Less Testing! What A Great Idea! Burlington Blog Update (Volume 3)

As we near the quarter pole in the school year, I wanted to share some news that I thought would be of interest. Did you catch the news from Washington that President Obama plans to limit standardized testing for students? Here’s an excerpt from the USA Today:

“The White House said Saturday the proliferation of testing in the United States — a problem the administration acknowledged it has played a role in — has taken away too much valuable time that could be better spent on learning, teaching and fostering creativity in schools. To curb excessive testing, Obama recommended limiting standardized exams to no more than 2% of a student’s instructional time in the classroom.”

Sounds like a good plan!  Where do we sign up?

Anyway, here are the latest posts from the Burlington Blog:











Day 30 – A Peek from the Last TWO Weeks – Mrs. Warford – Memorial School Grade 4










Only 140 more to go…

Some Interesting Posts I Read Last Week – Burlington Blog Update (Edition 9)

The post below is actually a copy of a weekly e-mail that I send to our staff  to promote our Burlington Public Schools Blog which shares the great work going on across our school district. I also try to give a quick technology tip/resource that I think would be useful. It is the ninth post in the series.

Before I get to the latest posts from the Burlington Public Schools Blog, I wanted to share a few interesting posts/articles that I stumbled across last week.  
  1. Google Search Tips Poster – Click on the link to the left to check out this great poster with some Google search modifiers that will help students get better results. I found this resource on a blog post by Vicki Davis on her Cool Cat Teacher site.
  2. What makes a good common core math question from the Hechinger Report – This is an interesting read on the nature of math problems in the common core era. Feel free to agree or disagree because it seems there is no longer one right answer when it comes to math problems 😉
  3. Some Socrative resources from Richard Byrne – Access More Than 1,000 Socrative Quizzes Sorted by Subject and a helpful video on the same topic –  How to Import Quizzes Into Your Socrative Account

    Burlington Blogs Update (Week 9)

It’s hard to believe that we have reached the quarter pole in this year’s school year! Time flies…and the great posts keep rolling in from all of the district blogs and websites! Highlights from this week include our first featured post from the Middle School Help Desk, and amazing video created by BHS Freshman Justin Varghese, and a great review of the music of BHS grad Eric Leva by BHS junior Timmy Sullivan.

Please keep those posts coming and if you aren’t a blogger, please feel free to forward any happenings from you or your classroom or any student work that you would like to show off and I will turn it into an original post for the BPS Blog.  






Only 135 more posts to go… 

Check Out The K12 Online Conference – My Weekly BPS Blog Update (Edition 7)

The post below is actually a copy of a weekly e-mail that I send to our staff  to promote our Burlington Public Schools Blog which shares the great work going on across our school district. It is the seventh post in the series.

A couple of weeks back I mentioned that October is Connected Educator Month and shared this link to the Connected Educator Month Website.  This week I wanted to pass along the link to the K12 Online Conference which offers more daily presentations on a variety of topics for K-12 teachers.  If you would like to bundle an hour from a K12 Online Conference Session with other technology PD options (i.e. How Do I Do That Sessions or our Burlington 1:1 Conference) to earn inservice credits then we would welcome that. If you need support on getting started with this process then please connect with me or one of our district IT Staff. Our two Mobile Learning Coaches, Jenn Scheffer and Diana Marcus, each have online schedules so that you can book them at your convenience.  


Burlington Blogs Update

The posts below are the ones that have been selected from the 116 blogs and websites that have been shared with me. If you haven’t had a chance to share yours, then please enter it here on this Google form.  If you aren’t a blogger, please feel free to forward any happenings from you or your classroom or any student work that you would like to show off and I will turn it into an original post for the BPS Blog.  







Only 145 more posts to go… 

Keeping Up With All of the Happenings in Burlington Classrooms – BPS Blog Update (Edition 6)


Resource of the Week – Feedly
One of the greatest parts about the growing number Burlington teachers who have started sharing the happenings from their classrooms online with classroom blogs and websites is that I am able to see all of the neat things happening across the district on a daily basis. While there is no substitute for being in classrooms to see the learning firsthand, there is simply no way to stay on top of all of the wonderful work of staff and students.
This is where Feedly comes in.  Feedly is a FREE resource that allows you to see all of the blogs you follow in one place.  The best part is that you can use it on a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop and scroll through the latest posts from the sites that you follow.  For educators, it is a great way to follow your colleagues or blogging educators from across the globe. It is also a great way to have students follow bloggers who are writing about topics that connect to a unit or entire course.
If you are interested in giving Feedly a spin, here is a link to a tutorial post that explains how to get started. I would just begin with the top three tips if you are a new user.  As always, please let me know if I can help you or your class get started with this great resource!

