Cool Cat Teacher
NOTE: This wiki is the archive for the 2009 Horizon Project: K12 Edition project. Please refer to the current Project Wiki for the latest information.
| Selected RSS Feeds
K-12 Tech News
General Tech News
- Discover Great Common Core PD (Thu, 23 May 2013 06:49:05 -0700)
guest post by Johnna Weller, Ed D. guest post by Johnna Weller, Ed D. Note from Vicki: Johnna from Discovery Education,wrote the recent post 15 Wrong Ways to implement Common Core.Discovery is offering Common Core Academies this summer.I've done work with Discovery and am a Den Star Educator andLove their work, so I asked her to share about their Academiesthis summer and what to expect. Having been part ofone of their STEM institutes, I know first hand what an excellent job they do. I can personally attest to thefact that their training is exciting, engaging, and hands on. As alwaysplease review the disclosures at the bottom of this post. Two weeks ago, I wrote about 15 Wrong Ways to Implement the Common Core. Since then, I?ve been asked to list the ?right? ways. Is there a Common Core "checklist?" Wouldn?t it be awesome to have a list of things that, if completed, would ensure that your classroom/school/district was ?Common Core-ized?? But, it?s not that simple. As much we educators love checklists (I make them almost daily!), I don?t believe that there is checklist for implementing the Common Core. We must be critical thinkers as we plan Common Core Implementation Just as the Common Core requires deep and critical thinking of students, so it is the same for the adults. As we design, plan, learn, and reflect on instructional practices that will move our lessons toward Common Core, we must be deep and critical thinkers -- not simply list-checkers. Instruction that builds deep and critical thinking is vital for our students everywhere, even in places that have not adopted the Common Core. No matter where we are -- it?s all about powerful instruction that develops powerful thinkers. "Instruction that builds deep and critical thinking is vital for our students everywhere, even in places that have not adopted the Common Core." The Cognitive Workout of Common Core Implementation The complexity and rigor of designing complexity and rigor should not be minimized. It?s a cognitive workout (?brain sweat,? as some people say). Educators must design instruction that intertwines the needs of their students with the standards, curriculum, and assessment. They must continually monitor students? learning to adjust their instruction. It?s definitely complex. Joyfully complex? but complex all the same! So, it?s all about instruction -- the designing, planning, reflecting, monitoring, adjusting, and thinking that teachers do to nurture their leaners. It?s not a list ? it?s an ongoing process. Discovery Common Core Academies But, since we do love lists (and I haven?t made one yet today), I will share 3 ways how Discovery Education?s Professional Development can support teachers in their complex work. This summer in various locations across the U.S., Discovery is offering Common Core Academies 1. Are research-based: Professional development that integrates proven curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices from expert practitioners. 2. Are personalized: Each academy addresses educator-identified needs related to the transition to more rigorous standards. 3. Are practical: Educators leave with practical strategies for immediate classroom application. Whether you are just starting on the path down CCSS implementation and need an introduction to the CCSS standards or you are ready to dig deeper into the specifics of the standards, we?ll meet you where you are and help you take the next steps toward successful implementation of the CCSS in your classroom, school, or district. There are four Common Core Academies to pick from:
- Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/23/2013 (Thu, 23 May 2013 02:30:45 -0700)
Moving at the Speed of Creativity | Redeeming the Family: Blessing Children of Incarcerated Parents Wesley Fryer is not only a great educator but a great man. Here he shares how he and other men went into the Cushing Oklahooma correction facility and helped dads record messages to their children for Father's day. What a great thing to do. Part of my own faith is the forgiveness that we can receive and as people we must forgive and encourage those who have made mistakes. If you don't make a mistake ignore this post, if you do, then consider bringing something like this to your area. Great work, Wes. I hope our PLN's share this message far and wide. "This is a 14 minute video reflection by Wesley Fryer, who volunteered with Redeeming the Family on May 15, 2013, at the Cimarron Correctional Facility (prison) in Cushing, Oklahoma. Oklahoma currently has 17 prisons, and Cimarron is one of three which is privately operated. Corrections Corporation of America has owned and operated this prison commercially since 1997. Last week Redeeming the Family volunteers assisted 50 incarcerated dads to record video messages of love for their children, which will be mailed to their children before Father?s Day on Sunday, June 16th." tags: education news prison families edu_news Teaching Students to Dig Deeper | Edutopia You can help them think deeper but it takes time and sharpening the saw. Great article. "A common occurrence in classrooms is that the teacher, when he or she sees the students struggle mightily to "think out of the box" will precipitously step in and give the students the answers, or throw the deeper learning activity out all together, thinking that the students aren't ready for it. What these students and the teachers need is to be patient, practice and build those mental muscles over time. One thing that helps teachers and students is a better understanding the nature of the advanced thinking tools." tags: education news common core all_teachers bestpractices Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
- End of Year Focus Groups: Kids Ask me to Share how to get more followers so here it is! (Wed, 22 May 2013 07:08:51 -0700)
Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad Four Questions for End of Year Focus Groups with Students Yesterday was focus groups in my class. I have the students answer four questions: What was your favorite thing we did this year? What was your least favorite thing we did? What was the most important thing you learned? What was something you wish we'd spent more time doing? Voting for the Lesson for the Last Day of Class Out of that conversation, I had all four classes echo that they wanted to know "how to get more followers on social media like you've done, 'Miss' Vicki." I let them vote on what I'd share the last day of school and that was it... a lesson they asked for but will not be graded. And while there is time for questions built in, it is largely a lecture - something I don't do much but sometimes should. How to get More Followers (a 20 minute presentation) So, I spent yesterday drafting up my notes w/ a mindmap and then during my morning work time at 5 am, I used Haiku deck on my ipad to zap up a cute, short presentation that will neatly fit in the 20 minute time slot I have with my students today. Plus, I hope I share clearly - followers aren't something you "get" they are something you earn from being helpful and it is very hard work. Not everyone wants to hear that. So, I've embedded that presentation to share with you and hope it gives you some advice and tips for Twitter or any social media. (If you want to read more, read my Easy Guide for Gaining Followers and Being Followed on Twitter.) This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
- Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/22/2013 (Wed, 22 May 2013 02:30:42 -0700)
