Saturday, December 20, 2014

The 1:1 Initiative I Need


On page 74 of What To Do When It's Your Turn [and it's always your turn] Seth Godin writes:
Not even close
In Open: An Autobiography, Andre Agassi wrote about the secret he learned while playing tennis: "But I don't feel that Wimbledon changed me. I feel, in fact, as if I've been let in on a dirty little secret: winning changes nothing. Now that I've won a slam, I know something that few people on earth are permitted to know. A win doesn't feel as good as a loss feels bad, and the good feeling doesn't last as long as the bad. Not even close." 
Ouch. It's so easy to believe that five great Amazon reviews don't compare in impact to one bad one. Five closed sales don't compare to one "no." What a sad way to choose to live life.
No wonder we don't want to speak up or stand up or do anything much that matters. We've persuaded ourselves that good feelings aren't even close to outweighing bad ones. 
"What a sad way to choose to live life." 

I am struck by this. Is this indeed a choice? I've always made the assumption that this is "just the way it is" or the way that I am. My intense focus and reaction to negatives or naysayers is just a product of being human. Or so I believed.

But now I'm on the hook. 

The idea that this is a choice is empowering, but also scary because it puts the onus on me. It makes me responsible for when I fall into the trap.

As a school leader I try to see and promote the positive events, actions, and statistics, that exponentially outnumber the negatives. However, I currently allow my mental energy to focus too much on the negative, or as Seth put it, the "one bad" review over the "five great".

"No wonder we don't want to speak up or stand up or do anything much that matters. We've persuaded ourselves that good feelings aren't even close to outweighing bad ones."

There is real tragedy in this. Tragedy for culture, for communities, for families, for individuals, even for schools. How much more of our economic, human, personal and emotional capital is tied up in reacting to the 1 negative than the 5 positives? 

For me, it is time to change this deficit model of thinking. This deficit model of perception. The deficit model of how we run and view our schools. A change of how we perceive the range of students abilities. A recognition that we are probably not giving equally to all the positives that are all around us, especially in comparison to what we give the negatives. 

However, it is not just a change in thinking that will let me off the hook. This change must come with action. It takes showing up. It takes speaking out. It takes challenging those who try to make others believe in a false narratives about the state of learning and achievement. It may even require becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Personally, as a school leader I realize that this the 1:1 initiative I really need-- giving the same emotional capital to the positive as I give to the negative.

For me, it is time to give equity to recognizing, appreciating, supporting, and enjoying each positive, and put it on par with the capital I spend addressing, focusing and stressing about each negative. 

http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2012/04/24/21/38/gray-40971_640.png

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Please let me know if you have any ideas on how to improve, change, other ideas for next steps, or other ideas for modification.

---------------

I am finding every page of Seth Godin's book "What To Do When It's Your Turn [and it's always your turn]" a source of inspiration, motivation, reflection and action. I have a feeling that I may write a series of posts just from this book, and if I do this is the first.

Monday, December 15, 2014

How Will I Make 2015 the Best Year for My Students? Empowerment or "Surveillance, Standardization, Assessment, Control"?

"Perhaps what we need to build are more compassionate spaces, so that education technology isn’t in the service of surveillance, standardization, assessment, control." -Audrey Watters
http://www.hackeducation.com/2014/11/13/convivial-tools-in-an-age-of-surveillance/

I originally wrote this quote down in a draft blog post a few days after I read the original post. I was not sure where I was going to go with it, or where it was going to take me. What I did know was that it stuck with me.

There was an uncomfortable truth.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/01/CCTV_Cameras.png
After two plus years of working to get to a 1:1 environment for my students, something was wrong with the questions I was being asked about it. The headlines, questions and inquiries were not about what my students were now doing differently, what were they now creating, or who they were now able to learn from or share their learning with. The inquiries were about filters, permissions, acceptable use, monitoring, etc. all valuable things (I guess)...but hardly about learning.

So now as I am asked to answer "How Will I Make 2015 the Best Year for My Students?" and the quote has led to this post and my goal for 2015. I believe I can make 2015 the best year for my students by trying to meet the challenge posed by Ms. Watters. I will focus
on the hard work of insuring compassionate spaces over attempting to parlay technology purchases that promote "surveillance, standardization, assessment and control" in order to achieve allegedly "meaningful" technology usage. Because really, how meaningful, open and honest can the learning be if you create a culture says you need to be monitored (not trusted), processed (made to fit in) and measured (constantly judged) at all times?


