Recently, I was chosen to give a presentation on our district’s Act 80 day for an audience of educators who work with students in Kindergarten and 1st grade. I decided to show them some of my favorite web-based resources. Continue reading
What is Flipping your Instruction?
When instruction is flipped activities that typically occur in the classroom and at home are switched. In flipped learning, students are receiving instruction outside of class, often online, and during class time they are engaged in practice activities with teacher support as needed.
Here is a video that explains flipped instruction:
What is a Technology Innovator?
I recently was posed this question as part of my application process to become a Keystone STAR. I found out that my principal nominated as a Keystone Technology Innovator for the class of 2015, and I was extremely honored! I just applied to become a Keystone STAR and one of 100 lucky applicants that will be picked to attend the state level summit this July! (I’ll keep you posted if I am selected, eek!)
So, What did I Decide?
I spent some time grappling with this question and envisioning what the ideal technology innovator would look like, and here is the dandy little acrostic poem I came up with (geez am I an elementary teacher or what?!)
A Technology Innovator is someone who:
Transforms learning through creative use of technology in the classroom.
Engages students by focusing on student needs and learning styles.
Changes with the times and researches new trends in educational technology.
Hones their personal technological skills and devotes their life to learning.
Never is afraid of failure, and uses blunders as learning experiences.
Organizes the learning environment for seamless integration of technology.
Leads and facilitates learning by creating student-centered learning experiences.
Observes students and develops technological solutions to learning problems.
Generates lessons that encourage students to delve into deeper learning.
Yearns for the freedom to focus on projects, not tests.
Inspires students to be creative and give their best effort.
Networks and collaborates with other educators.
Never uses technology as fluff, but strives to create meaningful learning.
Offers support and guidance to colleagues with technology integration.
Validates and uplifts students by providing authentic learning experiences.
Always strives to be a better teacher and perfect their practice.
Teaches students to use technology in a safe, responsible manner.
Often collaborates for cross-curricular learning experiences.
Radiates enthusiasm for learning and teaching!
What qualities do you think a Technology Innovator should possess?
I am super lucky that I was able to attend the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference (PETE&C) at Hershey, PA this year! What’s not so lucky? Unpacking the car and realizing that I forgot my toiletry bag at home! Disaster! A Walmart run and trip to CVS later, and I started to mellow out a bit. Being a first time attendee at the conference was overwhelming enough, (but the whole leaving my toiletry bag at home thing definitely didn’t help!) There was so much going on! The Hershey Lodge is HUGE and then you find out you can hop a shuttle to the beautiful Hotel Hershey for sessions too! (The lovely Hotel Hershey is featured in my graphic at the top of this post. I took a panorama with my iPhone of this lovely Mediterranean style room they had there). It took some time to get acclimated, and I had a ton of information thrown at me over the course of my 3 days there! I will be sharing what I learned at PETE&C in a series of posts on some of the reoccurring themes that I explored during my sessions there: new apps, flipping instruction, and STEAM. This is the first post in the series, and it is dedicated to the Keynote speakers! Continue reading
Every year one of Title 1 Reading Specialists at my school enjoys baking gingerbread cookies with the class. I recently read the book, The Gingerbread Kid Goes to School, to my class, and I thought it would be fun to coordinate a QR code hunt (much like the previous QR code hunt I did) that would have my class chasing an elusive gingerbread man around the school!
Getting My Google On
I was blessed to be able to attend the Google Geo Teacher Institute in Pittsburgh to learn more about how I can use their Geo Tools in the classroom with my kiddos. As a Pittsburgh girl I enjoyed visiting Google Pittsburgh, and I loved how it had a Kennywood theme (a Pittsburgh amusement park) throughout the building. This was a two day training with both large group sessions and four breakout sessions where you could pick what sessions interested you. Continue reading
Easing into Easiteach
Last year was my first full school year using my Epson Brightlink Interactive Projector in my 1st Grade Classroom. I spent the year making lessons in TeamBoard Draw (word building and ten-frames for example) and using Easy Interactive tools to annotate over top old transparencies. I also found interactive websites for the kids to use, and who doesn’t enjoy streaming from Discovery Education. I also self-taught myself the software program ActivInspire, and created several lessons using this program (which are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. For more info on ActivInspire you can check out these posts: Using ActivInspire to Create a Cross-Curricular Lesson and The Top Ten Things Teachers Should Be able to do in ActivInpsire). In the spring of last school year I attended a two day “train-the-trainer” training on another IWB software, RMEasiteach, provided by an Eduscape Learning instructor, Krista Galyon, @. I loved her training, because it was very hands on! It is always easier to learn how to do something by doing it, not watching!