Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer PD, and WBWO

Happy Summer!

This week, the Pinnacle team is meeting for our Summer PD sessions. On today's agenda: Google Classroom, personalized learning, and so much more. My brain is full.

Our summary assignment for today: 3-2-1. So here we go!

3 Things I Found Out:

  • (or the Canva app) is free, and pretty amazing. The graphics on this post came from Canva, and it only took about 5 minutes to create both. I can see this in my classroom for our presentations, and maybe to create some classroom displays. Most of the fonts I love are already added. 
  • Our neighboring school district has committed to having every school use personalized learning for their students by 2018. We talked a lot about what that means for us, and if we could start implementing some of these techniques in our classrooms (perhaps one unit at a time)
  • (This one was by accident, but still awesome) IFTTT connects with the Amazon Echo! I was one of the lucky people that snagged one of these on Prime Day (they sold out in seconds). If This Then That is a great website for streaming your life, but I might also find a couple of ways to use this in planning. We'll see. 

2 Interesting Things:

  • Kagan Talking Chips actually works - we used paperclips today, and I was surprised to see that after a few minutes, it really helped keep the conversation going. There was a slight pressure to use all of your chips, and it forced me to speak up. 
  • CopyDown as an add-on is also pretty useful. It lets you use formulas for Google Form responses, even before all of the responses have been completed. 

1 Question I Have:

  • Can personalized learning be implemented in a HS Math classroom without SBG? There wasn't ANY talk of SBG this morning (mostly because we're a K-12 group focused on technology). My concern is students that move at their own pace/on their own pathway won't all "end up" at standard proficiency. Is that ok? I don't know. Does a kid that "meets" his goal of a below-grade achievement get a 70, AND a kid that "meets" her goal of a above-grade achievement also get a 70? Does SAME GROWTH=SAME GRADE? 

Since I don't have the answer, let's move on. I promised before to explain some of my review games, and this one's an easy one that I use A LOT. 

Students need dry erase boards and markers, or a device with a doodling app. 
Teacher needs questions, answer key, and a space on the board. 

Each kid needs to write their name on the board with 3 X's underneath their name. (I used to make a template for each class with this done, but it takes only 2-3 mins. to have them write their name, and it lets them get their supplies as well.)

The game works just like Grudgeball - but students compete as individuals. I got the idea from this blog post about exponents from Nathan Kraft. 

I read/show/display a question, and EVERY student works it out on their own board. I walk around, and when they get it right, I tell them to line up at the board. Each right answer means they get to erase someone's X. I pause every few minutes to "supervise" the erasing, so that we don't have a division of people standing/sitting that got the question right/wrong. 

It's an easy way to do a skill drill that doesn't make them want to whine. Winner is the kid with the last X! (It's always a quiet kid that doesn't do anything to draw attention to themselves.)

My favorite thing about this game: the smart kid doesn't win. The kid(s) that gets the most right has the most CONTROL over who wins, but can't usually win (Since typically, the other kids will erase the X's from the "smart" group right away). 

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