Showing posts from October, 2017

Make your Professional Development Meaningful and Relevant to the Participants.

When you think of professional development, what first comes to mind?     OR     When I first lead a PD session it was awful. I was nervous, it was boring and I just was not as confident as I wanted to be. To be quite honest I can talk in front of hundreds of kids in the room and I feel great. However, you get me in front of a room full of teachers and I shut down. I rushed through the content, stuttered my words and just ugh...I was ready for it to be over.  After years of leading many PD sessions, I have learned some tips to create a successful PD session and this session reaffirmed them. The session I attended the second day at the SC EdTech conference affirmed what teachers want the in professional development. They want... It offers voice/choice: Teachers have different needs especially when they teach different content and grade levels. If you don’t know where to start or what they want, perhaps surveying your teachers would be a first step for you. Make it

Getting the Most out of SC EDTECH Day 1

This is my second time attending the SC EdTech Conference . If you have never been to a conference before, this one is a great one to start. It is a smaller sized conference to attend. And, who doesn't love a conference at the beach? I like this particular conference because the number of sessions for each time period is not overwhelming and I can normally find something that I can bring back to the coaches and teachers I work with. As an attendee, it’s a good thing to look a the sessions and see what is going to be available prior to even leaving town. Making a tentative plan will help you organize yourself for the conference. The sessions are available on the website, however, many conferences are now using a downloadable app that can help you personalize your conference. The bonus of using the app is to get recent updates and changes to the conference. There can be times a session you planned to attend may be canceled, getting that notification allows you to check out another

Let's Talk Content

Sure, there is a lot of buzz around the 4 Cs and incorporating these into your curriculum; critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication. We see some opportunities for students to communicate what they know or learned about the content at the end of the unit through oral presentations. When we communicate, or “talk the talk,” as a part of the learning we are forced to discuss our ideas and internalize our understanding. Let’s start having more conversations during the learning process so students are gaining a deeper learning of the content. There are many digital tools that will provide meaningful and relevant opportunities for the students. Here is a synopsis of each with a couple of examples of how to use it in your classroom. VoiceThread is a website to create multimedia presentations and add in the conversations for each slide. Students have an option to add text, voice or video comments about the content, can provide/receive feedback in regards to

No Opt Out - using technology

Doug Lemov, author of the acclaimed Teach Like a Champion , suggests a strategy called “No Opt Out.”  He mentions that this strategy or mindset is consistently observed in champion teachers who maintain that expectation is that everyone tries the work presented. Fundamentally, this strategy is a “sequence that begins with a student unable to answer a question should end with the student answering that question as often as possible (even if the student is repeating someone else’s correct answer).” So, we can picture how this might work without technology.  Student A is called upon to answer a question orally, and he gets it wrong.  Student B is called and answers the question correctly.  The teacher then returns to Student A and asks A to repeat B’s answer. But, how might this look using a technology tool?  And why might it be better using technology? In PearDeck , a presentation tool that includes formative assessment slides for students to answer on their devices, teach