Friday, December 5, 2014

Faculty Meeting Recipe: Tony Wagner TEDx + Modified Protocol + Gdoc

Implemented this week at a faculty meeting

Step 1- Play, passion, purpose: Tony Wagner at TEDxNYED
Step 2- Ask educators to keep in mind when watching video our school's Core Value of- Creativity and Innovation: Embrace flexibility and individuality when explaining and demonstrating knowledge and skills.
Step 3- Implement "Save the Last Word for Me" Protocol from http://www.nsrfharmony.org/system/files/protocols/save_last_word_0.pdf (although usually a text based protocol, we adapted for video)
Step 4- At conclusion of protocol in its entirety, ask for groups to report via Google doc any collective key take aways or ideas that resonated with the entire group.

Results:
Key Take Aways
Put something here that your group agreed on, had in common, found important or interesting.

  • We all felt that we need a culture where students are OK with taking a risk and failure.  You have to wonder “what lies beneath” from so many students who are afraid of failure or of taking a risk in a classroom.  
  • If we want to be innovative, how can we also follow the flow of CCSS and the required elements of curriculum?  The two concepts are very disjointed.  The idea of a year of  beta is great, but we don’t feel like it is a reality.
  • Group work is not “division of labor”.  What does real “collaboration” mean?
  • The World of Innovation is interdisciplinary!
  • Making mistakes is ok...take risks together with your students...we feel lucky that our administration encourages risk taking and experimentation.
  • How do we teach kids to not be afraid and to take risks and be wrong.   It’s OK to be wrong, because 9 times out of 10, you learn from it.
  • Sparking intrinsic motivation.
  • Outliers are already outliers so they take risks and produce risk takers.  Students are fearful to take risks in this paradigm. 
There are tremendous ideas/feedback/conflicts here for me as a principal to reflect on, especially when looking through the lens, and trying to lead with all of the schools core values.  Personally, I am once again met with the conflict/pressure of what a "traditional" school is supposed to do and look like versus what it should and needs to look like to impact learning. (Then again what did I expect I was going to get given the premise of the video.)

Potential Next Steps:
  • Engage students in the process and see what the results are.
  • Engage parents in the process and see what the results are.
  • Follow up re: Key take aways- see how close people feel our reality is to this versus how close should we be (and ask what is helping or inhibiting us?)
Potential Modification
  • Use as a measuring stick to gauge how well you know your school/culture- Write down ahead of time what your take aways are. Write down ahead of time what you believe your faculty's take aways would be. Implement. Compare. 
What will you get when you "make" this recipe?

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Please let me know if you have any ideas on how to improve, change, other ideas for next steps, or other ideas for modification. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Agreement is Great..But What Did I Do?



The moment I read the above quote, it stuck with me.

It resonated with me.

I Tweeted the post.

Took a picture of the quote and Tweeted and the quote.

I G + 1 the post.

I even changed the the quote on my email profile from Lao Tzu "Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time,' is like saying, 'I don't want to." to Chris's quote.

Now I'm blogging about it as well.

As I held the door and welcomed students into the building today, Chris's quote still echoing in my head, I wondered:

  • How many of these students will learn something that they “want to” today?
  • How many students would be lost if they were given no other instructions than "learn something new today"? If we take that idea one step further, what would they do if they were given no instructions?
  • How many students will be actively "falling in love" with learning today?

Now please understand that this is not meant to be a critique of the students, the faculty and staff, or of the amazing things that I am fortunate enough to see everyday at this school.

What it is, is a critique of myself. A critique of myself as an "educational leader".

How as an "educational leader" did I get lazy? Believing that Tweeting, G+ 1'ing, posting, pontificating, etc. is an acceptable substitute for meaningful action?  How did I get to the point where “action” consisted of  "Let me tell you what I believe in and some how it will magically appear"? I realized that doing this does not make me a leader, rather it makes me an example of what I hate most professionally- talk about reforming, but do nothing meaningful and continue to perpetuate actions that institutionalize the idea that "learning" belongs to the singular place known as "school".

