This Year in Teaching

I can stand in front of a classroom all day long and teach. I’m actually pretty good at that. I explain well, I have a deep understanding of my subject so when half formed questions come up I can usually see where they are coming from, but this is not the way I teach. This method of teaching meets the needs of students like me, but I don’t teach students like me. Most people at the age of 13 don’t want to sit and take notes from a teacher. they want to talk, move, text, snap, whatever, anything except sit and take notes.

I won’t try to incorporate all that into my teaching. That would be forced. What I will do is to allow students to take more responsibility for learning. For me this means projects. I’m calling what I am doing this year project based learning, but it isn’t quite fully that. We have one project for each unit, but they are not always natural teachers of the content.

For example the first project will be rewriting a song so that the lyrics teach operations on rational numbers. The project, could be more natural if we asked the student to explore sound frequencies, but I am not going for pure project based learning, I’m going for standards based learning.

I know studying song lyrics won’t teach anything about operations on rational numbers, but writing the lyrics correctly will. Maybe it isn’t project based learning right away, maybe call it project based assessment except that the project will be given first and students can choose to learn from me or through other resources until they feel confident enough to finish the project (or test if they prefer that sort of assessment).

The organization of each unit is pretty simple. (and I use the word unit loosely as we mostly group units by strand of mathematics) Introduce the CCSS standards, walk students through how I make standards into objectives, have students break the objectives into learning targets through the questions they have. (a KWL chart) Next introduce the project and show how it meets the objectives. Show students resources we have that will allow them to learn the target skills  necessary to meet the objectives and allow them to choose how and when to learn those skills. (Still individualized learning and not personalized (or vice versa I always get those confused), but giving a lot of voice to the students).

The important thing is the student choice. They don’t actually have to do the project. They can learn all the skills from me and then take a test, they can learn all the skills, from another resource such as Khan Academy or CK12 and take a test. They can learn on their own and then do the project. They can learn on their own and then do a project of their own choosing. It doesn’t matter as long as they check in with me at least weekly and are working towards the goal as measured by mastering learning targets.

We will see how this shift in learning goes. Oh and did I mention we are also going 1 to 1 and shifting towards Standards Based Grading? I actually don’t think I could do this without those two elements, but first things first changing the culture of the classroom. No more work turned in for a grade, instead steady feedback on a long-term project.

Follow Your Passion

This video from Mike Rowe

 

has been going around. It suggests that the advice you may have received to “follow your passion” may be ill advised. I get what they’re saying a passion is not a livelihood. Some people are lucky and maybe they love writing and make a living out of it, or they love acting in to make a living out of it, but for many people their passions are not monetizable or worse they just aren’t good enough at what they are passionate about to be successful. (And by successful he implies great which is a pretty high bar to cross)

For many people following their passion means making sacrifices. If your passion is going to be your full-time job sure you made love going to work every day but you may not make a lot of money. Some people are okay with that, and some people aren’t. If my passion is crocheting socks maybe I shouldn’t think about doing that for a living. Sure or I could probably sell a couple on Etsy. If I get lucky they become some sort of hipster value item, but it’s not very likely.flickr-3824584187-medium

And that’s the same for most people. I don’t think the average person depends on their passion to become their livelihood. I don’t think the average person even has a great passion. Much less a passion that they would consider the defining element of their life.

I mean my wife is passionate about decorating. She even started a business as a decorator, but it didn’t last. That had nothing to do with her skill or passion for the job of decorating. It had everything to do with the other responsibilities of being a small business owner. For a small business to run and make money you have to put as much or more time into the business side of things as you do the passion side of things. 

If you want to start a business in your passion, whether  it be music, decorating, or painting, or whatever what happens is after a full day or working your day job, then you put in a full day on your passion, but not necessarily doing your passion. It might be calling dozens of people asking for a gig, or looking for business, updating the web page, writing a blog post, practicing, making flyers, or a million other things. Most of them boring work. Suddenly, making a living in your passion isn’t fun, it’s work. you might even hate the one thing you used to love.

For many people working a regular job and indulging in passion during free time is a much more sensible way to live life and I haven’t even gotten into those of use who don’t really have a passion.

I didn’t have any passions in high school. I was pretty good at math so when I went to college I started as a high school math teacher. Then I dropped out because I had no passion to get over the obstacles in my way. Eight years and a series of jobs later I finished a liberal arts degree and took stock of my life.

