January in Review

January 2010!

I started 2010 on quite an ambitious note with the 30 Goals Challenge series. I feel I grew so much as a blogger with your support in completing these challenges. You are welcome to download the free e-book of the challenges if you would still like to complete them. We have many new educators who have already started the challenges in February and blogging about it. Additionally, I am looking forward to your contribution to the upcoming 30 Goals collaborative e-book which will be much better than the one I have posted.


Click to launch the full edition in a new window

What you might have missed…

Your favorite posts this month based on comments and overall traffic:

  • Goal: Support a New Blogger- In this goal, I challenged you to visit and support new educational bloggers by commenting on their posts or retweeting them. You can easily discover new blogs or share them with others by using the hashtag, #newedblog.
  • Goal: Create (40 Writing, Music, & Art Resources)- In this goal, I challenged you to inspire yourself and your students by nourishing your creativity. Sometimes, we leave behind our creative hobbies, but these hobbies help inspire us and relieve ourselves of stress.
  • Goal: Conquer a Fear- In this goal, I challenged you to not let a fear prevent you from opportunities.
  • Goal: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone- In this post, I offered you ideas on how to step out of your comfort zone while teaching. These included giving your students reign, teaching without the textbook for a day, and teach paperless once a week.
  • My Favorite Goals-
    • Goal: Give Your Students Reign- In this goal, I encouraged you to allow your students to have complete control over one class period. Have them choose the material and the way they want to present the material. Just trust them and see what they create.
    • Goal: Cause A Ripple- I shared with you the ripple effect theory and how our actions cause ripples of positive or negative consequences. I encouraged you to cause positive ripples and prevent negative ripples. Everyday is an opportunity to stir the water, but are we actually making conscious efforts to do this?
  • Favorite What Did They Tweet Series- In this post, our PLN shared with us the TED video- When Kids Believe They Can, the Slideshare- 7 Tips to Getting Strangers to Connect to You, the ESL e-book- Fiction in Action: Whodunnit, the video- Power of Creativity, and several contests to receive free technology in the classroom.
  • Favorite Cool Sites Series- The goal was to give constructive feedback to students in innovative ways. In the post, 12 Resources for Giving Constructive Feedback, I shared audio tools for audio feedback, video tools for video feedback, and several rubric sites.
  • My Favorite Web 2.0 Tools This Month-
    • Empressr-Upload video, images and audio to create cool slideshows with impressive effects. Use the charting and table tools, import images from Flickr, embed your presentation on your blog, and create a backchannel with Twitter during your presentation.
    • SlideRocket- Store your slide presentations online and integrate audio, images, and video. You can also collaborate with peers on presentations and create presentations online. Embed this on your blog, publish to a url, or conduct a webinar. A content library is available. For more presentation tools, check out this post.
  • Where else you can find me:

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    What was your favorite post? Leave a comment below!


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Goal: Pass the Baton

Part of the 30 Goals 2010 Challenge Series

As educators we tend to be very giving people and volunteer our time to help others. In this way, education is a significant profession. I am fortunate to have been involved in many incredible projects. Along the way, I realized that some of these projects either no longer exist or lack the profound impact they once made. Funding is a problem. Another problem is when the leader leaves and no one else takes the reigns. I have been that leader, the one who failed to pass the baton.

This year I aim to pass the baton. How is this accomplished?

  • Mentoring
  • Creating a plan
  • Creating leadership positions shared by many
  • Having appropriate measures in place
  • Establishing a vision

The Challenge Continues

My long-term goal is to ensure this project is continued. Many have been so incredibly wonderful in sharing this with their teachers and students. Thank you for this. To make this process easier I have created this free e-book that has all the goals listed in order. You can share this with your school, other teachers, your students, and administrators. Next week, I will ask you to help me collaborate on a better e-book. I would like to create a collaborative e-book with images, videos, student examples, blog posts, and comments that fit under each category. I want to be able to take this to the several conferences I am presenting at this year and share this with teachers and their students. I would like you to be able to share it as well on your blogs or at teacher trainings. I want this to be by a collaborative group of authors. I hope you will join me in this project. I will provide more details and a Google document where you can easily list the link to what you would like to contribute.

Click to view the full digital publication online
Read The 30 Goals Challenge: Join the Movement
Publishing Software from Yudu

The Challenges

Congratulations on endearing this journey with me. Here is a list of all the goals we have accomplished together. Continue, with your long-term goals now that you are goal-oriented. I feel so fortunate to have had you join me in this process and hope we will continue this community of support.

  1. Keep a Diary
  2. Contribute to a Blog Carnival
  3. Start an Adventure
  4. Support a New Blogger
  5. Update Your Online Profiles
  6. Set a Google Alert
  7. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
  8. What’s Your Personal Theme Song?
  9. Be a Guest Blogger
  10. Make A Connection
  11. Ask, Perhaps You’ll Receive
  12. Reach Out
  13. Give Students Reign
  14. Cause a Ripple
  15. Create: 40 Writing, Music, & Art Resources
  16. Voice Your Appreciation
  17. Tell Your Story
  18. Let’s Move
  19. What Do You Believe?
  20. Seek Feedback
  21. Have a Bit of Fun
  22. 12 Resources for Giving Constructive Feedback
  23. Where There’s a Will
  24. Conquer a Fear
  25. Plant a Seed
  26. What Are You Putting Off?
  27. Reflection vs. Reaction
  28. Capture the Moment
  29. Stay Focused
  30. Pass the Baton

Challenge:

Reflect on what you would like to ensure continues and come up with a plan to achieve this.

You may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

If you’d like to begin the challenge, please download the free e-book here!

Don’t forget to leave a comment that you accomplished this goal using the hashtag #30Goals!

