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Showing posts from July, 2013

Basic Rights of Our Students

For some reason the words "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" have been rolling around in my head for the last few weeks. Although immensely grateful for my country and the freedom that I so enjoy, I've never considered myself an overly patriotic kind of girl. So I'm still unsure why I've had the beginning of the Declaration of Independence is stuck in my head like the lyrics of some song that just won't go away.
        That being said, they've got me thinking about the basic rights that our forefathers felt every individual was entitled to in that phrase. While these words are often thought of in relation to our basic rights as citizen, aren't these the very basic rights we want our students to experience in our classroom?
        It is my desire to foster an environment this year that truly enables my students to thrive; to live life to the fullest while in my care. I realize this may be is a lofty goal (and occasionally feel like …

Global Connections and the Confidence They Bring

Before long we will anxiously stand at our doors awaiting the arrival of our newest group of kids for the 2013-2014 school year. For many of us, our class roster will be hot of the printer with still several changes as a possibility. And while we may approach each new group that we have the privilege to teach with optimism and hope for a great year, many of our students come to us apprehensive about what the year will hold. They arrive at our door with no self-confidence in their talents and abilities. Where we, as educators, approach each year as a clean slate, many of our students approach the year with pre-conceived notions of how others see them as learners.

In my opinion, this is why things like The Global Classroom, Global Read Aloud, Skype, and Google Apps for Education are so important. They are not only game-changers for education as a whole, but they are also game-changers for our students, as well. All resources and tools that provide opportunities and avenues for all stud…

Fighting Words in Education

Edgar Dales says some pretty powerful words. For some teachers, they may even be fighting words. The kind of words that cause us to take offense and defend our position on how we do business in our classrooms. But the reality is if we only remember…
10% of what we read
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
50% of what we see and hear
70% of what we discuss with others
80% of what we personally experience
And 95% of what we teach others…
What does that say about the actual learning that goes on in the classroom and how- as teachers- the typical “stand and deliver” methods must change? ISTE has caused me to truly think about the way my classroom is handled. I may be a phenomenal teacher, but if my phenomenal status hinges on content or lessons I am delivering to my students, despite how focused and on-task they may seem, it doesn’t make me a phenomenal teacher. It simply means I deliver content well to an audience.
For me, it means my goal this year needs to be providing opportunities for my s…

Symbaloo

Ana has been playing with Symbaloo, so I thought I should create a webmix also! It is just a beginning, and more will be added. I wanted to embed here, but when I embedded the code, its width was wider than my blog dimensions, so it overlapped some  of the other content. I decided to just include the link. (Remember: I'm a newbie!)

If you haven't used Symbaloo, it is very user friendly and perfect for visual learners. I plan to use Symbaloo on my student computers to help students find their content more easily and also make a webmix for parents containing helpful resources. I have also heard of teachers having students create a webmix with content they have done research on. There are numerous ways to use Symbaloo. What about you? How do you Symbaloo?

Click here for my Symbaloo webmix of useful edtech resources.

Ideas and the PLNs that Make Them

As I cull through my notes and resources from ISTE, I came across a statement I wrote down from Steven Johnson's keynote, Where Good Ideas Come From (see Johnson's TED talk by the same title http://bit.ly/12guyLB), stating that- historically speaking- good ideas don't arrive as these light bulb, Eureka! moments; but rather they are a network of various ideas fused together.

First of all this made me feel a little better to know that I probably won't have some revolutionary idea come from seemingly no where and change the world with it; but rather a string of ideas from random and various places could very well make up a game-changer in the grand scheme of things. Second, this made me realize the power and significance of PLNs.

In a recent Twitter Chat the question arose, "What's the difference between a PLN and a PLC?" For me, our campus holds PLC (Personal Learning Communities) meetings each week that are made up of core subjects and grade levels. While …