March 9

Success takes effort #Slice2013

Many believe that success seems like a it takes place after traveling a clear cut path from beginning efforts to the end goal. Some success does happen that way but success happens for most after traveling along a road that seems to meander along.

The most important thing about success is the perseverance that makes one continue after floundering.

Success = Effort

For me, success (whatever success I think that I may have accomplished) occurs when I am willing to WORK toward a goal. Working can mean; talking, posting, commenting, replying, creating, sharing, etc.

My path to success looks similar to the trek above:

  • I start out on a clear path
  • I see something else that interests me and check it out
  • I remember where I was headed in the beginning of this trip to success so… I go back to my original path
  • I hear about a cool new tool that can do what I want me or my kids to learn
  • I then must gather my thoughts because I have been down two other paths since I started out on my original one
  • Now I need to tweak my original path because I have found some resources that are better suited to my needs
  • I am now back on my path, my newly constructed path
  • Whoops, emergency … change in plans. Not path but plans.
  • Ok, emergency diverted – back on path
  • Etc, Etc, Etc….

Success = Effort + Perseverance, not Ease

March 4

Creating audio responses #Slice2013

This is slice 3 of 31 and once again an ode to Matt. Last week’s assignment was to create a podcast that gave insight into your life. Matt’s suggestion was to assume the age of your students and create an audio tribute to your life.

I chose to use a pre-existing assignment and put a little flavor into it. I have had my students re-create George Lyon’s Where I Come From poem.  I combined the two assignments and came up with this
Where I’m From audio by MsBisOnline

Today’s slice is again how I integrate technology into my class. I hope that my readers aren’t expecting to see a grand novel, because they will be greatly disappointed.  My unwritten book would be more of a ‘how to’ book that shows how to create engaging online activities and I am good with that. I am a teacher who loves to create assignements that involve the integration of technology to help my students connect with the text that we are reading or viewing. I know that it is important to help students dive into literature and I look for any way to make this happen.

Creating audio responses/podcasts is another great way to do this.  As I created mine, I had to pick out what sounds I wanted to represent.  It took me awhile to come up with what I wanted to highlight. Truth be told, I wanted a sound for everything. I realized that that would be a little too much and I knew that I had to wrap up the assignment so I put a bow on it and let it go. 

That is the level of engagement that we want for our kdis, we want them to groan when the bell rings because they are wrapped up in their work and sorry to see it come to an end. Assignments that allow them to express themselves personally and individually can have this desired effect.

Do you have activities that cause them to have to run out of class because they are late for their next class?  If you don’t, you might want to interject some activities that allow them to express themselves more.

March 4

Introducing…. Me #Slice2013

As though my plate isn’t full enough already, I am working with Matthew Williams in an online class, Teaching with Digital Media Online – Spring 2013.  Matt has introduced me to some activities that are similar to what I do now, just better. Don’t you love it, a chance to work with other educators who do some of the same things that you do just in a different way. AWESOME <3

I took the class because I wanted to shine as this online techie diva who knew everything and could do it all well. Ha Ha Ha. (I really didn’t think that … wellll, yes I did.) What happened instead is that I have an opportunity to collaborate and consult with other educators and try out different things or the same things differently.

One of the first projects was this autobiographical image PowerPoint. I had not tried to do this before and I am lovvvving it. Having the students to capture their lives via images is a great thing to do because it makes them focus on the best visual to use to say what they want said.

This assignment can easily be adapted for reading response activities. Have them create a presentation like this for story characters. Don’t you love it when you can actually create something that can be used in your classroom.

Thanks Matt.

So today’s slice focuses on my journal to gain more resources as a Lifelong Learner and how I share this knowledge with others. I am a connected educator and proud of it. This is slice 2 of 31.

March 2

Jumping in head first, 1 of 31 #slice2013

I have decided to join the Slice of Life Story Challenge sponsored by The Two Writing Teachers. The goal is to write everyday this month. I just discovered this site so I am starting late and will not be eligible for any prizes, but I am ok with that. I am trying to do the ‘commit my thoughts to paper/blog’ thing not win a prize.

Whether these thoughts are

class related
school related
family related
responses to quotes
movie reactions
book reflections

I am trying to publish slices of my daily life. In addition to publishing my own slices, I am to connect with others and comment on their posts. Oh my, I hope that I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew. (I always do… but I am going to try very hard to complete this challenge.)

They have developed a cute graphic with writing ideas to help inspire if inspiration is needed.

A place I love……

Ssssshhh, don’t tell anyone that my favorite place is in my room with my internet enabled computer. I love, love, love being online. I tweet and retweet. Read and share Facebook posts. Read and leave comments on teacher blogs.

I search for any and all resources that I can use in my class to make class activities more engaging for my students. Through these searches I have found

  • information about making paper slide movies
  • ways to create visuals that connect to stories
  • resources for creating digital stories
  • guides that help my students become the teachers
  • great teacher blogs that inspire

and so much more.

OK, day 1 is done. I jumped in, wrote, published and feel better for it. 


February 6

Rigor can be cute (thx #TCEA13 – I had forgotten)

My daughter wants to know why I still go to Tech Conferences because I know evvvvverything that they are going to talk about.  Nnnnnot!! But isn’t she cute?