All I really knew was that I wanted to do something that was of service to people. Education was the right answer, just not high school math. Even then it was several years later before I became passionate about education.

Don’t follow your passion is not bad advice, but I think it’s only scratching the surface of the problem. Just like follow your passions and you’ll be happy is kind of good advice that’s that’s only surface level.

The real key is to find that mix of life and passion and work that makes you happy.lego steve

I know plenty of happy people who go to work at a job that is just a job, but it makes money and pays the bills. They come home and have fun and enjoy life. I also know people who are passionate about their jobs and pour all kinds of energy into it their work. They take work home and it defines who they are, and that is ok with them.  Both are happy with their work life balance. (Note this should not be confused with people who pour their whole life into work because they are afraid to lose their jobs. They aren’t happy. It should also not be confused with people whose jobs require them to put all of their waking hours into work. They may or may not be happy)

Passion does not make you happy, neither working in your passion or just working. What really makes you happy is being conscious of the choice we all have to make and then choosing what will be best for us.

Student Review

The school year is over time for me to give my first ever student survey of my teaching. I basically took my questions from http://ukiahcoachbrown.blogspot.com/

Questions Was I well organized? Did you understand what was going on? Did you learn how to learn independently? Do you think I improved since September? Did you feel safe? Were you, as a student, treated with respect?
Average 7 7 7 8 8 8
Overall 8

I think the students were much nicer to me than I would have been, or am I just too critical?

I’m not surprised the organization is low. I think I am pretty good at setting up a system, but not very good at sticking to it. That and 7th graders tend to pull me off task. It’s something I will always need to work on.

I’m also not surprised students were confused a lot. First that can be related to the organization, but I think more importantly it comes from the way I teach. We tried to do a lot of problem based learning and the students didn’t like that very much, especially at the end. Near the end of the year I had students beg me for worksheets and tests.

Even though the rubric we created was more like step by step guides many students still struggled with what and how to create a project. For example the second page of our last rubric had a list of components. Still students struggled with what to do. My mantra for the last week of the project was, “If you are not figuring out probability you are not doing your project right.” Still I had students spending hours on their game boards that didn’t include any form of probability at all. Sometimes teaching is like banging your head against the wall.

At least we learned something. Next year our projects will start with these very detailed rubrics, but I will actually shorten the work-time. What happens is students still work, work, work up until the final due date then turn in a project that doesn’t meet the criteria for success. No matter what feedback I give to them during the project, they only listen when I put a grade into the grade book.  (Not everyone, but quite a few anyway).

After the grade goes in and they see that low grade about half the students ask how they can make it up. So the plan is to allow everyone who wants to reopen their project and make improvements. It was my experience that after the grade is in and isn’t acceptable to the student that they begin to care.

It is still too focused on grades, but this is the first step. If I can teach students to see the relationship between the rubric and the grade maybe we can start getting students to pay attention to feedback before the grade goes in the book. It’s a thought anyway. My next post will have more detail on the changes we are going to make for next year.

This does lead me to the next rating, “did you learn how to learn”? I’m surprised that rating is so high, but maybe because most of my class time seems to be spent dealing with students who struggle with rubrics and only look at grades.

I’m glad I improved in the eyes of the students, they felt safe, and respected. This is the most important part of course. Students feel safe and respected, but perhaps not safe enough because many still don’t take risks in their work. I’ll try better next year.

What is formative assessment

You know how it is, you try to blog once a week. You put it off during the week, because it is busy and you just don’t have time. Then Friday comes around and you put it off till Saturday, then Saturday is busy and you put it off till Sunday. The next thing you know it’s two weeks later.

 

I’d like to start a conversation with the 12 people who might read my blog, the 6 who read it through facebook, the random looks from G+, and the two who scan the title on twitter. If you wouldn’t mind chiming in.

 

Here’s my question, “Are multiple choice tests formative?”

 

My team and I, we write these CFA’s (common formative assessments) every week or two. they are the basis of the grades (Which is a question I’d like to ignore for now). The problem is we give them basically at the end of the teaching so they are really summative, though we often find we need to reteach.

 

We are planning a new unit next week and were given the green light to go more standards based grading. I thought it would be a good time to suggest that we move these questions around a bit more. We can ask them to warm ups, one-on-one conversations, exit slips, homework assignments, etc…
Then it occurred to me, are multiple choice tests ever formative? Can I use the right or wrong answers to inform my teaching?

