Summer Learning

Happy summer! Learning is a passion and a purpose, right? What are you reading and learning about this summer? As educators, we have a drive and passion for learning. That passion is crucial for our success as change makers! We all know that brain research on learning, our students, challenges, culture, and life are all constantly evolving. To keep up with those changes, we keep learning ourselves (practicing what we preach, right?). Schools should be a place of curiosity, where educators nurture that curiosity and encourage the hunger for learning. And that starts with us! The more we learn about…

Starting the School Year with Fun!

I blogged about back to school last July here: Starting off the School Year. Since it is the end of July–it’s time for another back to school post! My blog last year was about my mistakes in reading the syllabus on the first day and not making it fun! So on that note, here are some ways you can make the first few days of school more engaging! Check out this Indiana Jones group activity to make going over your syllabus, policies and procedures more engaging (from Ryan Stephans of Summit Trail Middle School who adapted it from John Meehan…

Improving PLTs

If you’ve been around education, you have probably heard of DuFour and PLCs, or Professional Learning Communities. We have been working on growing the success of PLCs (we call them PLTs, for Teams) on my campus for a few years now. We started the improvement process by focusing on the Team Leaders and equipping them with the tools they need to lead an effective team by modeling growth and learning. “Highly effective teams know what we’re working on, why we’re working together and how we’ll work together.” – Elena Aguilar In planning the team leader training we (the ICs on…

The importance of talking

The Texas Council for Social Studies annual conference was a few weeks ago in the Houston area. It’s one I’ve attended off and on over my years as an educator in Texas. This was the first time I went with a group of other teachers as well. The conference (although in a poor location with tiny rooms) was full of a variety of sessions tied to technology, specific topics, writing, reading, and talking. Unfortunately, I only saw a few sessions on the importance of talking as educators and as students. Talking to learn new content, talking to review old content,…

It’s been awhile…

So my blogging goals for last school year definitely slipped away from me! So back at it now, as better late than never, right? Today was the first day of the Cy-Fair Digital Learning Conference. DLC is a great conference that CFISD organizes each year at the end of July. I think today they said about 1700 educators were in attendance–fantastic for summertime professional learning!  I went to a great session on PLCs. It is fascinating to hear about how other districts (and campuses for that matter) view PLCs. Some view it as something to be done and for others,…

Listening to Understand

It is almost November and this is my first blog for the school year, oops! But better late than never, right?? In my conversations, meetings, books I’m reading, and professional learning opportunities lately a common thread has emerged: Listening to Understand.  What does that mean to you? Is that something you think about? I have am amazing opportunity to work with the Teaching and Learning Alliance on a Lab School Cohort on my campus. Our coach is Cynthia, and she is someone that you can learn so many things from! What I’ve noticed most is her ability to listen. And…

Starting off the school year

Summer is rapidly coming to an end which means let’s start the back to school work. Time to take all that summer learning from books, blogs, twitter, planning with co-workers, professional learning, vacation, and etc, and put it into practice. How do you start off your school year? Prep your classroom, make some lesson plans, get those bulletin boards and seating charts ready, etc?  What about the syllabus, class rules, and class expectations? That was something that was at the top of my priority list my first few years of teaching. I felt it paramount to cover every bit of…