I will now tweet “Our Page” instead of “My Page”

In the 1990’s while a classroom teacher I started bookmarking good educational sites.  When I became the teacher-librarian in my school I started a website of links for all subject areas. I was still finding the sites myself but I then found Kathy Shrock who shared amazing information. Once I got on Twitter in 2009 I started building a great PLN.  My first follows were: @coolcatteacher @web20classroom @shellterrell and @tomwhitby.  I started getting great links from them and as time went by my Twitter followers kept providing great sites that they were using.

For years I have tweeted pages from my website http://cybraryman.com/0_teachers1.htm and stated “My Page.”  I have now changed that to “Our Page” because without my wonderful PLN how would I ever find such great sites to add.  As a constant learner and a person who truly wants to help busy students, educators and parents I cannot keep up on everything without your help. 

My PLN means a lot to me #YouMatter.

Thanks to the following and all others who share so much:

@angelamaiers @mbteach @kyplepace @alicekeeler @pernilleripp @brholland @s_bearden @joycevalenza @KleinErin @mr_isaacs @gcouros @jmattmiller @justintarte @KerryHawk02 @sylviaduckworth @shannonmmiller @mssackstein @kevinhoneycutt @ClassTechTips @pammoran @SNewco @TonySinanis @wkrakower @scottrocco @TheBradCurrie @burgess_shelley @NikkiDRobertson @jeffherb @E_Sheninger @burgessdave @RossCoops31 @iTeachLipscomb @TeacherToolkit @gwynethjones @ICTEvangelist @ICTmagic @elissamalespina @ShiftParadigm @JoyKirr @librarian_tiff @TeacherCast @ozge @jenniferlagarde @JennRegruth @ncarroll24 @nathan_stevens @TechNinjaTodd @plnaugle @Lynch39083 @RACzyz @JenWilliamsEdu @ncarroll24  @PeterMDeWitt @LaVonnaRoth @timbuckteeth @russeltarr @elemenous @EdTechNerd @johnsonmaryj 

Control Alt Achieve @ericcurts

Education World @education_world

Emerging EdTech @EmergingEdTech

My Best of series | Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… @Larryferlazzo

SurfNetKids @barbarafeldman

Talk Tech With Me @Katie_M_Ritter

Teachers Edition | U.S. Department of Education @usedgov

The Tech Edvocate @techedvocate@AdvocateforEd

#EduGoalsMOOC resources @SteveWheeler

Kathy Shrock’s Guide to Everything @kathyshrock

ASCD @ASCD Which for me as a member in the 1980’s was the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Blogging About the Web 2.0 Connected Classroom by Steven Anderson @web20classroom

BrainPop @BrainPop

Common Sense Media @CommonSense

Cult of Pedagogy @cultofpedagogy

Daily Genius @DailyGenius

EdSurge @EdSurge

EdTechTeam @edtechteam

Education Week Teacher @educationweek

Edutopia (I have followed them since their start) @Edutopia

eSchoolNews @eschoolnews

Four O’Clock Faculty @4OClockFaculty

Free Technology for Teachers by Richard Byrne @rmbyne

Getting Smart @Getting_Smart

Learning in Hand @tonyvincent

Mind Shift @MindShiftKQED

Shake Up Learning Website and Blog @ShakeUpLearning

SimpleK12 @SimpleK12

TeachThought @TeachThought

Tech & Learning @techlearning

The Learning Networks @NYTimesLearning

You can find all these on Some Favorite Resources page

Back to Brooklyn, back to life and reality

The sudden and unexpected news of my only brother’s passing was quite a shock to me.  I had to get back to Brooklyn from Florida as soon as possible to make arrangements.

Traveling through the extremely bustling, noisy and crowded streets of Brooklyn on my way to the Medical Examiners office and then the funeral home took me on a nostalgic tour of my life and educational journey.

It was strange seeing three of the four schools where I taught. (The fourth school was torn down many years ago after they spent a half a million dollars fixing it up.)  It is hard to believe that I survived 32 years in such a crime filled neighborhood where I literally experienced just about everything you don’t want to live through.  I did smile when I saw the now fixed-up track where I trained two of my schools to city championships.

