Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Goals, in Retrospect...

This is the first time I am revisiting these goals and reflecting on them specifically since the school year ended...

So much has happened, and I haven't had much time to think about these specifics.

I never imagined that, at the end of this, my 10th year as a teacher, I would be packing up and shipping out.

After having been in the same building for the last 9 years, I am getting moved over to another elementary school in our district.  It's still bittersweet and I am still trying to reflect on the week I found out, and the events following it.

Instead, I should take some time to reflect on our school year and the learning of my students...

In the 2012-2013 school year, a relatively "easy" school year with only 4 students with moderate to intensive special needs turned into another tough year with 6 students with moderate to intensive special needs.  In November, a new third grader joined us, and in March, a new second grader.

We also added 1.5 additional special ed. aides to make our little family just that much larger- 6 students, 6 special ed. aides, and me. :)

Here were the goals I originally set for myself along with my progress and commentary in red. :)

Goal 1: By the end of the year, first and second graders will have created an e-portfolio in
2 of 3 second graders completed this task and 2 of 2 first graders.  Unfortunately I did not get to this with one third grader and one second grader as they had other needs that took priority.
            A.  Second graders will create e-portfolios in the first week of September. Done.
            B.  First graders will create e-portfolios in the 2-3 week of September. Done.
            C.  Second graders will add to their e-portfolio weekly. We did this, yes.  The weekly entry was a spelling test.  However, more meaningful writing did not take place weekly as I had hoped.  Our writing progress was good, but slower than anticipated this year.
            D.  First graders will add to their e-portfolio every other week. This was tough.  One student added weekly with a spelling test, but the other was more sporadic.  Again, not as much writing progress as I would have liked, slow but steady.

Goal 1: Moderate Success. :)

Goal 2: During the school year, students will use iPads for a creation tasks at least 3 times each.  Yes!  I believe I accomplished this with my students.  One student used I Can Animate to make stop-motion videos with our Legos.  Next, we used the Felt Board app to create characters from the book Freckle Juice by Judy Blume.  Lastly, we worked on using the App Toontastic Jr. Shrek.  This was very cool.
           A. Try out Puppet Pals. We did not try Puppet Pals.
           B.  Try out I Can Animate. Yes!
           C. Find another great App for Creation for my students (Garage Band? Poplet? Type Drawing?
                Toontastic?) Yes!  Toontastic Jr. Shrek and Felt Board.

Goal 2: Success!!

Goal 3: During the school year, participate on school teams, as a valuable team member. Instead of being the leader of many teams, I got back this year to find several of "my committees" had been cut from the committee list anyway.  Somehow, I ended up on the Field Day committee and I surely think this was a success in 2013!  I also worked on the planning team for EdCampCLE 2013 and didn't take over. :)

Goal 3: Success!

Goal 4: Participate in the Global Read Aloud with Charlotte's Web. Yes!  We loved it although we are hoping for a shorter book in Fall of 2013.  There was A LOT of work to do to make additional visual cues for every chapter, every setting, and every character.  We also used the cartoon movie version after every reading each chapter to make sure we understood the plot.
           A. Complete at least 3 Skype or Facetime sessions. Rats!  We Skyped only once this year during the Global Read Aloud, but also Skyped one time during Right to Read Week.
           B. Collaborate in at least 2 other ways with other classes.  Because the book was so long, we struggled to collaborate with other students during this time.  The focus was on OUR comprehension....

Goal 4: Still a success in my book!

Goal 5:  In any one day, leave the building after NO MORE than 10 hours of work.  Success!  in 177ish student school days, I was successful at this in at least 75% of trials. :)  

Wait, does leaving work and going to a 3 hour class on Applied Behavior Analysis once a week count as "leaving?"

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Twas the Night Before eTech...

Twas the night before eTech
And all through the room
All the devices were charging
To avoid pending doom…

Okay, I’m no poet.  It took me far too long to write that one stanza with two dogs trying to climb onto my lap as I sit on the floor in front of my laptop trying to be witty.

Witty?  That’s not really how anyone would describe me, is it?

Interested in learning? That’s more like it.

