Friday, September 30, 2016

Blended Learning PD

Blended learning is, at its simplest, a way to merge traditional brick-and-mortar classroom procedures and activities with technology-supported instructional tools. Join me as we learn to use a few simple tools to enhance your classroom activities using Chromebooks and free web-based services.


10/10
SAMR, TPACK, & Google Classroom
10/17
Classroom Communication using Google Docs & Slides
10/25
Formative/Summative Assessments with Google Forms
11/01
Formative Assessments with Kahoot!
11/07
Classroom Websites with Blogger
11/15
Problem-solving Tips & Tricks (using tools above)

Register HERE for one or all of the sessions described.
This PD can be adapted for teachers at almost any grade level.
Image from pixabay.com

Thursday, September 29, 2016

NGSS & IL Science Training

Image from pixabay.com
Learn how to revolutionize your science instruction while incorporating Next Generation Science Standards! Join Bailey Cavanah (grade 2), Heather Galbreath (grade 6), and your colleagues from across the District at Nielson Elementary School from 4-5pm on the following dates:


  • Oct 19: Intro to NGSS standards and framework. 8 scientific practices, CCC’s, and 3-dimensional lessons.
  • Oct 26:Continuation of Day 1. Example lesson #1 (Collapsing Bottle) and anchoring phenomena. SEP of modeling.
  • Nov 2: Example lesson #2 (Biggest Sucker). Lesson #3 (Soap Bubbles). Air puppy explanation. SEP of modeling and including other practices & CCC’s.
  • Nov 9: Questions from lessons #2 and #3. Moving toward more student-led discussions.
  • Nov 14: EQuIP Rubric checklist with lesson. What does NGSS look like at each grade level? Making lessons more 3-dimensional?
  • Nov 21: Assessment tasks, rubrics, evidence statements. How can we develop new science assessment tasks aligned to NGSS?


Earn up to 6 PD Credits - Register HERE

This training is appropriate for all grade levels.


Class Dojo

ClassDojo.PNG
Image clipped from www.classdojo.com
Last week I discussed a behavior management tool called The Great Behavior Game. This week I’d like to introduce another tool called Class Dojo. Class Dojo is a free tool that has some nice features that help teachers, students, and parents connect to promote a more positive classroom community. Class Dojo is probably most appropriate for younger students in grades K-3 or K-5, but could have applications with older students as well.

Class Dojo facilitates student self-management of behavior through the use of digital learning portfolios. Students and teachers can share updates with parents.
Class Dojo is a free web-based tool - no app to download & install for kids or you (unless you choose to use a personal device instead). Learn how to get started (20 min video from Meg's Crayons). A number of teachers in our schools use Class Dojo already - just ask around or give me a call!



Columbus Day Resources

Image from pixabay.com
Columbus Day is coming up, which will be observed on October 12 this year. This is a great time to discuss These contributions, both positive and negative, are collectively referred to as “The Columbian Exchange” by many textbooks. The National Humanities Center has an excellent essay on the Columbian Exchange, with teaching suggestions.
Classroom research and debate over this often-controversial topic are a common activity:
  • Should we observe the accomplishments of a man who might be considered one of the most successful failures in world history? After all, he never did reach the <East> Indies at all.
  • Should we celebrate the man responsible for bringing slavery and diseases that are responsible for wiping out millions of Native Americans in North and South America?
  • Is it appropriate to lay the blame of genocide, accidental or otherwise, which undeniably followed as a part of the Columbian Exchange, on the shoulders of this one man? Was it instead the entire European society during the Age of Discovery that should bear this responsibility?

I spent a little time today looking for Columbus Day teaching and learning activities that might incorporate technology as well. Many would help set up a lively debate amongst your students, expand their world-view, and help them participate in a discussion about global citizenship.

Here are just a few ideas:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Create a Book Trailer, from Free Tech for Teachers

Free Tech For Teachers, an excellent blog by Richard Byrne, has posted a great video about making video book "trailers" to stimulate interest in reading using a few fairly simple tools.
Read more at his original post, How to Create A Book Trailer Video
Watch the video at the link above, or watch below. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Illinois State Assessment Dates 2016-2017


    • PARCC - Grades 3-8 - March 6 (earliest) through April 28 (latest)
      • Schools have 30 school attendance days to complete administration of 2017 PARCC
      • Can start no earlier than March 6
      • Must end all testing no later than April 28
    • SAT - All Grade 11 students - Set by ISBE, not D205
      • Image from pixabay.com
        Wednesday, April 05, 2017
      • Make Up = Tuesday, April 25, 2017
    • ISA (Illinois Science Assessment) - Students in Grades 5-8 & in HS Bio I or equivalent - March 6 (earliest) through April 28 (latest)
      • Students who take the Science testlets in DLM do not take ISA
    • DLM-AA (Dynamic Learning Maps - Alternate Assessment) - Grade 3-8, Grade 11 - March 15, 2017 (earliest) to May 1, 2017 (Latest)
    • ACCESS for ELLs - K-12 students - Jan 09-Feb 10, 2017