My East New York page

My heart goes out to all educators especially those who work in areas that are not safe and schools that are overcrowded, understaffed, lacking proper management and few supplies. I always envied schools that were safe, well run and teachers had all the supplies and support they needed to properly facilitate the learning of every child. I also do not miss trying to find a place to park my car especially dealing with alternate side of the street parking. I guess you have to be young and daring to teach where I did.

I cannot believe one of my colleagues (who was kind enough to put my wife and I up) is in his 47th year at the same school.  He kept telling me that it is even worse then when I was there. His wife who works on Long Island told me how difficult it is to teach even in a good area.   

Let’s take education back and make the necessary changes to ensure the successful learning of all children. I wish the public supported educators more.  I wish all parents would take more of an interest in their children’s learning and work closer with overburdened teachers.  We can make a difference!


On your mark, get set for the new school year…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI must admit that when August approached I started getting quite anxious.  I knew the new school year was approaching and was I prepared for it?

My goal once school ended was to get myself in the best physical shape to endure the rigors of teaching in the inner city.  I know that the fact that I kept myself fit definitely led to my excellent attendance record in school.  I rarely if ever got sick  I was very proud of being able to be there every school day (most years 186+ days).

For quite a few years I was given a program in June only to come back in September and told I was teaching a different grade level and subject area.  At first it was really trying mentally to accept the changes but after a while I was ready for anything.  Such is life in the New York City School System.

I have many pages on my website to help you prepare for the school year.

You can find many helpful pages in My Organizing pages collection

Back to School – Icebreakers

First Days of School

Orientation to Your School

Bulletin Boards

Classroom & Behavior Management

Learning Your Students’ Names

Organizing Your Classroom

Setting up Your Classroom


Best of luck and here’s wishing you an outstanding year of learning.

I can, I shall – I did! #1000in2014

I just completed another 500 miles in 2014.  After doing my first 500 I decided to do it again.  I want to see you and your students also set goals but keep at them and reach what you have set out to accomplish.

Set goals, design mission and vision statements but focus on what you have done and reflect periodically making the necessary adjustments. This is a follow up to my previous blog post “Setting Goals and Reflection

There were days that I was at first not motivated to get outside and do my walk/jog/run morning activity but I persevered.  The following chats, etc. helped keep me going:

The Breakfast Chat #530   I look forward to this spark chat (5:30-5:45am EST – Mon-Fri.).  It gets my Twitter day started.  Luckily I don’t need or like coffee as I am wide away when I arise (yes, I do sleep a few hours).  After the chat I would hit the road.  It was dark before we set the clocks back.  I got to see students waiting for their school buses at 6:15am, horses grazing and then the beautiful sunrises. I try to make it home to prepare coffee for my wife when she gets up.


On Saturdays I try to get my usual minimum of 4 miles in before the very stimulating #satchat for educational leaders (7:30am EST/PST).


Sundays it is easier as #sunchat starts at 9:00am EST.

My Walk Tracker Pro app also was a great help to keep me motivated as it tracked my mileage and spurred me on to complete my miles in less than 13 minutes.


One of my heroes is @Principal_EL and it was a tweet by him in January that alerted me to the #500in2014.  He set out to accomplish this feat but got injured along the way. It definitely slowed him up but he did not give up and is back on track. Also have to give shoutouts to @Vroom6 who also came back from an injury.  And I could not leave out @WonderingWinter who had to put up with the climate of Vietnam to complete her #500in2014

Here is an update on the progress of the original 52 of the #500in2014

13 have completed 500 miles in 2014

4 have completed 1000 miles in 2014

I wonder if this is the same percentage of people who make New Year Resolutions and then keep them.

I am worried as we are not in shape physically, mentally or educationally.  It is easy to make resolutions, mission or vision statements but living up to them should be our goal.



Setting Goals and Reflection

Too many people make resolutions and set goals but do not follow through.  I set my educational goals each school year and also had my students make their own learning goals.  I kept copies of their goals (now it is easy to do this with all the devices we have available) but the key that helped keep them on track was to have them periodically review them.  I had my students reflect on their goals at least once a month.  I did this around the holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, December Holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa..), New Year’s, Valentine’s Day…)  It takes persistence and diligence to achieve what you set out to do.

