So long Summer!
Whoa... its been about two months since my last blog post, but hey... summer makes it a little hard to keep a writing routine. And since I am making excuses about summertime laziness, I will make this post about my summer. Now actually, this is really a sequel to an earlier blog post I wrote at the end of last school year about reflecting back on my year. It was titled My Year By The Numbers. I used the hashtag #ednumbers on Twitter to share my reflections and asked if anyone else wants, they can use my template or make their own. Below are some of the from other educators around the country who gave it a try.
Now, as I start back at my job, I thought about doing this reflection again but using numbers look back at my summer.
Check out my "Summer By The Numbers" below
As you can see, it was not a slow and quiet summer, but one filled with travel and experiences. Along the way I did try to grow professionally. I read blogs and books, listened to podcasts and spent time reflecting.
If you would like to make your own one of these you can start from scratch or use the following template I made. The template is a stripped down version of my summer infographic.
Here is the Google Drawing template. (use File - Make a Copy to have your own version)
If you are looking into doing one of these I CAN'T RECOMMEND ENOUGH using the website thenounproject.com to search for icons. It is an incredible resource, one you really should check out.
Although this is a fun way for any of us to reflect back at our summer, I really think that this could be a fun activity for students to
1) share about themselves and their summer vacation and
2) learn many of the skills in creating a graphic while using Google Drawing, such as layering, nudging, color theory and so many more.
If you or your students end up using these for your "Summer By The Numbers" please share back with me and use the #ednumbers as well.
CUE Rockstar: Redwood City
I presented at my first CUE Rockstar in Tahoe during the summer of 2013. I loved the style of how PD was given; slower placed, make & take, and FUN. This year I was fortunate enough to present again but time in Redwood City with my podcast partner Brian Briggs taking the lead. In my whirlwind of early summer travel I drove make from a weekend in Lake Tahoe and had Briggs pick me up after about 45 minutes at home. Briggs brought with him another for this expedition, his 11 year old daughter. Once he showed, I piled myself and my stuff in his Prius and off we went on our road trip to the bay area.
The ride was long (especially after my 2 hour ride down from Tahoe) but fun, with a games like “how well does Briggs know his daughter” (he got only 60%) .
We arrived and joined some of the other presenters (also known as “lead learners”) for dinner and then got ready for the three days of awesomeness.
The day kicked off with seeing old friends and meeting some new. Reconnecting with the people who you see online is truly special. For example getting to see Diane Main and her rock star son Cameron again is always a joy.
As per all Rock Star events, presenters have to sell their session. Meaning that during the morning introductions, you have one minute to sell everyone to come to your session. These are filled with some heckling and laughs and are a fun part of what Rock Stars are.
I presented on Using Photos in the Classroom with a focus on introducing them to Google Photos (which is my favorite and most under the radar Google tool out there). I had the usual wow’d faces when they saw the features like:
Briggs and I offered our podcasting session. Here we showed both how to find & listen to podcasts as well as how to get started on making one of your own. Those who attended all seemed interested in starting their own be it for their class, school or entire district. We even had some of the CUE staff themselves swing by including Mike Lawrence whom we used as a Guinea pig to create a demo podcast. Thanks for being a good sport Mike and yes, I will check out “blue grass covers of popular songs” like you suggested.
We finished this day of with a killer visit to the Google headquarters in Mountain View. I saw a Google self driving car, got a tour and was even able to hop on one of the Google bikes for a spin
For this day I was only able to do one session but had a big group of teachers looking for ways to use Games in the Classroom. We mostly focused on game shows and had a loud and fun time playing these and discussing how we could use these in our classes.
You can check out these games we played at my Game Shows link in my navigation on top.
If you haven't had the chance to attend one of these events you should check them out. They are some of the most rewarding professional development opportunities out there.
Recently in the a slow Voxer group for #connectedTL there was a conversation about reaching teachers during professional development trainings. In this talk there was great point made about how at times trying to provide PD to teachers can feel like "watering rocks". This struck home with many of us who to provide PD. We've felt the room, seen the checked out looks, and noticed teachers on their phones. But hey... haven't we all felt that in the classroom too?
Back to the rocks.
Now what was interesting though, was how many in the Voxer group talked about solutions and that Growth Mindset we all here about. So, instead of the analogy about the futility of watering a rock, the conversation changed to what that water can do. "Moss can grow on rocks" and "Water can move mountains".
So, yes.. we should focus on this word which my college football coach Chris Ault, used all the time (and which drove me crazy!) Stick–to–itiveness!
I just looked this up and yes... this is a word! How is that possible!?!?!?!
Sorry for questioning you Coach (is it wrong to be 44 years old and still a little intimidated by your old coach, even if I have 6 inches and 80 pounds on him?)
And now to my share.
I was inspired by these different ideas of water and rocks so I made a collage. Enjoy!
I know I will miss some, but shout outs go to Roland Aichele, Jenna Rogers, Mark Loundy, Tom Covington and Rhonda Corippo for these insights on rocks!
BTW.. .have you participated in a slow chat or slow Voxer group? Great way to get inspired during the week! Drop a comment on this blog or shoot me a message if you would like to know more about these.