Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Things To Love This February: Leap Year

Last but not least, this February we get to love Leap Year. 

A bonus day! An occurrence that happens only once every 4 years, it's a fun to have it be a "leap year" year!! And with a presidential election ahead this fall, we know that they also happen on leap years too.

But why? Why do we have Leap Years? Well, here's why....and it's all about math!

Looking for some last minute lesson plans for Leap Year? Check these out.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Things To Love This February: FETC Follow Up

I love me a good conference. I mean, only if it is a REALLY good conference. One filled with loads of workshops by engaging presenters, with ideas that you can put into place the very next day.

Two annual conferences fit that bill for me: MAEOE (my environmental Superbowl) and FETC (an edtech extravaganza). 

January 23-26, 2024 they held the 44th annual Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando, Florida. I've been twice (in 2017 and 2018) and each time, I soak up information like a sponge. 

It didn't work out for me to go this year, but I was thrilled when I got their email announcing their free February 14th's Best of FETC: Top Takeaways and Future Trends for 2024 webinar.  Moderated by Rita Ferrandino (FETC Founder), Jennifer Womble (FETC Conference Chair), and Micha Ward (FETC Education Reporter & District Administration).

If you are an edtech junkie, it's definitely worth a listen. On top of the synergetic experiences they all had, some of their big topics of conversation were:
  • Certification & Badge programs
  • eSports
  • Robotics, coding, & drones
  • Creativity as engagement
  • All aspects of  artificial intelligence: upholding academic integrity, productivity helps to teacher, and AI-built into products as "magic"
  • How tech can leverage people with disabilities with assistive technologies
  • Cyber security and digital citizenship
  • 3D printing
  • Augmented and virtual reality.
One of their big thoughts included the optimism they are seeing in education. The tools that are out there are really giving teachers some of their time back--helping them to automate grading, co-creating lesson plans and streamline teachers work, and making teaching fun again. (Dan Fitzpatrick, author of The AI Classroom, was one of the keynote speakers.) 

Other places to go learn more about how FETC was this year:
Additionally, FETC is planning monthly webinars will continue to follow their name, carrying the edtech conversation into the "future." You can click here to learn more about that and those future topics. 

The world of technology both in and out of the classroom is exciting right now. I expect there will be lots happening in the future! FETC will definitely have its finger on the pulse!

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Things To Love This February: World Thinking Day

World Thinking Day is celebrated annually on February 22nd in the arena of Girl Scouts, and has been for 98 years--since 1926. Officially "Girl Scouts" falls in the more largely named "World Association of Girl Guides & Girls Scouts." This is an organization that touches 10 million girls in over 150 countries.

World Thinking Day is a day dedicated to international friendship, and thinking about global issues that impact each other. Themes differ from year to year, but this year's theme is Our World, Our Thriving Future: The Environment and Global Poverty.

Recent themes in years past (which also tie to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) include:

Whether you are a Girl Scout to any degree or not, thinking about our world, it's thriving future, and how the environment ties into global poverty is an important issue to think about. 

Here are some places you can learn more: 

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Things To Love This February: Black History Month Resources

With February being Black History Month, mid-month is a good time to check in with where you are with educating both your students and yourself about the importance of black history 

The Center for Racial Justice in Education has a treasure trove with at least 80 links on these subjects:

  • How Do We Celebrate Black History Month? Lesson Plans and Curriculum Resources for Educators
  • Do We Need Black History Month? The Underrepresentation and Miseducation of Black Stories, Experiences, and Histories in Schools
  • Why Teach Black Lives Matter in Schools? (Think Pieces)
  • Where Are Afro-Latinos Represented in School Curricula?
  • How Do We Center Black Women and Black Girls in Our Schools?
  • How Do We Center Black LGBTQ Experiences?
  • As a Parent, What Are Ways I Can Engage My Family in Black History Month?:
Other good places to check in on:

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Things To Love This February: Valentine's Day

The literal and figurative heart of February is Valentine's Day. Smack dab in the center of the month (as well as in the center of Random Acts of Kindness Week--this year: Feb 11-17), it's a day centered around the heart and cherishing our loved ones.

In case you need a little history lesson, here's a kid-friendly video on the history of St. Valentine's Day.

Given the tie in between Valentine's Day and  Random Acts of Kindness Week, why don't you sprinkle the love and kindness around like little heart-shaped confetti. See how far your heart can spread this year. (There are great resources for both schools and individual use at the Random Act of Kindness website!)

Videos from and, Image created at

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Things To Love This February: February Environmental Days

We all know about your standard February days of Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day, and Leap Year this year. Well that's not all that's in store this month. There's also a slew of Environmental Days as well!

Click below to learn a little bit more about each of these February Environmental Days :
  • World Ostrich Day: Feb 2nd (not endangered or vulnerable, but populations declining due to threats)
  • World Whale Day: Feb 18th (many species are endangered--celebrated annually 3rd Sunday of February)

Image created at

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Things To Love This February: Super Bowl Sunday & President's Day

Unless you are living under a rock and have missed all the hubbub about Taylor Swift & Travis Chelsea, you probably know that this weekend is Super Bowl Sunday. Time honored tradition, and always ripe for classroom resources...whether you go to watch the game or the commercials.

Additionally, Presidents' Day is up ahead this February 19th. Here's some more resources for my teacher friends:

Super Bowl image from; Presidents's Day Image from

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Things to Love This February: #FeedTheBirdsDay & The Great Backyard Bird Count

It's that chilly time of year where some parts of the country are blanketed with either white, cold, or a combination of both. This is the time that animals who have stockpiled their food supply may be running low. It's that time of the year where our neighboring nature creatures are start really having a hard time finding find food. This is especially true for our feathered friends. 

Given that and given that February is National Bird Feeding Month, every year on February 3rd is Feed the Birds Day. The first official one was in 1994, proclaimed by Congressman John Porter, encouraging people to hang their bird feeders to offer food to flyer-by. Additionally, you can help by setting up bird baths for drinking water or birdhouses for shelter. 

Also tying in to all this, the Great Backyard Bird Count is held annually for 4 days in February. This year it is February 16-19. The Great Backyard Bird Count gives you an opportunity to be a citizen scientist. Lowest level commitment to participate: find a 15 minute block of time during those 4 days, then record your findings online at (As I tell my students: you can always do more!!) Your recorded observations will then help scientists get a flavor of the biodiversity in your area, as well as helping to better understanding of global bird populations. You can always learn more at their website.

Whether you are a tried-and-true bird watching aficionado or a casual backyard enthusiast, you can take part during this last leg of winter. Help pump up those extra calories to help them stay warm and help make their search easier. Fill your feeders and embrace that mantra from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams: "If you build it, they will come." Make your backyard a fly-through dinner spot for your neighborhood feathered friends this month, especially here on the 3rd of February!