Sunday, April 2, 2017

Lunch & Learn 2017, "Come Fly with Me"!

As I reflect on this year's Lunch & Learn I am reminded that no man is perfect, therefore even though I strive for perfection, I too fall short... 

I have had so many projects going on at the same time that  I was planning on hosting a low key Lunch & Learn this year.  However during a recent PLC (less than a week before the Lunch & Learn) one of our amazing Southwest teachers said she couldn't wait for Lunch & Learn and asked everyone in attendance not to give her student teacher any clues on what it is like because she wanted her to be surprised. That very day I was headed to Denver for a presentation with my CPS team and would not arrive back until 2 days before the Lunch & Learn, but I knew I couldn't let the faculty and staff down, they were expecting spectacular as I was thinking mediocre...

I immediately thought it would be easy to plan around our campus theme, Southwest Globetrotters, how fun would it be to be a Flight Attendant on "Southwest Airlines"!  I knew I could count on two colleagues that were traveling to Denver with me to brainstorm and bounce ideas off of.  I thought about what I would wear... I had Navy pants, shoes, and a white shirt so I ordered a hat and scarf to complete my costume hoping it would all arrive within a few days. I also knew I would need to be extremely organized to pull this off in just a few short days. I created a list of everything I would need to make or purchase. Our Denver crew even made a playlist for the Lunch & Learn on our journey home. 

Monday morning I hit the ground running, ordering lunch to be delivered Wednesday, making signs and banners, boarding passes, laminating, shopping at two Wal-mart stores, creating a Flippity and Bingo Cards. 

The morning of the Lunch & Learn we were without internet, which I knew would put a damper on the learning activity I had planned, but like any good educator I had a plan B so I moved on to the decorating and didn't focus on the negativity that was creeping up. 

I had very detailed plans on how I wanted the room to look when the guests arrived, with the help of two assistants we began to create an airport. The guest entered through the "Southwest International Airway" walked the "runway" to the "Check-in Desk" where they received a "Boarding Pass". From there the guests went through our serving line  and found a seat under one of the seven continents. 

With  three lunches on our campus, I allowed 10 minutes for the faculty to drop their students in the cafe and arrive at the  Lunch & Learn. I knew this would allow me twenty minutes to present a professional development lesson to each group. 

My PD plan had been to engage the guests in a game of Flippity, and encourage them to make one to meet our tech challenge. However, the internet wasn't up so we played bingo. I had generated bingo cards with words that I would use as we played the Flippity game, it's a great way to find out who is really paying attention! I tried to remember the questions from flippity so that I could give them good information. It turned out to be so much fun! The playlist that we had made on the trip was playing in the background, I referred to it several times during each lunch and asked who (out of the people on my trip to Denver, list was on the board) did they think added that song, it was a creative way to break up the game! 

Instructions for Flippity Quiz Show
Lunch & Learn Flippity Quiz Show 
Bingo Card Generator 

 As a classroom teacher my goal was to "make everyday an exciting learning adventure for my students".  I hope that I have been able to carry a little of that goal with me over the past few years and make each creative, innovative, and technology experience an exciting learning adventure for the faculty and staff of Southwest Elementary. 

Thank you for traveling with me!
Mrs. Hime 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Moderating a Twitter Chat, SOLO!

Over the past four, or so, years I have moderated the #oklaed chat  two times, once with two colleagues and once with our #cpsreds team. This past week I moderated the #okelem chat, SOLO! I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to do it all alone, but I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself, something I ask my colleagues to do every single day. 

I knew I needed to be organized, so I made a list. At the top was "topic", after looking through my recent blog posts I decided on, "Essentials For a Successful Elementary Classroom". That was just the beginning, next I brainstormed, jotted down ideas, and wrote questions that I was interested in. I thought it would be an ideal time to get opinions and ideas from other elementary educators. 

The previous two times I had moderated a twitter chat, we had simply typed the questions in the 142 character space on Twitter. However, this time I decided to make mine a little "fancier".  I designed the questions in Canva so that I wouldn't have to worry about going over the character limit and I could add a little personality to them. 

After completing all nine questions, a welcome and thank you, I was ready to rock the chat! Then, I remembered learning about scheduling tweets at a workshop or Edcamp, but had never tried it. I decided this was the perfect time, I used Tweetdeck. After spending at least an hour attaching the questions and scheduling them,  I discovered I had not put the hashtag on the tweets! So, I deleted all of them and started over. They were finally loaded and scheduled four days before the chat. 