How as an "educational leader" do I mute a personal core value that intrinsic motivation should drive learning? As our students entered, they all are, in some way, marching in to take "required" courses, for a "required" amount of time, with "required" people, and will demonstrate their learning in order to receive the "required" number of points so that they no longer have to fulfill this particular "requirement". All along I do nothing more that "hope" that the fires of intrinsic passion are being stoked by the "requirements".

As an "educational leader" have I become institutionalized as well? Building/maintaining/supporting an 18th century industrial model of education (complete with bells to march the "workers" along to the next "required" task, along with our agrarian calendar) while pontificating and hoping that we will somehow build lifelong, intrinsically driven learners is the height of hypocrisy.

Perhaps, I am being too hard on myself. There are so many factors that influence our schools, education, and the learning that we offer, that are not under my control. However, accepting these factors and maintaining the status quo is the easy way out. It usurps the necessity of meaningful action by he who would consider himself an "educational leader".


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

3 Ways Teachers Can Ease Into Using Back-channels

I love using Twitter and/or TodaysMeet during professional development, during instruction, or as a formative assessment tool. Whether harnessing the collective intelligence of the room, allowing participants to ask and answer questions, or memorializing an event, back-channels allow for a level of connection with other participants that I now find essential.

For full disclosure, I must admit that I have had back-channels backfire on me, especially as when I was new to a platform, when I had a few too many immature students (or was too immature myself), and when I was a newbie in the Twitterverse [side note: thank you ISTE for your understanding that I was not trying to hijack the back-channel at ISTE Leadership in Indianapolis 3 years ago :) ]

So how can educators not throw the back-channel baby out with the bathwater? Below are 3 ways I've used to ease into back-channels until participants (or the teacher) are ready for a platform that is entirely open or allows for anonymity.
  1. Socrative- Love the simplicity and the many ways to use Socrative. As a back-channel you can select "Quick Question" then "Short Answer", then write the essential question . You can then decide to make the responses public (names required) or anonymous.
    1. Pros- Great displays, simplicity, new "voting" feature allows for expansion of back-channel questions or answers. Ability to "clear room" if participants abuse backchannel. Data reports of responses available in a variety of formats.
    2. Cons- A truthful "Student Name" is voluntary, no email of participants (unless that is what you have students use as "name".
  2. Google Forms- Create a Google form before hand, allow participants to submit questions, scroll through results to answer questions.
    1. Pros- If GAFE account you can automatically collect submitter's email, allows for questions to be answered via email if unable to address during the event, provides data about common questions allowing for revision of presentation. Allows for private questions
    2. Cons- Owner of the form controls the Q&A, if questions get asked early on and then answered during presentation you maybe redundant if you address. Generally limits audience interaction. Best as an exit ticket.
      http://googleblogitalia.altervista.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/forms-in-google-drive.jpg
  3. Google Docs- Share an editable google doc for Q&As or embed an element of your presentation and allow participants to comment, and/or utilize the chat.
    1. Pros- share with limited audience. Accountability for comments and questions.
    2. Cons- No anonymity in comments or responses (depending on the class make-up this could also be a pro)
      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f1/Sample_of_collaborative_editing_using_google_doc.png
As always, I would love to hear other ideas and platforms from my PLN so please feel free to comment here, on Twitter at @EGHSPrincipalRI or on G+


Monday, September 1, 2014

Food for Thought Shared 9-1-2014

https://visualsonline.cancer.gov/retrieve.cfm?imageid=2398&dpi=300&fileformat=jpg
Below you will find "Food For Thought" links shared 9/1/2014. Hope you find them useful. If not, check back next week as the menu always changes!
Background- In my weekly Sunday night email to teachers I end with links to articles, videos, posts and other links that I have curated throughout the week that have made me pause and reflect upon my leadership, my practice, my school, my relationships, and my students.  Awhile ago, a teacher in my building Mr. DeCubellis, shared with me a file of all of last year's "Food for Thought".  Since then I have wanted to curate the materials further myself, beyond an email, and share them with an even larger audience. Additionally, I am still trying to get to posting regularly on this blog and I am hoping that this will provide me with a baby step to getting to at least a weekly post.
  1. Blended Learning for All in RI?- Rhode Island’s Announces Plans To Be The First State To Go Fully Blended- https://www.edsurge.com/n/2014-08-27-rhode-island-s-announces-plans-to-be-the-first-state-to-go-fully-blended
  2. Think people really say what they think online? Think again.- From Audrey Waters post-  Pew Research on “Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’.” “A major insight into human behavior from pre-internet era studies of communication is the tendency of people not to speak up about policy issues in public—or among their family, friends, and work colleagues—when they believe their own point of view is not widely shared.” And Pew contends folks are even more silent online.
  3. How do you praise? How, and what you praise matters!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWv1VdDeoRY   
  4. The internet has changed everything. Be a "Now-ist"-  http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/want-innovate-become-now-ist.html original TedTalk- 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Just the 1st Letter of the Alphabet? What Does Your "A" Grade Mean?

On this 1st day of school remember that a grade of "A" that is not preceded by:
https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5464/7438001874_9a28a88101_z.jpg

  • inquiry 
  • struggle 
  • unexpected challenges 
  • collaboration 
  • criticism
  • critical thinking
  • questioning using other's point of view
  • reflection
  • experimentation 
  • soul searching
  • risk taking
  • failure
is just the first letter of the alphabet.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

That's Not Flying, That's Free-Fall!!!

All too often I hear at (required) trainings "We are building the plane as we fly." The problem with this, and usually the programs the person is advocating/training for is:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ad/Impact_Landing_Dynamics_Facility_Crash_Test_-_GPN-2000-001907.jpg/750px-Impact_Landing_Dynamics_Facility_Crash_Test_-_GPN-2000-001907.jpg

  1. If you are not able to fly yet, how did this "plane" off the ground? (Not to mention why does it have "passengers"?)
  2. Since when are the passengers responsible for the flying of the aircraft, never mind it's construction and maintenance?
  3. Technically what you are describing is not flying. You are in free-fall. This being the case, I'm not looking to build the "plane", I'm looking for a parachute!
So as we begin SY 14-15, if you are leading a training that is "still building the plane" thank you for being honest about your product/initiative/training, but I'm trying to get, keep and land safely all the planes that I already have in the air.  Until you can actually get my students to their destination of choice, keep it in the hanger.

Let me know when you are flying, but until then, I'll pass until you get it off the ground. 

BTW- I also will not be putting ANY of my school community on your free-falling initiative until you do. (At least not without a parachute!)
http://www.defense.gov/dodcmsshare/homepagephoto/2008-03/hires_080313-F-1644L-132a.jpg

Friday, July 18, 2014

What Happened in SY 12-13 and What Are We Going to Do About It?

A wonderful new tool is available to look at various Rhode Island educational data- Advanced Reports from InfoWorks. What I really like is the ability to see the longitudinal statewide and school based results re: student reports and SurveyWorks. In my investigation of the various data points there are a few that stand out to me and have been nagging me for further investigations. What follows below is a few of the data points and the questions that have come as a result.

% of Students Who Report That Teachers Care About Them- What Happened in SY 12-13? Questions Raised by Dramatic Shift in Student Perceptions of Teachers (RI SurveyWorks)

Part I- What happened in SY 2012-13 to cause such a dramatic shift in students perception of teachers caring about students?
What are elementary schools doing that make students feel so cared about?

Part II- What are high schools doing, or not doing, to have seen such a shift? More importantly, what are we going to do about it?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Moving Through SAMR Part 2

While writing the post "Moving Through SAMR" I was extremely frustrated that I was capitulating to the proponents who feel we must ease our way into technology use in the classroom.  Swayed by the desire to: not add fuel to the nay-sayers' fire, or intimidate the tech newcomer, or implement "topdown" mandates and make people feel that tech is "one more thing" that is being put on their already overflowing plate; I felt like I needed to betray my gut feeling and not only allow, but promote an easing into technology integration by utilizing the Substitution and Augmentation of SAMR.

However, I recently came to the realization that the effort needed to Substitute and Augment is far greater than the effort needed for Modification and Redefinition.  Not only is the effort greater, the effort is also placed directly on the educator while the student simply continues to be passive and "complete" assignments.

