Sunday, April 27, 2014

Your assessments and differentiated instruction... (62)

Rick Wormeli (@rickwormelion differentiated instruction & creativity:

Do your assessments pass the quality assessment check?

Ways you can reassess a student:

What is your level of mastery?

Seriously, stop being an askhole. Nobody likes an askhole.

Who knew a baby Walrus could be so cute?

Monday, April 21, 2014

A few cool things happing around Union R-XI lately... (61)

Mrs. Brueggemann's MS students did a Google Hangout with Mrs. Bruns' 2nd grade students at Central Elementary. Mrs. Brueggemann's students read a book to the 2nd grade students and they had a great time sharing the story.

Mr. Shelton's HS science students created and designed a 'device' using only select materials to keep an egg from breaking upon contact. The purpose was similar to the Apollo 13 movie of only having certain materials to make something work. Trial and error and critical thinking were all involved to make this project a success.

Mrs. Bruns' 2nd grade students at CE created a replica of Union and students assumed different roles to help manage and keep the city operating properly. The students decided to call their replica city 'Little Union.'

In Coach Scheer's physical education class at BE, students are learning the basics of golf. In this particular picture, students were aiming at one of their classmates because the classmate became the golf target!

Mrs. Jobe's 4th grade students at CV are raising baby chicks and learning about the life cycle process of these cute little babies.

HS students participated in a 'writer's workshop' with author Mike Mullin. This workshop helped students learn about the writing process and what steps students would need to take if they were interested in writing a book.

At the career and hobby day at BE, students were learning the ins and outs of yoga. This included the physical benefits, as well as the mental and health benefits of being active with yoga.

MS students in Mrs. Sullivan's class created their own games and then students played the games they created. The purpose and design of the games was a result of learning about constructed response and the process involved in assessing individual pieces of work.

Students at CV are committing themselves to thinking before they speak. This is part of the building-wide initiative to stop bullying and create a more welcoming and positive environment for both students and staff.

HS students were able to participate in a Speaker Series to learn more about possible careers and life choices. One of the speakers was Special Agent Alan Leah from ATF with his two year old explosives detection partner, Andi.

Friday, April 11, 2014

8 ways to 'spruce' up that classroom activity... (60)

1). Make sure the activity has relevance and purpose beyond 'it's on the test.' We live in a world full of problems that could use improvement and solving, give learning a purpose beyond your classroom and beyond your influence.

2). Give students voice in the activity. Part of empowering students is giving them a voice in the learning process. We should be shifting our focus away from doing education to our students and double-down on doing education with our students.
3). Ensure students have an authentic and preferably a global audience in which to share their learning journey. We the educators are important, but we want our students to showcase and demonstrate their genius with the world. The world is hungry to hear from our students and if our students aren't doing work worthy of sharing with the world, then we need to change what we are doing.

4). Encourage and provide students the opportunity to work collaboratively. The world is going to require and ask our students to work collaboratively and work in teams. Our students not only need these experiences for life, but also when brains are combined the levels of learning are limitless.

5). Don't inadvertently put 'limiters' on student learning, discovery, and exploration by making the activity too specific and too detailed. It's easy to have rubrics and expectations that end up restricting possibility and limiting creativity. Be sure you have some structure and guidance for those who need it, but make sure it's not so limiting to those who need less structure.

6). Get your kids up and moving! The research is quite clear on the effects of activity on the brain and cognitive processes. Instead of confining students to their desks because that will help maintain order in a low level engagement environment, encourage movement and action for a high level engagement environment.

7). Don't hog the stage by doing all the talking and allow your kids to do the talking. The person who does all the talking is the person who will do all the learning. As educators we naturally love to talk, but step aside and allow our kids to lead the action and their learning will go up significantly based on their level of involvement in the learning process.

8). End the activity with a survey getting feedback and input from your students. Students will appreciate the opportunity to provide honest feedback and they will appreciate that you care what they think and what they have to say. The feedback you get will also help in making future activities even better.

What would you add to this list to 'spruce' up that classroom activity? Leave a comment below!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

20 Twitter accounts to follow... (59)

Click on the image and it will take you to each individual's Twitter page.

Read more about Twitter & how it can be used in the education setting: