Veteran Teacher Makes Changes

Graziano Version 2.016

Connected to True Professional Development Again

This class made me realize how much I love reading, talking, writing and most of all applying new teaching strategies. I've subscribed to get articles and updates daily and really find this invigorating and inspiring.

I've found great ways to have all the benefits of a book club and professional learning community to expand my thinking beyond our school without leaving the building or going out of the home for a book club in the evening. I've got my brain connected to my passion again.

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Blinded By the Light? Same Old Chairs? A Gentler Classroom Evolves!

When you walk through the door of Mrs. Graziano's room you feel like your visiting her at her home. Two navy wing back chairs will wrap their arms around you while you rest your tired feet on the coffee table. Four or five of your classmates will snuggle into the Patriotic sofa and you can sit comfortably on the Persian rug reading a good book or doing iPad research. Ther's still enough trapezoid tables and bedrock seats if you feel yourself drifting away. When students are primarily researching there are not lamps and the bright fluorescents will be off. Thanks to the collaboration of students and the generosity of parents Mrs. Graz still has living room furniture at home. But those days when she can't get home for awhile her classroom is now the next best thing! All the other areas below are works in progress. It is hoped that feeling more cozy and comfortable with

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all of us perform to our potential.

Strengthened Technology Skills

Stepping Back Into Glogster

With students using iPads for the past three years, it had been that long since I'd opened up Glogster. The app is 4.99 per student, so the district was not willing to renew. It's been even longer since I had made a Glogster myself. Usually, I'm walking students through the steps and facilitating not creating something cohesive myself. I need to make a few for presenting information to my students before they go off to high school not having at least seen a Glogster. My plan is to make some instructional Glogs, one for the Vietnam Era, great to embed music and video!

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Found Smores, Low Calorie Version!

This publishing and online communication tool has been a golden nugget. Somehow I had only heard of the Girls Scout campfire Smore's and I think this online version just might be sweeter! It's the closest free replacement for Glogster that can be used for free on an I-Pad yet.

Students will have the option of using this tool for the year end Independent Learning Project presentation. I'm addicted.

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Drawing Your Own Conclusions...

One of the most inspiring reads was regarding nurturing creativity and originality. Since the massive integration of technology in nearly everything that we do at York Middle School this brought me back to the importance of providing students a chance to demonstrate standards using visual and performing arts. With such a heavy emphasis on technology

skills we have carved away at opportunities for arts to be used to show mastery of a standard or topic of knowledge.

I made this a priority in all unit revisions during this class and got some impressive student evidence as a result. It has allowed for students that are not necessarily active writers and readers to show they know the information in a powerful way.

After all, once they leave school visual and performing arts will be equally valued talents again.

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