First, I use it to quickly check my students’ understanding of the concept(s) of the day. This allows me to quickly identify and remediate struggling individuals. Second, I use it for a summative assessment. The resultant data is then used to drive my instruction and develop my differentiated groupings. Finally, I use Edcite to prepare my students for online testing. Unlike paper and pencil tests, online assessments require different skills both in technological utilization and student focus. Edcite helps me teach these skills throughout the school year.
What aspects make you most “Edcited” about Edcite?
There are two aspects of Edcite that make it “Edciting” for me. First, it allows a teacher to develop their own assessment by either choosing questions from the library selection or developing their own. The test can contain a wide variety of questioning types which allows the students to gain experience and understanding about online testing. Next, Edcite helps make the grading process more efficient. The data extracted from the assessments determines the direction the instruction needs to go and helps the teacher discover who is in need of remediation.
Final Words of Wisdom for other Edcite Users?
Teachers need to bring Edcite into their professional learning communities (PLCs). By sharing Edcite with their grade-level team and creating assessments together, it promotes efficiency for the teachers and equity for the students. The data produced from these common assessments help analyze/revise the test and identify students’ successes and deficiencies. Using Edcite data while collaborating allows the individual teacher to benefit from the insights of their colleagues and is a powerful tool!
Thank you, Brenda, for being such an inspirational teacher!