Why the mantis shrimp is my new favorite animal - The Oatmeal This great cartoon can be used to talk about eyes and color but is also funny. You might want to share this with students if your class talks about these topics. Wow, the Mantis Shrimp has the ability to see this many colors? tags: cartoon news education science color eyes biology 15 Incredible Cat Photobombs (PHOTOS) If you need a laugh for the end of the year, the 15 incredible cat photobombs are great for a laugh. tags: education news humor Anchornote - iPhone - English - Evernote Trunk Another award winner - this is a cool app to plan your trips. You'll be reminded when you get near something what you want to do there. Very cool. (You can also import foursquare lists.) tags: education news productivity travel SignEasy - iPad - English - Evernote Trunk Sign easy just won an award for being the simplest way to sign docs on the iphone and ipad. It links with most cloud services like Dropbox, Box and Evernote. tags: education news productivity edu_newapp HelloFax - Web - English - Evernote Trunk You can send and receive faxes into an Evernote notebook using HelloFax. Very interesting productivity tool. tags: education news productivity Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
- 5 Important Ingredients of Good Preservice Teacher Education (Mon, 20 May 2013 03:36:49 -0700)
Eva Brown @ebrownoramais a highered teacherpreneurwho helps her classroom matterby connecting teachersto others throughout theworld. (Listen to the interview.) Eva Brown @ebrownorama is a teacher educator from Canada. We recently sat down to record another episode of Every Classroom Matters and she gave me 5 very clear ingredients for excellent preservice teacher education. For those of you not familiar with the term "preservice" (it is called different things in different countries) - this means, Eva teachers people how to be teachers before they enter the classroom. 1. Create Flat Learning Experiences (also called Tandem Learning) +Eva Brown worked with +Barbara Morganfield @blmteach to create a powerful learning experience for their students. They each had an expertise and a topic they were teaching. (Eva - ICT and Barbara - Discipline issues) Eva's students presented tools that would fit what Barbara's students were needing to use in their situations. Barbara's students provided feedback to Eva's students on what worked and didn't. Teachers should graduate from college programs with ready-made connections between teachers in other parts of the world. This makes them more valuable to their schools and their students. 2. Connect with K-12 Classrooms There is no excuse. With the proliferation of online K-12 projects, preservice teachers can interact with students before they start their student teaching. This is ideal because they can learn about online learning platforms at all levels. I love how she and some of my other highered friends +Leigh Zeitz and +Eric Brunsell do this as well. 3. Encourage Teachers to Master the Tools they always have Eva gives some of the most compelling reasons for mastering the tablet device I've heard. As she moves around working with teachers, she says that she needs to be "ready to teach" all the time. She says if you can use the tablet and tools like Prezi and Haiku Deck then you can reduce the time to prepare and "get to the learning." Very compelling conversation about why she uses them as well. 4. Fit the Tools to the Task If I handed you a hammer and asked you to cut down a tree, you'd laugh at me. Eva works hard to fit the tools to the task. It is fascinating to me that when Eva covers keyboarding, they use virtual worlds like Second Life and World of Warcraft. She continually points out different tools that fit a specific purpose. Like a mechanic working on high end automobiles, we've got an increasing toolset and need to start selecting wisely from that set. Paper and pencil are the hammer we used to use for everything, not any more. 5. Always moving forward She ends the show with such wise advice. I hope you'll listen to see what she says, but it comes down to this. Move forward. In the south we say "when you're green you're growing, when you're ripe, you rot." It applies to crops and it applies to people. Focus on your students as you prepare to end the school year. Today I'll run focus groups with my students as they give me feedback about what they learned, where they struggled, and what needs to be improved for next year. Over the summer, I tweak what we're doing. It is about my students and maximizing the all-to-short time we have together. Eva is an example of a teacherpreneur at the college level who is pushing her students to be globally connected and social media savvy. I hope you'll dig into what she has to say because her classroom matters and yours does too. It is my dream that by featuring classrooms at all levels from around the world that it will foster conversations that need to happen about excellence in the classroom. I don't care where you teach, you are important. We can learn from each other as we work to be our best for our students. LISTEN TO Eva Brown talk about how she teaches teachers with technology Click here to listen:Tactics and Tools: Teaching Teachers with Technology with Eva Brown Eva Brown is a teacher educator at Red River College in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She is a Flat Classroom Certified Teacher and a Microsoft Innovative Teacher. Eva's website: https://sites.google.com/site/ebrownorama/ Do you want to nominate someone to be on the show? Fill out the nomination form. If you already nominated someone, once school gets out, I'll be looking through the nominations and reviewing their work. I do want to reach out to unsung heroes who might not be blogging or tweeting a lot but are doing great work. Thanks for taking time to nominate the rock star teachers among us, particularly those who are articulate and interesting.Want to know more about Every Classroom matters and how to subscribe?Read "The Every Classroom Matters Show and a tutorial on how to subscribe using iCatcher" This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
- Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/19/2013 (Sun, 19 May 2013 02:33:10 -0700)
Bikes & Bullets - YouTube This YouTube channel is an example of how parents MUST sign off on genius project. The final video "go Pro hero" is the only "officially submiited" video for this student's genius project. But he runs a youtube channel that has a bit of a cult following. I don't approve of the stunts, etc. but the child's mother does. He also did all the work at home except for the final. This is one of those challenging ones and is something to be aware that you can deal with when you have genius projects. I have parent sign off on anything students do. tags: education news passion_project Wix.com AwesomeMadi created by Tucker2015 based on my-gallery | Wix.com This efolio is by far one of the best. I love on the homepage. She says "Hello my name is madison and I'm an artist." yes, you are, my dear. tags: education news passion_project geniushour Edits I enjoy what this student did with learning to edit in Photoshop. tags: education news photoshop passion_project EbookBelle - Home Here's the website where Merritt compiled all her book reviews on Kindle Nation Daily. tags: education news ebooks passion_project edu_news Psst Parents And YA Authors, This Post is For You - An Interview With a 10th Grade YA eBook Reader - Recommendations, Current Trends And Advice From a Member of The YA Audience | Kindle Kids' Corner Another one of my students has been writing and sharing on the Kindle Kids Corner. Here's an interview she did about trends in Young Adult fiction and I agree with so much of what she's written. This is another example of how authentic projects can transform a student. This happened to come out of one of my favorite kindle book sites - Kindle Nation Daily and an email conversation I had with the author Steven Windwalker (penname.)
- Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/17/2013 (Fri, 17 May 2013 02:30:45 -0700)
How To Handle A Student Who Habitually Calls Out ? Smart Classroom Management This is a tough one and I've had two or three this year who will call out - in a disruptive way. Sometimes it is when I'm speaking. I have one great class that causes me to struggle because of several who have a bit of a problem with knowing the appropriate time to engage (not in the middle of a question or when someone else is talking.) I encourage kids to have a pencil and paper or a tablet in
- 8 Reasons we all think we're poor and broke and what to do about it (Wed, 15 May 2013 03:32:21 -0700)
Why do we pride ourselves ontaking the martyr's approachthat we're not makingmoney when US teachersare in the top 5%wealthiest people in the WORLD?It is time to start livinglike it and stop "feeling"broke. Do you want tohear more in this series?Let me know in the comments.Teacher (Photo credits: www.myparkingsign.com) You can be wealthy but to do that you must be exceptional. Exceptional people spend less than they make. Exceptional people don't take the (usually dumb) advice of marketers but make their own decisions. Exceptional people aren't sold to, they buy what they want. But I'm not rich? Oh really. Let's look at some stats from the global rich list: If you are at the US poverty line for a 3 person household of $19,350 you are in the top 11.26% richest people in the world The average janitor (median income) of 24,936 puts him or her in the top 10.09% of the world If you make the average annual salary of a US private school teacher of $36,300 - the top 4.24% in the world If you make the average annual salary of a US public school teacher of $49,600 - the top .98% richest in the world Principals, if you make the average salary of 67,000 then you're in the top .87% That's right, if you're in a school in the US and you're reading this, you're officially rich! Doesn't feel like it? Well, it is time to get our act together. I'm considering creating multiple part series on the topic of balancing our budgets and living like the wealthy educators we are. From the lunchroom to the teacher's lounge, we are some of the richest people in the world here in the US and we're missing out on the joy that can be ours if we just get our act together. This is something that has caused me many tears personally and my husband and I have paid off mountains of debt even moreso after I became a teacher and took a massive paycut. If you're interested in me continuing to share what has helped Kip and me, let me know in the comments and I'll spread it out amidst the technology and teaching I talk about here. (I've been writing this one post since January so it may take a while.) First of all, let's talk about why we think we're poor: #1 - We are deceived by appearances. Looking rich doesn't mean being rich. In 2006, Warren Buffett, one of the three richest men in the world bought his most expensive car, a $55,000 Cadillac. The average millionare buys a car for $31,367. (Stop Acting Rich: ...And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire p 207) In 2009 most million-dollar homes were not owned by millionaires. In fact 90% of those who were defined to be a millionaire lived in homes worth less than a million dollars.(Stop Acting Rich: ...And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire p 9, 24) The odds are, if you look like you're rich, you're not. #2 - We're discontent If you get on Facebook, it is likely you'll have a friend going somewhere and honestly... you want to go too. You deserve that vacation, you think. You want that new car. You need a dozen roses from your husband. You want that new plasma tv. Why can't you go shopping this weekend? Why? Why? Why? Pity pity pity. Marketing in the US has thrived on the ability to stimulate us into being dissatisfied. Dissatisfied enough that we'll do something. (See: Lifehacker: The More Facebook Friends You Have the More Unhappy You Are) On Facebook, you're aggregating all the high points in your hundred something friends lives and comparing it to the high points in yours. Let's see, out of 100 friends at least 4-5 are having it great right now. So, you're going to take those few and compare it to your life? That is unrealistic and unhealthy. When you're having a pity party - GET OFF FACEBOOK. It stinks as a counselor and sucks wind as a comforter. Go talk to a friend or write in your journal. It is ok to see a therapist too. Talking about it is what healthy people do. Social media makes a sad counselor and a sick client. #3 We refuse to wait If you've heard of the marshmellow test, kids who are able to master their desire to eat one marshmellow NOW in the hopes of getting a second marshmellow when the researcher returns, test well on future success. This is because they understand delayed gratification. The biggest financial mistakes I made as a twenty-something were because I wanted it NOW. Delayed gratification is one of the keys to any long term financial change. #4 We use plastic instead of cash One thing I learned in Financial Peace University (a great program from Dave Ramsey) is that the feeling of cash in your hands causes you to spend less. One of the fastest ways I've found to slash my grocery budget is to withdraw the cash for my grocery budget when I get paid. I keep it in an envelope and pay out of that. It is amazing how far money goes. Plastic is NOT the same as cash. While we don't necessarily want to have a lot of cash on us all the time, it makes a difference if we want to cut our budget. #5 We refuse to make hard decisions You can't do everything. Are you really watching all those television subscriptions? Are you keeping cable for one show? Remember, I said HARD decisions not BIG decisions. For some reason, giving up entertainment seems to be a hard decision around my house. For example, I wanted to see the Jack Reacher movie, I enjoy the Jack Reacher book series. We didn't have time to see it in the theater, but then it came out on DVD and then for pay on Amazon to buy. I waited until last week to use some of my iTunes birthday money to rent it on iTunes. While, I could have waited another YEAR and it be free on Netflix (maybe), I do want to see it. Was it really worth the extra $15 to see it 2 weeks early? For me, the answer was no. Did I think about watching that movie quite a bit - sure I did, I was ready to see it. But, as we prepare to pay for my son's college in June, little pennies count. Another example, I love books. I read at least an hour a day but sometimes more. If book reading were a hotdog contest, I'd be the dude with his mouth full, his hands raised in winning who asks for another when he's done. But, I took my credit card out of Amazon and started buying Amazon gift certificates. I put it in and when I'm done with my Amazon budget for the month, I hit Kindle Nation Daily and the free kindle book list to find my reading. Or, I pull out a book that someone has sent me to review. #6 We have no money in the bank This happens when we're automatically debiting everything without stopping to think if we should pay that. I've learned the benefits of saving 10%, giving 10% and living on 80%. If there's no emergency fund or cushion, then you're living close to the edge. I admit, I've socked my savings down to zero way too often. If this is you, take steps NOW. Enroll in Financial Peace University or buy Mary Hunt's 7 Money Rules for Life
- A Day in the Life of a passion-driven, project based (Cool Cat) Teacher (Tue, 14 May 2013 03:28:37 -0700)
