Summertime! Many of you may be gearing up for vacations, camps, or professional learning opportunities. Whatever you decide to do with your time, don't forget to relax and enjoy. It has been a while since my last blog. You know that is always the case in my busy season(s). But, not to worry, I still have plenty to share. It also gives me something to look forward to with my summer blogging series. This summer, I am looking forward to sharing some amazing experiences with you. This Blog Is Why my advice is to bookmark this one for future references for some money-saving resources.
Graduation season is here as well. If you know anyone in college or planning to go to college, please share this post with them. I am highlighting the work of Melinda Mihlbauer. You can find her on Facebook. I discovered her in my PLN as a guidance counselor in my state who has a resource of scholarships. I know the importance of harnessing those untapped resources to help with funding education and she has compiled those into a book. Please support her and she is also available to host events. This particular book is designed for SC high school students (Website link below).
Paces Scholarship Academy
Ms. Milbauer shares the following stats from last year:
Shocked? In the future, let's make sure there is NO Money Left Behind! As I mentioned before, I hope you will save or bookmark this post. Be ready to search and apply for the many scholarships available to support students.
The Scholarship List:
https://www.shawncartersf.com/ (April 30th deadline)
http://www.iapmo.org/pages/essaycontest.aspx (Essay Scholarship)
http://hazingprevention.org/home/awardsandgrants/high-school-essay-contest/ (Essay Contest)
http://www.navywivesclubsofamerica.org/scholarships/ (30 scholarships annually)
http://www.southcarolina.usta.com/Community_Tennis/scholarships/ (Tennis Scholarship)
http://www.tricountyblacknurses.org/scholarship.html (SC Nursing Scholarship)
http://scspe.org/educational-foundation-2/scholarship-applications/ (SC Engineering Scholarship)
http://www.cpscholarship.com/ (May 1st deadline)
https://www.fftc.org/scholarships (148 Scholarship opportunities)
https://www.uncf.org/scholarships (UNCF scholarships)
http://www.cbcfinc.org/scholarships/ (Congressional Black Caucus Scholarships)
https://www.jecsrf.org/scholarship-application/ (Scholarship and free Dell laptop)
http://usascholarships.com/dennys-hungry-education-hfe-scholarship/ (Denny's; September deadline)
www.jasna.org (Jane Austen Essay Contest)
http://homekitchenary.com/share-story-with-homekitchenary/ (Breast Cancer Awareness)
https://www.scholarsapply.org/thanksusa/ (Military Dependents and Spouses)
http://usascholarships.com/taco-bell-foundations-live-mas-scholarship/ (Taco Bell Scholarship)
http://www.scpta.org/scptatoolkit/Stokes_Application_for_Scholarship_Fund.pdf (March 1 deadline)
https://connect.nsbe.org/Scholarships/ScholarshipList.aspx (Black Engineers Scholarship)
http://www.scholastic.com/poetryismypower/?linkId=36592223 (Grades 3-5; Poetry Contest)
Do you know of any others? Please share and add to the list.
Bonus Link: (Thanks to my classmate for sharing!)
Bonus Link: Scholarships for African-American Students
This video may cause some controversial conversations. But, the more important point is that it should spark some conversations. The focus is on the importance of Summer Learning and how it can help address achievement gaps. This Blog Is Why I hope you are making plans to extend a child's learning. Let's help them all to be successful.
Need some ideas? Check out my blog post from last year:
MsClassNSession's Summer Survival Kit
It's that time of year again. Conference Time. And I love it! In the past, I have incorporated Sway as a presentation tool in my sessions. This time, my focus was dedicated solely to Sway. I hope that my audience walked away with some useful information, because I know I did. This Blog Is Why I am sharing feedback from: Digital Storytelling with Sway.
First, a Recap ICYMI (in case you missed it):
My goal for any session that I present is to find out what my audience needs and provide it. This one mainly focused on beginner level skills. You can take a look at the Sway presentation used (adapted from a PowerPoint) and get a general overview.
TLC Session: Digital Storytelling with Sway (Click Here)
Another awesome Edcamp experience and job well done to the team at Edcamp Greenville: Kelli Coons, Austin Greene, Hamilton Parks, Sarah Liebenrood, Victoria Salvat, and Fran Rogers. It was definitely worth the drive, worth getting up extra early on a Saturday, and worth missing out on (some, not all) my #satchat ritual. I am looking forward to pitching in to bring an Edcamp to MY area. Hey, my Rock Hill area peeps! This Blog Is Why you need to be a part of the Edcamp Palmetto experience.