Take for example a simple worksheet, I would argue that in an effort impact matrix of changing a paper worksheet with SAMR results in something like this:

  • Substitution
    • Teacher- High Effort/Low Impact 
    • Student- Low Effort/Low Impact 
  • Augmentation
    • Teacher- High Effort/Low Impact
    • Student- Low Effort/Low Impact 
  • Modification
    • Teacher- Low Effort/High Impact
    • Student- High Effort/High Impact
  • Redefinition
    • Teacher- Low Effort/High Impact
    • Student- Low Effort/High Impact
Two things:

  1. Obviously the above is an oversimplification, (using a worksheet as a starting point does help skew the argument)
  2. Who is doing the "work" and what type of "work" is being done shifts as we move up the SAMR ladder
So what gives?
It actually has more to do with solid pedagogy than it does the technology integration.  The gains in impact (albeit theoretical) achieved in Modification and Redefinition occur because of the personalization that must occur. Getting to M&R requires fostering individualized relationships and talents between the triumvirate of the designed learning experience- student, teacher, and task. Such a meaningful symbiotic relationship can only occur when we put our efforts into designing experiences that are never just able to be checked off as "complete".

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Food for Thought Shared 4/27/2014


Below you will find "Food For Thought" links shared 4/27/2014. Hope you find them useful. If not, check back next week as the menu always changes!
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/69/Flickr_jef_31871680--In-N-Out_Cheeseburgers.jpg

  1. Cornucopia of "Food for Thought"- TIE2014 Keynote Dr. Yong Zhao- http://youtu.be/MySiTjhN1Ok
  2. Every minute...https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BmLSIGmIEAADEul.jpg:large
  3. No App for That? Then smash it!- http://www.edutopia.org/blog/chrome-smashing-creating-the-inconceivable-beth-holland
  4. Why 20% Time is Good for Schools- http://www.edutopia.org/blog/20-percent-time-a-j-juliani
  5. How to Use Twitter in 60 Seconds- http://edutech4teachers.edublogs.org/2013/02/09/twitter-in-60-infographic/
Background- In my weekly Sunday night email to teachers I end with links to articles, videos, posts and other links that I have curated throughout the week that have made me pause and reflect upon my leadership, my practice, my school, my relationships, and my students.  Awhile ago, a teacher in my building Mr. DeCubellis, shared with me a file of all of last year's "Food for Thought".  Since then I have wanted to curate the materials further myself, beyond an email, and share them with an even larger audience. Additionally, I am still trying to get to posting regularly on this blog and I am hoping that this will provide me with a baby step to getting to at least a weekly post.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Don't believe the hype...even on the day before vacation we are teaching and learning

"We don't do anything on the day before vacation" is a phrase heard by some parents and guardians, invoked by students who want to start a scheduled vacation a day early.  In case you were tempted to believe the hype, thinking that teaching and learning was taking a day off at East Greenwich High School, below are just a few of the activities, assessments, discussions, essential questions, and other instructional methods that students were privy to on the day before vacation.