What passion based, flat, STEM based learning feels like. As I pondered what to share with you today, I just wanted to mention a few experiences from yesterday to show what passion based - flat learning FEELS like as a teacher and what it means to try to fit things in. I wrote this in late April/ Early May to share with you. The first draft was in April. It takes a while to polish up and add links sometimes. Just a glimpse into some things in my life if your'e interested. We're nearing the end of the school year at this point as we finish up major projects and final work for the year. Before School. 4:45 am-ish My fit bit wrist alarm wakes me up when I'm in my lightest sleep. It is so nice not to wake my husband. 4:50 On the treadmill for 2,000 steps. Throw fresh coffee in the pot. 5:05 Reading my Bible/ Praying/ Journaling 5:20 Writing (Blogging or my second book.) 6:45 Get dressed 6:55 Breakfast with Kip 7:05 Head out the door. I like to get to school early to get my routine down. 7:20 At school. Do my 30/30 routine. (See 3 little tricks to smooth out your day.) Homeroom Kids are finishing up blogs and checking the Flat Classroom Ning to see if partners have replied. I send them to their homeroom so I can handle mine. Everyone wishes they had homeroom in the computer lab. I'm ready to have the infrastructure ready for BYOT. (Bring Your Own Technology) 1st period. 10th Introduction to Computer Science. (@netgened work) We are outsourcing clips for the NetGenEd project. Students request clips, and other students in other parts of the world fulfill the clips. Lots of acting, interesting things happening, and a general commotion. These students know what they are doing. They know how to film and rip off my camera, their iphones, their ipads, and just about anything with a lens. They convert the files and upload on the Ning and post on the wiki their links. Current events make powerful teaching moments, plus students need to talk about things sometimes. 2nd Period. 9th Computer Fundamentals. We talked about the Boston Marathon because these students needed to and watched a video of Dick and Rick Hoyt and talked about how sometimes things are more than a race. We also tied it in with understanding how to meet the needs of others through the power of social media. The students shared what they'd learned on their social media stats and shared the stats with each other. We learned that an odd picture of a blowfish had gained quite a few followers on Instagram and that when you followed and unfollowed others quickly that you ticked them off and it wasn't something to do. I checked the Trello board for the next lesson the students had proposed and voted up and taught a mini lesson on Tumblr to those who had signed up on the board. Looks like I'm teaching Twitter tomorrow. (They vote up what they want me to teach while they are amidst their genius projects. I teach what has the most sign ups and handle individual requests individually. It is interesting, although some don't sign up, they often come across the room and start listening in and joining in.) (See 2012 genius work and current 2013 personal websites work being posted now) Break. I have permission to walk for my break b/c of the 6 classes I'm teaching right now. I try to walk another 2,000 steps but only hit 1782. 3rd period. 9th Computer Fundamentals. N is getting ready to test virtual worlds. We downloaded Second Life and talked about newbie island. Other students started watching and looking and were excited. C asked people to post questions for her on her Tumblr that would spark conversation and others did as we laughed. We discussed why some things get shared and others do not. C is enjoying her tumblr and getting a very positive response. 4th period. Senior filmmaking. I took pictures of the seniors all over campus for their senior movie. They proposed to take a picture with their little brothers/ sisters for that section and the group photo was beautiful and one I'll start doing every year. I never would have thought of that! 5th period. 8th grade keyboarding. MLA Papers. Portfolios We finished up taking MLA notes in Microsoft One Note about how to write an MLA paper and putting the notes in our binder as they started working on their MLA papers. I'm a huge fan of notes because it powers the "external brain." If it is something they'll use in the future that is somewhat technically challenging or requires steps, they must write it down in the notetaking tool of their choice. These aren't things they will memorize but things they'll need to access in the future. Notes are taking in a way they will understand and remember. Helping students determine and use a notetaking tool of their choice is a big part of what I help them do in the younger years. Pushing them to recall and look up from prior notes happens in the later years. My brain shouldn't be their primary source of knowledge. If they'll take what I teach into notes and tag for easy recall, they are empowered to be self sufficient. Students are missing out if they don't know how to create a notes archive to use for their lives. Those who finished were making timelines on Dipity. They liked dipity ok but had trouble printing, so someone found TimeToast and they ended up over there. They thought it was a better solution to the problem. A personal timeline is on the portfolio checklist and they know that they can move ahead. If they move ahead and figure it out, they get to help me teach it! ;-) 6th period. Introduction to Computer Science. (Genius Hour work today) A student was so excited as she bought a headband from another. E.R. just got in the jewelry from Destiny Rescue. Last year E. co-created Hope for Slaves, a project to bring awareness to a blight on our human existence: human trafficking. On May 1st, (May Day, ironically) our students buy and wear the jewelry of those rescued from human slavery in an effort to put their money into the hands of those making a difference in this. Her friend M was buying a headband because Elizabeth is carrying it in her purse and selling jewelry to end human trafficking. She told me about a group of girls rescued by Destiny Rescue just a few weeks a go. Ending human trafficking is her passion and she's doing something about it. (See Hope for Slaves) I also had to finishing helping set up a meeting with M and J to head to the irrigation research park. They are creating an animation for an irrigation system that minimizes water loss for the Nature Conservancy's website. They are heading out there during homeroom tomorrow and missing my first period class (with notes from their parents, of course.) They need to take photos in real life so they can complete their animation. When students find a passion, we all find treasure. Life means more when students are curious and passionate. I have a curriculum but as a teacherpreneur, I can always incorporate things they are passionate about. The genius hour is the perfect way to do that. 7th Period. Study Hall. I'm supposed to have this as a planning period, but my room is full. It is OK, I'm used to it. It means longer hours. April and May are tough. I've often told my husband if every school day were like May, I couldn't physically be a teacher. We're on the sprint to the end, and I want to finish well. (See Finding Your Beautiful Moment the last week of school.) After school. K had voted up Pinterest on the Trello board and wanted it to be taught, however, not enough had voted it up so it wasn't scheduled yet. She was in my classroom after she'd had her run and said she really wanted to know how. I sat down and said, Hey, I'll pinterest with you. K chose Pinterest because her passion based project is to teach pop art to fifth graders and she's found that the best place to find art projects for elementary students is on Pinterest. We sat down and got her going and pinning. By the time we were almost done, her friend H was on Pinterest and Z was sitting there looking over my shoulder intrigued with what was happening. We ended up laughing at images on some pinterest boards and printed some of the photos. The girls decided that we're all working too hard and are too serious and asked if they could be the "positive encouragement people" (PEP) and if they could put some funny (but appropriate) pics on my wall. Sure! Now, I have some hilarious things there and we're all laughing. I'm sure the kids the next day will enjoy these pics too. WE're all working so hard lately. After work. I zip home when my youngest gets of tutoring at the learning lab. He is tutored until 4. I dash out the door at 4:15 to make it home by 4:30 to record another episode of Every Classroom Matters and throw dinner on the stove. I hate to admit this, but this time of year is so tough. Sometimes I fall asleep as early as 5pm. Other times, I'm up late because there's too much to do. My oldest graduates from high school this year so graduation is taking a bit of time. I find teaching fulfilling and important and glad I'm empowered to be a teacherpreneur. I tell my students that I'm not here just to teach them but here to completely blow their minds. But often teaching isn't that fancy stand in front of a room, Robin Williams kind of stuff. It is small daily interactions. We huddle up the first 5 minutes of class every day at this time of year as I make announcements and help them focus on deliverables. After that, it is run around the room, work, and encourage. I hope you'll share your story of your passion driven classroom. If you want to know more about genius hour / 20% time - this is a great podcast to listen to. (See Engage Students and Supercharge Learning with Genius Hour) My life is nuts but I wouldn't have it any other way. These students are not my children by birth, but they are my children by heart. Photo credit: Big Stock This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
