Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Workshop Wednesday's - Bringing It All Back #tcrwp

I've never been a huge fan of long Professional Development sessions, one to two hour blocks of time can really drag on at times. That's not to say that every PD session I've ever done has been this way, but I also think about 'time' with teachers which is always so precious.

Wired Wednesday's is something we started years ago when I was an Assistant Principal and trying to push the envelope with Technology Integration. The structure of WW is a quick fifteen minute PD session with something you could bring back and use in your classroom tomorrow. The feedback from these weekly/monthly sessions was outstanding and we saw such a huge shift with integration in classrooms with kids and teachers. After our first couple WW people left still surprised and excited that we were done in just fifteen minutes. That's powerful within itself!

Looking ahead to being back on campus this Friday and trying to transfer all my learning with staff, the WW model is something I think will work. 'Workshop Wednesday' will have the same type of model, fifteen minute 'mini-lesson' sessions, teaching points, antidotes for learning, next steps.

Much the same with our Wired Wednesday models, I started as the presenter and then teachers would take over and present. Maybe/hopefully we can schedule some Google Hangouts with teachers in the area and those I've met this week at TCRWP? Any takers, let me know!

Moving forward, pushing the work, continuous learning, keep it up, carry the torch!


Ellin Keene - Wednesday Morning Keynote - What Do They Remember #tcrwp

What Do They Remember? A Look at Understanding and Engagement in Information Contexts

What do kids remember and why? Why sometimes and not others? Ellin talks about immersing herself in the subject area, before the experience and during. 

- Some questions to consider, great food for thought.....
1. Are students retaining and reapplying what they read and learn in Social Studies and Science?
2. If they don't remember, did they understand in the first place?
3. To what degree does understanding relate to engagement?

- Kids need to......
- get their hands dirty
- smell it
- talk about it
- read about it
- see it

If they don't, do they ever really understand, they HAVE to be engaged, then they'll retain it.

Do kids retain and reapply in six days, six weeks and six months?

This makes me think about presents during the holidays. Does my three year old remember what 'presents' she received during Christmas just three months ago, I bet she doesn't. If you ask her what she remembers most from the holiday experience, I'll bet it's spending a week in Lake Tahoe at our family cabin with her three Uncles and having a snowball fight. It's the experiences that kids remember, it's the conversations they must be immersed to retain, same concept for educating and school!

Some conditions for understanding.....
- Focus on a few concepts
- Teach in real depth
- Over a long period of time
- Apply them in a variety off texts and contexts

Some additional thoughts from Ellin......

- If kids don't remember, do they really understand? Kids remember and reapply when they're engaged!
- It's ok to be a slower reader/learner, you're an in-depth learner likely to remember. 
- Don't be in a rush, stop the frenzy, it's counter productive to deep/permanent/memorable learning!
- Make the content 'worthy' for kids to learn, act as a scientist w/them, give them time to practice!
- If kids don't remember, they didn't really understand, engagement is king, have kids do the heavy educational lifting!
- Value the time it takes to have a conversation, THAT'S engagement.
- Make kids hungry for more, make it difficult to satisfy them, continue the learning!

An article than Ellin quoted about reading engagement, great read!

Pushing - Be A Pusher, It's Good For Kids! #tcrwp

What is it about this week at TCRWP, there is so much learning going on, constantly throughout each session and on Twitter. The entire staff of TCRWP is in essence pushing each and every attendee, all throughout the day.

Last night for dinner I was talking with a large group of educators from Illinois. A table full of educators will no doubt end up talking about education, and of course Workshop. Some questions that came from our conversations…..

- How do we get buy-in from our teachers to launch Workshop?
- What do you do with those naysayers who 'won't' implement?

- How can/do we push people to keep going/working/learning/encouraging?

There is of course no formula for this, with each school/staff there needs to be a different approach, depends on many factors. I believe our 'Team Kid' attitude/slogan at John Swett makes it pretty easy to move forward and be a pusher! My blog post about that can be read here.

Thinking more about this during coffee today, how do we make/encourage more people to push or become a pusher?

More thoughts coming up after hearing Keylene Beers keynote yesterday and seeing this tweet!

And this tweet from Justin Tarte and this blog post.....

Who's your pusher? Are you a pusher? Can you become a pusher? Make it happen, it's good for kids! 


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Now What - Next Steps #tcrwp

As a Principal I'm always thinking ahead, weeks, months or even years down the road. I'll be back to John Swett Elementary this Friday, back with my students and staff. I've been in NY all week while they've been on campus and I can't help but think/plan......

