Showing posts from June, 2015

Summer Bucket List

I wrote two posts about how teachers don't have the "whole summer off." I guess I got a little fired up about the misconception that non-teachers sometimes have! With that being said, I do have a more relaxed schedule in the summer. I am trying to only take Natalie to daycare twice a week. That leaves plenty of days for pursuing some other interests. I wanted to take this post to make a list of the things I want to do with this little bit of time I do have, especially because summer is my favorite time of year!  I've seen people make a summer bucket list, so I thought I would borrow that format. First, here is my Summer Bucket List from Last Summer (2014): 1. Keep this tiny human fed, changed, and relatively happy (Believe me, this one item took the. whole. summer!) Here is the list for this summer!

Thoughts on Kahoot!

Have you tried this fun and addicting online game called Kahoot ?! Well, it all the rage right now, especially in education technology. You play the game on a device (tablet, computer, or phone). You project the questions on the board and students answer the (multiple choice) questions by clicking on 1 of 4 shapes on their device. Speed and accuracy are rewarded and after each question, a leaderboard is displayed showing where the top players stand. In honor of the ISTE Conference taking place right now, I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts about Kahoot! as an educational tool. While there are definite positives, I do have a few words of caution that I think are important to consider when deciding how this activity might fit into your lessons. Positives: -It is so fun! Adults and kids alike really enjoy it (including me!!) -Everyone stays engaged, the whole time, even if they aren't "winning" -You can use pre-made questions or make your own -It'

Summers Off? Part II

Almost two weeks ago, I wrote about how teachers don't really have the summers off. Some of us teach summer school, give or attend professional development, and/or just reflect and plan for the next school year. Presenter Selfie! I am attending or planning/providing professional development all summer long. I am involved with a math grant, WCMI, where I am giving some PD (check-out this blog post from my co-presenter !) and then I am also leading some PD in my own district. I am trying to keep the days working to two per week so I can still enjoy some summer fun with my little one. In the past week, I have had two conversations with well-meaning neighbors/family members where they ask me about my summer. It goes something like: well-meaning person : So, you are off for the summer, right? <smirk> me: Well, actually I'm working about two days a week well-meaning person: Oh! <shocked pause> What are you doing?! (at this point I can see a look of d

ISBE Honor

Last week, the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Federation of Teachers, and Illinois Education Association recognized teachers that had won teaching awards from professional organizations in the past year. The new State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Tony Smith, was there and gave a nice speech about his goals for his new role, including changing the conversation about teachers to a more positive one in the state and media. It was a nice luncheon with a chance to chat with some passionate educators! I also had a chance to connect with some tweeps (Twitter peeps). Two math teachers that I follow and follow me were there and recognized me from Twitter... so fun!

Summers Off?

Most teachers don't have the entire summer "off." If you are a teacher, you understand this and maybe when people imply you do, you get as annoyed as me. Now, I do take some time to be with my daughter and I make sure those times are fun and relaxing! However, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking about all the school related summer projects I have. For example, right now I'm sitting at a Starbucks getting some work done. I'm blogging, I'm catching up on Twitter, I'm reading blogs and thinking about what I want to change in my classroom next year (feedback!).  Also, I had a 10am meeting with a new team member (welcome, Mike!) on my teaching team. Then, at 1:30pm, I'm meeting with two teachers to plan a summer PD session about using technology in the classroom. I'm sharing this because I think a lot of other teachers can relate. Even if you aren't having meetings at Starbucks and truly are taking the summer "off," we all kno