Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Slice of Life Tuesday - July 10

This morning, I was meeting with a friend and colleague to plan an upcoming workshop we will be doing.  We had to start at 7:30 just to be able to mesh times between her schedule and mine.  She mentioned how great it is that we have the gift of time in the summer to do things like this; summer gives us a flexibility we don't always have during the academic school year.  When she said that, I realized I knew what my slice of life would be for today!!

Ways in which the summertime and flexibility of time has allowed me to push myself as a learner this summer:
  • A small group of teachers (Cathy, Deb, and Nicole) in the central Ohio area who share a love of queso have gotten together two times - the first time in June and then we're meeting again tonight.  We're bound by our love of food and our desire for knowledge.  We meet on screened porches and patios, we share amazing things we've learned about technology for the classroom and good teaching practices, and we support one another by being there when someone wants to try something out of their comfort zone.  In addition to food, these meetings have iPads, Kindle Fires, laptops, smart phones galore to play with, to model, and to share with one another.
  • Susan Dee from Maine and I skyped for well over two hours the other week.  Titles of books, technology thinking, ways to collaborate for both us and our students -- what a gift to have Susan "in" the room with me.  So, I'm doubly excited that Susan will be "joining" the queso group tonight.  She brings such smart thinking to the room!
  • I'm fortunate to be planning a Choice Literacy workshop with Katie DiCesare again this summer - our topic is about what happens in primary and intermediate language arts workshops.  If you've ever planned a presentation, you know that the learning that goes with the planning is immense.  Not only have I been pushing myself professionally, but I've also had to reflect on some of my own teaching practices.  Reflection is good for the soul.
  • Right after this presentation, I will have the pleasure and joy of attending a three day writing retreat.  I look forward to a safe environment where I can learn to actively participate in critique groups, both as the giver and the receiver of responses.  It will also be wonderful to learn writing tips from people I trust immensely, and have three days of digging in as a writer.
  • Tomorrow, I begin the #cyberpd for Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives by Peter Johnston.  I love that I can read the assigned readings for the week at my leisure, and then have a blog post ready to go for the next 3 Wednesdays.  And the other joy of this group is then looking at the other participants' reflections as well, and then responding to them.  Talk about going deeper with my comprehension of a text.
  • And summer has given me the time to participate in many twitter chats.  The #oneandonlyivan chat sponsored by John Schu and Colby Sharp was wonderful, and makes me look forward to next week's #wonderofwonder chat (same cohosts).  Thoughts were just flying the first time!!  And then tonight, there is a chat for Pathways to Common Core chat tonight at EST.  Learning opportunities abound!
  • I will also be planning a presentation with two very smart Dublin colleagues about BYOD (bring your own devices), and great websites for kids to explore.  This is for a leadership academy our district hosts.  Once again, the opportunity to think outside of a normal schedule with these smart ladies will be wonderful!
  •  Finally, I have had an opportunity to plan with another group of Dublin colleagues for a word study session for 5th grade teachers in our district.  Again, lots of time to reflect on my own practices while trying to pull together a meaningful session for the attendees.
I'm sure there's more, but as you can see, so much has happened with my learning and growth as a professional this summer.  Thank heaven for the different pace of the summer that allows such opportunities to happen.

Thanks to Ruth and Stacey for hosting us on Tuesdays -- I'm delighted to be continuing my membership in this writing community that meets every week for Slice of Life Tuesday


  1. Whew! My brain is expanding reading about all your learning and sharing and reflecting!! Isn't it awesome! I hope you continue to reflect and share on your blog - because learning with others is so much more fun!

  2. Love all of the learning you have been doing this summer! I always look forward to the summers so I can fit in more reading and growing for the upcoming school year!

  3. I am so impressed by all that you are doing and a bit envious. You inspire me.

  4. The gift of time--a precious part of summer. As I read through your list, I am thankful that I also had many of those same opportunities and now have the time to weave them all together & think about next school year. I am also attending the writing retreat, so I am excited about that learning process also.

  5. All of this sounds yum, yum, yummy....especially the queso and tech. I love summer learning too. xo nanc

  6. Sounds like you have had a great summer of professional development. I LOVE these months where thereis time to read and think and reflect and regroup. I've been to a couple of great workshops- a day of Kelly Gallagher and a day of Donalyn Miller, terrific, then today and tomorrow with Vicki Vinton and Dorothy Barnhouse. Love their new book and thinking! Wish I was sitting on the porch eating queso with all of you!

  7. Wow, Karen, you are doing so much this summer, & it's only mid-July! Thanks for reminding me about the twitter talks. Perhaps I can find time later to do that. I'm off on a little trip this Saturday, but maybe after that. Thanks for sharing all the possibilities!

  8. You are making the most of every minute. Awesome learning activities and pathways to growth!

  9. You've definitely been busy. How fun to be involved in so many communities of learners. I'm interested in checking out some of the Twitter possibilities. I'm new to Twitter, so I'm hoping to get some guidance when my daughter visits this weekend.

  10. We need quality time to expand our brains - you are certainly making the most of it. Your entry challenges me to write down my new learning.