- How do I 'bring' back all the amazing work I've seen and been a part of this week.
- How do I keep up the connection with all the amazing educators I've met this week in person and through social media?
- I refuse to say...."You had to be there" - "It's hard to explain" - I fully realize there is no substitution for being here @tcrwp in person, but I have to try.

Talking with Dara from New Jersey who teaches 6th grade in New Jersey about this during a short break in our afternoon session. Talking about GHO and she says...."Could I like do that with your staff, that'd be so cool and we could learn together!" #yes

Then.....I of course ask Dara what her Twitter handle is.....

Dara - "I'm not on Twitter"
Me - "Do it tonight, get signed up!"
Dara - "How about I do it right now!"
Me - "Yes, you rock Dara!"
Check Dara out and help her learn/grow! @DSchwenck

Staying connected and connecting these great educators with my teachers is key!

Some other next step ideas.....

- Start a 'Workshop Wednesday' where my staff and myself share mini-lesson ideas with each other. We can blog these ideas as a way to archive for future work?
- Take video of mini-lessons to share with others, reflect on the work as a collaborative team.
- GHO (Google Hangouts) with educators I'm meeting in NY this week and those already immersed in workshop teaching. Lets learn/grow together!

Any other ideas for next steps?

If You're Not Connected, If I Wasn't..... #tcrwp

If you're not connected, I personally feel you're really missing out. After writing that down, I think about if I wasn't connected, and how much I would be missing out on. Not even all the learning I'd be missing out on but keeping up the connection with my school, even from across the country.

Thanks to Twitter and having my entire staff on, I can still see what's going on in their rooms, love it! I'm not their physically, but can stay connected to our classrooms. 

I got an email from a colleague this morning while in the hotel about a reminder this Thursday that needed to go out. I'm in NY until late Friday night, but it doesn't matter because we use Remind 101 at John Swett. Staying connected and connecting with my parent community from across the country is super important. Even though we have a Teacher in Charge at school, there are still some aspects of being a Principal that I can take care of.

I also subscribe to all my teachers Remind 101 accounts, keeps me connected and in the loop, received this one about ten minutes ago!

If you're not connected, take one step towards getting's worth it!

Leaders - You/We Must Be Visible #tcrwp #savmp

Sitting here learning in our Small Group section at Teachers College, I'm sitting next to @lucysalazar who's an Elementary Principal from Southern California. It's great sitting next to another Administrator so we can talk about Workshop from a 'school' perspective. How can/will we translate what we've learned this week back to our school sites in California.

This brings me back to a Tweet from @gcouros back in January that has me reflecting again. Principals MUST be in classrooms, we MUST know where our teachers are - in order to show them where they need to go. It's exciting to meet other Principals and even some Directors and even some Assistant Superintendent's as well.  

How can we as leaders expect our teachers to move and make change if we haven't immersed ourselves already in the work.

- We need to be in classrooms.
- We need to be observing lessons and offering coaching advice based on the instruction.
- We have to understand the work, in order to support/push the work.
- We should provide mini-workshops for our staff, thinking about changing up our Wired Wednesday's to Workshop Wednesday's to support the work.
- Workshop is so deep/complex/exciting/invigorating and steeped in Common Core!

Bold statement - Every Principal/Leader needs to be here in NY @tcrwp

Off to lunch!

Read Aloud - Be Interactive - The Morning w/Alexis #tcrwp

Comparing yesterday and today- Fiction vs Non-fiction Read Aloud!

Doing a Read Aloud with kids is so powerful on so many levels. Read with kids, then show pictures as you read, have kids turn/talk with a focus question, have them stop/jot, push their thinking, have a focus question! 
***** (Tech Integration idea - Take pictures of book pages with document camera and scroll through as you read, lets kids 'predict' what next image will be. Super fast way to go back and reference images, and you can also post to class blog/website for future discussions or 'at home' work.)

Key focus questions for center teaching, maybe post for read aloud and follow-up work....
- One of our important jobs as researchers is to synthesize all the info we are learning.
- One way we can do this is by rereading our notes and thinking about our unanswered questions.
- We can carry those questions across centers and texts and conversations in pursuit of answers.

In any read aloud there is tons of work you can do, think about WHAT your students need work in though, focus on that! Give students a focus question in centers, we want them to focus, and to then go broad/deep with the literature. 

Looking at Common Core Standards for Reading Information Text, so many are addressed in a Read Aloud - 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9 WOW!

