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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Awesome Atlanta Education Conference: STLinATL – July 26-27, 2018



Join me and other education speakers at Woodward Academy in Atlanta this summer

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

STLinATL is an exciting education conference hosted at Woodward Academy in Atlanta this summer July 26-27. I’ll be speaking along with Jay McTighe, Dr. Janet Zanida, Suzie Boss and more at this affordable conference ($295 including meals and conference attendance.)

THE STLinATL CONFERENCE WILL FOCUS ON THE FOLLOWING AREAS:

  • Whole Child (e.g., mindfulness, brain-based learning, project-based learning, design thinking, social-emotional, equity and inclusion)
  • STEM/STEAM Integration
  • Assessment for Learning
  • Contemporary Literacy
  • Excellence in Physical Education, Coaching, and Athletic Development

You are invited to submit a proposal and to register for STLinATL. Proposals are due by 12 noon EDT on March 30, 2018. All accepted proposals will be notified on or before April 15, 2018. For more information, visit stlinatl.com.

This intimate conference will have southern hospitality and charm as well as 21st-century education leadership.

Speakers Include:

Jay McTighe – Internationally recognized thought leader on curriculum mapping, assessment, and instructional strategies. Co-authored the best-selling Understanding by Design series with Grant Wiggins.

Dr. Janet Zadina – Renowned neuroscientist, speaker, and author of Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain. Extraordinary ability to address anxiety, stress, and trauma, which affects up to 50% of our students.

Suzie Boss – Inspiring speaker, consultant, and author of several popular books including All Together Now: How to Engage Your Stakeholders in Reimaging School and Reinventing Project-Based Learning.

Vicki Davis – The  Cool Cat Teacher® is a full-time teacher and IT Director at a small school in Georgia. Best teacher blog winner, *Speaker*author* @Mashable Top Teacher on Twitter*Top #edtech Twitterer. Host – the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast an author of Reinventing Writing and Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds.

Please reserve the date and contact Connie White with questions. School groups of five or more will receive a discount. Conference enrollment will be capped at 400.

Included in the STLinATL Conference 


The cost is extremely affordable at $295.00 which is an all-inclusive event that includes:

  • Small, intimate workshops and sessions with nationally known speakers.
  • Topics that are relevant to the needs of today’s teachers as they work to prepare our students for the future.
  • Conference includes a continental breakfast each day
  • An incredible lunch each day made by our renowned chef
  • A networking social that includes hors d’oeuvres, a live band and 2 drinks of your choice.
  • An amazing dinner that was the talk of the conference last year.
  • Free transportation from the hotel to the conference through each day
  • A negotiated rate of $129 per night for a room at the luxurious Hilton (multiple restaurants and exquisite amenities)
  • A conference gift bag with a homemade praline, snacks, a notebook and more
  • Fabulous networking opportunities with subject area teachers.
  • An interactive makerspace designed by Georgia Tech.
  • A limited number of transformative vendors sharing some of the latest applications of trends for the future such as 1)  Lexplore makes it possible to identify children with reading difficulties early on through artificial intelligence and eye tracking. 2) Georgia Speciality highlighting classroom furniture, makerspace furniture and science furniture of the future. 3) Virtual reality applications for today classrooms and more….

I’m excited about speaking at this conference and will be there both days. This is going to be a fantastic event! Join us!

The post Awesome Atlanta Education Conference: STLinATL – July 26-27, 2018 appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/awesome-atlanta-education-conference-stlinatl-july-26-27-2018/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Monday, March 26, 2018

7 Ways My Interactive Display is a Key Part of My Student-Centered Classroom



Sponsored by SMART Technologies

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Today, I had 15 photos on my interactive display at the front of the classroom. I’m teaching PhotoShop, and the students were analyzing which of the photos we’d just taken would be the best candidate for modifying an Avengers movie poster. The students pinched and zoomed in and out as they discussed the photos on the multi-touch board. When they voted to eliminate a photo, they’d remove it until we selected the final photograph. This activity represents a pedagogical shifts that my interactive display has made possible. In this post, I’ll be sharing seven pedagogical shifts that make interactive displays a key to a student-centered classroom.