**For exclusives and a sneak peek into the conference, go to Twitter: #yeahTHATedcamp **
Photo credit: Kelly Hines @kellyhines
Positive Energy, Engaging Conversations, Free Food, Prizes, Freebies, Meet Ups, Music and Free Food. Yes, I said Free Food twice because it was just that good!! There are so many great things that I could share from the event. When I got out of the car, I could hear the music and laughing. It came outside, tapped me on the shoulder, and said, "Girl, come on in". And you know I am not a morning person!! Just being honest. Check out the planning board below. As ideas for the conference were coming together, the DJ set the tone for the conference by getting us out of our seats to "Cupid Shuffle" and "Wobble" into the day.
Photo credit: Lachelle Brown @LachelleBrown80
There were a variety of sessions to participate in and a few of my favorite topics from the day included: flexible seating, Twitter for Educators, Engaging Activities, Guided Math, and DonorsChoose. I also enjoy meeting my Twitter PLN in person and I hope to see you all at #2017utc. The ideas that you get from other educators can inspire you to try something that you may not have done otherwise.The classroom below has a variety of flexible seating options and we learned the logistics of how this teacher makes it work for her fifth graders.
Photo credit: Hamilton Parks @IC_at_AJ
The conference also sponsored four anchor sessions that ran throughout the day. These were hosted by: LilySarahGraceFund @LSGFund, Discovery Education, Lego Education, and Breakout EDU. This was my first breakout experience and I was not the genius behind our group's success, but we had the fastest time of the day...10 minutes. Can you beat that?
Photo credit: Matt Johnson @EduCaptAmerica
A special thanks to all of the vendors, companies, and restaurants that support teachers and make these learning experiences possible. My prize for the day came from the Peace Center and I cannot wait to share with my students. Shhhhh!!
Lunch provided by: McDonald's, Papa Johns, Firehouse Subs, and Arizona's
Call to Action:
1) After you read the FREE book you received, Every Child A Super Reader, share out on Twitter using the hashtag #BookCampPD.
2) If you are in the Rock Hill, Columbia, Charleston, and Greenville (SC) areas, click the link below to be a part of the planning committee for an Edcamp near you. Deadline: April 30th
Edcamp Palmetto Volunteer
3) If you attended Edcamp Greenville, don't forget to apply for an Impact Grant. Were you inspired by a session or presenter? Here's your chance to bring that experience to your school or students. Deadline: March 31st
Impact Grant Application
A huge shout-out to my other half who gave up a Saturday just for me. <3 <3 <3
It all goes back to relationships!
Relationships are the essential element in our schools. The old adage, “Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” is true especially in today’s society when kids are used to so much choice in their world. Also, in today’s busy world, it’s important for teachers and school staff to make positive connections with students. We must be intentional and taking time with these relationships must be purposeful.
Members of the Compelled Tribe have teamed up to share practical ways for educators to build relationships with students. As connected educators we also embrace the notion that it is the power of the team that drives much of what we do. How do you build relationships with those that you serve? See the list below for ideas to add to what you may be already doing in the buildings and districts in which you work.
The list will grow as our experiences and our connections grow. Feel free to reach out to any of the tribe members listed below to learn more about the power of our team and how our tribe constantly supports each other in our teaching, leading and learning.
Compelled Tribe Contributors:
Jennifer Hogan, The Compelled Educator @Jennifer_Hogan
Jonathon Wennstrom, Spark of Learning @jon_wennstrom
Craig Vroom, Fueling Education, @Vroom6
Allyson Apsey, Serendipity in Education, @allysonapsey
Sandy King Inspiring The Light @sandeeteach
Gary Kidd Reflections and Rants from the Asst Principal, @hinotewailer
Jacie Maslyk http://jaciemaslyk.blogspot.com/ @DrJacieMaslyk
Jodie Pierpoint Journey In Learning @jodiepierpoint
Jim Cordery Mr. Cordery’s Blog @jcordery
Allie Bond The Positive Teacher @Abond013
Angie Murphy ConnectED to Learning @RoyalMurph_RRMS
Karen Wood https://karenwoodedu.wordpress.com/ @karenwoodedu
Lindsey Bohler lindseybohler.com @Lindsey_Bohler
Starr Sackstein http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/work_in_progress/ @MsSackstein
Debbie Campbell The Curious Educator @DebraLCamp
Michael McDonough M Squared at the Microphone @m_squaredBHS
Barbara Kurtz bkurtzteachermentor.blogspot.com @BJKURTZ
Stephanie Jacobs www.thisblogiswhy.blogspot.com @MsClassNSession
Michael Todd Clinton Motivated teacher blog @MotivatedThe
Cathy Jacobs https://cathyjacobs.org/ @cathyjacobs5
Reed Gillespie Mr. Gillespie’s Office @rggillespie
Molly Babcock Sweet Tea and a Live Oak Tree @MollyBabcock
Lisa Meade Reflections @LisaMeade23
February is the month that we place specific emphasis on honoring and recognizing the history of African-Americans. It is also a great time to look around and see who will be the change agents of tomorrow. That is just what Shana V. White (@ShanaVWhite) did during this short, powerful month of celebrations. If you missed the popular Twitter hashtag #hiddenvoicesofedtech, be sure to check it out and add these inspiring educators to your PLN (Professional Learning Network). This Blog Is Why it is my honor to celebrate the people who inspire me. Who inspires you?
