Please Let Me Share More!!!

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OK, so I’m doing this 30 day blogging challenge to encourage reflective teaching, through TeachThought, and it did a very bad thing.  It asked me to choose 1, only 1!, technology resource I hope to use and what use I envision it having in my classroom.  Those that read my post know I chose Edpuzzle.  You can read my last post to understand why this particular resource was chosen.  But there are so many others I want to mention that I find very helpful in engaging and pushing even my reluctant learners.

Presentations: Educreations, PowToon, Haiku Deck, Prezi, Glogster, Thinglink, BitStrips, GoAnimate

Checking for Understanding: TodaysMeet, Socrative, Padlet 

Collaboration:  Google Drive (any app associated with this), Google Hangouts, Skype, Anymeeting

Audio/Podcasts:  Vocaroo, Voicethread, AudioBoo

Organization:  Diigo, Symbaloo,

Information Sharing: Google Classroom, Edmodo, Kidblog

I know these don’t even hit the surface of what is out there, but these are resources that I find myself using quite a bit.  I would love to hear of others.  Please share.

I will share a list of resources I use during Daily 5, small reading and writing groups.


Soo Many to Choose From!

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This Day 2 blogging challenge is a tough one.  The prompt asks for us to pick one piece of technology we are wanting to utilize and what we hope to gain from the integration.  I CAN”T PICK JUST ONE!!! There are so many to choose from.  Google Classroom, the new and improved Google Drive, QR Codes, chrome books, iPads, podcasting/vodcasting, the list goes on!  I mean, if you really stop and think about it, the resources available, to increase engagement and learning, are overwhelming!  While preparing for a summer workshop I presented, I found a resource, the Pedagogy Wheel of Apps, via Edudemic, that nearly drove me insane!  I had to try each and everyone!  However, I have stumbled across a resource I am determined to utilize, Edpuzzle.

Educreations has been a resource that has allowed me to move from a traditional math instructional model, to that of the flipped learning approach.  Using Educreations on my iPad, I have been able to present new math content and provide modeling.  Uploading images and videos from the web, to assist in my teaching, was, at the time, the best opportunity for me to flip my instruction.  However, through Twitter, I was introduced to Edpuzzle.  This is  another resource that will allow for presentation of content in my flipped instruction.  While I am not an expert of this resource yet, what has drawn me to this is the ability to embed short quizzes within the lesson.  What an opportunity to check for understanding.  While I do have my students complete tasks to check for understanding using other resources mentioned, I am excited about the possibilities this resource holds for my instruction.

Anyone familiar with this resource???

No Rest On Labor Day!

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It just cracks me up when I hear that teachers have it “so easy”.  Summers off, holidays off, out of work by 3:00.  Where? Who? In what world?  I don’t know of a single teacher who does not work through their summer, weekends, and school holidays.  Always looking for the best resources and strategies to engage all students.  Sound familiar?  Well, here I am on Labor Day, searching for resources and strategies to engage all my students,  between my mouthful of barbecue!

As I was working on my personal professional development, thank you Twitter and Google+, I stumbled upon the 30-Day Blogging Challenge For Teachers, via TeachThought.  Since I am committed to strengthen my 21st century skills, and connecting and reflecting on learning are crucial components, I decided to accept the challenge.  I hope you will travel on this journey with me.  Wouldn’t it be great if we traveled together?

After reading the introduction to the challenge, it became evident the purpose of this challenge was to encourage and strengthen the teacher’s reflective teaching practices.  As educators we are taught that it is crucial to incorporate reflective opportunities for our students, but how often do we actually reflect on our own practices?  Is it because we don’t have the time, or is it because reflection may force us to realize we are not always giving our best to our students?  For me, honestly, a little of both.  Every day, I have every intention of giving 200% to every student in every lesson.  But, then, reality sets in and classroom life happens.  It is my reality.  I realize it, but in the haste to cover what needs to be covered, sometimes we settle for “good enough”.  Do I feel guilty?  Yes.  Do I promise to do better tomorrow? Absolutely.  Then tomorrow happens…

So it is my hope that this challenge will not only help me become a more reflective teacher, but also serve to help others realize we are all in this together.  We all face the same challenges and make the same promises.  This doesn’t mean I’m not an effective teacher in the classroom, because I am.  But I know there are always ways I can be a better teacher, for all my students.

Day 1:  Write your goals for the new school year.  Be as specific or abstract as you’d like to be!

Where to start?  Professionally and personally, I am finishing my Master’s degree in Teaching and Technology.  My final project is developing a PD plan to provide resources, lessons, and support for teachers in our district to develop and strengthen their 21st century skills.  Too often, teachers are given equipment and resources, but no instruction on how to fully maximize in the learning environment.  I am very thankful to have an administrator who is allowing me to “take the reins” of technology professional development in our building.  Through Tech Tuesdays and Web Wednesdays, not only are teachers able to learn and focus on resources and strategies to strengthen their teaching practices, but earn those continuing education units as well.  It is our plan to open these workshops up to all teachers within the district.

My goals for my classroom?  Personalized learning.  I have just finished bench marking my students in the areas of reading, writing, and math.  I am not only using these assessments to help determine possible interventions, enrichments, learning activities, etc, but am also trying to develop learning plans for my students.  I have to tell you, I am an idea person.  I get these ideas and want to try them out.  Sometimes, I wish I had the mindset to sit back and watch, let others work out the kinks, but that’s just not me.  So, I am using my interest surveys collected on each student, as well as their assessment scores, and trying to determine strengths and weaknesses and setting plans to meet every student’s needs.  I know there are students who will benefit from this approach right away (they are having success in my flipped math instruction, something new for them), and there are others that will need a little more attention and tender loving care.  But I am determined, and I know I have individuals around me who help me achieve this endeavor.  Am I feeling I am biting off a little more than I can chew?  At times, but if I don’t make try, I will never know…




Hello Out There!

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Can I just begin by saying how very STRESSFUL it is to create an initial blog?  Which theme do I use?  Should I make it “fun” to fit my personality, or serious to present a more professional feel?  Do you know how many themes I tried? (and yes, this is the theme I chose!) Then,  how do I begin?  Do I post, up front, my hopes and dreams for this blog, or just let it unravel gradually?  For those that know me, this is pretty daunting stuff…

So, what I have decided, is to just “go with it”.  This blog will “be what it is”.  It is my hope and dream to share my journey as I strive to totally transform my teaching.  I will no doubt have questions, be confused, and provide thoughts and ideas as to how I am working towards becoming a 21st century educator worthy of my 21st century students.  I am no expert.  I am just a classroom teacher who is constantly trying to better my understandings and practices within the educational field.

I would absolutely LOVE the following and support! Until our next conversation…