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Showing posts from November, 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

My Professional Learning Universe

As the Thanksgiving break comes to a close, I’ve had some time to reflect on all of those who shape my work in education.  I wanted to take a few moments to thank them for being a part of my work in the classroom with my students.  The all inform different parts of my practice. Much like the Marvel superheroes play their role in a bigger universe, the individuals form my Personal Learning Universe. You don’t need to acquire any infinity stones to gain their power, just follow them on Twitter. Thought Leaders These are the ones who help clarify my why. When I look for someone to challenge my thinking, this is where I start. Dave Burgess @burgessdave Barbara Bray @bbray27 George Couros @gcouros Kathleen McClaskey @khmmc Institute for PL @Institute4PL Allison Zmuda @allison_zmuda The How It’s one thing to have a goal, it’s another thing to know how to use tools you never heard of.  This is where I go to discover new tools and strategies. Matt M

Using EdTech for Choice & Differentiation

Over the past 4 years I’ve been experimenting with options for student summative assessments related to unit outcomes. It’s been going quite well for the most part, but I’m trying something a little bit different this time to help with some of the logistics. I am always amazed at the options that I fail to explore in some of the tech tools I am using. But like every good tool it doesn’t make sense to use these features until you have a purpose beyond novelty. I currently teach 3 blocks of physics with 80 students total. My first block is co-taught and ⅓ of our students have an identified learning disability. We are intentional about the supports we provide to learners with IEPS, but also the entire population in terms of strengths and challenges. To address this, we moved away from using Google Docs as templates to Google Slides . I have been using Doctopus for ages to distribute the same templates to all learners and it has been working wonderfully. (FYI we use an LMS the

What Elements Build Your Classroom

This post is part 2 of my constellation construction. Read part 1 here. Once I had a vision for my classroom , or the why for my classroom, the next step was to consider what it would look like in the classroom. The Institute calls these “learner look fors”. I have a vision, but what evidence would I look for from a the perspective of an outside observer. Students propose and engage in different forms of learning- modes, methods- based on their needs Students' interests and strengths drive their connection to the content Feedback drives next steps of learning and conferring is happening face to face and digitally  The vision and look fors are things we are working towards. The next part of the “what” is  what elements would be considered key parts achieving that vision in my classroom. After determining the “look fors”the next step is to find elements that align with the look fors. The honeycomb has many elements that are considered part of a learner c

What's Your North Star?

Any meaningful change in the classroom starts with a why and has a plan for implementation.  I recently began a process constructed by the I nstitute for Personalized Learning called Constellation Creation for intentional innovation in the classroom. It is a process designed to not simply craft a vision, but to craft a vision with steps for immediate implementation. I plan on writing a series of posts about the process I am being guided through with my friend and specialist at the institute Kate Sommerville . The Constellation is a multi-step process where you go from a sea of stars To a series of manageable elements that include learning, relationships, and structures. It is filled with a series of guided steps that I'm currently working through with Kate. It begins with finding your North Star. That vision that will guide you. It is the constant. What you look up to set your course by and correct your course to.  Here’s my vision. When I think about


I started the year with a grand plan for portfolios. But like most plans, it got changed dramatically.  But, I do like that I am iterating the work we are doing in class to match a purpose. At the beginning of the year I had a plan to have a portfolio page per unit that would contain List of outcomes for the unit Reflections on formative quizzes Unit reflection with presentation of summative assessment As we are moving towards adopting Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), I’ve been using science practices as overarching outcomes in assessing student work.  So, these same outcomes are addressed across multiple units. This along with a conversation with some people at state ASCD convention, led me to rethink the portfolio design. The portfolio still has a home page, passion page (where they embed YouTube videos that represent their interests and aspirations) , and “Me as a Learner” page (where the learner profile/preferences are housed).   But, I’ve cha

Voices from the Community #IMMOOC

As this IMMOOC season comes to an end, I wanted to share some of the great insights I pulled from great bloggers. I’ve learned so much from the great episodes. But I still need to do a better job at reaching out to those in the community to connect rather than just put my thoughts out. I hope to be a better voice to reflect and celebrate the voices I am hearing in the community other than just my own. If you get inspired by a quote, click on the image to follow that author on Twitter.