Summer's here...or almost here for most of us! That's right, in Northern Virginia school is STILL in session! Just three more days! We've got sunshine, flip-flops, beach books, and of course, professional development on our minds. It's important to take time in the summer to focus on our professional practice so that we can come back to school in August, prepped and ready to engage with our new students.
This week we are thrilled to have our pointers for finding ways to reflect, reach out and re-imagine featured on the ASCD Inservice blog. How will you recharge this summer?
We're still in school here in Fairfax County, Virginia, but summer is getting closer--we can taste the Popsicles, smell the chlorine, feel the sunshine. My two boys (ages 12 and 8) and I have experienced summers that zoomed by so quickly that we barely noticed them happening, so to avoid that, we like to make lists to help us focus on the important stuff. Our list "100 Things to Do this Summer" included everything from blowing bubbles to opening a bank account ("Another 100 Things to Do this Summer" was the following year's creatively titled list). Our "Top 10 Day Trip Adventures" got us moving to a local farm for peach picking, a nearby-ish beach for some sand and surf, the small children's museum in a town about an hour away.
So, with an adventurous spirit in mind and no time to waste, we put together a BINGO board to help guide you and your students (or even your family) through the season, making the most of summer.
The Kilmer Library Makerspace is in its third year. Our goal in establishing this space was to create a open access space for messy and creative learning. We have found that while some students thrive on true open making, others need a bit more targeted focus: that's where challenges come in. This week's Take5 offers some simple, low tech challenges that can work with students of all levels, don't require a makerspace (only a maker mindset), and are easy to pull together at a moment's notice. Why not have a maker challenge day for your students as you close out the school year?
I wish the standardized tests would go away.
I try in my teaching and learning to assume best intentions. I believe (or most days I want to believe) that the government officials who dreamed up standardized tests did so to ensure that teachers were doing their jobs and not turning a blind eye to the needs in front of them. That pains me because the vast majority of teachers I know are professionals who work tirelessly to help all students learn and they don't require a standardized test to push them to do their jobs. But I also know that in many school districts progress isn't being made and that these tests are an attempt to make sure all kids get the education they so rightly deserve.
Branding has come up recently in education, largely due to the April publication of a book written by Eric Sheninger and Trish Rubin called BrandED: Tell Your Story, Build Relationships, and Empower Learning. I have long been fascinated by brands and branding, perhaps driven by the time I spent working as a librarian at an advertising agency and later at a big pharmaceutical and consumer goods company. I love the idea of bringing branding into schools and building a professional brand. And, I find it makes such logical sense as the director of a library program because our goals so closely align with the purpose of branding: We need to share our library story, communicate our messaging, and build relationships.
We hope this Take5 helps you stay in the educational loop and informs your teaching and learning practice. We've done a lot of the work, now you have to take 5 minutes to sit back, read and gather your thoughts. -Corey
Teacher Appreciation Week is almost upon us (many of the schools in our district are celebrating this week, although nationally it is May 8-12 this year). In any event, that means it's time for a Shout-out Challenge. We've put together five simple ways to give your colleagues a shout-out (one for each day of the work week). Maybe your fellow educators keep you sane in tough times, Maybe you feed off their positive energy. Maybe they share lessons and strategies with you. Whatever the reason, it's important to take time to thank our coworkers and this week offers the perfect opportunity. I know that I get so busy (like the rest of you) that I often don't get around to thanking the people who mean the most. So here's a step by step challenge for giving shout-outs - one shout out for each workday (even if you can't do something everyday - pick at least one shout-out and run with it). Join the Challenge. Spread the word and Share the love. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
Who We Are
Join our list!