Saturday, 22 June 2013

Summer #EdTech To-Do List

     I recently read a post by Anthony VonBank over at his blog, Clouducation, in which he shared some of his #EdTech suggestions for summer. Since I am an #EdTech lover, my Twitter-Tried-It Challenge is still going on, and I'm now on the ManACE Board, I thought it was a perfect fit for me to create my own #EdTech To-Do List too! (Big thanks to Anthony for the inspiration!)
miss l whole brain teaching, #edtech, ed tech summer to-do list, summer tech list for teachers
Technology is a given. (2013). Uploaded by Scott McLeod to Flickr. Available online at: 
     While most of us can think of countless things we would like to try/work on/update/etc, it can often be hard to find the time during the school year. It is now, however, summer time and all of those things that got pushed to the back-burner during the school year can now be brought forward! Here is a list of tech-related activities that I suggest for the summer:

- Create/update an About.Me page. Check out my new one! :)
- Create/update your online portfolio. I suggest Weebly; it is free, easy
   to use, and aesthetically-pleasing. I used it to create mine!
- Create/update your Twitter profile & develop/organize a PLN
- Sync your online networks to form a cohesive online presence
  (Same updated info, same profile picture, etc)
- Develop an online presence for your classroom. It can be a classroom
  Twitter account, a webpage, a wiki, a Facebook page/group, a blog, etc.
  Think about what best suits your students & run with it!
* Read my post about digital identity to learn more about online presence.

- Participate in a MOOC (massive open online course). Check out
  the MOOC List to see what is coming up.
- Tune into a Twitter chat. Some of my favourites are:
        - #ntchat,
        - #edchat,
        - #cdnedchat
- Check out the resources available from some great ed tech curators.
  The following are a must-see if you haven't checked them out before:
       - Larry Ferlazzo's "Best Lists"
       - ICT Magic
       - Cybrary Man

- Check out the backwards-by-design & new MB report card frameworks
  available through the mRLC (Manitoba Rural Learning Consortium). Everything
  a Manitoba teacher could ask for!
- Familiarize yourself with the Bloom's Taxonomy chart of iPad apps.
- Check out the ever-growing supply of Ted ED lessons that feature videos,
  articles, comprehension questions & online discussions.

What is on your #EdTech To-Do List?
What would you add to this list?

* See Anthony's original, "Happy Summer! Now what? Summer #EdTech to-do list!" post. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Twitter-Tried-It Challenge Update 2!

classroom challenges, using twitter as an educator

The Twitter-Tried-It Challenge, that I introduced on June 6th, has been in place for a little over two weeks now and I've been trying so many awesome idea... have you?

     In my first Twitter-Tried-In Update I featured Ms Duemm who was the FIRST participant in the challenge. 
Since then, she has shared her experience on her blog as well. I definitely recommend that you head over there and check it out because it seems like a really neat project :)

     I've also had Ms Banks, an elementary school Vice-Principal from Manitoba, join up with multiple implementations! She has picked a lot of things that shes implemented into her classroom routines :) Remember, this doesn't have to be a big project, anything that inspires you from Twitter can work. 
miss l whole brain teaching, manitoba blog

     While I am not in the classroom right now I am planning for the upcoming year. This includes finding a lot of online resources that I can utilize as a teacher or have available for my students to use as a class or independently. Since this challenge has started, all of the resources that I have found and shared with you have been found through Twitter! If you missed those posts, check them out:

     With only a little over a week left in June I would love to see some more participation! Look through your Twitter feed and find something that you want to utilize as a teacher and then share it with us :)

1 ) If you happen to be a fellow BLOGGER, link up below and 
     share your Twitter-Tried-It attempt in a post!
2 ) If you aren't a blogger, post a TWEET with a picture and tag
     me: @MissLwbt
3 ) You can also post a COMMENT below sharing your 
     Twitter-Tried-It story :)

This also marks post 299 and I'm 298 followers! 
I've challenged myself to have 300 followers by my 300th post, so if you like my posts please follow and help me out with my challenge :)

Thursday, 20 June 2013

School Clothing is Here!

In May, "S-School's" student council organized an event where you could order school clothing for the upcoming year. Being a small school, they only offer this event every three years and I was really excited that I was subbing in the school when they were holding it! It is a pretty exciting feeling to have school clothing that not only says "Staff" on the sleeve but also my new name on the back (our wedding is in only 9 days and then I will no longer be "Miss L")

ste rose celtics, ste rose schoolSte Rose celtics, ste rose school

The school clothing is officially in and I can't wait to show my school pride!