Week 6 Update
The posts below are the ones that have appeared on the blog over the last five school days. The number of BPS Blogs and Websites is up to 116, increasing by over 40 in the last four weeks!  Please add the link to your site here if you haven’t already done so.
Only 150 more posts to go… 

It’s Connected Educator Month! – Weekly BPS Blog Update (Edition 5)

The post below is actually a copy of an e-mail that I sent our teachers today to continue to promote our Burlington Public Schools Blog which shares the great work going on across our school district. It is the fifth post in a series that I will continue throughout the school year.



As we hit the first full week of October, I am wondering how many people are aware that it is Connected Educators Month.  For the third year in a row, the United States Department of Education and a number of partner organizations have deemed October Connected Educator Month. You can learn more at theConnected Educator Month website. The home page lists a daily schedule of events that teachers can take part in to connect with colleagues from around the world, including a number of Twitter Chats on different topics.

If you would like to bundle an hour from a Connected Educator Month Twitter Chat with other technology PD options (i.e. How Do I Do That Sessions or our Burlington 1:1 Conference) to earn inservice credits then we would welcome that. If you need support on getting started with Twitter please connect with one of our district IT Staff. Our two Mobile Learning Coaches, Jenn Scheffer and Diana Marcus, each have online schedules so that you can book them at your convenience. Please let me know if you have any questions

Burlington Blogs Update

The number of Burlington Public Schools blogs and websites that have been shared with me has jumped to 110!  Maybe I set the bar to low at hoping to see just 100? Do I hear 125? You can check out the entire list here if you are interested. If you haven’t had a chance to share yours, then please enter it here on this Google form when you have a chance. If you have been thinking about starting a classroom blog or website and feel intimidated then please reach out to me or one of the members of our technology team for support. 


The posts below are the ones that have appeared on the blog over the last five school days.  Please feel free to forward any student work that you would like to show off for a post. Even if you don’t have a blog, I am happy to turn the work into an original post. 
Only 154 more posts to go… 

Do You Have A Cool Photo for our Instagram Photo of the Day?! Weekly BPS Blog Update (Edition 4)

The post below is actually a copy of an e-mail that I sent our teachers today to continue to promote our Burlington Public Schools Blog which shares the great work going on across our school district. It is the fourth post in a series that I will continue throughout the school year.

The number of Burlington Public Schools blogs and websites that have been shared with me has jumped to 92!  I am hoping that we will hit 100. You can check out the entire list here if you are interested. If you haven’t had a chance to share yours, then please enter it here on this Google form when you have a chance. If you have been thinking about starting a classroom blog or website and feel intimidated then please reach out to me or one of the members of our technology team for support. 

The posts below are the ones that have appeared on the blog over the last five school days.  Please feel free to forward any student work that you would like to show off for a post. Even if you don’t have a blog, I am happy to turn the work into an original post. 
Only 159 more posts to go… 
 One More Thing This Week – Submit A Photo for our BPS Instagram Photo of the Day!

Have you had a chance to check out our district Instagram account? Even if you haven’t please consider sharing a picture to show off you and/or your students or colleagues in action. We post one at the end of each day and share it on our district Facebook page.  So far, a couple of pirates (see the picture below) from Francis Wyman have been our most popular photo with over 900 views on Facebook!


A Great Communication Tool for all Staff and Weekly BPS Blog Update (Edition 3)

The post below is actually a copy of an e-mail that I sent our teachers today to continue to promote our Burlington Public Schools Blog which shares the great work going on across our school district. It is the third post in a series that I will continue throughout the school year.

The number of Burlington Public Schools blogs and websites that have been shared with me is up from 73 to 82!  I am hoping that we will hit 100. You can check out the entire list here if you are interested. If you haven’t had a chance to share yours, then please enter it here on this Google form when you have a chance. If you have been thinking about starting a classroom blog or website and feel intimidated then please reach out to me or one of the members of our technology team for support. 

The posts below are the ones that have appeared on the blog over the last five school days. Today’s post by BHS Senior Cat Hoyt is actually our first student post of the year. Please feel free to forward any student work that you would like to show off for a post. Even if you don’t have a blog, I am happy to turn the work into an original post. 
Only 164 more posts to go… 
This Week’s Blogger Tip of the Week is for Everyone whether you have a blog or not.


The topic of yesterday’s mentoring meeting for new teachers was communication with parents/guardians. Within the discussion someone asked for thoughts on teachers giving out their personal cellphone numbers to parents and/or students. With the availability of Google Voice within our Google apps domain, you can give your parents and/or students a number to reach you without ever giving your personal number. 
The slideshow below will take you step-by-step through the process to set up a Google Voice account. Once you have it set up, you can receive calls and texts to your Google Voice number. If you miss a call, it will end up in your e-mail inbox with a transcription of the message.
Finally, if you do have a Blogger blog, you can click on the gear icon within Google Voice and get a widget to embed the link to your Google Voice account on your blog. This allows people to click on the widget and connect with you right from your blog. If you want to get an idea of how it works feel free to check out my Google Voice widget on the top right corner of my blog.