December 6

From marshmellows to Google viewfinders

 

 

We have had a long year and we have done some wonderful things. And some not so wonderful things. I am stoked that my application to Google Expeditions was accepted and I can’t wait for them to come.

 

I started off the schoolyear with my scholars developing classroom management rules by working together in a marshmallow challenge and I end the year taking a vacation with them to Brazil, India and Nigeria.

We are going places

PhotoGrid_1439518180751 PhotoGrid_1439517996959

 

 

 

 

 

June 30

Louisiana Teachers Blog y’all

Teacher Blogger Meetup In Review

What happens when you gather a room full of Lousiana bloggers in a library on a Saturday? The 1st Annual Louisiana Teacher Blogger Meetup, of course. Jasmine McClain was our hostess with the mostest and she carried out our theme, “Future’s So Bright, We Gotta Wear Our Shades,” fabulously. In my mind, it set the tone for the rest of the day. I was overwhelmed by the vision and support of the woman that I met last Saturday.

The time and effort that Jasmine and her crew spent on the decor, agenda and treats to make sure that we were all comfortable as we spent time with one another learning the ends and outs of blogging and branding was greatly appreciated. Jovial Jessica talked to us about blogging and then Marvelous Mia presented information about TpT. I heard about ways to grow subscriptions through blog hops and link ups. Our conversations centered around fonts and clipart, ways to follow creative commons parameters and helpful tax tips.

I am not a ‘TpT’er and don’t know if I will ever become one but the information that I gathered from all of these women was so empoweing that I can officially declare to the world that …I took the leap and became the bomb dot com as

I took the leap and became the bomb dot com as MsBisOnline.com. Whoot. Whoot. I did a quick search of my name, Ms B is Online and I saw that the results came back as me sooo…. I claimed it.

I am MsBisOnline

Will I decide to sell my material??? I don’t know. Saturday was such an overwhelming experience and I learned great tips from all of these Louisiana Blogging Women. I know that

  • I will continue to present around the region.
  • I will continue to connect with these ladies and others.
  • I will continue to make connections with other classes so that my scholars can see how small this world wide web really is.
  • I will continue to define what it means to be Ms. B. who is Online.

Please contact Jasmine if you have any questions about signing up for next year. You can find her here at BlogFacebookPinterestTwitter, and Instagram . I know that you all want some of our goodies. Sorry that you missed out on the kernels of knowledge, but you can enter for a chance to win one of two swag bags via our Swag Bag Contest.

Swag Bag GiveawayWidgets that work to connect blogs together are new to me but there is a Rafflecopter widget that will allow you to register to win one of the bags.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


April 6

Recap of #RSCON5 Mini-Conference

I spent this morning with educators from all over the world and I loved it!!! We talked about sites and resources that we can use to help make our lives easier, make our students more engaged and provide a platform for our students to share their work. We met online and we talked, laughed, inspired and engaged one another. Fingers typed out comments in the chatroom, shared examples of student/teacher work and clicked links to register for new online tools.  It was a good morning.

It started out with a freestyle rap from the musical guest Jason Levine @FluencyMC.  He reminded us that it is okay to be silly. It is okay to laugh. It is okay to do something that might get you laughed at. My 11 year old daughter laughed at the man on the screen rapping to her about … foolishness as he tried to rhyme words that were thrown out to him. But she also recognized the power that having this sense of the absurd can have in a classroom with a teacher who is willing to connect with students and promote learning.

Next up was the keynote speaker, Steven Anderson and his two girls. His two girls were not actually presenting with him but they were discussed as a reminder to all of us that we must teach to our children in the ways and using the methods that they have become accustomed to using. Even if that means we have to be willing to purchase an iPad Pottyseat. *(Not that anyone is saying that we, parents or teachers, will actually need to buy one but it is important to realize that technology has become so ingrained in our lives that … it will be a purchase made by many.) Steven helped to continue the conversation about the reasonableness of telling them to totally shut offf their devices when at school.  Last week, I laughed at the young Chrisley children, Savannah and Chase, when they melted down when their dad took their phones. They were serious when they said that they wake up in the mornings expecting to see their friend, their cellphone, on their pillow. If a cellphone is their friend, how are they supposed to act when we rip them away!?!?!?

The Inspire Presentations were 5 minute sessions in which we talked about sessions we presented at Reform Symposium 4 or sessions that we intend to present at Reform Symposium 5. We heard from:

André J. Spang, Germany, @Tastenspieler
Title: Be a Maker not a taker!

