Happy New Year!

topperMiddle

Happy New Year

Winter Break

Students will be on Winter Break from December 21 through January 1. We all return to school on January 2, 2013. It is the hope of all of us that your Holiday Season be filled with the great joy of family and friends.

Learning Teams

By now, all members of the Learning Teams should have received an email from me (what’s the big idea of interrupting my vacation!!!!) informing you that there have been several updates and uploads. There are some very thought provoking articles and videos (I like the videos best!) on each of the subjects.

We have had lots of our time get consumed by many things not directly related to the Learning Teams and we have lots of ground to make up. In the next few months, we plan to dedicate much of our PD time to moving ahead with our original plans for these teams.

Speaking of Professional Development

Over the past year, some might say that I have wasted, but I think I have gained tremendously from my time spent cultivating my Twitter Account and other types of social media. As I sit here with the snow flying all about me, and dreading the idea that someone is going to have the shovel all that white stuff, I can reflect on my learning for this year (that’s ‘cuz I don’t want to think about shoveling!).

I am amazed, and thankful, at all of the people who have contributed to my learning this year. George Couros (@gcouros), a school administrator from western Canada, has pointed out several great reads for me to expand my thinking (it appears he is a bit tarnished though, as he is wearing a New York Yankee hat on his Twitter page!). Patrick Larkin (@patrickmlarkin), a school administrator from Massachusetts who daily posts new ideas for me to explore (and for which I am eternally grateful). It was Patrick Larkin who pointed me toward Angela Maiers (@AngelaMaiers) and her wonderfully inspiring TED talk “You Matter” that I shared with all of you a few months  ago. Many of you have commented to me how inspiring you found that speech to be in your own practices.

There are so many other good and talented people who have led me to some amazing places, it is probably silly for me to try to mention them all… but, what the heck!

Eric Shenigar (@ericshenigar) has offered some great site on education  technology and changes in pedagogy;
Kevin Hodgson (@dogtrax) keeps me abreast of current news about Common Core;
Rick Wormeli (@rickwormeli) is someone I have read for a long time, now I can get a daily dose;Diana Laufenberg (@dlaufenberg) I first met her in a TED Talk on failure, I wish I were a student in her class;
Bill Burkhead (@normandinbill) A Middle School Principal in Massachusetts who has much to offer all of us;
OpenCulture (@openculture) These great folks make all kinds of Free Thinking available to all;
Steven M. Anderson (@web20classroom) who makes all things educational technology seem so easy;
Sir Kenneth Robinson (@sirkenrobinson) You all remember him form his TED Talks, his tweets are very similar and informing;
Curosity Rover (@MarsCurosity) for some incredible pictures from the surface of the Planet Mars, just amazing!;
Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd) a great resource for our science and math teachers… all teachers for that matter.

OK, I give up and I will spare you the rest. Just let me say that as a Professional Development resource that costs absolutely nothing, these people are amazing and so willing to share. Thank you, all, I look forward to another great year and I hope that I can make a contribution some time!

Through the use of technology, I have had many of my beliefs challenged, and this is good. Because I have been exposed to other peoples viewpoints, I can become more sure of my own beliefs and my own practices, as well as make the necessary adjustments in my practice. Isn’t this what learning is all about?

I urge you all to explore this very valuable resource.

January PIE Meeting

Our next PIE Meeting will be Thursday, January 10 at 6:00 pm in the GMS Library. Our topic for this month will be school safety and I have invited Lt. Chris Sanborn of the Gorham Police Department to join us so we can answer any questions that you may have about our security plans at GMS.

What a Great Idea!

I know that many, if not most of our kids have cell phones. In fact many of our kids have some pretty “smart” phones. Here is a link to a story about a Mom who gave her 13 year old child an IPhone along with contract for his use. I liked some (actually most of the clauses) to help keep order in the house and to try to teach her child to be responsible.

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