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Showing posts from August, 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

The Grade Is Not the Goal: Innovate Inside the Box Reflection

Too often the grade is the goal for our students, and we lose sight of learning in pursuit of a number. School needs to be something bigger than a grade. Couros, George & Novak, Katie. Innovate Inside the Box: Empowering Learners Through UDL and the Innovator's Mindset . IMPress. Kindle Edition. Reading the new book by George Couros and Katie Novak Innovation Inside the Box has me rethinking how I communicate purpose in my classroom. It is so easy for me to fall back into a mode where I accept compliance from my learners as an excuse to not define the purpose of what we do in class. Too often the compliance mindset sees the grade as the goal. It is the grade that is earned not the process or even the product. So, once the grade or credit has been earned the work can be forgotten. In the 1972 film The Candidate , Robert Redford play presidential candidate Bill McKay. The clip below shows the ending of the film when -- Spoiler Alert -- McKay wins the election. “What do we do n

Answers for Action: Innovate Inside the Box Reflection

The first day of school is a prime day for hearing the voice of learners. In some way, many teachers use a variety of tools to learn about the students they are welcoming into the classroom. The first day of my class is spent having students make passion pages . But like many of us out there, this information doesn’t necessarily transform the learning in my classroom in the ways that it could. In their new book Innovate Inside the Box: Empowering Learners Through UDL and the Innovator's Mindset , George Couros and Katie Novak make a point to stress the importance of discovering students passions One of the best ways to work with people is finding out what they love and tapping into it. The teachers who spent time finding out my passions made me feel like they had a genuine interest in who I was and what I loved. Couros, George & Novak, Katie. Innovate Inside the Box: Empowering Learners Through UDL and the Innovator's Mindset . IMPress. Kindle Edition. A quality formal

Applications for Flipgrid Camera in the Classroom.

The new Flipgrid Camera has many incredible features that can be utilized in the classroom. If you are unaware of these features, read about them here on the Ditch that Textbook blog post. In this brief post, I will touch on some possible applications in the classroom. Student Generated Keys By using the whiteboard background, students can work through the problem solving process. Not only can they show their work visually, students can talk through the problem solving process. The key here is making use of the pause feature in the recording for simple breaks. If students don’t have touchscreens and drawing is too difficult with a trackpad, encourage them to use text boxes. Check out this amazing video by Jen   Saarinen! Student Introductions At the beginning of the school year, many students are asked to complete worksheets explaining who they are in terms of who they are as a learner and person. Many teachers have innovated this process by having students introduce th