When I walk into the Apple Store, observing the mania, I can’t help feeling as I look around that this is what is wrong with the world today! We took a bite of the poisonous fruit and we are addicted to it like a drug. I think most of us know we have a problem, yet we can’t seem to tear ourselves away from our devices which have us hooked. Personally, I spent way to much time on my iPhone and iPad on this beautiful summer day, when I should have been doing yoga (I have an app for that) or walking my dog (there’s an app for that too). I want to hate you, Apple, but I just can’t. “Why?” You might ask, because (Ugh) they just do it better — My 3 Day Apple Training convinced me of this. Continue reading →
I haven’t tweeted or written a blog post since April. I want to apologize for my absence to all of my followers, and my PLN, particularly everyone in my @EDTechTLC and the #blogamonth group. When I started this blog, my goal was to write a post weekly, and it seems I can’t even post once a month! I won’t go into great detail about why I couldn’t keep up, but I will say I had a particularly challenging school year, and I got stuck in survival mode. Teaching is tough stuff!
Just Keep Digging
Have you ever heard of the saying, “Just when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, someone goes and throws you a shovel and tells you to keep digging”? There were many times this school year when I thought I hit rock bottom. Below I have compiled a list of tweets from some of my funny/sad/desperate moments that occurred during the school year. Since I was too busy to tweet these gems at the time they were happening, I present to you all of my #rockbottom moments in 140 characters or less; I hope you appreciate my witty take on the ugly reality of being a teacher. (For anyone interested in becoming a teacher, you might want to read over these well so you know what you are getting yourself into, this could be you in 8 years!)
I first heard of EdCamp from a fellow blogger, Darin Johnston @AnIowaTeacher, in his blog post My #edcampMadWI Expereince. His blog post had piqued my interest, and I recently had been to another unconference, Pod Camp Pittsburgh, #pcpgh8, with my tech-savvy boyfriend (who is the brains behind this blog operation). We learned a lot at Pod Camp about blogging, search engine optimization and social media, so I figured trying a education-focused unconference would be a great way to learn more about current trends in education and connect with other educators.
So You Might be Wondering, “What is an “Unconference”?”
Yesterday, I attended the unconfence, EdCamp PGH, #edcamppgh, which is kind of like a professional development conference, except its not! What makes EdCamp different than a conferences is that class offerings and schedule are completely determined by the participants. At the start of the day participants jot topics they want to learn more about on sticky notes and post stick them on a piece of chart paper. Then there is another chart with a table, where the session times are listed down the side and the available rooms are listed across the top. If someone feels they are confident in moderating the discussion they move the topic from the first chart and place it in a time slot and a room. From there the organizers put the schedule up on the website, so participants can access it from our lap tops, tablets and smart phones.
Background: Apps, Books and Cows… you are probably wondering what these things have in common. It all began back in February when we had two back-to-back non-fiction texts in our Harcourt Trophies reading book, At Home Around the World and Me on the Map. As you can probably decipher from the titles these selections had a geography focus. My passion, as you know is utilizing educational technology, so I wanted to find a project that would incorporate technology and geography. I always wanted to do a Flat Stanley project, so I started exploring my options. I found there was an iPad app that was free and and Edmodo app that cost $20.00. I figured I would try the iPad app out first to see how I liked it. Continue reading →
At the beginning of the school year I created an interactive presentation for the daily calendar routine in my classroom. Included in this PowerPoint were YouTube videos of a weather song and a calendar song. Unfortunately, these songs seem to keep getting taking off YouTube. My students happened to be learning about proper nouns including the days of the week, so I decided film our own days of the week rap video. We had previously filmed a video of the Ants Go Marching which was one of my favorite projects this school year! I felt like it was time for another music project;, what better way to shake the winter blues!? I love using songs to teach concepts, because they really help to make the material stick! Continue reading →
My fellow building Technology Integrator and myself recently presented our favorite interactive websites to our faculty. We presented these to both our building staff, and then we were honored to share the list with the entire district-wide faculty. Our district has recently installed Epson Brightlink Interactive Projectors in the Elementary classrooms and the Junior High classrooms. We have found that many of of staff are uncomfortable with the new technology and have become overwhelmed some of our trainings on IWB software, such as ActivInspire. We compiled this list of our favorite interactive websites to provide teachers with a list of resources that they can go to for ready-made activities to use with their IWBs or on student computers. Continue reading →
Implementing the Accelerated Reader Program in First Grade
My first graders begin taking AR quizzes during the second half of the year. We also participate in the Pizza Hut Book It Program, so I have students log books they read on the back of their monthly reading calendar. Then I record their AR quizzes next to the book in the log. At first glance this system seems organized and efficient, but don’t be fooled. I don’t have it all together, but I am happy to report that there is a glimmer of hope .