Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Connected Educator Teacher Challenge #CE14

*This challenge is cross posted on my staff blog as a challenge for them this month. It was created in collaboration with @8Amber8.

In your mailbox you will find a Tic Tac Toe grid for Connected Educator Month. Last year you could fill out the Bingo card in the spring semester. Tic Tac Toe should be a little easier to complete for more people:) Once you complete your game board turn it in the to the office you can choose your FREE doodie! If you "black out" the whole card you can cash in for a FREE doodie AND 1 hour lunch coupon. Your class will be covered a 1/2 hour before or after lunch!

Please don't over think it. The goal is to explore connected education.
Activity explanation
Game board

Monday, October 13, 2014

Redesigning Learning Spaces - #WEETigers Tech Cafe

Not everyone gets the chance to work in a new school, open a new school, or be able to redesign their current school. So when my superintendent entertained my idea of redesigning some current spaces in my "old" my building I jumped at the chance. What started as a "what if...." conversation last spring has become a reality!

The 1st drawing...
I think I originally used Lucid Chart for this design. My original idea included a counter/bar with stools. You will see that did not make the final plan but I think it may still be an option. Student ideas were also considered. Hind sight I would not show the kids my design before asking for their ideas. Their designs mirrored mine:( They were great but I think I limited their thinking.
Student example/idea
 At this point in the process I became pretty assertive. Once you have student input/ideas it's pretty defeating to think or say you have to back out or it was just a pipe dream. The fact that we are proposing a bond issue with building projects worked in my favor. I think I got the green light for the project as a trial for one of the architect companies. But you don't see me complaining.

So these drawings are amazing! Then we had the meeting....Let me preface this by saying I invited myself to the meeting. Their ideas were okay at the time but I wasn't sure. On this occasion I had my girls with me. The meeting was unexpected and I didn't have childcare that day. My 3rd grader actually swayed my thinking on a couple of things.

And so it began...Stay tuned for Part 2 when I can spend more time sharing the final project. (Spoiler alert: There are finished project pics on my instagram account @mmiller7571)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blog Makeover!

Blogs seem to come and go these days. Blogs I used to read religiously are gone or no one has posted to them in months. It's so sad. Bloggers have a lot to say and it's good stuff so I hate to see them go. But I am guilty of getting too busy to post too. Sooooo......I thought if I did blog makeover I would want to see my new blog so I would post more often!

There seem to still be some glitches but it's close!

Blog header: I used Powerpoint for my new header. Last time I used PhotoShop Elements.

Background: Followed directions from Cutest Blog on the Block. Used PhotoShop Elements but only to figure out size that would upload to blogger.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Principal and Her PLN

Some people are not who you think when you meet face to face.  They are better! Funnier, more genuine, relate-able, and like-minded. This summer I met some of my favorite people face to face....FINALLY!

Build your network. Connect with others. Share ideas. Reach out. The rewards are amazing! I just wish I could have met EVERYONE in my PLN.

First, my ISTE roommate Amber Teamann! Amber and I have connected online and on Voxer. Voxer adds a whole new dimension to online relationships so it was like we had been friends for years.
@8Amber8 @mmiller7571
The Melinda's :)
Blogger's Cafe group! And we still connect.
But then came NAESP2014! There is just something about meeting other principals from all over the country. Especially those you've grown to know and built relationships with over the years. I started blogging and tweeting in 2008. I can't even begin to name all the people who have influenced my work and my leadership since then. I can't even imagine where I would be without the help of my professional network.

Finally! Tony and I had been sharing ideas and collaborating with a group on Voxer and met face to face in the Social Media Lounge at #NAESP14.  You definitely need to follow @Tonysinanis and #Cantiague to learn how to tell your school's story on Social Media.

Yep! THE Peter DeWitt blogger extraordinaire!(Oh and Tony:)
 You know those people you wish you could work with every day? The ones you want on your team? For me that is Don. This picture records that moment in time I really did get to work side-by-side with him! I also had the honor of presenting and writing an article with Kathy Melton. She has amazing ideas!

#NAESP14 Social Media Lounge Ambassadors
And finally a huge thank you to Joe Mazza for putting this group together. These leaders were truly inspiring. You can find them Twitter here:

This post does little justice to all the people I have yet to meet and have literally changed the way I do my work, but it's a start. Thank you all for your collaboration all these months and year!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Random Acts of Kindness Kick-off

This year my goal is to help my teachers remember why they became a teacher. With Common Core, evaluation changes, staff changes, curriculum changes, etc. over the last couple of years we may have gotten away from what's most important.....making a difference in the lives of children. Yes of course our goal is to educate them. However it's easy to get lost in the guidelines, restrictions, and rules.

Before school started my leadership team took off on a mission to perform Random Acts of Kindness. Some were planned and some were spontaneous. Regardless, it was a great day of thinking of and serving others. Below are just a few of our stops.....
Lunch planning session

Departure in the district suburban!

We left these behind.

Laundry mat change

Leaving notes for teachers in other schools:)
Leaving coins for kids:)

Wish we could have seen kids find these:)
Final stop and reflection!

It was an amazing day! These are only a few of our stops. Motivation comes easy when you think of others and how to make their day special.