Monday, November 3, 2014

2014-2015 - "INNOVATION HOUR"

Welcome to Innovation Hour

You Are Geniuses.......
......and the World Expects Your Contributions......

A genius is one who shoots at something no one else can see - and hits it.  ~Author Unknown

I strongly believe this. I’d bet, however, that some of you don’t believe it.  You have to know who you are BEFORE you can realize you’re a genius, be able to help others, or contribute to our world. Part of finding out who you are is realizing your interests and DISinterests.

****Our Innovation Hour goal is to READ. WRITE. BE INSPIRED. ACT ON IT.

The first day of the week - every week - is what we’ll be calling INNOVATION HOUR.  During this time, you will have time to delve into passions through blogging, writing, reading, researching, developing, creating, sharing…  it’s about what YOU want to learn.

Our goal is to be READING and be inspired from what we read + our lives.  Your passions will be driven based on what inspires you…  what you love… what makes you angry… what you wonder… and you’ll decide where you want to go from there. 

Each person will choose something important to him or her. If it’s not important to you - it’s not worth your precious time.  What's the purpose? If you're going to use your genius, it's easier to use it when you're invested in something.  When you have a passion for something, or are REALLY bothered by something, your genius is likely to show itself, and you will be able to DO something! If you don't keep track of what you are interested in, wonder about, get bothered by, the opportunity to show (and share) your genius might pass you by...

When you SHARE what interests you, bothers you, and what you wonder, you'll most likely find others who think great to be able to put two geniuses together to solve the world's problems!!

Complete the following form based on your passions.  What will you do?
1.  Will you create opportunities for others around the world through Kiva?

Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of micro-finance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. Learn more about how it works.

2.  Will you write your own Novel?   

National Novel Writing Month happens every November! It's a fun, seat-of-your-pants writing event where the challenge is to complete an entire novel in just 30 days. For one month, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create!

That means participants begin writing November 1 and must finish by midnight, November 30. The word-count goal for our Young Writers Program (YWP) allows 17-and-under participants to set reasonable, yet challenging, individual word-count goals.

In 2013, 90,000 young writers participated through the YWP.

3.   Will you explore your individual passions?  (History Chronicles- or your own ideas)

The best historians are those that ask good historical questions, that uncover the central issues and motives that shaped events, ideas, and peoples’ actions. An analytic approach looks at causes and effects rather than just narrative. How and Why become the focus rather than Who, What, Where, and When. What do you want to create, construct, invent, design, learn, read........

Once you have completed this form, begin exploring your Innovation Hour Project using the links above.  

*** If you have chosen the Novel writing- click this LINK for instructions on signing up for the writing project. 

At the conclusion of each Monday- you will reflect on the learning process through your blog.  What did you learn?  Where did your passions take you?  What did you read?  What did you write?  What did you create?  What did you design?  What did you construct?.........the possibilities are endless.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ebola Facts: How Many Patients Are Being Treated Outside of West Africa? (article link)

  WATCH THIS VIDEO- click here

Respond to the following question based on the video, article, and class discussion.  Cite specific evidence from these sources in your response.  Reply to at least one other post citing why you agree or disagree specifically.

QUESTION:  What responsibility does the United States and the world community have to help these West African nations control the Ebola outbreak? Why?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Opening 2014 Blog Response

“When writing the constitution for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, John Adams wrote: I must judge for myself, but how can I judge, how can any man judge, unless his mind has been opened and enlarged by reading.” ― John Adams 

DIRECTIONS:  Respond to the following statement in a 3-5 sentence paragraph.  

The mall is open and everything is free.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What Happens When Students' Learning Benefits Their Community?

Hands-On Authentic Individualized Learning Benefits Community

IMG_3162 In a world scarred with negativity at every turn of the dial, it's a great feeling to share the positive influence students can have on their own peers and a community.  

My students continue to amaze me............... Students have successfully taken individualized learning to another level, which has benefited the community and their own personal development.

Bullying Upstanders Website

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 2.15.20 PM And the story begins........... Earlier this year, while reading The Outsiders, students constructed bullying websites, as an authentic tool, which expressed their own personal insights and messages on bullying in our schools. One group, the Bullying Upstanders, took it to another level. Throughout the year, they have continued to meet outside of class, update their website, and initiate their ideas and solutions to bullying. Two weeks ago, they approached me with yet another idea. "We'd like to create our own school-wide campaign for Autism Awareness this month," exclaimed Samantha Zechiel. Olyvia and Katy chimed in, "We've already had two meetiIMG_3174ngs, purchased our supplies, and have two grants to pay for our supplies!" I had to pick my chin up from the floor. Through collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking, this group of seventh graders created a week long school-wide campaign, through funding received from the 4-H Junior Leaders as well as other donations from the community, sold Autism Awareness items during lunch and before school, and created a "Wear Blue" day on Friday to heighten awareness during a school-wide assembly. On Friday, April 25, the Bullying Upstanders handed out blue Autism Awareness stickers to each student as they entered the gym for the school-wide assembly and painted their own faces blue in support of their campaign. IMG_3182 Additionally, each student spoke at the assembly on behalf of Autism Awareness. By the end of the campaign on Friday, the group had raised their goal of $100.00 and will be donating their proceeds to the Autism Resources of Marshall County. Samantha was quoted in the local newspaper as stating,......  

