Creating Opportunity #EDAD688

I feel strongly about using Twitter for professional growth.  Each day, I run across dozens of great ideas shared by amazing educators across the world.  Being involved with Twitter really has changed me professionally.

http://earthandindustry.com/files/2010/02/twitter-screen.jpg

Every now and again, someone will share something short and to the point (which is the point of Twitter) that really changes my thinking about teaching and learning and what I can do to help improve learning experiences for students.

This quote made me have one of those moments:

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This quote really resonated with me in two ways.  First, this quote is something I’m realizing more and more the older I get:  If you have an idea, go for it.  It may be a risk, but isn’t it riskier to never know what might have happened if you didn’t try?

Second, and more importantly, this quote made me begin to think of how we can teach the kids we work with how they might be able to create the very opportunities they are waiting around for.  How many of our students are secretly wanting to start some sort of club?  How many are wanting to do a big project, but need more likeminded folks to help out?  What could we share with students to help them get going on their own big idea?

I’ve just started thinking about how I might help students advocate for opportunities.  Right now I have more questions than answers, but I might just start listening a little more closer to what kids are asking for to see how I might help them get there.

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Creating Opportunity #EDAD688

I feel strongly about using Twitter for professional growth.  Each day, I run across dozens of great ideas shared by amazing educators across the world.  Being involved with Twitter really has changed me professionally.

http://earthandindustry.com/files/2010/02/twitter-screen.jpg

Every now and again, someone will share something short and to the point (which is the point of Twitter) that really changes my thinking about teaching and learning and what I can do to help improve learning experiences for students.

This quote made me have one of those moments:

Screenshot 2014-01-24 18.33.13

This quote really resonated with me in two ways.  First, this quote is something I’m realizing more and more the older I get:  If you have an idea, go for it.  It may be a risk, but isn’t it riskier to never know what might have happened if you didn’t try?

Second, and more importantly, this quote made me begin to think of how we can teach the kids we work with how they might be able to create the very opportunities they are waiting around for.  How many of our students are secretly wanting to start some sort of club?  How many are wanting to do a big project, but need more likeminded folks to help out?  What could we share with students to help them get going on their own big idea?

I’ve just started thinking about how I might help students advocate for opportunities.  Right now I have more questions than answers, but I might just start listening a little more closer to what kids are asking for to see how I might help them get there.

In Case of Emergency, Read This Book #EDAD688

I originally posted this story to HZN165. It’s one of my favorite stories from teaching, so I wanted to share it here, too.

Helping Kids Through A Bad Day

This afternoon, I was running 10 minutes behind the time I was supposed to be working with some students on responding to their reading through writing.  I had made a commitment earlier in the week not to let anything stop me from meeting with these students since that kept happening.

As I was getting nearer to the classroom (walking at a pace that is probably not allowable in an elementary school), I saw a student outside of her classroom showing signs of being frustrated.  Now, it’s not unusual for this child to get upset easily.  That’s just who she is.  So, against what I wanted to do, I stopped and asked, “Is everything okay?”

She blurted out her frustration and said, “I’m going somewhere else,” and headed down the hallway.

That’s usually not a good sign.  Not just for this kid.  For any kid.

I followed her and tried to get her to tell me where she was going, but all she said was, “I need to get outta here.”

At this point, I wasn’t quite sure what to do next.  I was worried that talking about what happened would upset her even more.  It turns out, a few kids in her class were reminding her not to use so much lip gloss in that kid-reminding-another-kid-sort-of-way (think poor choice of words and a negative tone of voice).

So I turned to the emergency, never-fail, guaranteed to make a kid laugh book, The Blue Day Book for Kids: A Lesson in Cheering Yourself Up, by Bradley Trevor Greive.  

I told her I have the perfect book for you.  She was interested and wanted to see what I was carrying on about.

It worked.

She loved relating to the different examples of blue days (and the funny pictures of animals, of course).

So if you ever find yourself in a situation where your child is too upset to think about anything but being upset, I highly recommend bringing out The Blue Day Book For Kids.

It works like a charm.

In Case of Emergency, Read This Book #EDAD688

I originally posted this story to HZN165. It’s one of my favorite stories from teaching, so I wanted to share it here, too.

Helping Kids Through A Bad Day

This afternoon, I was running 10 minutes behind the time I was supposed to be working with some students on responding to their reading through writing.  I had made a commitment earlier in the week not to let anything stop me from meeting with these students since that kept happening.

As I was getting nearer to the classroom (walking at a pace that is probably not allowable in an elementary school), I saw a student outside of her classroom showing signs of being frustrated.  Now, it’s not unusual for this child to get upset easily.  That’s just who she is.  So, against what I wanted to do, I stopped and asked, “Is everything okay?”

She blurted out her frustration and said, “I’m going somewhere else,” and headed down the hallway.

That’s usually not a good sign.  Not just for this kid.  For any kid.

I followed her and tried to get her to tell me where she was going, but all she said was, “I need to get outta here.”

At this point, I wasn’t quite sure what to do next.  I was worried that talking about what happened would upset her even more.  It turns out, a few kids in her class were reminding her not to use so much lip gloss in that kid-reminding-another-kid-sort-of-way (think poor choice of words and a negative tone of voice).

So I turned to the emergency, never-fail, guaranteed to make a kid laugh book, The Blue Day Book for Kids: A Lesson in Cheering Yourself Up, by Bradley Trevor Greive.  

I told her I have the perfect book for you.  She was interested and wanted to see what I was carrying on about.

It worked.

She loved relating to the different examples of blue days (and the funny pictures of animals, of course).

So if you ever find yourself in a situation where your child is too upset to think about anything but being upset, I highly recommend bringing out The Blue Day Book For Kids.

It works like a charm.

A School’s Social Media Account Can Be More Than A Newsletter. #edad688

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This year Hilliard Horizon Elementary established a Twitter account (@HZNElemenary) for our school because we wanted to utilize this social media tool so that we could better communicate with our students, families and our community about the great things that are happening at our school each day.

Many schools use social media platforms such as Twitter to share information about important dates and events. This is a great way to communicate important information, but more can be done with this powerful communication tool.

We have been using our school Twitter account to share information, student learning in action, reflections from staff members and articles for parents that can help them help their child learn.

https://twitter.com/HZNElementary/timelines/420635157607886848
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The point is that there can be many uses for Twitter that can help you not only get your message out there, but also share the great things you are learning about in your building. Just think of what that shows the community – That you value learning something new every single day, and that learning never stops!

Check out what some of our students and staff members have been learning about over Winter Break:

https://twitter.com/HZNElementary/timelines/420635157607886848

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What are some ways your school uses Twitter to engage the community?