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Showing posts from September, 2016

Start with the Why? - The ISTE Standards

My school district has made the Future Ready District Pledge. My high school has been focused on improving student-centered learning based on the ISTE Standards before we started learning about the Future Ready Initiatives. The Future Ready Initiatives give us another set of resources to learn and grow.

When we talk about student-centered classroom enhanced by technology, we always start with "The Why" before ever considering the "How or How Much".

The new ISTE Standards for Students are a great foundation for "The Why".

I recommend that all educators take a look at the ISTE Standards for Students as they evaluate teaching and learning in their classrooms.
Simon Sinek's TED Talk: How great leaders inspire action is another great place to start thinking about "The Why". 

Reflections on Building a Student-Centered Learning Environment Part II

I am continuing to focus on facilitating a learner-centered classroom enhanced by technology.  I am also trying to limit the amount of  homework for my students. Homework falls in 1 of 2 categories: Optional enrichment and Stuff They Didn't Finish. I suggest they don't spend more than 15 minutes on either on a daily basis. The combination of these two factors has been a challenge for me. 
Recently,  I shared my experience with our first quiz in this post. Long story short, my students struggled on our first open note quiz. We decided to focus on the areas of struggle by narrowing our focus using another collaborative activity.  We retook the quiz a week later. The retakes results showed improvement. We did not see as much improvement across the board as I hoped, but I think it was a step in the right direction.

Here are a few takeaways from this experience.  Students need more practice collaborating. The have a tendency to default to divide and conquer. This is not working for …

Reflections on Building a Student-Centered Learning Environment

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin

I am passionately curious about how students learn best. I am always experimenting with new ideas and lessons to challenge my students to own their learning. I do not "teach" my students, I instead I do my best to facilitate learning in a student-centered classroom. 

This year I want to help students adjust to a more student classroom. I decided to start our first major unit on ecology a with this in mind. Instead of starting with direct vocabulary activities, I decided to build the foundation around a field experience to one of our local prairies. We explored the prairie in small groups while engaging the students in building a sense of space about the ecosystem.

We returned to the classroom and began to build a Google+ Collection that connected key concepts from the unit to our exploration of the Prairie. Students were given guidelines and encouraged to collaborate. I circul…

Formative Assessment - Driving Teaching and Learning

Formative assessment, including diagnostic testing, is a range of formal and informal assessment procedures conducted by teachers during the learning process in order to modify teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment.Wikipedia Do you have a favorite formative assessment best practice, sample, or a favorite formative resource? Please consider sharing in our Google+ Community.
Formative assessments are powerful learning checkpoints for teachers and students. The importance of these assessments has grown in parallel to the growth of student-centered learning in technology-rich classrooms.
Formative assessments must be part of the learning process and can be enhanced with a variety of different #EdTech resources. This post will introduce a variety of formative assessment tools. These tools are essential to help engage students in the learning process. Both teachers and students must use these assessments to evaluate their current understandings and more importantly …

Google Apps for Education Updates

Google Apps for Education has updated a variety of resources this summer. These updates include some great enhancements for teaching and learning.
Here is a quick list of some of the most popular updates for teachers and students. (Click on the links to learn more about each resource.)

1. Google Forms Now Has a Quiz Option
Many of us have used Flubaroo and Superquiz to support assessment with Google Forms over the past several years. Google has now made it even easier to create and grade quizzes using Google Forms.

2. Google Classroom Organization with Topics Teachers can organize the class stream by adding topics to posts, and teachers and students can filter the stream for specific topics.
3. Add Images to Form Question
Teachers can now add images to questions or as multiple choice answers.

4. Google Expeditions Continues to Grow
With over 200 Expeditions available, we’re excited for them to experience these virtual field trips on more devices. Students will soon be able to experien…