Category Archives: 1

My Plea to Go Paperless

This is a copy of an email I sent out this afternoon to all of my staff. I was inspired by Teach Paperless and Steve Katz and hope many of my teachers take the opportunity to participate.

Did you know that in the past 7.5 weeks, Stocklmeir has used 150,000 pieces of copy paper? In just 7.5 weeks, how can that be?

Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd, and I urge you to consider joining hundreds of teachers from around the world as they pledge to “Go Paperless” on that day. That means that you pledge to use no paper in class and accept no paper on that day.

Connie and Amy both endorse this cause and hope you will consider ways to reduce your paper use each and every day.

You may be thinking what could I possibly do all day?

Here are some ideas:
Take a walking fieldtrip in the neighborhood or park (yes, permission slips are still required). The walk can easily be related to science, math, language arts, or social studies. Athenian children in Ancient Greece spent much of their school day learning outside.
Use individual whiteboards (I think the math adoption came with them) or have kids use dry erase right on their desks – they wipe off easily! Kids can write poems, do a gallery walk, draw, practice math, make a diagram or timeline, etc.
-Hands on science experiments where all notes/observations are taken with digital cameras and typed onto a teacher laptop. Kids can discuss, hypothesize, observe, and draw conclusions orally as a group.
-Have a Reading Day/Time. As a teacher I always had one day per trimester that was dedicated to reading for pleasure. Kids brought in their favorite books, magazines, comic books, etc. It was a day just to celebrate and enjoy reading.
Use technology. I know that we have limited access to projectors and elmos (the tech committee is working on this!), but there’s nothing wrong with finding a techie teacher and planning a classroom swap for a portion of the day. That way, you can plan a lesson that uses resources online (feel free to ask if you need ideas) or take a virtual fieldtrip. Of course, we also have the MAC lab and carts to use.
Manipulative math – do an entire math lesson and activity with only manipulatives.  Great for geometry, algebra, number sense, fractions, computation, etc.
Enjoy PE inside or out. You can do an activity with your buddies, with a neighbor class, or on your own.

While you are enjoying the paperless day, be sure to tell your students WHY.

According to the EPA:
Recycling one ton of paper would
•    Save enough energy to power the average American home for six months.
•    Save 7,000 gallons of water.
•    Save 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.
•    Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one metric ton of carbon equivalent (MTCE).
But not using the paper to begin with would do so much more.

Click here if you would like to take the pledge:

Earth Day 2010 Action Center


Google – I’m Feeling Lucky!

Just found out this week that I was accepted to the first ever Google Teacher Academy for Administrators. Yay for me! I have several friends and colleagues that have been through the program, so I think I have some idea about what an exhausting, inspiring, and amazing day it will be in San Antonio, and I can’t wait. I met Brian Van Dyck (aka @PodPirate) at the Krause Center for Innovation yesterday while scoring MERIT applications, and I really appreciated what he told me.

He said (my paraphrased interpretation) that when I get there, I should just zip open my brain in the morning, let all of the goodness fall in, zip it up that night, and let it consume me. He went on, it’s not about the day, it’s about the network (I KNOW!!). I will become a part of an amazing community of educators with a common vision and drive and the opportunities are limitless. I may never be the same again.

I wish I could leave tomorrow, but I will wait (somewhat patiently) until March 5th and prepare my brain to be permanently altered. In the mean time, we are trying our best to connect virtually.

Here’s my video submission-

See you in San Antonio!

Technology Leadership Training

This week I am spending time in Hollister, CA,  with the fantastic team of CTAP Region V trainers. The focus is on Leadership in Technology. How does one create positive, systemic change regarding technology and learning? The training is very well organized and thought provoking. What I especially enjoy is hearing from fellow teachers about their successes and trials with helping to advance technology at their sites or in their districts.

I also have to give props to our IT department in Cupertino. They do a terrific job of very selectively filtering out inappropriate content while allowing educators to determine what type of Online resources they can use in the classroom. Here in Hollister, one out of three sites I try to access is blocked by their firewall, including Blogger and news resources I was trying to access. Very annoying!

Laurel and I are excited about what we’ve been learning here and hope to use much of the information in our CUSD/CEEF board presentation.