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Showing posts from October, 2016

Video: Power Up Parent Communication

Common Sense Media just released the following video with three great tips for improving parent communication. I try to notify parents every Monday through email, but sometimes wonder how effective my communication is.

I've toyed with Remind and was reintroduced to the app at the ICE Conference last week. I am also dusting off my class Google sites and adding announcements to keep everyone informed.

After watching the video, I plan to explore ways of combining the Google site feed with a push service such as Remind. This way information can be created and archived in a central location but parents and students will still receive mobile notification.

Video Playlist: Introduction to Reading Skills

Looking for a different way to introduce reading skills to your students? McGraw-Hill Education has a whole set of 45 cartoon style videos for a variety of reading skills. I have not viewed all of them but they appear to be in a variety of animation styles. As always, remember to preview videos for age appropriateness and relevance to your curriculum.

Invested Learning and Authentic Interactions

Learning "sticks" better when students are invested and have authentic interactions. For example, my daughter enjoys drawing and has started learning animation techniques. Her English teacher allowed her to create an animated movie for a Fahrenheit 451 report. Not only did she spend ten hours working on an English report, she enjoyed every moment of it. But the part that I appreciate (even if she doesn't) is the comment left by one viewer. This person appreciated the connection made between the song lyrics and the way she had illustrated a particular plot point. Meaningful discussion can connect ideas and people in ways that a forced classroom discussion never can.

Skinny Margins

For me, blogging is like doodling in the margin. But when life becomes full, the margins shrink and blogging is one of the first things to go. For the past couple months my creative passions have been consumed with more prescient concerns. Gardening, which is a relaxing hobby for me, has suffered and the yard reflects it. And blogging has fallen aside.

It's been an interesting first quarter to the school year. For the past two to three months almost every aspect of my day has seen a shift. We have a new administration with a different  communication and management style. Both my kids decided to join their school's musical which drew me back into the set design. And we decided it was time to explore churches closer to home.

Yesterday, my daughter and I enjoyed an afternoon along the archery trail at Racoon State Park, a rare moment of respite in a hectic late summer. I also finished up the slideshow for my conference workshop later this week. And so my goal over the second qua…