literacyeverywhere

Saving the World Through Literacy!

Proud to be Nerdy!

Two Worlds Collide!

Today, my books and bling life and literacy teacher life get to collide again. I love when this happens!

I love reading. Even more that that, I love people who love reading!

So, when I had the chance to write a post for the awesome Nerdy Book Club, I was all in! These are my people! I feel so at home with the Nerdy Book Club. Though I try to visit a variety of blogs, this is the one I never miss!

Check it out here: http://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/my-kids-hate-reading/

I hope you join all the Nerdy Book Club awesomeness! It really is great to be Nerdy!

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Common Core: Woes, Oooohs, & Yos!?

Common Core is Coming…Ready or Not!

education newspaper

I’m curious as to your Woes, Oooohs, and Yos! What do I mean? Let me explain:

Woes: What are you worried about? What is aggravating you? What do you need?

Oooohs: What are you wondering about? What have you heard that needs clarification? What is your “Oh! It would be awesome if …”

Yos: What have you found that is so awesome that you want to yell, “Yo! Check this out!”

I’d love to gather your Woes, Oooohs, & Yos and share them. Together we can do anything!

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Summer Reading Lists #1

I simply cannot wait to have days & days to read this summer, but I know many of my students don’t feel the same way.

I can’t (as much as I try, wish, pray, & dream) make anyone love reading or use magic to zap my non-readers into Reading Rock Stars!

What I can do, and really love to do, is share awesome book titles with students and parents. Maybe one (or two, or three, or more) of those books will click with a kid, or inspire them, or lead them to other books. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

I am not a fan of summer reading assignments for my students. I have tried a million different things (well, maybe not a million, but quite a few) to get kids to read over the summer. Assignments that force reading just don’t work for my students. It’s hard enough to get some of my kids to read during the year, so I sure don’t have any pull over the summer! Most of my kids don’t think about school at all during the summer. Summer assignments get ignored, forgotten, and unfinished. Then they start off a new school year already behind. It is huge DISLIKE all around! So, it doesn’t happen in my classes. I always suggest books, have lists available for students and parents, and hope that they read. If your kids (and parents) participate in summer assignments, YAY YOU! Do what you know works for your students!

Here are a few of the Summer Reading Lists that I’ve seen floating around. I’ll keep posting them as I find more.  

Be sure to check out your local libraries and book stores, too. They always have super awesome things going on-most with prizes! 

If you have a great list or a book you think kids will love, do send it my way. 

Scholastic Summer Challenge

The Teacher Report: 20 Summer Reading Picks

Georgia Children’s Book Award Nominees for 2012-2013 (great list of awesome reads!)

MP900184972.JPG

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21st Century Education, Web 2.0, and Flipping My Classroom-Feedback Wanted!

Big news! I’m applying for a grant to Flip my classroom next year! I’m very excited!

I’ve been reading so much about Flipped Classrooms and cannot wait to try it out! I believe it will help increase student engagement and motivation, allow me to differentiate more effectively, and allow me to go full force with the Common Core!

Here’s the shortlist of what I’ve been reading (mainly from http://www.flippedclassroom.com/)

The Flipped Class Manifesto by Brian E. Bennett, Dan Spencer, Jon Bergmann, Troy Cockrum,
Ramsey Musallam, Aaron Sams, Karl Fisch, Jerry Overmyer,

How the Flipped Classroom is Radically Transforming Learning by Jon Bergmann, Aaron Sams

The Flipped Class: Shedding light on the confusion, critique and hype by Aaron Sams

Are you Ready to Flip? by Dan Spencer, Deb Wolf, and Aaron Sams

“The Flipped Class:  Myths vs. Reality” by Jon Bergmann, Jerry Overmyer and Brett Wilie

“The Flipped Class: What Does a Good One Look Like?” by Brian Bennett, Jason Kern, April Gudenrath and Philip McIntosh

Private School Math Teacher Flips Learning by Stacey Roshan

The Flipped Class:  Show Me the Data! by Stacey Roshan

Teachers “Doing the Flip” to Help Students Become Learners

This infographic from http://www.knewton.com/flipped-classroom/ is AWESOME!!

Flipped Classroom

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

Now I’m trying to figure out just what technology to include in the grant. I know that I want the following:

  • Document Camera
  • Digital Video Camera
  • Photoshop Elements and Premier Software
  • Glogster and Storybird subscriptions for my students
  • Headsets with microphones
  • SnapScan Mobile Scanner
  • Webcam (that will move with me/the students)

I’d love to hear your feedback on both technology & your experiences!

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The Post Where My Worlds Collide-Chicago Edition

This week I’m in Chicago at the International Reading Association’s 57th Annual Convention.

IRA 2012 Chicago

Two of my favorite things are combined: Reading and Education!

I don’t usually mix my two social media personalities, but this week Books and Bling and on Literacy Everywhere are mixing together in an epic pairing of awesome!

Yesterday, Schmoopy and I took a LONG WALK to see where Merit of the Chicgoland Vampire books lives-Go Cadogan!. Chloe Neill even posted my pic on her blog!

Cadogan House!

