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Showing posts from May, 2017

EdCamp Elmbrook 21

  We had out 5th annual EdCamp this past Saturday and it was a very different PD experience. Due to the pandemic, we help the EdCamp virtually. That meant that anyone across the globe could attend. While we usually only have educators from out region attend, we had educators across the nation and in some in Canada attend. In addition, we had an attendee from Turkey! The conference was conducted using Zoom and Zoom breakout rooms for the sessions. The team did a great job of organization and management. I could go on, but this is my first blog post in a while and I'd like to keep it brief. Below you'll find the session board for the day with notes docs linked. We had some wonderful sessions and the notes documents house some wonderful thoughts and resources. So, I recommend checking them out. Although this EdCamp was only for the morning, there was a lot of learning to be had. We had no technology issues from our end as organizers but I can imagine participants may have had iss

Be Our Guest

Just wanted to announce that we'll be having another student presentation night to end our physics course for students. It was a great event back in January and I'm hoping this round will be even better. For more information, please visit our site for the event.   I'll be updating the site with more specifics about projects as we get closer to the day.

Google Keep On Task

As we embark on our passion projects, I wanted to find a way to keep up to date on what my students were up to.  Last year, I had students create task boards using Trello .  While it was helpful in 1:1 conversations, the downfall for me as an educator was the amount of time it took to go into each board to see where students were at efficiently.  Now that Google Keep is a part of G Suite, I've decided to leverage it as a tool. I use Keep everyday in my life as a task list an note taking tool, but I never used it in my classroom with my students.  The ability to share and label notes makes it quite powerful.  So how am I using it? Today, I had students create a task list in their Google Keep and share it with me. I then added a label to all task lists from the same class and archived the list so they wouldn't be in my home Keep page. During class, I had students begin adding projects tasks to their lists.  Now when I go to that label page in Keep, I c

The Path of the Learner

Learners in my AP class have decided on their driving question for their passion project. Now, they need to start designing the path they will follow. The goal of the passion project is not simply for students to delve into something that they find a connection to.  It is also to provide a framework for that learning.   Based on the focus of their project students will be choosing one of four possible paths. I'm asking learners to plan out their journey before they begin. We understand the path may change, but I want to emphasize the importance of knowing where you are going so you can adequately monitor, reflect upon, and communicate progress. Possible Project Paths Experimentation : Do background research on your problem Take research notes Design procedure Complete procedure Collect data Analyze data Conclude with an answer to your driving question based on your data Clear and creative presentation of data Making something: Resea

Release The Passion

Yesterday was the second year I've introduced the idea of a passion project to my AP students after hour AP test has been administered.  I have to say that although last year was a success, this year feels infinitely more exciting.  Why?  I think we had a better kick-off/brainstorming day than we did last year. I have to thank at  Denise Krebs  and  Gallit Zvi   at T he Genius Hour Guidebook and Don Wettrick at The Innovation Teacher for their tremendous ideas and resources. First was defining the purpose of the passion project. It is a matter of framing the project time as time to for learners to do something for themselves, not time to create something for their teachers.  Compliant students are very quick to see this as a task to be completed rather than an opportunity for themselves. I ran into that in a handful of situations last year, and it really bothered me.  I wasn't prepared for it. I didn't realize that many times, students aren't comfortable explori

It's Not Magic.

Yesterday, I attended the 1st of 2 sessions on the Next Generation Science Standards . These K-12 science standards ask educators to reframe how the approach instruction in the classroom. Before you tune out non-science teachers, don't. When I think about my classroom my units are framed around the units learning outcomes the drive everything that is done in the unit. Although I have done some redesign last summer, the outcomes are pretty much set per unit and we progress to meet those outcomes through the course of the unit. The NGSS framework has 3 main sets of standards: 1) Disciplinary Core Ideas (these are your traditional content specific outcomes) 2) Science & Engineering Practices (this are skills that are used in all disciplines) 3) Cross Cutting Concepts (these are big ideas that can be seen across all science disciplines).  The NGSS are really powerful in their goal to have students learn about the core ideas through the practices.  Also, connect their lear