The chat was to begin last Thursday evening at 7:30pm, I remembered at 6:15pm! I quickly double checked Tweetdeck, my tweets were still scheduled, so I got my laptop and ipad ready. At 7:30pm the first tweet rolled out, and the chat began. It was one of the quickest hours of my life!

I am so thankful that I put myself out there; connected, shared, learned, and grew as an educator. I have always thought that I could not encourage others to learn, grow, and try new things if I don't model it in my daily life. The #okelem twitter chat is the first Thursday of each month at 7:30pm, I would encourage you to join in on the fun! 

Connect, Share, Learn, and Grow Daily! 
Mrs. Hime

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Essential Skills for Today's World

What skills do you believe are essential for our students to learn so that they will be prepared  for today's world? As I pondered this question my list grew long, here are a few of my top essentials...

Building and maintaining relationships is at the top of my list. Students must be able to work along side others, to collaborate with those on their team, to have someone to share with. When students trust educators they begin to flourish, learn, and grow like never before.

Teaching students the life skills of empathy and compassion will allow them to get along in our diverse society. They must be able to understand the feelings that their fellow citizens may experience in order to live and work alongside others in our world.

Listening is a key component to success. Not just listen with an answer or next statement in mind, but really listen. Listening to understand, then formulating a response that is worthy of sharing. Listening so that the person you are speaking with knows you care what they are saying.

Critical thinking is important in today's world. Learning to think critically, to move your thoughts and actions up the Bloom's Taxonomy ladder will empower students to have a voice at the table.

Students need to be given the opportunity to have authentic learning experiences, to choose their path to problem solving. Students learn best by doing, hands on activities. We should facilitate, then get out of the way and let the learning happen.

Creativity and innovation are also on my must teach list of skills. Our world is changing at a very fast pace, students will need to be able to creatively think on their feet. They will need to be innovative in our competitive world.

Our world is changing, the essential skills we must be teaching our students are changing, we must learn and grow as educators alongside our students.

Mrs. Hime

Monday, January 16, 2017

Bloom's in the 21st Century

As everything is evolving in the 21st Century, so is Bloom's Taxonomy. Bloom's should be an important component when preparing lessons, maintaining higher expectations, and higher order thinking skills. This is not only beneficial to our ELL students, but to all students. You will find an updated version below and a short Seinfeld video series that speaks to each level. 

I am excited to start the discussion about the new Bloom's Taxonomy in PLCs this week! 

Mrs. Hime

Monday, January 2, 2017

My One Word of 2017

Three years ago, as I was pondering my New Year's resolutions,  I stumbled across a "One Word" challenge on Twitter. After researching the origin, and meaning behind campaign,  I thought it was for me. I have made endless New Year's resolutions that would stick with me for a month, sometimes two, then they would vanish. The "One Word" challenge simplified my resolutions. I printed several small posters with the word and strategically hung them in my classroom, office, on my mirror in my bathroom, on my refrigerator... places that I would be sure to see the word every single day to remind me of my challenge for the year. It has worked well the past two years, and the words were definitely a force of inspiration for me in all areas of my life. 

My One Words:
2015: Grow
2016: Diligent 

As I have been reflecting on 2016,  two words have continued to come up: Impeccable and Intentional. Both words would serve the purpose for me, however one word had a lasting memory. During my Masters Program I read a book, "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. I decided to get the book off the shelf and reread the section on Impeccable. I discovered so many wonderful sentences and quotes that I had highlighted several years ago. I didn't stop my research there, I went to my bible. I began to read scripture that spoke of the way we use words, my favorite was Proverbs 25:11.  I decided this must be my One Word of 2017: 

During 2017 I am going to diligently work on speaking impeccably about myself. I will take responsibility for my mistakes but I will not judge or blame myself. I am going to spend my energy in the direction of truth and love of myself and others, for anything else is a sin. My words can create the most beautiful dream, or can destroy everything around me. 

I do not see myself as a gossip, however I am in places or circumstances from time to time that gossip is present. It is a poison that just can not ever be good for the soul. Every person that gossip touches is effected negatively. This year I will be reminded daily to walk away from those conversations, to be happy and at peace with the world. 

Here I come 2017! 

Mrs. Hime