Sue Beckingham, UK, @SueBecks
Title: Why you need a professional online presence and how to do it!

Eva Buyuksimkesyan, Turkey, @Evab2001
Title: Flip Quiz

Sylvia Guinan, Greece, @ESLBrain
Title: Brainfriendly ways to help students memorise language creatively

Matthew Miller, Egypt, @matthewm1970
Title: Playing to RAMP up learning

Paige Hale, US
Title: Working together: Apps and tools for collaboratively building students’ writing skills

Valerie Burton, US, @MsBisOnline
Title: Publish your ePortfolio using Weebly

Jackie Gerstein, US, @JackieGerstein
Title: STEAM and Maker Education: Inclusive, Engaging, Self-Differentiating

Here is a PDF file of our presentation slides.

We closed out today’s day of learning with a Smackdown session in which we took 2 minutes to show off tools, sites and resources that we think of as ‘must haves.’ Some of the sites that we shared were ThingLink, Smore, Google World Calendar, PrintFriendly, Tagboard, Kidblog and NewsEla. Here are slides from that share session.

All in All, it was a good morning. I spent time with my online friends talking, sharing and being inspired. Can’t wait for the 2nd mini-con on May 4th, 2014 and the next Reform Symposium Conference, RSCON5, that will take place July 11-13th, 2014 and feature 60+presentations, 2 plenaries, 10 keynotes, student presenters, a tech/app/lesson smackdown, and the EdInspire Awards Ceremony.

Thanks so much to Conference Organizers:

Shelly Sanchez Terrell, Peggy George, Chiew Pang, Marcia, Lima, Steve Hargadon and Amy Brinkley

 

 

March 22

News is Needed in our Classes

From time to time I re-evaluate what I currently do and what I have done in the past. One of these re-evaluation reflection sessions led me back to the realization that bringing in the news needs to be a necessary part of my classes. I can’t teach children about how literature is reflected in their lives if I don’t allow them to talk about their lives and learn about the lives of others. Years ago, I showed CNN Student News in my class 3 days a week and I had my students to record facts from the broadcast. We were able to track stories and see how the news developed.  And then… the school year ended and I didn’t continue showing the broadcasts. I really don’t know why I stopped. ?? I have since seen the errors of my ways and I have started showing the broadcasts again. I laugh when Carl Azuz does the ‘Shout Outs’ and my kids shout out the answer and I feel bad when he mentions a school/class during the school roll call and they all look at me with disappointment because our class wasn’t mentioned.

CNN_Student_News

CNN’s Student News has great classroom resources: option of downloading podcast version. transcript, Daily Curriculum worksheet, etc. They have made it extremely easy to bring the daily news into the classroom.  Below is an example of the worksheet that can be copied and shared with the class.

 

Curriculum_Worksheet

Do you share the news with your students? If not, think about it. It is beneficial and enlightening. Try sharing the CNN Student News with your class and see what happens.

October 13

Self Driven Professional Development #RSCON4

Reform Symposium Free Online Conference (RSCON) is an online worldwide event that took place this weekend, October 11th – 13th. Shelly Terrell invited me to present and it was awesome. October is Connected Educator Month and The Future of Education hosted the conference online in Blackboard Collaborate webinar rooms. It was a great experience to be a part of this awesome group of educators.

Visit The Future of Education

In my session Saturday morning, I shared with people from Texas, Amsterdam, Australia, Africa and elsewhere in the world.  How great is it that we have the opportunity to learn from colleagues from around the world?

My weekend has been one filled with tons of great, inspirational moments. I will be taking the next couple of days to process and make changes in my life and my classroom.
Here are some of the tweets from today

 

If you missed any of the sessions, click here to catch up on learning sessions that can change your world.
October 2

I will be presenting at RSCON, LCTE, TCEA and hopefully LACUE!!!

‘Tis the season to present…. fa-la-la-la-laaaaaa-la-la-la-la

I really do believe that to blog is to share and to learn. I love being able to present, blog, share and learn/teach.

Shelly Sanchez Terrell offered me the opportunity to present at this year’s 4th annual Reform Symposium Free Online Conference (RSCON), I was awe-struck when I received her invite because I have followed her for so long and I was giddy to realize that she thought enough about what I do to deem me a valuable educational resource.  I will be sharing the importance and ease of creating ePortfolios using Weebly.com.  I found this tweet from July, 2010 in which I shared the schedule for that year’s conference.

