Friday, July 17, 2015

Blending Learning Focusing on Student Success

After writing my first post on Blending Learning, I was blessed with the opportunity to become the new Assistant Principal of Hanford-Dole Elementary School! My previous post was from a teacher's perspective...how I was going to implement it into my classroom.

Now as a school leader, my focus is on how I can support our staff in implementing blended-learning into their classroom to ensure student success. My new school family has been amazing at welcoming me to their family and helping me learn about blended-learning.

On Thursday, I picked up the book Blended by Michael B Horn and Heather Staker from school and dived right into it. It is a great guide to helping schools transform into blended-learning. While reading the book, I was also participating in an online Blended Learning course through Coursera. The two resources went hand in hand.

I decided to focus on Student Experiences in my blog first and then I will write on the other components...(so be sure to subscribe to the blog)

In this post, my focus in entirely on Student Experiences...




The 4 Big Ideas for the Student Experience 


1. Personalized Instruction
  1. Every student gets what they need, when they need it. This is driven by data. Data is the root of the decisions that are being made.
  2. Technology helps in the process to ensure students are getting basic skills practice, conceptual understanding, etc. 
  3. Not your one size fit all experience. 
2. Mastery-Based Learning
  1. Embed intentional formative assessments throughout the student learning experience. This is the key to ensuring students are getting what they need with feedback in order to know where they need to go.
  2. Scaffold learning.
  3. Must show competency in order to move on. 
  4. Personalize Learning Plan should be created with students, reviewed throughout, and used as a tool to move forward.
3. Relationships
  1. Building genuine relationships is the core and essential part for student success!
  2. Student interaction with teachers will help motivate and inspire students to learn.
  3. 1:1 Mentor relationship is important. Mentors can help create and review personalize learning plan.
  4. Relationships improve learning outcome!

4. Student Agency/Ownership
  1. Give students the paddle, let me explore and create their path to their destiny.
  2. Students are put in the drivers seat.
  3. The teacher is guide on the side and not the sage on the stage. As teachers we rethink our roles and become a mentor, coach, facilitator, etc.
  4. Key to engagement is having students own their learning.
  5. As students are empowered to own their learning, they become leaders in the process.



High expectations and character development are also essential in academic growth. 
Be transparent with students. Let me see their growth...it build self-confidence.

Things to teach students at the beginning of the school year..
a. Routines and Procedures
b. What to do when you get stuck
c. Identifying learning styles/note-taking strategies
d. GRIT-Persistence-Intrinsic Motivation-Interpersonal Skills

Classroom management is going to be very important when implementing blended-learning.


A few important tips from the book Blended...
1. Design with student motivation in mind.
2. Create an experience that is intrinsically motivating for students.
3. Remember students wants to feels successful and that they are making progress and accomplishing something.
4. Students want time to have fun with friends

Remember to Follow me on Twitter @FITinEDU
and be sure to subscribe to the blog!



Friday, July 3, 2015

Blended Learning

While at the ISTE 2015 conference, I attended several sessions on Blended Learning. Blended learning combines several teaching methods for students to be successful. As I sat in the sessions, one thing continued to resonate with me...blended learning give students the opportunity to have a diversified learning experience.

Before attending the sessions, I really thought blended learning was just using technology to teach students. I now know that technology is only one component of blended learning. Blended learning has several models:
1. The Flipped Classroom
2. The Station Rotation
3. Virtual Learning
These models you can stick to one or mix and match. 


What is Blended Learning? Blended learning is an opportunity to create a student-centered learning experience where students experience personalize education that makes them successful. Blended-learning helps teacher focus on students individual needs...meeting each student where they are with any activity and when they need it.

As I begin my blended learning journey, I will be mixing and matching. They key is creating a personalized learning experience that will allow my students to be successful. 




Blended Learning Agenda for 90 minutes
10 minutes: Warm-up
60 minutes: Station Rotations (20 minutes each)
10 minutes: Closure

Blended Learning Agenda for 45 minutes
10 minutes: Warm-up
30 minutes: Station Rotations (15 minutes each)
5 minutes: Closure


Pre-Teaching Phase

Students will be assigned a video/PowerPoint (Discovery Education, Khan Academy, SchoolTube, etc.) to pre-teach the topic/concept the night before the topic/concept is being taught. Students will be required to take notes to ensure they have watched the video/PowerPoint. A survey or some type of recording document will be create for students to share what they learned from the video/PowerPoint. I will use Google Drive to create my Digital playlists (using Schoology as a hub) for students. This will give me data to use to assess prior knowledge and the starting point for the lesson. Guided notes, sample questions, concept maps, and graphic organizers  will also be tools I use during the pre-teaching phase of blended learning. All of these tools will provide me with the data that will allow me personalize student learning.