Some follow-up ideas after your read aloud.....

- What words/phrases emerge from the text during read aloud, create word bank for unit! 
- Have students compare notes for follow up conversation.
- Compare fiction and non-fiction books that address the same topic.
- Weave in historical fiction along with fiction and non-fiction text, creates a different scope. 
- Take tier two words and create synonyms + antonyms with students, higher level thinking, makes me think of DOK (Depth of Knowledge) level questions.
- Write down the 'effects' from the text, what connection can be made, from both fiction and non-fiction. Make a lists as a class, record together. 
- So many ideas for follow-up research and presentations, really tied to Common Core Standards 

What else to contribute for a read aloud? I'll update this post with crowd sources ideas, let me know!

Fiction read aloud text.....

Non-fiction text to accompany fictional text......

Kylene Beers - Tuesday Morning Keynote #tcrwp

So excited to hear from someone who is connected like Kylene, check out her profile above, 13K+ followers, wow!

This mornings Keynote is..... 'What Matters Now - Conversations We Must Have!' 

Thoughts from Kylene this morning.....

Great guiding question - Universities gave feedback, we don't want kids who only look for the right answer, multiple choice is not the answer.

- Skill that businesses value most - 
1. Be able to identify a problem
2. Communicate with others
3. Think creatively
4. Have strong ethical work habits

- Best practices, what are these?
Schools focus on 'best' practices, businesses focus on 'next' practices.
- Is our national education climate preparing kids for the business culture?
- Computer was the first 'disruptive' device brought into education, used as substitution instead of transformation, too many Power Points!

- Communication is the key to improving comprehension! 
1. Kids must re-read test, but most struggling readers don't want to. 
2. Let kids talk about the text. 

- I want kids to be passionate about reading, but most important passionate about learning!
- Tests show us something, but NOT everything.
- Our true challenge as teachers is to inspire and support and nurture life-long readers who are PASSIONATE about learning!
- 'After all is said and done, more is said than done'
- Evidence of learning is NOT multiple choice.
- We must have balanced approach with education #tech #literacy #language #collaboration #communication Can't be just one way, many modalities 
- No more damn packets #enough
- Ss should read in, behind and beyond the text - what did the author have in mind when they wrote
- Think aloud should be text specific, no generalization language, find support from text!
- Do everything you can to get student conversations going.
- Lets show kids WHAT to look for in a text, what surprises us, what's transferable to other text across the curriculum?
We must think about communication between Ss in schools, also amongst ourselves!
- Authors use numbers in writing to 'paint' a picture for the reader!

All for now, more posts later today! 

Blogging - So Much More Than Just Blogging #tcrwp #savmp

I’m telling you, blogging is so much more than just blogging. It’s like Twitter, it’s so much more than just Tweeting, for real. 

- It’s reflection
- It’s therapy
- It’s sharing
- It’s calming
- It’s fun
- It’s a paycheck
- It’s a conversation
- It’s a connection
- It’s a model for teachers, students and parents
- It’s SO SO SO Common Core!

My first blog many years ago came about because I sold my car and was going to live without a car for one year. Blogging about ‘car free’ adventures helped me to reflect on my transportation decision, but also to analyze other areas that I was now in contact with. lasted even after I bought a car and gave up the ‘car free’ life, there was still writing to be done. Advocating for safer streets, additional routes for public transportation and pushing others to bicycle when able….the blogging energy lived on.

I’m definitely a pusher, in the best sense of the word I assure you. I encourage people to explore and push themselves out of their comfort zone, that’s how you improve and get better, right? It’s important to not simply push, but provide resources and ‘help’ when needed. A track coach wants you to run a faster mile, so they develop a new training regime to build speed and endurance. They’re not just going to tell you to run faster and expect results…….

Many people I talk with say they have nothing to write about and that nobody wants to read their writing. So not true on so many levels……if you create a digital writing space I guarantee you’ll find topics to blog about. And I guarantee people will want to read what you write, guaranteed! If you’re connected on Twitter (even if you aren’t) that’s an amazing way to share your writing and connect with other educators, Twitter will share for you, trust me.

To close, being in New York this week at Teachers College, surrounded by educators from throughout the world (someone from Russia in my small group!) has definitely increased my blogging mojo. Having a muse (TCRWP this week) is so powerful and I reflect on my analogy of the moss, on the rock, in the stream. Being surrounded (the stream) by so many smart/motivating people, I’m simply absorbing (nutrients for the moss) so much from those around me. The blogging mojo is in full effect and helps me be a better Principal.

