images-6For the past five weeks, I’ve been working on creating a significant learning environment.  I have read many articles, searched many websites and learned a lot in this process.
 In the first week I realized that learning environment is a vital part of education and it contributes a lot to the student success. The second week I focused on my learning philosophy. I understood that the main purpose of education should be learning to learn. I saw my learning philosophy positively influences my innovation plan and my actions. After watching videos, I   grasped how holistic approach helps to learners mastering the real learning skills. The third week I began creating my big, hairy, audacious goal by using Dee Fink’s 3-column table.
   After creating my own plan, I have come   to the conclusion that: Plan is the teacher’s road map that guides and supports the student learning. A beneficial lesson plan is not the one in that everything goes precisely as arranged, yet one in which both student and teacher gain from each other. In some cases, our learning goals don’t reflect what we expect to educate. At that point we should make alignment with the plans and goals along the way to improve the student learning. The alignment provides connection between objectives, learning activities and assessment activities.
 The fourth week I used Grant Wiggin’s and Jay McTighe’s Understanding by design template. I compared and contrasted both of the plans. Then I noticed that they use backward design and provide an opportunity to see where the learners will be at the end of the course. For my organization I decided to use Fink’s 3 column table.
During the fifth week I began internalizing mindsets. According to psychologist Carol Dweck, there are two different types of mindsets: The fixed mindset & the growth mindset. It was fascinating to know we all can become more productive, more confident, happier, and more successful by changing our mindset. To have a fixed mindset hinders us from being those kind of persons.  Since we focus on outcome, not on the process. We assign a huge meaning to one single event, if it doesn’t come out how we want, we think I am not good at this, I can’t do that. Then we begin creating low self-esteem.mindset-splash
All of us from time to time can have setbacks in our life, it is natural. Even though at first they seem bad, actually they provide great feedback in the long run. We should take the message from every setback when something went wrong, take a lesson from it, prevent it from happening again. Having a growth mindset assures looking failure from the other aspects. It was very valuable to comprehend   we can limit ourselves or improve our skills according to our beliefs and thoughts. Before taking this course I was not aware that in some cases I do have fixed mindset.  I have never seen myself as a technology person. Now I see my confidence grows with each assignment I finish, each discussion board I participate. Over time, I believe I can grow and improve myself as a technology. In other words, all of my small efforts add up to a growth mindset.
Perceiving feasible and long–lasting change begins with building a strong personality, not by concentrating on results like talent, test-scores, performance, appearance was a big gain for me.
To start developing a growth mindset in our students, we need to teach to believe in themselves. When learners have growth mindset they believe they can get smarter and efforts make them stronger. Therefore, they put in extra effort and time, and that leads to higher achievement.  The other vital thing is to teach, the word of “yet”. They should not say “. I cannot master that topic”, instead they should say” I couldn’t master that topic yet”. This secret word encourages and gives a hope to the student during learning way.
Dweck suggests a resource to have a growth mindset in four steps. How will I implement in my organization?
1- Teach my daughter how to hear her inner fixed mindset voice.
2- Say she has another option as a growth mindset.
3- Make interior monologue with a growth mindset.
4-Take an action with a growth mindset.
Creating significant learning environment will positively affect my blended-home-school project. I know  my attitude has a big influence on my daughter mindset, and the feedback that I give can either encourage to develop and increase her achievement or look for an easy way to escape from her responsibilities.That’s why ,first I will change my mindset. To promote the growth mindset for her ,I will use content, video and media .Providing  a natural learning environment   will open way the love of learning for her. I will  try to draw her attention the value of learning and generate joy and fulfillment in her.
From now on, to assure a strong personality and strengthen her confidence, I will praise my daughter’s hard work, effort and strategies.
Stanford Alumni [Stanford Alumni].( 2014.October 9) Carol Dweck ,”developing a growth mindset”.[Video file].Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiiEeMN7vbQ
TEDx Talks. [TEDx Talks].(2014 December 17). The power of believing that you can improve [Video file].Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X0mgOOSpLU
  Image retrieved from
Image retrieved from https://www.google.com/search?q=learning+center&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=613&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiajsbH7rTPAhVGHB4KHS3lBGcQ_AUIBygC#tbm=isch
Image retrieved from https://www.google.com/search?q=learning+center&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=613&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiajsbH7rTPAhVGHB4KHS3lBGimages-3