Success

A question to ask. You’re at home, or in the classroom, or at the park, wherever and you are asking this child, or group of children to do a task. Do they stop and stare at the wall? Do they fidget? Do they hem and haw and avoid work? Do they fight? Do they talk back? Do they do anything except attack the work?

 

None of these things has anything to do with being lazy, or entitled, or total jerkfaceness. Generally, people like to do interesting things, they like a bit of a challenge, they just don’t like too much of a challenge.

 

Leo Vygotsky called it the Zone of Proximal Development, that sweet spot where things are just hard enough to be interesting, but not too difficult. They can’t be too easy either, that is boring. Some call it, Flow, others grit, and even others intrinsic motivation. Whatever you call it, try asking a question.

 

Are you asking students to do the work alone, or are you joining them in the learning?

The ZPD, the sweet spot, the Zone, they all shrink when you ask students to go it alone, but they enlarge to monster size when kids know they are supported.

 

Students can’t just be confident that they can fail and not get hurt, they have to know they have the ability to succeed. Do they know that?

Intentional Classrooms

Organization

This first part is already a couple of weeks old, but I get a bit busy and can’t get back to my writing.

A disorganized pile of folders on a shelf

A disorganized teacher leads to disorganized students

Another week done at the middle school. I’m trying to get back into the swing of things of teaching. I realize that as a person I really don’t have a lot of organization. I do have some, but I don’t. It is kind of funny. What I mean is I don’t have any sort of organization skills, but I learn them or steal them. Going back to decorating my classroom again, I had so much trouble with it, not because I thought I wanted it to look pretty, but what I really wanted was to create organization for my students

 

Now a month into the school year I am realizing that I don’t have a good system set up and that hurts me and my students because we, the students and I don’t know what to do next. This is very important a classroom setting. We need organization to fall back on for those times when we finish early or just need to change tracks.

 

Most classrooms it is the same, come in the class do bell work, finish bell work jump into worksheets  or a short teacher led session, or better yet come into class work on project, take the project and share it with class in this way, what do I do if I don’t know how to do the project, How do I just ask for help or learn something new without asking the teacher. Where can I get more information. How do I teach myself. How do I work with my peer. etc….. That is the system that I don’t have set up in my classroom.

 

(editor’s note, I’m glad to say I’m getting more organized, but I’m trying to be intentional about it. I’m trying to make something that works for me and enhances the learning of my students)

 

Edcamps

 

I love edcamps, free conference, free breakfast, free lunch, how can you not like that. Plus no boring speakers. What it is, is a bunch of educators who come together to talk education, except because we don’t know each other’s students we never fall into the teacher’s lounge trap of focusing on behaviors.

#bloodmooneclipse

#bloodmooneclipse

EdcampIllinois (Schedule and collaborative notes here) was hosted by Maple Middle School in Northbrook. Some new folks organizing things and they did a great job. My favorite session was the Breakout Edu session. The game is simple, lock a box with three or more locks that use a variety of changeable codes to open. Set clues around the room, and the object is to get into the box before time runs out. Locks can be opened with numbers, words, or patterns so that students can test math, English, or whatever. (Not to mention the great team building exercise).

 

The next weekend was EdcampChicago. I’ve been going to this edcamp since the beginning and even helped organize a few over the years. (Schedule and collaborative notes). The first session for me was How to use twitter and blogs to inspire math. For most of the hour it was just me and another teacher so we had a great time-sharing people we follow on twitter and blogs.

 

My second session was Building a Culture of learning. Awesome stuff here. Because of this conversation I’ve been doing “My Favorit Know” as part of my warm up,  it has been great. All I do is take a picture of a common mistake from yesterday’s exit slip and put it into my presentation, then as a class ask why that was such a common mistake, or what s/he might have been thinking. We talked of ways to build a growth mindset and build collaborative groups, but you can read about that in the notes above.

 

I finished the session by attending a flipping the math classroom and makerspaces in the middle school. Oh, and winning a $500 document camera. Thanks Lumens.

 

It has been a busy few weeks at school (and on the weekends) I just haven’t had much time to write and reflect. I will do better and keep posting about once a week. The one thing I want to do is to be more intentional about what and how I make changes. I’m very good at following plans, and I’m very good at stumbling through life pretending I have a sense of direction, what I’m not always good at is purposefully planning so that a specific outcome is achieved. Yet, this is the basis of a lesson plan/unit plan.

Time to turn up the professionalism.

