Sunday, February 27, 2011

Goal 7 Step out of your comfort zone

After reading about "teaching paperless" I chose this as my challenge this week.

As a special education teacher, teaching math, I have already chosen NOT to use a traditional text book.  The other math classes in my school use textbooks and workbooks.  They teach a lesson a day and review for one day before testing on each chapter.  My students don't learn that easily and I can't use one assignment per lesson.  My students require more practice for new concepts to become concrete and applicable to them.  This requires me to use a lot of worksheets.  I teach, they work, I reteach they work, I review, they quiz, and the cycle repeats until we reach the end of the unit.

I have a lot of technology available to me at school so I am going to begin using these resources instead of spending time in the office making copies.  This will require me to learn a few things about how to upload grades from the Active board to our grading system and it will require me to spend a bit more time planning and preparing my lessons but in the long run it will be worth it.

Maybe I'll get the kids to buy in by having them keep up with how many copies we've saved and then have a discussion about this on Earth Day!

Now, how will this change my teaching?
This will help teach my students that being responsible with our natural resources will lead to better communities.  It will also get us more involved with technology which they will continue to use for the rest of their lives.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Goal 6 - Set a Google Alert

Setting a google alert was WAY simpler than I ever thought.  It only took me a few minutes.  My first step was to google "google alert"

I set an alert for my maiden name, my married name and my twitter name.  Now, let's see what comes in the mail :-)

As an update on my other goals...
I've added a page to the right on my 5k training which was goal 4 I think.
I'm trying to blog a couple of times a week.
and... I'm still "geeking" out with my kids at school

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Goal 5 - Update your online profile

Keeping your profile up to date is very important these days.  You just never know what kinds of opportunities are waiting for you when people are searching your name while online.

As a teacher - wanna be principal - I have already updated my online profiles and try to keep everything on all sites the same.  The only problem is that some sites ask for different info but they are basically the same.  I even use the same profile pic on all sites so people who are looking for me know they've found me. :)

Keeping my online profile updated will help my teaching by letting people know who I am, what I stand for, and what my educational qualifications can do for them.  It lets parents know what I look like so

It's been a few posts back that I posted the link to the goals that I'm following.  So, I thought I would post the link again in case someone reading my blog could jump in and take this journey with me.

I hope this link works.

Maybe one of the upcoming goals will be how to make these huge url's smaller :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Goal 4 - Support a new BLOGGER

Supporting bloggers is so important to their success as well as your own.  Since I have been blogging I have also been reading other blogs.  I feel like the experience of reading other posts has and will continue to help my writing.  It motivates me to want to write more and share even more with readers.

There are a few blogs that I subscribed to over the past few weeks and read regularly.  I have even commented on a couple.  I hope they enjoy reading the comments as much as I enjoy reading comments on my blog.

Now, on to how this process will help my teaching....
I'm still playing with the idea of creating a blog for my students.  I feel like this will give them a way to communicate through online media that isn't facebook.  This project is still in the research stage since I have to keep it pretty secure and private, but I believe that if my students could post and then receive comments that are kind in nature they may be more motivated to write just as I am.  Who knows?? They are 8th graders after all.  Their main concern is their social life, right?  :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Goal #3 Join a challenge, marathon, or a class

Please remember that I am following the 2010 version of the "30 goals challenge" then I will pick up the new goals.

I could easily call this goal already done.  I am currently in the last semester of my 2nd Master's degree working on my Educational Leadership certification.  There is my class.  This whole process of the 30 goals is a challenge in itself.  There is my challenge.  I am in no shape to run a marathon so instead of that I think I'll look for a 5k, fun run or walk to join.  With this I will feel like I have accomplished goal #3 without cheating.  "-)

Now, you might ask "How will all of these things change my teaching?"  Well by getting my administrator certification I am learning how to be a better leader.  The same goes for this blog.  I am learning about educational technology and how to apply it to the instructional setting.  As far as the 5k, I am learning that physical exercise strengthens the mind as is de-stresses our lives.  As a less stressed out teacher and a stronger person, I will be able to deal with challenges my job and family place on my life daily.

Goal #2 Contribute to a Blog Carnival

I bet someone thought I had forgotten about the blog or maybe even fallen off the edge of the earth.  There were times during the week that I was wondering if the whole blog and 30 goals challenge was going to be too much for me to commit to at this point in time.  However,...

