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Dave Burgess Talks Student Engagement #MondayMotivation #tlap

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 20 February, 2017 - 23:01

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Great teachers attract their students to today’s topic of learning like a 3-year old boy to a mud puddle. Hooking students into a lesson is part of our essential craft of teaching. In my opinion, this artisanal craft of “hooking in” or “engaging” our students into a topic is best captured in Dave Burgess’ best-selling book, Teach Like a Pirate.

Listen Now

This book (called #tlap by those who follow its guidelines) is like an overstuffed tackle box for teachers full of useful tools, ideas, and tips for engaging kids and staging exciting experiences.

In today’s show, Dave and I discuss:

  • Some of the craziest things Dave has done to engage students
  • Why Dave decided he had to be different as a teacher
  • How Dave feels about leaving the classroom
  • What Dave would do differently if he was in the classroom now
  • A Monday Morning motivational “pep talk” for teachers that will REV YOU UP for your week of teaching

Dave is giving away books to 3 (three) lucky reviewers of this show! The winners will pick from all 22 of the books from Dave Burgess consulting! See the list below. Wow! Thanks, Dave.

All you need to do is head over to leave a review on iTunes and just include your Twitter or Instagram handle so we can reach you. 

I hope you enjoy this episode with Dave!

Want to hear another author of one of Dave Burgess’ published books. Michael Matera talks about how to gamify your classroom in Explore Like a Pirate(One of the books you could win if you enter the contest today.)

Selected Links from this Episode

Some of the links below are affiliate links.

DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT Episode #16 Dave Burgess #mondaymotivation

Full Bio Dave Burgess

Dave Burgess is the New York Times Best-Selling author of Teach Like a PIRATE, co-author of P is for PIRATE, and the president of Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. which delivers powerful, inspirational, and innovative books, keynotes, and professional development.

He specializes in teaching hard-to-reach, hard-to-motivate students with techniques that incorporate showmanship and creativity.  At a recent ceremony in Washington, D.C., he was awarded the BAMMY for Secondary School Teacher of the Year by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences.

Dave delivers the ultimate professional development experience for your teachers that is perfect for all circumstances from truly inspirational opening keynotes to full-day hands-on workshops.  It is a high-energy, interactive, and entertaining experience that will leave your staff unbelievably inspired, motivated, and with the practical skills to dramatically increase student engagement.

His presentations are a unique blend of outrageously energetic performance art and magic, mixed with an inspirational message of how and why to become more passionate in the classroom. All techniques and methods are modeled and fully explained so as to leave no doubt about how to apply the methods in the real-world. Participants will leave with a tool-box full of dynamic presentational ideas that they can immediately use to improve their lessons.

As a teacher in San Diego, California, he was a 2001 and 2012 Golden Apple winner in the Grossmont Union High School District and the 2007-2008 Teacher of the Year at West Hills High School. He was voted a faculty standout for 17 consecutive years in categories such as Most Entertaining, Most Energetic, and Most Dramatic.

Contests included in this show

The post Dave Burgess Talks Student Engagement #MondayMotivation #tlap appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Give teaching back to teachers

Bluyonder Greg Whitby - 20 February, 2017 - 10:57

Too many teachers leave their profession within the first five years of teaching. Some Australian research puts that number at around 50%, and the numbers are similar in other developed countries.

We know some of the reasons why so many teachers leave the profession. We know that many feel the pressure of increased professional demands, more government regulations and the administrative overload. We also know that high teacher attrition rates have a negative impact on student achievement. We can’t afford to lose good teachers.

We no longer expect students just to be just literate and numerate when they leave school. Our world demands that them to be critical and creative thinkers, innovative, collaborative, adaptable life long-learners. Add to this the regulatory burden of having teaching, learning and assessment monitored and there is little wonder why many teachers ask themselves the question: is it all worth it?

Newly graduated teachers are expected to hit the ground running after having spent a minimum of four years in an industrial model of teacher training only to find the real world of teaching is very different. For some, it can be disheartening.  Most acknowledge that mentoring programs and ongoing support are essential, provided there is sufficient time and resources available. Ironically, these are the two things schools say they lack.

Richard Elmore once said that a non-professional teaching force is a compliant one. We need a new professionalism that is not borne from industrial mindsets or instruments for mandating teachers’ work.  The external accountability mechanisms actually disempower the very people we need to do the job well. Professional competence, confidence and capabilities need to built from the inside out, not the outside in.

We need to give back to teachers control of the learning agenda. They also need to be supported with high-quality professional experiences. I want to make clear that I am not advocating an ‘anything goes’ approach. Good teachers are prepared to be accountable and responsible for their work and the work of their colleagues. But making them jump through hoop after hoop to justify their existence is draining and disheartening.

Twenty years ago Finland liberated their teachers from the tyranny of standardised testing and school inspections because they trusted their teachers to make the required pedagogical decisions and judgements to improve student outcomes. It worked. I believe it would work here too. Teachers will get the greatest satisfaction, and the trust they are entitled to from the community, when they are afforded the freedom to do what they signed up to do, and that’s teach.


Categories: Planet

From “Data Driven” to “Evidence Driven”

The Principal of Change George Couros - 19 February, 2017 - 23:28

In my last post, “Common Assessments” vs “Common Understandings”, I was reminded of how powerful comments are on a blog, and why blogging is a hugely powerful tool for not only sharing your learning, but learning from others.  To be honest, one thing that I feel guilty about is not responding to comments on my blog, but I love reading them. I kind of feel that I have already shared my thinking, and I hope that I can stand back and watch others discuss and learn from their conversations.  I always read the comments and appreciate when people take time to grapple with and share their thinking. (Read Bill Ferriter’s post on commenting…it is great.)

To catch you up on the last post, here is what I shared:

Now there is a difference between wanting students to have the same test, or the same understandings of material.  If I ask students to show that they understand the same objective, does the way we assess truly have to be the same?2  What I think we mean is that we are looking for “common understandings”, not “common assessments”. The notion of a “common assessment” does not take the individual into account, where “common understandings” allows for different pathways to show learning.

As I am just starting to explore this concept, I would love to know your challenges to these thoughts.  Differentiated instruction cannot come with standardized assessments, or am I way off here?

There were lots of great comments, and I loved this response that gives a concrete example from Jennifer Casa-Todd:

I think the key is the idea of common understandings that you mention. So here’s my take.There can be common assessments that still ask students to demonstrate their learning. For example, in an English exam, I can ask. What new understanding do you have about human nature based on your learning in this course? In your answer, draw from three specific course materials (texts, characters, discussions, etc…). In a History course I can give students a passage from an article and ask them to Identify three connections they see in the article and what they have learned in the course. If this same assessment was given in 6 different grade 9 classes, each of whom have studied different things and had different class discussions, the responses would be very individual and very much a demonstration of their own learning of course materials. So if we need to have the “same assessment” because we are worried about what parents would say (not that I believe that should be a justification), the questions need to be open ended enough that each student brings their own unique learning and perspective to the response. And it has to be an application of that knowledge rather than a regurgitation of it. This would be far more interesting to mark, but definitely takes more time than marking a content-based, straightforward response which may be why it isn’t as common a practice as it could be.

What I love is that there is a grappling of ideas from what could be holding us back (perception of fairness from parents, time constraints), but also solid ideas.  If you read from the comments, you will learn MUCH more than you do from the original post which was simply batting some thoughts around.

Here was another comment from Ross Cooper that struck me:

Not too long ago I wrote a post on reasons for assessing project based learning with a (somewhat) traditional test  Here’s a quote from it to consider:

I have heard the cries of those who claim, “Students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge however they want!” I disagree. Throughout the school year a wide array of opportunities should exist, but at certain points students should be “forced” to communicate what they know in written/essay format, as this is a valuable skill in and of itself. Also, when assessing and grading in other formats – e.g., videos, posters, various apps, etc. – let’s make sure not to prioritize flash over substance.

