Are you doing enough to reach your students? What if there was a way to give your students the enthusiasm about learning by allowing them to produce something tangible while using the conceptual learning tools we teach everyday. This is where “MakerED”/ “MakerSpaces” comes in.
You don’t have to be a technology expert to rejuvenate and excite your students – you just have to believe that they can succeed, so don’t miss out on this great opportunity to see how it’s done. Mark your calendars and join me next Monday!
Join the webinar at the following URLs: http://bit.ly/kcwebinar
I was reading a blog post written by Miguel Guhlin where he posed a question to some technology coach/authors similar to: “Is it necessary to have the word ‘technology’ or ‘digital’ in front of the word ‘coach’?” In my opinion it is absolutely, completely necessary to avoid watering down the position per se and the position becoming a catch-all or substitute when someone is needed to assist with a classroom full of students. Without the technology or digital, the position/role/title becomes insignificant and technology is not the focus.
Technology or Digital before Coach
I was a campus instructional technologist (CIT) in several school districts and the campus and instruction were always put before technology. I was pulled to watch classes, substitute or teach writing or math to those that didn’t pass the state tests the first time around (certain grade levels have had three tries in the state of Texas depending on which test they took) because their regular teacher was weak or new and inexperienced at teaching at the level needed for the students to pass the state tests. I became a fourth grade writing teacher or fifth grade math specialist for several hours and NONE of that time was used for or with technology to help the students even though my technology duties were pushed aside. I didn’t mind helping but I really believe technology was not the focus; testing was and at any cost.
Technology was not viewed as the significant portion of my position and because I had a successful testing track record, experience at those grade levels that were tested and a national board certified teacher, and although true, I certainly was able to stand in and pick up the slack or model how to teach multiplying fractions effectively. Since technology or digital was not first in the title, it was not a significant factor of the position. I wasn’t the only one used in a role that had nothing to do with technology teaching, modeling or planning and I believe it had to do with technology or digital not being the first and foremost focus of the position.
What is your Opinion
In my opinion a true technology specialist or coach focuses on planning, modeling or teaching technology first, everything else second. With technology or digital first, people know the focus of the position is technology and not substitute or the person that is assigned to pick up the slack for weaker or inexperienced teachers.
What is your opinion? I would love to engage in a professional dialog regarding this issue. Feel free to leave a comment below, on Twitter or Facebook. Does ‘technology’ or ‘digital’ have to come before the word coach in a person’s title for technology to be and stay the focus?
Recently, a new island was formed near Tonga after a volcano exploded and created the new island when the lava cooled. This would be great information to share with students, encourage educators they can recreate themselves or form a team related to one another metaphorically speaking. There are some fantastic pictures related to the formation of the new island at this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/12/new-island-tonga_n_6855562.html.
Great pictures with lots of ways to share and explore with students of all ages!
Are you interested in having your students participate in a global reading activity on March 4, 2015? Join the many classrooms and offices around the world for “World Read Aloud Day”! Each year on the first Wednesday in March the classrooms, offices, parents, students, etc. participate in World Read Aloud Day by reading aloud to someone or to themselves. It is an exciting venture and the World Read Aloud Day is just one of the projects found at Litworld.org.
World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and creates a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people. By raising our voices together on this day we show the world’s children that we support their futures: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their stories.
World Read Aloud Day allows members of our year-round programs to invite more people into their literacy community and brings LitWorld’s messages to the rest of the world. World Read Aloud Day is now celebrated by over one million people in more than 80 countries and reaches over 31 million people online. The growth of our movement can be attributed in large part to our network of partner organizations and “WRADvocates” – a group of reading advocates and supporters taking action in their communities and on social media.
For more information about World Read Aloud Day and activities to participate in on March 4th, visit http://www.litworld.org/wrad/. Mark your calendars and join the fun!
Here you go! Here are the resources and more that I shared during my presentation, “Success Begins with Unleashed Creativity in the Classroom“. Feel free to email me with questions or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
Click here to open this binder in a new window.
Are you going to TCEA 2015 next week? If so, please join me in the Digital Square hosted by Scott Floyd from White Oak School District on Wednesday, February 4th at 10am. I will talking about #makereducation and #makerspaces. I will also be giving away several books about helping create #makerspaces or #makered learning activities for your students. Come #learnanywhere and share your ideas or learn some new thing about #makereducation and #makerspaces!
I received an email today about a new PBS contest today. The details are as follows:
The Writers Contest is designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. The contest is open to children in grades K-3 and encourages creative thinking and storytelling, while building literacy skills through the creation and illustration of original stories.
To enter, kids can submit stories to their local stations, and local winners will then be entered into the national contest. National winners will be announced during the summer of 2015, and the winning stories will be featured on pbskids.org/writerscontest.
This year, the judges include acclaimed writers, producers and children’s media creators, including Marc Brown, author and illustrator of the ARTHUR book series, and the Kratt Brothers, Martin and Chris, from the PBS KIDS show WILD KRATTS. The national winners will receive prize packages including ARTHUR books and a personal technology device courtesy of PBS.
To enter the contest or get more information, please visit pbskids.org/writerscontest. Good luck to those who enter!
I have been working on a special project where I score educator’s compositions in response to a posed question. For the majority of the responses, I do not know where, what level or content area the educators teach. It is amazing how much information you can gather as to the type of educator the author of the response is.
I can tell if they are a caring, compassionate educator from the written compositions that as well as educators who aren’t as dedicated to their students. Granted it could just be baloney in the responses or the writing style but fortunately most of the responses are very positive and the educators give evidence as to their positive teaching style and practice in the classroom. Granted I don’t know for sure but the comments appear to be good indicators as to how the educator feels about their students.
When I taught fourth and fifth grade, we always said we could predict which student was going to join a gang or drop out and who was going to be successful in their academic career. Were we right every time? No, we probably weren’t.
For those on the wrong track, what was the deciding factor if they continued down the wrong path or changed directions and began to exhibit successful traits? The intervention of a caring teacher. Some students truly do not realize their potential or want to put forth the effort to be successful.
Research shows that when a caring adult intervenes in a child’s academic path and performance, success can result. All it takes is one teacher to step in and encourage a student that is heading towards gang activity, drug or alcohol abuse, or has given up on school.
When I taught sixth grade, I saw numerous students turn around because one of the three teachers of the team I was on intervened. It didn’t take a great deal of time, usually an encouraging private conversation and praise in class. Sometimes we have to search for something good to praise students for but the effort in making a positive difference in the lives of our students is worth it. As Angela Maiers shares with educators and students, “You Matter!” Letting students know they matter can make all the difference and cause a student to see things differently and take a different life path. It can be very simple – one conversation with one student and praising a student one time. All it takes is one.
What are your thoughts? Please weigh in in the comments below. I welcome your thoughts and feedback.
There are many times when a book or blog author runs into writer’s block and is unsure or totally blocked about that to write about next. I have the manuscript for a second book that needs to be finalized and I have been struggling with writing blog posts so I am stuck on both accounts. For those authors that have experienced this, what are some techniques that you use to break through and begin writing again? I try to read other blogs, newspapers, books, etc. to gather topics that move me and that I want to explore further via reading or writing. I would love to know what you do when you feel blocked? Please take a moment to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts and how you overcome writer’s block!