Monthly Archives: June 2013

Learning With My Two Year Old

I know it doesn’t need to be stated, but I’ll say it anyway: I LOVE SUMMER! It’s a time where I can reflect on the school year, get some reading done (that doesn’t happen to be essays written by 11th graders), and spend some quality time with my family. My oldest daughter, Mae, is two and a half, and I am really enjoying watching her learn life. Recently, she has been going crazy for the ABCs, so I had an idea that we could find items around the house that represent each letter of the alphabet. Since it’s summer vacation, this was an awesome learning experience to take some time and create something together.

Making this video was an awesome experience because I was able to ask my daughter questions about what she thought each item started with (ex: “Mae, what does Ice Cream start with?” “What sound does a ‘t’ sound like?”) throughout the production of the movie. So, essentially, we had many learning experiences from this: during the making, we explored the letters of the alphabet, and we also have an end product that shows our learning. What has been really cool about this experience is that she is now asking me days later, “Daddy, what letter does this start with?”. Boom.

This project didn’t take long to make at all, and that’s exactly the point here. Technology is now advanced enough for us to take quick videos with our phones, tablets, and computers; it’s then fairly (iMovie takes some getting used to) simple to then edit the movie together. Is this movie Hollywood quality? Absolutely not. But the learning is there!

This project is a great example as to why I love tech integration with education: we learned throughout the process and now have a pretty cool product to show what we’ve learned. We bonded, we learned, we explored. If one were to use this in the classroom, a vital part to this project would then be the “visible thinking” piece as well where students explain their thought process throughout.

I am absolutely loving this bonding time with the family (I also have a 6 month old daughter), and our learning possibilities are endless this summer!

Promoting Teacher Leadership By Doing

After planning with some amazing educators, tonight was the very first Galileo Leader’s #800voices chat in an attempt to offer a way to reclaim the agenda (are you listening, Lansing?). Around 20+ leaders from around the country (we had some peeps from Alabama and Rhode Island…woo hoo!!!) shared and participated in a conversation that surrounded promoting Teacher Leadership. To me, tonight’s conversation itself was a perfect example of what being a teacher leader is all about: learning and growing from one another. In just an hour’s time, a large group of people reflected on what it means to be a teacher leader, how one can promote others to lead, and there was a wonderful outpour of examples as to how they have chosen to lead in their district. It seemed that there was a common theme of the night: passion and life-long learning.

Every story that was shared (you can find the storify of the chat here), a true passion rang from each person. One of the coolest stories of “leading where you stand” came from Kristen Berry, whose class of 136 7th graders collectively read 4,283 books this year! Now that’s an #eduwin! 

What I learned from this evening’s #800voices conversation is that in order to lead, one must continue to see purpose and be inspired. Speaking and working with these amazing teachers continues to inspire me on a daily basis. They make me want to continue to work harder even when times are tough, and they certainly make me want to share my story. This, folks, is how we begin to reclaim the agenda.