- START punching fear in the Face and escape average @jonacuff (Mon, 13 May 2013 04:03:00 -0700)
I'm wrestling with a book right now. Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan, old fashioned smack down wrestling. I heard Jon Acuff this past week and picked up his new book Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters. The questions in the back and questions on every page have me a bit uncomfortable but in a way that I need. How do you focus your time? How do you work on what matters? How do you overcome your fears? This is all in +Jon Acuff 's book "START" which I highly recommend. I have a lot of purpose in my life - I'm a teacher, after all. But fears, like the mermaids & kelp around Harry Potter's legs as he dove into the lake to save his friend, those fears can pull me down. Punch fear in the face. Fears that have told me to please people so maybe, they'll like me. Fears that grew out of quite a few years of childhood when no one wanted to be my friend. When I became more attractive, people wanted to be my friend. Brains didn't matter, attractiveness was all that did. Now that I'm getting older, I'm finding those fears returning, "You're not beautiful any more, no one will like you." -or- "If you can't look like a model, no one is going to want you to speak for them anymore." The desire to please people and be liked is a dangerous path to self-hatred because there are some people who will never like you or me. They will not be happy until we self destruct or die and do we really want to go to that length to please them? Critics Math Jon makes the point in the book to beware of critics math: 1 criticism + 1,000 compliments = 1 criticism. Most of us, all we see is the criticism and that is unhealthy. Escape Average. It is the end of the school year. Hyperventilation hyperdrive - if you could picture a woman in a space suit trying to dock a space ship with 1,000 screaming children on board while coming out of light speed and hyperventilating at the same time -- that is what the end of the school year is like. I've let my weight slide right back on up. Sure, I've got an exceptionally hard work load, but I do have a life to live. I'm settling in too many places in my life in the land of average and it is time to pack my bags and go. To do this, I have to deal with my fears of not being liked. Learn to say no, and edit my life to include the most impactful areas... and START on the journey. I don't want to stay or be average in any area of my life but wallow there far too long. I love the activities at the end of the book that help you work through this. Do work that matters. So much matters to teachers. Every single precious baby matters. Every child. Every parent. They are human beings and they are IMPORTANT. I want to teach the children and encourage the parents to parent well and love their kids even when those kids aren't perfect. These are important things. But for me, the question is -- what is the work that matters that I was made to do? Can I cull out things that don't matter so much or work that isn't adjacent to the land of purpose for me? Can I actually learn to say no? Questions & Actions The most purposeful people don't get there by accident. They question everything. They question their lives and find answers. They take time for introspection. They self-examine. But the purposeful people I know also act upon these answers. They START. I highly recommend this book if you're ready to get serious about living your life with purpose. If you're wanting meaning and to get back 'on track' pick it up and START. I wish I'd had this book when I first started blogging or at the beginning of my career. It would have saved a lot of heartache. Great book for graduates and Jon is awesome to hear in person. Written by Vicki Davis, author - Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds - Posted with Blogsy from my iPad This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
- 3 Keys to reaching all your dreams (Sat, 11 May 2013 04:11:46 -0700)
Dreams might be imagined on vacation, but they are birthed out of focus and work.Saturday with Friends and Family 028 (Photo credit: -DjD-) I've been up writing again at 5am on Saturday. Not because I hate myself or I'm rested, but because I have a burning dream. You see, I've found that dreams aren't made on sandy beaches with your feet up drinking a cold Diet Coke. That might be where they are first thought about, but it isn't where they are made. I've accomplished more dreams since I started setting my alarm clock for 5 am than before. Dreams are made out of work. They are made out of early mornings and late nights. Five am is particularly attractive to me (and sometimes 4 am if on a deadline.) They are attractive because they are guilt free. I have no one who needs my attention and more importantly, there is no one who feels ignored or untended to. If I have to work all day and let my family know ahead of time, there's not usually struggle there. So, I'm up writing again on a Saturday morning when lots of people are sleeping. This will be my second book. I did this on Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time and I'm sure I'll do it again. Lots of dreams mean lots of work, but like a good delicious watermelon, you can only bite one small piece at a time. The 3 keys to reaching your dreams: FOCUS. Pursue one at a time ENLIST SUPPORT. Make sure your inner family circle is supporting and with you (don't ignore them) WORK. Make a plan for when you'll work on it every week so that motion is always forward If you struggle with your family being "in on" your dream - there are ways to work with that. It also doesn't mean ALL of your family. For me, my inner circle is my husband: 1 person. The person you live with should be 'in on" or at least respect that your dream is happening because it takes the sacrifice of everyone in the house to help dreams happen. For me, no dream is worth losing my family. I add also a fourth and PRAY over it - which for me, as a Christian, is vital. The dreams I pursue must be aligned with my personal values or the inner conflict will sabotage any forward motion. Got a dream? Get started. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
- Engage students & supercharge learning with Genius Hour #geniushour (Fri, 10 May 2013 06:49:21 -0700)
