Oh my god, it's August.


August means a lot of things to me.  It means camping in the sandy woodsy wilds of Michigan.  It usually means a train trip to Minnesota to be eaten by mosquitoes in the national park, although this year I didn't do that.  And it means heading back to school, professional development, and setting up my classroom or library.  This year I'm in the media center at two schools.

In August I start redirecting my online reading from personal to professional.  I more carefully monitor my Twitter feed and Zite.  I check my professional email, which I have largely ignored all summer, more compulsively.  I start opening up my blog reader.

This spring I took a fantastic BER class on Literacy and iPads with Kim McMonagle. August is my time to review some of the apps she introduced in the workshop and try them out with my own kids at home before I attempt to teach my teachers how to use them.  A couple names in case you're interested: Notability, PuppetPals, Educreations.

I'm also always on the lookout for really engaging edutainment apps for my students.  Toca, MathDoodles and DragonBox are three I'm checking out right now.

Fall is a challenging time for me to ramp up blogging again, since I'm already so overwhelmed with other professional duties as I set up my classroom and get my curriculum moving again, but I have a goal to start a weekly blog on my school page this year.  I'm also learning to use Twitter professionally; it has always felt like a hit-or-miss tool for me.

Most fun for me, in August I begin to gather titles for my mock Caldecott and Newbery projects.  This year I'm focusing only on Caldecott hopefuls, since I'm teaching at a K-2 building.  My kids and I read a bunch of things over the summer, but I'll be posting later this week with my initial long list and beginning to write reviews.  I'm participating in the Good Reads Mock Caldecott this year.

What are your August activities?