Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer Learning - Teacher Nerdy Style

I admit I'm one of those teachers who get ecstatic to begin my summer learning. At last count, I have 38 articles printed from the school year that I read quickly but wanted more time to process them over the summer. My to be read pile is not a stack -- it is an inviting mountain calling my name. I have four books on reserve at the library, but first I made myself stop. Breathe. Walk outside around our pond. Weed our six gardens. Ok long enough time to jump into summer learning.  Off to the library to pick up my first two books:  Hope is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera and Upside Down in the Middle ofNowhere by Julie T. Lamana. 

During the school year, I was lucky enough to join a group of third grade teachers for a monthly PD as they discussed their first year in Common Core.  Conversations were powerful and a special thanks to Kelly, Franki, and Lynsey for including me.

We were able to skype with @KristinZiemke and I had four light bulb moments that I am already thinking about for my classroom next year.

A) "It's not the technology - it is the thinking" I could have stopped right there.  This is a constant reminder for me, and I need to be more purposeful with integration throughout the school day.

B)  "Take a screenshot and email it to me" so many times I have wanted to share pieces of student work, and our airport weren’t working, or we were on laptops. So simple but never considered it and now that we are using Google it is simple to drop a picture into a document.

C) "Tech team Mondays" is an organizational tool that she uses to help organize her class.  The students work with same partner for a set time frame and know who to go to for help prior to asking the teacher. Easy and solves problems for me.

D)  "Interactive anchor charts" once a mini lesson is over take some video of students practicing, create a QR code and paste it on the chart. Brilliant!!

Summer learning is the BEST!  Already I am shifting practices and thinking about how to incorporate Common Core as I implement it next year for the first time.  I’ve only been out for two days, and I haven’t even been to Google Training, Allwrite14, Choice Literacy Retreat or Nerd Camp. It’s going to be a productive and fun summer.


  1. And with the reading of this post, my summer learning has now begun too...and I'm still in school! You always push my thinking! Would love to chat about vocabulary with your this summer. I really need to ramp up what I'm doing with that!

    1. For sure always enjoy talking about vocabulary. Actually starting a piece for CL about how to use graffiti walls in the classroom. Let me know when and I'm ready to talk :) Stay strong with your last week. Sending positive thoughts your way.

  2. Yay for summer learning! My first #bookaday out of the gate yesterday is likely my first read aloud for the year next year and has me thinking about new paths for reading response and new ways to build community. I also read a LA and a math journal from...January...and am planning to pull articles and start CCSS idea binders for both subjects. Just think what I'll get done when I"m not on Percocet??

  3. You can't leave me hanging which book? It must be the Percocet.... I am also building a LA binder we will have to compare notes. See you Friday :)

  4. I'm with can Mary Lee not share the title of the book she read. I am so excited for summer learning too and your post gives me some things to look into. I was just thinking about you this morning and that I need to get some books put on reserve. Looking forward to seeing you this summer! :)

  5. Make that another person intrigued by mary Lee's book! Thanks for sharing these ideas, Maria - your summer learning is off to a great start.

  6. Mary Lee just shared with me the book title: Room 214 A Year in Poems by Helen Frost.