Sunday, August 19, 2018

How teachers can help kids find their political voices

To me, social justice is a simple concept; it's the notion that all people in a society deserve fair and equitable rights, opportunities and access to resources."
With this, Sydney Chaffee begins her powerful TEDx talk entitled "How teachers can help kids find their political voices". This video is a must watch for all teachers, administrators and staff members who believe in the transformational power of education.

Monday, August 13, 2018


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Monday, July 30, 2018

15 Strategies To Help You With A New PBL Idea, Part 1

As we move from a single Project Based Learning class to incorporating PBL in classroom activities, here is a great resource to generate ideas for that thinking, revising, & planning period we find ourselves in before the start of new school year.

Starting PBL: 15 Strategies To Help You With A New PBL Idea, Part 1 | Tech Learning

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Friday, April 13, 2018

SXSWedu Resources

More resources from Tom Bauer's trip to SXSWedu 2018

AWESOME short Tutorials for Google Tools

These are amazing » have fun!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

CUE18- The Good Stuff

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Some thoughts, ideas, talking points and takeaways from our time at #cue18.
By Lisa Rosa & Suzanne Okada

Keynote Speakers:
“Maverick teachers don’t assign a lesson, they design a lesson”
Matt Miller- “101 Practical Ways to Ditch the Textbook”&
The Digital Pirate See shared books with links and presentation.

Engaging thoughts on how to teach our students more experientially and provoking self motivation in learning.
We do MANY of these things now, these books will help enhance our usage and production as well as student process!

“Reinvent yourself every year. You have different kids and different scenarios.”
Johwell St Cilien-Filmmaker & Promoter of Education Revolution

Johwell believes in creating the school around the children, not making the children “fit” into the school.Yearly assessment and renovation. When the students needs are being met and their talents (whatever they are) recognized,  they are motivated to learn utilizing their gifts.
Image result for C.A.S.A johwell

An Ecosystem to Support PBL
Data Driven Blended Learning + PBL Achievement
This session spoke of achieving deeper learning outcomes for all students. It described the conditions in which we as a Diocese/Administration/Faculty and teachers need to facilitate and coordinate student learning. Coherent conditions, capacity, and evidence need to be the top priority of each individual layer of PBL (see image below)
PBL Teaching Practices: The Gold Standard
The Buck Institute for Education partnered with different districts to create this “ecosystem” that helps align and supports all involved in the PBL process. We (SJB) need to discuss and assess in what context we would like to frame and support PBL at our school. By prioritizing our goals, standards, and expectations in our facilitation, we should be able to guide our PBL classes better. (See chart below.)
This should be an open forum for teachers to create as well. (Almost like PBL for teachers!)
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Learning Through Inquiry/Design & Delivery:
Using Technology to Meet All Student’s Needs

This has been a catch-phrase for many years, however, this session put into practice methods which can be used for younger children to get them “fired up” about learning.
Given materials and time to explore them, the students can then come up with questions of inquiry. This then leads to Science based questions. The idea was not to start with the internet, but end with it. Investigating the answers to the questions once the questions are posed. This type of inquiry based learning addresses students with diverse skill sets and allows all students to be involved in the process. In essence, the students learn the basic skills of Project Based Learning. Inquiry, Question-Building, Process Learning, Project Production.
Image result for learning through inquiry 2nd grade

Ryan O’Donnell -Teacher, Tech Coach, Dad

@creativeedtech -Totally worth checking out, but if you “borrow” any ideas, make sure to FILE and COPY. :) (OMG 1000000000 ideas of things you can do. NO, you really haven’t done it all.)

On this website, there are A MILLION ways to integrate Google Slides, YouTube, etc into your teaching life. Seriously, a million. This session showed just a handful of amazing things you can do with this: from infographics and study games to  newsletters and communication to parents.

Mr. O’Donnell’s (spoken very fast) Thoughts...
“It’s time to create and not just consume.”
Use templates to have “baby steps” to create tools (In students “toolbag”) to develop skills they will use through high school.
Stop sending students to apps and expecting that to teach them. That is NOT how this works.

Idea: Maybe instead of our ‘WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR CLASSROOM” we create a slide (see website) to publish to EVERYONE not just PTG. This can also be used as newsletter to parents on a monthly basis, not weekly- Less burden on teachers.

