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September 2016 - Alyssa Hamaker

Alyssa Hamaker
What Do You Teach?
7th grade Writing
Where Do you Teach?
Horace Mann Junior School
How Long Have You Been Teaching?
6 years

How Does Educational Technology Play a Role in Your Classroom?
I use some type of technology in my classroom every single day. I was very excited to get iPads, so I spent the last year finding more ways to incorporate them in my lessons.

Student using technologyHow Do You Find Technology in the Classroom Helpful?
I think technology makes my life easier. Technology engages the students which minimizes distractions and increases learning. I have also found new ways to grade (such as Socrative) and easier ways to store student work (such as Google Drive and Classroom). When I use Google Drive, I no longer have to bring home mounds of papers to grade. I can log on anywhere and grade essays or other work. I can comment on their work from anywhere and answer questions. Students who are shy can ask questions privately through Google. I really believe technology is helpful for every student in my classroom.
What Is Your Favorite Piece of Classroom Technology? Why?
The iPad is by far my favorite! We no longer have to keep our fingers crossed that the computer lab is open the day we need it or beg a teacher for their laptop cart. They are convenient, fast, and user friendly for teachers and students.
What Is On Your Technology Wish List For Your Classroom? Why?
I am really excited to get Apple TV this year. I think it will make our iPad lessons even easier to understand and follow than before. I also really want electronic dictionaries. I am trying to find the ones that will be allowed for use on the STAAR test.
What Do You Love Most About Teaching?
Honestly…it’s the kids. I love getting to know them and learning new ways to reach them.
Student using technology

Nominated by:
Jennifer Stephens, Junior School Technology Integration Specialist
"Alyssa is an enthusiastic teacher and it's evident by the way her students respond to her in class. She is constantly developing new ways to engage her students. There is never a boring day in Mrs. Hamaker's class! Alyssa and I created a lesson in ActivInspire, to help her students review particular grammar skills they were struggling with. With the use of ClassFlow, Alyssa was able to have her students engaged and accountable for their learning. She was also able to get immediate results. She used those results to guide her follow up questions and lesson. Not only does Mrs. Hamaker cultivate learning for her students, she encourages her fellow teachers as well. Throughout the day, she called and spoke to teachers, inviting them in her room to see her lesson."