Sunday, September 25, 2016

New Teacher Learning Team: Oct 5

New Teacher Learning Team Meeting

Topic: The Effective Teacher

Wednesday, October 5, 4-5 pm

Board Room
Lincoln Education Center
932 Harrison Street, Galesburg, Illinois
Open to all Year 1 and Year 2 teachers in Galesburg CUSD #205 and KWSED

All NTLT Meetings are optional; however, 1 PD Credit is awarded for your participation. 


Saturday, September 24, 2016

entICE Comes to Western Illinois!

ICE - or Illinois Computing Educators - has started a new chapter in western Illinois! The Chapter is named for all western Illinois Educators Needing Technology, or entICE.  (Thanks to our own Dawn Malcolm at CJHS for coming up with the name!)

And, during its inaugural year at least, membership is FREE OF CHARGE!
The goal of entICE is to support educators who are integrating technology into instructional activities. Membership is open to any public or private preK-20+ educator, administrator, or pre-service teacher in counties served by ROE 33 and ROE 26 who wants to learn more about educational technology. We’ll meet monthly at different locations across the region to share ideas, learn new techniques, network with one another, and perhaps even enjoy a guest speaker now and again. Members can also apply for classroom mini-grants, scholarships, and enjoy other membership perks, including PD Credits through ICE. Learn more at iceberg.org
Please mark your calendars for our inaugural membership kickoff party on October 13, from 5-6pm, at a location to be announced soon!
More information will be coming soon!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Google Calendar Tips

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has posted some great tips and a link to video tutorials on ways teachers can use Google Calendar to help manage busy schedules.

Remember, if you use Google Classroom or Hapara to communicate and share information with students, Google Calendars are already created for you and your students!

Learn how to leverage Google Calendar by reading this blog post!

To the good folks at www.educatorstechnology.com/ - Please accept my apologies for the previously-inaccurate attribution in my original post.


Conscious Discipline Book Study Sep 28

Conscious Discipline Book Study

Meeting #4: Problem Solving: Positive Intent & Consequences, Chapters 9-10

September 28, 4-6pm 

Board Room, Lincoln Education Center

932 Harrison, Galesburg, Illinois

Attendance at this meeting is optional; however, 2 PD Credits are awarded for your participation

 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Have you cleaned your filter this week?

Using all these gadget-y things in the classroom is fun and it helps kids learn, but ed tech also requires some basic standard maintenance, too.

Please help prolong the life of the projectors associated with SMART Boards by cleaning the projector frequently and regularly. Once each week is a good rule of thumb.

Within the District, I try to send a weekly email update every week. When that message shows up in your inbox, consider that your reminder to clean out the filter on the projector.

Image from epson.com


Here's how to clean the filter each week:

  • Turn the projector off. Unplugging it wouldn't hurt, either.
  • Stand on a step-stool or ladder. Avoid standing on a chair or desk, etc. Ask your custodian for assistance as needed. DO NOT ASK STUDENTS TO DO THIS. 
  • Locate the filter. As you are looking into the big fish-eye lens, you'll see a small black plastic part just to the side. That's the filter. (It's circled in red in the image above.)
  • Remove the Filter. Grab the black plastic filter with your thumb and index finger and pull it straight out toward the SMART Board.
  • Gently shake or blow the dust off the filter. You might want to do that over a trash can.
  • Reinsert the filter. It only fits one way - the same way you took it out. Don't force it.
  • Examine  the projector for dust buildup. If you see a lot of dust & debris built up, especially around the cooling vents, gently brush it away from the projector - never in towards it .

NEVER RUN THE PROJECTOR WITHOUT A CLEAN FILTER PROPERLY INSTALLED! You wouldn't run your car's engine without an oil filter, would you? Let's hope not. The same is true for the SMART Board projector.

NEVER USE COMPRESSED OR "CANNED" AIR TO CLEAN THE SURFACE OR COOLING VENTS OF THE PROJECTOR! This will only force surface dirt & other crud DEEPER into the projector. And that's not good.

If you notice a lot of dirt built up in and around the cooling vents, if the image seems to be getting dimmer, or if your projector starts "making noise," it probably needs professional attention. Submit a Tech Help Request from your classroom computer... quickly...  to have someone from the Tech Department drop by and check it over for you.

And remember, when you see that Tech & PD Update in your inbox, ask yourself...
"Did I clean my filter this week?"

The Great Behavior Game (Redux)


According to the EducatorsHandbook.com website, The Great Behavior Game now offers a 30-day free trial. Extending beyond this time frame requires a fee of $499/school/year.