To be an effective teacher, planning is vital. Even a poor plan is better than no plan at all (Mikhail Chigorin). As a teacher I always keep in mind this quote and try to make a plan. I believe planning the course assure more confidence for educators. The course can flow smoothly since all the necessary information has been gathered and details have been decided on beforehand. After ten years of teaching experience I realized that teachers’ certainty reflects to his/her learner’s performance; Students can be more relax and open to learning. This week I tried to focus on two templates: Dee Fink’s 3-column table and Grant Wiggin’s and Jay McTighe’s Understanding by design template. I think these templates are great for teachers. Both of them use backward design and they provide opportunity to see where the learners will be at the end of the course. The 3- column table can be used for designing course.  When design a course, we need to gather information and make decisions about how the course will be taught. We are required to complete each step before going to the next step. There are five components in this model:  Situational Factors, Learning Goals, Feedback and Assessment, Teaching/Learning Activities.kitap-3

UbD design table is more convenient for unit planning. Because big ideas, understanding, questions, performance are too complex to be addressed in a single lesson. The UbD model asks thought provoking questions. The questions lead to think how precisely each goal will be achieved and assessed. This model focuses on deep and permanent understanding. The teacher who knows his/her own class and makes plan according to student’s needs. There are three stages of UbD design: Identifying desired results, determining acceptable evidence, planning learning experiences &instruction. UbD model develops the students 21 st century skills and it helps teachers by facilitating the teaching-learning process. It provides flexibility to use different teaching methods. It also ensures professional development opportunities for teachers. By using this model teacher can evaluate the student naturally. What differs UbD plan from others is that it requires teacher’s collaboration. All related teachers own the plan and try to develop it altogether. Teacher can define her/his priorities, make update at any time and share feedback with their colleagues via technology. Even though the purposes, goals look like it is designed for students and teachers, UbD is actually a school development model. For my organization I think Fink’s 3 column table works better. UbD model is too detailed it can be hard for me to use for my organization.


 Understanding by Design – Backwards Design Process

  (Developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, 2002)


Stage 1 – Desired Results

Established Goal(s)/Content Standard(s):


•What relevant goals will this design address?


•The purpose of this unit is to guide student for further understanding of the respiratory system and its function in the body.


•To help student gain awareness of life-style choices that maintain healthy life.


Overarching Understanding:


• Student will comprehend that medical research is a consistent procedure through which new information may lead to change of human life.


• Student will also have the knowledge and skills used for building and refining models and explanations.




Understanding (s)

Student will understand that:


●     The parts of a respiratory system are dependent to each other.

●      The shape of our body parts is suited to their function.

●     The proper functioning of the respiratory system is vital to our good health.

●     Respiratory system and all other systems are linked in function.


●     Unhealthy nutrition can trigger respiratory system diseases.


Essential Question(s):

●     How does the respiratory system support the human body?

●     Why do people need a respiratory system?

●     How are an athlete’s lungs different than average person?

●     How does the shape of the respiratory system relate to its function?

●     Is there communication between the respiratory system parts?

●     What is the worst damage that could happen to your respiratory system?

●     Why does student need to know how her life style affects the health of her respiratory system?



Student objectives (outcomes):


Student will know:

•  Respiratory system is responsible for supplying the body with oxygen and removing carbon dioxide.

• Causes and effects of respiratory diseases: cancer, cystic fibrosis, asthma, hantavirus

•  The names and functions of respiratory system.

• Respiratory system organs structure and function.


• How respiration is controlled.


Student will be able to:


• Create a story about respiratory system diseases.

• Recognize the average lung capacities.

• Use the internet to research a respiratory health topic.

• Identify common lung diseases Demonstrate knowledge of organ’s shape, location and functions


Student will be familiar with:

• Respiratory system diseases .

Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence



Performance Task(s):

Through what authentic performance task(s) will students demonstrate the desired understandings?