Ross is a good friend of mine and I respect deeply what he is sharing (check out his co-authored book on project based learning).  The one part that I struggle with in his comment though is that students should be “forced” to write an essay.  You would obviously not (well as least I would hope not) expect a student who did not speak english as their first language to write their understanding of  a concept, unless you were willing to read it in their first language, right?  As I was thinking about this, unless the skill you are evaluating is the ability to write an essay, why would you ensure that they have to do something in any certain way.  Is your (the teacher’s) way the best way to evaluate for any specific topic?  I do agree with Ross’ belief that we often mark flash over substance, and that is something we need to change. It is the ability to share your understanding of a concept, not the ability to make a poster or video, unless that is the specific skill you are assessing.

I will give you an example of this in professional learning opportunities I provide.  Often when I share some ideas, I ask participants after to share a reflection through a 30 second video on Twitter.  There are a few things that I am looking for here:

  1. Your reflection on your learning which helps me understand what you have taken away from my learning.
  2. Your ability to create a video on Twitter (skill).
  3. Your ability to learn something that you may not have done before.

What we some times get caught up in is looking for numbers as an evaluation tool, but it is not always accurate. In one session, a participant discussed that we need to change the terminology from “Data Driven” to “Evidence Driven”.  The former term often is connected with numbers, where “evidence driven”, is much more open.  Believe me, when I do that activity, there are no numbers provided, but there is a ton of evidence of learning.

One last comment I want to bring up, from Bill Ferriter.  He says the following:

…a quick reaction as a guy who promotes common assessments as a part of the PLC process: Common assessments to me aren’t about the students at all. They become the starting point for conversations between teachers who are reflecting on their instructional practices — and unless the assessments are “common,” those conversations aren’t all that productive.

They are also about holding teachers accountable for teaching a basic set of shared skills/content to kids so that students in one class aren’t getting a drastically different learning experience than students in another class.

I’m all for allowing kids to demonstrate mastery in a thousand different ways and I think that’s something schools rarely do.

But I also believe in the power of a common assessment to drive conversations between groups of teachers on what they are doing well and where they could be doing better.

I think this is an important conversation as assessment should often guide teaching, not the other way around.  When you change the way you think about assessments, teaching changes, as you may often see in schools that move from “grades” to standards-based reporting.  I love Bill’s idea of “common assessments” being a part of conversation on teaching and learning, but I will admit that I have seen common assessments being implemented for the sake of “fairness”, not conversation, in the past.

As I go through these comments and my own thinking, I am not sure if I am any closer to my own answers, but what I believe is that schools should teach students not what to think, but how to think.  These conversations where we share our learning are crucial for modelling to our students. Just the ability to grapple with ideas openly in your own space is important, which is why I am a huge proponent of portfolios showing the summaries of your learning, as well as your process.  If we work with our students to focus on both elements, our schools will continue to move in a powerful direction.

Categories: Planet

Teaching Dispositions for Learning — The Learner's Way

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 19 February, 2017 - 19:11

Comments:

  • Increasingly we aim to teach dispositions but some care in the use of the term is required as it is easily oversimplified. While teaching for dispositions is encouraged it will have little effect if it means doing little other than engaging with the terminology. If we are to encourage the expansion of the desired dispositions, we must be sure to adequately unpack them and understand the implications in store for our culture of learning.  - Nigel Coutts

Tags: education, learning, teaching

by: Nigel Coutts

Categories: International News

The End of Eddy #review and my #reading in February

Darcy Moore's Blog - 19 February, 2017 - 17:07

…the village, far from the city with its movement and activity, was also sheltered from the passage of time…

From my childhood I have no happy memories. I don’t mean to say that I never, in all of those years, felt any happiness or joy. But suffering is all-consuming: it somehow gets rid of anything that doesn’t fit into its system.

Édouard Louis (b.1992) has written without sentimentality about violence, poverty, class, racism and sexuality in his autobiographical novel, The End of Eddy, first published in 2014 but only recently translated into English by Michael Lucey (2017). Set in Picardy during the late twentieth century, the novel details a world the author wishes to escape. It feels like a bildungsroman but as a self-consciously political novel is much more than that. 

The writing is intimate yet detached and impersonal. There is very little dialogue and the sentences short. The voices of the protagonist’s mother, father, cousin, school peers and other locals are italicised as we hear from a class of people trapped in a world of poverty and ignorance fuelled by television and alcohol. This is very political life-writing but it is also impactful prose. From the opening pages the reader is confronted in a semantically brutal fashion with descriptive passages that physically repel almost leading one to push the book away to avoid the spittle:

The tall redhead spat in my face How do you like that, punk. The gob of spit dripped slowly down my cheek, thick and yellow, like the noisy mucus that obstructs the throats of old people or people who are ill, with a strong, sickening smell to it. Shrill, strident laughter from the two boys Look, right in his face, the little pussy. It is dripping from my eye towards my lips, ready to enter my mouth. I don’t dare wipe it off. I could; I’d only have to lift my sleeve. It wouldn’t even take a second, a tiny movement, to prevent the spit from coming into contact with my lips, but I do nothing for fear of offending them, for fear of making them more agitated than they already are.

As with Karl Ove Knausgaard in Norway, this is life-writing that stirred many outside French literary circles but for different reasons. The depictions of the working poor and unemployed as xenophobic, violently homophobic and abusively alcoholic was deeply offensive – depending on perspective – as either a misrepresentation of a class of people or a condemnation of such brutish behaviour. There are very narrow ideas about masculinity in the village and Eddy struggles with his effeminacy, often aping the machoism of his peers and elders. Some of the episodes are very challenging on numerous levels. The imagery in the novel is often cruelly effective. The following passages are deeply moving:

I never saw a shooting star without wishing that I’d stop being a boy. There was not a single page of my journal on which I didn’t make some reference to my secret desire to become a girl – and then the fear, which was always present, that my mother would discover this journal.

Between the hallway at school, my parents, and the people in the village, I was trapped. My only reprieve was in the classroom. I liked school. Not the school itself, not school life: the two boys were there. But I liked the teachers. They never talked about pussies or dirty faggots. They explained that differences should be accepted, they voiced the discourse of the French educational system, that we were all equal. People were not to be judged by the colour of their skin, their religion, or their sexual orientation…

While I was spending my time at the bus stop, other children like her, Amélie, were reading books their parents had given them, were going to the cinema, even to the theatre. In the evenings their parents spoke about literature, about history – a conversation between Amélie and her mother about Eleanor of Aquitaine had left me white with shame – while they ate their dinner.

He would bring the fish home to the house and my mother would clean them and then freeze them, wrapped in newspaper or in plastic bags from the supermarket. A horrible sight for me: opening the freezer door and finding these cadavers wrapped in a layer of ice. The most troubling part was seeing their eyes, imprisoned in ice after having been frozen by death.

The world of school is so often not the world children inhabit but Eddy often found it to be a reprieve from relentless physical and verbal brutality. He does try to deny his sexuality to survive at school and home but the reality is he knew from the youngest age what he really wanted. The challenge of leaving a working or under class background at the gates of the school is very apparent to Eddy – and the author.

My books are born out of an absence: I began writing because I could not find the world of my childhood anywhere in books.

