Monday, September 16, 2013

The latest Pep Talk video from my hero!

If you ever need to know why we are teachers, just watch one of this young man's videos.  He inspires me with every one I watch, and this one does not disappoint!

And if you want an extra giggle, watch the outtakes!  They're always good for a hoot!


Kid President is my hero!

Digital Literacy/Digital Citizenship

I'm all about working smarter, not harder.  Today, in my inbox, I found a link to the following blog about how one school teaches digital literacy, or as some would call it, digital citizenship or cyber-safety.  There are many really good resources out there to help teachers teach this concept.  This blog does a really good job of compiling some of the best of those resources for you!

iLearn Technology:  6 Days and 78 Resources for Digital Literacy / Internet Safety
http://goo.gl/Fzh4Jy

The only thing I see missing from this list is anything from CommonSenseMedia.  These folks have put together an entire curriculum on digital literacy, including the very engaging Digital Passport series for elementary students.  If this subject is what you're looking for, don't neglect this site!  They have some really good resources for older students, as well!

Happy learning!

Friday, September 13, 2013

What it means to be in "The Element"!

If you have the better part of an hour to spend listening to one of the most inspiring folks who speak on what we really need to be doing in education these days, take it to watch/listen to this video.  Sir Ken Robinson is one of the most visionary speakers I've heard recently.  With all the noise being made about standardization of education, "Back to Basics," all students be "on grade level" at a given time... I think it's important to listen to this kind of insight.

As a child, I was encouraged to "prepare for the day job" and never truly encouraged to find my own personal passion.  It wasn't until I was 40 years old that I figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up!  As a parent, I encouraged my girls to follow their heart and give it their best shot!  I ended up with two out of three of my daughters with Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees who may or may not find work in their field right away, but who feel truly happy that they honed their instrument, who are truly passionate about their crafts!  

Anyway, food for thought on this Friday the 13th!  Take a moment and learn from a truly inspiring great thinker!  The last 5 minutes alone are eye-opening!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

21st Century Resources

I've been on a roll today, finding resources for use in the 21st Century classroom.  Here's a Wordle I created based on an article about a mind map created by Stephen Downes.

Wordle: 23 Roles of a 21st Century Educator

See what I did there?  I took something I read and created something new from it, making new meaning, while still giving credit to the original authors.  That's what creativity in the 21st Century is all about:  The REMIX!

You really should be following me on Diigo if you're not already.  The other cool things I've found today are all linked there.  That's another cool 21st Century skill: information management and sharing.  It's not about the tool, folks.  It's what you DO with the tool!  Which leads me to my final little gift of the day:


Hope the summer is going well for all!  I'll see you on the blog-o-sphere!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Another Jewel from #clmooc!


I'm just happily clicking through and reading in the Connected Learning MOOC site, when I ran across this lovely little gem!  When something makes me this happy, I just have to share!  This is the absolute epitome of  a remix, creating something new out of something that already exists!  Thank you, #clmooc!

Connected Learning 2013 #clmooc

Man, oh man!  I don't think I knew what I was jumping into when I followed a link on Edutopia that said, "Make. Write. Remix. Share."  But now, I think I'm more excited than I have been in a long time, and that's saying a lot, seeing as how I'm pretty excited most of the time, about enhancing kids' educational opportunities through the use of technology!

So I've gone and signed up for a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) called Connected Learning 2013. I'm late to the game, so, as usual, I'm playing catch-up.  I just watched the recording of their kickoff Google Hangout and I've got so many tabs open on my computer that the smoke is rising!  I'm going to try to share as many of the links here as possible, as much for me, so I can get back to them as for you, my reader!  (Yes, I Diigoed them, too! But I've got to have something to blog about!)

First of all, all these opportunities are FREE!  Yes, I said, "FREE!"  They are also "opt-in" or be as involved as you want/can.  There are suggested timelines to keep the flow moving, but no one is going to call your parents if you miss a deadline!  The MOOC runs from June 14-August 4, 2013.

This is part of a larger initiative called Educator Innovator, sponsored by the National Writing Project.  I'm telling you, the web is intense.  There's a student branch called MakerParty.  And this article from the Innovative Educator blog probably does a better job of explaining how all this came into being than I can after one Google Hangout!

Anyway, I'm on my way to try to catch up by creating SOMEthing (it's all about MAKING!) to introduce myself to this global group!  I'll come back and link it up here once I'm done!  Wish me luck!
An emoticon ;-) compliments of http://www.picassohead.com/create.html

(All this while I'm getting ready to head to ISTE2013 ( #iste2013 ) and a regional Homebase training!  Well, I'm never satisfied unless I'm slammed!)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Preventing "Summer Slide"

Many parents are concerned about a phenomenon often referred to as "summer slide," the reality that some students will regress during their down time in the summer and need to review extensively in the fall.  In today's classrooms, we don't have time for summer slide, so here are some resources to provide some help to parents combating this malady!

