Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Weekly Diigo Bookmarks (July 27, 2014)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Guest Post: The Official Google Educator Group-Massachusetts

I am excited to share that I will be leading the Google Educator Group for the great state of Massachusetts! You can become a part of this community by clicking here. Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 11.59.54 AM
Why Join the Massachusetts GEG?
If you are an educator, technology integrator, or administrator in the Commonwealth, and have “gone Google” with Google Apps for Education, or your team is considering the adoption of GAFE, I  urge you to become a part of the GEG Massachusetts community for several reasons:
1. Go beyond 140 characters
The Massachusetts GEG is a community. People who choose to become members of this community believe in Google and what is has to offer to students and teachers. As a member, you’ll be automatically connected to a group of educators with similar interests, attitudes, and goals. Obviously members of this community have a great deal of enthusiasm for all things Google. In fact, there are several Google Certified Trainers (and a few self-proclaimed “Google addicts”) who are members and I’m excited to have the opportunity to learn alongside them! This community will allow you to engage in deep discussions with colleagues, both virtually and face to face.
When you need advice, want to share a tip or trick, or are faced with a challenge, fellow community members will be there to offer suggestions and encouragement. Twitter is still definitely an excellent way to build a PLN, but the Massachusetts GEG will take sharing and connecting to another level. If you feel as though you’ve mastered Twitter, or you are at the point where you need more than just bite-sized sharing, then it’s definitely time you give Google+ a try. Set-up your profile. Add a picture (we want to know what you look like!) and a story (what makes you tick!) and any other details you wish to share about yourself. Create a GEG-Mass circle to organize all the new contacts you will make as a member of this community and get ready to learn, share, and grow as an educator.
I can tell you from experience connecting with other educators via social media is truly life-changing. Like many teachers, I worked in isolation for many years. However, when I discovered how educators were using social media for professional reasons, and learned about the concept of a PLN, I began building a network of colleagues whom I learn from and am inspired by daily. Every educator should have the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be connected. And I don’t mean gaining thousands of followers. I’m talking about real connections and professional relationships, some of which can ultimately evolve into meaningful friendships. It’s truly amazing how many genuine people there are out there who are willing to help their peers become better educators.
2. Make the Mass GEG Your “One Stop Google Shop”
Share and curate resources and get the latest updates about anything and everything related to Google Apps for Education including:
  • Drive
  • Docs, Sheets, Forms, Presentations
  • Sites & Blogger
  • Gmail & Calendar
  • Hangouts
  • and best of all…CLASSROOM! (yes, I’m excited about Classroom launching this fall, can ya tell?)
And if you know anything about GAFE, you know that Google is constantly updating its products and tools with new features to make the user experience more powerful. The Massachusetts GEG will ultimately become your “one stop shop” for all that is Google. You won’t need to join separate communities to learn about specific Google products and how to integrate them into your school or classroom. Whether you’re 1:1 Chromebook, iPad, or BYOD, the Massachusetts GEG will serve all of your needs. Heck, you’ll even be able to ask questions and learn more about Google Glass! The best part is that because this community is the official GEG for Massachusetts, there is a strong connection directly to Google. My interaction with the folks at Google has been great and I can tell you they are very excited about the GEG initiative.
3. Received invitations to face to face and virtual learning and networking events. This is the part of the GEG initiative that excites me the most. I plan to work very hard to coordinate regional, face to face events throughout Massachusetts. I am hopeful the first face to face meet up will be in late August and will release details as soon as the event is confirmed. There will also be Hangouts to discuss the latest educational trends and Google products. Please feel free to suggest topics or offer to host a Hangout or face to face event in your area. Massachusetts is filled with incredibly innovative and talented teachers and I am hopeful that our GEG will grow into a strong, collaborative community where all members contribute their knowledge and skill. Thank you in advance for joining and I look forward to working with all of you!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sad News For Our BPS Community

The following letter was posted on Principal Dressler’s blog following the news of the sudden passing of Memorial School second grade teacher Suzanne Siegel during the past weekend.Please keep Suzanne and her family in your thoughts and prayers:

Dear Memorial Family and Burlington School Community,
It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I share the news of the passing of our beloved second grade teacher, Suzanne Siegel.   Mrs. Siegel has been a valued member of not only our  Memorial learning community but also to the Burlington School community as well. She taught second grade for the past eight years and positively impacted the lives of many young students, parents and colleagues. Her commitment to students and love for learning has touched us all. When we know the details of her funeral arrangements I will pass that along.

