Category Archives: classroom managment

Which tech tools are worth your time and money?

Dear technology tool, you’ve changed. Frankly, you don’t do what you promised you would. My friends say I try someone with more features and a more attractive design. I’m sorry, but we’re done. Mrs. TeacherDo you find yourself perpetually breaking up with your educational technology tools or not even sure that they are worth the investment? Let me share a perspective that may help you determine which tools are worth your time, money and energy.

The Triple E Framework, developed out of University of Michigan by Dr. Liz Kolb, is a simple to use framework that may help you quickly identify what a technology tool can bring to your lessons. Dr. Kolb synthesized current technology and learning research into three E’s: Engage, Enhance and Extend. If I could sum up Dr. Kolb’s work into one statement, it would be this: Continue reading Which tech tools are worth your time and money?

Save Time with Homework Management Tools

Written by Joe Phillips, Design Lab Instructor at Kent ISD

If you are one of the many teachers embracing technology and having your students submit paperless writing assignments, perhaps you have experienced this:

It’s late at night and you are trying to grade your students’ papers before tomorrow’s class.  You search through your e-mail to find the link to the assignment from the first student in your grade book.  You click on the link only to find you do not have permission to view the file.  The student did not share the document with you properly!  You make a note in your grade book, send the student an e-mail about the problem and search your e-mail for the next student.  There must be an easier way!

How I Save Time

For the last several years I have used two tools to help manage and grade digital writing assignments: Doctopus (think octopus for documents) and Goobric (think Google + rubric).  If you have students turn in digital papers, these two tools are essential! Continue reading Save Time with Homework Management Tools

Supporting New Teachers

Learning Academy Provides Classroom Strategies, Camaraderie

by Linda Odette, School News Network 

Imagine what it would be like to keep up to thirty 5-year-olds under control without a lot of knowledge on how to manage such a group. Then imagine you’re also a new teacher.

Enter The Learning Academy, a Kent ISD professional development program started in 2013 that brings together new teachers for lectures, simulated classes and observing master teachers to help them be more successful in the classroom. Continue reading Supporting New Teachers

Academic Success of Champions

“If you have a child’s heart, you have his head.”™ – Flip Flippen

I remember over ten years ago when I first got a phone call asking about Capturing Kids’ Hearts.  I went on the internet and did some research and saw the Flippen Groups website. I thought who is this Flip Flippen guy?

Fast forward to 2016 and Steve Dieleman (Kent ISD) has been working with Kent County districts and the Flippen group for over a decade.  All of the schools in Kent ISD’s service area have been trained in Capturing Kids’ Hearts and have had success stories with the program.

Here is a video of Kentwood Public Schools Continue reading Academic Success of Champions

How to Achieve Fully Personalized Learning

Personalized learning is currently one of the biggest buzzwords in education, but it is somewhat vague and certainly a massive topic. Before reading further, take a moment to define personalized learning (maybe even write it down).

Your answer likely had something to do with student choice, individual pacing, flexible structures, and technology. All of these are a part of the personalized learning spectrum. Yes, it is a spectrum. A school system could have Continue reading How to Achieve Fully Personalized Learning

When We Start with Kids: Personalizing Learning with EDIFY

I will never forget the day my AP Biology teacher wheeled a TV into our classroom and with sheer excitement told us we’d be learning about DNA in a new way. He stepped aside to reveal a brand new piece of technology: the laser disc player!

laser discLaugh. I did too. However, as Mr. Demmink carefully pulled the gigantic gold disc out of the sleeve and went into his introduction of the topic and how our learning could be changed that day with this new high definition tool, the laughing subsided. It was absolutely impossible not to jump on the excitement bandwagon. It was 1998 and we were being exposed to cutting edge technology to help improve our learning. The entire class was fired up. Bring on the laser disc!

As we know, technology is always changing…and the laser disc is very much a thing of the past. Thus, the educator’s role as “filters of the fountain” becomes even more important as we navigate through the waters of what will impact our students most effectively. So where do we begin? Continue reading When We Start with Kids: Personalizing Learning with EDIFY

Work Smarter, Not Harder! Organize with Google

30 Students + 30 Research Papers + 30 Tests + 30 questions = Super Teacher

Super Teacher Kent ISDYou have a lot of work to do. And, when we get really busy it is hard to give your students the one on one attention they need.  Let’s dream for a moment, of a perfect world where every student gets one on one attention with their teacher.  In this world, the teacher is not stressed out about the amount of work and lack of time. In this world, the teacher is reading papers and grading tests with plenty of time.  And every student is happily learning.

Seem too good to be true? Continue reading Work Smarter, Not Harder! Organize with Google