MACUL 2016

Hello everybody! Ay yi yi things have been crazy busy on my end! Report cards, conferences and...#MACUL16!! I was lucky enough to attend the ah-maz-ing conference this year and I have enough PD to last me a lifetime. I don't want to bore you with anything besides some of the things I learned that I'm ready to try in my first grade classroom :) Here we go!

1.) Googley eyes for Google Well for starters--how amazing is Google?! Seriously...take a minute to just think about all of the f r e e resources and programs that Google offers (emphasis on the f r e e part). I became a Google Certified Educator over the summer and I would encourage every teacher to do the same. It will not only benefit you in your classroom, but in your everyday a real person...outside of your classroom....  

Anyway, I attended a session hosted by the incredible John Sowash. He has all the juicy secrets about Google that we, as teachers, should know about. I wanted to share some of my favorite with you guys. Thank you, John, for inspiring me!
  • Google Drawing It boggles my mind that I heard about this one for the first time on Thursday! You can create graphic organizers and graphs for your students to interact with (it has a lot of functions similar to the SMART board software) . What a great way to minimize the amount of worksheets we copy and go GREEN :) I cannot wait to launch this in my classroom this week as we continue our character study during reading time. Check out some templates John created below.

Students can drag and sort shapes. 

Students can work with graphs and interpret data.

The possibilities are endless here! Student's can use it for a creative outlet, too. I'm really hoping to create a lot of these for my kiddos and look forward to sharing those with you. 

  • Google Tone  This google extension allows you to broadcast a web URL via sound. read that correctly! This is a super cool way to share URLs with your kids quickly and easily. Simply download the extension, choose the website you'd like to share, and click the extensions icon. What's the catch?  It's a small one but you need to be using Google Chrome as your browser on your laptop/computer and so does the person you want to share it with. IF this sounds interesting to you and you only have iPads in your room, simply download the app which accomplishes the same thing via iPads. 

  • Using Google Chromebooks? Did you know they can scan QR codes? Well, they can! Yahoo. This gets me very excited as I'm hoping to record videos of myself explaining directions for centers/games/activities during well...every subject :) My realistic goal is to try that with reading or math for now #startsmall ... 

  • Google Cardboard You'll need to order a Google Cardboard viewer and have access to an iPhone/android to experience virtual reality! There are tons of free apps here that you can use along with your viewer. Watch this video to see what I'm talking about. This makes the possibilities of virtual field trips endless...amazing! 
2.) Coding with Shannon Miller I left Shannon's session feeling so inspired and thinking about how much I wanted to be her...kidding...but not really! Shannon is a teacher librarian and technology integration specialist who stresses the importance of coding for students of all ages. She shared some AWESOME resources that I wanted to pass along. Here is a coding Symbaloo with tons of coding sites/apps that your students or you can play with. I thought I knew about all the major coding sites and boy was I wrong--Shannon shared so many sites/apps that I am excited to share with my kiddos. She also shared a Padlet where teachers can share any and all of their coding experiences. PLEASE take a moment to check it out, here. Aside from being a technology guru, Shannon was so genuine. I was lucky enough to meet her Saturday night at the MACUL 40th celebration party and she is such a kind person. Thank you, Shannon! 

3.) Creative Leadership As a current MAET student, it made me proud to attend my programs director, Punya Mishra, Creative Leadership session. Punya put together a panel of superintendents (Rob GlassScott Graden, and David Tebo) to share their stories of encouraging creativity and innovation in their districts that has changed their learning communities for the better. Any recap I attempt will not do justice what these awesome leaders shared. They covered everything from barriers to growth mindsets. I compared what they shared with us to what our Human Centered Design Team at Godfrey Lee Public Schools is currently working towards. Check it out, here

I hope you can find some ideas to use in your classroom after reading this post! If you'd like to check out more of the awesomeness from the #MACUL16 conference, follow the hashtag on twitter or check out the MACUL website/MACUL app. Then, make sure you don't miss out on the fun next year and mark your calendars for #MACUL17 in Detroit  -- March 15-17th :) 

I have lots to blog over the next few weeks so please check back with me soon! On a non-education related note, I got a new car this weekend (yay) and will spend time with family at home for my cousins Bridal Shower! Family time is so important. Have a wonderful rest of your weekend and an even better week teaching. You are all amazing! Happy teaching! 

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