This was how it was when I was a young reader too. Very few books were recognisably about the world I inhabited. Colin Thiele’s Blue Fin spoke to me as I recognised the characters and the boy’s situation. As an Australian, I recognised a great deal of Eddy’s world from my own childhood and related to the challenges of class, poverty, dirt, violence and racism. The story is more universal than French. Education has always been a way out. Sort of.

Louis was the editor of essays examining the importance of Pierre Bourdieu – the French philosopher whose most important work, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste (1984) explores how classes distinguish themselves aesthetically – just prior to this debut novel being published. With this in mind, it is important to know the author changed his name on publication of the novel signifying that he had left the world of his past behind. Eddy Bellegueule, the protagonist, grew up in the village of Hallencourt before departing to study social sciences and philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.

This interview in The Paris Review illuminates Louis’ thinking:

I wrote the book to give a voice to these people, to fight for them and with them, because they seem to have disappeared from the public eye. In the novel I use two languages—the one I use now, which is more “literary,” and the one I grew up with, the language of the excluded classes, which is completely absent from the public arena. When you make a language disappear you make the people who speak it disappear. My family would vote for Marine Le Pen, saying, We do it because she’s the only one who talk about us, the little people.” That wasn’t true, but it reveals the sentiment of invisibility that strikes the dispossessed. But I also critique the values of that culture. I don’t need to show that working-class values are above reproach in order to write against the social violence that produces them. To me it’s a crucial distinction—we don’t have to love a culture to support the people who comprise it.

This is an important novel and has my highest recommendation. I look forward to the translation of his latest novel, Histoire de la violence (2016) and it is worth reading his Manifesto for an Intellectual and Political Counteroffensive with Geoffroy de Lagasnerie – originally published in Le Monde on September 27–28, 2015 – while you wait to see the outcome of the French elections this year.

Other titles read during February

Hegel’s Owl: The Life of Bernard Smith (2016) by Sheridan Palmer

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (2014) by Steven Pinker

Mindfulness in Plain English (1991) by Bhante Henepola Gunarantana

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) by George Orwell

The post The End of Eddy #review and my #reading in February appeared first on Darcy Moore's Blog.

Categories: Planet

You’re Teaching the Wrong Programming Language

Computer Science Teacher Alfred Thompson - 18 February, 2017 - 00:47

No, really you are. If someone hasn’t told you this yet it’s probably because too few people know what programming language you are teaching. Of course someone probably thinks you are teaching the right language. After all you’re a smart person and you chose it. Asking what programming language should be taught first is probably the best way to start an argument a discussion among computer science educators.

Should it be a block programming language? Of course it should because the cognitive load of traditional programming languages is too great. Of course not because those languages are too limited.

Should it be Visual Basic? Of course because it is friendly and easy to create nice GUI applications. Of course not because BASIC == BAD.

How about C++? Great as it lets you get right to basics. Of course not – have you seen the pointer errors?

Scheme/Racket Of course because functional languages are more in tune with how we teach mathematics. Of course not because they are impractical and not real world.

Java? No, too much cognitive load. Of course, great preparation for AP CS.

Assembly language? If I had a dime for every time I read that suggestion on a site like reddit or slash dot or the like I could buy a pretty good meal. But talk about cognitive load!

Need I go on? Probably not. You get the idea. There are good reasons to use and good reasons not to use most programming languages. Mike Zamansky took both sides on several languages recently. Starting with scheme and Selecting a starting language - why not Javascript Yesterday in conversation I heard some good arguments for Python which seems to be gathering steam in a lot of schools. Aman Yadav, and Steve Cooper talk about block programming languages in a recent CACM article. Fostering Creativity though Computing

Everyone is an expert. What’s a teacher to do? I’m pretty convinced that a good teacher can do a good job teaching students using almost any programming language if they know it well and teach it well. I worry about less experienced teachers though. Frankly I am not sure even the best programming language, assuming one believes such exists, will work as well with an inexperienced teacher as a difficult language will work with an experienced teacher.

My big worry is not so much about the right language or the right curriculum or the right text book as it is good preparation for the teacher. We’re really rushing a lot of people into teaching CS who don’t have a deep understanding of computer science and software development. How much can they really learn in a 5 day or even several week long professional development session?

I’ve been working with some people to come up with licensing requirements for CS teachers in my home state. I like what we are coming up with but I really wonder how we’re going find or how we’re going to develop teachers who meet all of the expectations we are setting.

Categories: Planet

5 Simple Ways to Gamify Your Classroom

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 18 February, 2017 - 00:16

10MT | Jessica Gordon shares her tips on the 10-Minute Teacher Show

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

You can gamify your classroom. It isn’t hard. Sixth-grade teacher Jessica Gordon@1337teach gives us tips, ideas, and links for how to gamify our classrooms now. Game based learning can be simple and free.

Listen now

Jessica is giving her book away free to 10-MT Listeners for Random Act of Kindness day! Click the link to go download it on Kindle today! (US Story only, sorry international friends.)

Today’s FREEBIE! Today only, February 17, to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day, Jessica is having her own random act of kindness to 10-MT listeners by giving away the Kindle version of her book free on the US Amazon Kindle store!”It’s a Teacher Thing! FAQ Guide and Reflective Journal for New Teachers” is currently available in eBook and paperback through Amazon Kindle. Visit  — and it is free today on Kindle in the US Amazon store! Enjoy and thank you, Jessica!

Jessica Gordon , 6th grade teacher from Missouri gives us simple tips to gamify our classrooms. Jessica Ratliff-Gordon is an elementary educator, author, and doctoral student at Northcentral University.  Currently, she serves as a sixth-grade geography teacher for the Poplar Bluff School District as well as a Project Manager for Hilton Publishing.

In today’s show, we’ll discuss:

  • 5 cool tools: Wheel Decide, Breakout Facebook groups, challenges, some awesome quizzing tools (see links below)
  • Simple tips on making any lesson more fun
  • The big mistake many educators make when working to gamify their classroom

I hope you enjoy this episode with Jessica !

Want to hear another episode on game based learning? Listen to Michael Matera, teacher and author of Explore Like a Pirate, share ideas for using games in your classroom. See the full list of shows.

Selected Links from this Episode

Editor’s Note: See the 10MT Interview with Breakout EDU cofounder Adam Bellow for more on BreakoutEDU and Breakout Classrooms

DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT #15 Jessica Gordon and Adding Games to Your Classroom

This post is being added to the more than 100 resources in my Epic Guide to Game Based Learning. You might also be interested in a tool I use to quickly create games that I blogged about yesterday.  Full Bio Jessica Ratliff-Gordon

Jessica Ratliff-Gordon is an elementary educator, author, and doctoral student at Northcentral University. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, she first began her teaching career at Buder Elementary within the St. Louis Public School District. Currently, she serves as a sixth-grade geography teacher for the Poplar Bluff School District as well as a Project Manager for Hilton Publishing. For more information about the author and her current publications follow her on Twitter @1337teach, Goodreads, or search for seller “1337 Teacher” on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Some links in this post are affiliate links.

The post 5 Simple Ways to Gamify Your Classroom appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Game Based Learning: Make Fast Teaching Games with SMART lab

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 17 February, 2017 - 12:40

Sponsored Post by SMART Learning Suite

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Formative assessment and game based learning make a powerful combination in the classroom. I love SMART lab, a new feature of the SMART Learning Suite. Recently, when they sponsored several of my 10-Minute Teacher episodes, I tested SMART Notebook.

While testing their software as part of the vetting process, I fell in love with SMART lab. So, here’s a tutorial. Set up a free trial and try it yourself.

In this article, you’ll learn how to use SMART lab to build fast games and lessons.  We’ll also look at how using this tool changes the lesson planning workflow. For example, for me, the SMART Notebook makes it easier to present student games, formative assessment, and contentin a smooth, seamless way.

