RSS

Category Archives: Improves Continuously

#oneword2020

 

2020 – Balance

This reminds me of Wayne Dyer’s quote regarding this topic. “Getting in balance is not so much about adopting new strategies to change your behaviors, as it is about realigning yourself in all of your thoughts so as to create a balance between what you desire and how you conduct your life on a daily basis.” I have heard it before and I believe I will add one more book to my list of books to read for 2020, that of Wayne’s Being in Balance. For those interested, some other books that I will read are Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg, Choose Yourself by James Altucher, Give and Take by Adam Grant.

With such a political whirlwind regarding education in Alberta, I certainly will need to take many breaths, lean on family and friends as I work through my professional duties to continue to make this career a rewarding one.

I wish everyone a great start to 2020.

This has not been the first time that I have ventured to the #oneword arena. A quick scan shows a few blog post regarding these different years while others was just a quick visual on Social Media.

2019 – make

2018 – yet

2017 – spark

2016 – creative

 

Tags:

Image

Broxton Park Learning Commons

 

Tags:

Image

Greystone Centennial Middle School Learning Commons

 

Tags:

Emotions in the Classroom

Helping students navigate their emotions in their world is important to success throughout the school year as well as life.

Research shows that when teachers help students learn to manage their feelings during the school day, they become better problem solves and communicators when involved in an emotional issue. They are also better able to engage in the learning environment. 

In an age where the media and medical organizations are saying that teens (and even younger) are stressed out, overly anxious or even depressed, there needs to be opportunities for them to recognize and manage their emotions in a healthy way.

Watch this engaging, informative and unforgettable TED Talk by psychologist and author Susan David:

Dr. David offers 4 steps in teaching children how to work through negative emotions. They are feel it, show it, label it and watch it go.

FEEL IT

Validate the emotion instead of saying “don’t be _____”.

SHOW IT

Accept any emotion instead of using expressions like ‘boys don’t cry’. We are humans, not robots and our feelings make us honest with ourselves.

LABEL IT

Ask students, ‘how do you think (this person) is feeling?’ Teacher them to understand what is fear, panic, resentment, etc. Look at facial expressions, body placement.

WATCH IT GO

All emotions have value, but they will also pass. Give examples of what an emotion feels like and then what it feels like after it passes and what was done to help it pass.

When experiencing similar emotions in another situation, Dr. David says ask ‘who do you want to be in this situation?’ and ‘what’s important to you about this?’ Students will feel stronger as they start to learn that it is not how they feel that is important, but HOW THEY RESPOND to the feeling that makes the difference. Show students how to use emotion rather than be used by it – ‘what’s the function (of the specific emotion)?’

Literature for the Classroom

Book Riot has a great list of 23 Children’s Books About Emotions for young’ens. For teens, check out Epic Reads 10 Young Adult Books Guaranteed to Give You All the Feels.

 

Tags:

Take 5 to Make Math Meaningful

START with a QUESTION

Mathematicians, researchers and teachers support a constructivist/problem-solving mathematics classroom. This design engages students in critical thinking, individual and collaborative thought and builds upon and improves on their current knowledge while solving the task in front of them. Check out the resources, in alphabetical order, that will help you in asking questions in the math class:

STUDENTS need TIME to STRUGGLE

YOU are NOT the ANSWER KEY

SAY YES to YOUR STUDENTS’ IDEAS

PLAY!

General resources for math teachers:

 

How do I know that my support, research, and information is having an impact on staff/student learning?

Throughout the school year I will share on this blog:

1) my evidence from school sites

2) and how I am moving the learning forward for colleagues

I’ve already spoken briefly about it earlier this month in Got How? You Also Need to Know Your Why?.

Based on draft TQS July 2016, I have chosen the following competencies and indicators:

 

Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge

A teacher applies a current and comprehensive repertoire of effective planning, instruction, and assessment practices to meet the learning needs of every student.

  • incorporate a range of instructional strategies, including the appropriate use(s) of digital technology, according to the context, content, desired outcomes and the learning needs of students;
  • incorporate digital technology and resources, as appropriate, to build student capacity for: – acquiring, applying and creating new knowledge; – communicating and collaborating with others, – critical-thinking; and – accessing, interpreting and evaluating information from diverse sources;
  • provide a variety of methods through which students can demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes;
  • provide accurate, constructive and timely feedback on student learning;

Establishing Inclusive Learning Environments

A teacher establishes, promotes and sustains inclusive learning environments where diversity is embraced and every student is welcomed, cared for, respected and safe.