 

Drowning in a Puddle

It has been seven or eight years since I have been in a classroom alone. The changes are drastic, but some things never change.

 

As a SIG school we are meeting and documenting everything. We are testing; Common Formative Assessment testing, Pre-testing, Post-testing., AIM testing, MAP testing, and PARCC testing. It’s a lot of tests. Sure I’m an anti-testing teacher, but I also see the value in knowing where your students stand in relation to what you are trying to teach. And while some of the tests I am required to give may not be worth the paper it is printed on (or the energy wasted in lighting up the pixels) I appreciate being forced to think so often about whether my kids are getting what I’m teaching. It can be easy to get caught up in how well you deliver the lessons and forget that the point is not the delivery but the reception.

 

I think back to the two weeks before school when I was doing my new teaching induction. I thought at the time what they were doing was great, and it was. It’s just that we spent a lot of time talking about adult things and not classroom things. We talked about the procedures for classroom management, district procedures, technology, copiers, etc… What we didn’t talk about was learning in our classrooms. We didn’t talk about curriculum, lesson planning, engaging students, formative assessments or any of that stuff.

 

Perhaps, after 15 years in education decorating classrooms, deciphering curriculum, and building engaging lessons shouldn’t be something that stumps me. But there I was less than  a week before school asking on twitter for advice on decorating my room. (And misspelling mathchat)

 

I do want my kids to do most of the decorating, I want them to show off the work they do as a group in the classroom, but I also can use the walls to create engaging learning spaces. I have the:

20150909_082927

tape word wall,

and the:

tape box of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

tape box of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

I think I might do a quote wall as well. Most of it is empty at the moment, but slowly the kids are filling it up. I started with base vocabulary words from NWEA, but then asked the students to add their own. then I asked them to translate into Spanish. I just have to remember to build time for this into lessons. It can be one of the things you do when you finish your work early.

 

School has started and I don’t have time to craft decent lesson plans. I’m sure I’ll get used to all the work, but at the moment almost two weeks in the school year I’m still in survival mode.

 

It was nice having time to decorate my room, create a substitute folder, and learn some other things, but with the start of school what I’ve realized is I needed to take time to go over the curriculum more. Our first two weeks before school would have been more useful if we had sat down with our instructional coach and really hammered out a strong first two weeks or a month of teaching. An overview of the first unit. Not too detailed, just something like; here are the essential questions for unit 1, here are the standards that will be taught each week, here are a few ideas for lesson plans, etc…

 

Building procedures in the classroom are extremely important, however teaching procedures, like teaching anything else, has to be done within context. If my first couple of lessons of the school year are review lessons, I can spend more time in the lesson practicing things like, getting into and out of transitions, moving around the room, answering questions as a group, etc…  For me teaching is a procedure and I have a hard time visualizing exactly how I want my room to function until I’m actually designing the lessons and putting them into practice.

Being a Teacher – That first Monday

I know many people who read this blog are already in education, but for those who aren’t let me give you my first Monday

 

I woke at 5 so I could do a bit of exercise and breakfast before school. I got to school a bit  past 7 and went to make copies for the day. I did try to make them on Friday, but I couldn’t.

 

The copy room was like a rugby scrum as teachers jockied for paper and position, then the secretary came in a jumped the line. I gave up and walked away. I only needed a couple of copies for small group instruction.

 

Later I learned that they put paper in at 7;30 AM so a lot of teachers make copies then before the daily ration of paper is gone. I have a box of paper, I just didn’t expect to have to use it this early in the year.

 

At 8 the students enter the building for breakfast.  When they are finished they head to their grade level hall and wait until announcements at 8:30. Official duty starts at 8:10. I sometimes feel a bit like a prison guard as the students are asked to sit 2 X 2 in the halls. Girls on one side boys on the other. Students read talk or play video games, teachers talk and keep order. I try to practice rewarding positive behavior by giving away Eagle bucks.

 

My first class starts right after announcements and I’m teaching from 8:30 to 12ish, back to back to back to back. It’s a tough stretch and that first day my calfs were so sore I could barely sleep. I’ve almost got the hang of it, but this is my major weakness as a teacher. My plan for the day has to be ready, I can’t really make mid-course corrections, or a few extra copies or anything like that (no bathroom breaks). Luckily for me we have a schedule that requires common meetings and plannings.

