Al, González is a National Board Certified Teacher (2004 and renewed
2014) as an Early Adolescent Generalist and has been teaching for 26
years, 20 of those in the Chimacum School District. Al has a Masters in
Teaching and has completed both the ISTE Capstone I and II showing fluency in
the ISTE Student and Teacher standards. Al has been integrating
technology into his classes since 1991 when he brought his Tandy laptop
into his 4th and 5th grade class in South Central Los Angeles for
students to use as a learning center. Using his AOL account Al
connected his inner city students with students in Vassalboro, Maine.
They traded videos on VHS, sent through snail mail, back and forth,
sharing their similar yet uniquely different experiences.
Al teaches Science and Technology to 6th and 8th graders in a 1:1
student to laptop environment. Al has enhanced his school program by
getting grants for 21 of the 26 years he's been teaching and 19 of the
those 21 years were consecutive! Yeah, that's 19 straight years of
getting at least one grant a year! Al has
received Learn and Serve America service learning grants, Best Buy
grants, CenturyLink grants, foundation grants, WEA Innovative Educator,
Hero, HP Technology for Teaching, WA STEM Entrepreneurial, Ocean
Guardian Schools, and other
grants to integrate technology through great projects into his Science
Graduated UCLA with a major in Psychology
1991 - Began teaching 4th and 5th grade at Main
Street Elementary in South Central Los Angeles
1991 - Began the L.A. Unified School District
1992 - Received a Los Angeles Educational Partnership
Grant for $500 (1st grant ever)
1993 - Received a Josephine Bay Paul and C. Michael
Paul Foundation, Inc. Grant for $3,000
1994 - Completed L.A. Unified School District
1994 - Earned California Elementary Teaching Credential
along with Bilingual Certificate of Competency
1996 - One year contract at Blue Heron Middle
School in WA teaching 7th grade Language Arts
and Social Studies
1997 to present - Teaching at Chimacum Middle
School (currently 25th year teaching)
1998 - Earned Certificate from UW for Teaching,
Learning, and Technology
1999 - Received two major Technology Equipment
and Training Grants!
2000 - Started Chimacum Middle School's Water
Quality program with three
2001 - Earned a Masters of Teaching Degree
2003 - Attended a National Science Foundation
(NSF) Patterns Exploration Training in Florida!
2004 - Earned a National Board Teaching Certification
as an Early Adolescent Generalist
2004 - Began a three year NSF funded North Cascades
and Olympic Science Partnership (NCOSP) training
2006 - Best
Buy Teacher Award grant for $2,500 (1,300
grants were awarded to teachers all over the U.S.)
and a Target
Field Trip grant for $1,000 (800 grants were
awarded from over 16,000 applicants!) on top of
& Serve America grant for my 6th
grade Water Quality Project $4,000! That's
$7,500 this year so far.
2006 - Best
Buy School Award grant for $15,000!! (out
of the 1,300 teachers who won the $2,500, 250
were asked to apply for this $15,000 school grant
and my application was one of the 50 chosen! We
can now apply for a $250,000 district grant from
Best Buy!) See the article
in the Kitsap Sun! We applied
for the district grant but it was given to the
San Diego school district. You win some, you lose
some. At least we tried.
2007 - HP's
Technology for Teaching Grant! Mr.
Gonzalez, Mr. Thomsen, Mr. DiPrete, Mr. Olafson,
and Ms. Langston teamed up to write a proposal
for a 6, 7, 8 Math and Science project. The team
of five received equipment and will get training
totalling more than $31,000!
See the 06-07 grant items!
2007 - OSPI's
Learn and Serve America Mini-grant year two
funds were increased from $4,000 to $7,046!
There was more money for service learning so Chimacum
students get access to more field trips and more
equipment to study our creek's water quality and
the Hood Canal.
2007 - One of six schools chosen to receive the
Hooked on Hydroponics Award (the M-1 package
worth $900) from the
National Gardening Association!
2008 - OSPI's
Learn and Serve America Mini-grant year three
funds were increased, again, from $4,000 to $9,000!
2008 - Now that the NCOSP grant has ended the Science partnership
expanded and we here on the peninsula have our own Olympic Math and
Science Partnership (OMSP). I am now working with OMSP to form a team
of middle school and high school Math and Science teachers here at
Chimacum. We call our team Math Science PLC (short for Professional
Learning Community) and we meet several times a year to work on
improving Math and Science instruction here at the Chimacum Schools!
2008 - As part of the HP Tech
for Teaching grant Al completed a nInternational Society for Technology
in Education (ISTE) certification course. Al received his ISTE Capstone
I certification. Teachers who complete the Capstone courses showcase exhibits
of projects they create and conduct with students to show proficiency
in all the National Education Technolgy Standards (NETS) for students
(NETS S) and for teachers (NETS T).
2009 - Thanks to Math and Science funds from WA state Al was able to take the second ISTE Capstone course and receive his ISTE Capstone II certification.
2009 - OSPI's Learn and Serve America Sustainable Design grant Year 1 for $5,620 for my Water Quality Project!
OSPI's Learn and Serve America Sustainable Design grant Year 2 for $10,000 for my Water Quality Project!
2010 - Chimacum School District to use Solo 6 as part of our Water Quality Project. $2,000!
2010 - WA STEM
Entrepenuerial Award for $10,300!
2010 - Friends of Chimacum Schools Education Foundation for $595 to replace a broken Water Quality Vernier LabQuest!
2012 - The Washington Foundation for the Environment (WFFE) as part of their Nonprofit Environmental Ed $1,000 for the Water Quality Project!