Creating Learning Environments for Sustainability, Equity and Access
Ken Shelton

He has worked as an educator for 9 years and currently teaches technology at the Middle School level.
Educational Technology community,
Google Certified Teacher,
Apple Distinguished Educator
Discovery STAR Educator,
Member of the Discovery Educator Network California Leadership Council
serves on the board for the Computer Using Educators Los Angeles affiliate

This workshop was hands on, covering educational technology and how to integrate technology into a classroom of diverse learners. He spoke on creative expression in and outside of the classroom and how to create instructional design topics and inspire your students with them.

Build Your Toolkit
So Learners Develop Agency & Become Future Ready
Barbara Bray
“There is no average learner.”
Learning to teach to and design lessons that teach “to the extremes” or the students that learn differently. We no longer should assume we are teaching to the average student.
Her suggestion includes making student profiles of their strengths and challenges. Teachers would then use this to design a lesson.  By making and knowing all your students this well, you can find a pattern of what you are truly looking at. A sweet balance of preferences and needs

Build your list of tools with instructional methods, learning strategies and skills! (See her website for suggestions and great ideas!)

Digital Leadership:
Jennifer Casa-Todd

Image result for Digital leadership for kids
A few thoughts on this:
-Just like we post our SLE’s we should post positive expectations for digital Citizenship and Digital Leadership.
(Digital Leadership is not just about leaving a nice comment, it takes Digital Citizenship to the next Level.)
-Practicing this form of leadership from a young grade is extremely important.
-Taking the time to listen to what the students have found and done on the internet outside of school  is important to our own teaching and digital classroom education.

One of my favorite things I found/saw was this:
Because it took Christian Leadership, PBL and Digital Leadership to a new level and it was inspiring! But Mostly because it was a student’s idea, it was student created, completely.

An Internal conflict I have…. We may all have…. What do you think?
Mrs. Casa-Todd spoke about how the internet became a sort of family and friend place for her. She spoke about bullying and feeling outcast from the normal Day-to-day interactions with people or in some situations.  
I would think that this comfort she found in the internet and people on the web would further promote a sort of seclusion and withdrawn feeling. Yet, for her it made her feel better, like people out there understood her and she was not alone. Many of our student suffer from a lack in an ability to socialize, and in conjunction, we are also trying to teach/live digitally. So, which way do we support our students? How can we do both?  

Top 10 Skills Important in the Workforce

Fascinating comparison to a mere 3yrs ago in 2015!

Monday, March 12, 2018

My Humble Offering of the Best of SXSW EDU 2018 v. 1.0

I was fortunate enough to be able to spend four days in Austin at SXSW EDU with some amazing people, from all aspects of education, in collaboration, contemplation and celebration; I have returned to school and want to share all the insight I have gained with each of you. My goal is to share a few things every couple of days, so as to not overwhelm anyone with an information dump.  Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Jonathan Plucker is a professor at John Hopkins University and he led a session entitled "Excellence Gaps: Where Equity & Excellence Meet".  He offered us his latest research on how to best work to close gaps for talented students of color when measured against their white peers.  I have included the abstract from his article "Reducing Excellence Gaps A Research Based Model" below and would gladly print the article for you if interested in further reading.

"As the awareness of the existence and negative effects of excellence gaps has grown among educators and policy makers, so too has a desire for research-supported interventions to reduce these gaps. A recent review of research related to promoting equitable outcomes for all gifted students identified six specific strategies for reducing excellence gaps. This article describes those components, along with a strategy of frontloading that should serve as the foundation for any comprehensive intervention efforts."

For more information on excellence gaps and how they are related to, and affected by, income levels, I have added the abstract from another article co-written by Plucker, "Closing Poverty-Based Excellence Gaps: Conceptual, Measurement, and Education Issues".  Please let me know if you would be interested in a copy of the full article.

"The number of economically vulnerable students in the United States is large and growing. In this article, we examine income-based excellence gaps and describe recent controversies in the definition and measurement of poverty, with an eye toward their application to gifted education and meeting the needs of talented, economically vulnerable students. Regardless of how poverty is conceptualized, evidence suggests that U.S. childhood poverty rates are indeed high, both in absolute terms and relative to other countries, and that income-related achievement disparities are similarly large. Recommendations are included for interventions to close persistent poverty excellence gaps, including frontloading, broadened understanding of opportunity, universal screening using local norms, improved educator preparation and support, state K-12 accountability systems that reward schools for closing excellence gaps, widespread use of ability grouping, and selective use of psychosocial interventions at the college level."

For more information on Jonathan Plucker, I've attached his website:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Collecting Students Feedback of our Teaching

In the absence of formal teaching evaluations, all of us could give this a try

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Student Work | Google Classroom