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Category Archives: Leading a Learning Community

Increasing Oral Language Can be Easy as APPle Pie

three woman sitting near the flower

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Students need various opportunities to speak aloud, to share their thoughts in a safe forum and/or to increase language acquisition. If you have access to at least one iPad, then you can offer some fun, engaging and relevant oral language learning in the classroom. Check out the follow apps:

silver iPad on top of MacBook Pro

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

CHATTERPIX

Take a photo with this free iOS app, draw line (for a mouth), add your voice and voila! Students can create a 30-second script about a topic/concept. The script can easily be created on paper or via a Google Doc (with RW4GC talk & type or Google > Tools > Voice typing). They should practice reading their script aloud with partner and alone for oral mastery. Students are able to re-record if they make mistakes. Share the link via a site or QR code for others to listen to it.

 

Chatterpix Tutorial 

  1. In Safari, students find an image they would like to use that is related to the content. 
  2. Hold image down with one finger until SAVE IMAGE box appears. 
  3. Open Chatterpix Kids App 
  4. Click on GALLERY 
  5. Click on Camera 
  6. Click on Camera Roll 
  7. Select image and NEXT 
  8. Cut a mouth and RECORD 
  9. Next to add filter and stickers. 
  10. Export to Camera Roll (can also be saved to a GDrive from there).

 

CHOMP

This $5.49 iOS app allows users to take their face and stick it on various animations. Students could create a one minute script about a topic/concept. Once again, using an online document to brainstorm and write up the script is highly recommended. Have peer editing involved. Once the student creates the Chomp it directly exports to camera roll.

 

Chomp Tutorial 

  1. Open Chomp App and click on app squares 
  2. Choose a template to use 
  3. Click Record button twice. You know it is recording when there is a red box around the perimeter of the screen 
  4. Tap the screen as you record to make the animation change. 
  5. Tap Record to stop. The video automatically goes to the camera roll and then can be shared to a common GDrive or even as a QR code.

 

CLIPS

Share fun videos with text, effects, graphics and more with this free iOS app. As the students record themselves, their words appear on the screen! Clips has introduction templates and fun filters for the videos that make it easy to create a video.

 

Clips Tutorial

  1. Open Clips App.
  2. For Live Titles, click on the speech bubble to add words to the screen as students talk. 
  3. Double click on Live Titles to edit 
  4. For Live Posters, click on the square with a “T” to pick an introduction to your video 
  5. For Live Filters, click on the three rings and explore filters 
  6. Drag your clips in the order you like and export to camera roll.

 

FLIPGRID

This free app is where teachers spark discussions by posting Topics to a classroom, school, professional learning community, or public Grid. Students record, upload, view, react, and respond to each other through short videos. Students just need a Flip Code from their teacher to join Flipgrid and start recording videos.

 

Flipgrid Tutorial

  1. Teachers create their Grid and then share the Flipgrid URL.
  2. Students then join in.
  3. Click on the green + to record.
  4. Draw on the whiteboard or add stickers.
  5. Review or edit the video.
  6. Take a selfie.
  7. Watch other people’s video in the grid and respond to them.

No matter which iOS app you use or introduce your students to, helping them further develop their oral language skills is a great thing!

Resource for teachers: 

 

 

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What’s Your Type?

Adobe just released this great interactive survey for people to find out their Creative Type. The 15 question survey assesses your overall habits and tendencies (how you think, act and see the world) and hones in to help you better understand your creative side.

We know that personality types are not just in one category or another, yet I see this survey a great one for teams or even students to get a better understanding of their creative potential as an individual (and if you do it and share with team, how it can used in that instance).

Here’s my Creative Type according to the survey:

Thoughts:

  • the strengths and potential section are bang on
  • I like the middle column where it further explains my Adventurer Type (in work).
  • I’ll be asking my work colleagues to complete it to see where their Creative Types land. It will be interesting to see if there is an Artist amongst us and do I already collaborate closely with them?
  • Read more about the scientific study of the creative process and the creative personality via the Adobe Create Magazine April edition.

Go ahead, I dare you to take 10 minutes (or less) to complete your Creative Type survey.

 

Finding Meaningful Connections with Each Other

In a 24/7 world, thanks to technology, we need to remind ourselves that we all have a lot in common. We just do not notice it. In the classroom or on a school staff, take time to develop relationships. Add it to scheduled meetings, events, activities, lessons, etc. There are a number of protocols and frameworks available and I will list some of my favorites below. Check out TV Danemark and how they created meaningful connections (bring a tissue).

 

  • Student Perspective from LearnAlberta Inclusive Ed Library is filled with Interest Inventories and Surveys for the classroom but could be easily adapted for adults. From this information, appeal to their interests and use it throughout lessons, morning greetings, etc. These items can be templated online in a Google Doc or via a Google Form. A class shared Google Slide with one slide per student can also share interests and thoughts for the whole class to check out.
  • Say HELLO and GOODBYE to every student every day – this is the simplest yet most important personal connection teachers can make. Watch how a Kansas teacher does secret handshakes:

  • Let students inside your world – tell stories about your own family sprinkled throughout lessons and conversations. This makes teachers more relatable and accessible. Create a bulletin board, share photos add to the class blog or newsletter, whatever you are comfortable with.
  • Use critical thinking frameworks like Inquiry-pacs, Tools for Thought, Critical Challenges, Picture Setys, History Docs, etc. from The Critical Thinking Consortium to have students involved in the thinking, learning, discussion, not just the teacher.
  • Guide students with TRUST. Discuss what it means to be trustworthy, how we earn trust and how we can break it. Chart this out, review it, create posters. It is a powerful word. For instance, if a student has acted inappropriately on the playground, a teacher can say “I trusted you to act kindly on the playground and you broke that trust” and then work with the student in regaining that trust from their classmates.
  • Kagan Structures also provide great protocols. Take a read about using them for Emotional Intelligence and another regarding Silly Sports and Goofy Games.
  • Check out Huddle’s blog about the four main types of building activities – Communication, Problem Solving, Adaptability and Trust – and the activity write-ups. You will surely find one or two for you.