How do we ensure we pass the baton?


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Goal: Stay Focused

Part of the Goals 2010 Challenge Series, Goal 29

When I was in high school I made a goal to run daily. After a few weeks I quit. I admitted this to my friend who volunteered to run with me. Every morning we ran for miles. I wish I could tell you that it was always a happy time but he had this annoying habit of pushing me. He would not let me lose my focus and running became a habit I kept for many years. From this experience, I learned that I stay focused and accomplish more when others are with me.

I was reminded of this throughout this series. Instead of one friend, I have many who have joined this journey. Reading your tweets, responses, and comments has pushed me beyond my initial expectations. When I began this series it was an experiment. Every year I undergo an elaborate ritual to accomplish many goals and create lifelong habits. I categorize my goals and sketch out detailed plans. Within a few weeks I lose my focus. I wanted to see if inviting my Personal Learning Network (PLN) to join me in accomplishing short-term goals would keep me focused. It worked.In the last 30 days I have woken up  with a goal in mind to accomplish, because I knew I would have to post the goal.

The process was not always easy. Some days I struggled. Teaching, projects, distractions, and laziness got in my way. Then I would read one of your posts, tweets, or responses and I was energized to continue this journey. These are how goals are achieved. Obstacles will always get in the way, but we have to stay focused on the goal. Thank you for giving me that focus and helping me train my mind to become  goal-oriented.

Tomorrow is the last day of this series, but not the last goal we accomplish this year. Let’s stay focused. This is just the beginning.

Challenge:

Create a plan on how you will stay focused to complete your long-term goals for the year. Suggest ways to help our students to learn to stay focused on long-term goals like graduating from college.

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This is goal 29 of this series! If you’d like to join the challenge, please read this post!

Don’t forget to leave a comment that you accomplished this goal using the hashtag #30Goals!

How do you stay focused? How can we teach our students to stay focused on long-term goals like graduating from college


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Goal: Reflection vs. Reaction

Part of the Goals 2010 Challenge Series, Goal 27

Reflection…

looking deeply at ourselves
meditating on mistakes
contemplating lessons we were taught
deciding our next steps

Versus

Reaction…

acting on emotion
regretting our decisions
making mistakes
paying the consequences

When I first started on social media I made the mistake of reacting to what I felt was an unjust situation. I paid hefty consequences. I knew I could have responded differently to the situation. We have all been there where our emotions get the best of us. However, reaction comes with consequences. For our students this can be deadly. For five students I knew, their reactions cost them their lives. Therefore, I think reflection is a great lesson we should teach students, but this seems to be missing from the curriculum. We need character education. Students need to be able to reflect on their choices and picture the consequences. They need to be able to see the possible outcomes of their decisions. Many emotions and hormones roar through our students that they often react to their emotions. I still struggle with this sometimes, but I know how to calm myself down. I know to channel the energy into something more productive like going for a walk or run. How about our students? Have they really been taught to reflect?

My goal is to help my students learn to reflect versus react. Today, I want to know how you think we can do this?

Challenge:

Help your students learn to reflect versus react.

You may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

This is goal 27 of this series! If you’d like to join the challenge, please read this post with more details!

Don’t forget to leave a comment that you accomplished this goal using the hashtag #30Goals!

How do we teach students to reflect?

Images courtesy of Pinksherbet (D Sharon Pruitt) / CC BY 2.0


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Goal: What are You Putting Off?

Part of the Goals 2010 Challenge Series, Goal 26

I woke up today and began the daunting task of organizing my email. I have many projects, therefore, keeping my emails in their separate folders keeps me more organized with these projects. However, I often berate myself for putting these things off till they are overwhelming. I could have easily just put the email in the folder when I first read it. However, we often get so busy we put off some tasks till they build up and becoming overwhelming chores. In my case it is usually some type of cleaning or organization task. The apps on my Iphone should be organized. I should transfer the music in the Ipod I never use anymore over to my Iphone. I know I cannot possibly accomplish everything but I do want to be more organized. Organization saves time. Moreover, I want to be able to have peace of mind that I accomplished these tasks. Additionally, some of these tasks include having a nicer looking desktop or cleaner work area. This could help me when I experience a mental block due to seeing a mess. Some of these tasks would even help me accomplish other tasks more quickly. Therefore, I completed my short-term goal of accomplishing one of these tasks today. My long-term goal is to erase enough of these on my to-do list.  Here are some tricks I have read about, perhaps they will help you:

  • A To-do Jar- Write your leftover tasks on a small sheet of paper and throw it in the jar. Set aside time an hour every week to accomplishing one of these tasks. When you have free time, you could also pull out one of the tasks to accomplish. In this way, the task becomes a bit of an adventure, because you never know what you’ll put out of the jar.
  • Trade- This works best if you have children, a spouse, or friends you are doing favors for. Instead of just helping someone when you do not have the time, why don’t you see what they can help you with? Many times people feel so grateful to help someone who is helping them.
  • Make it a Student Project- Some of your tasks may be great lessons for your students. Sorting, evaluating, and analyzing are higher-order skills students can learn from doing a variety of tasks we do everyday. Moreover, students learn about the real life application of their classroom learning.
  • Outsource- Companies frequently hire others to do some of their tasks. You may know some children around the neighborhood needing to raise funds for a charity. In local newspapers or church bulletins you may find people who need funds in this economy and would love for you to outsource your work to them. You can feel good about helping others.

    Challenge:

    What small task have you put off that you could complete?

    You may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

    This is goal 26 of this series! If you’d like to join the challenge, please read this post!

    Don’t forget to leave a comment that you accomplished this goal using the hashtag #30Goals!

    How do you manage your to-do list?


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