Monthly Archives: February 2014


The past month has been…challenging.  With snow days, delays, and MAP testing, I saw the children directly less than 10 times.  This meant that they had to be self-directed in their learning for most of the month.  So I got to thinking about what a “self-directed learner” is:  Rubric for Self Directed Learner

Does that mean that everyone should be a “3” or “4”? No. I respect those that are “2’s” and I accept level 2’s who do just what they need to. My role is to strive to help them be as strong as they can be, but understand “word smart” is not their strength or interest. I will teach to every intelligence strength I can, but I am charged with the task of teaching reading content standards while trying to meet the unique needs of a gifted learner.

With all of this in mind, I have spent this weekend sorting and evaluating all of the work the children have done.  I have established “minimum” expectations and factored in those extra opportunities that many students may have taken advantage of.  What I discovered is that I have an extreme range of motivation to work with…point totals ranged between 22 and 297. Self-directed point total graph

So to move forward, I plan to have the children “own” what they did, recognize that we cannot change the past and determine independent goals as we continue on.  Sure we will have “2’s”, “3’s” and “4’s” in our classroom…that is what makes us unique! (And is what makes my job the rewarding challenge that it is!)  Just as long as everyone is continuing to grow and progress in their reading and deeper thinking skills!

Digital Learning Day!

February 5th is Digital Learning Day.  The weather doesn’t care because we are all at home, hopefully warm and safe with power to use those devices.  I had hoped to celebrate this day IN CLASS WITH my children…yet what better way to celebrate than connecting from home digitally!

On our last “weather cancellation” more than 20 students and I had online conversations using and a few of us used the Ask 3 app to engage in discourse.  Since then many are set up on Edmodo and can log in and “rank and reason” as they sort 8 words and justify their ranking for those words:  Rank and reason

Of course students can also continue working on their Passion Projects (plugged or unplugged) to be displayed in our new VIRTUAL MUSEUM:

And don’t forget!  Many still need to complete their Intro to Computer Science series or they can find an individual “Hour of Code” lesson.

There are many ways my learners can celebrate Digital Learning Day from home!  I can’t wait to hear (or see) what they do!

From the email to the parent group: 

Today is Digital Learning Day!  I had hoped to celebrate AT school with the kids, but…  I’ll take at home sharing as a great alternative!
There are many ways your child can celebrate with me today!
(1) We have 4 discussions available
(2) Ask 3 app (I have a few and there are a few student created ones)
(3) Edmodo (for those I created accounts with at school…if they remember the username they told me or put in)
(4) Work on Passion Projects (plugged or unplugged) because these will go on display in our virtual museum.
(5) Create a squiggle (they know what this is) and type a story about it to email to me.  (Many are doing this in the classroom with the Chromebooks)
(6) Do an App Evaluator (sent this in an email last week)
(7) Create an “audio response” instead of writing a reading response letter this week
So many possibilities…of course I am sure many will be “plugged” in for some R & R too, but I hope they can be encouraged to include some “digital learning” into their day!