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LiveBinders

10 Jun

I just discovered a fabulous new (t me) tool that I have already started using in preparation for next year.  LiveBinders is a way to create an online binder.  Much as you would clip things from a newspaper, cookbook, or magazine,  you can clip webpages, photos, or files and put them into a digital binder.  I have already started 2 binders:  Reading and Class Projects.  You can then share the url or embed the LiveBinder in your classroom website or blog.  I have included my reading LiveBinder below for you to see.

Early Resolution

23 Dec

Let’s state something right up front:  I have neglected this blog.   This year brought a major change in my position at work and in struggling to get my feet back under me, I put the blog to the side.  I had already been struggling to balance time between my blog, social networking, my kids, my job, and all of my other responsibilities, and something had to give for a while.

I am continually amazed at several of the bloggers I follow.  Many post at least once a day, some up to 4-5 times a day.  Where do they find the time?  I know that time is relative and that you will make time for the things that you want to make time for, but still, I’m not sure I could compete.

As a new blogger, I thought I had to compete.  I exhausted myself and burned out, then neglected to update at all.  Vicki Davis recently posted Globally Connected…Personally Disconnected? When I read it, I was relieved that she was human too, lol.  I met Vicki briefly at the google Teacher Academy and have always admired her efforts in edtech, but she seemed a little more than human.  All of the wonderful activities she plans for students, writing a book, daily blogging, and all of the other things she does of which I am not aware;  I always wondered how she still had time to do all of the things she talked about doing with her family.  I admit, I was a bit jealous because I couldn’t find a balance.

I decided to make this post a sort of Professional New Year’s Resolution- a week or so early.

  • This year I will try to post at least weekly to my blog.  I would set a goal for more often, but I need to set it at something I can realistically do.
  • I will try to use at least one new tech tool each week.  I have been putting so many great sites on my delicious account and haven’t used many of them.
  • I will try to stay on top of my RSS feeds.  I get so many GREAT ideas from the blogs I follow and I need to read them more often.  At one point, I had over 1000 feeds I hadn’t read.  I recently deleted all and started fresh.  I am staying on top of it so far.
  • I will try to be more open minded in my teaching.  I notice that lately I have been letting the textbook lead the teaching, instead of letting the students lead it.  I know how to let the students lead, I used to do this, but lately I have been in a bad rut, and my resolution is to get out of that rut.
  • Continue to search out other professional development opportunities- the learning should never end.

Those are my professional goals for 2010, what are yours?

School’s out for summer?

22 Jun

learnSchool is out for summer, at least for our district, but my learning isn’t over yet.  I am in the middle of a blogging class, one of four classes I am taking this week.  I have many colleagues who ask why I take classes during my summer vacation.  The answer: I love to learn!

I love technology and most of the summer class I take are put on by our instructional technology department.  This week I am learning more about blogging, wikis, Web 2.0 tools, and Dreamweaver.  Once they hear the classes I take, then I get the question “Why are you taking those?  You teach those same things to us at inservices.”  This is true.  So why do I take the classes anyway?  Because there is ALWAYS something new to learn.

I learn new tools, new ways to use old tools, and fun ways to implement the technology in my classroom.  Plus, for the past two years, I have been looking at technology from a different viewpoint.  Now I need to take a new, fresh look at how to use these things with my students.

I sincerely hope that everyone who teaches likes to learn new things.  How can we pass on a love of learning to students if we don’t have that love any more?  Not that classes are the only way to achieve this.  Many teachers work on lesson plans, read education publications, and talk to other educators during their time off.  They may learn by taking vacations, spending time with their kids and grandkids, or reading novels.    I hope that all teachers out there are doing something (however small it may be) to learn something new this summer.

“When you stop learning, stop listening, stop looking and asking questions, always new questions, then it is time to die.”  Lillian Smith

Back in the Saddle Again

2 Jun

saddleAs the title says it, I’m “back in the saddle again.”  Due to some budget cuts and increasing class sizes, our school needed to add a fourth 5th grade teacher and my tech position was cut, therefore, I am the new 5th grade teacher.

I’ve been asked countless times if I am excited or not.  My truthful answer is that I’m getting there.  When the possibility first came about a few months ago, I was very excited.  As time went on and the possibility wavered back and forth, I became frustrated, and the excitement waned.  About two weeks ago, I found out this was a definite move.  The excitement is slowly returning.

Last week we did a big room shift with a total of 4 rooms being affected.  I have been moving into my room and getting settled since Friday.  I am working on where to put everything, how many tables I need, how to decorate, and all of those other fun decisions that come from moving into a new room.

One of the things I am most looking forward to is the opportunity to work with the students on tech projects.  I have so many ideas of things to do.  I will have to keep you all posted on all of the things we try.

One other very important thing to mention:  We are out for summer 🙂