Google Drive Digital Playlist


The Blended Learning Phase

This is the phase I will build on what students learned in the pre-teaching phase. During this phase formative assessments is vital. I know the importance of continuously checking for student understanding in order to drive instruction. Having students use red, yellow, and green cards to indicate their level of understanding or using digital tools like microblogging or Socrative, will help me manage students progress. Formative assessments during this phase will allow me to determine if I need to reteach the topic/concept or maybe pair students for 1-on-1 peer tutoring. I will also use body language and facial expressions as an indicator of student's understanding.

The Blended Learning Phase is where I creatively design stations for my topic/concept and place students at stations that will enhance their learning. In this phase stations will be organized to help students build on the pre-teaching phase. Stations will can be, technology integration, literacy, practice, direct instruction, PBL, virtual learning, and more. 

Time will be set for students to spend at each station, then rotate to the next station. Based on the length of class and depth of the topic/concept I will determine the amount of stations.

Here are a few stations in my Google Drive I have already prepared...


PBL Station

MAPS Station


Post-Teaching Phase

The post-teaching phase is where I will again assess students understanding of the topic/concept. It is a great opportunity to expand student's learning on the topic/concept. Ticket out the door, blogging, digital assessment tools, and Google Doc are a few examples for post-teaching. Post-teaching tools will provide me with data to see if the pre-teaching and blended learning phase was effective. It will allow me to determine where I should go on the following day.

Homework for Extra Practice...
Homework Practice




I will use Schoology for my LMS importing my Google Drive and having students turn in their assignments via Schoology. 

I am so excited and really can't wait to implement Blended Learning into my classroom. I really believe this teaching model will actively engage students in their learning and provide success for all students. 

For more information on Blended Learning check out:

Juliana Finegan's website:


Be sure to follow me on Twitter @FITinEDU,  like my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FITinEDU,  and subscribe to follow my journey to Blended Learning!










Tuesday, June 30, 2015

ISTE 2015 Tech-perience


This conference is always amazing. There is so much I want to share, but I will keep it simple and share my Top Ten list.

These are in no particular order, but the Ten best things that happened while I was at ISTE 2015.

1. I met three of my favorite Twitter-spirations! How was that!


2. Got two great educational books to read and become a better educator who is relevant and data-driven.


3. Participated in a focus group with Project Tomorrow and received a $50 Amazon Gift Card.






4. Learned a lot on blended learning, Google, and other digital tools to provide students and teachers with HOPE (Having Opportunities to Pursue Excellence).

5. Attended my first MLB baseball game with ISTEball!



6. Won a $10 gift card to Starbucks.



7. Had my first Philly Cheese steak from Philly!








8. Connected with some amazing educators from around the world.

9. Was blessed with conversations with several RSS educators.

10. Iste ignited my passion for education!

Overall this was an amazing experience. I am so grateful for the opportunity and hope that I shared my experiences and all that I learned with everyone.

Remember to subscribe to my blog, follow me on Twitter @FITinEDU and like my Facebook page. You don't want to miss my journey to how I plan to implement my ISTE Tech-piration

As I begin to play around with the digital tools I've learned and the reading, I will share my journey!

 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Preparing for ISTE 2015


Only seven days away and I am super excited...it is time for ISTE 2015. This is my second ISTE conference and my first trip to Philadelphia! I am uber excited to learn new technology tips, tools, and strategies...and explore the city.



I've spent a few weeks planning everything out...

I love the Exhibition Hall, so I started planning which vendors I wanted to visit. I used ISTE's interactive exhibit hall and the ISTE app to research and save all my vendor Favorites!

Remember when visiting exhibitors and vendors, take what you need! If there is some things you want, see if the vendor or exhibitor will ship it to you at the end of the conference. You can also ship it yourself, but if you are like me I like to save my coins!

Have fun...this is my favorite place to visit. You learn so much from the Exhibition Hall!




Things to Learn:
Come back to visit as I share my Google Docs Notes on everything I learned.

Places to Explore:


1. Philadelphia's Hop On Hop Off Tours is a great way to see all the great Philly sites. The tour is 1 hr and 45 minutes of Philadelphia's 100 most popular attractions. A one day pass is $27 and a two day pass is $30. I opted for the two day pass just in case I don't have enough time or want to see the city again. With 27 stops and attractions, they is a great bang for you buck. Tours begin at 10:00 am and the last pickup is at 4:30 pm. Since I am arriving earlier than my school district, this will be my first adventure on Sunday!
















