Lots of Awesome


It has been a great week of learning beginning with Google Education on Air last Friday and Saturday, December 2-3. It was amazing to be part of a global education experience learning from inspiring educators. In one of the sessions What is your spark, I learned about Classroom Bridges, a way for teachers to connect their classroom with classrooms around the world. Just sign up and start connecting! If you are looking to connect your class with others around the country and around the world, this is as easy as it gets! Another fantastic session was the one on HyperDocs which I have written about before. Here is the link to the recording and this links to the resources from the session. You can view all keynotes and sessions on demand by clicking here.

The next thing I want to share is this article about which research and evidence-based teaching strategies effect student learning, “8 Strategies Robert Marzano and John Hattie Agree On”. Clear focus, overt instruction, and student engagement with the content are the top 3; read on for more!

This week’s Shipley PLN Lower & Middle School Edition has some excellent articles, tips, and ideas.  I think you will love this idea for your English classes- Memes Everywhere wherein you will learn how one teacher has his students create memes for literary characters while reading novels. It is a fun way to engage students with content while reading. Though I shared this a couple weeks ago, Book Snaps is another way your students can interact with text while reading.

I was interested in reading this next article, “PD Should Model What You Want to See in the Classroom”, since I recently read and wrote about best practices for professional development.This article is a recap of how the presenter designed the PD day so that he incorporated modeling various ways to teach while presenting on creating lessons incorporating and using primary sources from the Library of Congress.This post comes completely loaded with both ideas for different ways to teach, AND complete lessons for teachers in this PDF The Student as Historian. In it you will find the PD piece and lessons from 4th grade through high school including lessons on Lewis & Clark, the Civil War, and Native Americans of Oregon. You will need time to digest this one but it is worth it!

Continuing along the history path is this recent post by Richard Byrne, “Two Good Sets of Animated Maps for U.S. History Students” . Here you will find Byrne talks about two sites: one that shows animated maps of historical battles, and the other that shows map changes over time. Both are great supplements to your history and social studies classes.

For more great articles, visit the Shipley PLN Lower & Middle School Edition.





New Year New You?

Today is the first day of school. I have been out of the school mode since mid-June because during the summer I move into my other job as the office and health center manager of an over night camp. Though I am out of school, I am never far from my connections, even when I am not actually connecting because I regularly check my Google reader feeds to see what I am missing. As they say, miss a day, miss a lot.

So today is the first day of school and I am in my new digs. We had some room changes and since I move in and out of the classrooms, it made sense that I give up my room and move in with the librarian; now we are a “library media” space.

Anyway, the new school year brings excitement, worries and goals. I have a handful of goals for to start off this academic year

  1. To continue to move my colleagues towards making more connections for both their students and themselves
  2. To inspire more teachers to share their work and brag about what they and their students are doing through the use of blogs
  3. To help teachers move from excuses to why nots
  4. To continue to learn and broaden my scope and reach
  5. To facilitate an online or offline graduate course (OK, this last one is really a reach but it is one that at some point I would really like to attain)

There are many more goals and things I would like to do but I will start here and add more as we go along. So, what new ideas will you bring to your new school year? Will you be the same “you” or will you try to improve yourself? Will your students be treated to the same old, same old, or will you be inspired to try something different, to try an uncharted course? Let me know, I would love to hear how you and your classroom are evolving!

photo credit: kalyan02 via photo pin cc