Tutorial: How to Make a Fast Game Based Learning Lesson with SMART lab

This is a sponsored post by SMART Learning Suite. Download a free trial. My Typical Workflow for Teacher-Guided Discussions

Typically, when I have content and am going to teach it directly in the classroom, my workflow goes like this:

  1. Create an open-ended response activity
  2. Make the slides
  3. Make the formative assessment games and activities
  4. When I’m presenting, switch back and forth.

Admittedly, I do teacher-guided lessons far less than I used to — maybe 30 minutes a week per class. However, when I do, I want my lessons to be fun, exciting and promote cooperative learning. So, game based learning is a big part of most lessons. I also know formative assessment works and use it heavily.

What are SMART lab and SMART Learning Suite?

So, for those of you who are curious — SMART Learning Suite is the software that comes with SMART Boards. However, you don’t need a SMART Board to use their software. (I didn’t know that or I would have been using it already.)

This is an example of how you enter questions quickly into SMART lab. Once you have your question bank entered, you can quickly pull the questions into a variety of fun, fast games for the classroom. (See the video tutorial for how I did it.)

Learn more about Smart Learning Suite

 I was very excited when I learned the SMART software could be used on my board for one big reason — Smart Exchange. I remember many years ago looking at all the resources and wishing I could get a SMART Board just for the software.

SMART lab Overview

The SMART lab feature is my favorite part of the SMART Learning Suite. Think Kahoot but with lots more options. My students like that the questions appear on their screens. I like that I can enter the questions in a bank (as I demonstrate in the video above) and make many different games off of one set of questions. That way, I can mix it up.

Ok, so I have already shared my workflow.

Not surprisingly, my big problem was just getting confused. I’d have PowerPoint or Keynote open. I’d have multiple Kahoot quizzes to open. I’d also have a Socrative ready to go. I didn’t have a flow. I’d get confused. The students would have to go into several things. It wasn’t a method I could really recommend to other teachers.

Now, my presentations flow.

Ninety-five percent of my students prefer monster quiz to Kahoot as the questions show on the mobile devices. There are other games that do not require individual devices. This is just their favorite.

My Workflow Now with SMART Notebook

So, this workflow is much easier in the SMART Notebook:

  1. I create my presentation and embed my games in SmartNotebook.
  2. I start the notebook and launch into full screen and we’re ready to go.

The only tip — because I use the activities in multiple classes — is to end the activity and remove the students before the next class arrives. Now that I know how to do this, it takes less than a minute to set up between classes.

Most of the games can be played as a class from the board or projector.

My Favorite Game

The overwhelming class favorite is the Monster Quiz game. (see video) My students like seeing the questions on their own phone. I had them vote and compare and in each of the two classes. I had 95% of the students prefer the monster quiz game to Kahoot.

Monster quiz has every student use a device and is much like Kahoot but with one big difference — the questions are randomly shown on each student’s screen. Each student has their own quiz. Furthermore, if they miss the questions, they are presented the question again.

The program makes setting up teams a snap. I feed the points into our other game-based learning activity so their avatars can level up in Classcraft.

I timed it, it takes me less than 5 minutes to put in a quick 8-question game to play. It takes us about 4 or 5 minutes to play it, making this a fast formative assessment tool. I also like that I can go from activity to activity with a quick click like from one slide to another. I don’t have the long process of stopping a game in Kahoot, finding the next one and starting it again.

How SMART lab works with my students?

So, last Friday I had presented some material to my ninth graders on programming concepts. On Monday, we played a review game about programming concepts. Then, we reviewed and discussed. To finish, I ran the game again with different teams. The students recalled the concepts and I found them using the terminology in class.

So, then I tackled my very big project — SAT review. I’ve got SAT slides and review games scattered everywhere, so I’m using SMART Notebook to bring it all together in one place.

I’ve created a quick tutorial video (above) to show how to find and add things to the SMART Notebook. There are lots of learning objects in the gallery. From graph paper to graphics, pretty much everything a teacher would want is in the software. At first, I just browsed, but then, I started searching in the box for what I wanted to add.

Second, you have the option of going to SMART Exchange and finding things other teachers have made. There are ways you can import and export and share with just other teachers at your school but SMART Exchange has lots of features in it.

There is a new Math Equation editor that I’m using for the math review portion of the SAT.  Also, you can insert objects and items from Geogebra.

I also found a robust library of material for grammar review.

A tip for multiple classrooms

I did find out that I need to make sure that click “end activity” before I open the next activity. Also, keeping a separate notebook for the different classes is best.

I think SMART Learning Suite is a much better way to have games, content, and my presentations put together. I highly recommend that you download the trial and play Monster game for yourself. See what game based learning can do for your classroom.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to edit and post it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) 

The post Game Based Learning: Make Fast Teaching Games with SMART lab appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

“Common Assessments” vs “Common Understandings”

The Principal of Change George Couros - 17 February, 2017 - 09:57

In a recent discussion, I was asked about “common assessments” in a classroom.  The thought here is that no matter what classroom you were in, the assessments would look the same.  When I asked them to clarify, I asked outright, “Do you mean that all students will take the same test?”, to which they replied, “yes.”

So here is where I struggle with this concept of “common assessments”. If teacher A does not work with classroom B, do they know the students in that room?  Do they know that some of the students have test anxiety, or English is not their first language, or are a myriad of other factors that might not be conducive to “common assessments”?

Now there is a difference between wanting students to have the same test, or the same understandings of material.  If I ask students to show that they understand the same objective, does the way we assess truly have to be the same?  What I think we mean is that we are looking for “common understandings”, not “common assessments”. The notion of a “common assessment” does not take the individual into account, where “common understandings” allows for different pathways to show learning.

As I am just starting to explore this concept, I would love to know your challenges to these thoughts.  Differentiated instruction cannot come with standardized assessments, or am I way off here?

Categories: Planet

The Heartwarming Story Behind the Viral Video and Principal Tim Hadley’s Stand Against Bullying

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 16 February, 2017 - 22:05

10MT Episode #14 A Positive Way to Stand Against Bullying

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Bullying is so hard to handle. Often it is difficult to know what to do. Is it true? Was the student who is upset just overly sensitive? And then, those who do the bullying are often in the majority and “close ranks” so it can be almost impossible to get at the behavior. That is why Principal Tim Hadley’s (@MrHadleyHistory) stand against bullying by shaving his head is so remarkable. His unique solution changed the conversation at his school, showing us that we educators really do have an opportunity to change the conversation.

Listen Now

Whether we realize it or not, the toughest situations are the canvas upon which we can paint the most vivid positive memories of how to live life. Today, for Thought Leader Thursday, let’s  think about how we can use unconventional responses to the most difficult problems we face at school.

Tim Hadley is the principal at Pekin CSD Middle School in Packwood, Iowa. When a little boy, Jackston, came to school with a bald head in support of his grandfather with cancer and was picked on, Mr. Hadley’s unconventional solution has gone viral, and rightly so. Our ACTIONS often have more power than our WORDS.  This is one of those episodes you’ll want to share just because it hits at the heart of who we are as educators.

We have thousands of examples of how NOT to handle bullying. Well, today, here’s a masterful example of what TO do.

In this episode we cover…

  • What happened when Tim got a call at home from a parent about bullying
  • The creative way Tim decided to solve the problem
  • The positive response from the student and parent
  • How students are sorry for behavior and positive conversations have started
  • Tim’s thoughts on handling bullying and what really works

I hope you enjoy this episode with Tim!

If you like the show, would you leave a review on iTunes?

Want to hear another inspiring story? Listen to Jim Forde’s recording of “You’re the Teacher” and the inspiring message for teachers he shares with it.