2012 - The ING Unsung Heroes awards program$2,000 for the Water Quality Project!
2012 - Worked on renewing my Early Adolescent Generalist National Board Certification! (I renewed!)
2012 - Worked on the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching! (I didn't make it.)
2013 - Got a $250 grant from WISE to teach students about invasive species!
2013 - Got a $5,000 Technology Grant from CenturyLink!
2014 - Got a WA STEM Professional Development Grant for our school totalling over $13,000!
2014 - I was chosen as one of the five finalists in WA State for the
Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest! I only made it to the first round,
but at least I got two Samsung Galaxy Tablets!
2015 - Got to participate in the Olympic STEM Pathways Partnership representing Chimacum!
2015 - Got to co-present with two fabulous presenters at a WEA Innovation conference for four days!
2015 - Got to co-present a WEA TPEP Formative Assessment session with
another fabulous teacher at the West Sound Summer Institute!
2015 - Got a Friends of Chimacum Schools Foundation grant for $300 to purchase two Sphero Robotic Balls for a Newton's Law project!
2015 - Year 2 of our WA STEM Professional Development grant!
2015 - Awarded an NEEF grant for $750 for our Environmental Stewardship Project!
2015 - Received $245 in donations via an Indiegogo Campaign,
that raised awareness and our very WeAct Club raised $350, the WA State
Trooper's Association donated $900 and the Friends of Chimacum Schools
donated $1,000 to start a Student Tech Support Group at Chimacum Middle
School in the hopes of getting more computers into the hands of
students! (That's a total of $2,495!)
2016 - Received a CenturyLink Teachers and Technology grant to enhance and expand the Student Tech Support Group (ChimTech) for $5,000!
2016 - Received a Peninsula Credit Union grant for $500 for the Environmental Stewardship Project!
2017 - Receoived a grant from, and became an, Ocean Guardian School for the Environmental Stewardship Project for $4,000!
Grant successes: grant writing leading to
over $353,000 in
grants in 42 grants and 19 straight years of getting at least one grant per year! (See grant
Different Class Websites:
Al's first class website
Al's second class website
Al's third class website
An idea for the 06-07 website
Another Class Intro
Then Class Intro after the previous one
The next Class Intro
Mr. G's Class Blog
and finally, the last Class Intro page
in Psychology and minored in history at
UCLA with visions of becoming a veterinarian.
Since his freshman year at UCLA, Al studied
Martial Art, Hwa Rang Do. He began teaching
new students after about three years and
found that he loved to teach. That was the
career for Al, so upon graduating
from UCLA he attended
State University at Northridge to
work towards earning his teaching credential.
Dissatisfied with Northridge's lack of support
in their graduate program, he learned about
Angeles Unified School District's intern program that
led to a California Clear Credential and signed
up. The program targeted Spanish-speaking teachers
to help the large population of Spanish-speaking
students in the Los Angeles district. He was
intern program proved to be more valuable than
the Cal State Northridge graduate program.
The classes were taught by veteran teachers
with the emphasis on what works in the classroom
with only enough theory as necessary to become
a better teacher - one who can teach and not
just talk about teaching. Using the latest Whole
Language and Thematic approaches,
lessons were created in each and every intern
class and Al used all those lessons every week
in with his elementary students (the Intern
classes were taken at the same time Al began
his first year of teaching - quite a memorable
experience considering the only work he'd done
with kids up to that point was teaching martial
arts in an after school program in an elementary
school in Culver City!). While interning, Al
taught 4th and 5th grade modified and full
bilingual classes at Main Street Elementary
School in the heart
of South Central Los Angeles. Al taught Science,
Math, Social Studies, Language Arts, ESL, P.E.,
Music (okay, music appreciation) and Art. The
intern program provided Al with training in
all these fields. Training included using
Thematic and Whole Language Approaches using
Core Literature, in a hands-on, naturalistic
approach, with authentic assessment techniques.
It was an awesome program! Having been born
in Miami, Florida, to Cuban parents and speaking
only Spanish at home helped Al when he had
to relearn how to spell and put accent marks
in his native language! He picked English up
while very young watching Sesame Street and
that has been his dominant language ever since,
but luckily his mother kept his Spanish fluent.
his California Clear Credential and his Bilingual
Certificate of Competency during
his time at Main Street Elementary.
Main Street Al joined the Local
School Leadership Council and the School Site
in putting on multicultural assemblies, chaired
the technology committee,
of the mathematics and science committees and
was responsible for bringing the internet to
Main Street and purchasing the new computer lab.
In a position of leadership, he participated
in the state's evaluation of the school's improvement
program and helped rewrite the school's improvement
plan. In five years
he amassed as much experience as he could in
all areas of the elementary school curriculum
and attended several workshops and inservices
in all the subject areas. While at Main Street
received two grants. Al received a $500 grant
from the Los Angeles Educational Partnership
(LAEP) to bring the Internet to his classroom
and a $3,000 grant from the Josephine Bay Paul
and C. Michael Paul Foundation, Inc. to keep
his school newspaper going.
Both were huge successes. During his first year
at Main Street, Al brought his Tandy laptop so
his students could word process. His second year
at Main Street, Al began to use a single Mac
LC 520 with CD-ROM drive with his students. The
LAEP grant bought a modem and phone line which
Al used with his own AOL account to connect his
class. His South Central Latino kids were keypals
with kids in Vassalboro, Maine! His fourth and
fifth graders began a school newspaper with that
one computer until Al got the $3,000 to purchase
a second computer, this time a Pentium 120 HP
with a scanner and a small camera. This improved
the newspaper greatly and more classes in the
school participated. The newspaper also helped
Al's class share what they were learning through
the interactive, online experience of MayaQuest.
