Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What I Learned @teachSDA

We had a great discussion about classroom management on Monday night!  With many excellent commenters.  It was based on an article written by ASCD THE KEY TO CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT"By using research-based strategies combining appropriate levels of dominance and cooperation and an awareness of student needs, teachers can build positive classroom dynamics."

I have a lot of articles for you today, but I also wanted to share what I was working on at 4am this morning!  In order to match timezones with Chris Webb I was dressed and ready to do a google hangout.  We are recording a set of videos to go along with an online class that Andrews will be offering on using Twitter to create a Personal Learning Network.  I will post more details as they are available!

1. Hit the Mark with Digital Media Exit Cards
In my first year of teaching English, I had to teach prepositions to sixth graders. I fumbled around for an entry point and reached out to a more seasoned colleague, who suggested that I employ the analogy of the rabbit and the log.

2. Literacy in 2014: What Does it all Mean?
We can safely agree that the world is very different today than it was when adults were going through school. However, there are some fundamental elements that cannot be ignored no matter how far we advance. We can never move past good old fashion literacy.

3. Common Core in Action: Why Collaboration and Communication Matter
For those teachers out there who are reticent about group work as a daily routine (there's no time! I've got so much to cover! The kids get so out of control!), take a breath and know that you are not alone. You can do this; we've got to do this. Far from over are the days when it was just about the three Rs.

4. The Emperor's New Clothes: There's No Magic Answer in Reading
Lets face it. Many of us are waiting for some fairy reading tales to come true. Have fast talking tailors invaded preschool and convinced many educators that their preschool reading curriculum is spun with magical thread?

5. Meeting The Professional Development Needs of Teachers
Professional development should be all about teachers and administrators engaging as learners themselves, and helping them grow as professionals in their field, learning about how to do their job even better, and make a difference in the lives of even the hard to reach children.

6. Learning to lead: A new model for preparing school principals
David Brazer recommends revamping the way we prepare tomorrow’s education leaders by maximizing the relevance of course content and providing authentic learning opportunities.

7. Excellent Classroom Poster on How to Cite Information from Internet
Much of the information students  use in their research papers come from internet and be it  a blog post, an email, or wiki entry, students need to properly cite and document their sources as is recommended by the citation format embraced by their professor or teacher.

8. To Help Students Learn, Appeal to What They Value
To know why it is important to understand what students value, I encourage everyone to reflect on how they feel -- and perform -- when a school leader knows and acts on what is important to team members.  Now think about when a leader ignores or disrespects team and individual values. How does it affect performance?

9. Way out-of-the-box writing ideas…
About 10 years ago, I created a creativity site for writers. It’s called The Story Starter. In 2012, Writer’s Digest Magazine named it one of the best sites for writers. Each year more than 100,000 unique visitors go to the site. Why? It provides 169,069,556,880 story starters. Yes, more than 169 BILLION different story starters. I (really) counted them! Some people find them silly. Some find them amusing. Many find them useful. Here are just a few of the randomly generated sentences that The Story Starter might provide for you.

10. Doing Internet Research at the Elementary Level
One of the hardest things to teach, in my opinion, is research. I have been teaching in a computer lab for going on five years and I have never taught research the same way twice. This is partially because I never teach anything the same way twice, but it's also because each year I learn something new. 

11. Beyond the Comfort Zone: 6 Ways to Build Independent Thinking
The shift toward applying more executive function (EF) within learning and assessment will cause some discomfort in teachers and students. The transition will not eliminate the need for memorization, as automatic use of foundational knowledge is the toolkit for the executive functions. Memorization, however, will not be adequate as meaningful learning becomes more about applying, communicating and supporting what one knows.

12. Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times
Digital leadership is a strategic mindset and set of behaviors that leverages resources to create a meaningful, transparent, and engaging school culture. It takes into account recent changes such as ubiquitous connectivity, open-source technology, mobile devices, and personalization to dramatically shift how schools have been run and structured for over a century.  Leading in education becomes exponentially powerful when using technology to your advantage.

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