Authors of the Genius Hour Manifesto and hosts of #geniushour chat Joy Kirr, Hugh McDonald Gallit Zvi, and Denise Krebs are the Fantastic 4 of genius hour. They are 4 teachers DOING it. Listen to this week's show to learn more. Really? Every child is a genius? Hooey. I admit, that is what I first thought when my friend Angela Maiers said this. However, if you look at the definition of genius: "1. Exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability. 2. A person who is exceptionall intelligent or creative, either generally or in some particular respect: "musical genius." Synonym: talent" We are looking for the natural abilities of students. Now, don't mistake natural ability for the art of mastering. We all know naturally gifted athletes who never accomplished anything because they were allergic to sweat, or naturally smart kids who accomplished nothing once they had to study. Genius takes time but talent can be spotted and nurtured. One thing is sure, if a child never knows their own talent... they will never get on the path to genius. It starts with identifying and nurturing passions. I'm a passion meter. Why should students be doing the same thing all the time? Can't we lead them in inquiry based learning experiences where they are explorers, scientists, creators, and inventors? We must help them find their genius so they can find purpose. My job is to help students discover those passions and innate talents that they don't know they have. Twenty percent of our time is spent on personal interest projects. Every teacher can't do 20% time, but EVERY teacher, EVERY school, and EVERY classroom can have an exciting, engaging genius hour. It is that important. Recently on the Every Classroom Matters show, I sat down with the "Fantastic 4" of Genius hour: +Joy Kirr (@joykirr), +Denise Krebs (@mrsdkrebs), +Hugh McDonald (@hughtheteacher) and +Gallit Zvi (@gallit_z). Do you know it was the first time all four of them had physically talked in real time? It was electric as they discussed passion based learning and how they implement genius hour in the classroom. They are doing incredible work and I highly recommend adding them to your PLN. Listen to the authors of the Genius Hour Manifesto: Click here to listen: Radically Authentic Learning: How Classrooms Change when Student Genius Drives Learning Genius hour wiki: geniushour.wikispaces.com#Geniushour chat - first Wednesday of each month.Genius hour manifesto: http://educationismylife.com/genius-hour-manifesto/ Do you want to nominate someone to be on the show? Fill out the nomination form. Want to know more about Every Classroom matters and how to subscribe? Read "The Every Classroom Matters Show and a tutorial on how to subscribe using iCatcher" This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
- Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/10/2013 (Fri, 10 May 2013 02:30:40 -0700)
At STEM Early College High School, students earn top test grades | STEMwire I'm recording another episode of "Every Classroom matters" interviewing some of the teachers and organizers in the Chicago Early STEM college movement. As I researched for this show, I found this report out of North Carolina reporting an increase in test scores. A county here in Georgia is also implementing Early college stem as well. STEM is something every school needs (listen to the earlier show I recorded w/ Kevin Jarrett) but this is an interesting approach. "Just two years after it opened, a North Carolina high school has found that teaching students the principles of STEM can boost test scores and keep learners engaged. That?s prompting the school to ask, ?If we can do it, why can?t other schools do it, too?? The school has a mouthful of a name: the Wake NC State University STEM Early College High School. It has attracted many students to its Raleigh campus ? first generation-college students, minorities, and students from poor backgrounds ? who are underrepresented in STEM fields. But in 2012, students did far better than average on the state?s standardized exams, with more than 95 percent passing." tags: education news stem college Quest2Matter - What It Is & How to Join - Choose 2 Matter Help your kids submit their idea and work to Quest to matter. This is a great way to showcase what your students are doing. It will also open up opportunities for mentoring. If you know a kid who is doing something cool to change the world - SUBMIT IT. The end date is June 7th. Why not have your class create a quest to matter. If you haven't had a chance to do a genius project or some creative teacherpreneurship with passion projects - USE THIS opportunity. My friend Angela Maiers had this idea and many have joined in (like me) to help create a website showcasing and promoting all the great work that students are doing as social entrepreneurs to change the world. There will be a winning project that is showcased and mentored.
- 15 Wrong Ways to Implement the Common Core (Wed, 08 May 2013 07:05:01 -0700)
guest post by Johnna Weller, Ed D. Note from Vicki: As I was talking to Johnna from Discovery Education about this post, I started hearing her talk about districts who are struggling with Common Core. We thought that it would be helpful to know what people are doing to cause their districts to fail in implementation. Of course, if we learn from failure, we can fail forward into success. Thanks Johnna for this guest post. (See disclosures at the bottom.) Answers to complex questions never come in a box. A seal on a box does not guarantee success. 15. Expect that a packaged program will be the magic bullet. We?ve all seen the labels on the cover of teacher?s manuals that say (in bold print), ?Aligned to CCSS.? And, although the lessons might be matched to specific CC standards, and include quality examples of ?close reading? or ?text-based questions,? there is no program that can cause our students to be deep and critical thinkers. Of course, materials can be a helpful resource to teachers, but they are only as good as the teacher who uses them. This is my mantra: ?Programs don?t teach kids, teachers teach kids.? So, read the labels, and be a judicious consumer of what?s out there, but know that you can?t buy CCSS implementation in a box. 14. Expect that anything will be the magic bullet. Despite what you may have seen or heard, there is no simple solution to implementing the Common Core. Meaningful implementation is a process?a process of refining and reflecting instructional practice. That process takes time, and various strategies (just like the way we want students to problem-solve). No single product, event, or experience -- no matter how powerful -- will single-handedly flip the switch to Common Core. Educators should be strategic in their implementation by designing a plan that includes a variety of high-quality ways to move toward transforming their classrooms. Such an implementation plan needs to address curriculum, assessment, and instruction. Technology is mentioned in the Common Core State standards 40 times! It is important but teachers are still important. 13. Put all your eggs in the technology basket. There is no doubt that technology has the power to transform teaching and learning. Plus, it is mentioned in the CCSS no less than 40 times. But, unto itself, technology/media/digital, etc will not guarantee that students question, connect, infer, analyze, and think. That?s where teachers come in. (Remember, there?s no magic bullet.) The most powerful way to leverage technology, is to engage in ongoing professional development and collaboration to learn, practice, and infuse it meaningfully into instruction. (These ideas are evident in Discovery Education?s design of professional development that puts amazing technology in teachers? hands, but recognizes that the power of its effectiveness is through instruction.) 12. Remove everything from your curriculum that isn?t attached to a Common Core standard. Even the CCSS documents themselves say that the standards ??do not?indeed, cannot?enumerate all or even most of the content that students should learn. The Standards must therefore be complemented by a well-developed, content-rich curriculum consistent with the expectations laid out in this document.? So, don?t forget about health. And the arts. And more. (See If Common Core Standards Become our Straight Jacket, we'll hate what education becomes for how this is happening in some schools already.) "Creativity" is listed in the Common Core State Standards - even in math! How do you get creative with math? 11. Don?t empower the creative genius of students and teachers. You might be surprised to know that the word ?creativity? appears in the Math CCSS (yes, math!). We can value and nurture creativity by producing, not only consuming, a variety of information, ideas, texts, and media. You need a network. These Discovery Educator Network (DEN) teachers are meeting to collaborate and learn from each other. You can collaborate and connect for mutual learning experiences wherever teachers connect... on Twitter, Facebook, and face to face. They are all vital parts of the savvy educator's PLN. 10. Go it alone. The positive impact of collaboration has been validated by researchers and practitioners. As a profession, we must tap into and share our collective expertise to support our individual efforts. Teachers might be superheroes -- but even superheroes accomplish more when they work together. (An example of a powerful electronic community of practice is Discovery Educator Network (DEN), where teachers from across the country share ideas. Discovery also holds a variety of opportunities for teachers to come together live and in person to learn and share with each other.) 