Al worked in South Central Los Angeles, at Main
Street Elementary, from 1991 to 1996.
1991 to 1992 at Main Street
Elementary (5th Bilingual and English Only)
1992 to 1993 at Main Street Elementary (4/5 Bilingual
and English Only)
1993 to 1994 at Main Street Elementary (4/5 Full Bilingual)
1994 to 1995 at Main Street Elementary (4/5 Full Bilingual)
1995 to 1996 at Main Street Elementary (4/5 Full Bilingual)
5 years at Main Street Elementary
1996 to 1997 at Blue Heron MS (7th Language Arts/Social
1 year at Blue Heron
1997 to 1998 at Chimacum MS (6th Social Studies, Math,
2 Sci with Missig, and one 7/8 Adv Tech - HTML)
1998 to 1999 at Chimacum MS (6th Social Studies, Math,
2 Sci with Missig, and one 8th Adv Tech)
1999 to 2000 at Chimacum MS (6th Social Studies, Math,
2 Sci with Langston, and one 8th Comp II)
2000 to 2001 at Chimacum MS (6th Social Studies, Math,
2 Sci with Langston, and one 8th Comp II)
2001 to 2002 at Chimacum MS (6th 4 Sci - Blocks, and
2002 to 2003 at Chimacum MS (6th 4 Sci - Periods, and
2003 to 2004 at Chimacum MS (6th 4 Sci - Mixed Block,
Student Tech Corps, and
2004 to 2005 at Chimacum MS (6th LA, SS, Sci, Math, Student
Tech Corps, and
2005 to 2006 at Chimacum MS (6th 2 SS, 2 Sci, and
2006 to 2007 at Chimacum MS (6th 3 Sci, 7th
1 Sci, and
Comp 2 -
2 tri's, 7/8 Latin - 1 tri)
2007 to 2008 at Chimacum MS (6th 3 Sci,
7th 2 Sci, first year with no exploratory
2008 to 2009 at Chimacum MS (6th 2 Sci,
8th 3 Sci, second year with no exploratory
2009 to 2010 at Chimacum MS (6th 3 Sci,
7/8 2 Sci, third year with no exploratory
2010 to 2011 at Chimacum MS (6th 3 Sci, 8th 2 Sci)
2011 to 2012 at Chimacum MS (6th 3 Sci, 8th 2 Sci)
2012 to 2013 at Chimacum MS (6th 3 Sci, 8th 2 Sci)
2013 to 2014 at Chimacum MS (6th 3 Sci, 8th 2 Sci)
2014 to 2105 at Chimacum MS (6th 3 Sci, 6th 2 Exploratory)
2015 to 2016 at Chimacum MS (6th 3 Sci, 6th 1 Exploratory)
2016 to 2017 at Chimacum MS (6th 3 Sci, 6th 1 Exploratory)
2017 to 2018 at Chimacum MS (6th 3 Sci, 6th 1 Exploratory, 8th 1 Sci)
2017-18 = 21st
year at Chimacum Middle School!
2017-18 = 27th year teaching!
Washington, Al worked his first
year in a replacement contract at Blue Heron
Middle school teaching 7th grade Language Arts
and Social Studies.
In that one year at Blue Heron, Al worked closely
with the 7th grade team to create integrative
units for the kids and he and his classes participated
in two online collaborative projects. Al brought
the MayaQuest experience to his 7th graders as
he and his kids learned to create websites with
HTML (see their 1996
Election papers). Al remained with Blue Heron
only for the 1996-1997 school year.
his replacement contract was over, Al found the
perfect position at Chimacum Middle School. Sixth
grade is a great balance between fifth and seventh.
Al has been at Chimacum since the fall of 1997.
CMS is a great place to work and a pretty fantastic
district that puts kids first and respects its
teachers. The middle school is a perfect fit
for Al where he enjoys working side-by-side with
extraordinary and wonderful people. At Chimacum,
Al joined the middle
school's building council as 6th grade representative from
1997 to 2001 and he is part of his school's
technology team as well as the district's technology
team. He was also
hired as part-time,
assistant district technician to
help the district's tech guy, Chris Martin, especially
as the Chimacum Schools were growing. Towards
the end of
his first year at Chimacum (summer of 1998),
Al taught two classes, one on using
CD-ROMs in the computer lab with your class,
and one on using Easy
Grade Pro 3.06 grading program, and
The classes were attended by Chimacum Middle
School teachers, Chimacum School district teachers
and by teachers from Jefferson County at Chimacum's
summer institute. Al has also taught classes
to the Chimacum staff on making
websites with Claris Homepage (summer
of 2000), on using Grade
Machine 6.0 (summer of 2001) and on creating
PowerPoint presentations (summer of
began teaching 6th grade science, math, and social
studies along with 7/8 Beginning HTML or Advanced
Technology as they called it, and a Computers
2 class teaching web design with html editors
and skills such as spreadsheets, databases and
graphic design. Al spent the 2000-2001 school
year working on the District's
science subject area committee and
for the 2001-2002 school year Al taught 6th
grade science to all 6th graders along with the
8th grade Computers 2 on web design.
His student's works are published on the WWW,
go to his classroom
website to see it as well as get information
on what Al is teaching.
the summer of 1998, Al was accepted into the University
of Washington's Teaching,
Learning, and Technology program where he
received a certificate
in Teaching, Learning and Technology.
