Friday, November 24, 2017

Collaboration You Can Do

I was recently in a classroom doing a digital breakout.  What a fun activity and highly challenging task! No one was able to unlock all the locks, yet most students agreed they'd be willing to do it again.  

We had them working in small groups & we noticed something.  They were working next to each other ... not really with each other.  Many groups appeared to be working on the same task ... at the same time ... in the exact same way.  When one member got stuck, they all were stuck.

As the teacher & I were debriefing, we talked about how to encourage students to work collaboratively.  We agreed - the students have to have the opportunity to practice and improve on their collaboration skills.  One of my favorite collaboration tools popped to my mind.  But it's not a project with rubrics.  It's not a task with work divided up. It's actually a game.  A game that can be ready to be played in a matter of a minute.


Maybe Quizlet isn't new for you.  But if it is ... wow!  You are in for a life-changing study tool. 

For today, I'm focusing in on ONE piece of Quizlet.  Their game called "Quizlet Live".  Several years ago, I was honored to receive an email one day asking if I'd be willing to try out a game they had created.  We happened to be a point in our unit that a game would work nicely ... but I didn't know anything about this game.  My students were AMAZING - they agreed quickly and were eager to learn the game at the same time I did [what a cool experience on its own!].

Saturday, November 18, 2017

My First Blog

This has been a L O N G time coming.  I've started and stopped so many different times over the last year.  Each time ... I chicken out.  So, here goes.

I 💖 what I do.  I know I am very lucky to say this.  After 14 years in the classroom, I became a half-time Technology Integration Specialist, while still teaching Social Studies the other half of the day.  The following year, I was allowed to go full-time in the Tech Integration role.  I still can't believe it.

I have to give credit to a few people:

  • Eric Curts (@ericcurts) - what an AMAZING guy! He is truly the inspiration for what I'd like to be when I "grow up" 😉 .  Check out his blog ControlAltAchieve if you've not before. He provides inspiration and motivation on making the classroom an interactive and fun place to learn.
  • George Couros (@gcouros) - absolutely & highly inspirational! His book, Innovator's Mindset, gives such a refreshing (& smart) view on what education can and should be. I highly suggest you read his blog, "The Principal of Change". Mr. Couros has confirmed and reaffirmed many of the thoughts I've had regarding education.
  • Alice Keeler (@alicekeeler) -Alice is an amazing powerhouse of Google knowledge. I was honored to attend one of her workshops and I was blown away by her knowledge and creative thinking.
  • Here's where I also give a shout out to my awesome husband who listens, encourages, tempers, and ultimately pushes me to follow through on all my "thoughts".  And my 3 girls ... all of them inspire me and force me to rethink my ideas on education.  Without a doubt, being a mom has transformed my teaching.
  • And everyone I am honored to work with.  I loved being in the classroom and working with students.  Now that I am working with and supporting all of the teachers, I have an even higher level of satisfaction than I thought possible.
  • And shhhh ... don't tell anyone, but I work with some pretty cool administrators, too!
There you have it.  I did it. It's not perfect and I'm sure I'll look back and say to myself, "Oh, geeze! Why didn't you ...", but I'm not perfect and if I wait for perfection, it'll never happen ...