Friday, January 12, 2018

Changing The Narrative - Communication, Critical Thinking, Creativity

Spending the entire day teaching the "tips" about GarageBand to over 250 juniors was a tremendous honor.  The U.S. History team of Mrs. Schartner, Mr. Krause, and Mr. Rodal want students to develop a 3-5 minute radio show.  As they progress into the era of the 1920's, students will see that radio was the "window to the world" for almost every American household.

As I worked my way through the presentation below, students were given three opportunities to "play" instruments, record voice, and record multiple tracks of instruments.

The content of the U.S. History curriculum is so important.  My teaching role allows students to experience additional learning opportunities while experiencing the information.

My main focus was NOT ANOTHER project, but an opportunity to develop the skills that will help them during their time in high school and after they leave.  I addressed their "attitude" as one more thing to do by changing the narrative.  It's not another project.  They heard me say that this is a tremendous opportunity to get better at skills that employers continue to seek from our students.

Critical Thinking.

As always, the impact of the message is undetermined at the beginning.  I'm not a motivational speaker.  I do know that my message is helping students to view learning opportunities in our school differently.  In my time of co-teaching technology tools, GarageBand engaged students to the end of the learning time and beyond better than most tools.

All of this became even more validated for me because of the podcast I listened to this morning.  Education with an Edge, Mike Smith of The Bay  Visit It

Monday, January 8, 2018

"Five Minute Finds" and Nearpod Leverage Tools for More Than Projects

Integrating technology tools for "projects only" is not an effective way to help students become great consumers of content, critically thinkers of that content, collaborators, and creators.  Utilizing a "five minute find" in a lesson and incorporating activity cards (with Nearpod) can help utilize the power of technology tools during learning experiences.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Inserting an Apple Logo  Led Me to "STOP" Using the Word "Projects"

I was curious as to how to place an  Apple symbol into a blog or text message.  I found an article from April 2017 on how this works.  However, the January 2018 version is slightly different.

This leads me to the practice of allowing students to "consume content" while teaching.  A perfect example of this happened this week. A teacher had a famous person in history projected in front of the class.  The instructor asked students, "What do you know about this person?" The high school students didn't say a word.

Not. One. Word.

The instructor discouragingly proceeded on by giving the students everything the teacher knew about the famous person.  After observing this, I mentioned to the teacher that at the moment they asked what the students know, the teacher could have provided students with three to five to however long the "investigating" minutes takes for students to consume content that could be a website, a video, an image, a pdf, etc.  Allowing students to "critically think" about the content that they are "consuming" and then sharing that content is a great skill for our students to develop and master.

The teacher tried the strategy the next day and emailed me a tremendous "thank you" as the discussion was so much more valuable and productive.

STOP using digital devices and tools "just for projects".  Utilizing the tools for consuming content, critically thinking about that content, collaborating with others, and creating/sharing solutions can all be incorporated into a single learning experience.  Furthermore, STOP calling all of these "learning experiences" "projects".   Avoid saying, "We are going to do an iMovie project."  We don't say that this weekend I'm going to do a "hammer project".  We say, "I'm going to build a deck and these are the tools I'll need: hammer, saw, nails, etc."  These "projects" are simply opportunities that allow students to build skills through learning experiences that help them move closer to contributing to their college, career, or community while in school and after graduating.

This leads me back to this morning.  I wanted to learn how to insert an  Apple symbol into a blog or text message.  I was able to consume the content, but needed to critically think about that the information I found "shortcuts" from the article

was slightly different than what I was seeing as "text replacement".

Once I did that I was successfully able to insert an Apple symbol on my iPad.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Cause and Effect Resources: Opposing Viewpoints & Google Scholar

Our Expos Writing students are developing "cause and effect" papers.  Resources exist through a Google search, but a more refined search for resources can occur using Opposing Viewpoints and Google Scholar.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Collaboration With Arcadia SD, New London SD, Ashland SD To Make The Best Pet Food

With the help of Mr. Santy, Small Vets Instructor, we embarked on a collaborative learning experience that is unlike anything we have attempted before at Pulaski High School.

With our Bright Bytes surveys from 2016-2017, students revealed to us that "collaborating with others outside of our school district" was something we "never did".

With this data, I decided to make it a goal to decrease the "never" and increase the "every few months" as a starting point for content areas at Pulaski High School.  I approached Mr. Santy about the idea to collaborate with students in another school district.  He immediately thought of the small vet learning opportunity for creating a pet food.  I was able to provide a tutorial on the publishing tool as students will produce a website that will market their product.

I also provided a tutorial on the features of Google Hangout.

I'm thankful that Mr. Santy was willing to attempt the creation of a new pet food with students outside of our school district.  To me, this makes sense.  Learning from people more than one mile away is something that happens in so many businesses on a daily basis.

The details of the learning experience for students was well thought out by Mr. Santy, and the email communication with teachers allowed emails to be exchanged among instructors.  A spreadsheet was used to "match" students with other districts. 

I'm also thankful to Ms. Caelwarts, Ms. Kurowski, and Mrs. Uelmen for allowing the "Google Hangouts" to be opened for our two week period.  Without an "informational and instructional" technology team that has visions of innovative learning, none of this would happen.

High School and Elementary Students Collaborating On A Menu

Students from one of our elementary schools have been helping our Culinary 2 students design new menus.  Providing healthy foods that elementary students have interest in will promote healthy eating habits.

We were thrilled to use Google Hangouts as a quick and easy tool for collaborating during this learning experience.

We are so thankful that Mrs. MoehrMrs. Fullerton, and Mrs. Markowski are providing this learing opportunity for our students.  View more images from the day!

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