Learning Challenge - Teachers Helping Teachers Flipgrid

I know there are so many ways for teachers to share their voice and I am hoping to encourage the use of one more.

I've put together a Flipgrid with several topics in place connected to teaching and learning? 

My purpose is to encourage educators to share ideas and resources while modeling student voice with FlipGrid.

What do you think?  What other topics should I be including? I hope to expand and add more as this resource grows? 

 Teachers Helping Teachers Flipgrid

HyperDocs and Pear Deck - Student Voice and Student Engagement

We recently organized and hosted nine lunch-n-learns sessions with our staff connected to student voice with Pear Deck as the featured resource. We used the Pear Deck Add-on to create the presentation. Our slide deck placed staff in the role of students to demonstrate the interactive features. Our theme was animals and our staff loved it! 

I also used Pear Deck with my students as part of my substitute plan when we were meeting with staff. I've been using Pear Deck with my students for most of the year and I decided to complete a student-paced HyperDoc using Pear Deck for the day's activity. This was the first time I used a self-paced deck with my whole class. (I have done this a few times for absent students.) I loved the idea of sharing Pear Deck with staff while using Pear Deck as part of my substitute plan. The student piece also seemed to go very well. 

Here are a few tips that I shared as we explored Pear Deck with staff.

  • I love the Classroom Climate option. I have this turned on and it is a great way for me to get a quick overview of how my students are feeling. I don't make a big deal about this and I don't think the students even recognize that I am monitoring this. When a student chooses the Red or the Yellow icon, I make sure to stop by and give that student a compliment about something they posted. I don't tell them that I am doing because of the icon they chose and I hope me giving them a quick compliment at some point during the period makes it a bit of a better day. 

  • Every question does not need to be written on a slide. I think it is sometimes important for the students to listen to a verbal question and not just wait to see it on their screen. On this slide, we verbally asked, "What does the fox say?".

  • The Slide Library in the Pear Deck Add-on is a great place to get started when exploring the interactive features of Pear Deck. The Beginning, During, and End of Lesson templates are a great placed to get inspired. Even when you don't use the templates they are a great place to get ideas on the types of questions you might ask. My personal favorite is "Pretend your friend was absent . . . ". I like the responses my students share when they are answering a question for a friend and not just for me. 

I plan to share a few other quick tips in future posts, so stay tuned. If you have a favorite tip or process connected to Pear Deck, please share in the comments below?

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March Book of the Month - Inquiry Mindset by Trevor Mackenzie and Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt

The best educators are not content to do the same old thing year after year. Innovative educators push their thinking by engaging in social media, exploring blogs, attending conferences, and exploring the newest generation of educational books.

We've created a site to organize and share some great books connected to teaching and learning. Each month we will feature a new book from our PLN. Have an idea for our next book of the month? Please share in the comments below.

From their youngest years, our children are innately curious. They explore the world around them through play, imagination, and discovery. They build meaning, they create understanding, and they unabashedly share their learning. It's in this process that they find joy in life and relevance in the world around them. Why, then, do some of our students become disconnected from their learning in school? Where does this natural curiosity go? And how, as educators, can we ensure all of our students experience a meaningful and wonder-filled journey through their education? It s these questions that Trevor MacKenzie, author of the critically acclaimed book Dive into Inquiry, answers in Inquiry Mindset. Co-written with kindergarten teacher Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt, Inquiry Mindset offers a highly accessible journey through inquiry in the younger years. You ll learn how to . . . Empower your learners, increase engagement, and accelerate achievement. Harness the wonderings and curiosities of your students and leverage them into powerful learning opportunities. Cultivate an inquiry mindset both as a teacher and in your students! Adopt an inquiry approach that results in the most authentic and inspiring learning you 've ever experienced!

Supporting the 4Cs in Learner-Centered Classrooms - Critical Thinking

Critical thinking - Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students will:

  • Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
  • Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
  • Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
  • Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't." - Anatole France

I have long believed that my content should support the development of student skills connected to the 4 Cs or collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity.

Interested in tools to share your story? or are you are interested in resources and tools to support student communication skills, then we have this document for your exploration.

Have an additional resource or want to share how you use one of the tools? Visit this Critical Thinking Padlet to share or post a reply in the comments below.

Reboot the Noggin - Inquiry and Curiosity

"My favorite words are possibilities, opportunities, and curiosity. I think if you are curious, you create opportunities, and then if you open the doors, you create possibilities." Mario Testino

Teaching and learning in a fast-paced Advanced Placement Curriculum can be a grind. I'm not complaining, this is just a simple fact. Every educator faces challenges on a daily basis regardless of the course or grade level. This post is about stepping away from the daily grind to engage your students outside of your daily curriculum and objectives.

6 to 8 times a year the students and I engage in what I affectionately call a "Reboot the Noggin" Activity. These activities take many forms, but most typically they are HyperDocs. I love creating these because it gives me a chance to learn and explore something other than Technology or Environmental Science. I also sometimes use these to experiment with a new resource or website. 
Most of my students enjoy the chance to explore something that will not be part of an upcoming assessment. We sometimes even have some fun as we explore and discover new stuff and pathways.

My next Reboot the Noggin is about curiosity. 

(Planned as a break between 2 big units on Energy and Pollution.) 

If you are curious, here are the two other Reboots from this year. (I am a bit behind this year and I'm not sure if I will get more than five done this year, I've just not found the opportunities.)

(Collaboration activity that I used the first week school. The instructions and solutions are in this Slide Deck.)

(We completed this after Holiday Break.)

If you have a favorite resource or activity to engage students in a similar way, please share in the comments below?

Supporting the 4Cs in Learner-Centered Classrooms - Communication

Communication - Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students will:
  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

“We speak not only to tell other people what we think, but to tell ourselves what we think. Speech is a part of thought.” ― Oliver Sacks

I believe that content should support the development of student skills connected to the 4 Cs or collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. 

Interested in tools to share your story? or are you are interested in resources and tools to support student communication skills, then we have this document for your exploration.

Have an additional resource or want to share how you use one of the tools? Visit this Communication Padlet to share or post a reply in the comments below.

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