My Goals page

This past January in my Twitter feed I saw tweets about #500in2014. Investigating, I found out it was walking, jogging or running an accumulated distance of 500 miles in the calendar year. I have always set fitness goals so this was perfect for me. After this Medicare recipient reached the 500 mile plateau I set a new goal of 1000 miles.

Google doc for the #500in2014 challenge

I use an app on my iPhone called Walk Tracker Pro (Running, Cycling, Walking) as it periodically tells me the time of the workout, distance I have traveled, my pace and calories burned. My goal on most walks is to do a mile in 13 minutes or better. This every five minute notification keeps me on “track” and gives me the opportunity to speed up if necessary to reach my goal. During my walk/jogs I have plenty of time to reflect on a lot of things. Once again set a goal and review it!



I am disappointed that only 52 educators signed on for #500in2014 and only a small percentage of those will reach the goal of 500 miles in 2014. I am a strong advocate for educators to promote good health, proper nutrition and exercise. We need to lead by example and model for our students.  

9 have achieved the 500 miles  

1 is on the verge of accomplishing the goal  

6 have the potential to reach the goal  

So far 2 have surpassed 1,000 miles

2 have the potential to reach the goal 

My Health page
My Exercise page
My Nutrition page 
My Track page

Since I live in Florida, after spending most of my life in the Northeast, I have found the best time to work out is the early morning hours. The Breakfast Club chat #BFC530 (a fifteen minute spark chat 5:30-5:45amEST/MST Mon-Fri) gets me up early and moving so I can then catch some really nice sunrises ( I even saw a lunar eclipse). I used to be at school at 6 am (to do the early morning programing when teachers called in sick)  so getting up early is easy for me. I make it a point to say good morning and have an awesome day of learning to the students I see at 6:10 am waiting for their school bus.


On Saturdays I try to either get my workout in before or after #satchat (School Leaders chat 7:30-8:30 am EST/PST). I wish more of our administrators would set fitness, health & good nutrition goals and model the importance of exercise and good health. I feel health, wellness & eating properly are the most important subjects we need to stress with our youth and staffs. The 9am EST Sunday morning #sunchat is at a great time as I can do my usual hour workout & shower before this stimulating chat starts.

Hopefully you have set educational goals for yourself and have your students do their learning goals.   It is important that you periodically revisit the goals that you have set, reflect on them and make any changes. 

My Resolutions and Reflection page

Please don’t exclude anyone…

I was brought up to give of oneself and help others.  I am always willing to assist as can be evidenced by all the sites that I share.  I do this because I know as a former classroom teacher and later as a teacher librarian how hard it is to teach.  I have  been criticized by some for sharing such much but on the other hand so many people have thanked me.  I do not gain anything monetarily from my website.  In fact it costs me money to sustain it as well as he countless hours and years I have put into the site.  I just want to help in any way that I can. 

I was fortunate to have a very varied teaching experience and will always be thankful to my first PLN who helped me get started with my teaching career. 
When I was excessed because of seniority to a new school I will never forget coming in to the crowded teachers’ room and only finding a couch to sit on.  I was immediately informed that I could not sit there as it was reserved.  Some welcome!  I made sure to always welcome and help the new staff members.
I cannot tell you how many times when I approached my administrators with a new idea or technique they turned it down with the statement: “We don’t do that here!”  Be open to change and don’t exclude new approaches.
When I coached track I made sure in dual meets to include everyone who worked hard.  I was criticized because I allowed a “slower” runner to compete.  I stood my ground because he had been at all the practices and tried his best.  At an awards banquet after we won the NYC Championship (arranged by a staff member who got the community to pitch in) a mother grabbed me and gave me a big hug.  She was so appreciative that I had allowed her son to compete even though she knew he wasn’t the greatest athlete.  She said it was really hard raising him as a single mother and I was responsible for changing his attitude and building his confidence.  
Don’t exclude #stuvoice.  Listen to your students and make sure you know how each child likes to learn.
The best curriculum I ever wrote was done collaboratively and we opened the door to anyone who had ideas.  In my writing career producing educational materials for the utility companies I learned so much because I listened to all parties: children (my best reviewers), educators, parents and utility personnel.  
Don’t exclude anyone who wants to help.  

