Saturday, June 29, 2013

Weekend Reads

Happy Weekend! With the demise of Google Reader now just hours away, I am officially a Feedly convert. In fact, I already like it better than Google Reader, so I'm thankful that this change was forced upon me. If you hurry and make the switch before Google Reader closes it's doors July 1, then you can transfer all of your favorite blogs and RSS feeds into Feedly with one simple click. Seriously. It's that easy.

This is what my Feedly looked like this morning on my iPad:
A 'popular' post showed up on the left (of course it was a post by Kate from Chasing Rainbows with her always touching writing), followed by a post from 'today' (top right - from Becoming Minimalist if anyone's interested in what I like to read that's not therapy related), and then all of my unread feeds in chronological order came after that.

It was so easy to swipe through and mark posts as read (because I'm compulsive like that). I personally like having the magazine layout with a photo showing up with each post, but for Google Reader die-hards, you can change it to a list view and it looks and feels very similar to Google Reader. (For more detail on how to do that, check out this article 'How to Make Feedly Look Like Google Reader')

If you are one of the few remaining who have procrastinated longer than myself on choosing a new reader, here's the article that convinced me to use Feedly (which happens to be from one of my favorite non-therapy blogs, Everyday Reading).

As I got caught up on blog reading today (I got waaaay behind with the end of the school-year madness), I saved a few of my favorites with a summer theme to share with all of you.

OT Corner: Summer FUN (Shhh....Don't Tell Them it's Actually Therapy) | PediaStaff. Tips from an OT for making the most out of summer. 

Summertime 'At Home' Occupational Therapy | Special-Ism. More tips from an OT for making the most of summertime for children with ADHD.

Enjoying Summer with Sensory Issues | AOTA's Checking the Pulse. A roundup of what OT's can do to help children with sensory processing issues this summer.

Teacher Tuesday...Water Letters | Fundanoodle. Looking for some fun and educational ways to play with water this summer? Water letters is a fun activity from a kindergarten teacher to work on letter formation while playing with water.

Okay...this last one isn't completely summer related, but I want to share it anyway.....

Tips for Overcoming Learning Disabilities | MamaOT. Christie of MamaOT had a baby this week!! I'm helping her out this week with a guest post on learning disabilities. While you're visiting her blog, be sure to check out Ken Myers' guest post on fun water-based sensory play activities for summer.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Weekend Reads

Happy Friday! Summer is almost here! Today would have been my last day of school if we hadn't had all of those snow days...Oh well, the snow days were a nice break at the time, and I must say I really enjoyed the snow after years in California.

Here are a few weekend reads to get you in the mood for summer:

Fun Kid-Friendly Summer Snacks | Embrace Your Chaos. These peanut butter banana bites look kid- and adult-friendly to me!

Tips for a Successful (Educational) Summer | Engaging Minds. These are some of my tips to help your child set goals, prioritize, and plan for a successful summer. Don't just read my guest sure to check out the rest of the Engaging Minds blog as well as their great Tip of the Week posts!

45 Ways to Show Dad You Love Him {For Kids}| No Time for Flashcards. Here are some fun ways for kids to show dad they love him, just in time for Father's Day.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

TED Talk Tuesday: Teachers need real feedback

TED recently held a TED Talks Education Summit with a number of outstanding speakers. I haven't had the chance to watch many of the videos from this summit yet, but plan to get to them all soon. With so many great talks at once, it's hard to know where to start!

Today I'm sharing a talk by Bill Gates on teacher evaluation and feedback and his innovative idea for providing teachers with the feedback and coaching that they deserve to become better teachers. Did you know that most teachers receive almost no feedback on their performance? How can we expect teachers (and therapists) to improve and provide the best for our students if they're not receiving feedback (positive or negative) on their performance?

As the school year winds down, I try to take time to reflect on the past school year so I can create goals for myself for the upcoming school year to continue to improve my skills as an OT and to provide the best services possible to my students. After watching this video, it makes me realize how valuable video feedback on my performance could be (although I'm sure it would also be a bit uncomfortable at times to watch myself on video).

What do you think? As you watch this video, I'd like to know what you think of Mr. Gates' plan for providing teacher feedback. Would you like to watch videos of yourself teaching or providing therapy? How do you currently reflect on your performance? Does anyone ever observe you or provide you with feedback?

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