  • using appropriate universal and targeted strategies and supports to address students’ strengths, learning challenges and areas for growth;
  • recognizing and responding to specific learning needs of individual or small groups of students and, when needed, collaborating with service providers and other specialists to design and provide targeted and specialized supports to enable achievement of the learning outcomes;
  • providing opportunities for student leadership.

 

For both competencies, my…

Actions/Strategies

  • Acknowledge the diverse needs and contributions of all
  • Access resources, services, information and collaboration opportunities
  • Hone academic, social/emotional and physical skills through knowledge-building, creativity and innovation
  • Utilize a variety of resources, technologies and spaces to support learning for teachers, leaders and students through thoughtful instructional design and collaboration as well as effective assessment of learning
  • Model and share learning experiences to empower real-world and relevant learning experiences
  • Refine instruction for essential digital literacy, research and inquiry and communication skills
  • Develop opportunities for staff learning and innovation to be demonstrated, shared and showcased
  • Build staff capacity to ensure sustainability and attainment of PSD/School Ed Plan/Tech goals
  • Advocate for the essential and effective uses of technology
  • Explore and connect personalized learning while embracing the use of digital literacies and skills to empower independent learners
  • Assist staff in taking ownership of their digital rights and responsibilities in building their digital skills

Resources

  • Learning Services  and IT Teams
  • Senior Exec
  • Admin Teams
  • Inclusive Education Leads
  • Collaborative Teaching Partners
  • Frameworks: Fierce Conversations, Cognitive Coaching, Bucket Filling, Cooperative Learning, Critical Thinking, Universal Design for Learning
  • Listservs: QIAT, ATLE, ORC
  • Alberta Education, School Technology Branch
  • PLN
  • ERLC Advisory Committees
  • ETCATA
  • ATLE and ATLE ProLearn
  • ISTE and TCEA
  • Frameworks: TPACK, SAMR, UDL, DI, RTI, SETT, LTPF
  • Twitter feeds and weekly chats (#edchat, #atchat, #edtech)
  • Blogs
  • 2Learn
  • GSuite Apps for Education

Timeline

  • Ongoing
  • Monthly meetings: Lead Team, ERLC CoP, Inclusive Education Leads, Learning Services Team

 

Indicators of Success

  • Contribution to Learning Services work is recognized
  • Learning Services Team work plan is moving PSD Vision, Mission and Commitment Statements forward as per Admin meetings, PSD Voice, Student Advisory Committee
  • Learning Services Team incorporate the LTPF throughout their work with staff
  • Staff utilizing, documenting success and sharing how they are using technology in learning, for efficiency, etc.
  • Marked improvement between Fall 2016 and Fall 2017 ET/IT survey with Admin
  • Well attended training, PL and PD sessions with follow up work with staff

 

 

Tags:

Got How? You Also Need to Know Your Why

In May of this year, I wrote about The Elusive Why: Yours and Theirs, and today I continue this stream of thought with looking at the HOW but really to need to KNOW YOUR WHY. Whether this wny is personal or professional there are some important pieces that we need in place in order to find our “calling”, our “passion” or the reason why we get up in the morning every day.

Just taking time throughout the week to look at the upcoming personal/professional activities is important. Yet, having some sort of growth plan will allow for these weekly overviews to connect and make sense with your BIG goals. With this “big picture” plan of personal/professional life in place, we can begin to make incremental changes in our daily habits and routines, and our life will start to change. If you haven’t read Stephen Covey’s, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, definitely check it out!

As well, watch Michael Jr’s short video clip on this topic. It’s a video definitely worth showing your colleagues, family, friends and even students.

Now it’s my time to work on my annual Teacher Professional Growth Plan. As per my teacher organization (Alberta Teacher’s Association), “developing the plan is a professional function through which teachers demonstrate their commitment to lifelong professional learning while fulfilling their regulatory requirement pertaining to continuing education. The key components of developing the plan found in the policy governing growth plans states a teacher’s annual growth plan shall:

  • Reflect goals and objectives based on an assessment of learning needs by the individual teacher
  • Show a demonstrable relationship to the Teaching Quality Standard
  • Take into consideration the educational plans for the school, school board and Alberta Education”

I hope this inspired some conversation on your part!