Writing my way through the school year!

Posts tagged ‘k-12’

I Symbaloo, Do You?

I always heard people talk about it, but I never really bothered to check it out.

Our presenter at a tech workshop, John Kuglin, introduced it to me, and I LOVE it!

Here’s one I started. Still have a lot more sites to add to it!READ MORE.

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Some “Truths” About Teaching!

 

Since I’m not at work because of Hurricane Sandy, it gave me some time to peruse Pinterest, and I came across this poster. I think it’s funny.:)
It also made me think about some of the “truths” about teaching, especially if someone is choosing to go into this profession now. So, here are my “truths.” READ MORE

Happy New (School) Year! I Resolve…

I wrote this post in January 2011, but I believe it fits for the new school year as well! I think I will post them in my room near my desk as a reminder. Sometimes after a day with some of these kids, you forget your resolutions! 🙂 Have a wonderful 2011-2012!

I resolve to:

  1.  treat all  students fairly, regardless of race, gender, age,  behavior, parent’s nasty attitude, desire to be educated, or lack of interest in learning
  2. believe that all children can learn, even if I have taught the same material 55 different ways.(It’s going to click at some point)
  3. stop using sarcasm as a disciplinary tool, no matter how effective it may seem.
  4.  speak in a quiet, even,tone, even when yelling seems to be the best option. (It never is!)
  5. realize that I could be the only good thing that happens in a student’s day
  6. grade papers in a timely manner, even though their test scores may make me question my teaching ability.
  7.  meet all deadlines, and if I’m late, don’t make any sorry  excuses.
  8. not gossip about my colleagues, the students, administration,etc… (Especially with a new principal this year!)
  9. share with my colleagues, we are not in competition with each other. (Using a PLC, I have become so much better at sharing))
  10. use technology to engage my 21st century students
  11. continue to be passionate about my job, and if I’m not retire.:)

Are there any resolutions you would add?

Creating Global Learners! Projects and ResourcesThat Knock Down Classroom Walls!

With the technology we have today, a one-room classroom should no longer exist! All of our students are capable of being or becoming global learners.  We have the ability, using any, or all, of the Web 2.0 tools available, to knock down our classroom walls, and allow our students the chance to collaborate with students in their state, or the world.  During the 2010 school year,  I took advantage of many resources, SKYPE, Epals, Kidblog, (in conjunction with comments4kids), and the various Edmodo communities.  All of  these resources allowed me the chance to reach out to teachers all over the world, and have their students interact with my students. This year I am going to add  Collaborize Classroom as another tool to extend my classroom.

Here are two projects that I have already joined, and one I have created.  I’m excited!  Please feel free to add your class to any of these projects!

1.   Mystery State Skype project – This project is run by a teacher I met on Edmodo.  Our classes were pen pals, and she and I had a chance to meet F2F at the ISTE convention in Philly. Teachers set up a Skype conference and use information they have researched, to guess what state the other class is from.  This can be done with all the teachers who have signed up. When your call is done, you can continue your collaboration with any of the teachers throughout the school year!

2.    Global Read Aloud project 2011 – This is my first time being involved with this project, although it is not the first time it has been done.   The Global Read Aloud  project is exactly what it says. A book is chosen, and students from all over the world interact to discuss this book. The project is divided into a K-3 book, and 4th and up(“Tuck, Everlasting”)The teachers choose the media they wish to guide discussions, Skype, online learning platforms, email, glogs, the sky is the limit! I believe this will be a wonderful learning experience for my class!

3.    ” Penpals Who Write” project – Teachers who are interested in having their class WRITE another class, please sign up and connect! Web 2.0 is acceptable, but you must write letters, that’s part of the experience.  I had two pen pal classes last year and it was a wonderful experience.  Not only did we interact using Web 2.0 tools, but we actually wrote letters and mailed them to each other.  Have you ever witnessed the excitement of a student when they receive their  letter?  How about the anticipation of waiting for the next one? Priceless! This was definitely a project that opened their world and helped improve their writing skills. You can also join the group I have created on EduPLN.

If you know of a project for the upcoming school year, please add it! Let’s move those walls!

“Share Global Classroom Projects” on Lino

“A Day at the Beach!”

 
On Wednesday I went to the beach with two teacher friends. What a beautiful day! We didn’t go in the water, we just lay in our chairs and talked, and talked, and talked. We talked about politics, entertainment, gossip, and of course, education. (What else would you expect from a 5th grade  teacher, an ESL teacher, and a librarian?) We would pause and  enjoy the view, but not for long.  I would peek at my Iphone, my friends would read their  paper,and every time something caught our eye, the conversation would start anew. Oh, we enjoyed the day and each other’s company!

However, a group of teenagers across from us caught our eye at different moments during our stay.  They never talked to each other, did not interact with each other, all they did was text.  They ventured into the water at one point, but when they came back, I am not exaggerating, they simultaneously picked up their phones, lay down, and began texting again.  No, my friends and I weren’t stalking them, we were just baffled by their behavior. Didn’t they  come out to the beach to enjoy each other’s company?  If they were with each other, who were they texting? Why didn’t they talk to each other?

It made me think about the number of students, in recent years, who do not know how to hold a conversation.  They all have phones(Yes, my 5th  graders), and they all have texting available on their phones. I understand that they are 21st century children, but they still need to know how to communicate with others.  This is why I make sure my students talk to each other, collaborate, and share ideas. Not just on the computer, but face to face. This is why I have “Lunch with the teacher” days, so that we can  talk to each other.  This is why I accepted Morning Meeting when it was thrust upon me, because I realized it gave my kids a chance to talk to each other.

Every year, I ask my students if they eat meals at the kitchen table, most of them don’t.  I have a day I call, “Eat at the table with Your Family Day.”  I enjoy the feedback I get from students who actually follow through on it.  Too many  of them eat in their rooms or the family room, television on, phone beside them, no shared conversation.  No one talks to them at  home,their parents, tired from working all day,  leave them to their own devices. It happens. (I have to admit, there have been days where my son had to force me to eat at the table, and no phones are allowed!)

I know it’s not my job to make families talk to each other,  but conversation leads to learning, collaborating, sharing ideas, and even debate.

 As we were leaving, a guy a couple of yards away from us laughed and said, “You ladies made my day, in a good way!”  We laughed, slightly embarrassed that our conversation had been overheard, but happy that we made him feel good.  I felt  sorry for those kids, I realize they might not have  cared.  But I thought, how much more fun would they have had, if they actually talked to each other?

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