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Vicki Davis
Be a Better Teacher. Live a Meaningful Life.
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Combatting Emotional Fatigue: A Teacher’s Occupational Hazard #mondaymotivation

24 April, 2017 - 20:55

A conversation with Joan Flaherty on episode 61 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life” Mary Oliver.

Today’s guest, Joan Flaherty, author of Rest and An Approach to Rejuvenating our Teaching and Ourselves, talks about how we can combat emotional fatigue. Teacher, you have one wild and precious life. Our students do too. We need to use it well.

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In today’s show, Joan and I will discuss combatting emotional fatigue and:

  • How we should center ourselves in the classroom
  • Some counterintuitive thoughts on our relationships with students
  • Focusing on learning from everything
  • Advice for teachers who are burning out
  • Encouragement for teachers

I hope you enjoy this episode with Joan!

Want to hear another episode on rejuvenating your teaching? Listen to Angela Maiers talk about Unleashing Genius.

Selected Links from this Episode

View the transcript

Full Bio As Submitted Joan Flaherty

I’m a faculty member in the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management at the University of Guelph, Canada, where I teach communications. My research is in the area of teaching and learning.

The post Combatting Emotional Fatigue: A Teacher’s Occupational Hazard #mondaymotivation appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

9 Fine Ways to Do Better 20% Time

21 April, 2017 - 21:19

A global search in education blog post

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Twenty percent time from Google. Or a genius hour. Or passion projects. Or compassion based engineering. I’ve written about these before. First, I’ll define the terminology. Second, I’ll give you an example from my classroom happening right now. Finally, I’ll take you through nine of the components that help teachers have a successful 20% time in their school.  I hope this gives you an overview of how students can make choices and pursue their passions in school.

Some definitions: 20% Time

Based on the Google 20% time, students take 20% of their time in a class to pursue a personal interest project. This can be done in consecutive days or one day a week.

Genius Hour

Often schools who have arts, STEM or other enrichment choose to take one enrichment period and have a “genius hour” where students explore their talents to make and create.

Passion Projects

A student is allowed to select a project in a course of study that is of personal interest. Some people might call it a personal interest project.

For our beginning of the year passion projects, some students chose to teach others about our robotic filming Swivl tool and app.

Compassion-based engineering

Students design and make things to meet a social need or good. I find myself doing far more compassion-based engineering than other topics. I first heard this term from Angla Maiers, creator of Choose2Matter.

Innovation Week

Some schools will host an innovation week with an altered schedule. The purpose of the week becomes making, inventing, and creating. Often students will have a competition or showcase at the end of the week where people are invited to see or judge their works.

Maker Movement

Many schools are creating maker spaces or “Fab Labs” so students have a space and place to invent. Some libraries are putting these in a Learning Commons. (See Micki Uppena or Chad Lehman as examples.) Communities and nonprofits are emerging to share in the cost of 3d printers, laser cutters and more.

We started the school year with passion projects. Here, students are assembling Google cardboard and picking apps to use with it.

MAD About Mattering: Compassion-Based Engineering in My Classroom

This year my ninth and 10th graders are working with students from other schools in MAD about Mattering 2017.

In this project, students from around the world are collaboratively building apps. Students 13 and older are in MAD-Senior, and 12 and under are in MAD-Junior. I have over 50 students participating on ten apps on MAD-Senior.

What kinds of apps are students building?

To give you some examples of the types of apps they are creating, let me give you three.

These apps aren’t available yet and are just a few of many incredible apps we’re developing here

The Brave App

The Brave app is being designed to help promote bravery. These kids found that not much research is being done into bravery. They think that kids need to learn to be brave to live a good life, but also that there is a difference between bravery and foolishness. Wow. Looking good!

In the Brave group, students are talking about what makes someone brave. We had some interesting conversations on the difference between when you’re brave and when you’re just foolish.

Stop Pollution App

Another app called Stop Pollution is trying to help kids know how to stop pollution and how they can all help. The kids are curating videos that appeal to teenagers and other things.

