Happy New Year (twice!)

Jan 4, 2013 by

One of the things I love about teaching is that we have two opportunities to start fresh each year—at the beginning of the school year and in January.  I must say that I am not a big fan of making New Year’s Resolutions—probably because I know I will be setting myself up for failure!  But I can honestly say that I find myself reflecting on both personal habits and teaching practices/professional goals every August and January.  Although I haven’t posted to my website in quite awhile, I figured that this is the perfect time to “make that fresh start” and get back into it.

For this first post of the new year, I thought I would share a few resources I have recently found helpful—both personally and professionally—and hope that they will be helpful to you, too.

  1. Last year, on separate occasions I had two friends tell me about the website and app called My Fitness Pal.  Both friends have experienced incredible success using this tool.  It sounded neat, but I just never took the time to check it out.  But after some holiday indulging, I thought I would give it a try.  I love it!  It is super simple to use and it’s FREE.  I’m finding it to be a great accountability tool and wanted to pass it on to others who maybe haven’t heard of it but who, like me, are renewing their commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  2. I started following a blog this year called Blogging with Amy.  I first became interested in it because of the website and blogging tips, but then I found that she shares interesting life tips, too.  Recently she has been posting about time management and the book she wrote last year called Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free.  I think she gives useful, practical, doable tips.  For example, in yesterday’s blogpost, her advice to getting started on something big is to start small using a strategy called “one thing, ten minutes, three days.”
  3. The third resource I would like to share is a professional one.  Right before Christmas the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project sent a gift to all subscribers.  In case you aren’t on their e-mail list, I would like to pass this gift on to you!  The gift is a collection of 40 videos from reading/writing classrooms.  Reading about best practices in literacy is one thing, but getting to see them in action is even better.  An added bonus about these videos is that they have been aligned with the Common Core State Standards.  Here is an excerpt from the e-mail that was sent, along with a link to the videos.  Enjoy!
    “We have compiled almost 40 video clips of Common Core aligned teaching and learning and want you to know this is a resource you can have, use, share. You’ll see that this provides more than 6 hours of classroom videos to support you and your colleagues. To ensure that Pathways to the Common Core: Videos from Inside Classrooms can be helpful to as many people as possible, we’ve put the videos online in Vimeo albums. This is the link to the website on which you can watch all of the clips: https://vimeo.com/tcrwp/albums.”

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