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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bye, bye summer: UDL Now!, EdCamp Malden, curriculum units, new tech, Twitter chats, fun!

Hi, all.  It's the end, my friends.  We go back on August 25, so this post will be the last blog for a while.  Although my professional reading did not get completed as scheduled, I did poke around a lot of books and get some ideas for this coming year.

What I'm loving right now is UDL Now! by Katie Novak, from right up the road in Chelmsford, MA.  I've studied UDL a bit in the past, so this book was an excellent refresher.  Universal Design for Learning is a philosophy of providing learners with multiple ways to access information and multiple ways to show what they know.  It's based on brain science but also on common sense!  Good teaching provides kids with a classroom that is high engagement, low stress.  I'd definitely recommend this book--it was written in a refreshing style that really appealed to me as a learner!

I also did a lot of planning for EdCamp Malden this summer.  The event is Saturday, October 18 at Malden High School (free parking and an easy walk from the Orange Line!).  All are welcome, and the theme for 2014 is ELL Success.  With the advent of RETELL and the increasing number of English Language Learners in our district and nearby districts, we decided that this theme would give the day some focus without limiting it too much.  Please get your FREE ticket today at  I'm really proud of my colleagues and administrators for giving this PD model a try and offering so much help to get it started.  It will be a great day.

I got to work on two curriculum units this summer: Technology Synthesis for 10th grade (with MT Anderson's Feed as an anchor text) and a high school unit on argument writing with editorials from The Boston Globe.  First drafts, but it's good to get something down on paper and really think through a long-term plan!  The 2011 Frameworks (CCSS) are truly awesome.

I learned how to use HootSuite, Tweet Deck, Canva, and Storify.

I also made a LOT of new friends this summer at an AP Summer Institute and on Twitter.  Here's a menu of Twitter chats I enjoy.  If you have no other time for PD or just want to find some thinking partners, check these out!  All times are EST.  If any of the info is wrong, please let me know.  Some chats were on summer vacation, but they're going now.  Click on the links for more info.

#edchatri is Sundays from 8 to 9 pm
#ellchat is Mondays from 9 to 10 pm
#elachat is first and last Tuesdays from 8 to 9 pm
#aplitchat is Sundays from 9 to 10 pm
#aplangchat is Wednesdays from 7 to 8 pm.  Check out our FIRST EVER chat:
#nctechat is the third Sunday of every month, from 8 to 9 pm
#edchatma starts August 19th and will be 1st and 3rd Tuesdays from 9-10 pm
#engchat is Mondays from 7 to 8 pm

I did a lot of non-teaching stuff too.  Saw friends and family and just chillaxed.  Traveled locally.  Read all of Rainbow Rowell's novels.  Remarkable!

Happy back to school, everyone!  Have an awesome fall!

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