Showing posts from June, 2013

Twenty Years is Worth Two Cents

Time It’s been an interesting year.  My twins entered middle school (time flies).  My mom died unexpectedly leaving me parentless with probate and a house built by my grandfather in 1948 (time stands still).  Oh…and CPS is shuttering my school (time to move?). The school I’ve built my career at and spent the last twenty years with students.
I sat in the library with my colleagues and was read two scripts; one by my principal and one by a Chicago Public School Central Office employee.  With that, it was done (or in the beginning phase of 'done'). Teachers were told to “have a good day of teaching and learning” (one of our daily mantras) and were sent off to teach their students after just being told our school was not remaining open after this school year but our building would remain open with a new faculty and three student bodies.  George Leland school would inhabit our building while May Community Academy and Louis Armstrong Math & Science Elementary would be closed a…

You Mean There is More?!

This is a copy of my final reflection as a Columbia College T.E.A.M. Fellow:

You Mean There is More?! I’ve been in education now for twenty years.  Rather uniquely, all twenty years at the same school, May Community Academy.  This is my last year at “May”.  I use quotations because my school is being shuttered.  The building may remain but the faculty and name will change (if you are interested in hearing my thoughts about that I’ll be blogging about it another day here).  I spent my first fifteen years doing the same thing: teaching 4th grade.  Even though the general content remained the same every year I worked just as hard to learn new methods of madness that would hold my students’ interests and to stay current with best practices.

After 4th grade I became the Lead Technology Teacher for May. This job was loaded; I was charged with helping teachers integrate technology, maintaining the building’s technology, writing grants, managing grants and many other tasks that would take too…

Websites for Primary Students

This year a new class for our students was technology.  In previous years students had never had a dedicated technology "prep"; they would enter with their teacher and do assignments the teacher had requested.

Our little ones loved coming to technology!  We would often start lessons that involved learning how to use Microsoft Word and eventually PowerPoint. Examples of some of their work can be found herehere, and here. Preparation periods for teachers were 60 minutes this year.  Students did a great job with the assignments but I also wanted them to have some "downtime" in lab, albeit appropriate downtime.  To aid in this I created papers with websites that the students were allowed to explore.  Some are free, some required me to set up accounts.  Each was introduced one at a time and built up throughout lab.  Below are the papers.  You'll notice that many contain the same sites throughout the three grades but all three are embedded here separately.


Digital Portfolios for Educators

When I was obtaining my Technology in Education Masters we were asked to keep a digital portfolio of our course work.This acted as a culminating artifact that showcased projects, philosophies and resources we had acquired throughout the program.It was a great idea and I enjoyed the process but unfortunately never returned to it.When I teach undergraduate and graduate pre-service educators I make this portfolio a requirement in my courses.My hope is that these future educators will continue to add resources and artifacts as their careers progress enabling them to walk into new employment opportunities with a toolkit readily available to promote the use of technology in their curriculum.
Although I’ve spent my career in the same building I’ve always kept a “living” resume that housed my grants, presentations, experiences and accomplishments.After twenty years you can imagine the content was lengthy.This year with the shuttering of my school it was time to put the resume into circulati…