Friday, June 17, 2011


This last week was one of the most intense learning experiences weeks of my professional career.  Not only was I given educational theory of Dr. Marzano's fundamental teaching strategies.  We also looked at Ruby Payne's thoughts on how educators need to understand the complexity of students living in poverty.
Both topics I felt I had a understood farily well in my initial readings, but like any topic there is always  more to it than you read.  Only after our discussions did I begin to see how powerful the books were.  Simple educational strategies such as note taking, group learning, and questioning are topics that I have gone to trainings on for years.  INTERACT gave me a different angle on many topics I felt comfortable teaching and thought my lessons were acceptable.  
After being introduced and forced to use techno0logy tools, the training took a completely new and exciting turn.  I am excited to incorporate my new found skills to enhance my teaching process. 
It is a really odd (yet exciting) feeling to be itching to get back into the classroom in the middle of June but that is what this academy has done for me.  It is not that I haven't used computers, cameras, and other forms of technology in my classroom, but we went in a whole new direction.  I used my laptop in ways that will allow me to engage even the most reluctant students . 
Resources like mobile learning, and professional learning communities, and social media are such great tools for educators. It was  nice to be introduced to these programs within a multiple day format.  It allowed me to try things and ask questions rather than taking in the information an not implementing it the way it is intended.  This is what I needed to springboard my ability to serve my students and their parents more effectively.
Here are the TOP 10 things I learned and/or created during my week at INTRACT:

9-I am more green than I thought I was
8-Activexpression for instant student response
6- Youtube uploading
3-Teamwork (we came up with lots of ideas we can do on  our  campus)

Twitter is #1 because I always want to know what others are doing in their classrooms.  This gives me the opportunity to hear from teachers all over the globe.  I am amazed at the unbelievable amount of knowledge that is passed through this simple yet extremely effective way of communicating.

                                                                                                               I only hope that possible budget constraints do not limit this program because it has changed the way I look at my classroom and I hope that others get that same chance.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Entering Zerber's Zoo

I have just finished my second year teaching 5th grade and my 8th year of teaching.  I have had such a blast getting to expand my students minds.  In the summer I am the head coach of the Greatwood Geysers swim team.  Between all those kids I have to find time for my wonder wife Melissa and our dog Radar.
Pictures of all of us Will be up soon so stay posted.