9. Focus only on outcomes and not processes. Student learning, aka deep thinking, is the goal of the Common Core. Remember that learning is a process. So, even though we look to our outcomes and data as measures of learning, we can?t ignore the process. The same idea applies to teachers. Teachers need opportunities to learn, plan, act, and reflect. Beware of how you define rigor! Giving kids harder math problems or more difficult books to read doesn't increase the rigor. It only increases frustration. Talk to your staff about what rigor is! 8. Equate complexity with difficulty. Webster defines complex as ?having many parts, details, ideas, or functions.? In our information-driven world, our students will need the ability to process, filter, and ponder many sources of information. For this reason, the Common Core standards promote critical and complex thinking. That means that students need opportunities to learn, practice, and apply these skills. So teachers need to demonstrate, model, and support students in these tasks. That?s not the same as assigning difficult tasks. Giving kids harder math problems and more difficult books to read doesn?t increase the rigor. It only increases frustration -- for the student and the teacher. This takes us back to the importance of time for teachers to learn, plan, act, and reflect on ways to engage students in complex thinking. 7. Make it more about curriculum-alignment than instructional practice. Obviously, a well-designed and cohesive curriculum is a part of CCSS implementation. However, even the best curriculum delivered poorly is doomed. Instructional practice is the key to creating classrooms where students are deep readers and writers who inquire, question, critique, and synthesize. Research continually points to the impact of the teacher as the most powerful factor in student learning. To continue that thought? 6. Ignore the need for professional development. High-quality professional development is the best way to make the transition to the Common Core. Consider a variety of options to include follow-up and collaboration. 5. Don?t communicate with parents and the community. As we move forward into a model of school that looks different than sit and get (finally), parents need to understand that rote memorization will be lessened, while inquiry and problem-solving will be increased. It?s true?this is not your grandmother?s classroom. Technology allows the world to be our classroom. To be successful, this shift will require the mutual support of school, home, community. Classrooms should always be improving and leveling up learning. As a profession, we should be the premier learning organization. 4. Say, ?We do this already.? No matter what you?ve ?done? regarding Common Core, there is plenty more to learn and apply. As a profession, we should be the premier learning organization. Unfortunately, sometimes we are not. The type of thinking that keeps us static will not help us get better. Remember, if you?re not growing, you?re dying. 3. Don?t network outside of your school. In the same line of thinking as #10, schools can?t thrive in a cocoon. The CCSS are a fabulous opportunity for educators across the country to be talking the same language, sharing ideas and generating synergy. None of us is a smart as all of us. It?s evident by the ideas on pinterest and the discussions on #ccchat that we can be collective thought-partners. 2. Be afraid. Fear of change. Fear of the unknown. Why be afraid? We could learn from NASA -- which accomplishes historic feats by being open to change, curious about the unknown, and enticed by challenge. This is an exciting time for society and education -- and most importantly, our students. Let?s embrace the challenge and stretch ourselves. The most powerful practices begin in the classrooms of teacherpreneurs who study, apply, and reflect on their practice. 1. Don?t focus on kids. Always remember why we do what we do. Implementation of the Common Core with flying colors -- shiny curriculum, top-notch assessments, and even stellar instructional practices -- won?t mean anything if it?s not connected to your students. Act to improve your classrooms. What you can do So, now that you know what NOT to do to implement the Common Core, here?s something that you can do: tap into the variety of options that Discovery Education offers. We don?t claim to be the magic bullet (there isn?t one, remember?). But, they can provide a variety of tools to add to your implementation plan. To help teachers and administrators implement Common Core well (and avoid pitfalls listed above), Discovery Education is providing professional development academies in various location across the US this summer. Regardless of whether your school has access to Discovery products, these academies provide proven practices in instruction, curriculum, and assessment into classroom applications that support long-term planning and immediate classroom application. As a trusted educational partner, Discovery Education has worked with thousands of educators to transform teaching and learning. They understand that successful implementation requires a focus on fundamentals: curriculum, instruction, assessment, and leadership. You can learn about the four academies at: http://www.discoveryeducation.com/Common-Core-Academy/index.cfm Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a ?sponsored post.? The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I have used personally. 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.? This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
- Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/08/2013 (Wed, 08 May 2013 02:30:44 -0700)
The problem with Pearson-designed tests that threatens thousands of scores I agree. Students who got to read the passages ahead of time had an advantage - of course, is anyone looking to see if there was a "hit" on other textbook passages - is this luck or is it corruption. Either way - it smells like corruption. There is a conflict of interest if you're testing and selling textbooks to help kids do better on testing.
- Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/07/2013 (Tue, 07 May 2013 02:30:46 -0700)
10 Online Resources To Inspire Writers Of Any Age | Edudemic Online resources to inspire writers of all ages. tags: news amwriting writing learnist tools. My 10 Favorite Learnist Boards Built By Teachers | Edudemic If you want to see how Learnist is being used - here are Dawn Casey-Rowe's 10 favorite learnist boards built by teachers. This will help you see how this tool is used. tags: education news learnist webapp edu_news edu_newapp How to Use Learnist on the Web | Products | Learnist I'm having a chat with Dawn Casey-Rowe, a teacher and she was sharing with me what she's doing on Learnist. This is a Learnist board about how to use Learnist. I am interested in how this works. There is also an app. It looks like a sort of combination between pinterest, mentor mob, and flipboard. tags: education news eduapp edapp tumblr Hawaii - Flat Classroom Live! - Flat Classroom Conference So excited to be co-leading the Flat Classroom Live! event in Hawaii with my friend and Flat Classroom co-founder Julie Lindsay. This event for students and educators is a life-changing way to learn about new technology and make powerful connections between schools. Join us July 24-26.
