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Friday, February 15, 2013

Weekly Update, February 15

Reflections on this week…

I spent my Friday morning (after fighting the oppressive traffic on all freeways) at the University of Houston in a discussion on teaching and learning. I haven’t spent much time on campus since I graduated in December of 2004, and I found it a peaceful switch from the hour-plus I had spent in traffic. The key theme of the discussion this morning centered on the idea of disruption, but not in the sense you might think. It was about disruption in a positive sense…disruption to make change and improvement.

Once I redefined disruption in my head, I started to reflect on what it meant to my own life. I was probably feeling a little nostalgic sitting at UH, I’ll admit it, but I started thinking about what my dreams had been when I walked across that campus over eight years ago. I am definitely nowhere that I pictured myself. That doesn’t disappoint me, though, which is what really helped me to see how disruptions can become great things in our lives. I think it is more what we make of these disruptions, how we respond to them, that shapes our paths.

Anyway, I’m taking that idea into my weekend. When my son causes a disruption to my sleep at 6:00 tomorrow morning, I’m going to see what I can make of that. It will probably just be coffee, but we’ll see.

Upcoming professional development opportunities and district meetings…

Science Curriculum Meeting
February 26, 2013
Spring Woods High School
See email from D. Burken with links to register in Eduphoria

Earth Science Conference
February 23, 2013
Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land
Visit the TESTA site for more information:

Using iPads to Enhance Teaching and Learning
Watch the recorded webinar at this link:

Some stuff I’ve been reading…

“Exploring the Use of the iPad for Literacy Learning”
from The Reading Teacher, vol 66
Click HERE to read.
This was not an especially riveting read, but it did give some interesting ideas for apps that might be used when addressing certain literacy skills. The bulk of the article talks about a study that looked at the use of iPads to teach certain skills within a fourth grade classroom.

Put Thinking to the Test
by: Conrad, Matthews, Zimmerman, Allen, & Keene
Many of you probably know about this book. Thank you to Mary-Catherine for the awesome recommendation, because I am loving the thinking behind this book. It is all about approaching testing as an additional genre to be studied. While we give kids so much time to consume various types of text, they really don’t get a lot of time to consume tests outside the actually testing time. The authors of this book look at approaching the testing genre. Good stuff!

Some sites worth exploring…

Social studies—folklife/culture:

Active learning strategies:

Digital Learning Day 2013

Don’t forget, you can find more at…
·       Teacher Learners on Edmodo
Group code: 9fq5dz

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