  Selected Links from this Episode

I found the raw, unedited video so you can see exactly what happened. There are other “polished” versions on Inside Edition, etc. but I wanted you to see it as it was. Just watch the beginning until the head shaving. I just think that the speech he gives about supporting one another and being a family is one every school should have and aspire to have.

Full Bio Tim Hadley

Tim Hadley is the current junior high and high school principal at Pekin Community Schools in Packwood, Iowa. Mr. Hadley has a passion for motivating all students to achieve the best they are capable of in all areas of life and education. He and his wife, Bethany, a Math teacher, reside in Ollie, Iowa with their two children.

The post The Heartwarming Story Behind the Viral Video and Principal Tim Hadley’s Stand Against Bullying appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

3 Fast, Free Lesson Plans to Fight Fake News

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 16 February, 2017 - 11:36

Example Fake News Digital Citizenship Lesson Plans and Bellringers

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

The fake news epidemic is disturbing. How do we fight it? Well, we can take a hint from how the medical community fights the flu or any other virus. We inoculate ourselves. In this post, I’ll teach you how I teach about fake news.

This blog post is part of the CM Rubin World Global Search for Education which poses a question each month to leading educators for reflection and sharing. This month’s question is “how do we fight the fake news epidemic?”

Just as the flu shot exposes a person to enough of the dead “harmless” virus to cause immunity, we can also expose students to things that have already been verified or shown to be fake. By exposing our students to things that look very real, we can help them notice and understand that many things that look real, are lies. We can also help them understand why shady companies and organizations actually benefit from fake news (like a movie coming out this month in one of these examples.)

How does a “fake news” lesson flow?

First, you ask students to research to see if something is true or not. Second, ask students to recommend what a person should do about the information. These mini-lessons can take from 8-15 minutes and so, they are perfect for short, beginning of class “bellringers.”

When students come to class, they get a copy of the bellringer and have a timer (usually 4-5 minutes — there should be some time pressure) set for them to give their recommendations.

I’m including screenshots in this post, but if you fill out the form at the bottom, I’ll email you the PDF copy of these three lesson plans.

Example #1: Breaking News Bellringer

In this case, we share a tweet and some “news sources.” When selecting topics, I like them to be recent enough as to feel real to students and also so that Google search results aren’t “full” of the answer.

 

TIP: After students examine and discuss their answers, I’ll often give them a “clue” if they aren’t close and have them go back and look again. I like them to find pieces of the answer before unveiling the answer slide on the board. Breaking News Bellringer Answer

I like this example because it hits on several current topics:

  • Fake news websites often use similar names to existing news outlets “Houston Leader” (fake news) instead of “The Leader” (a real newspaper in Houston.)
  • This example also has some motivation behind it and an emerging scandal that an emerging Fox movie “A Cure for Wellness” is now linked from the original news stories which have been taken down. This sort of redirect happens all the time. The website gets lots of links and then has the original content replaced with something new and totally unrelated. Redirects are why you should always click before resharing.
  • Finally, point out to your students that many times when something is fake and just comes out, that Snopes may not have the answer. Fake news outlets are good at what they do. Click-baiting is a billion dollar business. So, the best way to figure this out is by determining that these fake news sources are truly false. Learn to find out the legitimate newspapers for cities. The Sacramento newspaper is the “Sacramento Bee, ” and you can’t find anything about the Sacramento Dispatch. If it were legitimate, you’d see a lot more about it.
See how using examples demonstrates to students how fake news works. No lecture in the world can teach like this sort of virus killing fake-news inoculation method. Onto the next one!  Example #2 Viral Video News Story

This example has a video released just a week ago that has gone viral. Now, don’t go sharing this yet. Wait until you verify the source.

The Video

So you can play this video in my blog post, here it is. Again, DO NOT SHARE before you research this one!!

Viral News Video Story Answer

Again, give students just 3-4 minutes to find their answer. (I like shortening the time for each of these until students have to make a call within a minute because that is how quickly they have to make this sort of snap judgment in real life.) Don’t “give” them the answer but if they are not on the right track, give them clues before revealing the answer. If you’re not careful, some students will share videos like this via social media if you don’t warn them to do research.

Bellringer #3: To Share or Not To Share

This post has gone around dozens of times; I have to include this reshare Facebook example.

This example is a difficult one. Also, note that I give this information to students so they have to type it into a search engine.

While you could post these online, somehow having students have to type in the information helps them understand how they research. For example, if this text above was posted, most students will copy all of it and paste into Google. It is easy to mix up the spacing and a few words so that such a search won’t turn up and students mistakenly think they are in the clear.

Again, let them discuss and give them hints before unveiling the final answer.  To Share or Not To Share Answer

In Summary

Once I’ve done these with students, I often mix in true things (that sound a bit crazy just to make it interesting.) I also have students make their bellringers to share with the class. Notice how I include sources of information at the bottom to know where the information was retrieved.

I hope these examples inspire and help you to fight fake news in a way that works. The biggest mistakes many educators make:

  • the “fake news” lessons are lecture based (doesn’t work)
  • the “fake news” lessons use irrelevant examples that are easy to detect as fake
  • the “fake news” lessons use old stories that have so many search results that it doesn’t represent the real world. They’re just easy to spot that they are fake. You want more challenging, current topics. If it was on the news last night, those are the best! I’ll often type one of these up and do it the next day!
  • they DON’T TEACH IT AT ALL!!!

So, I’ve given you three examples for use in your classroom tomorrow. So, get out there and FIGHT FAKE NEWS!

 

 

The post 3 Fast, Free Lesson Plans to Fight Fake News appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Tackling Behavior Problems by Acting out Negative Stereotypes

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 15 February, 2017 - 21:47

10MT Episode #13 Interview with Todd Clinton about the "School Perfect" Project

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

How do you reduce problem behaviors? Could it be as simple as acting out negative behaviors? At first glance, the School Perfect project — where students act out inappropriate stereotypes — may be counterintuitive, however, sometimes kids need to know what NOT to do. Today, we’re focusing on two things: a project that is reducing negative behaviors and a story of how one teacher started on his journey of innovation.

Listen to the show

The teacher who has started School Perfect, Todd Clinton @motivatedthe, is a special education teacher in a middle school. He works with students with behavioral disabilities, typically autism, ADHD, and EMD. He was previously a banker, before deciding to pursue his passion of working with kids. He is a proud dad to one and loves teachers so much he married one.

Topics include:

  • Todd Clinton’s “School Perfect” YouTube project
  • How this project is reducing negative behaviors in his school
  • How we can use negative and positive modeling to improve classroom behavior
  • His story of innovation and how he’s grown through the fear and push to innovate

I hope you enjoy this episode with Todd!

Want to hear about another way to engage students besides filmmaking? Listen to the podcast episode with Adam Bellow as he discusses breakout edu boxes and how they work.

Selected Links from this Episode

DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT #13 Todd Clinton and School Perfect

Full Bio Todd Clinton

I am a special education teacher, in a middle school. I work with students with behavioral disabilities, typically autism, ADHD and EMD. I was previously a banker, before deciding to pursue my passion of working with kids. I am a proud dad to one and I love teachers so much I married one.

The post Tackling Behavior Problems by Acting out Negative Stereotypes appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

4 Questions to Lay the Foundation for a “Culture of Innovation”

The Principal of Change George Couros - 14 February, 2017 - 23:09

When I talk about “innovation in education”, creativity in schools, or meaningful use of technology, I always begin by saying that nothing I say matters if you do not build relationships in schools. There is no “culture of innovation” if there is no positive culture. It is the foundation of which we build things upon.

