School Spirit Banter

I am SO impressed by the creativity of two local area high schools and their students’ videos. As quoted in this Get Schooled post, these ARE examples of what the best “spirit cheers” look like today. You can check out the original video in this “battle” here and the response here.

For me, these videos show just how multiliterate our students are and all of the neat ways in which they are reading, writing, and engaging with the world around them. These videos use rhetorical strategies, rhymes, video angles, music — and this list only continues — all to help show their school spirit. And, I love the fact that they pull in lots of different members from their respective student bodies to be a part of the banter.

No matter which school wins the game, the main point is that these two videos have just under 400,000 hits (combined) in two weeks. Where these students’ voices heard? [I think so!]

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Positive Footprints

As you all know, I feel very strongly about helping kids understand how to create and why to create positive digital footprints. I’ve thought about this topic a lot, and yet it’s something that is still weighing heavily on my mind. [Maybe it’s because the means in which we work digitally is constantly changing???]

Anyway, I’m seeing more and more kids not understanding what their digital footprint is all about and how it can/will affect them now and down the road. I know that I stress it a lot when I work with my students and try to emphasize it’s not about culling their creativity, but a way to push them to think critically and post information that is appropriate (and in a way that still gets their point across). So, I’m curious…how are others helping their students develop positive digital footprints? How can we keep kids motivated to produce and stress to them they can still “own” that digital space (without them not being “googled well”)?

The Power of Positivity

I finally am back up and running after moving into my new place AND moving into my new school/classroom. To be honest, I’m exhausted, ha! However, I am so incredibly excited that I cannot even begin to explain exactly how I’m feeling. Nevertheless, I’ll give it a try 🙂

My new school is one of the most positive, energizing environments I have ever seen. The support I have already received is like none other, and everyone is truly on the same page. (Did I mention that there is TONS of cross-curricular writing taking place? I love that reading and writing skills are focused on so heavily in every discipline!)

Positivity is so incredibly important in all we do as educators. It’s contagious. So, as we all begin school next week (or in the next few weeks for many of you all up north, ha!), just remember the power of positivity!

ps I wanted to share the funny video clip below with you all…it’s one we viewed in our orientation on differentiated learning. Enjoy!

 

Let’s Go HOKIES!!!

As a former student athlete at Virginia Tech (VTSB), I know how challenging it is to do your best in the classroom AND on the field. Too many times I would hear people laugh or joke about “athletes” (especially at the collegiate level) and their performance in the classroom. “No one is here for the school…it’s all about the sport!” Jokes aside, this couldn’t be as far from the truth as possible.

You see, if your grades slip, you can’t play. Academics truly come first. If your grades slip, you’re Continue reading

Digital Essays

I’ve been intrigued with the idea of a “digital essay” ever since Jim Burke posted an example of one awhile ago. When I asked him what his assignment sheet included, Burke said that he didn’t really have a “formal” one and just told the kids to create. I think the biggest reason I’m drawn to the idea of a “digital” essay and what that “format” might encompass (beside my love for rhetoric and comp!) is the fact that I see this format as one that would be more real-world applicable in many ways versus a traditional essay for English class.

When I tried it out with my students Continue reading

You call THAT reading?

I keep thinking about two specific comments from my AP Lit workshop that I am struggling with in regards to adolescent reading and writing practices today. When I first started researching new literacies and the ways in which students (and really all of us) are becoming increasingly multiliterate, I truly believed that “Literacy as we know it is not in a crisis, but instead evolving as we know it.” This belief still holds true today as I think the majority of kids are reading and writing, a lot, just not in ways that the traditional classroom has always valued.

With my belief in place, I think many of you will see why the two comments below got my attention… Continue reading

Philly!

I recently headed to Philadelphia for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference. Through my experiences with ISTE, I’ve already been lucky enough to meet a ton of other educators from all over at the conference (and virtually) who are using technology in really neat ways!

A goal of mine is to help other young educators connect with the ISTE Young Educator Network. Too often my colleagues say, “Oh, that’s not me! I’m not tech savvy like you!” However, the reality is that this network isn’t about how “tech savvy” you are, but instead it’s a place to share ideas and gain confidence in utilizing technology in the classroom to enhance what you are already doing in it. One of the ideas I brought up at the conference was to host a Twitter “chat” (like #engchat) to help extend the conversation of the YEN. We’ll see how it develops … maybe even joining the conversation of the #ntchat sometimes, too! (By the way, if you aren’t branching into all of the edu chats going on, you should do so. It’s a great way to not only network, but have instant PD!)

Below, you can watch me and all of the other award winners during the opening Awards Ceremony. It was a huge honor to be named one of the Emerging Leaders for 2011! Enjoy!