SMART Technologies sponsored this post.

Shift #1: Students as Collaborators

In my Computer Science classroom, students are collaborators and co-creators. My interactive display is the common workspace for the whole class. Students work on their own computers sometimes; however, there are many times (like the Avengers Photoshop example) where I want students interacting with and manipulating digital objects as they discuss and work together.

The interactive display is a digital workspace that can operate demonstration computers, display a copy of student screens or smartphones “thrown” to it for discussion, become a large multi-touch drawing and brainstorming space, or show video and other content. Quite simply, my interactive display is a must-have device that is like a modern chalkboard for digital objects — but so much more. I wouldn’t teach without one.

But everything starts with the students. So, the first pedagogical shift is that students need a large workspace where they can stand, collaborate, discuss, and share ideas. I love standing back like I did today to watch them work.

Shift #2: Students as Publishers

In a project-based classroom where making and inventing happens all the time, students are always doing amazing things. We see incredible breakthroughs when students share their work with each other.

I want every student to understand how they can share from every single electronic device or a photograph of physical objects on my interactive display. Publishing this visual data should be a process of a couple dozen seconds. This is why, as part of my first and second day procedures, I teach students how to “throw” their screens (of all kinds) to my large screen at the front of the classroom.

Shift #3: Students as Teachers

Being able to quickly share is essential to progress, learning, and celebrating student success. This happens most often while students are learning because not only will students show their work to the whole class on the board, but they’ll also need to demonstrate their process. So, by narrating and explaining as the class sees the work on the board, students are showing other students how they did something.

Often I’ll explain a difficult concept but want to reteach it another way. If a student grasps the concept and wants to demonstrate it on their device, we can let them do this quickly, without leaving their seat, by “throwing” it on the interactive display for all to see. This on-the-fly teaching and sharing is central to making and inventing in my student-centered classroom.

Shift #4: Development of a Common Experience

While I could send the work that we’re doing to everyone’s screen, an individual screen is just that — a screen for an individual. My interactive display at the front of the room is the screen for the class. When we shift our focus from our individual screens to our group screen, it becomes a common experience.

Whether we’re watching a video or interacting with content, I still want my students to interact with each other. We have to be careful not to let one-to-one devices turn us into a classroom of individuals operating alone instead of remaining a group of students experiencing life and learning together. Building community is important, and my interactive display is central to that community. We laughingly call it the “Jumbotron” because it is our large place to share and connect.

When we’re not using our class screen for active content, I often play nature scenes or, in the holiday season, the Yule log. Students will literally come up to the Jumbotron and “warm their hands by the fire” as they have conversations. It feels like a throwback to my childhood when people actually did that during the holidays. But while this device might not warm our hands, it warms us up to experience learning together.

Shift #5: Formative Data Collection and Dissemination

I use a variety of apps that not only show the current presentation on the board, but it also show on student devices. So why would I need an interactive display if everything is on student devices? Additionally, I use software like SMART Learning Suite (which I’ve blogged about before)  which lets me quiz and share with student devices.

The students love the Monster Quiz games and other activities that the SMART Notebook does so easily.

 

Well, one concept for technology use is to let each device do what it does best. Small, handheld devices like mobile phones are good for viewing static slides, but they’re epic for sending formative assessment data to the teacher and the whole class.

For example, as I was teaching about the history of computing, I asked a question and opened up a whiteboard response opportunity using Shout it Out. The students’ phones were turned into mini data collection devices. They could draw, type, or handwrite the answers that they wanted to share with the class. As they submitted their mini smartphone-sized responses, these contributions appeared on my interactive display at the front of the classroom. When we were ready to discuss, I would click on one example to make it large and send it to student screens.

