Monthly Archives: October 2013

Hero in the Mirror


As happens frequently, I started a moderately small project called My Hero through iEARN, an organization that I love.  As I crafted it into my flavor of Project-based Learning unit, I wanted to end with my learners seeing how they themselves are heroes, and that who they are in this world really matters.  So, of course that reminded me of my lovely friend, Joan Steffend, who is the founder of peace begins with me (a small BIG peace project).  And so it begins.


Other classes in my district jumped on, and everyday heroes started coming out of the woodwork to talk to our classes about their ‘inner hero’. Our website for the project includes a VoiceThread on the homepage that allows anyone to stop by and record their voice and tell us what their super hero power is.  Joan describes, “I’d love if you’d go to this website and record your thoughts on what you are passionate about…what you do every day…why being a caring, thoughtful person is important to the world, why it’s important for kids to believe in the power of their own actions and thoughts…why hero is a word we may have to add a new definition for…how what we do in our individual lives matters, you get the idea! You don’t have to answer all of those, I’m just priming your pump to get you started! If you’d start with your name, location, and maybe what you do for a living, that’d be great! Much love!”

I have no idea where we will end up, but so far I know that the kids involved will be the very lucky recipients of some amazing heroes among us. Watch for updates!

Please stop by our site and record your voice! It’s easy. The directions on the homepage

Personalize Learning ™ Guest Post


Guest Post: Donna Román about Starting out School Year

donnaroman-smDonna Adams Román is a 5th grade teacher at Mill Creek School in Geneva, Illinois, blogger, trainer, and presenter committed to providing rich learning opportunities for her learners and professional learning network. She is a recent recipient of ISTE’s first place SIGOL Online Learning Award. Donna is active in Professional Development online and in her district, CoSN, ISTE, Flat Classroom®, and iEARN (International Education Resource Network). We met Donna at ISTE 2013 with Lisa Parisi, a 5th grade teacher in Long Island, New York.

Welcome Donna! Her first guest post with us is a cross-post of the September 20th post from her blog “Map without Borders” about starting out this school year.

Month one: hold on, here we go!

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I Wish You Would Notice….

Screen shot 2013-10-05 at 8.43.16 PM

Someone in my PLN ( I can’t remember who!) suggested asking our students to complete this sentence: ‘I wish you would notice….’ It was great to see those flashes of inside.  Here are a few responses:

I wish you would notice:

  • that sometimes I lose my focus and go into my own little world.
  • how hard I try in math.
  • that I am very friendly and funny, even though I seem really quiet.
  • that I freak out if someone asks me a question.
  • it’s hard for me to sit still because I have to keep talking to people A LOT! (this one I knew already!)
  • that I always keep my desk neat.
  • that sometimes I might work really hard on something and sometimes I may not.
  • I like to write with pens instead of pencils.  (written in pen)
  • that I love to draw.
  • that I am very organized.
  • that I really love to work on computers.
  • that I work very hard in school and that I have a messy desk. I’m sorry!

Give it a try!

What is Your #1 Reason for Becoming a Connected Educator?


I can only grow as large as my container. 

What’s your #1 reason for becoming a Connected Educator?

It’s Connected Educator Month, CEM, Check out the schedule!