"Well...there are so many things that intrigued me at MACUL that it was hard to choose just one "big idea" I walked away with. However, since the conference I have showed my students the Scratch website, as well as the 21Things4Students website. They were so excited to be able to code and I actually have some coding experts in my room that I didn't even know about! Those students are now the "go to" references when it comes to coding since I do not consider myself an expert in this area at all!
Another big idea that I walked away still thinking about was the idea of blended learning as a whole and what that looks and sounds like in my classroom. There was one session I attended where the presenter (a former teacher) showed videos/pictures of her classroom to display what blended learning looks like in action. She converted her classroom into a comfortable learning environment where children were free to choose their own spots to work. I loved this idea! She also really emphasized self-pacing and allowing students to choose what to work on during work time. I actually tested this idea in my classroom this week. I had a handful of students working on their writing, while others were completing spelling work, and then a group who were on Zearn and then completing their problem set. This gave the opportunity to work with students who really needed my help. I saw my students were more motivated to complete their work since it was a choice they had made. They were engaged the entire work time and I felt more accessible to students for help. I was acting more like a sideline coach rather than taking up the whole time talking in front of them. This is something I really would like to start doing more often and I know it will more doable with 1-to-1 technology next year. I'm really looking forward to that!" ~Ally Leverett - Lake Center Elementary - 4th Grade