When we have in-class discussions like this, we can move whiteboard suggestions around and manipulate all of the submissions just like I would if each student had put a sticky note on a big sheet of paper. Unlike using sticky notes, of course, there are a few big exceptions:

  • Everyone can see the submissions.
  • I can send individual submissions to all of the students and give them a copy.
  • I can make the submissions larger.
  • We can interact with the newly created digital objects in many ways.

In addition, I can poll students and be the only one to see their answers. This eliminates the very unhelpful practice of asking for a show of hands to see if kids understand something.

For example, I used to use the show of hands method when I taught binary number addition and conversion — and it would take me two weeks to cover the content that I now cover in just three days! The shortened time is simply due to clarifying exactly what students know. Once everyone gets a concept, we can move on. (But, whether we’re raising hands or using a Nearpod poll, I will keep reteaching it until they get it.)

When students enter the classroom, a quick review shows me if they’re ready to move on. When they leave, a quick comment to me lets me know what my prep for tomorrow will look like.

Formative assessment is a not-so-secret of my own success, and the interactive display is part of this as I show certain items and hide others.

Research Note: Every student response describe here is a quick and painless form of formative assessment. More about this at Rosenshine, B. (2012). Principles of Instruction: Research-Based Strategies That All Teachers Should Know. American educator, 36(1), 12.

Shift #6: Digital Manipulation of Many Objects

A challenge with smaller computer screens, tablets, and smartphones is that screen real-estate seems to be shrinking. There are times we need to brainstorm as a class, and the many ideas, objects, and items just wouldn’t reasonably fit on the smaller screens. Many years ago, we would have put butcher paper on the walls and drawn on it with markers. But in the modern world, we use digital objects, delete them, erase them, draw on them, and then, when we’re done, we can email them, print them out, or send them to everyone’s devices. There are times we need a massive screen, and my interactive display is the only thing that will do.

Shift #7: Easy Ways to Point Out What is Important

I saved this one for last because some of you might think it’s overly simplistic. While I could send some things to screens and perhaps use a digital pointer, I find that when I’m teaching rapidly, pointing with my finger works best. I don’t always have the time to slow down and get digital tools to work. I just want to stand at the “board” and teach, point things out, move them around, and draw on them.

I Need My Interactive Display

My classroom has been blended for five years now, and I’ve been using videos for longer than that. Although there are many ways to use individual devices, for me, that’s only part of the full pedagogical picture.

To maximize learning, I want each student to have a device (or two), but I also want to have a common, massive, interactive device that is our group space, workspace, and digital drawing board. I want a shared device that’s a springboard to all of the making, inventing, and collaborating that I think must be part of an effective modern classroom. I need my interactive display, and I sincerely believe that our classroom needs it to supplement the other digital devices in our classroom.

Large interactive displays are an important part of my classroom pedagogy, my practice, and quite honestly, the fun we have as a classroom community. And having fun, however we achieve it, makes us better learners and collaborators.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored blog post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The post 7 Ways My Interactive Display is a Key Part of My Student-Centered Classroom appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/7-interactive-display-student-centered-classroom/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Classroom Earth: Teach Conservation By Going Outside



The Flint River Project: An Exemplar Whole-School Project

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

If I had one wish for the classrooms of the world, it is that we would all leave the four walls and enter Classroom Earth. In Classroom Earth we will study nature in nature. We will take measurements that matter as citizen scientists. We will study and record history. As a result, we can train young leaders who appreciate the awesome stewardship they will inherit.
This post is part of Cathy Rubin’s Global Search for Education. This month’s question is “Our Planet has a Plan – Climate Change and the depletion of natural resources present a global challenge.  What is the Role of Education?” The top global teacher bloggers will weigh in. This post is my reflection on this topic.

You can’t teach conservation in a book. Well, maybe you can, but not in a memorable, life-changing way, I think.

As a farmer’s daughter, I grew to love the land. As my hands worked the soil, I noticed the seeds growing. As my toes wiggled in the mud from Dad’s drip irrigation, I appreciated the water supply from the underground aquifer on dry, dusty days. A heart for conservation is best born outdoors. For this reason, the Flint River Project was the best project my school ever created.

