December – The Gift of Time

snowylanternIt’s December and most every hour is in high gear, trying to get those last minute  projects  merged in with winter festivities.  What I miss the most (being in a district position) around this time of year, is the much anticipated excitement in classrooms.  Magic is in the air among the smell of gingerbread houses, mandarin oranges and other treats popping up in all locations.  Not to mention the dreaded tinsel and glitter that seems to attach themselves everywhere or the impromptu breakout in song.

We’ve had a lot of projects this term.  Blogging has continued to see an increase in the number of teachers and administrators who are wanting to open their communications to a wider world as well as providing spaces for students to practice their online digital footprint.  This takes a coordinated effort in how we see the role of technology in our lives and how we use it to deepen both our understandings of the world and as a communication platform.

Writers Workshop launched with great energy as teachers work with their students to explore their writing in focused ways that include collaborative conversations, real time revision and blended support (in class face-to-face and online).  Our tool of choice is Google Docs through Google Apps for Education.

Our Secondary Inquiry Assessment team is off to the races with a dedicated open-questiongroup of teachers across the disciplines and from a variety of sites.  Questions and connections in how to include ‘standards based assessment’ or rubrics that are more than checklists are issues that deserve time to grapple with.  Some have made a commitment to digging into ‘flipped classroom’ process and finding that it opens up time to work with struggling students (a positive surprise).

The iPad devices have taken the world by a storm.  What has become apparent are the creative ways that people have found to connect beyond the basics (the play) to delve deeper – asking bigger questions.  The spiral of intensity increases as teachers connect and share with others; affirming, cross-referencing and in some cases challenging each other to extend.

What is even more of a privilege are the chance encounters down school hallways with teachers who are excited to share their insights.  Their stories (successes and not successes) are the fuel that light the possibilities.  Your learning stories are important and we love hearing them.  Please consider sharing them here or give us a call.

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