Tagxedo Word Cloud

So many times with technology, I get a little shaken with how to work different web tools. Don’t get me wrong…I love them. I find the tools to be engaging and fun. What my traditional process of trying a new tool would be 1. Try it myself  2. Ask @jbrogley for help 3. Ask a student to show me how to work it. 4. Scream at my computer 5. Figure it out from one of the above and feel elated!

I received a tip from twitter about a new tool that is similar to Woordle….this one is Tagzedo.  http://www.tagxedo.com/app.html Super fun! Just briefly, my twitter PLN is amazing. I learned today there is a national conference for school board members. People at the conference are sharing tips and ideas! Imagine sharing tips and ideas!! It is awesome. That is how I found Tagxedo. One of my students last spring said, “Madame you have an unusual knack for finding bizarre websites.” What a compliment! I digress. Tagzedo is user friendly because I was able to figure out how to embed without asking @jbrogley for help. (Aren’t ya proud of me Jess?) The image is a word cloud of the previous post.

This is a fun tool I look forward to sharing with my students! I hope you will try it as well.

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Reflection vs. Reaction Goal #27

Looking deeply at ourselves vs Reacting on emotions. As part of Shelly Terrell’s #30 goals, this goal lends itself to reflection. It is a pivitol insight to positive and influential teaching. Do I react in my classroom on emotions or do I try to find out reasons why a situation is happening? When I fail in a lesson, do I get angry or defensive or do I reflect on reasons why it failed or how to improve the lesson for the future? I would like to think the latter but the reality is my own humanity. There are times when I know I have not been prepared enough and fail in the process. I’ve also allowed my ego in my teaching make me defensive or upset. I have justified my failures through a multitude of excuses. However, I know I have also tried to reflect on my teaching and my overall philosophy of teaching to improve how I teach and learn with my students.  I have continue this process of reflection to make myself a better teacher every day.

In the past I have taped myself teaching to see how I am reacting in a class that was challenging for me. I hope to continue this practice because it helps me to see how I can improve but also what is working. Different teachers in my professional learning network have shared how they stream their classes live for the parents. How awesome! I know there is concerns on safety…but the possibility to be so open with your classroom is outstanding. Now…how do I help students reflect instead of react?

All educators must teach more than content. I love the French language. I love speaking French. Most importantly, I love making connections with French people and sharing in their culture. Beyond all of the elements of language learning, I hope my students learn many different life skills. One of these skills is learning how to understand who we are and where we have come from. Once we understand this, we are able to comprehend why we act the way we do. My parents raised me in a way that I can understand the difference between the two processes of reflection and reaction. Do I fail? Do I falter? Absolutely. But, I try my best to reflect on my teaching…and how can I better meet the needs of my students. With my students, I see them reacting all the time. Reacting to another peer, a teacher or an administrator. It is my job to help students reflect about these experiences before they react. This past year, students were unhappy with a teacher. They reacted to the situation on Facebook. They said some hurtful things in their reactions that were made public to the world. It is my job to help students understand the powers of the internet and to understand positive digital citizenship. If the students would have reflected, they might not have made those same remarks online.