Thursday, July 12, 2012


      What a fun and productive day planning with Taylor!  After a little lunch we filled our crisp new plan books in with important dates for the year and color coded them for our color days schedule.  We even got the first 16 weeks or so of Math planning fleshed out.  Too bad some of it will change for the Common Core Standards.  It looks so good pencilled in there!
     I am getting super excited to begin the school year now that we have some planning done.  I know it will come soon enough and then I will long for more carefree Summer days with my girls!  This is what happens when worlds collide.
    Now I look forward to meeting with the Dual Language team to plan some more.  Any others out there doing some Summer planning?

   Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer planning...

      Excited to be meeting with my K teamie, Taylor, tomorrow to get a little Summer planning done.  We start early in August this year so it's not that far away on the calendar.  I'm actually part of two teams: one is my school grade level team and the other is my Dual Language team.  I'll be meeting with them a little later this month.  The kindergarten Dual Language program has grown to a team of five this year in our district.  I can't wait to meet my new teammates!  Are other teachers planning already, too?

      Working on another getting rid of some clutter at home today.  When did I become such a packrat?!?  Oh yeah, when I became a teacher.  Suddenly, the most mundane of objects: empty Pringles and coffee cans, old film canisters, produce baskets, all became objects of my desire to recycle into games for centers, manipulatives, dice cages and more.  Great intentions but I collected a few too many for the reality of time I had to work with.  So, I'll get rid of a bunch of them and make space to collect again as I know that will be the cycle.

       The best thing to do would be to just collect them as I need them, make the projects and not have extras, but I know myself a little too well.  I will need to remind myself constantly to break this habit.       Wonder if other teachers out there have this same thing going on or if it's just me?  Hmmmmm.  Something to ponder for today.
Happy Summer planning!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer Sunday..

   Woohoo! Finished Summer classes on Friday.  Really enjoyed my tech class! Started this blog as result. Thanks, Dr. Dennis Lundgren!!  Just a couple of assignments to get done by August before starting Fall classes.  Got to keep the forward momentum going!

   Going to enjoy some quality Summer family time while I can and take baby steps toward getting ready for my new students.  Even though we are on break, I can never seem to stop planning during the Summer.  I have a few friends who do the same thing (Hmmm, OK, maybe more than a few). I guess it's a teacher thing!

    As I mentioned before board game organization is one of my Summer goals.  Also thinking about name work centers as those are some of the first ones we focus on at the beginning of the year.  Here's one I made for Rainbow name writing.  Hope it is useful!

BTW, just noticed a greatonline deal for Groupon on Vistaprint. It may only be limited to Illinois but I thought I'd share anyway! Here's the link:

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 5th of July!!!

Happy day after the 4th of July!  Had a great time celebrating with the family yesterday. Hope you did, too!
    Today we got into a little of the nitty gritty of bits, bytes and servers.  Interesting stuff but so much information if you think about it!  We also learned about Wikis and how great they are for collaboration.  A good resource for maybe fourth graders and up the grades from there.  All very useful but I think I'll just stick to this blog for right now. Don't want to take on too much, too soon.  Tomorrow is our last day of tech class. It went by faster than I'd thought and it got me to blog (finally!!!) so I'm happy to have taken it.

    Took a couple of minutes to look through my board games today. I'd like to make some new ones for this school year and revamp some existing games.  Here's one I made a while back that I still use. It's a basic beginning syllable rec game but I hope you enjoy it.

¡Hasta mañana!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Chapter 8

Lots of great resources today!  We discussed Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World by Heidi Hayes Jacobs today. We attacked it as a jigsaw activity and it is such a thought-provoking book.  Too bad we only had one day to delve into it.  If you haven't read this book: YOU SHOULD!  Emily and I (thanks for being my partner, Emily) discussed chaper 8.  It focused on the importance of recognizing that our students will come to us teach ready.  As educators we need to embed technology across the disciplines to make students more media literate (as they come in with a fund of tech knowledge already). They need to learn netiquette and the permanence of the internet and how to critically process all of the information they are exposed to in order to filter for credibility. They need to become critical thinkers and consumers in an information stream that is fluid.   Kind of like with this quote:

We alsoused a video from a series I really like to illustrate how quickly tech is changing and making information literacy so much more important (click on the link below to view):

Did you know 2011--Social Media

This is a link to a prior version which also has a lot of interesting information:

Did you know? - 2009

On another note we also used a website called "Tagxedo" to create a word cloud.  It's a more spiffy (yes, it's 2012 and I used spiffy in a sentence) version of Wordle.  We chose and apple to represent education. The words are key points from our chapter:

You like???   Make you own @

Phew!  Lots of stuff to ponder for one day. Happy 4th of July!!!!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The final technology stretch!!

    Just started the second and last week of our technology class for the Summer. Learned all about long range district technology plans.  Looked for my district's plan online but couldn't find it.  I'll have to check into it when we (teachers) go back to work. 
     Reading an interesting book tonight called "Curriculum 21: Essesntial Education for a Changing World."   The most exciting and scary chapter so far involves the next generation of the internet, "the semantic web" where information is coded almost like DNA and manipulated by consumer at a much more sophisticated level.  I embrace technology but am also fearful of how we have the potential of losing our ability to communicate face-to-face: in the process losing our humanity.  On the internet, you can be anyone you are not or want to be.  In many ways you can say anything without accountability.  It distorts reality.  As we spend more time "online" we can lose touch with "onlife."  As educators we need to meld tech integration, curricular goals and "media literacy" so students can be critical consumers of their digital native world.