November 2, 2017

Hacking Education Part 7-Flip!

Flipping the classroom became popular years ago, but is still not a method many look to nor even tried.
I can sympathize. I tried it (kind of) in my classroom, but soon realized reliable access to the Internet and having the proper equipment to accomplish given assignments was not always the case. I know, there is research which says 80% of all families have access to the Internet. But that figure includes families who have smartphones that access the Internet via cell data plans.

Just because a phone/tablet could access the Internet doesn't mean:

  • A parent will let the child use the device for schoolwork
  • The family has a data plan large enough for frequent Internet use
  • The device can properly display the content
  • All the functionality of the content's website will be available

That said, I used my knowledge of small groups and technology to create a type of the in-class flip.
I used Delicious bookmarks to gather background and necessary information. I then displayed a link on the board for them to type into the URL bar and access the information. At first, this process was cumbersome for reasons like mistyped addresses, excess time to find the proper website in the list, and lack of teacher instructions of how to search properly.

I used that knowledge to change my lessons to include more steps to access the information using Diigo. It made each step easier for me to focus on specific skill sets and gave me data to see where I needed to support my students.

Teacher preparation is critical for student achievement. There will students who excel despite poor planning and instruction, but that is not the case for most students. Creating learning centers is difficult but once done, students will have more learning opportunities and become the owners of their learning.

Isn't that what we want?

October 29, 2017

Year #42

October 24, 2017

It was a good day…

Beginning around 5a, I came to consciousness and realized it was my birth day.
The day the world was introduced to me, well at least my family.
I had a bounce in my step because I turned 42.
A new day, a new year, and new opportunities to thrive and share my experiences with others.

Notifications saying Happy Birthday came in like a wrecking ball, flood and I felt good about it.
I also realized that I had to make the choice myself to be happy and not let anything take that away.
I got 2 phone calls (Sister and Granny) before I could get in the shower and that had never happened before.
Have I mentioned my sister? She is the best sister ever. That will be another post for another time.
Back to the story, if you are still with me. (I have a point, I think)
I sang, I danced, I went to work…

What a surprise! Have I mentioned I love my staff?
The Admin Assistant, 2 students, Parent Educator, Front Office Assistant decorated my part of the coaches’ office with a large banner, balloons, party hats, and ceiling streamers.
I was very grateful for the attention.
But wait…
There was a cake made for me! Do you see it? 

Amazing style, coloring, flavor, and texture.
I love it.

Backing up for a moment, it was Twin Day for the UnderGround Spirit Week.
I had promised a teacher I’d be twins with him, but then was asked the morning of if I’d like to be a Twin with Nick, my AP. If you know me, you know what I said.
The walks were his idea. We have issues staying on the same channel, but love it anyway.

Ramon was the original Twin. Don’t we look alike?

Jumping ahead to 2:45 party time (15 minutes long). I had to coerce the Teaching and Learning Director to get in the picture.
(PM Group picture)

After all the festivities, I went home, ate dinner, and watched two shows, Outback Truckers and Mega Builders. Boring I know, but it was what I needed to do.

If you are still with me, kudos!
42 is a number which holds a lot of mystery, myths, and interesting facts.

Call me crazy, but I woke up with a new aspect on life.
I was born to be an answer, give answers, look for answers, and be given answers to life and its many questions. Who can take that away from me? Only me.

So, this 42nd year will be one in which I will do more to fulfill my purpose here on earth. 
To be what I am to be to those who cross my path. 
Not conforming to huge pressures of society, but to be me and only me.
“Now this looks like a job for me…”