Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Including Parents In Our Personal Learning Networks

Hey everyone! I am taking an online class this summer about personal learning networks and I cannot tell you how much I have learned. It is exciting to me to think about the direction the modern classroom is going. With Twitter, Instagram, blogging, podcasts, and so many other tools to help disperse information, share ideas, work together, and communicate the possibilities are endless!!! I am excited to grown my own personal learning network and share with others how to do this. But with this new exciting knowledge also comes a fear. As a kindergarten teacher, I realize the dangers that come into play when using such technologies. Unfortunately it is a conversation we need to have. And it is my opinion that the parents of our wonderful students are at the top of this list.

Getting parents involved in the classroom has been one of my biggest struggles. Conflicting schedules, lack of enthusiasm, and even just not knowing how to do it have all been reasons I have given myself of not getting more parents involved. However, with the growth of Web 2.0 tools, we have the opportunity to involve and educate parents more easily. While expanding our own personal learning networks, we should include parents and invite them to have conversations about these tools, teach them how to use them if need be, and instruct them on using the tools safely with their children. Below I will list a few ways that I plan to involve my parents in my own personal learning network.

  • Blogging: While I don't expect parents to blog, I would love for them to follow my blog here and see what's going on in the classroom. I plan to do weekly posts that show the progress the students are making and would invite them to comment as they see fit. I do think it is important to express to them to keep comments pleasant. While questioning is good, it is important that parents of my students not feel other parents are bad talking their kid's work. 
  • Twitter: Tons of information can be dispersed through Twitter. I know the district I work for has it's own Twitter page. Following that page and my own can keep parents better informed. 
  • Lastly, I think that parents can create their own personal learning networks. They can learn from each other, other teachers, other educational blogs, and even listen to educational podcasts if they so choose. The point is to use the tools available to them to become as involved in their child's education as they can. 
I hope that this information has inspired you to get parents in the know and use the tools we already use to involve them as much as possible, We have all heard the saying "It takes a village." Well with Web 2.0 tools, the village just got a lot bigger. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

All About Me

Well, where do I begin? My name is Jessie. For those of you that are new to my blog, WELCOME!!!! I have only been blogging since last November and still trying to find my grove in things. I planned on doing a lot of blog reading and writing this summer but my four year old foster son had other plans. LOL I guess that this would be a good segue into what I am all about.

My family means the world to me and that's what I try to stay focused on. We currently have a four year old foster son who will only be with us for just a few more weeks. He has lived here for over a year, and we fell in love with him like a son. I cannot begin to imagine what it is going to do to us when he leaves. Below is one of my favorite pics of us.

This will be my first year in kindergarten. (Gasp) I have taught second grade for six years and loved every minute of it. I changed to kindergarten to gain some experience in other grades and try something new. While I am very excited about the change, I am also starting to freak out a little. I even had a dream the other night and lets just say that the chaos was insane!!! Below is one pic from my classroom. I will leave the rest for the tour I plan on posting later this week.

I have a small store on Teachers Pay Teachers and would love for you to stop by. I have high plans on expanding this year and adding some great new products. Anyway, thanks for stopping by and hop on over to blog hopping to check out the other All About Me posts!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Still Putting it Together

Hey everyone! I know that I do not do many posts, but I do want tot hank those of you that continue to read. I have not really been doing that much besides getting my class ready for all those little Kinders. It is crazy to think that in just a short couple of weeks we will be in the full swing of things. 

As I said in my last blog, my room is all thing Alabama. Roll Tide Roll!!!!
Today I spent some time creating my little tides a name badge so they, or the people helping out, can easily put in their lunch numbers. Yes, I am totally freaking about lunchtime. In second grade it wasn't that big of a deal. Well look out kindergarten!!

Their name will obviously replace my own. If anyone would like some of these I can email it out to you very easily. Or if a lot of people want it I can add it to my TPT store for free. 

I also created a cover for the little guys Leadership Binders. Our school is in our third year of The Leader in Me and we are really going to push these binders this year. Given in kindergarten there will not be much data, but it will be something that they can show visitors. There will be some progress stuff in the back. Our principal graciously bought each student a binder, agenda, folder, and page protectors. Yay for Title 1!!!

So now that those things are done I can start to work on getting the first week plans, materials, and such together. Unfortunately I do not have my class list yet, they hold that til the day before. How many of you have gotten your class lists yet? 

Enjoy the rest of your summer and I will get in another ROLL TIDE!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Work in Progress

Hey everyone! I have been a busy boy this summer spending lots of time outside, playing golf, laying by the pool, and on and on. I have however spent some time in my classroom. This will be my first year in Kindergarten so I want to be ready in advance. I will need lots of time preparing lessons and figuring out what the heck to do. LOL

Shame on me, but I did not take before pictures. Let me just tell you the walls were a color somewhere between pink and purple. There was mounds of stuff all over the classroom, some of which was from 1978!!! But with some hard work and my good friend Angela, progress has been made. Here are some pics. 

I don't know if you can see it or not, but everything is done in an Alabama theme. ROLL TIDE! I even got some great things done in houndstooth such as my alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, and name plates. Those are all from Angela over at The Daily Alphabet. You should hop over to her store and check it out. GREAT STUFF!!!

Notice I have tables in the room. I had student desks and was torn about whether to keep them or change to tables. After polling some well respected teachers I decided to change them out to desks. Yeah, there was much sweat and huffing while doing that. 

I was also worried about the black curtains after a few coworkers said that it didn't look like a kindergarten room. I went back and forth, but when I finally put them up I liked it. What do you think? 

Finally, this is the beginning stages of my bulletin board outside my room. I plan to put the Seven Habits along the right side of the tree and put the kids names on owls all over the rest of the board. I would love to put some flowers down at the bottom, but since our kids sit in the hallway during dismissal, they would never make it. 

So as you can tell I have been working this summer. But I do have a long way to go. And with only 30 summer days left I need to get busy. How much have you gotten done in your room? 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Chapter 1 Thoughts and Reflections

I read all of chapter 1 today and was really impressed. I've always struggled with storytelling simply because I never really know what to say. She really made it clear to me that it doesn't need to be anything planned out or elaborate. Showing the students that it can be a simple story from your everyday life that can be shared and enjoyed by others is something else that really went home with me. And of course, the last paragraph about the father that could not read brought a tear to my eye and made me think of so many of my parents from the past. How many missed opportunities have I had with them?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Fun and Learning

Well, I am back and back with some exciting news. Although not official, I will be moving to Kindergarten next year. Yes I know, scary and exciting.

I thought that I might need to do some summer learning so I have joined Teaching With Grace and some other fellow bloggers on a book study.

She has a plan all listed out on her blog so jump on over to check it out. I am excited to be joining all the wonderful Kindergarten bloggers out there and I know I will need your help. Look to my blog later this week to offer up your opinions on a few questions on my mind. See you soon!!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

March Word Work

Okay, so it is 9:15 on Sunday night and I am NOT in the bed yet. Very unusual and highly suspicious. I am determined though to be proactive this week and stay on top of my goals. I did not neccesarily put first things first this weekend, which is why the late hour tonight.
I have been working today on my March word work center. It is now finished and posted in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Please hop on by and check it out. I will post some pictures of the center in action Wednesday night.
Hope everyone has a great week. Remember to never limit yourself to what you think you can do. Always push to give everything you've got. Who knows, you might surprise yourself.