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Showing posts from June, 2019

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

Summer Spark Day 1

It takes a special type of educator to attend a conference in June. Many teachers have only been out of school for a couple of days. These are professionals who thrive on reflecting on their practice and gaining new ideas to improve their practice. These are the teachers who look at the world and see ideas that they can bring into the classroom tomorrow. These are the type of educators who attend University School of Milwaukee Summer Spark. This is my second year attending USM Summer Spark and I am amazed at the talent that they bring in to share out at sessions. With such an engaged groups of educators, I imagine it is one hell of a draw. Angela Maiers gave a rousing keynote focusing on the connections we make with learners and making them realize they matter. While there were many takeaways, one that stuck with me was setting up a structure to make every student in the classroom feel awesome at least once a week. The idea of recognizing 5 students from my classes a day in a person

Don't Ditch that Tech

I have greatly enjoyed Matt Miller’s Ditch Series of Books. On Friday, the 3rd in the series was released Don’t Ditch that Tech. It focuses on using technology to assist in differentiation in the classroom. Matt collaborated with Nate and Angie Ridgeway on this book. I finished the book very quickly. But is not the kind of book you will read once and put away. It will be a guide that I will continue to come back as I consider lesson design and implementation of technology. I appreciate that Matt, Nate, and Angie practice what they preach in this book. In a book about differentiation, they don’t attempt to present a one size fits all model. The book itself understands that teachers have different resources and that each lesson differs in what it asks the teacher and learner to be responsible for. The book identifies different models of technology implementation in schools. These range from situations in which schools have carts or labs which house the technology to be used to Bring

Project Expo 2019: Bring the Parents in!

When I attended PBL world 4 years ago, I was introduced to the idea of a project exhibition night. A night for students to share their learning beyond the classroom and with the greater school community. It was a night that wasn’t for grading. It truly meant for sharing of work. This week, we held our 6th project expo night. This event was directly inspired by the ideas I heard at PBL world back in 2015. I am proud of a lot of things that I’ve been able to implement in my classroom, and this is near the top of the list. One of the main reasons is the simple visual that one will see when they walk into the expo. Students talking about their work to parents. Open houses and science fairs are things that I am used to seeing at the elementary level. At the high school level, parents are rarely invited to events. Outside of athletics, these events tend to be performances by the arts. The other event the parents attend to learn about academic performance is parent teacher conferences. We

Suite Science Practices: Investigations

I have been slowly trying to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into my classroom. Our new Wisconsin State Science Standards were designed with the NGSS in mind. They align very well. So please forgive me if my language focuses on the NGSS in this post. In a previous post I discussed tools for dealing with models in science class. This post will focus on Planning and Carrying Out Investigations. As the name indicates, there are two major components to this practice 1) planning investigations 2) conducting investigations. Before looking closer at each aspect, we need to look at the purpose of investigations in science and engineering. To quote the practice according to Appendix F of the Next Generation Science Standards: Scientific investigations may be undertaken to describe a phenomenon, or to test a theory or model for how the world works. The purpose of engineering investigations might be to find out how to fix or improve the functioning of a technological sy