Thursday, August 16

Workshops, Awards, and Wonderment … oh my

You know summer is coming to a close and school is fast approaching when the workshops start! I spent two days this week immersed in Universal Design for Learning where I got really jazzed up for a wonderful new year of working with my little angels.  The premise of UDL is very similar to differentiation, with a high focus being on intentionally designing universal lessons (accessible to everyone) from the outset…as opposed to implementing individual modifications on a case-by-case basis as an afterthought.  This was equated to designing/building a home that was universally accessible to anyone (disabled or not) from the start…as opposed to adding ramps and making post-build remodels to later accommodate a particular disability.

The three main components of UDL are:
1. presenting information in multiple formats and media
2. providing multiple pathways for student expression (how they demonstrate learning)
3. providing multiple ways to engage student interest and motivation

It was very interesting, motivating, and practical as far as workshops go. I feel like my toolbox is brimming with ideas to differentiate my teaching to meet the needs of a range of students (gifted, learning disabled, physically disabled, and for a variety of learning styles and preferences). I am looking forward to sharing some of those ideas with you all in the weeks to come!

The last two days we have been learning about working with challenging behaviors. I must say that the videos alone were making me tense and stressing me out over starting with a brand new bunch of school-babies.  But, once again…my toolbox is loaded.  I have one more week to wrap up the many little details in my classroom before the last go-round of workshops (CCSS and 5D).

So today I was humbled to receive an email notification that my blog was named one of the Top 50 Early Education Blogs.  It just made me smile.  I have proudly posted my award on my sidebar. Here is the review that was written about me:

Angela Wageman is the scribe for Just Love Teaching, a forum in which the Washington State kindergarten teacher and mother of 4 shares heartwarming ‘smiles’ – anecdotal tidbits sure to remind even the most fatigued teachers why they chose to go into the profession. Reading, math and science activities also appear prominently on the site, as do Angela’s vibrant, apron creations, which are designed exclusively for teachers.

I am humbled, but also inspired to provide relevant content and plenty more “heartwarming smiles” for my readers…because I really do Just Love Teaching! Thank you for reading and following along my teaching journey.

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