Thursday, January 31, 2008

Assignment Protocol

Today was an eyeopening experience. We began by taking an assignment and dissecting it to figure out what proficiency would look like, what skills students needed to gain proficiency, and finally what instruction would need to look like.

The activity provided opportunities for discussion surrounding proficiency and how our expectations played into proficiency. The greatest impact that this activity had was the discussion on what instruction would have to look like in order to reach proficiency.

In essence, what we are really focusing on is presenting "e" (the activity that requires the highest level of thinking) to students and then directing instruction so students can reach our highest expectation.

I think that we all understand that we need to design our lessons backwards, but this activity really demonstrated how to get into the task to make sure its measuring what we want and that we have directed instruction that way. I think most of the groups created assessments, so we created focal points for an entire period of instruction. Doing this makes instruction focused and meaningful

The most powerful thing that I walked away was the idea that the assessment or task should be presented to students before instruction so that they have an idea of what they are expected to do.

(this post is cross-posted on the ILT blog:

Monday, January 28, 2008


I'm still digesting the thoughts from this weekend. While I don't fully have them developed and am too tired to start running through them, I'm going to quickly run through the connections I have made and then return to flush them out in the next few days

As Global Learners we began with the tools, but the process quickly and instantaneously flushed itself out through professional and personal development which intern became a reflection on learning how to guide learning.

EduCon was a conference for and by those in the EdTech frame of mind. The focus of the conference was learning, the technology was secondary.

Has the concept of web 2.0 given us the voice and means to transform education? Under the tenants of web 2.0 we encourage critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and collaboration. These are also/now the tenants that we try to change education. Has web 2.o influenced school 2.0 or merely given us the voice and means for change?


I was exhausted the during the three long days that we were in Philly. I didn't get to update as often as I'd like.

I came away with two "aha's"
  • learning comes before tools
  • pick 1 thing that you will rock at
The entire conference was focused on sound instruction and what that looks like....the great sessions addressed learning and stayed clear from tools. I am a teacher first and then a teacher who uses technology. Has anyone really ever said that they were a textbook teacher? Is it necessary to say I'm a edtech person? While touring the school this fact became obvious all of the teachers were amazing. The amazing instruction was apparent when watching a classroom with little student engagement. It was clear the these really are normal kids who lose focus just like my students. How a teacher manages and directs the class is more important than what technology they use. Bad teaching gets worse when technology is introduced in the equation.

Next month some of my Global Learner colleagues and I are presenting on professional and personal development. I think that it is necessary for us to remember to stay away from the tools. We need to focus on what good professional/personal development is and how to create real change.

I'm still working on my thing...but as a team we began brainstorming the skills and strengths that we want our students to possess. The vision would be to create a statement: Adams City High School students are ______________. Then, we decide what this means with a few added statements. Finally we hope to pull this vision into instruction, and decide how are we addressing these goals. As this vision becomes ironed out I can guarantee that I will follow and address this vision

Friday, January 25, 2008

EDUCON day one

I am exhausted I just finished the pre-conferenced day for the educon. We toured the Science Leadership Academy today, the lesson or keystone that I'm taking away from today is that technology is only a tool an with it presents new management strategies. Even with the best laid lesson plans, without student-focused instruction (even with technology) you still can't have engagement. Just because each student has a computer doesn't mean that they are going to be smarter or learn takes a well balanced teacher to make this happen.

I am going to look for insight into classroom management and low-achieving kids tomorrow.

I don't know which sessions I want to go through, I need to take a few more minutes to see what is really relevant to me. Jen, my principal said that I need to pick one or two things to be really great at. I can know a lot about a lot of things, but I should be focus on becoming expert on one or two at a time, maybe that starts tomorrow!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

AM Pre-Flight

My thought this morning.....
Teaching is a weird and wonderful experience. Each day is filled with both types of encounters. Talking to veteran teachers I have come to realize that teaching is not something that you get used to. Teachers that do go on auto-pilot do so at the expense of their diverse-ever-changing students.
Not to say you don't form routine, or build a pattern into what you still experience the weird and wacky.

This morning is extra a professional...I am preparing for Philly!!! The conference is going to be amazing....and I can't wait to be exposed to new ideas and ways to help my students experience their learning-selves.

However, I am a little tired. I was awakened this morning by breaking glass. I sent my boyfriend out to try to find the burglar. He found nothing and chocked my experience up to the meeting we had earlier with ADT sales man who guaranteed us that in our neighborhood we were in danger.

But....this morning when I let Gizmo out to the backyard through my sun porch I discovered broken glass. The Diet Coke in novelty bottles had frozen and the bottles exploded.

so this is what I'm thinking...if its this cold in cold is it in Philly?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

finally a post

I took a computer hiatus during Christmas vacation. It has taken me a week and a half since being back to muster the energy and time to begin blogging again.

If anyone questions the legitimacy of students blogging, they must understand how exhausting it is!

I began my research project on ELL blogging. So far so good. They have blogged five or six times in the past week. Their first step was to create a blog of their own. They have now been posting reflection on daily learning on their blog. As a teacher it makes it very clear who's getting the content and who's not.

One frustration however is that 3 or 4 students out of every class forget their log in information. I don't understand this because they can remember their yahoo and myspace information. I think that the expectation of them being responsible for the posting will impact that!

Next week I want them to begin commenting and cross-posting on their classmates' bog.

In the next few days I'm trying to set up an aggregator with all their blogs on it.

I need to get back to "quantitating data"