I am excited about #EdProdChat

#EdProdChat is starting real soon and I can see this will be a tremendous way to find out about great products to use in your school.  This much needed forum will give teachers a chance to interact with the designers of products that are used in classrooms.  It will also benefit the developers who will get real feedback on their work.  Both parties want students to learn and it will lead to better products being used in classrooms throughout the world. We are not endorsing these products but showcasing them because we feel they will be valuable additions for student learning.
When I wrote educational activities for the utility company I developed not only a teacher review network but one for children as well as industry personnel. The final product was successful because of the input from all these points of view.  
Please join us on #EdProdChat
First chat will be on Thursday, September 18th at 8pm EST featuring a project based learning App called WeLearnedIt.  Hosting will be WeLearnedIt CEO Adam Bellow @adambellow
The weekly #EdProdChat schedule of weekly chats will begin on the first Thursday of October (Oct. 2nd) at 8pm EST
Please sign up on REMIND using the class code: @edprod 
I am looking forward to #EdProdChat  because this constant learner loves finding out about wonderful products that will benefit students.

Students should be the real lead learners

I think it is wonderful that so many principals are adopting the title “lead learner.” It is definitely a role they need to assume.

However, the real lead learner should be each student as they follow their pathway to discovery. I feel it is everyone’s duty to allow children to lead their own learning and to model being a “constant learner” for them.  Show them that they can succeed if they put their minds to the tasks they face.


Let’s guide children but step out of their way as they lead their own learning. Make sure they are not afraid to try new things and learn from their mistakes. Give them the reins but be there if needed.


My Learning from Mistakes page

securedownloadHave your students set their own learning goals at the beginning of the school year.  Periodically have them review these goals and make any needed changes.  A good time to do this is once a month around a holiday period (October-Halloween, November-Thanksgiving…).

My Goals Page

Please make sure to listen to your children/students and find out what they really want.  Our job as parents and educators is to guide them on their way to learning.

My What Students Want Page







I am inspired and you can be too!

The motto for this year’s #tcea14 Convention & Exposition was “Get “Inspired.”  There are so many ways that you can get inspired.

During the past few weeks I attended some outstanding events that not only engaged me but re-energized me.  I met so many of my PLN that it would be impossible to list all of them.  I love you all and appreciate you.  #youmatter a lot to me.

#FETC14  – Florida

I only had the opportunity to spend one day at #FETC14 but it sure was jam packed with great experiences:

I took part in a fun app session delivered by @adambellow @kathyshrock @lesliefisher and @HallDavidson. Attend stimulating sessions at conferences or go to an edcamp where you can share what works with your students or learn from others.

I was fortunate to join @tomwhitby and @adambellow for a luncheon conversation.  Then we bumped into @rushtonh and I was able to have an enjoyable talk with him. Spend time with your PLN.  It is incredible the sharing and learning that takes place in these informal get togethers.


I really enjoyed hanging out with my fellow #edchat moderators: @blairteach @kylepace @tomwhitby and archivist @jswiatek. Educational chats on Twitter are great opportunities for professional learning.  Take advantage of the incredible chats available.

The extremely well attended TweetUp gave me a chance to meet so many of my PLN.  It was nice to renew acquaintances and make new ones with great educators like @s_bearden @kristenswanson and @thomascmurray.

#TCEA14 – Texas

@tomwhitby and I had a fantastic time during #tcea14 and it was really special when we tweeted side by side while moderating Tuesday evening’s #edchat on: What would be the effect of building collaboration and reflection time into your work schedule?

Take part in chats and build your PLN.  Share your thoughts and learn how others feel.

@kenroyal  I definitely got the royal treatment from Ken who introduced me to so many of his friends in education.   It was so much fun hanging out with him.  It is amazing the connections that you make as you build a Twitter or Social Media Family.

@myclassflow Learned about this interactive lesson planning method that will engage students. Attending sessions gives you to opportunity to see first-hand technology that can help deliver your lessons.

I had a fantastic barbecue dinner with @PaulRWood, @shannonmiller, @TomWhitby, @woscholar et al. was nourishing for body and mind.  It is amazing when educators get together and then discuss intellectual topics that stretch the mind.