Going to conferences provides me with opportunities to learn the new and remember the old. Once such memory is the knowledge that one way to engage is to inject humor into an assignment and capture the audience’s attention.  We all know that we must help our students develop higher order thinking skills and that questioning can be a great way of doing this.

Create your own Animation allows me to create a crazy looking talking squirrel (and other things) that help me to prompt my students to begin thinking in depth about literature pieces.

Getting their attention is half of the battle.

February 2

Creating Word-Art visuals in my Lit class

Don’t be afraid to have them color with crayons and markers. I do, regularly. I want my scholars to connect with text on various levels and creating visuals/word art is just one way. The slides below explain the process and show student work samples from my class.

January 21

Do you Google? If not, why…..?

Google has a product for everything that you might want and need while on the internet.

  • Searchng for something?
  • Need a website?
  • Have a document that needs collaboration?
  • Need an email client that can be pushed to your phone and alerts your desktop with popups?
  • Want to be entertained by their ever changing seasonal logo? Searching for something on the web?  Make sure that you are using +, – and “ “ to narrow your search on the internet Create easy websites and wikis. If you haven’t seen your house from the air, try using Google Maps to see it. Look for an up to date map or satellite photo that are easy to manipulate. Google chrome is a fast and reliable browswer with useful apps. Share and edit your photos using Picasa. Create, share and keep all your stuff in one place This is a great way to jump into some literature. Check out a book online, read some passages and find out where you can buy a copy. Check out the up to the minute updates provided by Google News. Arguably the best image search engine in the world. Try finding a picture of something today.  Microblog, share and connect with others. Host a hangout and video chat with co-workers or loved ones.

October 27

My 2012 LACUE

I have three sessions to present at LACUE this year!!!

Session Title: “EdCamps – the new way to do Professional Development”

CONGRATULATIONS! – your accepted session information is below.


Tinashe Blanchet, John Ehret High School, Carl Gaines, Chalmette High School, Brian Mull, November Learning, Paula Naugle, Bissonet Plaza Elementary, Tiffany Whitehead, Central Middle School

Description:  EdCamps are ‘Unconferences’ offered by Teachers for Teachers. Teachers are the presenters and the campers. Do you want to change the way Professional Development is done? Do you want more for your campus or district? We have tips and resources to help.

Date Scheduled:  Tuesday, November 27, 2012  –  12:30 pm – 1:20 pm

Room:  Room 13

Location: Hilton

Size of room: 80 participants

Type of Session: Concurrent 

Audience:  All

Format:  Concurrent Session (50 min.)


Session Title: “ for ePortfolios”

CONGRATULATIONS! – your accepted session information is below.

Description:  Want to create and publish an ePortfolio for yourself or your students? If so, let me help you design a ePortfolio for yourself or your class that houses essays, photos, digital stories, presentations and videos. Publish a site that you will be proud of for years to come.

Date Scheduled:  Tuesday, November 27, 2012  –  2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Room:  Magnolia

Location: Hilton

Size of room: 60 participants

Type of Session: Hands-on    

Audience:  All

Format:  Hands-On Lab (1 hr. 45 min.)


Session Title: “Become a ‘Connected’ Educator”

CONGRATULATIONS! – your accepted session information is below.

Description:  This session will help you create a Personal Learning Network that you can rely on for resources and advice. During this session you will explore: Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, ePortfolios, online business cards, RSS and Do It Yourself Professional Development.

Audience:  All

Format:  Hands-On Lab (1 hr. 45 min.)

Date Scheduled:  Tuesday, November 27, 2012  –  3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Room:  Magnolia

Location: Hilton

Size of room: 60 participants

Type of Session: Hands-on 

September 15

#Tips4Students for #npredchat

For those of you who don’t know, National Public Radio (NPR), is gathering information to be used for a LIVE radio broadcast to be aired on Wednesday, October 10th. NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin will host this show and they are trying to gather information, resources and opinions from Teacher, Student and Parent Tweeters.

NPR’s Tell Me More podcast is aired every weekday and highlights headlines, issues and pleasures relevant to multicultural life in America.  They have moved into the Twittersphere and they have started an online Twitter EdChat, #NPREdChat.

One of the missions is to provide tips for students. Here are some of mine


What are some of your tips for students???

September 13

#NPRedchat is looking for feedback

I had the opportunity to exchange thoughts with @DrStephenJones about the plight of students in our schools today.  We were both upset by the number of problems that students bring with them to our schools but and the lack of support that is provided for them.



August 19

A Vision of K-12 Students Today


I first saw this video October 10, 2009. Almost 3 years later I ask myself, what am I doing for them?!?!?!?!

In my class in addition to the standard reading the textbook and writing responses, my students,

create ePortfolios using

post to online learning communities like

create digital stories using Photopeach and Animoto

collaborate with other classrooms creating an online magazine (I hope)

create “commoncraft” type paper movies

create cartoons 

will document a day of their life for the ONE day on Earth Project

participate in the Peace One Day Initiative

respond to TeachersFirst #XW1W (Across the World Once a Week) question

have online personal learning networks

use blogs and wikis

tweet resources for their PLN


Outside of my class, I blog, tweet and present.  I share with other teachers some of the things that I do and hope that they will see something that they can do (and improve) in their own classrooms. 

YES, I am a Connected Educator.  I share my knowledge with others regularly!!

Do you?