Slice of Life Tuesday! Honored

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Slice of Life Small LogoWhat a wonderful group of colleagues and friends I have! Yesterday I came home to find this book on the kitchen table:

WhosDoingtheWorkbook

Who’s Doing the Work? by Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris

I tore open the cardboard box in my excitement, and plopped down on the couch with my new book to read. As I focused on the Foreward by my Daily 5 mentor, Joan Moser (“The 2 Sisters”), I nodded my head and giggled to myself more than a few times. I then turned to the acknowledgments, and I found many names of teachers and leaders I have followed and who have inspired me for the last several years, and — what? — really? I read my name in the list. Wow! I can’t believe how lucky I am to be part of the Twitter and Voxer groups that inspire so many people to teach better every day. I am truly honored. Thank you Jan and Kim!

While checking my Voxer messages today, I noticed that another Voxer friend, Erica Pecorale, had attached her guest post from the NCTE blog. (Click here to see that fabulous post.) We met in person last fall at the NCTE Annual Conference in Minneapolis. What an amazing experience! I got to hang out with the literacy rock stars I followed via social media for so long. My dreams came true!

These literacy leaders inspire me to read, write, and teach GREAT things each day. Thank you all, my wonderful friends! I can only hope to one day follow in your footsteps.

 

Slice of Life Tuesday: #NCTE15 Lives On

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Slice of Life Small LogoI’m listening to my Voxer app on the phone, and I hear my friends joyously celebrating their NCTE conference experiences. I finally met my Good-to-Great friends from Twitter’s #g2great chats of the last 6 months! A fabulous light turned on in my brain, and in my heart — meeting my virtual-to-real-life pals! Dr. Mary Howard, Amy Brennan, Jeanne-Marie Mazzaferro, Jenn Hayhurst, and Jill DeRosa presented “Making Powerful Connections Across the Twitterverse: Using Social Media to Become Agents of Change” on Friday morning. I had traveled 10 hours to hear this session, and support the people who lit my fire — the biggest professional change in my life to date.  They were fabulous! G2GreatPresentersNCTE15

The ladies began the session by introducing themselves and their roles as leaders in their school systems.  As tech-savvy people, they explained how they began using Twitter and Voxer, as well as other media, to work together across the country in the best interests of the students.  This “grassroots support system,” described in the NCTE program, is a never-ending journey of inspiration and motivation for the teachers who use it.  Kylene Beers spoke about Twitter over two years ago as wonderful (and free!) PD for teachers.  I joined Twitter then, and found that she was right. Last fall, I learned about Voxer from my daughter. Many teachers I follow on Twitter were using Voxer for their PLNs and team meetings. Later, the Good-to-Great team allowed me to join them in the learning and sharing of best literacy practices. My life has transformed! Truly, the reason I feel like I’m a “connected” educator now is that these “agents of change” changed me!

During the question-and-answer part of the session, I looked to my left and saw a young teacher using Twitter on his phone. He looked a little confused, so I went over to sit by him. He asked me, “How does this work, exactly? What do I do?” I was happy to show him how easy it was to find a #g2great chat (Thursday nights at 8:30 pm) and we traded Twitter handles. I told him of the last series of topics discussed during the chats, and his face started to light up (I KNEW that feeling!). I got such a warm-fuzzy feeling that I was the fan-turned-ambassador of the #g2great community.

Now I’m rereading the NCTE book, and I am so excited to be a part of the “ideas that flourish into tangible results.”

Join the chat! #g2great on Thursday evenings at 8:30 pm EST. I look forward to meeting you there!

PS: Thank you to Dr. Mary Howard, Amy Brennan, Jenn Hayhurst, Jill DeRosa, Jeanne-Marie Mazzaferro, Dani Burtsfield, Justin Dolcimascolo, Kari Yates, Erica Pecorale, Lisa Eickholdt, Kathryn Hoffmann-Thompson, Joan Moser, Julieanne Harmatz, and all the other “Good-to-Greaters,” for your friendship and support. I’m so glad we are REAL friends now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slice of Life Tuesdays: Celebrating

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Slice of Life Small LogoCelebrating

The Fourth of July, vacation, time to spend with family, sleeping in, staying up late, and homework? Yes, I am celebrating late tonight — thinking about how much I’ve done this summer, how much I’ve grown professionally and personally.

The fireworks at Newton Park were fabulous. I’m so glad that my daughters went with me, even after the rest of the family stayed behind due to exhaustion from playing sand-court volleyball (which was entertaining to watch). The girls are almost grown now, and they won’t be with me on these “minor” holidays forever. I have to enjoy the time while I can. (Hey, I’m NOT old!)

Fireworks2015Vacation time is so relaxing, yet busy! I’ve spent time with my granddaughter each week and my husband was off work this week, so it’s nice to see him again. I’ve stayed up late, mostly to watch movies and read, but also to eat S’mores by the campfire.

Passion Small BW Photo campfire from AshleyHomework? Yes! I have homework. Since I signed up to use the All Write Institute as a 3-credit “class” (to renew my teaching license next summer), I have spent time reading, studying, reflecting, and writing about teaching and learning. Literacy education is such a fascinating topic for me. It really is! I love reading and writing and I want to share my passion each and every day. I am learning from professional development opportunities, too.

RSBookMany blogging friends and current colleagues have helped me learn to use more technology in my personal life. I switched back to my iPad mini for some e-reading and other productivity tasks, and I started “voxing” on Voxer (a walkie-talkie-like app on my phone), which is fabulous for collaboration with teachers from around the country! I love being able to talk to people and hear their voices and feel their presence while I think, read, and write.

voxer-logo-blackI am celebrating life tonight! Fireworks, vacation, family time, reading, writing, technology — Whew! Now, I must settle down and get some sleep!