Reflective Teacher Day 26- Go-to -sites

Day 26- @TeachThough  30 Day Reflective Teaching Challenge 

What are your three favorite go-to sites for help/tips/resources in your teaching?

Find resources is necessary for all teachers. Content is constantly changing and students need to be engaged with up to date learning materials. Where do I go?

1. Twitter- I am on twitter daily. My PLN is a great resource. One of the first places I stop when I am looking for engaging material is twitter. A quick tweet to the world with the right hashtag or to the right person can turn up resources very quickly. Of course sometimes it also can turn up nothing new. Great first stop on the journey to finding resources.

2. YouTube – I start my class every day with a 3 to 5 minute video to engage and activate prior knowledge. I was going to make a few of my own, until I found the many wonderful teachers have made endless hours of resources for the world to use on YouTube. Thankfully our district unblocked it a few years back. I subscribe to so great teacher channels.

3. The Science Spot – A wonderful science teacher Tracy (Trimpe) Tomm has created The Science Spot. A must go-to spot for any middle school science. The science is well organized, with printable lessons. I find it a great resource for lessons that engage my students. Full of many hands on science activities.

Of course I have many more resource sites I go to depending on my need. I love to explore the internet and find new resources for lessons every week.

A great jumping in point for any teacher is Cybrayman’s Catalogue of Educational Sites.  If you can’t find what you need there, it doesn’t exist on the internet.

#MSchat and @AMLE Twitter event 8-14-14 8 pm ET

#MSchat and AMLE are partnering up to bring another splendid Flipped Twitter event to the Twitter-verse, and I would love to have you all to join the conversation.  Much appreciation to Dru Tomlin from AMLE for providing great material for us to chat about and moderating the chat!


Here are the details:

  • What is it? Twitter Event at #mschat about Motivating Students in the Middle Level
  • What else?  Our conversation will be motivated by the “Motivating Students with Teachable Moments” article in the August edition of AMLE Magazine: In fact, as you can see, the entire AMLE magazine is available for AMLE Associate (FREE!) members. 
  • When?  Thursday, August 14th from 8-9pmET
  • Where? #mschat

Why Connect as an educator?

I am often asked my by my peers in teaching, “Why Connect?” I can always refer them to Ainissa Ramirez’s great post about “Smashing Silos“.  I can talk about how I felt “on an island” when I started teaching. I feel the best way to explain why an educator should be connected is by modeling the process and showing what can occur when connected.

Having been on twitter for a little over a year and half, I have started following/connecting with many wonderful educators. Last August at the urging of my friends at Engaging Educators, I started a middle school chat #mschat. As I began to get my feet wet as a connected educator, I found a friendly place where educators openly share, give positive advice and collaborate. It was so much more than I had imagined. It gives you the choice to participate or lurk. To be actively involved in the community or just visit from time to time. No one judging you based on activity, just a large group of friends meeting you where you are in your participation and skill. In many ways similar to how our classrooms should be. 

Today, it all clicked: Working in Michigan I have had the great opportunity to attend a few  of Nicholas Provenzano’s (The Nerdy Teacher) presentations. On his feed I had noticed he was giving a Keynote Address along with Timothy Gwynn at The Greater Clark Connected Conference. I was thinking how great it must be to attend conferences in the summer and continue learning. Here I am in my PJ’s, making coffee with my 4 year old twins watching morning cartoons. Then I noticed a tweet by Jeffery Bradbury, the Keynote was going to be broadcast live by Teacher Cast TV . I had to check it out!! 

Being “Connected” means you are only an internet connection away from learning. No opportunities are missed. You DON’T have to wait for PD that someone thinks you need, YOU FIND PD your students need you to have!! As the organizer, Brett Clark, of #GCCC13 clearly  stated in the opening of the conference, “You challenge yourself to be a better teacher this year than you were last year!”   Timothy Gwynn said it best, “Twitter is the instruction manual to teaching.” Being connected gives you the answers to all of your “HOW TO…” questions as teachers.

Being connected allowed me to be inspired and motivated to return to the classroom with five weeks of summer vacation ahead of me. All in the comfort of my PJs, while sipping coffee with my kids this morning. When someone tells me they don’t have time to be connected! I tell them they don’t have time not to be connected!

If you are still a skeptic, listen to this 11-year explain why being connected is important . (From #GCCC13)