Go to his TLT
web page to see lesson plans created for
the courses as well as literary work. During
the Summer of 1999-2000, he was accepted into
Canyon University's Master
of Arts in Teaching program. Al earned a Master
of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree.
years 1999 and 2001 proved to be good years
for Al González. Al enjoys writing grants
to gain money for equipment to fund the addition
of more technology into his classroom or to fund
exciting science projects. During the summer
of '99 he wrote and applied for three separate
grants. It was quite frustrating when one after
another of those three grants didn't come through.
Al did not let that discourage him though as
he found out about two more grants, two big ones
that seemed to go very well together. So Al applied
for one of the OSPI's Technology
Literacy Challenge Fund (TLCF) grants, the Learning
Space: Right in Class project as well as
the Bill and
Melinda Gates Library Foundation's Teacher Leadership
Project (TLP) grant. Al wished and prayed
and drove his Principal (Kathy Wales) crazy,
but finally heard that he
was awarded the Right in Class grant. The Learning
Space's Right in Class grant placed
equipment in Al's classroom and provided some
quality training with other great teachers from
WA State. Altogether, the entire grant totaled
over $10,000! If
that wasn't enough, Al
also got the TLP grant! That
grant awarded Al $9,000 and for equipment, plus
a laptop and tons of training to teach his students
and address the Washington State EALR's using
highly accessible technology easily totalling
Two dreams come true as Al was able to provide
one computer for every three to four kids in
spent the 2000-2001 school year writing other
grants to improve his program. He wrote seven
grants, but that paid off when he heard that
America Foundation awarded
him a $4,800 grant to fund Chimacum
Middle School's Water Quality Project!
If that wasn't enough, EDS awarded
Al $1,500 to buy more equipment for the water
quality project and the
Friends of Chimacum Foundation awarded Al $250
to help purchase even more equipment! 2001-2002
was very good indeed for 6th grade science!
getting those grants weren't enough, Chimacum
Middle School was awarded the Bill
and Melinda Gates Foundation's Model Schools
Grant! Al wrote a proposal to the foundation
during the 1999-2000 school year but that proposal
was not accepted. The foundation needed proof
that the entire staff was willing to accept the grant
guidelines. Al asked for help and with a
group of Chimacum teachers, rewrote the grant
proposal for the 2000-2001 school year. The grant
seemingly failed being accepted for the 2000-2001
round. Then, out
of the blue, a foundation representative visited
Chimacum Middle School! Chimacum
Middle School's principal at the time, David
Leinweber, informed Al that they had made it
to the next stage.
After the visitation,
Chimacum Middle School was informed that the
foundation would indeed award them the grant! They
had made it!! The grant gave the school $400
per student, which
totaled $136,000 for Chimacum
Middle School. Way to go staff. The money
was used to purchase equipment for the school
and to train teachers on how to best use that
equipment. They also used the money for staff
development and to improve their school by developing
a School Improvement Plan (SIP).
the remainder of 2001-02, Al sought
more grant opportunities to make Chimacum's
Water Quality study more exciting and real
for his students. None of the those proved successful,
but Al continued to write more grant proposals
toward the end of the school year. Al figures
that the more he tries, the more likely that
a grant will pay off. As part of the Gates Grant,
with a small group of teachers and their principal
to help plan the staff development and purchase
of equipment. Al attended
a Gates Grant conference where
he learned a lot about education reform. Al
the 2001-2002 NCCE
conference which was held in Seattle along
with the entire staff of Chimacum Middle School.
It was an exciting event where the staff was
able to learn what is possible with the latest
technology and at the same time network with
first, year 2001-2002 seemed to be a year where
Al would get no grants. With his new principal's
help, Al rewrote his Water Quality grant and
submitted it to Toyota's Tapestry grant, to the
Coca Cola Foundation, and to the AOL Time Warner
Foundation. Al requested from $10,000 to $25,000
from each of those grants and was very disappointed
to get none of them. The competition was fierce
and this just wasn't his year for new equipment.
What Al did get
was an OSPI
apply and work towards his National
Board for Professional Teaching Standards teaching
certificate as an Early
Adolescent (ages 11-15) Generalist.
That would be quite an honor if Al could
get it. Al was not alone in his endeavor as the
other two middle school science teachers got
the same scholarship and went for their certificates
in Science and Early Adolescent Generalist as
well. Al sees himself
as an integrationist, which is
why he went for the generalist certificate.
great honor for Al was having been selected along
with one of the 7th grade math teachers to
attend the National
Science Foundation's (NSF) Pattern Exploration
and the 7th grade math teacher spent two weeks
Raton, Florida learning
how to integrate math and science through patterns
explorations using Fractal geometry! The courses
were geared towards middle school students
and it was led by top mathematicians
and Physicists. Dr. Heinz Otto Peitgin, a leader
in the field of fractal geometry and chaos
math was one of the teachers! It
was awesome. See
the picts here. All
expenses were paid for
the two teachers to learn and bring back some
amazing math and science! So in the end, 2001-2002
was not a total loss after all. Quite the opposite!
following year, Al
was invited to return to Florida to be a lead
teacher! It was an incredible
honor for Al, but unfortunately and to Al's
dismay, he had to turn it down,
of reasons. Al
had a new baby girl!
the 2002-2003 school year Al heard from Salute
to Educator's Stepping into the Future grants.
He was awarded
$150 to purchase a Tom
Snyder Decisions, Decisions CD-ROM simulation!