2. The Reading Terminal Market is the city's cultural culinary jewel. It will be my spot for my Taste of Philadelphia. This is right across the street from the Convention Center, so I have a chance of visiting it every day for lunch to try different Philadelphia food. The Reading Terminal Market has over one hundred merchants offering fresh produce, meats, fish, baked goods, crafts, ethnic foods, and more.  Check out the 21 Best Things to Eat at The Reading Terminal Market

3. Phillies vs The Brewers Baseball game is on Monday night at 7:05. I was just in time to purchase a few tickets from someone on Twitter. It will be my first MLB game... Ready for the experience! 



4. Wanted to have a great atmosphere to unwind after a long day of learning....Since we are staying at the Sheraton University, I decided to end my evening on that side of the town. I am thinking of trying out the Pod and maybe White Dog. If my days are long...it may be ordering in a pizza or just something from room service. 

ISTE Events:

ISTE 5K  - Monday 6:30 am at the corner of Arch and 12th. We will run to the Rocky Steps and return to the starting point. 

EdTech Karaoke - Tuesday 7 PM


Conference Bag Essentials
I like to take a small backpack because it prevents me from just collecting any and everything from vendors. Small enough for my essentials and big enough to grab a few goodies. 

1. Sweater
2. Water bottle
3. Snacks and Chewing Gum
4. Business Cards
5. Pens
6. Phone Charger

Now how to pack light. My husband is my traveling companion and we are only taking one carry-on for the both of us. He's always been a great packer...check out how I packed for the trip! Don't forget your portable charger, and good shoes!



It's calling for showers...so remember to pack your rain gear!


Follow me on Twitter for minute by minute updates of ISTE 2015
@FITinEDU and definitely follow #ISTE2015 and #ISTE15





Friday, June 19, 2015

Fun Integrating a Flipped Classroom



I first posted this 6/14/2013, so today I have reflected on the positives and negatives of my experiences with the flipped classroom. I am definitely continuing implement it into the classroom for the 2015-2016 school year.




A Flipped Classroom is where students do their learning at home and do practice, remediation, and enrichment activities during class time. The selling point for me was know I would have more time during class to work with my students.


Getting Started... Be able to answer these questions!




1. Where I got my content?
To begin my Flipped Classroom model, I did a backward curriculum map for Math 1. I knew what students needed to learn and the core concept I wanted them to take from each lesson. I divided my curriculum into 10 core concepts (and some of the core concepts have mini concepts). Each concept, students will have vocabulary, graphic organizers, homework practice, a PowerPoint presentation, and video. Google will be used as my digital filing system to curate, organize, and share these folders with students. 

I basically searched and reviewed many websites with resources already created for students in Algebra 1. I used Quizlet for my vocabulary, Algebra Class for the majority graphic organizers, SlackMath for the homework practice, Henrico Algebra 1 Online for the PowerPoint Presentations, and Youtube for the videos.

I am using PowerPoint Presentations and YouTube videos because many of students were unable to get the web-based videos because of the lack of internet at home. So resolve this issue I took the YouTube videos and saved them as MP4 files using  Clip Converter. It requires no registration and very easy to use. As I found videos, I converted them, and saved them on a flashdrive.

2.  How will students access videos/presentations?
Our school system has purchased the classroom management system, Schoology for us. Schoology allows easy import of files from Google Drive. I have saved everything in Google Drive and share links, files, and documents to students via Schoology. Individual request from parents and tutors can easily shared via email with a simple link. Using Google Drive as a digital filing cabinet also helps me with my paperless classroom initiative. 
Students will have access to videos on their phones, laptops, and desktops. Since we are 1:1, students take their MacBook Airs with them home daily. This definitely makes the flipped classroom model feasible to do. All videos and presentations will be given students in a shared Google folder and uploaded to our Schoology course.

3. How will students be held accountable for their learning?
Day 1 of the learning students will view the video/presentation and complete the AEIOU Summary Google Form and Homework practice problems. This will  be completed at home. The AEIOU will require students to 
A – Adjective ~ Pick an adjective that describes how you feel about the topic.
E – Express ~ Express what you learned. (Summary)
I – Interesting ~ What did you find interesting about the topic you learned?
O – Oh! ~ What previous concept you learned helped you with this concept?
U – Um? ~ What is one question you have about the topic?

The Homework Practice problems will range from 3 -12 problems base on the concept. Using Slack Math practice sheets, students can practice the problem and use the QR Code to review how to solve them.

Day 2 Part 1 students will summarize the lesson using various strategies outlined below. Students who did not complete the AEIOU Form will be required to sit and complete it while the class is summarizing the lesson. They will miss out on the review, so self-learning will be required. Students who miss 3 AEIOU and Homework Practice assignment will get points taken from their participation grade.