Students took water samples at a variety of locations on the river and presented their results at a community meeting.

Students took water samples at a variety of locations on the river and presented their results at a community meeting.

The Flint River Project: A Whole School Studies a River for Four Days

In this project, students got on the river. Some of them collected and counted macroinvertebrates. Others took water samples. Some visited and documented historical sites, while others wrote poetry and read literature.

As I consider this project, I’m struck by the incredible results. One of the students, Casey Cox, moved home. Casey is now the Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts.

When she was a student on the project, she wrote,
By opening up the river to the students of Westwood, we are not only creating a unique learning opportunity but also a burgeoning appreciation for the natural resource we are so very lucky to have here in south Georgia. The river will be an integral part of my future, as I intend to double major in business and conservation at the University of Florida, and I anticipate returning to this area to preserve the beautiful Flint. I hope my fellow high school students now recognize the importance of the river to our local economy and ecosystem.
Community experts were interviewed as part of the Flint River Project.

Community experts were interviewed as part of the Flint River Project.

These students come back and often say it was the most meaningful project of their high school years. While many of them go outdoors, the Flint River Project was a true outdoor classroom experience. To learn conservation, we must not only dig our hands in the dirt, we must join hands to protect the earth.

Farming is in the DNA of our community here in Mitchell County, Georgia, USA. Our work as stewards of Earth’s resources may be celebrated on one day but every day is earth day. Additionally, every single classroom can attend Classroom Earth, we only need to go outside and start teaching and learning.

The post Classroom Earth: Teach Conservation By Going Outside appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/classroom-earth-teach-conservation-going-outside/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Friday, March 23, 2018

5 Ideas for Writing with Technology



Jacqui Murray on episode 235 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Jacqui Murray shares how we can encourage an improvement in writing using technology. These creative ways will help you think about how to help children, particularly those who struggle with handwriting and typing.

Sponsor: The STLinATL Conference will be at Woodward Academy in Atlanta July 26-27, 2018. I’ll be speaking with other amazing educators like Suzy Boss, Janet Zadina, Jay McTighe, Dr. Brendan Ozawa de Silva, Scott Sanchez, Dr. Ayanna M Howard and more. For $295, this all-inclusive event (except for hotel and travel) is an amazing opportunity to learn. www.stlinatl.com

For full notes to this encore episode, see: www.coolcatteacher.com/e235

The post 5 Ideas for Writing with Technology appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e280/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Why Kids Can’t Stop Moving: The Neuroscience Behind a Student’s Need to Move [ENCORE]



From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Students have reasons for how they behave, particularly if they have learning differences and learn in unique ways. Occupational and physical therapist, Suzanne Cresswell, helps us understand children and why some of them just can’t stop moving

Sponsor: The STLinATL Conference will be at Woodward Academy in Atlanta July 26-27, 2018. I’ll be speaking with other amazing educators like Suzy Boss, Janet Zadina, Jay McTighe, Dr. Brendan Ozawa de Silva, Scott Sanchez, Dr. Ayanna M Howard and more. For $295, this all-inclusive event (except for hotel and travel) is an amazing opportunity to learn. www.stlinatl.com

See the original show notes at www.coolcatteacher.com/e244

The post Why Kids Can’t Stop Moving: The Neuroscience Behind a Student’s Need to Move [ENCORE] appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e279/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Virtual Mentorship for Emerging Leaders [Encore]



Top Wonderful Classroom Wednesday in 2018 (so far) with Jodie Pierpoint

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Emerging administrator leaders and administrators are participating in an emerging leadership virtual mentorship program created by Jodie Pierpoint and many volunteers. Learn about this program, how you can join in, and how you can become a better mentor.

