Friday, March 23, 2012

Out but not Down!

As you may already know, I've been out of school due to a broken ankle (a BADLY broken ankle). When I started out with the injury, I never imagined I would be gone for four weeks in addition to a week in the hospital, but the improvement took longer than I expected. I'm looking forward to being back at school, part-time, next week!

What did I do to keep myself entertained?

Read, read, read:
I began a challenge to read all of the picture books in our library.

As I read them, I rate each title and take notes with GoodReads, an online personal database of one's books. I also use LibraryThing, where I have over 2,000 books logged, but GoodReads is more social, so I'm using both. (Call me crazy.)

To give a sense of how long this challenge might take, I have just barely completed the "A" section. This could take a couple of years!

And read some more:
Contrary to my own personal belief, I found could NOT live on picture books alone, so I added children's and adult novels.

I finished up the Silver Knight chapter books that are geared toward third grade readers.

For adult books I read a horrifying Scandinavian murder mystery, a textured memoir about the rebuilding of a man's family home in Southern Lebanon, and a parenting book with strategies for saying "no" to my children.

Supported teachers:
I kept up with my school email and tried to support teachers from home.

Grade 4 is studying the rainforest, so I posted enrichment links on their library page.

As a school, we're planning activities for Poetry Month in April, so I connected with team reps through the Google doc where we're listing our ideas.

Another teacher asked for picture book titles to support her persuasive writing unit, so I sent her books from my LibraryThing tagged "persuasive." I was happy I could still feel helpful even from home.

During the last week at home, I felt well enough to skype with classes.

It was SO fun to see the kiddos. I chose picture books with large pictures, short text, and an interactive feel so we could connect with each other even from afar.   

Meow, by Katya Arnold and This Little Chick, by John Lawrence both worked well.

I plunged into the world of Pinterest, a visual bookmarking site that has become wildly popular.

It's the only place online where I mix my professional and my personal interests: I have boards with ideas for my home in Vermont and recipes to try and boards with ideas for literacy lessons and library fun.

My rule is that I only pin something I can use from the visual given. If I have to follow a link to get the full information, I use my regular bookmarking site: diigo

I maintained my connections with wonderful friends on twitter, my professional learning network and "feel good" place.

Many twitter friends wrote with words of support, and the kindness of these strangers who have become more like friends renewed my belief in the value of twitter.

I learn SO much every day from the sharing of resources and ideas that goes on there, and after this experience I see that it's also a good heart connection, too.

Watched TED:
Whenever I felt the urge to watch a video, I watched a TED talk. There were some new ones I loved: one about the power of Introverts and another about injustice.

I also went through a google doc of all the TED talks and picked out some old favorites (Al Gore, Hans Rosling).

And when night fell?
I allowed myself some just-for-fun shows: I finished the final two seasons of Brothers & Sisters and started The Wire. My husband and I are watching Downton Abbey together and, of course, there's March Madness!

What a busy month! 

Thank you to my wonderful friends and colleagues at AISB who brought us dinners every night, to my friends and family for the long-distance phone calls and pep talks, to my twitter friends for keeping my professional brain working, and most of all to my husband who did EVERYTHING in our home to keep things running smoothly.

1 comment:

  1. Awwww!!! We're glad you're back and that the InterWebs meant you never really left us in the first place!