More to come, stand by!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Ten Wonderful Non-Fiction Books #tcrwp

Quick pictorial post.....'Ten Wonderful Non-Fiction Books' (actually more than ten) with LOTS of teaching points, from @RebeccaCronin2 excited to order for my school!

An Afternoon w/Kathleen Tolan #tcrwp

I'll be with Kathleen Tolan the next three days and the first hour of our afternoon together is full of Tweetable moments, some thoughts below. 

Social Studies curriculum is usually two years ahead of the grade level where it's being taught. Wow, that's a bold statement, how will we achieve this.

- must give kids a forum to practice towards mastery 
- social studies text need to be readable 
- work towards moving away from social studies text books
- see it, hear it, use it….academic vocabulary 
- echo reading with kids, read a paragraph and re-read behind teacher or stronger reader
- text complexity is covered in many of the ideas above
- give kids an area in the room to read and discuss, must have more text evidence in the talk.
- shared reading - put something on document camera and read together.
- mini-lecture - be clear and to the point
- debate (My idea, record or podcast these to share with parents!)
- you can't get deep in a center when the buzzer goes off, we want kids to return to the center/work, must be deep and not just surface
- have kids name the strategy they're using - close reading and close looking - do this at center time!
- teach kids to have a plan
- have task cards for students to use, this makes the teacher available to support 

To summarize in my own words - 

Mini-lessons are the KEY to this work, we must give kids these tools so they can go to their 'tool-box' and use the appropriate strategy when needed. Guide the students in the work and call on them while guiding when it's time for independent work. 

Coaching is also so KEY, wearing my Principal hat and thinking about transferring my work here with my teachers back in California. Our staff meeting time or having a Workshop Wednesday time where I can teach ideas/concepts that will transfer to class and mini-lessons. 

Getting More Connected - Twitter Challenge #tcrwp

I know, I'm on a roll with blogging today with my 5th post of the day. It's funny, I've been Tweeting with @themchugh all morning and then finally met 'in real life' during the small section time this morning. He commented on all my posts from this morning and how he's been wanting/trying to start a blog of his own. We should strive to model for our teachers what we want them and our students to do. As I wrote this morning, all 3rd-5th graders at my school have their own blog, their own digital writing space.....that's so powerful! I'm excited for Jeff to start his blog this week, my #educhallenge to him!

So, getting more connected, my Twitter challenge. I have 20+ new followers in the last 24 hours and I've followed about the same amount, all educators attending #tcrwp this week. During the small section time this morning with @AlexisCzeterko I asked my group what their handles were. One of the three (thanks @lucysalazar) were on Twitter, and the other two said they 'knew' they should be on. My brain starts rolling and I'm thinking about 'how' I can get these educators connected, when they aren't connected and can't see all that they're missing. It's complicated I know.......there is so much conversation going on 'behind' the scenes that everyone can benefit from.

Thanks to the power of Twitter and @alicekeeler for sharing a great 'getting started' document. And her question.....

Open to ideas and motivation, Tweet them out!

Small Group Section - Center Work w/ @AlexisCzeterko #tcrwp

A totally PACKED room with Alexis Czeterko this morning for our first small group section of the week!

Some initial thoughts/ideas........

It's all about the mini-lesson.....start with a picture, ask questions, take notes.

- "What specifically do you see going on, look for those details?"
- "What jumps out at you right away?"
- "What do you notice about the kids in this picture."
- "Do you recognize anyone in the artifact?"
- "Get a gist of the picture, look closer at the details and record together!"
- "Take a second and third look at the picture, REALLY get a look at the details!"

Now for our first assignment, 'Paired Texts Center'

Read similar text sets, compare and contrast, non-fiction is huge, have a mid-workshop lesson and go for different note taking types! The mid-workshop lesson is really a great time/chance to infuse ideas while the kids are deep in the learning, push their thinking, such great coachable moments.

Love sports analogies and it's like your coach being with you on the course, helping/pushing/teaching while you're in the game!

Note taking ideas.....

- sketch notes
- boxes and bullets
- timeline
- 2-column chart
- flowchart

More to come!

Harvey 'Smokey' Daniels - Opening Keynote Reflection/Thoughts #tcrwp

What a fun opening keynote from Smokey Daniels, so many Tweetable moments/comments from this morning. 