Robert J. Marzano has written widely that “the most powerful message from the research is that relationships are a matter of student perception” and really that “it’s what teachers DO that dictates how students perceive those relationships”.

And, don’t forget your colleagues! Create relationship building moments throughout the year, take a brain break and visit, share family or class stories. Join the #ObserveMe movement where you invite people into your classroom.

 

Take 30 Days to Challenge Yourself

Goals. Challenges. The New Year. A new semester. A new month. The start of the week. Each of these begs our senses to think about a re-start or a fresh start. One way to get into a habit of doing something, is to establish a 30 day challenge.

Check out what Matt Cutts says about this in his TED Ed talk:

Here are a few 30 day challenges that you or your colleagues may want to take on sometime throughout the year:

And there are even more to improve your health, fitness level, relationships, etc. (My goal was to share educationally/professionally based challenges.) If you are looking for other ideas, check out these books:

What kind of challenges have you taken on? Which were successful? Which would you like a do-over?

 

#oneword2019 – MAKE

Ahh, a new year has now started and I am releasing my #oneword2019. This is something that I have enjoyed choosing and thinking about over the past few years.

After eight years, I changed office spaces and in my new office (image below), I had the words MAKE IT HAPPEN put up. (Our wonderful and creative Admin Assistant in Learning Services made the letters for me.) They sit above my standing desk (you can see the “happen” sneaking in at the top of the panoramic photo. These words remind me of the supports, services and the learning that I provide and experience in order to move our important educational work forward of Student Success and Wellness (PSD70 2018-19 Ed Plan).

So, whatever I will do over the next many months, I want to remember that I can MAKE it happen, MAKE it real, and MAKE it matter.

This #oneword activity for the New Year is not just for adults! Check out the One Word Google Slides activity that @meredithakers created that I am sharing with teachers.

Go to the ONE WORD Collaborative Slides Activity link to get started with your students! You can even print the slides in color and post them in your classroom or hallway, what about in a staffroom if staff want to share their one word? Lots of possibilities.

See my:

#oneword2018

#oneword2017

#oneword2016

 

Lead Yourself – Leadercast 2018

Leadercast Live focuses on the leadership issues most relevant to today’s leader. It is a pairing of inspiring messages and rich interaction with fellow leaders who are being intentional about raising their standard of leadership, through a creative, energetic and memorable experience. My school division hosts this annually in our Centre for Education Board room.

It is an exciting time bringing together various PSD employees, vendors, students and community members. I enjoy the excitement energy and thoughtfulness that the day brings. I also like coordinating my hosting efforts by setting up an elaborate theme for the day! I have a fantastic and creative Administrative Assistant that is just so phenomenal. We not only want the speakers to be the focus but also the environment.

Our group was joined with more than 100,000 leaders for the largest one­-day leadership event in the world this past Friday, May 4th!

This year, the Leadercast Live stage featured leaders who explained the power and importance of leading yourself first so you can lead others well. I posed three main questions of reflection at the start of the day for participants:

  • What does it look like to lead yourself?
  • How can you intentionally develop your own leadership skills and style?
  • What qualities do you hope to embody as a leader?

We also had fun with the Lead Yourself and the May 4th Be With You theme. Some of us dressed up as Star Wars characters, all of the food and drink items were labeled with Star Wars references. Leadership books were on display. The tables had the itinerary and lightsabers. The food tables had huge Star Wars LEGO models as well as Leadercast Speaker quotes. This year we had a wonderful set of sponsors – Cisco Canada and Compugen Inc.

Check out the visual summaries (sketchnotes) created by @jgough on each of the Leadercast Live 2018 speakers:

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I also added to the Speaker lineup a few special guests to make the day a little more personalized. We used our Webex platform to videoconference in the following:

  • our own infamous MCHS Choir to sing Oh Canada to start off the day
  • Willa Black, VP of Corporate Affairs for Cisco Canada that spoke about the Connected North program during the morning break
  • 5 Prescott students on how they are leaders in their environments during the lunch break

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Overall, Leadercast Live always sends me away with many gems and takeaways. Definitely, a day that I look forward to in experiencing with colleagues and one that I don’t mind taking all the extra time beforehand in setting up and coordinating.

 

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Using a Growth Mindset During Tragedy

This past weekend has been an especially hard one emotionally for me. I am speaking of the Humboldt Bronco’s bus tragedy whereby 15 people were killed as they made their way to a playoff hockey game in Saskatchewan. Both my children are in sports and we often travel to games whether by motorcoach or car. We also indirectly know some of the hockey players and two of them attended schools in the school division that I work in.

Image from Silvia Pecota Studio

This post sheds the use of a growth mindset in the face of tragedy. I find that Jack Canfield succinctly shares ways in which we can deal with disasters. This can easily be used in any environment to help anyone.

How to deal with overwhelming emotions (via Jack Canfield):

  • take a deep brief and that whatever you are experiencing this too shall pass
  • be patient with yourself
  • be patient with others
  • forgive yourself
  • use ETF tapping (video below)
  • practice gratitude

Homework

  • to make it easy for myself, I created a Google Keep note and started to type down things that I’m Grateful For… I used Canva to create the .png image. I find I like Google Keep since it is available on my smartphone, on my laptops so that if something pops up, I can quickly add via voice or text the already created note.

Now check out the ETF Tapping Therapy video below:

The ETF tapping therapy looks like something that I could possibly use more in the work that I do to support teachers who support students.