Search Seven Sunday

#ED676 #S7S

This week I’m focusing on the small changes and moves that educators are making to transition to more open, connected learning within their classrooms and expanding networks.

  1. Cult of Pedagogy has some great posts! One of the most recent posts is about the use of “busysheets” in the classroom. We need to consider how we are engaging our students and if our instruction is purposeful! Taking a close look at the resources we choose and how we use them is small move with a big impact!
  2. More on this idea can be found on this post about HyperDocs, which is a very similar, small shift.
  3. Another post I found on Cult of Pedagogy was about 6 Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2018. There were some very popular sites listed, but a great tool (Sway) was also listed that is an Office product which is a very small change from PowerPoint!
  4. Just the other day I was reading some posts on social media about ways to communicate with parents. SO many teachers are already using apps to communicate but I haven’t found one that does ALLLL the things I need it to. Then, I found Bloomz in a post. I have only played around with the demo class, but it seems like a small change that is a huge time saver that also helps to connect home and school.
  5.  I think a very small change that educators can also make is to be purposeful in HOW we look for resources. This site does a great job explaining how to make these small changes. Instead of randomly browsing Pinterest or TeachersPayTeachers and other social media sites, small changes can provide us with a meaningful experience and lessen the amount of time we spend on searching and increase the amount of time we spend on planning for excellent (connected) instruction.
  6. This website is great for saving time for teachers, but could also be very helpful for students in a connected learning aspect. With the internet so common and students spending some much time learning digitally, they need to be held accountable for grammar, etc.
  7. This conversation about 20% Time is great, but it is also an excellent tool (and small change) for teachers to offer students an engaging choice time (that involves connected learning) that can act as an unplanned anchor activity for students to constantly return to.

What do you think? What moves have you made or do you plan to make?

All my love,



App Creation


After checking out the resources and doing some research through interviews, I came up with some ideas about how to make students college and career ready…

My research included the following questions asked to a few different age ranges:

  1. What do you think students need to be college and career ready?
  2. How can we help to promote equity for students graduating high school?
  3. What is the biggest barrier high school seniors face?

The overwhelming theme in the answers to the these questions was that students in high school are watched like hawks, but taught so little about life – time management, paying bills and budgeting, how to be financially responsible when shopping, what does it really mean to be in debt, etc. Despite having constant supervision, it seems like all the things that really matter are skipped over. Yet, the second students get a job or go to college (if they can get in or afford it) they are no longer being watched. They are no longer being spoon fed. They are suddenly becoming adults with responsibilities that far outweigh any that they have previously had…

For me, the question becomes how can we support these students? How can we build the students up who haven’t been taught how to be successful? How can we support students who have gaps in their ability to manage their time or budget? How can we ensure that students entering college or getting a job have a mentor that can help them to become functioning, contributing citizens?

IF I could create any app, it would be some sort of resource that could support students with these needs. Maybe something like YouTube but only with “How To” videos for these skills… Maybe an app that could schedule courses for these skills at local schools… Maybe an app that has add-ons for existing apps that help these students to make responsible choices (like a calendar add on for time management, or a budgeting add-on for the calculator)…

The possibilities are endless… What do you think – can it be done? Should it be done?What do you think students need to be college and career ready?

All my love,



Search Seven Sunday

#S7S #ED677

This week we are thinking about the digital use divide, which got me thinking about the use of technology is in the classroom. So many classrooms are equipped with technology that is being used because it is technology (ie. putting a worksheet on a google doc instead of printing it), not to engage learners in the active use of technology which can further students’ learning, understanding and development.

  1. I hav previously posted about the SAMR model, but I think these questions really help teachers to consider how to transform technology use from passive to active… samrquestionimage
  2. This article does a really great job discussing the shift from passive to active technology use in the classroom!
  3. This article also does a really great job explaining what a classroom with active technology use looks like.
  4. Students learned to code in my building this year in conjunction with “Hour of Code.” However, offers courses for students to learn how to code on a more frequent and in depth level. What better way is there to prepare students who hope to code in the future, or who will need to understand code as they eventually move into college and careers.
  5. Quizlet adaptations for Quizlet Live are an excellent way to take studying and flashcards to a brand new level in the classroom!
  6. Microsoft has some really great tools for student use that Rachel also posted about! Skype in the Classroom and Office 365 are fantastic tools for student collaboration, but also for engaging students in the world outside of their own townships. My class just recently Mystery Skyped with another class in Nebraska which was very exciting, engaging, and enlightening.
  7. Lastly, this post is a great starting place for teachers and districts looking for recommendations on how to begin using technology more actively, as it also discusses the challenges.


Find Five Friday…Double Take!

#ED677 #F5F

SOO with all of these storms and power outages, I haven’t been able to get a post up… This Find 5 Friday…Double Take is for both last week and this week!

