Showing posts from September, 2013

What's The Point?

A recent news story has me questioning why some school districts even bother with going 1to1.  In Los Angeles, the district began a 1to1 ipad initiative in at least three high schools. They blocked access to all social media sites, both at school and at home. In about a week, over 300 students figured out how to breach the security on their ipads and surf the Web and get on Facebook and Twitter at home. The districts response was to no longer allow the ipads to go home with students and to postpone the rollout of ipads to other students until they were able "to ensure it has 100 percent control over what is accessible" on the ipads. Check out the story here: We are a 1to1 school this year. All students from kindergarten through 12th grade have an Apple device of some kind (K-5 have ipads, 6-12 have MacBook Airs). As teachers, we have talked about the distraction

To My Kindred Spirits

This blog post is the result of several conversations I've had on Twitter the last three days (#iaedchat, #flipclass and #tlap started them all) and a surprise gift in the mail yesterday. All of these events made me realized how lucky I am to have surrounded myself with some of the best minds in education. Join many wonderful teachers of writers at TwoWritingTeachers every Tuesday for more Slice of Life posts It wasn't that long ago that I felt like a cheesy sit-com teacher because I always tried to see the best in my students, I wanted the best for my students, and I gave my best to my students. Aside from a few like minded teachers,  real life didn't seem that way. I wondered if I cared too much. It was hard work to stay positive and do what I knew in my heart was best for my kids. And then, I met all of you--my blogging buddies and Twitter tweeps. My PLN--another "cheesy" term, according to some. Made me an "overachiever" to others (and

A Reminder

Most of you probably don't know, that Greg and I have six grandkids. And that is because I don't write about three of them very often. Not because we aren't in their life, not because we don't love them as much as the others. I don't write about them because of a scary person in their life. Someone we try to keep from them. So, no pics online, no names, nothing. The school, the teacher, family, we all know the rules. But last week, a local newspaper placed a picture of one of them on the front page of the paper (and of course online), complete with first and last name, age, grade and school. Anyone can now find them.  Including the scary person. All because the newspaper didn't think to get permission before printing a photo. So I'm writing this to remind everyone to get permission before you post pictures, student work, videos etc. anywhere online. It might seem like an insignificant thing to you. But to the family asking you not to post those pic


Last night, I read a blog post by Dave Mulder . I began to comment on it, and then realized, it was probably a blog post. Go ahead and click over there to read what he said. I'll wait.... I substitute taught for a few years before I began teaching. It was probably one of the best ed classes I ever had. One year, I took a long term sub position for an elementary teacher in our district who was actually quite well respected (at least I thought so). She was having a surgical procedure, so I had time to meet with her before she took her leave. The day we met, she proudly showed me a file box on her desk. Inside it were 180 notecards. One for every day of the school year. Her lesson plans. They never changed. She was my Carl. She lived in her little classroom and never changed a thing. She was too afraid to fly...although I don't understand why, she had some great ideas. As a sub, I was thrilled. Here was every thing I needed to teach in this classroom for six we

How About a Little Cheese With That Whine?

It's not right. I'm not doing enough. I'm not organized enough. Aaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhh. I am not liking how Creative Writing has been going. I don't feel prepared enough this year, and I think it's because I'm trying to do it all at once... flipping the units trying to be my own version of Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher not being perfect conferring with 40 kids in two classes 1:1 and going paperless (really? in a writing classroom?) and, oh, yeah, my other five classes I should be reading drafts for tomorrow, but instead, I'm whining in this blog post. I should be at least voice commenting so they can really work on revising tomorrow, but instead I'm whining in this blog post. I should be creating a video on getting rid of linking verbs and writing in active voice, but instead I'm whining in this blog post. I'm really good at whining today. I need a plan. "Do you need it perfect or do you need it tomorr


We all doubt ourselves once in awhile. We all look at our classrooms, our teaching, and wonder if we're doing the right thing. We wonder if it's time to retire. Do we have the energy? The patience? The passion to keep going. Friday was day 11 of our school year. Trust me, I'm not counting down already.  But I am so tired some days when I come home, I just don't have the energy to spend more time on school work. Those little thoughts creep into my head. Can I really keep doing this for six or seven more years? But on Day 11, I marveled at the relationships and the trust that have developed in that short amount of time. Little moments. Little moments that reaffirm this life I have chose. Little moments that reassure me I'm still doing the right thing and can continue on for a few more years. "Mrs. Day, you are in the best teacher in school" from a student I've never had in class a student sharing details from his life that I know he doesn

The Great Thing About Seniors

Join me at Two Writing Teachers every Tuesday for the Slice of Life with Ruth and Stacey! We met with our homerooms on Friday for a short time. One of those days where information needs to be handed out and gathered. Homeroom tends to be the easiest way to do that. In our district, you start with a homeroom when they enter as freshmen and keep them until they graduate. It's easy to build relationships with them this way. This year, my kids are seniors. It didn't take long for me to take care of business and there was quite a bit of time left before they could move on to the assembly. As freshmen and sophomores---maybe even juniors, they would have whined about this, tried to sneak off, or some would have gotten downright belligerent.  But as Seniors, all they wanted to know was if they could hang out outside my room in the little space where I keep my comfy chairs. So that's what they did. Hung out. And laughed. And sang along to youtube videos. An