Saturday, February 20, 2016

Celebrate Yourself

I'm sure you have seen the trending topic on Twitter, #CelebrateMonday. There have been many weeks where I have thought to myself, "I have got to post a celebration on Monday." Only to have Monday roll around and I forget! It is definitely not due to a lack of things to celebrate. The month of February especially has been packed with opportunities for me to shine. I have been blessed in some amazing ways, so why wait until Monday?! This Blog Is Why Class Is In Session, not just Monday-- but everyday.
Let me begin with a HUGE thank you to Family Trust Federal Credit Union. This month, I was presented with a grant from the bank to fund my class project, "Guided Math: Focus on Number Talks" which brings a Guided Reading-type focus to math. When I focus on grant writing, this is the result, receiving my second grant. Of course I am motivated to write more! This year I have a group of students who excel in the area of math and the materials purchased with this grant will allow me the opportunity to stretch their brains in new and creative ways. Our school has focused on Number Talks this year, and as I learn more about them, I want to create an engaging environment for my students and allow them to maintain their love for math (and school).
Next, I was extremely honored to present at Winthrop University's 3rd Annual Conference on Teaching and Learning. My session titled, "What the Hashtag?!: Building Your Professional Learning Network" was an interactive session that introduced some college professors, librarians, and other personnel to Twitter and Edmodo as educational tools. My proposal and session were inspired by my own experiences with social media tools. You can find my presentation and resources on Edmodo (join code-bi62v5). I can remember getting my start at the Upstate Technology Conference in Greenville, SC and have since become an advocate. My first presentation on the topic was at the SC Association for Developmental Education conference (SCADE) for technical college staff. Audience participation is a must in these sessions and I am always thankful that I have willing participants who I hope find that becoming a connected educator is its own reward.

Feedback from my session at Winthrop included the following:
'After today's session I am going to try' "To use at least one of these tools this week with my class."
'After today's session I am going to try' "Hashtag chats"
"Hands-on: Actually created and used accounts in Twitter, Edmodo..."
"Great session! Wish it was longer, or there was a second session."
"Thought session was informative."

Finally, I have launched a new Facebook page to promote and share my blog. It also features my new logo (Check it out)! If you enjoy reading my blog, I hope you will take the time to "like" my new page and share it with others. Two of my goals for the year were to present at more conferences and travel while doing so. Well, I still have a fear that I need to overcome in order to make that a true reality (flying...oh my). But in the meantime, my words and ideas can still travel thanks to technology and social media. Stay tuned, I hope to have more celebrations to share!

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