Friday, April 30, 2010
Last week, I had the great opportunity to use a Voicethread to support someone else's professional development. Check out the great Voicethread (embedded below) about all the reasons that teachers use Twitter. Enjoy!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
- Create a page where students can help each other with questions about homework assignments
- Create a place where students can answer questions about content or skills across class periods or teachers
- Create a place where new teachers and mentor teachers can learn from each other
- Create a place where teachers can ask questions in a safe way
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Here are some ways this tool might be used in the classroom:
- Have students examine different lists of items and "name the group."
- Create different group lists, mix them up, and play "name the sorting rule."
- Have students create lists of items and use the lists as a way to "spice up" boring writing.
- Have students practice their prediction skills. See if they can predict what Google Sets will say based upon the entries they put in.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Interestingly, my table got into a spirited discussion about universal screenings in mathematics. While it is relatively easy to find computation-based probes, locating probes that provide a sampling of skills can be more difficult.
However, I wanted to remind everyone that www.easycbm.com (see a previous blog post about this resource here) offers math probes of different types at every grade level. They even have algebra and geometry probes.
Since the resources available at www.easycbm.com are free and reliable (They were developed using norms created by the state of Oregon.) it might be a great way for you to experiment with RtI in mathematics. Enjoy!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Did you know that prison planning factors in 3rd grade reading scores? Children who are good readers are more likely to be successful in life. Period. We need to make sure they learn to read adeptly from an early age.
Here are some suggestions from Marcy:
- When teaching students to decode words, make sure that you give them decodable text to read. This gives them the opportunity to practice the explicit phonics instruction that you are teaching them!
- You NEVER want students to use context to decode words. You want students to use their decoding skills first. THEN they can apply context to ensure that unfamiliar words make sense.
- Teaching content to students actually helps them comprehend text because it increases student background knowledge.
- Using sites like What Works Clearinghouse, Center on Instruction, and EdTrust can help educators and administrators to make informed decisions when selected reading programs and interventions.
Friday, April 9, 2010
For me, there was one strong takeaway: Engaging students is a full time job.
Whether we are providing them with interesting materials, encouraging tactile learning, or using technology to make connections with people, the goal is the same. Students must feel connected to the people and ideas at school.
How do we, as educators, help students make those connections? Here are a few of the ideas I gathered today:
- Use clicker technology to increase the relevant conversations that students have about content. (Pickering)
- Build relationships with students through positive interactions and create a positive school climate for students. (Sugai)
- Create a blank jigsaw puzzle with students' names. Put together the "connections" puzzle as students make connections to the content. It also serves as a formative assessment because it provides a quick visual of who still needs help. (Beninghof)
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I had the tremendous opportunity to hear Douglas Reeves present the keynote address at the PDE Special Education Conference at Hershey, PA. Adorned with a bow tie, he was a well spoken, interesting man. Specifically, one of his points resonated with me: There is an implementation gap.
In school districts, we rarely implement initiatives or practices “full tilt.” As educators, we change slowly. We stick to old practices. Mostly, we resist change because we feel frustrated. The targets are always moving. The expectations of a principal, administrator, or state legislator may not be aligned, leading to frustration.
Reeves suggests that we need to continue with an initiative until it is at full implementation. This may take several years. Often, we do not see positive benefits until a system has reached full implementation of a particular practice.
Teachers need specific descriptors and clear targets to implement change. How can that happen? Build rubrics with your staff. Make sure that administrators are instructional leaders and reinforce teachers for making positive changes. Eliminate that which does not work and that which is unnecessary. Essentially, treat teachers with the same care as we treat students each day.
Focus on what is important. Make it lasting. Choose an initiative. Stick with it.
For me, my personal initiative is differentiation. It is my crusade to make sure that classrooms reflect this initiative at full implementation. I plan to draw up specific indicators to make sure that teachers know the expectation. What’s yours?
PS- Check out Doug Reeves' free podcasts here. They're good!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Finally, one of my fabulous teammates bought an iPad last week. I got to hold it, play with it, and browse the web on it. Regardless of the limitations of the device, one thing is for sure. USING IT IS FUN. Will this device change education? Maybe. Will I buy one? Probably not. Do I want one to play with? Most definitely! Stay tuned for more information tomorrow. There are many great speakers on tap, including Deb Pickering and Douglas Reeves. Unfortunately wifi and power access is very limited here. I will do my best to tweet interesting points with the tag #pattan. (I think I am the LONE TWEETER out here. Help!)
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
This would be a wonderful project for students. They could....
- Write and film a fictional script as a writing assignment.
- Create various endings to a single historical event such as "the shot heard round the world."
- Create various endings to a science experiment based on the manipulations of variables.
What an inspiration! Enjoy!
Monday, April 5, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Here is how the site describes the organization providing the research:
The Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education (CDDRE) was established in 2004 as a research center on low-achieving schools. As its name implies, CDDRE carries out research, development, and dissemination of state, district, school, and classroom strategies that use data on student performance to direct reform efforts. The focus of CDDRE is low-achieving elementary and middle schools, especially those failing to meet adequate yearly progress (AYP) goals under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). CDDRE seeks to substantially expand knowledge about district organization and management strategies, intended to enable district leaders to identify and then fill gaps in student performance in all schools whose students are struggling to meet their state performance standards.
I always use these site with a critical eye. A site like this can be helpful when used in tandem with other sources and research.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
However, Etherpad has been purchased by Google. In this transfer, the decided to release their API and several "copy cat" sites have popped up. They will be useful in the event that Etherpad closes. Enjoy!
Here they are: