On my campus (and I’m sure on many of yours) we are working on growing our blended learning practices. Many define blended learning differently. On our campus, when we say blended learning, we mean teaching our students in differentiated small groups based on data, while students work through a paper checklist that details what they need to complete in the areas of independent work, future ready (collaborative activities), and a digital component (this could be an additional mini-lesson from the teacher which has been recorded or adaptive software that meets students where they are to fill in gaps and take them farther).Continue reading
I’m preparing for an upcoming presentation and have been thinking of creative ways to split the participants into small groups without the overused “numbering-everyone-off” strategy. I’m enrolled in Tony Vincent’s Classy Creations course and this week one of the many things Tony taught us was how to create a tear-off sheet – you know, the kind that you often see posted in which you can tear off a tab of information to take with you. Even while watching Tony’s tutorial I knew THIS was the solution I was looking for! I could put a tear-off sheet at each table, ask participants to take one, and then get into small groups based on their tear-off. Continue reading
I don’t know about you… but I keep seeing Valentine’s cards at the grocery store! It’s that time of year to start getting Valentines ready for your personal kids, students, and colleagues. This year, I wanted to do something different than the grocery store folded cards and candy. I decided to create a sticker that can be printed on Avery 2″ circle labels so that I can place the labels on ANYTHING to turn it into a Valentine.
Here’s what I came up with:
When my daughter Madison was really little, I used to print on paper lunch bags and put treats, games, and activities inside for when we went on long trips. This way, she had something new to open and do every 30 minutes on our trips instead of being bored and asking again and again, “Are we there yet?”
When I was an Assistant Principal, I had an unconscious habit of always putting confiscated items in my desk drawer alongside typical desk drawer office supplies such as pens, pencils, rubber bands, and paper clips. It was not uncommon to open my desk drawer and see cute colored sticky notes right next to a pocket knife or skull-shaped toy waiting for a parent to pick up. Continue reading
In his article in Forbes, “The 10 Vital Skills You Will Need for the Future of Work,” Bernard Marr shares that the skills we believe are important in today’s market are quickly changing due to automation and artificial intelligence. What skills will the workers of tomorrow need? His research indicates creativity, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, active learning with a growth mindset, judgment and decision making, interpersonal communication skills, leadership skills, diversity and cultural intelligence, technology skills, and the ability to embrace change. Do these sound familiar? The majority of these skills sound like the future-ready skills we are trying to instill in our students as educators! Creativity, critical thinking, active learning, communication skills – these are the kinds of skills we are being challenged to grow in our students for their future success. Continue reading
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about more ways to take full advantage of the touch screen devices we have on our campuses. One way is to have students drag and drop words and objects to show their understanding. I wanted to see if I could do this using Google Slides. Since I planned with my 3rd grade team last week, I created a template with the content they were working on (multiplication) and a silly theme I thought would appeal to their kids (rainbow unicorns, of course!). Continue reading
When educators post pictures of their classrooms on twitter, Facebook, and Instagram I see touch screen boards (whether SmartBoards, Promethean Boards, or another type), most often used to display instructions, station rotation, or playlists – none of which harness the power of the touchscreen for learning. Continue reading
Today is International Dot Day! This is a day to be creative and not be afraid to share what you create! The day is a celebration of creativity based on the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. Click here to learn more at the International Dot Day website.
Vulnerable moment: Every single time I write a blog post, at some point I think to myself, “This is dumb.” or “This isn’t good enough to share.” But, just like the teacher in The Dot encourages her student to “make her mark”, I attempt to make my mark with each blog post. I think it is important to model risk-taking for our students AND to give them opportunities to take risks and be creative. These are the life-long skills they will need in the workplace. Continue reading
I had the honor and privilege of being selected and funded by Raise Your Hand Texas to attend The Art of Leadership at Harvard University Graduate School of Education earlier this summer. I learned more than I could possibly put into one blog post, but 3 things stood out to me about the training. These three practices are why I believe I came away with so many ideas I feel like I can really implement right away – and these three big ideas will shape how I approach future staff development that I attend. I hope sharing these three strategies with you will help you to make connections with content and get more out of your upcoming professional development opportunities.