Going Back 2 School 2014


To be honest, this teacher never really goes on Summer Vacation.  I spend my summer in school myself.  This year it wasn’t only professional development that will help me bring innovative learning to my classroom, but also taking one of my final classes to earn my Masters in Technology.  I consider myself to be a lifelong learner.  I’m not happy unless I’m finding something meaningful on Social Media and sharing with others who might feel the same.  I belong to a large Professional Learning Community on Twitter and Instagram.  People in my PLN have valuable information to share, FREE I might add, with others who do the same.  This allows me to have access to an unlimited number of professionals that can add value to my personal and professional knowledge base.  24/7 I can get inspired and when I do I’m chomping at the bit to share with others.  

Some of the things I was a part of this summer that started through my Social Media connections include the purchase of my 1st Erin Condren Teacher Planner.  If you want to purchase one you can use this code to get $10 off.  HTTPS://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/tammytweten1005. It’s FABulous if I don’t say so myself.  Although I’m a techy at heart it’s been an ongoing issue for me whether to use paper or digital document to create and maintain my lesson plans. I’ve decided that my lesson plans need to be concrete and tangible for me to maintain with clarity and focus.  Therefore, I’ll be breaking my classroom goal of going truly ‘paperless’ to provide a more organized school year for myself.  

Another thing that I would never have found without Social Media was a couple of Nerdy Techy thingies for Professional Development.  I say those words as terms of endearment.  I’m quite partial to my inner nerd and that’s the reason it’s my Social Media identity.  These ‘nerdy thingies’ included CUE (Computer Using Educators) Rock Star Camp in Manhattan Beach, CA and Playdate LA in Los Angeles.  These were run by some awesome Tech Leaders and people I recommend following on Twitter if you’re trying to build your PLN.  Additionally, I participated in several Webinars including Edmodo Trailblazers, EdmodoCon, and Class Dojo for Mentors.  Incredible amounts of information learned through the hours of FREE Professional Development.

If you’re a beginner to Twitter and you haven’t participated in a Twitter Chat it’s time you became familiar and get on board.  They are an awesome way to connect with other people in real time using tweets organized by a hashtag.  Here’s a great list of resources to get your connected with Cybraryman.  Some of the chats I follow include the NEW #3DEdchat created by local teachers @chartooni and @fleck_ra and #caedchat. 

I spent a large amount of time redesigning my school site (Google site) for my students and parents to access.  This site was 100% designed by myself and I’m excited to share the Google Site Professional Development with not only the staff at my school, but also the staff at my partner school where I assist with technology integration.  Oh yeah!  I almost forgot to share that I’ve been working on becoming a Google Educator.  That’s one more step towards getting Google Certified.  I  probably would be done already if I hadn’t been busy doing the other things I’ve already mentioned.  Not to mention my kids all being in travel sports this summer.  Although busy, it was productive and maybe their most memorable summer to date.  Feels good to be able to share in their accomplishments in Soccer, Tae Kwon Do, and Lacrosse.  Being a teacher has given me the privilege to spend Summers with family.  Feeling grateful! 

Now that my own children are getting ready to go back to school it’s time for me to shift into Teacher mode from Student mode.  As I do I ponder the upcoming year and the ‘NEW’ and refreshing ideas I’ve learned about this summer and hope to use with my new class.  One of the ‘BIG’ ideas I want to try is to implement is with learning spaces in my classroom.  I want them to be more Flexible.  Here’s the link to my Google Site where I share some additional information.  Learning Spaces  Some other resources I’ve used to help me with this idea include Erin Klein at Kleinspiration  and Alice Keeler at ClassroomPics.

Additional places to check out include:

http://linkis.com/blogs.kqed.org/minds/ezUme and http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/tag/classroom-design/ @Mindshift

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/03/school-design-student-grades_n_2404289.html   @huffingtonpost

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_hive/2010/11/the_fifthgrade_exploration_studio.html @slate

http://vimeo.com/15945912 @vimeo

The first day of school is kind of like Christmas morning to me.  I enjoy meeting all my new kiddos and building their anticipation for the great year ahead.  As I send my own children off to school August 28th, I’ll receive children whom will become my school family for the next 180 days.  I don’t take this role lightly.  My goal is to create a learning environment where students feel safe to participate in authentic engaging learning experiences that positively impact the child academically and emotionally.  Happy thoughts!  24hoursofhappiness

Throughout the year I’ll be posting on this blog to share the happenings in our 4th grade classroom.  I encourage you to check back and find out what’s going on.  Come back and Get Nerdy! 🙂

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