H.E.L.P.

But perhaps the HELP app which stands for help everyone live peacefully. This app is quite intriguing because the students are putting things in the app to try to help people to get along.

Giving Choices

All of these are examples of where students are given a choice. Now we didn’t call it 20% time or genius time or our passion project. We just call it compassion-based engineering.

Students choose their social issue, their teams, and make apps together.

Can Students Bring Passions to Play?

But the big issue is in our schools, is there ever something during the day were students are allowed to choose. Is there ever a time when they can bring their passions to play?

9 Fine Ways to Do Better 20% Time

As I thought about it, I have found that there are nine ways to unleash student creativity when you’re doing something like 20% time or genius or passion projects.

1 – Give students the freedom to choose

Here, one of my students is working with his custom built Arduino robot. We have to make time to tinker for these sorts of projects to emerge.

You know it’s interesting when kids get out of high school, and we say,

“Okay what you want to do in your life?”

a lot of them don’t know. I believe it’s because they’ve never been asked

“What do you want to do?”

in an open-ended way. They’ve always been told what to do.

Students need an opportunity to be able to choose. But letting them choose is not always easy. Fifth-grade teacher Rayna Freedman has her students blogging and says,

“I think for student, one of the hardest things is for them to be comfortable and confident with choosing their own topic. I do give them a direction packet and, like, a list of 30 things that they could blog about if they were stuck for ideas. And I think one of the things I’ve heard is “starting my blog” which I think is a common thing for kids at this age is “how do I start my piece?” And so that’s a great time for me to be able to give feedback and kind of have this idea exchange with students right online. “

Choosing the topic and the form of expression are both important

But we can’t stop at just giving students a choice of topic; students also need to choose their form of expression sometimes.

These students decided to create a car powered by the kinetic energy of a tape measure contracting. Some students will choose hands on activities while others will embrace technology. But they choose!

Jennifer Cronk, a special ed teacher and mom of a young man with special needs, recently talked with me about his PTO application for outstanding teacher. The PTO had always required an essay, but in this case, they allowed her son to submit his nomination via video.

The story is really moving. It was a transformative experience in this young man’s life when someone finally allowed him to express himself in the medium that best suited him. Jennifer says,

“He made himself redo that video seven times. And in that last video he was the most articulate I have heard him in that entire year. And I was like, “Oh my gosh, this one exercise of adapting this not only met his need but it also had him work on his clarity of thought, his clear articulate speech. If I had scribed that for him he would have never had that moment.”

Give choices. Don’t say “make a PowerPoint” or “do a poster.” We really need to give students freedom of topic and freedom of medium if we want to unleash real creativity. 

2 -Give students time to play and tinker

Exploring virtual reality with Google Cardboard is one thing we’ve done this year. So much fun (and inexpensive.)

Students need time to play and tinker. Sometimes they need to “just mess around.” And when I say this, I’m not talking about unstructured — hanging out — throwing spitballs at the ceiling — “messing around.” Perhaps looking into Micku Uppena’s library can help us understand. In a recent show, Micki says about her library,

“Well, it is not a quiet place and that has mixed reactions, but it is definitely not quiet. There’s books all over that represents all different kinds of kids. We have activities like we have the Legos  and the cardboard and K’NEX . And then we have a creation station that has this treasure box in it. And it’s a place where teachers and parents and kids can just dump their treasures from their classroom and kids create something new with it.

We have kids using technology but that really isn’t the focus. Technology tends to be a tool that they gravitate to after they’ve built with something else. So they use the books and the technology for tools but kids are all over and they collaborating with other kids that they normally might not collaborate with in the classroom. So, it’s pretty exciting to see them choose what they want to focus on each day.”

Tinkering is exciting. Once you learn how to engage students with making and tinkering it is a better adrenaline rush than catching that big bass who has been playing with your hook all day. (And coming from me, that’s saying a lot.) 

That brings us to our third example.

