Category Archives: teacher sites

Summertime, and the Learning Is Easy

Summertime!  Ahh the bliss.  It is the time I recharge and grab some new excitement for the next school year.

While this post is supposed to be a bit about me for The 2013 #Kinderchat Summer Blogging Challenge, it also speaks to the core of my philosophy as a professional and as a person.  I LOVE to learn! 

This summer, I am participating in the #clmooc on Google+.  It has meant the freedom to explore and learn in a safe community of interested people.  We all need to learn in a safe and exciting environment and that speaks to the kindergarten school experience.  We learn and we teach others to learn.  Whether we are in Hawaii, Australia, or Southampton, Massachusetts, we open our doors to new learners every year and when they leave, we want them to always be searching for more, more, more!ImageThis fall will be the beginning of year 13 (I think) in the kindergarten classroom, after 14 as a prek teacher (and a few more earlier years as a nurse.)  I am jumping into a whole new way of doing business this fall and I hope the learning follows along as I present a science based curriculum with everything else integrated into that.  I hope this experiment of mine works out as it really speaks to the teaching and learning experience I want to share.  Who cares that I have 3 years til retirement! I am still excited about my work.  Wish me luck!

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#clmooc – Mapping In Cycle 3

I am developing my thinking and creating new products with the #clmooc, Making Learning Connected, based in Google+ and running most of the summer.  Since this is only my first real day of summer vacation, I feel I am right where I need to be with this project.  I created a few artifacts for Cycle 1 and never made any for Cycle 2, the week of toy hacks

This week in Cycle 3, we are asked to create a map.  There’s a part of my head that is always running through ideas for a science based curriculum.  It makes sense to tackle the project early so I can bring it where I want it to be by summer’s end.  Creating a visual plan or map should serve me well.  I am a visual person. (I swear I could learn almost anything from a video.)

I am using Google Docs to create my spreadsheet. That means I need to get refreshed on shortcut keys. While a right-click helps me everywhere else in my world it seems, Google Docs wants you to use their Control-whatever keys for everything.  No biggie, but just as I find it odd moving from a Mac to a PC, from MS Office to Open Office or Google Docs, I move on a bit more slowly than I would like.  That is the part of projects I like the least.

What do I like best?  The part where I go inside my head and shuffle thoughts around.  I am an intrapersonal learner, preferring to work alone.  So mulling over tools and docs and connections all by myself works well.  Of course an overnight reflection can cause me to throw the whole thing out, but I digress, yet again.

And now I have a call to action by #clmooc.  This spreadsheet and the LiveBinder that goes with it are works in progress and their development will extend well beyond the start of the next school year.  I am always looking for great resources to help bring the learning home to my students so be sure to share some of your own ideas.

It’s never too late to join in the action on Google+ #clmooc.  With so much of the summer left to go, you really should check out the fun and interactions with teachers from all over the world!

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Teachers & Sharing

I have only been learning and growing online for about 5-6 years and even in that short time, I have experienced many changes. I started with the K-12 Online Conference, then I joined Twitter. After that, I started blogging and reading other people through RSS. I’ve had lots of ideas shared with me via the web.

Now the learning is not only going more mobile but new teachers are approaching their careers from a somewhat different angle, and they are making their jobs work for them in other ways too.

I am getting more material in my Reader that classroom teachers have created and are selling or freely giving away through a few teacher sites. They are commercializing the materials they create on the job. No doubt this helps to pay the bills since our salaries are pretty bleak in many areas. I need to view this as a very strong trend as we roll with the changes in education. It’s also something that I think I might enjoy myself.  Creating things online is often fun. First I’ll need to buy some online clip art and graphics though, programs such as

My Google Reader Docs folder has really blossomed this summer, thanks to the work of others. A number of folks on Twitter have shared that these free materials made all the difference for them as they were working through their first years.

I have also seen something called “linky parties” and lots of giveaways for following the blogs. It’s pretty ingenious to bring others to comment on your blog by giving something away. Some of these sites even have the backing of companies in providing the giveaway item. Linky parties have a signup at Pinterest. Although I have submitted a request to Pinterest, I have been wait listed. (I received my invite in less than an hour!) I am seeing some interesting “pins” though. For instance the pinboard “Classroom” has some really cute ideas! Check it out!

Are you in the market for some new materials and ideas? Here are some of the sites that I have found offering materials either as free downloads or for $. I have found some helpful things there but I know I need to do a lot more exploring.

Have you created materials to share with others? Leave a comment with a link to your materials.
What kinds of materials are you hoping to find online?
Are there other programs and sites that you use and recommend? Please do share what you think.

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