Friday, May 25, 2018

Creative Reflection

I love the reflection questions in this blog entry by George Couros.  This is a great way to end the year and think about how you can challenge yourself next year. Consider posing these questions to your students and giving them an opportunity to create a reflection project for a fun and insightful End of Year idea. Teachers could even model this process by completing a reflection project and sharing it with their students.  "If they see you taking risks in your learning, they will be more comfortable taking their own."

Students can use digital tools or posters to share their reflections and learning goals in response to these questions from the blog or other questions they think of. 

  • What did I do well this year?
  • Why did I do well in this area?
  • Where do I need to grow?
  • What things will I challenge myself with next year?

Some ideas for digital reflection projects:
  • Use Flipgrid,  iMovie, or another recording tool to record responses to reflection questions
  • Create a Google Slide presentation with a slide for each reflection question and add in some visuals 
  • Use Educreations, Pic Collage, Seesaw, Google Drawings,  or another digital tool to create a reflection poster 
  • Use Powtoon for an interactive response to reflection questions
  • Create a reflection infographic 
These are just a few ideas. Consider giving students a choice on the digital tool they use to create.  The questions give them a starting point to reflect on their learning and growth. The creation aspect helps students take ownership and it's fun! 

Articles about reflection and risk taking by George Couros

Thursday, April 19, 2018

This! Teachers GIVE Teachers

These resources shared by Kris Szajner and Beth Leighton are fabulous and FREE! There are over 500 slides organized with a table of contents and sorted by content area and activity type. 

Teachers can... 

  • save these activities to their Seesaw Library to share with students 
  • share the activities via Google Classroom, Google Drive,  or other work flow tool
  • project the activity templates to give students a model for creating their own
  • differentiate, scaffold, and assess easily
  • edit activities to meet the needs of your students
  • check out the "how to" slides to learn how to make additional activities

Students can...

  • share their learning creatively with the graphic organizers (my favorites!) 
  • apply their learning with the number talks and sentence frames
  • practice reading with the fluency activities and short stories
  • collaborate and apply their learning with the game boards
  • check out the templates for ideas to create their own
  • categorize, compare, contrast, classify, compose, design, explain, etc.

Click here to check out these resources. Follow Kris and Beth on Twitter and share your appreciation for the time and work they put  into this collection.  Did I mention they are sharing for FREE?!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Digital Math Tools

Teachers can use these digital manipulatives as they explain and model content and processes. Students can use with task cards or practice problems to demonstrate content mastery. Students can then discuss with partners/groups, airplay to Apple TV & explain, and/or screen capture and share their learning through Seesaw or Google Classroom.

(Computer and Ipads)
~fractions ~geoboard ~place value
~number lines ~patterns
~number frames ~vocabulary
and more
(computer only)
~money ~time ~place value
~fractions ~geometry 
~graphs ~measurement
and more

   (iPads only)
~100s chart ~money ~graphing
~fractions ~multiplication ~time
~number line ~tens frame
~math challenge ~ruler
and more

 (computer only)
 ~time ~base ten ~fractions
~geoboard ~shapes ~calendar
~tangrams ~hundreds chart
  and more

Saturday, February 3, 2018

NCDLCN Virtual Learning

This is my third year participating in the North Carolina Digital Leadership Coaching Network. I've had the privilege to serve as a mentor for two of those years.  In every face-to-face meeting I grow as an educator. The topics are always presented in an engaging way and are relevant to my position. The leaders are enthusiastic and encouraging. I leave every meeting with a new protocol (often several), a new friend, encouragement, "food for thought", and sometimes an award or swag.

Most recently NCDLCN offered additional learning opportunities through the first NCDLCN Alumni Virtual Conference. Fortunately in our district it occurred on a snow day. This allowed me to participate in three sessions. This was a fabulous professional learning experience!  The Zoom format was perfect; allowing the presenters to share their screens and the participants to share questions and comments. I ended each session with relevant information and resources that I could implement and/or share immediately with the educators I work with.  Another plus is that the sessions were archived so that I can view additional sessions during a time that is convenient for me. You can view them here.  I appreciate the time that the organizers and presenters invested to bring this virtual conference to NCDLCN alumni. 

I am inspired to investigate this method of professional learning as a possibility for our district. We are already in the process of creating a YouTube channel where teacher leaders will share short videos that highlight strategies and ideas. Teachers can choose videos that interest them and view at their leisure. 

Encouraging teacher leaders to present a casual virtual session, similar to the NCDLCN Alumni Virtual Event, and then archiving the videos would offer additional learning opportunities to meet different learning preferences. Learners could watch live or archived sessions independently or as a group. 

This type of digital learning experience addresses many adult learning characteristics. 

  • learners have control and are self-directed
  • learners can choose relevant sessions that meet their individual goals
  • learners can choose a time that works with their schedule
  • learners can choose and personalize their learning environment

Learning and growing has never been easier and it's important to never stop learning because life never stops teaching.