3 –  Provide a variety of tools to spur creativity

Keva plank challenges are a popular happening n Chad Lehman’s library maker space.

And this is where we get into having that variety of tools which does spur creativity. A while back, librarian Chad Lehman talked about how to equip a maker space. He told me,

“Well, it’s been pretty fun, we’ve just kind of got things rolling about a month and a half ago, we have four Makey Makey kits  for the kids, we have four of the Ollie robots, we have a number of different LittleBits kits and Arduino coding kits. Kids have been making a lot of music with those and kind of using the electronic modules for that. Three of the Bloxels videogame making kit. We’ve got five of the little Ozobot robots that kids are programming.”

Have a variety. Things you can program. Things you can touch. Things you can press. Build. Make. Things you can Extrude. Recycle. These are all parts of having a variety of tools. And when you see it happening, it’s pretty incredible.

4 – Keep an eye out for student strengths

Micki Uppena says the green screen is one of the most important things for a modern library to have.

But sometimes when the students are playing with those tools they need a teacher who can spot your strengths. I like to tell my students at the beginning of the school year that I am mining for diamonds. And sometimes I’ll show them this big ugly rock before I say it and asked them what it is. Only one student had ever guessed that it is a diamond because it looks like a big old ugly rock.

And that’s how our students look. Sometimes when we first spot them they aren’t a beautiful diamond; they are kind of rough. So I’m always on the lookout. It is my personal goal for every school year: to find at least one thing every student does better than every other student.

Notice strengths. And this is an important part of a genius hour or passion projects. Find teachers who notice what their students are good at doing and not just their student’s mistakes.

5 – Give some guidance

Choices extend to classroom decorations where I gave students an option to pain the ceiling tiles. I love this one. Every time I look up, I remember that I’m letting students live this motto.

Sylvia Martinez, co-author of Invent to Learnsaid it well on a recent show,

“I think that you want to combine thing that are skill-builders with more openended projects. You don’t want everything to be open ended. I think the idea that kids are just going to magically discover things by themselves is mistaken but the other side of the coin isn’t to tell them exactly what to do all the time.”

Where I made horrible mistakes with genius hour is when I just gave them all materials and said just play. And that’s what happened. Some kids just don’t do anything at all.

Play with guidance. You do have to give some advice. You do have to have some expectations — whether it’s having students reflect or share a picture or demonstrate what they’ve done. If you don’t, you may feel like the first time I did genius hour — like you wasted your time. Of course, those few students will excite you. But your goal is to have 100% participation with all of your students and not just a few who are self-starters and motivated. 

6. Let them struggle

Chad Lehman’s maker space includes challenges and lots of options for students. Chad presents those choices to students, so they aren’t overwhelmed.

Sometimes the secret of great teaching is not jumping into soon. Sometimes kids need to struggle just a little bit so they can learn to solve problems.

I think that why so many students in this generation do struggle with getting the answers is that us adults always give them the answers without letting them have that struggle. Sylvia Martinez says,

“And it’s hard to not answer questions, it’s hard to not give kids information while we know the most efficient way to do things. But classrooms aren’t there for teachers to show off how efficient they are, they are for kids to learn. And maybe it’s a little inefficient and it might be a little painful to watch when you know there’s a better way but not helping. You know, not being mean. I’m not saying be mean to kids or hide information, but letting them be a little frustrated, letting them try something and say, “How did that go for you? What are you going to try next?” And letting them come up with the answer instead of constantly telling them what to do next.”

I saw this again when talking to Adam Bellow, BreakoutEdu co-founder. Kids struggle with a challenge to “open a box” using clues, content knowledge, and cooperation. When I asked Adam about the biggest mistake teachers make, he says,

And this is the hardest thing for teachers. It’s facilitation. I mean, we always talk the old “Oh, you want to be the guide on the side rather than the sage on the stage.” In this, you are challenged to literally do that. In many cases, it means sit on the sides and watch your kids learn. You are not to get involved, you are not to tell them what the answer is even if they’re begging you unless, of course, they give you a hint card.