Edutopia Fights Summer Slide
Edutopia Logo

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kudos to Cheerios!

It's funny how my blog is turning into a collection of things I find on the web that move me.  Well... this did!  Surprise, surprise!  It's a good read... and very powerful!  Enjoy!

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2013/06/why_everyone_should_eat_cheerios_and_celebrate_diversity.html?cmp=ENL-EU-VIEWS2

Here's the video they are referencing in the blog post.


Peter DeWitt, you said it!  Pass the Cheerios, please!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Are YOU paying attention?


These are the conversations we need to be having!  What do you think?  Talk back to me using the comment button below!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Inspiration

I have a love/hate relationship with the end of the school year.  On the hate side, there's SO MUCH TO DO!  Equipment to check in.  Inventory to do.  Assessments to complete.  Repairs to be made.  But on the love side, there's a wee tad of a window of time to do some really fun stuff that might inspire a student to try something outside the box!  This presentation, I hope, will inspire someone!  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Forge

Sometimes, you see a video that has the potential to change a life... or lots of them....

This is one of those videos.  I'll let it talk for me.



If you want to see more about how it was made, watch this one:


I think the folks at Soul Pancake are my all time heros now.  That is all.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Great Idea for Teaching Research Skills

It's not just the English teacher's fault that students can't write!  Nor is it just their responsibility to teach writing to today's students!  This article has a really good take on a better way we can all attack teaching writing skills to students in the 21st Century.  Baby steps have always been a good way to start anything.

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-teaching-strategies/better-research-basics-one-sentence-at-a-time/

Friday, March 1, 2013

Some decent smart phone safety tips

I get a lot of email.... TOO much email, probably.  But today, one of those lists that I signed up for sent something pretty useful, I think!  And if it proves useful for at least one reader, then I'm glad I shared it!  We are all addicted to our smart phones and never leave home without them.  Now maybe your smart phone can pay you back!  Read this article for some decent tips on how your smart phone can be a personal safety device!



http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/dont-be-a-victim-your-smartphone-as-a-personal-safety-device/?utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=2012-03-01


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Learn How to Code



Just saw this in an email that was waiting for me after the conference this week!  How inspiring to hear from the tech world's giants that coding is the language of the future!  There are so many ways to start learning to code.  I found a place online called Codecademy that is a good place to start.  I actually started the entire journey toward my Master's degree when I got curious about how you made text in a chat room look different.  Some people chatted in special colors or fonts and I wanted to know how to do that.  I learned a little about html magic and the rest, as they say, is history!  Find something that excites you and just DO IT!  I vote for coding!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Focus on Formatives

I ran across a really good example of a quick formative assessment teachers can use at any level, elementary through high.  It's a quick little video.  I hope some of you can use this technique or one that this sparks in your own classrooms.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Going for Contributions

Just read a really good article regarding the difference between participation and contribution.  Read it here:  http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/student-comments-moving-from-participation-to-contribution/

It's not important that students are participating.  What we should be striving for is students who are contributing!  What is the quality of the participation?  What does their participation demonstrate about their depth of understanding?

Just food for thought on this rainy Wednesday morning!  Enjoy!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Great Training Going on Around the District

I want to thank the science department at Southwest Edgecombe and selected staff members at Martin Middle for inviting me to come provide training for them this week. Southwest's science teachers have embraced the concept of a blended online and face-to-face class, helping to prepare students for higher education. They are excitedly using the Learning Management System tool called Schoology with their students. From what I'm hearing from other schools in the district, [shout out to my friends at Edgecombe Early College High School] students are loving this new tool. At EECHS, the science teacher just presented this tool to her colleagues, too! Must be something in science teachers! They like to be cutting edge! Also, the staff at Martin Middle is preparing to roll out the new email service we have contracted for students, called Gaggle. I enjoyed working with a large group of their teachers yesterday afternoon as they learned how to use this new tool. It won't be long before all students in the district have access to this safe emailing, blogging, discussion board, online course management system! We're making things happen here in Edgecombe County! I'm proud to be a part of it!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Classroom Management Ideas

I've been doing some research recently on classroom management ideas and have found some really good videos I wanted to share with my ECPS peers.  I hope some of you will find something you can use in one of these videos.



Monday, January 28, 2013

Pep Talk!

I just had the best pep talk ever!  I want to share it with you!  (Thanks Brendan Schneider!)


It's attitudes like THIS that can really make a change for the better in this world!  Let's get to it!  Let's dance!

That is all....