Category Archives: Student Engagement

Kent ISD Provides Resources for Accelerated Learning

Ever heard of the Academically Talented Youth Program (ATYP) at Kent ISD?

In 1999, at the request of superintendents from multiple local districts, Kent ATYP began . Why? Because these districts had middle school students who were way beyond their peers in readiness to learn math, but no one district consistently had enough accelerated students to justify developing a program to support their needs for acceleration. Continue reading Kent ISD Provides Resources for Accelerated Learning

Improve Retention: Affective Domain- Bloom Taxonomy’s Secret Weapon

blog post written by: Carlos Esquivel

A dollar drops in the tin bucket as the young troubadour croons his rendition of “Rhinestone Cowboy,” with guitar and boots to match, but just as you put your twenty dollar bill back into your pocket, you hear the sound of two voices dramatically singing, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” The young couple are also on the street downtown, busking as it’s called, and now they are pulling you into the experience. Whichever performer is bestowed your Facebook post or twitter accolade will be determined by the degree of phenomena that is given and received during the experience.

The same situation happens in classrooms every day as teachers compete for the embattled attention span of our students. Smartphones, sleep deprivation, hunger and many more competitors, are all vying for the precious and finite attention of our audience. We are the buskers and they have all the freedom to choose who will get the dollar in the bucket. So, the curtain rises (the bell rings) and the bright lights are on you. It’s time to create the experience using the affective domain. Continue reading Improve Retention: Affective Domain- Bloom Taxonomy’s Secret Weapon

Growing Confident and Compassionate Student Leaders…the “LLL” Approach

 “Schools should teach two things…Problem Solving and Leadership. Leading is a skill, not a gift. You’re not born with it, you learn how. And schools can teach leadership as easily as they figured out how to teach compliance.” Seth Godin, Linchpin

Schools do many things well…teaching students to be independent leaders is NOT one of them.

I have been an educator for almost four decades now, and I have never met a teacher that did not have good intentions for their students!  Very few men and women become teachers that don’t have their heart in the right place…being child-centered.

With that said, if parents often parent how they were parented, then teachers usually teach the way they were taught…unfortunately. Continue reading Growing Confident and Compassionate Student Leaders…the “LLL” Approach

Kent Innovation High Students Enter ArtPrize

This spring, Kent Innovation High’s Economics/English classes (grade 11) engaged in a project connecting art to real-world economic issues. Students began by studying supply and demand shifts and the role these play in the national marketplace.

Four short stories by powerhouse authors including Kurt Vonnegut and Chinua Achebe created a lens by which students could understand the personal impact of economic shifts including poverty, government intervention, immigration, and more. Continue reading Kent Innovation High Students Enter ArtPrize

Swivl is Changing Teaching and Learning

Think back to your days of student teaching. You were young, nervous, and had no idea what to do. To make matters worse, you were asked to record video of yourself teaching. These experiences were helpful, however, the embarrassment and time involved with these videos prevented you from ever recording yourself again.

Recording video has become easier than ever. Anyone with a cell phone can capture video and post it online for anyone else to see. In fact, you can even livestream video using apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope. However, even with the invention of the selfie, recording teaching and learning in the classroom is still a difficult task that requires someone or something else to hold the camera. Continue reading Swivl is Changing Teaching and Learning

Don’t Miss Kenowa Hills Personalized Learning In Action!

See personalized learning in action at the Kenowa Hills Public School District

You may have read about personalized learning in previous blog posts (5 Misconceptions of Personalized Learning) or maybe you even attended PLCON 2016, but have you seen what it actually looks like in a classroom, school, and district?
On Tuesday, May 2, Kenowa Hills is welcoming up to 50 educators to visit their elementary, middle, and high schools for guided classroom tours, mini-presentations, and Q & A sessions with teachers, students, and school leaders. This is a FREE opportunity open to all educators

Continue reading Don’t Miss Kenowa Hills Personalized Learning In Action!

Increase Student Engagement Using littleBits

According a Kaiser Foundation study conducted in 2010, children between the ages of eight and 18 spend an average of 7 hours 38 minutes a day with digital media.

Bill Gates started hacking computers at age 13. At just 10 years old, Mark Zuckerburg created a home network. And, Steve Jobs started tinkering with electronics before he even started grade  school. What do all of these men have in common? They all created products of technology (Windows, Facebook, Apple) that our students spend 7 hours a day using.

Our students love these technologies…but how many of them know how they really work? Continue reading Increase Student Engagement Using littleBits

Tackling Text Structures: A Nontraditional Approach

Few could argue the importance of understanding text structure. When it comes to reading, having a grasp of structure will help a reader’s brain focus in on the important aspects of a text, helping to connect points and enhancing comprehension. For writing, being able to effectively choose and apply the appropriate text structure for the purpose of an individual piece is key for expressing a big idea or opinion.

While text structure is important, teaching text structure can sometimes be…well…dry as toast. Simply serving up pre-planned graphic organizers and lists of transitional words for individual structures, while important, may not capture students’ attention, at least not to the degree intended to have young readers and writers truly internalize text structures in order to make the best use of them in their reading and writing work. We need to find a way to have students experience text structures where they will actually be able to remember them and distinguish one structure from another. Continue reading Tackling Text Structures: A Nontraditional Approach

The Xtreme Librarian Spreads the Love of Reading!

“School libraries are where it all begins. They are the opportunity to know yourself and to develop the great habit of reading. No matter what you are interested in there’s a book waiting for you and it starts in that place.” John Schumacher (http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/)

We all know reading is important.  In fact, students who don’t read proficiently by the 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to drop out of school. For this reason, as well as many others, school districts place a lot of emphasis on literacy. Continue reading The Xtreme Librarian Spreads the Love of Reading!

Creating Digital Learning Experiences

Several years ago, Kent ISD developed the “IT Tool” and worked with a group of local educators to develop 16 courses that focused on core curriculum. These 16 courses were largely designed to be used  as “in-class” resources and assessments that lived within this new tool.

Fast forward to today, the IT Tool is now Kickstand System’s Edify, a learning management system with over 53 pre-built K-12 courses to be used by a teacher and their students.  The most recent initiative is to take the existing courses and adapt them so that they can be delivered as an  online learning experience. Continue reading Creating Digital Learning Experiences