Yet many wonder why their teachers aren’t being more “innovative” or “taking more risks” in their learning. The short answer; the culture does not support it.  Sometimes it is because people are terrified of making mistakes in a culture they perceive is not open to it, and sometimes it is because there is no “push”.  Opposite ends of the spectrum, but both are issues.

To help build this culture, here are four questions that you need to consider:

1. Are questions encouraged?

Too often, when things do not seem right in an organization, it is not heard through an abundance of noise, but a lack thereof.  Are people scared to challenge ideas in fear of retribution?  Are people more likely to complain after a professional learning meeting, than in one?  Does there seem to be a clear direction, yet no one is taking the path?

In workshops, one of the things that I often say is that I am totally open to people disagreeing with me,  but not after the day when I am gone. It is needed to be done in the room as it is a way for all of us to grow in pursuit of serving kids.  It is crucial to make this explicit, and repetitive.

Without the ability to freely question, there is no growth individually or as an organization.

2. How do we ask questions?

This one is obviously tied to the first.  Asking questions can often be disguised as a complaint and a result of moving forward.  Think of some of the questions that you hear amongst staff.  Are they specifically obstructionist in the way that they try to find problems more than solutions?

I have always said that in a world that continuously moves forward, if we are standing still, we are falling behind.  Asking questions to move forward is paramount to growth in the right direction.

3. What do we model?

Do you ask things of your teachers that you do not do?  Do you even know what you are asking for?

I have watched schools go “1 to 1”, while still inundating staff with handouts and giant post it notes in staff meetings.  If your students have access to a device, staff should have it as well.  What does the time look like in staff meetings or professional learning time? Is it mirroring what you are looking for in classrooms?

Have you changed observations of staff in any significant way that has more focus on the learner than the evaluator? Are you using portfolios for yourself or your staff, while trying to implement them with students, or do you see them as a separate entity all together?

The art of leadership needs to be just as innovative and creative as teaching and learning. If educators do not see it from their leaders, then you are asking them to implement based on what they hear, as opposed to what they hear or experience.  This line of thinking will not help things move forward.

4. Where is the line of accountability?

If you are the principal of the school, do you believe that teachers are accountable to you? Are you accountable to the superintendent?  This line of thinking places the line of accountability directly upon one person, as opposed to the organization.

WestJet, an airline company in Canada, actually has all their employees as shareholders as well.  With this line of thinking, if you do your job poorly, the company loses, which means the value of the stocks you own goes down.  The accountability is to everyone, not to only one.

Educators need to understand accountability flows in different ways; up, down, and sideways. To our students, colleagues, community, and direct reports.  If we hold each other accountable and not leave it to the responsibility of a sole person, the entire school will do better, quicker.

____

Some of the most backward school districts I have witnessed think they have it all going right, while some of the most forward thinking and advanced school districts are never satisfied.  One group believes they have arrived, while others believe that they will never get to where they need to go, but it is important to continuously move forward.

Where are you in this spectrum? If you believe you are where you need to be, maybe you are already falling behind.

Use these questions and revisit often. If you want to become a “culture of innovation”, make sure the foundation is ready to support that growth.

Categories: Planet

Cool Cat Teacher’s 31 Favorite Everyday Tools I’m Using Right Now #edtech

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 14 February, 2017 - 22:34

A special Valentine's Day Episode of 10MT with Links to Tools and Tech I Use

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Do you want to know my productivity tips and tricks? How about what I use for digital film class? The technology I use in my classroom everyday? Well, Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m showing love to my dear teacher friends by just sharing all the tools and tips that have me excited right now. I’ve included links below for you.

Powerschool Learning is today’s sponsor. They are the Learning Management System (LMS) I use. Check them out

Topics include:

  • Tools I use in my classroom every day
  • The productivity tips and tricks I use to stay focused
  • The tools I use to communicate
  • My favorite health apps
  • What I use for 3D printing

Leave a review on iTunes to enter today’s contest for the Makerbot Replicator Mini+. Today is the last day! See below for contest rules.

I hope you enjoy today’s episode!

Want to learn more about cool tools? Check out Karen Lirenman and Kristen Wideen’s show on iPad apps for elementary classrooms.

DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT 10MT #12 31 Favorite Tools I’m Using Right Now

Selected Links from this Episode

Some of the links below are affiliate links.

Digital Film Equipment
  • DJI Phone Camera Gimbal from OSMO Mobile http://amzn.to/2lbGQJD – the price has dropped from $399 to $299 from when I bought it so the price I stated in the podcast is actually lower now – a handheld “tripod” for smartphones
  • Acuvar DSLR camera backpack – http://amzn.to/2kZXQjY
  • Mophie Powerstation XXL http://amzn.to/2l06q2i
  • Olloclip Core Lens set for iPhone 7 http://amzn.to/2lbGNxF – be careful when you hook this on or you can crack the phone. You can’t have on a case when you use this attachment but it makes an iphone’s quality even better.
  • iKross Tripod with adapters for smartphones, tablets, GoPro, and DSLR Camera – http://amzn.to/2kL2svN
  • Kindle 6″ black and white – http://amzn.to/2l7y1Bf
Productivity Tools Communications Health Cool Classroom Tools

 

Contests included in this show
  • MakerBot Replicator Mini+ Giveaway Contest Rules
    • Manner of selection of winners: All classroom teachers with a valid Twitter or Instagram handle who leave a review on iTunes for the 10-Minute Teacher show will have their handles put into a random drawing to determine the winner. Those who leave a review between 2/1/2017 and 2/3/2017 will have two entries for each review. The winner will be required to verify that they are a classroom teacher and that the MakerBot Mini+Replicator will be used in the classroom. Or, if the winner is not a classroom teacher, we must verify with an appropriately designated principal or administrator of the location in a classroom where the device will be placed. Winning another prize during the contest period from the 10 Minute Teacher Show does not exclude the winner from winning this prize. All reviews of the show are eligible for entry.
    • Geographic Area and Eligibility: Due to shipping costs, this contest covers the United States and Canada. Classroom teachers or those in schools who will place the device in a classroom for student use are eligible to apply.
    • Dates: February 1, 2017 – February 14, 2017 at midnight EST.
    • How Prizes Will Be Awarded: All names of people who leave reviews will be put into a random drawing by the prize administrator.
    • Determination of date of winner: February 15, 2017 the name will be drawn and the winner notified and verified to be a classroom teacher or to place the device in a classroom. If the winner does not meet qualifications, another winner will be selected.
    • No purchase necessary.
    • Alternate method of free participation: You may mail your name, mailing address, email, phone number, and school name to ATTN: Lisa Durff 26 Beall Street, Frostburg, Maryland 21532.
    • Winner’s name will be posted on this blog before February 27, 2017.
    • Void where prohibited.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post and podcast episode”. The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to edit and post it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) Please also note that all opinions are my own or belonging to the guest on the show and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of any sponsor or employer.

The post Cool Cat Teacher’s 31 Favorite Everyday Tools I’m Using Right Now #edtech appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

The #InnovatorsMindset MOOC Starting February 27, 2017 #IMMOOC

The Principal of Change George Couros - 13 February, 2017 - 05:12

How do you move from “pockets of innovation” to a “culture of innovation”?

How do we start to innovate inside of the box?

What does innovation mean for education, and should every educator be an innovator?

These are questions that I have addressed in my book, “The Innovator’s Mindset”, and will continue to dig deeper into with the second “Innovator’s Mindset Massive Open Online Course” that will be starting again on February 27, 2017.