-Student build a model of the lungs. She will show her model and explain what the different parts represent.



-Student will design a social media post related to respiratory system and its parts.


-Student will create chart to represent the data that shows her daily eating& walking chart.


– Student will design a t-shirt that matches the respiratory system concept.








Other Evidence:

Through what other evidence will students demonstrate achievement of the desired results?

-Student will create a story about one of the respiratory system diseases.


-Student will create a presentation based on her assignment.


– Student will take quizzes to assess her knowledge of the vocabulary associated with the topic.
-Student will take tests to demonstrate her understanding of the functions of the respiratory system.
-Student will create a presentation based on her assignment. (by using Prezi)







 Stage 3 – Learning Plan

Learning Activities:


●      Introduce the essential questions and discuss unit task performance. (W)

●      Start with an entry questions. More than half of the people have respiratory system diseases How will you protect yourself? (H)

●     Key vocabulary terms are introduced with various kind of activities. Student will read and discuss the relevant part of the book then she will make research about the topic. She will create lung model (E 1).

●      Student will prepare presentation and explain it in detail. After finishing a respiratory system, brainstorm ideas on health concerns and ways to keep the system healthy (R)

●      Evaluate their work: Give quiz about respiratory system and its parts. To self-assessment use rubric. Student will design T-shirt to show respiratory system. At the conclusion of the unit, student will review her daily eating& walking chart. Has she noticed any change? How does she feel after eating healthy and walking daily? Healthy eating also affects respiratory system. Since unhealthy nutrition triggers many of the respiratory system diseases like asthma. (E 2)

●     Play a POP brain game It sis good opportunity to prepare student for test. Higher level thinking questions are incorporated. She will be asked to write a few sentences with drawing pictures. Review notes together with multimedia videos, animations and provide formative assessment activities (T)



Authentic assessment would be a great opportunity for my daughter to truly demonstrate that she has mastered the understanding. I enjoy using authentic assessments because they give student a chance to show her personality in her work and also creates a great product to share at social media. She will create a chart or other visual aid that connects the respiratory systems. Once all respiratory system organs have been discussed, a more in-depth project will be developed to display the relationships between all organ systems. It can be difficult to analyze the student understanding of this unit, using a pencil and paper test, due to the large amount of information that it encompasses.






Understanding by Design Template adopted from: Wiggins, G., McTighe, J. (2002). Understanding by Design.

Image retrieved from https://www.google.com/search?q=even+the+poor+plan&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=613&source=lnln&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiLw4KRpqLPAhUn2oMKHWXuALsQ_AUIBigB&dpr=1#imgrc=YcOXcHjv-_R0qM%3A

Image retrieved from https://www.google.com/search?q=ubd+book&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=662&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiKosnTk6LPAhVI0oMKHUV1BQEQ_AUIBygC&dpr=1





What is learning and how does it take place in the learning environment? Learning is a permanent change in our behavior as a result of experience, training, and education. This is a very broad phenomenon that has no boundaries like age, place or time. All of us is a learner in this world and this skill matures and shapes our personality over time.

In my learning philosophy, there are three inalienable elements: love, motivation, and creativity. I always try to provide an atmosphere that every student feels, precious, respected and a member of the team themselves in it. I believe that one method or approach can not fit all students, as like one size of shoes doesn’t fit everyone. Since every person is unique and special it is natural to have differences in student’s intelligence. Accordingly, their contribution can be varying in society. Some of the learners can be a musician, the other one can be the writer. That’s why I love using different types of approaches, methods, and tools to support my learner’s diverse needs.