It is hard to not give answers to students on their first request. I know when I was growing up and playing with the computer, we didn’t have the Internet. All we had was a book. It didn’t have much about as the computers had just been invented. So, I had to struggle a lot, and I learned a lot. But a lot of students want the answer NOW.

Perhaps the hardest criticism I (or any teacher) might endure is when a parent says,

“my child says you won’t help me.”

I do help, but there’s a difference between helping a child learn and becoming their external brain. Kids can’t put me in their backpack and take me to college. (Thank goodness!) They’ll only have the software we’ve taught them to use – THEIR BRAIN.

7 – Be open-minded to unintended products and adapt

My former student, Andrew Stargel, (one of the students on the original Flat Classroom project), comes back to share his filmmaking skills with my students as they make their Christian movie, Unspeakable. We won’t finish it this school year, but we’ve still learned so much.

Sometimes when you’re making and creating, your product goes a totally different direction. For example, in the film project that I’ve been doing, we just don’t have enough time to finish it. So, instead of giving up, I’m having students create scenes. We’ll release just one or two scenes on YouTube in hopes of maybe garnering some attention for that.

Adapt. When you do passion projects sometimes things go in a different direction, and you just can’t finish it the way you envisioned it, and you have to adapt and still be happy and realize that you did learn a lot. 

8 – Publish for a wider audience

We know that an audience improves student performance, so we want to have an audience. Plus an audience is just fun! When the MAD about Mattering project finishes in the students are done, they’re going to compete in an online presentation “shark tank.” (Stay tuned.) This presentation will be part of sharing their work with the world, and it’s a lot of fun.

Teacher Rayna Freedman’s fifth graders publish a blog post a week for a larger audience.

Plus, you don’t want to do wastebasket work because that just doesn’t make a difference.

Publish. Students can safely publish for the real world. It is being done hundreds of thousands of times a day. Most fears are unfounded. There’s a way to publish safely. 

9 – Celebrate and Innovate

So much making and building is going on in Chad Lehman’s library, that they are converting an adjacent computer lab into the maker space. All this activity has created some challenges, but Chad sees these as great challenges. The library is popular again!

As a teacher, we have always to be learning. Our students do too. No project ever goes as I expect. Some have great things happen, and some have disappointments. But, we celebrate our learning no matter what we do. We innovate and make those projects better the next time we do them.

Celebrate learning. Level up. A project doesn’t have to be perfect or even be finished to be a successful learning experience. 

Where can we tinker and create?

But I think in the end, every school should ask themselves is there one class where students can create and can invent? I truly think this makes a more creative student.

And, we found in the United States that are creativity scores are declining for the first time in measured history.

We have to do something to help our students get more creative.

Maybe we just need to give them time with a little teaching savvy on the side.

Other Articles I’ve written on 20% Time, Genius Hour, and the Maker Movement

The post 9 Fine Ways to Do Better 20% Time appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

5 Easy Brain Breaks for Your Classroom

21 April, 2017 - 20:12

A conversation with Rob Donatelli on episode 60 of the 10-minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Want to help students learn and be more refreshed? Students need breaks too. That is why brain breaks are becoming so popular. Teacher Rob Donatelli @DTown_MrD talks about the brain breaks phenomenon. Then, Rob gives teachers five ideas he uses in his classroom for brain breaks. Take a brain break today!

This episode is sponsored by Bloomz, my favorite tool for parent communication. They are sponsoring April’s free webinar, 5 Habits to Start Now to Thrive in the Fall. You don’t have to give up your summer to prepare. Learn what I do now to make the fall even more wonderful!

Register now for the free webinar

Listen Now

Listen on iTunes

Click the button for iTunes or Stitcher to subscribe to this show

 

 

 

In today’s show, we’ll discuss:

  • Backwards classroom race
  • 60-second pitches
  • Face off
  • Smartphone ping pong
  • Penny catch

Plus, Rob gives a 40-second pitch to teachers about the reasons they need brain breaks in their classroom.