The brilliant Katie Martin will be joining again to help host this experience,  but alumni from the first course will also be taking part to lead in this experience as well.  Not only is this a great way to dig deeper into the content of the book, it is an amazing opportunity to create your own learning, while networking with passionate educators around the world.  We have also confirmed guests that will be joining us not only for a YouTube Live, but as well as a Twitter chat every Wednesday night at 9pm EST (6pm PST).  

We are also extremely excited to bring on some awesome guests for this experience that will share their own experiences and work, to open up the learning past the book.

The guests and the times are as follows:

Actual Date Topic Guests Twitter Chat February 27, 8pm EST Introduction AJ Juliani and John Spencer March 1, 9pm EST March 5, 8pm EST Part 1: Innovation in Education Sarah Thomas March 8, 9pm EST March 12, 8pm EST Part 2:  Laying the Groundwork Amber Teamann and Matt Arend March 15, 9pm EST March 20, 8pm EST Part 3: Unleashing Talent Jennifer Casa-Todd March 22, 9pm EST March 26, 8pm EST Part 4: Concluding Thoughts To be announced March 29,

9pm EST


If you miss the original YouTube Live session, you will be able to watch the recorded version or listen to the podcast.

If you are interested in joining, please do the following:

  1. Buy a copy of “The Innovator’s Mindset“. We will have a “selfie challenge” coming soon so get your book as soon as you can so you can win a prize for our draw.
  2. Sign up for the course (also listed below).
  3. Get your blog ready to go! (I suggest either edublogs.org or wordpress.com)
  4. Share that you are joining to the #IMMOOC hashtag on Twitter and share this link for others to sign up.
  5. Join the Facebook group.

The great thing about the first IMMOOC, was participants created their own spaces to share as well. This is not limited to the groups that we are using above, so if you are interested in making your own spaces, please feel free to do so.

We look forward to having so many great people join this process and delving deeper into the importance of innovation in education.

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Categories: Planet

Striving to preserve Truth — The Learner's Way

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 12 February, 2017 - 18:27

Comments:

  • What purposes does education serve? What needs of humanity does education serve? What might the product of our labours be like and how might our efforts contribute to the greater good? These are questions we have long struggled with but with but it seems that in the current times we might need to rethink how we answer these questions. - Nigel Coutts

Tags: preserve, truth, learner, collaboration, science, technology, education, learning

by: Nigel Coutts

Categories: International News

The Students are Paying Attention

The Principal of Change George Couros - 11 February, 2017 - 11:05

It is always a blessing when students are able to attend professional learning opportunities for their teachers. There is a different accountability to everyone in the room when the students are watching. Any time I have students join any professional learning opportunity that I deliver, I always ask for feedback, as I am doing my best to try and support their learning, and if I am off course, then I need them to give me direction.

Recently I had a group of students join a session that I delivered, and their feedback was very positive of what I had shared.  As I sat with them over lunch, one of them made this comment:

“If teachers are learning about all of these new and awesome things on these (professional learning) days, why is the teaching still the same in our school?”

That blew me away.

This was not meant to be said in a negative way to the student’s teachers, but why did they not see the growth from their teachers?

Is it that we are bad at follow up?  Are we not providing accountability to our students in what we are doing?  Are the changes incremental that the students do not notice subtle differences?

I am not sure if I have any solutions, but this is one suggestion I have.  After professional learning days, educators should share what they learned, and what they are going to do moving forward with their students.  Not only does this model to our students that we are learners, but it creates an accountability to the people we ultimately serve. This accountability is important not only for the people that are learning, but those that are also delivering the opportunity to the group.

A nice reminder is that even when you think the students aren’t paying attention, they always are.

Categories: Planet

Software Developers–Quantity vs Quality

Computer Science Teacher Alfred Thompson - 11 February, 2017 - 02:16

Today is a snow day here in New Hampshire. My third one this week. So I have taken care of most of the errands I use snow days to take care of and have some time to think about things. One of them is developing quality developers. In part this is spurred today by an article in InforWorld. The sub headline is “A report from HackerRank finds that while the U.S. and India have lots of developers, Chinese and Russian programmers are the most talented” Really? I wonder.

First off I wonder if this is really a valid way to make the determination. IT is based on people basically playing puzzle games online. Who makes time for that? Obviously some smart people who have time on their hands. And maybe some sort of need to prove themselves or gain attention. Is that situation more or less common in different parts of the world? I don’t really know for sure. I’ve written about the US student attitude towards programming contests before of course - What Is It With US Students and Programming Contests? I know no more about the cultural effects now than I did then. I wish someone would study it though.

One big thing to think about it that programming challenges are by their nature artificial. They don’t take 5 people a year to “solve.” Real world developers don’t work alone and they don’t work on projects that can be done in a few hours or even days. So does these contests rate developers or some form of good on test people?

But suppose the US doesn’t have the most talented software developers? If that is the case how do we fix it? Perhaps the way to start is to look at how the “really talented” developers in Russia and China are developed. Are they getting it in school or on their own? I wish I knew. I suspect that some of it may be how education is focused.

In the US computer science departments are interested (largely) in creating computer scientists. That is a very different mind set than creating software developers. Software engineering degrees appear (and I should look at them deeper) to be focused on the development process. Yes there is always work on algorithms and problem solving but projects tend to  be smaller. Frequently getting involved in a large multi-year multi-developer project is something graduate students work on. Developing developer tools like Scratch, Snap!, BlueJ and many more like that. Some awesome projects which I don’t see coming out of Russia or China by the way. More like the US, UK and others in western Europe.

Are boot camps the answer? I don’t think so. I think we need more than that. Those programs are too short and too focused on mechanics like syntax and libraries and the like.  I think we can do better in regular schools and universities but we need to time to do it. A couple of one semester courses in high school and a year long AP course are not enough for sure. At the university level we need even more change though.  That’s what I am thinking about today. Anyone have any suggestions?

Categories: Planet

5 Ideas for Improving Student Writing

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 10 February, 2017 - 22:10

Episode #10: Jennifer Serravallo on the 10-Minute Teacher Show

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Jennifer Serravallo (@jserravallo) is a literacy consultant, speaker, and the author of several popular titles including the NY Times Bestselling The Reading Strategies Book, the newly-released Writing Strategies Book, and the two-time award-winning Independent Reading Assessment Series. She was a Senior Staff Developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and taught in Title I schools in NYC.

Happy 5 Idea Friday! Today, best-selling author Jennifer Serravallo shares five strategies for improving writing in your classroom today.

Thank you PowerSchool Learning for sponsoring this episode. To learn more about how I use PowerSchool Learning in my blended learning classroom, see my blog post on 5 Effective Blended Learning Strategies.

In today’s episode, Jennifer and I discuss:

  • The importance of focusing on one goal when teaching writing
  • Pitfalls of a lack of focus when teaching writing
  • The most common mistake teachers make when using writing partners
  • Tips on why you should wait to correct grammar and punctuation
  • A super idea for sticky note outlining that works for fiction and nonfiction writing
  • A common mistake that causes students to not want to write
  • A secret for motivating writers

I hope you enjoy this episode with Jennifer Serravallo! Thanks, Jennifer, for giving away your new book, The Writing Strategies Book, for one lucky iTunes reviewer.

Listen to the Show Now

Learn about Show Sponsor PowerSchool Learning

Want to hear another show about teaching writing? Teacher Jennifer Burgin talks about empowering peer review in the classroom in this episode.

Selected Links from this Episode Full Bio Jennifer Serravallo

Jennifer Serravallo is a literacy consultant, speaker, and the author of several popular titles including the NY Times Bestselling The Reading Strategies Book, the newly-released Writing Strategies Book, and the two-time award-winning Independent Reading Assessment Series. She was a Senior Staff Developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and taught in Title I schools in NYC. Tweet her @jserravallo.

