Monday, July 22, 2013

Bringing back the joy

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute (DENSI 2013) in the beautiful Burlington, Vermont.

My head is still spinning with all the amazing information about incorporating technology into my classroom to enhance student participation.  I'm excited to use the new apps to air stream from my iPad to my projector and turn my iPad into a document camera to capture student work while walking around the classroom. 

Perhaps even more exciting then the information was the opportunity to try new things and connect with some amazing educators from across the Untied States and from the Great White North (oh Canada).  In five short days, we did a flash mob, the Harlem Shake and the Denmazing Race.  I learned to milk a goat and geo-cache, both of which are obviously great life skills.

Perhaps the most important message I took away from the conference is joy.  Teaching is amazing. I'm blessed with the opportunity year after year to interact with precious young minds and help guide them to be thoughtful, articulate, considerate citizens.  Parents trust me with their most valuable gems and I get to watch them grow, learn and discover.  One thing I want to work on this year is putting joy back into teaching.  I want to make each day fun and have my students want to be there.  I learned about whole brain teaching from my super cool roommate and I love the idea of having my students communicate frequently with one another.  

I plan to upcycle a tissue box (once I have an empty one) into this cute student shout out box:

I can empower students to compliment one another and work on building a classroom community.  I'm excited for the upcoming school year and embracing more JOY in my life and my classroom :)

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