 

After that marathon teaching session. I have lunch, plan (I made copies for tomorrow and I didn’t have to use my own paper), and PLC (Professional Learning Community) time. PLC is team time, but the change in name requires actual PLC rules, plus we are a SIG (School Improvement Grant) school, meaning we have to keep records of the everything. Then I teach one final class before the end of the day.

 

My daily team consists of a first year teacher who spent last year substituting, a SPED resource and an ELL resource. They are great people who are willing and happy to dive in and do what it takes to teach. They help me with my planning difficulties. Each day has a slightly different topic as not all team members can make every meeting and Mondays are spent with Science to help us connect our lessons. I just wish we had common planning time as well, an hour is just not enough time to work together. We at least have time in math to divvy up the lesson planning responsibilities for the week. The common lessons are helpful for me and the students. I feel a bit bad because I haven’t been able to stay late and half the team is at school until 7PM very night.

 

The Science team is a good match. They are a bunch of overly organized, newish, teachers. Most of the 7th grade is new to the building and most of the teachers are in their first few years of teaching. The first meeting was mostly getting to know each other and the students, but we did look at last year’s MAP scores and get a few thing out of the way. Near the end of the meeting the Math coach visited, she had this 1,000 yard stare as if she was just overworked already and we haven’t even had students for a week yet.

 

It has been a bit frustrating the first week because we are trying to figure out the thought process behind the curriculum they built last year and no one has been there to help, but after seeing the look of exhaustion on the math coach’s face at 1:00 on a Monday I knew our she has been too busy to work with us yet.

 

As a math department we are kind of figuring it out and finding more flexibility than we first thought. We can really make this curriculum our own, but getting through the first week is more about survival than planning for the future.

 

After my respite with adults I teach one last class and the students leave at 3:30. We kind of push them out of the halls and wander outside to make sure everyone leaves in an orderly fashion. New duty schedules were posted on Wednesday.

 

I’ve been trying to keep on the students during the day to clean up after themselves and the last class has the responsibility of putting chairs on desks. I spend the first 10 minutes after the students leave cleaning my room and writing the objective on the board for tomorrow. Today I graded the AIM test for the EPIC class (Response To Intervention, a state mandated program to give student extra help in their areas of need, but I would prefer a more low key homeroom type program). I packed away the exit slips to grade at home and started to leave, but found my partners at the copy machine trying to get ahead of the game. I gave them my ream of paper. (I expected paper shortages, but not this early in the year).

 

At home I corrected the exit slips, still not happy with progress, and reviewed the lesson plans for the week. Now I’m writing this. Next I’ll review my classroom student information system to see what medical, psychological, and educational notes there may be on my students.

 

I’ve been in education for 15 years. When I first started there was none of this required collaboration stuff. We had a tight group in my first building, but for planning and paperwork, I was basically on my own. Over the years I’ve been to a lot of team meetings and for the most part they ignore planning and concentrate on students. In defense most of the meetings tended to be grade level meetings not subject meetings. The problem is when the focus is on students and not teaching the discussion revolves around student behavior and nothing productive gets done.

 

This sounds odd writing it, but I prefer the focus to stay off of students and stick to classroom teaching. The funny part is for a lot of the last few weeks I have heard the word compliance and flinched almost every time. I don’t want to teach students to be compliant, I want to teach them to learn. In actual practice, though there is a lot of focus on compliant behavior, mornings in the halls and a heavy focus on classroom procedures.

 

This is one of the weaknesses of the reform movement. The students and teachers are all expected to be compliant. We have a ton of paperwork and required things to be done. Like creating common assessments (9 per quarter), common assessment data discussions, etc… It’s all good stuff that good teachers do, but somehow it doesn’t feel exactly natural. Like we are expected to go through the motions of being a teach in hopes that someday that will be true.

 

I don’t have a problem with data collection and using it to steer classroom instruction, but right now this isn’t feeling as authentic as it could. On the other hand I also feel like I might be learning a thing or two about formative assessment that I might not have wanted to know. We’ll see. This data collection and use is something I’ll be looking  at during the year, if I can find time to reflect on it.

My Last Week in Tech – Technology Innovation

This is one of my favorite teachers, and this boat school is an innovative solution to a seasonal problem. One might wonder why we don’t have these innovative schools in America. Probably the same reason we don’t go out back and teach in the dirt with sticks. we just don’t have to. Schools are designed to maximize  the teaching we do. Could there be a better design, possibly, but not for the teaching we do currently.

