Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bloglovin- Adding New Blogs

Happy Sunday!  I'm beyond excited that the sun is shining and it's going to be above 50 degrees today!  Flip flop weather is right around the corner and I can't wait!

This morning, I was playing around on Twitter and came across a couple of  technology blogs that I wanted to start following.  One of them happened to be Holly Clark's website called Remixing the Classroom.  Originally, I thought that the blog needed to have a Bloglovin icon to follow it using Bloglovin.  This morning, I found out that I was WRONG!  Even if the blog does not have a Bloglovin icon you can still follow it using these handy steps...

Step 1- Search blog name and when prompted add the blog to Bloglovin.

Step 2- Add the link from the blog website

Step 3- Click follow to start following that blog

Step 4- Perfection!

Now, you won't miss a post even if the blogger doesn't use Bloglovin!


Friday, March 28, 2014

Five For Friday (Spring Break Style)

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share my Spring Break Style of Five for Friday!

1. Warmer Weather....Please???

I'm all about spending Spring Back with my toes in the sand under a palm tree, but that didn't happen this year.  So instead, I'm dreaming that I'm there right now and anxiously waiting for Sunday when it's supposed to be 60 degrees.  

2. A Lucky Discovery

While on the hunt for a washroom in Macy's (Chicago), Mom and I came across the Secret Garden exhibit.  Amazing!  These creations were all made out of flowers.

3. Bigger Space

It was time!  I've been on the hunt for a bigger desk for my office.  Luck have it that I found this beauty in a store called, Second Chance.  It needs a little TLC repair, but that will be a summer project.  For now, it gives me the space that I need.

4. Turtle Cakes

Last Friday, I celebrated my 30th birthday!  WAHOO!  Little did I know that I my family and friends were working on a surprise party.  These cute turtles above became my birthday cake!

5.  Which Mac?

I'm in the process of trying to decide what MacBook I should get my future computer.  I've fallen in love with the MacBook Pro, but then I am also considering its counter part, The MacBook Air.  Does anyone have any recommendations?  Also, is it worth is for the Retina display?  The models in the store make it seem like it.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tried It Tuesday: Genius Hour

How many of you have ever been to an educational conference that has ignited a passion inside of you that you couldn't wait to try out with your kids?

Well, I found that spark after attending the ICE Conference at the end of February. The spark that ignited my flame was a project called Genius Hour. Inspired from the search-engine giant, Google, which allows its engineers to spend 20% of their time working on any pet project that they want. The idea is very simple. Allow people to work on something that interests them, and productivity will go up. Google’s policy has worked so well that it has been said that 50% of Google’s projects have been created during this creative time period. Ever heard of Gmail or Google News? These projects are creations by passionate developers that blossomed from their 20-time projects.

So, how does that work in my classroom? Students participate in Genius Hour once a week for 30-45 minutes at the end of the day, if all other work is completed. After a mini-lesson on what was appropriate, students selected a topic to study with my approval. Each week, students will be given time in class to work on the project with the teacher serving as a facilitator. Some materials for the project can be found at school or may need to be provided from home. When the project is complete, students will need to present their findings to their peers.

To get this project up and rolling in my class, I first shared Kid President's Pep Talk video with my students.  Afterwards, we discussed why I would take the time to share this video with them.

From there, we started to discuss what our passions were and things that we like to do outside of school.  After a few minutes of sharing, I asked my students, "what happens if I told you that you could take one of your passions and study it in school?"  My kids thought I was joking, but after explaining the project to them, I had students falling out of their seat with excitement about this new adventure.  Think about it...when have you ever told your students that they could study whatever they wanted???  NEVER!  The excitement even carried into the weekend hours when I found out (on Monday) that some students had spent their weekend hours researching ideas and writing out their plan of action.  AMAZING!

Have I hooked you yet?  You know you want to try it!  Don't worry, the project connects to the Common Core State Standards and more!  I'm even in the process of writing up a proposal to share more information about Genius Hour at a conference this summer.  Don't worry, I 'll be sure to share my presentation with all of my readers.

Here are some of the materials that I used to get myself started....

Go ahead, you know you want to Google it now to see what it's all about!  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Twitter Find

So, I just recently joined Twitter.  I know...I'm late to the game, but didn't think I ever needed an account.  Boy was I wrong!  I've learned in the past week that I'm mad at myself for not having created account earlier.  To prove it, here's one my lovely finds today that I could help but sharing with everyone.  I especially love number 7 because that's how I feel right now about a special project that I'm about to introduce to my class.  All I can say is that Friday can't come soon enough!

Follow me on Twitter @turtleyluvteach


Sunday, March 2, 2014

March Currently

The turn of the calendar can only mean one's time for Farley's Currently.

Listening: I love the weekend because I actually have time to make breakfast versus the 5 minute meal that normally happens during the week.

Loving: I went to the ICE Conference on Friday and I'm now filled with excitement.  I love how a conference reignites the spark inside of you.  I have a few ideas that I want to implement, but I’ll be sure to share them with you.

Thinking: Even though it's Sunday, it's a task list kind of day.  I need to go a visit a bridal shower location, look for "boyish" reward pencils and make a few returns.  Hopefully, I'll be successful at getting all of my tasks accomplished.

Wanting: I'm really looking forward to laying out some plans for Genius Hour.  This was something that I heard about at a conference that I attended back in January, but never made time for planning it out.  After attending the conference on Friday and hearing all the hype about the success that everyone is having....I'm all in!  I'll be sure to post more about this too.

Needing: The first day of March brought more snow!  Seriously...I live in a snow globe.  Need I say more?

????????: I recently decided to take a risk and apply for a Technology Integration Specialist position within my district.  At this point in my life, I feel like it's the right step for me to be taking to continue to pursue my passion for technology and educating others.  I'm hoping that by Spring Break my prayers will be answered and I can officially say that I got the job!