Sunday, April 3, 2011


          It's Sunday night, and our two-week Spring Break is coming to a close.  It always goes too quickly.  But I'm anxious to start learning with my Schmardies again.  They are young enough to still love school with a capital L.  Many of them (not all, of course!) will tell me break was too long, that they'd rather be in school.  It always energizes me!
         I’m perpetually amazed at how a good break changes me.  I go from being exhausted in mind and body, back to raring to go with lots of new ideas again.  I can look back on frustrating behaviors and administrative problems with fresh eyes.   My lesson plans are ready, I did some cleaning in our classroom, and I feel organized.  I love that! 
This break I learned a lot too.  I started a Twitter account, and am having a great time crafting my PLN (Professional Learning Network).  I’ve even found some other Teachers of Gifted Kids, and am excited about sharing ideas.   I learned about some things I want to try with my students: to map book characters (other uses too!), Skype (which I have done with my daughter, but not at school), Cover It Live, Max My,, which is a “Sticky Note” type of place for younger kids.  I know that’s a lot, and I’ll be grateful if we are able to get good at one or two of them.  But it’s so cool to have new ways to share our learning!
I also started this Blog during break.  It’s been harder to come up with ideas than I thought.  But I’m sure that once I’m back amongst the Schmardies, ideas will start to flow again.  We have a class Blog too – check it out!  It’s at That’s something else we’ll be working more on.  To date we’ve just been chatting with each other, and most of it has been done at home.  I’ve posted a few questions for them to think about and answer.  The students have had a good time posting math problems and jokes for one another.  But I notice that several students are not blogging, for whatever reason.  It’s down to maybe 3 or 4 dedicated bloggers.  We started it about two months ago, and I think it needs refreshing.  This will mean I’ll need to sign up for the computer carts more often so we can blog in class.  I’m thinking it would be fun to blog about books we’re reading, so stay tuned.  One large benefit of blogging with them has been their punctuation skills.  I decided to insist on capitals and periods.   Even Gifted kids have to be reminded a million times.  I have our Kidblog set up so that I have to approve every post and comment.  (This is for safety also).  I don’t post their comments and posts unless they have good punctuation.  At first I felt kind of Scroogeish for doing that, but wow, it’s made a real difference in a couple of our bloggers.  They want to blog so badly, that it’s worth it to them to “do it right.”  By the end of the year hopefully it will just come naturally.
Time to get ready for tomorrow - It's Sunday night, and our two-week Spring Break is coming to a close.  

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