He went ahead and bought The
Environment simulation. It was great and
the kids loved it. Since Al was so busy with
the National Board work, he only managed to write
one grant for the 2002-2003 school year. He applied
for the Washington
Educators Association (WEA's) Innovative Educator
Grant to purchase more equipment for his
6th grade water quality project. He got it! By
the end of the 2002-2003 school year, he
was awarded $1500 to purchase another palm pilot
and sensor interface, and two more probes! Another
the end of June 2003, Chimacum's science teachers
were done with the first year of their National
Board for Professional Teaching Standards process.
They needed to work on their portfolios for one
more year! They spent the entire 2002-2003 school
year videotaping lessons and building their portfolios
and ended the year by taking their National Board
assessment tests at a testing center. While working
on the National Board work, Al also managed to
work with fellow teachers on the Gates Foundation
grant staff development committee as part of
the middle school's School Improvement Team (SIT). Al
taught a class on enhancing instruction with
best practices in teaching using long-term projects
integrating different technologies such as PowerPoint.
Al also taught a beginning Word class and web
development with Studio MX, featuring Dreamweaver
MX, class in the 2002-03 school year.
summer of 2003 might very well be best yet for
Al. Al worked all of August preparing a proposal
Learn and Serve America Washington grant.
After working hard for a month and a half on
the iGrants website, Al
got a three year grant for about
$14,000 a year for three full years totalling
These monies greatly enhanced Chimacum
Middle School's water quality project! Read
here to see the plan for the grant. See Al's grant
history. Here is the Learn
and Serve website. And here is a link to Chimacum's
project description on Washington's OSPI
enhancing his Water
Quality project with the
first installment of his Learn
& Serve Grant Al had
another great school year. For the 2003-2004
school year, Al enhanced his Computers
a Studio MX site
license for the entire middle
school. Al taught Web Design with Dreamweaver
(which incorporated Fireworks and Flash as
well). Al was also trained to teach a one quarter
class of Student
TECH CORPS, a program designed to train students
to do the tech work and troubleshooting that
schools desperately need. Chimacum
School District received a grant to train a teacher
who could lead students
through the 30 hour training they need to attain
the certification. This was very
exciting and Al was the one to go. So far, nine
students received their Pre Professional Technology
(PPT) certification in
2004 while 16 students took the tests only one
passed them all successfully. While
only that one student was certified in 2004,
hopes that the other 15 will retest in 2005
and pass to get their PPT certification.
The original nine students began to help Chimacum
solve their many, everyday technology problems.
By the 2004-05 school year, two of the nine PPT
Student Associates moved on to high school.
In August of 2004 Al had the opportunity to participate
North Cascades and Olympic Science Partnership
(NCOSP) at Western Washington
University. Al spent two weeks on the lovley
university campus with science teachers from
all over Washington state learning how to best
teach science. Al was also exposed to a fantastic
physcial science unit for teachers to help teachers
improve their content knowledge to better teach
students. It was a great learning experience
and Al also has the opportunity to take some
days off each month to meet with the other science
teachers from the partnership to continue their
learning. NCOSP is
Science Foundation (NSP) funded project
involving 26 school districts, two education
service districts, four community colleges, Washington
State LASER, the Naval Undersea Musem, Washington
State MESA, and Western Washington University.
The project involves close interaction of the
partners to reform science education in grades
3-10 through teacher professional development,
implementation of new curriculum materials, and
development and support of learning communities
in the schools. The partnership will also focus
on increasing the diversity of new teachers and
improving the science teacher preparation program
in the higher education institutions. This will
be done through innovative recruitment programs,
the development and refinement of courses, and
carefully planned interactions between the colleges
and school districts."
of November 19, 2004 Al is a National
Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) Early
Adolescent (ages 11-15) Generalist!
Al received his certification from the National
Board for Professional Teaching Standards
(NBPTS) after two years of hard work putting
together portfolios, collecting student work,
himself working with students, using student
writing samples to better help students, reflecting
on his practices and taking a battery of tests
at a certified testing center for professionals.
This school year, 2004-05, Al continues to be
part of the middle school's School Improvement
Team and also attends training as the middle
school implements the Connected
Mathematics Project. Al
is relieved to finally reach his goal of National
Board certification while continuing to be a
contributing member of his
2004-05 year has proven challenging on many fronts.
Luckily, Al has finished the National
Board process because that year he barely
had any time to work on his professional development!
He has fallen behind on his reading and spends
lot of time at school. His
typical day finds him arriving at school anywhere
7am and he doesn't get home until after 6pm on
some days and after 5pm on most days! Having
to learn and prepare the new
program (visit the Math
Section) takes a lot of time, but so is preparing
language arts lessons
and projects that help students improve their
reading and writing. Even
though he has taught only
6th graders for the last three years, preparing
his science projects
still takes time and on top of that he has to
studies lessons and projects
as well as coming up with topics for his exploratory after
his class is done with Student
Tech Corps! The 6th grade team is planning
to try a different model for the 2005-06 school
year to lessen their loads so they can do a better
job and be more efficient.
next year, 2005, brought many pleasant surprises.