Giving us a pictorial tour of his travels throughout the US in working with schools. Harvey says so much is missing from the Common Core…..creativity, engagement, curiosity, choice and responsibility. Telling stories is so powerful, they engage the audience, get people excited, inspire, laugh, think about our personal interactions and make us want to write!

With the writing standards he’s concerned they’re too low. Kids need to be writing way more says Harvey, kids should write ’think pieces’ 5, 7, 20 times a day….what does that look like.  Showing us MANY examples of written notes from kids, so many teachable moments, editing, fun memories and ideas to implement at school. Share with kids, get them excited, engage them, all level of students can write these!

I think about my school ( , @jseroadrunners) and that each of our 3rd-5th graders have their own blog on In two years I’ve seen kids write more and more each year. Having conversations with each other, learning, writing, and publishing their work for everyone to read….that’s powerful! I’m not saying paper/pencil doesn’t have a place at all, but digitizing our writing is so powerful for kids to engage in, give it a shot!

More thoughts to come later…..

Also, anyone want to co-blog a post with me this week, Tweet me if you do! @awelcome 

First Morning Thoughts - February Institute #tcrwp

First day of the TCRWP February Institute in New York and already seeing people I know from California, meeting new people and those that I ‘know’ through Twitter. I walked into the opening keynote this morning and @teachkate is welcoming participants along with @amandalah! Having been in elementary education my entire career (teacher, Assistant Principal and now Principal) I’ve always/usually been the only male in the room, so it’s really great to see @rscalateach in the crowd and hopefully we’ll connect in person this week as well.

Some initial thoughts this morning……

- it’s so inspiring to be surrounded by fellow educators who want to learn and extend their thinking.
- people coming together from all over the country, to become better teachers/leaders, all for the best interest of kids!
- some are TCRWP veterans and others their first time here.
- it’s cold and snowy outside but people are smiling, laughing and excited to be here.

Just a short post this morning with opening thoughts…..I’m hoping to convince @amandalah to do a co-blog post this week, I know @wordcrazy is already on board for this!

#standby #keeplearning 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

TCRWP - Here I Come! #tcrwp #savmp

It's 4:30am in California and it's fully normal for me to be up at this time, my 'normal' routine is a 4:00 or 4:15am wake-up each day. Today though is not normal because a Town Car is coming to pick-me up for SFO and my much anticipated trip to NY and TCRWP!

Eleven years ago was my first introduction to Writers Workshop from none other than my current Administrative coach, Robert Alpert. (Note - I'm working on Robert and getting him on Twitter!) I can vividly remember the training and him 'telling' stories throughout the week long seminar at Montair Elementary in Danville, it changed my teaching and had a lasting impact!

Now, I'm an Elementary Principal and we've launched Writers Workshop at John Swett Elementary and bringing my school to the next level with Workshop is why I'm going! Can't wait to connect with educators I already know and meet so many more.

My wife and I are a parenting team, and this is the longest period of time I'll be away from her and our two children. She's slightly nervous for the busyness that is G and T our two children, but I know she'll be fine and have fun while I'm gone.

As I told some students last Friday when talking about my trip....."I'm going to NY to become a better Principal!" #enoughsaid #teamkid

Watch this blog and twitter ( @awelcome ) and follow the #tcrwp hashtag throughout the week!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

An Amazing Addition #savmp #juno

It can sometimes be challenging to 'look' ahead and have a 'vision' of next steps for a classroom or school. 

- How can we take our teaching/learning to the next level?
- What's it going to take for that to happen?
- Who/what needs to be involved?

Sometimes this happens inadvertently......

- You meet other educators who have great energy/ideas and it all starts to flow!


- You get hooked up with two Danish guys, one is an app developer with the #1 app in Denmark (that's a separate blog post and YES we're piloting the app at JSE) and the other is President of FrontRow and they come to your school and give you a demo!

Jens setting up the Juno!

Jens contacted me about coming to JSE for a demo of their Juno system, I fished around with a couple teachers about 'piloting' in their rooms and @JenniferDeWeerd jumped right in! This system has been such an amazing addition to our school and Jenn's classroom so far, in so many ways!

- Voice enhancement in class
- Screen/voice capture with lessons on the SMART board and wireless document camera!

This is where the REAL power of the Juno comes into play. Jennifer can record/capture EVERYTHING she teaches the students from the SMART board and/or document camera whenever she wants. 

- Math lesson 
- Student presentations
- The list is looooong

The most amazing part is, we have it all set up so ALL the screen/voice recordings get automatically synced with Google Drive so Jenn's entire class has access to them whenever they want, and I do as well. If a student is at home and can't remember the steps for long division, they go to their Google Drive. Student does a 'how-to' in class for a presentation, automatically in Google Drive.


Contact Jens to demo a system in your classroom, you WON'T be disappointed, you'll be INSPIRED!

Jenn sporting some educational jewelry with the teacher microphone, it works on voice commands as well!

21st Century Teacher set-up, MacBook Air, wireless document camera and Juno system, ready to record!

All Juno recordings are automatically shared with my Google Drive as well, I can see what's going on in class from my iPhone! #wiredprincipal

Jenn's had the Juno in class for only ten days and the Google Drive folder is already filling up, keep them coming, love to learn!

Friday, February 14, 2014

TCRWP Writers Workshop #savmp

I'm headed to New York this Sunday for the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project February Institute!  It's beyond exciting to have the opportunity to extend my learning so I can better support my staff with the implementation of Mini-Lessons, Units of Study and Writing across our campus.

So, stay tuned for some blogging from New York next week, and possibly even a combined post with Kathy Moore!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

GHO (Google Hangout) - Why It's Changing the Game and Should For You Too #savmp #teamkid #teamnorthbay

If you haven't heard of Google Hangout or if you haven't participated in one, it's changing the game and should be for you too! So much of our Professional Development is delivered in such an archaic way......

- Take a full day off from work (or half day) 
- drive somewhere
- sign-in
- sit at long tables
- hopefully there's wi-fi (on some occasions there isn't, or it's suuuuuper slow) 
- spend a portion of the morning watching a Power Point and reading the slides on paper that they passed out

So much of PD is just lecture, isn't that what we're trying to change in education? Aren't we trying to promote collaboration, creativity and communication?'s where GHO comes in. (First need to give a shout-out to @coach_sv who is the ultimate GHO promoter and I'll often get a Tweet like this.....

"Adam, GHO in 15 min w/some educators from ____ to talk about _____, you in?" #yesplease

GHO is......
- free
- anytime/anywhere
- you can plan for it, or do them at a moments notice
- mobile/portable
- fun
- can last 15 minutes or 60
- easy to figure out, no software downloads or 'permissions' needed
- can be one on one, or staff to staff! About sixteen of my teachers (@jseroadrunners) had a GHO with another school about an hour away. (@pennpanthers) Thirty minutes of talking about Twitter, podcasting and other #eduawesome classroom tricks, would never have happened without GHO!

GHO is not....
- a lecture
- sit and get
- costly

- Download the Hangouts app for iPhone, it's a must!
- You can record a GHO, just like #teamnorthbay, check it!

@mrsfadeji getting warmed up in GHO with me!

@kfostertweet throwing down some knowledge with #teamnorthbay

@ecsaibel always inspiring and has something #eduawesome to add

@PeterMDeWitt - Yes, that's Peter DeWitt and I've had a GHO with him, thanks to #savmp for the hook-up!

#teamkid @jseroadrunners #enoughsaid 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Power of Sharing #savmp #googlematters

It's been five years since I've been in the classroom and my last year teaching I had just set up Google Apps accounts for my 4th graders. Very quickly the power of Google Docs was evident and my students were 'sharing' everything they created, on a daily basis.

As an Assistant Principal at Live Oak Elementary we introduced Google Apps as well and the power of 'sharing' again was evident very quickly. Without any bit of exaggeration, it changed teachers and how they managed their classrooms overnight. Students would also collaborate together on a document/project and work together simultaneously, editing and improving as they went. 

Very quickly I started telling kids to 'share' their work with me and I would comment or chat with them while they worked in class. To see the excitement (and have teachers tell me after school) when I would open a shared document and the kids would say..."Mr. Welcome is on my document!!!!!" I'm hard pressed to find a higher level of student engagement than this!

I also recently received an email from a teacher at Live Oak Elementary who thanked me for introducing Google Apps to them. "I'm still struck at the profound level of amazing change that Google Docs has brought to our school!" #enoughsaid 

Having visitors/guests visit my school is very important I feel. You can sometimes be in a fishbowl and an outside perspective is great. Sergio Villegas recently came to JSE for a visit and his Tweet below reminded me of the power Google Apps has to change a school/teacher/student/Principal! 

The screenshot below is of JT's (5th grader) writing entitled "Shelldon the Robot's Adventure!" JT shares a lot of his work with me and it's yet another reminder the power of 'sharing' can have on students, teachers, parents and the Principal.