Sunday, February 22, 2009

Are You Feeding Yourself?

PLN-2Image by cobannon via Flickr

I was asked to write an article for a coach workshop about personal learning networks and their ability to support those who may be the pioneers and trailblazers in their schools. Hopefully, this will also help you in supporting others just beginning their journey.

Are you feeling hungry for support?
As a coach you are continually giving of yourself. You provide support to other teachers, teach them new tools, and help them integrate them into teaching and student learning. While your job can be exhilarating, it also can be exhausting. When you constantly give so much to others, that full cup of enthusiasm, energy, and new ideas can quickly become empty.
While many are turning to you to support them in their new learning, to whom do you turn to support yourself in your new learning? Take charge of feeding yourself by building your own personal learning network using online tools.

Which of items from this smorgasbord of choices are on your personal learning network plate?
Twitter or Plurk
• Reading Blogs
• Educator Networks like Classroom2.0
Educational Broadcasts
Educational Videos
Streaming Video
Discussion Groups

Joining is step one in developing a personal learning network. Step two is participation. Put yourself out there for others to see and hear. Write your own blog. Create your own podcasts and videos. Step three is connecting with others. Recheck that list again. How much do you really connect with others using those tools? If you read an interesting blog post, leave a comment. If you listen to a thought-provoking broadcast, enter into the conversation. If someone tweets a question, answer it. Over time, these interactions will help you build relationships with fellow educators across the globe. Then when you make a request for help or information, you will have a community of like-minded people who will respond in favor.
Remember, whatever tool you choose, building a personal learning network requires joining, participating, and making connections. Do this and you will find you have a pantry full of help and support ready for any occasion.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Not On the Test

Test takersImage by hyperscholar via Flickr

For teachers out there who are feeling the crunch of test crazed days ahead, this lullaby written for students by om Chapin posted on NPR may just be what is needed to bring a smile to your face.
For students out there who may be stressed out, here's a lullaby for our times. "Not on the Test" was written by John Forster and Tom Chapin. It is performed by Tom Chapin.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

World Math Day 2009

I just learned about Wold Math Day. World Math Day falls on March 4th this year. Students aged 5 to 18 can take part and whole classes can also register for the online math questions and fun! Students play against each other in mental arithmetic games. They play in real time with students from all over the world. Each game lasts for 60 seconds and they can play as many games as they wish. The questions are appropriately leveled for different ages and abilities. Be sure to register early to be a part of World Math Day this year.
An additional challenge for World Math Day is the TeacherTube Video Contest. Just record a two to three minute video highlighting how your students are preparing for World Math Day and you will have a chance to win great prizes. But hurry, the deadline for submitting your video is February 20. Watch the video below to learn more!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What Kinds of Writing Do You Do Everyday?

writing...Image by © dabawenya © (who's ready for a hunt?) via Flickr

Take Part in NCTE's National Day on Writing
October 20, 2009

Writing is a daily practice for millions of Americans. But few notice how integral writing has become to daily life in the 21st century.

To draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in and help make writers from all walks of life aware of their craft, NCTE is working to establish October 20, 2009, as the National Day on Writing.

To celebrate composition in all its forms, we are inviting diverse participants --students, teachers, parents, grandparents, service and industrial workers, managers, business owners, legislators, retirees and many more -- to submit a piece of writing to the National Gallery of Writing.

The National Gallery will be a digital archive of samples that exhibit how and why Americans are writing every day, accessible to all through a free, searchable website. Writers’ pieces will be accompanied by

* brief descriptive entries (meta-data) describing who the writer is,
* the genre of writing represented, and
* why s/he selected this particular piece to submit to the Gallery.

They will build the archive of writing submissions in the Gallery throughout 2009, before sharing it with the nation on the National Day on Writing. So now is the time to get thinking about how you will involve your students, teachers, and community in this project.

Will you participate in The National Day on Writing?

View Results
Web Poll from Free Website Polls
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Monday, February 09, 2009

Technology Staff Development that Works