My best wishes to all members of the EGHS community for a fun and safe April vacation, you deserve it! 
  • All of my classes took tests/quizzes before vacation.  In AP I gave out the test prep book.
  • Mass communications class had an extended discussion about news bias as they reflected on the documentary Outfoxed. Many students provided their personal insights about how they themselves never realized just how much they were manipulated by certain media exploitations. We settled on the essential question "where does one go to get pure, objective news?" and settled on the fact that this may be unattainable in our current society. Thus, it is up to the consumer to be discerning and questioning viewers. 
  • Freshmen classes had a discussion of the movie "On Golden Pond" and provided insight into the deep, valuable benefits of the older generations learning from the young and the young learning from the  older generations. We closely examined why the frustrations of generations generally occur and the ways one might ease those frustrations (through introspection and the need for outside inspiration)
  • honors physics A- began lab to measure the speed of sound
  • honors physics B- finished speed of sound lab and then finished taking notes on ch 12 (sound)
  • Geometry - took the quarter 3 test.
  • Q3 cumulative exam in all classes
  • Hands on lab activity and application of content discussed all week! Students seemed to really enjoy the lab and the opportunity to ask questions in an informal setting.
  • All of my classes were finishing/working projects that were due today. Any students who had finished early were required to work on an independent piece and those were due today as well. 
  • The students in the Life Skills program organized all the school's Lost & Found articles.  They washed, dried and folded the laundry from the Ceramics classroom.  The students copied, collated, stapled and delivered copies to several teachers.  All the pencils that will be used by the guidance department for testing were sharpened, counted and bagged by the students.  Besides all this, the students worked on their math, reading and writing skills and participated in "Snack Shack" with their OT.  Quite a busy and full day!
  • All of my classes took their 3rd quarter exams today
  • Directed learning at a Speech given by Elie Wiesel.
  • Four scenes from Merchant of Venice discussed.
  • Completed Act IV in Henry V with class.
  • Three classes handed in Final Drafts of Research Paper .
  • Deconstructing Swift's ""A Modest Proposal"" -- studying his use of ad hominem attacks and irony to bolster the satire. 
  • Working in small groups to tackle confusing poetic devices...arguing over the differences between metonymy and synecdoche and why a poet would bother with either in the first place. 
  • Algebra 2 - Quarter 3 Common Test
  • Advanced Precalculus - Strategies for Verifying Trigonometric Identities
  • Freshman classes: Took a test and wrote and essay about Chapters 20 and 21 (Slavery and Division of the Union) 
  • Junior Classes: Wrote a Document Based Question  essay about the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This was a common core assessment
  • Today all of my classes had a quiz about a particular grammar point.  After that we chatted in Spanish about their vacation plans.  The conversation was all in Spanish and very productive!
  • French V unit test on Cyrano de Bergerac
  • French I instruction and practice on questioning/answering techniques in pairs and whole class
  • French IV discussion of 3 scenes of a Moliere play and introduction to oral proficiency testing
  • French III.  Team work to summarize,present and paraphrase a section of Notre Dame de Paris
  • In chemistry, we discussed the results of the data collected in yesterday's Electrolytes lab. The students completed a graphic organizer characterizing different types of solutions  then shared out with the class. Finally they learned how to analyze a Solubility curve. 
  • Senior Project
  • finish tests, quizzes that are outstanding before vacation
  • DBQ's…common tasks
  • UNIT projects: Regionalization, Satire 
  • Q3 unit math tests
  • Algebra II classes completed the quarter 3 common test today.
  • Test on the food chapters of the Spanish 1 curriculum, quiz on the preterite of the verb ir, quiz on the present perfect, cultural activities in which students made their own "ojos de dios" crafts
  • Worked on the Second Suite in F Major by Gustav Holst, transcribed Radioactive by Imagine Dragons and arranged it for String Orchestra, small group work composing 8 measure original folk songs.
  • Art Studio 2: class critique of current projects
  • Art Studio 1: students worked on finishing their surrealist paintings
  • Foundations of Art: students began final drafts of their still-life drawings
  • AP & Portfolio Art: discussed future plans and art careers, began brainstorming for next projects, visiting artist shared graphic design logo work
  • Students completed a collaborative in class essay using Google docs.  The essay was an analytical thematic analysis on the novel Moby Dick.
  • Students previewed vocabulary such as cerebellum, frontal lobe, & cortex to read, and apply reading strategies, to a book about the curious case of Phineas Gage, the man with the hole in his head. 
  • Rock Identification Lab Practical (lab quiz), physical science
  • "Freshmen English - read and acted out the final scene in Romeo and Juliet, then compared the original text with clips from the 1968 Zeffirelli film interpretation and the 1997 Luhrmann film interpretation.
  • Origins of Fantasy - met in small groups to discuss the Lord of the Rings trilogy; also read a scholarly article and its analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as an example of 'dark fantasy' - watched a clip from Buffy and discussed metaphors, symbolism, themes, etc."
  • Talked about, read primary sources about, and tasted food, all in the target language. All prepared and executed by students, for students.
  • Formative assessment on intercepts and integration, discussion of past quizzes, small group discussion regarding a higher-order question about slopes.  Some new material also presented.
  • poetry salon--students chose, present, and discuss poems
  • review unit terms
  • introduce new concept
  • 9 and 11 PE :  a seeded singles badminton tournament. Each period ended with a  class champion.
  • quarter 3 common assessments
(This post will also be cross-posted eghssuccess.blogspot.com and will be updated as more teacher responses come in)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Food for Thought Shared 4/13/2014

Below you will find "Food For Thought" links shared 4/13/2014. Hope you find them useful. If not, check back next week as the menu always changes!

