Friday, May 23, 2008

New Blog

I am no longer maintaining this blog. I have moved to a new site. Please come and visit me at My Journey into the World of Elementary Tech.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Thank You to Laura

First of all I want to thank Laura and her mom for the time and effort they put into their wonderful blog. As an elementary teacher, just learning about blogs, this is an exemplary blog that I can show my students and the administration to begin teaching them about blogs. Second of all, I'd like to thank all of the people who generously matched Laura's funds. I was surprised and honored to be awarded the Better Late than Never award.
I was so pleased to see that Laura wants to continue her project. I love the idea of helping the smaller lesser known charities. I'll be keeping a close eye on her blog over the year. I will also continue to share her ideas with my students and encourage them to continue to think about how they can make a difference throughout the year.

New Year Reflection

As I begin a new year that I know will be filled with new learning I am trying to decide what direction I want my blog to move in. Do I want it to be a place where elementary tech teachers can share lessons, after participating in 25 days to Make a Difference do I want to promote blogs and causes to help others, do I make it a place where parents/students go, do I leave it as it mainly is now, a personal journal? Well, a personal journal pretty much defeats the purpose of a blog so I need to move past that. I think I'll try combining the first two ways and continue to reflect on my new learning and keep my school web page for parents and students. Now, if I could just figure out how to squeeze a few more hours out of each day! Another things I want to do with my blog is list my favorite blogs so far with links. I want to put a couple of good teacher blogs on my school web page as well and try to get some classroom teachers to begin to take a look at them. I will begin working on improving my blog this weekend.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

25 Days to Make a Difference

I just read Laura's blog 25 Days to Make a Difference. Very inspiring. Let's see how many ways I've tried to make a difference since Thanksgiving time and then if I try harder between now and Christmas will I make it to 25?

1. Bought pre packaged food for food bank at Hannaford's Grocery Store
2. Bought my Christmas cards through Roswell Park to support cancer patients
3. Sent $100 donation to my daughter's Food and Nutrition class to help buy supplies for rolls and bread to be donated to the Rescue Mission/Food Bank
4. Sent donation to Roswell Park
5. Feed the birds a variety of food-corn, peanuts, suet and a variety of seeds
Hmmm not as many as I had thought...I'll have to think about this.
6. Played the rice game tonight and sent the link to both my children and if it's not blocked by our school filter I'll add it to my school web page.
7. Bought jeans and socks for a needy child and wrapped it up
8. Bought gloves for the mitten/glove tree at work
New additions from Sun/Mon
9. Went to and clicked on each of the tags.

10. Went to the high school Christmas concert even though my daughter quit the orchestra this year.
11. My husband snow blew the end of the neighbor's driveway.
12 My daughter donated 1000 grains of rice. I donated 700.
13. My daughter spent most of Sunday baking-bread for dinner and a gift for me to give as well as Christmas cookies that she will give to her physical therapist on her final day this week and I'll give to coworkers.
14. Today I made a donation to a student whose mother passed away this week from cancer.

15. I chaperoned a concert and I ran off fun Christmas sheets for the students to do while waiting to go on stage.
16. Tried to give blood but iron count a little too low but my son was able to give.
17. My son made 5 loaves of beer bread. 4 of them will be given as gifts.
18. Wrote notes of appreciation to two people I work with.
19. When I wanted to write sub plans for the first day after vacation and teachers and students stopped in and said I need help with..... I just smiled and said let me see if I can help. The plans will get done over vacation and I'll email them to a coworker.
20. I'm at a new building this year and the secretary has made me feel very welcome and has helped me out many times. I wrote her a thank you note today and gave her a Christmas present that I would have loved to have kept for myself!
I'm finishing this post up Dec. 28 with the last few things I did before Christmas but with getting ready to go out of state for the holidays where I know have limited access to the internet I just didn't have time to finish this list.
21. The last week before vacation I showed my second trough fifth graders screen shots of Laura's site and told them about Laura. I added a blog to my own site where the kids could write their own ways of making a difference and gave them a chance to answer Laura's questions as well.
22. I also showed several of my classes the site and gave them time to win rice.
23. When traffic was backed up at an intersection because a school bus making frequent stops, I let several cars go through the stop sign and cut in front of me.
24. My husband and I planned and made Christmas Eve dinner for his family in Iowa.
25. I helped with the Christmas dinner dishes and clean up as much as my husband's family would let me.