After four years of studying
the water quality of Chimacum Creek and
working with the North
Olympic Salmon Coalition (NOSC) in their
restoration work, Al finally found other teachers
doing similar projects at their school! This
was exciting because much of the $42,000 Learn
& Serve grant that Al procured for the
water quality project is for outreach so that,
like real scientists, Chimacum students can share
knowledge and data with other students! Al's
class participated in the 2005 Hood
Canal Youth Summit on June 2 where schools
testing water quality along the Hood Canal
at Fort Flagler to share what they
did and what they learned. Al
also had the opportunity to share his water
research with science teachers who are participating
in the NCOSP
science teachers met at least once a month to
learn new things
and share ideas. Al also participated
in a lesson study
with science teachers from his area where
they visited each other's schools to
each other conduct science lessons. They gave
each other feedback to improve student learning
in their classes. Because of this, Al piloted
Science and Technology Concepts for Middle Schools
(STC/MS) science kit and conducted
a lesson for his lesson
Al has attended an NCOSP class
essential questioning strategies to
best help students activate prior knowledge and
most out of their learning experiences. Al also
attended a class
on using the science WASL to create small,
WASL-like tests, called
best prepare his 6th graders for the 8th grade
WASL. Al took his water
quality project and created a WASLito for
his students! His WASLito was based on an earlier
released WASL test item, the
Buggle Gum Scenario. Al continues to attend
the great NCOSP trainings
to become a better science teacher. Al has been
working with his district
and building administrators
to improve the 6th grade science program. The
plan was to add the 6th grade to the district's
kit cooperative. Al met with another
group of science teachers who have been working
diligently at seeing where the state
science Grade Level Expectations (GLE's) align
After getting to work with two kits, Al learned
from those teachers why FOSS probably
wouldn't be the best fit for Chimacum. The NCOSP lesson
study group Al is working with is studying their
work with the Carolina
STC/MS science kits and those kits seem
a better fit for Chimacum, so Al
piloted one kit
and was hoping to get it purchased for the 6th grade for the 2005-06
school year. The school bought the kit so 6th graders are able to learn
physical science using the Energy, Machines, and Motion.
2004-05 school year has been a good year for
fun field trips. Every year begins with the exciting
Cispus experience. Al's class
also got to visit Chimacum Creek on campus several
times to test the
water and set traps for fish.
This year, for the first time, 6th graders got
to help the creek by planting
trees and learning about the native plants and
fish. Students also
got to experience the Ballard
Locks ice skating field
trip. Students also get to visit Canada each
year as part of our study of that country. Finally,
students got to participate in
this year's Hood
Canal Youth Summit. The Americorps person
who is part of the team bringing us the Hood
Canal Youth Summit also visited Al's classroom
to teach a class
on macroinvertebrates. What
a fun year!
far the 2005-06 school year is looking like a
great year. It has its challenges, but what year
doesn't? This year Al was teaching science,
social studies, and technology.
This work load makes it easier for Al to feel
that he is doing a good
job of helping his students learn! During the
2005-06 school many fascinating things happened.
Check out this
pictorial summary of the 05-06
the 2006-07 school year Al will be teaching all
the 6th grade science classes again, but this
time there are only three classes due to declining
enrollment. We don't have enough kids to continue
to have four classes of 20 students (as ideal
as that may be). Al will also teach one of the
three 7th grade science classes. The 7th and
8th grade science curriculum will be earth science
this year and Al will be attending his third
and final NCOSP summer academy in August with
Brett Thomsen where they will study earth science!
Once they return from the academy they will get
together with Mr. DiPrete to plan the 7th and
8th grade curriculum! Together the three science
teachers created a good curriculum for the 7th
and 8th grade students. Check out their Earth
Science Website. During the school year the
three science teachers got together with two
of the 6th grade math teachers to put together
a proposal for HP's
Technology for Teaching grant and they found
out in May of 2007 that they got it! They will
implement their project during the 2007-08 school
the summer of 2007 Al and Brett attended a five
day NCOSP summer planning session to prepare
a 3-day professional development program for
the five HP grant teachers. All five teachers
attended the 3-day professional development program
along with their Principal and a Blue Heron science
teacher and some NCOSP TOSA's to plan their project
and look at methods for how students learn best.
This was very rewarding.
the 2007-08 school year Al will be teaching all
the 6th grade science classes again and this time
he will also be teaching two 7th grade science
classes. This year the 7th and 8th graders will
be learning life science and Brett is leading
the science team in creating a great life science
curriculum. The week before school started Chimacum
staff were busy getting ready for the new school
year. Al was fortunate enough to be able to help
teach a Grant Writing course to staff, and Al
also taught a Blogging course and Using iMovie
in the Classroom course. During the grant writing
course Al wrote a proposal for a hydroponics
system and got the grant! This will help support
the 7th and 8th grade Life Science program!
For the 2008-09 school year Al taught two of the three 6th grade Science classes so that he could teach all three of the 8th grade Science classes.
Most of his 8th graders have been with Al since 6th grade making for a
great and smooth start to this school year. Al had a wonderful year
working with all his 6th and 8th grade students as they all did great
Science together. Al used the remaining funds from his Learn and Serve grant to improve his Water Quality project
and all 6th graders participated in the project providing their yearly
service to Chimacum and Hood Canal watersheds plus to the fishing
industry by helping maintain a healthy creek. Eighth graders learned Earth Science
as they participated in excellent projects and labs. By the summer of
2009 Al had applied for three more grants. A Qwest grant an Amgen grant
and new Learn and Serve sustainable design grant. While Al did not
receive neither the Qwest or the Amgen grants, he was fortunate enough
to be awarded another Learn and Serve grant for the 2009-10 school year!
For the 2009-10 school year Al will be able to provide even more improvements to his water quality project with another $5,620 from Learn and Serve! This year he taught all three 6th grade Science classes again and two 7/8 Earth Science classes.
This school year marked a change in the way Al learns. He found the
power of social networking. Al created a Twitter account to learn what
kids were getting into and found a growing network on educators using
Twitter and blogging to share information, resources and learning. From
other teachers Al decided to completely restructure the way he ran his
classroom. Al began blogging about his new learnings and wrote about
his changes here.