Find Five Friday #1

  1. Rachel posted a link to a TEDTalk that I found to be so inspiring and got me thinking a lot: “What Adults Can Learn from Kids”
  2. Rachel’s post reminded me of this:teacher
  3. This post (and this one) really helps us to step back and think about what WE learn each day.
  4. So, this isn’t a flipped classroom, but this article explains how students helped to flip some classrooms around! The ideas are really inspiring and can help to give us, as teachers,  a new outlook and understanding.
  5. So I stumbled upon this site for student publishing and found all of these student published books! Not only is this a job well done for these kids, but I think it is so inspiring that these students have taken on the world as their audience. What a fun idea!

Find Five Friday #2

So, as you know, I am involved in a bunch of social media outlets for teachers including TeachersPayTeachers, Facebook Groups, Twitter & Pinterest! These are just a few of my most recent finds and inspiring posts from these sites – all of these are ideas I would like to try in my own classroom.

  1. Math Ideas:
  2. ELA Ideas:

  3. Social Studies & Science Ideas:
  4. Community Building Ideas:
  5. This is actually a post that a friend of mine sent me… It is not directly a peer created resource, but it does help teachers to understand that we should be supporting each other (and sharing)! It is a great read and is really eye-opening. I hope it inspires you!

If anyone has any great resources to share, send them my way – I’m always looking!

All my love,


Continuous Wobbling…

I’m constantly trying to figure out how I can “work smarter not harder” while still staying relevant, engaging and doing what is best for my kids…

I think tech could be a really great answer but it isn’t always an option because it isn’t available on a daily basis. 

How can I reach the most students with what I already have?

How much should I push in order to advocate for what is best for my students?

Plus, I want my students to own their learning and take an active role in the classroom instead of me a teacher always being “in charge.” It can be challenging to find an equitable way to accomplish that since students come from such different backgrounds. 

These questions and so many more are a part of my continuous wobbling this week.

All my love,


Find Five Friday

#ED677 #F5F

  1. I recently saw a post about a forty hour teacher work week… I was immediately fascinated! I work SOOO many hours. Like SOOO many hours. As a second year teacher, one of my goals (now that I sort of know the curriculum) is to try to figure out how to work smarter, not harder. While I’m not sold on the idea that there is such a thing as a forty hour work week for a teacher (and Angela Watson, the creator, mentions that there isn’t a specific number), I am interested in learning about how to make some small changes that could help me to work smarter, instead of harder! There is a new cohort starting July…I found the link here.
  2. YES. Please watch this. That is all.
  3. Thank you Kristin for sharing this article! It has some great ideas and things I plan to try in my own classroom in hopes of feeling a little less wobbly!
  4. At one of our most recent professional developments, this picture was posted for all of us to see. I realized then that I needed to start doing some deep thinking and making some decisions about what I wanted my classroom to look like, what I wanted my students to feel like, and what I wanted them to learn. I need to make some decisions on my poses and my stances and what I am willing to compromise on and what I’m not. This is a great tool as a starting point and really gets me thinking about the idea of “the sage on the stage.” Screen-Shot-2014-12-29-at-4.44.10-PM.png
  5. I think one of my biggest struggles as a second year teacher is that I KNOW I’m wobbling… I can feel it. I know I can do better. I know better exists. I WANT to do better. But, I’m only in my second year. When I make this claim what I mean is that I’ve improved, of course, but most days I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. I mean when you really sit down and think about, yeah I taught for a year. But a school year is 180 days…I haven’t ACTUALLY been a teacher for a year when we consider the typical 365 days and I’ve only just in the last two months hit the target of a year when you consider the average 260 work days in a typical year. All this being said, I know that I need work. But knowing isn’t enough, I NEED to reflect to help myself learn to pose and that starts here:


Pose, Wobble, Flow.


After reading this week’s readings, I can’t help but laugh at the fact that just this week during PD our principal told us that we can’t use the word “yoga” anymore because we’ve had complaints that it is spiritual (religious) in nature.

This being said, I also truly connected with this article. As a second year teacher, on most days I feel like all I do is wobble!  Just this week I wobbled SO many times…

  1.  How do I respond to a student being disrespectful?
  2. How do I handle disagreements between students?
  3. How do I teach skills that my students need when I can’t always fit them in with our curriculum and/or program?
  4. Am I differentiating enough?
  5. How can I better my practice?

From what I hear and see, most teachers really struggle (wobble) when it comes to district mandates… I think it would be fair to say that every teacher has had this struggle at least once in their career!

I believe as I progress in my career, I am learning how to pose – what do I believe in and why? However, I am also learning how to wobble. It feels, to me at least, as if the more experiences we gather, the less I wobble when it comes to dealing with certain topics. However, I rarely feel like I have flow… I think part of that is because I am just still so new. However, as a preservice teacher, my mentor once told me that the second I believed I knew everything about teaching and had nothing left to learn was the second that I should leave the profession. This thought surfaced for me as I read about perpetual flow because, as the article says, it doesn’t exist! This is what my mentor was trying to say to me – perpetual flow means that the teacher has become comfortable and in unchanging, which is not who we should be as professionals! This is a place we can visit, and it feels good, but it shouldn’t remain for long!

I look forward to enjoying the rest of my career as it plays out – as I become more posed and maybe wobble a little less? I look forward to experiencing flow, but not living in it.

All my love,