Remember, the Twitter-Tried-It Challenge is still going on (I will post an update tomorrow or Saturday) and I am also trying to reach 300 followers by the time of my 300th blog post so if you like my posts and would like to follow I would really appreciate it :)
Thank you!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

ManACE Board Member

     This past weekend I was lucky enough to head into Winnipeg to spend some time with some amazing teachers, enjoy some great BBQ, and discuss some plans for educational technology in our province. What was the occasion you ask? Well I am proud to announce that I will be serving as a board member on the Manitoba Association for Computing Educators and this past Saturday was their informal Annual General Meeting where I was welcomed aboard.
ManACE, manitoba association for computing educators, manitoba SAGE groups, manitoba special area groups of educators, manace

     Prior to me becoming a board member, I presented at the first ManACE TIN (Technology Information Night) in Neepawa and was also published in their journal twice. I am very excited to be joining such a great group of educators and had a great time meeting the other board members. I follow and interact with almost all of them on Twitter but had only met a few face-to-face and there were a few funny moments while we realized who everyone was, "Oh! You're @MissLwbt!" In fact, two of the board members, Leslie & Erin, inspired me to begin blogging in October of 2011 when they presented at the MTS Fab 5 Conference in Brandon and this year's president is one of my former professors from university!

     If you are new to ManACE or wanting to learn more, here is their "About ManACE" write up that is featured on their website:

ManACE is Special Area Group of the Manitoba Teachers' Society. ManACE is also a member of the International Society for Technology in Education. The primary purpose of ManACE is to promote the use of instructional technology at all levels of education. ManACE will promote the use of instructional technology by:

- encouraging potential users;
- providing leadership in professional development for exchanging ideas, 
  techniques, material, procedures, and methods for implementation;
- encouraging educational research relating to its use in education and
  reporting these findings;
- encouraging use of telecommunication;
- assisting in the development of specific curricula relating to instructional
- and assisting with the integration of instructional technology into all curricula.

Regular membership is voluntary, open to individuals who are:
- educators;
- others interested or engaged in related in school, college, university, local
  school board, provincial or national systems;
- active or associated members of the Manitoba Teachers' Society.

     I am really excited to be a board member and am looking forward to the upcoming year and working with so many great educators. I've officially added a ManACE label to my blog and will share exciting/important/interesting information as it becomes available. 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Resources To Start Off Your Week 68

     The Twitter-Tried-It Challenge has been in place for over a week now and while I haven't gotten a big participation level on the blog, I am hoping that a lot of people are individually participating in their own ways. Right before the weeked I shared the great resources by the mRLC and tweeted it out so hopefully that inspires a few people to try it out!

     I know that a lot of my American followers are officially on their summer holidays (lucky ducks) so I wanted to share another resource that is perfect for the holidays and could be used for the challenge! MOOCs are a great way to participate in professional development, are often free, and can be done from the comfort of your own home! If you haven't ventured into the world of MOOCs yet I've included an infographic below that does a nice job of summarizing them. As always, I will be adding this to my list of resources under the Fav Websites heading.

The MOOC List
- This website features information about upcoming MOOCs
  (Massive Open Online Courses) that anyone can participate and benefit
  from! It takes information from other MOOC sites like Coursera, Open
  Learning, EdX, etc and puts all the information in one nice, clear list.
- This website is a great place to visit if you are interested in some free,
  online PD or you could use it to research MOOCs for your students who
  may need extra enrichment.

MOOCs, MOOCs for students, MOOCs for teachers, massive open online courses

     Remember, if you try something new I would love to hear about it! Link up with the Twitter-Tried-It Challenge, leave a comment, or tweet to share your experience :)

Friday, 14 June 2013

mRLC Backwards-By-Design Planning

     If you are a teacher in Manitoba who is also utilizing backwards-by-design planning then you definitely need to check out the resources available through the Manitoba Rural Learning Consortium (mRLC). My principal shared this with us this week and I am so glad she did because it is going to save me a lot of work in my planning! The backwards-by-design method of planning (sometimes called understanding-by-design, backwards planning, or planning with the end in mind) involves planning out the "big ideas" or main goals for a topic first, then selecting the best assessment options, and finally determing instructional methods to prepare students for those assessment options. For example, here is how I might set up my planning for a Grade 7 Science class using backwards-by-design planning:

Big Ideas/Goals/Learning Outcomes
- Ecosystems contain complex interactions between organisms and
   their environment.
- Includes learning outcomes: 7-1-01, 7-1-02, 7-1-03, and 7-1-04