Have some fun! Take a break! You might need these especially as kids are taking high-intensity tests to help kids refresh and gear back up.

(I am not crazy about the tests but I am crazy about kids. When I feel things getting too intense, I take brain breaks with my students.) 

I hope you enjoy this episode with Rob!

Want to hear another episode on something fun to try with your students? Listen to Dr. Tim Green talk about using Aurasma in the classroom.

Selected Links from this Episode

Transcript coming soon.

Full Bio As Submitted Rob Donatelli

Rob Donatelli is a business & computer science teacher at Dallastown Area High School. He is also the founder of the Donatelli EdZone.

His passions include school leadership, education technology, presenting, entrepreneurship, and coaching. Follow him on YouTube at the Donatelli EdZone or on Twitter @DTown_MrD.

The post 5 Easy Brain Breaks for Your Classroom appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Tips for Successful Digital Parenting

20 April, 2017 - 21:17

A conversation with Weston Kieschnick on the 10-minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

How much time on devices is too much time? Should kids put up their smartphones and talk to each other and parents sometimes? Are we using technology too much as parents?

Today, for Thought Leader Thursday, Weston KieschnickWeston Kieschnick @wes_kieschnick and I have a conversation about digital parenting. There aren’t easy answers but one thing is sure, we won’t find answers without having the hard conversations.

This episode, blog, and webinar are sponsored by Bloomz, my favorite tool for parent communication. They are sponsoring April’s free webinar, 5 Habits to Start Now to Thrive in the Fall. You don’t have to give up your summer to prepare. Learn what I do now to make the fall even more wonderful!

Register now for the free webinar

Listen Now

Listen on iTunes

Subscribe or rate the show by clicking the button for iTunes or Stitcher

In today’s show, we’ll discuss:

  • Digital overuse and digital deserts and the need for balance
  • The dangers of letting kids have devices during time for sleep
  • The challenges faced by parents in today’s digital age
  • Questions for parents to consider about moderation
  • Experiences and observations about digital overuse and misuse

I hope you enjoy this episode with Weston!

Selected Links from this Episode

Read the transcript for this episode

Full Bio Weston Kieschnick

Weston Kieschnick is a Senior Fellow at the International Center for Leadership in Education. His thought leadership around blended pedagogy has been published in Education Week, Ed-Tech Magazine, and The Learning Transformation: A Guide to Blended Learning for Administrators.

He also created and hosts Teaching Keating, an acclaimed podcast where pop-culture and pedagogy collide.

Mr. Kieschnick has worked with teachers and school leaders from every state in the US and more than 30 countries around the world. Districts where Weston provides keynotes, teacher development, and coaching have been recognized among the top ten in the country for their work in educational technology. During his tenure in education, Weston has served as an award-winning Teacher, Assistant Principal, and District Level Administrator. Weston resides in Colorado with his wife Molly and his children, Everett and Charlotte.

The post Tips for Successful Digital Parenting appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

How the African STEP Dance Ignited Kids at Ron Clark Academy

19 April, 2017 - 21:03

A conversation with Junior Bernadin on episode 58 of the 10-Minute Teacher

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

African Step, based on the African Gum Boot Dance, has an American version with a competition. Junior Bernadin @jbernadin one of the STEP coaches at 3-time national champion winning Ron Clark Academy. Learn about this marvelous type of song/ dance and its role in African American culture. Also, hear about Junior’s commitment to excellence and what students learn from competing in this dance competition.

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Subscribe by clicking on the iTunes or Stitcher links below.

 

 

In today’s show, we’ll discuss Junior’s work with the RCA step team:

  • The origins of step
  • How step came to Ron Clark Academy
  • What students learn from step competition
  • His students’ story from beginning step to winning the national championship
  • The journey Junior has taken with the students

I hope you enjoy this episode with Junior!

