1 Planner that will Improve your Time On-Task!

Is anyone else obsessed with using pretty planners?

jammin on my planner

My Sunday night jam!

I love, love, LOVE my Erin Condren Hourly Rose Gold Planner. I’m definitely an INFJ (Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging). Doug makes fun of me because I am a “lister” and am constantly creating lists of things to do, accomplish, read, and complete by a date. It helps me stay on-task and focused at my target!

My mother has the neatest handwriting, my sister’s being a close second. I have rpacticed getting better at my everyday penmanship, but have settled on it being scrawling and half-cursive because it truly represents my thought process: kind of crazy and messy. Amiright?

My planner obsession started with stickers, which I have collected at different periods of my life all the way down to being 8 years old and having a Lisa Frank sticker book. Gotta love those bright rainbow colors.

Now, after phasing in bullet journals, I have invested in my Erin Condren Hourly Life Planner in Rose Gold in January. I have decided that I LOVE it. Although much of my everyday planning occurs using GAFE tools (the Google Calendar) so my supervisor can see where I’m at and what I am working on each day. A flexible schedule so that I can help teachers has been a total blessing this academic year. As Virginia starts SOLs, the need for a planner with a concrete set of what I am planning each day helps so that I am not disturbing test-takers in the library by going in and out of my office all day! Each Sunday night, I sit down at my computer and determine my to do list and events that I have mapped out for the week and insert each one in an hourly spot in my EC LifePlanner!

I have curated a list of photos of some great layouts that I have found on Pinterest! I have shared these pins on Pinterest. Check out my board here to see all sources!


Virginia GAFE Summit, A Reflection

It has been over a week since I went to the Virginia GAFE Summit in Charlottesville, Virginia. I truly enjoyed it. It was a very affirming experience. What we are doing in my district is the right thing for students. Isn’t that the whole reason we do what we do as teachers? To make a learner’s life better and influence them in the right direction to be productive members of society? Here are some of the major tools I took away:

  1. I won a premium membership to PearDeck! There is also a free version I have used before. It is a presentation and embedded formative assessment tool that teachers and students can use. Love it.
  2. If This Then That: a way to connect the different apps that you love to use. You create recipes that connect apps that normally don’t “play well” together. For example, I set up my Instagram and Google Drive accounts to automatically save a digital copy of every Instagram post I create in a folder so that I never lose them! It is a great way to connect your apps you use.
  3. How to use Google My Maps to create interactive maps your students can use and create using their GAFE account! I would have loved having the ability to plot Tom Saywer’s journey in English class and showing that map to my teacher. The things I wish I could have used in school, if they had been created then is amazing.
  4. Choice Eliminator 2 takes away choices when people are using a Google Form when another user selects it. Maybe you are choosing project topics and someone takes your choice, that choice disappears on the Google Form! How cool!
  5. Google Books will now find a copy of the book you are looking for in a LIBRARY near you! I will be using this right now to search for the book David Jakes suggested called Make Space by the Stanford’s D School (School of Design)

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What Does it Mean to Be a 21st Century Learner?

This weekend, I have spent a bit of time mulling over few different topics, very different from one another, all in between attending the Google Apps for Education Summit in Charlottesville, Virginia.

What does it mean to be a 21st Century Learner in today’s environment?

My thoughts have really been turning to this huge question over and over in the past year. Does it really mean the mass customization of learning? Does it mean more one a one-room schoolhouse approach to learning? With the flexibility of my position in the school system, I think about the necessary skill sets that student must have to transition from students to active members of our society. Some of these are:

  • Creative Problem Solving Skills
  • Computational Thinking Skills
  • Knowledge of Internet Ethics

In order for students to be preparing themselves for careers that do not exist, we educators must be creating thinkers who have the maturity to self-assess, challenge their own thinking, and be open-minded. In addition to basic knowledge-based processes, we must teach the ethics of proper intellectual property laws. So much of what these student can do revolves around their technological devices, that we must teach them about properly utilizing data for proper consumption.

Unfortunately, most of what students can do using technology consists of two veins: social networking, or socially-based internet practices, or interest-based internet practices, such as online gaming. How can we teachers best harness the current knowledge that students do have and extend their thinking to cloud computing and workplace readiness skills?

We must assess students based on competencies and not standardized tests. Tests to not show how ready students are for the real world. 

What do you all think about the needs of our future leaders? 

Somebody Stop Donald Trump

From John Oliver, on his superb show Last Week Tonight

8607503096_b58abd9fc3_oI hear so many people telling me that they are going to support Donald Trump’s candidacy for President of the United States. I am so floored by these statements that it makes me want to move out of the country. What have we become, people?

And now, he will not refuse the prior Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. What does that even mean? Does it mean he is racist? Does it mean, he will not be blatantly against another hate groups’ beliefs? It just seems wholeheartedly crazy.

We like him.

He tells it how it is.

Nobody owns him.

If he runs the country like he runs his organization, we’ll be in good shape.

I’m self-funded

I tell the truth

I cannot wait for Mitt Romney’s speech tonight and to see John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Kevin Malone… er. Ted Cruz. More thoughts on this later.