Keep Moving Forward

Posted: July 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hi all (four) of you! 

Things are alive and well in the world of moving forward, and, as I mentioned before, our school has gone 1:1 with iPads for the upcoming year. 

In order to document that journey, I will be spending more time at my new blog:

I’d love it if you would join me there. I will (hopefully) keep up this blog for things that I want to keep a bit more, well, anonymous (read: my students might not find)… but here we go!


1:1 and the SAMR model

Posted: June 11, 2013 in 1:1, Learning..., technology

Our district has done a beautiful job of supporting us with plenty of opportunities for growth and preparation within the 1:1 model for the summer, and I look forward to taking the opportunity to learn, grow and prepare for next year.

The first online course for us is one about the SAMR model of technological integration.
Here is a video describing SAMR, if you are unacquainted:

And then a thoughtful blog post:
SAMR and the integration of technology

Finally, a cool matrix to look at that compares learning environments (constructed, active, goal-directed, etc.) with the SAMR integration types. (This is REALLY cool! Check it out. It even has videos that describe the various levels of integration in relation to the classroom/learning type!)

Technology Integration Matrix

Our task is to take a current lesson and kick it up a notch or two, more meaningfully creating technological integration. I’m on it!

One of the cool things about teaching language is/was that everything is relevant. Giving students the opportunity and facilitating the ability to communicate meaningfully in relevant situations is always relevant education.

One of the many things we did in the German class was to create Mother’s Day cards in German. Though it does have a “craftsy” feeling to it, the learning was really meaningful and the ability/opportunity for students to share their language with their families was a great motivator and source of pride.

If any of that isn’t quite enough to justify such projects, I would never question it again because of this card.

This card was made by an amazing spirit who, last year, passed away after a terrible car accident. Today, his mother posted this picture… the last Mother’s Day card she ever got from her son.

We never know what lifetime memories we might be facilitating. Life is too sweet and too short. Make the most of it and, when possible, help others do the same as well.

Yesterday we got the official news: We are going to be a 1:1 iPad school! Every student in our school next year will be receiving an iPad and we will be moving forward as a staff to fully integrate technology in our classes and for our students with the ultimate aim of increasing student achievement.

I know there is SO much to think about in the 1:1 environment, and I am excited to learn, learn, learn! Do you have any resources I should check out and be inspired? I’d love to hear it!

Ultimately, I would love to have a fully integrated classroom, and will be looking forward to making strides with calendars/planners and even digital binders for the students in my AVID classes!

Tonight I watched a TED talk that was recommended to me from my husband. It is Benjamin Zander talking about the love of classical music. There are so many parallels to be drawn between the belief in classical music and the belief in teaching and learning.

Watch it here:

Perhaps some of my favorite quotes here, as pertaining to teaching and believing every kid can love learning:

“It’s one of the characteristics of a leader, that he not doubt for one moment the capacity of the people he’s leading to realize whatever he’s dreaming.”

He breaks down where people’s thoughts are falling apart about classical music, he breaks down the meaning and the how and the why in the piece by Chopin.

“”This is about vision. This is about the long line… from B to E.”

“How would you walk, How would you talk, How would you be if you thought ‘Everyone loves classical music! They just haven’t found out about it yet!’?”

“A conductor’s power depends on his ability to make other people powerful… my job was to awaken possibility in other people.”

“You look at their eyes, and if they’re shining, you know you’re doing it.”

It is of us…

Posted: December 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

For it would seem – her case proved it – that we write, not with the fingers, but with the whole person. The nerve which controls the pen winds itself about every fiber of our being, threads the heart, pierces the liver.

~ Virginia Woolf

Writing quotes have often resonated with me and only recently have I realized that it’s not, in fact, because I’m somehow meant to be a writer (which I am definitely not meant to be). Instead, I think they resonate because teaching, like writing, is so much of who we are that it is part of our innate being… and what we put out into the world uncovers the soul, much like the masterpieces so many authors write.

Be your masterpiece.

No need to hurry. No need to sparkle.
No need to be anybody but oneself.

~ Virginia Woolf,
A Room of One’s Own

Upon a great recommendation from a fantastic friend, I am in process of getting a hold of the book Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us. In the meantime, in order to quench my thirst, I found a cool (animated) video that seems to sum up the ideas in a very broad way (perhaps a “Cliff Notes” version). The drawing is super fun (although it makes my hand tired, even though I realize it is fast-forwarded). Check it out…

While you watch, here are the questions I’m pondering/wondering about:

  1. Does “monetary incentive” equate to grades in the classroom? If so, what does this tell us about grades?
  2. How can I allow kids to be more self-directed?
  3. I have seen the need for Mastery and Purpose in students within a foreign language as they strive toward satisfaction… how can I let them be thoughtful about this?

Thanks, MIKD, for the Vorschlag! I’m excited to read/listen to the whole book and ponder even more…