"It's not the money we raise that matters, it's about bringing awareness throughout the school about accepting differences. We are trying to impact the school's awareness of autism and differences in general."


    Students are discovering their own passions, taking great pride in their work, and gaining self-confidence, experience, and life skills that will last a life-time. AUTISM

The Bullying Upstander's members include: Yahaira Vargas, Samantha Zechiel, Olyvia Clark, Luke Walters, Katy Smith, and Raquel Teutle.


Share your "Amazing Kid's" stories. How have they impacted their community?

Monday, February 24, 2014


March 10, 2014
Is there anything that you’re wondering about?  Either you don’t know how to do something or you just don’t know what something is.  Just leave a comment below and your topic might just be my next blog post.  My blog won’t be successful without you, so please leave a comment and tell your friends about me.  Thank you so much.  Victoria G.


February 17, 2014
I am doing a project called Garments for Goodwill where I collect used clothing for Goodwill. I am going to hopefully get some donations from some local businesses so I can get prizes for a drawing. I think that having each student put a ticket in a drawing for every item they donate will help motivate them. Therefore, I need input on what places to ask and what prizes to get so the students are as motivated as possible. 

Samantha Z

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Twitter- Empowering Student Voices

Twitter- Empowering Student Voices

This week our nation’s schools will be celebrating Digital Learning Day on Wednesday, February 5. We’re all encouraged to “Take the Pledge” to support the effective and innovative utilization of technology in our classrooms and schools. As awareness heightens this month, my hope is that by opening our classroom doors to the digital world, our passion for teaching and learning will benefit and impact the lives of our students. Schools should reflect the social world we live in today.

The timeless skill of effective communication is the anchor, which will enable students to successfully find and share their voice with the world through the power of words. As we celebrate Digital Learning Month in February, we must embrace the power of digital media and the impact it has upon our daily lives. Are you utilizing the incredible power of social-media in your classroom?

In a world of instant communication, our students have the opportunity to engage and share with a global audience on a daily basis. Teaching students how to be effective collaborators, interact globally, and build powerful networks, is both the social and academic benefit to Twitter in education. As society and technology changes, so does literacy. Can social media positively impact 21st century literacy-learning? Utilizing Twitter in the classroom is more than assigning students a Twitter username, it’s developing and modeling the essential communication skill- writing effectively. If we want our students to blog, connect, and communicate, we must model this skill daily and ‘walk the walk.’

Twitter is the most popular platform for microblogging, which combines blogging, text messaging, and social networking. Social Media defines how we engage with each other. It’s no wonder that people deny it’s power and educators struggle with districts where social media is blocked. Many argue that social media is nothing but a high tech distraction. Educators needs to model and demonstrate social media as a tool for effective collaboration, communication, and empowerment.

Inside the classroom- Can students really learn from a “Tweet?”

What could that look like? .................

Read my post about how to incorporate Twitter effectively into your classroom at - Indiana Digital Learning Month 28 Day Web 2.0 Challenge

If we want our students to blog, connect, and communicate, we must model the skill of effective communication, which will enable our students to successfully find and share their voice with the world.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Passion and Potential

“Severe Alert”- Passion and Potential

Written By: pneid - Jan• 06•14

“SEVERE ALERT”- a Blizzard warning in effect for Marshall County; Wind Chill Warning; Heavy snow warning with up to 16 inches; Wind gusts up to 40 mph……



As a lifetime Hoosier, these alerts are common; however, today is probably one of the most alarming storms we’ve endured in over a decade.  Aside from the atrocity of today’s weather, it’s evolved into a day of personal analysis, convictions, and reflections of the past and present.  I’ve spent most of the day perusing blogs from an admirable fleet of educators.  My mind is spinning.

I wonder…… 
  • why do we allow ourselves only one day a year for personal reflection
  • why do we establish lofty goals that are unattainable
  • why are we discerned with our past accomplishments
Rather than focusing on my mistakes and shortcomings from the past year, I reflected on my accomplishments- all driven by personal passion.  My first thoughts… what are my passions?
  • I love to learn
  • I love to think
  • I love to read
  • I love to tweet
  • I love to write/blog
  • I love to explore tech tools
It occurred to me that I’m not short on passion, I just haven’t reached my full potential.  What a great feeling!...............



I’m not short on passion, I just haven’t reached my full potential.

“SEVERE ALERT”  …. have you reached your full potential?  Share your story!


Literacy TalkShop.......(read the rest of the story) 




*  I know you can believe in yourself!

*  Just keep practicing!

*  You will get the hang of it- I know it!