Selected Links from this Episode

See the transcript of this episode

Full Bio Junior Bernadin

Junior Bernadin is a Dean of Students and IT Director at the highly-acclaimed Ron Clark Academy (RCA). In addition to his daily roles at RCA, he currently serves as one of the coaches of the current 3-time National Step League Middle School Champions, the Essentials Step Team.

In addition to his daily roles at RCA, he currently serves as one of the coaches of the current 3-time National Step League Middle School Champions, the Essentials Step Team.

 

Photographs of Students on the STEP Team provided by Junior

Step team members are required to do community service as part of their work.

Step Practice at Ron Clark Academy

Step competitions are colorful and beautiful. (see the video above)

Community service as part of participating in step.

Three-time national champions – Ron Clark Academy step team

The post How the African STEP Dance Ignited Kids at Ron Clark Academy appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Richard Byrne’s Most Exciting Edtech Tools

18 April, 2017 - 20:31

A conversation with Richard Byrne on Episode #57 of the 10-minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Today Richard Byrne @rmbyrne discusses the edtech tools he’s most excited about today. From video tools, creation tools, to app creation, you’ll hear lots of ideas. Plus, he’ll tell you about his newest project.


This episode, blog, and webinar are sponsored by Bloomz, my favorite tool for parent communication. They are sponsoring April’s free webinar, 5 Habits to Start Now to Thrive in the Fall. You don’t have to give up your summer to prepare. Learn what I do now to make the fall even more wonderful!

Register now for the free webinar

Listen Now

Listen on iTunes

Subscribe to the show by clicking the network of your choice

In today’s show, we’ll discuss:

  • Live video streaming tools and why he’s moving to YouTube Live
  • Blogging and creation tools
  • Why app creation will soon be in the reach of every student
  • Dealing with naysayers and blocking
  • Why he’s not as excited about quizzing tools and heading towards creation tools

I hope you enjoy this episode with Richard!

Selected Links from this Episode

Free Webinar: 5 Habits You can Start Now to Help Your classroom Thrive in the Fall by Vicki Davis

See the transcript of this show with Richard Byrne

Full Bio Richard Byrne

Richard Byrne is a former high school social studies teacher best known for developing the award-winning blog Free Technology for Teachers. He has been invited to speak at events on six continents and would gladly speak in Antarctica too. Richard’s work is focused on sharing free resources that educators can use to enhance their students’ learning experiences.

Richard is a five time winner of the Edublogs Award for Best Resource Sharing Blog. Richard became a Google Certified Teacher in 2009. 2012 saw Richard receive a Merlot Classics award from chancellor’s office of California State University. In 2010 he was a finalist for ACTEM’s (Association of Computer Teachers and Educators in Maine) educator of the year award. Tech & Learning Magazine named Richard one of their “people to watch” in their 30th Anniversary celebration (http://techlearning.com/article/26660).

On a daily basis, Richard’s blog Free Technology for Teachers reaches more than 100,000 educators. In addition to writing Free Technology for Teachers, Richard also maintains iPadApps4School.com and PracticalEdTech.com. Richard’s print work includes a monthly column for School Library Journal, contributing author to What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media, and contributions to Teacher Librarian. Richard lives in Maine with his daughter Isla and loyal dogs Max and Mason.

The post Richard Byrne’s Most Exciting Edtech Tools appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Motivating Special Needs Breakthroughs #mondaymotivation

17 April, 2017 - 20:51

A special needs conversation with Jennifer Cronk on episode 56 of the 10-Minute Teacher

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Empowering special needs students with technologies is one of the greatest ways to motivate and ignite their learning. Jennifer Cronk @jenniferacronk shares two tearful but joyful stories of people with special needs unleashed (including her own.) Let’s start this Monday motivation remembering the joyful opportunity we have to help every child with technology!

This episode, blog, and webinar are sponsored by Bloomz, my favorite tool for parent communication. They are sponsoring April’s free webinar, 5 Habits to Start Now to Thrive in the Fall. You don’t have to give up your summer to prepare. Learn what I do now to make the fall even more wonderful!

