Social Media

Have I mentioned my summer obsessions yet? In my quest to grow and become a little more current in regards to technology, I decided to branch out and try both Twitter and FaceBook as educational tools. Oh my goodness… I’ve become so engrossed in these two tools that I could easily stay online for hours… My neglected husband might even say that I’ve been online 24/7. My brain has been pummeled with new and exciting educational ideas. I’ve been itching to get back to school!

My first step was to rejoin the educational world of twitter before summer began, and with Tech Coach Patsy Templeton’s patient guidance created my very own “Tweetdeck!” My “deck” is simply amazing and allows me to follow some of my favorite people/groups in a singe line feed per person or group versus having all of my tweets reach me in a random format! I would get SO frustrated reading some tweets that I didn’t want to lose/forget, and then never be able to find again! I’m loath to admit that I started taking screen shots of those tweets to help me out, which made Patsy smile and shake her head…
A couple of the groups I follow:
#tcrwp (Teachers College Reading and Writing Project… Of course!) This group is VERY active. I find ideas on this thread daily!
#theedcollab (The Education Collaborative) Awesome group with fabulous teaching ideas.
#G2Great (Dr Mary Howard & Christina Nosek) This group of educators helps me grow professionally and reminds me that if I’m not learning/growing, my teaching can become more static.
And I’ve not even mentioned the Twitter chats I’ve participated in! A Twitter chat will make your head spin, but are SO informative! Feel free to ask me about participating in a Twitter chat!

How eye-opening… Not only can I stay in touch with friends on FB, but I can connect with teachers, teaching groups, etc… I can ask for advice and get answers, review teaching tips, download writing samples, view pictures, check out others links, and so much more! A couple of my favorite groups to follow on FB are:
Units of Study in Reading TCRWP
Units of Study in Writing TCRWP
Notice and Note Book Club (Kylene Beers)
The Brown Bag Teacher

And I’m not sharing all of my Twitter and Facebook groups with you! Just a few of my favorites!! As you can tell, I’m obsessed! I encourage you to take the plunge… Give Twitter or FaceBook a try as an educational tool… And try not to lose any sleep over late night obsessions!

Using Technology?!

This summer has been quite different for me. Not only have I been living in the Midwest, much different than my beloved Northern California, but I’ve been pushing myself to become a little more tech savvy. I’m not saying I’ve grown in leaps and bounds, like I hope my students do each school year, but I am feeling a little more comfortable with some new tech tools. The book Amplify by Katie Muhtaris and Kristin Ziemke has helped push me on this journey to grow as an educator. Sitting down reading this book, with my laptop by my side has been incredibly helpful, even with Mother Nature’s distractions… the pounding of incredible thunder and flashes of lightening that light up any sky! It can be challenging to find the time during the school year to sit, read, and grow, so this gift of time has been a blessing. Katie and Kristin have reminded me of unused tools from my past, and have created chaos inside my brain as I learn about new terms, tools, and apps. I’ve participated in webinars at their suggestion, and have looked at Social Media through a different lens. And the additional Teacher Blogs… Well I have so many new favorites that I could choose to retire and just read blogs for the rest of my life… 24/7! Here are a couple of new favorites:

Innovate Ignite Inspire:
by Katie Muhtaris helps keep remind me of how to use the best of technology with what I actually have access to, and doesn’t make me feel inadequate.
Nerdy Book Club:
Now here is a group of educators that I want to hang out with daily!! If you want to learn about any new book published, read incredible reviews, or chat about books, here is a new haven for you.
I head back to sunny CA this weekend and a bed I’ve not slept in for the past 5 weeks. I leave a piece of my heart in the nearby cornfields and the house that has become my home.
Enjoy the month of August!

Favorite Blogs

Over the course of this summer, I’ve stumbled upon a few new addictive practices, which are now daily vices… Reading other teachers amazing blogs, while hopping from one blogging site to another as comments from readers lead me to various blogs, and cruising through Twitter. My days and nights can easily be consumed by a simple act… Raising my laptop lid and checking either my twitter deck (Thanks Patsy!) or one of the new blogging articles that appear daily in my inbox. I’ve learned SO many new reading and writing strategies this summer which I don’t want to forget. I started taking screen shots of the articles I want to use, which only made Patsy giggle. I’m learning to be a little more tech savvy now!

I want to be able to share some of my favorite blogs with you, so will try and do so… But be forewarned… I have MANY new favorites. It’s like I’ve married into a new family with lots of loving cousins. LOL! As I introduce you to new blogs I will add them to the list on the right. Please share any new blog that you are following with me. I’m looking daily for blogs that truly speak to me!

My two all time favorite blogs which I’ve been sharing for years are:

Chartchums: by Marjorie Martinelli and Kristin Mraz. These two women are incredibly talented and make the art of teaching, simply that, an art form!  Both educators/authors are incredibly talented! (

Two Writing Teachers: Don’t be fooled by the title, there are more than two writers behind this blog. The wealth of information over the summer that has been shared is staggering, and makes me want to be teaching RIGHT NOW, so I actually use some of the incredible writing strategies and tips being shared and not forget. (And that says quite a bit as I do LOVE my summer recharging time!) Check this site out and let me know what you think! (

Why Blog?

Hi! My name is Kim Burris and I am the Literacy Coach for the Orinda Union School District in Orinda, CA. I have a tendency to talk/write a little too much, so thought this site might help me share information I think could be helpful for our teachers. I want to give this a try and see if this helps me shorten my emails with teachers, as well as share pertinent information!

As the Orinda Union School District’s Literacy Coach for the past nine years, I’ve witnessed amazing teachers doing what they are passionate about, teaching! I’ve been lucky enough to see reluctant writers develop a passion for writing, students of all ages develop and embrace a love of reading, and those born with a gift for writing choose to push themselves in ways I would never have dreamed possible! Not only have I learned to be a stronger reader and even better writer from our amazing students, but I am fortunate enough to work with, and learn daily from our incredible teachers.

My job changes yearly, monthly, weekly, and even daily. I consider myself immensely fortunate to hold this position, and hope to continue to grow and develop as an educator and lifelong learner until there’s nothing left to learn… Is that even possible?

Please come join me in my journey to find words… words that help teach, impact lives, and share a passion for teaching! Learn with me and help educate me, as we navigate through the joys and pitfalls of education!