-------------------------

Original post: 

Dusting off a classic for you today... I first blogged about The Great Behavior Game back in 2011! The idea came up recently in a discussion with one of our newer teachers, and I found that some of the links in the post had changed, so here's an update!

The Great Behavior Game is an online application that tracks & rewards appropriate student behavior while teachers conduct their lessons. It is recommended to be used with a projector or SMART Board.

Teachers can create up to three student rosters.  Once a game is started, students’ names appear as game pieces on a board.  Students earn points automatically as time progresses.  Ten points earns a student a star.  Students can earn extra points for positive or observed behaviors – simply single-click on the name to assign the bonus points. Click-and-hold on a student’s name to assign a time-out.

Students do not accumulate points during a time-out. Teachers can also assign a longer term time-out, called a “freeze.”  There is also an Undo button, as well as a Pause button which allows you to show students’ point accumulations and talk with kids about their behaviors.  Settings can be changed to allow reinforcement or timeout intervals to occur at 1-, 2- or 3-minute time periods.

In the screenshot of “my class” below, Jimmy and Donna each have 21 points (2 stars & 1 dot), Joey 7 Suzie each have 19 points (1 star & 9 dots), and poor little Darth has a time-out (although he has earned 16 points, his stars & dots have been hidden during his TO, and he can see exactly how long he has left on his time-out), probably for using The Force in some way inappropriate to my classroom expectations.

...silly Darth...


There are a number of different reporting & printing options as well to help keep parents informed of progress or concerns.  Daily data can be displayed on a line graph for a week, which separates out standard point accumulations from bonus points earned.  Data for time-outs/freezes can be displayed on a chart showing what days of the week and times of day the inappropriate behavior occurs
The Great Behavior Game is a great resource for an elementary (K-5) classroom with a SMART Board, or any classroom environment where appropriate behaviors were in need on reinforcement.

See the Video on their Website for more details.

I had originally found this resource at Erin Kleine’s most-excellent blog, Kleinspiration


True North Logic Walk-Through

Learn the basics of navigating the True North Logic interface, used for District #205's Professional Evaluations.

This is an optional informational meeting that is open to all District staff.

Location: Galesburg High School
Date: 09/29/2016
Time: 4:00 pm

Chromebook Basics - Tech Tuesday

Tech Tuesday: Chromebook Basics

This hands on workshop will provide you with the basics to successfully use your Chromebook in the classroom. Do you know exactly how to set up your Chromebook.? Are you familiar with the keyboard cuts, the shelf, how to shares files?

Presenter: John Closen

October 25, 2016

4:00 pm
ROE 26, 130 S. Lafayette Street, Macomb, IL

Register at: http://roepd.net/?action=workshop&recid=292&from=calendar

Fee: FREE


Tech Coordinators Meeting Oct 07

image from pixabay.com

Tech Coordinators Meeting

October 07, 2016

10:00 am to Noon
Carl Sandburg College
2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd, Galesburg, Illinois

The Technology Coordinator meeting provides an opportunity for Tech Coordinators to collaborate and share effective strategies. Come for the Tech Coordinators meeting, then stay for the SEN meeting on Student Engagement, Collaboration, Problem Solving, and Game-Based Learning!

Presenters: Linda Lee & John Closen

Register at http://roepd.net/?action=workshop&recid=295&from=calendar


Fee: FREE! 

Science Leadership Cadre

Educator Leadership Cadres: Science

Date: September 30, 2016

Location: RAES-East (235 E. Main, Galesburg, IL) and ROE 26 (130 S. Lafayette, Suite 200, Macomb, IL)

Register at http://roepd.net/?action=workshop&recid=284&from=calendar

Fee: FREE

Family Engagement Leadership Cadre

Image from pixabay.com

Educator Leadership Cadre: Family Engagement

Date: September 29, 2016

Location: RAES-East (235 E. Main, Galesburg, IL) and ROE 26 (130 S. Lafayette, Suite 200, Macomb, IL)

Register at http://roepd.net/?action=workshop&recid=280&from=calendar 

Fee: FREE

Sandburg Education Network Meeting Oct 7

Join us 

Sandburg Education Network Meeting

Topic: Student engagement through collaboration, problem solving, and game-based learning

October 7, 12:00-3:30 pm
Carl sandburg College, Building A
2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd, Galesburg, IL 61401

Open to All Educators, School Administrators, & Technology Directors/Coordinators


Fee: FREE

Register at http://roepd.net/?action=workshop&recid=288&from=calendar 



Balanced Assessment Leadership Cadre

image from pixabay.net

Educator Leadership Cadres: Balanced Assessment

Date: October 06, 2016

Location: RAES-East (235 E. Main, Galesburg, IL) and ROE 26 (130 S. Lafayette, Suite 200, Macomb, IL)  

Register at http://roepd.net/?action=workshop&recid=278&from=calendar
Fee: FREE! 