Assessment Options
- Outdoor ecosystem analysis lab
- Ecosystem flowchart/web project
- Ecosystem labelling SMART Board group activity

Instructional Methods
- "Web of life" hands-on game
- Ecosystem notes/lecture
- Ecoystem rap song (available on YouTube)
- Group discussion and activities

     What the mRLC has done is that they've taken various Manitoba curriculums and done the preliminary planning for us! They have looked at the learning outcomes in our curriculum, created enduring understanding statments (or "big ideas"), organized outcomes by concepts and even set a framework for assigning learning outcomes to the new Manitoba report card categories. Here is a screenshot showing a sample from their Grade 7 Science page:

manitoba rural learning consortium, mrlc, MRLC, planning by MRLC, backwards by design planning manitoba curriculum
Grade Seven Cluster 1: Interactions with Ecosystems. (2012). Uploaded by mRLC. Available online at:
      All of their planning can be found on the mRLC's Products page for free! So far they have this set-up available for:
- Early Years E.L.A
- Middle Years E.L.A
- Early Years Math
- Middle Years Math
- Senior Years Math
- Early Years Science
- Middle Years Science
- Senior Years Science (Grade 9-10)

     If you are new to backwards-by-design planning, planning for a new subject, using the new Manitoba report cards for the first time, or just needing to refresh your planning then this resource is definitely a go-to source! A BIG thank you to all the teachers who are involved with mRLC and have volunteered their time to putting these resources together for us :)

Monday, 10 June 2013

Resources To Start Off Your Week 67

     Today I was back substitute teaching in "S-School" & their student council had a big display advertising, "Only 10 Days To Study Before Exams!" It is hard to believe that the school year is almost over. While it can be easy to start going into summer mode I think that there is still time to try something new and make the last few days of school different.

     My Twitter-Tried-It Challenge is still underway and I think this is a great time to implement something new in our classrooms. Maybe it's a new activity to review before exams, a virtual field trip, a way to organize your exam questions to differentiate or even a new organizational strategy as you get ready for next year. All of these resources were found through Twitter retweets, hopefully thet can get you inspired :) As always, I will be adding these to my lists of resources under the Fav Websites heading. 

     If you do try something new, don't forget to share it with us and link up with the Twitter-Tried-It Challenge.

1 ) 21st Century K.W.L Chart
- I love using different versions of the traditional K-W-L chart so I was
  really excited when I saw this new version used by Victoria Olson. It
  allows students to not only ask questions about what they want to know
  but also develop a plan in order to find the answers and move forward.
- This updated K.W.H.L.A.Q Chart allows students to fill in: What do I
  know? What do I want to know? How do I find out? What have I learned?
  What action will I take? What new questions do I have?

KWL chart, KWL strategy, new KWL chart, 21st century KWL

2 ) New Teacher 1st Year YouTube Channel
- This YouTube Channel is just getting started up but promises to deliver
   helpful teaching tips, explain different strategies, share inspirational videos
   and be a great resource for teachers when they start out!
- This channel is monitored by Lisa Dabbs who also organizes the #ntchat
  on Twitter so I trust that this channel will soon be full of great ideas :)

#ntchat, new teacher twitter chat, new teacher youtube channel

3 ) Cybrary Man Rubrics Page
- Jerry Blumengarten (AKA Cybrary Man) is an amazing online
  curator whose website features over 20,000 online resources for
- His dedicated Rubrics Page features links to pre-made rubrics, rubric-
  creation websites, and helpful articles about rubrics & assessment. This
  is definitely something to check out if you need to revamp your assessment
  system or find that perfect rubric to modify for a new project.

rubrics, teaching rubrics

Happy Monday everyone!

Also, I am trying to reach 300 followers by the time of my 300th blog post so if you like my posts and would like to follow I would really appreciate it!
(This is post 294 & I'm holding strong with 294 followers)
Thank you!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Twitter-Tried-It Challenge Update!

classroom challenges, using twitter as an educator

The Twitter-Tried-It Challenge that I introduced on Thursday is in full swing
 and I'm happy to announce that, after just 1 day, 
I had my first challenge participant!

Way to go, Ms Duemm!
Iris is a Grade 3 teacher in Ontario, Canada and 
I am so happy to have her as my first Twitter-Tried-It participant.

If you want to learn more about the Genius Hour strategy that she implemented, 
check out the Twitter hashtag #GeniusHour (there is a Twitter chat the first Wednesday of each month)


If you would like to participate in the Twitter-Tried-It Challengepick at least ONE THING that you've retweeted on Twitter and actually implement in your life!