Well, I think if I try hard and brainstorm with my kids I'll make it to 25 by Christmas.
Next year I'll have to give this some thought on how to use it with my students. If the 700+ students each did 25 good deeds that would certainly make an impact on our small rural NY community.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Tonight's plans were to stay home, crank the Christmas music and wrap presents and start working on Christmas cards. But instead once my husband and daughter left for a hockey game I collapsed on the coach with the lap top and spent the evening browsing more wikis/blogs. Tonight I was checking out Cool Cat Teacher and reading her post to Newbies. (Notice I have links and tags now.) I also followed a link to a teacher in China. From there I went to and played around making a character to stick on my blog for awhile. Before I knew it the family was home and I hadn't moved. It leads me to wonder if the people that have these wonderful sites with so many great resources have spouses and children. If they do how do they manage it all? I saw the Cool Cat Teacher had Sink Refections as a recommended reading. I never read the book but I have read the Fly Lady's web site and followed her system in the past. I still get the daily emails. Maybe I should try getting back on that track and maybe that would help.

On a totally different note I love the noise of busy students working together on various projects. That sure beats trying to get everyone to stay in their seats and finish assignments on their own quietly. I just wish I had them longer than 40 minutes every six days. By the time you take off the time it takes them to log on and off I have them less than 35 minutes. Some days we don't get too far.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Goals con't

Well, I'm finally back to work after attending NYSCATE and then the Thanksgiving break. It was an energizing yet relaxing week off. I went back with new plans to make the work more meaningful and to get the kids doing some work together. I'll let you know in a week or two how that's going. I feel much better about letting go of the constant grading and stressing about that issue. I talked to one of my principals today, I go back and forth between two elementary buildings, and told him I felt everyone should be getting a three if they are coming to class and at least trying and by observing the students I'll see those who are proficient and rise to the top and deserve a 4. He agreed. I feel like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders just letting that issue go. Ahhh.... feels good. So, instead of grading tonight. I spent a couple of hours searching for appropriate websites for the 4th and 5th graders to use for research projects. I want to begin using a wikki to post student work but the pbwiki is denied by our filter. I'll try some others one of these days but I have a feeling I'll get the same result. At least I'm on the right committees now to try and get some changes made!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I just read, in my new Google reader, a post about writing down your goals and reading them at least once a day. By doing this people stay focused on the outcome and are more likely to achieve the goal. I think that's something I need to work on for my new position as elementary tech teacher. I need to figure out where I want to go. I have skills that I have to teach and make sure they are mastered at certain grade levels but the rest is up to me. So, just what is it I want to do with these young minds? I want them engaged in meaningful tasks. What does this mean? What does it look like? Especially when I only have them 40 (closer to 30-35 depending on if they get to the room on time and how long it takes to get logged on to and off the computers)minutes once every 6 days. Well, I want them reading and writing for authentic reasons. I'm trying to go along with what they're learning in the classroom but being in two buildings and having 6 classes of each grade level believe it or not we're not all on the same page all the time so that's not an easy task. Perhaps I should not worry about that and come up with my own plan and go from there. I did a newspaper type project with one fifth grade class-yes I did remember to start small-that went well. I do need to reflect on that soon and write down what went well and what I need to improve on for the next attempt. But anyway I started with a great group of kids that are well behaved and eager to work and learn-I know because I had many of them in second grade and they are just one of those special groups of kids. So that really helped the project. But I know the kids selecting their jobs and what they wanted to write about made it exciting for the kids and kept them very focused every day. I need to come up with more of those type of activities and maybe start the class with a mini lesson on a skill I need to make sure they're working on and then let them work. Ok, so my first goal to write down-this is going on my Google Toolbar where I'll see it every night-is:1. Make the work we do in class meaningful and authentic.