Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sophia Guest Blog Post

I know the blog has been woefully neglected as of late. It has been a tough year, with larger class, tough kiddos, the loss of a language teacher (retired) and her position. I know the story is the same for many of you. I also have new challenges with a part time job with VIF creating a flipped curriculum.

So, I have some blogging that needs to be done and a have lots of thoughts and ideas I need to get written down here. For now. I am sharing my guest blog post from Sophia.org.
http://www.sophia.org/school-of-thought/plns-teacher-support

Having the ability to share ideas, success, struggles and failures with a large network of educators provides the support that so many teachers need. A personal learning network (PLN) can provide that support and is a vital tool for teachers. Some teachers are lucky and have a good support system in their buildings, and others need to look outside of their school and local area to find a peer group that can support them. Fortunately, technology has made it much easier to find that like-minded group of educators. Here are some great places to go if you are looking to connect with other teachers.
Blogs
Many teachers use blogs to reflect on what is going on in their classroom and to share successes as well as failures in the hope of continually improving. Here is a list of some of favorites.
This blog is a reflection of four years of flipping and is valuable for all teachers, but especially World Language teachers.
Need I say more? Free and technology...some of my favorite words! If you are looking for a great tech tool, this is the place to start.
This is Crystal Kirch’s Math blog. She is a leader in the flipped class and gives frequent webinars with Sophia.
This primary teacher and has great ideas that apply to all teachers. She has great ideas for classroom setup.
Chats
Twitter chats are popular and available on a variety of topics. Don’t be intimidated if you are not on Twitter. It is easy to sign up and use. When participating in a chat, remember that you must add the hashtag so that your Tweets are grouped in the chat and easy to follow. If you don’t have an account, sign up and give it a try.
#flipclass
Mondays, 8pm EST
This is a very popular chat and can be fast paced at times. A variety of topics is covered every week, and teachers that flip their class at every level and in every content area can be found here.
#langchat
Thursdays, 8pm EST
This is the best World Language chat. They meet every week (they do take a hiatus in the summer) and discuss a variety of topics applicable to the classroom.
#tlap
Mondays, 8pm EST
This chat is based on the popular book Teach like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. The specific topics vary week to week.
State and National Conferences
Although connecting with people across the country and even the world is fun, don’t neglect the great teachers in your local area. Join the local and national organizations for your content area and try to go to your State and National conferences. They are wonderful places to meet other teachers and get ideas in your content area.
About the Author: Heather Witten is an enthusiastic educator, presenter and blogger and co-author of Flipping 2.0. She currently teaches high school Spanish to students in 9-12. In 2013 she was elected to serve on her state foreign language board (CCFLT).Heather has delivered numerous presentations about the flipped classroom, most recently at the Flipped Class Conference 2012, CCFLT, AATSP and ACTFL. Heather is beginning her fourth year flipping her class and is passionate about flipping foreign language classes because it enables teachers to better utilize class time to create better, more meaningful classroom activities and ongoing assessment. Heather shares her journey with the flipped classroom in her blog at www.spanishflippedclass.blogspot.com.