This morning, I got to see Dr. Steve Perry speak. He was really inspiring!

Dr. Steve Perry at IRA 2012

Then I met Michael Buckley and he loved the Bling! I’m a huge fan of his NERDS series! He is just as awesome in person as I thought he’d be!

Michael Buckley & the BLING!

 

Awesome NERDS Signed Copy Bling! YAY!

Next, I heard Nick Bruel speak and got him to sign some Bad Kitty books for me. I even snagged one of his Bad Kitty drawings from his presentation. AWESOME!

Bad Kitty for President! You’ve got my vote!

 

Bad Kitty Sketch!

Basically, I’m learning tons and fangirling my way through this awesome town! Well, we’re eating a ton of great food, too! Chicago is super yummy!

Here are some more of our fun Chicago pics!

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Silly & Fun Testing Day Slides & Treats!

I always like to post something fun on the board in the mornings before we take one of those dreaded bubble tests.

The kids, even though they are super tough 8th graders (they think they are super tough, but they’re totally still my babies!) LOVE to see what silly thing will be on the board each morning of testing. I also give them a little treat each day at the end of testing. Just something small to tell them how much I appreciate their focus, hard work, and attention to details and procedures during the test. I try to make this yucky thing into something fun!

I know they’ll do well. I’m not concerned about that. We do WAY more than will ever be covered on any bubble test. I’m not bragging, either. I just give them what I know they can do w/o limitations. My awesome kids are amazing. They rock. I make sure they know it all the time! =)

Here are the slides I made this year.  All of the fonts are free from dafont.com. The purchased the images from Lettering Delights (they are so good to teachers-you should check them out! I used to change the words daily, but so many students kept asking what the ones from previous days said. So now I just put them all up on day one and change the silly title and picture every day.

Here is the whole thing, if you want it: Attack that test It is a pdf so you’ll have the fonts.  Attack that test

HOW DO YOU GET YOUR KIDS PUMPED UP FOR TESTING DAYS? I’d love to hear from you!

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Great outlook on the Common Core

There are no miracles, but there are teachers: An educator’s view on the Common Core

This is a great read on the Common Core from Darren Burris on The Hechinger Report.org

Darren Burris

Here’s my favorite part:

So the report should not be taken as evidence that standards are useless, or that the Common Core State Standards are a step in the wrong direction. In fact, I find its message ultimately empowering for teachers if we write ourselves into it—empowering if:

1. We marshal the experiences and lessons learned from the classroom and bring them to bear on the national conversation about education reform.

2. We see this as an unprecedented opportunity for collaboration and the sharing of best practices.

3. We turn the conversation toward enabling and supporting quality teaching in our schools.

4. We connect the K-12 conversation to the demands of college and the workforce.

Read it and let me know what you think!

Have a a great week!

~Mandee

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Confessions of a Bad Teacher…a MUST READ!

Angry me after reading this article!

Please stop what you are doing and read this. Really! Right now!

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/opinion/sunday/confessions-of-a-bad-teacher.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

It made me angry. It made me sad. And then I just sat there with that “what the what?!” look on my face. So I read it again!  I don’t get mad often-I’m actually a look on the bright side 99% of the time kind of person, but this makes me ANGRY!

This really has to stop! I wish I knew the answers to things like this. I know that moving schools saved me, but that isn’t (and shouldn’t) be the fix. Thankfully, I am now in a school where I am expected to teach all day long–really, that’s my job and what is expected of me. I call it teaching nirvana! My administration knows what our kids need and they love our kids. This should be the case at every school, for every teacher, and for every student! Ugh!

At a time when teachers are constantly under the microscope and under the gun, I think we need to make the shift to looking at the absurd things we are often forced to do by administrators that (all too often) left teaching because they weren’t good at it.

Teachers: You are doing an amazing job. If you really aren’t happy, get out. Administrators, so many of you are awesome. Help those that aren’t!

As always, your thoughts, experiences, and feedback are welcome!

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A Flipped Classroom in Action!

I am so intrigued by the idea of the Flipped Classroom!

Here’s an awesome article & link about how one school is making it happen!

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2012/02/09/a-first-hand-look-inside-a-flipped-classroom/

Here’s a link to a cool Flipped Classroom how-to guide from TechSmith: http://www.techsmith.com/flipped-classroom.html?utm_source=bit.ly&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=tsce

What do you think about the Flipped Classroom? Something you’d try?

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Looking for a few good WRITING CONTESTS!

 

I have amazing authors in my classes. And poets. And comic makers. And artists. And all around awesome kids.

The world doesn’t always stop to recognize them.  That’s a shame!

I am looking for some cool contests that my students can enter.

Below are the contests that I know about:

Promising Young Writers: http://www.ncte.org/awards/student/pyw

New to me–Barron Prize: http://www.barronprize.org/

I am the chair of the Leslie Walker Memorial Essay Contest (Georgia only): http://kmwp.org/Portals/0/KMWP_LW_CONTEST_FLYER.pdf

I also subscribe to this awesome Writing Kid mailing list:  www.fundsforwriters.com/writingkid.htm

I love River of Words: http://www.riverofwords.org/

What am I missing or forgetting about?

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