Self-Personalize Any Professional Development You Attend: Reflections from my Week at Harvard

Self-Personalize (1)

I had the honor and privilege of being selected and funded by Raise Your Hand Texas to attend The Art of Leadership at Harvard University Graduate School of Education earlier this summer. I learned more than I could possibly put into one blog post, but 3 things stood out to me about the training. These three practices are why I believe I came away with so many ideas I feel like I can really implement right away – and these three big ideas will shape how I approach future staff development that I attend. I hope sharing these three strategies with you will help you to make connections with content and get more out of your upcoming professional development opportunities.

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#BookSnaps Google Slides Template

#BookSnaps Google Slides Template.png

Several years ago, while I was an Assistant Principal at Ault Elementary, my awesome partner AP, Julie Clements (@jclements01), and I lead an online book study together. We wanted to have all of our participants create a #BookSnap as evidence of their learning and as a way to process their reading. If you aren’t familiar with #BookSnaps, the original idea was to snap a picture of a page from a book and using the SnapChat app, add annotations, bitmoji’s, and stickers to elaborate, express your feelings, or connect with the quote. Continue reading

Tap to Reveal Google Slides Hack

Tap to Reveal

When I was a classroom teacher, I used to love to create games, incentives and interactive lessons using the Smart Notebook software because it gave me options to have students “Tap to Reveal” answers in different fun ways. Did you know this can be easily replicated in Google Slides??? Check it out – click on the balloon to reveal the answer: Continue reading

3 Googley Ideas for Quick and Easy Formative Assessment

3 Googley Ideas

Something I believe every good lesson includes is purposefully planned formative assessments. Whether looking over student work, having students turn and talk, taking a classroom poll, giving an exit ticket, or using another formative assessment strategy, the effectiveness really comes when the teacher takes what he or she learns from collecting that data and uses it to adjust instruction – helping to reteach and mitigate student misunderstandings. Here are three of my favorite Google Tools you can use to quickly and easily gather student data to drive your instruction during a lesson: Continue reading

Choice Learning Interactive Hyperslides

Choice Learning (1)

I was working on preparing for a day-long professional development coming up on my campus. Throughout the year staff members have shared different professional development needs that they would like me to cover when possible. As I began to plan how to cover all of the different topics requested, I realized that not everyone is on the same level or has the same learning needs for each topic. While some teachers need the basics of how to set up a twitter account, others want to know how to effectively use hashtags, and still others are twitter experts. And that’s only the topic of twitter! How could I possibly meet everyone’s needs without having them sit through information they already know or don’t care about? Continue reading

From Thanksgiving to Christmas: Positive Incentives and Templates that WORK!

From Christmas - graphic

I can’t believe it’s here already, but here we are: that span of time that can sometimes feel like one of the longest stretches of the school year – the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We’ve had a taste of break. Those days off felt great! We’re refreshed and rejuvenated (well, I am anyway 😉)! The first week back feels great! But then, the closer we get to Christmas break, the more excited about Christmas the students get and the more stressed we tend to get. Why? I say the culprit is… presents! Kids are excited about them and we’re stressed because we’ve got to get them all (and clean our houses for guests, and prepare meals… so much to do before the big day)! Continue reading

Book Study in a Box

Book Study in a Box

I am currently participating in a book study on The New Pillars of Modern Teaching by Gayle Allen facilitated by Kathryn Laster @kklaster of Region 10. The book challenges educators to provide learners with choice in the time, place, medium, and socialness of their learning. Kathryn and her team have done an outstanding job of giving book study participants like me power over their learning in each of these areas throughout the book study. Continue reading