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Implementing N-1

Photo by Her Wings http://www.flickr.com/photos/herwings/3809991796/ N-1 is a concept that I read about today on Seth’s Blog.  Seth says: N-1. There are tons of things on your to do list, in your portfolio, on your desk.  They clamor for attention and so perhaps you compromise things to get them all done.  What would happen if you did one fewer thing?  What if leaving that off the agenda allowed you to do a world-class job on the rest?  What if you repeated N-1 thinking until you found a breakthrough? I’ll be honest, this is a really difficult concept for me.  I am a perfectionist with a pinch of OCD thrown in for good measure.  When I do something I go at it full speed ahead 110%.  The problem is lately, I can’t give 110% to everything that I would like to because I am always adding one more thing (N+1).  These things are good things, they are worthy things, important things.  I feel that way about each one of them or I wouldn’t have taken them on in the first place.  But lately I am finding that I am giving each less than what they deserve and not feeling a sense of accomplishment in any of them as a result.  I think this is a common feeling among teachers.  We always tend to be functioning in the N+1 model.  We give everything the best we’ve got and often feel stretched too thin.  Today I took an honest look at everything I’m doing and came to the conclusion that I need to ease up a bit.  I’m not even sure that I have to really give anything up, I just need to change my perspective. I started the original Edublogger Alliance the first of the year 2010.  My goal was to create a fellowship of edubloggers who encouraged and supported one another in our blogging journeys.  I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think the alliance has been an enormous success.  I got to know incredible educators, librarians, and home school teachers from around the world.  I feel like I know each of them well as a result of reading and commenting on their blogs, having conversations on Twitter, meeting at ISTE, and even completing bigger projects together.  It truly exceeded every expectation I had for it.  In March, I started a second alliance and invited new edubloggers to join in the conversation.  Again, I was introduced to incredible educators from around the world and truly blessed by the connections made.  Because I started the alliances, I felt an obligation to comment on each and every blog post of each and every member.  I think in the 10 months it has been going, I have commented on nearly every post (even if it was weeks later) with a few exceptions.  It has been an awesome exercise in learning and reflection for me.  I got several more requests for additional alliance opportunities for educational bloggers and created the iLearn Technology Edublogger Alliance social network on Wackwall (now Wall FM).  Between the alliances there are almost 400 members! Something I couldn’t have anticipated or expected.  As a result I find myself facing around 380 posts to comment on every day.  Those are not the only blogs in my reader, I read many more that are not part of the alliance.  You can see why this is becoming a problem.  In my N+1 fervor, I have taken on more than I can physically do in the hours of a day. N-1 It is time for me to really prioritize.  This is a stressful decision and not one that I am excited to make but, in order to keep doing other amazing things, one I have to make. I will no longer be commenting on each and every edublogger alliance post.  Whew, hard just to type that…makes it real.  My OCD tendencies are fighting this hard   What does this mean for the edublogger alliance?  Nothing really, I hope that we will continue to encourage each other in our blogging and teaching adventures.  I hope that we will still comment and retweet each other’s posts like crazy.  I still plan on reading each and every one of your amazing posts (I wouldn’t even know where to begin cutting down my Reader).  I am just giving myself permission not to comment on EVERY post.  I hope that in the last 10 months, those of you involved in one of the alliances were encouraged in your blogging.  I hope that my comments caused you to want to comment on another educators blog and encourage them.  I would love for everyone who reads my blog to join the edublogger alliance and commit to commenting on a blog every week.  Comment when you have something to add to the conversation, comment because you want to let your favorite blogger know you appreciate them, comment when you notice no one else has.  Maybe I’ll make an “I comment” badge for those of you who commit to commenting for you to post on your website What will I do now that I have made that N-1 decision?  I will join conversations on Twitter again (I feel like I have been MIA lately).  I will work on and teach a virtual class on digital storytelling.  I will work toward starting a school and making #Twitacad (Twitter Academy) a reality. I will blog.  I will walk alongside schools as they work to integrate technology. I will publish lessons. I will offer professional development. I will read. I will cook. I will teach my puppies some new tricks.  I will figure out where my next N-1 should be so that I can find a breakthrough.

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Shelfari

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 20-05-2008

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What it is: Shelfari is a virtual bookshelf that you create to show off books that you have read and recommend. It is a Web 2.0 site that allows you to connect with students, other teachers, and parents around books. Shelfari is a great way to discover new titles, discuss books, start an online book club, and show others what you are reading. You can show off your Shelfari bookshelf on your blog, classroom website, or other social networking site of choice. Really cool!

How to integrate Shelfari into the classroom: As summer break approaches, we teachers start thinking about how far we have come during the school year with our students. We also dread that they will be on their own for the summer and may or may not be reading. Shelfari would be an excellent resource to create today and introduce your students and parents to before summer break. Build a bookshelf of age-appropriate reading for your students. Post the bookshelf on your classroom website and encourage students to continue reading with you over the summer. Because Shelfari allows for you to create online book clubs and discussions, students can keep their reading and comprehension skills in tip top shape with you! Shelfari is also an excellent resource for parents who may feel overwhelmed when they enter a library with their child. They often aren’t sure of their child’s reading level and age-appropriate books. With Shelfari, they can visit your shelf before the trip to the library for some great suggestions. Shelfari is also ideal throughout the school year as a place for you and your students to connect over reading…reading is so much more fun when you have someone to share and discuss what you are reading with! Students can create their own bookshelves to show off what they are reading. Teacher to teacher book clubs on Shelfari are also a lot of fun! Connect with other staff members over books that you are reading (they can be school related or not.) Maybe in place of the traditional book report, students start a discussion on Shelfari about their reading. Where have you been all my life Shelfari? :)

Tips: Use Shelfari in conjunction with Book Adventure for some real reading fun!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Shelfari in your classroom.

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