RSCON10How cool is that? 3 years later and I will be one of the presenters who will (hopefully) inspire someone to share the conference so that others can benefit from these amazing resources. Whoo Hoo!!!!  I am feeling just a little awesome and geeked out but lovvvvving it!!!

LCTEI am currently scheduled to present at the Louisiana Council of Teachers of English Convention.

Conference dates: Friday, November 1, 2013

Conference location: Northwestern State University Friedman Student Union, Natchitoches

I will be demonstrating ways to increase the engagement level of students as they connect with text in their classes. My presentation will focus on the need to provide students with opportunities to think and discuss ideas and themes within and beyond the text.

How? By creating assignments that require students to answer pre-reading questions, read (and re-read, if lucky) text while taking notes/annotating, share their notes and questions during shared inquiry discussions and post-discussion writing.

 

My proposals for presenting at the Texas Computer Using Educators Association’s Convention. I will be presenting at the TCEA 2014 Convention & Exposition, February 3-7, 2014, in Austin, Texas.  I will be sharing ways to connect through  badge1

PLNs and ways to engage students using technology in the classroom.  I have presented both of these sessions in the past but I feel that they are topics that must be shared and re-shared regularly because they are so important.

Session Title:   Are You Online and Connected?

When:  05/Feb/2014, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Where:  Room 5C

Session Title:   30 students + Computers = Engagement
When:  06/Feb/2014, 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Where:  Room 8A

 

Closer to home, I have submitted a proposal for LACUE. I hope to be accepted.  I want to share with other Louisiana Educators ways to integrate technology into their lessons. Session: Tech + CCSS = Engaging Lessons 
Description:  What does it look like when you integrate technology into your Common Core classroom?
~Google Docs to activate background knowledge.
~Piclits to identify tone.
~Wikis to examine author’s style.
~Blogs to analyze and reflect upon text.
~Padlet to post questions about nonfiction.
~Publishing ePortfolios.  

lacue

‘Tis the month to connect…. fa-la-la-la-laaaaaa-la-la-la-la 

              Presenting is my way of connecting with the world and sharing what I do with others. It has always been important to me to show teachers and students what can be done in the classroom if you are willing to try out new tools and open the doors and windows of the classroom. Some of what we do is ‘good’ and some of what we do is merely ‘mediocre.’  Either way,

I hope to inspire and encourage. 

June 29

NPR talks and tweets about U.S.Education, #NPRAspen

On Monday and Tuesday, July 1 and 2 (11:00 – 12:00 EST, NPR’s Tell Me More will host two live radio broadcasts and Twitter chats from the Aspen Ideas Festival.NPRASPENLOGO

Education has been a critical topic for Michel Martin at NPR’s Tell Me More, and they are eager to engage once again around the topic of learning and education.

On the radio, Michel will be joined by major players, thinkers and innovators, including John Deasy, superintendent of Los Angeles schools; Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Joel Klein, former Chancellor of New York City Schools; Shabana Basij-Rasikh, co-founder of the School of Leadership Afghanistan; Pamela Cantor, CEO of Turnaround for Children; Danny Kim, founder and CEO of Lit Motors; Joseph P. Parkes, President of the Cristo Rey New York High School; Lawrence Scripp, founding director of the Center for Music-In-Education; Jessie Woolley-Wilson, CEO of DreamBox Learning; and authors Madeline Levine, Meg Jay and Paul Tough.

On Twitter, Twitter conversation will revolve around the online discussion and the following questions:

  • Is America still the land of opportunity?
  • Who is responsible for making our schools better?
  • What skills do you really need to compete and succeed in school and beyond?

#NPRAspen will include the views of Educators from all over the U.S. including school teachers from New Orleans, Miami and Washington D.C., a school administrator in Chester, New Jersey, a Latina education blogger from North Carolina, a political science Professor from Johns Hopkins,  a social media researcher from Harvard’s Berkmann Center, a poet from Washington D.C., an expert on educational technology and mobile learning…

