Another Monday, another issue of MiddSouth Innovates.
In this issue, we look at some of the classes that are using Google Expeditions to take students around the world to look at both the past and the present. We discuss storytelling and how it relates to giving good presentations. And we highlight some of the amazing work that’s being done in the Media Center.
My favorite part about writing each issue is getting to work with amazing educators and students, and helping them find awesome technology to enhance learning. I hope you enjoy all of the work the #middsouthnation is doing.
Assessments are being heavily debated in my district right now. When PARCC first arrived, we switched from Midterms/Finals to Marking Period Quarterlies. Now Quarterlies are up for discussion again. So, with assessment being so heavily discussed, I figured that should probably be the focus of this issue of MiddSouth Innovates.
First, you will find a glimpse into Mrs. Bach’s Biology class as we look at Thinglink and how she used it to provide more meaningful feedback on student-created study guides. Second, you find some key points from the book How To Grade For Learning, K-12. This book focuses on the research and writings of a variety of influential educational scholars and what they have learned about assessments in schools.
Happy New Year!!! And remember to click the image below to see the full MiddSouth Innovates Issue #5.
I apologize about forgetting to post our end of the year MiddSouth Innovates. One of the best parts about my new role as Educational Technology Specialist is going into classrooms all over the school and seeing how technology is being used. In this issue, I had a chance to join one of our math teachers in an Algebra I lesson using Desmos. In the last 2 years, Desmos has moved from simply being an online graphing calculator to a full activity hub for math teachers. As you will see below, this math teacher runs the entire lesson from Desmos using direct instruction, individualized feedback, and both individual and group responses. I was really impressed with both the lesson and tech application.
National Computer Science Week is upon us (December 4-10) which means it is time for the Hour Of Code!! I absolutely love the activities they have developed to get students solving complex problems. That’s right! Coding isn’t about typing words on a page. It is about figuring out how to put together a puzzle when you don’t know what the puzzle looks like. For the past couple of weeks, my students have been tackling simple and complex coding HW in an attempt to expose them to both Scratch and Python. First, they had to animate their name using Scratch. Now they are drawing snowflakes with Raspberry Pi Foundation.
I created the following Smore to remind my staff about the Hour Of Code. We are going to setup stations in our Media Center for students to participate, and have Certificates and 3D Printed badges for anyone who completes the full hour. Enjoy the Smore and check out #middsouthinnovates for pictures from our activities.
Innovation (noun): a new method, idea, product, etc.
The first issue of MiddSouth Innovates (#middsouthinnovates) was a success! We had 293 views from 23 unique locations on 3 continents!! At least 1 member of every department in my school made a comment about something they saw in newsletter which definitely shows it is having an impact. So on to Issue #2:
The more I discuss ideas with Educators, the more I realize that innovation is relative. Being innovative is not a thing–it’s a mindset. It’s about waking up and saying ‘Today I will try something in my classroom that I have never done before.’ Maybe it will be with technology, maybe it will be with classroom management. Whatever you choose to do, it is about trying to improve. So, in this issue I highlight a physical modeling technique that one of our Chemistry teachers was super excited about, and the website Smore which is what I use to make the MiddSouth Innovates newsletter. Enjoy!
“If you don’t tell your story, someone else will”–Dylan Klempner
I would like to introduce the first issue of MiddSouth Innovates–my way of sharing innovative practices with my colleagues. As you will see below, I found that smore.com offered the most visually appealing and easily accessible method for sharing these resources. My goal is to send out an issue every other week. This will allow me to collect lesson resources for/from my colleagues and share items that they deem relevant as opposed to ones I feel are important. I hope you enjoy Issue #1. Feedback is always encouraged and welcomed!
[Note: I apologize for the screenshot and a link. Apparently I can’t embed smore code on a WordPress site because it isn’t whitelisted. Looked great in the editor and then converts it to a link when published.]