EdTech Karoke was a wonderful opportunity to let your hair down and enjoy yourself.  Always enjoy talking with my buddy @kevinhoneycutt. Once again I came across @stevedembo and we both stated that some day we would have to just sit down and talk.  Having fun and learning is great for us and our students.


I was honored to address the LIB-SIG group thank you @_MichelleCooper. The message to all educators should be to continue to do what you are doing but embrace technology and listen to #stuvoice.

Conferences and edcamps are invaluable as you get a chance to meet members of your PLN (Personal Learning Network) like @mattBgomez  @djakes @duncanbilingual @ipadSammy @RafranzDavis @TechNinjaTodd to discuss educational topics in person, groups or during sessions.  It is now wonderful that you can go to meetings and actually know people as a result of your being a connected educator.

Tuskegee Airmen at Fantasy of Flight – Florida

Thanks to @DennisDill and @MLMRobertson  I was able to accompany their students to a special presentation by three Tuskegee Airmen at the Fantasy of Flight.  These gentlemen gave an outstanding session explaining the struggles they faced and how they triumphed.  It was wonderful that they encouraged the students attending to get a good education and work hard.  My tweets caught the attention of @DianaLRendina who was attending the same presentation with her class.  It is always nice to meet members of my PLN.  Great also to connect with @KKStephens82 the Operations Manager of @fantasyofflight Take advantage of such learning opportunity field trips in person or virtually.

Take part in activities that will inspire you don’t wait for them to come to you.


Thank you Georgia Educational Technology Conference #gaetc13

It was a great honor for me to be asked to be a featured presenter at this year’s Georgia Eucational Technology Conference #gaetc13.  I always enjoy connecting, learning and sharing with passionate educators.  Everyone at #gaetc13 was wonderful.  They were so gracious, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind….



I tried to give sessions where not only did I share information but I was able to learn new things from my audience.   I  feel that some of the best interchanges are those given by participants.  I enjoy when they share what works or does not work with their students.  We all gain valuable information from these conversations.  I have to give a special shout out to @brholland (pictured) who shared some amazing things at several of my sessions.  Thank you Beth.


I am a champion of the classroom teacher and I salute them for all that they have to face.  I am also a huge fan of students.  I totally enjoyed interacting with all of the student presenters.  The Student Showcase was outstanding.  It included everything from STEAM, gardening, Legos, digital storytelling, to tech prodigies.  It was great to connect with my good Twitter friend @staffdevjnkie and her students.  Glad I was able to get Sue and one of her students to learn from the amazing @ShellTerrell at her Digital Storytelling session. 


Conferences to me are so much more meaningful because you get a chance to meet (and hug) your followers many of whom you never actually met in person before.  It is also a chance to connect with your “old” Twitter friends. I was thrilled to be able to spend so much time with my great friend @ShellTerrell and reacquaint with @NikkiDRobertson (pictured) @amandacdykes and @Fernandezc4. A very  special moment for me was getting a chance to hug my good friend @blairteach who stopped by #gaetc13



I love the EduVue team and getting a chance to see them in person was so nice. @GaTechTeach @CatFlippen @JaimeVanderG (pictured)  #EduVue


Could not believe in one session I gave I had a slide of @aschmuhl and he was actually in the room. Great to meet the #gaed moderating team of @aschmuhl and the very dynamic @blantonbrian.


It was wonderful hanging out with educational leaders who I admire so much:@tonyvincent @shellterrell (pictured) @crafty184 @lesliefisher  @dlaufenberg and @Njistem.


Thanks to everyone who stopped and talked to me.  You mean a lot and I always love talking to my PLN. I am sorry I did not scan and keep everyone’s names to thank them all like @debbiechildress @cereseg @ktheodocion @AnissaLAndrews @mrnidey @BrandiKotsalis1 @PMontarella @mcrogers27 @MmeBurgess  @cmslibrarylady @vlaguaite @barber_meg @britt1119 @ldenson8 @lewisgrade5.  Special thanks for all the kind words @hoke (Hoke Wilcox)

Big thank you to the Georgia Educational Technology Consortium Board of Directors, GaETC Sub-Committee, committee members, sponsors and all the wonderful volunteers who made this an outstanding conference.