Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A bonus after shoveling for two days! Blizzard Juno 2015


Beth Goodwin and I are all shoveled out and ready to head to ATIA 2015 Orlando. Each year we present at this fabulous conference and share some of the digital tools we are using with our students from Maine.

Why do we do this? By presenting at this conference we share with other special educators, parents and service providers. We share tried and true ideas and digital tools that have worked for us.  

As a bonus, we learn so  much from participants in this conference! And what better place to be than in the sunshine when we get a day off from shoveling!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Catching my breath!

coakes photo 2013

The beginning of the school year is always a blur for the first few weeks. I am not complaining, I am not whining, it is just a fact! Finally, we have a long weekend in October where it seems like it's the first time to stop and notice that the weather patterns have shifted, the leaves have changed colors and happitly, I notice that I am back in a routine, my students are into a routine and it seems like juggling everything I juggle has settled into a manageable pace.
If anyone is looking to have some exciting online professional development, you should consider checking out the Annual offering of the K12online Conference 2014 Igniting Innovation! There are many opportunities for meaningful 20 min presentations to take advantage of. There are several strands available: 
  1. OPENING KEYNOTE
  2. STORIES for LEARNING
  3. GAMING AND GAMIFICATION
  4. PASSION-DRIVEN LEARNING
  5. STEAM
My presentation was accepted in the Stories for Learning strand. If you are interested in learning about digital tools that help level the playing field for all learners then check out my presentation the week of October 20, 2014. In this teaser, Victoria takes the controls and demonstrates some of the tools that she uses in her learning. 

Victoria demonstrates the digital tools she uses to access the content for her general education classes. This demonstrates what happens when students have CHOICE in their assignments as well as CHOICE in the reading level. This is the backbone of differentiation and Universal Design for Learning with the student driving the direction of the instruction.
leveling the playing field
Victoria shares  her favorite tools.
Make a plan to schedule in some YOU time. The YOU time should be for your learning, your exercise, your entertainment, your enjoyment. Chris O'Neal presented at ACTEM 2014 and challenged all educators to schedule time for your own learning. Put it in your calendar, make a plan and stick to it. It doesn't have to be long, just a 15 min learning break will be a welcome addition to your daily schedule!

Plan to schedule some learning time during the two weeks of the K12online Conference 2014, you will be glad you did.



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Common Core~ my take aways

The parts I like about common core include:


  • the use of technology throughout all standards
  • the mention of universal design for learning
  • the mention of differentiation for all students
  • that educators will work across content boundaries to reach common outcomes especially in writing and speaking
  • many online FREE services are making it so easy for teachers to incorporate their services already aligned to the common core


What's not to like?

Keep on learning!

Resources:
Newsela- uses links to Common Core at different Lexiles
Dogo News - see the CCSS, Grade level and BONUS a word search, below the Title
Primary Source Documents Teacher    Search lessons by CCSS, Content

Monday, July 14, 2014

Wisdom of the Crowd~it's Everywhere!

What an awesome group of dedicated 21st Century Educators I met in E. Bridgewater, MA on July 10, 2014! The day was hot and  humid, the school was incredible, brand new, state of the art and even had air conditioning! No mistake it was a summah day!
Four things I love about being involved with Summer Professional Development:
  1. Educators choose to be there
  2. Educators are relaxed
  3. I learn something new each time because educators SHARE!
  4. Everyone is so appreciative
Find a summer professional development that you can join. There are many online and archived, you can participate on your own terms. Share what you learn on Twitter or Facebook, learning continues!
Here is one of my favorite online spaces K12OnlineConference !

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Who are you following in the world of educational technology?

Find someone on this list to follow over the summah and your personal learning will increase substantially. Why, because it will be your choice, your motivation! You will find this information at EdTech K-12.  I am going to choose someone new to follow to expand my horizons and to get some different ideas. While I already follow some great bloggers I am going to push myself to learn about new ideas from new people.  Who will you follow?


coakes photo Flagstaff, Maine

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summah Learning Time

Just learning about Booktrack Classroom from my friend Vicki Davis, who went to ISTE14. Thanks Vicki! Booktrack Classroom features:

  • Free for teachers
  • Increased reading comprehension for students
  • Increased motivation to engage in the writing process
  • Publish for your classroom
  • Set up for a small classroom takes less than 10 min.
  • FUN! I wrote and published a nonfiction story , 2 chapters, in 10 minutes complete with sound tracks!
  • Great for grades k-12.
  • Good selection of classics already available!





Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summer Tour 2014!

What are you doing this summer for your professional development? I am presenting at 3 different workshops, reading educational journals about the CLOSE reading strategies, learning about Google Classroom and spending some summah time for relaxation and fun!

The first workshop was a #GAFEPeak in York, ME. Fabulous teachers and administrators! Do you know the first sign of  technology moving forward in a school? Administrative use and support! When adminstrators are improving their craft of blogging and asking really good questions about what kinds of technology websites and Chrome extensions work best in the classroom,  you know that their schools are moving and making the most of instructional time.

What are you doing this summer for your professional development?