Sunday, July 13, 2014

Summer Learning, Having a Blast!

As we all do, I set some learning goals for myself this summer. I wanted to become a better-prepared teacher for my kids this coming year, especially when constructing a collaborative, student-driven, PBL classroom environment. To that end, I have been faithfully attending a few Twitter edchats each week, and read Drive by Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) and Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess (@burgessdave). Both were extremely motivational and validating. I know that, now more than ever, building a classroom in which the students' natural curiosity and intrinsic motivation are nurtured will allow them the autonomy they need to pursue their own creativity and learning. My push to transform my classroom into a PBL environment is in hyper-drive thanks to all of those from whom I've learned this summer.

A second learning goal I had for this summer was to become a Google Educator. In order to do this, one must learn the four base Google for Education Apps (Drive, Sites, Calendar and Gmail) and one "elective" App, in my case Chrome Web Browser. There was a test over each App and I had to score an 80% or above to become certified in that App. I had to pass all five to become a Google Educator. I was able to accomplish that about two weeks ago. Phew!

Now it is time to finish mapping out the first couple months of the year, continuing to develop a blog that will serve as the main communication device for our team parents, immerse myself in Google Classroom (we will be using that as our LMS this year) and putting the finishing touches on other technology odds and ends. The fact that we are moving to a 1:1 Chromebook environment has increased my urgency because I want to give my kiddos the best classroom experience that they've had to date. To do this, I have to know the technology well, map out a logical plan that allows for individual learning and growth and make sure the kids have a fun and rewarding experience this year. With three and a half weeks left of summer break, I am beginning to feel ready for the new school year to begin. 

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