Goal 2 in the 2010 "30 goals challenge" is to contribute to a "Blog Carnival".  I have to admit that I've never even heard of a blog carnival.  I've heard of a shoe store named Shoe Carnival (they have great deals, by the way) and Carnival cruise lines (Best vacation I've ever taken) but never a blog carnival.  I had to do a google search and really only came up with one site...

I didn't actually contribute any original material to this blog carnival but I did spend a lot of time reading through the various blogs.  I've added several to my feed reader and will become smarter because of finding this site. I have discovered it seems that everyone has an opinion on everything and   when I need an opinion on something I'll go back to

I hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Today is day 1 and Goal #1 Start a Blog

I have a little clarification to make.  It seems that the 30 goals challenge began in 2010 and well... I'm a bit behind the 8 ball, like usual.  There is already a 2011 version that is being followed by some folks. When I began thinking about beginning the challenge I was reading about the 2011 version but I, however, will be playing catch up for a bit and will begin my journey with the 2010 version.

So, ....
My first goal is to begin with a blog.  If you are reading this, which I hope very much that someone is, then you know already that I have accomplished goal #1.

This blog will be mainly about my journey through the 30 goals challenge and how it changes my teaching but it will be sprinkled with odds and ends of my personal life.  As with anything a person does with passion there will be a small piece of "me" in every post.  I will try to update every day but some of these challenges may take more than one day to see results so you will most definitely see one post a week.

As I said in my previous post, it's not too late to start.  You can start at any point with any goal.  You don't even have to do them in order.  Just pick a spot and begin.

So.  When I was talking to my class today, I just kinda threw out a question... "Do any of you know what a blog is?".  I got the deer in the headlight look.  These are 8th graders! ! !

I think by the end of the school year we will be blogging about our school day.  Maybe even have a homework blog.  Yeah, that's it... we'll start a homework blog!

Can't wait til tomorrow and goal #2

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The calm before the storm....

My students don't have a clue what is about to happen to them... tee hee hee :-)

I thought I would share where the 30 goals challenge resources are so that maybe some of you MIGHT join me in this journey.  By the way, you don't necessarily have to be a teacher for all of these goals.  Most of them can be completed just by being you. So, some of you who are wanting to just try something new, join in.  This is gonna be fun.  :-)

You can read up on the challenge, watch video blogs and download the e-book that will give you all the directions for the challenge here...

For new bloggers (like me) here is a list of 9 first steps.  Don't worry, I did not come up with these 9 steps.  I found them and although my blog is only 2 days old I have already accomplished one of them.  I am looking forward to crossing off all of them by the end of my "30 goals challenge".

  1. Publish 10 Posts this post makes 2 for me :-)
  2. Getting your first comment from someone you don’t know got that yesterday :-) thank you Robin
  3. Get your first link from another blog
  4. Build your readership up to more than 20 readers a day
  5. Hit a level of 20 RSS subscribers
  6. Getting your blog indexed in Google
  7. Get your blog earning $1 a week (update: only if making money from your blog is one of your goals – it’s not for everyone It would be great to earn some money for this but the thrill of learning something new will be fine with me for now.
  8. First guest post on another blog
  9. Having someone (not you or your mum) tweet about your blog

I have no idea how to accomplish some of these steps but maybe with time I will understand what it means to be indexed in Google and to be linked into other blogs.  Man oh man, wouldn't it be great to make an extra buck or two just by doing what you love.  For now, I'm just ready to get this started and become a better teacher because of it.

Ready, Set, Go......

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The preparation...

So... I've been "geeking out" lately and trying to bring my teaching career (and life) into the 21st century.  I've bought the Blackberry and it is quickly becoming my right arm.  Twitter is becoming my friend with help from tweetdeck.  Boy, the first time logging in to that was scary.  Bloggers are truly amazing me daily with their relentless dedication to the blogging process.  My google reader feed is about to explode with all the updated blogs I have to read.

While on this journey to the 21st century, I've been reading a lot about this "30 goals challenge".  It seems like a great idea and something that I can share with others in my building.  I have given in to the self inflicted pressure to become more aware of technology and how it will improve my teaching.  I will begin completing the "30 goals challenge" on Monday 2-14-11.  Ironically, this is Valentine's day and a good place to start with one of the love's of my life, my job.

Here is where I will blog about the daily trials, tribulations and triumphs that happen along the way to better teaching.  Please be kind as this is my first ever blog and am very new at all of this but if you don't jump in, you'll never learn to swim, right?

So, here goes....