- If Common Core Standards become our straight jacket, we'll hate what education becomes #ccchat (Fri, 03 May 2013 06:20:46 -0700)
A sad teacher last night talked to me about how she's having to cut out two great units of study. One unit is on China and another is on Egypt. Why? They aren't in the Common Core standards. My students aren't wearing straight jackets,they have wings. And that, my friendsmakes all the difference. Some rights reserved by ammgramm Savvy schools will know that Common Core standards are guidelines. Struggling schools will interpret Common Core standards as straight jackets. Already demoralized, they are afraid to do ANYTHING not in the standards. There's the problem. Global competency is vital part of being an educated 21st century citizen. Two kinds of people exist today: people who build bridges and people who blow them up. Kids must be global citizens capable of building bridges. Even if you are under Common Core standards, I hope you have the maturity to see them as guidelines. The Common Core FAQ says: "Teachers will continue to devise lesson plans and tailor instruction to the individual needs of the students in their classrooms." Some rights reserved by photophilde Use your head when evaluating curriculum. Just because it doesn't specifically say "Egypt" or "China" doesn't mean you have to cut those from your curriculum. You can incorporate standards into such studies. Most straight jackets worn in education are fabrications of the mind. While some are wearing straight jackets, my students are collaborating globally. They aren't wearing straight jackets, they have wings. And that, my friends will make all the difference. ----------------------------- Further Reading: ASCD Educational Leadership. Leading for Global Competency Common Core State Standards Frequently Asked Questions Curriculum 21 Global Partnership: Investigate the World Edutopia Parents Guide to 21st Century Learning (PDF) Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time (disclosure, I coauthored this book) Asia Society: What is global competence? This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
- Gearing Up for Common Core in Math #ccchat #mathchat (Thu, 02 May 2013 08:14:42 -0700)
I skipped a class and showed up the next class day to be handed a test. I haven't studied for it. It wasn't on Darren Burris @dgburris shares his thoughts on Common Core math and how it CAN be done. Listen to the show. the syllabus. It wasn't based on anything I'd learned. I'm in class looking at the test sweating and realizing that I know nothing on the test and have never heard of it. Just as I start to panic, BOOM! I wake up. I have this dream at least once a year before school starts or any time I feel unprepared. This is sadly, being lived out by many students today who are being tested by standards that aren't integrated into their textbooks and classrooms. Students are looking at content for the first time and realizing that they've never seen it. They are unprepared, but is it their fault? No! It is time to prepare and update our classrooms. Darren Burris is a math teacherpreneur who has been noticed for his effectiveness of integrating Common Core Math standards into his classroom. Not only does he love the standards, but the practices they bring to his classroom. I hope you'll listen to my conversation with Darren as we discussed "Gearing Up for Common Core in Math" on Every Classroom Matters (BAM Radio network.) The biggest point for me is that Darren believes that meeting the standards and working with curriculum should be ITERATIVE. It is going to take a while for math to get there. This jumps out as a perfect time to purchase etextbooks updated yearly. Why would anyone buy a paper textbook that says it is aligned with Common Core math when the best math teachers like Darren say none of them are really there yet? If you're working with Common Core math, I hope you'll share what you're doing and your thoughts. We need to be fair and help kids prepare so that nightmares can just be when they're asleep. Places you can find more information: Darren Burris Math teacher at Boston Collegiate Charter School. Curator of http://commoncoreessentials.posterous.com/ Common Core Online: http://goo.gl/cE7Cr Common Core Essentials: http://coreessentials.wordpress.com/ PARCC in MA: http://parccinma.wordpress.com/ Twitter @dgburris This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
- Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/02/2013 (Thu, 02 May 2013 02:30:40 -0700)
Finger-free phones, full body gesturing, and our ?touchscreen? future | Ars Technica I think those who think that we will not need keyboards are missing a few important points. Here's the issue - I can type faster than I can talk. Also, in the classroom - 20 kids talking to their computers it would be chaos and a mess. Typing, however, has a speed benefit and doesn't require a "cone of silence" as a everyone talking to their glasses would. I think keyboarding will remain part of the productive equipment of most of us - until our devices can read our brain waves. For those who type less than 30 words a minute and work in a quiet office, this is likely to be true. Meanwhile, this is a great read about what will happen in our homes, at least. tags: education news gesture_based_computing Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
- 3 Little Tricks to Smooth out your day (Wed, 01 May 2013 03:57:40 -0700)
Take a little time that makes a big difference! (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Be intentional about your life. Don't just let it happen, decide how you're going to live it. We had a conversation on my Facebook page the other day about how we could be better teachers and the overwhelming answer was "more time." It isn't possible to add more time, but it is possible to make more of the time you have. When I do these 3 things - all 35 minutes and 30 seconds of them - that day and the following day are FANTASTIC. It takes a little planning - of habits, priorities, and tweaking the 30/30 app to make it happen but it works. 1. Establish a Beginning of school routine. (15 minutes) I have a 15 minute routine that I do when I arrive at school. I've programmed it into my 30/30 app. I selected these things from a list I made when I was so stressed I was losing my mind using the Pareto principle to Pareto my problems (See The Pareto Project, and also Pareto your homescreen, the Routine of being Amazing, and Smooth out your week with the Pareto Saturday Principle) The routines in my 30/30 app sync between my ipad and iphone. When applied to stress, the Pareto principle means that 20% of your problems will cause 80% of the stress. For me, things like the printer running out of paper, not being ready to take attendance in PowerSchool, and my room being a bit messy are unneeded stressors. Here's my checklist with times (the screenshot didn't show everything.) YOURS WILL BE DIFFERENT. Part of my 30/30 routine for starting my day with times.I can check something as "done" if I get through faster. Boot computer - 1 minute Clean Desk --> 5 minutes Log into PowerSchool --> 2 minutes paper in Printers --> 2 minutes Clean Classroom --> 5 minutes Look at list --> 1 minute Boot front computer --> 1 minute Check email --> 5 minutes The nice thing about the 30/30 app is that I'm racing the timer, so I don't get off track and also, if I finish something early, then I can click done and move ahead. 2. Establish a daily Planning & Solitude to close out your day & plan tomorrow (15:30) If you read books like Eat That Frog!, Attack Your Day!: or the The Power of Habit, planning your day is one of those essential components to accomplishing more with your time. Recently, I asked educators in my Facebook page about the one thing that would make them a better teacher... they overwhelmingly said time. Last time I checked, we've all got the same amount, so we'd better figure out how to use it well. During this time, I review lists, plan tomorrow, reflect, and schedule an appointment with myself for my VITAL habits. If you read the Habit Factor, you'll see astounding research about how to actually get yourself to do the important things: set an appointment with yourself. My 15 minute 30 second routine is: Review Master List --> 3 minutes (I do this in Nozbe) Review today's list/ make tomorrow's (I do this in Nozbe/ my Levenger planner) Pray over day --> 30 seconds (I take time to be still and quiet to reflect, think of wins, consider if I behaved in an honorable way, and to seek guidance from the Boss.) Review tomorrow's appointments --> 2 minutes Schedule important habits (I put these in my google calendar on a special calendar I've created called "A routine of excellence" - it reminds me but doesn't officially "book" me, I also hand write it in my Circa Planner in my Levenger. An appointment increases the likelihood that you'll do it) Prayer/ Bible Reading time --> 20 seconds Schedule Blogging --> 20 seconds Schedule Workout --> 20 seconds Schedule P&S Time --> 20 seconds Schedule time to balance my checkbook --> 20 seconds Schedule time to read/ be with family -->20 Close out today's notes (I go through my notes in my Levenger and my daily journal in Evernote (I use vjournal for this) to sort and put anything on my calendar that needs to go there. 3. Keep a joy journal (5 minutes) I talked about the statistics on journaling in 9 Fine Reasons to Keep a Journal but they bear repeating: Research studies have shown that keeping a 5 minute a day gratitude journal will "increase your long term well being" more than winning a million dollars in the lottery. Yes! IF you want to be happy, you don't need more money, you need to write down the things you're thankful for. This ONE thing will change your outlook PROFOUNDLY. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.