A Summer of Making

Having a summer off apparently means constantly thinking about what you're going to do in the next school year.  I doubt I'm the only one who is experiencing this!

My mind has been buzzing with all of the things that I'd like to read, see, do, cook, eat...and I have an irrational fear of not getting anything "done".  I might not fill up my freezer with fresh blueberries and blackberries, I might not get around to taking a photo of every flower in bloom in the yard!  But I am making some real priorities - and they are most definitely related to teaching.

I'm excited to be participating in a MOOC hosted by the National Writing Project.  It's called Making Learning Connected, and with a K-5 Multi-age class on my horizon, I think I need as many tools in my toolbox as possible.  It is possible to spend time on the internet everyday, making lists of all of the different things we can encourage children to use, thinking of ways that different things connect to our learning, whatever that might be.  Even just the first few days of the MOOC have brought me to an incredibly important realization:  we need to do things, too.  There is going to be a learning curve when we learn alongside children, but if we’re not willing go along on that journey, none of these tools or lessons or projects will be as rich as they could be.


So I’m spending time making each week – and so far, I’ve spent time making each day.  I don’t want to throw the word” inspiration” around too liberally, but each tool I’m introduced to in the MOOC and each post I see from another passionate teacher makes me so excited to bring new ideas to school in the fall.

I have a bit of fear about having too many tools, and learning about as many as possible will help narrow down what to introduce to students at different times, or to students of different ages.  We can’t just skim the surface – if podcasting seems like a good media for the group, we don’t need to touch upon that for a week when it seems appropriate and then drop it – we could focus on audio storytelling all year.  We have a lifetime to learn about all of these different things, but when they are as exciting as I find them, I want to know them all.  At the same time, I need to take a deep breath and remember that I need to balance all of this making with good books, hiking, and what I predict will be an unholy amount of bread-baking.

I want to share a webinar that I watched yesterday about digital writing, which is a new concept for me (even though I am a digital writer).  It also helped me make some connections about getting to know tools in depth rather than feeling a need to introduce every tool on the web to students.



A few great links: