Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Last week's plan is pretty much shot.  But isn't that how things usually work?

My new task for (gulp) Tuesday:
1. Lead a 45-minute presentation on flipping a classroom. I think I have this one under control. It's only for math/science/business teachers and I'm pretty comfortable with those subjects. I do want to make sure that I have some blogs of people who are flipping those classes (need to find science and business). There's a science teacher at my school who flips, so I definitely want to make sure I at least talk with him beforehand, if not convince him to come and help me. :)

2.  Lead a 45-minute presentation on Digital Notetaking. This one I'm not so sure about. It's not that I'm not interested in this, but I don't get why people wouldn't use Google Drive.  My plan is to check out some alternatives (especially Evernote) and see how they might be good, too. This will be for all subjects other than the afore-mentioned.

I've been playing a lot lately with how to edit word documents on a Chromebook. We have a VDI (Virtual Desktop) that would be nice to be able to use but isn't always the quickest-reacting software. And then there's the question of (if you're using the VDI), how to save the document to your computer so that you can then upload it as an assignment on our LMS (Schoology). I really really like the idea of using Skydrive, but it would involve students setting up yet another account. So we'll see about that.

I just discovered a presentation from Shelly Terrell that seems to have a lot of good links in... I'm going to share a few, but please go look at Shelly's slides! It's titled "Survival Tips for Teaching with Technology".

Here are the links I pulled out:
1.  ILearnTechnology - an Edublog about Integrating Technology into the Classroom  
2.  EdShelf - reviews and recommendations of tools for education
3.  LearnItIn5 - how-to videos for the technology classroom
4.  Ideas to Inspire - Inspiring ideas for your lessons, contributed by teachers around the world
5. The EdTech Hub - free lesson resources and tools for teaching with technology.
This site had a checklist for teaching with technology that I wanted to make sure to keep.

A couple of asides:
1.  I created a new page on this blog where my diigo links will show up (if you're interested). I liked how they automatically posted once a week, but I've been tagging so much lately that I thought the blog just looked ugly. And appearance matters. :)  So check out that tab up top!
2.  I've heard from two people in the last 18 hours that my not teaching math at my old school has really left a hole in that department. Not that I'm saying this is true (because there are some great teachers there!) but it makes me sad.  I still miss the every day interaction with "my" kids, but I really don't miss the grading or the drudgery that came along with it. I still wonder if this gig will be a long-term thing or if I'll end up back in a classroom one day. Guess that remains to be seen!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Planning a PD Day

Our half-day of PD on November 5th has turned into 2 hours. But hey, teaching is all about being flexible, right?

We're going with a more structured approach. Instead of having a lot of time to share resources, ideas, "Favorite Things", we're going to have 30 minutes as share time for all teachers to attend. It'll be interesting to see what sharing is actually going on! People always say that they want time to talk to each other but I don't know what all they'll do with it.

I've got people lined up to share if conversations aren't happening. Or I'm sure I could get up and talk for at least 30 minutes. :)

After that, people will have a choice of either a 90 minute session or 2 45-minuters.

For the math/science crowd, I'll be leading a 90 minute session on flipping... which means I need to get my act together!  It was an interest of mine that I never actually followed through with, but I have a lot of resources tagged that I can go back to. I'd also like to skype someone in who actually flips their class... if you flip and are available around 12:30 on the 5th, let me know! We have a science teacher in the building who flips his chemistry class, so I'll definitely be calling on him to talk about what he does.

Some of the shorter sessions deal with diigo, organization of google drive, PLNs (I'll be leading a few of those, too! Again, if you're interested in Skyping, give me a shout!), and I forget what else. 

I'm not stressed out about it. Yet.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Diigo Tags (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Are you connected?

(I just found this in my drafts... not sure why I never posted it!)

Next month (October) is Connected Educators month. If you haven't checked out the website, head on over there! Our plan (the other 2 ladies in my position at the other secondary schools in the district and our fearless leader) is threefold:
1. Find and suggest webinars a for people to participate in. 
2. Find and suggest a book study for people to participate in. (Run by CE)
3. Run a 30-day Twitter challenge

The district really wants to get teachers onboard and connecting, so we're putting together a list of 30 tasks that we'll send out via twitter to get people using Twitter. We're going to start by requiring them to have signed up for twitter and downloaded Tweetdeck. Then we're starting basic... Tweet out something using our predetermined hashtag. Add that column to your Tweetdeck. Find people to follow. Etc. We're going to tweet them questions to respond to, links to follow, videos to watch. Hopefully this will work out well and more people will feel comfortable using twitter! Because I'm sure you all know I'm a big fan. 

Aside #1:
Our Homecoming is this weekend, which makes this Spirit Week. I missed my all-time favorite (Pajama Day) because I had to take a little girl to get tubes in her ears, but because of the opportunity to dress down for the week, I'm all in. Today is class color day, and it is apparently a huuuuuge thing for the kids. I have yet to see someone not dressed in the appropriate color. Apparently there have been issues in the past because some kids got over-zealous with preserving their color, so warnings were issued yesterday. 

Aside #2:
A math teacher at my school sent out a school-wide email a few days ago asking if anyone had Barbies they could lend her. She's doing Barbie Bungee with a stats class (to look at scatter plots, I think). Brought back good memories of last year! :) (And the year before...) I  told her I was going to come down and watch but I ended up having to cover for a teacher whose sub didn't make it on time to school. Tomorrow is the big drop (over a 2-story ledge) so I'll definitely try and make it. I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I brought her 15 Barbies... I promise most of them were hand-me-downs and not bought by me! (For my daughter, of course.)

Planning for PD

We have an inservice day on November 5th in which I'll have about half the day to work with the math teachers (it's so weird not to include myself in that list... and to be the planner!).

My general thoughts are to give people exposure to websites and tools that could help them. I don't want to get too content-specific because we'll have everyone from 7th grade to AP Calc and I'd hate to leave anyone out.

My initial plan
Wolfram Alpha

Flipping a classroom
(These are two topics that produced a lot of interest from a survey we did.)  I'd love to be able to Skype someone in to talk about how they flip.  We'll see about that.

I put together a quick survey and sent it out to the teachers to see what tools, resources, tweeters, and blogs they like so that we can get a collection of ideas attached to people who use them. That will be good, right?

One of the activities that we did at Twitter Math Camp was a session called "My Favorites". It ranged from questioning to marshmallow guns to classroom management. As a last question on my survey to the teachers, I asked if they would be willing to do a "My Favorite".  It would be a short little 2 - 3 minute, informal talk about something that works for them in class.  Over half of the people who have responded so far have said no.


I guess I'm so used to the twitter community, who shares everything, that I forget that it doesn't always work that way.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Diigo Tags (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

My Diigo Tags (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.