Summarizing the lesson should take between 5 - 10 minutes.
1.     Whole Group:
a.     Students will discuss and summarize key points from the lesson.
b.     A chart will be used to record the key points.
c.      Students will add any important key points to their notes.
d.     U will be posted and answered as a class.
2.     Table Chat:
a.     Give students chart paper to summarize their key points.
b.     Groups share with the class.
c.      Groups will answered all questions posted in U.
3.     Round Robin Revised:
a.     Allow students to volunteer and share their key points from the lesson.
b.     Students can ask their U questions voluntarily.
4.     Micro-Blogging/Backchannels:
a.     Use Padlet to create a Summary Board.
b.     Students post their key points and questions on the board.
5.     Speed Dating:
a.     Pair students together.
b.     Partners will individually read their partners AEIOU and answer their questions from U.
6.     Post-It:
a.     Give each student a post-it note to write his or her question.
b.     During class answer questions and return student’s post-it to them.
After students have summarized the lesson and a few sample problems explained, students will complete a learning workshop for that lesson. The learning workshop gives students an opportunity to practice what they have learned from the concept. Our learning workshops will be inquiry learning activities, PBLs, labs, group projects, practice, scavenger hunts, etc.
Based on your class set-up, this can take anyway from 1 – 2 learning days.
4. Classroom Schedule
Next year we will be doing 45 and 90 minute classes. My classes will be set-up as follow:

Class Agenda for 45-minute classes
Summarizing the Lesson ~ 5 – 10 minutes based on the complexity of the topic.
Learning Workshop ~ 20 – 30 minutes  (Will spend 2 days on Learning Workshop)
Debriefing ~ 5 minutes (Quiz, Exit Slip, etc.)
Class Agenda for 90-minute classes
Summarizing the Lesson ~ 5 – 10 minutes based on the complexity of the topic.
Learning Workshop ~ 60 minutes

While students are working in their learning workshops, I will be assisting students individually, facilitating learning, and conducting student-teacher conferences.

5. Assessments
Students will be assessed continuously throughout the Learning Workshops using a lot formative assessment tools. It is very important as the teacher to always be readily available to guide your students as they are working in their workshops. Grouping is important. Use the students AEIOU's A and E to group students into groups. I prefer grouping base on level of understanding.

Each concept in my curriculum have a pre- and post-test that students will complete. Daily quizzes during our debrief with also help me analyze student understanding and drive instruction.


Things to Remember:
If you review the AEIOU summary and you feel a need to do a mini lesson, do so. Flipping will require you to assess, reflect, and respond with the appropriate strategies and tools to ensure student success. This will help continuously. If you are completing the summarizing the lesson with your students and feel a need to teach for better understanding, do so.
For me, some concepts will require me to teach because of the difficulty of the concept. Be the judge what you should teach and what your students can handle on their own.



  
More to come....In the meantime, check out this great site created by Dan Spencer!





Thursday, June 18, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Going Google for a Digital Filing System

I have already started planning for my sixteenth year of teaching. Each year I get excited for a new beginning...creating a theme, decorating my classroom, and integrating new ideas and strategies to ensure overall student success.

I began my plans with my curriculum this time. I know I want to do Standard Based Grading, integrate technology, literacy, and PBL into my lessons. I am using Google Drive as my digital filing cabinet. Since we are a 1:1 school, I can easily share links to students for all assignments. I am dedicated to going Paperless this year. So here is my set-up...

Each unit students will have a set of vocabulary words to know. I will digitally give students the link to the entire folder. Vocabulary words will be reinforced with weekly activities. (Subscribe so you won't miss these activities).


Last year we did an Interactive Notebook. This year we will do a Digital Interactive Notebook. I will share QRs (Quick References) with students for each lesson. Students will create their own Google Drive Folder to keep their QRs in. This will be something they always have and can easily assess as they continue through their high school math courses. 


Last year as my Blended Learning/Flipped Classroom component, I did videos for students. My students gave mixed reviews on these videos. So this year I decided to do PowerPoint lessons with video tutorials provided to help assist students. I think we will use Khan Academy and/or Virtual Nerd as our video tutorials.




Everything will be filed using Google Drive. Allowing me the opportunity to go Paperless. Our school has a contract with Schoology, which allows easy integration of Google Drive documents. Students will submit their assignments via Schoology or through their shared Google Drive class folder.



Here's how to set-up your Google Drive Filing Cabinet:

Educator's Technology provides  great resource for setting up Google Drive.

For up-to-date ideas, suggestions, and more on my Digital Filing Cabinet, be sure to subscribe and like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FITinEDU
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@FITinEDU

Thanks to Henrico Algebra 1 Online, Quizlet, Slack Math and Algebra Class, their resources helped me provide H-O-P-E for my students success!