Columns in Google Docs!

Google Docs now includes a Columns tool!

Just open a Google Doc, click the Format menu and select Columns.



  I learned about this by reading Richard Byrne's post on Free Tech For Teachers

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

entICE in Galesburg!

ICE - or Illinois Computing Educators - has started a new chapter in western Illinois! The Chapter is named for all western Illinois Educators Needing Technology, or entICE.  (Thanks to our own Dawn Malcolm at CJHS for coming up with the name!)

And, during its inaugural year at least, membership is FREE OF CHARGE!
The goal of entICE is to support educators who are integrating technology into instructional activities. Membership is open to any public or private preK-20+ educator, administrator, or pre-service teacher in counties served by ROE 33 and ROE 26 who wants to learn more about educational technology. We’ll meet monthly at different locations across the region to share ideas, learn new techniques, network with one another, and perhaps even enjoy a guest speaker now and again. Members can also apply for classroom mini-grants, scholarships, and enjoy other membership perks, including PD Credits through ICE. Learn more at iceberg.org
Please mark your calendars for our inaugural membership kickoff party on October 13, from 5-6pm, at a location to be announced soon!
More information will be coming soon!

New Teacher Learning Team Wed Sep 21

Next Meeting: Wed, Sept. 21; 4-5pm; Board Room, Lincoln Ed Ctr.

TOPIC: Procedures & Routines

Learn more at our New Teachers resource page

PD Academy: Call for Presenters

We’re accepting applications for our local PD Academy! This will help you stay up- to- date on the latest trends and ideas to help students grow and achieve. (...and to help renew your license, too!)

If you have topics that you’d like to present to your colleagues, please complete the Course Proposal form. After review, I’ll be in touch with you to hammer out the details.

PD Academy Courses should focus on one or more of our 6 Pillars of Professional Learning:
  • Student Engagement
  • Differentiation
  • Higher Order Thinking Skills
  • Data-Based Decision Making
  • Tech-enabled Instruction
  • Balanced, Authentic Assessment
Tips from past PD Academy sessions…
  • Plan for multiple, on-going sessions that encourage deeper integration of the tips/tools into daily instruction - avoid the one-and-done approach.
  • Make sure each session has an agenda with specific outcomes. I am required to keep these and any supporting documents/presentation materials on-file for 7 years. (I’m audited annually on this stuff)  
  • Plan interactive, hands-on activities to engage all participants, with the goal of planning or creating something that can be incorporated into classroom activities immediately.
  • Plan a definite start and end date within a semester - repeating a topic with new participants is okay, too.
  • Offer ideas & training that apply across all grade levels whenever possible.
  • All activities must be aligned with the national Learning Forward professional learning standards. I can help you with this part - just ask!  

It’s okay to repeat a topic during the same semester or across semesters to allow more persons to get involved.  Those who have presented topics in the past are encouraged to do so again, too!

PD Opportunities in District 205

It is the responsibility of each educator to keep his/her own professional teaching license up-to-date by collecting and recording PD Credit through ELIS. Educators who have received or renewed their license in the past couple of years know that they need 120 hours every 5 years, or an average of 24 hours per year.

Educators in District #205 have a vast amount of free or very-low-cost options to do so:  
  • ROEPD.net - Operated jointly by ROE26 and ROE33, this calendar-based resource will show you all sorts of opportunities (free and fee-based) throughout these 2 local regions. In addition to their ongoing PD options, they’re developing professional learning cadres focusing on the following topics:
  • EdLeadersNetwork.org - Provided free-of-charge for all persons working in Illinois Schools, this on-demand video warehouse can be used to satisfy mandated PD requirements. It is also a great resource for “just in time” professional learning on all sorts of topics. ELN provides License Renewal credits on demand for educators free of charge.
    • If you need an ELN account, email Matt with your name, position, and the building to which you are assigned for 51% or more of your day.
    • It takes 5-10 business days for Springfield to create accounts. Please be patient - this is not something we control locally.  
  • PD Academy - Once we get underway, participants can earn hour-for-hour PD Credit for License Renewal. All classes occur from 4-5 pm unless otherwise arranged. PD Academy classes are always free to educators in District #205.
School Improvement Days - We have 6 School Improvement Days for which we can award PD Credits this year. We can provide UP TO 3 PD Hours on each SIP Day, or the equivalent of up to 18 hours/year. The exact amount of hours we can provide will be limited by each day’s agenda, travel time needed to get to training sites (when needed), and respect for contractual lunch and release times across schools.  

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"New" IAR Replaces PARCC in IL

Image from pixabay.com After several years and no small amount of controversy, PARCC in Illinois is being replaced by the IAR: The Illi...

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