We encourage you to talk with your child. How we, as adults, manage ourselves serves as an important model for helping kids handle tragedies like this. It is important that they know they are loved and supported as they talk about their feelings.

You may want to consider the following when talking with your child:

  • Tell the truth. Talk about death vs. “going to sleep.” Explain the situation.
  • Allow for your child to talk about feelings. If this is the first loss your child has experienced, your child may not know how to respond and will be looking for your guidance.
  • Affirm all expressions. It’s okay to express feelings honestly. Tolerate the expressions rather than dismissing them or discouraging the expression of feelings.
  • Encourage written expressions such notes, letters, pictures to the family etc.
  • Reaffirm that your child is safe and that your child is loved.
  • Affirm that your child’s reaction is normal and you understand the way the child’s feels.
  • Watch for changes in behavior such as aggression, withdrawal etc.
  • Help the children return to as normal routine as possible.

If you want anymore information on how to talk to your child, please refer to We have connected with community mental health resources for the Memorial staff and will continue to work with the Riverside Trauma Center on an ongoing basis.

We will have counselors at school on Tuesday July 22, 2014 from 4-6 pm to provide emotional support for our students and parents. If you have special counseling concerns or would like additional support for your child, please call us at 781-270-1721.  Danielle Flaccavento, our guidance counselor, and Madeline Sedovic, our school psychologist, will be available to meet with her child/children at the beginning of the school year.  Our deepest sympathies go to the Siegel family as we mourn the loss of a talented and cherished member of our school family.

With peace and love,

Deb Dressler

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Weekly Diigo Bookmarks (July 20, 2014)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Weekly Diigo Bookmarks (July 13, 2014)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

MSMS Summer Photo Camp "focuses' on Woburn Center!

Despite the fact that most students are away from our classrooms this summer, there are still a number of activities happening around the school district this summer! Check out the great photos that our Marshall Simonds Summer Photo Camp students took after just one day of camp!

I can't wait to see what they come up with next!


After only ONE day of camera and Photoshop orientation in the classroom, MSMS students, taking part in our Summer Photo Camp, took to the streets of Woburn Center to shoot street photography images.  Who knew there were so many salons and barbershops in downtown Woburn?  The friendliness of barbers made it easy for students to interact with them and their patrons and students were invited inside to do some “shooting." 

Additionally, folks walking around running errands made for excellent photo subjects.  After an hour walking up and down the center streets, students returned to the classroom to begin the typical workflow: upload photos, save to desktop folder, preview, select favorites, tweak lighting in Photoshop and/or desaturate, print, email and then format SD card for use the next day!  
Today’s blog post features students’ favorite works in black and white.

Neil P’s Couple Walking (grade 8)

Pandit's Old Couple

Madison G’s Getting a Trim (grade 7)


Sarah S’s Barbershop (grade 7)

Sarah's barber

Julia F’s  Dog Walker (grade 9)


Abby F’s Snip, Snip, Snip (grade 7)


Aurora G’s Vintage Cash Register (grade 7)

Vintage typewriter Golden

Jordan C’s Barber Shop Register (grade 9)


David S’s Waiting for Customers (grade 6)

barber shop David S

Christina P’s Barber Pole  (grade 7)

paras barber pole

Sunday, July 6, 2014

My Weekly Diigo Bookmarks (July 6, 2014)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.