It was a special treat to log in each day to see who would be spotlighted in this list of hidden gems. The list included a wide variety of EdTech professionals. You will find women and men, teachers, technology specialists, administrators, college professionals, authors, and so much more. Not only did this hashtag shed light on people, but also programs and honors that are available for educators who go above and beyond the call of duty. These are the professionals working hard every day to bring innovative experiences to classrooms, schools, and teacher programs from coast to coast.
Carla Jefferson, SC
Regina Schaffer, NJ
Patricia Brown, MO
Christian Padgett, GA
Rachelle Wooten, TX
Cicely Day, CA
Brian R. Smith, TX
Courtney Teague, GA
Shaina Glass, TX
Keasha Grant, SC
Darren Clay, GA
Keri Hennessy-Wilson, NJ
Kimberly Lane, TX
Nicol Howard, CA
Leon Tynes, CT
Chanel Johnson, GA
Stephanie Jacobs, SC
Marcus Borders, GA
Crystal R. Morgan, TX
Dr. Valerie Jones, GA
Dr. Elford Rawls-Dill, NJ
Summaya Knight, GA
Kali Alford, GA
Terri Webb, GA
Rafranz Davis, TX
Shana V. White, GA
This was not only a spotlight of educators, but also programs that you may have missed. In the past two years, I have applied for some and found it surprising how easy it was to complete the process. I know that as educators we may struggle with finding time for the 'extras'; but I have found the groups that I have joined to be motivating and full of ideas that I have implemented in my own classroom. Some of the ones showcased here include: Google, Apple, Seesaw, ClassDojo, Microsoft, PBS, and Code.org. This is just to name a few! As I looked over the various profiles I found myself asking, "What is that?" or exclaiming, "I didn't know about that!" Educators are a sharing community, so I hope that you find a professional connection here or become involved with a learning community that will stretch you and your students (or school). Finally, I am going to leave you with another resource that outlines some of the certifications that are available to EdTech educators. Spread the word!
Guess That Certification c/o Patricia Brown
This is a tough topic, my #CompelledTribe friends. And right off hand, I am inclined to say that I am not a competitive person. Really, I'm not. But I do like to push myself to be better and do better. For some reason this reminds me of good vs evil, and I'm sure that is not the case. It's deeper than that. More complicated than that. This Blog is Why my level of understanding is changing with each word I type!
I am truly conflicted by this topic. For so long, I have looked at competition as the evil and collaboration as the good. This reminds me of a topic that I discuss with my college students on "Obedience to Authority". In that unit, we read an article and discuss the meaning/feeling behind the words obedience and disobedience. As students share, we find that we automatically equate obedience with being good and disobedience with being bad. The same results, the same discussion, year after year. The article then presents us with the example of Hitler's followers who were obedient to his orders with catastrophic consequences. The other example that we discuss is civil disobedience, where people stand up against unjust laws and risk jail time (or their lives) for change. Positive change. Good change. And just like that, we realize that this topic is not an either/or proposition. It depends on circumstances. It depends on the situation. Sometimes, it depends on who is involved.
That's where I am with collaboration vs competition. Both are necessary. In my journey, I have also noticed a difference as teacher vs that of administrator. As a teacher, you will hear more talk about collaboration. That is what is expected. You are expected to collaborate with your team. Discuss ideas, share the load, and work together. Even in the job search to become a teacher, it doesn't seem as competitive (although I am sure there is some level of competition there). On the other hand, I have been 'on the market' trying to secure an administrative position and it seems super competitive. It honestly feels like a game of chess. And I don't play chess. I have no idea how. I find myself scoping out the competition trying to decide what they have that I don't. What do I need to change? Even when I feel that I am being the best me that I can be and putting my best foot forward, that 'edge' makes you start to second guess all of your good work. While it seems like a struggle at times, I am thankful for the new opportunities that have come my way. Again, I land in a place where I feel as though my only competition is me and doors continue to open for me to work with new people. At the end of the day, collaboration can be used to move you forward and so can a little healthy competition. In my mind, there's room for everyone, especially in education. I love the saying, "The plan is, we ALL make it." When we win, share, and learn from each other...kids win.