      It can be a recent idea or one that you've had favourited for several months, just get that idea in motion and actually start utilizing it in your life! Some ideas are:
- Lesson plan ideas
- Organizational strategies
- Classroom management ideas
- PLN connections
- Just make sure it is related to education!

1 ) If you happen to be a fellow BLOGGER, link up below and 
     share your Twitter-Tried-It attempt in a post!
2 ) If you aren't a blogger, post a TWEET with a picture and tag
     me: @MissLwbt
3 ) You can also post a COMMENT below sharing your 
     Twitter-Tried-It story :)

Lets see how many great ideas we can bring into our lives in the month of June!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Twitter-Tried-It Challenge!

A while back, I was browsing through Twitter and I came across this tweet by David Moroz:

Twitter-Tried-It Challenge

Simple and straightforward... right? Then I did a quick check through my Twitter feed and reviewed some of the many, MANY, ideas I had retweeted over the past few weeks and realized just how few of those ideas I have actually implemented.

I know that you can't do everything at one time, but
I am challenging myself and my followers to pick at least ONE THING that they've retweeted on Twitter and actually implement in their lives!

twitter tried it, professional development

      It can be a recent idea or one that you've had favourited for several months, just get that idea in motion and actually start utilizing it in your life! Some ideas are:
- Lesson plan ideas
- Organizational strategies
- Classroom management ideas
- PLN connections
- Just make sure it is related to education!

1 ) If you happen to be a fellow BLOGGER, link up below and 
     share your Twitter-Tried-It attempt in a post!
2 ) If you aren't a blogger, post a TWEET with a picture and tag
     me: @MissLwbt
3 ) You can also post a COMMENT below sharing your 
     Twitter-Tried-It story :)

Lets see how many great ideas we can bring into our lives in the month of June!

Monday, 3 June 2013

June Currently

     If you haven't encountered a "Currently" post before, it is just a fun post at the beginning of each month that serves as a way to share what is Currently going on in your life! You can link up and share your own "Currently" post by visiting the wonderful Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade. 
     Happy June everyone! I am beyond excited that it is finally June and we have officially started having weather that could be called "summer-like". If you were able to check out my last Currently post in May you'll remember that we were still having major snowstorms last month. Needless to say I am so excited that the snow is gone (after about 215 days) and that it is finally beginning to feel like summer. My fiance and I's outdoor wedding is in only 26 days so here is hoping the weather is still nice then :)
May 1st
Mid-May, warm enough to suntan... still snow
June 3rd, finally summertime!

     Hope everyone has an amazing June!
Also, I am trying to reach 300 followers by the time of my 300th blog post so if you like my posts and would like to follow I would really appreciate it :)
Thank you!

Resources To Start Off Your Week 66

     Today marks the first Monday in June which means that school will be finishing up in just a few short weeks! While many teachers around here are eagerly anticipating these last few weeks so they can finish up their year and begin their summer holidays, I am excited because it means I will get access to my first classroom!! I can't wait to start organizing and putting my mark on my future classroom :) I have already been told that major renovations will be taking place in the room beside me so I am hoping that doesn't cause too many delays when it comes to gaining access to my room. *Fingers crossed*

     I'm still spending a lot of time finding resources that I can incorporate in my classroom. While these resources aren't subject specific, I feel like they could be a great addition to any classroom and I plan to utilize all of them! As always, I will be adding these to my lists of resources under the Fav Websites page.

1 ) Blooms Taxonomy of iPad Apps
- iPads are being utilized in countless schools around the world from
  Kindergarten to Grade 12, as well as through higher education. This
  Blooms Taxonomy wheel, created by Allan Carrington, breaks down
  exactly how we can use this technology in the classroom in a meaningful
  and purposeful way.
- Not only does it organize various iPad apps by the different level of
  Blooms, but it also provides various activity suggestions. This is one of
  the best and compact iPad resources that I've seen, thanks Allan!

blooms taxonomy ipad wheel, blooms ipad, how to use ipads in the classroom, ipads in learning, ipad blooms taxonomy

2 ) Digital Storytelling Evaluation Rubrics
- Have you wanted to use Digital Storytelling with your students but wasn't
  quite sure about the assessment aspect of the project? Med Kharbach, at
  Educational Technology & Mobile Learning, has put together a great post
  featuring different types of assessment rubrics for digital storytelling projects.
- I was especially fond of the second rubric that took Copyright Laws into

digital storytelling rubrics, digital storytelling in the classroom, evaluating digital storytelling projects

Happy Monday everyone!!