Sponsor: The STLinATL Conference will be at Woodward Academy in Atlanta July 26-27, 2018. I’ll be speaking with other amazing educators like Suzy Boss, Janet Zadina, Jay McTighe, Dr. Brendan Ozawa de Silva, Scott Sanchez, Dr. Ayanna M Howard and more. For $295, this all-inclusive event (except for hotel and travel) is an amazing opportunity to learn. www.stlinatl.com

To read this show notes, see the original episode at www.coolcatteacher.com/e243

The post Virtual Mentorship for Emerging Leaders [Encore] appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e278/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

5 Free Tech Tools to Try in Your Social Studies Lessons [ENCORE]



The top Edtech Tool Tuesday of 2018 (so far) with Richard Byrne

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Richard Byrne, author of Free Technology for Teachers, was a history teacher. It shows. In today’s show, he talks about top free tech tools to try in social studies lessons. This is one to share with your history department.

Sponsor: The STLinATL Conference will be at Woodward Academy in Atlanta July 26-27, 2018. I’ll be speaking with other amazing educators like Suzy Boss, Janet Zadina, Jay McTighe, Dr. Brendan Ozawa de Silva, Scott Sanchez, Dr. Ayanna M Howard and more. For $295, this all-inclusive event (except for hotel and travel) is an amazing opportunity to learn. www.stlinatl.com

Read the full show notes on the original episode www.coolcatteacher.com/e255

The post 5 Free Tech Tools to Try in Your Social Studies Lessons [ENCORE] appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e277/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Perspective



Day 67 of 80 Days of Excellence

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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You THINK you have problems, then your Dad goes in the hospital. You THINK you’re tired, then you pull a couple of all-nighters. You THINK you have a disagreement with someone and then a much bigger issue happens and you realize it was more about preferences than actual meaningful differences.

5 Ideas for Teaching Fire Prevention and Safety facebook

Big deals always seem big until Goliath disquiet calls you to battle and you realize just how small your problems used to be.

Life is too short to make big problems out of things that are really not.

And when you spend all your time making small problems into big ones with big, overblown Super Freak moments, how do you get the attention of people in your life when something really epic comes along.

When you sing or podcast or perform, you’re taught to be quiet at some points, so that you have the contrast of something to be louder. You can’t have forte without a real pianissimo. You can’t have a loud outburst without a quiet moment to contrast it with. And, likewise, it is helpful and healthy to live life with perspective and margin. Every problem isn’t epic. Every problem isn’t even a problem.

Sometimes as I work with children who live in perpetual cataclysmic calamity, I wonder how they will be equipped for life when these problems which pale in comparison to the Technicolor trauma of later life are rocking their world to the core. Of course, sometimes as we grow, our problems grow.

However, in real life, there’s a big difference between imaginary reality-show pseudo-drama and the real stuff that leaves us crying at 2 am and on our knees in the wee hours of the morning seeking strength and wisdom for the day.

Life has problems. However, those who are excellence take problems, deal with them and don’t have a perpetual need to manufacture magnificent messes out of minimal mites.

Some problems aren’t problems at all. I think that keeping perspective about what ails you helps you live a healthier and happier life.

This post is day 67 of 80 days of excellence. I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series.

The post Perspective appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/perspective-2/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Maker Monday: How Start the Week with Creativity and Purpose (ENCORE)



The top Monday Motivation episode of 2018 so far with John Spencer 276

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

John Spencer, coauthor of two different best-selling books, Launch and Empower, talks about the creativity (and test score) boosts his classes experienced when he began Maker Mondays.

Sponsor: The STLinATL Conference will be at Woodward Academy in Atlanta July 26-27, 2018. I’ll be speaking with other amazing educators like Suzy Boss, Janet Zadina, Jay McTighe, Dr. Brendan Ozawa de Silva, Scott Sanchez, Dr. Ayanna M Howard and more. For $295, this all-inclusive event (except for hotel and travel) is an amazing opportunity to learn. www.stlinatl.com

Today’s episode is an encore episode. It is the top Motivational Monday of 2018! You’ll find the full transcript here: www.coolcatteacher.com/e226

Listen to Episode 276

The post Maker Monday: How Start the Week with Creativity and Purpose (ENCORE) appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e276/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.
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