Sunday, June 19, 2016

WITcon! (Watever It Takes Conference)



So I had the chance to not only attend but present at WITcon this past week. It was an amazing opportunity because I got to pick up so many ideas to run with and push my classroom even further into the 21st Century technology based world. I thought I would reflect on some on the ideas and creative things I learned over this 3 day conference. So let's start rambling shall we...

Day 1: This was by far the most anxiety ridden day if for the main reason that I was presenting in the first session. I had a good turn out and I talked about Classroom Dojo basics as well as the fun features I learned as I became more familiar with it. Honestly I probably babbled more than I should and my pacing wasn't the greatest, but it's a learning experience right? Lol! Nevertheless, I did it and that's a new challenge I conquered and can tell my students about.
I had the opportunity to attend two other sessions following mine which were both awesome in their own way. In the first session,  I was able to learn how simple things that I do in Google Classroom can apply to the Danielson Rubric(teacher evaluation) as well as what are other ways to use some Google apps. The last session really had my mind flowing with ideas. It was focused on 21st Century learning and how to integrate technology in a number of ways into your school and individual classroom. Let's just say this girl is going to be doing everything in my power to push social media: Facebook, Twitter, hashtags, and Weebly pages. I'm excited to create more items with my students and get the community to see the amazing things our school is doing!

Day 2: Wow! What a day! If you haven't checked out breakoutedu.com you NEED to! It is an amazing resource the cost a one time fee of $100 for supplies, but it is amazing experience with so many possible games to play that it is amazing! It is a great way for students to work on communication and teamwork skills while solving an educational mystery. I actually did one this year in my classroom. It was  purchased on TPT(Teachers Pay Teachers) and it was exciting! The students enjoyed the mystery element, but also the hands on approach to review.
Working on the word lock

We Broke Out!!!

I will be definitely doing more in the future! I also had the opportunity to talk to two amazing teachers: @bsandstrom7 and @kimthomasILSTOY. Kim is actually the teacher of the year for IL and has such an amazing energy that motivates and inspires me beyond words. Both of these amazing women are creative in their own right and have such an amazing way with student engagement. I know it inspired me to do more out of the box lessons this year. I think if I had to narrow it down to two things I learned it would be 1. It is okay to be crazy. I dress up quite a bit for lessons, but it's ok to make lessons even more elaborate and let students have a role in teaching the class. 2. Students need to know you have common interest and that you believe they can and will learn. One thing I will steal from Kim is I'm going to stop asking what is wrong with a student when they are upset. They don't have anything wrong with them, but instead ask how can I make them happy. It's about focusing on the positive and what can be done now, not on the negative past.

Kim giving an amazing speech

Day 3: A shorter day but still very informative. Things I gained was a better understanding of technology and it's impact. I have always been a fan of the Flubaroo app for Google Forms. It allows you to give a test, quiz, exit ticket etc. and it will grade it for you (as long as there is only 1 correct answer). This is such a great resource for spelling tests and tests which speeds up grading time by far. Google has even incorporated pre-made templates for you to use and a grade by hand feature that allows you to grade the short answer/ essay questions manually. Google is also hard at work creating virtual field trips that allow your students and yourself to dive the depths of the ocean and climb the highest mountains. The google cardboard app is awesome and I will be trying to outfit my classroom with this resource if I can. I love that it can bring places to life for my students and give them a chance to experience things first hand. I know the power of technology can truly transport our students and I'm excited to use it to take my students across the globe. Check it out yourself! Google Expeditions
Anne Nash giving a Google Cardboard Presentation

Google Cardboard

Me playing with the Google Cardboard


Ok sooooo maybe that was a lot for one blog, but there was a lot to learn in those three days! I'm more excited and ready teach after attending this conference and I know technology will be a huge part of my room this year. If you haven't considered attending a conference I would highly suggest coming the WITcon next year!

What conferences have you been apart of? Where are you getting ideas to spice up learning in your room? Share with me!!!

@teaching_power
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Periscope @mlee97622

2 comments:

  1. So glad you not only enjoyed the conference,but got lots of ideas for your classroom, too! Makes all that planning and prep worthwhile! Let me know what I can do to supprt you as you move forward! (There WILL be a #WITcon17!) And most of all, KEEP RUNNING!

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    1. Thanks Matt! I appreciate all the help and you guys truly did an amazing job with the conference! Hopefully I will get skilled enough at one of the new things I'm doing to present something new at #WITcon17!

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