GIFs are so much fun! I love using them in twitter chats, in PD I present, when sending an email, when texting, must I go on? Sometimes what can’t be said in words can easily be expressed in a GIF! These little movie clips can also be used in so many great ways with our students! Here is a collection of a few ideas for infusing GIFs into the classroom. Continue reading
The research shows, and we can all agree, that incorporating student collaboration into our lessons has numerous benefits including:
- developing higher-level thinking skills
- enhancing student satisfaction with the learning experience
- promoting positive attitudes toward the subject matter
- developing communication and social interaction skills
- and so many more benefits!
Why, then, do we not incorporate student collaboration strategies more often? Continue reading
Many people make New Year’s Resolutions – promises of what they will do differently in the new year ahead. There is a movement of choosing one word as a focus for the year ahead instead of lots of little promises or resolutions. This word helps you focus on the kind of person you want to be and it applies to multiple aspects of your life.
I have chosen one word the last several years to guide my year and give me focus. This year, I’ve selected the word DISCIPLINED: Continue reading
One of the awesome teachers I have the privilege of working with at Ault, Nicole Donaldson @mrsdonaldson5th , who teaches 5th grade Language Arts, told me about a class meeting activity she recently had her students complete. Instead of standing in the front of the room and going over school rules again, she gave students the assignment to create a meme (you know, those hilarious pictures you see on the internet with white text at the top and bottom) which exemplifies or explains a school rule in table groups using one safe-for-school (but still fun) image she selected. While each table had the same grumpy cat face, they all selected different school expectations to reinforce for their classmates in this super fun, silly, and engaging assignment. Continue reading
Last week, I was preparing an introductory presentation for my school staff on Google Drawings. To give them choice in their learning and allow them to learn and find resources that appealed to their needs, I wanted to provide them with time during the class for some guided independent learning, but I wanted to use Google Drawings to teach them about Drawings in such a way that they could then turn around use the same template for a different lesson in their own classes. Here’s what I came up with (click to explore): Continue reading
The first week of school this year, my amazing assistant principal partner, Julie Clements (@jclements01), had a brilliant idea: to be more efficient and use less paper by keeping a digital contact log rather than a paper and pencil version (as we have both done for YEARS). She ran a spreadsheet from our district’s student database and then used autoCrat to create a separate Google Doc for each student that contained their contact information as well as a place for her to take notes for each parent phone call.
Make a point to talk to staff members individually.
We all have natural tendencies to gravitate toward the same people, the same sides of the building, the same time of day to visit classrooms. If we don’t intentionally schedule time to seek out each staff member, we could potentially go an entire year without talking one-on-one with that teacher in the far corner of the building – not because we don’t want to, but because our natural patterns and schedules don’t have us walk past her room when she doesn’t have students. This is why we MUST be intentional about taking time to talk to each staff member individually. This doesn’t have to be a formal meet up. But make sure YOU guarantee it happens by putting deadlines or reminders on your calendar. I typically don’t even schedule these meet ups with the staff member ahead of time. I simply keep myself accountable to check in with individuals, ask about their families, how things are going, and follow up on previous conversations.
Lately, I’ve started using voxer to send voice messages of praise and appreciation to students, staff, and parents. If you aren’t using Voxer, it is a walkie-talkie app that you use to send voice recordings. If your intended recipient has the app, you can send your voice message of encouragement directly to them through the app, but even if they don’t have the app, you can record your voice and then email the recording to them. I have seen these messages have a HUGE impact – at times, bringing others to tears as they hear the honesty and sincerity in my voice that sometimes does not come across in writing. Continue reading
When I think about my purchases – even those I make with my kids – more often than not, I am making those purchases online. Why? Not only does it save this busy mom time, it is just so much easier to shop from the comfort of my home than to fight traffic and battle crowds only to find that they don’t even have my size or the color I want.