Sunday, June 30, 2013

Appy Hour...Technology Training With a Twist

Oh my gosh...can't believe it's the end of June and I have yet to post something of substance!

I've been involved in quite a few trainings lately and am trying to make sense of all of the great apps that are out there...not just iPad/iPod apps but truly legit apps available online...those great spaces that rock my world and make my head spin!

Not doing that...not head spinnin' will be caused by me today.

I'd like to, instead, plug a great way to share out technology with your friends and colleagues.

Enter..."The Appy Hour!"

Really...this is just about the best way to share out a great app with the fine folks that you share a passion for educating our kiddos using technology.

The format is simple really:  Just send out an invite that encourages your friends/colleagues to show up at a great place (your classroom, the school library, teachers lounge, favorite coffee shop/offsite hangout) for just a few minutes to learn a little bit about a fabulous app.  You can choose to offer refreshments and tunes.  And don't let the "hour" part fool you.  My friends and I got these down to about 20 minutes.

It's's fun...and it's an energizing format at the end of a long day of teaching/learning.

Nothing fancy...just another reason to get "Appy!"

The best part is that this is a training format that is simple to pick up and a great way to encourage staff members who don't fancy themselves "techie" to share out and take over some training responsibilities.

I started this last year at my campus and invited "guests" to host an Appy Hour themselves.  This became contagious and over the course of the year, quite a few teachers, counselors, and other staff members became Appy Hour hosts themselves.

As you are relaxing this summer, consider getting Appy Hours rolling at your school!

Enjoy the last few moments of June!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How's It Going?

Wow!  It's sure been quite a while since my last post!  End of the year activities kicked my butt and so I've taken a brief vacay from the blog but I'm itching to put something new out there.

My school and district has moved in the Lucy Calkins Writers Workshop direction recently, and we've put together a nifty crew of folks that compile The Literacy Committee.

Part of our crew is currently in NYC learning from Lucy and the fine folks at The Teachers College.  I'm jealous, but I get to go in August, and I'm getting a little antsy!

Over the summer months, we have given ourselves an "assignment" of sorts.  As a crew, we developed a list of books that we feel enhances and supports the Writers Workshop model and we've dedicated ourselves to the task of reading FIVE BOOKS over the summer months!  Holy cow!  What were we thinking?

You should have seen us going through the "buffet line of books!"  We each picked up the five books and then it was like a room full of "kids in the candy store!"  You know how we teachers love our books...  :)

These are the books on our summer reading schedule:

I'm a bit partial to How's It Going? since this is the one that my team and I are "going deep" with!

My group is reading How's It Going? by Carl Anderson.  We're going to have some discussions here and also at a Today's Meet that I have set up at

We'd love to have you join in...either here on this blog or at Today's Meet!

Hope your summer is just smashing!