  • Twitter Chat Moderator: Davar Ardalan, @TellMeMoreNPR; Senior Producer of Tell Me More and moderator of #NPRAspen Twitter chat. Also on @idavar
  • Participant: Valerie Burton, @MsBisOnline; English teacher and blogger from New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Participant: Roxanna Elden, @Roxanna_Elden; National Board Certified Teacher, Miami Public Schools. Author of See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers
  • Participant: Monica Olivera, @LatinMami; MommyMaestra.com Voted ‘Best Latina Education Blogger’ at the 2011 and 2012 LATISM Awards
  • Participant: Rey Junco, @reyjunco; Social Media Researcher, Associate Professor@PurdueLibraries / Faculty Associate @BerkmanCenter
  • Participant: Brad Currie, @bcurrie5; School administrator in Chester, NJ. Co-founder of #Satchat
  • Participant: Alan King, @aking020881: Alan is an author, poet and teacher in the DC metropolitan area. He teaches at Duke Ellington School of the Arts
  • Participant: Lester Spence, @LesterSpence; Lester Spence is an associate professor of Political Science and Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University
  • Participant: Bill Horniak @vikoles1 Bill is an author, veteran educator in North Carolina and education consultant. He has also worked as a Middle School Principal in Amman, Jordan www.youthcoachinginfo.com
  • Participant: Lucy Gray @elemenous  Lucy began her career in Chicago Public Schools as an elementary teacher. She is an Education Consultant with an emphasis on educational technology and mobile and online learning. www.lucygrayconsulting.com
  • Participant: Holly Bass, @HollyBass360; Holly is a writer, performer and teaching artist in Washington D.C. She has curated Tell Me More’s poetry series for the past three years #TMMPoetry

Use #NPRAspen to share your ideas about improving education and learning.

 

March 23

Replying is Crucial #Slice2013

I know that it is important to reply when spoken to.

A student says “Good Morning” to me in the crowded hallway and I will generally say “Good Morning,baby” in return. I do this on my auto-pilot setting and may not even know what child it is that spoke.  Sometimes they will point this out, “you don’t even know who this is” and my response is generally to stop walking and look to see them and smiles and say “it doesn’t matter sweetie, you are one of mine and you spoke, so I spoke back.”  It is important to have these exchanges online as well. That is one of the things that make these challenges work. As a blogger, teacher, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, student, administrator, etc. we can post and share our thoughts, opinions, resources and have others make acknowledge our efforts.

am trying to do a better job of that online.

I do a decent job on Twitter but I must do better on my blog and the blogs of others.

I Tweeted about my Classroom 2.0 presentation and someone replied to my tweet. I immediately replied to their reply thanking them and offering help if needed.  Will they contact me again? I don’t know and that is not what is important. What is important is that I took the time to acknowledge their thank you. I am grateful for the comment so I let @irieharry know it.

 

I am trying to block off a part of the day when I merely read and respond to others.

 

Thanks to all of you who do reply and comment regularly. I am stepping up my game from know on.

Yes, I am still ‘slicing.’ I knew that posting everyday would be a real challenge but I do want to make sure that when this month ends, I have published 31 posts. That is my main goal. To talk when I have the time and the material.  There are days like today and tomorrow that I can easily crank out 1/2 a dozen posts because my mind is “ready to talk.”  As I plan, reflect and recalculate me past week or upcoming one.  Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for making me commit to writing and sharing more.  This is post 10/31.  I only have 21 more posts to go…….

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March 10

Online Learning via PLN, #Slice2013

There are so many ways to stay connected and in the loop. I bounce all over the web looking for educational bytes of information. 

  • Twitter – to send and receive frequent micro-blog messages.
  • Facebook – to share messages, pages, links, pictures, videos, etc.
  • Online Communities – There are dozens of sites where you can interact or lurk with other educators.
  • Blogs
  • etc.

Daily Lit is my latest attempt at learning at home. Once a day an installment of your chosen book is sent to your email.  I am reading

What interests you?

 

Browse around Daily Lit and sign up for a book or two.

My 9/31 slice

March 9

Seek with passion

 

 

Being open to learning is the key to growing.

When you seek something with passion and persistence, it seeks you.

I wish that I could spend the majority of each day getting the students to “open the doors to their brains” and filling it with whatever they desired.  Instead I must beat on the doors and hope that they open it just wide enough for me to dump in bags of knowledge before they slam the doors shut again. 
Maybe one day …..

My slice 8/31

 

 

March 9

Test Stress #Slice2013

Why do we do this to our kids?

I am doing test prep exercises to help my students gain confidence and lessen their levels of test anxiety. I want them to be comfortable with timed tests and negotiating their time, thoughts and strategies.

I am trying to de-stress the process.

  1. We time passages – so that they know what it feels like to read and respond in 10, 9, 8, and then 7 minutes.
  2. We work through sections together in groups – they know how to bubble in circles but can you use your learning community to correctly answer questions.
  3. We provide text evidence as support for some answers – I want them to show me how they arrived at their answers.

Am I helping or harming? I don’t know but I know that I am not comfortable with the look of accepted failure in the first face and the horrible panic happening on the second face.

My slice 7/31