Register now for the free webinar

Listen Now

Listen on iTunes

Subscribe to the show by clicking your favorite podcast network

 

In today’s show, we’ll discuss:

  • How to empower special needs students to champion themselves
  • Examples of alternative assessment and contribution for those with special needs
  • How Jennifer motivates students and teachers to unleash learning
  • A breakthrough story of Jennifer’s own son who wanted to honor his teacher
  • The moving thing that happened last week to Jennifer with a special needs teacher

I hope you enjoy this episode with Jennifer!

Selected Links from this Episode

See the transcript

Full Bio Jennifer Cronk

Jennifer Cronk is an Assistant Manager of Emerging Technologies for the Southern Westchester BOCES in New York. She currently oversees and strategically plans the Google Apps transformations of several school districts in Westchester county. Jennifer began her career in 1996 as a computer teacher and passionately pursued the ed tech field for twenty years. Jennifer presents nationally at instructional technology conferences, and workshops on integrating Google Apps and other emerging technologies into learning. She is a Google Certified Innovator and Google Education Trainer. In addition, Jennifer is also certified: administrator, english teacher, elementary teacher and educational technology specialist. Jennifer also blogs about “digital parenting”, professional development and educational technology at www.transparentlyteaching.com and is a co-host of the blab.im show “Positively Special Ed”.

 

The post Motivating Special Needs Breakthroughs #mondaymotivation appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

5 Habits to Start Now to Help Your Classroom Thrive in the Fall

17 April, 2017 - 20:46

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Want to prepare to have an amazing fall now? Would you rather have a summer to just spend some time healing up and getting yourself back together? Here are some tips for what I am doing NOW to make sure fall is awesome (but summer is too!) Join the free webinarThursday, April 27 6 - […]

The post 5 Habits to Start Now to Help Your Classroom Thrive in the Fall appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

5 Things Every Digital Citizen Should Know #digcit

14 April, 2017 - 20:31

A conversation with Alice Chen on Episode 55 of the 10-Minute Teacher Show

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Today Alice Chen @wondertechedu teaches us about digital citizenship. She discusses five things every digital citizen should know. For each digital citizenship item, she gives classroom examples. Several important topics arise including how to talk to your students about their positive online presence and online professionalism.

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Subscribe to the show by clicking your favorite network button below

In today’s show, Alice and I talk about 5 things every digital citizen should know including:

  • Three basic internet safety issues
  • The need for students to have a positive online identity
  • Helping students interact online using the language of success – academic language. (Editor’s Note: In my opinion, the way Alice teaches IM speech versus academic speech is powerful.)
  • Authentic audience and blogging

I hope you enjoy this episode with Alice!

 Want to hear another episode about digital citizenship? Listen to 5 Ideas to Connect Your Classroom with TW Williamson who teaches in Taiwan.

Selected Links from this Episode

See the transcript of this episode with Alice Chen

Full Bio Alice Chen

Alice Chen is a teacher and technology coach in Southern California. In addition to these roles, she is a Google for Education Certified Innovator, 2014 Lead PBS Digital Innovator, and PBS SoCaL American Graduate Champion.

During the course of her career, she was a two-time recipient of the UCSD Outstanding High School Teacher award, a 2012 Microsoft Partners in Learning U.S. Finalist, and the 2012 Teacher of the Year at her school. She is also a consultant and presenter who regularly speaks at regional and national conferences.

The post 5 Things Every Digital Citizen Should Know #digcit appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

8 Tips for Better Classroom Procedures (in a STEAM Lab)

13 April, 2017 - 21:14

Episode 54 of the 10-Minute Teacher with Vicki Davis

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Today I  am sharing some of the classroom procedures that make my computer lab hum. I’ve got some wordless ways for knowing who needs help and  how I reboot my classroom as just a few tips. I hope these help some of you who may be struggling with flow. And guess when the best time to try new procedures is? RIGHT AFTER you have the standardized tests, for sure. At the bottom of this post, get my classroom management template pack by signing up for my newsletter.

