Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What I Learned @ teachSDA This Weekend

Merry Christmas, it's a few days until my Christmas break starts and everyone is ready!  You probably are too:)  We had a great topic last night: "We all need to unplug once in a while. Why It’s Crucial for Students to Learn to Focus | MindShift 

If you want to chime in feel free to visit the discussion on twitter @teachSDA or on the website www.teachSDA.org.

Remember we are going to be taking Christmas break 'off' so no chat for two weeks.  Well, no official chat, I'm sure we will all be posting things through the break @teachSDA, @stephenbralley, @webby37 ;)

Now for some articles and thoughts:

1. Five Keys to Successful Social and Emotional Learning
Studies show that sustained and well-integrated social and emotional learning (SEL) engages students and improves achievement. Explore classroom practices that make up the most effective SEL programs.

2. The Ed Reform Ninja: 8 Sneaky Strategies For Change In Your School
Education reform is tricky.  For one, so many teachers are wary of change. Not improvement, mind you, but change for the sake of change–shifting from one program or “research-based strategy” to another, endlessly. Year after year.

3. Does Your School Climate Focus on Learning?
School leaders contribute to the climate every moment of every day. Whether its the way they talk with staff, students and parents or how they carry a message from the central office. They promote or destroy their school climate in how they talk about their own staff during meetings.

4. 3 Reasons Why the School Principal Needs to Tweet
I envision every school principal with smartphone in hand, anxious to send out the next tweet. And here's why:
Now, more than ever before, schools have their own media channel -- the ability to say what they want and show the world how amazing they are.

5. In Digital Age, Schools That Succeed are Schools That Connect
This time it is as a “grass-roots” activist who only wants to put children first. Surely many of her fans in the testing industry think that’s really at the heart of what they are doing. They look at failing public schools and they see reason for change.
As a teacher and as a parent of three public school students, I look at the type of change they are advocating for and I see the future of failure.

6. The Mobile Native
Learning & Teaching with Mobile Learning Devices

7. Addiction vs. Reflection: Unlocking the Potential of Games
Our brains are wired for stories and games. The thrill of the hunt, the anticipation of uncovering the treasure, the challenge of competition or making it past the next stage -- all of these desires drive the motivational synapses that make learning happen at a rate far surpassing the traditional, unmotivated, context-less content that so many students and working adults face daily.

8. Are You a Thought-Provider or a Thought-Provoker?
Do we notice this in our daily classroom instruction? When we ask our students to read the chapter and answer the questions on page 70, what is the typical reaction? What would be your reaction if you were the student? Learning intentions do not mean just posting the target on the board. It is more important that the students are a part of the instruction and see meaning in their work.

9. How to Create Social Media Guidelines for Your School
What would happen if social media were seen as a powerful tool rather than a threat to student learning? Schools and districts around the country are starting to put social media policies and guidelines in place to support this learning while taking appropriate precautions against misuse.

10. What makes a leader 'highly effective'?
Great leaders display a paradoxical combination of personal humility and professional will, channeling their energy, drive, creativity, and discipline into something larger and more enduring than themselves.

11. Ten Most Popular Educational YouTube Videos in 2013

12. Teachers: A Simple (Not Easy) Pedagogy Assessment
I have discussed and promoted the need for educators to reflect deeply on their beliefs, processes, and practices in several of my posts: Where is Reflection in the Learning Process and  Teacher Agency: Coming from a Strong Foundation.  As another strategy for engaging in this type of self-reflection, I developed these questions to have educators assess their pedagogical principles and instructional preferences:

13. Classroom Management Tips.
Kick off your classroom community with some of these helpful classroom management tips.

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