Contests included in this show

Click Here to Leave a Review

  • BOOK GIVE AWAY:The Writing Strategies Book
    • Manner of Selection of Winners: All participants with a valid Twitter or Instagram handle who leave a review on iTunes for the 10-Minute Teacher between February 10, 2017 and midnight on February 12, 2017 will have their handles put into a random drawing to determine the winner.
    • Geographic Area and Eligibility: This is being shipped by the author and the location that is being shipped to should be commensurate with the shipping cost to North America. If it is not, an alternate winner may be awarded.
    • Dates: February 10, 2017 – February 12, 2017 at midnight EST.
    • How Prizes Will be Awarded: All names of people who leave reviews on iTunes will be put into a random drawing by the prize administrator.
    • Determination of date of winner: On February 15 the name will be drawn and the winner will be notified. (This will give time for the iTunes Reviews to show up.)
    • No purchase necessary.
    • Alternate method of free participation. You may also enter with a social media posting on Instagram or Twitter linking to the show using the hashtag #10MT.
    • Winner’s name will be posted on this blog before February 27, 2017.
    • Void where prohibited.
  • MakerBot Replicator Mini+ Giveaway Contest Rules
    • Manner of selection of winners: All classroom teachers with a valid Twitter or Instagram handle who leave a review on iTunes for the 10-Minute Teacher show will have their handles put into a random drawing to determine the winner. Those who leave a review between 2/1/2017 and 2/3/2017 will have two entries for each review. The winner will be required to verify that they are a classroom teacher and that the MakerBot Mini+Replicator will be used in the classroom. Or, if the winner is not a classroom teacher, we must verify with an appropriately designated principal or administrator of the location in a classroom where the device will be placed. Winning another prize during the contest period from the 10 Minute Teacher Show does not exclude the winner from winning this prize. All reviews of the show are eligible for entry.
    • Geographic Area and Eligibility: Due to shipping costs, this contest covers the United States and Canada. Classroom teachers or those in schools who will place the device in a classroom for student use are eligible to apply.
    • Dates: February 1, 2017 – February 14, 2017 at midnight EST.
    • How Prizes Will Be Awarded: All names of people who leave reviews will be put into a random drawing by the prize administrator.
    • Determination of date of winner: February 15, 2017 the name will be drawn and the winner notified and verified to be a classroom teacher or to place the device in a classroom. If the winner does not meet qualifications, another winner will be selected.
    • No purchase necessary.
    • Alternate method of free participation: You may mail your name, mailing address, email, phone number, and school name to ATTN: Lisa Durff 26 Beall Street, Frostburg, Maryland 21532.
    • Winner’s name will be posted on this blog before February 27, 2017.
    • Void where prohibited.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post and podcast episode”. The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to edit and post it. Additionally, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) Please also note that all opinions are my own or belonging to the guest on the show and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of any sponsor or employer.

The post 5 Ideas for Improving Student Writing appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

5 Things That Harm a Student’s Ability to Succeed

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 9 February, 2017 - 22:15

Episode #09: A 10-Minute Teacher Show Interview with Dr. Brad Johnson

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

We ask students to sit and expect them to learn? We want children to act like adults? These are just two of the five things that sometimes we educators are doing today to harm student learning. For Thought Leader Thursday on the 10-Minute Teacher Show, we’re uncovering the mistakes rampant in our education system today.

SMART Learning Suite is today’s sponsor. Register for my free Differentiating Instruction with Technology webinar sponsored by SMART Learning Suite next Thursday, February 9 at 4pm. That’s TODAY!

In today’s show, Dr. Brad Johnson (@DrBradJohnson) talks about five things that harm a student’s ability to succeed. Brad teaches graduate-level leadership courses and other educational courses and is the author of six books.

In this episode, we cover the things we do to harm student learning. Topics include:

  • The disservice of a sedentary lifestyle
  • What happens to kids when we expect them to learn like adults
  • How “more math” for a student who struggles in math may not be the right thing (hint: they might just need more recess to learn more math)
  • The problem with student core strength and help and the impact in the classroom
  • The need to teach teamwork

I hope you enjoy this episode with Brad!

Listen to the Show Now

Try SmartLab for 45 days free and use Games to Teach

Want to hear another Thought Leader Thursday episode? Last week, NASSP 2017 Digital Principal of the Year David Geurin discussed helping us teachers find our blind spots in the classroom.

Selected Links from this Episode

DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT: #09: 5 Things That Harm a Student’s Ability to Succeed

Full Bios Dr. Brad Johnson

Dr. Johnson is a speaker in the fields of education and leadership. He is the author of six books including, From School Administrator to School Leader & Learning on Your Feet: Incorporating Physical Activity into the K-8 Classroom (Routledge) graduate-level leadership courses and other educational courses.

Contests included in this show
  • BOOK GIVE AWAY: From School Administrator to School Leader
    • Manner of Selection of Winners: All participants with a valid Twitter or Instagram handle who leave a review on iTunes for the 10-Minute Teacher between February 9, 2017 and midnight on February 10, 2017 will have their handles put into a random drawing to determine the winner.
    • Geographic Area and Eligibility: This is being shipped by the author and the location that is being shipped to should be commensurate with the shipping cost to North America. If it is not, an alternate winner may be awarded.
    • Dates: February 9, 2017 – February 10, 2017 at midnight EST.
    • How Prizes Will be Awarded: All names of people who leave reviews on iTunes will be put into a random drawing by the prize administrator.
    • Determination of date of winner: February 11, 2017 the name will be drawn and the winner will be notified.
    • No purchase necessary.
    • Alternate method of free participation. You may also enter with a social media posting on Instagram or Twitter linking to the show using the hashtag #10MT.
    • Winner’s name will be posted on this blog before February 27, 2017.
    • Void where prohibited.
  • See the contest rules for the SMART Learning Suite  in last week’s show.
  • MakerBot Replicator Mini+ Giveaway Contest Rules
    • Manner of selection of winners: All classroom teachers with a valid Twitter or Instagram handle who leave a review on iTunes for the 10-Minute Teacher show will have their handles put into a random drawing to determine the winner. Those who leave a review between 2/1/2017 and 2/3/2017 will have two entries for each review. The winner will be required to verify that they are a classroom teacher and that the MakerBot Mini+Replicator will be used in the classroom. Or, if the winner is not a classroom teacher, we must verify with an appropriately designated principal or administrator of the location in a classroom where the device will be placed. Winning another prize during the contest period from the 10 Minute Teacher Show does not exclude the winner from winning this prize. All reviews of the show are eligible for entry.
    • Geographic Area and Eligibility: Due to shipping costs, this contest covers the United States and Canada. Classroom teachers or those in schools who will place the device in a classroom for student use are eligible to apply.
    • Dates: February 1, 2017 – February 14, 2017 at midnight EST.
    • How Prizes Will Be Awarded: All names of people who leave reviews will be put into a random drawing by the prize administrator.
    • Determination of date of winner: February 15, 2017 the name will be drawn and the winner notified and verified to be a classroom teacher or to place the device in a classroom. If the winner does not meet qualifications, another winner will be selected.
    • No purchase necessary.
    • Alternate method of free participation: You may mail your name, mailing address, email, phone number, and school name to ATTN: Lisa Durff 26 Beall Street, Frostburg, Maryland 21532.
    • Winner’s name will be posted on this blog before February 27, 2017.
    • Void where prohibited.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post and podcast episode”. The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to edit and post it. Additionally, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) Please also note that all opinions are my own or belonging to the guest on the show and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of any sponsor or employer.

The post 5 Things That Harm a Student’s Ability to Succeed appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet
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ACCE Partners
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