My main goal is to draw the students’ attention to learning and generate joy and fulfillment in them. Hands –on activities is a must for me. When I look at my past, all of my knowledge comes from “doing,” rather than listening or studying. What do I mean by “doing” I mean, experiencing?   To acquire long-lasting learning, it is crucial to teach our learners how to learn. That’s why I suggest my learners to ask three questions to themselves. What is this? Why should I learn this? How can I use this knowledge in my real life? If they find responses to these three questions and internalize it, they can master the real purpose of learning. I believe to connect with all students in the classroom, is teacher’s big responsibility. I provide help for all my student; underachievers generally see success as something that is beyond their control and this makes them feel as if all their efforts are nothing. The student needs to be aware of the role of personal responsibility plays through achievement. In addition, for encouraging collaboration and interaction between students, I send the message that I care about how they are doing in the course, and that I am always open to make changes for their benefit. I ensure positive and constructive feedback and praise my learner’s efforts specifically. So rather than saying “you could have done that better,” I say “you tried your best and worked hard.  To build up serene learning environment I encourage the positive attitude.

I also care about service-learning in my learning philosophy. By incorporating service-learning into the curriculum, I offer students the opportunity to apply classroom theory to real-life situations. Students consider service-learning as a way to integrate what they have learned in the classroom with a real-world environment.

I think learning and teaching has a strong tie and interaction with each other. The teacher can support students learning by means of motivation to learn, moreover, technology usage can greatly foster the students’ capacity to learn. As a learning environment, classroom assures a variety of activities to students by means of accepting individual differences, increasing their readiness to learn, discovering new ideas, and constructing their own knowledge.

I feel like my learning philosophy positively impact my innovation plan. Since I am my daughter’s learning coach, I train her for every aspect of life. Academic success doesn’t mean everything for me. I believe it is very significant for teachers to consider physiological and social development phases as well. Because some students that considered successful throughout in their school life, after graduation, they encounter many obstacles in real life and show antisocial behavior. My role is creating a curriculum that based on her interest and assures access the correct source of information.   Eventually, she determines her motivation for learning. I put many apparatuses as could be allowed in the learning procedure.  I choose my   materials and resources that require intellectual engagement. I give ownership to my daughter in curriculum and rules so she feels valuable and works harder to accomplish her learning goals. Since she feels secure to express herself at home, she is building a sense of self-esteem and does cooperatively what is expected from her.




Annotated Bibliography

Thomas, D., Brown, J. S. (2011, January 4) A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change

Learning is a remarkably social process. In truth, it occurs not as a response to teaching, but rather as a result of a social framework that fosters learning (John Sealy Brown).

In this book authors argue that old ways of teaching cannot keep up with the rapidly changing world. They differentiated two learning societies: one that is instructor driven where educators state what is important, and the other one that is learner-driven that learners figure out what is essential and realize through engagement with the resources. They pointed out how important to move learner -driven approach. Teachers create, reshape the environment and guide the learner’s exploration.  We need to re -embrace a new culture of “play “to ensure we acquire the new generation. Authors argue by offering genuine case of natural learning. There are many examples in the book who learn such a deep level. These examples in the book make a persuading and stimulating the up and coming era of students.

Thomas Brown and John Seely also emphasizing on learners learning steps, such as exploring resources, questioning and producing content. They expressed that play, imagination and integration is necessary for meaningful learning.  Thomas and Brown explain the importance of play in learning which is something we do not do enough in our learning environment. Being lifelong learner is essential and students should learn also with their peers. With new media devices peer-to-peer learning is easy and natural.   In addition, authors say we need more facilities to know, to create and to play. They also indicate that learners must not be consumer but creator of the content.

Pink, D. (2010, April 1) ROSA Animate: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc.

In his video, Dan Pink uses the research to explain the carrot and stick model is not effective when mental effort is blended. In this research a whole group of student from MIT university were taken and given a set of challenges such as memorizing string of digits, solving word puzzles physical tasks and etc. They gave them three levels of rewards. But when they compare the results of the cognitive skills to the mechanical skills, the people doing the mechanical work liked the carrot and stick model whereas the people who had to use too much cognitive skills didn’t like the idea. The cognitive skills worked the opposite way of mechanical skills. Dan Pink suggests solution to motivate people. Pink then describes what research has found to be successful in motivating people when mental effort is involved.



Pink, D. (2010, April 1) RSA Animate: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates  us. Retrieved from   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc.

Robinson.K.[TED].(2010,May 24)Sir ken robinson:bring on the learning revolutionRetrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9LelXa3U_I

Thomas, D., Brown, J. S. (2011, January 4) A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change