Friday, August 28, 2015

I'm Flipping Open House!

"Not Your Mamma's Open House"
Dr. Hatten recently published an Edutopia blogpost (link to blogpost here) regarding creating the penultimate 21st century open house.  This year I will try many of the suggestions in the blog post.  I began by tagging (bribing) my children to assist me with videotaping a condensed version of open house.  I am going to try and flip open house!  I plan to set up stations at the actual event: 1.  e-mail distribution list, 2. Sign up for Schoology account, 3.  Preview ELA materials, 4.  Design thinking around classroom environment set up.  While families are moving around the room I will be able to meet and greet families!

I edited and published the video to my YouTube channel.  Here is the link:  Open House 2015  Prior to the actual open house I will send home a postcard with viewing information.  I am hoping families can use the video as a reference over the course of the year to assist in discussions regarding the classroom climate, learning opportunities and general overall impressions of the school year.  For those families who cannot attend open house, this video may help students feel more comfortable.

I also created a student handbook for families to reference.  Here is the link to the 2015 Student Handbook:  Student Handbook  I will add updates as they happen over the course of the year.  

Between the video, student handbook, and stations I hope I to have addressed many of initial concerns for my students and their families. Feedback is always welcome. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

In an effort to better personalize learning for the 2015-2016 school year I have switched to using from years of utilizing Edmodo. I still really like Edmodo and think it is a great place for teachers new to integrating microblogging and social networking with students to begin their 'tech+students' adventures. Schoology allows similar microblogging and social networking, in the same safe, invite-only environment. In addition, I can easily add media related to the subject areas I teach. Check out! Here is a link to a video useful for getting to know the product:  How To Use Schoology As A Teacher

You are invited to leave a comment regarding your thoughts on Schoology!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Try This!  Don't know what to do with all those favorites from Google+, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram?  Use "if this, then that" recipes to connect your favorites to your e-mail, OneNote, or EverNote accounts! For example, I created an 'If This, Then That" recipe to direct favorites from tweets on Twitter to a notebook in EverNote.  Once per week I open Evernote, scan through the favorites and either move resources to other notebooks per their topics or delete those that I no longer need.

Here is a video to help you use these recipes to streamline your social media interactions!