It has been a whirlwind of activity since I learned that I had been recommended for the position of Teacher on Assignment/Instructional Coach in the new Linked Learning department of Fontana Unified.
I had been encouraged to apply for this position by a few who knew my passion for educational technology. I had hesitated in applying at first because of the timing of the position (I had just spent a good deal of time setting up a new classroom and had just begun the year with my new class) and I was apprehensive. I had applied for positions like this one before and not been selected. That was several years ago, and I had not completed my Masters in Educational Technology, nor my National Board Certification, nor had I been a Doctoral student then either. So yes, a few things had changed, but my desire to teach teachers how to use technology effectively in their classrooms or help my district move forward with innovative ways to use technology had not. So I applied and made the second round of interviews for one of 3 remaining positions on this new team.
I was surprised how quickly the news of my recommendation came, I was shocked really. Then there was the waiting. I had no idea when I would be expected to leave my classroom. That was all contingent upon my replacement being found. Interviews were held for my position at Grant and my principal made her selection. That teacher accepted the offer and I was told the last day I would have with my students would be the Friday before we went on Winter Break. I got that news three days before Winter Break. I was preparing report cards and now had to prepare to move out of my classroom…again. Thankfully, I had my college freshman nephew visiting again, who seems to enjoy volunteering at Grant quite a bit. His help in moving saved my sanity once again (he has helped me move before). I told my students and their families that I was leaving them, and it was very bittersweet. I have been in the classroom for 15 and a half years, I have taught 2nd – 5th grades, and I have always had a passion for innovation and educational technology. I have been at that point in my career where I knew leaving the classroom would be eminent, I just had no idea how soon that moment would arrive.
Therefore, while I am thrilled to be offered this opportunity, to explore the next chapter in my educational career, it does not come without a price. I will miss my students and doing everything I can for them to bring them the latest tech tools to enhance their education. I take solace in knowing that this shift in my position means I will be affecting more than just my own students, I will be helping students in several classrooms at several schools in my district, and I am very excited about that. Dorothy Grant Elementary has been amazing for me. The staff, students, and their families are a wonderful community I am very proud to be a part of and the decade I spent there will be one I always cherish.
This week is Computer Science Week and to celebrate, Dorothy Grant Elementary is participating in the Hour of Code. Yesterday my class had a special lab time to explore programming and they had a blast!
I shared the Code.org website with them and there they got to choose from three tutorials: Star Wars, Minecraft, or Frozen. I had them share their selection with the class via an Edmodo poll and after the hour in the lab, they were to return to my post in Edmodo to share their experiences.
The Hour of Code website has been added to the class website on the “After School Links” page. I also wanted to take a moment to share Tynker, one of the more widely known coding apps for tablets. I know it is available in the App Store (for Apple devices) for free and it may be in the Google Play store as well. I will be installing it on the classroom tablets this weekend for the class to continue exploring coding. I recommend it for any personal tablets for students who particularly enjoyed the coding experience.
Thank you to all the parents who signed and returned the photo release form! It allowed me to take this great class photo with my selfie stick. I look forward to posting more photos of the students and their work as the school year progresses.
Looking forward to a great year,
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
I thought I would take a moment to address various questions in one mighty blog post!
We have a fundraiser going on currently. It began on August 14th and goes until August 28th. Our class can win an iPad if we have the highest participation in the school! I won an iPad a couple of years ago from this fundraiser company and would love to win another to allow even more use of tablets in the room. I told the class if we win, I will give all participating students an additional prize coupon as well as have a movie and popcorn party for the whole class. This fundraiser also has online ordering! Click the image below to be taken to the site, then enter PFDORGRANT.
Scholastic Reading Club – I will send home book order forms for Scholastic once a month. I have sent the first two already and orders for this month will be closed on August 24th. Once books are ordered they take 2 weeks to arrive. Ordering books from Scholastic is another way we can earn a free iPad for the classroom so the more book orders the better! There is online ordering available as well and you can shop the entire Scholastic collection of books and not just the items from the flyers I send home. Click the image below to be taken to online ordering.
MobyMax Homework was originally due August 21st. I have recieved many messages regarding this assignment and various issues that have interfered with completeing it. I do want everyone to complete this assignment and for those who haven’t I will allow extra time for them to do so. I made a video to answer some of the questions and I hope it helps. If you have further questions or I did not address your question, please send me a message on Class Dojo.
I believe that covers all the information I have at this time. If there is something you wish to know and I did not address, please remind me by sending me another message. 🙂
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
We had a wonderful turn out for Back To School Night! It was so nice to meet so many of the families of my students. Several of you told me you would not be able to attend and there are some linked videos I was unable to show due to time, so I wanted to be sure to get my presentation online for you to review. If you have any questions about any part of the presentation, please message me on ClassDojo.
Today marked the beginning of a new school year. I was very excited for the grade change from 3rd to 4th, but with that change came a room change. I have moved from F1 to P4, which is a newly installed portable. The move was not without its stresses, but in the end the room was ready to go come the 1st day of school to welcome in its first DGE 4th graders.
We had an amazing day today. We got to know one another a bit better, and make our avatars for the year using the AvatarCreator app available on iOS. I also took quick stock of how technology equipped my students are. Of 31 students 6 had a smartphone of some kind, 20 had a tablet, and 8 did not have a smartphone or a tablet.
I introduced the class to Edmodo, which will be the online version of our classroom we will use daily. The students have set up their accounts and parents can join in as well to see what we are up to. Parents can get the parent join code from their child when the student is logged in to their Edmodo account.
Parents are welcome to contact me via email (email@example.com), ClassDojo, or Skype (dgeruiz).
I look forward to day two of school and all the days ahead of us. I just know we will have an amazing year!
As the school year winds to a close there were just a few things I wanted to share with you.
Mrs. Luna shared with the staff of DGE a local tech camp opportunity for grades 3-9 at Cal State San Bernardino called TechXploration. I plan on enrolling my son for it and it sounds like a great, inexpensive and local opportunity to enhance 21st Century Skills in our students.
Monday, May 25th is Memorial Day and there is no school
Tuesday, May 26th is Semester Awards & 3rd Grade Game Day. Letters with more information about the Semester Awards will be sent home next week.
Wednesday, May 27th is our class party and whole class reward lunch. Students are welcome to bring treats to share, but please keep our healthy foods policy in mind.
Thursday, May 28th is our last day of school and also Tech Day. Students are allowed to bring tech to school with parent permission, wear pajamas, bring blankets and stuffed animals.
I will be sending a more detailed letter home about our final week of school very soon. If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on ClassDojo. Thank you for a wonderful year!