Tag Archives: classroom

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

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

Time is Running out to attend Adaptive Schools

I’m sure you have all heard what an amazing leadership course Adaptive Schools is and what a phenomenal  presenter Carolyn McKanders is.  (I just like to watch her!)

The Adaptive Schools Foundation and Advanced Seminars present a productive, practical set of ideas and tools for developing collaborative groups into becoming effective and better equipped to resolve complex issues around student learning. Continue reading Time is Running out to attend Adaptive Schools

Will ESSA Impact You? Yes!

“With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamentally American ideal—that every child, regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where they live, deserves the chance to make of their lives what they will.” — President Barack Obama

New Education Law

In 2002, No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was put into effect to help educators identify when students were making progress and recognize when they needed additional supports without discriminating based on race, income, language, etc.  Over time, we found this act was not helping us all reach the goals of fully preparing all students for success in college and careers.

On December 10, 2015 President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  This new law reauthorizes the 50 year old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is a national law that gives equal opportunity to all students. The new law will build upon NCLB and ESEA to fully prepare ALL students for success in college and careers.

But the real question is, how will these changes impact us as teachers, administrators and students? And exactly how will it impact the classrooms and schools? Continue reading Will ESSA Impact You? Yes!

10 Instructional Literacy Practices for K-3

Time is of the essence!  In education, your daily schedule is filled to the brim.   You’re planning your next meeting or instructional focus on the drive between sports practice, dinner, and the parent-teacher organization meeting.  Sometimes, a few professional “grab and go” options would assist in focusing energy and solidifying next steps.  Often times in education, we ask “What are the Essentials?” Continue reading 10 Instructional Literacy Practices for K-3

Educational Chiropractic Care: Getting Our Work in Alignment

Alignment. When we think about this word we probably most often connect it to what a mechanic does to the front end of our cars or what we might need for our backs after a few too many twists and turns on the dance floor at a friend’s wedding reception. Yet, alignment plays a very important role in education and is crucial for student learning.

The idea is simple, really. Curriculum, instruction, and assessment need to be aligned. In other words, what we are supposed to teach (curriculum), what we actually teach (instruction), and what our students are tested on (assessment) need to be connected. Continue reading Educational Chiropractic Care: Getting Our Work in Alignment

Looking for Money?

New school standards and a focus on project-based learning means investments are needed for equipment and materials to help bring learning to life. In some classrooms, even the basics of education are in short supply.

“Teachers spent an average of $487 out-of-pocket to purchase items for their classrooms during the 2015 – 2016 school year — only a slight $3 decrease since last year. The number of teachers who spent $200 or more increased 6% over the previous year to 77%. A majority of the money teachers spent went toward purchasing classroom supplies and instructional materials.” Agile Education Marketing

Is it any wonder then that educators, students, administrators, parent groups, and other community-based organizations are on the look-out for new, creative ways to raise money to support critical educational initiatives in their communities? Continue reading Looking for Money?

How New Teachers Are Fitting In Required PD

Did you know that new teachers in Michigan are required to have 15 days of professional development in their first three years of teaching?

It’s true.  And, this 15 days of professional development is in addition to their district provided professional development (DPPD).

Many districts do not have the funding to provide a program that supports this requirement and often ask new teachers to find their own professional development, which can also be costly to the district. While new teachers can find professional development, these opportunities may not match their specific needs for improvement. Continue reading How New Teachers Are Fitting In Required PD

We have a winner…

Or should I say we have 10 winners! Due to an overwhelming response to our Want to Enhance Your Classroom Library- For the Love of Reading” blog post on May 19th, we decided to increase the number of winners to 10 schools with $400 in books to enhance their classroom library. 

We had almost 500 responses to our post! We were very impressed with all of the entries. It was very clear that the teachers in Kent County have a love of reading and a love for their students.  We wish we could have helped everyone.

Thank you to everyone that entered.

And the winners are… Continue reading We have a winner…

Want to Enhance Your Classroom Library?

For the Love of Reading!

Creating a culture of readers centers around the classroom library. The classroom library provides students with access to a wide range of high-interest fiction and nonfiction texts. Developing the classroom library most often is left to the teacher, diminishing school budgets, and sometimes through donations.

Research supports what teachers have always known, students who read more achieve more.

Teachers can support student’s reading habits by Continue reading Want to Enhance Your Classroom Library?