Saturday, January 3, 2015

One Word

Inspired by Jodi Dodson's Facebook post asking if anyone had picked a word, I have decided on Purpose.  The idea of choosing one word as a goal/resolution for the year is based on a Book called One Word that will change your life. 
The books talks about focusing on just ONE WORD for the entire year. I so often want to change so many things in my life, but choosing only one word will hopefully help me to be more focused for work and my personal life.
The reason I chose Purpose was for two reasons.
First, does this idea/project have a purpose? Will it help teachers and students?
Second, I want to be more purposeful in my follow-through with work projects and personal situations.

Here is a great video from one of the author's - Jimmy Page
What will be your word for the year?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


     We just completed our 2nd week of #gfedchat last night while at our state technology conference in Minot.  Several members of the technology team sat at two tables in the Grand Ballroom while Grand Forks teachers joined us from the comfort of their homes.  We also had several from around the state join in the conversation.  In addition to that we had the twitter feed shown to others at the social using Tweet Beam.

Our topic last night was The Power of Digital Media.  We talked about using images to focus, spark conversations, and guide attention.  Examples of images were shared and discussed by nearly 40 people.  One of the questions asked....How can an image be used with Ss to help them connect and learn? and visualize? 
Jesse Erickson from Kelly Elementary had a great comment..."Images can also provide some background knowledge or instructional hook"
I believe that digital media helps students to connect and learn by using images, audio, and video.
Eric Sanders from Red River...."Picture with quote gives the presenter a chance to tell a story - a story resonates with the audience"
Use images to tell a story that provides information...make your classroom an active place for your students.
A great discussion continued with the group until 9:30. Thanks everyone for joining #gfedchat. It is a great way to collaborate and share with also helps you build your PLN.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

DENSI-Wow, what an amazing time!

     I have been home for a few weeks after an amazing experience at DENSI!  I attended Discovery Education's Summer Institute in Nashville, TN from July 13-18 on the campus of Vanderbilt University. It was fun to live on the 12 floor (not so fun when the elevator wasn't working) in the dorm and have suite mates. We stayed up way too late and shared 1 bathroom for the 5 of us.  However the experience in the dorm provided time (just like in college) to have conversations with educators from Idaho, Tennessee, and California without even being in a planned session was an extra perk. 

My press release photo with Lance Rougeux, a member of the Discovery Educational Professional Development Team.

On our opening night we heard how the team from Discovery Education all work together to make sure DEN (Discovery Education Network) stays true to their mission of connecting educators to the most valuable resource….each other. From Sunday when we started meeting other DEN educators to really has not stopped as I am connected with 150 people on Edmodo and Facebook.  The questions keep being asked and answers keep being answered from colleagues from all over the US, Canada, and now the United Kingdom.
I am so thankful to Discovery Education for treating us to a week that included an all day excursion, gifts each day, incredible speakers, awesome sessions, The DENmazing race through Vanderbilt, a Maker Faire room, but the best gift was the connections made with other DEN stars.
Look for upcoming posts to hear more about sessions, speakers, and the Maker Faire movement.

Monday, June 9, 2014

North Dakota Google Summit

     Wow! What an incredible weekend for 300 attendees of the first ND Google Summit. Google Certified Teachers Monica Martinez, Ken Shelton, Rushton Hurley, and Mark Hammons did a great job headlining the conference.  My head was spinning by the end of day 2 with inspirational thoughts and ideas to bring back to share with teachers.
     This past weekend's technology conference provided everything you need to change your teaching.  We all need to continue to grow and learn.  If you are thinking I don't need to change..…I am a successful teacher.  You are wrong!  Does your doctor stop learning new ways to treat patients?  We as educators need to continue to learn.  You cannot wait for the district to provide you with learning opportunities…you need to take control of your own learning.

     Plans have already started for hosting another
North Dakota Google Summit next June in Grand Forks.  It's not just the tech tips that come out of a technology conference, it's also the inspirational keynote speakers like Ken Shelton who talked about Engagement, Creativity, Fun, and how one minor change can make a difference in your day for your students.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Happy Summer Dance

     How many teachers have done the "Happy Summer Dance" within the past few weeks?  Summer is our time to rest, recoup, and re-energize. But, have you thought about how many of our students are not doing the "Happy Summer Dance"?  Many of our students are going without positive adults in their lives during the day and could also be going without food.  I know in our community of Grand Forks there is a program where students go to a park for a packed lunch.  However that is not always the case in other places.
     I came across this video while reading today and thought I would pass it along.  This kid is so fun to watch and he has a great message at the end of the video that might be able to help with meals for students.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Bry's Adventure at Ryan Pond

Today Mr. Bry's period 3 and period 4 along with the 2nd grade classrooms from Viking Elementary went on an adventure to Ryan Pond.  Ryan Pond is located south of South Middle School.  The Grand Forks Park District stocks fish each spring.  This is a great place to take kids fishing.
Today Mr. Bry had 4 teachers who volunteered to facilitate a station.  Mr. Chase has the GPS station, Mr. Sears had the camping station, Mr. Bry had the fishing station, and I had the digital microscope station. 
The weather was beautiful and the students had a great time!

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Check out Kahoot, a game-based tool that students use to answer questions online.  Ms. Fulks 6th grade students recently used this tool.  I noticed how her students were engaged and excited as they were reviewing Spanish colors.
Teachers will go to to setup an account.  Students will go to and enter the game pin.
Don't worry about creating your own Kahoot, there are many already created for you to try with your students.