It was actually quite freeing to rethink traditional forms of teaching
that he took for granted and really weren't in the best interest of his
For the 2010-11 school year Al's classes will be able to take advantage of a 1:1 ratio of student to computer with another $10,000 from Learn and Serve!
Students will be able to choose from one of the ten iMacs, 1 Dell
Desktop, 1 HP Tablet, 5 Dell Mini Netbooks, and/or 12 iPads. Quite
exciting and will make research, writing and blogging much easier. This
year he taught all three 6th grade Science classes again and two 8th grade Life Science classes.
Chimacum's Science program also got a big boost this year as Al
requested and got an Earth Science STC kit for the 7th grade and a Life
Science Foss kit for the 8th grade. Al will also be working with the
Math/Scienc team from the middle and high school on a WA STEM blogging and social networking project! This is really exciting work they will be doing and they got $10,300 to do it!
For the 2011-12 school year Al is busy working on his OMSP work, WA STEM grant work, blogging and tweeting regularly, and providing a great Science learning experience
for his students. To his dismay Learn & Serve took a big hit with
our hurting economy. The National Service Learning Association
cancelled Learn & Serve so we all lost our third year of funding!
Yes, Al was going to get another $10,000 this year but it was taken
away. Much of his equipment was slated for replacement this year but
now they will have to make due. The good news was that there is a
school group, the Friends of Chimacum Schools Education Foundation, awarded Al $595
for a proposal he wrote to replace a broken water quality Vernier
LabQuest. So the project can continue as planned even with the loss of
this year's funds!
For the 2012-13 school year Al is going to be working on renewing his Early Adolescent Generalist National Board Certification!
In a couple of years his certification will expire so he's starting the
renewal process now. This year Al is continuing to make his Science
classes a place for learning without worry of punishments in the form of failing grades as well as without the expectation of reward for doing well in the form of great grades or high scores or points. That way the focus will be on learning Science with no fear of failure.
In Science failure is a part of the learning process so why would
anyone punish kids for making mistakes by taking away points? It makes
no sense. Also this year Al will try to structure the learning in his class like a computer game! Al read a book on gamification that gave him ideas on how to do this to motivate even more of his students.
exciting news for the 2012-13 school year comes from the grant front.
Al wrote about six proposals for new grants to replace even more broken
and some older equipment. Of the six grants two were approved! Al received $1,000 from the The Washington Foundation for the Environment (WFFE) and $2,000 from the ING Unsung Heroes! That will bring a few much needed replacements to keep the water quality project going strong.
Al spent a great deal of time and effort working on renewing his
National Board certification and while he was at it he also submitted
an application for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Sciece
Teaching! Al did not move on with regards to the Presidential Award but
he did successfully renew his National Board Certification!
To start the 2013-14 school year Al secured two more grants! Al got $250 from WISE to help his students learn about invasive species!
The $250 was in addition to some great curriculum to choose from to
help kids understand the issues facing our ecosystems. On top of that
Al got a technology grant from CenturyLink for $5,000!
This was a grant that Al had applied for twice before. Turns out they
had so many good applications they did an extended round to award the
next best applications. Both those grants will help extend his current
projects and bring even more technology and Science equipment into his
class to help students learn Science and maintain a 1:1 student to device ratio!
To continue the work he started during the 2012-13 school year on gamification,
Al has been working hard during the summer to prepare for an even
better game-based learning experience for his students. Learning from
what worked and what didn't work Al found a learning platform called 3D GameLab to turn his lessons, activities, and labs into quests! He also read a book called ROLE Reversal
and together with his gaming approach Al will seek to create a
fantastic learning experience for all his students to help them take
charge of their own learning and thereby their education.
In May of 2014 Al was asked to lead a session at a CSTP National Board Leadership Conference on Navigating the Systems of STEM! It was a great experience for Al.
For the 2014-15 school year Al will continue to use 3D GameLab and a Results Only Learning Environment (ROLE) to meet the needs of all his students.
Al is going to add a story element to his gamfied 6th grade Science
course. This year Al will be teaching all three 6th grade Science
classes and two other 6th grade classes, a Peace4Kids class for the first quarter and a literacy class using the WoW in Schools curriculum
for the other three quarters to all 6th gradres. This is pretty
exciting. Al will miss having his 6th graders come back to him for 8th
grade Science but teaching 6th graders all day is pretty cool too.
During the summer of 2014 Al attended a four-day Train the Trainer conference on Differentiation to Meet the CCSS
with the 7th grade Math Teacher. They will both train their fellow CMS
teachers by giving them great ideas from the conference on helping all
CMS students learn and succeed in school. Al also worked with the District Tech Committee
to provide training to Chimacum teachers so they can use technology to
transform the education of all our students. The tech team is working
to implement the tech plan they crafted last year.
Another exciting thing happening this 2014-15 school year is that Al's school was chosen for the WA STEM Professional Development grant project. Al helped write a proposal for a PD plan for all the teachers in the middle school to use the protocols Al has been using with his Science PLC since working with NCOSP! Exciting indeed!
In November of 2014 Al was able to lead his session of Navigating the Systems of STEM at another NBCT Leadership Conference!
The 2014-15 school year was a great year and students got a lot farther
in Science using 3D GameLab as part of a gamified classroom. Al also
got to focus on literacy using the WoWinSchools curriculum where
students got to play World of Warcraft to immerse themselves in a story
rather than just read it. Attending sessions at the 2015 NCCE
conference on Game-Based Learning and Gamification Al learned that
gamification and gaming are fantastic ways to engage students in
learning and that World of Warcraft, which encourages reading, writing
and fan art, has high lexile levels of in-game reading! It was a blast
and students enjoyed participating in a story through gameplay versus
just reading about it.
