I spent this morning with educators from all over the world and I loved it!!! We talked about sites and resources that we can use to help make our lives easier, make our students more engaged and provide a platform for our students to share their work. We met online and we talked, laughed, inspired and engaged one another. Fingers typed out comments in the chatroom, shared examples of student/teacher work and clicked links to register for new online tools. It was a good morning.
It started out with a freestyle rap from the musical guest Jason Levine @FluencyMC. He reminded us that it is okay to be silly. It is okay to laugh. It is okay to do something that might get you laughed at. My 11 year old daughter laughed at the man on the screen rapping to her about … foolishness as he tried to rhyme words that were thrown out to him. But she also recognized the power that having this sense of the absurd can have in a classroom with a teacher who is willing to connect with students and promote learning.
Next up was the keynote speaker, Steven Anderson and his two girls. His two girls were not actually presenting with him but they were discussed as a reminder to all of us that we must teach to our children in the ways and using the methods that they have become accustomed to using. Even if that means we have to be willing to purchase an iPad Pottyseat. *(Not that anyone is saying that we, parents or teachers, will actually need to buy one but it is important to realize that technology has become so ingrained in our lives that … it will be a purchase made by many.) Steven helped to continue the conversation about the reasonableness of telling them to totally shut offf their devices when at school. Last week, I laughed at the young Chrisley children, Savannah and Chase, when they melted down when their dad took their phones. They were serious when they said that they wake up in the mornings expecting to see their friend, their cellphone, on their pillow. If a cellphone is their friend, how are they supposed to act when we rip them away!?!?!?
The Inspire Presentations were 5 minute sessions in which we talked about sessions we presented at Reform Symposium 4 or sessions that we intend to present at Reform Symposium 5. We heard from:
André J. Spang, Germany, @Tastenspieler
Title: Be a Maker not a taker!
Sue Beckingham, UK, @SueBecks
Title: Why you need a professional online presence and how to do it!
Eva Buyuksimkesyan, Turkey, @Evab2001
Title: Flip Quiz
Sylvia Guinan, Greece, @ESLBrain
Title: Brainfriendly ways to help students memorise language creatively
Matthew Miller, Egypt, @matthewm1970
Title: Playing to RAMP up learning
Paige Hale, US
Title: Working together: Apps and tools for collaboratively building students’ writing skills
Valerie Burton, US, @MsBisOnline
Title: Publish your ePortfolio using Weebly
Jackie Gerstein, US, @JackieGerstein
Title: STEAM and Maker Education: Inclusive, Engaging, Self-Differentiating
Here is a PDF file of our presentation slides.
We closed out today’s day of learning with a Smackdown session in which we took 2 minutes to show off tools, sites and resources that we think of as ‘must haves.’ Some of the sites that we shared were ThingLink, Smore, Google World Calendar, PrintFriendly, Tagboard, Kidblog and NewsEla. Here are slides from that share session.
All in All, it was a good morning. I spent time with my online friends talking, sharing and being inspired. Can’t wait for the 2nd mini-con on May 4th, 2014 and the next Reform Symposium Conference, RSCON5, that will take place July 11-13th, 2014 and feature 60+presentations, 2 plenaries, 10 keynotes, student presenters, a tech/app/lesson smackdown, and the EdInspire Awards Ceremony.
Thanks so much to Conference Organizers:
Shelly Sanchez Terrell, Peggy George, Chiew Pang, Marcia, Lima, Steve Hargadon and Amy Brinkley
Sunday, April 6th, 2014
is the first of 2 events to promote Reform Symposium Free Online Conference #RSCON5, July 11-13th, 2014.
Sunday’s half day minicon will be held from 9:30am to 1pm EDT and will feature musical guest Jason Levine and keynote speaker Steven Anderson.
I am honored to be presenting for the technology smackdown event and one of eight mini-presentations that highlight RSCON4 and give a sneak peek at what to expect at RSCON5, I will be sharing highlights from my presentation last year about Using Weebly to Publish Work and I will be sharing Smore.com for flyer/poster making and ThingLink.com for creating interactive images.
From time to time I re-evaluate what I currently do and what I have done in the past. One of these re-evaluation reflection sessions led me back to the realization that bringing in the news needs to be a necessary part of my classes. I can’t teach children about how literature is reflected in their lives if I don’t allow them to talk about their lives and learn about the lives of others. Years ago, I showed CNN Student News in my class 3 days a week and I had my students to record facts from the broadcast. We were able to track stories and see how the news developed. And then… the school year ended and I didn’t continue showing the broadcasts. I really don’t know why I stopped. ?? I have since seen the errors of my ways and I have started showing the broadcasts again. I laugh when Carl Azuz does the ‘Shout Outs’ and my kids shout out the answer and I feel bad when he mentions a school/class during the school roll call and they all look at me with disappointment because our class wasn’t mentioned.
CNN’s Student News has great classroom resources: option of downloading podcast version. transcript, Daily Curriculum worksheet, etc. They have made it extremely easy to bring the daily news into the classroom. Below is an example of the worksheet that can be copied and shared with the class.
Do you share the news with your students? If not, think about it. It is beneficial and enlightening. Try sharing the CNN Student News with your class and see what happens.
Explore ways to integrate technology and increase engagement by using: Google Docs/Forms to collaborate and gather information; Weebly for websites; Kidblog/Wordpress for blogs; Photopeach for photomovies; Twitter for updates; Padlet to gather ideas; Wordle for avatars or presentations; and Screenr for screen captures.
Today’s 20 Blog Challenge topic asks me to name a website that I can’t live without. I really thought about this for awhile because so many of them came to mind. I started to select my class assignment blog or my PLN blog and then I realized that I visit them often but not daily. Twitter I visit daily, hourly … or in reality every 10 minutes on average. Everything that I have done ‘new’ in my class is a result of a tweet. Twitter connects me with other educators from around the world. THE WORLD. How awesome is that?
Why??? Hmmm, I share and look for resources regularly. Everyday I look for ways to
perfect improve my craft. My students are always amazed when I tell them that I am going to a conference, meeting, class or webinar because I want to not because I have to. I try to explain that I do consider myself to be a lifelong learner who is constantly trying to get new ideas, activities or resources. I tell them that I would not be a good teacher or mother if I did not try to find ways to et better at everything I do. There are some things that I will use and some things that I will not. I read articles and blogs that I think are interesting. they may or may not help me out in life or my class but I think that it is important for me to exercise my brain and my creative nature.
I named my blog To blog is to share and to learn for a reason.
Here is one of the first Tweets that I sent out for the new year:
— Valerie R. Burton (@MsBisOnline) January 1, 2014
Each of these tweeple (and many more) has shaped my professional and personal world. From them I have learned:
- To value Twitter and the connection it brings me to other educators
- To dare my students to be creative and excel and perform Romeo and Juliet for the world to see
- To open up my heart and share my life, whether it is the death of a dog or the death of a parent
- To present online or face-to-face as much as possible because it is something that I love to do
- To blog and accept blogging challenges
- To connect with others and organize an EdCamp in my city if I feel strongly
My Twittersphere is large and it is awesome. Thanks to you all.
Thanks @kellyhines for the motivation to share.
When working with text, we need to find Literacy strategies that require our students to do more than read and recite facts. We need to get them to connect with the text and go beyond recalling details.
These slides are a part of a presentation that I created for the 2013 Louisiana Council of Teachers of English Conference.