Posted in Conferences, Learning

#LFTX17, High-Impact Instruction with Jim Knight

Whew, only the end of day 1 and I am still processing the learning. I was with Jim Knight for High-Impact Instruction today. To help solidify my learning, I’m coming here to jot my notes and thoughts from the day and action plan moving forward.

First off–how awesome is this?? As part of the session, we were given the High-Impact Instruction book, a guide for Teachers and a spiral-bound notebook to guide our reading and learning from the session and the book.

Today, we focused on:

  1. The Impact Cycle for Coaching –what it is and how can it be used to increase engagement?
  2. Why is engagement important?
  3. How do we measure engagement?
  4. What teaching strategies increase student engagement?

What is engagement really? This topic has been discussed many times on campus in PLCs, with admin, and with other instructional coaches. Knight gives a suggestion for how to break it down.

Authentic Learning v. Strategic Compliance

But first, WHY is engagement important?

It is a pre-requisite for achievement, happiness, relationships, productivity and of course, learning!

Think about it. What percentage of students in your school are…

  • Authentically Engaged
  • Strategically Compliant
  • Not engaged

Research shows less than 55% of students in grades 5-12 are authentically engaged. How do you impact change to increase that percentage? Look at time on task by measuring it in classes. You can also look at authentic engagement by having students assess their learning. And then you can measure instructional time and non-instructional time.

What teaching strategies can you use to increase engagement? Chapters 5-9

  • Thinking Prompts
  • Effective Questions (Open v. Closed, Right/Wrong v. Opinion)
  • Stories
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Authentic Learning

Action plan:

  • Review the resources.
  • Find which ones you want to start the school year with for PLCs.
  • Focus on an intro with why engagement is important, then look at how it can be measured and discuss which measurement teachers want to focus on in their classrooms.
  • Think about, research, check PLN, etc–how can increasing student engagement help empower students?
  • Build a Google doc with Thinking Prompt ideas
  • READ!

Things to read from his session:

  • Flow (M.Csikszentmihalyi)
  • Blink or Tipping Points or both (Gladwell)
  • Engaging Students (P. Schlechty)
  • Success Factors for Students (article by Shane Lopez)
  • Power of Full Engagement (James E. Loehr and Tony Schwartz)
  • Refresh of Kagan Cooperative Learning Strategies

And now, off to bed, as Day 2 is fast approaching!

 

Posted in Conferences, Learning

Professional Learning

I recently attended two Region 4 conferences. One was the Digital Learning conference (where I presented a session with a SS IC and a Math IC one easy tech tips to organize and streamline your life) and the other was the Social Studies conference (where I presented a session with a SS IC on total participation activities for students).  Both conferences had some great presentations that sparked new ideas. I enjoyed sessions on using maps to teach broach concepts in social studies, visiting exhibit halls to see the latest in smart board technology, and video hosting platforms for coaching like Torsch, I enjoyed makerspace sessions and I caught a review of a session on warm-ups that I saw in Corpus at TCSS as well, and then a nice perspective on using student backgrounds to maximize their potentials and empathy for others.

What Professional Learning have you attended lately? Was it worth it? Any new ideas?? Sometimes I feel like conferences are good and you get new ideas and other times I feel like I’m inspired by more things by reading and visiting teachers every day in class. Where do you learn your new ideas? What does your professional learning look like?  Do you learn from books, the teacher next door, your admin team, an instructional coach, summertime PD?

Hopefully it’s all of the above and more! Twitter? Blogs?  I wonder if too many educators rely only on campus provided (mandatory)/summer PD?  How many amazing ideas, research, concepts, ideas are they missing? How can we inspire all educators to want to continue to learn and grow every day in different avenues instead of it being just isolated to a single session or day of PD here and there?

Posted in #Immooc, Conferences

More Life Lessons from Eva Kor

I posted last about attending TCSS in Corpus and having the opportunity to meet Eva Kor, a survivor of Auschwitz.  Since then, I have submitted the paperwork and have 30 students signed up to participate in a book study over her book and a SKYPE session with her! I’m am very excited about this.  We had over 30 students sign up, but the museum only allows 30 so we had to go based on time stamp of registering online. I’ve talked to a few students already and they are very excited to get started.

So on to her next life lessons that she shared with us in Corpus.

Life lesson 2 was about Prejudice. She said that it always hurts the victim and talked about how societies that permit it to happen are destroyed by it.

“It is the cancer of the human soul.” 

She went on to discuss how it is her obligation to not have prejudice. That everyone has an obligation to not have it.  For example, she talked about how students should wear uniforms as they go to school only to improve their minds! Not to impress others.

“You must judge people on their merits.”

Life Lesson 3 was the one I found the most humbling. Her life lesson #3 is:

“Forgive the Nazis.”

Wow. How amazing is her forgiveness and grace?? She talked awhile about forgiveness and I was mesmerized by her every word. I wanted to remember it exactly. I typed it as fast as I could in the notes on my iPhone (yeah, I know, I should have just recorded her, but I wasn’t thinking about that at the time).

“You have the power to forgive. No one can give it to you and no one can take it away. As long as you have someone you are angry with, you are still a victim. Forgiveness is a feeling of wholeness. It is freeing. It works. It has no side effects.”

Are you amazed yet? You can find a lot more information about her with a simple google search, or by reading her book!

I started this blog as part of the #IMMOOC.  I didn’t really follow the assigned blog prompts each week, but I was grateful for the ideas shared by others and the opportunity to challenge myself to reflect and write.  As I reflect on Mrs. Kor, her life, her message, and all the amazing ideas from the #IMMOOC, I think about innovation and society.  How far have we come as a society in education?  In helping others? In ridding the world of prejudice?  In creating, growing, learning, reflecting, and becoming innovative??
In the current political climate, it is really HARD to see positives. A lot of negativity has come out in our society/culture/world.  Can we all take a minute to pause and think about Eva’s message?  I hope I can follow her life lessons in all things that I do in life.  Do you?

One last thing to leave you with from Mrs. Kor:

“What if we created a project where a million tweets are sent to stop the killing and create a safe zone in Syria? Imagine that. The power of the internet is amazing.  This is why I tweet. It is easy. You can be clever. You can be bold. You can make a difference.”

Posted in Conferences

Life Lessons from Eva Kor, Lesson #1

I was granted the amazing opportunity to attend and present at the Texas Council for Social Studies Conference in Corpus Christi (a full reflection post will be coming soon). While there, one of the sessions I attended was hosted by Eva Mozes Kor.

I cannot even begin to describe the wisdom, patience, and grace of this amazing woman. She and her twin sister lost their entire family at Auschwitz and had to endure terrible conditions and medical testing at the hands of the Nazis and Dr. Mengele.  She has spent an amazing amount of her time, energy, and effort on building a Candles Holocaust Museum in Terre Haute, Indiana as well as traveling to educate others of the Holocaust and really to educate the world on grace and forgiveness.

She was witty, kind, motivating, and inspiring.

In her presentation today, she told her story and then told us some life lessons she has learned.

Lesson 1: Never give up on your dreams.

“Growing up is very hard. Even if you live in the U.S. Even if you have wealthy parents. Even if your parents buy you designer jeans with holes in them. ”

She continued on talking about how life is hard because you have to find your place. Where do you fit in this big world? What are you meant to accomplish? If you give up, you’ll never find your place.

“If you keep trying, it is absolutely amazing what your mind can come up with.”

eva-quote1

Lesson #2 and #3 coming next post!

Are you being the best YOU that you can be?

–Celaina