Talking to Myself???

Okay, I think I am talking to myself! After Educon2.0 and all the "reflective" podcasts that I listen to, I have typed some "reflective" emails to my teachers about meetings we attended together, how a certain school process is going, etc.. You know.........REFLECT! I have now come to the conclusion that I am talking to myself.:)

Not really. My teachers are probably so shocked by this they don't know how to respond. (Teachers are also really busy BTW) As I think about it I don't even think our administrative team has reflective conversations. Always task oriented, info packed, opinionated discussions. Even my own meetings with my staff, no matter how big or small the group, have an "agenda" and heaven forbid I get off track of my agenda.:):):)

In the summer we have a voluntary book study. What makes it easier for me to be reflective at this time and not more times during the school year? I've got it!!! Fear! If I speak reflectively I am not giving directions or "telling them what to do." Teachers aren't big fans of being told what to do anyway so maybe reflective conversations would be more effective?! I may be onto something here, or again, just talking to myself.

I always ask for feedback on topics, or at least I think I do. I guess I should ask my teachers if I request enough feedback. Saying ALL my teachers, is unfair. Some have responded which is much appreciated. Another reason for lack of reflection, on my teachers part, may be the fact that they never know what their pregnant administrator is going to say or do on a given day so it may be better to avoid at all costs. :):):) Hormones!:)

Whatever! I think I am just talking to myself!

Twitter and Me

It has been about 3 weeks since I have taken the plunge and started "twittering." I thought I would give my review since I was so slow to buy into this tool. Okay, I was absolutely NOT going to ever go here!

It all began on EduCon2.0 weekend. If you could not attend the conference in Philly you could send twitters to people who were there and they could communicate for you. I really wanted to participate this way but it took me the whole weekend to figure it out. :) After that weekend I wasn't sure how it would go.

Scott gave me a quick tutorial one evening on Practical Principals. This helped clarify even more. Then I figured out how to get notifications as text messages on my phone and I was SOLD on the tool!!! I probably need to limit the number of notifications on my phone but it's still kind of fun.

Currently I am "following 25" people and only 13 people are "following me." I am still in awe of why they would follow me but it seems really neat. I hope I am contributing as much to their learning as they are to mine. Some of the people I am "following" have over 600 followers!!! What a difference they are making!! Holy cow!
Benefits for me:
    • Quick links to blogs, articles, news that interests me
    • If I need help with something I can send it out to my "twitter" following
    • Keeps me updated with the tech world
    • Something to do during boring meetings (did I just say that?)
There are probably more benefits but it's late and I have brain drain tonight!

Having fun with "handwriting" - writing tools

Blogging and typing are fun. Computer copies and archived files are nice when you are in a time crunch. Modeling writing and coloring is not my strength. I would rather type on the computer than "write" any day. I realized I need to do better for my 2 year old.
For the past couple of weeks I started scrapbooking again, a little bit, and writing letters to my children that I will give them someday when they are older. I don't know when and I don't even know if I will remember to write very often but it's been fun.
Since I have been blogging I have a little more confidence in my writing. Oh we can argue over what size pencil to use, if/when kids are ready for pens, etc. Oh and those darned mechanical pencils, but I LOVE those and they are my pencil of choice unless there is a glitter pen or pencil around.
Do you write? What do you write with? What is your "pencil" of choice? What do you allow your students to write with? Does it matter?

New Book Study - Assessment for Learning

For those of you who have read my blog and listened to my podcast you are aware that I was not a very big fan of my administrative teams last book study, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. I am sure that if handled correctly and under the right circumstances this book study may benefit some of our schools. Many from our team went away from our first discussion with hurt feelings and comments were made that couldn't be taken back. Anyway, it is over and we have a new book!!!

Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing it Right - Using it well by: Stiggings, Arter, Chappuis, Chappuis.

Chapter One discussion is tomorrow. Just read it and here are my notes:

Chapter One Title: Classroom Assessment: Every Student a Winner!
  • The teaching profession i s a calling
  • Assessment can work in positive ways to benefit learning
  • Example #1 a good example - teacher worked with students to implement new standards, shared scoring guides written for just students in understandable terms, studied GOOD examples of writing, took a beginning of the year writing sample and end of the year writing sample to a School board meeting to show that a newly adopted program was working.
  • Unlucky students story - only direction was to "fill the page" and student only wrote 3/4 way down page, failed assignment regardless of content of writing.
  • 2nd Success story - students given copy of final exam plan at beginning of unit, teacher wrote 4-5 test questions each day, students wrote some questions for practice test.
  • Begin with purpose in mind
  • Classroom learning targets are clear and communicated to the students
  • Standards, GLE's, etc. in student-friendly language
  • Include enough exercises
  • Student involvement is critically important
  • The most important instructional decisions are by students themselves - OMG that is a mind shift for some! Holy cow!
There is a CD and I could take a survey if time but that wasn't part of the assignment.

I have "blogger's block:):):)

It is such a challenge to come up with things to write about right now. So I will call it "BB" Blogger's Block. I had a very long post about closing school for snow days. But then my Supt. was the only one of 200 and some schools that did NOT call off school yesterday and it voided all my thoughts from the previous day. I am not kidding. We made the news for having school when ALL other schools were not in session.
Twitter has been a lot fun lately. Getting twitter updates on my phone are a nice way to break up the day. It would probably be best to quiet some of them because my phone goes off too many times. Twitter has lead me to some great blog posts. I guess I am just as bad as others about not commenting on blogs lately.
How do you overcome "BB" Blogger's Block?