  1. I have been referencing throughout the course of the year materials by Seth Godin. If you like or appreciate his message, here is a post with links to some of his "greatest hits"- http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/04/some-greatest-hits.html
  2. Gratitude is the New Willpower- http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/04/gratitude-is-the-new-willpower/
  3. 5 Incredible Ways to Work Smarter Not Harder- http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/5-incredibly-effective-ways-to-work-smarter-not-harder.html
  4. 3 Keynotes from conferences EGHS educators have attended this year:
    1. George Couros from "Leading Future Learning 2014" Conference http://youtu.be/EX2tT_SEd2U
    2. Chris Lehmann from "MassCUE 2013" http://youtu.be/KKfCaPyWjUM
    3. Tony Wagner from "MassCUE 2013" http://youtu.be/C2tLMZxKoCg
Background- In my weekly Sunday night email to teachers I end with links to articles, videos, posts and other links that I have curated throughout the week that have made me pause and reflect upon my leadership, my practice, my school, my relationships, and my students.  Awhile ago, a teacher in my building Mr. DeCubellis, shared with me a file of all of last year's "Food for Thought".  Since then I have wanted to curate the materials further myself, beyond an email, and share them with an even larger audience. Additionally, I am still trying to get to posting regularly on this blog and I am hoping that this will provide me with a baby step to getting to at least a weekly post.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I Surrender...to EdCamps!

It's official. 

I am done. 

No more. 

I give up.

Thanks to meaningful, relevant, hands-on, vote with your feet, create the sessions you need, connect with the person next to you and the room, EdCamp model of professional development that I have experienced, (as well as PD/conferences implemented by ISTE, EdTechTeacher, MassCUE) I can no longer tolerate the "let me lecture at you about best practices, even though I am exhibiting none of them" garbage that passes as professional development and gives PD a bad name. 

Now I am not saying that EdCamp is the end all be all model for everyone. "Different strokes for different folks" as "they" say, but after an EdCamp I sure find myself exhausted from doing compared to exhausted from sitting and listening/cringing

But...because manufactured and/or mandated PD will never stop, I will pass along some tips I hope non-EdCamp PD creators will use to win me back. So below is my plea to corporate PD developers:

  1. If you have an inspiring keynote, challenge and help participants to take action or create something after it. 
  2. Provide spaces for people to work in groups or alone quietly.
  3. Let me know in advance the type activity that will occur during a session.  For example, let me know if a session is a lecture, requires technology, or involves a protocol that is going to require me talk to strangers. 
  4. Differentiate your sessions. Have beginner, intermediate, advanced sessions.
  5. Keep the hashtag manageable. Don't use #amazinglearningbroughttoyoubyapublishingcompany2014
  6.  Reduce the price, or at least make sure the hotel doesn't charge me for internet. Also, I don't need, want, or will ever use a messenger bag or lanyard with your logo on it.  
  7. Don't put awards before or after the keynote. I am all for celebrating peoples' accomplishments, but I am here to learn, so make it an optional award session or gathering.
I am sure more will come to me, but that is my list for now. Would love to see what my PLN will add, so please comment away.

Happy EdCamping! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Food for Thought 4/6/2014

Below you will find "Food For Thought" links shared 4/6/2014. Hope you find them useful. If not, check back next week as the menu always changes!
  1. ODEC- Creative Problem Solving- http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/pisa-2012-results-volume-V.pdf?utm_content=buffer23274&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
  2. Great Bloom's Taxonomy with Activities- http://www.celt.iastate.edu/teaching/RevisedBlooms1.html
  3. Post by Mr. Chace after an amazing EGHS poetry slam and reflecting on grades- http://mrchaceeghs.blogspot.com/2014/04/grades-matter.html
  4. We need to talk about TED? http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/30/we-need-to-talk-about-ted
    Background- In my weekly Sunday night email to teachers I end with links to articles, videos, posts and other links that I have curated throughout the week that have made me pause and reflect upon my leadership, my practice, my school, my relationships, and my students.  Awhile ago, a teacher in my building Mr. DeCubellis, shared with me a file of all of last year's "Food for Thought".  Since then I have wanted to curate the materials further myself, beyond an email, and share them with an even larger audience. Additionally, I am still trying to get to posting regularly on this blog and I am hoping that this will provide me with a baby step to getting to at least a weekly post.