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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in collaborative learning

Posted by on in Education Technology

3d printing shapeways

"PC load letter?!" Can't say I've said that in a long time. I love G Suite for Education, so there is little need to get frustrated with the printer, let alone print things out. Unless that is, you want to print something with a 3D printer!

At the end of January, I wrote a grant for the Polar3D printer, and as luck would have it, I was fortunate enough to receive the grant. My Polar3D printer arrived in my classroom last week, and hopefully we will be printing tomorrow. Not only is this my sixth grade students' first opportunity to use a 3D printer, but it is also mine. So it is a very exciting time as my students and I explore this new piece of technology together. We are both learning so much already, but what I am seeing and learning from my students is incredible.

Students as engaged learners

Before allowing my students to print, I had my students go through the tutorial lessons on tinkercad.com which is the free, web based platform we will be using to create our 3D projects. There are six tutorials which take students through different parts of the design process. Some struggled, while some excelled, but every student was an engaged learner. They were hooked as soon as they saw the 3D printer in the classroom. So when they went through the tutorials, they were asking questions without any prompting and they were answering their classmates' questions without any prompting. 

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

letter to Santa2

Dear Santa,

All we want for Christmas is for our staffs to learn to know and love Twitter like we do! How can we bestow this gift to our staffs this year in a way that would be meaningful?

As leaders we are faced each day with the task of helping teachers be better, better for our kids and better for each other.  There is no better gift that we can give our students than a skilled, innovative, loving and connected teacher in front of them everyday. How can we, as model leaders, gently lead teachers to a wealth of resources that will make them better, faster?

The answer to this, we believe, is helping teachers build a Professional Learning Network in Twitter.  In 140 characters they can get connected with like minded (or maybe not so like minded) educators going through some of the same struggles that they share.  They can find resources, ideas, and learn about positive trends in education today. How can principals accomplish this?  Principals can lead teachers to this understanding by building their own PLN and sharing the value of this wealth of knowledge with the staff.  

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Posted by on in Blended Learning

Hiya friends!

I switched to coffee shop style flexible seating in my chemistry classroom, which means that:

  1. Students face each other and not necessarily me or the front of the classroom.
  2. I have to be intentional about building collaboration into my lessons and teaching students to collaborate..
  3. I have to change the way I deliver much of the instruction and look for ways to change my teaching to fit the environment my students and I suddenly found ourselves in.

Today, I decided to let my students "Google It." They already learn this way outside of school, so why not let them inside? I too learn a lot of things by Googling or YouTubing them. If learning this way is something students already do, they can benefit from it, and I can curate it, why not do it?

The new concept to learn was "Isotopes." We did a bell ringer activity to review from the day before and got right into it. Here are the directions I gave:

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Posted by on in Professional Development

Are you sick of “professional development experts” that are flown into your district at an exorbitant price tag to deliver long sit and get trainings that are often over before the expert gets back home? Who has the money or the patience for this antiquated practice? Not me! Who are the professionals/experts in your building? You are! Who knows your students and school wide needs better than you do? No one!

Leverage the talent within your building through a formalized peer observation process that puts you, the teachers, in charge of your own professional development. Questions you should ask yourselves are:

Are we getting the results that we want? If so, what are we doing to provide sustainability for these practices as teachers come and go?

If we are not getting the results that we want, what are we doing to change the tide?

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Posted by on in Education Leadership


This is a follow up post to I’mma Starbucks My Classroom: My 21st Century Manifesto blog.

It’s the beginning of school year 2016/17. It is the morning of the first day of the new school year. You’ve done this before, but this time it feels very different.

You woke up before the alarm on your phone went off. Though it was much earlier than the last two months got you used to, you woke up energized. Shower, coffee, breakfast, and everything in between - improbably, you did not drag your feet. You got on the road with time to spare.

Driving, you were deep in thought. You were smiling. Visualizing. Anticipating.

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