Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Domino Affect: Negativity- The Thief that Steals Happiness

It's taken awhile to get happy again.

As a child I was overly jubilant, just ask my mom. She said I was so giggly I nearly drowned every time I swam: there was no way to keep the water out of mouth. Looking at childhood photos shows a happy child with a permagrin...typically wearing a bell on a string (I've always been a trendsetter, although my sister would disagree), ENJOYING life. I was good at it.

The permagrin left for a long time (that's a story in need of a book) but resurfaced when my daughter was a toddler. Her joy and interest in the minutiae helped me to relocate that lost inner child. The one that says, let's stop to smell the flowers now...before we die and can't.

Let's be real...time is fleeting. You can waste it enjoyably or unenjoyably, the choice is yours. Where would you prefer to spend your time? Around people who are laughing and joking through this thing called life or amongst a group of serious, joy killers?

This is not to say bad days don't happen. I am the poster child for it. My motto: if I didn't have bad luck I'd have no luck. But we need to realize the effect we have on others when we choose to have bad days (yes, choose). Everything is a choice. And in life the domino affect is ever present.

I went to a meeting yesterday with someone having a bad day. It wasn't meant to be shared, but unknowingly it was. I immediately felt the negativity creep over me. It continued to creep on during the day, rearing it's ugly head during class time. Exposure to negativity can lead to a case of the grumpies. And boy did I have it.

This person didn't realize what was happening, but by the end of the day I was in a foul mood and they had regained all their love for the world.

Remember to live in the now and come in with a happy heart. Problems can be left at the door. They'll still be waiting for you when you're done.

I'm in LOVE.....with Seesaw

It's only appropriate that I am in love with something as Single Awareness Day approaches. The day when people profess their love so much that single people fall ill in the fog of it.

I have been in LOVE with the Seesaw App ever since we met at the NCCE 2015 conference in Portland.

This was my first ever tech conference. I scoured the program for interesting titles. I had no background knowledge of Seesaw. My only construct was the name similarity to a Scholastic book club magazine, which I was sure had nothing to do with it.

Heather Marrs was our teacher and led us through activities a class could easily do: interview a partner, take a selfie, add text to a selfie, add a comment to a photo, solve simple math problems by using your finger as a stylus to show how you found your answer. Our "work" seemed more like "fun."

At the end of our workshop I was smitten. Heather mentioned how she was a Seesaw ambassador and I immediately scoured the web to find out how to become one.

What I saw was a digital online portfolio created by students and teachers. One that allowed students to be engaged in authentic audience interaction. Depending on the age of the student, they can provide positive comments on classmates work and see positive comments written by family members. No longer do you need to ask the dreaded, "What did you do at school today?" question. The one that is answered by a shoulder shrug, an, "I don't remember" or "nothing."

Parents, aunts, uncles, long distance grandparents can all check in on their smart phone or computer and see at a glance what and how their loved one is doing. They can see the joy in their heart during science centers, they can see them goofing off in the back, sometimes, but they see it! Like a porthole on a steamer Seesaw brings that authentic learning to life.

This time of the year I teach a few friends to start doing the seesaw documenting for me. It's a little bit of a learning curve...blurry photos with heads cut off don't quite equal quality examples (it is Kindergarten! but everyone is a beginning and soon everyone is an expert.)

Thank you Seesaw for such a great portfolio system!!

Top 10 Reasons to Try Seesaw
1. Its FREE  and parents can access it on their smart phone or computer.
2. The kids are excited to share what they learned.
3. The kids can no longer claim you teach nothing during the day.
4. You've got documentation for parents, TPEP, or any other hoop thrown at you. ❤
5. Students can document learning while you are teaching. They can capture what you miss.
6. Students not only document but they interact with assignments posted via teachers.
7. Students can work towards mastery: they can reevaluate work and edit it as their knowledge base expands.
8. Using it for reading fluency peaks student interest on attaining personal goals. They hear themselves read!
9. It translates posts into 55 languages!! There is no language barrier!
10. It can be used to connect with other classes (the blog feature) or to share information (like class newsletters) via notes!

If you try Seesaw I bet you will love it too. Feel free to text me with any questions.

Happy Seesawing!!