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In today’s show, we’ll discuss:

  • Simple wordless ways for knowing when students need help
  • Essentials for starting class effectively
  • How to reboot a classroom that isn’t following procedures
  • Some favorite books on classroom management
  • A simple tool to help reinforce procedures

I hope you enjoy this episode with me!!

Selected Links from this Episode

Click to see the transcript

Full Bio

You can see my full bio here.

You see so many pictures of me in professional attire, here’s an awesome fish I caught over spring break. I love getting outdoors on the water. Something about it rejuvenates my soul. So, this is me, Vicki Davis.

The post 8 Tips for Better Classroom Procedures (in a STEAM Lab) appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Social Emotional Learning for Special Needs with Puppets #spedchat

12 April, 2017 - 20:30

A conversation with Karen McCallum in episode 53 of the 10-minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Today Karen McCallum is a special ed elementary teacher in Alberta, Canada. She has specialized in special education and behavior support programming. Today she tells a heartwarming but powerful story about how two puppets are helping transform the social emotional learning of elementary special needs kids.

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In today’s show, we’ll discuss:

  • How she decided to use puppets to reach a nonverbal student
  • Modeling appropriate and inappropriate behaviors
  • How 15 minutes a day with the puppets can transform behavior
  • Calming special needs kids using puppets
  • Some funny and powerful stories of using Matts and Penny to help kids learn appropriate behaviors

I hope you enjoy this episode with Karen!

Want to listen to another show about social-emotional learning? Listen to teacher Michelle Cotrelle-Williams talk about how vulnerability can make your classroom a safer place.

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Full Bio Karen McCallum

I am a elementary vice principal and kindergarten teacher in Okotoks, Alberta. I am in my 33rd year of teaching. My entire career has been in the primary area. I have my Master’s degree in Special Education and have spent half of my career working in special education and behavior support programming.

The post Social Emotional Learning for Special Needs with Puppets #spedchat appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Aurasma and Augmented Reality in the Classroom

11 April, 2017 - 20:52

A conversation with Dr. Tim Green on episode 52 of the 10-Minute Teacher

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Today Tim Green @theedtechdoctor , Instructional Design Expert, talks today about augmented reality. Specifically he shares his favorite Augmented Reality (AR) instructional tool, Aurasma. Tim also shares a vision for the future of where augmented reality is probably taking us in education.

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Listen on iTunes

Subscribe to the show

In today’s show, we’ll discuss:

  • How teachers and students are using Aurasma
  • The future of augmented reality in education
  • How we can apply technology like IBM Watson and Microsoft Facial recognition in education
  • Simple principles for where we should be going in education with AR
  • A basic understanding of augmented reality and what it can do

I hope you enjoy this episode with Tim!

Want to hear another episode on Augmented Reality? Listen to Stephen Anderson talk about Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

 

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See the transcript

Full Bio Dr. Tim Green’s Submitted Bio

I am a former K12 teacher who has been a professor of educational technology and teacher educator at California State University, Fullerton since 1999. Five of these years I served as the Director of Distance Education at CSUF.

I currently run an online MS program in Educational Technology. I am the author of numerous articles and books, as well as a presenter, on the integration of educational technology, instructional design, and online distance education.

Some of the more recent books include the award-winning The Essentials of Instructional Design: Connecting Fundamental Principles with Process and Practice (Brown & Green, Routledge), The Educator’s Guide to Producing New Media and Open Educational Resources (Routledge), and Securing the Connected Classroom (ISTE Press). I co-produce (with Dr. Abbie Brown) the award-winning podcast Trends and Issues in Instructional Design, Educational Technology, and Learning Sciences.

I am passionate about working with schools and districts on visioning and implementing technology initiatives. I regularly consult with and provide professional develop to schools and districts. I received my Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University.

The post Aurasma and Augmented Reality in the Classroom appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet
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