Friday, February 18, 2011

PETE&C - Recycle-Reduce-Reuse

Did you attend the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference in Hershey, PA? Here are some great ways to make your PETE&C 2011 experience "green."

  • Do you still have your badge holder?  It makes a great "press pass" for your students.  Just make and insert your own badge into the plastic pocket.  Try BigHugeLab's Badge Maker for a fun project.
  • Did you get "freebies" that you really don't need?  Re-gifting is totally OK.  Kids, and teachers, love to get stuff.  So, give away your things, and share the wealth.  
  • Did you get papers that you don't need?  Don't throw them away, use the backs for scrap paper, or post the info. in your faculty lounge to share with colleagues.

  • Make sure if you are sharing all that great information with colleague that you make use of all the paperless resources we have.  Many presenters have their information posted to the PETE&C Ning.  No need to print things out.  Just direct colleagues to the site.  Or connect to their links and start your own resource site, either on your own school web site or perhaps on a free wikispaces
  • It's too late for this conference, but as a note for the next conference, don't forget to bring your reusable coffee and water bottles.  No need to create trash just because you are away for a few days.  Just make sure you have a backpack with a side pocket, and you'll be good to go!

  • Did you get packets of information or product flyers in folders?  Don't need the folders anymore?  Reuse them in your classroom.  
  • Did you get schedules of events, program books, advertisements?  Use them to plan training in your district. They can remind you of some topics that you might be able to present yourself and that others in your district would enjoy hearing about.
Do you have more ideas?  I'd love to hear them!

image obtained with permission from

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bored? How?

This winter has been brutal.  We've had several snow days and some late openings and an early dismissal due to the weather.  But no matter where you are, there's lots of learning to be done.  Parents and children should celebrate the time they have together because there is so much they can do! Learning doesn't just take place at school, and learning can be, or should be, FUN!!

Here's what I did today.  If you have some extra time with your children, look at it as an opportunity to do something different.  And if your power is out and you can't use the computer...well, be creative!!

1.  Art Lessons:  I spent some time laughing and making a cat.  There are more lessons, so bring on the snow!  I can't wait to share this with my school kids. This is a drawing course for kids pre-k to third grade, but it was just right for me.   Check out illustrator Will Terry as he helps us all learn how to draw.

2.  Make puzzles.  I made some cryptograms to share with my class.  I bet your kids will love these.  Or, better yet, have them make puzzles for YOU to solve.  You can trade.

3.  What?  You're not following the Iditarod?  It starts in about a month, so get moving.  I spent a lot of time revising my lessons and preparing for our annual Iditarod Banquet. The Iditarod site has tons of suggestions for how to use the Iditarod to teach children, and there are even blogging dogs.   Lots to do, lots to do!

4.  Do you want to learn how to make comics with kids?  The National Association of Comics Art Educators can help.

5.  And if you think you have it bad stuck in the house for a day or two, visit this Alert Map site.  It shows every type of disaster imaginable happening in the world now.  Then count your blessings.