 

Technology is thought of as a disrupter in education because it comes into the design we already have and makes it possible to change. Many people see this change as computers teaching students. it isn’t.

 

For about 100 years there has been a belief among behaviorists that if we could build a smart enough machine, that it could take the place of a teacher. Many believe and have believed that computers will fill that role.

 

Tools like Plato have been around for about 40 years and they haven’t disrupted schools. Actually, it has been assimilated. Massive online courses were going to disrupt education. The year of the MOOC was 2012. It was the ultimate school choice. It hasn’t disrupted higher education. Instead is seems to be morphing into a college prep for connected students, at least in America. It has been assimilated and is coming to high school.

 

The reason these tools have not disrupted education is because they don’t actually make any changes in education. When we look at technology in education if we are looking at completely upending our entire system we are looking for too much. The change, the disruption, is more subtle.

 

The real disruption with technology in education is the ability to transform traditional education. The R in SAMR. The “goal directed transformation” in the Arizona Technology Integration Matrix. Some would go so far as to say it is a transfer of power from teacher to student. I would say it is taking the responsibility of learning off of the shoulders of the teacher and putting it squarely onto the shoulders of the students.

edit –  I realize the title might be a bit misleading as this post was written to be a follow up to a notification to the teachers I work with that my position has been eliminated. Thus my last week in tech with them

My Week in Tech Integration – Discussion

Classroom Action

The school year is coming quickly to an end. I’m trying to get some summer thoughts moving. One of the things I want to do is get an idea of how comfortable teachers are with the actual tech skills you need as a classroom teacher. I’ll probably send out a survey soon, I’m waiting for the boss to approve it.

The other thing I need to do is get an idea of what sort of PD you might want to come to over the summer and when best to present them. Please let me know in the comments or via email, but I also have this on my survey.

I was watching some students take a practice test earlier this week. They were using technology (phones mostly because they were juniors and seniors and didn’t have Chromebooks).  What if we combined Padlet (Middle school teachers had a lot of fun learning and playing with this tool, 6th grade, 7th grade, Exploratory) with a phone or screen capture tools on a computer, to solve the practice problems and post them to a Padlet for discussion.

The discussion should not be about who is right, but how elegant is the solution? Why would you choose one method of solving the problem over an other? Etc….

A lot of the stuff I saw on the internet this week had this theme of a debate or discussion.

For an example, using math debate in classroom

http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/mtc13.pd.math.deb/encouraging-debate/

I remember a blog post years ago about using bell ringers to create a debate. The teacher would collect bell ringers on index cards and grab one that was wrong (not telling who it was of course) and put it on the overhead and discuss why or what thinking could have led to the wrong answer and how to correct it.


 

Today without an overhead I might ask students to put the answer on a Padlet or document camera anonymously and then pick one to discuss.

I’m seeing more and more centers, maybe I just wasn’t paying attention before. The devices are one of the centers.

See this one girl. She is concentrating intensely.  This activity is writing practice so no you can’t substitute with technology.

Concentration

These other kids, not so much.

Practice

This is a good lesson, that is why I choose to feature it. It is great to bring in leveled work for practice, but we can do intense creation on the computer as well. Yes there is a tech hurdle. We can work through it, we should work through it. If we never ask our students to do intense creative work on the computer we are short-changing our students and ourselves as teachers.

From the Web

We think we know how we learn, but there is a lot of undiscovered territory out there.

One thing we do is attempt to find patterns so we can do things automatically, without thinking. Like riding a bike.

What if you changed what it means to ride a bike?

As I was watching this a 3rd grader says, “I saw you watching Smarter Everyday. …  I’m subscribed” Be warned you’ll have to be smart if she’s in your classroom next year.

It turns out that there is an #etcoaches chat. I’ll have to try to participate next month. here is the storify from last week. https://storify.com/ruckus2/etcoaches-april-2015-chat

I really wanted to point out a few highlights.

  1. Most coaches estimate that only 5% to 15% of our teachers actually implement what we introduce.
  2. While superficially introducing a lot of apps in a short period of time is popular, no one thinks it is a good strategy. Instead we need to carve out time to let teachers play and practice using apps in actual lessons. Then we need time for the coach to follow-up, and create individual goals for each teacher.
  3. Trudacot is a great way to look at your current lesson and determine how well technology (or learning) is integrated.

 

Finally, Google Education on Air, two full days of speakers on education. An all-star cast including, Michelle Obama, Michael Fullan, LeVar Burton, and others.