Showing posts from February, 2023

"Can Minecraft be More Than Just a Game?" - The Influential Parent Podcast ep. 18

In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Tim Swick, The Computer Immersion Magnet Lead at Sandlapper Elementary School. He shares how his teachers and students have used the popular game, Minecraft, in school. Using Minecraft Education in the classroom has engaged students in learning and building future-ready skills, such as creativity, problem-solving, and systems thinking. It is pretty interesting to hear just how much our children are learning through "play." See below for more information about the school or contact Dr. Swick. Sandlapper Elementary School Dr. Tim Swick   @Itecswick   Minecraft for Education Professional Development Transcript of Episode

Differentiating Process: Making Sense of Our Thinking

image of cogs turning inside a circle representing a man's brain.   "Things are simple. Situations are clear. Hurdles are easy. It's our mind which makes it complex and complicated." - Anonymous . From advertisements to social media algorithms, the study of thinking plays an important role in our 21st century society. Research around thinking and how students process their thoughts or how they hold attention, store and retrieve memories, then select appropriate responses and actions (University of Cambridge, 2023). When considering how we can differentiate or vary the information processing part of learning, four thought perspectives emerge. The Differential Perspective . Even though children may possess intelligence and the ability to think, they don't always think the same way or in the same "logic". This "difference" in how they think and their logic of thinking forms the basis for this view. Based on the responses to a number of tasks and t

"Citizen Science, You, and Your Device!" - The Influential Parent Podcast ep. 17

  Are you looking for a way to use your (& your child's) device to CONTRIBUTE to the internet, not just consume content? (And no, we won't be telling you to make a TikTok video!) Dr. Ed Emmer, our local Science Superhero, joins us this week as we talk about Citizen Science and ways for you and your family to use your devices to contribute to scientific endeavors around the globe... from where ever you happen to be! You can reach Dr. Emmer by email at: Resources from our episode: CoCoRaHS  - "Citizen Scientists working together to measure precipitation across the nation!" NASA Globe Observer  - "A citizen science app allowing volunteers to take observations and contribute to the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) community!" Great Backyard Bird Count  - "Spend time in your favorite places watching birds - then tell us about them! In as little as 15 minutes notice the birds around you. Identify th

4 Podcasts That I'm Loving This Month

  If you're like me, you're learning to enjoy learning on the go. For a few years now, I've been building my library of podcast subscriptions. I listen, pause, and capture audio notes on my phone as I'm digesting the content. Below are a few podcasts that I have favored on my podcast platforms. I hope these serve as new additions to your professional learning library.  Cult of Pedagogy Podcast: Target Audience : Any Educator Average Listening Time : 20-30 mins. Former classroom teacher Jennifer Gonzalez has been discussing trends in education, instructional practices, and educational technology for 10 years. Many times accompanied by a guest educator expert, Gonzalez dives into conversations about practical takeaways. Her topics are applicable in any content area and focused on strong pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning. When accessing the podcasts online, listeners have access to the written transcript. Bright Morning Podcast Target Audience : Inspiring Coa

Student Collaboration: Making Cooperative Learning a Success! (part 1 of 4)

Looking for ways to get kids working together in your classroom? Being able to collaborate effectively with others is an important skill for Future-ready Students. Group work can be complex and frustrating, but it can also become a game-changer for student engagement and differentiation! On her podcast “Cult of Pedagogy,” Jennifer Gonzalez identifies four areas where teachers may struggle  when implementing collaborative learning in their classrooms, and addresses ways in which teachers can think ahead and plan for those instances so small group/collaborative work can be successful. Those four areas are: Interpersonal conflicts interfere with productivity, Student contributions are uneven, Off-task behavior wastes time, and Student absences can throw everything off. Let’s begin with “interpersonal conflicts interfere with productivity.”  Before setting out on your collaborative learning (teaching) adventure, think about how you will group your students. Group Students Randomly!  After

Differentiating Content

 *This is a blog in the series on differentiation in the classroom. See below for the other blogs in the series.      Differentiating Content     Differentiating content centers around what we teach and how students interact with what we teach to learn. Based on a common research term called   triangulation of data , teachers can offer quality content to help students master the standards. It means not just looking at test scores, but also looking at academic strengths, readiness data, and student interests to offer different students in the same class the same opportunity to master the same standard through different content or different forms of content.  What Can This Look Like? There are a number of ways content can be differed. A teacher may offer reading stories from multiple backgrounds that emphasize the same learning standard material. A teacher may offer the content at varying levels of rigor, a second teacher may offer visual stimuli while a third may also offer content se

Join the National Movement: Digital Learning Day

  Let's celebrate the power of technology in education by participating in Digital Learning Day on March 15, 2023 . This day highlights the potential of technology to transform teaching and learning, and the impact it can have on student success. By embracing digital learning, we can provide students with engaging and personalized learning experiences, and prepare them for the digital future. This day is also for you - to be recognized and celebrated for the effective use of digital tools in your classroom. Here's how you can get involved: Plan a lesson incorporating technology. Try something new that you have heard about but just have not had the chance to try yet. If you are not sure where to start, partner with your Technology & Learning Coach, a fellow colleague, or brainstorm with your students. They will have a variety of ideas to share. Showcase Day - Provide an opportunity for your class to showcase their digital skills. Our students come to us with many talents a