Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Exhale Educators: Ways to Relax

Educators spend countless hours working to perfect their craft of teaching our future leaders. The daily grind can take a toll on the body physically and mentally. Here are some ways to relax and be ready to take on the next day's journey. Cheers to your health!

  1. Read something inspirational.
  2. Take a long bath.
  3. Go for a walk.
  4. Listen to some jazz.
  5. Dance.
  6. Watch a comedy on television.
  7. Get a massage.
  8. Go have a manicure and pedicure.
  9. Take up a hobby.
  10. Write a poem.
  11. Go view babies through a nursery window at a local hospital.
  12. Let go of activities that stress you.
  13. Go to dinner with some friends. Laugh a lot and eat moderately.
  14. Go for a walk along the river.
  15. Pray.
  16. Go to a playground and swing.
  17. Draw.
  18. Color.
  19. Take a warm shower.
  20. Try smiling anyway.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fifty Years Forward

In memory of the four girls who died in the Birmingham bombing on this date, September 15, 1963. It has been fifty years. Thanks Birmingham, Alabama for not letting us forget! 

An Invitation to One Community, Five Voices

1 Community, 5 Voices: How Successful Digital...
The above graphic was copied from  www.discoveryeducation.com/OneCommunity

Schools are transforming and Discovery Education is providing the forum for all stakeholders to be in the know. During the week of September 23, 2013 a webinar per day will give insight into how a Superintendent, Principal, Teacher, Parent and Student are making the digital transformation work in their schools and district. I'm very proud to say, that I will be one of the five voices speaking to the world on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 12 PM CST. To register for this week of engaging speakers on a topic that won't soon fade, visit http://onecommunityfivevoices.eventbrite.com/  

Thanks Discovery Education for promoting the good in our schools! 

My Sunday Professional Development

Today I learned how to use Haiku Deck. It's a free app on the iPad and it links to the web. DENSI2013 Pal and fellow DEN Star, Rafranz Davis, has tweeted about this app. It is an easy to use presentation app and I'm hooked! Here's my creation. Take a look. 


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Capturing School Moments

Cover ArtHappy September! Time flies fast when you're having fun! I have decided to capture school moments in another way. Today, I downloaded Vimeo. It's a free app on the iPhone. I plan to record trainings, meetings, and school events then create shareable videos. These videos can be shared via social media and/or email. But most importantly, these videos can be used as teaching and learning tools.  


Monday, September 2, 2013

Flipping Faculty Meetings

This school year, I am trying something new. In hopes that my teachers will want to try this with their class, I am flipping my faculty meetings. Here are the steps that I've taken from August until now. 

Step 1: 
Decide which tech tools will be used. Next, upload memos, docs and other pertinent forms to our DropBox folder. Setup a group on Edmodo and download the YouTube Video Capture app. I practiced with the apps so that I'd have some usage fluency. 

Step 2: 
Inform faculty via email of plans to flip meetings and shared apps needed on the iPad for access. Share via email, the Edmodo group code and a link to the DropBox file.

Step 3: 
Record district personnel welcoming the teachers back and sharing new rules or information.  The Video Capture app by YouTube is great for this task. One to three district personnel with 2-4 minute recorded messages is sufficient.

Step 4:  
Edmodo will be main forum. Attach videos or written messages as a note or as an assignment. The difference is an assignment has deadlines, notes are not scheduled.  

Step 5:
Upload documents sent by district and principal created memos and docs to the DropBox account. 

Step 6:
Followup with another email to let teachers know to retrieve info before the planned meeting.

Meet face to face to unconference and to highlight key points not stated on video or forum. 

Step 7:
Encourage and watch for the online collaboration to increase.

Step 8:
Randomly feature teachers sharing a classroom management tip or a strategy used in class. 

Step 9:
Encourage collaboration online, questions online, and respond. Also, email those who have yet to join. Perhaps they need assistance. 

Step 10:
Remember to use flipped faculty meetings regularly so that teachers become used to this new way. Highlight different teachers, share articles, read and respond to Edmodo posts. 
Happy learning!

Web tools used:
school email

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Teaching Tolerance and Courage with Picture Books

Today is August 10, 2013 and I am participating in a Picture Book Event called August 10 for 10 or #pb10for10 on Twitter. The picture books on my list are 10 of my faves (in no particular order) because they help educators and parents teach tolerance and courage despite adversities and differences.

Please visit my Pinterest page for a complete look at the covers: http://pinterest.com/jonnai2/picture-books-that-teach-tolerance-and-courage/

1. Queen a Bella -Queen-a-Bella Finds a Best Friend (An Illustrated Children's Picture Book about Tolerance and Making New Friends) by Lisl Fair

2.  The Colors of Us - a young girl wants to do a self-portrait. During a walk with her mom, she discovers there are many colors to choose. 

3. More Than Anything Else -  A young Booker T. Washington desires to read more than anything else.

4. Rosa - a beautifully illustrated and well written book about Rosa Parks and her courage.

5.  The Name Jar -  The Name Jar: Asian Culture - a young girl just moved from Korea and wants to change her name to something the American kids can pronounce.

6. First Day Speech - a young boy is ashamed of his birth defects and wants to dress in costume on the first day of school. Instead, he dresses normally and shares his story with his class. (Get your tissues ready).

7. Of Thee I Sing - Barack Obama writes a letter to his daughters about Americans who made a difference in our country.

8. Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters - Beauty is not the desire of everyone's heart. Great character ed book choice!

9. Chrysanthemum - Embarrassed by her name, Chrysanthemum gains a friend in her teacher, who also has a different name. 

10. Martin's Big Words - Beautifully illustrated, this book shares Dr. King's famous speech.