Hello, my name is Dena Porter. I've been teaching in Naperville District 203 for the past seven years, most of them at fifth grade. Prior to teaching in Naperville, I taught in Central Oregon in a small town called, Prineville for three years in kindergarten and third grade. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, so I didn't begin teaching until I was in my 30's. I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up, but I do know that I have a passion for teaching and working with children to help them reach their potential.
When it comes to technology, I'm definitely a work in progress. I am apprehensively looking forward to moving to 1:1 with Chrome books in the 2017-2018 school year. Throughout this past school year, I became more and more comfortable with the Google environment and the collaboration tools at my students' fingertips. I have especially appreciated the ability to use "Comments" within my students Googledocs so that I can provide them with consistent feedback that they can easily refer back to as they work through the writing or thinking process on a variety of assignments.
A success that I've had in working with technology is related to robotics with my First LEGO League students in our after school program. My lack of expertise in robotics has helped me to become more comfortable with facilitating rather than guiding or leading learning. I honestly didn't have answers to student questions and as a result I focused on reflecting back to students what they shared as their understanding and helped them work through their own thinking process rather than prompting them to my predetermined answer. As a result, I'm more comfortable with exploration and learning alongside my students, both in the after school program and in my fifth grade classroom.