During the summer of 2015 Al kept himself busy with learning. He attended a Google Bootcamp training early in the summer, participated in two weeks of learning as part of an Olympic STEM Pathways Partnership (OSPP), was co-presenter at a WEA four-day training called Innovate! Passion and Bravery in Teaching, Rethinking STEM and Humanities, attended the Bremerton Summer Institute where he also co-presented a session on TPEP and Formative Assessment!
Al shared innovative use of apps to engage all learners and strategies
for gamification at the innovation training. While participating at the
OSPP partnership Al learned about oceanography, specifically ocean
2015-16 school year started off with Al ready to continue his gamified
Science instruction. Al will continue to tweak his Star Trek narrative
that he added as a story element to his gamified classroom last year to
make it even better this year. The middle school will continue their WA STEM Professional Development grant work as a Year 2 school! In March Al also attended the NCCE 2016 conference to present a course on Using 3D GameLab to Gamify Your Course!
It was a great experience. Al was also able to attend a bunch of great
Science trainings with his school Science PLC thanks to the OSPP.
the 2016-17 school year Al started off with another busy summer! During
the last week of June Al attended a week of learning put on by the Olympic STEM Pathways Partnership (OSPP), including a NASA training! Al was also able to co-present again this summer the great WEA four-day training called Innovate! Passion and Bravery in Teaching, Rethinking STEM and Humanities! Al also attended the Bremerton Summer Institute again
and presented his Gamification 101 course on how to gamify using 3D
GameLab. Al was also asked to re-submit his 3D GameLab proposal for the
2017 NCCE Conference in Portand so he did! Since he's been working this
summer at becoming a Pear Deck Coach (Pear Deck is a great tool that works with Google Slides to make presentations truly interactive and engaging for students) so he submitted a proposal to present a session on using Pear Deck as well! The 2016-17 schol year is going to be another great year!
The 2017-18 school year looks to be a most exciting year! Al started off with
another busy summer, very busy! The week after school let out Al led a NASA funded summer camp sponsored by the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline (NESSP) right at his school in his room! The camp theme was robotics using the Lego Mindstorms EV3 and that was a perfect week for Al because in the fall he will be teaching new curriculum to his 6th grade students using the Lego Mindstorms EV3
robot kits! From January to May 2017 Al worked with his districts
Science Subject Area Committee (SAC) to recommend curriculum for
adoption. The school board approved Al's recommendations in May for
using the EV3 kits in 6th grade and Activate Learning's IQWST for 7th and 8th grade. Very exciting! And again during the last week of June, Al attended his third summer week of
learning put on by the Olympic STEM Pathways Partnership (OSPP), including a NASA training! Al also voluteered to become a WEA National Board Renewal Jump Start Trainer! And this summer Al again attended the Bremerton Summer Institute
and presented two sessions, one on grant writing, and the other on
using Pear Deck since he became a Pear Deck coach! Al's Gamification
presentation was accepted for the
2017 NCCE Conference in Portand so he did it there! It seemed like
interest in that session was waning and very few actually used 3D
GameLab so it seemed time to retire that one.
Why does Al do all this? To sum it up, Al sees himself as truly a side-by-side learner with his students.
His approach is constructivist letting the students explore to learn and construct their own meaning out of the curriculum.
Al is there to guide
his students through the use of minds-on and hands-on activities, labs,
and extended projects that end in the creation of meaningful products
for real audiences. Al is a 21st century
teacher embracing technology. Because of this, Al may begin a school
year as rules and regulations teacher, but always gravitates to his
comfort spot of confronting-contracting with aspects of the relationship-listening style.
Al has learned that learning occurs best when students receive feedback
in the form of information and NOT as rewards and punishments. Rewards
and punishments may work short term but it doesn't help students in the
long term and if life-long learning is our goal then we want what works
best for the long haul.
Al's Mission Statement:
mission is to help my students become independent,
self-directed learners and lifelong learners.
I plan to facilitate this process by helping
my students enjoy
learning. I want my
students to feel safe enough to take risks.
My students will be involved
in constructivist activities in the form of long-term,
research projects where they will have access
to the latest technologies.
Students will learn how to effectively
work in cooperative groups and will be taught
strategies for problem solving and getting along.
Students will learn to use technology to work on their performance
tasks and students will be assessed often. Self and peer assessment as
well as information by the teacher will help students progress. By
using different forms of assessment and learning,
all students, including special needs students
and highly capable students will be able to learn
and succeed. To help
students in all these endeavors, parents will
be included in all aspects of their child's education. Parent
involvement is essential in helping students
become self-directed and lifelong learners.
I will help keep parents informed about all that we
order to keep myself up to date and effective
to fulfill my mission, I
will continue to read the current research and
to conduct my own research to improve my program. I
will collaborate with my colleagues and I will
continue to write grants to keep my classroom
equipped. I plan to
participate in curriculum development in my building
so that I can ensure that my classroom remains
a 21st century classroom.
His hobbies include:
- spending time with his wife,
Elizabeth and daughter,
Solana, and his dog and cats.
- watching movies, at home, with
- using technology in class,
- Playing games, computer or
PS2, PS3, Wii,
- working on his classroom website and blog,
- reading anything having to do with Education,
- and writing grants!
Copyright © 2017 Mr. González.
This Page was created by Al González.