Sunday, February 12, 2012


This week I am doing something a bit different. Instead of giving you a website (or two), I am giving you an idea… a suggestion… a learning opportunity… a challenge.
As educators we should be the ultimate example of lifelong learning. We should constantly be learning new things about our craft.
I was introduced to a term a few years ago that has helped me do just that: P.L.N.
It stands for Personal Learning Network. A Personal Learning Network looks different for each person. It is a collection of activities, plans, places on the Internet, or people, that you touch-base with on a regular basis; that help you learn new things that relate to your career or your life.
You all have a PLN right now… it consists of your family and friends; colleagues; books; social networks; email, your phone… Your challenge is to broaden this!
My first attempt in building my PLN was to learn about podcasting. In the beginning I set aside one hour each week. I would “google” my topic and investigate the sites that appeared. I was shocked at the amount of information there was! I found enough information that justified spending time in finding podcasts to use in my class to teach with; and to invest in the purchase of several MP3 players for my students to use them individually/in pairs. I also encourage my students to use my UEN website to access more podcasts to listen/watch outside of school.
The point here is that I learned something to help my teaching and my students’ learning. I did not have to go to an in-service, nor did it cost me more than some time to learn about it.
My challenge to you this week is to start building your own PLN. Choose a topic that relates to your teaching. Have you been using the same lesson or activity for eons? See if you can change it up. Are your kids not responding to a tried and true lesson like they used to? Is there something in the new Common Core that you have to teach soon, that you are not too familiar with?
For now try to use the Internet to find information about your topic. Use your SEARCH engine (Yahoo, Google, Ask ~whatever you have or use). Type in your grade level, use a + sign and the topic.
(Example: fourth grade + what a good reader looks like?)– then click search.
When you have decided on your topic, let the group know what you are doing by visiting the Wallwisher page-  -and attaching a post-it note. (don’t forget to include your name). Others can post ideas for you here or can email ideas to you! 

Have fun with this! Feel free to ask for help. Shoot me an email if you don't see me everyday. Or ask someone who has posted on the WALL.
Have a great week, and Happy Valentine's Day!

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