Carol Varsalona's Blog (23)

End of Year Planning Message => Champion the Child

It is hard to believe that the school year is coming to a close in just two months. …


Added by Carol Varsalona on May 4, 2014 at 3:45pm — No Comments

CELI14: Connecting Educators on Long Island Through the Power of Twitter and Face-To-Face Conversations

Collaborative conversations energize learning lives and connect colleagues!
What can…

Added by Carol Varsalona on April 10, 2014 at 9:24am — No Comments

REFLECT WITH ME - Bringing Together a Community of Writers To Celebrate Life and Learning

Today, I opened a new site, …


Added by Carol Varsalona on March 28, 2014 at 11:02pm — No Comments

Reflecting on Teachers College Reading & Writing Project's Saturday Reunion

There is a distinct  energy and feel to New York City when spring begins to peek its head out from a long winter. Streets come alive; people move freely, unencumbered by the weightiness of winter; smiles abound. March 22, 2014, was one of those magical days in the city. Not only did spring tip its hat to greet the day but eager anticipation filled the streets around 120th Street and Broadway. It was a day to…


Added by Carol Varsalona on March 25, 2014 at 1:54pm — No Comments

There's Power in the Collective Voice: NYEDChat, The Voice of NYS Educators

It was less than a little over one year ago, that I began to explore Twitter as a professional development tool. For a decade before joining this conversational platform I explored the strength of connected voices through collegial circle and listserv conversations. Little did I realize how social media could strengthen…


Added by Carol Varsalona on March 12, 2014 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Building A Community of Writers

Within every human soul is the gift of writing, whether we believe this is so or not. Everyone has a thought deep inside. Some thoughts explode on paper and some through oral communication. Others do not surface because of a lack of confidence in the writing process. As an educator and a proponent of writing, I have always encouraged others to have their voice take flight. …

Added by Carol Varsalona on March 12, 2014 at 5:00pm — No Comments

The Teacher As An Awakener

An interesting quote by Robert Frost passed through the Twitter and Pinterest networks recently that started me thinking about the role of the educator in this time of challenge and change.  …


Added by Carol Varsalona on March 12, 2014 at 4:14pm — No Comments

East Meets West: Transcontinental Chat Magic

Shiver me timbers! When could be more entertaining that a dress up party for the launch of the first transcontinental NYEDChat and TLAP online chat last night. It may not have been the Golden Globes or the Bammy Awards, but it was a celebratory event just the same.  The lead pirate, Dave Burgess, author of the well-know professional text, Teach Like A…


Added by Carol Varsalona on January 28, 2014 at 11:30am — No Comments

Honoring the Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are those Americans who blaze trails, opening doors for new possibilities, whose words echo throughout the land, and who courageously act to bring about change.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was one such man. His courageous thoughts and deeds impacted others during a time of unrest in America. On January 20, 2014, America…

Added by Carol Varsalona on January 24, 2014 at 8:15pm — No Comments

It Takes a Dream and a Team to Create a Voice in Education

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” 
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
At just what point in life do…

Added by Carol Varsalona on January 19, 2014 at 6:51pm — No Comments

The Power of the Professional Learning Community (PLN)

What is the power behind professional learning networks (PLNs) that are everywhere to be found on Twitter? The simple graphic organizer created using the tool, Text 2 Mind Map, forms the basis for a conversation, The Power of the PLN: Making NYEDChat the Voice of…


Added by Carol Varsalona on January 12, 2014 at 5:12pm — No Comments

From the Outside of 2013 NCTE Looking Back In

While it is time to post my proposal for the NCTE 2014 Convention, I thought I would share my experience at the 2013 NCTE Convention in Boston last November.…


Added by Carol Varsalona on January 7, 2014 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Reflect, Connect, and Collaborate with NYS Educators

We reflect on past practices. We engage with colleagues. We discuss. We collaborate. We push our thinking. We move to the next level. We become a collective voice of the information age. Gone are the days of the factory model when doors were closed and teachers worked independently of each other. "Technology has taken us to an new level where we can collaborate beyond our wildest imaginations." (Tom Whitby) So, it is time to get connected, build a PLN, and grow as a lifelong…


Added by Carol Varsalona on October 23, 2013 at 12:48pm — No Comments

Collaborate, Engage, Stay Connected with NY Educators

Networking is about collaborating, actively engaging, and connecting with colleagues to learn, validate your beliefs, or affect change in daily practice. It is going beyond the day's work to spend time growing as a professional. In today's connected age, real time conversations happen every day in a Twitter environment. There is no face-to-face talk but there is…

Added by Carol Varsalona on October 9, 2013 at 9:20am — No Comments


For the past decade, I have championed the cause of building reflective communities and collaborative conversations as vehicles to impact teaching and learning. So, it would follow that even in retirement from public…


Added by Carol Varsalona on September 29, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Leadership Moving Learning Communities Forward

On September 21, 2013 Satchat's engaging conversation on Twitter (#satchat) was buzzing with viewpoints on vision and the role of educational leaders. Participants from across the states shared ideas, exchanged comments, and posted links to their blogs to enhance the dialogue. During a fast-paced, one hour time frame, the PLN once again brought the value of a shared network of committed collaborators to educators around the country.…


Added by Carol Varsalona on September 24, 2013 at 8:49am — No Comments

Honoring Grandparents Who Affect the Reading Lives of Their Families

In looking back upon my childhood, I have vivid recollections of vacations in the quiet town of Rome, New York. There, each summer, I renewed a bond with my immigrant grandmother, who could neither read nor write in English, but had practical knowledge, wisdom, and a strong love for learning. Through a series of weekly walks to the library, Nonnie touched my life in an endearing…


Added by Carol Varsalona on September 7, 2013 at 5:39pm — No Comments

A Delightful Back To School PD Experience

It's Back to School Time and professional development is on the menu with specialties, such as instructional practices, protocols, and materials to impact teaching and learning. School districts and consultants prepare for the event to inspire staff to embrace…


Added by Carol Varsalona on August 30, 2013 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Unravel the String to Find Possibilities

With summer break approaching its end and back to school specials part of the media blitz, my mind drifts back into teaching mode. This is the time of year that I always penned my literacy message to staff. As I prepare for a new role as ELA consultant, I am filled with the same sentiments that greet each new school year. To honor the tradition of writing an opening greeting…


Added by Carol Varsalona on August 24, 2013 at 8:13pm — No Comments

Building A Culture of Achievement Takes Time and Effort


Over the years, the classroom has been looked at as the ground upon which learning is both fashioned and enhanced. Since the 20th century, we have seen the evolution of classroom settings from teacher-directed environments to inquiry-based centers. Technology has advanced, affording educators with opportunities to stay connected and engage students in active learning opportunities. There is high visibility for the…


Added by Carol Varsalona on August 24, 2013 at 7:56pm — 1 Comment





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