In going through the schedules on the Guidebook app, I have picked out several really exciting sessions to attend while also knowing I will participate in the “unconference” portion of the conference.  You can follow all of our tweets by going to twitter and following #OETC13.  At this conference, I’m really looking forward to making f2f connections with my twitter friends, learning something way out of the box, and learning to use our iPads with even more effectiveness and efficiency.

Monday, Feb. 11th (Happy Birthday mom!)

On Monday morning, we’ll likely miss the 8am sessions, but really, who could leave Cleveland much earlier than 5:45am?  It’s just not going to happen.  We’ll get there and go see the first Key Note speaker Heather Clayton Staker, who will speak on “Facing a Future of K-12 Blended Learning.”

On Monday at 10:45, I have picked out 5 sessions go to:
1. 21st Century Information Literacy and Common Core Standards: Professional Development for Teachers
2. AT, Math and the Common Core Standards
3. Ohio’s Next Generation of Assessments
4. Pairing Evernote and iPods to Benefit Diverse Learners
5. You Will Rise Art Project

On Monday at 12pm, I have picked 2:
1. Getting Boys to Read with Technology
2. Unleashing the iPad’s Creativity by Looking Beyond Content-Specific Apps

On Monday at 1pm, I might go to Using Digital Images as Writing Prompts.

On Monday at 1:15pm, I picked 2:
1. Flocabulary: Hip-Hop in the Classroom
2. Teaching Simple Machines and Force and Motion using LEGO

On Monday at 2:30pm, I want to go to:
1. Adaptive Diagnostic and Differentiated Instruction Based on Common Core
2. “Show Me What You Know”: How Games- Based Thinking Shaped my Classroom
And on Monday at 3:45pm, I want to go see “Web Apps and iPad Apps for Struggling Readers and Writers.”
Wheeeeeew!  And that’s just Monday!  And that doesn’t include any evening activities. :)

Tuesday, Feb. 12th
I’m doing slightly better in choosing sessions on Tuesday…

Tuesday at 8am, I have picked 3 sessions:
1. Google Tools for Students with Disabilities
2. High Heels and High Tech: 10 Essentials for Women in Leadership
3. iPads and IEPs Apps that Transform Learning for All Learners

There’s a Key Note speaker at 9:30, Max Brooks, speaking on “Show & Tell: It’s Not Just for 2nd Grade.”

At 10:45am on Tuesday, I would go to these:
1. Bloomin’ iPads (Bloom’s Taxonomy)
2. Student Created Multimedia eBooks on the iPad in Grades K-3
3. O.D.O.T Distracted Driving Simulator

At 11:45-2pm, I will be helping out with the “unconference” in C224 and 225.  I hope to see you there at some point! You can follow the “unconference” at #OETCx on twitter.

At 2:30, I’d like to go see “Grant Writing Made Easy: Novice Grant Writers, Funding Sources and Writing Tips using GRANT SUCCESS.”

And at 3:45, I’ll go to “Technology Tools to Support and Engage All Learners.”
I haven’t heard much about Tuesday evening activities, so maybe this is when I will take a nap and process all this!

Wednesday, Feb. 13th
On Wednesday, I plan to pack in as much as possible before we hit the road…

On Wednesday at 8am, I’d like to see:
1. iBooks Author and The Power of Writing eBooks
2. Incorporating iPad Apps to Demonstrate Core Standards

At 9:30, there’s a Key Note speaker, Andrew Ng, on “The Online Revolution: Education for Everyone.”

At 10:45 on Wednesday, I’d like to see:
1. Digital Portfolios to Spotlight Student Accomplishments
2. Scaffolding iPad Apps to Support 2nd Grade Student Language Arts Learning: Toontastic!

At noon:
1. Differentiating for All Learners using Technology
2. iPads, iPod Touches and the Common Core

And at 1:15pm, “Uncommon Projects for the Common Core.”

I’d also like to visit the Scholastic table, OCALI, Brain Pop, and Learning A-Z!  Any free stuff for kids accepted here!

A huge THANK YOU to Carla Calevich and her office for sending me, along with my colleagues Todd Wasil (@wasilt1), Joe Butler (@jfbutler) and Cathy Roderick (@CathyBees10), to eTech Ohio 2013!