Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pass It On

This week, I was notified from Kelly Tenkely at the iLearn Technology blog that I had been chosen by her for this award and it was certainly an honor coming from her. As I was catching up with my reader, I noticed that I had also been mentioned in Suzanne's Blog etechplace. Boy was I surprised because I love Suzanne's blog, too! Thanks so much for taking the time to recognize me. There is no bigger boost to the spirit of blogging than to have your hard work noticed. This award is meant to honor the blogs that we read regularly and find helpful and informative.
So, this is me paying it forward.....

The rules of the award are as follows:
1- Copy and display the picture of the award given to you;
2- Link back to the blog that nominated you;
3- Nominate 10 different blogs yourself;
4- Inform the people you nominated, so they can in turn, continue the chain and spread the word about other great blogs out there.

I get about 100 blog posts a day to my reader. Sometimes I scan through them all, sometimes I only read the ones that have a title that interests me, but there are some that I never miss. This is a few of those in no particular order. I wish I had time to elaborate on all of them, but trust me, they are all worth a visit.

1. Bright Ideas Blog- a fantastic "library blog" sharing resources that can be used across all curriculums.

2. EDge 21- Mr. Bolito shares his "Catch of the Day" and they are always good ones. Lots of math stuff here too.

3. Bits and Pieces Place- Every single time I visit this blog I have to bookmark something. I never miss a post! I even have lots of them saved in my reader to read again later.

4. Notes from McTeach- Always lots of good ideas and tons of links! Great examples straight from the middle school classroom also.

5. Bits and Bytes- This blog is amazing. Ann is so knowledgeable about everything Web 2.0 and shares it here. She is also super supportive of all of her fellow bloggers.

6. A Geeky Momma's Blog- I know that a lot of people look to Lee for guidance in the Web 2.0 world. She was one of the first blogs that I started following and I still enjoy reading her posts.

7. Ozge Karaoglu's Blog- I could go on and on about the resources here. Everyone in education needs to be subscribed to Ozge's blog. I wonder if she ever sleeps!

8. Passport Academy- I love, love, love this blog. This a homeschooling mom who does such great activities with her children (students). She shares these fantastic ideas and resources and we can take them straight to our classrooms.

9. The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness- Mr. Zimmer's blog is one that I never miss. I have never read a post that I didn't come away with a new resource or idea.

10. Integrating Technology in the Primary Classroom- I love the ideas and resources that Kathleen shares in her blog. This blog has fantastic resources to use in the elementary school classroom.

It was very hard to choose ten myself because there are so many! Thanks to all of you hard working bloggers who share your knowledge with all of us every day.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Making Standardized Testing Fun (for one day at least)

Well, as we all know, testing is becoming a part of life. It is inevitable (for now), so why not make it at least a little fun for the kids? The week before the tests, stress and anxiety could be seen on the faces of all the teachers in the building (and the kids too because of that). For the first time, our school decided to do a TCAP pep rally to try to alleviate a little bit of that stress. All teachers and students in our building dressed up as rock stars. Our theme was "Rock the Test".
The kids made signs and posted them throughout our school on the week before the tests. On Friday, all students entered our auditorium to tunes like "We Will Rock You" and "Are You Ready for This?" Some very creative teachers made up cheers and led the students in them. Our music teacher and a "rockin" first grade teacher sang songs with the lyrics adapted to encourage test-taking strategies. We also did a little skit featuring a "hard-working" test taker and a "don't care" test taker. It was so nice to see some excitement and laughter replace all that anxiety. Teachers really put forth a lot of effort to make this enjoyable for the kids and they loved it!