Members of the Compelled Tribe blogging cohort came together for a collaborative blog. Check it out here:
This first week of January has been busy, yet motivating. I want to thank everyone that shared in the journey of my Blogs A-Z. It was hard work, but so much fun. Now, I have a new challenge: The 30 day blog challenge. One of my goals for the new year is to keep the momentum going with this blog and continue building my audience. This Blog Is Why I think I have found a new blogging family (or two) and I am excited for the journey.
If you want to participate or learn more about the 30 Days Blogging Challenge with A. J. Juliani, click the link below. In a nutshell, you will set a goal for yourself to write a certain amount each day and pledge to post X number of blogs per week. There is also a list of other bloggers who are participating (check out #52) so you can read and comment on their blogs for some support/encouragement.
30 Days Blogging Challenge
I will also be a blogger for EdChange Global Classrooms, an online conference. You can register to participate as well. The conference sessions run from February 28th-March 1st (24-hour event). I am excited for the opportunity to share with the #EdTech world about the exciting work in my classroom. Be on the lookout for my blog post in February.
EdCamp Global Classrooms
Last, but certainly not least, I am ecstatic to join the #CompelledTribe. From my initial interactions with this group of educators, the vibe that I get is extremely positive. I have joined and tried some other groups or "tribes" in the past with little success. The group members did not seem to be as dedicated and eventually just fizzled away. You may have heard or seen many people talking about their #OneWord2017. My initial word was "driven" because I am more driven than ever to accomplish the goals that I have set for myself. My discussions about the topic made me think about my runner-up word and "vulnerability" (I stumble over saying this word, even in my head!) was a great candidate. I am looking forward to being more vulnerable in 2017. Not only sharing my successes, but also sharing my stumbling blocks. Those events in life that have made me stronger, more determined and even more DRIVEN. With this new tribe, I am looking forward to sharing ideas, learning from professionals who have a variety of experiences, and of course blogging!
If you are an educator, then I know there are two things we all love: Food and FREEBIES. Well, in this post I will combine the two. Yep. You got it. Free Food!! This Blog Is Why I love celebrating my birthday, but free food makes it even better.
My family and friends really came through this year during the holidays. They know that I love anything with zebra print and red velvet cake. I was a happy girl. My way of showing appreciation and spreading love? For the past two years on social media, I share a post with restaurants that have birthday freebies. Well, since you all are now in my family and friends, I will share it here as well. Do you know any that I missed? Please share and I will add to my list for next year.
BIRTHDAY FREEBIES: I'm eating free all day on my birthday...lol
**New** Jason's Deli $5 off (eClub signup)
Baskin Robbins-free ice cream scoop (join email club)
Dunkin Donuts-free coffee
Dairy Queen-free... blizzard
Olive Garden-free appetizer or dessert coupon (eClub signup)
Waffle House-free waffle
Which Wich-free sandwich (Vine Club signup)
Jersey Mike's-free 8inch sub & drink (join email list)
Zaxby's-free chicken slider sandwich w/Zax sauce (email club)
Arby's-free sandwich w/purchase of sandwich (email signup)
Ruby Tuesday's-free burger (join Birthday club)
Starbucks-free drink (Rewards club members)
Texas Roadhouse-free Sidekick ribs or appetizer (email signup)
Firebirds-$10 off (eClub signup)
Nakato's-free cake & picture
Blogs from A-Z
A- A is For Administrator
B- Breakfast Club
C- Chicken Soup Is For The Mind, Body, and Soul
F- Forty and Fitness
G- Grant Writing
H- Hour of Code
I- I Wish I Had Thought of That (Repost)
J- Jeopardy in the Classroom
K- Keys to a Successful Hour of Code
L- Lessons Learned
M- Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIE)
N- Need a Gift Idea?
O- Oh, The Places We WANT To Go!
P- Principal Presents
Q- Quitting the Profession
R- Recharge Over the Holidays
T- Twelve Days of Twitter
U- Update: Oh The Places...Here We Come!
V- Virtual Sharing
W- What's New in 2017
X- Xtra, Xtra...This Challenge is DONE
Y- Year End Review
Z- Zebra Print, Red Velvet, and FREEBIES