Monday, August 29, 2016

As the Sun Sets on Summer

Summer Reflections

Dear Readers,

It has truly been an amazing summer of learning and getting to know my PLN! 

While some people take a break from social media during these months, I am the exact opposite. It is the time that I am able to engage in many chats, thoughtful discussions and relationship building with educators around the world. Please join me on my 2016 summer reflection of learning and connecting.


I was extremely fortunate to co-moderate #LAUNCHBOOK Chat with several members of my PLN. The discussion ran through July and was a tremendous hit! A huge thank you to @ajjuliani and @burgessdave for allowing us to use the hashtag. In addition a sincere thank you to all the participants that joined in each week. It was a blast!

I am happily integrating what I learned into the classroom this year.


I was honored when @SteveWyborney  asked me to co-moderate a slow chat using his book The Writing on the Classroom Wall. The chat has continued throughout the month of August and we will be finishing up on Labor Day. A sincere thank you to all participants who have engaged in our discussions over the past few weeks. I have learned so much and met so many amazing educators! 

I am incorporating Big Ideas into my classroom this year!


I have always used current events in my instruction, but @MathDenisNJ has me looking at the world in a completely different way! I am much more observant of my surroundings and how they could be used as teaching tools. For example, the above rock wall generated some captivating conversations among my PLN!

I also posted this sign that led to some interesting comments and questions as well....

Sketch Noting

If you follow me on a regular basis, you have probably noticed all my "visual representations" I have enjoyed creating. I started out making them for myself, but soon realized they were more fun to make for others. Here are some of the requests I honored..... (@PaulSolarz @jedikermit @MathDenisNJ @SteveWyborney @JonHarper70bd @OrganicLeaderVB)

Guest Moderator

I was so thankful to be a guest moderator for a couple of my favorite chats! Thank you to......

......@burgess_shelley for allowing me to moderate #satchatwc in June and @MagicPantsJones for allowing me to moderate #2pencilchat in July.

The Gif Crew


I lovingly refer to this group as "The Gif Crew". This group is an absolute pleasure to engage with! It has now become a tradition to meet up in chats and see who can "out Gif" the other. I am astonished at the speed in which they can produce Gifs during chats. Unfortunately, the speed of my computer and inability to multi-task during chats, hinders my participation. However, I am usually laughing hysterically as I answer questions and watch the number of my notifications increase dramatically! Thank you for bringing fun into my "Twitter PLN". 

Friendships Across State Lines

One of the most special moments of the summer was when I met @itsmespiri for the first time over my birthday weekend. She was on her way to visit family and graciously stopped to have dinner with me. I was then invited to her home in August and met her absolutely fantastic, amazing family. People who are not on Twitter and think you cannot make friends, do not GET it. I feel closer to some people I have never met than those I see on a regular basis. Thank you Justin, Spiri, Sophie, Gabe and Sara for opening your hearts and home to me. I cannot wait to see you again soon!


The #XPLAP chat, moderated by @tishrich and @mmatera is one of the most supportive communities I have engaged with! Their weekly chat on Wednesday evenings (8:00 PM EST) has really helped me to begin understanding Gamification in the classroom. 

I am hoping to use the strategies I have learned to incorporate gaming into some of my classes this year. Here is my end of the year attempt in June....

Twitter Chats

People have commented that I am "everywhere" during the summer on Twitter and it might seem that way! Here are a few of my favorite chats that I participated in....I highly recommend them to all!

  • #fitnessedu (7:00-7:30 PM EST)
  • #LeadWithGiants (7:00-8:00 PM EST)
  • #LearnLAP (8:00-9:00 PM EST)
  • #TLAP (9:00-10:00 PM EST)
  • #2PencilChat (7:00-8:00 PM EST)
  • #DivergEd (8:00-8:30 PM EST)
  • #EdTechTherapy (8:00-9:00 PM EST)
  • #XPLAP (8:00-9:00 PM EST)
  • #OhEdChat (9:00-10:00 PM EST)
  • #MakeItReal (9:30-10:00 PM EST)
  • #whatisschool (7:00-8:00 PM EST)
  • #engagechat (8:00-9:00 PM EST)
  • #satchat (7:30-8:30 AM EST)
  • #LeadUpChat (9:30-10:30 AM EST)
  • #satchatwc (10:30-11:30 AM EST
  • #EduGlatiators (11:30 AM-12:00 PM EST)

Wishing You a Happy School Year!

I sincerely hope everyone is off to a great beginning of the year, a fabulous middle of the year or an awesome end of the year depending on where you are. Thank you for a fantastic summer of connecting and collaborating!