Making it with Makers (133 out of 365) #blogaday

Wow, very innovative! It reminds me of STEM and getting the students feeling engaged with science.

User Generated Education

The maker movement and maker education, in my perspective, are such great initiatives – really in line with what student-centric education should be in this era of formal and informal learning.

Maker education (often referred to as “Maker Ed”) is a new school of educational thought [at least in terms of having an “official” educational label – JG] that focuses on delivering constructivist, project-based learning curriculum and instructional units to students. Maker education spaces can be as large as full high school workshops with high-tech tools, or as small and low-tech as one corner of an elementary classroom. A makerspace isn’t just about the tools and equipment, but the sort of learning experience the space provides to students who are making projects. (9 Maker Projects for Beginner Maker Ed Teachers)

Social media has helped me gain a more global perspective and become aware of some of the problems…

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Announcing authors (132 out of 365) #blogaday

This post makes a good point! Having authors come in and share their thoughts about their books is a great way for children to relate more stories. It can show them that it isn’t too far-fetched for them to be successful writers. Encouraging children to write helps them feel confident, and keep enjoying themselves when the writing experience changes throughout school.

Nerdy Book Club

polly holyokeAfter I received The Call and sold my first children’s book, I was ready to head right out the door and start doing school visits. I’d been a middle school teacher for many years, and I knew there was nothing more magical than an enthusiastic author sharing with students the joy he or she takes in creating stories.  I couldn’t wait to share my tales of getting kissed by a dolphin, learning oceanography, and eating sea urchins to research my Neptune books.

I was dismayed when many of the authors I asked about school visits shook their heads and told me dolefully that funds for author visits were drying up. Yet this past year, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit eighty different schools, and every one of those schools paid me.

So, how did I do it? Well, I do have a teaching background, and I lucked out big…

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reFreshing with Family (131 out of 365) #blogaday

Due to my decision for the rest of this term, I have been able to relax and spend time with my sister and parents. It is really what the doctor ordered 🙂 It can be important to just get away and clear your head sometimes. I am enjoying my relaxation and need to remember that summer classes won’t be too difficult, to make sure I don’t stress myself out again. Fall term should be beneficial because I can pretend it is more my classroom since I’ll be teaching almost the whole term. Can’t believe I still have about a month, super excited!


Students share some stories (129 out of 365) #blogaday

You never know the things that will stick with students. This seems like a very good idea to get them remembering and bonding. I did a “goodbye” book when I left last term from the fifth grade class, in which the students wrote memories about me teaching. I had a similar surprise with the responses – the children didn’t write what I expected them to remember but I still made an impact and that’s what matters!

Teaching the Teacher

This week the children in my class wrote a quick paragraph for their yearbook. Aside from setting up some scaffolds with the class some sentence starters and helping with spelling and punctuation I left the children to it.

As I read over what the children’s highlights strong patterns emerged. What the kids said they’d remember from their time in my class was:

  • The friendships they developed.
  • The class photography trip into Singapore.
  • Using technology in class.
  • Developing independence in their learning.
  • Having a strong relationship with me.

What’s not on this list?

The writing techniques we learned and, to my dismay, the books that we read together. The maths the kids learned or the concepts we explored in class. The crazy cardboard creativity day or the class party we had last year.

In the end, you can have a solid curriculum, plan the most amazing lessons, have the clearest learning intentions but if relationships aren’t there…

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Remembering reading (128 out of 365) #blogaday

I used to dislike reading because I always wanted to go outside or watch TV. But I got back into it when I was a camp counselor and in the woods ha. I discovered that is really relaxing, and you can create the world in your mind 🙂

Nerdy Book Club

read anyway

Life is busy. We have plenty to do with work, chores, errands, extra-curricular activities, more work, and everything else that we do between getting up in the morning and going to bed at night so we can do it all over again the next day. Making time for ourselves is hard enough, but does that mean that carving time out to read is nearly impossible?

There are so many reasons to pick up a book and start leafing through its pages – whether you are the kind of person who needs a physical book that you can dog-ear, write on, or even smell… or the kind of person who loves the simplicity and instant gratification that comes with reading on an electronic device. I’m a bit of both. I am a reader: eternally in love with the way words align on a page, causing us to laugh, cry, sigh, hold…

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Engaging episodes (126 out of 365) #blogaday

Finding a new TV show always helps me keep a steady head during stressful times. I am usually into dramas or mysteries, and had been watching X-files for a while. But I was starting to become too enveloped in the show – I dreamed about aliens :o! I thought it would be time to start a more upbeat program, so after browsing on Netflix, I found “Orange is the new black.” It is a very unique show and I like the characters. Their stories for ending up in prison are slowly tied in to each episode, and the main character keeps becoming involved in odd situations. I recommend it, but it is quite racy for language among other adult topics. I am glad that I have a new show to watch, just in time that many of my usual ones on Hulu are having season finales.


Book about the brave (125 out of 365) #blogaday

Books like this can be very fun for children to see fears that they feel portrayed by animals. Young children need to see actions of overcoming fears, so they know that it is possible for them. Fears are also difficult for many children to discuss because they don’t want to seem vulnerable among their friends – their fears may seem silly to classmates as well. This book looks very cute and inspiring 🙂

The Picture Book Review

Daredevil Duck desperately wants to be brave, but holy moley can it be hard!  Some things are too dark, too fluttery, too wet, and too high — and those things can really make it hard for a little duck to be brave.

To make things harder, there is the loud, obnoxious gang waiting on the sidelines to taunt and tease him — and dub him “Scaredy Duck”.  They’re not helpful, but fortunately not particularly harmful — and Daredevil Duck shakes off their taunts.

One day, while Daredevil Duck is dreaming about being brave and floating down an awesome inner tube, a friendly mole pops out and surprises him.  Poor Daredevil Duck! This unexpected encounter jostled him so badly that he grabs his tricycle and peddles as fast as he can through the dark woods, fluttery leaves, deep puddles, and over the high, high hills and is so befuddled that he lands…

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